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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in ... Read More
Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in the swells provided by other traffic so the boat rocked around a lot which is not what happens on actual river cruises. Some of the shore trips were OK but most were not. They started early and there was no plan B for the extreme heat or if it rained. Two of the shore trips were on buses for at hour to hour and a half and we were shown a market and a church and then given "free time" for between 1.5 to 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and no help in finding shelter. On one occasion people were told if it was too hot to walk the 20 minutes back to the bus they would get them a taxi which would cost them. It is quite usual for these cruises to have bus trips but our experience has been that the guides stay with the group unless people choose to "do their own thing" and that lunch has in the past been included. In this case it was "come back to this point after lunch" with no idea where was a good place to eat and if there were any air-conditioned cafes. I am sure some people want to shop all the time but most of us did not so the long free time was annoying. In the advertising nobody tell you that you will have to get off the boat twice while they move the boat. This occurs when the boat moves from the Venice Lagoon to the Po River and you then rejoin the boat at an isolated dock and proceed up the river for a couple of hours and dock at another isolated dock in an area full of mosquitos. The area you cruise is basically swamp with nothing much to see but river is apparently navigable for 100 miles up to a town called Polesella. It could have been that the river was too low for us to go too far but nothing was said at the time. I believe we only went to the end of the Po so they could call it a river cruise. The rest of the time the cruise involved moving from one wharf to another which took half an hour, sitting at the dock, a nice cruise up the lagoon for a couple of hours and then back to the wharf and then the short cruise up the Po. The rest of the time the ship did not move and we were transported by water taxis and a hired launch. Three of the tours were worthwhile. The two trips to St Marco, particularly the evening tour of the basilica and the optional tour of the Galleria and the launch trip to the island of Burano although the latter involved 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and find your own lunch and no instructions of which cafes were good. We would definitely not go again and would advise people that if they wanted to see Venice they would be better off taking a tour which was based at a hotel and taking water taxis and the like to get around the lagoon. Give the mosquito infested Po a miss. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as well as Uniworld and were assured that all our concerns had been addressed and that Uniworld had trained the Portuguese crew and that it was not their ship but leased it out Let’s start by being positive,the Portuguese staff were great and all spoke English and went out of their way to please you ,unfortunately as I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years doesn’t matter how great you are if there are not enough of you it’s impossible to give the level of service demanded on what is meant to be a 5 star crise The actual boat ,the cabins and itinerary were also very good but because ships are not allowed to travel at night it’s a lot of wasted time Now for the bad ,Uniworld staff on board pretended to be sympathetic to all your needs but always came back to you with the same line our head office says we can’t give you what was promised but will accommodate you to the best we can ie as our flight was outside there time allotment they would order us a taxi of which we would have to pay Secondly our power in our room blew up my wife’s hairdryer and my shaver blew We used the same transformer in Lisbon and it worked great ,was told it was our issue and said I could buy some stuff in the shop ,no way after making a stink they brought me some disposable razors and some shaving cream Next our neighbors cabin was leaking dark brown sewage out of her toilet which we could smell The food at best was average we were told we would be getting fresh local foods especially fish , haha we had fish 2 times and once it was about 1by 2 and we did get sardines at our last lunch Breakfast and lunch were good but dinners were to many courses (my opinion less choices and more quality ) would be best served .once again staff tried everything to accommodate us by making special treats to try and compensate We also go sick after the second day both vomiting and diarrhea and learn that many other passengers suffered same fate Lastly some of the excursions we had especially the last dinner outing to a winery was just terrible,the food inedible We met many other guests on board who had been other Uniworld crises from Amsterdam and other ports that were fantastic,I guess this one is there biggest money maker but if the want my business back they will need to really make me an offer I could not refuse Planing a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and heard similar issues as they don’t own boat or have control of staff Might have to look into other lines Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. ... Read More
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. Nothing could be further from the truth. The food was mediocre. If they think the food they serve is a culinary experience, then they have absolutely no idea what they are doing. I get better wine at my local supermarket. Almost everyone I spoke to on the cruise was dissapointed. The service is shocking. They have “self service” coffee stations with the worst coffee in the world. There is no service on the deck, even though Uniworld promise that you can “snap” your fingers and someone will service you. I had to ask for service at the reception more than once. The staff spend more time at the smokers corner, looking at their phones, than servicing guests. On a number of occasions, we would have wine and coffee on the deck and then we would find our empty glasses and coffee cups at the same table the next day. Shocking. The captain saw all of this happen in front of him but not once did he reprimand his staff. Nie day I took all the empty glasses from the table that has been there for a whole day and night, and deposited it on the table where the staff where smoking and chatting and told them that they can take the dishes back considering that we are paying their salaries. They glared at me. Bad management. That s all it is. But it’s also more than that. It’s unethical to sell something and create these expectations and then to fail so miserably. This cruise is mediocre and most certainly not worth the money. And it’s not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. I told the cruise director that the coffee if really terrible. She said that she thinks the coffee is good. I told her that I am her customer and I know the coffee is bad. Unbelievable. Denial. Incompetence. I know that Bea Tollman would probably have a heart attack if she knew that her legacy is being disrespected like this. This is not the Red Carnation way. I expected so much more. We won’t go on another cruise with Uniworld, even if they gave it away for free. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We did a Uniworld cruise on the Douro about 5 years ago which we enjoyed. However, my husband was not anxious to do another for a variety of reasons. But I have always wanted to go to Budapest and Prague and a river cruise made the most ... Read More
We did a Uniworld cruise on the Douro about 5 years ago which we enjoyed. However, my husband was not anxious to do another for a variety of reasons. But I have always wanted to go to Budapest and Prague and a river cruise made the most sense. The photos of the ship on line made it seem like it was way too ornate and "frilly" so I kept my husband focused on the places and excursions. But I have to say, the ship is just gorgeous! Our cabin was luxurious feeling (although small compared to Seabourn) without feeling too over the top. The other passengers were fantastic, active and interesting and we made some friends and enjoyed meeting people. The excursions were well planned and the guides were all wonderful. I wish we had more time in certain places like Vienna and Melk, but that is the trade off of being on a cruise rather than a land vacation. We were usually the only ones in the fitness center, we took advantage of the free laundry room which allowed us to be away for 2 weeks with only carry on luggage. The crew was AMAZING! Everyone was friendly and professional. The housekeeping was immaculate. The food was really delicious...something for everyone, they made a great Manhattan, wine was flowing, etc. We never made it to the pool (why its indoors is still a mystery to me). We spent most evenings on the top deck but on the last night we went in to dance which was fun. I loved the morning hike in Passau and I hope they add more hiking options (and more active walking in general) to other cruises. I am not a bike rider, but people who did the rides loved them. I am also not a classical music or opera fan so the concert in Vienna and the organ concert in Passau were not my highlights. But I loved Budapest and cruising the Danube at night to see Parliament lit up, the cider farm in Linz, being, Bratislava was a pleasant surprise, the Jewish tour in Prague was wonderful and being able to walk off the ship at night is always a plus. We also spent 2 nights on our own precruise in Budapest and 4 nights in Prague post cruise. So this vacation was a great combination of action and relaxation We averaged about 20,000 steps a day (but this was not the norm especially in the extreme heat) I did a lot of pre-cruise research and it all paid off. And yet this still was way beyond my expectations and I woudl highly recommend Uniworld, this ship and this itinerary Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
For me the ship was too small. I don't think river cruises are for me. This might be great for some people but just didn't wow me at all. The entertainment was mediocre at best. It consisted of a female singer with a piano ... Read More
For me the ship was too small. I don't think river cruises are for me. This might be great for some people but just didn't wow me at all. The entertainment was mediocre at best. It consisted of a female singer with a piano accompaniment. One night they had a singer who claimed to know 2000 songs. He was beyond awful. That was it for entertainment. The enrichment portion was one person one day who talked about the European Union. It wasn't informative in my opinion. The food was good. The service was very good. The variety of food was good. I had the steak one night and it was below average and disappointing. The other nights were good. The excursions were average I suppose. They were certainly nothing exceptional by any means. I've been on cruises with much better excursions. This to me was disappointing. The fitness room was small and not much to it. I liked the all inclusive feature of the cruise, but that's usually the way we travel anyway. I think we've done our one and only river cruise. It just didn't excite my wife and I. I think for us it's better to be on an ocean cruise with a ship that holds 800 to 1200 people. We needed more variety and better entertainment. We certainly could have used better excursions. We weren't able to complete our river cruise itinerary because of the water level in the Danube. So we had to settle for being bused to different cities to complete our excursions. It's certainly not the fault of the cruise line. People just need to be aware that it's a possibility that you won't be able to get to all the cities on your agenda. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped ... Read More
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped for "Haut Cusines" and luxury experience. Regrettably: • Food provided was very average, nothing special although I daresay it was adequate. • Meal times were restrictive. In particular breakfast started / finished in line with tours. No tea (scones / cakes) was on offer. • Wines were on the cheap end and not representative of fine wines available in the Bordeaux region. We were gratified that we were able to purchase our own wines offshore and drink them over dinner without a corkage charge. • Only 4 of the 6 full days included wine tours, one of which was very poor. No on-board wine lectures were included. Given the nature of the cruise there were not enough wine experiences!!! • Cooking class which cost €119 which was very poor and decidedly not as advertised. A view shared by all 6 participants. On complaining no remedy was offered. • Entertainment offered on board was very limited. Singer was somewhat tedious and no broadcast of the world cup final was available. • Infuriatingly one night (captain’s birthday) there was a party on deck above our cabin with noisy music until 2.00 am. • I got the impression that the boat’s management did not react well to criticism. Specifically when I commented on one of the wine tours and my wife on the cooking class. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on Uniworld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The Antoinette has a worn French decor ... Read More
We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on Uniworld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The Antoinette has a worn French decor which is overstated and unattractive. The whole ship is in need of a redo. The cabin we selected was the highest class category other than the suites. It was extremely small with the bed taking up 90% of the room. There was a balcony with a window that opened half way but the balcony area was really part of the cabin with two glass sliding doors dividing it from the cabin. The bathroom was barely adequate with a minuscule shower. All meals take place in the over crowed dining room and the entertainment which is extremely limited takes place in the lounge. There is an upper deck which was not shaded and so we did not use it very often. The gym is so small and cramped that only 2 guests can exercise at a time. As to the meals, the breakfast was probably the best meal of the day. Lunch was just about the same each day which becomes tiring after a few days. The dinners were disappointing with uninspiring bland and in some cases inedible food served in extremely small portions. The wait staff is overworked with no bus boys to assist. The wine selections were ordinary unless you opted to buy the premium selections. The Rhine River is for the most part uninteresting and plebeian with the exception of the half day trip past the castles. Most of the ports we visited were unattractive German cities with the exception of Strasbourg and two Alsatian towns. The excursions were nothing special and highlighted visits to a vinegar tasting house and a vineyard with wine tasting. Both were okay but nothing special. In the event a passenger wants to explore a port on his own the excursion director has nothing to offer to help out other than a useless map of the area. I was told that most passengers take the organized excursions so they don't have materials for those who want to go out on their own. Although we were told all excursions were included, Uniworld offers several excursions for an extra fee which we declined to take. The cruise is advertised as a 8 day 7 night trip but in fact it is not 8 days. On last full day of the cruise we arrived at Basel very early and just docked there for the rest of the day and night. The only real highlight of the trip were the crew members who for the most part were extremely friendly and helpful. Overall this cruise did not live up to what we had hoped for. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my third Uniworld Cruise and it was disappointing. The boarding process was efficient and luggage was delivered quickly. The rooms are very small. Storage is adequate. The bathroom was very small and limited shelf and storage. The ... Read More
This was my third Uniworld Cruise and it was disappointing. The boarding process was efficient and luggage was delivered quickly. The rooms are very small. Storage is adequate. The bathroom was very small and limited shelf and storage. The shower was so small that when I dropped a small razor, I had to turn off the water, open the door, and step out to be able to pick it up. On previous Uniworld cruises, the excursions were included - usually 2 per day. Not so on this one. There were several “optionals” to purchase. This is where they really seemed to rip us off. For example, they charged $83 per person to take us to the Fabrege Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. We sat with a couple at dinner one night,who had gone on their own and paid $10 per person and had a guide. You expect a cruise line to charge a little more - but 8 times more??? Dinner service was very slow. One night, we got bread and waited 30 minutes before anything else was served. For the most part, the food was good. Sometimes, the guides were a bit unorganized. Based on my I would NOT recommend this cruise, I don’t like to be taken advantage of like we were with optional excursions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Have cruised with Uniworld before and always wanted to go to Venice. The River Countess was docked right in the heart of Venice which meant all the main sights were only a short stroll away. The experience onboard was fantastic, it ... Read More
Have cruised with Uniworld before and always wanted to go to Venice. The River Countess was docked right in the heart of Venice which meant all the main sights were only a short stroll away. The experience onboard was fantastic, it was a generations cruise which meant children were more than welcome too so that was an advantage. We were worried that the children would be bored but far from it. The Uniworld children’s reps had so much planned for them we barely saw them and by the 2nd night they didn’t want to eat with us but all their new friends on the children’s table. The dining is pure class, as much as you like to eat & drink with locally purchased food served Michelin style with stunning views. The ship did leave Venice on the 3rd day with excursions to Bologna & Chioggia and many smaller of the lagoon islands during the week before returning to Venice on the 6th day. The excursions were well organised with a special opening of St Marks basilica especially after hours for the Uniworld clients. There were visits to real local restaurants & markets & beaches, bicycle riding and pasta making. On board we were well looked after, afternoon tea, cocktails, pizza making, tiramisu making and live entertainment. The service in the restaurant & bars & all staff on board is exceptional. The cabins are small but more than adeaquate but really didn’t spend too much time in the cabin as there is always something to do be it taking part in activities or just relaxing on the sun deck. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I am just back from a fantastic holiday in Italy, and loved my experience with Uniworld and the River Countess. We started with the pre-cruise add-on in Milan, which was a great start to our vacation. The hotel was well located and ... Read More
I am just back from a fantastic holiday in Italy, and loved my experience with Uniworld and the River Countess. We started with the pre-cruise add-on in Milan, which was a great start to our vacation. The hotel was well located and comfortable, and the walking tour gave a nice introduction to the city. The transfer to Venice was excellent, with Verona being a hidden gem that ended up being our highlight of the trip - it is a beautiful town I would love to return to. Arriving in Venice, embarkation was smooth. The River Countess is a good looking ship for its type, and it has all the advertised features. It doesn't have the range of on-board options we've experienced in sea-based cruises, but I wasn't expecting it to. Food was uniformly good, with some meals being excellent - I am fussy with food and was very pleased with what we received. The best part of the River Countess experience was the staff - they were all consistently friendly and helpful. It truly seemed that nothing was ever too much trouble, and the small size of the ship (just over 100 guests the week we cruised) meant they started to get to know us and our preferences as the cruise progressed. I was particularly impressed by the mid-cruise request for feedback, as my feedback was acknowledged and implemented by the next day. The excursions were good, although some of the guides shared more information than I personally needed. This is a hard balance, as others seemed to love the stories about the art and churches etc. Having individual ear-pieces was great as it allowed me to wander away briefly and look at things of interest to me while others stayed with the guide. My only reservation about the experience was the 'river cruise" component. Cruising on the Po was unexciting, as there was little to see on either side of the river much of the time. Spending two days on the river felt forced, and the excursions were based on where we were rather than any particular tourist merit (not that all weren't charming in their own ways). For myself, I'd have been just as happy spending that time in Venice. Lastly, a note on my fellow cruisers. The week I cruised it was a family cruise, so there were a mix of ages. I liked that. I got the impression that other weeks the age profile for the average cruiser will be heavily 60 (if not 70)+. Passengers came from USA, Canada, UK, and a range of other countries. All were friendly. The small size of the ship meant you saw most people around the ship or on the included tours, and dining was communal (there were only two tables for two), so it was hard to stay anonymous. That will suit some people but not others. Overall, I gave this cruise 4 stars. It didn't get five because of my reservations about the river aspect, and because River Countess is a small ship with limited facilities. Other than those, it was a 5 star experience and something I would happily do again. Read Less
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