4 Uniworld S.S. Antoinette Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Items that needed improvement: 1. The on-board musicians (husband and wife) were not of high quality. Most passengers did not enjoy. On 2 separate nites, local musicians performed and they were excellent. 2. While on ship, more ... Read More
Items that needed improvement: 1. The on-board musicians (husband and wife) were not of high quality. Most passengers did not enjoy. On 2 separate nites, local musicians performed and they were excellent. 2. While on ship, more activities should have been organized such as trivia contests, in depth history mini lectures, etc. 3. Scrambled eggs at breakfast were barely warm 4. The Airport Hotel in Basel was the site of Uniworld bus pickup on Sat., July 1. When hotel front desk staff was asked to confirm that Uniworld buses were coming, they had no knowledge of this. We were very worried and concerned that we were at the wrong hotel. The communication between Uniworld and the hotel was unacceptable. Also, the hotel failed to send their free shuttle to pick us up at airport. We had to over pay, $28, for a very short taxi ride. 5. WiFi on the ship, Antoinette, was mostly poor in rooms and mediocre in common areas. Items that were great: food, service, butlers, wait staff, excursions Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Christmas Markets and specifically because we had travelled with UniWorld on 5 previous cruises. We chose this particular cruise date because it coincided with our 45th Wedding Anniversary. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Christmas Markets and specifically because we had travelled with UniWorld on 5 previous cruises. We chose this particular cruise date because it coincided with our 45th Wedding Anniversary. UniWorld decorated our state room with "candles", rose petals and a bottle of champagne. We did explore Cologne for two days prior to embarkation. Embarkation was effortless; as we arrived the ship's crew brought our bags immediately onboard. The SS Antoinette was magnificent: marble was tastefully incorporated throughout the entire ship; the draperies were exceptionally well color-coordinated to pieces of furniture; the chandelier in the main reception area was simply gorgeous; and the cuisine was 5-Star quality! Service was up to the standards that we had experienced on previous cruises. All of the staff attended to our requested and anticipated needs. The excursions were well-integrated with the Christmas Markets and the city tours. Superb guides, one of whom we had on a previous cruise. The musicians in the lounge added a very nice touch creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The swimming pool was excellent. The resistance jets added a wonderful challenge to our morning swim. The disembarkation was handled as smoothly as our arrival. The post-cruise extension at Les Trois Rois was of the same caliber of service as being onboard the SS Antoinette...including a view of the Rhine River from our room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I first provide a bit of personal context before reviewing because I was a reluctant cruiser and nearly cancelled the trip. There are things in life you are sure about. There are things in life that you are not sure about. Not terribly ... Read More
I first provide a bit of personal context before reviewing because I was a reluctant cruiser and nearly cancelled the trip. There are things in life you are sure about. There are things in life that you are not sure about. Not terribly profound. I was sure that I was not a cruiser. I like the freedom of being out and about. Not tied to a boat schedule and someone else's agenda. But when my sister asked me to join her running group for a Rhine River holiday cruise last year, I thought.... why not? Cruising down the Rhine River can't be a bad proposition. As Nov 2015 approached I started to feel some regret. Cruising is just not me.... I was also exhausted. It had been a crazy year up to that point from a work perspective. Projects I had undertaken required my travelling back and forth from Europe to Toronto (Brussels then back to Toronto; Paris then back to Toronto, interspersed with short trips to and from Philadelphia, Montreal, Ottawa, all within weeks of one another). Had it not been for the cruise, I was scheduled to fly to The Hague for yet another round of meetings. Enough already! I just wanted to stay still, stay home and get to the holiday season. The weekend before leaving for the cruise, Europe was on heightened alert. Attacks in Paris with the alert moving towards Brussels, with me scheduled to fly into Brussels first (then to Cologne to board the cruise) made me want to cancel the trip altogether. With a measured perspective and considerable thought, I decided to go anyway. We flew into Cologne and avoided Brussels altogether. Sometimes, what you're apprehensive about or reluctant to try is exactly what you need! I came home extremely relaxed. It was one of my best vacations! Here's why: Service, service, service-Cruising down the Rhine to see the holiday markets, quite frankly, is very mainstream and widely available. Many companies offer cruises with the same itinerary. So what is the differentiator? It’s the service, namely, the people! The crew, staff and management were outstanding in their balance of professionalism and appropriate sense of fun. Huge credit goes to the SS Antoinette's hotel manager Yann Roche (and his team); always present, a real gentleman, and infinitely friendly and courteous. The guests became the beneficiaries of Monsieur Roche's quiet leadership. Protocols must have been in place to ensure a smooth transition of duties. There were never any displays of anger or frustration from the team members; while expected, this could be difficult to achieve when you have discerning guests and the staff is basically required to work around the clock. Food Service-I would like to call out Emile especially for his friendliness and outgoing personality, always trying to please. He never missed asking the kitchen to prepare a fruit plate for me after every dinner (once he knew I preferred over a dessert)! Thank you, Emile. The servers were all friendly, efficient and worked well together (no sense of ‘this is not my table, I will get you your server’)! Svet was also extremely helpful and a joy to talk to. The food merits favorable comment. Always a good selection, always well prepared (except maybe one evening, the fish was a little over cooked), this cruise ship can boast a high end culinary offering. The little towns along the way of course were lovely. I enjoyed them all even though I had visited Lucerne and Strasbourg many years ago. Worth seeing again. The guided excursions were great but thought the groups were a little large. We could have benefited from more guides perhaps. I would also suggest that Uniworld consider offering to guests a 3k, 5k and 7k running map at every port for running enthusiasts. However, that may not be for the typical clientele for Uniworld. I don’t know. Entertainment-The nightly entertainment was fun whether in the lounge or the Leopard Lounge. I had fun dancing; definitely keeping my mind off work. So much so that when I returned to the office I had forgotten my password to get into my company email and network. That has never happened to me. That's testament to having had a great vacation! The Ship-Tastefully and thematically done à la 18th century French. Clean, bright and comfortable. Marie Antoinette herself may have preferred escaping to the SS Antoinette.... over Le Petit Trianon! There were comfortable common usage areas to relax, read or listen to music. We did not take advantage of the cinema on the ship. Security-I don’t know much about security on cruise ships but wanted to mention one incident and how the staff/crew handled it. I was very impressed. During one evening (after dinner), I was hanging out at the Reception area. A man from a neighboring cruise ship (docked further down from the SS Antoinette), slightly inebriated, walked in, persistently and eventually, more aggressively, asked to use the washroom. He was told that he could not and had to leave. The gentleman at Reception had to repeat himself 4-5 times and still no success. After the 5th time, a member of the ship’s crew (not the hotel staff) came out from behind and stood calmly beside this man and insisted on his departure. The man left. I felt safe on the ship needless to say. To the 'unsure' - If you're skeptical about cruises, before you say no, re-think, re-consider. You may be pleasantly surprised! It might be exactly what you need. Stateroom 206 Rhine River Holiday Cruise (Cologne to Basel) Nov 29-Dec 6 ’15" Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
It was our first river cruise and we selected the Uniworld SS Antoinette as the ship based upon the sailing dates. We are extremely fond of white asparagus (known as Spargel in Germany) and selected this date as it is in the height of the ... Read More
It was our first river cruise and we selected the Uniworld SS Antoinette as the ship based upon the sailing dates. We are extremely fond of white asparagus (known as Spargel in Germany) and selected this date as it is in the height of the very short season. When asked by us whether the chef would be willing to prepare this for us if we purchased them in the local markets, they told us not to worry as they would purchase them and prepare them every night of the cruise. They did in fact do this and it made the dining experience. If we had one complaint, it was the time spent in Koln Germany. Even getting off the ship at 2:00 PM to take a 30 minute bus ride into the city (since the ship was not going to dock in Koln itself until 5:00) gave very little time to explore the city. Although the ship stayed in port until about 11:00, the shops were closed and that first night was the Captain's welcome dinner which we wanted to attend. Due to the high waters of the Rhine we were unable to sail in Basle, but Uniworld made all the reservations necessary to get everyone to Basle in time to meet each train or plane. The staff was very friendly and willing to do whatever it took to make the trip enjoyable. The tour director, Rik, was OUTSTANDING. We have been on a number of ocean cruises with various tours, but Rik went into great detail to explain each stop-the highlights as well as the logistics involved. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
S.S. Antoinette Ratings
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