Saturday, October 18, 2014

Gate1 - Amadeus Royal

On the morning of the departure from Prague to the Amadeus Royal boat, we left our luggage outside our hotel room to be picked up by the crew and brought to the bus. After breakfast, we still had time to briefly do any last minute sightseeing or shopping. From the hotel, we left for Nuremberg at 1 p.m. on 3 separate buses. Halfway through the 3 hour bus journey, we stopped at a McDonald's in Germany, yes McDonald's, for a food and bathroom break.  It was a good size location, but it must be on the main highway as it was crowded and it took awhile to place our food order. They took Euros and credit cards. After a quick 20 minute stop, we boarded the bus for the 2nd half of the drive to the Nuremberg port, also known as the Main-Danube Canal, and arrived by late afternoon.

The embarkation was painless as our 3 tour buses left Prague in a staggered formation so as not to all arrive at once. The receptionists welcomed us, we gave them our passports, and they gave us a key to our cabin and a key to a small safe in the cabin. Between my husband and I, we were given only 1 cabin key and 1 safe key.  These were physical keys and not electronic card keys.  The cabin key was attached to a huge keychain so it would less likely to be lost, but you will need a big pocket.

As a policy, they kept our passports for the rest of the cruise until we disembarked in Budapest. We had reservations about it, but it was a requirement so make sure you make copies of your passport before you leave home just in case.  And, at no time during the rest of the cruise were we asked to present our passport during our tour so technically we did not need it.

After receiving our keys and cabin number, a crew member brought our luggage and escorted us to our cabin. Our cabin was on the Hayden Deck (lowest level) where there isn't much of a view out our window except to maybe look at the sky. If I got on a chair, I could see the landscape and water-level.  My thought was how often are we going to stay in our cabin when we are out and about most of the day. With that in mind, we are light sleepers and the engine noise, sloshing of the water, going through countless river locks were sometimes too much and they kept us up at night.

Picture from Gate1's photo gallery of a Hayden Deck cabin.

Our bathroom which looks similar to those on a large cruise ship except this one has a sliding shower door which I prefer.

The shower head and provided soap and shampoo.
Also, a hairdryer is provided and stored in the desk drawer.
Your cabin is made up while you are away on your day's tour and in the evening during dinner time, your bed is turned down and your cabin is tidied up again.
Closet space was very limited so don't pack too much or you will have to leave some items in your luggage. We hand washed a few of our wearables and left them hanging to dry in the bathroom. Since there was little air circulating in our cabin, it took them a few days to dry.



On the first evening on board, everyone gathered for the Welcome Aboard program at the Panorama Bar (front of the ship) where we were introduced to the crew & tour managers. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were served. Following this was the ship's safety briefing and port talk.  
Every evening, one of the tour managers would speak 15 minutes about the next day's schedule and tour. Dinner is usually served around 6:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the dining room at the back of the ship immediately following the port talk.

These are some samples of entrees and desserts served on board. You usually have several choices of entrees and desserts to choose from and red and white wines are included at every dinner meal. 

Every breakfast was a buffet with your typical eggs, bacon, sausage, cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, oatmeal, toast, pastries, coffee, juice, ..etc.  I did not try it, but you can also order an Amadeus Omelette which is cooked to order and looked like your typical American omelette with eggs, meat, and cheese.

During breakfast, the lunch menu is already on the table for you to peruse and by lunch, the dinner menu is available for you to view.

Due to time-constraints such as afternoon tours, some of the lunch meals were also buffets which included a dessert buffet such as this. 

The first evening's entertainer was this musician and comedian. Unfortunately, I did not find him funny.

The last evening on board were a group of Hungarian singers, dancers, and musicians. I thought they were really talented.

If you do not like the scheduled entertainment, you can always resort to reading, watching tv in your cabin, chatting with fellow passengers, playing games, exercising, connecting online, ...etc. Smoking is allowed outside of the boat.

There is a small library on board where you can borrow a book to read. There were only a handful of tv channels and most of them were not in English. We wanted to play cards, but there was only 1 deck of cards and some of the cards were missing. 
And as for connecting online, the on board wi-fi was terrible and it was hit and miss. To get online, you had to ask the receptionist for a password which is written on a small slip of paper. If you have multiple devices like a smartphone and tablet, each of your devices require a different password and each will expire after 24 hours. I had better luck waiting until I got onshore to get connected.

This is the game, library, or sitting area next to the Panorama Bar.

Coffee and tea are available anytime by the Panorama Bar.

This is the exercise room. 
I am not sure how many people actually used it after walking all day.

Going back to the river locks... Our tour manager said we went through 25 locks through the cruise.  The first few were interesting, but after that, you couldn't wait until it was over.  Don't miss out on seeing Europe's Continental Divide marker, the Wachau Valley, and the sail into Budapest. There should be sufficient notice to all the passengers on the intercom so you won't miss out.  A few times, they made last minute announcements to look out the window at night to see some amazing sights especially passing Linz. I wished they had made those announcements during the day so we could have prepared.

Each time you disembark the boat, you will hand the receptionist your cabin key and in return, she will give you a paper pass with your name and cabin number.  When you return, you hand her the pass and she will return your cabin key. This is how they track whether you are or not on board.  You will also be handed a cool fruity drink and a hot wash cloth to clean your hands.

On the evening we docked in Vienna, a few of us took a taxi to Cafe Sacher where they make the world famous Sacher Torte. If you are interested in doing the same, have the receptionist hail you a taxi. Depending on when you leave, the cost is between 18 to 23 Euros each way. 

Every evening, the next day's program schedule is placed in your room. If you go to the link, I have scanned the Welcome Aboard letter, all the Daily Programs, and the Disembarkation Information.

I hope this information is worthwhile to you.  Thank you for reading...

- Karen

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