The culinary offerings found on board AmaMagna is something which really sets itself apart from any other cruise ship. This is where the additional ship-width really starts to come into play.
Unlike other river ships, AmaMagna features not only one restaurant, but four – a first for river ships. There is the Main Restaurant, the Al Fresco Restaurant, The Chef’s Table and Jimmy’s Wine Bar & Restaurant (named after one of the late founders of Ama Waterways).
The Main Restaurant is open for breakfast (0730-0930), lunch (from 1130) and dinner (From 1930). Like the rest of the ship, this is a bright and airy space, but still has that signature contemporary feel.
The space features a lot of tables of various sizes, from large tables, to six-person booths, to tables for two. So, you can choose how you want to dine. There is also a large buffet area in the middle which reconfigures depending in what time of day it is.
For breakfast, you can opt to have a cold or hot buffet, with a variety of offerings to suit every taste, including freshly made omelettes and eggs. There are also a number of cooked-to-order items available including eggs benedict and waffles. For those really pushing the boat out, there is also the A+ breakfast, featuring eggs, steak and hash browns.
A similar approach is taken at lunch, with both buffet options available and other made-to-order items. The buffet features salads, cold cuts, soup and freshly made items such as pasta or on one day I enjoyed a gorgeous hand-made Pho. You can also choose from a number of menu items which include burgers and freshly made pizza.
At dinner, the menu is changed every day and is heavily inspired by local cuisine. There’s plenty to choose from within the three-course offering on board. The menu is split so that in addition to the main options and chef recommendations, there are some items which are always available to choose from. Overall, I was really impressed with the food in the dining room.
Found at the front of the ship, the Al Fresco restaurant is a bright and airy space that also offers breakfast (0630-10.30), lunch (from 1130) and dinner (from 1930), with a focus around healthy fare. The space can also open up with retractable windows to make you feel like you are truly eating al fresco.
For breakfast and lunch, the restaurant offers much of the same food found in the dining room, together with fresh and healthy options on hand such as yoghurts, and fruit. In the evening you are welcome to eat in Al Fresco, so long as you make a reservation or if they have space. The food found in the evening is all fresh, flavoursome and healthy. It’s a lovely space to spend time in. Still feeling peckish? The Al Fresco also offers afternoon tea and late night snacks.
The Chef’s Table
The first of two speciality restaurants on board (included as part of your cruise fare), is The Chef’s Table. Featuring a set, tasting menu, if you know me this is my kind of food. Each of your seven courses are prepared right in front of you at a chef’s station and brought to your table. Honestly, it was all so beautifully presented and equally delicious. Guests have the opportunity to dine here at least once during a cruise and it just requires making a reservation.
Jimmy’s Wine Bar & Restaurant
The second speciality restaurant on board, and new to AmaWaterways, is Jimmy’s Wine Bar & Restaurant. This is a cool, casual and refreshing space which is used for a variety of activities on board. Most notably of course is dinner.
Unlike any other river ship restaurant currently, Jimmy’s is about family and bringing together people through a joint experience of food. So, expect sharing platters or family-dining style, with a variety of different foods served in the middle of the table. It’s a great social experience and not at all stuffy. Similarly to The Chef’s Table, guests have the opportunity to dine here at least once during a cruise and it just requires making a reservation.
Bars on board
In addition to the dining venues, there are a number of bars on board including in the main lounge and on the sundeck. I found prices on board to be very reasonable. Like other river cruise lines, sparkling wine and juices are included at breakfast, while beer, soft drinks and unlimited wines are included at lunch and dinner. AmaWaterways’ also offer a Sip & Sail cocktail hour with complimentary wine, beer and spirits; together with, gourmet coffee, tea and bottled water 24/7 on board.
Service with a smile
As you would expect from a river cruise, service on board AmaMagna throughout the ship was impeccable. There is a proactive approach to looking after people on board, and a higher staff-to-guest ratio which can really be felt across the ship. There was excellent attention to detail, with waiters and other staff remembering your likes and dislike and being able to anticipate your needs – whether this is your favourite cocktail, specifics around your meals or how you want your cabin looked after. That’s really amazing service. I honestly have so much time for the crew on board any ship. They are really interesting individuals who genuinely want you to have an excellent cruise holiday.
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