Amadeus Queen Review
Myself and my colleague Jade had the pleasure of being welcomed upon the Amadeus Queen for a 3 day trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam - built just last year, the 5* vessel is designed to impress, which is exactly what she does.
Having enjoyed many ocean cruises before, myself and Jade were both very much excited to experience our first river cruise - sailing along the stunning Rhine river. After an early rise and an hour flight to Amsterdam, we were astonished to see how beautiful the ship looked docked beside the harbour - in my opinion, it definitely outshone the other boats on the river.
Upon embarkation, we were treated to a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge - where the crew offered us a divine buffet full of pasta, salads, soups and sandwiches as well as a variety of sweet dishes. (The main restaurant is also available at lunch time if you prefer waiter service, just not on your first day). We were then guided to our French Balcony on the Mozart Deck and let me tell you, my jaw dropped to the floor as soon as I stepped into the cabin. I knew from researching beforehand that Amadeus offer exquisite yet relaxing rooms but the cabin completely exceeded my expectations. Our room had an elegant yet contemporary design with a spacious, immaculate bathroom. As well as a grand window which drops down and opens up with a touch of a button, offering a panoramic view - yes, it is just as mesmerising as it sounds.
After a short while taking in our gorgeous living area, we were invited back to the Panorama Lounge to meet our Cruise Director, Lorelai. I honestly didn’t realise just how involved cruise director’s were in the day to day running of the ship but honestly, Lorelai was absolutely wonderful - always available if we had any questions and constantly had a smile on her face - which I feel is perfect for solo travellers worried about travelling on their own. Each evening we were given information on the following day including; excursions, itinerary, timings, weather reports and dining information. We always knew what we had planned for the day and where we should be, making it a relaxing cruise for both of us.
Referring back to the first day we arrived, we set off for an afternoon city tour of Amsterdam. We had an incredible tour guide who made the excursion even more pleasurable - he was both informative and entertaining. The tour included a stop at the Amsterdam Market where we had free time to explore the local area. In almost every market stall we walked past, you could purchase a fantastic range of tulip-bulbs to take home with you, we visited in early March - which happened to be the perfect time of year to visit as its when the bulbs are starting to develop. We were also given complimentary state-of-the-art audio headsets for all excursions so you can hear your tour guide with no interference. Shore excursions are not included with Amadeus but bundle packages are available at a discounted rate or you can purchase them individually, they are very reasonably priced and worth every penny.
Back on board, we were treated to a brilliant local shanty choir performance, and i can proudly say that it was one of the highlights of the cruise. The choir consisted of around 10 male sailors who all had distinctive voices. Everyone joined in singing a mixture of Irish as well as local songs from Amsterdam. It was a short but very much sweet performance and it was lovely to sit and enjoy some entertainment while sipping on a nice hot coffee and a slice of cake.
We then headed back to our cabin and had a quick outfit change before meeting in the Lounge again for the inclusive cocktail reception and canapes, followed by the Welcome Dinner in the Panorama Restaurant. WOW, what can I say, the food was absolutely fantastic! Such a relaxing experience to watch the world go by while enjoying the finest cuisine. Free flowing quality red and white wines from Europe's famous wine regions, draft beer and soft drinks as well as coffee and tea are included with every lunch and dinner service-they are not shy with the top ups either. Just as we finished our meal, Lorelai mentioned we were entering our first lock so we quickly grabbed our coats and made our way up to the Sun Deck. It was late evening but worth the view as I've never seen anything like that before. Again, you could tell that the Cruise Director wanted to make sure you get the most out of your experience, and thanks to the crew, we certainly did!
I can’t not mention the fabulous spread the chef puts together for breakfast each morning. You can choose to enjoy a buffet with a fantastic range of cereals, eggs, bacon, meat and cheese as well as a choice of cooked delicacies including a full breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice (although I opted for a large coffee) instead. After breakfast we arrived in Antwerp, Belgium and within 10 minutes we were making our way to our next excursion - you don't get that on an Ocean Cruise. Once again, our tour guide was fantastic, they have so much passion and knowledge of the area making it an enjoyable and memorable experience - and having our headsets that the ship provides, means you don't miss out on anything. We walked throughout Antwerp and learnt about the local culture and history - it's truly a fascinating place and I would completely encourage anyone to enjoy a visit to the local market square in Antwerp. Back on board, we were greeted with a glass of Belgium beer, a lovely touch after an enjoyable morning.
After a light buffet lunch in the panorama lounge, we had some free time before our 5-course dinner so we decided to head back into Antwerp for a walk around the shops and treated ourselves to their famous Belgium waffles and a drink in the sunshine. The crew provided a bus to and from the city centre so it was easy to transport from the ship to the surrounding area - however it was not much of a walk between the two and since it was a glorious day we decided to walk to and from the ship. In the afternoon, we also spent some time in the Amadeus Club. What a tranquil place to relax. You can take a swim in the indoor pool, grab a coffee or just read a book - it's a beautiful area to recharge your batteries after a fun-filled day out.
Evening time came with another lovely meal, followed by a music quiz with the singing duo in the lounge. The whole atmosphere on board is so welcoming and friendly, everyone from guests to staff are all part of one big family. We made so many new friends whilst on the cruise, especially at night as the crew often involved the guests in the evening entertainment so we got to know a lot of people from all over the world! The crew are so attentive, they really go that extra mile to make you feel welcomed, relaxed and above all entertained.
The lounge and restaurant areas are so airy and spacious, as you can see from the pictures I took of the ship, each room was like a painting - immaculate, colourful but tasteful and incredibly heartfelt. The dining room can actually seat around 185 guests even though the vessel carries just 162 passengers maximum, meaning no one ever has to grab that last seat.
The Amadeus Queen is definitely a beautiful ship, so for those looking for a contemporary and luxury design, with delicious food and a family-friendly feel on board, I would 100% recommend this stunning ship - taking 5* to a whole new level!
Fore more information on Amadeus River Cruises give our team a call on 0800 810 8229