47 Uniworld River Duchess Cruise Reviews

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 I noticed that the Cruise Critic overview for this ship is a little out of date.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
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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date May 2018
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date April 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
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 March 2017
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
Sail Date December 2016
We absolutely loved our trip on the Duchess. We departed from Amsterdam ( we stayed there for a week before embarking and would recommend to do this) on 27th July and ended in Istanbul in Mid August. Everything, from the minute that we ... Read More
We absolutely loved our trip on the Duchess. We departed from Amsterdam ( we stayed there for a week before embarking and would recommend to do this) on 27th July and ended in Istanbul in Mid August. Everything, from the minute that we dropped off the bags early, to the morning we waved goodbye from our shuttle to the plane, was wonderful. And the main reason?? The staff. From Stanimira, who cleaned our room , Denisa, Stephan and Soren, who would bring us our drinks and Sashe,Peter,Christina and the others who looked after us at every meal ( and remembered everything that we liked), Jan , who was filling in as hotel Manager , Piet and Denisa the people who organised everyone and every tour and excursion and entertainment..........To our happy Captain Jorg and his second captain..Every staff member was happy , funny and SO HARDWORKING.. We started being treated as special guests to ending up like privileged friends. Before I booked , I took a long time to decide on the room. Apart from the 4 suites, ALL cabins were exactly the same size. The only difference is the window size. I have always booked a balcony on any cruise but that was for a true balcony and this ship has French balconies only, so I decided not to pay the extra for just a larger window.So I booked a Category 3 room. I was very happy with this . This category is the only group of rooms towards the front of the boat.The other 4 categories were at the back and all on top of each other. We had the bar/library on top of us and honestly only very faintly heard any music at night and it didn't last long. Most nights I heard nothing. Our friends had a French balcony room and heard quite a bit of noise from people either jogging or walking laps very early each morning. This was reported to management but they never caught the culprit. Our room was tastefully decorated in creams/ brown/grey tones and had everything in it that you could need. There is no getting away from the fact that all the rooms are small, but as others have stated before, there are shelves, drawers, hanging spacers aplenty . Under the bed holds two huge suitcases and there are two large drawers at the end of the bed. The bathroom , again is tiny , but the shower is pretty good in size and if you leave the door open, it makes the room seem bigger.. Again, there are drawers and shelves everywhere. I actually bought over the door hangers to help with storage and didn't need them. I also moved the larger bedside table around to face a different direction and this gave much more room to this side. We had a small table and 2 chairs that surprisingly we DID use. Since our room had a window that came down to about 3 foot ( one metre) from the floor, we could sit at the table and lean on the window ledge watching the river and the world float by. The Windowledge... the window went from the roof to about 1 metre from the floor and they cleverly ran a wide ( 18 inch?) window ledge from one end of the window to another. This was fantastic to put your bags, daily info sheets, lolly jar, itinerary etc on.. so helpful. We didn't have that nice breeze from the French balcony but we had the WINDOW LEDGE.. Only in Cat 2/3 .. ( Cat 4/5) theres a window , but up high. Our level, also had the second lounge area, coffee spot, pre breaky snacks, the GYM, the shop and the computer area.. so handy to wander down the hall in your PJ's to get a snack and a coffee.. down about 5 steps to the best thing ever.. A guest laundry.. such a relief to have that.. Stanimira, looked after our rooms like a magic genie.. It was spotless everytime we went in.. Only bad thing? She kept refilling our personal lolly jar ..oh dear... And everynight, a different gift on the bed.. chocolates, toiletries,chefs recipes, birth stones,bath salts, face masks, postcards etc.. Such a lovely thing to come back to each night. The Food..I loved it, I wasn't cooking or cleaning up so I'll eat anything. BUT I also work in hospitality management and in that sense, I thought the food was of a good variety, relevant to the region, and well presented. I like that the dessert buffets at lunch had tiny portions so that you could try more than one. My hips say thanks heaps. Excursions... I enjoyed all the excursions, of course there's the on/off thingo that seems to make you tired, but the variety was good, the abundant toilet stops welcomed, the outside lunches great , and the attention to detail amazing. We had no problems with water levels and had no problems at bridges or locks. We had one time when a river had a flow of high water heading to a junction that we had to pass. We had to get past that area so we left early and managed ok.. One other time there was a speed boat race that blocked all river traffic for nearly two hours.. Our trusty captain put the metal to the peddle and we got to our destination on time. I'm sure to the Back of House staff there were the usual problems but to us passengers it seemed seemless. We met some lovely people on board, which ranged in age from 15 to older . Many Many return clientele , of which, I'd love to become some day. SO VERY HAPPY that we did the Istanbul bit , it was a real highlight.. such a vibrant and beautiful city. Piet came with us and we felt protected and safe at all times..Hope it can stay like that. So if you are considering a cruise, I can highly recommend this one..And it is all inclusive. my account at the end of the 3 weeks on the river was 25.00 ( a bracelet.). I miss it already and will constantly scour their brouchures for cruises to suit us.. Entertainment..Riccardo was great. We did notice that the nights where he played more modern stuff and rock and roll, he had quite an audience.. I would suggest a trivia night or something like that just to break up from the music.. the dancers, yogurt making, glass blowing was entertaining too. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
After taking several sea cruises we decided to try out a river cruise. We chose this itinerary (Budapest to Bucharest with a land tour to Istanbul) because of the "less traveled" countries visited and the opportunity to see ... Read More
After taking several sea cruises we decided to try out a river cruise. We chose this itinerary (Budapest to Bucharest with a land tour to Istanbul) because of the "less traveled" countries visited and the opportunity to see places a lot of people never go. We visited Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania before heading out to Turkey. Our transfer and embarkation were very smooth - check in was a breeze since most of the other travelers on our boat had gotten on 2 weeks earlier in Amsterdam. There were a total of 101 passengers on board and about 89 of them did the full Amsterdam to Bucharest journey. Everyone was very friendly and open to us "newcomers", welcoming us into their already formed social circles at every opportunity. I have to say with the exception of an handful of us in our 40's, the average age of the passengers skewed to 65+, but most folks were still very active and energetic. The ship had basically 3 main passenger decks, 1 restaurant and 1 lounge. There was a small coffee area (vending machine-type service), and a library. There was a roof top deck with what looked like what could have been an additional bar, but we only saw this used on the nights they did al fresco dining (2 nights, had to reserve in advance). Cabins were about what you'd expect and I will comment further in the cabin review. Activities and Excursions - the onboard activities were pretty limited - there was yoga in the AM which initially I was excited about but it turned out to really just be stretching. The fitness instructor was very nice but explained she had to tailor her program to the age demographic so no one got hurt. there was a gym as well with 1 treadmill, a rowing machine, bicycle and some free weights. When there was evening entertainment, the pros were that they were usually local singers and dancers putting on traditional shows. The cons were this started to all look alike after a couple of days. The DJ/piano player onboard was more of a low budget Vegas lounge act with nothing newer than the 70's or 80's in his program. There were excursions included every day which was nice, but most were of local churches and cathedrals. After a while it got tiring seeing church after church. Also most excursions were pretty sedentary - it got pretty tiring sitting on a bus all the time with minimal activity. There were a couple of optional biking tours which we did not go on, that were labeled as their "active" option, but folks that did them said it was not as much biking as they thought it would be - just short bikes interspersed with longstanding periods with lectures. The local guides however were very good I thought and provided a lot of good insight and commentary. They also did a good job of providing a balance between full day and half day tours as well as free time to explore on your own. I do have to say our Cruise director was fabulous - very knowledgeable, efficient and caring toward all the passengers. He also handled an unexpected obstacle - the bombing at the Istanbul airport - with grace and concern. He was able to help passengers navigate whether they wanted to continue on to Istanbul, cut the trip short, or arrange extra days in Bucharest, and provide them with support and knowledge. Now the dining, here the ship was hit and miss. Breakfast each day was the same buffet with an omlette station, and a few "made to order" options. The eggs on the buffet were consistently too wet for me to eat, so I opted for the "to order" option more often than not. Problem was it could be difficult to get a server to take this order since they were used to most folks getting the buffet. Also the bread and pastry options were consistently dry and fairly flavorless. Lunches were usually the best meal options with a good variety and many local dishes - again buffet was the only option here. Dinners to me were consistently bland and overcooked. We began to order all our meals with extra seasoning and needed to be sure the salt shaker was close at hand. The exception was when we signed up for the al fresco dining which was pretty good. They did offer each night a nice selection of local wines which were usually pretty good, and you could order a different one if you didn't like the selection that day. Bar and lounge service were both excellent. Most drinks were included with the exception of some reserve wines and top shelf liquor. Service overall was good, with the exception of the dining room which could be a bit slow. Overall we did have a nice time, but it was a bit slow for us, and we were disappointed in the food. Not sure if I would book again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was an incredible cruise and definitely worth the money. Our room was on the 2nd floor near the coffee lounge. We thought it may have been noisy and thought we would request an upgrade before we even went to our room. We looked at ... Read More
This was an incredible cruise and definitely worth the money. Our room was on the 2nd floor near the coffee lounge. We thought it may have been noisy and thought we would request an upgrade before we even went to our room. We looked at the suites on the forth floor and decided that as the room is the same size no matter where on the ship other than the window it was not worth the amount for the upgrade. As it turned out our room was great no noise, easy to get coffee and hot chocolate even the laundry is the floor below and very handy. The food was great lots to select and the staff were simply incredible. The cruise director whilst it was his last cruise with Uniworld was like an encyclopaedia of knowledge, he knew everything about the river the castle which were many and all the churches. Embarkation was great no worries at all, the captain actually carried our bags on board. Entertainment was light on but you are on a River cruise not an ocean liner and all the entertainment related to the port we were at that day/night. The shore excursion are very informative we also went on the ones you paid for and these were also excellent. Each port was very easy to get around and find you way back to the ship. The only issue we had was airport the system Uniworld use is not very user friendly and created an number of unhappy people. We all had to check in individually and check was a disaster as the airport staff appeared to not have that much experience. Once we arrived in Istanbul we collected our bags and had to put them on large trollies so they could be transported to the buses. Again this was very badly organised. Much easy to take our own bags to the bus and load them on. The Hotels we stayed were great. We did have a small issue in Bucharest relating to armbands around the pool, this was a hotel policy and not explained. In our opinion Uniworld were excellent with the cruise however the land section was not as efficient but I would not hold that against Uniworld and definitely will be going on another cruise with them soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As we were wanting a trip special enough to help us celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we decided The River Duchess sounded perfect! As it turned out we weren't disappointed at all. Our embarkation in Amsterdam went very ... Read More
As we were wanting a trip special enough to help us celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we decided The River Duchess sounded perfect! As it turned out we weren't disappointed at all. Our embarkation in Amsterdam went very smoothly. Our cabin was well decked out & very comfortable. The ship is beautiful as is the crew who were always cheerful & friendly & willing to do anything for us. The dining experience was a "foody's" dream. Always a sumptuous selection & if you thought that something was missing you only had to ask one of the helpful wait-staff & they would do their very best for you. Service was always first class & the wine was very good also. If you slept late & missed the sumptuous breakfast in the restaurant, you could have a late one in The Blue Danube lounge. Food, or the lack of was never an issue! The entertainment was very varied & always enjoyable. From a Glass Blowing demonstration to a Zither player, to name just two. Always music after dinner by our onboard, very talented musician, Ricardo. We were also entertained each night before dinner by our Cruise Director, Veronika (until Budapest) who gave us a rundown of our shore excursion for the following day. That 1/2 hour was special entertainment in itself as Veronika was very funny! The excursions I experienced were always very well organised & enjoyable. One night after dinner, my husband & I returned to our room to a wonderful surprise. Our bed was decorated with a gorgeous large bow, red heart chocolates & candles & there was a lovely bottle of champagne cooling in a bucket with a Happy Anniversary card. We certainly made the right choice for our special celebration & we would definitely choose Uniworld again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our travel agent recommended it, as high quality and all-inclusive (e.g., no port fees, no tips). The crew, ship, amenities, tours (including choices), and food were outstanding. The crew could not do enough for us, and accommodated ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended it, as high quality and all-inclusive (e.g., no port fees, no tips). The crew, ship, amenities, tours (including choices), and food were outstanding. The crew could not do enough for us, and accommodated any special needs that we had. We liked that they gave the option of a "gentle" walking tour for those who needed to go more slowly and on even ground. They listened to our comments and left us special gifts in our rooms. We appreciated that they had hand cleanser machines when we entered the ship and the dining room. The third level of the ship was fine, and saves money over the fourth. Parts of the second level were noisy, we heard. The evening entertainment was varied, and the keyboarder in the lounge gave a perfect background. Those on the trip who had been on Viking and other cruises thought Uniworld was so much better. They liked the size of the ship (130 people capacity) and the tours offered. The Viking cruise people we met in towns were envious of us! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were a little hesitant to do a river cruise: would we at less than 60 be the youngest? Will we be confined? Can we take 10 nights of RSL entertainment? On all accounts wrong! Mid range age, great facilities on ship, fabulous ... Read More
We were a little hesitant to do a river cruise: would we at less than 60 be the youngest? Will we be confined? Can we take 10 nights of RSL entertainment? On all accounts wrong! Mid range age, great facilities on ship, fabulous entertainment with rich lectures on the local culture, top quality food, great, in fact superb staff - we had a ball. It may have helped that the boat being the last of the season going up the Danube was 50% full - it may have been over half of them Australians, or just the places we visited and friendly professional tours, but even as a seasoned traveller, this was the best organised travelling experience we have ever had. Highly recommended, the only slight problem we had, was we needed to exercise early in the tour, as we couldn't say no to the fabulous fare!! Get on the bikes, enjoy the staff and clientele and absorbe the surrounding culture. Amazing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We spent two weeks with Uniworld on the Danube from Vienna to Bucharest with an extension to Istanbul. We are repeat cruisers with Uniworld and were once again delighted with the service and the experience. Inclusion of tours at each stop ... Read More
We spent two weeks with Uniworld on the Danube from Vienna to Bucharest with an extension to Istanbul. We are repeat cruisers with Uniworld and were once again delighted with the service and the experience. Inclusion of tours at each stop and most drinks on board, along with the wonderful service by the dedicated River Duchess team and terrific food made it most memorable. Our cabin was small, but very adequate with lots of storage space. Most of all, the pleasantness of every staff member and their outstanding service made this a great trip. We look forward to our next Uniworld excursion! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We spent two glorious weeks sailing from Amsterdam to Vienna on the River Duchess. The ship was beautifully appointed from our lovely state room to the public common areas such as the lounge and formal dining room. The service was top ... Read More
We spent two glorious weeks sailing from Amsterdam to Vienna on the River Duchess. The ship was beautifully appointed from our lovely state room to the public common areas such as the lounge and formal dining room. The service was top notch in every way from housekeeping to the serving staff in the dining room. Our cruise director Heiner was a gentleman's gentleman and saw to every detail of our cruise experience both on and off the ship. The walking tours were interesting and the guides were very knowledgeable and charming. Internet access was spotty but not a deal breaker. We salute Uniworld for a job well done! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I spent 33 days in Europe in October 2015, mostly on Uniworld's River Duchess, sailing an itinerary known as the "Grand European River Voyage." This itinerary (which will be changed for 2016) starts in Amsterdam and sails ... Read More
I spent 33 days in Europe in October 2015, mostly on Uniworld's River Duchess, sailing an itinerary known as the "Grand European River Voyage." This itinerary (which will be changed for 2016) starts in Amsterdam and sails the Rhine River, the Main River, the Main Canal and the Danube River, and ends in Bucharest Romania, with included air from Bucharest to Istanbul, Turkey. When the 3-day (2 night) pre-cruise extension is added in Amsterdam, and the 2 (included) hotel nights are added at the end, in Istanbul, and you add the one night you sleep on the airplane going from the USA to Europe, you are away for about 33 days total. In 33 days, you get to know a ship pretty well, you get to know the other passengers pretty well, and you immerse yourself in the ports of call (destinations) so completely that you become one with the scenery. Not everyone has time or money to drop-everything and take 33 days off and go to Europe, i understand that. But should your circumstances permit, and should you ever have the opportunity, i cannot imagine a better return on your travel investment dollar than taking this particular cruise on this particular line, and even on this particular ship. The River Duchess is not Uniworld's newest ship, not it's largest ship, not it's showcase ship. But it is in some respects a perfect ship for the journey herein described. There are beds for approximately 134 passengers, and on our sailing (October 2015), we had 95 on board. 95 passengers is comfortable. 134 would have been tight. With 95 on board, and with everyone understanding that they are going to see their fellow passengers morning, noon and night for a month, there is no shoving, no "me-firsting" at any venue, or any activity. There are no lines to get drinks, no lines to get dinner, no lines to get on the ship, no lines to get off the ship. At 95 passengers, everyone fits onto 2 tour buses (even though at many stops Uniworld had 3 buses available, because of a variety of tour options at different ports). There was never a fight for seats on the tour buses. Cabins are perfect for one, but (sadly) designed for two. I traveled alone. I was the only person on the ship without a travel companion. Half the passengers were from Australia; half were American. None were from Great Britain (interestingly). Cabins on Deck "4" have sliding glass doors, which create a french balcony. (other decks have non-opening windows). Because this cruise in October (and not in the heat of the summer) and because the ship was traveling Northwest to Southeast, i chose a cabin on the Starboard side of the ship, so that i would have the sun shining in my open french door balcony all day, dawn till dusk. The weather largely cooperated, and many nights, i slept with the french door open, so i could hear the river, and feel the fresh air. Movement on the ship is so gradual and imperceptible (there are few waves on the river, and the boat travels slowly), that often it was impossible to tell if the ship was moving or still. This created a surreal effect, of one never quite being sure if the ship was traveling down river to meet the new towns, or whether the towns were traveling up river to meet the ship. The ship and its tours are geared to an English speaking audience (as Uniworld's website goes to pains to point out) and if you do not speak English, this is not the ship, not the line, and not the itinerary for you. One family of 4 on our voyage, who did not speak English, ruined several destination stops for other passengers, by failing to understand what time to be back at the "meeting point" or what time the tour bus would depart. As such, other passengers (all of whom did understand the meeting place and time) were left sitting for many minutes until the tour guide either went out and rounded up the non-English speakers or left the destination without them. Food aboard ship was excellent to exceptional. Variety was unmatched. Uniworld personnel were perfectly trained, a pleasure to be around. As one of my shipmates put it: "not a weak one among them." Which is saying something, given the number of opportunities there are to screw up a passenger-employee interaction, over a month's time. The cruise manager on our voyage was German. This meant that talks scheduled for 6:45 pm began at 6:45:00 pm and tours scheduled to depart at 8:30 am left in fact at 8:30:00 am. I found this comforting. Others quickly learned that if you wanted to be on the day's excursion, it was best to be 5 minutes early, rather than 1 minute late. Issues to be aware of: Uniworld's contracted local guides (not those who reside on the ship, but those at the destination cities) were sick (with a cough and cold) in Cologne and Heidelberg, Germany, which meant that soon everyone on the ship was either about to be sick, actively sick, or just getting over being sick. The ship's doctor was the busiest man aboard. Be prepared for this. I'm not sure it is (or will be) the same on every sailing, but on my sailing, i was "down" for about 3 days with a cold, acquired from other passengers, or from Uniworld contractors. Uniworld stresses how important it is to use the provided hand sanitizers --- and this i'm sure helped things from being worse. But, even with the hand sanitizers, the ship is an incubator. Others coughed for 7 to 10 days. I was one of the lucky ones. The ship has wifi of sorts. When in a port, and when the ship is stationary, the wifi is good, and can be relied upon. When the ship is moving, and/or in a lock, not so much. Especially maddening is the several days when you sail the danube, which is the border between two countries. The internet (and your cell phone) will say you are in Croatia for 20 minutes, until the ship drifts 8 feet to the right, and then you are in Serbia, with a completley different set of roaming rules and reuglations, and then you drift over into Romania, and then you drift over into Bulgaria, and every time you change countries, (my experience, anyway), you lose your signal, and it needs to be re-established. As a solution, i brought with me 2 back-up internet MiFi (wifi) hotspots, one provided by the new company Glocalme, and the other provided by Verizon. That meant that at all times, i had 3 different ways to get on the internet. And i always was able to be on the internet (because it was important to me, and to the job i was trying to keep in america). Glocalme (i am not employed by them, have no stake in their success) is about 10% the cost of Verizon. In 30 days of being connected nonstop, i used about 200 Euros worth of connect time from Glocalme, compared to thousands of dollars of connect time from Verizon. Bottom line: if having internet is important to you, it's doable, with effort, and advance planning. At the end of 33 days, my final bill ("my balance due") with Uniworld, that i had to pay at the end of the cruise, was 254 euros (about $275 USD). If you have ever cruised before, on a voyage of any length, you know how easy it is to rack up thousands of dollars in on-board expenses, and that is why many travel agents and cruise operators offer "on-board" credits. With Uniworld, i had signed up (over 30 days) for 2 optional tours and had paid the ship's staff to do my laundry for me, and that added up to only 254 Euros. (Had i instead gone downstairs to use the free washers and dryers, which many passengers did, my closing balance would have been about 89 euros). Everything else was included in the pre-paid, all-inclusive up-front fee. No review (short of a small book) can capture all that goes on, on a river-ship over the course of 33 days. Bottom line is: things that are annoying become REALLY annoying over the course of a month. And things that are soothing, relaxing, perfectly executed, become really expected and appreciated over the course of a month. Fortunately for Uniworld, and for the staff of the modest River Duchess, there were almost no annoying things, and almost everything was soothing, pampering and perfectly executed. Last, and this was news to me: i wondered before i put down money on this cruise, whether i would be happier on one of Uniworld's brand new ships, and on a brand new ship from one of the other river cruise lines. It turns out, i would likely have been miserable, and here is why: any boat that drew more water (draft) than did the River Duchess, could not sail during the summer of 2015 between Regensberg Germany and Passau Germany: the water in the Danube was too shallow, because of drought, and/or climate change. As such: when the River Duchess got to Regensberg, they asked everyone to get off the boat, and we were bused briefly downstream to Passau. This permitted the Duchess to empty its water tanks (drawing less water, still), and without the weight of the 95 passengers on board, the ship floated down the shallow stretch of river with "centimeters to spare," according to the ship's captain, Captain Mike. During this stretch of river, we observed many other passengers on OTHER cruise lines, especially Viking (with it's long ships that draw more water) packing up their suitcases, and being forced to "shuttle" from one ship to another, because no ONE ship could get through the Regensberg-to-Passau passage. Those of us on the Duchess felt blessed: we had the little engine that could. A ship that was not too big, not too small, but a ship that was just right for the task at hand. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We couldn't fault the service, food and rooms. Tours were done well with experienced guides and usually less than 22 people per guide. The lack of internet for the trip from Bucharest to Amsterdam was unacceptable. While a ... Read More
We couldn't fault the service, food and rooms. Tours were done well with experienced guides and usually less than 22 people per guide. The lack of internet for the trip from Bucharest to Amsterdam was unacceptable. While a "fix" was attempted in Vienna it was far from satisfactory and frequently failed. If Uniworld wants to be a top echelon company they need to put the money into their internet. This was not unique to our ship. the same complaint was being expressed by people on the river Empress and the SS Antoinette. The cruise director was not able to think "out of the box" to provide worthwhile solutions. He got us to what were supposed to see but arriving in a city after the shops and attractions are closed because we were driving around the city shows a lack of project management skills. One time would be a mistake but when it happened more than once it indicates a flaw in his abilities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have sailed with Uniworld many times, after trying some of the other river cruise companies out there. Unlike the other companies, every trip with Uniworld has been wonderful. Uniworld exceeds our expectations on every level and just ... Read More
We have sailed with Uniworld many times, after trying some of the other river cruise companies out there. Unlike the other companies, every trip with Uniworld has been wonderful. Uniworld exceeds our expectations on every level and just keeps getting better and better. From the moment you step onboard the crew is so welcoming and attentive. The really try to get to know you and provide personal service to each and every guest. Even the dining experience is tailored to individual needs. The ships are always so very clean and well maintained but also so comfortable. It really is like being at home. While the rooms may not be as spacious as on some large ocean cruise ships, they are certainly very adequate and very comfortable with all of the needed amenities. With a much higher guest to crew ration than on the ocean ships, your every need and desire is taken care of and often anticipated before hand. You are really pampered on Uniworld compared to any of the other river cruises, and certainly more so than any of the other ocean cruises, that we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There a number of things that disappointed us in regards to this last cruise with Uniworld First they never told we needed to call Austria Airlines and Air Canada for seat reservations. United did not understand our confirmation numbers ... Read More
There a number of things that disappointed us in regards to this last cruise with Uniworld First they never told we needed to call Austria Airlines and Air Canada for seat reservations. United did not understand our confirmation numbers for our flight and after some discussion we were give the necessary numbers to call for seat reservations. Itinerary invoice given to us told us we had a United flight at O’Hare airport we were never told to go to the international terminal, therefore we got out at Terminal 1, United, and then told to go to Terminal 5 international for our departure. We needed to trek all our luggage to that terminal. The flight to Istanbul we did not get business class and was told they had none, but when we got on the plane they indeed did have business class. We booked business on all the flights to and from for this trip. There were only two gentle walking excursions on this trip and it was hard for not only us but a number of others to keep up with the land tour guides. There are many opportunities to get closer to museums and other places which would have accommodate the gentle walkers but they were not used. The food was boring after the first few days and there was a lack of flavoring in the food, it was not at the same level of previous Uniworld cruises. In Istanbul at the Intercontinental Hotel my wife fell and hit her head on the floor, the staff was very attentive, they sent a "Doctor" to our room, but would not acknowledge the incident when I asked for a written report of the incident. When we told the Uniworld agent about the incident he said it was the first he heard of it and that was that. The Intercontinental hotel room was not very clean, the carpet had not been vacuumed and we called several times for them to clean which they never did. Waiting for our transport to the Istanbul no Uniworld agent was on duty to assure us of the arrival of the van, we had to keep asking the doorman about the van. On the boat I saw the doctor twice, at 50 euros each time, Uniworld never asked if I had their insurance or provided any paperwork. The doctor gave me a receipt after having asked for it at the Uniworld desk several times. The doctor told me to not ask the staff about it anymore. The visa service given to Uniworld did not process the visa information correctly and delayed our entry into Turkey at a cost of 25 euros. The visa company did refund their cost and visa fee. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I wanted to see the tulips in the Netherlands, and tour the area. We decided on a river cruise, and chose the River Duchess, a Uniworld boat. Everything was all inclusive, and I was a skeptic. I was sure the staff would ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to see the tulips in the Netherlands, and tour the area. We decided on a river cruise, and chose the River Duchess, a Uniworld boat. Everything was all inclusive, and I was a skeptic. I was sure the staff would be standing with hands out at the end of the trip, and we would be encouraged to upgrade all of our tours. That was not the case and the service was first class. We were met at the airport right away and transferred to the boat. We did not have to touch our luggage until it appeared in the room. We couldn't get into the room for a few hours because they still needed to clean, but we were made very comfortable in the lounge. Light lunch was available, and we were able to chat with those getting off the boat. They gave us tips on excursions, etc. All the excursions were wonderful. We were always in smaller groups, and they always had a gentle walker group, which was nice for those who needed extra time. There was a meeting every evening to update us on the port and possible excursions. Rooms were small, but clean, and attention paid to detail. We got the last available room and in was on the bottom level, but that was no problem, it was the same as all other rooms. Service on the ship was perfect. Workers were always happy and seemed to like their jobs and liked talking with the guests. The food was very good, and so was the wine, and the bar service. You may pay more up front for the all-inclusive cruise, but there are no hidden charges. I will cruise with Uniworld Boutique Travel again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
WHAT’S the better – an ocean voyage on a super liner or a boat on the river? For me the river boat wins hands down. My wife and I are not long back from a Uniworld cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna along the Rhine, Main, and Danube ... Read More
WHAT’S the better – an ocean voyage on a super liner or a boat on the river? For me the river boat wins hands down. My wife and I are not long back from a Uniworld cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna along the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers and had a simply wonderful time among those “castles on the Rhine, candlelight and wine” and twio weeks of total pampering. It was our first experience of a small boat cruise after a trip on a big ship – the Celebrity Eclipse. The ocean cruise around the Mediterranean and the Adriatic was a fabulous experience, but for me it lost the battle on points. Sure the big ship had an enormous range of different rooms, dining rooms and bars, but the drawback was that the main meal seating was set when passengers joined the ship if you didn’t like your companions, tough luck. Although you could ask for a seat switch, but it felt like it would be a bit rude. The River Duchess has one dining room. It is big enough to seat the 120 passengers and tables are arranged in twos fours and sixes; so everyone could choose their own seating arrangements. This turned out to be a great melting pot where many people shared foursomes until they found folk with similar tastes and temperament. We ended up in part of six Aussies and we had a ball. The other great advantage of this trip was that it was fully inclusive. There was no need to worry about shore excursions, tips, or drinks. This for me was a big problem on the ocean voyage: drinks were not included and very expensive – they basically charged restaurant prices - and all shore excursions were extras, which meant careful examination of funds before picking something from the wine list or booking a shore excursion. So, with unlimited drinks, I did worry that there might be some rowdy nights, but there weren’t; everyone had fun without going to excess. The range of food was not as large as the ocean liner, but it was all good (I had some of the tastiest soups ever, they were different every day and everyone was a winner). The entertainment was basic – just Johnny on the keyboard in the lounge. But he was a top player and knew when to play background music and when to step up the tempo. We had many entertaining nights in the lounge. The state rooms weren’t large – we had our French Balcony room on the top deck – but they were nicely decorated with lots of mirrors and the beds comfortable. I felt that the rooms though could have been roomier with a queen bed rather than the king. The rooms were serviced every day with turn down at night, We did have problems with the room: twice the toilet flooded and unfathomably the cabin lights switched themselves on during the night or early in the mornings, which made for some disturbed sleep. A few other passengers suffered too. We discovered later that all the lights were on wifi and the signals were getting crossed. They would be hard wired at the end of the year we were informed. But what made this trip so enjoyable was the staff. They were fantastic and by the end of the trip we felt they had become friends. The tour manager Heiner was a German who spoke perfect English, had a great sense of humour, and was a stickler for time. He also knew his subjects. We learned a lot from Heiner. Francisco the restaurant manager was always friendly, always had a smile on his face, and had a book full of full of practical jokes. He was great fun. The staff too Paul, Georgio and Gino for three, were fabulously efficient and friendly at the same time. They were always fun and wore genuine friendly smiles. There was not one who looked as if he was there on sufferance. Of course there were no huge waves to unsettle the stomach and at every stop there was a level riverside path for would-be cyclists to join the locals for a short or even longish ride. For most of us it was disembark and join in the daily walking tours of whichever Burg we happened to be in. Oh the joy of disembarking in the centre of town instead of the local port with the touristy shops and nothing else. From Amsterdam to Vienna, from the Van Gogh Museum and Red light district of the Dutch city to the fabulous palaces of Bavaria and the dark atmosphere of the Nazi Documentation Centre and the parade ground where Hitler ran his military circuses, every tours was well led either by Weiner or local guides. And for those not so fit there was a daily “gentle walking” tour. The passengers varied in age so there was no feeling of being on a cruise for geriatrics or the opposite with groups of youngsters living it up on free booze. It was a truly happy ship from start to finish and I can’t wait to climb on board for a cruise through Asia later this year.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We are regular Silversea cruisers, and we decided on Uniworld based in part on reviews but also because they started an all-inclusive program this year. It was our first river cruise, and it was very enjoyable at all levels. The crew was ... Read More
We are regular Silversea cruisers, and we decided on Uniworld based in part on reviews but also because they started an all-inclusive program this year. It was our first river cruise, and it was very enjoyable at all levels. The crew was exceptionally attentive and engaged. The food was very good, and very fresh. Unlike ocean liners which can freeze their food supply for weeks, river ships rely on buying fresh produce at several ports of call, and the quality was noticeable. All the liquor was premium brands, and the wines were above average. We opted for a suite, and we are glad we did. River ships ( for the Rhine, Main and Danube) must navigate hundreds of locks which are only 12 meters wide, which in turn regulates that the width of the ship cannot be more than 11.6 meters, and when you squeeze 128 passengers into this space, the cabins become small by ocean cruising standards. Our suite, for example, was about half the size of a mid-ship veranda suite on Silversea,but after a day or so, it became perfectly comfortable. By the way, ignore the Viking propaganda about their newer ships with verandas. When you add a veranda, you are also reducing the size of a cabin which is already small, because their ships must also be 11.6 meters wide, or less. River cruising is activity intensive. At every port of call ( 12 in 14 days!) there are organized tours with knowledgeable guides. Some stops require a bus ride, but the majority are very close to the sights, and become perfect excuses for long, rambling walks ( using excellent maps provided by the ship). The great majority of passengers took advantage of the tours, which led to lemming-like behavior. People poured on and off the ship on cue, and never missed a chance to eat on the ship. We took a different approach from the beginning by striking out on our own ( for the sights, and restaurants), and within a couple of days we noticed that other passengers had become either bused-out, or guided-out. It is just a question of preference, and Uniworld does a great job of letting people find their comfort zone.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
River Duchess Ratings
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