50 Uniworld River Queen Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the origination and destination and the fact that we had sailed the previous year with Uniworld. The entire staff of the first cruise and this cruise were absolutely outstanding. It was very clear that their ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the origination and destination and the fact that we had sailed the previous year with Uniworld. The entire staff of the first cruise and this cruise were absolutely outstanding. It was very clear that their primary goal was to ensure that their guests were well taken care of commencing from the time of purchase of the cruise and even after the cruise ended. The meals were always expertly prepared and the service at mealtime was individualized. Excellent wine, beer and drink selections. The tours were well thought out and the guides were excellent, much information shared. Both the ship's captain and the tour director managed to provide continued services and tours even when the ship was docked due to an unnavigable (Rhine) river due to heavy rains and river height and flow. The wait staff in the dining room always engaged the guests and were attentive to details, remembering individual likes and dislikes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first river cruise. We took the Tulip and Windmill cruise from Amsterdam to Belgium. The contrast with the ocean cruises we have taken shows up most in the area of service but also in dining. Service on the ocean cruises we ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We took the Tulip and Windmill cruise from Amsterdam to Belgium. The contrast with the ocean cruises we have taken shows up most in the area of service but also in dining. Service on the ocean cruises we have gone on has been very good but Uniworld service is absolutely exceptional. The staff goes out of their way to give excellent service. They are very personable and sincere in seeing that you are pleased. If it is possible for them to do they will. Food is also exceptional, the quality of what is served and preparation stand out as well as the variety of dining opportunities each day. Unlike big ships river cruise ships do not have multiple restaurants and dining areas but I was amazed at the dining variety offered for less that 100 passengers. All areas of the cruise were well done, the excursions were great with excellent guides, the cabins were comfortable, comparable in size to regular cabins to ocean cruises but well laid out. We noticed that all levels of staff did not hesitate to pitch in. The Captain even helped with luggage and checking people out when they left the ship. Our Cruise Director Bart was the energizer bunny and constantly entertaining Uniworld provides a truly all inclusive experience, there are no extra charges for anything except for a few optional excursions which normally take place at the same time as included excursions. The charges for those are very reasonable but you have a very full excursion itinerary without them. We traveled right after the Brussels airport bombing noticed that they took good care of both the people who booked their flights through them and those who did not. We did not but they still provided transfers to and from the airport and when they rerouted departing flights from Brussels to Amsterdam they included us on the transfer to the Amsterdam airport. In summary we thoroughly enjoyed our Tulips and Windmill cruise, thought it was exceptional while at the same time providing a great value. They seem to take good care of their staff. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first European river cruise with anybody and we're glad we chose Uniworld, and specifically, the "Legendary Rhine and Moselle" cruise on the River Queen. From the time of boarding to the time of departure for the Basel ... Read More
Our first European river cruise with anybody and we're glad we chose Uniworld, and specifically, the "Legendary Rhine and Moselle" cruise on the River Queen. From the time of boarding to the time of departure for the Basel airport, the service provided by the crew was fantastic...rarely are you pampered to this degree. It was a 9 hour time difference for us to adjust to, which took a few days, but the activities, both ashore and aboard became increasingly easier to get in sync with. The "River Queen" is an older girl, but she wears her age gracefully, is beautifully appointed, and impeccably maintained...on more than one occasion, I saw people on the shore taking pictures of us as we glided by. Crew: Well, there are only so many superlatives you can use but suffice it to say that the staff on our sailing were attentive to our every need and we literally lacked for nothing...from the full "treat" jars in the cabin and lounge, to the staff remembering how you like your favorite drink, and the dining service was exemplary. Our cabin seemed to be "made up" as soon as we vacated for the days activities and I don't recall any question that the reception area staff couldn't answer for you. The dining staff, from chef to waiter, were top-notch and we thought the food delicious and well-prepared. Tours: All very interesting...we would have liked to have had more time in the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne as it could be a tour all by itself. The Marksburg Castle tour in Koblenz (with added gondola ride over the Rhine) was well worth the additional cost and the included Reichsburg Castle excursion in Cochem shouldn't be missed either. If you like German white wines, then by all means, do NOT miss the Dr. Pauly wine tasting in Bernkastle. We'd been to the Luxembourg-Trier region in the late 1970's but totally enjoyed our return visit and the stop at the American Military Cemetery. In short, we enjoyed every tour we took, as evidenced by the number of photos we came home with. Entertainment: In addition to the rest of the staff, we would be remiss if we didn't mention our resident musician, Dariousz...he provided a very pleasant interlude after returning from a tour and before/after dinner. The other performers that came aboard in certain cities were also very good. Weather: While mostly overcast with some occasional rain showers, we did enjoy some nicer days towards the end of the trip where you could sit up on the sun deck with a very warm blanket and just take in the scenery that these rivers are so well known for. All-in-all, the weather was only a minor annoyance at most. Disembarkation: There were about 16 of us who had to leave for the Basel airport at 4am for early flights so the crew put out an "early snack/breakfast" for us. Our luggage was taken off the ship, put onto the waiting bus, our cruise director (Christine) came aboard to wish us good-bye and we were very quickly on our way to the airport...all handled very efficiently. Summary: One very nice, but often overlooked feature of Uniworld is that all gratuities are included in your basic cost, and while you may not know what percentage the crew actually receives, it's one less thing for you to worry about when you disembark. We met many very interesting people, had great dining companions, and hope to take another Uniworld cruise in the coming years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my second cruise with Uniworld. The ship River Queen was beautiful. Fully renovated but kept its good bones. Activities offered each day were well planned and extremely interesting to me for the historic value. Ample time given to ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Uniworld. The ship River Queen was beautiful. Fully renovated but kept its good bones. Activities offered each day were well planned and extremely interesting to me for the historic value. Ample time given to those who wanted to shop. You were never intimidated into joining if you did not want too. Service on this ship was excellent. Every person on the crew was friendly, very helpful and fun. They worked as a well oiled team/family to make my experience absolutely wonderful. I can not say enough positive things about this crew. The excursions offered were varied and well prepared. Although some of the guides were a bit tedious they did their best with the group they were given. Travel to embarkation port was okay. I hope to never fly United again. My cabin was like a palace to me. I room alone and had plenty of space. All was provided by Boliana when ever I asked and anticipated by her so all needs met. Dining was exquisite. Everything beautifully prepared and served. I wanted to bring the chef, waiters and everyone else home with me. I settled on acquiring soup recipes. Entertainment was so fun. The on board piano man was great. The special local musicians were great treats and very good. Disembarkation was efficient and fun to watch. All types of transportation was arranged for passengers to get then to their other destinations. Well done. I will be traveling exclusively on Uniworld for all my cruises. Thank you, thank you for a wonderful experience with more to follow. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We loved our Mosel and Rhine river cruise on Uniworld's River Queen. Seeing Roman ruins, castles, cathedrals and the beautiful villages was amazing. The 13 days was full of wonderful excursions and wine tastings. The boat, food and ... Read More
We loved our Mosel and Rhine river cruise on Uniworld's River Queen. Seeing Roman ruins, castles, cathedrals and the beautiful villages was amazing. The 13 days was full of wonderful excursions and wine tastings. The boat, food and staff exceeded our expectations. Staff treat you like royalty! They had great local entertainment during the evening! Uniworld goes the extra mile by assisting you to your next destination upon disembarkation, saving you expensive Swiss taxi fares to the airport or train station. It was great not having to pay for beverages, excursions and tips at the end of the trip as other cruise lines require. We recommend Uniworld for river cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We just returned from our 1st Uniworld River Cruise. IT WAS AMAZING! We saw so many wonderful things, met so many interesting people and the service was unbelievable. The staff was so well trained and pleasant. The ship was ... Read More
We just returned from our 1st Uniworld River Cruise. IT WAS AMAZING! We saw so many wonderful things, met so many interesting people and the service was unbelievable. The staff was so well trained and pleasant. The ship was beautiful and spotless. The food was delicious and diverse. We participated in most of the shore excursions. The guides were knowledgeable and entertaining (with only one exception..she was knowledgeable but boring). The attention to detail was exceptional. Uniworld's years of experience shows. Our cruise manager, Rik, was obviously well trained and thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing. We did not participate in much of the entertainment offered on board. We made so many new friends that we made our own entertainment. We have taken sea cruises on large ships in the past but never again....The intimacy of a river cruise is definitely the way to go. More personalized service and more opportunities to get to know your ship mates. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our third cruise with Uniworld and was a really great experience with a most interesting program each day. We travelled down the Rhine from Basel, up and down the Mosel, then along the Rhine to Amsterdam. We travelled in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Uniworld and was a really great experience with a most interesting program each day. We travelled down the Rhine from Basel, up and down the Mosel, then along the Rhine to Amsterdam. We travelled in October and just missed the grape harvest but saw some beautiful autumn colors which made up for the cooling temperatures. Cruising the Mosel and seeing the Rhine castles again were wonderful experiences. The villages and cities along this route are exceptional and historically so interesting that a longer stay in the area would be worth thinking about. We had two wine tastings, one in the upper Mosel at Ediger-Eller with a first generation wine maker, Stefanie Vornhecke, and one at the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler cellar in Bernkastel. We were shown some really nice rieslings. The River Queen is a beautiful river boat with lovely timber work and beautifully maintained. What a treat to be able to travel on such a boat. The staff were truly exceptional and provided outstanding service throughout the cruise. We recognised the restaurant manager from a previous cruise when he was a (very good) waiter and it added some fun when we went to the restaurant and were treated like royalty. Food and wine was excellent. I still fondy remember the cheese selection on the first cruise but maybe the types they had were more to my taste. Now that there is an open bar, a lot more cruisers have a drink at various times like before and after dinner and this made for a more friendly feeling on board. Overall a great cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I recently returned from our first Uniworld river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam (12 days). We traveled with my wife’s sister. The itinerary was great with many excursions, which are the real reason to go on a river cruise. ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from our first Uniworld river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam (12 days). We traveled with my wife’s sister. The itinerary was great with many excursions, which are the real reason to go on a river cruise. The stateroom was small, but well-appointed with a luxurious feel. The food was generally very good and the service was universally excellent. On this cruise, Uniworld included premium liquors along with beer and wine in the price. Since I like a gin martini every evening before dinner, it was nice to get Tanqueray. The bartender made excellent cocktails. They had local entertainers on three evenings and one speaker who lectured on the Roman empire in the Rhine region. He was excellent. We were told by a couple who had been on other Uniworld cruises, that generally they had more local entertainment. We met many people, particularly at dinner, all of whom were very friendly and well-traveled. I would estimate the age range as mostly 65-75. Everyone was pretty fit; you need to be to handle the excursions although they did have special “slow” walking groups. You are expected to go on the excursions: there aren’t a lot of activities on the ship. My wife and sister-in-law both caught colds and were ship-bound for a few days. My wife knitted to entertain herself. Uniworld advertised this cruise as “everything included”. In fact, at the end, our bill was $3.00 for mailing 4 postcards. There were no tips or other unexpected expenses. For the two of us, including the cruise, insurance, and economy air fare, the total for the cruise came to $18,000, which we purchased through an online travel site. The only negative, which we complained about, was the wifi, which was weak in the staterooms and non-existent on the sundeck. I assume they will fix this problem. We loved the cruise and hope to take another one with Uniworld. BTW- our cruise director was named Hildegard. She was fantastic and really make the excursions work for everyone.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first river cruise and we chose a cruise that included The Mosel River as we had heard how beautiful it was. That certainly was the case and the itinerary for the Legendary Rhine and Mosel was excellent. Our first choice was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose a cruise that included The Mosel River as we had heard how beautiful it was. That certainly was the case and the itinerary for the Legendary Rhine and Mosel was excellent. Our first choice was Tauck but we planned too late to sail with them but Uniworld was available and we had heard they were similarly considered luxury lines. In our case, aboard The River Queen that proved to be an over-statement. I would consider the cruise line more "Upscale Light" in terms of accommodations, food, beverages and service. The age range seemed to encompass mostly late 60's to mid 70's, much older than we had anticipated. Fellow cruisers were very friendly and many were very interesting but it would have been nice to travel with a slightly younger crowd. The stateroom was very small and the red decor was almost disturbing. Seating was so uncomfortable we just used the chairs for storage. The bathroom was tiny but very functional although more shelving would have been appreciated. The bed was comfortable enough but the pillows were very hard and still not supportive. There was a menu of pillows to select from but our steward said they were the same that were already on the bed. Our cabin steward did a great job of keeping everything clean. But, I was surprised that there was never a treat left on the pillows at turndown, something we always experienced on Silversea and The World and something I equate with a more luxury level line. The public areas were pretty enough but the seating in the lounge was very uncomfortable. My husband could never relax on the sofas and the chairs were basically dining chairs. The lounge was also too warm during the evening port talks so we usually just stood in the doorway. The bar and waitstaff usually did a great job but sometimes we waited forever for a cocktail and there never seemed to be enough snack trays for every table...they were just distributed randomly throughout the lounge. This area was also used for a light lunch and tea time both of which were not that interesting in terms of food selection. We loved the coffee machine in the patio and the always available iced tea. The "gym" was tiny but did have good cardio machines but the free weights were all too light and there wasn't room for a bench. The dining room was very loud and when seated in the lower back area there was quite a vibration if the ship was underway during mealtime. It was difficult to hear our dining companions at dinner but somewhat better during lunch and breakfast because not everyone was seated at the same time and some people dined in the lounge. Service quite often was very slow, especially at dinner. It took two and a half hours every night to slog through dinner which really became a chore if one was seated with less than interesting fellow diners. Breakfast and lunch food selections were okay but dinner was inconsistent. The fish selections were especially unappetizing some nights but just okay on other nights. If you don't eat meat the choices can be rather bland but the meat eaters were usually very pleased. The wine selections were not great most of the time and a real disappointment considering the outstanding wine regions we were cruising through. The included tours were also inconsistent regarding the quality of the guides. Many folks complained of the groups being too large and too slow even though the slow walkers were asked to joined a slower group, it was not enforced. Requests to the tour director to create a fast walking group were brushed off. The groups were averaging about 25 people each and when walking through narrow, winding streets and stopping for bathroom breaks the size of the groups became cumbersome. We took the optional Heidelberg tour for an extra fee and unfortunately that guide was one of the worst. His explanation of the history of the area was very disjointed and not very informative. I had no problem with understanding the various guides' german or french accents but quite a few older people complained they had trouble understanding. The two tours that included wine tasting were a highlight but for some reason, never explained, the dinner ashore in Rudesheim was not offered even though it was listed in the cruise guidebook. In conclusion I am interested in trying another river cruise but will look to another line that might do a better job of living up to a Luxury category.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We took the Castles on the Rhine cruise aboard the River Queen and it was heavenly from the moment we were half way down the pier headed to the boat. We were greeted at 11a.m. by Laurentiu and Sebastian who took our bags and directed us to ... Read More
We took the Castles on the Rhine cruise aboard the River Queen and it was heavenly from the moment we were half way down the pier headed to the boat. We were greeted at 11a.m. by Laurentiu and Sebastian who took our bags and directed us to the onboard lounge where we were greeted warmly and had a great lunch of salad, soup, fruits and desserts with wine, of course. I knew we had arrived for a fantastic time. On my first trip to the top deck I was greeted again by staff and I asked for a picture with the captain, jokingly. I quickly realized a handsome gentleman running my direction who posed as the captain and I got my picture. Later I found out that really was "Ferdy" the captain! The trip was relaxing, full of wonderful tours and the guides were all very fun and knowledgeable so I didn’t mind looking like a tourist with my ear piece. Our cruise director, Martin, was knowledgeable, fun and approachable. We enjoyed many tours including a vinegar tasting and wine tasting and strolling tours through beautiful villages. Lots of history. The food was fantastic but also displayed beautifully. I ate everything presented but somehow managed to walk off any weight gain so I was thrilled. Evening guest singers were really unique and there was always Andrea who played piano and was eager to please as she took requests and allowed guests to sing solos which made it fun and interactive. A shout out to De Jan who took great care of us in the lounge. We had a great trip. If I had to complain it would be that I’m a light sleeper and this was my first cruise ever so in spite of my room always being a perfect temperature and the bed and pillows being perfect I still found it hard to sleep with the sloshing of the water especially on the one night we spent in port. I did better when the boat was moving. Thanks to Uniworld for this great cruise and I plan to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Just returned from Uniworld's Tulips And Windmills trip. I have done similar river cruises on other lines and this was by far the best. The River Queen itself is more or less the same size and configurations as other river boat lines, ... Read More
Just returned from Uniworld's Tulips And Windmills trip. I have done similar river cruises on other lines and this was by far the best. The River Queen itself is more or less the same size and configurations as other river boat lines, but is much more attractively decorated. The staterooms were actually pretty and the public rooms were lovely. The dining room was generally excellent and was significantly better than other river or cruise lines including Seabourn and Silversea. All riverboat rooms are tiny and this was same. The closet space was better laid out on Ama, but the room as a whole was far nicer on Uniworld. The room was actually pretty, the bed and linens were excellent, and the room service was very gracious. The showers on the River Queen are particularly well done for a riverboat as the doors actually keep the water inside so that the bathroom doesn't get all wet. It would have been helpful to have a clothesline in the shower for lingerie as some of the other riverboat lines do, but other than that the rooms were great. Most lines have good staff, but the River Queen's really distinguished itself. From the cruise director to the dining staff, everyone went above and beyond to accommodate. We had an entirely disinterested cruise director on Ama (although the rest of the staff was lovely) and an actually arrogant and obnoxious cruise director on Lindbland Galapagos (although the rest of their staff was lovely too). On River Queen she was terrific. It was also nice to see that all of the staff seemed to really enjoy each other and get along. Everyone had great personalities and it felt like one was cruising with friends. I mean that in the nicest possible way. They were never intrusive. I recommend them highly and will definitely travel with Uniworld again, hopefully on the same boat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I want to share with you our recent sailing (12/21/13) on Uniworld Holiday Markets, starting from Nuremberg and ending in Frankfurt. Our family (6 of us) have travelled with Uniworld on the Danube in the summer of 2011 and had a wonderful ... Read More
I want to share with you our recent sailing (12/21/13) on Uniworld Holiday Markets, starting from Nuremberg and ending in Frankfurt. Our family (6 of us) have travelled with Uniworld on the Danube in the summer of 2011 and had a wonderful time. We had high hopes this time around, having heard and read so much about the wonderful Christmas markets in Europe, and seeing that we would be visiting them just about every day, as publicised in the travel brochure/catalog from the company. We were terribly disappointed. Day 1 was spent lolling in the lounge of the river boat, and the staff were quite adamant about everyone checking in at 3PM. For those of us who had arrived early on Day 1, it was a complete waste of our time and no activities were planned. Day 2 was a day tour of Nuremberg plus a visit to the local Christmas market. That was kind of fun, as we could stay on at the market till evening on our own. However, for those passengers who had adverse flight logistics (missing bag, late arrival, ..), and missed this outing, it would prove disastrous. This was the only outing to a Christmas market, as on the rest of our trip (Day 3 - 8), all the markets had shut down. I found out from the locals that 12/24 (from around 1PM) through 12/26, and in some cases, 12/27, were holidays taken very seriously as non-working days, to be spent with family. The markets were completely shut down/dismantled, and most of the local shops in the towns on our cruise were closed. Even the museums, some churches (e.g. Nativity Walk) were closed. The guides were a missed bag: some of them were young and relatively inexperienced, and generally not as enthusiastic as I would have expected. Some of the key highlights of the places listed in the brochure, and even from what I had read before the trip, were not touched upon. There were 3 optional excursions listed prior to departure, 2 of which were not even offered on the trip. I understood on the one remaining excursion (Nuremberg Documents Center), there were only 2 takers. On board the ship/boat, in spite of the brochure listing "Welcome Gala" and "Captain's Farewell Gala", there was no special event. This cruise taking place over 12/24 and 12/25, and given that the paucity of programming over the Christmas holidays with everything shut down, the least one could have expected is some kind of attempt to put on a festive celebration, Christmas music, party favors, etc. Evening recap time in the lounge seemed to be an occasion to get the guests together to partake of (self-paid) alcoholic and other "cocktail (alcoholic or otherwise!) of the day." On the cruise on the river, there was no commentary at all - no one pointed out what towns we were passing by, let alone any special features, cuisine, traditional crafts, or history and how the war affected these German towns. There was no commentary about the locks system, the number on the trip or how the system worked. Aside from the dining room and cleaning and engineering staff (who were extremely hardworking and pleasant), I found the administrative and nautical officers, including the cruise manager, very nonchalant and not very interactive with passengers. There were comments from some passengers about how they could allow "girlfriends" (e.g. of the captain) to sail on the boat. This sailing (12/21) should never have been offered, or at least if it was, the promotional material relating to the holiday market sailings should not have been given to the passenger. The cruise manager made it clear at the last presentation in the Lounge that she was an independent contractor dependent on gratuities as she was not paid by Uniworld. However, I fail to comprehend how Uniworld did not know that everything shuts down by 1PM on 12/24, and in some cases, through 12/27, and the cruise ends on 12/29 (disembark from ship), and offered a cruise that promised Christmas markets for 80% of the sailing. Extremely disappointing trip.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We just completed 13 days on the Rhine/Mosel with Uniworld. The cruise exceeded all expectations. We have been on a few large ship cruises (Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.) and were committed to never cruising again on the "behemoth ... Read More
We just completed 13 days on the Rhine/Mosel with Uniworld. The cruise exceeded all expectations. We have been on a few large ship cruises (Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.) and were committed to never cruising again on the "behemoth cattle cars" of the sea. Our travel agent friend said, "just try Uniworld", it's different. He was correct. We enjoyed everything, the itinerary (you are cruising so close to shore that you can hear the conversations of the grape pickers), the food was the best "group" food that I have ever had, the staff was available but not intrusive, and nothing was "announced". We were treated like adults, not sheep, and expected to show up when and where for excursions. And, being all-inclusive, what a nice surprise to not receive an invoice at the end of the cruise that flows to the floor for water, wine and excursions. I can no longer say, "I do not cruise". We will take several Uniworld cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have previously taken a number of cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Basel, Switzerland two nights before the ship departed. We stayed in a lovely hotel, Hotel-Brasserie Au Violon, which used to be a prison. ... Read More
We have previously taken a number of cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Basel, Switzerland two nights before the ship departed. We stayed in a lovely hotel, Hotel-Brasserie Au Violon, which used to be a prison. They have obviously updated it by converting to cells to one room with a lovely bath. The hotel staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable and went out of their way to be sure our brief stay was pleasant. We boarded the River Queen early in the afternoon. The check-in process was extremely fast and easy, nothing like arriving for larger cruises has been in the past. The ship was beautifully appointed and looked exactly as advertised by catalog and internet. We visited the lounge to briefly await our cabin availability. When we were shown to our cabin we were very pleasantly surprised. We had been "warned" that river cruise cabins are very small. We found our cabin to be very comfortable and nicely appointed. There was adequate room for two single beds configured as a king, with night tables and reading lamps next to each side. We had two large windows, two straight-back chairs with a small round occasional table and a large dresser and mirror combination. The bathroom was small but certainly adequate. We found plenty of room in the closets and drawers to put away our belongings and promptly went about exploring the ship further. We sailed the first night right about dinner time. The meals were good and we enjoyed the freedom to sit where we wanted at every mealtime allowing us to meet a number of very enjoyable people. The breakfasts and lunches were served buffet-style and included a number of options. Complimentary beer and wine were generously served at both lunch and dinner. I would say overall, the meals did not match other culinary experiences we have had on Oceania cruises in the past, but were still pleasant. One concern was the noise in the dining room. My husband has a hearing impairment which proved quite challenging to carry on conversation at the table. However, he was not the only one who had such difficulties. It really became a topic of discussion amongst our fellow passengers. We visited many ports in France, Germany, Luxemborg, and The Netherlands. Although we were scheduled to sail both the Rhine and a tributary, the Moselle River, due to severe flooding we were limited to ports on the Rhine. Even with this complication, the Uniworld staff and our Cruise Director, made sure we were still able to visit each of the planned stops. They arranged coaches to transport us to the areas that weren't available by sailing even the though, at the time, the Moselle was three meters above flood stage. They even through in a few "extras" that weren't planned to try to make up for the fact that we weren't able to sail on the Moselle. There were only a few passengers that we heard of that really complained about this fact. After all, you cannot control nature. Each stop had very enjoyable excursions that were included with the price of the cruise itself. In addition, a couple of other excursions were available for an additional fee. The ship had great bicycles that could be reserved and most locations had fabulous bike paths readily available near the ship. The ship also made nordic walking sticks available which helped me immensely to more comfortably participate in excursions, as I have severe back problems. I skipped one excursion and scheduled a massage on board. It was fairly comparably priced and the young masseuse from Budapest was skilled and delightful. He spoke with our room steward who then provided ice for my back every evening after that. We didn't participate in the entertainment offered in the evening because we tended to turn-in for the night pretty early so we could get an early start each morning. One particular section of the Rhine river includes many castles and we passed this area during the day. Our Cruise Director announced and told a little bit about each one over the P.A. system so everyone could see and hear all the information. Our disembarkation was very quick and easy. We had to make our luggage ready to be moved by 8:30 a.m. on the last day. This was much preferred over larger cruise ships that require your luggage to be left in the hall on the last night. The ship arranged for a taxi to take us to the hotel. We stayed two additional nights at The Zandbergen Hotel in Amsterdam after the cruise. The hotel was very affordable and conveniently located, just a short way from the bustle of the city right on a tram line. The stairs were quite steep, but the cheerful breakfast room made up for that. The hotel staff were very helpful and knowledgeable as well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
After a week of personal travel through Germany and Austria, we arrived in Nuremberg for our river cruise. We have traveled with Uniworld six times before and expected this cruise to be the same high quality as those others. We were ... Read More
After a week of personal travel through Germany and Austria, we arrived in Nuremberg for our river cruise. We have traveled with Uniworld six times before and expected this cruise to be the same high quality as those others. We were not disappointed. From the time we dropped off our luggage until we left at the end of our cruise, we were treated like family. We had sailed before with the Captain and Zoltan, the ship's entertainer, and both remembered us and went out of their way to welcome us. It is obvious that the crew of the River Queen are proud of their ship. It was spotless at all times, the food and service in the dining room was absolutely outstanding, the bar staff was quick and professional, and everyone worked hard to make the cruise memorable. The tours at each of the ports were handled by outstanding guides. We even remembered a few from previous cruises. They were well planned, leaving plenty of time in the Christmas Markets. I took only one optional tour on this cruise, the Beer Tour, and it was great. I'm glad it wasn't offered in every port since I never would have gotten to see any Christmas Markets. Uniworld is the cream of the crop of English speaking European River cruise lines for a reason and they proved it on this cruise. It could not have been any better. We are currently booked on one more Uniworld cruise and will book another when the 2014 schedule comes out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Cruised the River Queen on the Main River December 8-16, 2012, from Frankfurt to Nurnberg stopping along the way at other Christmas markets in Wertheim, Wurzburg, Rothenberg and Bamberg. On arrival from the Frankfurt Airport we were taken ... Read More
Cruised the River Queen on the Main River December 8-16, 2012, from Frankfurt to Nurnberg stopping along the way at other Christmas markets in Wertheim, Wurzburg, Rothenberg and Bamberg. On arrival from the Frankfurt Airport we were taken to the lounge where a light buffet lunch was available and where we waited until mid-afternoon when cabins were ready. At check-in (by category of cabin) our photo was taken (for passenger security we were told) and we got our cabin door card with our name on it. For every excursion we left this card at Reception and picked up our tour group number and audio receiver. Each stop had an included orientation walking tour through the old town center plus additional-charge optional excursions (all well-worth the prices): to an abbey, a brewery, Aschfeld a fortified town and, to Room 600 memorial in Nurnberg's Palace of Justice where WWII war crimes trials were held and to the Nazi party Rally Grounds and Documentation Center (museum). However in four of the six cities visited -- Wurtzburg, Rothenberg, Bamberg, and Nurnberg -- the dock was so far from the old town Christmas Markets that we were shuttled to and fro by bus from the ship. Rothenberg was an included day trip from Kitzingen but, again, a great experience. The Quietvox portable audio headset system was used on all shore excursions so guides did not have to shout and we could all hear what was being said. Orientation walking tours included a "gentle walking" group for those who dislike steep hills, stairs and icy footing. There were guest speakers in the bar/lounge who talked about German Christmas traditions, glass blowing and, special holiday breads/cookies (the latter with samples!). Breakfasts and lunches were buffet with served dinners accompanied by wine/beer. Dinner selections offered both meat and vegetarian choices and my only complaint was there were so few German dishes offered. Oh yes, and that one evening with the chewy braised leg of lamb, which tasted more like athletic aged mutton, was the only culinary mis-step on the trip. The public areas color scheme is primarily blue and white (Delft-like since the ship registry is Dutch with German officers and Eastern European crew). All of whom, BTW, were excellent. Even at the end of the river cruising season, the interior decor still looked fresh and clean. There was an onboard reading/library area, computer/WiFi access, gift shop, exercise machines, two free do-it-yourself front-load washer/dryers (soap pods free at reception), plus irons/ironing boards in the laundry room. The flat screen TV in each cabin had access to the bow cam on the front of the ship so you can see where you are going (or are docked) while sitting up in bed. This beats standing out on the cold deck and is very interesting especially when going thru locks. The cabins also have a safe, umbrella, slippers, bathrobes, L'Occitane en Province lotion/soaps, water bottles, small seating area plus white bed linens and big towels all with the initials "UW" embroidered on them in gray. Guess this cuts down on pilfering (unless your initials are UW). Small gifts were given to everyone on board -- stainless steel water bottles, an agenda and a little packet containing your birthday stone (info from your passport). The River Queen is a smaller boutique ship but it does have an elevator which some of the bigger ships lack. I have taken five previous river cruises with various companies and, all told, I enjoyed this ship and the itinerary. Would I take it again? You betcha! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My wife and I would like to acknowledge the excellent service received on our recent European Jewels river cruise with Uniworld. This was our first ever cruise, and I'm not so sure the Uniworld River Queen set the bar to the point we ... Read More
My wife and I would like to acknowledge the excellent service received on our recent European Jewels river cruise with Uniworld. This was our first ever cruise, and I'm not so sure the Uniworld River Queen set the bar to the point we will never be able to recreate the environment again on any future cruise. The entire crew under Captain Ferdy's direction (along with "Siggy" and Lawrence) made us feel like we were part of the family, with Hildagard our Cruise Manager providing an exceptional iterary each and ever day. Martin's resturant and lounge staff were on point (especially "Banjo" and Alex!) and his executive chef and team never disappointed at any meal. Martina had the hotel staff working at peak performance. Not a single issue, not a single excuse, not a better team on a cruise than the River Queen for those 14 days. We can understand why the River Queen was ranked #1 recently. If Uniworld can find a way to bottle this winning formula on each and every cruise ship they own.... The sky is the limit! Someone told me many years ago - if you love your job, you will excel at it - I don't think there was a single Uniworld employee on the River Queen that didn't want to be there. Uniworld - the River Queen knocked this one out of the park! I will be recommending the Uniworld Boutique River Cruises to anyone looking for a vacation idea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Uniworld Rhine river cruise 10/23-11/4 2011 Day 1 arrival at Amsterdam Schipol airport. We arrived at 3:30 pm, were greeted by a representative, and were on our way within 15 minutes to the ship by bus. Check in was seamless, our cabin ... Read More
Uniworld Rhine river cruise 10/23-11/4 2011 Day 1 arrival at Amsterdam Schipol airport. We arrived at 3:30 pm, were greeted by a representative, and were on our way within 15 minutes to the ship by bus. Check in was seamless, our cabin was ready so we were allowed in immediately. Please note, if your plane arrives before noon, you will be taken to the ship, but you will not be able to go to your room til they are ready, usually around 1 o'clock. You will be accommodated in the lounge until your room is ready. This may be tiring for some passengers, so try to arrange your arrival in Amsterdam for after 1. Room was very nice, comfortable beds, nicely appointed bathroom. No refrigerator in room. Cabin was small, but adequate, and beautifully decorated. NOTE: if you purchase local wines, you may have it chilled and served to you with NO corkage fee. Day 2, Amsterdam canal cruise and museum visit. Canal cruise was lovely, not to be missed, you get a lot of history from the cruise. We chose the Van Gogh museum tour, arrived before opening and we allowed in per an agreement that Uniworld has with the museum, so we got a full half hour in the museum before it opened. Very nice museum, learned a lot about Van Gogh. Day 3, Cologne, Germany Pier was within walking distance to the heart of Cologne, Dom Square. We visited the Roman-Germanic museum, it was ok, but if you are not interested in artifact overload, go to the Dom instead, it is awe inspiring. Also, Cologne is one of the best places to buy souvenirs in Germany, a wide variety and lower prices than you will find elsewhere. This is also one of the best spots to "pub crawl" in the evening, visit a few pubs and drink the Krolsch beer, very fresh and delicious. Day 4, Koblenz, Germany. We were surprised at the size of the city, on our last visit we only did the castle tour, this one we did a walking tour, and found it a charming city, with a wide variety of shopping and nice café's. This is also a nice souvenir spot. Don't miss the Willhelm statue, it is huge. Day 5, Cochem, Germany Nice walking tour, pleasant city, the Reichsburg Castle is a must see, but be warned about the Ediger-Eller trip. We thought that it was an enterprising Mayor who had arranged tours of his small town to boost sales, turns out, he is the only one who is making money on it. You will have no time for shopping or exploring here, even though it looks like a nice quiet town. He escorts you to a church for a little organ music, then to a cemetery, then to his pub, where you are crammed in, and served some olives and bread, and have to suffer through a film, along with wines from a local vintner. The wine was not very good, and the "show" put on by his parents was embarrassing. I would definitely miss this "tour", but go to the town on the bus and go on your own, give some of the other businesses a boost. The Mayor is an opportunist, but not for his town, only his coffers. Day 6, Luxemborg, Luxemborg Awesome tour of the WWII US cemetery, where Patton is interred. Beautiful memorial for our men, very moving, don't miss it. Luxemborg itself is more of an industrial city than charming. Day 7, Trier, Germany This tour starts out very slow, with a bus ride to the top of a vineyard to look at a Roman amphitheater ruin, which you can't tell what it is from looking at it. The afternoon part of the tour to Trier and the Porta Negra is wonderful, a great shopping town. The gate is really impressive. Don't try to take pictures of the flower peddlers, they get snippy about it. Whatever. Day 8, Bernkastel, Germany Didn't go on the tour, felt like vegging out. People said it was nice, though, and the wines were good. Day 9, Boppard, Germany Cool music museum, awesome views of the Rhine castles during the afternoon cruising. Day 10, Speyer, Germany There is a really cool museum here, it is the Speyer air museum, they have every mind of motorized conveyance you can think of, a big hit with the guys. There is a cool U9 submarine that you can go into, as well as a Lufthansa 747. Town of Speyer is cute, though most things were closed as it was All Saints Day. Day 11, Strasbourg, France What can I say about France? I don't like it. People are culturally rude, not just to tourists but to each other, and no one picks up after their dogs, ugh. Watch your step. Day 12, Briesach, France France again, I can do without it. We chose the optional excursion to the Black forest, don't miss it, it is like an Alpine Old Sturbridge Village. You will stop at a clockmakers shop, this is the place to buy cookoo clocks, and also linens (Christmas) the price is reasonable and you won't find anything in Switzerland to compare. Day 13, Basel, Switzerland Disembark went like clockwork, the staff makes everything smooth and painless. We chose the extended option for Lucerne for 3 nights, stayed at the Radisson Blu, it was just ok for the money. Be prepared, Switzerland is EXTREMELY expensive. A large French Fry can run you 15 francs (about 18 USD). Really. There is a little grocery store in the Rail station, the COOP, where you can buy some staples to save money. We took the ferry to Weggis, it was mostly closed up, but the little café on Main st had a great lunch special, only 16.50 francs each (cheap for Switz). You can take the cable car up to the top of a mountain here, we chose not to because the day was overcast. About the ship- Beautifully decorated in the Art Deco style, nice marble, VERY clean, no smoking in any of the rooms but a smoking area on the top deck. There is a small elevator if you need one. There is a washer/dryer on the 3rd deck, it takes a long time to wash and dry but is worth it, especially if you have a down day where you don't want to go on a tour (France, LOL). The food is fabulous, the variety is great, service is good, everything you expect from a Boutique cruise ship. We found the housekeeping staff to be exceptional, and the front desk staff, too. Our tour manager, Ann Smits, was FABULOUS, I have never seen such a friendly, outgoing manager as she. The demographic on the ship is generally US, Aussies, UK and Canadians, with maybe a smattering of South Africa here and there. Almost everyone is retired, with just a handful of us in our 40's and 50's. The lounge entertainment is great, they bring in a lot of local artists for your pleasure, and they have the obligatory lounge pianist for times when there is no entertainment. The tours are generally pretty good walking wise, but they do offer a "gentle walkers" tour also, so if you have a sore foot or back you can still see a lot without the pain. All in all, this was the best cruise we have taken. We will definitely return to Uniworld for our next cruise. We sailed with Viking on a previous river cruise, while it was nice, Uniworld is better, for one thing the beds on the Viking Legend were as hard as a board, where the beds on Uniworld were great. Hope you take this cruise, it is an unforgettable experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We just arrived home, happy that we went again on this cruise...the 2nd time in 4 years. This is a beautiful scenic cruise. Lots of history, shopping, great included excursions. Our cruise manager Ramona was knowledgeable and helpful at ... Read More
We just arrived home, happy that we went again on this cruise...the 2nd time in 4 years. This is a beautiful scenic cruise. Lots of history, shopping, great included excursions. Our cruise manager Ramona was knowledgeable and helpful at all times. The crew were very helpful and polite. We are fairly well travelled when it comes to cruising and noticed that the atmosphere on the River Queen amongst the crew was very pleasant. This has to be attributed to the Captain, Hotel and Cruise Manager, and of course the Dining Room Manager. The meals were always excellent, thanks to our chef. Our cabin was wonderful. The River Queen has recently been renovated and very well done...we were on the original 4 years ago. We chose a suite this time around and were very happy that we did. The upgrade charge (saved with early booking) was worth every penny. The extra space is very nice, when you need some time alone. River ships are small compared to big ships, so a little space is good. There is a very good onboard pianist, but when they bring on the local talent that is fun! A nice addition since the refurbishing, are the great coffee table books and magazines in the lounge for you to enjoy. We were also impressed with our transfer to the airport. This time around we had a `transfer agent` that went with us on the bus, he made sure we had a luggage cart upon arrival and knew the check-in counter number for our flight. Right to the last minute Uniworld made sure we were looked after Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We arrived on December 21st at about 8pm, having been delayed by weather. We were dropped at the curb by our cab, and left to pull our luggage down to the ship, up the gangway, and after finding the entry button, into the lobby. We were ... Read More
We arrived on December 21st at about 8pm, having been delayed by weather. We were dropped at the curb by our cab, and left to pull our luggage down to the ship, up the gangway, and after finding the entry button, into the lobby. We were surprised to find no sense of security and were unchallenged. Once we made it into the lobby, however, the service was quick and efficient and we were soon in our cabin. The cabin space was small but adequate. Decor was as pictured in the brochures and online, but somehow not as over the top as it appears and on the whole quite pleasant. The bed was very comfortable. There was limited storage space for clothing, and no place to hang a long garment; I'd have sacrificed the desk for more closet space. Our one complaint about the cabin was water temperature. On 3 separate days we had cold showers; albeit in each case maybe a little late (8am). We suspect that there is a limited hot water capacity. The most offensive part of this, however, was that when we reported it first they questioned if we knew how to operate a shower (we're quite familiar with these controls, and the sink was also cold), and then told by the engineer that it couldn't possibly happen. The public rooms were nice. I liked the scale of the ship, having just previously sailed on the Oasis of the Seas, and enjoyed being able to walk anywhere in a few seconds. We liked the on-board entertainment, especially the guest performers. We felt that they were not given a very professional introduction by the cruise director. The dining room food was generally good; sometimes excellent, sometimes not great. The service was also mixed. Many of the service staff seemed to resent being in a service position - often surly. The bar waiter, Gabor, was a pleasant exception - he seemed to truly enjoy his job - always greeting us by name, remembering our beverage choices and offering exceptional service. The excursions were generally good. Can't beat ancient castles and cathedrals for North Americans where "old" is 100 years. On the whole, I think Uniworld made a good effort to arrange activities given the timing (Christmas eve, Christmas day). We didn't like being dropped in Heidelberg to shop when the shops were closing at 2pm and having to wait around for the bus. We were most disappointed by the tour director. We thought he was generally disorganized and claimed to be busy trying to manage lost luggage - not sure why that was his job. On one occasion, the "VOX" box wasn't working and his answer was "stand close to the guide. I guess we were the slow group that he didn't tolerate since in Rudesheim he walked on ahead leaving a few slower walkers on their own to try and find the museum. My overall reaction: Europe was magnificent, river cruising is an individual taste (I liked the scale, my wife preferred the large ocean cruise ships), but we were disappointed enough in the service on this particular ship that we would likely not choose Uniworld again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Christmas Markets. Uniworld Basel to Cologne. Uniworld's River Queen has recently been refurbished in an over-the-top Royal motif that is intentionally gaudy attaining a certain flamboyant charm. Fastidiously clean, common areas ... Read More
Christmas Markets. Uniworld Basel to Cologne. Uniworld's River Queen has recently been refurbished in an over-the-top Royal motif that is intentionally gaudy attaining a certain flamboyant charm. Fastidiously clean, common areas and rooms were bright and mirror-lined for a feeling of space. The food was tasty, simple, plentiful and, thankfully, not "fake fine dining". Internet (via WiFi and the onboard computers) was priced at 15E for the trip. The connection, however, was mostly slow and frustrating - even more so than big ships. Staff were friendly, helpful and really seemed to care about service. The Tour Manager, Wauter, was efficient and prompt with little time for guests who wanted to delay others. He got things done without fuss. On Christmas Eve, he was a willing and enthusiastic Santa. during the trip, he seemed to be everywhere at once. Great job! Entertainment was local, unpretentious, lively and diverse. But if you expect Vegas Acts, River Ships are not for you. Mario, the hotel Manager, ran a tight operation with a strong team and excellent service. Restaurant was similar with an attentive and helpful team led by Stanislaw. Onboard laundry, while slow, was an unexpected and prized bonus for light travelers. All in all, a delightful Christmas Cruise with an interesting itinerary of larger cities. Not for those who want to see quaint villages. Good value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I, with a great deal of luck and a little bit of juggling, managed to make it to Basel on December 21st to begin our Christmas Market Rhine River Cruise, which because of the timing did not include any German Markets. It ... Read More
My husband and I, with a great deal of luck and a little bit of juggling, managed to make it to Basel on December 21st to begin our Christmas Market Rhine River Cruise, which because of the timing did not include any German Markets. It wasn't a huge loss because we did shop at the Basel, Lucerne, and Strasbourg Christmas Markets and hit the "Mother of all Markets" on the Champs-Elysees when we arrived in Paris, for our Part II Vacation. What follows is our reflections on the river cruise part of our holiday and is an attempt to provide an honest and balanced account of our experience aboard the River Queen. THE GOOD The River Queen is a well appointed boat with very nice spaces, including a comfortable lounge with a cozy fireplace. Compared to cruise ships, it is very compact which means the distance from your cabin to the dining room can be all of 70 feet. The cabins are attractive and the floor to ceiling windows in ours were great for viewing the lovely scenery rolling by. The bed was really comfortable, the towels plush and the bathrobe generously cut. The food, for the most part, was good and on a few occasions very good. Lunches were more appealing than the dinners, which tended to be very drawn out affairs, reflective perhaps of a wait staff which was stretched too thinly. I would recommend the soups and the vegetarian entrees, including the stuffed crepe, the onion tart and the rosti. I especially appreciated the fact that the menus reflected the cuisine of the region. Tour guides for the included excursions were enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge of the various cities and the rich history behind each. You could partake of these guided tours or go off on your own. They did not seem to offer different tours for those passengers with mobility concerns. All of the included tours seemed to move at a fairly brisk pace. The extra cost excursions reflected good value for the price charged. They were really enjoyable, especially the trip to Lucerne and the tour of Marksburg Castle. We participated in all of the extra tours and we were glad we did. Onboard entertainment was surprisingly good. We were told not to expect much on a small boat but the performers, who we had the pleasure to experience, were marvellous. They ranged from a lovely woman who lectured about German Christmas traditions, an Edith Piaf type singer accompanied by an accordion player, a trio consisting of two violins and a guitar who performed folk music and classical music and finally, this wonderful woman who, accompanied by her husband on the keyboard, sang everything from country music to polkas to opera to swing - just fantastic. THE BAD The storage in the cabins left a lot to be desired. There was no long section in the wardrobe to hang dresses or suits and the shelves were awkwardly placed. I would strongly suggest that future passengers buy a few over the door hangers. It would alleviate some of the problems we encountered. When we called to confirm the docking location of the boat on the day of our departure, we were advised that the location had changed and we were given a different address by the Uniworld agent. We arrived at this spot along the river with a cab driver who was quite eager to unload us and our luggage on a deserted road with no boat in sight. We can laugh about it now. We gave him the original address in our cruise documents and the ship was there. Sixty francs later we were schlepping our luggage down a winding ramp and up to a boat that looked empty of passengers and crew. Not a soul was in sight, in the lobby or behind the reception counter. We pressed a button which opened the door to the ship, lugged our bags in and called out, "Hellllll-oooo-oooo!" A crew member did appear within a few seconds of our call and we marvelled at the difference between security onboard cruise ships and river boats. Anyone could have boarded the boat and stowed away in a number of places. It was all very strange and somewhat unsettling. One of the things that I found most disappointing on my River Queen cruise was the inconsistent service I encountered. Some of the crew were outstanding and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. Gabor, the bartender was a delight, always smiling and pleasant, greeting passengers by name and remembering their favourite drinks. Any request, and my requests are always politely made, would be met cheerfully. Sabina, our cabin attendant, was always cordial when we met and kept the cabin spotlessly clean. There was only one female member of the wait staff in the dining room and I can't recall her name, but she reflected this same level of professionalism and efficiency and was so good at her job. Unfortunately, this was not the case with all of the wait staff who managed to straddle that thin line between aloof and downright surly. One night, I decided to try an alternate dining option which included fish or chicken. When I asked the waiter how the chicken was prepared he looked at me with great impatience and said, "I don't know." Isn't that the job of a waiter, to know? Wouldn't the correct response be to say, " If you give me a moment I'll go and check with the chef to see how it is prepared." When you would ask questions, this league of waiters, and there were about half a dozen of them, would either nod or shake their heads as though uttering an answer would be a terrible waste of their energy. I was puzzled as to how the dining room manager could not see this and correct it. THE UGLY When we have cruised on ships in the past, we have had few occasions to deal with officers or management and on the odd occasion when we have had a concern it has been dealt with quickly and competently. I am very sorry to say that this was not the case on the River Queen. The first incident had to do with the hotel mangager. On the second day we had no hot water from our shower. We reported it and the officer at reception said she would look into it. The next day it was fine and we asked another passenger if they had the problem with hot water and the person said that he, too, was without hot water on the second day. A few days later, I was without hot water again. This time the hotel manager told me I didn't know how to operate the nozzle. I explained that this was not the case and I felt it might be a hot water shortage in certain cabins at peak hours. I left frustrated and when it happened the next day again, my husband insisted that the hotel manager come to room and see for himself. He arrived with the boat's engineer and they insisted it was still a problem with the faucet in the shower. When my husband turned on the faucet in the sink where there was no hot water either, they simply gave him this blank stare and shrugged. I fully expected a bottle of wine with a letter apologizing for the inconvenience, to be waiting for us in our cabin when returned from sight-seeing that day, but there was nothing. There was no follow-up to any of the three complaints of no hot water at any time, during the cruise. They never apologized for the inconvenience. The second incident had to do with the cruise director. During one excursion my voxbox, a device that transmits the voice of the tour guide to your earphones, was not working. Again, the cruise director, after trying an alternate set of earphones, just shrugged and told me to stay close to the guide so that I could hear. When I suggested that he should test the voxboxes before the bus leaves the area of the boat so that he could get replacements if they malfunctioned, he was pretty nonresponsive. Again, no apology. On another excursion, when he lost part of the group, I urged him to follow from the back and send someone ahead with the directions, he pretty much ignored me and my advice. He set a pace and never looked back to see if the passengers were with him. He just seemed unaware or indifferent. His job was to introduce the talent in the evenings and he did so. However, I don't ever remember him coming up to the front of the lounge after the performance was over to thank them and lead a round of applause. This was an individual who really lacked polish and style, as well as some basic organizational skills. THE VERDICT I enjoyed many aspects of this river cruise. I liked the itinerary and the intimacy of a ship of this small size. The passengers were friendly and there was a casual feel to the whole experience. You could dress up for dinner if you wanted to or you could wear a nice pair of pants and a sweater and you'd be good to go. However, the inconsistent service and the issues involving the cruise director and hotel manager left a bad taste in my mouth. My husband is not opposed to going on another Uniworld cruise and thinks that perhaps any of the negatives we encountered could very well be unique to the particular ship and the crew. I, on the other hand, think that there are so many other lines out there, why not try them. After this cruise, I would be hard pressed to recommend Uniworld to friends or family. River cruises I would recommend to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I just got home from a 12 day cruise down the Rhine/Mosel Rivers on the River Queen. We departed from Amsterdam and were looking forward to a relaxing cruise. The mix on board ship was 50% American, 40% Brits, and the ... Read More
My husband and I just got home from a 12 day cruise down the Rhine/Mosel Rivers on the River Queen. We departed from Amsterdam and were looking forward to a relaxing cruise. The mix on board ship was 50% American, 40% Brits, and the balance English speaking guests from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was a great group of cruisers with about 75% representing first time River Cruisers. The staff was pleasant, the ship fine other than they could have redecorated in more cheerful colors rather than the dark browns in every area of the ship, including the staterooms. The food was average in our opinion, but as Americans I think we tended to want fresher, healthier foods rather than the cream laden cuisine typically served on board the River Queen. There were no sanitary precautions on the ship or any instructions given upon boarding how to handle any illness that may have arisen on the ship during the cruise. This was interesting since 99% of us were retired and at last footloose and fancy free to pursue our dreams of travel. On the third day of the cruise I came down with what I thought was just something that had disagreed with my stomach. Day one I was just feeling "off" by day two I was vomiting and had diarrhea. Day three I was feeling better but still queasy and no appetite. On the second day of feeling ill I went to the Hotel Manager to let him know I needed a doctor. He said that they could get me to one the following day afternoon and gave me a bottle of liquid hand sanitizer and asked me to use it whenever I went to the dining room. Within three days 60% of the cruisers were down and out. They held a short meeting for the passengers and said that there was a illness on board that they wanted to announce. Within two more days I would estimated 80% of the passengers and 50% of the crew had been hit. There was never a doctor brought on board to examine any of the passengers and the River Queen installed a program where we had our hands sprayed as we got on and off the boat as well as at the dining room. A little too late in our opinion. There was never any consideration given to the sick passengers other than the request to stay in your room for 3 days and they would bring soup if you so desired. Since the River Queen is traveling through the EU I have no idea what the health standards are for this kind of on board wide-spread virus. It may sound gross, but I was so sick I had both ends going at once. The bathrooms are very tiny with a toilet, single sink and shower. I used the toilet and the sink to accommodate my double whammy most of the two days I was sick. The vomit from the sink went down the sink drain and into the shower stall... absolutely appalling. They just send in the housekeeper to "sanitize" the bathroom. Where it went from there I have no idea. I had wondered whether there was a virus on board when we got to our cabin in that there was a horrible odor our room which I just overlooked. I think that Unniworld has not prepared the staff for such an outbreak. We got off the ship at the end of our cruise at 8:30 AM and the crew was preparing the rooms for another group of travelers boarding in Basel, Switzerland for the cruise departing to Amsterdam that afternoon. We have been home for 2 days and I still have not felt 100%. We have traveled all over the world to such places as Africa, the Amazon, Asia and have never gotten struck with this kind of illness. Luckily I had a script for Cipro from my state-side doctor who told us to always take it in the event we get sick overseas. Most people had nothing, not even OTC medication to ease their nausea after three days. The Hotel Manager informed us that in the EU they are not allowed to dispense any kind of medication on board, but they could take you to see a doctor. Several people were so sick they did this and wound up with being issued medication to take and a whopping medical bill to pay. I'd be interested whether there was a viral infection on board the previous cruise and the cruise that followed ours. Not a word from Uniworld on the outbreak and to the best of my knowledge the ship has not been thoroughly sanitized other than the use of standard cleaning and hand spraying down the guests. Also, as a side note, two passengers had their passports disappear and another their birth certificate after they boarded the River Queen. By the time of disembarking the ship, they had never been found. The Hotel Manager never really seemed too concerned but the passengers, of course, were out-raged. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
From beginning to end, Uniworld was top quality all the way. I arrived early on the first day and was greeted with a lunch buffet, that was not on the itinerary, but was a pleasant surprise. My travelling companion had not arrived but I ... Read More
From beginning to end, Uniworld was top quality all the way. I arrived early on the first day and was greeted with a lunch buffet, that was not on the itinerary, but was a pleasant surprise. My travelling companion had not arrived but I felt comfortable with the other guests and staff while I waited. Ship: The ship was small and intimate. It was very clean and well kept. People: Everyone felt like old friends, it was a good environment for people travelling alone or in a small group. There were seasoned and new travellers. Staff: A terrific staff, very knowledgeable, helpful and accommodating. You didn't need to ask for anything, they could almost read your mind! The tour manager, Marcus on this one, was very organized and knowledgeable. The staff worked well as a team and you could tell they got along well. I was on this cruise over Christmas, they made so many efforts to make sure we had a great Christmas, even though they were the ones away from their families. Food: Phenomenal. Breakfast and Lunch were buffets which were always fresh with a wide variety of western and European foods. Dinner was a 5-7 course meal every night. I am a fussy eater and I tried and loved foods I had never dreamed of! Wine was included with every meal as well. Bar: The prices were reasonable, the staff was attentive but not pushy, the selection was vast. Entertainment: There was a regular performer who was played a variety of instruments, the only thing I wasn't crazy about was the songs were the usual wedding type songs, but then I realized after a few nights off the ship that this was the case in other bars too, must be a Europe thing! There were a few entertainers brought in that were interesting and very talented. I enjoyed the nights that we were able to go out to places off the ship too. The staff on the ship were able to direct us to great places! Destinations: I think it goes without saying but they were terrific. Tour guides: There were a variety of guides used, some were great, some were ok, but I definitely recommend going on the tours to get your historical background and to get a bit on inside information on the cities you visit. Overall, a wonderful experience that I would recommend to a first time traveller and a seasoned traveller. This is a fabulous way to travel, unpack once but you get to visit a variety of countries. Uniworld is a top rate company who hires dedicated staff. I can't wait until my next trip! Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
Itinerary-Legendary Rhine & Moselle. This was a fourteen day river cruise, starting in Amsterdam, down the Rhine to Koblenz, down and up the Moselle, and down the Rhine to Basel. Great towns to visit, great scenery, and a great ... Read More
Itinerary-Legendary Rhine & Moselle. This was a fourteen day river cruise, starting in Amsterdam, down the Rhine to Koblenz, down and up the Moselle, and down the Rhine to Basel. Great towns to visit, great scenery, and a great itinerary all around. Embarkation/Disembarkation-We opted for the Uniworld air package, so transfers were included. When we arrived we were greeted at the arrival hall and after a short wait to pick up other passengers, were bussed to the ship, arriving about 11:00 am. Rooms were not ready so our luggage was stored. A light lunch of soup, sandwiches, and desert was served. Since our ship was docked at Central Station, we walked into town for a few hours. We returned around 3:30 and our room was ready. Since the ship was not full, we were upgraded from our original cabin on the lower deck. The day before disembarkation, our flight numbers and transfer times were posted. The next day it was an easy transfer to the Basel airport. Ship- The River Queen is a modern ship built in the fashion of a 1930's river boat. It is very warm and elegant. Lots of dark wood with moldings, highly embossed wall coverings, etched glass, granite countertops, decorative floorings, and alabaster lighting fixtures. There is a glass elevator serving all but the bottom deck and the sun deck. The Main Lounge has heavy leather and upholstered chairs and couches, the bar, and a fireplace. It was the most comfortable lounge we have found on a cruise ship. The Club Lounge, which serves as the library, also has heavy leather seating. The Patio lounge is airy and bright with wicker seating and glass top tables. It had 24 hour coffee, teas and ice water. There was a laundry room, beauty salon, shop, workout area, ice machine, and limited spa services. The dining room has two levels and elegant furnishings. The rooms are all the same size except for the suites. The only difference is the window size. There is lots of closet and drawer space. The beds are hotel style, slightly bigger than queen size, with premium bedding. The bathroom is adequate, with a shelf for your toiletries. The shower is quite large considering the size of the bathroom. Provided toiletries are bars of soap, shower caps, sewing kit, swabs, manicure kit, and dispensers of shampoo/conditioner, and hand/body lotions. Bathrobes, umbrellas and other amenities are provided as well. Crew-The crew was excellent. Very accommodating, efficient, accessible, and friendly. All spoke English very well. From the deck hands to the captain, there was always a greeting, a wish for a nice day, or an inquiry on how things were, etc. Service was excellent. In the middle of the cruise, evaluation forms were distributed and responded to the next day. Requests made to staff were always accepted cheerfully and provided quickly. The tour manager was terrific. Food-The food was outstanding. The best we have ever had on a river cruise. Breakfast was a buffet, with 20-30 items to choose from, with a daily special from the kitchen. Eggs could also be ordered. Lunch was also a buffet. There was always a carving station with meat or fish, another main course, and several hot side dishes. There was also a pasta dish, a hot soup, and a cold soup, and some kind of sandwiches. Then there were five to eight salads, garnishes, cold cuts and a bread assortment. The desert buffet was incredible! Always a hot item, two kinds of cakes or pastries, a mousse of some kind, a large cheese assortment, and three kinds of ice cream or sorbet with all the toppings, including a brick chocolate topping. Dinner was by menu with a choice of two appetizers, two soups, three main courses (meat, fish, and vegetarian), and several desert selections. You could always get a steak or chicken breast instead of the main courses offered. All the food was very, very good. Very delicious and presentation was outstanding, even on the buffet items, with every dish decorated with some sort of garnish. I would not hesitate to call it gourmet most of the time, especially at dinner. Entertainment-A talented ship musician played an electric piano, guitar, and saxophone during the cocktail hour and in the evenings after dinner. On several nights there was on-board entertainment by local groups such as a Shanty Choir, Bavarian dancers, a jazz band, and a French accordion/singer duo. There were several lectures, a wine tasting, and a cuckoo clock demonstration on-board as well. Passengers-Most were of retirement age, and a good mix from several countries. Everyone mingled and rotated at seating for meals, etc, so you were always meeting someone new. Dress during the day was casual, but almost everyone dressed up more for dinner. For the Captains dinners 90% of the men wore suits/sport coats with ties. Excursions-City tours were provided at every port, and were very comprehensive, hitting all the important sights. Pacing was easy. Vox boxes were used so that you could always hear the guide. This was great as you could wander around and still hear the guide and know where they were. Local guides varied, but most were good. Free time was usually provided. Almost always we were docked in the city center, but if not, shuttle buses were provided in the afternoon. In one city, with easy tram service, we were given transportation day passes. Several optional excursions were offered at a reasonable cost. In summary of our six river cruises, 1 on Victoria, 2 on Avalon, and 3 on Uniworld, this was by far the best in every respect. I would rate it 5 star in just about every category. Uniworld was fantastic from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date July 2007
River Queen Ratings
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