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S.S. Maria Theresa Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
55 reviews

First river cruise, last one with Uniworld

Review for S.S. Maria Theresa to Europe
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2018
Cabin: Stateroom with French Balcony
Traveled with children

We chose the Enchanting Danube cruise mainly because my husband wanted a trip for his 50th birthday which included a river cruise in Germany and the Neuschwanstein castle. Uniworld offered both, plus a Generations cruise for these areas so that our 13 year old son could have other kids on the ship to play with. We opted to arrive a day early to spend extra time in Munich. The hotel which Uniworld selected was Roomers. While the hotel was obviously fairly new, clean and had great staff, there were a lot of down sides. First, it was nowhere NEAR the center of town. That was very inconvenient unless you enjoy walking for an hour to get to the main part of the city. Second, the beds were hard and very uncomfortable. The hallways and elevators were very dark and there were a lot of mirrors. We found it a bit creepy, actually. The only restaurant at the hotel was very upscale Asian food with a strict dress code. Not the place to go after a long day seeing the sights. Now to our biggest disappointment. As I said earlier, our MAIN reason for choosing this cruise was for the castle. At the briefing the night before the trip started, we were informed of the land itinerary. And there was NO mention of the Neuschwanstein castle! When I inquired in the session about the castle option, I was told that Uniworld had decided to drop that option from the itinerary as they rarely had enough people who wished to go. There were 15 people in the room that day who had planned on going to the castle. I told her that I had inquired 4 times on the phone to Uniworld to make sure that the castle was still offered, and was told it was. The Uniworld representative was quick to point out that Uniworld has the right to drop any option and has no liability. I told her that I understood that, but with NO warning? I could have made our own arrangements if I'd had even a couple of days notice. The Uniworld rep stated that Greyline Tours offered the castle trip and the front desk of the hotel could help. So, my husband and I went immediately to the front desk. Greyline was, of course, completely booked for the next day. Our LAST day in Munich. We spent hours trying to find other options. By 10pm we had to give up. All the tickets were sold out for the castle tours. My husband had that castle on his bucket list for decades. And for him, THAT was the highlight of the trip. And now that was off the table.

Next we went to Passau, a lovely city. We boarded the Maria Theresa there. We were brought right to the ship, and embarkation and settling in was easy and delightful. Lunch was being served so we could have a leisurely lunch while our luggage was brought to the room. The ship is lovely. Very ornate, gilt and mirrors, etc. The beds were outrageously comfortable. The staff, every single one of them, were helpful and cheerful. The food was a bit of a let down for us. It certainly wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as the reviews led us to believe. The desserts were ok. Not as good as some I had in local bakeries. There weren't enough German food options, which is what I was hoping for. I wanted sausages, cheeses, dumpling variations, schnitzels with various sauces, etc. And while there were a few items, not nearly what I would expect for a German cruise. We did enjoy the open air balcony in the room very much. Lovely touches included fresh chocolates in the room and 2 large glass bottles of water with the turndown service every evening. The activities ranged from amazing (a Mozart concert with opera singers in a small, intimate venue in Vienna, a city tour of Bratislava (a hidden gem!) and Budapest), to bleh (a tour of the church where Maria married Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music in the film took WAY too much time in Salzburg). This was a Generations Cruise, so they had activities for the children. There were about 30 children, I think, onboard. And the majority were between 11-15 years old. And one option was to …..draw and color in a monastery garden. Really? The activity said : Painting in the monastery garden. I thought that sounded great. My son and I could paint on a canvas in a wonderful spot, maybe learn a technique. But..no. Drawing and coloring. There were many bike riding options offered, but most of them were over 15 km. And that was a bit much for our 13 year old to do. And a parent would need to go with our son on any excursions. Adventures by Disney had many excursions for the children to do, AND had dedicated guides with them so the adults could do a different excursion. I had expected something similar, so that was disappointing. On the next to last day they finally offered some activities our son enjoyed. A mixology class onboard where the children could create their own Mocktails. And then a scavenger hunt. There was a pool onboard, but it was VERY small. You certainly couldn't actually swim in it. A cinema room was on the lower deck. A small room with seating for maybe 20, but that became the kids room during this cruise. There was a nice Viennese salon on the lower deck where a hot dog bar, television and a variety of cookies and cakes were always available. The salon also had a great self serve machine for macchiatos, espresso, coffee and hot chocolate. I really enjoyed that space. Our son, who tried the hot dog bar, said the hot dogs were good, but the buns, even when heated, were hard. There was a self serve washer and dryer as well. I didn't use it, but many of the passengers did. Summary: The hotel was not enjoyable. The ship was beautiful. The food was average. The staff was wonderful. The shore excursions were hit or miss. The room was excellent. Canceling a HIGHLIGHT of the tour with NO notice was inexcusable. We would not travel with Uniworld again. The prices were very high and if the experience matched it, my review would have been very different.

Cabin Review

Stateroom with French Balcony

Cabin 3

The cabin was wonderful. The open air balcony was perfect. We could sit in our pajamas and talk about our day while inside our room, and still enjoy the sights and sounds of the river. The room was very clean. Having a glass jar filled with little chocolates and fresh water every evening was wonderful. We had lots of closet and drawer space. The rain shower was fun. Having heated floors and towel racks was a treat! And the beds! Seriously, we have traveled a great deal, and we have never had such a comfortable bed and soft, decadent bedding. The thermostat was adjustable, along with the lights, all from the bed. And having the mirror become a television with the push of the button was also a treat. My family and I watched many of the free movies offered after we went to bed in the evenings.

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