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27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013

A few years after my wife and I had a very positive experience on a Uniworld River Cruise ' we did Amsterdam to Budapest on the Rhine and the Danube on the River Princess in 2008 ' we decided to try it again, this time on Russia's ... Read More

A few years after my wife and I had a very positive experience on a Uniworld River Cruise ' we did Amsterdam to Budapest on the Rhine and the Danube on the River Princess in 2008 ' we decided to try it again, this time on Russia's waterways linking Moscow to St. Petersburg. Uniworld has only one ship running this schedule ' the River Victoria ' and you can either choose to go from Moscow to St. Pete's or the reverse. In its brochure, Uniworld warns would be customers that since they don't own the ship and are not in total control of how some of the activities are conducted, travelers may find that the amenities 'may differ from those of a Uniworld company-owned ship'. Our experience from this cruise, however, is that in terms of comfort and services, the River Victoria meets and even surpasses the levels of comfort and quality of services on other cruise ships. For one, the River Victoria is considerably larger than most cruise ships on the Rhine and Danube ' there are no low bridges to deal with on the Russian waterways ' which provides more comfort and room to move around (for example, the tables in the dining room are not so tightly packed on the River Victoria); the ratio of staff to guests is almost double on the River Victoria compared to the other Uniworld cruise ships (110 staff to 202 guests on the River Victoria vs. 41 staff to 130 guests on the other ships). This, of course, reflects on the level of service provided. The staterooms are not larger on the River Victoria than on the other ships, but where there is a difference is that on the two upper decks, the Volga and the Neva, the staterooms come with oversized (about 12 x 8 ft) private balconies. These balconies were originally part of the public decks and were divided up into private balconies when the ship was remodeled in 2011.

It is hard to imagine a cruise that would offer better food in terms of variety and taste than what was provided for us on the River Victoria ' we were even served caviar and Champagne for breakfast! It is true that many of the menu items are prepared with plenty of cream, which is great for the palate, but perhaps not so great for the rest of the body ' but it's only for two weeks! The quality of the service in the dining room is also worth noting. The staff is made up of young Russian college students who are mostly studying languages; they are well trained, always very polite and extremely keen to provide the best service possible. They seemed to work 24 hours a day but they were always smiling and very cordial.

As for the cruise itself, spending three days visiting the two mega cities at each end, Moscow and St. Petersburg, certainly makes the entire trip worthwhile. However, guests should not expect the same spectacular scenery along the Imperial Waterways of Russia that one finds along the Rhine or the Danube. Northern Russia is flat and mostly undeveloped with a relatively low population density. The waterways run mostly through pristine forest with little sign of human activity. There are a few villages along the way but most are uninteresting and appear rather run down. There are a few exceptions, including the city of Yaroslavl on the Volga and Kizhi Island on Lake Onega. These are real gems; both places are important historical centers with spectacular architecture, including colourful onion-domed churches, and represent the two most interesting shore excursions along the waterways. The other three stops, Uglich, Kirillov and Mandrogi, are interesting but not nearly as attractive as the two mentioned above. Some visitors regard Mandrogi as a tourist trap due to the large number of souvenir shops, while others complain about the rainy weather that often prevails here as well as the abundance of mosquitoes. We were blessed with perfect weather on the day we went and not a single mosquito (this was in late August which may be the best time to go to avoid the bugs). I should add that the tour guides, all Russians, were very knowledgeable about the history and other facets of what they were guiding us through. All spoke English well and with the Quietvox Transmitter System provided, it was very easy to follow what was going on even at a distance.

In addition to the numerous cruise ships that sail these waterways ' cruise ships that all look alike, at least on the outside ' you will see many other types of ships including tankers and bulk carriers. These waterways constitute a major commercial artery linking the Baltic and St. Petersburg with Moscow and all the cities and towns along the Volga as far south as the Caspian sea. So, if you enjoy watching large ocean-going ships up close, it may compensate for the lack of great scenery.

 

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2011
I sailed on the River Beatrice from Budapest to Passau. The single occupancy surcharge is outrageously expensive, but my travel agent in the UK got me a deal which essentially cancelled it. Given the number of singles on the cruise, ... Read More
I sailed on the River Beatrice from Budapest to Passau. The single occupancy surcharge is outrageously expensive, but my travel agent in the UK got me a deal which essentially cancelled it. Given the number of singles on the cruise, Uniworld must be coining it.

The welcome on to the ship was friendly and efficient: due to British Airways' inability to feed their passengers, we arrived having missed lunch. A lavish and varied buffet was available as soon as we boarded. The crew started as friendly and efficient and remained so until the point of departure where the First Captain Tom Buining was helping unload luggage. The Cruise Manager, Georgji, was brilliant: informative, cheerful, helpful and unflapable, and stunningly well-organised. She was admirably supported by the Concierge, Tanya.

The stateroom had an extremely comfortably bed and a well-equipped shower room. It was a joy to find 20+ hangers in the wardrobe, all of which could be taken off the rail. The television was discreetly positioned and efficient. The decor however had never been elegant, sludgy browns and pseudo-tweed, and was distinctly showing signs of wear. Other staterooms were significantly more elegant.

Meals were always a scramble to find your acquaintances, though the large tables accommodated larger groups and allowed some interesting conversations with other passengers you might not otherwise have met. The quality of food was consistently good - highlights were the crispy bacon each morning at breakfast, the soups at lunch and dinner, the range of fish served and the lunchtime puddings. There was an excellent selection at every meal. The weaknesses here were dull wines served at dinner - poor for the price of the cruise - and an astonishing inability to deal with vegetarian and religious diets. Bacon is never acceptable in a vegetarian salad, especially not when served to a Jew.

Tours were uniformly good. Highlights were the optional concert of Strauss and Mozart at the Hofburg in Vienna, the included day tour to Salzburg with an outstanding guide, Sylvia, and ample free time for lunch, other visits and shopping, and the included visit to the Parliament and Market Hall in Budapest. The only weak guide was a lady on the included Vienna city tour who was dull and did not keep her group together.

This was an outstanding cruise overall though only fair value for money.

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Sail Date: June 2011
We just returned (a few pounds heavier, and heads still spinning) from a fabulous experience on Uniworld's SS Antoinette from Amsterdam to Basel.

Each and every crew member was pleasant, gracious, and on a mission to show the ... Read More

We just returned (a few pounds heavier, and heads still spinning) from a fabulous experience on Uniworld's SS Antoinette from Amsterdam to Basel.

Each and every crew member was pleasant, gracious, and on a mission to show the guests a great time. The food was fabulous! There were sumptuous breakfast and lunch buffets and multi-course plated dinners with freely flowing wine.

The ship is beautifully decorated and immaculately clean. There were a couple first-season technical glitches (TV system took a couple days to settle down), but one could tell that these issues were being actively addressed and didn't detract from the experience in any way. After all, who wants to watch television when around every bend in the river is another photo-op of a story-book castle? There is wifi available, but don't plan on heavy-duty internet access through the satelite system - particularly during heavy use periods. The only other thing of note is that the Rhine river level is lower due to lack of rain and we had to be bussed into two cities (approx 20 minutes) because the Antoinette wasn't able to go as fast in the low waters. No real issues or inconvenience at all.

The cruise offered four optional tours (35-59 Euros PP each). Heidleberg and Marksburg were great and worth the price. Those who attended the optional Rudesheim Dinner reported that they really had a fun time.

The tours guides were universally knowledgeable, kept a good pace, and were pleasant throughout. There are accommodations for those who had trouble keeping up the pace, while allowing them to have an enjoyable experience.

Bring good walking shoes, a high-capacity memory card for pictures/videos, a small notebook to jot down interesting facts (and to correlate pictures with names of castles & churches), and I'd recommend buying the fold-out "Long Rhine Tour" (available at the front desk) to help identify the various locations as you cruise the castle stretch of the Rhine. There's just way too much to remember.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
We can't gush enough about the Antoinette and the service we received there. The staff was so helpful and friendly, including accommodating my husband's serious food allergy (the chef even baked my husband a cake for his birthday! first ... Read More
We can't gush enough about the Antoinette and the service we received there. The staff was so helpful and friendly, including accommodating my husband's serious food allergy (the chef even baked my husband a cake for his birthday! first time he's ever been brought a cake and had waiters sing to him in a restaurant -- usually if he's going to have a cake, I have to bake it!). We were very comfortable in our cabin, and also really enjoyed playing board games in the pretty lounge, basking on the sun deck (the "Romantic Rhine" stretch of cruising with all the castles was really incredible), and swimming in the tiny pool (be warned that it is usually quite cold). We thought we'd be really excited about the movie theater, but we didn't want to see any of the movies being shown there.

The food was great, especially the "epicurean dinner" night. We wished there were tables for 2, but had nice conversations with the other passengers who sat with us (at breakfast and lunch we were usually able to have a table to ourselves).

The itinerary itself was not the big draw for us, the boat was. We did a lot of wandering on our own, and found Koblenz and Strasbourg to be the most interesting towns to see by walking around. Rudesheim was the least interesting of the places we stopped.

The fitness center is small but nicely equipped, with an elliptical machine, a treadmill, a rowing machine, yoga mats, some free weights, a mysterious vibrating platform that confused me, and three stationary bikes, one recumbent. The ceiling is low and the treadmill is a bit tall, so people taller than me (I'm 5'9") would not be able to use it without bumping their heads!

I don't see a place to add pictures to this review, but will post on the forum and link to pictures.

We recommend taking a few days beforehand in Amsterdam and we found it easy to get to the boat on our own; however, arriving in Basel was a little difficult as we were taking the tram to the train station and the tram ticket dispenser wouldn't take paper bills, and it was hard to find a place to get change because everything is closed on Sundays.

All in all, highly, highly recommended. We had an amazing time.

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Sail Date: May 2011
We just returned last week from the Enchanting Danube cruise on River Beatrice and really enjoyed our first river cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague and found the hotel (Imperial Art Deco) to be lovely as was our local contact, Jana. ... Read More
We just returned last week from the Enchanting Danube cruise on River Beatrice and really enjoyed our first river cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague and found the hotel (Imperial Art Deco) to be lovely as was our local contact, Jana. The excursions around Prague were great and it was also an easy city to get around in ourselves for sighteseeing, shopping etc. Boarded the ship in Passau which was a 4 hour bus ride through some beautiful contryside.

The River Beatrice is a beautiful ship, fairly new. We had a suite which was wonderful because it came with FREE laundry service! The decor of the ship was elegant. I was not sure I would like the system of earphones and boxes for the tours but actually it was very nice. It allowed you to wander a little and still hear the guide. Very nice.

The lounge and dining room were both lovely, never a problem finding a table. We did eat dinner in the Captain's lounge one night. That was a nice, intimate dinner that you had to sign up for. There was a set menu for that. I never saw the spa or the exercise room! I loved the fact that right on our floor was a little coffee bar where you could always get coffee, cappucino etc.

People did dress a little nicer for the Welcome and Farewell dinners, mostly ladies in slacks with fancy tops and many men did wear jackets, but not all.

Breakfast and lunch were buffets (plenty of choices) and dinner usually had a choice or 3 entrees. The food was very good. So was the wine. We found the excursions to be good, very knowledgeable local guides. The cruise director, Christina, who has since left for another Uniworld ship, was excellent as were all of the employees.

I would definitely do another river cruise. My only caveat would be that it would be on a newer ship, such as River Beatrice. We boarded a sister ship one day in Port that was an older ship but refurbished. I did not care for it, it seemed much smaller with lower ceilings etc. I would recommend Uniworld but on the newer ships.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
• Background Information

After many cruises we found we enjoyed smaller ships as opposed to the megaliners that are now in vogue. We wanted to see several European cities and decided a Danube River cruise would fit our needs ... Read More

• Background Information

After many cruises we found we enjoyed smaller ships as opposed to the megaliners that are now in vogue. We wanted to see several European cities and decided a Danube River cruise would fit our needs and style the best. After research we narrowed it down to Tauck, AMA, Viking and Uniworld. The itinerary, sailing dates and chance to use a newer vessel made us decide to go with Uniworld. It was a good decision. We were very pleased with the experience and would not hesitate to sail with them again.

• Hotel Info (if any)

We handled our own travel arrangements as well the pre and post cruise plans. We flew three days early into Prague and stayed at the Marriott Executive Apartments. They are located in a residential area a block off a main street with access to all forms of public transportation. The hotel is nice, quiet, and we had a full apartment style room. It was smaller but more than enough for two. They have a nice continental breakfast but we elected to buy items at the local market on the corner each evening and have breakfast in our room. We had lunches and dinner out. They have a very nice health club in the lower level. We had a corner room on the top floor, the fifth I think it was, and as such we had a roof top balcony, one of the only ones at the hotel. There is a local pub next door with good food and free wifi, so we avoided the in room access charges. The hotel is within easy walking distance of both New Town and Old Town and the streetcar runs direct to the Castle Hill area, so getting around is very easy. For a really great experience drop a few hundred dollars and have dinner on the river terrace at Kampa Park Restaurant. The view of the Charles Bridge at sunset is remarkable.

Post cruise we stayed three extra days in Budapest at the main Marriott directly on the river. It was a typical Marriott, with all of the amenities you would expect. Location was excellent. The staff was especially nice. We arrived about 10 AM in the morning and they had a room ready for us and we were able to check in right away. They have a large restaurant and bar area, including a large lobby bar, but we did not use either. Stay on the Executive Floor, the difference in price is worth it. You can easily have full meals with the food they put out in the lounge, and at night they have an open bar, with free beer, wine and liquor. And there is a large terrace the overlooks the river and the Buda side with tremendous views at night.

• Travel To Port of Embarkation

We elected to provide our own transportation from Prague to Passau and arranged for Prague Airport Transfers to take us from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to Passau. We had them divert off the main route and allow us to spend three hours in Chesky Krumlov, which was well worth it. Don't go to the Czech Republic without seeing it. We had a nice driver and he brought along his girlfriend to keep him company. His car was very nice. For extra excitement we were pulled over by the German Border Police after we crossed the border. He told us they sometimes did that looking for drugs or stolen cars. We had to get out of the car, hand over our passports and let the two undercover plain clothes police go through the entire car and check our documents. It only took about ten or fifteen minutes and it was a nice diversion.

Embarkation was easy. More like checking into a hotel. They met us at the dock, took our luggage and we went to the front desk and checked in. We gave the steward our room number and he went to our room with us, brought our luggage along, and explained the room to us. Could not have been easier. Be aware that the ship does not dock in Passau but up stream in Lindau. That is about two miles from Passau. Around 7 PM they leave the dock and travel to Passau, where they dock overnight. You can leave the ship and walk around Passau if you want to and there are a few things to see within walking distance.

• Ship Info

The River Beatrice is new, having been put into service in 2009, so this was the second cruise of her third year. Everything looked fresh and was in working order. It is well laid out and well suited for this type of cruise. The open deck on top is always available but we had some cooler weather so it was not used much on this trip, other than for viewing the locks and the Wachau Valley region as we were sailing along. The lower level includes a very small exercise area but we did not use it. I tried to use the tread mill but my head bumped the ceiling. There was an elliptical machine but I am not into that. No weights at all. There is a laundry room with multiple washers and dryers that are fee to use but you have to get soap from the front desk, but it is very inexpensive. Small library at the back of the ship with a small terrace off of it. Nice for relaxing and the best place to go for Internet. Two computers there that seemed to stay busy. My laptop got wireless quite well, we were even able to Skype from our room a few times. But it was better if we went to the library and accesses Internet there. Refreshments were out all day, but only cookies and beverages. Nice dining room and nice lounge for port talks, entertainment, and just relaxing. A small boutique in the main lobby across from the front desk. There is a small elevator if you need it.

• Activities

None to speak of, it is a river boat. They did have bicycles available and they were taken off and put out at every port. They were popular and you had to reserve one if you want to use it. Always a detailed port talk just before dinner. River cruises are about port activities so not much in the way of on board activity was expected.

• Stateroom

Overall a nice room. We opted for the lowest price with the French balcony and it was only steps from the front desk which actually proved to be very nice. We were close to the restaurant, the stairs and everything else. On the small side but normal for a river cruise. It was new so everything worked. Nice bathroom with a large walk in shower with a sliding door, but no tub. As for electrical outlets, they say they have US 110 volt outlets that will accept US plugs. They have three in the room but they told us only one, in the bathroom, would take items that were fixed 110. The other two were for electronics that would work on 110 or 220, like computers, chargers, etc. We discovered that the plug next to the bed was also labeled as 110 volt only, so my wife used her hair straighter there without problems. Warning: the plugs will not accept a grounded plug, just a straight two prong plug. The front desk may or may not have a converter for you, depends on how soon you ask for one. Good TV with several movie channels and plenty of English speaking channels.

• Service

Overall, the best service we have ever had on a cruise. Not one bad experience. Wait staff was mostly Eastern European and they were excellent. Very friendly and spoke very good English. Not really a cabin steward like we were used to. Our room was always cleaned while we were out and if we came back and needed it they just left and returned later. Turn down service every night and thank God no towel animals. Cruise Director did a good job. Capitan was very nice, and mingled with the passengers on a regular basis. Once on top we were standing outside the bridge and I ask if my wife could have a picture with him. He got out of the chair and had her sit down and let me make a picture of the two of them.

• Dining

Full breakfast and lunch buffet served in the dining room. Wait staff took care of drink orders and clearing table and any special request. Always a good selection with some staples every day and some special selections that varied with the day and the location of the ship. You could eat light or really chow down if you preferred. Along with the normally included drinks, you get soft drinks at every meal and beer at lunch, along with beer and wine at dinner. Full service dinner with several options off the menu. Allow two hours for dinner. It is a great time to sit and enjoy your ship mate's stories. Open seating, mostly tables of 6 or 8 but a few 4's. We "bonded" with a few couples and tended to eat with them most often, but really changed it out so that it was always entertaining.

• Children's Clubs

None. There were no children on our cruise. There were two grown daughters with their parents, that is as close as we got to children. Average age was probably 50, but it seemed to vary from 35 to 70. No walkers, oxygen tanks, or wheel chairs though.

• Entertainment

Each night there was some entertainment after dinner, mostly local talent that boarded the ship that afternoon. They were pretty good for the most part. That was it. No bingo, newlywed game, etc. Book and magazines in the library along with board games.

• Port & Shore Excursions

For the most part these were very good. The local tour guides were good. The Vox system where you have an ear piece to hear the guide works great. You can wander off and stop to take a picture and still keep up with the group. Because the guides were local each one seemed to want to tell you how their city was the most important one on the Danube. And Mozart lived in every city. Logistics were handled nicely by the ship and timetables were always maintained. We took one optional tour, to the castle in Vienna. We skipped the Mozart concert and went out on our own. Most people who went said it was nice but very crowded and hot. I think they felt like they had to say they liked it since they paid so much to go. If you must do this just get a ticket for one of the local ones that are sold everywhere in Vienna by street vendors.

Some tours had to be rerouted on the spur of the moment due to street closures for protests, marathons, etc. but they were well handled and we saw everything we wanted to see. We used a private guide service during our trip to Prague. On our stay-over in Budapest we use a private guide to take us on a countryside tour one day and also took advantage of the free walking tours offered in Budapest (Google it for details or check Trip Advisor).

Passau was our least favorite port, because it was not that much to see there. Melk and Durnstein were really nice. We enjoyed walking the streets and meeting the locals and the tour of the winery was nice. Vienna is spread out but local transportation is easy and access is easy from the docks. Linz is OK for killing time shopping, but the main reason to be there is to take the bus to Salzburg so there is not that much time to anything but shop in the afternoon. Sailing through the locks is a nice diversion and worth being on deck, as is sailing the Wachau Valley. Of course there is much to do in Budapest. Be sure to visit a ruin bar and see the Jewish quarter.

• Disembarkation

Uneventful. We were given plenty of options and since we were staying over we requested a taxi at 9:30. When our cab arrived they called the room and told us. Our luggage was with us the whole time. The taxi only went across the river to the Marriott, so it only took about 5 minutes but the charge was 20 Euros. I thought that was steep. We used another taxi that was at the hotel to go to the airport and the ride was much longer, took about 45 minutes and only cost 25 Euros.

• Summary

Overall we had a very good time and would not hesitate to sail with Uniworld again or to recommend this cruise. Do not be afraid to go out on your own in the ports. The bigger cities all have great public transportation that is easy to use and for the most part you can walk anywhere you need to go. The smaller cities are very nice for walking around and getting off the beaten path.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
Antoinette was on return leg of her maiden voyage from Basle to Amsterdam, weather was great & although we are seasoned cruisers we had never before considered a short river cruise.

Our fellow passengers were mainly from USA ... Read More

Antoinette was on return leg of her maiden voyage from Basle to Amsterdam, weather was great & although we are seasoned cruisers we had never before considered a short river cruise.

Our fellow passengers were mainly from USA & Canada with a few from Ausralia & Sth Africa. We were as far as we know the only Europeans on board.

We could hardly have chosen better. Compared to big ships our cabin was much smaller than expected but really lovely. As we had expected the Antoinette had a few minor "settling in" problems e.g. two of our three TV's didn't work, light fittings were not all working, a cupboard door came off. All except TV's were fixed within an hour. The bedding & furnishings were really nice & were complimented by a crysal chandelier hanging over our bed. Staff were without exception efficient, attentive & all round service was A1. Menus were restricted for choice compared to the big liners but quality was beyond compare. Excursions were excellent as were the tour guides. One thing we would like to see on other cruises was the Uniworld gratuities policy of recommending a gratuity to the cruise director & another for all other staff. This is done anonymously & discreetly but the recommended tips were perhaps inadequate & we were more than happy to give a few special people a little individual contribution.

All in all it was a great intro. to the Rhine & we cannot wait to go again asap

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
We arrived on December 21st at about 8pm, having been delayed by weather. We were dropped at the curb by our cab, and left to pull our luggage down to the ship, up the gangway, and after finding the entry button, into the lobby. We were ... Read More
We arrived on December 21st at about 8pm, having been delayed by weather. We were dropped at the curb by our cab, and left to pull our luggage down to the ship, up the gangway, and after finding the entry button, into the lobby. We were surprised to find no sense of security and were unchallenged. Once we made it into the lobby, however, the service was quick and efficient and we were soon in our cabin.

The cabin space was small but adequate. Decor was as pictured in the brochures and online, but somehow not as over the top as it appears and on the whole quite pleasant. The bed was very comfortable. There was limited storage space for clothing, and no place to hang a long garment; I'd have sacrificed the desk for more closet space.

Our one complaint about the cabin was water temperature. On 3 separate days we had cold showers; albeit in each case maybe a little late (8am). We suspect that there is a limited hot water capacity. The most offensive part of this, however, was that when we reported it first they questioned if we knew how to operate a shower (we're quite familiar with these controls, and the sink was also cold), and then told by the engineer that it couldn't possibly happen.

The public rooms were nice. I liked the scale of the ship, having just previously sailed on the Oasis of the Seas, and enjoyed being able to walk anywhere in a few seconds.

We liked the on-board entertainment, especially the guest performers. We felt that they were not given a very professional introduction by the cruise director.

The dining room food was generally good; sometimes excellent, sometimes not great. The service was also mixed. Many of the service staff seemed to resent being in a service position - often surly. The bar waiter, Gabor, was a pleasant exception - he seemed to truly enjoy his job - always greeting us by name, remembering our beverage choices and offering exceptional service.

The excursions were generally good. Can't beat ancient castles and cathedrals for North Americans where "old" is 100 years. On the whole, I think Uniworld made a good effort to arrange activities given the timing (Christmas eve, Christmas day). We didn't like being dropped in Heidelberg to shop when the shops were closing at 2pm and having to wait around for the bus.

We were most disappointed by the tour director. We thought he was generally disorganized and claimed to be busy trying to manage lost luggage - not sure why that was his job. On one occasion, the "VOX" box wasn't working and his answer was "stand close to the guide. I guess we were the slow group that he didn't tolerate since in Rudesheim he walked on ahead leaving a few slower walkers on their own to try and find the museum.

My overall reaction: Europe was magnificent, river cruising is an individual taste (I liked the scale, my wife preferred the large ocean cruise ships), but we were disappointed enough in the service on this particular ship that we would likely not choose Uniworld again.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2010
This is first river cruise, and probably the last! Get to fly home tomorrow! The brochure was very misleading and this has been very frustrating for all aboard. The internet has been "not working" for 95% of the cruise. I've only been able ... Read More
This is first river cruise, and probably the last! Get to fly home tomorrow! The brochure was very misleading and this has been very frustrating for all aboard. The internet has been "not working" for 95% of the cruise. I've only been able to log on between 3 and 5 A.M each morning. The cruise line has done nothing to help and just given flimsy excuses. It could've offered a 10-15 minute ship to shore phone credit so travellers could contact loved ones, etc.

I believe river cruises are meant for those folks that are older, need nothing but a lounge and a bar while being herded around. Here are the main differences I noted.

1. No evening entertainment or shows, AT ALL.

2. Excursions are nearly non-existent with only choice in most ports is to take the ship offered excursion, or stay on the ship!

3. Eat only at the 3 scheduled meal times. No pizza spot, dessert spot or other offerings.

The staff was great and the ship was clean and organized. After 33 cruises, I'll stick to ocean cruises which have more activities, excursion options etc. Maybe when I'm 90, I'll try this style. I'm no rookie at cruising. I'm 62, have visited 92 countries and taken 33 cruises. Viper

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Sail Date: August 2010
This review is mainly about the ship details. As far as the itinerary and excursions they were second to none. We found out that the ship was scheduled to be renovated at the end of the year which left me concerned as to the appointments ... Read More
This review is mainly about the ship details. As far as the itinerary and excursions they were second to none. We found out that the ship was scheduled to be renovated at the end of the year which left me concerned as to the appointments and whether Uniworld would let the ship get run down. They did not disappoint me there.

The ship was very clean and nice but not to today's increased standards and competition. Hence the renovations. One inexcusable critique though is directed to the dining room. The first presentation to me was a appetizer served in a chipped bowl. I thought at first maybe it was something overlooked but when I looked over to my husband's dish and saw 2 chips in his bowl I became very disappointed. I didn't say anything but stewed over it for the evening. The next day at lunch I was served a glass dish with chipped all around the edge. Well that blew it for me and I call the dining room manager over and told her that dish belonged in the garbage. Then I went to the center of the dining room where the chef was dishing out ice cream and went through the stack of bowls and told them to get rid of all the chipped bowls. On on other incident my wine glass was chipped around the lower part. So I am no sure what was going on. The kitchen manager was very young and only 2 weeks on the job in fact many of the crew were relatively new to the job. No excuse for it though. That was my only complaint for the whole cruise.

Uniworld tried to make everyone as comfortable as possible. Our rooms were always clean. We never did meet the room attendant though. The bar stayed opened until the last person left. The musician was very good but he couldn't sing very well. We didn't seem to mind much. This was our first river cruise and I would definitely do another one. I don't believe it is for everyone though.

The average age on our cruise must have been 65 years. There are not many activities on the ship as the tours can keep you going all day. You have the option of staying on board or doing places yourself. The tour guides were excellent as were the tours. But if you are more interested in sitting around by a pool and drinking this would not be for you.

We took the pre-cruise extension in Amsterdam and it was very good. The hotel room was OK but not North American standards. Our room was very small and overlook the air conditioning unit. So it was very expensive $500 each for 2 nights. We did have a tour included as well and the use of the guide. Breakfast was also included.

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