Q – We have two sets of friends who have returned from an AMA cruise in Europe and both couples said we should not go with anyone else. But we notice they do not score at the top of your ratings. Anything you know that our friends didn’t know? We think your web site offers a great service but we just wonder about the discrepancy.
A – It is always hard for people who are involved in planning some of life’s most important moments for our clients to evaluate the recommendations of friends. We don’t know anything about your friends – what they deem important, what is their sense of luxury, and how many other river boat products have they sailed so they have a proper means of comparison. That said, we do suggest you re-read our quite favorable review of AMA. It is a well-run, contemporary, forward-thinking line that leads the industry in a great many categories. The primary reason it does not score at the very top of our ratings is that it is less inclusive than some of its competitors and it caters to a somewhat less-sophisticated clientele. But we love a great many things about AMA including the variety and scope of its shore excursions and its affiliations with other travel companies such as Disney and Backroads, to create wonderful family and more active sailing experiences. Other lines have better space/crew ratios and some of the AMA ships are less glitsy than their competitors on certain routes. But there are two facts we wish to emphasize:
01 – Not everyone agrees with us. The new Berlitz Guide rates AMA as the “Best Overall River Cruise Line”. While we don;t always agree with everything that Berlitz says, we do find their reviews to be more accurate than most. (If they were totally accurate we would not have needed to put in the work required by RBR)
02 – Our own review of AMA states that “Ama Waterways is, in our opinion “The Best Value for the Quality” in the European market.” That sounds to us like an endorsement – quality and value are a tough combination to beat. We think you should go with your friends recommendation.