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Amadeus - Fred. Travel River Cruise Fam Trip

May 31, 2019

 

What our James had to say, 

This was an opportunity to spend 2 nights on board the AMADEUS QUEEN sailing Amsterdam – Antwerp – Rotterdam. There were a number of UK, US and Canadian agents on board and the UK contingent were hosted by Fred Travel’s Dave Chidley, who you may remember came up and did a training session with us on the various River Cruise products that Fred Travel act as GSA’s for. 

I was on the 06.00 “red eye “from Edinburgh to Amsterdam with KLM. For anyone who wants to do their own thing getting from the airport couldn’t be easier. Trains run every 6 or 7 minutes, journey takes around 20 minutes, you can even by your ticket from machines in baggage reclaim while you wait for your bags, at a cost of 5 euros one way. The docking area for River cruises in Amsterdam is 5 – 10 minute’s walks from the train station. Check in commenced at midday and I soon settled in to my stateroom which was on Strauss Deck with a drop-down panoramic window. All cabins regardless of deck are similar size with the obvious exception of suites. All make fantastic use of the space available with walk in wardrobes, flat screen TV, safe and wireless headsets for using on excursions. 

HAYDN DECK (bottom deck) Here you find the hair salon (no I didn’t go) and the Massage area (nope) along with the staterooms that feature panoramic windows that cannot be opened. I was however surprised that these windows were actually quite big, being almost the entire width of the cabin, and set at just about head height (maybe slightly higher for some of you) These allow a very good amount of natural light in to the cabin.  

STRAUSS DECK (middle) On this deck is the fitness room (take a wild guess!) Reception, shop and the restaurant. All staterooms have the full cabin width panoramic drop-down windows.

MOZART DECK (top) Same cabins as Strauss deck but also some Suites with a walk out balcony and I will come back to these later. Also on this deck you will find the indoor pool, The Amadeus club a nice quiet relaxation area with a 24 hour free tea and coffee station, the River terrace an outdoor seating area at the front of the boat and of course the bar ( Yes I did but purely for research purposes )

SUN DECK at the very top of the ship with lots of sun loungers, shuffleboard, a giant chess and another bar.

SELLING AMADEUS. We all know enough about river cruises to sell with confidence, so what are the main reasons to sell Amadeus? The following are snippets of information that I picked up from both on board presentations and general conversations with staff.  Amadeus are owned and run on a daily basis by the Luftner family and have their HQ in Austria. They have over 40 year’s experience as river cruise specialists, firstly as Luftner cruises and then becoming Amadeus in 1997. They have used this time to continually canvas their passengers’ opinions to evolve in to the company and product they have become today whilst still striving to become even better.

SOLO TRAVELLERS. The supplement for single cabins on Haydn deck is only 15% and for French Balcony cabins 30% to 60 %, If you compare this with Viking at 50% or 100% supplement this makes Amadeus a very attractive option.

EXCURSIONS. Here they take a very simple view. Why include excursions which a lot of passengers either wouldn’t choose to do or simply don’t do? No excursions are included, giving passengers the chance to pick and choose what they want to do, or simply do their own thing. For those who want to pre book it,is possible to reserve some, most or all excursions and get a 15% discount for doing so.

PASSENGERS. Unlike many rivals who cater mainly for the American market Amadeus urge you to think of them in the same way as a 5* European hotel, with a mix of guests from the UK,Europe and North America giving their boats a much more cosmopolitan feel.

BALCONIES. I was very interested to hear that over the years Amadeus have gradually reduced the number of balcony cabins to offer more french balcony cabins. This was again based on passenger feedback, this showed that most people would rather have more floor space in their cabin rather than have the balcony area encroaching on that.  

DRINKS. In line with most other companies beer,wine and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. I decided to do some comprehensive research in to the bar prices on board and can report that, draft or bottled beer costs 3 – 4 euros, a Gin and Tonic 6 euros (the bottle of tonic cost 2 euros and was big enough for anyone inclined to have another drink to do so by only buying the Gin, I of course couldn’t possibly comment it’s only an observation !).My point is that the prices on board are not too outrageous and again a good bit lower than some.  

FRED TRAVEL. As GSA for Amadeus they can book any of their cruises on the Rhine,Main,Moselle,Danube or the French or Dutch waterways. They will book any suitable flights including those with the low coat carriers. Transfers can be arranged and also hotels for pre and post cruise stays at any available  hotel and duration so avoids the need to book the overpriced fixed options offered by some. I now know from experience that the reservations staff are very friendly, patient and knowledgeable.  I spoke with Dave Chidley the other day and he was delighted that since Linda and I returned from the trip we have gone from zero business to producing 5 bookings, 9 passengers at a total value of £ 25.000. This particularly pleases him as somewhat unusually they had covered the costs of our flights to and from Amsterdam, so it’s nice that we have been able to repay the faith he showed in us. There is no doubt that sampling the product is far and away the best way of selling it so if you get an opportunity to go on a trip such as this then seize the chance.

Finally, ( good I here you say ) As I get older I find it takes an awful lot to impress me, but I have to confess to being very impressed by Amadeus. We have a supply of both 2019 and 2020 brochures and I also have lots of other information stored in my brain that I didn’t want to bore you with so just ask.  

 

What our Linda had to say,  

 

01 April—Flew out Easyjet to Amsterdam and overnighted in the Hyatt Place Hotel. Nice airport hotel with complimentary transfers and breakfast.

02 April—Met Hannah from Fred.Cruises at Amsterdam airport for the transfer to Rotterdam to join the ship. There were 10 of us from the UK with around 75 from the USA/Canada already on board..

1 hour coach trip to Rotterdam where we boarded the Amadeus Queen in time for lunch. Two lunch options,either the main restaurant or the Panoramic lounge for a lighter buffet lunch. I opted for the lighter option and had soup with fresh bread and a chocolate cherry mousse. There was also pasta, salads and a beef stew available. After lunch we met in the Amadeus Club room near the pool and fitness centre for a presentation while the ship set sail for Amsterdam. My cabin was on the Strauss Deck (middle) and had floor to ceiling French windows. The cabin was well equipped with flat screen TV, walk in wardrobe, fridge, safe, free WIFI and complimentary bottled water. The shower had two different heads. Hand held or wall mounted. There was never a problem with hot water and the shower pressure was very good.

Afternoon tea in the Panoramic Lounge watching the world go by. Nice selection of sandwiches and cakes.

In the evening we were treated to a Highlight Dinner—This is the optional premium dining experience which carries a supplement. 

See menu and food above.

03 April—Breakfast and then morning visit to Keukenhof. The park had only opened the weekend before and not all the flowers were fully out. However ,it is a lovely setting and we also saw some of the tulip farms nearby. We returned to the ship for a typical Dutch lunch with herrings, cheese and roast hog.

In the afternoon we went on an Amsterdam canal river cruise highlighting the main sights. Did you know there is an extension of The Hermitage in Amsterdam showcasing exhibits from St Petersburg? In the evening we had a farewell dinner on board the ship.

04 April— Breakfast and disembark--Easyjet back to Edinburgh 

As the Amadeus Queen is the first river cruise boat I have been on I was not sure what to expect. I thought it was excellent and the feedbank from  agents who had experience of Viking ,Scenic, Riviera etc ,the Amadeus Queen rated highly with them.

 



Category: River Cruise