Donna Nelson’s Tulip Time Cruise
Trip Name: Tulip Time
Embarkation/disembarkation port: Roundtrip Amsterdam
Travel Dates: May 4 – 11, 2015
What was your favorite thing about AmaWaterways?
The staff on the AmaCerto were wonderful. The cruise manager Peter Whitehead was amazing, knowledgeable, professional, helpful, caring and had a great sense of humor and personality. From the dining staff to the cabin steward they were very attentive and did everything to make the trip enjoyable. AMA Waterways was extremely welcoming from the time we arrived at the airport until we were dropped off and assisted at the airport.
What were the most interesting destinations?
Amsterdam is an exciting city, full of history, iconic landmarks and beautiful architecture. A very cosmopolitan city that is very safe and easy to get around. Volendam is a quaint little village with charming street and rows of wooden houses. Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgian. The most beautiful square is Grote Markt with the Brabo fountain and the Cathedral that took 169 years to build. Willemstad is a tiny town of 3300 residents. The city is surrounded by it’s old city wall in the shape of a 7 point star. A very picturesque town with one main street, one windmill, one main church and one main wall.
What were the most memorable on-board services or experiences?
The staff onboard the AmaCerto could not have been better. They went above and beyond to make sure the guests had everything they needed for a wonderful experience. Alex the waiter was one of the best, he was always pleasant and entertained us with his magic tricks before leaving the dining room.
What were your favorite shore excursions?
The optional excursion to Bruges was by far the best. The walk from the bus parking lot to the city center through the park was absolutely beautiful. The architecture and picturesque canals took my breath away. I truly enjoyed the bike tour in Willemstad, the 10 km ride around the countryside ending in the tiny village was a real highlight.
What are 3 “helpful tips” you would tell someone that may not be familiar with this cruise or the ship:
1. When planning a tulip time cruise the middle of April is best if you want to see the fields of tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens, by early May the flowers have already been cut.
2. When cruising (weather permitting) enjoy the 360 degree views from the sun deck. The scenery is not to be missed and can not be seen or appreciated from your cabin.
3. Join your cruise manager each evening in the lounge for the next days port talks, they have a wealth of information for visiting and touring the next port.
This Cruise line/ Land vendor is best suited for the following guests:
- Active Adults
- Those new to cruising
What are 3 “not-to-be-missed” experiences?
1. The optional tour to Bruges is a must, the charming canals and medieval architecture should be seen by everyone if your in Belgium. A truly magical city. The canal tour is the best way to see the city. Have lunch in the square and immerse yourself in the local food and culture.
2. Get out and walk. Explore the towns and villages on your own during your free time. It’s the best way to experience the local flavors. Everyone must try the waffles, frites, chocolates and beers.
3. Antwerp has some of the most beautiful architecture. The Cathedral is breathtaking and contains a number of painting by Peter Paul Rubens.
The excursion to Keukenhof Gardens is truly a highlight of this trip. The tulips are gorgeous.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your trip?
AMA Waterways was wonderful. The ship was beautiful, well maintained and was always immaculate. The service was impeccable from every staff member onboard. The food was good, not a huge variety to choose from on the menu but enough to satisfy. The portions were perfect. The Chef’s Table was very intimate with wonderful service. The entertainment was decent. Gino on the piano and the local entertainment brought onboard was very good. The variety of entertainment was lacking, it was all musical. This is a wonderful cruise and itinerary for a first time river cruiser. The ease of traveling to and from Amsterdam was very nice.