My husband and I wanted a shorter (not 14 night) cruise and had heard how lovely the Seine cruise and Normandy beaches were. Uniworld made it a positive experience from beginning to end. The recent flooding made it impossible to leave from Paris as originally scheduled. We flew into Charles de Gaulle from Portugal and were met by a Uniworld representative and a driver. The private car got us to the ship in Rouen shortly before sailing. This top-notch treatment was maintained throughout the cruise and beyond disembarkation. The River Baroness is a beautiful ship; ALL the staff were courteous, friendly, and helpful! We had been upgraded to a Category 1 cabin - not roomy, but beautiful, with a VERY comfortable bed and several niceties (drinking water, fresh fruit, candies,...). Our cabin was kept in tip-top shape - so welcoming after an excursion! In the dining room and lounge, as well as up on deck, the service was friendly, attentive, and impeccable. Meals were delicious and varied! As for entertainment, the staff included an excellent keyboard player whose music we enjoyed before and after dinner in the lounge. On two separate nights, acts (duos) were brought on board - both very good and very entertaining.
Due to the high water in the Seine, the itinerary had to be rearranged a bit, but we hardly noticed and got to do everything (except one) that we had expected. Our guides throughout were not only very informative, but a lot of fun as well. Medieval history, religious history, World War II history, art history, the Kings Louis were interwoven with breathtaking scenery of the French countryside. Sailing up the Seine on sunny afternoons would have been worth the trip! Gorgeous! Uniworld bent over backward trying to make up for the effects of the flooding, to ensure that our experience was as pleasantly memorable as possible. (We did not take advantage of the gym or fitness classes that were offered.)
A few days before the cruise was over, our cruise director Piet informed us that our flight home on Air France would be affected by the strike and asked if he could book us on a different flight. He did so, and Uniworld put us up at the Marriott Opera Ambassador hotel for a night and took care of all transportation. It is this first class treatment that brought us back to Uniworld (Amsterdam to Vienna cruise 3 years ago) and has us already planning our next river cruise with them.
Beautiful, comfortable, clean, welcoming!
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