It was the first night of our sailing on AmaLucia when Radostina Aleksieva Markovic (Radi for short), our cruise manager, welcomed us to our “floating home.” It was clear our experience would be memorable even before she introduced the special guests — AmaWaterways’ co-owners Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner — who would be joining us for the “Captivating Rhine” itinerary.
“This is a very special cruise,” Karst said. “I’m so happy to see the lounge full again. We want to make this a vacation of a lifetime for all of you.”
On our trip in late July, which sailed from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, with stops in France and Germany, we also got to be a part of AmaLucia’s christening in Rudesheim, Germany. Plus, along with welcoming the ship, Karst and Schreiner were excited to introduce the youngest godparents in the cruise company’s history: Riley and Will Farmer (children of AmaWaterways’ business partner Colin Farmer), ages 14 and 11, respectively.
Sister ship to popular vessels such as AmaSiena, AmaLea and AmaKristina, the 156-passenger AmaLucia features all the amenities AmaWaterways’ guests have grown to love, including twin-balcony staterooms, connecting cabins and The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant.
Staterooms display an impressive attention to detail. Though cabin layouts might feel a little tight at times, the MyAmaCruise app has greatly cut down on the piles of paperwork that once took up valuable counter space in cabins. Everything from the Daily Cruiser program to guest surveys and docking locations can be found on the app. (Guests not comfortable going fully digital can still get paper copies.)
Dining on AmaLucia
Though the new Bistro dining venue technically made its debut on AmaSiena in 2020, it’s arguably the most notable design change on AmaLucia. Located at the front of the ship in a space that used to be part of the Lounge, the Bistro offers a more casual breakfast and lunch experience. Bistro menus are similar to those in the primary restaurant, just with fewer options.
In the main restaurant, guests can still create their own breakfast bowl at a central table referred to as the “Action Station,” but, for the most part, buffet-style dining has been eliminated.
Guests who enjoy the chance to taste a little bit of everything need not worry, though. A handful of appetizer-sized selections are automatically delivered to every table during lunch service. The kitchen does a great job highlighting regional specialties of ports visited during the sailing; the flammkuchen (kind of a crunchy French-German pizza with bacon, creme fraiche and onion) offered on the lunch menu after a morning touring Strasbourg, France, was a standout.
The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant and weekly Chaine des Rotisseurs dinners both continue to impress guests, as well.
Clients looking to keep up with their fitness routine will get to know dedicated Wellness Host Paulo Tiago Silva Monteiro. His daily onboard fitness classes — including yoga, Pilates, Zumba and core strength — were tough but adaptable for all levels of fitness. Monteiro also joins onshore bicycle excursions.
Overall, AmaLucia continues the tradition of great ships for AmaWaterways. And, after waiting out the pandemic to launch, it will no doubt hold a special place in the company’s fleet.