A Classic RiverCruiseKing.com Blog re-post from 2019
While all of AmaWaterways' ships are fantastic and will be your home away from home, people often ask me which cabin they should book. I find there are three key factors that go into choosing the right cabin on your AmaWaterways river cruise: cost, location, and use.
The most important thing to keep in mind, regardless of which category cabin you book, is that your cruise experience from dining to tours to the personalized attention showered on guests by the staff are all the same whether you are in a Suite or an E Cabin. The main difference to the overall cruise experience will be how you spend your quiet, private time.
All cabins are well laid out, have plenty of storage, are equipped with a safe, apple entertainment systems, robes and slippers and basic toiletries, hair dryers, comfortable beds and thoughtfully designed bathrooms. River cruising has come a long way and AmaWaterways has led the way in comfort, design and overall quality for over a decade.
As Ama has grown, their ships have also evolved. Currently, Ama's classic ships are primarily located in France. Their famous "double balcony" series ships which are discussed here are located on the Rhine, Moselle, Main, & Danube, but keep in mind that Portugal, Vietnam & Cambodia, and Egypt also offer their own specially designed versions of the double balcony ship.
AmaWaterways 'classic' ships like the AmaLyra, AmaDolce, and AmaDante have cabins that all share the exact same square footage (170 sq ft) and are differentiated by Category E & D cabins with 2 windows or French Balconies in Categories C to A and the larger Suites. The only main thing distinguishing them is location on the ship.
The newer ships from the AmaCerto onwards to the AmaSiena have Ama's famous double balcony configurations and the cabins are divided into several categories: the economical double window choice in Categories E & D, the comfortable Category C French balconies with floor to ceiling, sliding door with creates a French balcony, the double balcony* AA, AB, & BA, BB cabins with their visionary step out balcony + french balcony in the same room that enables people to enjoy a private outdoor sitting area, and the comfortable Suites.
Category E & D cabins are on the lowest deck of the ship on ALL vessels. C cabins are generally at the rear of the middle and top decks, with Bs being on the middle deck and A cabins on the top.
TIP: Cabins in the middle deck tend to be the quietest. Also try not to be too far forward or you may hear occasional noise from the lobby. My favourite cabins are 208 to 218.
Category D & E cabins have picture windows and average 160 - 170 sq ft. depending on the ship. The bathrooms are small, but functional with a step in shower. I have sailed in these cabins several times and they are the best economical choice if you want to use your travel budget in other places. The rooms are not overly large, so if you are two larger guests (like me and my partner) you might want to think about upgrading to room with more space. Then again, there is nothing wrong with a nice slow dance as you manoeuvre the space between the bed and the desk.
TIP: the E & D cabins often have excellent offers for solo travelers ranging from No supplement to 110% to 125% supplement if you book early enough.
Category C cabins are the French balcony rooms. These are generally the same size as Category D & E, but instead of having two windows, these cabins have a floor to ceiling sliding glass door that creates a French Balcony out of your room. They are located at the back of the ship on the middle and upper deck so be aware that you may get some engine vibration from time to time when the ship goes full throttle.
These rooms are great for those who want a bit of fresh air and don't mind walking the length of the corridor to get to their rooms.
In 2012 AmaWaterways changed river cruising. They introduced their double balcony concept cabins which allowed for both a step out balcony and a french balcony in the same room. Knowing that people vacation and sail in all climates and types of weather, the double balcony feature gives you that option to sit privately on your own and watch the scenery go by from your balcony or to sit in the room and open a sliding door for ambience and fresh air.
The BA & BB cabins are 210 square feet with BBs being on the middle deck from mid ship to the back and with BAs being on the upper deck from midship to the back. The bathrooms are also configured differently in the double balcony classes with a bit more room.
TIP: BB are my favourite cabin classes. They offer the double balcony, a bit more room and a larger bathroom with a bigger shower. AB are even a tad larger.
Category AB, AA & AA+ use the same configuration as the B classification, but at 235 sq.ft. they offer even more room and spaciousness and a bigger bathroom with double sinks and a fridge in the room under the TV.
If you really want to treat yourself, get a Suite. Each Suite comes with Butler service, free laundry, daily replenished fruit basket, fridge drinks, coffee service and more. They have tons of space, a sitting room, large bathroom with bath tubs and larger showers big enough for two.
When choosing a cabin, keep in mind that the further back you are the longer you have to walk to the lounge and common areas.
If you find yourself near the back on the 3rd floor, you are welcome to use the coffee machine in the Chef's Table restaurant.
If you are on the middle deck, you will find yourselves using the least amount of stairs as it is always a "half deck" to where you want to go. The lounge is a half deck up, the restaurant is a half deck down.
Keep in mind that if you are on the Upper Deck that you may hear muffled sounds from above your cabin when people are jogging on the Sports Deck or when the crew are working.
No matter where you are, there will be times when we are docked that another ship is docked up against us.
Ama Magna... the Game Changer
In 2019 AmaWaterways once again changed the river cruising industry with the introduction of a brand new ship class never before seen on the Danube. The AmaMagna is nearly twice the width of traditional European river ships and offers more choices for leisure and dining on board. Most accommodations are spacious suites measuring 355 to 710 sq. ft. with full balconies. This ship is designed to lure in sea cruisers who desire lots of space.
The E & D cabins are double windowed rooms, but with 205 sq.ft.
There are no Cat Cs. Categories A & B are outside balcony cabins with 250 sq. ft. of space while the standard suite cabins have 355 with sitting rooms, balconies and integrated systems.
There is also a Giant Suite with 455 sq.ft and the Owner's Suite is a whopping 750! This ship opens the door to sea cruisers and shows them that the rivers are where it is at! These two Suites have an incredible array of amenities including:
· Prepaid Gratuities (during cruise)
· Roundtrip Airport Transfers ( brochure itinerary)
· Complimentary wine, beer, premium liquors and soft drinks
· Mozart & Strauss Concert in Vienna