River Queen Review

Classic Christmas Markets: a Lump of Coal

Review for Europe Cruise on River Queen
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Lyana F
2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

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Sail Date: Dec 2023
Cabin: Standard Stateroom

After a wonderful experience with Uniworld’s Burgundy and Provence cruise five years ago I was terribly disappointed in their performance this time around with the Classic Christmas Markets cruise. While I understand that inclement weather conditions are outside anyone’s control, Uniworld did a very poor job of contingency planning. We were provided information as to the status of our itinerary piecemeal - our questions about what their plans for us were continually answered to with “we’re working on it” - with no time to make alternative plans to account for being unable to sail due to the water level on the river being too high to navigate. Lengthy shuttle bus rides to and from our planned destinations left little time for exploring them, and some passengers were unable to withstand the long shuttle rides and were consequently unable to visit the places they had paid to see. Our captain was conspicuously absent when the cruise manager made the announcement on the fifth day of our itinerary that we would simply have to be bussed over two hours each way to and from our final two destinations back to our ship stuck at the port of embarkation, that hotel accommodations could not be arranged for us in lieu of shuttle busses, and that we would need to be shuttled all the way to our final destination, Frankfurt, to make our departure flights — meaning some of us would have to wake up in the middle of the night to make our flights in time following an hours-long shuttle bus ride. I felt I had no choice but to abandon the cruise altogether and book my own arrangements for the final two days of my stay in Germany myself just to avoid the inconvenience that Uniworld could have well prevented, had they been forthcoming with the information about ongoing weather and sailing conditions, and in a better position to accommodate us closer to the port stops that were further away.

I doubt Uniworld will compensate any of us for our trouble, and will likely maintain they delivered on their promise to take us to the destinations listed on our itinerary, however poorly that may have ended up. But I surely will never recommend them to anyone and will search elsewhere when I’m ready to book a river cruise again.

Cabin Review

Standard Stateroom

Cabins were spacious and well-appointed.

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