While my husband and I have sailed on many ocean cruises, this would be our first river cruise. Through our travel agent, we and another couple booked the cruise including air. We also added an extra four days in Salzburg, Austria at the end of the cruise, and let Uniworld arrange the whole package. This arrangement worked well and all of our flights, hotel and transfers met or exceeded our expectations. Only downside is that we did not get to choose our own airline seating and were seated in the center section - on an aisle, however. We were even upgraded from a train connection to a private vehicle transfer from where the cruise ended in Passau, Germany, to Salzburg.
We flew from Portland, Oregon on Lufthansa direct to Frankfurt, Germany. Long flight, however two pretty good meals and movies. Lufthansa seats amazingly are fairly comfortable in the upright position and have headrests with adjustable sides to cradle your head. Four hour layover in Frankfurt and on to Budapest, Hungary to board our ship.
We were met in Budapest at baggage claim by a Uniworld rep and bussed to the ship. The River Baroness is long and low - two decks plus a sun deck (partially covered) on top. About 120 passengers and 37 crew. We got to know everybody! So...we and our bags were loaded onto the ship by crew and we were welcomed and introduced to our (very compact) cabin. Since, on this ship, all rooms are exactly the same except for location, we chose the lowest category for the price savings. It was fine and I would do it again. At first I wondered how we could possibly fit everything in, however the rooms were very well appointed and we soon were unpacked and felt right at home. European duvets on the beds, which we loved. Even though the bed was a queen, we each had our own duvet. I should say that there is a safe in each room. Also a hair dryer. Neither my friend nor I could get our electrical converters to work with our curling irons, or our electrical styling brushes. Therefore we both had to get creative with the hair dryer. There is also one 110 volt plugin for shavers - which also works for camera battery chargers.