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This is only our second river cruise, but, we are total converts. We may never set foot on a "big" ship again! The staff is well-trained, attentive, genuine and personable and the ports and excursions are exquisitely well-planned and executed. We had only 88 people on our cruise. No crushing rushes or long waits to get on and off the ship. Ages ranged from a honeymoon couple in their 20's to experienced senior travelers. Age, mobility and interests are all factored in to the planned excursions. We rode bikes twice: in Chioggia and in Ferrara. Others chose not to pursue the "active touring" options. We like the bike rides with tour guides because you can see so much more; you get "off the beaten path" and can cover so much more territory than you can on foot. You can see and experience more than if you are doing a "windshield" tour in a motor coach. Uniworld arranged coveted tickets for the entire group to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper in Milan and we had a private, evening trip to St. Mark's Basilica with an expert on the art, theology and history of this magnificent architectural structure. The three-island tour to Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano was exceptionally well orchestrated, including our second exclusive wine tasting. The first was in Valpolicella where we visited the winery founded by the son of Dante Aligheiri (author of Dante's Inferno). This winery remains family owned today. Really amazing sights, sounds and tastes. On board, the Executive Chef, cooks, wait and bar staff were very professional and attentive, but never over-bearing. The quality of training is obvious! The house-keeping staff was quick, thorough and thoughtful. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on our cruise, and the housekeeping staff transformed our stateroom while we were at dinner. Very memorable! Another thing we truly love about Uniworld is the payment policy. When you've booked and paid for your cruise, you're done. Everything is included. Food, drinks, excursions, tips -- everything. There is no debating about whether or not you want that second glass of $9 wine at dinner. They just pour it. There's no struggling over whether to take the $150 excursion or the $400 excursion or whether to try to explore on your own. They have it covered. It's included, and you don't disembark signing for an additional 2 grand on your credit card. We love that, and, did the math. It's "more expensive" up front, but, we believe that for what we saw and did, and the many private experiences we enjoyed, we would have paid more -- in a far more aggravating and annoying manner (swiping that cruise card 10 times a day every time you want a drink, or trying to keep up with a separate drink card, if you purchased a package) -- than we did booking and traveling with Uniworld. Love this! All in all, this is the way to travel. Small groups. Excellent tours of important locations and sites. Sufficient free time. Exquisite meals. Great people.

Total converts to river cruising; may never go on a big ship again!

River Countess Cruise Review by JMCArmy1

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Stateroom with French Balcony
This is only our second river cruise, but, we are total converts. We may never set foot on a "big" ship again! The staff is well-trained, attentive, genuine and personable and the ports and excursions are exquisitely well-planned and executed. We had only 88 people on our cruise. No crushing rushes or long waits to get on and off the ship. Ages ranged from a honeymoon couple in their 20's to experienced senior travelers.

Age, mobility and interests are all factored in to the planned excursions. We rode bikes twice: in Chioggia and in Ferrara. Others chose not to pursue the "active touring" options. We like the bike rides with tour guides because you can see so much more; you get "off the beaten path" and can cover so much more territory than you can on foot. You can see and experience more than if you are doing a "windshield" tour in a motor coach. Uniworld arranged coveted tickets for the entire group to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper in Milan and we had a private, evening trip to St. Mark's Basilica with an expert on the art, theology and history of this magnificent architectural structure. The three-island tour to Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano was exceptionally well orchestrated, including our second exclusive wine tasting. The first was in Valpolicella where we visited the winery founded by the son of Dante Aligheiri (author of Dante's Inferno). This winery remains family owned today. Really amazing sights, sounds and tastes.

On board, the Executive Chef, cooks, wait and bar staff were very professional and attentive, but never over-bearing. The quality of training is obvious! The house-keeping staff was quick, thorough and thoughtful. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on our cruise, and the housekeeping staff transformed our stateroom while we were at dinner. Very memorable!

Another thing we truly love about Uniworld is the payment policy. When you've booked and paid for your cruise, you're done. Everything is included. Food, drinks, excursions, tips -- everything. There is no debating about whether or not you want that second glass of $9 wine at dinner. They just pour it. There's no struggling over whether to take the $150 excursion or the $400 excursion or whether to try to explore on your own. They have it covered. It's included, and you don't disembark signing for an additional 2 grand on your credit card. We love that, and, did the math. It's "more expensive" up front, but, we believe that for what we saw and did, and the many private experiences we enjoyed, we would have paid more -- in a far more aggravating and annoying manner (swiping that cruise card 10 times a day every time you want a drink, or trying to keep up with a separate drink card, if you purchased a package) -- than we did booking and traveling with Uniworld. Love this!

All in all, this is the way to travel. Small groups. Excellent tours of important locations and sites. Sufficient free time. Exquisite meals. Great people.
JMCArmy1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin 1 415
Phenomenally comfortable bed and pillows -- with a selection, in case you're picky! Love the French balcony and being able to open the giant sliding glass door, which, essentially turns your entire stateroom into a balcony! We also appreciate that the staterooms are dual-wired. We brought converters and transformers (were from the U.S.), but didn't need them. Plenty of plugs. Very nice L'Occitane amenities in the bathroom; plenty of closet space and hangars. Quite comfortable (for a ship's stateroom -- we are on a ship!).
Marco Polo Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins