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River Baroness Cruise Review by Uponthesea

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River Baroness
River Baroness
Member Name: Uponthesea
Cruise Date: September 2006
Embarkation: Budapest
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Cabin Category: 3
Cabin Number: 113
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: River Baroness Cruise Reviews | Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews | Uniworld Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money Not Rated
Rates 5.0
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Ship Facts: River Baroness Review (by Cruise Critic!) | River Baroness Deck Plans
River Baroness
While my husband and I have sailed on many ocean cruises, this would be our first river cruise. Through our travel agent, we and another couple booked the cruise including air. We also added an extra four days in Salzburg, Austria at the end of the cruise, and let Uniworld arrange the whole package. This arrangement worked well and all of our flights, hotel and transfers met or exceeded our expectations. Only downside is that we did not get to choose our own airline seating and were seated in the center section - on an aisle, however. We were even upgraded from a train connection to a private vehicle transfer from where the cruise ended in Passau, Germany, to Salzburg.

We flew from Portland, Oregon on Lufthansa direct to Frankfurt, Germany. Long flight, however two pretty good meals and movies. Lufthansa seats amazingly are fairly comfortable in the upright position and have headrests with adjustable sides to cradle your head. Four hour layover in Frankfurt and on to Budapest, Hungary to board our ship.

We were met in Budapest at baggage claim by a Uniworld rep and bussed to the ship. The River Baroness is long and low - two decks plus a sun deck (partially covered) on top. About 120 passengers and 37 crew. We got to know everybody! So...we and our bags were loaded onto the ship by crew and we were welcomed and introduced to our (very compact) cabin. Since, on this ship, all rooms are exactly the same except for location, we chose the lowest category for the price savings. It was fine and I would do it again. At first I wondered how we could possibly fit everything in, however the rooms were very well appointed and we soon were unpacked and felt right at home. European duvets on the beds, which we loved. Even though the bed was a queen, we each had our own duvet. I should say that there is a safe in each room. Also a hair dryer. Neither my friend nor I could get our electrical converters to work with our curling irons, or our electrical styling brushes. Therefore we both had to get creative with the hair dryer. There is also one 110 volt plugin for shavers - which also works for camera battery chargers.

Meals on board consisted of buffets for breakfast and lunch (though you could order off a menu) and a five course served dinner. Although this cruise line caters to Americans, and everything is in English, the food was European and good for the most part. Not as much variety as on larger ships, but fine. Seating was open.

Entertainment consisted of a couple of local musical acts in two ports. They performed in the lounge and were young, fresh and very good. One evening most passengers took an optional tour to a concert in Vienna which was excellent. We really didn't need much evening entertainment. We were tired!!

The highlight of this type of cruise is the touring. Every morning we had an included bus or walking tour of the port. Local guides and very informative. Lunch on the ship and on our own for the afternoon. Since we were already oriented by the guides, we knew where to return for the afternoon. We rode trains, trams, subways, hiked, and walked for miles in beautiful, amazing European cities. Our cruise included Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, and Linz, Austria; and Passau, Germany. I should also say that we had a Cruise Manager on board the ship who gave us daily talks about the sights to see in each port and provided maps, tips and interesting tidbits of information. We even had a mini German lesson one evening.

We were fortunate in the weather we encountered. Warm (72-78 degrees F) and sunny almost every day. That was a bonus!

The extra four days in Salzburg were wonderful. Stayed at the four star Bayrischer Hof near the train station. Salzburg has beautiful walking paths along both sides of its river. It is a safe city and we walked everywhere without feeling unsafe-even in the evening. We took two Panorama Tours - Sound of Music and the Bavarian Alps/Salt Mine. Also took in museums, churches and even a Mozart concert. We ate most meals outside at wonderful cafes and restaurants. We even got used to no ice in our drinks and paying for water - and sometimes for the WC!!

Uniworld offers Christmas Market tours in Europe during the holidays and we have heard that they are festive and wonderful. Maybe we'll try that next. We would definitely do another river cruise.

Publication Date: 08/22/07
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