AmaWaterways updated reporters attending Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) recent cruise3sixty conference in Vancouver about several enhancements planned for its European ships in 2014.
Added first on AmaBella and now operated on six ships is the aft alternative dining Chef’s Table Restaurant. It’s formally called Erlebnis, which is loosely translated in German as “experience.”
What’s new? Starting in Europe in 2014, the restaurant will be added to all ships the company owns in Europe.
The line’s goal is to allow every client during a seven-night cruise to make a reservation and dine here free of charge one evening. Clients will enjoy a fixed tasting menu, fine wines and specialty desserts.
“We are rebuilding our entire fleet in Europe this coming winter, and starting in 2014 on all the ships we own, we will have this tasting facility, this restaurant,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-owner, AmaWaterways.
In addition, some of the newer ships have a glass demonstration kitchen as part of the dining experience there. Others do not, and that kitchen is also being added to the owned ships that do not have it.
“Another feature next year is that we will have a café on the ship,” Schreiner said. Schreiner described the café as having “a Vienna coffee house atmosphere.” Guests will order off a small menu, maybe read a newspaper, and just have a little bite to eat between meals.
It’s just another option for food during the day. “So you basically now have food all day long,” he quipped.
The small café will be created in the area that’s now the library on AmaCerto and AmaPrima; on other ships, it will be carved out of part of the sitting area of the atrium.
Guests will go to the cafe when they want something between meals. However, because it's close to the bar, if a guest sits down, orders a drink and asks for something to snack on, Schreiner envisions that the bartender can get that for the client at the coffee house.
Expect to see such lite options as sandwiches, salads, wraps and desserts. “There are always some people who could eat something in between meals,” he stressed, noting "this menu will change on a daily basis.”
Looking to the future, the line's newest European ships have two intimate wine rooms on either side of the main dining room; those hold 12 people each. Schreiner said those have potential as future specialty dining options - perhaps a wine and cheese venue or sushi bar, for example.
But no announcement was made on that and the line is still weighing options. Whatever is decided, Schreiner stressed that his philosophy is to try to provide more services than clients expect – “under-marketing and over-delivering.”