A River Cruise was on my bucket list. What got my attention was the FREE air included, not to mention all drinks, taxes, tips, tours, transfers, etc. It was a value that couldn't be passed up. I have been on 50 ships over the last 30 years. I have never seen a level of this excellence with a crew. Everyone had a smile on their face, and were friendly and more than willing to get you anything you needed. Even it it wasn't their specific job. What this told me was this has got to be a crew that loves what they do and is treated well by the captain and the management. Speaking of the Captain.... Unlike most ships I have sailed, the captain makes an appearance at the Captain's reception then you never see him again. Not so aboard the River Empress! He could be seen at meal times in line with the guests, saying hello to people and his staff. I truly felt like i was spending a week with family. I loved the fact that if you were in the lounge and you needed to run back to your room, it took 2 minutes. You didn't have to navigate elevators and floors of crowds.
The small ships make you feel like you are on a private small exclusive group. I will certainly make it a point to travel on Uniworld again.