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121 Uniworld Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

My wife and I just returned from our second Uniworld cruise. The first was on the S.S. Catherine going from Lyon to Avignon in 2016. It was excellent and initially we were a bit concerned that the Castles along the Rhine (Amsterdam to ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our second Uniworld cruise. The first was on the S.S. Catherine going from Lyon to Avignon in 2016. It was excellent and initially we were a bit concerned that the Castles along the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel) cruise might not live up to our experience in the south of France. But it certainly did! We spent 4 days in Amsterdam before boarding the S.S. Antoinette for the cruise. (a perfect beginning we recommend for everyone) We've read a few reviews complaining about the condition of the Antoinette - we have absolutely NO complaints about the ship. We booked a French balcony cabin which was very nice. On our first trip we opted for a full balcony - which, as far as we are concerned was a mistake. The French balcony configuration on the Antoinette is exactly the same square footage as the full balcony. As on all river cruise lines, the staterooms are small but very functional. We had no complaints about the cabin, amenities, bath, AC, steward service, or anything else. All Uniworld ships are non-smoking except in specific above deck areas so there was no smell in the cabin. As a safety engineer, I was pleased to see that all areas of the ship are sprinklered with smoke detectors. Dining was excellent - plenty of choices for all meals. Uniworld is all inclusive so all beverages were included. Other reviewers have commented on the noise level in the dining room - and we experienced a similar issue. But, it was NOT awful, contrary to other comments we've read. However, we do suggest that the noise level in the dining room be evaluated to see if anything could be done to attenuate the noise. (There was a large group (40+) of passengers, all on a sponsored excursion from one US State, who added greatly to the overall noise level.) The excursions were also excellent, and the local guides were very knowledgeable. The excursions themselves were very interesting and we really enjoyed the small towns we visited. Strasbourg is a don't miss experience. Definitely don't miss the vinegar tasting excursion! The castles along the Rhine were beautiful. The Cruise Director ("Pete"), told interesting stories about the history of each one. In a nutshell, he did a fabulous job. We chose to do a progressive dinner (small group) which included appetizers and a full meal and dessert while taking a guided tour of the ship including the kitchen, engine room (spotless!), and bridge. It was very interesting seeing the inner workings of the Antoinette. We had read about the low water level problems on the Rhine. Although it was low, it was still passable and our sailing was just fine. Fortunately, our weather was perfect the entire trip. Bright sunshine all the way. The crew was great - professional, helpful, and friendly. All spoke English very well. We didn't go on a river cruise expecting Las Vegas style entertainment. But what there was, was nice. Especially the guitar playing "guy with 2,000 songs." Finally, we love the fact that river cruising is on small ships with far fewer passengers than on those ocean going monsters. There were probably about 150 passengers on the Antoinette. We met lots of very nice people, some of whom almost instantly became good friends. In short, we had an absolute ball and we will be taking future river cruises in Europe with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I chose the Uniworld river cruise as it was recommended by our travel agent due to the supposedly very high level of their food. We were looking forward to cruising down the Rhine, while viewing beautiful scenery, castles, and ... Read More
My wife and I chose the Uniworld river cruise as it was recommended by our travel agent due to the supposedly very high level of their food. We were looking forward to cruising down the Rhine, while viewing beautiful scenery, castles, and making interesting stops along the way from Amsterdam to Basel, all along being served first class food. It did not turn out that way. Let me first state the ship was very well maintained, although the decor is dated. The professionalism and friendliness of the staff could not have been any higher. We happily give the staff a five star rating! The weather was excellent throughout our cruise. However, there are several things about our Uniworld River Empress cruise which were definitely disappointing. As mentioned above, we looked forward to cruising down the Rhine while taking in beautiful scenery. However, the cruising time while viewing the scenery basically lasted one and one half days. The afternoon of the first day, and the full following day. The rest of the time the cruising was done during the evenings (while sleeping), which significantly short changed our expectations, as well as those promised by cruise advertisement images showing a ship serenely cruising by ancient castles and impressive mountains. With this having been our first river cruise, my wife and I obviously failed to "read the fine print" of the schedule which would have alerted us to the fact that impressive scenery would be extremely limited. Most of the days we would wake up in a different small Rhine-area town, disembark, and be given a tour of the immediate area. These small towns differed little from each other, with the shape of the local cathedral most often being the main difference. After a couple of stops they become interchangeable, since there was little local art (none at all), food, scenery difference to appreciate. These towns seem to exist currently simply due to the river cruise industry. To say the stops became repetitive is as kind a description possible. If the cruise had lasted half of the time it would have been an improvement, as it would have cut down on the boredom. Uniworld should choose stops which offer individual experiences, not simply more of the same, becoming repetitive. As far as the food is concerned, the flavor segment of the cuisine was underwhelming. The selection of food was definitely ample and well presented. Breakfast, and also desserts at lunch/dinner, were excellent (the pastry chef should be highly commended). However, the taste of the starters and main courses was definitely Disney quality - bland. This was a very, very significant disappointment for us, as the endorsed (by our travel agent) high level of the cuisine was the basis for our Uniworld choice. Food quality was good, food flavor was mediocre. Sadly, the entertainment (which we did not expect to have) was completely forgettable. My wife and I lived in Europe for several years some time ago, and perhaps our trip expectations were too high. This trip did not leave us eager to book future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took a trip recently on this ship from Amsterdam to Basel, our thrip trip on Uniworld. Although the ship was beautiful and the crew were terrific, it may be our last such trip with this company because we found, especially at dinner ... Read More
We took a trip recently on this ship from Amsterdam to Basel, our thrip trip on Uniworld. Although the ship was beautiful and the crew were terrific, it may be our last such trip with this company because we found, especially at dinner that the dining room was so loud. We complained and were told that others have raised the same concerns. Part of the reason may be that the company has a policy of serving unlimited amounts of wine and liquor. Some people do not know how to regulate themselves. They below quite loud and obnoxious. The dining room needs major soundproofing and/or the company needs to rethink its policy re unlimited drinks. Again, the ship is very nice, and the crew was terrific. They went out of their way to meet our request for a specific food consistent with a religious holiday that took place during our cruise. Our cabin was lovely. But dinner consistently was not a pleasant experience. We have written an extensive review for the company on this issue and have received no response. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Thought it was supposed to be top notch. 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 ... Read More
Thought it was supposed to be top notch. 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 S.S. Antoinette is only 7 years old. I thought it was a lot older than that when I saw it. The chandelier was way to big for the lobby. The cabin we selected was the highest class category other than the suites. It was extremely small, I expected that. 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. I did not like that we had upgraded and 3 of the days we docked in France and Switzerland there was another ship only inches from ours and we could not sit on the balcony and have our morning coffee. (no privacy) The bathroom was okay for the size of the cabin. Our embarking time was supposed to be 4 pm and changed it to 3 pm not letting anyone know. All meals take place in the over crowed dining room and the entertainment which is extremely limited takes place in the lounge. Piano Music. That was it!!!! (No dining privately)There is an upper deck which which was very nice. The gym is so small but expected for the size of the ship. The pool was nice and quiet. They had to drain it because the ship was to heavy to pass under bridges. Then when they filled back up it was to cold to swim in. 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, You could order steak or chicken if you did not like the choice on the menu. The wait staff was very pleasant for the most part. They got to know us. The Rhine River is for the most part uninteresting the Castles and the history very interesting. Most of the ports we visited were unattractive German cities with the exception of Strasbourg and Cologne. Two Alsatian villages were just to touristy. We only had about 20 minutes for free time. 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 very 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. We spent 2 hours a tour on a bus just to get to where we were going. Not enough time to enjoy the villages. Were supposed to do a Vow ceremony and they could not accommodate us. Said we should consider canceling a tour so we could do the ceremony. My husband had a massage scheduled one morning and they changed the tour time so he had to cancel it and he never was able to get another time rescheduled. The cruise is advertised as a 8 day 7 night trip but in fact it is only 6 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. So I saw no reason to make the other stops so short. We got to Basel at 9 pm and could not get off the ship until next day. If you want to see 4 countries and not just 2, plan a few days in the Netherlands before your cruise and a few days in Switzerland after your cruise. Most of the crew members for the most part were extremely friendly and helpful. Overall I would never take another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first river cruise and we worried it would be too small and slow for us. And it was. We're very active, independent, well-traveled cruisers. We chose Uniworld based on its ratings and claims, and because we liked this ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we worried it would be too small and slow for us. And it was. We're very active, independent, well-traveled cruisers. We chose Uniworld based on its ratings and claims, and because we liked this itinerary plus the all-inclusive package. While we had some lovely experiences, saw some darling towns and met some special people (most from Down Under), we were disappointed by too much. --Our category 2 room was appallingly small. The kind where two people cannot pass at the same time and one person could get hurt in the bathroom. --We thought we would just pull up into nice towns and walk, but that happened only in Amsterdam, Rudesheim, Scheinfurt and Regensburg. Presumably we would have docked in Budapest (see below!). --Five days into the 16 day voyage, we were informed the sun deck would be closed from Wertheim to Passau due to low bridges: that’s 8 days, half the journey! Since we did not have a balcony, that deck is the only place to enjoy the outdoors on board. I learned near the end you could actually go up there when the barricade was down. But that was not communicated. This is important info I wish I knew before I signed up. --The food was was good but not great. The menu appeared to be spa-focused--healthy with smaller portions. That's a great premise and some of it was tasty. But more options would have been preferred, especially for dinner. (Really nice breakfast buffets). -- Passengers tend to be more sedentary so there were less options for the more active. In response, Peter the fitness director took a small group out a couple of times including biking. The boat's bikes were OK and easy to check out and use. --Finally, the communication was haphazard, relying on a debriefing each night before dinner by Agnes the cruise director. When things changed, we did not know and received contradictory info. The biggest disappointment was going through the Middle Rhine, one of the highlights with its castles along the banks. We were told to go to the sun deck at 8 a.m. but around 7:25, we saw castles passing by our room and realized we had already missed at least 10 km of the gorge. One day I was ready to go out for a walk before someone caught me to explain that plans had changed and we were in a different port and would be departing soon. I might have been stranded! I suggested Agnes simply put a notice at the central reception area with any major changes. She said she wasn't allowed to. On the plus side, Todol, the head of the dining room, was terrific and wrangled diet 7-up for me after I asked. There is self-service laundry for free (and for a fee), and a nice self-serve coffee machine down the hall (though it was busted for 3 days). Excursions were mostly good (whisper headsets were provided in your rooms). Some repeat travelers love Uniworld and felt very pampered. The Danube was so low (no major rains since April) we became stuck (something you never think about!) and could not finish out the cruise. We ended up bussed to two hotel nights in Vienna and one in Budapest, which were lovely and obviously an unexpected expense for Uniworld. That was a happy ending for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I chose this as a vacation in honor of our 35th anniversary. It did not disappoint! This was our first experience with river cruising. We were boarding in Amsterdam and arranged three days of our own visit to Amsterdam ... Read More
My husband and I chose this as a vacation in honor of our 35th anniversary. It did not disappoint! This was our first experience with river cruising. We were boarding in Amsterdam and arranged three days of our own visit to Amsterdam prior to arriving at the ship. (This was not a Uniworld "extension," just our own trip.) Uniworld lived up to its reviews and reputation and gave us a great time. We had been on ocean cruises before, but due to the small size of ship and crew and just 109 guests this week, river cruising was a more relaxed experience. Guests got to know each other and made friends, which made all activities and meals very pleasant. Every time there was getting on or off the ship for any reason, it was fast and simple. A benefit of river cruising is that there is never any tendering. You step straight off the ship. It never took more than 15 minutes from announced boarding time to sailing time each afternoon or evening. Cruise Manager Tomas was an outstanding personality in his role of keeping everything organized and keeping guests informed of each day's activities. The food on board ship was very good and the dining room staff were always attentive and eager to ensure an enjoyable experience. I have lactose intolerance and the staff worked very hard to make sure my needs were covered. Dining room design (on both ships) was adequate at dinner, when diners were seated. However, space for the breakfast and lunch buffets, when people needed to move around, was too tight. My husband felt that large, noisy groups got more attention from the wait staff. Since we were usually just two of us at the table, we waited a long time for some of the basic services (e.g., refilling water or wine glasses). The daily excursions were very worthwhile and there were always choices. Most of the tour guides were outstanding, especially in the northern and central stops in Germany. The excursions included lots of walking and biking and that had to be our exercise for the trip. The fitness facilities on board are tiny and there is no pool. There is theoretically a place to walk on the top deck, but for about a week of our trip the top deck was closed due to many low bridges and other technical issues. We used and paid for the ship's laundry service and this was worth the fees, which seemed reasonable give experience with other cruise lines. I don't think anyone should have to spend vacation time doing laundry! As we learned, returning guests to Uniworld get free laundry services on their cruise. The "regular" onboard entertainer was not exciting, but the visiting musicians gave great concerts. My favorite was the oompah band in Regensberg, Germany. They were as good as any professional band or orchestra to be found anywhere. The bends in the river in the title of this review had mostly to do with low water problems on the Danube. Although we expected to board the River Princess, it was stuck in Austria due to a low water point and could not sail to Amsterdam. As a result, we boarded the River Duchess (a virtually identical ship) and sailed on the Duchess for most of our cruise. Only the last three days were we able to sail on the Princess. Uniworld did a nearly seamless job in transferring us between the ships (made easier due to the identical layout and stateroom availability). There were small changes in the itinerary on the day before and the day of the actual transfer, and a few passengers grumbled, but it was a reasonable facilitation of the switch and we still had multiple excursions even if not the initially expected ones. Our only struggle with setting up our trip was booking our airline tickets. These are handled through a contractor. We had a great amount of difficulty getting seat assignments and ordering special meals -- on line, on the phone, and at airports. (These would have been very east to do if we had been booking our own tickets.) Uniworld was unable to help with any of this, but apologized and offered an onboard credit of $50 US for each of us in exchange for our trouble. This was certainly appreciated, but Uniworld should look at the kind of service that its guests are getting in working with airline plans. Note that if you want to arrive or depart on dates not in line with your cruise schedule (we arrived early), you pay a fee for each passenger. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Currently we are on the Uniworld River Dutchess because our original ship the River Princess could not make it to Amsterdam. We are on the European Jewels cruise that left Amsterdam on July 6th, 2018. On departure there were issues ... Read More
Currently we are on the Uniworld River Dutchess because our original ship the River Princess could not make it to Amsterdam. We are on the European Jewels cruise that left Amsterdam on July 6th, 2018. On departure there were issues because they could not even provide the original ship. Once on board things were going well until we started to hear news that we would not be able to proceed to Passau and would have to cut out key excursions that is why we booked this trip. Tomas Martinez the cruise director has nothing that "he can do" only LA can make the decision. The excursions they provide are okay. Some good and others not so good. Many things overpriced and even Thomas agreed with this. My husband had has hand burnt by someone who shoved him while handling hot soup. The team responded but no incident report. No concern was really expressed by team. Spoke with Tomas regarding situation and neither he or Vassil the restaurant manager communicated the incident with the cruise director. We are now being told we will be bussed to our next ship since this one cannot pass. I planned 16 days on one ship to relax, not be stuck, need to repack, and move along with the best part, since the excursions are all messed up, they are offering 20 euros to cover a lunch in town. What kind of class or elegance is this supposed to be. The fact that I cannot get help on board, had to call American Express for assistance since only a travel agent can help, and no one communicates appropriately is distressing. This cruise is more like a Carnival/Motel 6 than a boutique river cruise. So to answer questions, embarkation went fine but now have to disembark and reembark. Ship clean except the consistent bugs around coffee machine. Dining is okay, some nights good and some not so good. No one acknowledged special diet requst filed when completing pre-cruise check-in. Entertainment is a piano bar. Limited entertainment. Excursions that are good you have to pay for. Don't let them fool you that all inclusive. Service- Has gone from great to the the service you would get at a Motel 6 or Holiday Inn. No communication. Lack of support. I asked to go to a pharmacy tonight and was sent to a bar call Pharmacy. Oh the health and wellness person, is consistently smoking up on top deck. How is that promoting health and wellness? Ports-Some good, the great ones like Nuremberg were too short. No children, not appropriate. After this entire disaster, we are disputing the charges on credit card. Even after asking to mediate this dispute, and threatening to file a complain per my EU Ship Passenger Rights, Tomas stated that it is LA that makes the decisions. I will definitely not accept future cruse credit. This hell was bad enough. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I was desperate for information about Uniworld, and this particular itinerary, after we booked more than a year in advance. So, I'll do my best to review and help others out. After having been on several ocean cruises, our first ... Read More
I was desperate for information about Uniworld, and this particular itinerary, after we booked more than a year in advance. So, I'll do my best to review and help others out. After having been on several ocean cruises, our first impression was "wow, this is really small!! lol We identified our luggage next to the coach, then some of us checked in, but instead of standing in line, Ken and I went for lunch! The "light" lunch buffet was delicious and varied - a dozen different salads, meats and potatoes in steam trays, Panini sandwiches, a carvery, and the most delicious soups! If this was an introduction to Uniworld, it was already a GREAT cruise! As we sat visiting after lunch, the announcement came that our cabins were ready, no later than 2:30 or 3 pm. We were impressed... once again! So, the stage was set for our daily routine. The restaurant had plenty of seating for everyone, and breakfast was either buffet or a menu if you wished. The buffet varied from day to day, sometimes mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and beans for breakfast, always potatoes, always bacon and sausages, always a cheese board. Lunches were buffet-style, with a different soup every day (tomato, cheese, potato, cauliflower, leek, all delicious), always a carvery always a grilled sandwich option. Always an ice cream bar, too! Yay! Several different flavors of ice cream, with a variety of toppings, to well... top off your lunch. We were very pleased with the quality and variety of the food - something for every palette. Dinners were menu-based, with a variety of dishes, and always at least one local favorite was included on the menu. You could always get a New York strip steak, chicken, or a vegetarian option, plus 5 or 6 different entrees, which changed each night. Substitutions were allowed with a smile, and all (except one) of the wait staff had a ready smile for each of us. They learned our coffee or tea preferences, whether we wanted bread with our meal, and whether we drank red or white wine. They spoke of their homes and families, but were very proud to be employed by Uniworld, and spoke highly of the company. Our favorite bartender, Branislov, (Branny), figured us out the first day, and he never forgot. Two beers (Becks on tap all week), and he kept our glasses full. Salty bar munchies in the afternoon, and a decadent Mozart chocolate liqueur and a B & B after dinner made us a couple of very happy campers indeed! They had every brand of liquor imaginable, plus 6 or 7 different craft beers in bottles, served cold. They switched up the brands of wine, depending on the region we were sailing through, but were always open to corking a favorite if requested. Each evening at 6:45, in the lounge before dinner, our delightful Cruise Manager Ann gave a detailed overview of the next day, which excursions would be going where, and reminders of where we would be docking, and when we would be setting sail again. We found the included excursions very well planned for the most part, with a few hiccups, but nothing earth shattering. There were a couple of popular tours (Marksburg Castle or the Bike to Boppard) that filled up quickly, so I would recommend signing up for the tours you want earlier rather than at the last minute. We did not sign up for any optional tours on board, and we were kept very busy. The first full morning on board at 9:30 am, Cruise Manger Ann presented a Cruise Overview in the lounge to detail all activities and port excursions for the week. Don't miss this presentation! It was full of information and insights you might otherwise miss out on. There was entertainment every afternoon in the lounge, either piano or the resident house musicians Greg and Margaret. After dinner, there was always music and dancing in the lounge, but we were usually too tired to enjoy it. One morning before Koblenz, a young German historian made a very interesting presentation on "Do I feel European", and shared his perspective on identity from the middle ages to modern days. The lounge also had two automated 24/7 coffee/tea/ or specialty push-button drink machines available, along with sweet snacks or pastries in the early morning. The wellbeing coach Andrei led stretching or light yoga each morning at 7 am, and there were movies in the cinema available. The World Cup matches had started, so 3 games a day were shown in the cinema. There were very few sports jackets worn by the guys, and no one felt under-dressed in a collared shirt without a tie. The ladies wore a variety from dressy pants to skirts to capris and a dressy top. I managed to get in a load of laundry done while sailing, and the machines worked well (3 washers and 3 dryers all complimentary). Complimentary washing Tide-like pods are given readily at the reception desk, but no dryer sheets if you use them. We took part in a "Sharing Dinner" onboard, a German family-style meal in L' Orangerie, where we were served mounds of sausages, kraut, ham, soup, pretzel logs, pork chops, salmon, potatoes, cauliflower, and a chocolate coma dessert plate. Wonderful experience, and limited in the number of guests, so sign up early. We also signed up for a Wheelhouse Visit with 1st Captain Menno one afternoon. This was interesting, learning how the nuts and bolts of the ship work. Maximum of 10 guests on this tour, and it was only offered this once during the week. On the last day, we came back to the ship, and found lunch in both the restaurant, and a hamburger station, which had been set up in L'Orangerie, for a change of pace. The last night's dinner was bittersweet, but delicious. Only once did I hear the words "Gentle Walking" all week. We saw some folks really struggle getting up to the sun deck, as the elevator does not go there (there is a chair lift on one side), and struggle to walk to the bus, which has to park some distance away sometimes. We're in fairly good shape for our age, and get around well, but our knees were sore from the climbs and steep stairs. We had to raft another ship once, in Breisach, and a couple of folks really struggled to walk up and down and over the other ship. In our opinion, to do this itinerary right, you need to be able to walk a half mile without resting, stand for 15-20 minutes without sitting, and climb some steep stairs as needed. All in all, it was a top-notch adventure with Uniworld, and we are already scheming to find another itinerary we like. We were offered a 5% discount on our next Uniworld cruise if we booked on board, but we just weren't ready to choose a date and itinerary, and pay right away. I wish you could just purchase a voucher, like some cruise lines offer, and redeem it at your leisure. I hope you enjoyed reading along as much as I enjoyed re-living the journey. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever ... Read More
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever region we were in was a delight on this all inclusive cruise. The service by the wonderful crew was superb! Nicolay runs a wonderful dining room, any request I had he fulfilled for us. Great waiters and waitresses, all had their own special qualities Plus the bar with Mariya and Silviya working very hard to please, constantly smiling. They never tell you no. Anthony making sure we were introduced to each city we came into port on great excursions. Our cabin was wonderfully taken care of by Tihimore who had a ready smile she shared. It felt like home the entire stay. Thank you so much, made many memories for myself and my fiancé. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The boat was nice, crew friendly, and well organized and food very good. Some points to consider: * We travel often and don’t use a travel agent. Being our first time with UW, we booked by phone. The customer service reps ... Read More
The boat was nice, crew friendly, and well organized and food very good. Some points to consider: * We travel often and don’t use a travel agent. Being our first time with UW, we booked by phone. The customer service reps were less than helpful, and when notified of our “late” flight time, said that if we had read the small print in the contract we received a couple of days after booking, that we would have seen that UW doesn’t provide transportation to the boat if you flight arrives after 5 o’clock. (our flight arrived at 6). We would need to find on own way to the ship. We took a taxi to the river, and finally found the boat among the 12 that were there. * All the tours are included in the price of the trip. If you don’t want to take one or more you are paying for them anyway. Some tours are back to back on the same day. If you want only the second tour you must go on the first one or pay for transportation to catch up with them for the second. * A lot of the towns are not close to where the boat is docked. You are bussed into the town and told when the bus will be back to pick you up. If you want to come back earlier you can find a place to sit and wait * Meal times change from day to day as they are arranged around the tour schedules. If breakfast is 7- 8:30 and you don’t want to go on the tour, you still must be at breakfast during that time. Since the eating period is so short the staff move quickly to get you out in time for the tours. Leaving your seat to get additional food will mean that your plate and all silverware will be gone when you get back. If you miss breakfast, room service is a roll, orange juice and coffee. * Schedule times can change daily, so you are given next day’s schedule the night before. Always check with the front desk though, because there may be adjustments. And what’s on the schedule is sometime suspect. One tour was “scheduled” to return to the boat an hour after the boat “left”, another schedule had the boat arriving and leaving at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our second cruise on Uniworld. We were so impressed with the first cruise on the Joie de Vivre in Paris we had to see if it was some how different. We were not disappointed. The service, accommodations, meals and excursions ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Uniworld. We were so impressed with the first cruise on the Joie de Vivre in Paris we had to see if it was some how different. We were not disappointed. The service, accommodations, meals and excursions were just as good on our second cruise as the first. Although the rooms are a bit smaller than the Joie de Vivre, it was more than adequate. After all how much time do you spend in your room. We met so many people during the cruise. Sharing cocktails and meals with them made our trip socially entertaining too. There was lounge entertainment every evening and every other night there would be special local entertainment, Dutch dancers, singers and classical musicians. All of them including the lounge performer were very good. Late afternoons we were treated to a strudl making demo and beer tasting. May have missed other because of excursions. We had Ingrid as the cruise director on both our Uniworld cruises. Her patience on herding a bunch of people around all day has to be appreciated. We got private access to The Hermitage and various other sites during the excursions. A lot of walking so brings some comfortable shoes but well worth the effort. You can also go at a more leasurely pace if you choose, but we were up to the challange and it was great exercise. Waiters, bar tenders, and housekeeping were all friendly, courteous and helpful. By the second day they would call you by name and anticipate your needs. The breakfast omlet chef was one of my wife's favorites. Breakfast and lunch were a bit routine but dinner was always a new experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Very friendly welcome on this nice river boat. Cabin and bathroom small but very well decorated and efficiently furnished. All public areas are lovely. The service thoughout was good, at times too attentive, with someone passing by the ... Read More
Very friendly welcome on this nice river boat. Cabin and bathroom small but very well decorated and efficiently furnished. All public areas are lovely. The service thoughout was good, at times too attentive, with someone passing by the table every few minutes to enquire if anything was needed. The self service laundry was very useful. The only disappointments were dinners and wine selection. White wine drinkers who do not like reisling will be unhappy with the daily wine offerings - same if you are not a drinker of German reds. For the price of this cruise, would have expected a better quality and choice. Premium wines were available but rather expensive. Shore excursions were mixed - Amsterdam and Strasbourg excellent, others average to good. Overall, the trip was pleasant even though, at that time of year, the weather did not cooperate. Currently planning a river cruise in Portugal. As F&B is an important part of our travel, need to better check what is available prior to reserving. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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
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
Sail Date August 2017
First river cruise and we went on Uniworld at the recommendation of our travel agent. The ship was very comfortable and all of the staff were wonderful. They always had a smile on their face and were helpful and happy to be there. They ... Read More
First river cruise and we went on Uniworld at the recommendation of our travel agent. The ship was very comfortable and all of the staff were wonderful. They always had a smile on their face and were helpful and happy to be there. They made us feel at home added to the enjoyment of the cruise. The food was delicious (breakfast and lunch was typically a buffet) and menu options available for dinner. Never had a problem with getting a table in the dining room and the ship never seemed crowded even when all of the guests were together. The tours were enjoyable though others that we didn't take seemed to be more interesting based on feedback from others. Our cruise director was very helpful and worked to taken care of any special requests. When changes needed to be addressed, he never seemed to get flustered and worked things out. The other passengers on the ship were easy to talk with and we enjoyed sharing meals and drinks with a number of couples. Would highly recommend a Uniworld for your river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We just returned from a Uniworld 'Castles along the Rhine' River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. It was simply wonderful......everything from the ship to the excursions to the attentive staff made it a memorable trip! The SS ... Read More
We just returned from a Uniworld 'Castles along the Rhine' River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. It was simply wonderful......everything from the ship to the excursions to the attentive staff made it a memorable trip! The SS Antoinette is a beautiful ship & the rooms are spacious. Your suitcases fit under the bed to leave adequate living space. We really were not even in our room that much. The views from the upper deck were breathtaking & the lounge was a favorite meeting place to relax & have a drink. The Uniworld staff took care of everything, every day there were multiple excursions to choose from depending on your level of fitness. In fact the hardest choice you will have is whether to have red or white wine with your dinner! Because it is a smaller ship the staff gets to know the passengers & I felt they went over & above to be helpful and provide service. The food was outstanding, every night there was many choices to pick from. Wines were pared from the local regions we were passing through. Everything was included when we booked including the tips. This is a great feature, it didn't feel like everyone had their hand out expecting a tip. All in all I would highly recommend Uniworld and this River Cruise, it was a perfect vacation! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our third river cruise and second with Uniworld. We previously sailed with Uniworld from Amsterdam to Budapest and loved it. This cruise, from Amsterdam to Basel,( with a detour down the Moselle) had only two stops in common with our ... Read More
Our third river cruise and second with Uniworld. We previously sailed with Uniworld from Amsterdam to Budapest and loved it. This cruise, from Amsterdam to Basel,( with a detour down the Moselle) had only two stops in common with our earlier cruise. The scenery along the Moselle was outstanding. Much of our free time was spent on the top deck. The cabin was small, but adequate. The food was great and the service was nothing short of outstanding. Several people had problems with their airline reservations which weren't apparent until the day before our disembarkation. Denisa, the cruise director, spent a lot of time on the phone straightening everything out and everyone seemed satisfied. All of the tours were interesting but our favorites were Luxembourg, Trier, Strasbourg, and Colmar. We spent two days prior the cruise in Amsterdam. It was worth it. It gave us time to adjust to the time change and do a walking tour of Amsterdam. We also spent three days after the tour in Basel. Another great time exploring a lovely city. It's a very expensive city, however, and I would recommend getting a hotel room that includes breakfast. We are already planning our next cruise with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first river cruise, Castles along the Rhine, and after doing research and looking over reviews we are 100% happy we chose Uniworld. The staff were outgoing, accommodating, always said hello, and wanted to please you. Captain ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, Castles along the Rhine, and after doing research and looking over reviews we are 100% happy we chose Uniworld. The staff were outgoing, accommodating, always said hello, and wanted to please you. Captain Ferdy was always present. At times even helping crew unloading garbage or tying up the ship. Food was excellent, with variety in the breakfast and lunch buffets. I loved the different cheeses they presented daily Dinner was well presented, 5 course with two mains to choose from along with fish, steak if you didn't like the mains. The included wines and bar drinks were very good. On our cruise there were mostly Americans, Brits, Canadians, Australians. We made good friendships. Great assets to Uniworld: and a shout out to cruise director Kirsten who lead some of the included shore excursions. Silva and Nick in the lounge, Anata and Pedro in the dinning. All remaining staff aimed to please. This is a little pricier than other river cruise lines, but everything is included, including Wi-Fi. No tipping, not even the tour guides. First Class. Keep up the good work. We are glad we chose Uniworld and look forward to other cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Service excellent:, staff friendly, helpful, professional the BEST i have ever seen on any cruise, and i have been on many. The decor is tired , out of date, and needs repair and replacing. Food average certainly not worthy of ... Read More
Service excellent:, staff friendly, helpful, professional the BEST i have ever seen on any cruise, and i have been on many. The decor is tired , out of date, and needs repair and replacing. Food average certainly not worthy of the premium cost of this cruise. The dining room noisy and very dated. The upstairs casual dining room if very uncomfortable. Tile floors, no window covering metal chairs very poorly appointed. After you leave the lobby it's downhill. I was surprised with the up-charge for some superior grade drinks. Entertainment was average at best. NO activities other than day tours offered. The general opinion was not enough free time in some areas while other areas could have been omitted because they lacked interest or charm. I beleive when paying a premium price for a cruise all the blocks checked should be excellent. The borchure. advertising pics should be updated to include the not so great common areas Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our second cruise with Uniworld. It met all of our expectations and then some. After our experiences on our first cruise, our expectations were high. While I admit I haven't cruised with other lines, those that I talked with ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Uniworld. It met all of our expectations and then some. After our experiences on our first cruise, our expectations were high. While I admit I haven't cruised with other lines, those that I talked with who have ay Uniworld does it better. The food, the service, the rooms and the "all-inclusiveness" are truly #1. We enjoyed shore excursions daily. We toured two small towns in France which was too much for the time allotted. We could have spent the entire morning in one of the towns and still not had enough time! Castles along the Rhein was a great cruise that took us from Amsterdam through stops in Germany and France ending in Switzerland. This cruise has a good mix of cruising on the river and stopping at interesting cities. Weather in May turned out to be milder that we were expecting. Temps were in the high 60s to low 70s during the cruise. Uniworld does it right. I am looking forward to our next cruise with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our travel agent recommended this. Extremely good choice due for needed attention on mobility. The cruise director and the staff went out of their way to make this possible. I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again, and hope very ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this. Extremely good choice due for needed attention on mobility. The cruise director and the staff went out of their way to make this possible. I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again, and hope very soon. The food was outstanding. The crew worked very well together and always with a smile and willing to help. I was not able to climb the stairs to the sundeck but the crew set up a station for me to take photos of the castles. The captain even came by to make sure everything was fine for me. This was beyond the call of duty. The dining room staff went out of their way for me as I could not manage the buffet lines. My wife and I are already going through the latest Uniworld catalog to plan our next cruise. We had a wonderful time and thought that it was a good value. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We have cruised with Uniworld two years ago from Budapest to Passau and decided we wanted to do this cruise which actually started in Amsterdam and ended in Bucharest. WE had 21 days on the ship and 2 nights in Bucharest. We also did ... Read More
We have cruised with Uniworld two years ago from Budapest to Passau and decided we wanted to do this cruise which actually started in Amsterdam and ended in Bucharest. WE had 21 days on the ship and 2 nights in Bucharest. We also did the pre cruise in Amsterdam, which was the only disappointment of the trip. So I want to get that out of the way first. We booked the pre cruise tour in Amsterdam and had a very difficult time getting the timing of the excursions that came with the pre tour. Apparently there were two different cruises leaving on the same day and the guide was juggling both groups. We finally received an itinerary so we could plan our other excursions only to find that the tour guide changed the timing because "of the other group". This was really not my problem, they should have called in a second guide to deal with any issues that came up with another group. As it happened we missed the main excursion with the guide, as we had other plans for earlier in the day and could not make it to both. The canal tour he took us on was ok, although he sat in the back of the canal boat and just spoke using the audio equipment we had. He could not even sit with us and maybe spontaneously point something out. Then the day we were supposed to embark there was a glitch with the bus picking us up because of traffic and the size of the bus. We were supposed to arrive for lunch and as time got tight, he said just go and get lunch the dining room is open until 3 pm. Wrong. First we had to sign in, and by time we got to the dining room, we were told it was closed. In the meantime he went and got his food and was sitting eating and totally ignored the fact that we were expecting something to eat, from his directions. I was really upset, as he did nothing except kept on eating, even though he saw us walk in. Luckily a very good manage, Karolina, heard the issues and had the 5 of us go into the lounge and order off the bar menu. But why should we have to have an issue with this, the local guide should have taken care of this. All in all, I am not sure I would do another pre cruise tour with Uniworld local guides. I would rather plan private tours and arrive take a cab to the ship. Of course you might say, at least you get an airport pick up, wrong again. He did not even get that part correct. there were three of us waiting. Luckily a AMAcruise guide helped us, by calling the River Duchess for us, and helping us get a cab to the hotel. We were easily reimbursed, but another unpleasant way to start our vacation. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GREAT!!! Once we got on the cruise it was great. We had a lovely Level 1 cabin. This boat only has 4 suites, so if you want one, you need to book very early. The dining room was well laid out.There is a Buffet for Breakfast and Lunch and served sit down dinner. There was alway plenty of food to choose from and fresh food was brought up frequently to fill the warmers. Being a vegetarian sometimes causes issues, but not on a Uniworld cruise. There was always a vegetarian option for dinner and plenty to choose from at lunch. The staff went out of their way to be sure I had enough to eat and would often have something special made for me for dinner if I did not want what was on the menu. The wines were very good. Since I love Rieslings from Germany, this cruise was wonderful for me. Maria, the head bar tender and sommelier alway discussed the menu and wine pairings before we went into dinner, and her recommendations were excellent. Peter, the Head Chef, did a great job with the food and especially the specialty local foods. The excursions were incredible. We were on the ship for 21 days and always had a great choice of what to do. Gabriel had wonderful excursions lined up and often times reorganized them when he realized that some of the folks needed the "gentle walker" option. He was very good at changing plans as needed and everyone had the opportunity to enjoy themselves within their capabilities. He also organized a wonderful excursion for the 19 people who were doing the 21 days of sailing from Amsterdam-Bucharest. When we got to Budapest many people disembarked, and others embarked for the last week of the cruise. The turn over day was left open, but he scheduled a wonderful visit to the Hungarian wine country with a beautiful lunch in one of the cavern wine cellars. This was one of my favorite days and Gabriel did this at the last minute. Fast thinking!!! The rest of the cruise was very interesting sailing on the Danube, through the countries claimed by the Soviets after WWII. The people we met were very open about what their lives were like pre 1989 and how things had changed since then. The sailing through the Iron Gate area was spectacular and I feel honored to have been able to see this beautiful region on this wonderful cruise. I want to thank Maria, our cabin caretaker and Celina for helping to make our Anniversary so special. We returned from our dinner to find a beautiful red organizer bow on our bed, with heart shaped chocolates and candles lit through out our cabin, as well as a bottle of Champagne. This was an incredible surprise and we just loved the thought that went into making our celebration so special. Once we arrived in Romania we had a short drive to Bucharest. Disembarkation was a dream. We were organized into three time groups. When it was our turn to board the bus, we went to our bus, identified our luggage and off we went. On arrival, we had time for a snack, which was organized by the local guides in the hotel, before heading our for our afternoon tour of Bucharest. Once we returned to the hotel, our room keys were waiting for us with the local guide, our luggage was already in our room and we were set to go. We had received information of suggested dining options for dinner from the local guides, even before arriving, so we did not feel at a loss of what to do and where to go. Transfers to the airport went just as smoothly. They organized us according to flight time so we did not have to wait at the airport all day. Since we left before the dining room opened, our group was given boxed breakfasts and there was coffee for us in the lobby. This was a wonderful group of local guides who had everything organized the way I have come to expect from Uniworld. They lived up to our expectations and worked hard getting us where we all needed to be for our return flights. We are already looking to book another Uniworld cruise for 2018. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first river cruise and we chose Uniworld because of its all inclusive nature. We booked our own travel and stayed for 3 nights in Amsterdam prior to boarding the ship. When we did board mid day, we were welcomed and shown ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose Uniworld because of its all inclusive nature. We booked our own travel and stayed for 3 nights in Amsterdam prior to boarding the ship. When we did board mid day, we were welcomed and shown around and encouraged to partake of the lounge offerings and lunch (and on the day of debarkation the guests were encouraged again to stay for lunch and hang out in the lounge until it was time to go to the airport or hotel). Our ship wasnt full and we upgraded our cabin for far less than we would have paid ahead of time. The food offerings daily were wide ranging, never repetitive and fabulous. Buffet at breakfast and lunch with cooked to order things available also. Dinner was menu driven and always in the Wow category. On cold days when we were on the deck to see the castles etc that we were passing, the staff brought blankets and hot drinks or alcoholic drinks, whatever one wished for. Daily meetings at happy hour enlightened us as to the excursions for the following day and sailing times etc, plus what the featured wines would be at dinner that night. Our cabin was small (they are all the same size regardless of the deck excepto for 4 slightly larger suites) but wonderfully comfortable with alot of storage. Daily maid service and nightly turn down and free washer and dryer use made it a complete luxury experience. Shore excursions were varied for all interests and abilities. We loved every minute and hated to leave. We opted to spend 3 nights in Budapest after disembarking and were glad we did, although we rather wished we had also booked some extra time in Vienna. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like ... Read More
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like to see the Kukenhof Gardens in April. I was not expecting a great deal from the ship, as it pre-dated and had smaller cabins than the magnificent Marie Antoinette, Catherine and Maria Theresa. And I wasn't excited about some unfamiliar destinations in the cruise (Veere etc). I can only say we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The cabins as always were luxuriously comfortable with lots of storage, just a bit less space to move around the bed. The crew I think were one of the nicest we have encountered and our tour guide Piet was definitely the best yet. The itinerary was perfectly paced and full of pleasant surprises. We loved the countryside and towns we visited, and those flowers!!! Just being there amongst them brought joy to my heart. And I'm no gardener! The catering and service on board were fantastic. I think I commented more than once that one would think the drinks staff were on commission selling drinks they were so forthcoming with them. But of course all food, drinks, tours and gratuities are included in the fare so we could really relax and just enjoy ourselves. Performers which came on board every couple of nights were great fun, and fitting for the cruise (e.g. Dutch folk dancers and mariners singing shanties). In short, I would definitely recommend this cruise and of course Uniworld as a company. Yes they cost a little more, but the value is definitely there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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