If you ask me, after booking other people their holidays and itineraries of a lifetime the next best thing about working in travel is travelling. Last year I got to visit Florida and last month I was in Amsterdam on an AMA Waterways river cruise. A city I’ve longed to visit and a travel experience I’ve longed to try – I had high expectations of this trip.
My colleague and I had decided to fly from Liverpool, firstly because it was so much cheaper than anywhere else and secondly because the airport is compact. We breezed through security to the modern spacious departure lounge, that was humming but not heaving. It wasn’t stressful to get to, and the calm atmosphere made for a very pleasant start to the trip.
After just 50 minutes in the air, we landed at Schipol airport and after we navigated through the electronic passport control, we were in the heaving arrivals plaza. Now Schipol airport is what’s called a hub airport, many, many connections happen here. In 2016 it was ranked the world’s 12th busiest airport with over 63,600,000 passengers through it that year!
The plaza was an array of shops, you could easily spend your weekend break shopping and dining here but alas, we had a short 9km to the city centre. We met with the AMA Waterways reps and were guided to our very luxurious private coach as we were transferred to the AMA Kristina.
Now, anyone who has cruised, oceans or rivers will tell you that seeing your ship for the first time is a thrill. This trip was no different. AND not only did we get to see the AMA Kristina, but we saw several other gorgeous river vessels docked with her. And as a bonus we got to walk through and get a sneaky peak at an Avalon ship too.
I was blown away by the ship, it really is like a floating boutique hotel, really immaculately presented, amazing, personal service from the moment you board. Our stateroom, a twin-balcony category B, was beautiful. Much more room than expected and when you share with someone for the first time, it’s surprising how important that becomes! And the bathroom was stunning. I loved the detail of the window with privacy window that let in natural light.
A 15 minute wander around the ship and you’ve seen everything and got your bearings, no time to waste. First, we hit the bar for refreshments before heading out into the city.
Amsterdam was everything I had hoped it would be. It’s easy to get around, friendly and everywhere you turn there are picturesque scenes. We were thrown head first into the sights, sounds and scents of this awesome place.
The next 2 days were filled to the brim with exquisite meals, interesting tours and workshops to learn more about the AMA Waterways client and brand. But back to the food.
AMA Waterways enjoy membership to La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs which is by invitation only and is extended to those possessing world-class culinary acumen. All of the ships in Europe are members and the onboard culinary team is united by a desire to share their expert knowledge of wine and fine dining with passengers.
Everything at meal times were catered around your likes, dislikes, wants and needs. Being pregnant, I had to miss the shellfish, certain cheeses and had to have my meat very well done, but nothing was too much trouble for the AMA team. They excel at making you feel comfortable with any changes you need to make. I even had a banana split made for me on a whim at the ice cream counter.
I really could have stayed much longer on board than our trip would allow, all too soon it was over. But the serene, comfortable and every whim taken care of way of life was very appealing. I will definitely be looking to sail again and soon. I really enjoyed feeling that looked after!
Want to learn more about my time on board? Head over to my YouTube channel to watch the vlog.