Here are 9 Ways to Add Sparkle to Your AmaWaterways River Cruise... no regrets
By: Ilona Kauremszky
Whenever you can take a loved one on a river cruise – go for it.
Recently I took Mum to France on an 8-day Paris-Paris Seine River cruise on board the AmaLyra. I set out to ensure we ticked off as many highlights on her bucket list as possible.
For river cruisers interested in booking a vacay, the choice of season in a river cruise adds that much more appeal.
Here are 9 Ways to Add Sparkle to Your AmaLyra River Cruise… no regrets.
1. Add a reason – Paris
Don’t tell yourself there’s next year. Seize the moment and book the bucket list cruise NOW. In my case, Mum had never seen Paris nor the beauty of the Notre Dame Cathedral basking in all its cherry blossoms. We arrived to the Ile de la Cite by Metro to see Our Mother of Paris (Notre Dame de Paris) in all her glory…no regrets.
Sadly, we are among the last visitors to see the heart of Paris, a UNESCO World Heritage site, before the devastating inferno.
2. Pick a season and commit
The views on board a river cruise change with the seasons. Depending on what month you pick you’ll discover your river views offer a kaleidoscope of colour with unique seasonal activities and excursions. For me, the springtime Seine River cruise on board the AmaLyra meant we got to dine on seasonal fare, explore top attractions without the crowds, and enjoy the scenic views along the fabled river banks…no regrets.
3. Get out of your comfort zone and socialize on board
There’s no problem in breaking the ice with an easy, ‘Hello, my name is.’ That’s what happened on board the AmaLyra on our first day as our cruise manager extraordinaire got each of us to turn to our neighbour for a quick intro. The friendly staff also help ensure you have a good time. The nightly entertainment got us to sing and dance to the tunes of Mike, AmaLyra’s multi-talented musician. We ended up making so many cruise friends who shared laughs and stories with us… no regrets.
4. Dine Out on board
Make each night a festive occasion. AmaLyra’s exceptional dining scene had us embarking on a foodie odyssey. In this no reservations a la carte dinner scenario the specially curated cuisine had us on occasion insist we couldn’t eat another bite. But, yes we managed to find room anyway … no regrets.
5. Make a Toast
If you find yourselves on a wine cruise, that’s all the more reason to clink the glass and look deep into the eyes of the person who clinks with you. It’s a customary French tradition. We did this nightly… no regrets
6. Get out there and smell the flowers
Mum and I are total garden lovers. For the ultimate garden bonanza it was off to see Monet’s Garden and House in Giverny, one of our excursions. AmaLyra guests get to have a peak inside the great Impressionist artist’s home furnished as if Monet himself had just stepped outside minutes ago to inspect his famous water lilies.. We went in early spring, no crowds… no regrets.
7. Sign up for a Foodie Tour
Foodie lovers, yes we are. Will we try anything? Of course. In Rouen, the capital of Normandy, all good things come in “C.” The region is famous for culture, cheese, cider and an apple liqueur called Calvados. AmaLyra invited its foodie guests to explore the medieval streets in search of them. We sampled handmade chocolate inside a chocolate-making shop and then it was off to a quaint hotel for a cheese and cider pairing… no regrets.
8. It’s a sail day – take yourselves to the Sun Deck
As the AmaLyra cruised upriver passing by idyllic countrysides that mirrored into the ancient Seine, Mum and I hunkered down in lounge chairs on the top deck, sipping cappuccinos and peering at the new life unfolding along these storied river banks… no regrets.
9. Prepare for those captain surprises
On our farewell night in Paris, our captain announced a surprise best viewed on the sun deck. By the Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes, the AmaLyra stood still like a musical conductor anticipating the next orchestral note. Suddenly on cue, the Eiffel Tower instantly transformed into a glittering golden jewel box of gems.
Seeing the shimmering sight of Paris’ beloved tower like so many other moments during our cruise left us breathless. Mum was mesmerized in the City of Light. “This Paris…is so beautiful,” she softly murmured watching the dazzling display.
The AmaLyra had worked her magic…. no regrets.