3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall excellent service. Boarding was very smooth. we were the first to board. Rooms were smaller than other Uniworld boats. We were on the lower level. this boat had a wider wall than other boats. The boat did have a problem with ... Read More
Overall excellent service. Boarding was very smooth. we were the first to board. Rooms were smaller than other Uniworld boats. We were on the lower level. this boat had a wider wall than other boats. The boat did have a problem with a lack of hot water. cold showers were not pleasant. The water problem did seem to get better later in the cruise, but only for short showers. Food service started a little rough. I was served raw salmon, and my wife was served raw chicken. I think it took a little while for the cooks to get used to the ovens. The food overall was very good. The lunches were outstanding. Uniworld offers local foods, and the chef did a great job with them. The only other misstep was during a flaming salmon presentation. The fire unexpectedly jumped and caught two passengers on fire. one was singed, the other had the presence of mind to roll on the ground and escaped with minor injuries. The restaurant staff was fantastic. the really anticipated your needs. Service was always prompt and with a smile. Problems were handled very well. Bar staff was also very good. they remembered what you liked. The only drawback was Uniworld did not include the same high quality drinks as part of the all inclusive. Many other passengers and myself were surprised to find a 9 euro fee for Makers Mark. The wines and port served at dinner and in the bar were surprisingly good. Excursions were changed because of maintenance on a river lock. This changed our itinerary. Overall I thought Uniworld did a good job redoing our ports. Our favorite excursion was dinner at a winery. the owner was a real character. The Sandman port tour would have been better if more time was added to enjoy the grounds. Front desk staff were mostly outstanding. One new person was not up to speed yet, but was very friendly. Lounge entertainer was better than other Uniworld boats. the additional entertainers were ok. My favorite part was cruising by the vinyards. The landscape was beautiful.This is not a high activity cruise. It is a great cruse for someone who wants to relax and enjoy some nice wines Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and ... Read More
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and having 3 days to explore the Portuguese capital city and acclimate to the time change was very well-planned. The Corinthia Hotel was outstanding and their included breakfast buffet was simply amazing. Our Uniworld hosts and tour guides were very impressive, experienced, friendly and helpful at every opportunity. Once we were transferred to Porto to board the Queen Isabel and embark on our tour of the Douro River Valley, we were once again very impressed with the ship and especially the staff members. Without exception, everyone we interacted with were overwhelmingly helpful and focused on quality guest service. Being on a small boutique cruise ship offered the opportunity to meet and interact with everyone onboard. We appreciated the personal interaction and familiarity we developed with the crew members. By the second day onboard, many were already greeting us by name! Simply amazing. Each day offered us different engaging adventures that were well-planned and enjoyable at every port of call. The onboard dining was simply outstanding and the entire dining room staff was always focused on providing great service to all guests. We also were amazed at the lounge staff, especially our favorite bartender, Alexandra. She was wonderful and by the end of the cruise, we felt as if we'd made a new friend! Ours was the final cruise of the 2018 season and we were consistently impressed with the pleasant interactions we experienced with everyone onboard and the friendly service we received, usually accompanied by a bright smile. Thanks to the entire staff and crew of the Queen Isabel for a relaxing and memorable vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different ... Read More
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different venue....the makeup of the Seine vs the Douro but a lot of it was just a poorly orchestrated itinerary. As I’m sure you’re aware, unlike the Seine, the river boats can’t cruise the Douro at night which probably presents some logistical issues. That said, as a more upscale provider, I would have expected UniWorld to have figured out how to compensate and address this. The other issue is that while the Douro is lovely and the scenery beautiful, there isn’t tons to do. Unlike the Seine, there are few cute little villages (except Porto) to explore along its banks so understandably, every sight or at least most, we were bused to. However, they did these bus rides/tours in the morning which meant rising at 6/6:30 to dress and get breakfast so we could be on the bus usually by 8:30 (one morning may have been 9). Then they’d get us back on the bus and back on the boat midday for lunch and an afternoon of sailing. Nothing of real substance to do except drink (btw the wine is delicious!). I should note that one day was a full day trip to Salamanca so of course we had to be up and out early but the others were half day excursions. If memory serves me, 3 of those morning / half day excursions involved wine tastings! Really....at 10am!!!!! Had they flipped the schedule and allowed for more leisurely mornings to eat breakfast and watch the countryside go by, the whole experience would have been more enjoyable and relaxing. We finished the cruise depleted and exhausted! Two other points. Lisbon. They put us up at the Corinthia Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The hotel was fine but the location made it difficult to get out and easily enjoy the city. On the return we stayed in the heart of the city (unfortunately it was only for one night). How much more delightful our Lisbon experience would have been had we been there for 3 days at the front end! I’m not sure if other tour companies offer a more centrally located hotel. If this is typical then I would urge you to suggest that people make their own hotel arrangements in Lisbon so they can take advantage of the city. There are plenty of local guides and a hop on hop off bus to get an overview of the city and then people can get out on their own and explore. The Douro is very dependent on the weather. Our week was cloudy, cold and rainy. The week before was lovely. But since there is so little to do, it’s extra important to have good weather. I wouldn't book beyond mid October. The food was inconsistent so disappointing. The buffet food at lunch was not always hot. Ama had a few things you could order from the kitchen, such as pasta, that came out hot. Uniworld was only buffet and carving station. Seafood was usually over cooked. They didn’t have some Portuguese specialties like shrimp in garlic or large prawns. Or even lobster. I expected this on a luxury line. It did seem like they were serving less expensive foods. The pork tenderloin the first night was excellent. The rest of the dinners were not memorable. Red Wines were excellent even though they were pretty inexpensive (we looked In stores). Our waiter, we had the same table all week, was outstanding. The Sandeman trip was a highlight - beautiful ride up. Would recommend the duo the last night in Porto be put on the first night in Porto - they we’re outstanding. Kirsten, the cruise director, was ok but a little misleading on what a disabled person could do. Also, the wine guy who explained the wine was worthless. It didn’t really tell us anything so I’d just eliminate that part. I would also recommend that Uniworld send more information in advance of the cruise. We skipped the dinner at the local winery, because we didn’t want the bus ride in the dark, or more cabbage soup. The dinner on the ship that night was mediocre. People said the winery dinner was not very good but the evening was fun. Coimbra was lovely, even though it poured. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised with Uniworld two other times on the Danube mostly with some time on the Main River This cruise was quiet with only a limited number of excursions compared to the other cruises we took with Uniworld Embarkation and ... Read More
We have cruised with Uniworld two other times on the Danube mostly with some time on the Main River This cruise was quiet with only a limited number of excursions compared to the other cruises we took with Uniworld Embarkation and disembarks was smooth and very nice The layout of the boat was fine but the « fitness « room was so tiny and crowded that I was lucky no one ever wanted to use it when I was there. The lounge was very nice but we missed having a library or game room for the evening hours. To follow are my suggestions to make the experience better for future cruise guests I am a vegetarian and when we made our reservation we told everyone. When we embarked one of the chefs or sous chefs should have spent 5 Minutes with me to see my parameters for food choices, as was done on previous cruises. The breakfast and lunch buffets were spectacular l always found good food to eat with enough cheese and other options for protein intake. Dinner fell short on that issue. The « eat light » or vegetarian options were not what I would consider choices for myself. So the first two nights I asked for different vegetables so I had food that I enjoyed and met my needs. These requests eere met with a lack of understanding of what I needed to eat but we’re able to accommodate me. We finally found an incredible waiter,Armindo, who talked to me about what I liked to eat and always helped prepare good nutritious food for me. After meeting him we reserved a table to be in his area and all was good. This issue could have been avoided if the chef just spent 5 Minutes with me to understand what I could eat. Fine dining on River cruises is a very important part of the trip, so please for future passengers make a little effort for those people with special food requirements before the first dinner As for shore excursions, I know there is limited things to see and do as in the Douro valley it is all about Port and wine. Which was fine. The excursion to Salamanca was a waste of time for us. We spent as much time riding back and forth on the bus as we did there. The comfort break was helpful for using the bathrooms but we did not need coffee, tea, and pastries as we just finished breakfast two hours before this stop. If we had not wasted time being fed again we could have spent more time in the town. So for future guests think hard about this trip. It Takes a long getting there and you have limited time to explore the city although the cathedrals were lovely to see but travelers need to weigh travel time verses time in Salamanca The other tours were mostly excellent. The Douro museum and the vineyard visit with dinner were great as was the archeological hike and e bike to the ocean. Since the boat could not travel at night we did spend a lot of time “relaxing” while we cruised the Douro. So if you want a quiet relaxing cruise this is for you. The reception staff excellent especially Pelipe All staff excellent as was service on board. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Just completed the Douro River Cruise. Would not recommend based on level of service, weak excursions and nightly double and triple parked boats at the respective docks. Fuel smell, noise and overall commotion was distracting from the ... Read More
Just completed the Douro River Cruise. Would not recommend based on level of service, weak excursions and nightly double and triple parked boats at the respective docks. Fuel smell, noise and overall commotion was distracting from the expected advertised trip. Over paid and will not recommend nor return based on a total lack of interest from Uniworld. We paid for balcony and were at times less than 2 feet from adjacent boats. Just very disappointing based on all the advertising. This will be last trip for us on Uniworld based on their lack of interest in the failures with regard to expectations. Never seen triple parking before. Had to walk through 2 other boats to get to ours when returning to the boat. Shore excursions were like a drill when they said we had 20 min to shop and use restrooms. Depending onlines you could be waiting in line for 15 min. Just not worth the price............... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as well as Uniworld and were assured that all our concerns had been addressed and that Uniworld had trained the Portuguese crew and that it was not their ship but leased it out Let’s start by being positive,the Portuguese staff were great and all spoke English and went out of their way to please you ,unfortunately as I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years doesn’t matter how great you are if there are not enough of you it’s impossible to give the level of service demanded on what is meant to be a 5 star crise The actual boat ,the cabins and itinerary were also very good but because ships are not allowed to travel at night it’s a lot of wasted time Now for the bad ,Uniworld staff on board pretended to be sympathetic to all your needs but always came back to you with the same line our head office says we can’t give you what was promised but will accommodate you to the best we can ie as our flight was outside there time allotment they would order us a taxi of which we would have to pay Secondly our power in our room blew up my wife’s hairdryer and my shaver blew We used the same transformer in Lisbon and it worked great ,was told it was our issue and said I could buy some stuff in the shop ,no way after making a stink they brought me some disposable razors and some shaving cream Next our neighbors cabin was leaking dark brown sewage out of her toilet which we could smell The food at best was average we were told we would be getting fresh local foods especially fish , haha we had fish 2 times and once it was about 1by 2 and we did get sardines at our last lunch Breakfast and lunch were good but dinners were to many courses (my opinion less choices and more quality ) would be best served .once again staff tried everything to accommodate us by making special treats to try and compensate We also go sick after the second day both vomiting and diarrhea and learn that many other passengers suffered same fate Lastly some of the excursions we had especially the last dinner outing to a winery was just terrible,the food inedible We met many other guests on board who had been other Uniworld crises from Amsterdam and other ports that were fantastic,I guess this one is there biggest money maker but if the want my business back they will need to really make me an offer I could not refuse Planing a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and heard similar issues as they don’t own boat or have control of staff Might have to look into other lines Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the Uniworld tour on the Douro River in Portugal because we were looking for another adventure with Uniworld. Three years ago we did a river cruise with Uniworld in France and greatly enjoyed it. When we chose this adventure we ... Read More
We chose the Uniworld tour on the Douro River in Portugal because we were looking for another adventure with Uniworld. Three years ago we did a river cruise with Uniworld in France and greatly enjoyed it. When we chose this adventure we knew very little about Portugal. Our cruise started in Lisbon and this included not only a guided tour of Lisbon but also a day trip to Sintra and Queluz, two very different and interesting castles presenting a very interesting contrast. On our way by bus from Lisbon to Porto we stopped in Coimbra for a tour of the library. Once in Porto we were immediately welcomed aboard the ship and were presented a short introductory talk. When we reached our cabins our luggage was already there. The days were a very comfortable combination of time sailing through the lovely rural scenery and excursions to wineries and other points of interest. Our guides were always knowledgeable and friendly. The dining room was very attractive and always a large array of choices at the breakfast and lunch buffets. Dinner was a little more formal and the menu included an ample number of choices. Some local specialties. Uniworld really takes care of their passengers. Everything is included and it is all topnotch. Their staff members are friendly, and work at making sure their guests are happy. I highly reccomend traveling with Uniworld. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city ... Read More
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city tour in am and on own in PM (too few picked extra cost optional). Sat was on own or optional extra cost guided tour. Sun transforms to visit with stop at Coimbra Univ. Then finally on ship at Cais Gai. Trip ok. Problem for me is other than visits to Port vineyards and hearing about port wine, there didn't seem much of interest on the Douro. Maybe that is why the start in Lisboa and day trip to Salamanca. And after getting to Salamanca we were mostly by ourselves. Memorable events were the visit to the Archeolgical site at Coa (NOT for folks with mobility issues), going through the Carrapatelo dam (2nd upriver from Porto) the deepest in Europe and "Mr Bean" at the dinner at the Enoteca da Avessada. The most memorable was an accident. The ship was docked at Cais Gai the evening of June 23 before Sai Joao day. Great fire work display at midnight right in front of us from boats in midriver and the bridge. Unlike others I really like the diff Portuguese food. And one could always ask for e.g. the striploin steak and fries etc from the alt menu. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have taken several European river cruises but had never been to Portugal or on Uniworld. Trip started on land in Lisbon. The Corinthia Hotel was excellent. Our U host recommended a walk to tour the Gulbenkian Museum for our spare time. ... Read More
Have taken several European river cruises but had never been to Portugal or on Uniworld. Trip started on land in Lisbon. The Corinthia Hotel was excellent. Our U host recommended a walk to tour the Gulbenkian Museum for our spare time. Outstanding art collection including masters Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, etc. Next day we opted for an optional tour to the National Palace, Sintra and another palace and the seaside town of Cascais. Worth taking. Then the journey to Porto to meet our ship. Stopped to have a nice Portugal family country style lunch at a restaurant frequented by 3 other tours. No criticism; loved the lunch. Then onto the old University of Coimbra, its St Michaels chapel and the fascinating old library. Like all ships on the Douro river the Queen Isabel is by necessity undersized. Our cabin was necessarily very small but somehow the shower was big enough. One criticism of Uniworld's Queen Isabel was that the lounge was dark and they kept shades drawn too much of the day. I missed the open, all windows lounge on Viking. A small ship size issue was only one public bathroom. Made departure day after breakfast coffee problematic as your rooms are unavailable after 8 AM. Suggest they leave the 2 adjacent to lobby cabins open to the public at departure and then clean them last. Loved Porto and our tour of the city. Train station with blue Portugese tiles was interesting. Meals were excellent. Lunch buffets were outstanding in variety and quality. Service was timely and effective. Some swelling of ankles from all the salt used in Portuguese cooking. My favorite tour was the Côa Valley Archaeological Park visit. Some climbing down & up but fine for folks without mobility issues. Pictures of various animals from 20,000 to 30,000 years ago carved into the rocks. Beautiful new museum. The Douro river is surrounded by green. Mostly wineries but some wild areas. Very pleasing scenery vs industrialized European rivers. Loved the views. A very pretty cruise. I'd gladly book another cruise on Uniworld. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We've done many Uniworld trips and now are pretty much out of European rivers to explore with them. Our adventure began in Madrid (actually we ended a Tauck tour in Madrid the previous day) and we visited a number of nearby sites, ... Read More
We've done many Uniworld trips and now are pretty much out of European rivers to explore with them. Our adventure began in Madrid (actually we ended a Tauck tour in Madrid the previous day) and we visited a number of nearby sites, winding up in Portugal to board the Isabel which was very nice, not of the SS class for sure but similar to their non-SS boats. It's not a Uniworld owned boat nor is most of the staff Uniworld people, but without exception they were excellent. The food was terrific, the stateroom comfortable and cozy and efficient. The tours were all very good to excellent. The Douro river is one of the, if not the most scenic rivers we've been on. That alone would bring us back to Portugal. We wound up in Porto and then on down to Lisbon for a couple of days. One thing - among many - that we really like about Uniworld is that it's truly all inclusive: the tours, the wine/beverages, and so on...you're not getting badgered to buy this internet package, that dining plan, this beverage package, these shore excursions, and so on. We really love Uniworld. Read Less
Queen Isabel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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