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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We've done ocean cruises for years and decided to try a river cruise because we always wanted to see the Danube. We chose Uniworld since it was a boutique line with good reviews. We did the 9 night Delightful Danube and Prague on ... Read More
We've done ocean cruises for years and decided to try a river cruise because we always wanted to see the Danube. We chose Uniworld since it was a boutique line with good reviews. We did the 9 night Delightful Danube and Prague on the SS Beatrice on July 24, 2019. We opted for the 2 day pre-extension in Budapest. Overall the vacation was good. But given the price, I would say it failed to live up to our expectations. The Good: - Food was excellent. That part was very much in line with our expectations. - Itinerary was excellent. I liked river cruising and especially the locks. I wasn't sure if I would like river cruising (being an ocean cruiser), but it was nice. - Ship was nice. - Staff was for the most part very good. - All tips included which was nice. - All drinks included (but I'm sure we paid for that with the price). - Many excursions were included (but that wasn't necessarily good - see the ugly below). - Cabin was nicely decorated. It was pretty tiny, but we knew that going in. Just be aware that it is very small. The bathroom would be hard for an elderly person (in my opinion. One annoyance to me was that light from the hallway came around the door on all 4 sides so the cabin was never really dark at night. French balcony was nice. - Pre-Cruise in Budapest. I would definitely recommend extending your trip in Budapest. Amazing city and you really need more time to see it than you will otherwise get on the 7 night cruise. - Post-Cruise in Prague. I would also recommend this as well. I loved Prague. Would definitely do this since you should see it. The Not so Good: - Public areas were limited. There weren't too many places you could go on the ship the get out of your small cabin. The top deck is closed between Nuremberg and Regensburg so that took away a nice option leaving only the lounge. If a talk was going on in the lounge, you then really had no options. That final day (when the sun deck was closed due to low bridges), the ship felt much, much too small to me. - Excursions were not that great. I actually thought they were pretty poor. Nothing amazing and certainly nothing close to what we paid for with Celebrity in Greece. We even paid for a Masterpiece excursion one night and even that wasn't really that amazing. I was disappointed with the excursions. We could have done much better on our own and if I did this cruise again that is exactly what I would do. - Information was poor. I've never been on a cruise before with such little information being provided. We didn't realize until we were on the ship that the ship was leaving Budapest the following morning. We thought we had a day to see Budapest and all we had was a bus tour (included) which did not give a very good overview of Budapest. Had we not done the pre-cruise stay in Budapest we would have been very upset. - Excursion groups were HUGE. Ship may have been tiny (130 or so passengers), but the excursion groups were very big and many did not break up in to smaller groups. We did a bike tour in Austria that had 65 people riding in one large group. Our last cruise was with Celebrity in Greece with thousands of passengers and we never had groups this big. To me it ruined the small ship feel since the excursions were anything but small. - Open seating was a pain for a group of 4. Being a family of 4 in two cabins, we wanted a table of 4 for dinner. It was hard to ensure that since there were not many 4's and some of those were reserved by larger groups (which is annoying). So we always had to be at dinner right as it opened to ensure we got a table of 4. Not the most relaxing feeling when you have to worry about that each evening. Not sure why they allowed so many tables to be "reserved" like they did. The Ugly: - Cruise Manager was poor. This was our biggest gripe on the cruise. The cruise manager several times gave out false information about tours. It almost seemed like she had never done this before (but I know she's been doing it a while). On the biking tour from Austria to Passau, we were under the impression that drinks at the "Beer House" stop were included in the excursion. Prior excursions included water so we figured this would be no different since we were biking 18 miles. We only got water for ourselves and 2 kids at the Beer House. Prior to biking away, we were told that some tables hadn't paid their bill. Turns out we had to pay for that water. It was rather embarrassing - especially for another guest who didn't have euros on him to pay. I mentioned to the Cruise manager immediately upon returning to the ship that she might want to explain that to future guests. She said it was mentioned at the talk the night before which we hadn't attended (since we had already signed up for the tour). She seemed rather indignant to my wife and I - like it was our fault. I would think that given the cost of this vacation, they could actually mention something like this at the onset of the tour itself. I mean it's a vacation and why should we have to attend every little briefing just to hope we get the tiny details that you would think would be given to you on the actual tour itself. But it was just another sign of the poor information provided and for that I totally blame the Cruise Manager. Recommend? I don't think I would recommend Uniworld to someone who wanted to River Cruise. For the price, I was definitely not impressed and the organization on the ship was very much lacking. If we river cruise again (which I expect we will), we will try another company. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 4th experience on Uniworld and was a 7-day cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg with an additional 2-day land excursion in Prague. As I have learned the hard way from a previous river cruise, your dream and expensive vacation ... Read More
This was our 4th experience on Uniworld and was a 7-day cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg with an additional 2-day land excursion in Prague. As I have learned the hard way from a previous river cruise, your dream and expensive vacation can go wrong quickly and unexpectedly. On the positive side the Beatrice was a nice ship. Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. The staff was great and would always do whatever they could to make the trip enjoyable. The food and wine quality in my opinion was very good to excellent. This trip which departed on June 12, 2019 from Budapest was going well up to shortly after the moment the returning guests in the River Heritage Club were being thanked for their loyalty to Uniworld. The Captain announced that a cruise ship from another cruise line had damaged a river lock near Riedenburg Germany on June 5, 2019, and the ship would not be able to go to Nuremberg as planned. This accident occurred 1 week prior to our tip. Our river cruise would in a few days be turned into a bus tour and the ship would remain docked in Riedenburg. He went on to explain that they had hoped the lock would be repaired in time but unfortunately repairs could not be completed before our planned passage through the lock. While I certainly place no blame on Uniworld for the lock damage caused by another cruse line I do take exception to not notifying passengers on this trip of a potential disruption to the itinerary as soon as it became a possibility. We were notified well into our trip of the disruption thus putting us at the mercy of Uniworld. I discussed this issue with the staff and suggested that letting us know the minute this came up would have likely minimized the impact of the deviation. This is the second time Uniworld has known in advance of a major deviation to an itinerary and has chosen to wait until the last minute to inform guests. I find this pattern concerning and is one of the reasons I would be very hesitant to travel on Uniworld again. The bus tours were long, hot, and not comfortable. Buses that are meant to travel a short distance are not built for hours on the road. My other issue with the trip included the quality of the excursions. Fortunately, we spent a few days in Budapest before the cruise started. Otherwise the option was a 1-hour tour of the Parliament and a 90-minute bus tour with one 15-minute stop. Some of the tours were better than others, but nothing that I would call extraordinary or special. I recalled that on our Uniworld cruise on the Venetian Canal we had a private tour of St. Mark’s Cathedral at night. There was nothing equal to that experience on this trip. On board entertainment ranged from none to lacking and uninteresting. Our room in the 300 series of rooms was unbelievably small and the I was uncertain how anyone was expected to use the bathroom. There was a small table and chair jammed into the side of the room that we should have asked to be removed as they served no purpose. Finally, I was disappointed with the hotel choice in Prague. It was likely a 3-star hotel. While it was clean and reasonably appointed, for the cost for the trip, I would have expected a much better hotel choice. The hotel did not even have a bar. We had to walk across the street to its’ sister property for drinks with friends. Overall I continue to be skeptical about future river cruising given all the unexpected things that can turn your river cruise into a very unpleasant and high price bus tour. I can assure you that travel by bus through these regions is not fun and not equivalent to what you paid for on the ship. And, don’t count on any type of refund from the cruise line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I would like to congratulate Uniworld´s marketing department - they do a great job of selling something that does not exist. . This is a nicely decorated river ship but it is nothing special. . Their "ALL INCLUSIVE" policy ... Read More
I would like to congratulate Uniworld´s marketing department - they do a great job of selling something that does not exist. . This is a nicely decorated river ship but it is nothing special. . Their "ALL INCLUSIVE" policy is not so - the city tour in Budapest consisted of a visit to the Parliament Building, impressive, a short drive on the Pest side and a 10 minute stop for picture taking on the Buda side - no visit to the Cathedral or the Palace or the Fisherman´s Bastion. Schonbrunn in Vienna was at an additional cost. Belvedere and Klimt were not available in Vienna. Wachau Valley stop was at Spitz, where there is nothing of interest instead of at the awesome Melk Abbey. Evening concert in Vienna also at additional cost. . Food is nothing special - rather, completely standard. No local specialties. Same supermarket "fresh" salads every day. Breakfast pastries unavailable - same croissants every day. Desserts also standard. . No music, no lectures, no games, nothing to do after 9 pm. . Very expensive for what Uniworld delivers. At the same cost, we would have had a suite on another ship! . Excellent personnel, always helpful and smiling. . We were not informed that embarkation had changed and was now at the Chain Bridge in Budapest - online information not updated, although I must say that we received E. 20 from the Front Desk for our additional taxi fare. . From another reviewer, I have now learnt that Uniworld already knew that the ship would no be able to sail upto Nuremberg one week prior to our sailing on June 12. Yet we were not informed of the incident and the shortening of our cruise until the middle of same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary on the Danube from Budapest to Passau, Germany and we chose Uniworld on the advice of a few friends. We liked the idea of an all inclusive trip, we've been on a few ocean ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary on the Danube from Budapest to Passau, Germany and we chose Uniworld on the advice of a few friends. We liked the idea of an all inclusive trip, we've been on a few ocean cruises where that was not the case. We booked the Uniworld add-on of two nights in Budapest before embarking on our cruise. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Budapest. Our tour guide/concierge Romulus was wonderful, helped us with restaurant reservations and guidance on where to visit, as well as leading our tours which were included with the add-on. There are a couple of optional tours which were an extra fee, we did book the trip to Sznentendre, which was a lovely little town, full of little stalls with locally made goods. We loved Budapest, the food was wonderful, locally produced wines were very good, the people were friendly, I highly recommend it. Our embarkation onto the ship was extremely smooth. Our luggage went from hotel to ship with no problems. The check in procedure was simple and efficient. Debarkation was also smooth. The ship is beautiful, all the public rooms make you feel like you are staying in one of the palaces you visit along the way. We stayed in a balcony room on the 4th deck, the room is small but very comfortable, There is plenty of storage and the empty suitcases did fit under the bed. I'm not sure if it was worth the extra money for the balcony room, the balcony takes up space in the 194 sq ft, but it was nice being on the upper floor of the ship. The food is really good and there are regional specialties served as you travel along the river. There are always regional wines as well, which were very good and generously poured. The service was excellent, couldn't think of a thing that they could improve on. There isn't much in the way of entertainment at night but we were so tired it didn't matter. The ports along the Danube were beautiful, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Melk, Linz (Salzburg) and Passau. The included tours were all great there were a few which were additional fees, like a Pub Crawl in Budapest (fun) and a tour of Schonbrunn in Vienna, both worth the extra cash. We would definitely try another Uniworld river cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld ... Read More
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld certainly knows what it's doing when it comes to hiring the "best of the best" as we found each and every person on board to be kind, engaging, fun, service oriented and just lovely. In particular Adrian, our Waiter, was Amazing, as was a bar waitress named Sylvia. Always a smile, they remembered the smallest details: How you like your drink, or the type of coffee you enjoyed. Our stewardess kept the cabin SPOTLESS and we were so impressed with how quickly they did their work. Can't praise them enough! Food: Meal quality was a little uneven. In particular Uniworld always has some basics on the menu in case you can't find anything you like in the daily featured dishes at dinner. The "Everyday" menu included things like Chicken and Steaks and Salmon and while prepared pretty well, the quality of the ingredients seemed to be lacking a bit. Strongly suggest they look to their purveyors to up that quality of the proteins on board. The breakfast and Lunches are all buffets and they were really excellent always plenty of choices. The dining room is a bit tight with big comfy chairs but overall a very pleasant place to spend a good portion of the evening. Again, the staff shined with complimentary wine flowing. Overall dinners were OK, just not at the level we were expecting at this price point. Tours: This is where I feel Uniworld really shines and is totally the reason to pay a little more for Uniworld. We saw other lines with huge groups of people but Uniworld had these small intimate group tours around the various cities. We couldn't have been more impressed with the guides (they get the best of the best) and loved the 'do as the locals do" visiting markets, riding public transit with our guide and learning ever so much, about the daily lives of the locals. A++++. Accommodations: So Uniworld claims to have the best beds on the rivers and indeed they do. Seriously it's no joke, these beds are off the chart. It's like sleeping in a gloved hand, resting on a cloud. I could go on and on but suffice to say, you will want to try, as we did, to figure out how to get this bed home with you! The decor is really quite something, shall I say " Over the Top". Makes you feel like you are staying in one of the palaces that you've toured each day. Initially I was a bit taken aback, but quickly realized it was replicating the experience of old Europe and very quickly I fell in love with it all the tufts and frills. while I wouldn't decorate my home this way, the style and glamour immersed you in the European style and we loved it! Ambiance: Sadly on our sailing there wasn't a piano player in the lounge and that was a miss, as a little music during cocktail hour and afterwards would have made the product come to life a little more. Uniworld does bring on entertainment in some of the ports but would have loved a little more consistency in this area. I found the other guest on board to be quite social and we met tons of new friends. Bottom Line: It's worth the extra $$. You will be wowed and super comfy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our fourth Uniworld cruises, all of which had been excellent. PRO’s Staff, service and shore excursions lived up to Uniworld standard of excellence. This cruise concluded with a two-night hotel stay in Bucharest. We were ... Read More
This was our fourth Uniworld cruises, all of which had been excellent. PRO’s Staff, service and shore excursions lived up to Uniworld standard of excellence. This cruise concluded with a two-night hotel stay in Bucharest. We were then transferred by Uniworld to the airport for our flight to Milan. Upon arrival at the airport we discovered that we had left our passports in the hotel safe. The Uniworld representative at the airport kept our luggage, had the driver return us to the hotel and notified the Uniworld representative at the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, they had retrieved our passports and had them at the front desk. We were then put on the next airport transfer and made our flight in plenty of time thanks to the efficiency of Uniworld. CON’s Food and presentation was just average, not up to Uniworld standards. Pastry items were terrible. Same pastries were served each morning. Deserts were ordinary and uninspired. Cabin layout was terrible compared to every other Uniworld ship we've sailed. We had Room 320 (French balcony) and had to have furniture removed so there would be enough room to walk around. The only evening entertainment was when local talent (which was very good) was brought on. There was no regular musical entertainer. If this had been our first Uniworld cruise, we would not continue sailing with Uniworld. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We took the Uniworld European Jewels cruise between October 19 and November 3 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Due to low river levels, we spent far too much time on a bus, missed excursions and had to transfer to three different ships. The ... Read More
We took the Uniworld European Jewels cruise between October 19 and November 3 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Due to low river levels, we spent far too much time on a bus, missed excursions and had to transfer to three different ships. The core of our complaint is that Uniworld was aware of this issue all summer and did not give us the opportunity to decide for ourselves whether we wished to proceed or postpone. We had purchased expensive trip insurance for just such an eventuality. However, Uniworld only notified us late the day before we were scheduled to depart for Budapest, effectively taking the decision away from us and forcing us into a highly substandard experience of tremendously less value. As far as the onboard experience goes, it was generally quite wonderful. Personnel on all three ships worked hard to make the best of a bad situation. The Captain on the River Empress (second ship) demonstrated truly outstanding leadership skills. He led the crew in a way that made them want to perform well. He also took full responsibility and did a good job managing customer complaints associated with using tour buses versus sailing. Also, the laundry service was well done and prompt. Bar service was friendly and always available, which helped soothe nerves of frustrated passengers. One exception to the positive feedback concerning onboard experiences was that food quality was less than we had experienced on two previous Uniworld cruises. Especially early during the cruise, there were far too many buffet style meals. During a mid-cruise survey, I commented that the chef was strangely absent. On previous Uniworld cruises, the chef was the star of the show. The day after I submitted my comment, the chef began to appear in the dining room. Again, this speaks to the leadership qualities of Captian Ferdy on the River Empress. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Uniworld after being told by the travel agent and the Uniworld rep. that the trip that they offer would meet our "bucket list" vacation as well as our anniversary. We were told that the ships, service, excursions, etc. ... Read More
We chose Uniworld after being told by the travel agent and the Uniworld rep. that the trip that they offer would meet our "bucket list" vacation as well as our anniversary. We were told that the ships, service, excursions, etc. were first rate and all of our dreams would be fulfilled. They took our deposit in March 2017 and the $15000 trip for my wife and me was paid by June 2018. When we arrived in Budapest in October, we were told by the Uniworld rep that the water levels were low and that we would need to change ships the 2nd day. We would again change ships another time during the vacation. We found out from the captains of 2 ships that the problems were going on for over 5 weeks. Yet, we heard nothing from the Company or our travel agent prior to the trip. In fact, another passenger had an email from a rep at Uniworld 2 weeks before the trip stating there was no issues on any of the rivers. In addition, the CEO of Uniworld sent a note to all passengers the 2nd week offering 200 dollars to use on the ship and 1500 credit for a trip taken in 2019. For your information, there is a limited area for all passengers to purchase anything. We bought an overpriced swiss army knife and woman's watch. It is doubtful we or any of the passengers we spoke with will use the cruise credit. We ended up taking bus tours more than cruising. We had itineraries change. Missed at least 4 of the ports we were supposed to see. Excursions were cut short. Oftentimes, the guides weren't aware we were coming. Excuses became the norm. Nobody from Uniworld corporate came. Even after returning and writing the CEO, Ellen Bettridge, we received a canned response a month after the letter was sent. The Company took the "low road" in not meeting our expectations and not alerting us of the water issues. They could have told us. Their reps could have alerted us, but they didn't. Says a lot about the Company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
While water levels on the Danube and Rhine were beyond Uniworlds control the way they handled things was very unprofessional. They knew of the river conditions several weeks prior to departure but deliberately kept this information from ... Read More
While water levels on the Danube and Rhine were beyond Uniworlds control the way they handled things was very unprofessional. They knew of the river conditions several weeks prior to departure but deliberately kept this information from participants Having purchased trip insurance from Uniworld had they been up front about the conditions I would have gladly cancelled and rescheduled at at later time when conditions had improved. The bottom line was Uniworld delivered an inferior product at every operating level..We changed ships twice winding up docked in Frankfurt for 2 nights before finishing the last half of the trip via bus.. Service on both ships was average at best and food was a 3 Star product as opposed to the 5 Star quality Uniworld promotes. The bus segment of the trip was a chaotic disaster. Having spent over 25 years in the travel industry I feel qualified to critique a product and in my opinion Uniworld delivered an inferior product. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We sailed in October 2018, when the Danube and Rhine were terribly low. Much of Europe was in a drought all summer, and the captain told us he's never seen the rivers this bad. It was affecting all of the cruise lines, not just ... Read More
We sailed in October 2018, when the Danube and Rhine were terribly low. Much of Europe was in a drought all summer, and the captain told us he's never seen the rivers this bad. It was affecting all of the cruise lines, not just Uniworld. So we had some disruptions, but we still had a great time. We left Budapest a day early because of the river, but got an extra day in Vienna, which was great. Once we got as far as Vilshofen, the river was no longer navigable. We were still able to do most of the tours, but had to take a bus to get to the various towns for our tours. It's not what anyone hoped for, but the buses were comfortable, and the tours were quite enjoyable. Passengers who didn't want to go on a bus were welcome to stay onboard the ship. After 9 days (of a 15 night cruise), we packed up and rode to Frankfurt where we boarded another Uniworld ship to use that as our base for the next 3 nights while we had tours in towns in that area. The final 3 nights were spent in hotels in Cologne and Amsterdam. The hotels were quite nice, and Uniworld provided money for our meals while we were not on the ship. I noticed that the Cruise Critic overview for this ship is a little out of date. Alcohol is included with this cruise, except for high-end drinks that are listed in a book at the bar. Also, on the Gala night and Farewell night, dinner is somewhat dressier, but not necessarily as dressy as described. A lot of men wore a jacket without a tie, some wore a tie but no jacket, and some just wore a dress shirt. Women dressed a little dressier than the other nights, but nice slacks and a dressy blouse were fine. There was a resident pianist/vocalist playing in the lounge before and after dinner, and outside bands were brought in to play on several nights. The food was generally quite good, and if we found something not to our liking, the wait staff were happy to bring something else. Regarding tours, they did offer a "Gentle Walkers" option for passengers who would like a slower and easier pace on the tours. Otherwise, I think every town had a choice of at least 2 different tours that were included at no extra charge. They did offer a few special tours that cost extra, but there were always some free tours as well. Overall, we had a great time, and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Uniworld is a top rated line. Called just two days before leaving for Budapest to check water levels and was told that all was great and we were "assured" that there would be no problem for our embarkation on 9/23. Not so! Got ... Read More
Uniworld is a top rated line. Called just two days before leaving for Budapest to check water levels and was told that all was great and we were "assured" that there would be no problem for our embarkation on 9/23. Not so! Got an email in the wee hours of the morning the day before telling us that the ship was in Vienna and we would have to stay in Budapest an extra night, because of low water levels, in another hotel. We would then be bused to Vienna. A nightmare. Got sent to a horrible hotel who had no idea of what was going on! No reservations held for us or other Uiworld passengers. We called Uniworld to no avail. Operators told us the office was closed and had no way to check on status. Our other travel friends didn't even get an email telling them of the delay or anything at all. Ended up in another hotel that was better than the wrong one originally sent to, but not great by any means. We were given 80 Euros per person for dinner and lunch the next day. Got on a bus the day after and sat for 3 1/2 hours to Vienna. Once on board, got a notice saying we would get $150 (US) each to spend on board. Of course, everything was priced in euros. This trip cost each couple $1,500 PER DAY. We virtually lost 2 days and this was the compensation. We were greeted warmly on board, and the staff was great. Food mediocre. Sailed in the evenings so saw no beautiful sites along the way. Only a short afternoon sailing in between 2 towns. The water levels cant be helped. We learned that they have been down for a very long time due to a dry warm summer. Uniworld had to have known this and handled this issue very poorly. They insulted us by offering to pay for a cab fare as we had to drag our luggage to the wrong hotel they gave us. Funny that all the 5 star hotels were available, yet they stuck us in cheaper ones. We then were offered $500 off, per person, a future cruise. Really! The better thing for them to have done was to reimburse us for THIS cruise. Do they honestly think I would pay over $12,000 to them AGAIN just to get a discount! No way! Many other lines to choose from. Very disappointed in Uniworld. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We did a Uniworld cruise on the Douro about 5 years ago which we enjoyed. However, my husband was not anxious to do another for a variety of reasons. But I have always wanted to go to Budapest and Prague and a river cruise made the most ... Read More
We did a Uniworld cruise on the Douro about 5 years ago which we enjoyed. However, my husband was not anxious to do another for a variety of reasons. But I have always wanted to go to Budapest and Prague and a river cruise made the most sense. The photos of the ship on line made it seem like it was way too ornate and "frilly" so I kept my husband focused on the places and excursions. But I have to say, the ship is just gorgeous! Our cabin was luxurious feeling (although small compared to Seabourn) without feeling too over the top. The other passengers were fantastic, active and interesting and we made some friends and enjoyed meeting people. The excursions were well planned and the guides were all wonderful. I wish we had more time in certain places like Vienna and Melk, but that is the trade off of being on a cruise rather than a land vacation. We were usually the only ones in the fitness center, we took advantage of the free laundry room which allowed us to be away for 2 weeks with only carry on luggage. The crew was AMAZING! Everyone was friendly and professional. The housekeeping was immaculate. The food was really delicious...something for everyone, they made a great Manhattan, wine was flowing, etc. We never made it to the pool (why its indoors is still a mystery to me). We spent most evenings on the top deck but on the last night we went in to dance which was fun. I loved the morning hike in Passau and I hope they add more hiking options (and more active walking in general) to other cruises. I am not a bike rider, but people who did the rides loved them. I am also not a classical music or opera fan so the concert in Vienna and the organ concert in Passau were not my highlights. But I loved Budapest and cruising the Danube at night to see Parliament lit up, the cider farm in Linz, being, Bratislava was a pleasant surprise, the Jewish tour in Prague was wonderful and being able to walk off the ship at night is always a plus. We also spent 2 nights on our own precruise in Budapest and 4 nights in Prague post cruise. So this vacation was a great combination of action and relaxation We averaged about 20,000 steps a day (but this was not the norm especially in the extreme heat) I did a lot of pre-cruise research and it all paid off. And yet this still was way beyond my expectations and I woudl highly recommend Uniworld, this ship and this itinerary Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
For me the ship was too small. I don't think river cruises are for me. This might be great for some people but just didn't wow me at all. The entertainment was mediocre at best. It consisted of a female singer with a piano ... Read More
For me the ship was too small. I don't think river cruises are for me. This might be great for some people but just didn't wow me at all. The entertainment was mediocre at best. It consisted of a female singer with a piano accompaniment. One night they had a singer who claimed to know 2000 songs. He was beyond awful. That was it for entertainment. The enrichment portion was one person one day who talked about the European Union. It wasn't informative in my opinion. The food was good. The service was very good. The variety of food was good. I had the steak one night and it was below average and disappointing. The other nights were good. The excursions were average I suppose. They were certainly nothing exceptional by any means. I've been on cruises with much better excursions. This to me was disappointing. The fitness room was small and not much to it. I liked the all inclusive feature of the cruise, but that's usually the way we travel anyway. I think we've done our one and only river cruise. It just didn't excite my wife and I. I think for us it's better to be on an ocean cruise with a ship that holds 800 to 1200 people. We needed more variety and better entertainment. We certainly could have used better excursions. We weren't able to complete our river cruise itinerary because of the water level in the Danube. So we had to settle for being bused to different cities to complete our excursions. It's certainly not the fault of the cruise line. People just need to be aware that it's a possibility that you won't be able to get to all the cities on your agenda. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Arriving at the ship, AMG had a lovely canopy and were taking the cases of their passengers, we had no one, took our own case to a row of cases then embarked. A sad first impression for 6 star, especially when the competition is doing more ... Read More
Arriving at the ship, AMG had a lovely canopy and were taking the cases of their passengers, we had no one, took our own case to a row of cases then embarked. A sad first impression for 6 star, especially when the competition is doing more for their guests. Having seen the ship featured on a TV documentary we were excited to book and try our first river cruise, as seasoned ocean liner travellers at the top end, we could see this was our standard, and the price per night was actually more expensive than 6 star cruise ships so we feel we justifiably had high expectations. The ship is beautifully finished and very impressive looking, very elegant, the cabins were fine, after all is it a river ship so smaller is reasonable, and the en suite shower room was the best I have ever seen on a ship. The beds were great and small touches like chocolates in a jar were great. I hated the non provision of fresh cold water and no fridge, for 6 star I expect a cabin fridge and I am not interested in having to refill a tiny water bottle ever time I go out, then carry it around to bring back. I understand its about saving water and plastic, but this deep love for the environment was not extended to saving forests with loads of ridiculous letters, envelopes etc... being delivered daily. I don't mind the letters, but whilst I value the planet, on my holiday I would like some cold water provided on tours. Perhaps guests should be given a choice of refilling daily a small metal canister or having chilled bottled water for a tour. On arrival there was some fruit in the room, this disappeared after 24 hours. The cruise manager Kirsten was outstanding, and actually most of the staff were impressive, the reception desk staff were second to none, and bar staff brilliant also. I thought the food was exceptionally disappointing as was the whole dinning room experience, on occasion I felt more like I was at camp than 6 star. Buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, with tepid food and moderate dishes. Shared tables and slow clearing of plates, and slow drink delivery - such that often the drink arrived at the end of the meal. The evening meal served at 7pm daily was of a very low standard, cheap ingredients, I was looking forward to Lobster, Dover Sole, Scallops etc.... think more a bit of trout, a falafel ball or a bit of salmon. Usually cold, and on occasion the wrong order. 3 desserts, usually one of which being fruit salad, one being an ice cream and the other the main item, but often a cake. Ridiculously although the menu has the 3 desserts on occasion you are given without choice a special 'treat' dessert even if you don't want it. This was the worst dining experience I have ever had on a ship and not worthy of the hefty uniworld price tag. Heaven forbid you want to eat something outside of the very limited restaurant hours, the room service menu is dreadful and after 5pm even worse as it changes. The Viennese cafe, had a exceptionally limited range of offerings, but did usually have one nice, cake, come cheese and hot dogs. The tours were excellent, and the concert evening in Vienna very special. Be warned this is an action holiday, tours leave 8-9 depending on the day and you need to be ready and fed before departure. Thats fair enough, its the river cruise formula, although on some occasions we did wonder why they started quite so early as it did not seem necessary. On balance we did have a great holiday but we felt the price and six star offering were misleading, staff other than food staff were 6 star, the food was 3 star and value for money was very low. We will probably river cruise again, and whilst I am happy to pay for luxury, I am not happy to pay for it and then not get it, so I shall look very hard at the price and offering of the competition next time round. Uniworld, You need to up your game big time on the total experience the moment a guest enters the dininig room. It transforms 4-5 star to 2/3 star. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I chose this cruise because I have osteoarthritis in my knees and they advertised "gentle walking". I've been on over 20 cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We stayed at the Corinthia in Budapest for two nights ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I have osteoarthritis in my knees and they advertised "gentle walking". I've been on over 20 cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We stayed at the Corinthia in Budapest for two nights before leaving on the cruise. The hotel is affiliated with Uniworld and we booked through them. We really loved the hotel; it was lovely, comfortable, and centrally located. Our transfer to the ship was smooth. The River Dutchess was built in 2003, and needed an update. We had one of four suites, which was considerably smaller than I expected. One of the amenities advertised for suite guests was a spa service. When I asked about that on board, the spa manager told me that this amenity was discontinued. On our first evening underway, the cruise manager told the passengers that the gentle walking option was also discontinued. Some of the passengers were using canes. Many of us were upset by this. The cruise manager then agreed to see if some gentle walker guides were available for the excursions. As it turned out, about half of the walking excursions offered this. Although these groups were supposed to be for slower walkers, if you stopped to take a picture or look in a shop window, the group moved on. Almost all of the excursions involved 2 to 4 miles of walking over cobblestones. 16 to 24 mile bike excursions were also offered. The excursions were centered around wine or beer tastings, and alcohol was the prime entertainment activity on the ship. Alcohol was included in the price, and some people drank from early morning to midnight. The food was plentiful and tasty but tended to be heavy German dishes. Wine was sometimes added to soups and poured over ice cream. If you prefer not to imbibe, you are out of luck. The service was very good, and we enjoyed the ports, but unless you are a brisk walker and heavy drinker, find another vacation alternative. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have sailed with Uniworld 8 times in the past, 6 times in Europe plus once each in China and Egypt. We embarked in Budapest which we'd visited before so didn't spend any extra time before the cruise started. Uniworld ... Read More
We have sailed with Uniworld 8 times in the past, 6 times in Europe plus once each in China and Egypt. We embarked in Budapest which we'd visited before so didn't spend any extra time before the cruise started. Uniworld picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the ship with no hitches whatsoever. As usual, the food was excellent and Dimitar, the restaurant manager was the best we've had in Europe. He was personable and interacted with diners well while keeping an eye on the level of service. When serving staff were pressed, he pitched in serving beverages and assisting to keep service flowing smoothly. Danny the Hotel Manager was also very helpful when anything needed attention. As in the past, all of the staff were a delight working hard to keep everyone happy. Uniworld has the best soups at lunch in my opinion. We love Uniworld's use of the VOX Box (guides transmit commentary by radio into an earpiece or headset) which allows us to hear over traffic noise and distance which develops when a group gets spread out because of narrow sidewalks, etc. Since our last Uniworld cruise in France in spring 2016, the earpieces have been improved so they actually fit in my ear canal and I didn't need to use my headphones. Suggestion for those who use hearing aids and can't insert an ear bud: Take headphones with you. The VOX receiver which has a lanyard to hang around your neck takes a standard audio jack. In addition, there is now a setting that can be used when you're on the deck. There is a GPS system that provides relevant commentary as you float past landmarks, towns and villages. It also told us about food and drink of the region. Breakfasts and lunches are buffet style and times will vary somewhat depending on when excursions are scheduled. Dinner is generally served at 7. If there is an excursion that needs to start at 6 pm, dinner will be served early or in one case, there was a buffet dinner. Every breakfast has a special of the day (example eggs Benedict). In the past this special was advertised on a podium at the entrance to the dining room. Now, you have to ask for a menu in order to see what the special is. People who had been on the ship for the preceding leg of the cruise didn't know that there was a special. We asked only because we'd been on other Uniworld cruises. The on-board entertainment, a brother and sister, (Rita and MIchael) were excellent and the best on board we've had. Refurbished SS Beatrice: I like the decor much better than on other Uniworld ships we've been on. It's more understated than the decor of the others. There is an elevator from the bottom level to the 3rd level and a mechanical chair to take a person to the top sun deck. Great for those with mobility problems. On the negative side: the lobby floors are marble which can be slippery when wet and when wearing non-grip soles on shoes. The regular rooms (i.e. not suites) have too much furniture in them. The rooms are small, but we expected this. But between the bed and the outer wall were two arm chairs and a glass coffee table. The clearance to get into bed was far too narrow. We and other passengers had, at minimum, the glass table removed entirely and some also had one of the armchairs removed. When speaking with staff, they told us they had a room full of excess furniture. It may look nice to have these furnishings but so many pieces is not functional in the least. The bathrooms are small (again we expected this) but the toilet is squeezed between the shower wall and another wall. And it is not normal adult height but might work well for a 12 year old. Taller men were heard to say that they had to heave themselves up to get off. I'm 5'5" and had to work at standing up. There is no hook in the bathroom for a bathrobe. The water in the shower would on occasion stop altogether but only for a second or two. A problem with flushing our toilet was solved quickly because the fix-it man was in our hall after fixing someone else's toilet. The ceiling height in the lounge and dining room is quite low. Taller people may need to duck. On the other hand, the sound baffling on the ceiling is much improved. On other ships, dinner conversations could completely obliterate your ability to hear others. This ship has fixed that problem. The lounge is chopped up compared with previous ships, probably because of the addition of the Schubert's dining area. However the furniture arrangement of very deep sofas arranged back to back and jutting into the smaller space didn't allow much dancing room and impeded many passengers from seeing the speakers.There were no true arm chairs in the lounge. My husband with balance problems had trouble getting up and the sofas were too low and deep for him to use. We've chosen Uniworld because of the delicious food and the attentiveness of the staff AND their provision of a gentle or easy walker program. On arrival at the ship, we were told verbally that this program was cancelled and this was confirmed by Uniworld by e-mail. After my protestations, this program was promptly reinstated for this cruise and subsequently reinstated for all for 2018. Thanks to Uniworld for addressing our complaint but the cruise started on a sour note. My husband has MS and has problems with balance. On the ship he uses a cane; on walking tours, he uses a walker. European streets often have cobblestones which can be difficult even if you have no mobility problems. The ship staff found a place in a public space but out of public traffic to store the walker. We already had too much furniture in the room. Comments on tours that were memorable for us: Those who went on the 27 km bicycle ride loved it. The same for those who did the 7 km hike. Both these groups departed the ship at one dock and met up with the ship further up the river. Spitz Village Day with wine tasting: This was an easy walk just by its nature. Our guide was both on the board of the Shipping Museum and was involved in the family business of producing apricot products. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the museum much but was pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity used in the past in using the wooden boats. We then went on to the tasting of apricot products: brandy, liqueur, jam and barbecue sauce. Altogether a very nice half day. Nuremberg Panoramic City Tour: We were bused to Zeppelin field where Hitler held marches. A local historian guide was very good and most informative. The Nuremberg Castle was also most interesting in terms of how well protected it was. Prague: We were bused from Nuremberg to Prague. checking in at the Art Deco Imperial was disorganized and late based on what we told on the ship. When we got to the room, we discovered that you had to step up about 22 inches to get into the tub. We were offered steps to get in (but you still had no way to get out.) Because my husband could not manage either getting in or out, we were offered a room with both a tub and a shower. In talking with others in our group, at least three able bodied people slipped in the tub. There was a combination of new tubs and soft water and no arm height grab bars. All had asked for and not received non-slip mats for the bottom of the tub. Not a good choice of hotel. Prague: morning Estates Theater and Mucha Museum: We chose this as it involved the least amount of walking. Even so, we took a cab to the Theater so that my husband wouldn't get too tired because we'd also booked an afternoon tour. This small theater is used only for Mozart operas and is a jewel. We were entertained by a quartet playing classical music. A lovely interlude. We then walked to the Mucha Museum. I'd never heard of Mucha but recognized his work and style and it was interesting to learn more about him. And then recognized his work on hotel walls and other buildings throughout the city. Prague: afternoon Terezin Concentration Camp: We were driven through the countryside to this camp which was primarily a transition camp where conditions were so bad many died there. There are two cemeteries, one for Christians and one for Jews. Not necessarily an enjoyable tour but most interesting. A special guide was assigned to my husband to take him the easiest walking route through the camp. This was followed by a visit to a museum in the Jewish ghetto nearby. By then, at the end of the whole cruise and the end of a long hot day, we left a little early to visit the local ice cream shop. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Took this trip as a Christmas Market trip- Uniworld delivered. However, I would do the Danube River again and make sure we took in more of the historical parts of the cities - we missed out on that - to be fair we booked a Christmas ... Read More
Took this trip as a Christmas Market trip- Uniworld delivered. However, I would do the Danube River again and make sure we took in more of the historical parts of the cities - we missed out on that - to be fair we booked a Christmas Market trip - so it wasn't a Uniworld thing. Cities are amazing. Ship is spectacular. Clean, beautiful, crew was friendly and helpful. We found we had issues with one particular high profile crew member that really didn't do anything wrong so to speak- it was just a lack of what we have come to expect from that type of position.... it makes for a less than great experience overall. Cabin and steward were amazing. Pretty typical cabin size- bathroom was laid out different so felt spacious but we banged elbows in the shower trying to shampoo... storage was fine in closet and bathrooms. Room was always clean. Dining was good. Some days the food was amazing! Other days it was just fine. I don't care for buffets - and they had those more than not. The staff in dining room was terrific- we really enjoyed getting to know some of the crew. Very nice people. We found we missed the little things we found on Viking- treats when you return to the ship- more socializing with the program director and other officers - lots of little things were missing. There was a small lounge at the back of the boat if you didn't want to be in the larger lounge, there was also a pool which we didn't use, and a small workout area on board. Tours were all nice- hit or miss with a few of the guides - but we still loved the tours and cities. We did slots of exploring on our own after the ship tour. There was some confusion with a few tours being offered then not enough space for everyone- things like that were deflating to many of the passengers. Overall - the ship and most of the crew were just fine- I think for the price I paid and the overall feeling of what was delivered - I wouldn't go on Uniworld again unless their pricing was more in line with others that included airfare etc. I feel like I paid for the Ritz Carlton concierge level service and got the Ramada Inn... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My first cruise and everything was wonderful. The accommodations, crew, food and excursions were all first class! Uniworld obviously put a lot of thought into this ship and the crew is well trained in customer service. Never had an issue ... Read More
My first cruise and everything was wonderful. The accommodations, crew, food and excursions were all first class! Uniworld obviously put a lot of thought into this ship and the crew is well trained in customer service. Never had an issue with the crew, the food or the ship. The cruise offered a variety of excursions and each was well organized and fun. I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise and cruise line to my friends. The cruise was all inclusive and never surprised us with any additional charges for food and wine. We paid for a special progressive dinner one night that was limited to eight passengers and it was worth the extra amount. It included private time with the captain and a private tour of all the ship's main departments, including the kitchen, engine room and laundry. It was fun meeting those who were working behind the scenes to make our time on the ship so special. We all did not want the cruise to come to an end. We will go back again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have done several ocean cruises but this is the first river cruise, so our comparison point is not with other river cruises. We had a very enjoyable time overall. The smaller ship (~150) was cozy and let the staff be more flexible ... Read More
We have done several ocean cruises but this is the first river cruise, so our comparison point is not with other river cruises. We had a very enjoyable time overall. The smaller ship (~150) was cozy and let the staff be more flexible in arrangements. The ship facilities were good overall. The excursions were great. The quietvox system they used was really useful. For the biking excursions, they had enough guides that they could have let the group split into two... one faster and one slower group. But instead, by keeping one group, the slower and faster folks were both a bit off their desired paces. The fitness center was small and one of the two bikes was broken for the entire cruise, so this caused a lot of contention. Good laundry machines available. Wait staff was really nice, but often made mistakes... wrong or forgotten orders, etc. Checkout was really inefficient. One person for all checkout. I think we waited in one for 45 minutes. Not much for kids. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to experience Eastern Europe, not having been there before, and chose an 8 day cruise between Budapest and Passau. The shore excursions were informative without being great and we sometimes had only brief periods to explore the ... Read More
We wanted to experience Eastern Europe, not having been there before, and chose an 8 day cruise between Budapest and Passau. The shore excursions were informative without being great and we sometimes had only brief periods to explore the cities/towns on our own. Our on board experience was mostly good and all the crew were ultra-attentive and always helpful. The restaurant service was impeccable and the dinner menus selective and mainly above par but breakfast and lunch choices, while always tasty, were practically static every day. On board entertainment was below par with the same pianist and vocalist nightly and this must have greater variety like using local performers, in each port, reflecting their local culture. Airport services with pick-up and dispatch was well organized and timely. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without a hitch. Overall, a bit pricey for what you get in return but we would definitely consider using them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This being our first River Cruise, we were unsure of what to expect, however all fears were put aside from the first moment we were met by our Uniworld Representative at Budapest airport.The welcome was professional and warm and we were ... Read More
This being our first River Cruise, we were unsure of what to expect, however all fears were put aside from the first moment we were met by our Uniworld Representative at Budapest airport.The welcome was professional and warm and we were soon on our way to the dock in a luxurious vehicle. The Reception on board The River Princess was just as welcoming and we were invited to enjoy a lunch while our Room was being prepared. We were greatly impressed by the River Princess's Décor. Our experience on the two week European Jewels Cruise was one of wonder and enchantment. The variety of high quality, intimate shore excursions along with the professionalism of our guides was something we hadn't experienced before. Heidicha, our energetic Cruise Director was entertaining, funny and always ready to assist when necessary. The service supplied by all staff was amazingly caring. We enjoyed our nights listening to the River Princess Cocktail Musician and Guest Entertainers. The Dining Room Food selection and quality was 6 star. Not forgetting the 1st Class wine selection chosen from the various localities we travelled through. Hopefully it won't be too long before we enjoy another Uniworld Cruise Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was recommended by my travel consultant. Met all my expectations. What stood out was the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff, always with a smile on their faces and nothing was too much trouble. I had a bit of ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by my travel consultant. Met all my expectations. What stood out was the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff, always with a smile on their faces and nothing was too much trouble. I had a bit of a medical problem while on board and they went to no end of trouble to help me get it sorted out. There was a good choice of outings in each port, all included in the cost of the trip. There were a few special trips that you could pay extra to go on. Didn't really need to do these as the free ones were all excellent and catered for different fitness levels. Food was excellent - plenty of variety and well-presented. Drinks and coffee were always available at no extra charge. I enjoyed going to the Piano Bar each evening for the entertainment. Csabo (?) provided good music - easy to listen to and he would play requests when asked. Great trip and I would recommend to anyone. Intend going on another of your cruises in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My RACQ travel agent recommended this cruise. It was fantastic advice! The cruise was pure luxury all the way. Staterooms, staff, service and shore excursions all exceeded my expectations. Before this, I had only done ocean cruises - ... Read More
My RACQ travel agent recommended this cruise. It was fantastic advice! The cruise was pure luxury all the way. Staterooms, staff, service and shore excursions all exceeded my expectations. Before this, I had only done ocean cruises - with mixed reactions. This cruise enabled me to relax, unwind and enjoy the passing scenery. The choice of shore excursions was extensive. I was particularly impressed with the way appropriate alternatives were made when excursions didn't go according to plan - for example, a tour of the BMW factory was unavailable because we arrived on a Sunday. The alternative visit to the Maybach museum proved to be just as exciting. The food on offer was a blend of old favourites and local dishes. Apart from the fact that too much food was offered, I thought the entire dining experience was superb. Congratulations to the chefs and their helpers. Nothing was ever too much trouble. The 15 day cruise gave me a new historical, economic and cultural perspective of the areas I visited. Next time I want a river cruise I will definitely travel with Uniworld again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I find it difficult to fault this cruise. On all levels the score would be nearly maximum. Staff, food, entertainment, excursions, organisation, flexibility were all excellent. When you take into account that nearly everything is pre-paid, ... Read More
I find it difficult to fault this cruise. On all levels the score would be nearly maximum. Staff, food, entertainment, excursions, organisation, flexibility were all excellent. When you take into account that nearly everything is pre-paid, you could literally leave your wallet at home and it compares favourably with some other cruises that appear cheaper untill you add on the the costs that are included here. The pace of the shore excursions catered to people of all abilities from the very fit to those who had limites mobility You could tailor your holiday to your personal needs. If you didn't feel like going ashore, there was enough onboard to satisfy your needs and for those who wanted a more active day, there were trainers and activities to keep you busy. The staff need a special mention because at the final evaluation, they are the people who are going to mould your experince. Every single staff member was falling over themselves to ensure that we had a great time. I would definitely use Uniworld again Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Overall experience was excellent from the moment we were met at the airport to the moment we disembarked by an arranged taxi. The ship by nature of its looks and style had character without being too ostentatious. Whilst on the cruise we ... Read More
Overall experience was excellent from the moment we were met at the airport to the moment we disembarked by an arranged taxi. The ship by nature of its looks and style had character without being too ostentatious. Whilst on the cruise we didn't see any others with a funnel nor the same overall colour! The cabin despite being on the lowest deck was excellent(there are advantages to being next door to the laundry). The built in availability of different type power outlets was a very nice touch. The service by all departments on board was excellent including the crew and Captain. No other cruises we have been on have we met such an approachable captain with a great sense of humour. Shore excursions were great and catered for all ages and levels of fitness. The walking and riding tours were a great way of reducing the effects that come from very good dining choices. A cruising experience we would like to do again. Read Less
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