Our 1st River cruise - and hopefully not our last. The SS Antoinette was Outstanding, as was the crew and cruise experience overall. Uniworld in my opinion is a first class cruise operator.
On embarkation day, (we actually embarked from Basel Switzerland) we were greeted at the dock when we arrived at approximately noon. (our departure was scheduled for midnight). Our luggage was immediately gathered, and directions given to us to begin our day onboard ship. After a short 'self' guided walk around the ship, we were encouraged to have lunch on the Sun deck. We were informed at approximately 2:30 pm that our room was available. When we arrived at the room our luggage was awaiting and we were greeted by our cabin attendant and shown the room and it's amenities available to us. We found the room very comfortable with plenty of room for the two of us, and also plenty of storage available. The room boasted such things as a fresh carafe of water, very tasty candies, aluminum water bottles with carabiners as well as Vox headsets to be used while on our excursions were provided. Our cabin was also stocked with robes, and slippers for both of us, along with their signature bath products. Our cabin measured 196 square feet and had a French balcony, also with a large, electric, retractable glass wall . The ship itself also provided walking sticks and bicycles during our cruise and their use were highly encouraged.
Each member of the ships staff from the Captain to the maintenance personnel were always pleasant and were always smiling. The English speaking crew were always available to assist and/or answer questions.
One area of particular note was how we were treated and provided for when on our very 1st nite we were unable to leave Basel Switzerland due to a mechanical failure of the 'locks' upstream. During the night, ships staff made arrangements for buses to come to our dock, and gather us for our daily excursion. Due to the fact that we would not be onboard (as scheduled) for lunch, we were given compensation to have lunch in town. Our buses and tour guides were outstanding, and in this particular instance the entire experience was well handled. We managed to see all of the same locations originally intended and were only inconvenienced by having to able to tour an extra 2 hours total. While we were on the tour, the ship negotiated the Rhine and met us at our regularly scheduled dock at Breisach. The Captain and tour manager Tony, kept everyone informed of the issues and jokingly said that he would "Have to put the pedal to the metal" to make up a bit of lost river cruise time. This was a minor issue as we were not due into our next port Kehl/Strasbourg until the next morning.
This review will not go into the individual city tours but I will mention that every Tour and guide arranged in each port/city appeared very well versed on their particular area, and kept the tours extremely interesting. One particular note was of our tour guide Iris Burkin who escorted us to the Black Forest. Iris was outstanding, and even provided us with her private photo collection of points of interest in the area as we travelled, and a little treat toward the end of the tour.
A mention about the food and overall service in both the Dining and Lounge rooms is necessary as this too was a highlight of our trip. The food was extremely well prepared and presented, and a foods could be prepared for most dietary concerns, if needed. The waiters and maitre'd were constantly checking to insure that the food and beverage were to our liking. After the 1st day - it became apparent to staff that I was one of those that would rather have beer with my meals than the wine offerings and I was approached regularly to insure what I wanted to drink. This was also the case in the lounge where we congregated after dinner to listen to the outstanding performance of Marguerite and her husband. Did I mention the food was OUTSTANDING?
Overall we were pampered beyond belief, and well cared for in every aspect of this cruise. The ships attention to detail in all areas, especially SERVICE, could not have been any better in my opinion.
This cruise has sold us on the River Cruise experience, and while we have no other River Cruise company to compare Uniworld to, it would be extremely difficult to beat what was presented by this company and their staff.
We are definitely planning a future River Cruise (and YES!!) it will most assuredly be on one of the Uniworld ships.