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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We are so glad we did this cruise. This is a wonderful way to see Venice. The tours we took during this cruise were outstanding. We started the cruise with a land tour in Milan where Uniworld put us up in a nice hotel right downtown ... Read More
We are so glad we did this cruise. This is a wonderful way to see Venice. The tours we took during this cruise were outstanding. We started the cruise with a land tour in Milan where Uniworld put us up in a nice hotel right downtown in the middle of the action. They took us to see the "Last Supper", the Duomo, and a castle/fort. After 2 days in Milan we were loaded onto buses and transported to Venice and the River Countess with a walking tour and lunch at a winery on the way. The River Countess was very clean and in good shape for its age. Have to admit that our french balcony room was a lot smaller than what we expected but we made the most of it. The staff overall was friendly and service was good. Food overall was also good, with their soups some of the best I have ever eaten. Tours from the boat were good and we appreciated the grouping by physical ability for the tours. The only thing we did not particularly like was have to be off the boat for such a long time while cruised to and from the Po River. Other than that, Uniworld is very well organized with excellent tour guides. Because of this tour/cruise, we are now looking at Uniworld as another option in a Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise. Highly recommend this as a way to see Venice and surrounding areas. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met ... Read More
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met expectations it was the attitude of the staff on board and on arranged tours that made the trip very special. The staff were more than just friendly and helpful - they were an integral part of the experience. Their humour alone was worth the trip. Shore excursions were effortless and enjoyable, the scenery along the way was magnificant. Were held a professional conference on board for 80 delegates and although the ship was not designed for conferencing the ships crew did everything necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our conference including the rearranging of furniture and the set up of conference facilities daily, rescheduling tours, meals and events to accommodate conference sessions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I had never had a cruise before and thought a river cruise the best introduction to travelling on a boat. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, boat fairly small but lovely, cabin compact but comfortable, large windows with French balcony, bedding ... Read More
I had never had a cruise before and thought a river cruise the best introduction to travelling on a boat. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, boat fairly small but lovely, cabin compact but comfortable, large windows with French balcony, bedding luxurious and toiletries supplied. Bed turned down each evening, next days agenda left along with small gift, soap, shower gel, recipes etc .. Chocolates and water in room, no coffee or tea making facilities in room but available from lounge any time. Crew very pleasant and helpful. Food excellent and very varied, drinks plentiful including cocktails and Prosecco . Waiters attentive and polite, restaurant served buffet style breakfast and lunch with waiter service for evening dinner. Entertainment fairly laid back, singer most evenings, brass band one evening also a couple of lectures that were very interesting. No children on board for this trip and I would guess that most of the passengers were in the 55 to 80 age range. Majority of the passengers were Australian or from USA plus quite a few British. Scenery along the Danube was breathtakingly beautiful, misty some mornings which added to the beauty of both Austria and Germany. Would I take a river cruise again? Most certainly, my husband and I loved ever minute and highly recommend Uniworld. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size (there ... Read More
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size (there were 119 passengers on our cruise) and all inclusive price, and it was wonderful not to have to think about tipping all the service people and guides, paying for shore excursions or paying for a pre-dinner cocktail or my beloved Diet Coke in the salon or on the sundeck. I think this encouraged people to mingle more before, and after dinner. Lovely dining salon and lounge, with a grand piano and comfortable tables and sofas. The ship was immaculately clean. We were blessed with great weather and enjoyed some cruising topside on the sun deck on very comfortable padded lounge chairs. There are also tables available. The waiters were quick to take drink orders and keep them coming if you desired, along with little silver bowls of salty snacks. My husband enjoyed trying a variety of different beers and scotches. There was a small hot tub we never used on this deck. There was also a small work out room with a nice view at the front of the ship, and morning exercise classes were offered. The food was outstanding. I was told they would be featuring 43 different kinds of cheeses during the cruise. I love cheese, and they did not disappoint. Breakfast and lunch buffets with made to order omelettes and other goodies. Dinner was multi course table service with at least three choices for all courses. If you did not care for what was being offered, there were other choices that were always available including steak, salmon and a vegetarian dish as well as different starters and salads. I am allergic to mussels, and they went out of their way to make sure I had a satisfactory substitution when these were offered. The desserts were incredible, and the sweet pastry chef was standing by to describe each one and encourage you to try several. You could also book a dinner in The Blue Fox which was an intimate room for 12 serving the same menu as the regular dining room or a glass enclosed room for about 20 on top of the ship which served the same set menu the whole trip. This was very pleasant on a beautiful fall evening while cruising and watching the beautiful sunset. We did both and enjoyed them. I would recommend signing up for these on the first day, before the general announcement. They fill up quickly. Casual dining was also available on the sun deck with a limited menu of items. We did not try this. The service was top notch in every way. A nice touch was the stewards standing by when you came in from an excursion to hand you a cool cloth with silver tongs to refresh yourself, and another with a tray of fresh squeezed juice or iced tea. Sharon, our cruise director was wonderful, as was the hotel manager Sebastion. The dining room servers and housekeepers could not do enough for you. I think they have been trained to never say no. If you want something, they will make find it, or make it happen. Since this was a Vineyards and Chateaux cruise, there was a lot of focus on wines. We explored several wine making regions. I never knew such different wines were produced so close together. I enjoyed the winemakers lunch we had in a Chateaux where we were greeted by the owner and had a three course lunch with three different wines to complement each course. This was the only the only excursion we all went to together, the others were broken up into smaller groups.The guides were very good. I particularly enjoyed Sarah, an Irish girl married to a French national and raising a family in Bordeaux. The tours never felt crowded and the buses to transport us were very comfortable. There were three different days where there was an option to do a bike tour, which my husband loved. Bikes were available at all ports to explore on your own if you did not wish to do the excursions. He enjoyed the Bordeaux by bike tour, while I went on the walking tour. This is not a tour for children or teens, and there were none on the ship. Ages ranged from mid 30's to upwards of 80, I would have to guess. There were two guests with walkers, there is an elevator on board and they do have "gentle walking" excursions. The guest were primarily Americans, with Canadians, English, Australians, Brazilians and Spanish in the mix. We enjoyed most of the passengers and became friends with a couple who we hope to meet up with again. Would I go again ? IN A HEARTBEAT ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We had the opportunity to book the Departures Epicurean and Wine Cruise from Lyon to Avignon. This was a busy one with excursions booked through the day and visits to Chateaus, historic cites and even a lunch at an olive producers ... Read More
We had the opportunity to book the Departures Epicurean and Wine Cruise from Lyon to Avignon. This was a busy one with excursions booked through the day and visits to Chateaus, historic cites and even a lunch at an olive producers backyard. Everything was well organized and the crew could not have been kinder. Our fellow travelers were all interesting people and we enjoyed meeting them all. The wine and food aboard were fabulous and the exceptional epicurean and wine experiences off ship were so special. Our room was always in perfect shape due to the meticulous attention paid by the staff. There was also a wonderful masseuse aboard. The past river cruises we have been on had larger rooms, but none were available this time. I would recommend booking one of the suites if there is one available. That said, the smaller cabin worked well and we had ample closet space and drawers to stow our things. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife has always wanted to travel down the Danube so for her birthday I booked a suite on Uniworld's SS Maria Theresa departing from Passau. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and spent the first night in Munich at the airport Hilton, ... Read More
My wife has always wanted to travel down the Danube so for her birthday I booked a suite on Uniworld's SS Maria Theresa departing from Passau. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and spent the first night in Munich at the airport Hilton, arranged by Uniworld. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of accommodations (for an airport hotel) and the breakfast buffet was among the best we have experienced anywhere. The SS Maria Theresa is a stunning vessel. The decor is a bit like what might happen if Laura Ashley and Liberace had a love child but having said that, the detail is high end, inviting and comfortable. Our suite had two floor-to-ceiling picture windows, one at the foot of the bed and one fronting an adjacent sitting area that could be opened to waist level. When the ship was moving it was like having your personal travel video scrolling in front of you. If you book a suite, butler service is included, which we found to be a nice touch. The Uniworld staff were clearly selected and trained to provide service excellence. They were adept at solving problems and were committed to making the trip memorable for everyone. I had heard that the food selection and quality was excellent on Uniworld but again our expectations were exceeded. Much of the food and wine were locally sourced and the attention to detail in terms of prep and presentation were what you would hope to experience in a fine dining restaurant. Wines were local and thoughtfully chosen to match the food. Liquor was top shelf. If you absolutely had to have Dom Perignon or a rare brandy not included in the main bars they had a "diamond collection" at an additional charge. Shore excursions were selected for all levels of activity from "gentle" tours that featured slow paced walks and buses to more strenuous bike tours, hikes, and "do as the locals do" walks. My favorite was a 20 mile bike ride from Melk to Durnstein. The relatively flat course wound through forests, vineyards, and small towns, and then ran along the Danube into Durnstein. It was truly magical. The guides at each destination were local, knowledgeable, their love for their respective cities was contagious. Enrichment activities made each stop even more memorable - visiting with a gentleman trying establish Saffron as a crop in Durnstein; a family who runs a cider farm outside of Linz (who also make some of the best Schnaps I have tasted); an historical scholar from Vienna who gave a mesmerizing talk on Maria Theresa. Bottom line - we are already planning our next cruise with Uniworld. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt, the sphinx, and many of the temples. This seemed like a safe time to visit. The cruise along the Nile was excellent. The staff of the Tosca was very good. We felt very welcoming among ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the pyramids in Egypt, the sphinx, and many of the temples. This seemed like a safe time to visit. The cruise along the Nile was excellent. The staff of the Tosca was very good. We felt very welcoming among the staff. Security was good at all times. We had armed guards on our excursions and police cars followed our bus. What was poor was our Egyptologist. He was very knowledgeable about the history of every site. There were 34 on a ship that holds 80. Having just one Egyptologist for 34 people was not sufficient. He never presented any pre -excursion talks at dinner so until we boarded the bus or walked to the sites, we didn't know whether we would walk 10 yards or 100 yards, whether we would climb uneven stairs (plenty to climb) or walk on uneven stones (plenty of those too). He never watched out for the stragglers (heat exhaustion was pretty common) and only counted us when we were on the bus. Several were sick due to heat and diet I assume and he never asked where they were or how they felt. He catered only to those who shopped and appeared to have money. Sitting on a bus for 45 minutes while 3 women shopped is not my idea of fun. What free time we had, he never told us what we could see on our own. He did take the shoppers shopping quite often and several couples to dinner places while the rest of us made due at the Cairo hotel. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I just returned from Italy with Uniworld on the "River Countess", 15 day tour called the "Splendors of Italy". The hotel in Milan, Florence, and Rome were very,very nice and the location in Milan and ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from Italy with Uniworld on the "River Countess", 15 day tour called the "Splendors of Italy". The hotel in Milan, Florence, and Rome were very,very nice and the location in Milan and Florence were fantastic. The ship was also very nice; the cabin size is average for a river cruise but very comfortable, (we loved having a candy dish full of chocolates in our room); the food was good, but not great; the entertainment was what I expected from a river cruise - a pianist/singer who was good; the service was exceptional and the staff was very friendly and accomodating; the ports were wonderful, the shore excursions were great, and the local guides were fantastic. Our cruise director, Agnes, was wonderful. Our biggest complaint was that the trip wasn't a few days longer, especially in Venice and Rome. In Venice it would have been nice to have an extra free day and in Rome, you really need at least two more days to see it all. Plus, since the hotel in Rome was not in the heart of the city, we would have liked to be given the opportunity to stay in town for the day or an afternoon and then to be picked up by the bus to retun to our hotel instead of finding transportation on our own. But we loved this trip and would recomend it to everyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our prior uniworld cruise was so good we went again. The room on this ship was bigger with more up to date features. The only issue many of us had was the speed of the internet which was too slow for FaceTime and other internet ... Read More
Our prior uniworld cruise was so good we went again. The room on this ship was bigger with more up to date features. The only issue many of us had was the speed of the internet which was too slow for FaceTime and other internet activities. The food was excellent quality and diversity of options. All the staff throughout the ship could t do more for you. They were attentive and very visible and enjoy what they do. One excursion to the Vinegar tasting of gourmet aperitif vinegars was the best of all! It was very unique. And the visit to a working very old wine making castle was also fantastic. The tour director, Preston was fantastic, always visible and involved and helpful. We booked our air travel and pre and post hotel stays and they handled everything completely...we didn't have to worry about any transports, tips or arrangements. Our tour guide in Amsterdam, Muriel, was fantastic as well as the tour guides in Lucerne, Shannon. UNIWORLD cruises are fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks ... Read More
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks of the cruise. I walked out of several meals because there was nothing I could eat. Not until my husband vociferously complained did anything get served to me that I could eat (not rocket science--just low salt). Uniworld says no children on the cruises, yet the captain's 2-year-old was on the cruise, riding his trike over clients' feet and screeching and riding through all the public areas. I went on this cruise NOT to be with children--yet here I had to endure it. At a mighty cost. No client is allowed in the wheelhouse, for safety concerns. Yet the captain's child and his strewn toys were in the wheelhouse. Uniworld says no wheelchairs, yet one client had one, and when that client was on a tour, the other clients had to wait for and assist her. Not what I paid for. Again. Ninety percent of the passengers came down with acute bronchitis. Uniworld turned its head at this, refusing to acknowledge there was a problem. I was blamed for not wearing a scarf around my neck, as to the cause of my illness. Hygiene on the ship is unacceptable, forcing clients to share serving spoons, with no enforcement of hand sanitizing or wiping down of the arms of dining chairs, repeated use of the same plastic gloves as cleaners move from cabin to cabin, spreading germs, and candy in jars into which clients stick their hands. To top it off, Uniworld made us pay for a cab to/from a hospital to treat the bronchitis. Really? The daily handout on things to do/see in a particular stopping point are mere cuttings and pastings that someone has slapped together and have little relevance. Why mention shopping and nightlife when we are stopping in a town for 2 hours during the day and have no access to such areas? Why state that what follows in the printout are 10 restaurants to experience--and just 3 are listed. Does no one even read what is dispensed daily? This trip was an unforgivable waste of my money. Uniworld should be ashamed. Read Less
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