1 Helpful Vote
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 I noticed that the Cruise Critic overview for this ship is a little out of date.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
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Currently we are on the Uniworld River Dutchess because our original ship the River Princess could not make it to Amsterdam. We are on the European Jewels cruise that left Amsterdam on July 6th, 2018. On departure there were issues ... Read More
Currently we are on the Uniworld River Dutchess because our original ship the River Princess could not make it to Amsterdam. We are on the European Jewels cruise that left Amsterdam on July 6th, 2018. On departure there were issues because they could not even provide the original ship. Once on board things were going well until we started to hear news that we would not be able to proceed to Passau and would have to cut out key excursions that is why we booked this trip. Tomas Martinez the cruise director has nothing that "he can do" only LA can make the decision. The excursions they provide are okay. Some good and others not so good. Many things overpriced and even Thomas agreed with this. My husband had has hand burnt by someone who shoved him while handling hot soup. The team responded but no incident report. No concern was really expressed by team. Spoke with Tomas regarding situation and neither he or Vassil the restaurant manager communicated the incident with the cruise director. We are now being told we will be bussed to our next ship since this one cannot pass. I planned 16 days on one ship to relax, not be stuck, need to repack, and move along with the best part, since the excursions are all messed up, they are offering 20 euros to cover a lunch in town. What kind of class or elegance is this supposed to be. The fact that I cannot get help on board, had to call American Express for assistance since only a travel agent can help, and no one communicates appropriately is distressing. This cruise is more like a Carnival/Motel 6 than a boutique river cruise. So to answer questions, embarkation went fine but now have to disembark and reembark. Ship clean except the consistent bugs around coffee machine. Dining is okay, some nights good and some not so good. No one acknowledged special diet requst filed when completing pre-cruise check-in. Entertainment is a piano bar. Limited entertainment. Excursions that are good you have to pay for. Don't let them fool you that all inclusive. Service- Has gone from great to the the service you would get at a Motel 6 or Holiday Inn. No communication. Lack of support. I asked to go to a pharmacy tonight and was sent to a bar call Pharmacy. Oh the health and wellness person, is consistently smoking up on top deck. How is that promoting health and wellness? Ports-Some good, the great ones like Nuremberg were too short. No children, not appropriate. After this entire disaster, we are disputing the charges on credit card. Even after asking to mediate this dispute, and threatening to file a complain per my EU Ship Passenger Rights, Tomas stated that it is LA that makes the decisions. I will definitely not accept future cruse credit. This hell was bad enough. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks ... Read More
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks of the cruise. I walked out of several meals because there was nothing I could eat. Not until my husband vociferously complained did anything get served to me that I could eat (not rocket science--just low salt). Uniworld says no children on the cruises, yet the captain's 2-year-old was on the cruise, riding his trike over clients' feet and screeching and riding through all the public areas. I went on this cruise NOT to be with children--yet here I had to endure it. At a mighty cost. No client is allowed in the wheelhouse, for safety concerns. Yet the captain's child and his strewn toys were in the wheelhouse. Uniworld says no wheelchairs, yet one client had one, and when that client was on a tour, the other clients had to wait for and assist her. Not what I paid for. Again. Ninety percent of the passengers came down with acute bronchitis. Uniworld turned its head at this, refusing to acknowledge there was a problem. I was blamed for not wearing a scarf around my neck, as to the cause of my illness. Hygiene on the ship is unacceptable, forcing clients to share serving spoons, with no enforcement of hand sanitizing or wiping down of the arms of dining chairs, repeated use of the same plastic gloves as cleaners move from cabin to cabin, spreading germs, and candy in jars into which clients stick their hands. To top it off, Uniworld made us pay for a cab to/from a hospital to treat the bronchitis. Really? The daily handout on things to do/see in a particular stopping point are mere cuttings and pastings that someone has slapped together and have little relevance. Why mention shopping and nightlife when we are stopping in a town for 2 hours during the day and have no access to such areas? Why state that what follows in the printout are 10 restaurants to experience--and just 3 are listed. Does no one even read what is dispensed daily? This trip was an unforgivable waste of my money. Uniworld should be ashamed. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have cruised with Uniworld two years ago from Budapest to Passau and decided we wanted to do this cruise which actually started in Amsterdam and ended in Bucharest. WE had 21 days on the ship and 2 nights in Bucharest. We also did ... Read More
We have cruised with Uniworld two years ago from Budapest to Passau and decided we wanted to do this cruise which actually started in Amsterdam and ended in Bucharest. WE had 21 days on the ship and 2 nights in Bucharest. We also did the pre cruise in Amsterdam, which was the only disappointment of the trip. So I want to get that out of the way first. We booked the pre cruise tour in Amsterdam and had a very difficult time getting the timing of the excursions that came with the pre tour. Apparently there were two different cruises leaving on the same day and the guide was juggling both groups. We finally received an itinerary so we could plan our other excursions only to find that the tour guide changed the timing because "of the other group". This was really not my problem, they should have called in a second guide to deal with any issues that came up with another group. As it happened we missed the main excursion with the guide, as we had other plans for earlier in the day and could not make it to both. The canal tour he took us on was ok, although he sat in the back of the canal boat and just spoke using the audio equipment we had. He could not even sit with us and maybe spontaneously point something out. Then the day we were supposed to embark there was a glitch with the bus picking us up because of traffic and the size of the bus. We were supposed to arrive for lunch and as time got tight, he said just go and get lunch the dining room is open until 3 pm. Wrong. First we had to sign in, and by time we got to the dining room, we were told it was closed. In the meantime he went and got his food and was sitting eating and totally ignored the fact that we were expecting something to eat, from his directions. I was really upset, as he did nothing except kept on eating, even though he saw us walk in. Luckily a very good manage, Karolina, heard the issues and had the 5 of us go into the lounge and order off the bar menu. But why should we have to have an issue with this, the local guide should have taken care of this. All in all, I am not sure I would do another pre cruise tour with Uniworld local guides. I would rather plan private tours and arrive take a cab to the ship. Of course you might say, at least you get an airport pick up, wrong again. He did not even get that part correct. there were three of us waiting. Luckily a AMAcruise guide helped us, by calling the River Duchess for us, and helping us get a cab to the hotel. We were easily reimbursed, but another unpleasant way to start our vacation. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GREAT!!! Once we got on the cruise it was great. We had a lovely Level 1 cabin. This boat only has 4 suites, so if you want one, you need to book very early. The dining room was well laid out.There is a Buffet for Breakfast and Lunch and served sit down dinner. There was alway plenty of food to choose from and fresh food was brought up frequently to fill the warmers. Being a vegetarian sometimes causes issues, but not on a Uniworld cruise. There was always a vegetarian option for dinner and plenty to choose from at lunch. The staff went out of their way to be sure I had enough to eat and would often have something special made for me for dinner if I did not want what was on the menu. The wines were very good. Since I love Rieslings from Germany, this cruise was wonderful for me. Maria, the head bar tender and sommelier alway discussed the menu and wine pairings before we went into dinner, and her recommendations were excellent. Peter, the Head Chef, did a great job with the food and especially the specialty local foods. The excursions were incredible. We were on the ship for 21 days and always had a great choice of what to do. Gabriel had wonderful excursions lined up and often times reorganized them when he realized that some of the folks needed the "gentle walker" option. He was very good at changing plans as needed and everyone had the opportunity to enjoy themselves within their capabilities. He also organized a wonderful excursion for the 19 people who were doing the 21 days of sailing from Amsterdam-Bucharest. When we got to Budapest many people disembarked, and others embarked for the last week of the cruise. The turn over day was left open, but he scheduled a wonderful visit to the Hungarian wine country with a beautiful lunch in one of the cavern wine cellars. This was one of my favorite days and Gabriel did this at the last minute. Fast thinking!!! The rest of the cruise was very interesting sailing on the Danube, through the countries claimed by the Soviets after WWII. The people we met were very open about what their lives were like pre 1989 and how things had changed since then. The sailing through the Iron Gate area was spectacular and I feel honored to have been able to see this beautiful region on this wonderful cruise. I want to thank Maria, our cabin caretaker and Celina for helping to make our Anniversary so special. We returned from our dinner to find a beautiful red organizer bow on our bed, with heart shaped chocolates and candles lit through out our cabin, as well as a bottle of Champagne. This was an incredible surprise and we just loved the thought that went into making our celebration so special. Once we arrived in Romania we had a short drive to Bucharest. Disembarkation was a dream. We were organized into three time groups. When it was our turn to board the bus, we went to our bus, identified our luggage and off we went. On arrival, we had time for a snack, which was organized by the local guides in the hotel, before heading our for our afternoon tour of Bucharest. Once we returned to the hotel, our room keys were waiting for us with the local guide, our luggage was already in our room and we were set to go. We had received information of suggested dining options for dinner from the local guides, even before arriving, so we did not feel at a loss of what to do and where to go. Transfers to the airport went just as smoothly. They organized us according to flight time so we did not have to wait at the airport all day. Since we left before the dining room opened, our group was given boxed breakfasts and there was coffee for us in the lobby. This was a wonderful group of local guides who had everything organized the way I have come to expect from Uniworld. They lived up to our expectations and worked hard getting us where we all needed to be for our return flights. We are already looking to book another Uniworld cruise for 2018. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like ... Read More
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like to see the Kukenhof Gardens in April. I was not expecting a great deal from the ship, as it pre-dated and had smaller cabins than the magnificent Marie Antoinette, Catherine and Maria Theresa. And I wasn't excited about some unfamiliar destinations in the cruise (Veere etc). I can only say we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The cabins as always were luxuriously comfortable with lots of storage, just a bit less space to move around the bed. The crew I think were one of the nicest we have encountered and our tour guide Piet was definitely the best yet. The itinerary was perfectly paced and full of pleasant surprises. We loved the countryside and towns we visited, and those flowers!!! Just being there amongst them brought joy to my heart. And I'm no gardener! The catering and service on board were fantastic. I think I commented more than once that one would think the drinks staff were on commission selling drinks they were so forthcoming with them. But of course all food, drinks, tours and gratuities are included in the fare so we could really relax and just enjoy ourselves. Performers which came on board every couple of nights were great fun, and fitting for the cruise (e.g. Dutch folk dancers and mariners singing shanties). In short, I would definitely recommend this cruise and of course Uniworld as a company. Yes they cost a little more, but the value is definitely there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our 4th cruise with Uniworld, a total of 8 family members included in our group. Once again, Uniworld showed why they are at the top of the river cruise universe. Their attentiveness, courtesy, helpfulness, social awareness ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Uniworld, a total of 8 family members included in our group. Once again, Uniworld showed why they are at the top of the river cruise universe. Their attentiveness, courtesy, helpfulness, social awareness permeates all employee levels all the way up to the most congenial and sociable captain we have met to date. The itinerary and the sights from Amsterdam to Antwerp were fascinating and informative. We were particularly impressed with how the Dutch have managed to live below sea level for many centuries and the tours helped us to understand their expertise in dealing with that. The tour guides were all local and extremely knowledgeable . The food and drink selection was diverse and top quality. They make the most out of the small cabin area and we noticed distinct improvements from our prior cruises. Uniworld is our #1 pick for river cruising. Steve and Judy Hohn, Kansas City Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My husband and I chose the Uniworld cruise, Tulips and Windmills, because we wanted to travel in early spring. It was a wonderful experience. We have traveled extensively for over thirty years and, at the conclusion of this trip, my ... Read More
My husband and I chose the Uniworld cruise, Tulips and Windmills, because we wanted to travel in early spring. It was a wonderful experience. We have traveled extensively for over thirty years and, at the conclusion of this trip, my husband stated that he thought this was the best vacation we had ever taken! The food (presentation and taste) and the friendliness and caring attitude of the crew were excellent. Very informative programs were given on-board about Holland and Belgium. Shore excursion guides were knowledgeable. Overall impression was one of competent organization, friendliness, and helpfulness. I loved the fact that the cruise was all-inclusive (i.e. on-shore excursions, gratuities and alcohol). Bottom line: I did not want to get off the ship at the conclusion of the cruise, which is very unusual for me. I usually am more than ready to get home! We look forward to booking another Uniworld cruise next year. We would not travel with another river cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany had been on our bucket list for some time. This Uniworld cruise that our friends found was the perfect solution to enjoying the markets, touring the area, learning the history all in extraordinary ... Read More
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany had been on our bucket list for some time. This Uniworld cruise that our friends found was the perfect solution to enjoying the markets, touring the area, learning the history all in extraordinary comfort and luxury! From the time we boarded the ship in Frankfurt until we disembarked in Nuremberg we were treated like valued guests... pampered actually. The daily historical tours were well organized, informative - excellent tour guides who "knew their stuff". The audio system for the tours was great - each traveler had their own small, easily wearable system and we were able to hear the tour guides wherever we wandered - had not experienced that before. The service on the ship was exceptional - never far from "more coffee" , "more wine", more anything. Very much appreciated the well staffed and professional crew and the high ratio of crew to guests - had never been on a cruise of this size before (130 guests). We were well informed every day and every night of what the next day had in store, options for the tours and the days' schedules - never had to wonder, or miss out on anything for lack of information and education. Of course the Christmas Markets were marvelous, everything we could had wished for. We recommend this cruise and Uniworld highly and absolutely do plan on more travels with this company! Read Less
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