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67 Uniworld Basel Cruise Reviews

Our travel agent recommended this cruise line over others. We had had a wonderful experience with Tauck’s musical cruise on the Danube but she said there’s no comparison in terms of Uniworld being a better experience. My first ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise line over others. We had had a wonderful experience with Tauck’s musical cruise on the Danube but she said there’s no comparison in terms of Uniworld being a better experience. My first reaction upon entering the boat’s lobby is that it looked cluttered. There is a large blue chandelier that overpowers the small area. Downstairs in the reception area there is a table with blue and white vases and green apples that provided a pleasing vignette. The stairs themselves are rather steep and curved, which to me seemed like a recipe for a fall if not being very careful. About a month prior to departure we were offered an upgrade to a suite, which we were glad we took, since it offered much more space than the French balcony. That classification offers butler service, but we rarely took advantage except for laundry, which always came back later in the day and was beautifully done. The “balcony” is actually an inset into part of the room with two small chairs and a table plus a window that will open half way. It was nicely appointed including a live orchid. There was limited opportunity to use the balcony, as most of the time the boat moved at night and when docked, we were either up against another boat, a concrete wall, or similar uninteresting view. The room decor seemed a bit heavy but the bed was very comfortable and we like the size of the bathroom and the storage under the two sinks, plus towel and floor warmers. The shower often backed up into the main floor area. One major disadvantage to that particular cabin (402) is that it can be noisy with lots of footsteps outside and overhead, evening during the night. It is near the main gathering area, which added to the noise, plus the neighboring room played their TV hanging on the wall adjacent to our bed loudly playing past midnight. I mentioned something to the hotel director, suggesting that our neighbors play the TV by their bed instead. That worked one night only... . One of our major complaints about this ship is that the gathering areas were very noisy...We traveled with another couple and could barely hear each other while dining. Upon request, they reserved a table in the back of the room, which helped. Even with the room partially filled, the sound level was very high and one could clearly hear conversations from two or three tables away. It did seem as if the there was fairly steady drinking among this crowd, which may have added to the decibels. Another serious issue was our experience at dinner. First, the waiters were understaffed, meaning that there was a sense of frantic about them (tho they were very pleasant and tried to be accommodating.) Often they tried to serve us the wrong order and usually it took well over 30’ to have our dinner plates removed. The food itself was sub par. There was only one night that I thought the entree was edible. Every other night I couldn’t eat it. When asked why my plate was full when they removed it, I told them and they responded “I’ll let the chef know”. All four of us on the cruise felt that the quality of food at dinner time tended to be dry as if sitting for too long before being served...and often without much taste. The breakfast was very nice and lunch was okay, tho repetitive. The offered cheeses, many of which were not of high quality...almost stale in some cases..and the fruit was usually unripe. We have been on several tours and sea cruises (Tauck, Lindblad, Crystal, Celebrity) and in all cases their food quality and service were superior to this. The cruise director was upbeat and accommodating. That said, we thought the guided tours were rather bland and generic. We suggested to him it might be nice to include more information about the architecture and art/music in the particular areas and he said this “market” wasn’t interested in this. I want to reiterate that the crew were all very pleasant and worked hard. It seems that perhaps the corporate section of Uniworld needs to consider addressing some of these concerns, as I see that many other reviewers with similar comments. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and we were celebrating a special occasion. Everything was great - cabin layout quite adequate with lovely big comfy bed, lovely en suite with great shower, all sparkling clean. Food was fantastic, loads of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were celebrating a special occasion. Everything was great - cabin layout quite adequate with lovely big comfy bed, lovely en suite with great shower, all sparkling clean. Food was fantastic, loads of choice for breakfast and lunch, more formal meal in the evening but still with three or four choices on the four course menu. Masses of choice in drinks including malt whiskies, all staff were friendly and professional. Trips varied but generally good and there was usually a choice. So what was the problem?? I have to firstly state that I am a poor sleeper. So, we had paid for a 'deluxe' cabin, which meant we had a good sized, non opening window and were located at the front on the second level. All cabins are the same size and layout, you pay for the window, ours was fine from that point of view. What was definitely not fine was the hellish noise we experienced from the engines at the front, located maybe six feet from our door, which was the second last in the corridor. The last door between us and the engine room was the bottle store. 100+ passengers on an all inclusive cruise get through a lot of bottles so the staff were constantly in and out during the day and in the evening, clattering and clanking as they restocked. But worst by far was the engine noise. Apparently the engines at the front are the ones which deal with sideways positioning and are therefore heavily engaged when passing through locks. There are a great many locks between Basel and Amsterdam, and we sailed through the vast majority of them overnight, mainly on nights 1 & 2. This meant that I barely slept during either of these nights doe to the roaring of the engine. We spoke to passengers who were in the cheaper cabins one level down but who heard nothing. We were very unfortunate in the location of our room. And to add insult to injury a couple of nights later we had dancing in the lounge from 9.30pm. Guess what, the lounge turned out to be directly above our heads. We ended up going ashore and walking along the towpath for an hour or so in the pitch dark, thankfully when we returned after 11.00 the band was finishing. Lots of apologies and a bottle of fizzy wine the next day from the hotel manager on board. So apart from the noise the cruise was 5*. Unfortunately if you can't sleep at night you can't enjoy the days. I have since been in touch with customer services who tell me that noise is not unexpected. Well it was completely unexpected for me and served to seriously detract from our holiday. Should you have a problem I cannot recommend Uniworld customer services. So yes, go on the trip but only if you can be absolutely certain you will not end up in CABIN 202! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the ... Read More
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the shops close on Xmas Eve so the last market was on the 23rd. The ship was beautiful but the cruise was dull & boring with no atmosphere. The cabin was lovely, well decorated but did lack a mini bar. Service very good. Every night we were entertained by the same duo apart from an additional singer one night who bombarded us with non stop Xmas songs. As you can imagine, by Xmas eve we were sick of hearing Xmas songs. The food was good but we never saw a menu until we sat down for dinner. One exception was Xmas night when the turkey was awful as it was stuffed with figs! There was no onboard activities, so for those who did not get off the ship or go on an excursion, it was uneventful. For what we paid we could have had 3 months on an ocean cruise. No more river cruises for us, especially with Uniworld! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night ... Read More
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night voyage" was the overnight cruise to Breisach from Basel), we were informed that there was a possibility that the cruise might be cut short because of low river levels. Sure enough, at the 3rd evening update we were told that we would not be traveling any further on the boat. We were offered a four day, 3 night bus trip from Strasbourg to Amsterdam to complete our cruise. This would involve 3 overnight stops at hotels selected by Uniworld and we would receive vouchers for meals at each of the stops.Uniworld also offered $1000 per person off of a future cruise in 2019. Our group of 6 felt that since we had signed up for a cruise, we did not want to experience the Rhine by bus, nor did we want to pack and unpack our bags each night or have to search out restaurants for dinner at every stop, so we proposed to the cruise director that we would stay on the boat and return to Basel with the passengers that were being transferred from a southbound boat onto the SS Antoinette to complete their cruise. Late in the day on the 4th night we were told that our request had been accepted. This necessitated purchasing airline tickets from Basel to Amsterdam at a cost of $250per person since our return flights to the US were out of Amsterdam. At the 3rd night update, when the cruise cancellation was announced , the captain stated that they had hoped that a weather system moving over the south of France would move further north and provide enough rainfall to fill the river so passage would be possible. The system never moved north. This indicated to us that Uniworld knew in advance of our departure that the river level was too low, since we had already been told within 24 hours of departure that cancellation was a possibility. We felt deceived and taken advantage of. Therefore on our return to the US we requested a full refund of our cruise faire. We were offered 20% refund and a $1000 credit for a cruise in 2019. I have also included pictures of the "upgraded" suite we were offered for the return to Basel. Uniworld promotes their cruises as an upscale, luxury experience. Somehow tattered throw pillows, a worn out lounge chair, stained bedcover and ripped curtain are their idea of luxury. The meals onboard were also a huge disappointment. While the volume of food was more than adequate, the quality and preparation were sorely lacking.( ie.french onion soup consisted of 3 pieces of onion floating in weak beef broth with a cheese crouton on the side. This was served on two nights.) Having only traveled as far as Strasbourg, we did not see any castles. I gave this cruise 2 stars only because the staff was exceptional and the optional cooking class out of Strasbourg was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld ... Read More
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld can’t control Mother Nature and water levels, but it would have been nice to have been warned that this was a possibility and been given the option to cancel with a refund. No mention was made that water levels might be a problem until once under way. On the second night out of Basel we received the “unforeseen” bad news that we would not be able to continue by ship. On the positive side, the crew has done everything they could to make the remainder of the trip as positive as possible, but again, a bus ride is not what we paid around $8000 for. As partial compensation they offered $1000/person off the fare of a future cruise. The only catch was we had to use it by the end of 2019. After contacting them, they did extend the deadline to the end of 2020. I really hate being so negative as we had received nothing but glowing reports from friends who had done several Uniworld cruises, but to say I am extremely disappointed is a gross understatement. Again, nothing against the crew of the ship as they seemed as disappointed as we were to be unable to continue as we were but I feel that Uniworld corporate could have handled this in a much better way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Don't ever book a cruise with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection unless you want to be held hostage on a bus tour instead of being on a 5 star ship. We were told 2 days into our 8 day river cruise that we would be getting on ... Read More
Don't ever book a cruise with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection unless you want to be held hostage on a bus tour instead of being on a 5 star ship. We were told 2 days into our 8 day river cruise that we would be getting on buses to finish our cruise with NO option of cancelling. And there was no chance of getting a refund of any kind on our HUGE bill. The company allowed us to get on a ship knowing full well that they would be doing this to all of the passengers. The buses Uniworld uses are meant to take passengers on excursions not take them for 7 hour drives. Uniworld's CEO, Ellen Bettridge, should be forced to sit on one of Uniworld's uncomfortable buses for a 7 hour trip. She should have to pay over $1000 for a night's stay in a $100 a night hotel with enough money to buy 2 average meals to see how she feels about her own company's policies. As compensation the company offered us a coupon for our next cruise. What a JOKE! Why on earth would I go through this nightmare again? I understand weather is unpredictable and things can happen but forcing a passenger to finish the tour on a bus is crap. We should be allowed to decide what to do not be forced to do what they want us to do. Cruise companies should not be able to get away with this. We need to band together to fight this issue. It should be illegal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion ... Read More
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion of the scheduled eight-day river cruise was extremely unlikely, given conditions on the Rhine at that time. The Captain later indicated to us that at the time we had left Basel, he was aware of the low levels, but was hoping for an immediate rainstorm to boost the river. Within two days -- when we arrived at our second port of Strasbourg – we were told that because of water levels, the river cruise was essentially over and that the remainder of the cruise would be an impromptu attempt to duplicate what we had paid for. We were never given any choice as to how we wished to proceed at that point. As a result, a day later our crowded bus sped past the fabled Rhine castles in the fading twilight. We never saw the port of Mannheim (Speyer) or Koblenz, despite brochure promises we would dock there. We took long and tedious rides on buses (5 hours in the case of the excursion to Marksburg Castle), instead of the short excursions that had been scheduled. I had signed up for your bicycling excursion, but that was cancelled as well. Instead of our cabin, we were placed in two different hotels. Instead of eight days of fine dining experiences with wine and spirits, we given a token amount of per diem money, to buy food wherever we could find it. I understand that there are weather risks, and that their contract allows them to make accommodations in the event of circumstances such as this. But what I am saying is that their attempt to remedy the situation completely failed to substantially comply with the experiences that they had promised. The company’s offer of $1000 per passenger on a future cruise in 2019 is totally inadequate and of no use to us: our 2019 travel plans were long ago finalized. I will never again risk my money again with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sal and i have just got back from a fabulous Rhine River Cruise on the River Empress. We enjoyed every minute on the elegant yet cozy ship. We were particularly impressed with the personal attention we were given, everything was sparkling ... Read More
Sal and i have just got back from a fabulous Rhine River Cruise on the River Empress. We enjoyed every minute on the elegant yet cozy ship. We were particularly impressed with the personal attention we were given, everything was sparkling clean, the friendliness of the crew all added to make a unforgettable vacation. Special mention goes to George our cabin attendant who kept our cabin spotless, delightful Monica who catered to our every need in the dining area, the bar lady who made us our cocktails, Ramona who organized the excursions and the personnel at the front desk who answered all our questions so patiently. We have already recommended Uniworld to our friends and family.The food presentation and freshness were very good. We enjoyed eating the bread and cheeses from the ports that we visited. Overall we were very impressed Thank you all for making our cruise unforgettable - Juliet and Sal De Souza Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was the first cruise for our party of four. We traveled with close friends and both couples were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. We flew into Basel a day early and stayed at Hotel Spalentor, right outside the historic ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our party of four. We traveled with close friends and both couples were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. We flew into Basel a day early and stayed at Hotel Spalentor, right outside the historic gate to the old city. This was a reasonably priced hotel with large, modern, clean rooms and a nice breakfast included. It was easy to walk throughout historic Basel from the hotel. I think the pre-cruise guests stayed at the Hotel Les Trois Rois, which was spectacular with lovely Rhine views, but more than twice the rate we paid. We checked out of the hotel on Sunday and arrived at our dock in Basel around noon. The area near the dock isn't particularly pretty but there were several other boats docked there as well. Check in was easy and our room (Room 416 - Balcony) was already ready. The room was nice, quiet, comfortable, a little small, but well thought out with plenty of storage. We stored our suitcases under the bed and we were good for the week. There is a safe in the closet for your valuables. The bathrooms are an adequate size with a drawer to store toiletries. There is a hairdryer in the drawer. Some of the toiletries (body wash) were in a larger pump container attached to the shower. There are several outlets in the room that are adapted to US standards. Housekeeping did a great job tidying up, leaving little gifts and refilling the chocolate jar. Overall the ship was lovely. The chandelier in the entry is impressive. We particularly liked the Salon du Grand Trianon (lounge area, bar and entertainment) and the Leopard Bar, which was pretty lively the nights it was open. Dinner was very good with plenty of entree options. Everyone was seated around 7:00. People were friendly and felt comfortable joining our foursome. We made a point of sitting in Vladimir's section every night. He was very personable and enhanced our dining experience. It was my friend's birthday the first night (I had mentioned it when sitting down at our table) and he brought a birthday cake out without being asked. A featured entree was offered every night, which was always a good choice. Wine flowed freely. I saw french fries (a weakness), somewhat hidden on the menu, and made the table jealous when I ordered them (twice). Ice cream (rumored to be home made) was popular with our group for dessert. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with plenty of healthy options. They had an omelet station for breakfast that made my husband very happy. We just showed up during buffet hours and there were plenty of open seats since guests arrived at different times and didn't linger. The men in our group enjoyed massages with Doris in the spa. She was trained as a Physical Therapist which was reassuring since my husband had a sprain he was recovering from. The pool area was hardly used but it would be a nice place to read a book. Every aspect of service was outstanding. Every staff member we encountered was friendly and helpful. Most excursions were included and Uniworld provided at least two options each day. They also offered a third option on a few days for an additional fee. The guides were great and our headsets worked well. Every morning, you need to remember your head set and your boarding ID, which is swiped when you exit and enter so they can account for everyone. For excursions, we chose: Day 1: Alsatian Village tour - We visited two story-tale, picture perfect villages. We had a little time to shop and taste some Riesling wine. If you are into Christmas, you'll find the opportunity to shop at a number of Christmas ornament shops throughout the week. Day 2: We chose a walking tour of beautiful Strasbourg, visited the cathedral, stopped for lunch and explored. We had more free time here since some some passengers went on to visit the Black Forest. They seemed to enjoy the tour (which was extra) but we decided we didn't want to take a long bus ride. Day 3: We went to the Dokforenhof Vinegar Cellar for a lecture on vinegar making and a tasting. It was an unusual experience that I would recommend. We bought a package of all 5 vinegars tasted. It's pretty heavy so you might want to pick just one or two of your favorites. There was an option to stay and take a gourmet cooking class with our charismatic guide (at his house) around the corner for an extra fee. We chose to visit Heidelberg (also an extra fee) which was a highlight of our trip. We visited the castle with our entertaining guide, Lauren, and had a short walking tour of the town. Heidelberg has a different vibe since it's a university town. My only regret is not staying in town for dinner. We could have taken a taxi back to the dock. Other passengers just enjoyed afternoon time on the boat. Day 4: We went to the Castle Vollrads for a Riesling wine tasting. It was beautiful, a little early for wine for me, but I rallied. We also went into Rudesheim, another charming town and tried a famous Rudesheim coffee (more alcohol). They also offered a morning hike that I was very tempted to switch to but both options were great. The afternoon was the trip highlight, sailing the Rhine Gorge and enjoying the Castles. We were thrilled the low waters did not affect us. It was a little cloudy and cool but a wonderful afternoon! We stayed in the town of Boppard for dinner (where the boat was docked) just to take a break from the main dining room. A great day! Day 5: We visited Marksburg Castle - supposedly the only castle never conquered and destroyed. Others biked from Boppard to Koblenz. We spent some of the afternoon exploring Koblenz and attended the Captain's Farewell Dinner in the evening. Day 6: Cologne - We had a short walking tour en route to the cathedral, which holds the remains of the three Magi. We climbed the steps to the top of the Cathedral (about 5 euros). However, I had to turn around since it is a narrow, winding stairway where you had to hug the wall on the right walking up, since others are walking down on the left. So if you are a little claustrophobic, or not in great shape, this might not be the best option for you. The remainder of the trip was sailing to Amsterdam. Although all tips are included in the price, we did leave something extra for our server at dinner and housekeeping. Since we are new to river cruising and Uniworld, we really didn't know what was appropriate. After the cruise, we stayed a few days in Amsterdam at a wonderful airbnb along the Brouwersgracht Canal. It was immaculate, well decorated, stocked with goodies, and perfect for two couples. FYI - tickets for Anne Frank and the Van Gogh Museum need to be purchased online. They start selling 2 months ahead of your desired date for Anne Frank. We also visited the Rijksmuseum, Vondel Park, the Dutch Resistance Museum and took a canal cruise. General observations about the cruise: We are in our mid to late 50's and were probably among the younger third of this group of passengers. However, we weren't the youngest. The older guests were fun, interesting and physically fit for the most part. A number of guests enjoyed the lounge for post dinner drinks and dancing. The live entertainment was low key and fine for a smaller ship but I think it would have been fun to have a DJ one night playing music from a range of decades. The more intimate Leopard Lounge was fun to visit the nights it was open. We enjoyed a heated game of Trivial Pursuit with our new friends. Guests dressed casually for breakfast, lunch and touring (jeans, shorts, leggings, khakis). At dinner, most dressed up a little more, like you would if you were dining at a nice restaurant with friends. On the Captain's dinner nights, about 2/3 of the men wore jackets (not ties) the first night and less the second. I wore wrinkle free, sheath dresses several nights and other nights pants with a nice blouse. My personal taste for decorating is more modern. However, I found the S.S. Antoinette to be elegant, charming and "old school" in a good way. The 7:00 dinner seating encouraged but did not force you to make new friends. Overall, people on this trip paid for a high end experience, often close to a year in advance, and wanted to have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had taken 3 and our sons and their wives had each taken 1 cruise with Uniworld, and we were completely satisfied. However, this was a totally different story. This was a generational cruise--the Remarkable Rhine. My husband and I ... Read More
We had taken 3 and our sons and their wives had each taken 1 cruise with Uniworld, and we were completely satisfied. However, this was a totally different story. This was a generational cruise--the Remarkable Rhine. My husband and I wanted our children and grandchildren to have this unique experience. I am posting photos of my one of my son's rooms to show the deplorable condition. Ours was not much better, but I did not take pictures of it. We spent a lot of money on this cruise for 11 of us. I complained to Uniworld and asked for a partial refund. Instead, we got certificates that have to be used within a year. We are not happy with their response to our situation. We will not be taking any Uniworld cruises in the future. They are going to redo that ship, but they should have lowered the prices to be in line with its condition. The prices were the same as others were paying for one of their super ships. Also, we had informed Uniworld months ahead that our flight had been canceled and that we would e arriving at 5:20 instead of at their 5:00 deadline. At first, they said that we would have to find our own way to the ship. After I reminded them that there were 11 of us and that we would be arriving only 20 minutes after their deadline, they agreed to pick us up. Our flight was over 45 minutes late, and our transport was gone. We called Uniworld, and they told us to make our own transport arrangements to the ship. We finally arrived just in time for dinner. I feel that their transport company should have had enough experience to check our flight schedule and have seen that we were going to be late and planned accordingly. We were reimbursed for our transport. In all, my husband and I were so happy that we were able to provide our family with this experience and looked forward to it for almost a year. We remain totally disappointed with our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This trip from Basel to Amsterdam over 13 days was so good. Last year we went on the Danube from Budapest to Prague but this has much more scenic vistas. My number one tip is to book your trip through Costco. We got a shipboard credit of ... Read More
This trip from Basel to Amsterdam over 13 days was so good. Last year we went on the Danube from Budapest to Prague but this has much more scenic vistas. My number one tip is to book your trip through Costco. We got a shipboard credit of $300 and a cash card for $1300. On the ship the crew was amazing and so hard working. The guests were very friendly to each other and we got to know some wonderful new friends. We had great weather. The included tours were very comprehensive and there were just 3 extra cost tours. My minor complaints were that the dinner menu was not to my liking. Some items that I would never eat. I am not a big drinker but all drinks are all included in this tour.Also, the layout of the dining room for the breakfast buffet was cramped. I would highly recommend Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We contracted this cruise with others through a common travel agent and received great value. The rooms on the 3rd level are quite small, requiring my wife and I to signal each other as to where we were headed in the room in order to make ... Read More
We contracted this cruise with others through a common travel agent and received great value. The rooms on the 3rd level are quite small, requiring my wife and I to signal each other as to where we were headed in the room in order to make space for us to pass. There is sufficient closet space, few drawers, a good safe, and interestingly the wall covers have a foam base which eliminates all noise other than that in the room. The daily trips related to the Jewish Excursions throughout the week and the guides, with one exception, were among the best we have experienced. Everything was easy here, prompted by a rather modest size passenger list. The food was from good to very good, with outstanding restaurant service, especially the maître d' who provided my wife at every meal with a serrated knife since she has problems with her hand. He would come up behind us, wherever we sat, and unobtrusively replace the cutlery. And he had the cook prepare a side dish for a passenger we sat with based on her request. MOST IMPRESSIVE. There is less to do in the afternoons after the tours and other than a piano player, nothing in the evening...with one exception. While the cruise director did good work describing the castles on the Rhine, more information would have been very helpful and more entertainment in the evening would have enhanced the trip. Our room was kept spotless, and the ship itself was exceedingly clean. It was a comfortable cruise with a very attentive staff. I wish that it had some added features in order for me to recommend this excursion to others. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Uniworld failed, and then failed again. Yet we had a wonderful cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Uniworld product to anyone. This was my 37th cruise; fourth river ... Read More
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Uniworld failed, and then failed again. Yet we had a wonderful cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Uniworld product to anyone. This was my 37th cruise; fourth river cruise; third Europe river cruise; first Uniworld. My favorite ocean cruises are Crystal and Celebrity, and in Europe our two river cruises were on AmaWaterways (I’d certainly be happy to cruise with them again). We booked through an agency that puts together air and “best available” cruise cabins, close to departure, at good prices. We were hesitant to let somebody else plan our air, but we booked less than two months in advance on a cruise we had wanted to do but didn’t think we could fit into our busy schedule! This itinerary has a Jewish Heritage option for tours in 2018, which is what attracted us to it. I had inquired about whether they’d be doing the same for 2019 and they didn’t know yet. Because the planning would be minimal (just check the weather and try to pack appropriately), we decided to jump in and book. We actually were happy with the Delta flights chosen for us. We were flying to Basel to start the cruise, and we knew we’d have three ups and downs (we don’t live in a hub city) so it was fine. What was a bit frustrating is that the Basel airport has two distinct exits, one into France and one into Switzerland. We didn’t see the signs about that; we were merely focused on finding our luggage carousel. Luckily a friend who was with us saw the appropriate signs and stopped us from using the wrong exit. I thought Uniworld could’ve mentioned that for guests embarking in Basel. Then to compound the frustration, after finding the representative and boarding the bus for our group transfer, we arrive at the “pier”, with two ships parked along side. No representative from Uniworld welcomed us. Only one crew member came to get luggage, and he couldn’t take everybody’s at once. Finally a second crew member showed up and assured us he’d take our bags, suggesting that we just go to board the River Empress. It wasn’t even clear which way to choose to walk to the ship! Ok, all of that was quickly forgotten when we got on board and could relax comfortably for an hour in the lounge, or even outside on the deck, until lunch was served in the main dining room. After that, it was easy to leave our carry-ons with the front desk and walk into the center of the town, where we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the lovely market full of flowers, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and food stalls. We saw city hall and found the cathedral, so we felt we had started our European sightseeing quite nicely. Back at the ship, we unpacked and were ready for dinner and bedtime! Before dinner each evening, the Cruise Manager gives a briefing about the next day’s activities. The lounge is comfortable and everybody who wishes to attend fits in nicely. The sommelier/bartender gives a briefing about the included wines that evening for dinner as well as the ones with an upcharge (one white and one red in both categories). That’s a good time to visit with the Cruise Manager if you have any questions about the next day. Also, when you return to your cabin, you’ll find the information about the next day, and there’s plenty of detail that kept us well clued in. We were quite pleased with all of the meals aboard the River Empress. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and you quickly figure out which things are duplicated on both sides and where to find your favorites. On a few occasions, restocking wasn’t as quick as we might hope to see, but otherwise everything was available and at the correct temperature. For breakfast, you can order from the menu if you wish, instead of picking out your own things or going to the gentleman cooking the eggs, and there’s one special dish every morning. We were a party of four, and often dined with three additional guests we met onboard, and I would say that all of us were quite happy with the food – and we were VERY happy with the service. We made a point of sitting in the same area because we knew the waiter, Milen, was so good. Special kudos to Uniworld for the nice job they did incorporating local foods into the menus. I never met our cabin stewardess but she definitely did a good job. I adjusted the little chairs the first night, or I would’ve tripped over them in the middle of the night! But otherwise the cabin was fine, although small. Still, we had enough room to unpack and we certainly had a nice hot shower every day and a truly comfortable night’s sleep. Sometimes we even had a nice view out our window! Other times, we had a view of the river ship next to us, or the walls of the locks that are used to navigate the river, or the docking area. On the little desk/dressing table, there’s an apothecary jar with small, delicious chocolates, and that went a long way to erase my frustration from our airport and river arrival. There’s a lounge entertainer before and after dinner, so there’s lovely background music and the opportunity for dancing. One evening, there was a group of three performers who were extremely well received (perhaps because they were over the age of 60, as was most of the cruising population). The cocktail waitress joined the packed dance floor when they played YMCA. The tours were exactly what we wanted. We had signed up for the Jewish Heritage tours at every port stop that offered them (six out of seven) and the sites we visited, and the tour guides, were excellent in four out of the six and just a bit disappointing in the other two. These tours require advance sign-up, and varied from 24 to 30 guests, always with two tour guides. Usually the tour guides were in two separate groups part of the time and together, all of us, the rest of the time. For the most part it worked great. There are forms to evaluate the tour guides and I certainly took the opportunity of telling who was great and who was not so great. As you may know, river cruising is very big in Europe, so there’s no doubt plenty of competition for the various companies to book the guides. Uniworld uses the QuietVox system so we can always hear the tour guides. I wear hearing aids and I had no trouble using the QuietVox earpiece with no adjustment needed. The only thing one needs to remember is to charge the system every night and take it with you the next day on tour. One day there was a really good speaker onboard, and one morning there was scenic cruising through the area with many lovely castles and legends. The cruise manager narrated, using the QuietVox system. As an aside, while we were onboard, Uniworld announced that the Jewish Heritage tours for 2019 will be offered on the Rhine again and also on the Danube. For some totally unknown reason, the Danube cruise seems not to be including Budapest. That makes no sense to me (not that anybody asked me). Uniworld is an all-inclusive cruise line. All our tours, alcohol, and gratuities, off and on the ship, were included in the cruise fare. I like that a lot. On occasion there’s an opportunity to do an off-ship experience with an upcharge. I didn’t do any, but a friend did and she was very happy with it. The only other things you might spend money for on the ship are purchases in the gift shop, massages, or the upcharge wines (only by the bottle). Our Cruise Manager was Anthony and I thought he was outstanding. He’s a huge asset for Uniworld. Actually, I have to say all the crew and staff I dealt with were excellent. All in all, a truly lovely cruise experience. I would be delighted to cruise with Uniworld again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cabins were beautiful with a lot of amenities. I loved the heated towels and fresh flowers among many other delightful amenities. Breakfast and lunch were buffets .They were both really good especially the lunch. The lunches were the ... Read More
The cabins were beautiful with a lot of amenities. I loved the heated towels and fresh flowers among many other delightful amenities. Breakfast and lunch were buffets .They were both really good especially the lunch. The lunches were the best I ever had on all of my 26 cruises of many cruise lines.I have to say dinner is just okay,but the desserts were wonderful!! our tours were very good some days we were able to do more than one tour..when Uniworld says all inclusive they are not kidding...free WiFi fee alcohol as much as you want whenever you want it.specialty coffee included cookies and candies out 24 7 Transfers well organized.The entertainment at night is rather boring and the gym is terrible. I never saw a gym so small.. I did like that they offered free washer and dryer services.they even provided laundry detergent.The movie theater was nice to offering 3 differnt movies everyday. it was really a great cruise.They just need some better entertainment and a better gym. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
A River Cruise was on my bucket list. What got my attention was the FREE air included, not to mention all drinks, taxes, tips, tours, transfers, etc. It was a value that couldn't be passed up. I have been on 50 ships over the last 30 ... Read More
A River Cruise was on my bucket list. What got my attention was the FREE air included, not to mention all drinks, taxes, tips, tours, transfers, etc. It was a value that couldn't be passed up. I have been on 50 ships over the last 30 years. I have never seen a level of this excellence with a crew. Everyone had a smile on their face, and were friendly and more than willing to get you anything you needed. Even it it wasn't their specific job. What this told me was this has got to be a crew that loves what they do and is treated well by the captain and the management. Speaking of the Captain.... Unlike most ships I have sailed, the captain makes an appearance at the Captain's reception then you never see him again. Not so aboard the River Empress! He could be seen at meal times in line with the guests, saying hello to people and his staff. I truly felt like i was spending a week with family. I loved the fact that if you were in the lounge and you needed to run back to your room, it took 2 minutes. You didn't have to navigate elevators and floors of crowds. The small ships make you feel like you are on a private small exclusive group. I will certainly make it a point to travel on Uniworld again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Our prior uniworld cruise was so good we went again. The room on this ship was bigger with more up to date features. The only issue many of us had was the speed of the internet which was too slow for FaceTime and other internet ... Read More
Our prior uniworld cruise was so good we went again. The room on this ship was bigger with more up to date features. The only issue many of us had was the speed of the internet which was too slow for FaceTime and other internet activities. The food was excellent quality and diversity of options. All the staff throughout the ship could t do more for you. They were attentive and very visible and enjoy what they do. One excursion to the Vinegar tasting of gourmet aperitif vinegars was the best of all! It was very unique. And the visit to a working very old wine making castle was also fantastic. The tour director, Preston was fantastic, always visible and involved and helpful. We booked our air travel and pre and post hotel stays and they handled everything completely...we didn't have to worry about any transports, tips or arrangements. Our tour guide in Amsterdam, Muriel, was fantastic as well as the tour guides in Lucerne, Shannon. UNIWORLD cruises are fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We choose this ship as we thought it was the top in this venue. We looked forward to cruising the Rhine. We were in the largest cabin. First thing we noticed was the paint finish rubbed off the door. A couple of spots on the ... Read More
We choose this ship as we thought it was the top in this venue. We looked forward to cruising the Rhine. We were in the largest cabin. First thing we noticed was the paint finish rubbed off the door. A couple of spots on the upholstery...oh-oh. The bathroom looked newly refurbished. It was difficult to find storage space but once we unpacked we went to look around. Our 2 butlers were great and very accommodating, also was our steward. The room was kept very clean. Unfortunately this suite is pummeled with the sound of people going up and down the stair to the upper deck. After 2 days of constant motion above we would have gladly gone to a smaller accommodation!! This is something I don't think is fixable..Food was very disappointing. Finding a table difficult and no tables for deuces. After this cruise we realized that this type of cruise was not for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our second Uniworld cruise after having gone on the Danube River cruise last year. Uniworld offers top of the line service with professional, pleasant and attentive staff along with excellent shore excursions, onboard ... Read More
This was our second Uniworld cruise after having gone on the Danube River cruise last year. Uniworld offers top of the line service with professional, pleasant and attentive staff along with excellent shore excursions, onboard entertainment and fine dining. The ships are small, serving about 120 guests. We met people from around the world, getting to know lovely new friends from Australia, Canada, Iran and New Zealand, but mostly other Americans. Each day offered a choice of shore excursions with different levels of activity. The guides are the best of the best. Most excursions offered extra free time for shopping or further exploration. We walked, hiked and rode bikes through some of the most beautiful areas of the Rhine River. Back on board we were greeted by friendly staff and great meals. Everything is included, so your most difficult choice at dinner is whether you want red or white wine! The week went by so quickly we were sad to say goodbye. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Cruise recommended by Dubbo Travel Agent. Note Stopped in Lucerne for couple of days. Jung Frau is great excursion. Top of Europe We are 50 and not sure of age group. People of all ages and great people. Cruise, Excursions, ... Read More
Cruise recommended by Dubbo Travel Agent. Note Stopped in Lucerne for couple of days. Jung Frau is great excursion. Top of Europe We are 50 and not sure of age group. People of all ages and great people. Cruise, Excursions, Staff sensational Highlights were Castles, all organised Excusions, Staff, in addition quick Hooray to Sylvia, Jose, Szandra and Rik Sensational people. Met some great people cruising from South Africa, Britain, Bahamas, Aussies etc. Seriously had a ball, great time and cant wait to do another river cruise. The staff are fantastic, all inclusive so no more to pay The Castles on the Rhine, i dressed up in the lederhosen for the castles section (bratwurst and beers on top deck) and all the staff and patrons loved it, made the day. All stops, Strasborg, Black Forest, Rudeshiem, Boppard, Koblenz, Colongne all great. Bike ride from Boppard to Koblenz unreal, plenty of exercise if you want, 7k walk from Rudeshiem, walking through towns Seriously, it is like 1 on 1, staff look after you. The 8 days went like that, To finish off a couple of days in Amsterdam. Windmills, Clogs, Cheese, life in Holland (insane) could not be better, Best 2 weeks ever Dave from Geurie (AUS) Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Items that needed improvement: 1. The on-board musicians (husband and wife) were not of high quality. Most passengers did not enjoy. On 2 separate nites, local musicians performed and they were excellent. 2. While on ship, more ... Read More
Items that needed improvement: 1. The on-board musicians (husband and wife) were not of high quality. Most passengers did not enjoy. On 2 separate nites, local musicians performed and they were excellent. 2. While on ship, more activities should have been organized such as trivia contests, in depth history mini lectures, etc. 3. Scrambled eggs at breakfast were barely warm 4. The Airport Hotel in Basel was the site of Uniworld bus pickup on Sat., July 1. When hotel front desk staff was asked to confirm that Uniworld buses were coming, they had no knowledge of this. We were very worried and concerned that we were at the wrong hotel. The communication between Uniworld and the hotel was unacceptable. Also, the hotel failed to send their free shuttle to pick us up at airport. We had to over pay, $28, for a very short taxi ride. 5. WiFi on the ship, Antoinette, was mostly poor in rooms and mediocre in common areas. Items that were great: food, service, butlers, wait staff, excursions Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Uniworld gives you the most for your money. They might be a little more expensive then some, but all alcohol and off shore excursions are included in the price. Had a choice of 2 or 3 different excursions which was nice. The ports we ... Read More
Uniworld gives you the most for your money. They might be a little more expensive then some, but all alcohol and off shore excursions are included in the price. Had a choice of 2 or 3 different excursions which was nice. The ports we stopped in were all within walking distance of the town if you wanted to spend the day on your own. Service, food, cabins unbelievable. The weather was a little warmer then we expected but at least no rain or cold. If you are looking for more of a family vacation this is not the cruise for kids. We really liked the river cruise compared to the ocean cruise. We decided to end the cruise in Amsterdam and we spent an extra night there. So much more personable and laid back. Really got to know the other passengers and crew members. We will definitely be taking taking another one with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Castles Along the Rhine. Just a top notch experience. Awesome ship and crew/staff. Everybody was wonderful. Cruise director Tabea as well as Sylvia and Robert in the lounge and many many more, were just great! The itinerary was ... Read More
Castles Along the Rhine. Just a top notch experience. Awesome ship and crew/staff. Everybody was wonderful. Cruise director Tabea as well as Sylvia and Robert in the lounge and many many more, were just great! The itinerary was excellent, the excursions were well planned and very valuable experiences. The food and service were just the best. The fitness center was a bit small and they might have benefited from more laundry facilities. Flexibility with special diets was well done. Our first Cruise of any kind. So awesome to wake up each day in a new city. The trip through the Rhine Gorge was especially beautiful and memorable. The ability to tour some of the castles was even better. There was something for everybody. They are very accommodating to the old and young alike. We will definitely be doing more River Cruises with Uniworld. If you've never done a cruise, we would highly recommend it. If you have done several, you'll love Uniworld's cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Uniworld was considerate of the single traveler. There was a waiver of the single supplement which was greatly appreciated. The staff was very astute and sensitive to the needs of all passengers. The service was exceptional. Each and ... Read More
Uniworld was considerate of the single traveler. There was a waiver of the single supplement which was greatly appreciated. The staff was very astute and sensitive to the needs of all passengers. The service was exceptional. Each and every crew member from the Captain to the housekeeping staff was friendly and personable. The bar staff was charming and very accessible. The dinners were comparable to any elegant gourmet restaurant. There were many selections and even off menu choices for the not so adventurous gourmand The choice of excursions was varied and appealing to any activity level of traveler. The Vinegar tasting was a memorable and unique experience. I would highly recommend that excursion. This was my first Uniworld Cruise, actually my first river cruise. I have been on many of the Nationally Advertized Mega Cruise Ships and lines. This was a very enjoyable, intimate cruise I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again The only negative was that the cabin was a little dated, bathroom however, was plush marble and shower a good size. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I can't think of one bad thing to say about Uniworld or our cruise experience. Everything was well planned and well executed. The food was first rate, accommodations excellent, staff outstanding! When my wife made a minor request ... Read More
I can't think of one bad thing to say about Uniworld or our cruise experience. Everything was well planned and well executed. The food was first rate, accommodations excellent, staff outstanding! When my wife made a minor request the staff member replied "This is you home" and it really felt that way. The dining onboard was excellent. We were informed each evening of what to expect. The chef had his recommendation, but there were alternatives that were equally outstanding. A cocktail hour in the lounge preceded each dinner and appetizers and drinks were served quickly and readily. A good selection of varied excursions were available. We crammed as many as 3 into one busy day! The 16 mile bike ride along the Rhine while our ship cruised was a special treat. The tour guides were friendly and informed. We really got a good feel for the flavor of each area we visited. We could not have enjoyed the cruise more. We're already talking about our next Uniworld cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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