1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the ... Read More
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the shops close on Xmas Eve so the last market was on the 23rd. The ship was beautiful but the cruise was dull & boring with no atmosphere. The cabin was lovely, well decorated but did lack a mini bar. Service very good. Every night we were entertained by the same duo apart from an additional singer one night who bombarded us with non stop Xmas songs. As you can imagine, by Xmas eve we were sick of hearing Xmas songs. The food was good but we never saw a menu until we sat down for dinner. One exception was Xmas night when the turkey was awful as it was stuffed with figs! There was no onboard activities, so for those who did not get off the ship or go on an excursion, it was uneventful. For what we paid we could have had 3 months on an ocean cruise. No more river cruises for us, especially with Uniworld! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night ... Read More
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night voyage" was the overnight cruise to Breisach from Basel), we were informed that there was a possibility that the cruise might be cut short because of low river levels. Sure enough, at the 3rd evening update we were told that we would not be traveling any further on the boat. We were offered a four day, 3 night bus trip from Strasbourg to Amsterdam to complete our cruise. This would involve 3 overnight stops at hotels selected by Uniworld and we would receive vouchers for meals at each of the stops.Uniworld also offered $1000 per person off of a future cruise in 2019. Our group of 6 felt that since we had signed up for a cruise, we did not want to experience the Rhine by bus, nor did we want to pack and unpack our bags each night or have to search out restaurants for dinner at every stop, so we proposed to the cruise director that we would stay on the boat and return to Basel with the passengers that were being transferred from a southbound boat onto the SS Antoinette to complete their cruise. Late in the day on the 4th night we were told that our request had been accepted. This necessitated purchasing airline tickets from Basel to Amsterdam at a cost of $250per person since our return flights to the US were out of Amsterdam. At the 3rd night update, when the cruise cancellation was announced , the captain stated that they had hoped that a weather system moving over the south of France would move further north and provide enough rainfall to fill the river so passage would be possible. The system never moved north. This indicated to us that Uniworld knew in advance of our departure that the river level was too low, since we had already been told within 24 hours of departure that cancellation was a possibility. We felt deceived and taken advantage of. Therefore on our return to the US we requested a full refund of our cruise faire. We were offered 20% refund and a $1000 credit for a cruise in 2019. I have also included pictures of the "upgraded" suite we were offered for the return to Basel. Uniworld promotes their cruises as an upscale, luxury experience. Somehow tattered throw pillows, a worn out lounge chair, stained bedcover and ripped curtain are their idea of luxury. The meals onboard were also a huge disappointment. While the volume of food was more than adequate, the quality and preparation were sorely lacking.( ie.french onion soup consisted of 3 pieces of onion floating in weak beef broth with a cheese crouton on the side. This was served on two nights.) Having only traveled as far as Strasbourg, we did not see any castles. I gave this cruise 2 stars only because the staff was exceptional and the optional cooking class out of Strasbourg was amazing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld ... Read More
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld can’t control Mother Nature and water levels, but it would have been nice to have been warned that this was a possibility and been given the option to cancel with a refund. No mention was made that water levels might be a problem until once under way. On the second night out of Basel we received the “unforeseen” bad news that we would not be able to continue by ship. On the positive side, the crew has done everything they could to make the remainder of the trip as positive as possible, but again, a bus ride is not what we paid around $8000 for. As partial compensation they offered $1000/person off the fare of a future cruise. The only catch was we had to use it by the end of 2019. After contacting them, they did extend the deadline to the end of 2020. I really hate being so negative as we had received nothing but glowing reports from friends who had done several Uniworld cruises, but to say I am extremely disappointed is a gross understatement. Again, nothing against the crew of the ship as they seemed as disappointed as we were to be unable to continue as we were but I feel that Uniworld corporate could have handled this in a much better way. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion ... Read More
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion of the scheduled eight-day river cruise was extremely unlikely, given conditions on the Rhine at that time. The Captain later indicated to us that at the time we had left Basel, he was aware of the low levels, but was hoping for an immediate rainstorm to boost the river. Within two days -- when we arrived at our second port of Strasbourg – we were told that because of water levels, the river cruise was essentially over and that the remainder of the cruise would be an impromptu attempt to duplicate what we had paid for. We were never given any choice as to how we wished to proceed at that point. As a result, a day later our crowded bus sped past the fabled Rhine castles in the fading twilight. We never saw the port of Mannheim (Speyer) or Koblenz, despite brochure promises we would dock there. We took long and tedious rides on buses (5 hours in the case of the excursion to Marksburg Castle), instead of the short excursions that had been scheduled. I had signed up for your bicycling excursion, but that was cancelled as well. Instead of our cabin, we were placed in two different hotels. Instead of eight days of fine dining experiences with wine and spirits, we given a token amount of per diem money, to buy food wherever we could find it. I understand that there are weather risks, and that their contract allows them to make accommodations in the event of circumstances such as this. But what I am saying is that their attempt to remedy the situation completely failed to substantially comply with the experiences that they had promised. The company’s offer of $1000 per passenger on a future cruise in 2019 is totally inadequate and of no use to us: our 2019 travel plans were long ago finalized. I will never again risk my money again with Uniworld. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Don't ever book a cruise with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection unless you want to be held hostage on a bus tour instead of being on a 5 star ship. We were told 2 days into our 8 day river cruise that we would be getting on ... Read More
Don't ever book a cruise with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection unless you want to be held hostage on a bus tour instead of being on a 5 star ship. We were told 2 days into our 8 day river cruise that we would be getting on buses to finish our cruise with NO option of cancelling. And there was no chance of getting a refund of any kind on our HUGE bill. The company allowed us to get on a ship knowing full well that they would be doing this to all of the passengers. The buses Uniworld uses are meant to take passengers on excursions not take them for 7 hour drives. Uniworld's CEO, Ellen Bettridge, should be forced to sit on one of Uniworld's uncomfortable buses for a 7 hour trip. She should have to pay over $1000 for a night's stay in a $100 a night hotel with enough money to buy 2 average meals to see how she feels about her own company's policies. As compensation the company offered us a coupon for our next cruise. What a JOKE! Why on earth would I go through this nightmare again? I understand weather is unpredictable and things can happen but forcing a passenger to finish the tour on a bus is crap. We should be allowed to decide what to do not be forced to do what they want us to do. Cruise companies should not be able to get away with this. We need to band together to fight this issue. It should be illegal. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Thought it was supposed to be top notch. We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on UniWorld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we ... Read More
Thought it was supposed to be top notch. We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on UniWorld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The S.S. Antoinette is only 7 years old. I thought it was a lot older than that when I saw it. The chandelier was way to big for the lobby. The cabin we selected was the highest class category other than the suites. It was extremely small, I expected that. There was a balcony with a window that opened half way but the balcony area was really part of the cabin with two glass sliding doors dividing it from the cabin. I did not like that we had upgraded and 3 of the days we docked in France and Switzerland there was another ship only inches from ours and we could not sit on the balcony and have our morning coffee. (no privacy) The bathroom was okay for the size of the cabin. Our embarking time was supposed to be 4 pm and changed it to 3 pm not letting anyone know. All meals take place in the over crowed dining room and the entertainment which is extremely limited takes place in the lounge. Piano Music. That was it!!!! (No dining privately)There is an upper deck which which was very nice. The gym is so small but expected for the size of the ship. The pool was nice and quiet. They had to drain it because the ship was to heavy to pass under bridges. Then when they filled back up it was to cold to swim in. As to the meals, the breakfast was probably the best meal of the day. Lunch was just about the same each day which becomes tiring after a few days. The dinners were disappointing, You could order steak or chicken if you did not like the choice on the menu. The wait staff was very pleasant for the most part. They got to know us. The Rhine River is for the most part uninteresting the Castles and the history very interesting. Most of the ports we visited were unattractive German cities with the exception of Strasbourg and Cologne. Two Alsatian villages were just to touristy. We only had about 20 minutes for free time. In the event a passenger wants to explore a port on his own the excursion director has nothing to offer to help out other than a very useless map of the area. I was told that most passengers take the organized excursions so they don't have materials for those who want to go out on their own. We spent 2 hours a tour on a bus just to get to where we were going. Not enough time to enjoy the villages. Were supposed to do a Vow ceremony and they could not accommodate us. Said we should consider canceling a tour so we could do the ceremony. My husband had a massage scheduled one morning and they changed the tour time so he had to cancel it and he never was able to get another time rescheduled. The cruise is advertised as a 8 day 7 night trip but in fact it is only 6 days. On last full day of the cruise we arrived at Basel very early and just docked there for the rest of the day and night. So I saw no reason to make the other stops so short. We got to Basel at 9 pm and could not get off the ship until next day. If you want to see 4 countries and not just 2, plan a few days in the Netherlands before your cruise and a few days in Switzerland after your cruise. Most of the crew members for the most part were extremely friendly and helpful. Overall I would never take another river cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the first cruise for our party of four. We traveled with close friends and both couples were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. We flew into Basel a day early and stayed at Hotel Spalentor, right outside the historic ... Read More
This was the first cruise for our party of four. We traveled with close friends and both couples were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. We flew into Basel a day early and stayed at Hotel Spalentor, right outside the historic gate to the old city. This was a reasonably priced hotel with large, modern, clean rooms and a nice breakfast included. It was easy to walk throughout historic Basel from the hotel. I think the pre-cruise guests stayed at the Hotel Les Trois Rois, which was spectacular with lovely Rhine views, but more than twice the rate we paid. We checked out of the hotel on Sunday and arrived at our dock in Basel around noon. The area near the dock isn't particularly pretty but there were several other boats docked there as well. Check in was easy and our room (Room 416 - Balcony) was already ready. The room was nice, quiet, comfortable, a little small, but well thought out with plenty of storage. We stored our suitcases under the bed and we were good for the week. There is a safe in the closet for your valuables. The bathrooms are an adequate size with a drawer to store toiletries. There is a hairdryer in the drawer. Some of the toiletries (body wash) were in a larger pump container attached to the shower. There are several outlets in the room that are adapted to US standards. Housekeeping did a great job tidying up, leaving little gifts and refilling the chocolate jar. Overall the ship was lovely. The chandelier in the entry is impressive. We particularly liked the Salon du Grand Trianon (lounge area, bar and entertainment) and the Leopard Bar, which was pretty lively the nights it was open. Dinner was very good with plenty of entree options. Everyone was seated around 7:00. People were friendly and felt comfortable joining our foursome. We made a point of sitting in Vladimir's section every night. He was very personable and enhanced our dining experience. It was my friend's birthday the first night (I had mentioned it when sitting down at our table) and he brought a birthday cake out without being asked. A featured entree was offered every night, which was always a good choice. Wine flowed freely. I saw french fries (a weakness), somewhat hidden on the menu, and made the table jealous when I ordered them (twice). Ice cream (rumored to be home made) was popular with our group for dessert. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with plenty of healthy options. They had an omelet station for breakfast that made my husband very happy. We just showed up during buffet hours and there were plenty of open seats since guests arrived at different times and didn't linger. The men in our group enjoyed massages with Doris in the spa. She was trained as a Physical Therapist which was reassuring since my husband had a sprain he was recovering from. The pool area was hardly used but it would be a nice place to read a book. Every aspect of service was outstanding. Every staff member we encountered was friendly and helpful. Most excursions were included and Uniworld provided at least two options each day. They also offered a third option on a few days for an additional fee. The guides were great and our headsets worked well. Every morning, you need to remember your head set and your boarding ID, which is swiped when you exit and enter so they can account for everyone. For excursions, we chose: Day 1: Alsatian Village tour - We visited two story-tale, picture perfect villages. We had a little time to shop and taste some Riesling wine. If you are into Christmas, you'll find the opportunity to shop at a number of Christmas ornament shops throughout the week. Day 2: We chose a walking tour of beautiful Strasbourg, visited the cathedral, stopped for lunch and explored. We had more free time here since some some passengers went on to visit the Black Forest. They seemed to enjoy the tour (which was extra) but we decided we didn't want to take a long bus ride. Day 3: We went to the Dokforenhof Vinegar Cellar for a lecture on vinegar making and a tasting. It was an unusual experience that I would recommend. We bought a package of all 5 vinegars tasted. It's pretty heavy so you might want to pick just one or two of your favorites. There was an option to stay and take a gourmet cooking class with our charismatic guide (at his house) around the corner for an extra fee. We chose to visit Heidelberg (also an extra fee) which was a highlight of our trip. We visited the castle with our entertaining guide, Lauren, and had a short walking tour of the town. Heidelberg has a different vibe since it's a university town. My only regret is not staying in town for dinner. We could have taken a taxi back to the dock. Other passengers just enjoyed afternoon time on the boat. Day 4: We went to the Castle Vollrads for a Riesling wine tasting. It was beautiful, a little early for wine for me, but I rallied. We also went into Rudesheim, another charming town and tried a famous Rudesheim coffee (more alcohol). They also offered a morning hike that I was very tempted to switch to but both options were great. The afternoon was the trip highlight, sailing the Rhine Gorge and enjoying the Castles. We were thrilled the low waters did not affect us. It was a little cloudy and cool but a wonderful afternoon! We stayed in the town of Boppard for dinner (where the boat was docked) just to take a break from the main dining room. A great day! Day 5: We visited Marksburg Castle - supposedly the only castle never conquered and destroyed. Others biked from Boppard to Koblenz. We spent some of the afternoon exploring Koblenz and attended the Captain's Farewell Dinner in the evening. Day 6: Cologne - We had a short walking tour en route to the cathedral, which holds the remains of the three Magi. We climbed the steps to the top of the Cathedral (about 5 euros). However, I had to turn around since it is a narrow, winding stairway where you had to hug the wall on the right walking up, since others are walking down on the left. So if you are a little claustrophobic, or not in great shape, this might not be the best option for you. The remainder of the trip was sailing to Amsterdam. Although all tips are included in the price, we did leave something extra for our server at dinner and housekeeping. Since we are new to river cruising and Uniworld, we really didn't know what was appropriate. After the cruise, we stayed a few days in Amsterdam at a wonderful airbnb along the Brouwersgracht Canal. It was immaculate, well decorated, stocked with goodies, and perfect for two couples. FYI - tickets for Anne Frank and the Van Gogh Museum need to be purchased online. They start selling 2 months ahead of your desired date for Anne Frank. We also visited the Rijksmuseum, Vondel Park, the Dutch Resistance Museum and took a canal cruise. General observations about the cruise: We are in our mid to late 50's and were probably among the younger third of this group of passengers. However, we weren't the youngest. The older guests were fun, interesting and physically fit for the most part. A number of guests enjoyed the lounge for post dinner drinks and dancing. The live entertainment was low key and fine for a smaller ship but I think it would have been fun to have a DJ one night playing music from a range of decades. The more intimate Leopard Lounge was fun to visit the nights it was open. We enjoyed a heated game of Trivial Pursuit with our new friends. Guests dressed casually for breakfast, lunch and touring (jeans, shorts, leggings, khakis). At dinner, most dressed up a little more, like you would if you were dining at a nice restaurant with friends. On the Captain's dinner nights, about 2/3 of the men wore jackets (not ties) the first night and less the second. I wore wrinkle free, sheath dresses several nights and other nights pants with a nice blouse. My personal taste for decorating is more modern. However, I found the S.S. Antoinette to be elegant, charming and "old school" in a good way. The 7:00 dinner seating encouraged but did not force you to make new friends. Overall, people on this trip paid for a high end experience, often close to a year in advance, and wanted to have a good time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on Uniworld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The Antoinette has a worn French decor ... Read More
We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on Uniworld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The Antoinette has a worn French decor which is overstated and unattractive. The whole ship is in need of a redo. The cabin we selected was the highest class category other than the suites. It was extremely small with the bed taking up 90% of the room. There was a balcony with a window that opened half way but the balcony area was really part of the cabin with two glass sliding doors dividing it from the cabin. The bathroom was barely adequate with a minuscule shower. All meals take place in the over crowed dining room and the entertainment which is extremely limited takes place in the lounge. There is an upper deck which was not shaded and so we did not use it very often. The gym is so small and cramped that only 2 guests can exercise at a time. As to the meals, the breakfast was probably the best meal of the day. Lunch was just about the same each day which becomes tiring after a few days. The dinners were disappointing with uninspiring bland and in some cases inedible food served in extremely small portions. The wait staff is overworked with no bus boys to assist. The wine selections were ordinary unless you opted to buy the premium selections. The Rhine River is for the most part uninteresting and plebeian with the exception of the half day trip past the castles. Most of the ports we visited were unattractive German cities with the exception of Strasbourg and two Alsatian towns. The excursions were nothing special and highlighted visits to a vinegar tasting house and a vineyard with wine tasting. Both were okay but nothing special. In the event a passenger wants to explore a port on his own the excursion director has nothing to offer to help out other than a useless map of the area. I was told that most passengers take the organized excursions so they don't have materials for those who want to go out on their own. Although we were told all excursions were included, Uniworld offers several excursions for an extra fee which we declined to take. The cruise is advertised as a 8 day 7 night trip but in fact it is not 8 days. On last full day of the cruise we arrived at Basel very early and just docked there for the rest of the day and night. The only real highlight of the trip were the crew members who for the most part were extremely friendly and helpful. Overall this cruise did not live up to what we had hoped for. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I was desperate for information about Uniworld, and this particular itinerary, after we booked more than a year in advance. So, I'll do my best to review and help others out. After having been on several ocean cruises, our first ... Read More
I was desperate for information about Uniworld, and this particular itinerary, after we booked more than a year in advance. So, I'll do my best to review and help others out. After having been on several ocean cruises, our first impression was "wow, this is really small!! lol We identified our luggage next to the coach, then some of us checked in, but instead of standing in line, Ken and I went for lunch! The "light" lunch buffet was delicious and varied - a dozen different salads, meats and potatoes in steam trays, Panini sandwiches, a carvery, and the most delicious soups! If this was an introduction to Uniworld, it was already a GREAT cruise! As we sat visiting after lunch, the announcement came that our cabins were ready, no later than 2:30 or 3 pm. We were impressed... once again! So, the stage was set for our daily routine. The restaurant had plenty of seating for everyone, and breakfast was either buffet or a menu if you wished. The buffet varied from day to day, sometimes mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and beans for breakfast, always potatoes, always bacon and sausages, always a cheese board. Lunches were buffet-style, with a different soup every day (tomato, cheese, potato, cauliflower, leek, all delicious), always a carvery always a grilled sandwich option. Always an ice cream bar, too! Yay! Several different flavors of ice cream, with a variety of toppings, to well... top off your lunch. We were very pleased with the quality and variety of the food - something for every palette. Dinners were menu-based, with a variety of dishes, and always at least one local favorite was included on the menu. You could always get a New York strip steak, chicken, or a vegetarian option, plus 5 or 6 different entrees, which changed each night. Substitutions were allowed with a smile, and all (except one) of the wait staff had a ready smile for each of us. They learned our coffee or tea preferences, whether we wanted bread with our meal, and whether we drank red or white wine. They spoke of their homes and families, but were very proud to be employed by Uniworld, and spoke highly of the company. Our favorite bartender, Branislov, (Branny), figured us out the first day, and he never forgot. Two beers (Becks on tap all week), and he kept our glasses full. Salty bar munchies in the afternoon, and a decadent Mozart chocolate liqueur and a B & B after dinner made us a couple of very happy campers indeed! They had every brand of liquor imaginable, plus 6 or 7 different craft beers in bottles, served cold. They switched up the brands of wine, depending on the region we were sailing through, but were always open to corking a favorite if requested. Each evening at 6:45, in the lounge before dinner, our delightful Cruise Manager Ann gave a detailed overview of the next day, which excursions would be going where, and reminders of where we would be docking, and when we would be setting sail again. We found the included excursions very well planned for the most part, with a few hiccups, but nothing earth shattering. There were a couple of popular tours (Marksburg Castle or the Bike to Boppard) that filled up quickly, so I would recommend signing up for the tours you want earlier rather than at the last minute. We did not sign up for any optional tours on board, and we were kept very busy. The first full morning on board at 9:30 am, Cruise Manger Ann presented a Cruise Overview in the lounge to detail all activities and port excursions for the week. Don't miss this presentation! It was full of information and insights you might otherwise miss out on. There was entertainment every afternoon in the lounge, either piano or the resident house musicians Greg and Margaret. After dinner, there was always music and dancing in the lounge, but we were usually too tired to enjoy it. One morning before Koblenz, a young German historian made a very interesting presentation on "Do I feel European", and shared his perspective on identity from the middle ages to modern days. The lounge also had two automated 24/7 coffee/tea/ or specialty push-button drink machines available, along with sweet snacks or pastries in the early morning. The wellbeing coach Andrei led stretching or light yoga each morning at 7 am, and there were movies in the cinema available. The World Cup matches had started, so 3 games a day were shown in the cinema. There were very few sports jackets worn by the guys, and no one felt under-dressed in a collared shirt without a tie. The ladies wore a variety from dressy pants to skirts to capris and a dressy top. I managed to get in a load of laundry done while sailing, and the machines worked well (3 washers and 3 dryers all complimentary). Complimentary washing Tide-like pods are given readily at the reception desk, but no dryer sheets if you use them. We took part in a "Sharing Dinner" onboard, a German family-style meal in L' Orangerie, where we were served mounds of sausages, kraut, ham, soup, pretzel logs, pork chops, salmon, potatoes, cauliflower, and a chocolate coma dessert plate. Wonderful experience, and limited in the number of guests, so sign up early. We also signed up for a Wheelhouse Visit with 1st Captain Menno one afternoon. This was interesting, learning how the nuts and bolts of the ship work. Maximum of 10 guests on this tour, and it was only offered this once during the week. On the last day, we came back to the ship, and found lunch in both the restaurant, and a hamburger station, which had been set up in L'Orangerie, for a change of pace. The last night's dinner was bittersweet, but delicious. Only once did I hear the words "Gentle Walking" all week. We saw some folks really struggle getting up to the sun deck, as the elevator does not go there (there is a chair lift on one side), and struggle to walk to the bus, which has to park some distance away sometimes. We're in fairly good shape for our age, and get around well, but our knees were sore from the climbs and steep stairs. We had to raft another ship once, in Breisach, and a couple of folks really struggled to walk up and down and over the other ship. In our opinion, to do this itinerary right, you need to be able to walk a half mile without resting, stand for 15-20 minutes without sitting, and climb some steep stairs as needed. All in all, it was a top-notch adventure with Uniworld, and we are already scheming to find another itinerary we like. We were offered a 5% discount on our next Uniworld cruise if we booked on board, but we just weren't ready to choose a date and itinerary, and pay right away. I wish you could just purchase a voucher, like some cruise lines offer, and redeem it at your leisure. I hope you enjoyed reading along as much as I enjoyed re-living the journey. Read Less
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