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A-ROSA cruise review

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European river trips with German flair.

A-ROSA was launched by British cruise line P&O Cruises in 2001, meant to cater specifically to German folks. But that doesn’t mean American travelers can’t take advantage of the competitive fare.

14 ships

Number of ships

No

Price matches

Details

Target demographic Families, Adults, Kids
Number of ships 14 ships
Contact options Phone, Email, Text
Payment options Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service No free room service

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by


Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

A-ROSA cruises are aimed at the German market. The official language onboard is German, though on international cruises you’ll hear both English and German.

The food is also quintessentially German — expect lots of meat and cheese. And smoking is allowed in all outdoor areas of the ship.

If all that sounds a-OK with you, then its cruises are worth a shot — especially if you’re keen on indulging in boozy beverages. The fare price is great value, considering drinks are included. Keep in mind most of A-ROSA’s excursions are in German.

A-ROSA markets its cruises as “all-included premium” voyages — but compared to true luxury cruise lines like Tauck, Scenic and Crystal River Cruises, these are still pretty much mid-tier. You won’t get butler service, and the accommodations can feel tired. These ships aren’t meant to be theme parks at sea.

A final word? If you’re comfortable freewheeling, and the idea of relaxing on deck between casual buffet-style meals sounds appealing, A-ROSA cruises can be truly wunderschön — wonderful. But if you’re hoping for luxury or prefer a more familiar American-style voyage, look elsewhere.

Compare A-ROSA’s cruise ships

A-ROSA’s 14 river cruise ships are emblazoned with its trademark red rose clasped between red lips. This sets the tone for its interior decor — bright, energetic and stylish. Its ships aren’t necessarily new — and not all have been recently refurbished — but overall they’re comparable to other mid-tier river cruise ships.

A special perk? Most vessels have a large pool on the top deck — along with a putting green.

Where do A-ROSA cruises depart from?

Kick-start your cruise from riverside ports throughout Europe. Cruises depart from:

  • Amsterdam, Athens, Bali Denpasar, Barbados, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dover, Dubai, Dubrovnik, Fort Lauderdale, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Keelung, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Mahe Island, Miami, Mumbai, New Orleans, New York City, Palma De Mallorca, Papeete, Puerta Caldera, Quebec, Rome, San Diego, San Juan, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Venice, Yokohama

A-ROSA cruise destinations

Cruise through Europe on the following rivers:

  • Danube
  • Douro
  • Rhine
  • Rhone
  • Saone
  • Seine

Here’s a list of the cities you can visit along the way:

  • Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Hawaii, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, Northern Europe, Pacific, South Pacific, Transatlantic, Western Europe

Are A-ROSA cruises good for families?

Yes. Children 15 and under can cruise for free with A-ROSA with a full-paying adult. The only exceptions are its Douro river cruises, where children get a 25% discount.

It also offers a complimentary Kids Club with a dedicated entertainer and activities designed for kiddos. And you’ll find kids menus in the dining rooms — so there are options for everyone.

You can also pay extra for shore excursions that cater to kids, and a family-size cabin with a double bed (for the ‘rents) and two twin beds.

What’s included on A-ROSA cruises?

Your fare covers your cabin, meals, Wi-Fi and alcoholic drinks. It also includes shuttle transfers to and from the train station closest to your departure port. You’ll pay extra for shore excursions, gratuities and specialty beverages.

How much are gratuities on A-ROSA cruises?

If you’re satisfied with the service, A-ROSA recommends tipping about € 5 to € 10 per guest, per day. That’s about $5.50 to $11.

However, tips won’t be automatically charged to your account. If you choose to tip the staff, you can leave it in the gratuities box at reception toward the end of the cruise.

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with A-ROSA

Before booking your cruise, weigh the benefits and drawbacks:

Pros

  • Excellent value for the price
    • Alcoholic beverages are included in the fare.
  • Saunas and pools on deck, as well as a spa and fitness center
  • Great family discounts

Cons

  • Ships can feel old and outdated.
  • Many customer reviews describe the cabins as “cramped.”
  • Fewer onboard activities than larger cruise lines
  • Shore excursions are extra, which is atypical for a river cruise line.

If you’re still on the fence about A-ROSA, compare it to Riviera River Cruises or the more luxurious Tauck.

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