We just returned from our first river cruise experience, a Uniworld Danube river cruise from Passau, Gernany to Budapest, Hungary and were pleasantly surprised at every level. A little background. We're a couple relatively experienced in European travel (land and sea), with a few large ship (One Royal Carribean, several Princess and one Celebrity) and one small ship (Windstar) cruises under our belt. We enjoy an upscale experience, lesirely iteneraries, new experiences and fine dining. We dislike crowds, buses and regimentation. We joined a group of friends on a fall river cruise, unsure if we would like the intimate (? claustrophobic) nature of a river boat and the late fall schedule. We were pleasantly surprised by both. Uniworld in general and the River Beatrice were wonderful. The all-inclusive pricing of Uniworld was the real deal. ALL meals, beverages (nonalcoholic such as a wide selection of teas and coffees, and alcoholic such as a selection of regional red and white wines, regional beers and reasonable spirits - my choice was a fine Oban single malt), daily land tours with excellent guides, wireless headsets and roomy buses when needed (including museum admissions), laundry (daily with the suite - once weekly if standard stateroom) and gratuities were really included. Extra fee-bases options were avaiable - usually one optional daily tour (we took an afernoon bike tour and an extra excursion to Bratislava). I think our total bill for both was less than $150. We never felt the need to request optional wines or beverages - the "house" selections were just too good. That was it! I've never closed out a cruise account for a fraction of that amount. We had a "suite" (really a large stateroom) with ample room for queen four poster bed (cabin 405), room for two large arm chairs, ottoman and full width dresser with stocked minibar, daily bottle of wine, daily fruits/treats - all included. The plush fabric wallpaper, attractive drapes and down comforter made for an extraordinarily quiet and elegant room. Bedding was excellent. The bath was comfortable with an adequate shower and two 110v outlets ( two others were in the stateroom proper). The suite included a "butler" whom we felt little need to call. Decor throughout the two story"atrium" main foyer, large dining room, and two lounges was excellent. All maitenance/housekeeping was above reproach. Meals were very good to excellent, with beautiful plating and good service. Lounge entertainment was usually a pianist and singer, with a couple of evenings of "special" entertainment that were surprisingly good - e.g. a Hungarian combo and native dance troup. The end of October fall weather was cool (usually 50-55 F. days, 40's evenings), sometimes cloudy but fortunately never rainy (luck I suspect). The downsides of traveling this late in the season were that the short days meant we missed some river vistas while cruising (about half the time we sailed in the afternoon, half after 5 pm, with dark around 6 pm) and we really couldn't enjoy the expansive and well-furnished top deck. If we sail this region in the fall again, I'd chose to go late September or early October.
All in all a "5 star" experience!
Four poster queen that can't be separated - perfect for us. Overall an exquisite stateroom.