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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
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