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What's the Disney river cruise with AmaWaterways like?

by Fran Golden | August 06, 2016

In addition to the additional Disney tour staff, all of the ship's regular crew members underwent special Disney training before these sailings, and they showed finesse at making the kids feel at home. The maître d' responded to my granddaughter's food allergies by showering her with attention, putting her at ease, and even calling her "princess." The ship's chefs also created kid-friendly dishes like burgers and pasta, as well as chicken satay with fried rice. (At some meals the kid's menu looked so good that some of the adults on board chose these options as well).

That said, this is a new concept, and it's clearly in its first season, when tweaks are standard. The minimum age for these cruises was originally 4, but is now 6 with a recommended age of 8. And while family bike rides have been touted since the beginning, mixed in with the adult bikes were just two junior bikes and no kids bikes. The two scheduled bike tours were only for ages 12 and up.

The program is already so popular, though, that it will be expanded next year, with cruises on the Danube as well as Rhine itineraries on AmaViola's sister ship, AmaKristina (scheduled to launch in March 2017). Most of the cruises are slated for the summer, when kids are out of school, plus there are two December Christmas market sailings scheduled as well. 

Fran Golden

Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.

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