Each day sees a choice of shore excursions or the option to take an independent bicycle ride along the riverside path. While onboard, most passengers enjoy reading, napping, chatting over a coffee in the bar or cafe and sightseeing from the sun deck. A few activities and lectures are held when the ship is sailing and light entertainment is provided in the lounge at night.
Passengers can choose one free daily excursion from two or three options. These half-day and full-day tours are conducted by local English-speaking guides through a QuietVox system with the commentary transmitted through an earpiece. "Go Active" bicycle rides are offered some days, using the ship's own pedal-powered (non-electric) bikes or a local bicycle tour company. The next day's excursions are described in the lounge each evening so that less mobile passengers can decide if the pace, number of stairs or cobblestone streets are suitable.
Shore excursions include full-day and half-day tours in cities or the countryside incorporating many stops such as a museum, monastery, winery, palace, castle, archaeological site, farm or school visit, as well as shorter guided walks offering information about the local history, culture and politics. “Do as the locals do” walking tours visit less touristy venues such as markets, cafes and a ride on the public transport. Additional and customizable excursions are available for an extra fee.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Complimentary onboard activities include a welcome dinner, farewell dinner, lectures and a pianist who plays background music in Wolfgang's lounge in the late afternoon. At night, there are livelier performances by a local choir, dancers, singers and bands. In Budapest, don't miss the exclusive concert by renowned pianist Balazs Bakos held in the lounge before dinner.
Free lectures about the region's culture and history are presented in the lounge on some days. Two talks by a Serbian expert were particularly comprehensive and enlightening. A Bulgarian yogurt tasting is held on another day.
It takes the whole week for some passengers to discover there are two bars on Beatrice because all organized activities are held in the main lounge. So, here's the scoop: A never-mentioned second bar is hidden in the corner of Max's restaurant at the back of the ship.
Wolfgang's (Deck 4): This social hub of the ship has been delightfully refurbished in yacht-like style with light wood, blue and white themes. All passengers gather here 15 minutes before dinner to hear the briefing about the next day's activities and excursions; some arrive an hour early for a pre-dinner cocktail, wine or gin and tonic. It's also the hot spot for drinks and dancing after dinner, generally wrapping up between 10 p.m. and midnight. A duo performs popular songs from the 1960s to current day, and local performers come onboard in some ports to showcase traditional dancing and music. The lounge is also used for tea and coffee during the day.
Max's (Deck 4): More mini than max, this new bar has only two stools. There are many tables and chairs in the wider room but we never saw anyone use them. This makes Max's ideal for anyone wanting a quiet drink alone or a romantic drink for two. The lonely bartender would welcome the company. We also used the empty venue to read during the day as it is the quietest nook on the ship and has outlets and USB ports all over the place. It's also one of the most beautiful areas, with lot of natural light, blue leather seating and chic tiled floors.
Almost stretching the length of the ship, the expansive top deck has plenty of sun lounges, tables and chairs. About half of the seating is under shade. There are no games, pools, hot tubs or bars but it is possible to walk or jog around it (after 8 a.m. and before 10 p.m.). All furniture and shades were replaced in the 2018 refurbishment.
At the base of the new staircase is the ship's redesigned lobby where passengers can speak to guest services staff and book excursions and spa treatments. The cruise manager is available for one hour per day at the hospitality desk. In one corner is a cabinet containing a selection of jewelry, sunglasses, watches and branded clothing for sale. The ship also has free Wi-Fi (when the satellite signal is strong enough), currency exchange (USD to euro) and postage stamps. Unusual for a river vessel, a complimentary self-service laundry is equipped with washers, dryers and an iron, and free detergent is available from the front desk. A laundry and pressing service is also offered for a per-item fee (free for suite passengers). Suite passengers receive butler service; two butlers are shared between the 16 suites.
Serenity River Spa is the same size as a standard cabin, which is fine for the range of massages offered. The cost is 50 euro for 30 minutes, 90 euro for 60 minutes or 130 euro for 90 minutes. Other treatments include a man or woman's facial and body exfoliation. One passenger declared the therapist as the best masseur she's ever had.
The gym is in a small room on Deck 2. Equipment has been upgraded from a couple of machines and a fitball to two new exercise bikes, two steppers, a rower, weights, medicine balls and yoga mats. Pedal-powered bikes and Nordic walking sticks can also be taken off the ship for independent exploring along the riverside paths (reservations are advised but not necessary). Every morning at 7 a.m., in the lounge or on the sun deck, the wellness coach leads a complimentary morning class such as yoga, meditation, gentle stretching or a riverside walk. More vigorous yoga, boot camp, running and jumping classes may be held for passengers seeking a tougher workout but we saw no evidence during our cruise.
Interconnecting cabins were added in the 2018 refit to make the ship family-friendlier. Select dates are dedicated as Uniworld Generations cruises, which include special programs, events, excursions and menus designed for children and teenagers. A table is reserved on certain nights for kids to eat with the ship's two family hosts, giving parents a chance to dine alone. Other activities supervised by the hosts are cooking and dessert-making classes with the chef, craft workshops, language lessons and ship tours. To enjoy time together, families can borrow the bikes, helmets and Nordic walking sticks to use ashore. Children also receive small gifts left on their pillows each night.
* May require additional fees