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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first Uniworld cruise and we have done Avalon & Viking. I am not impressed by the room size on the River Countess. We opted for the suite because we wanted more room. I loved the bathroom with the 2 sinks and large shower. ... Read More
This was our first Uniworld cruise and we have done Avalon & Viking. I am not impressed by the room size on the River Countess. We opted for the suite because we wanted more room. I loved the bathroom with the 2 sinks and large shower. The minibar was also a plus as was our butler. The biggest problem was the furnishings were way too large for the cabin. The table lamps were so large that you had little room to put anything on your night stand. Our friends who also had a suite had the butler take the shades off the lamps so they didn’t bump into them all the time. Also, the furnishings in the lounge we bulky and hard to move around to fit more people. A big plus was the fantastic crew. They were always happy to help with any request. The food was good most days and fair the rest of the time. I know it’s hard to cook for that many people but other lines do it and do it better. Also, there selections were very limited, especially on the Captain’s welcome and farewell nights when you had a fixed menu. Not everyone eats the same food all the time and they need to recognize this. To call this a river cruise is a stretch. Even if the Po River isn’t too low to cruise, the total time you cruise the river is maybe 3 hours. The only reason they run the ship up the Po is to make the drive to Ferrara and Bologna shorter. We didn’t make it to the Po River but instead the captain did an afternoon and evening cruise within the lagoon. These were probably much better than the river. Being all inclusive is great if you drink a lot of cocktails but not very good if you like good wines. Their wine selection was not very good. They did have a wine list where you could purchase wines but it didn’t seem right to buy wine when it was supposed to be included. Our group purchased wine when we were ashore and brought it to dinner. No corkage fees. The local tour guides were very knowledgeable but tended to be long winded and walked very slow. The biggest negative is the internet service. Their internet makes dial-up look good. With today’s technology, getting good internet service is not hard. Considering how much the cruise costs, Uniworld needs to step up to the plate here. What a great way to differentiate your cruise line from your competitors. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Was billed as a 7 day river cruise, but we really did not much cruising. 5 of the 7 nights we were docked at the cruise port in Venice. From the ship there several shore excursions offered in Venice, all of which were excellent, with ... Read More
Was billed as a 7 day river cruise, but we really did not much cruising. 5 of the 7 nights we were docked at the cruise port in Venice. From the ship there several shore excursions offered in Venice, all of which were excellent, with excellent guides. The ship itself was elegant and always very clean. Our cabin was in a good location, just a few steps from the dining room. The bed was probably the most comfortable one we have ever slept in away from home. The food in the dining was OK, but dinners were very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch were satisfactory, although the lunch selections could have had an egg salad or tuna salad offering. Most entrees were overcooked. Simple things like chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies would have been nice at lunch.The crew was friendly and accommodating, in particular the hotel manager and the cruise director. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Our European Jewels cruise was everything we could have hoped for1 We loved the ship, River Empress, and the entire staff. The ship was sparkling clean and comfortable. The furnishings are plush, comfortable, and stylish (not utilitarian ... Read More
Our European Jewels cruise was everything we could have hoped for1 We loved the ship, River Empress, and the entire staff. The ship was sparkling clean and comfortable. The furnishings are plush, comfortable, and stylish (not utilitarian looking and hard). Our cabin was very comfortable and our butler was wonderful and helpful. The excursions were very good with an option for every individual's ability. The staff was friendly, skilled, and accommodating. The "all inclusive" program made the trip stress free and relaxed. Food and drink superb. Actually, we just loved it all. Hope to go on another trip with Uniworld soon. Many thanks to Zelko, Sylvia, Ibi, Valentino, Rene, Jose, Shondra, Adrian, and all the others who made this a great trip! As for the extensions in Amsterdam and Budapest, we were well taken care of on these days as well. We were met by excellent guides in both cities who took great care of us! Thanks, Murial and Romulus. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We had the suite right across the hall from the Mock's and totally agree with everything she wrote but we have some additional comments to present.... We have now cruised twice with both Viking and Uniworld. We even cruised this ... Read More
We had the suite right across the hall from the Mock's and totally agree with everything she wrote but we have some additional comments to present.... We have now cruised twice with both Viking and Uniworld. We even cruised this itinerary two years ago with Viking. We loved Viking and don't have anything bad to say about them but there are some differences between Uniworld and Viking that are worth considering. The Viking longboats are very Scandinavian and all of them are exactly the same while the Uniworld boats are very European and eclectically decorated. The Viking boats hold 190 passengers and are usually full. The Uniworld Empress and several others hold 120 passengers and both of our cruises with Uniworld only had about 80 passengers on board. The obvious difference is that the crew to passenger ratio is dramatically better on Uniworld. For example, each line had one bartender and cruise director. The Uniworld crew got to know us by name almost immediately and we got a lot more attention. The Empress is older but is absolutely perfectly maintained. Everything sparkled and worked perfectly. The technology is all up to date. The Empress has a very unique configuration different from the Viking boats and the River Baroness we cruised on last year. It has a glass walled room on the upper deck that can be used for relaxing or eating. The bar serviced the room and were constantly bringing extras such as hot chocolate up to the room. The front deck is lower than the rest of the sudeck. This allowed passengers to sit outside when the sundeck was closed for low bridges. Because there were fewer passengers, no one was ever jockeying for chairs as on the Viking boats. We found it interesting that Uniworld had a bus that travelled the entire itinerary with us from Amsterdam to Budapest. The driver.... darn, we forget his name... was great and got to know us. It just made for a great experience. The excursions were excellent and we even got to tour a BMW factory. OK, so it wasn't another cathedral, but it was very interesting and not a lickety split tour. It was over two hours and we were right on the factory tour watching a roll of steel being turned into a BMW. Really fascinating. We would be remiss in not mentioning how nice it was to not have to deal with gratuities at every turn and to have all wine and spirits included at all times....even Jonny Walker Black. On one of our Viking cruises, we were in line to pay our bill the last night. The very nice lady taking care of everything asked the lady in front of us if she wanted to add a crew and program director gratuity to hir bill. The passenger responded that she did not believe in gratuities. We also saw the same thing happen at the end of tours when it was time to hand the bus driver and tour guide a gratuity... many times we saw other passengers stiff them. We love the Uniworld inclusive plan and feel that should become the norm. One more thing, the dining room director only had 80 passengers to deal with. My wife has an onion food allergy. At EVERY meal, he would greet my wife and actually walk around the buffets at breakfast and lunch and show here what did or did not have onions in the recipe. For dinner, he would come right to our table and review the menu with her. Just some things to consider when choosing between Uniworld and Viking. We are signed up for a Viking Ocean cruise in 2018. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this ship as we thought it was the top in this venue. We looked forward to cruising the Rhine. We were in the largest cabin. First thing we noticed was the paint finish rubbed off the door. A couple of spots on the ... Read More
We choose this ship as we thought it was the top in this venue. We looked forward to cruising the Rhine. We were in the largest cabin. First thing we noticed was the paint finish rubbed off the door. A couple of spots on the upholstery...oh-oh. The bathroom looked newly refurbished. It was difficult to find storage space but once we unpacked we went to look around. Our 2 butlers were great and very accommodating, also was our steward. The room was kept very clean. Unfortunately this suite is pummeled with the sound of people going up and down the stair to the upper deck. After 2 days of constant motion above we would have gladly gone to a smaller accommodation!! This is something I don't think is fixable..Food was very disappointing. Finding a table difficult and no tables for deuces. After this cruise we realized that this type of cruise was not for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Uniworld cruise after having gone on the Danube River cruise last year. Uniworld offers top of the line service with professional, pleasant and attentive staff along with excellent shore excursions, onboard ... Read More
This was our second Uniworld cruise after having gone on the Danube River cruise last year. Uniworld offers top of the line service with professional, pleasant and attentive staff along with excellent shore excursions, onboard entertainment and fine dining. The ships are small, serving about 120 guests. We met people from around the world, getting to know lovely new friends from Australia, Canada, Iran and New Zealand, but mostly other Americans. Each day offered a choice of shore excursions with different levels of activity. The guides are the best of the best. Most excursions offered extra free time for shopping or further exploration. We walked, hiked and rode bikes through some of the most beautiful areas of the Rhine River. Back on board we were greeted by friendly staff and great meals. Everything is included, so your most difficult choice at dinner is whether you want red or white wine! The week went by so quickly we were sad to say goodbye. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise specifically because of the excursion to castle Neuschwanstein, the Bavarian castle which Disney modeled Cinderella's castle. The castle was great and beautiful in every way. I was disappointed that we felt so ... Read More
We choose this cruise specifically because of the excursion to castle Neuschwanstein, the Bavarian castle which Disney modeled Cinderella's castle. The castle was great and beautiful in every way. I was disappointed that we felt so rushed the whole day both getting there and the amount of time spent there. I would have liked to spend more time at the castle and then the village below. I came so far just to see this as the highlight of our trip, only to be rushed through. I don't understand why they couldn't have extended the time, its not like we had to be home at a certain time. It was a 2 hour bus ride there and back. After the tour we had to make a choice to eat lunch at one of the very quaint restaurants or go shopping. I chose the shopping and not eat. Also disappointing was we were supposed to visit King Ludwig's museum, only to find out all museums are closed on Mondays, the day we were there. Couldn't they have planned that better? Especially knowing its listed in the catalog as a stop we were to make. My husband and I have traveled before on river cruises. This cabin was by far the smallest, but we didn't really have a choice since this was the size of the ship's cabins. I felt like I was sleeping in a closet. The ship only has french balconies, no outside balconies, another feature I would normally prefer. The staff was very accommodating and friendly. The service was excellent and the food was also excellent and gave you a variety of selections, as well as wines and beers, all included. The cruise director was rather "flat", not much personality and I felt other than his talks in the lounge, didn't inform us on a day to day basis of the schedule. Yes, we received a program each night in the room, but there were still always unanswered questions which guests were always asking each other for the answers. Although the tours were interesting and informative, I felt the tour guides did a much better job on previous ships we have been on. We did really enjoy the two different occasions for just cruising and relaxing on board. They could have done a better job with entertainment, which was really non existent, except for a keyboard player each night. We would have really enjoyed some local authentic entertainment in some of the ports, or bring us to restaurants with entertainment. That was another disappointment for us. Again, there was good and bad, but all in all it was a memorable trip. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We landed in Cologne on Sunday afternoon and were met by a UniWorld representative. There were about 20 of us (mostly senior citizens). We were told to follow her carrying/pushing our own luggage and carry-ones. The walk turned out to ... Read More
We landed in Cologne on Sunday afternoon and were met by a UniWorld representative. There were about 20 of us (mostly senior citizens). We were told to follow her carrying/pushing our own luggage and carry-ones. The walk turned out to be from one end of the terminal to the next, and then outside a few blocks to a waiting bus! If I ever take another uniworld cruise, I will arrange to take a cab (which were lined up right outside the area where we met the uniworld rep) to the ship. We chose this cruise because of the Jewish Heritage component. We got on the ship in Cologne on Sunday afternoon, and hoped to visit the Ludwig Museum on Monday, but all museums are closed on Mondays. The rest of the cruise was good, for the most part. We would have liked more time to explore on our own, but we were on a tight schedule. The food was excellent, and the wait staff were very professional and friendly. One of the nicest touches was the Friday night Shabbat candle lighting ceremony held outside on the sun deck. After the cruise, they took us to a nice hotel for our post cruise days. The last day they took us into Munich to see a synagogue and Jewish Museum - but it was Monday, and they were CLOSED! So the guide told us about them while we stood outside in the rain! The activites on Sunday and Monday could have been switched. The state rooms were very small, but clean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Had sailed on Uniworld before and stayed at Red Carnation Hotels. Booked ten months in advance as present for family. Our Suite was shabby--mixed furniture ( brown Toile in a blue and white room: but the blue chair was coming apart at ... Read More
Had sailed on Uniworld before and stayed at Red Carnation Hotels. Booked ten months in advance as present for family. Our Suite was shabby--mixed furniture ( brown Toile in a blue and white room: but the blue chair was coming apart at the seams), comforter lining was tattered with batting exposed, etc. Had wanted to see picture of the specific suites before we booked them, but was told by Uniworld representative that pictures were not available. Hated going back to our suite every day. Asked if there were other suites available, but was told "no". Family's suite 404 was much nicer. Maybe recently refurbished. Only one request of butlers; please bring sparkling water for the minibar. Most of the time we went to the Lounge to get it ourselves. Entertainment was poor. Only the French couple who performed one night and the guitarist in the Leopard Lounge were decent and entertaining. Won't sail with them again. For us it was like the Motel 6 of the seas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to do a river cruise and selected the Danube primarily because of the Classical music we expected to experience and learn about on the trip. We didn't learn much about classical music, but we did experience a wonderful concert ... Read More
We wanted to do a river cruise and selected the Danube primarily because of the Classical music we expected to experience and learn about on the trip. We didn't learn much about classical music, but we did experience a wonderful concert in Vienna and an organ concert at St Stephen's church in Passau. Tours of all the cities were excellent. All the staff were excellent from the butlers to the captain, including the cruise director, ship manager, bursar's desk, wine stewards, etc. Everyone on staff was helpful and eager to please. It was as if we were all good friends. Especially kudos the cabin steward (butler) and housekeepers. Food and drink were excellent. And extra touches like the box of candy and complimentary drinks helped to make the experience extra special. (Although we did pay for a first class cabin.) The tour guides were also excellent, knowledgeable and showed humor - and patience, when required. There were only two areas that I considered less than excellent: the entertainment, which was adequate but not up to the level of the other features of the experience; and the basic design of the ship. There was no comfortable place to sit and enjoy the sights on a rainy day, as the top deck, which had the only panoramic view on board, was not accessible in the rain. There was limited viewing from the lounge and the dining room. Also there were times, due to the canal locks when the top deck was not accessible. This could be due to the nature of river cruising. As I have not been on a river cruise before (only sea cruises) I don't know if this is standard or not.) In summary, the trip exceeded my expectations. We definitely plan to do another river cruise. Read Less
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