Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 394 out of 500
Accommodation: 156 out of 200
Food: 319 out of 400
Service: 310 out of 400
Entertainment: 76 out of 100
Cruise: 291 out of 400
Overall Score: 1546 out of 2000
Size: Small Ship
Cruise Line: Phoenix Reisen
Former Names: Asuka
IMO Number: 8913162
Builder: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan)
Original Cost: $150 million
Entered Service: Dec 1991/Mar 2006
Length (ft/m): 632.5/192.8
Beam (ft/m): 81.0/24.7
Draft (ft/m): 21.6/6.6
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (17,300kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 8
Total Crew: 292
Passengers (lower beds): 594
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 48.5
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.0
Cabins (total): 297
Size Range (sq ft/m): 182.9-649.0/17.0-60.3
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 122
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 2
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): No
Slot Machines: No
Swimming Pools: 1
Hot Tubs (on deck): 1
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/97
Onboard currency: Euros
A stylish, spacious ship with fine food and service
Overview. Amadea is best suited to German-speaking couples, single travelers, and families with children, who enjoy cruising in very comfortable surroundings aboard a contemporary ship. Because it absorbs people well, there is never any feeling of crowding.
The Ship. When introduced in 1991 as Asuka, this was the first all-new large ship specially designed and built in Japan for the domestic market. It was sold to Phoenix Reisen and, as Amadea, started cruising for German-speaking passengers in 2006.
The ship, a more upscale vessel than other ships in the Phoenix Reisen fleet, has pleasing exterior styling and a contemporary profile, with a large, rounded, but squat funnel. There is a generous amount of open deck and sunbathing space, plus a wide walk-around teakwood promenade deck outdoors, good for strolling.
The ‘cake-layer’ stacking of the public rooms hampers passenger flow and makes it a little disjointed, although passengers will like the separation of public rooms from accommodation areas. There are many intimate public rooms, plenty of space, and lots of light.
The interior decor is understated but elegant, with pleasing color combinations, quality fabrics, and fine soft furnishings. There’s some fascinating Japanese artwork, including Noriko Tamura’s Song of the Seasons, a four-deck-high mural on the wall of the main foyer staircase - in many shades of pink and red.
Public rooms and lounges include the delightfully relaxing Vista Lounge, the ship’s observation lounge and bar - it is also used for afternoon tea service.
Harry’s Bar is a bar and lounge decorated in the style of a contemporary gentleman’s club, complete with wood-paneled walls and burgundy leather chairs. This popular drinking spot has a light, airy feel. Located in a quiet area is the ship’s library, with deeply comfortable armchairs, and a fireplace with electric fire. Cigar smokers will find the Havanna Bar a cozy little hideaway.
As for the dress code, there is a mix of formal and informal nights, while during the day attire is very casual. There is a self-service launderette with eight washing machines - useful for long voyages. Overall, the ship provides an extremely comfortable and serene cruising environment. All gratuities are included.
Accommodation. There are several price categories, although in reality there are just five types of suites and cabins. Three decks (8, 9, and 10) have suites and cabins with a private balcony. (The balcony floors are laid with green simulated turf, and there is no outside light.)
Suites and cabins in all grades have ocean views, although some are slightly obstructed by the ship’s gangway when it is in the raised (stowed) position.
In all grades, cherry wood cabinetry, which is in beautiful condition, has nicely rounded edges. Cabin soundproofing is excellent, and there is a good amount of closet and drawer space (including lockable drawers), refrigerator, and personal safe.
Most grades have bathrooms with bathtubs (and cabins available with shower), and all have a tiled floor and bath/shower area. While the suite bathrooms are generously proportioned, the ‘standard’ bathrooms are practical but small.
Two suites provide the largest accommodation; these are larger versions of the ‘A’ grade cabins. Each has a separate bedroom, with walk-in closet that includes a luggage deck, and twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, sofa, two chairs and coffee table, large vanity desk, plenty of drawer space, and large color TV set. The marble-clad bathroom is large and has a whirlpool tub set alongside large ocean-view windows overlooking the private balcony, and twin washbasins set in a marble surround. There is a living room and separate guest bathroom. The private balcony is quite large and features a tropical plant set in a glass display enclosure.
In 2009, the company added two Spa Junior Suites; each has a private balcony with whirlpool tub.
The top grade cabins are excellent living spaces and have twice the size and space of the standard cabins. They are very nicely decorated and outfitted, and have twin beds (convertible to a queen-size bed), sofa, two chairs and coffee table, large vanity desk, plenty of drawer space, and large color TV set. However, when in its twin-bed configuration, the room’s feng shui is poor, as one of the beds is facing a large mirror at the writing/vanity desk - a negative for some people.
Many cabins have a private balcony with full floor-to-ceiling partition and a green synthetic turf floor (but no outside light) with floor-to-ceiling sliding door - the door handles are awkward.
There’s also an illuminated walk-in closet with long hanging rail and plenty of drawer space. The bathrooms, partly tiled and generously proportioned, include a plastic, glass-fronted toiletries cabinet, and two washbasins set in a thick marble surround.
Dining. There are two main restaurants, both with open seating for all meals. The Four Seasons has two sections; there are ocean-view windows along one side of the aft section, and along two sides of the forward section. The Amadea Restaurant is located on a higher deck, with ocean view windows on two sides. The cuisine is the same in both venues. For casual breakfasts and lunches, there’s an informal self-serve Lido Café with plenty of outdoor seating, adjacent to a small pool and hot tub.
With this ship, Phoenix Reisen has taken its cuisine and service to a much higher level than that aboard its other ships (except Artania), by spending more money per passenger per day (this is also reflected in the cruise fare).
Entertainment. The Atlantic Lounge is the venue for most entertainment events, including shows, social functions, and lectures. The room spans two decks, with seating on both main and balcony levels, and an extra-large wooden dance floor is provided for social dancing.
Spa/Fitness. There is a spacious wellness center. It has large ocean-view windows, two baths, one hot tub, two saunas, steam room with wooden floor, several shower enclosures, a changing area with vanity counter, and a gymnasium. There are also five body treatment rooms, plus a relaxation area. Sports facilities include a golf court, driving cage, and putting green.