SS ANTOINETTE JUNE 2014 REVIEW: S.S. Antoinette Cruise Review by carefreecruise
Overall Member Rating
SS ANTOINETTE JUNE 2014 REVIEW
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Built in 2011, length 443 ft., With 37.5 ft., Guest 154 and staff of 57. Suites range from 391 sf down to 163 sf. Some staterooms have open balconies with glass walls that can be raised up or down to for better comfort. If you stayed in any fine French hotels, you will feel right at home. The décor jumps out at you when you get onboard but after a short time you start appreciating how it all works together. Ship is kept very clean with windows looking spotless at all times.
NOTE- Getting on and off the ship could require many steps to climb to go the top deck, across a plank and down through another ship getting to shore. Not recommended for wheelchair bound guests.
EMBARK & SHIP GREETING
A little relaxed, all you do is scan your passports and have your picture taken. When your rooms are ready you will get your key-card.
Rooms are finely detailed with just about every possible combination of electrical More sockets. Larger suits have espresso machines, i-pod chargers, refrigerators stocked with wines-soft drinks-beers and small bottles of alcohol. All the usual bath amenities: robes, shampoo, conditioner, cotton balls, hand dryers. Heating works well but AC takes a long time to catch-up on hot days. Caution - Your view could be blocked by other ships or concrete walls when docking.
Swiss francs and Euros are used in the countries visited. Ship will change American dollars to euros.
PRE-CRUISE - Luzern is a worth seeing and Uniworld takes great care of you also walking with you all day for excursions. Some excursions cost extra that take you up to mount Pilatus. Lodging ”Widmein Mann is an old hotel that is seven houses they combined. Rooms are mostly not the same with very irregular shapes and sizes. Many steps are every ware even going down the hallways. Internet will cost you extra and be prepared for no air conditioning if traveling in summer time. A plus, the restaurant serves food way above the level of the hotel.
Most shore excursion will be included. When your pre-information package arrives; it will describe each tour and let you know what ones are an additional charge. We found out tours fill quickly and one needs to decide on the first day to select them at the front counter. Also some walking tours could be up to 50 people. A Quite ox receiver with an ear peace will be provided to keep you connected to you tour guide.
Uniworld will put you up at the Amsterdam Crown Plaza Hotel a modern, up-to-date hotel. A guide will walk you around town and provide additional excursions if you like. They also have a desk downstairs and will answer questions if you want to wander around by yourself. Trips to the airport are also included if you purchase the extended stay options.
All drinks are included throughout the day and night. Of course special wines and after diner drinks can be purchased at additional costs. In larger suites three bottles of distilled sprites will be provided in your room.
Suites on deck 4 will receive this service for about 12 hours a day. They are eager to please and really trying hard to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Special request are their specialty.
Room will be cleaned twice a day if needed.
A user code will be provided for you to sign in to have access to the internet. You can connect with your e-mail accounts and browse the internet. But be prepared to be locked out of all address that requires sizeable bandwidth. WIFI did not work in our room without the door open, even with our room right next to the main lobby. WIFI has good connection on the top deck and in public areas. We could only send emails after logging into a cloud bases email account. We asked IT and they opened up some IP address we needed but still had many problems. Also was locked out of using WIFI calling devices.
IN ROOM ENTERTAINMENT
Flat screens in the rooms with a selection of; Movies on demand, daily activates Some international channels, CNN and BBC news. They do have lots of movies and newly released items to choose from. Although can be glitchy while sailing.
Three washers and three dryers are located for guests on floor two. Detergent and one iron are also provided. Laundry will be provided at no cost if you are staying in a suite. If you are having them do your laundry; check it when delivered, it may need to be re-pressed or ironed.
CASINO/ SALON/ WORKOUT/ LIBRARY & SHIP STORE
CASINO (none) SALON – Very nice facility with no advance reservations needed. WORKOUT ROOM –yes with trainer STORE – Yes a small one with some jewelry. LIBRARY- could not find one. POOL yes on level four at the back of the ship. Done very nice and you will like hanging out there.
Person playing the piano at night with accompanied singer. Some night’s special entertainment will come onboard and provide special performances. Also a 24 seat theater showing 3 DVD movies a day.
Only have a few selections each night. One vegetarian, one beef and one fish. Same with appetizers and starters; only one or two too choose from. No 24 hour room service exists but if staying in the suites, butlers will serve breakfast and diners in your suite. A fine dining experience in provided on the top deck one night (need to make reservations) and is also offered one additional night if staying in the suites. If you like seating with other travelers you in luck, most seating is four or more and you will be joined by others. Also seating times have a short time period so dining room will be crowed. Although all meals are supposed to be casual dress, on Captain’s welcome and farewell it seems a lot of guests dress Informal.
No room on the ship for massive freezers, almost at each stop you will see proteins and produce being brought onboard. With so much fresh food it’s hard for them to go wrong. Everybody seemed happy with their meals but maybe some complaining of the same beef four days in a row. If anyone has a food allergy they will go out of their way to eliminate any cross contaminations and prepare something special.
Eastern Europeans make up most or all of the crew and are easy to get along with. Lots of crew training takes place and it shows. All you have to do is mention something out of the ordinary you need and they are off the ship getting it for you.
Tipping was included in all the meal bills and guides other than Amsterdam. If you were lucky enough to get a butler you may find you will want to tip them (they just do that good of a job)
DISEMBARK & PARTING THOUGHTS
You’re given the usual colored luggage tags but bags are placed outside your room the morning you’re departing. We found out a solid week of training is done for staff prior to them opening the season. They train for how to answer question so no one looks foolish or confused and it shows. When things go wrong you will not get some lame excuse. What you get is a commitment to fixing it prior to you getting off the ship. When we overheard a guest dissatisfied with the beer selection; someone went off the ship at each port to find something they liked. We heard guests praising them over and over on how far they will go to make you happy. After being on the Rhine and passing 20 to 40 other river ships you will be happy you are with Uniworld. Most of them look beat and worn out. You will also have the opportunity to walk through some other ships on the trip while docking, to see if you like something better. River cruising is much different than Ocean cruising and it’s like comparing apples and oranges and I will not make any comparisons. You will have to experience it on your own to know for sure. Only comparison I could make is if you’re staying in one of the suites you will feel like you’re on one of Seabourn’s small ships. Less