Per both naval tradition and AmaWaterways’ tradition, the AmaSiena is one of our newest ships that will be christened with fanfare (and champagne) in 2021 after an unexpected year-long waiting period brought on by the global pandemic. While an official date for her christening has not yet been selected, we are eagerly awaiting what promises to be one of our most meaningful events to date as we celebrate the return of safe travel on Europe’s rivers.
In the interview below, AmaSiena’s Godmother, Debbie Fiorino, Senior Vice President and COO of Owned Brands for World Travel Holdings, reflects on being chosen for this great honor, her passion for travel and why river cruising is the best way to see the world.
Which AmaWaterways river cruises have you experienced – and which is your favorite?
I loved sailing the Tulip Time itinerary through the Netherlands and Belgium aboard AmaSonata. I have also experienced sailing aboard the Zambezi Queen on Africa’s Chobe River – that was my favorite experience out of all of my vacations by far. Another AMA-zing bucket-list trip I experienced was on the AmaDara through the Mekong region.
What do you feel are AmaWaterways’ greatest distinctions?
It starts with the people both aboard and shoreside, starting from the top with the owners. The crew on board is like no other, they know your name within minutes and bond with you to create a memorable experience. At the end of the cruise you don’t want to leave because you feel like you’re leaving family.
What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen to be the Godmother of AmaSiena?
I was overwhelmed. I’m a crier and I was trying not to cry. It was humbling and unexpected – a total surprise to me. I never imagined I would have such an honor.
How are you planning to prepare for the big event?
I really want to make sure I am representing the travel space, my company and the people within my company in the best light. I think I need to practice the blessing over and over again. And smash a few champagne bottles so I get it right! I also want to learn about the people and culture in the city where AmaSiena will be christened.