53 Uniworld Queen Isabel Cruise Reviews

Cabin is small but set up with plenty of storage suitcases fit under the bed and you can access the internet on the tv in your room-service was very good and food was good .The bar is open after dinner and no charge in fact everything is ... Read More
Cabin is small but set up with plenty of storage suitcases fit under the bed and you can access the internet on the tv in your room-service was very good and food was good .The bar is open after dinner and no charge in fact everything is included tips etc of course you pay for this in the price but it is nice not to be nickel and dimed on every tour etc.It is winery and castles and very low keyed but we enjoyed it very relaxing .One thing that I noticed from the other river tours(Budapest France)is that people do not dress up at all in fact even at the captains dinner only about 6 men wore Jackets.(a lot of times shorts were worn!)On this tour we were met at the airport driven to the hotel in Lisbon with no waiting checked in by a rep from uniworld get together that night about the tour.I have been on a lot of tours and this was a nice set up also when tour was over they drove us to airport and walked us to the airline check-in and to the security check-in which was nice esp if you have not been in this airport before-we had a very nice time Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My wife and I just returned from our fourth Uniworld trip in the past two years and we have our fifth Uniworld trip already booked for this September. We have become frequent and loyal Uniworld customers because of the extraordinary ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our fourth Uniworld trip in the past two years and we have our fifth Uniworld trip already booked for this September. We have become frequent and loyal Uniworld customers because of the extraordinary quality, service, and care we have experienced on earlier trips. This cruise on the Douro River was a different story entirely. This is not a Uniworld-owned ship--a fact that is not at all clear unless you read the very tiny print at the back of the catalogue. In fact, the ship is owned by a local Portuguese company, Douro Azul, and there is only one Uniworld employee on the entire boat. The Queen Isabel itself has a gloss of Uniworld decorating about it, and it flies a Uniworld flag at its bow, but it is by no means equal in quality to the Uniworld-owned ships we have enjoyed before. The failings of this ship and its staff are far too numerous to detail, but the most annoying of all was that we could hear every single time a toilet flushed on every floor above us (we were on the bottom deck, so that's a lot of toilets!). Between 10 and 11 in the evening we would hear as many as 6 flushes per minute (I counted!). The noise was so loud that the cruise manager moved us to another room, where the flushes could still be heard but not quite as loudly. The flushes were also clearly audible in the hallway outside the rooms. Who designed this ship?! I have a bad neck and the pillows on the bed were so soft that I couldn't get the necessary support for my neck. Since Uniworld boasts in its catalogue that “you always have your choice of pillow options to ensure the most restful sleep,” I asked the manager for a firmer pillow. He had none, but said he could go ashore the next day and buy me one if I could tell him what I wanted. Uniworld promises in its catalogue: “We’ve crafted a culinary program for the most discerning of palates. . . .” Not on this ship! Dinner the first night set the pattern for the week--food that was, on the whole, mediocre to inedible. The first night my beef was nothing but fat and gristle--and it was accompanied by frozen mixed vegetables! Service was rushed and the wait staff was inadequately trained, lacking the professionalism we have experienced with wait staff on other Uniworld ships In short, this is not a Uniworld ship and it is not a Uniworld operation. Despite Uniworld’s promise, you will not have a “Six-Star Experience” on the River Isabel. You’ll get a Douro Azul experience, which is something quite different. What astonishes me is that Uniworld states in its catalogue: “Unlike many other river cruise lines who use third-parties to cater their onboard operations, Uniworld handles ALL aspects of our onboard operations—hospitality, culinary, and nautical.” This is flatly wrong with regard to the River Isabel. It is owned and entirely operated by a third party—Douro Azul. Since there is only one Uniworld employee on the ship with the rest of the staff—and the ship itself—owned and operated by Douro Azul, I think it’s fair to compare the price of the 7-night Douro River cruise on the River Isabel with the other Douro Azul-owned ships that take visitors on the identical trip (same length, same stops, same excursions). Douro Azul's Douro Spirit and Douro Cruiser both offer the 7-night trip. The base price ranges from 895 to 925 Euros. Douro Azul charges extra for the excursions—but if you include those in the price and convert to dollars (at 1 to 1.36), you get a total price for the trip on the two Douro Azul ships of $1,535 to $1,576 respectively. Uniworld charges from $$3,849 to $4,499 base price for the same cruise on their Douro Azul-owned and operated ship—not a bad markup for doing a little decorating on the ship and adding a single Uniworld employee to the voyage! Even if Uniworld could get Douro Azul to get its act together, I wouldn’t recommend this trip to anyone who is familiar with Uniworld quality. As long as the River Isabel is owned and operated by Douro Azul, it will never match the quality of a Uniworld-owned and operated ship. It's that "third-party" operator problem that Uniworld says in its catalogue that it doesn't do (but, in fact, does do on this ship). I also believe Uniworld should make it clear in their catalogue that this trip will not meet the standards touted in their catalogue. If you believe you will be getting Uniworld’s “Six-Star Experience” on the River Isabel you will be disappointed and for Uniworld to offer this trip with the suggestion that you will receive that level of service amounts to little more than “bait and switch.”   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We just returned from the Douro River Cruise with Uniworld and we would give this cruise 5 stars if we could! First of all, we flew into Lisbon and spent 3 nights in the Tiara Hotel, which we thought was beautiful. The local coordinator ... Read More
We just returned from the Douro River Cruise with Uniworld and we would give this cruise 5 stars if we could! First of all, we flew into Lisbon and spent 3 nights in the Tiara Hotel, which we thought was beautiful. The local coordinator Petra and her assistant Isabell were our guides for Lisbon and from Lisbon to the ship. We opted to take the optional tour to Sintra the second day and would highly recommend it. We learned the first night that our ship was unable to reach Porto for us to board because the lock the ship had to travel through to get there was having a "small problem", so the day from Lisbon to the ship we were on the bus an hour longer than it would have been and that was a long day, but Uniworld gave everyone on board $250 credit for any future river cruise through 2016 for any inconvenience. The cabins are small because the locks are smaller that the other European rivers. The ships can only travel from port to port during the day and that provides a great opportunity to see the beautiful countryside. The ride to Salamanca was 2 hours each way, but again - the scenery is beautiful. The Flamenco show was terrific. Another highlight was dinner at Quinta Da Avessada. Uniworld is "all inclusive" and they mean what they say. You are not charged for any alcohol you order during the day, for lunch or for dinner. After dinner, when you go to the lounge to listen to the music, they meet you at the door with a nice glass of Port. If there are any negatives to speak of - the small cabins would be one (but again that is due to the size of the locks). We had a "French Balcony" which is not a "French Balcony" but a patio door. The dining room in the evenings when everyone is having dinner is extremely noisy due to the low ceilings. Breakfast and lunch buffets were very good with many choices, but the evening meals did not live up to Uniworld's standards. Plus one evening after a long day of touring - the meal was another buffet. Our opinion is that all evening meals should be sit down meals. The Douro is now our new favorite river in Europe. Portugal is beautiful, the people are lovely and we would highly recommend this river cruise. Our thoughts were that after the word gets out - this itinerary will be high on everyone's Bucket List. This is our 4th river cruise and second one with Uniworld. Cole   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Queen Isabel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 2.0 2.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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