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Sail Date: July 2019
Went on uniworld last year Avignon to Lyon. Great cruise. Great food, wine service. Not this year. What happened to the personal butlers? Gone! Food was at best average and some afternoons even worse. Cabins are smaller. Tours are shorter ... Read More
Went on uniworld last year Avignon to Lyon. Great cruise. Great food, wine service. Not this year. What happened to the personal butlers? Gone! Food was at best average and some afternoons even worse. Cabins are smaller. Tours are shorter and not as interesting. I loved last year. Not this year. I would not recommend this tour. I do not think I will go uniworld again based on the price and value. Highly disappointing. I plan to let the company and ceo know. You have choices and think about which lines give you what you want. Cabin is comfortable for small folks but big people will not fit in the shower. Had to remove table and store luggage outside cabin. Tonight dinner was a buffet. Hotel in Prague was not 5 star. 4 at best and generous at that. Ride from Prague to boat 4 hours. They gave u a bottle of water and stopped at mac Donald’s. This is not what I expect from a 5 star cruise line. Do not book Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 4th experience on Uniworld and was a 7-day cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg with an additional 2-day land excursion in Prague. As I have learned the hard way from a previous river cruise, your dream and expensive vacation ... Read More
This was our 4th experience on Uniworld and was a 7-day cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg with an additional 2-day land excursion in Prague. As I have learned the hard way from a previous river cruise, your dream and expensive vacation can go wrong quickly and unexpectedly. On the positive side the Beatrice was a nice ship. Overall the ship was clean and well maintained. The staff was great and would always do whatever they could to make the trip enjoyable. The food and wine quality in my opinion was very good to excellent. This trip which departed on June 12, 2019 from Budapest was going well up to shortly after the moment the returning guests in the River Heritage Club were being thanked for their loyalty to Uniworld. The Captain announced that a cruise ship from another cruise line had damaged a river lock near Riedenburg Germany on June 5, 2019, and the ship would not be able to go to Nuremberg as planned. This accident occurred 1 week prior to our tip. Our river cruise would in a few days be turned into a bus tour and the ship would remain docked in Riedenburg. He went on to explain that they had hoped the lock would be repaired in time but unfortunately repairs could not be completed before our planned passage through the lock. While I certainly place no blame on Uniworld for the lock damage caused by another cruse line I do take exception to not notifying passengers on this trip of a potential disruption to the itinerary as soon as it became a possibility. We were notified well into our trip of the disruption thus putting us at the mercy of Uniworld. I discussed this issue with the staff and suggested that letting us know the minute this came up would have likely minimized the impact of the deviation. This is the second time Uniworld has known in advance of a major deviation to an itinerary and has chosen to wait until the last minute to inform guests. I find this pattern concerning and is one of the reasons I would be very hesitant to travel on Uniworld again. The bus tours were long, hot, and not comfortable. Buses that are meant to travel a short distance are not built for hours on the road. My other issue with the trip included the quality of the excursions. Fortunately, we spent a few days in Budapest before the cruise started. Otherwise the option was a 1-hour tour of the Parliament and a 90-minute bus tour with one 15-minute stop. Some of the tours were better than others, but nothing that I would call extraordinary or special. I recalled that on our Uniworld cruise on the Venetian Canal we had a private tour of St. Mark’s Cathedral at night. There was nothing equal to that experience on this trip. On board entertainment ranged from none to lacking and uninteresting. Our room in the 300 series of rooms was unbelievably small and the I was uncertain how anyone was expected to use the bathroom. There was a small table and chair jammed into the side of the room that we should have asked to be removed as they served no purpose. Finally, I was disappointed with the hotel choice in Prague. It was likely a 3-star hotel. While it was clean and reasonably appointed, for the cost for the trip, I would have expected a much better hotel choice. The hotel did not even have a bar. We had to walk across the street to its’ sister property for drinks with friends. Overall I continue to be skeptical about future river cruising given all the unexpected things that can turn your river cruise into a very unpleasant and high price bus tour. I can assure you that travel by bus through these regions is not fun and not equivalent to what you paid for on the ship. And, don’t count on any type of refund from the cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I would like to congratulate Uniworld´s marketing department - they do a great job of selling something that does not exist. . This is a nicely decorated river ship but it is nothing special. . Their "ALL INCLUSIVE" policy ... Read More
I would like to congratulate Uniworld´s marketing department - they do a great job of selling something that does not exist. . This is a nicely decorated river ship but it is nothing special. . Their "ALL INCLUSIVE" policy is not so - the city tour in Budapest consisted of a visit to the Parliament Building, impressive, a short drive on the Pest side and a 10 minute stop for picture taking on the Buda side - no visit to the Cathedral or the Palace or the Fisherman´s Bastion. Schonbrunn in Vienna was at an additional cost. Belvedere and Klimt were not available in Vienna. Wachau Valley stop was at Spitz, where there is nothing of interest instead of at the awesome Melk Abbey. Evening concert in Vienna also at additional cost. . Food is nothing special - rather, completely standard. No local specialties. Same supermarket "fresh" salads every day. Breakfast pastries unavailable - same croissants every day. Desserts also standard. . No music, no lectures, no games, nothing to do after 9 pm. . Very expensive for what Uniworld delivers. At the same cost, we would have had a suite on another ship! . Excellent personnel, always helpful and smiling. . We were not informed that embarkation had changed and was now at the Chain Bridge in Budapest - online information not updated, although I must say that we received E. 20 from the Front Desk for our additional taxi fare. . From another reviewer, I have now learnt that Uniworld already knew that the ship would no be able to sail upto Nuremberg one week prior to our sailing on June 12. Yet we were not informed of the incident and the shortening of our cruise until the middle of same. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words? I never have until now. I'm Angela and I teach house cleaning for a living - all over the world. So when I stay at a hotel, or I go on a cruise - I can't help it. I notice the ... Read More
Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words? I never have until now. I'm Angela and I teach house cleaning for a living - all over the world. So when I stay at a hotel, or I go on a cruise - I can't help it. I notice the bits of dust on the lamps or the drapes or etched water stains on the shower glass. THE WORST DAY TURNED INTO THE BEST I hadn't been on board the S.S. Maria Theresa for more than a minute when my entire trip changed for the absolute best. Let me back up a sec. My husband and I traveled from Charlotte, NC, USA to Passau, Germany by way of Munich. The Passau to Budapest river cruise was the celebration of our milestone birthdays. Weather in Charlotte had steep flight delays and we missed our connecting flight to Munich. When we arrived four hours late, our luggage didn't. There we were in an unfamiliar place, no luggage and needed a means of transport from Munich to Passau two hours away. PANIC TURNED INTO PEACE No sooner had we filed a missing luggage report we came through the baggage claim doors. And waiting for us (much later than the pre-arranged time) is a Uniworld transport driver with a sign bearing our names. She was delightful, charming, and put us right at ease as she drove us to the ship. I thought she was the best gem Uniworld could offer. I didn't know she was the portal to the spellbinding service we would experience all week aboard the ship. We arrived at the ship somewhere around 10:30 pm. WELCOME TO S.S. MARIA THERESA Tired, weary and hungry we checked in at the front desk picked up a room key. Paul, dressed to the nines, escorted us to our rooms. He spent a few minutes showing us the lights, ways to adjust the room temperature, and the plug situation. (Note: There is a USB port hiding under each of the room's outlets in the top right-hand corner to charge your phones.) Then he invited us to the lounge where we could order some food. YES! At 10:30 at night they will bring you a menu, offer you drinks and cater to your every whim. I LOVE this place. THEN IT HIT ME... As I sat in the lounge waiting for them to bring our food my eyes scanned the room. Not in a judgmental way, just a way of familiarizing myself. The drapes in the lounge pooched up in Victorian scallops didn't have a speck of dust. How is this even possible? As my eyes wandered to the mystery of dust-free drapes I noticed the walls adorned in carved flourishes. (Also, dust catchers, they too are free of dust.) Am I dreaming? Sure, it's late, and my blood sugar is out of whack from no food and it's possible I am hallucinating. MY SHOCK TURNED TO HORROR The entry of the ship is glass. All Glass. Glass and Mirrors. And as my mind processed what I had seen a few minutes earlier passing through the lobby, it hit me that the lobby wasn't just mirrored. It was mirrors on top of mirrors. Mirrors made of flourishes attached to mirrors for decorations. Cleaning those mirrors would have made any sane housekeeper flee in horror. Now I sit in the lounge and there is a lavish bar filled with gleaming liquors, wines and drinks. Gleaming because every jar and bottle at the bar is spit-shined and polished. No dust. The glasses hanging from the bar must have been brand new - as in purchased today because not one of them had a smudge. No dust, no water spots. Just new. The thought of how much cleaning went into this "first impression" was horrifying to me. I KNOW CLEAN. And I've never in my life seen anything this clean. I WANTED TO DANCE WITH JOY The friendly staff, impeccably dressed served us as if we were royalty. Friendly, patient and attentive they brought us hot food and drinks. Anxious, exhausted and starved I wanted to hug every one of them. And the place was so clean I wanted to dance with joy. WHAT IS THIS PLACE? Before going to bed the front desk, the crew gave us toiletries for the night and assured us, they would contact the airlines and trace our luggage. I'd been on the ship less than 30 minutes and had already had the best trip of my life. Hooray! And I get to stay another week. ALL THE USUAL'S AND SO MUCH MORE If you've ever been on a cruise your expectations are pretty high. You want great food, clean rooms, nice excursions, friendly staff, and fantastic entertainment. Yes, yes, yes, this ship has all this. AND SO MUCH MORE Every corner of the ship is ornate. Carved flourishes, velvet walls, wrought iron stair railings, and Murano glass chandeliers. Mirrors, mirrors, and more mirrors. And marble floors. The house cleaner in me cringed with delight. Everywhere I looked, there was excellence in cleanliness. Every nook and cranny were shiny and polished. Not a hair out of place, not a speck of dust, not a smudge, smear, fingerprint or spot. EVERYONE KNOWS MY NAME Walking through the lobby at any time of the day or night during the entire week cruise every person on staff addressed me by name. Whhaat? There were 132 passengers on board. How did they learn everybody's names? Surely it wasn't just me. Can they really be that good? YES, THEY CAN! And not only did they greet me but they all knew our luggage hadn't arrived and they volunteered to get us anything we needed. Stephania and a young helpful team (whose names I'm ashamed I don't remember,) tracked our luggage down and had it shipped from Munich to Lenz. We didn't need to follow up with anybody - they took care of it all for us. YOUR EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED The cruise was spectacular in every way with delicious and healthy food. Lavish entertainment. Walking tours with local tour guides who were friendly, articulate and informative. And the beds provide the best night’s sleep you've ever had. (They are Savoir of England) Comfort takes on a whole new meaning on the S.S. Maria Theresa. And did I mention they have a menu of four different types of pillows? The ones on the bed are pretty amazing one being a down feather soft pillow and the other a supreme fiber comfort pillow. I know what you’re thinking - I didn't want to leave my room either. SHIP ACCESSORIES UMBRELLAS: The ship has umbrellas. If you're off to an excursion during the rain, they have an umbrella for you. (We used them a couple of times.) MAPS: And they provide city maps for you each day as you leave for your daily activities. BICYCLES: There are bicycles you can borrow (which we did three of the days of our trip) to go sightseeing on land. INTERNET: And of course, they have free internet in every room. If you have special internet needs (I have a YouTube channel) they have a special modem you can rent at the front desk. WASHERS & DRYERS: Oh, and did I mention that they have washers and dryers and an iron for your personal use in a public laundry room on the ship? It's true. You don't need to bring an iron or steamer on this cruise with you. Yay! All this and SO MUCH MORE. BEHIND THE MAGIC CURTAIN By Friday my observation of the cleanliness of the ship had turned to an obsession. I know how dust works. It comes in with opening and closing doors, and the AC units kicking on. And I'm on a ship for 5 days and every corner of the ship looks brand-spankin new. It was then I met Nicoleta the Housekeeping Guru who runs the place. Her specialty is in the systems she creates to get the work done on time to turn the rooms between meals and excursions. THE WIZARD OF NICOLETA She has systems for the laundry room where the guest towels and linens get washed. They label every type of linen to keep the turnover service running at optimal speed. She has systems for the uniforms the crew wear. Where it goes when it comes off and a system for its cleaning and ironing. There are systems for dishes and turning a banquet room. Systems for cleaning the common areas of the ship and hallways. And it's no surprise there are systems for cleaning the deck of the ship and removing seat cushions at dusk. The systems she has created for crew scheduling include "to do" lists as well as built-in breaks and time off for the crew. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I'D SEEN AND HEARD IT ALL... I took a cruise on the S.S. Maria Theresa - a Uniworld sensation. My expectations and hopes were illuminated with the impossible. Imagine me at my age - thinking I'd seen and heard it all - and now this! Awe, wonder, magic, and delight - all in a week on this ship. If you're ready for the time of your life - Choose this cruise. And prepare to be outrageously impressed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We love the Moselle and the lovely towns on its shores. That part did not disappoint. This was a new cruise, and we were the first group to take it. This was our fourth cruise with Uniworld, and we have always loved the elegance of ... Read More
We love the Moselle and the lovely towns on its shores. That part did not disappoint. This was a new cruise, and we were the first group to take it. This was our fourth cruise with Uniworld, and we have always loved the elegance of their product. Here’s what was disappointing: 1. no pianist on board - have always loved the sophisticated atmosphere in the lounge with a pianist taking requests. No pianist. Bummer. 2. Food was not as wonderful as usual...twice I ordered steak from the alternate menu...both times lots of gristle and tough. No ice cream offered as alternate dessert. No apple strudel or sauerbraten although we were in Germany...bummer. 3. There were 3 evening shows. One was classical string music and it was terrific, but the other two played oldies and pop music. Uniworld has always been great about affecting cultural programs in the evenings (folk music, etc), but we didn’t get any. We didn’t book a German cruise to hear YMCA and ABBA in the evening.very disappointing. Ocean cruises play that pop crap...Uniworld is better than that. 4. The Uniworld catalogue in its description of this cruise listed a lot of cultural excursion offerings, NONE of which ended up being offered. 5. Too much time in big cities...Frankfurt, Mainz, Bonn, Cologne, which could have been spent in the Riesling towns on the Moselle All this being said, the service was FANTASTIC. Read Less
Sail Date: April 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our fourth Uniworld cruises, all of which had been excellent. PRO’s Staff, service and shore excursions lived up to Uniworld standard of excellence. This cruise concluded with a two-night hotel stay in Bucharest. We were ... Read More
This was our fourth Uniworld cruises, all of which had been excellent. PRO’s Staff, service and shore excursions lived up to Uniworld standard of excellence. This cruise concluded with a two-night hotel stay in Bucharest. We were then transferred by Uniworld to the airport for our flight to Milan. Upon arrival at the airport we discovered that we had left our passports in the hotel safe. The Uniworld representative at the airport kept our luggage, had the driver return us to the hotel and notified the Uniworld representative at the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, they had retrieved our passports and had them at the front desk. We were then put on the next airport transfer and made our flight in plenty of time thanks to the efficiency of Uniworld. CON’s Food and presentation was just average, not up to Uniworld standards. Pastry items were terrible. Same pastries were served each morning. Deserts were ordinary and uninspired. Cabin layout was terrible compared to every other Uniworld ship we've sailed. We had Room 320 (French balcony) and had to have furniture removed so there would be enough room to walk around. The only evening entertainment was when local talent (which was very good) was brought on. There was no regular musical entertainer. If this had been our first Uniworld cruise, we would not continue sailing with Uniworld. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my first "river" cruise (in quotes because we did not actually sail on a river, but instead around the Venice lagoon) and probably also the most "luxury" cruise I've taken. Next would probably have been ... Read More
This was my first "river" cruise (in quotes because we did not actually sail on a river, but instead around the Venice lagoon) and probably also the most "luxury" cruise I've taken. Next would probably have been my transatlantic cruise on Azamara a few years ago. I've done lots of ocean cruising, mostly on Celebrity but have also done Norwegian (next most frequent), Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America in addition to Azamara. This was by far the smallest ship I've been on. The cruise was a one-week Venice-based itinerary. It coincided with the highest "aqua alta" Venice has experienced in 10 years, which threw some curves at the cruise staff as they tried to adjust our itinerary around the high water. Luckily we had several days during the week where it didn't rain...much! I mostly sail solo, and this trip there were a large number of solos on board (so far as I know, all women) due to a no-single-supplement deal Uniworld offered. I thought Uniworld worked very well for solo travel. They did offer a singles meet-and-greet one day midweek, but I didn't attend so can't report on that. Because of the small number of passengers and the open seating at meals it was easy to meet others and find a congenial table for each meal. I felt like the price I paid was an excellent deal for the cruise, though my budget and skinflint tendencies mean I will need to really keep an eye out for bargains if I want to do another cruise like this! I purchased my air travel independently but because I was arriving/departing the day the cruise started and ended, during the hours Uniworld specified, my transfers from Venice airport were included. That turned out to be a very good thing on arrival day--many folks who were arriving at the ship independently had all sorts of problems. Apparently the ship was not where Uniworld said it would be (due to the high water) and passengers were not notified of the change. Plus, when folks called the number for the ship that we were given for situations like this, nobody answered the phone for several hours. Passengers told about taking expensive water taxis while they motored around Venice searching for the ship, being dropped off in the wrong place, having to walk through hip-deep water balancing suitcases on their heads, etc. Luckily these tales were told by the younger passengers--I can't imagine how some of the older folks on board would have coped with that! I will definitely plan to use the cruise line transfers again for any future Uniworld cruises--although I hate arriving the day of the cruise due to possible travel glitches, it seems like the advantages of having Uniworld handle the transfers outweighs that concern. For me, though, the trip was smooth through a rainy, windy Mestre and Venice, past the poor soaked Venice Marathon runners, to the riverboat. It amazed me how small it looked--but I found that it had everything I needed for a great cruise and I loved the small ship! Short walk to anywhere, the cabin was very well-designed, there was a dining room and a lounge and an outside deck (I was on that exactly once due to the rainy weather we had that week.) There was entertainment in the lounge each evening--sometimes just the onboard keyboardist/vocalist (who was just fine for a low-key evening of drinks and conversation) and sometimes special entertainers like a trio who sang opera accompanied by their keyboardist. The entertainment was much briefer and less flashy and less varied than on an ocean cruise, but I thought it fit well with the tour-focused and very small River Countess cruise. My cabin was 323, one short flight of steps down from the main lobby and at the far end of the hall. The shower was wonderful, the service was wonderful, I was not bothered by any noise or odd smells, the TV had lots of options and many excellent movies available (though I only used it to watch CNN.) The decor was interesting (onboard as a whole, not just the cabin) and though I wouldn't decorate that way at home I really enjoyed experiencing it for a week. I thought the food was just great. I can't remember a meal or, for that matter, a dish I had that I did not enjoy. I'm still detoxing myself from all the eating and drinking I did on vacation and trying to get back to a healthy diet! Many of the menu options focused on Venetian/Italian dishes, and included a lot of local seafood though they always had several non-seafood choices. The menus for dinner varied each day but there were some "always available" options--I didn't try those but heard from others that the salmon was good but the steak not so much. The breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent--at lunch they had many new options daily, but at breakfast it was mainly the same items each day. They were all excellent,though, so I thought it worked quite well giving one a chance to try everything on one day or another. They had a complimentary red and white wine at lunch and dinner, which they varied every day. I tried both wines every night and then drank the one I liked better. There were only a couple of them I did not care for, though I think that was more my preferences and not that the wines were poor quality, but I am far from a wine expert. They also varied the coffee and the menu had info on the coffee was being served each day, in addition to describing the wines. All alcoholic beverages were included unless you wanted to purchase the higher-end wine offerings, which I did not do. I'm not a huge drinker but I did enjoy wine with dinner, a coffee-and-Bailey's every night, and an occasional draft beer (Italian of course!) prosecco or bellini. And lots of San Pellegrino! I also had lots of excellent coffee, lattes and cappuccinos. All were served quickly, graciously, and with a smile. The croissants each morning except on disembarkation day were just fabulous--I was so disappointed the last morning when the croissants on offer at 6 AM In the lounge had obviously been baked the previous day--the single discordant note where food was concerned! I tried the latte/coffee/tea etc. machine in the coffee bar the first day to make a latte, and I did not like it at all! But there was never a problem getting one made by the staff, so it was not an issue. I noticed they had lots of syrups on hand in the lounge if one wanted a flavored latte--did not look closely to see which types though. Because of the high water, our Monday walking tour of Venice and visit to the Doge's Palace was cut short to just a shorter walking tour of the higher-ground areas of Venice. It was picturesque and interesting, and visiting the edge of St. Mark's Square to see the hordes of tourists wearing their see-through pastel plastic hip boots, the board walks being set up and the water start to cover the pavement was memorable. Normally there would have been a night-time visit to St. Mark's Basilica on Monday evening, but part of the basilica (and all of St. Mark's square outside) flooded so Uniworld scrambled to have it rescheduled for later in the week--absolutely the best part of the week tour-wise and I am SO thankful they were able to make it happen! We spent part of a day in Padua and part of a day with a choice of Ferrarra or Bologna (I chose Ferrarra because I had no wish to experience the pasta making demo). They were interesting, but I know if I had not visited Venice before I would have been disappointed that the high water and the days in other cities limited my opportunity to see Venice itself. Normally the ship would sail about 20 miles up the Po River, but due to the high water we did not do so--can't say that bothered me since I'd read it was not very scenic and its only advantage was to make the bus trips to these other cities a bit shorter. We spent another day visiting "the islands of the Venice lagoon"...and that was fantastic. We saw an ancient cathedral from almost 1000 years ago and other interesting stuff. I LOVE old buildings so this was probably my favorite tour after the St. Mark's Basilica visit. Another day we went to Chioggia, yet another island in the Venice lagoon where we visited a fish market and got to see the flood gates closing on their canals to protect the town from another round of aqua alta. We also had a couple of afternoons of "scenic sailing" around the lagoon with a guide to point out what we were seeing and give some of the history of the area. I missed the second of those (and the glass-blowing demo on Saturday afternoon) because I had fallen into a habit of taking an afternoon nap. Not sure why I slept so much, except that the whole week was so relaxing--there was no late-night entertainment keeping me up late. Maybe I was just catching up from the sleep deficit I usually run during my working life. Maybe it was just the big meals, but every afternoon my eyes got very heavy and most days I slept for a couple of hours. The bed was VERY comfortable! On Saturday we finally were back in Venice and the water was down to allow touring of the whole city, but that had to be done on one's own. The included tours were a choice of two, and I chose the tour of the Accademia with Susan, the art historian and guide who had taken us through the Basilica and the ancient cathedral (and who was also the guide of my group for the abbreviated Venice walking tour on Monday, because I recognized her name from reviews I'd read of the cruise and made sure I was in her group!) I know a couple of passengers who were art historians themselves found her to be a little over-dramatic, but honestly I think for the general public like me she was perfect and covered things at just the right level to keep us all fascinated. In the afternoon there was a glass-blowing demo and shopping for Murano glass, but I didn't attend that. I think a lot of passengers chose to use that time to walk around Venice on their own--I just slept! The best part was at the end of the cruise, I had no bill to pay. Everything had been included. All in all, especially considering the luxury level of food/beverage/amenities offered, I think it was an excellent value. I had a great time and I think the staff did the best job possible coping with the weather conditions.  Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised with Uniworld two other times on the Danube mostly with some time on the Main River This cruise was quiet with only a limited number of excursions compared to the other cruises we took with Uniworld Embarkation and ... Read More
We have cruised with Uniworld two other times on the Danube mostly with some time on the Main River This cruise was quiet with only a limited number of excursions compared to the other cruises we took with Uniworld Embarkation and disembarks was smooth and very nice The layout of the boat was fine but the « fitness « room was so tiny and crowded that I was lucky no one ever wanted to use it when I was there. The lounge was very nice but we missed having a library or game room for the evening hours. To follow are my suggestions to make the experience better for future cruise guests I am a vegetarian and when we made our reservation we told everyone. When we embarked one of the chefs or sous chefs should have spent 5 Minutes with me to see my parameters for food choices, as was done on previous cruises. The breakfast and lunch buffets were spectacular l always found good food to eat with enough cheese and other options for protein intake. Dinner fell short on that issue. The « eat light » or vegetarian options were not what I would consider choices for myself. So the first two nights I asked for different vegetables so I had food that I enjoyed and met my needs. These requests eere met with a lack of understanding of what I needed to eat but we’re able to accommodate me. We finally found an incredible waiter,Armindo, who talked to me about what I liked to eat and always helped prepare good nutritious food for me. After meeting him we reserved a table to be in his area and all was good. This issue could have been avoided if the chef just spent 5 Minutes with me to understand what I could eat. Fine dining on River cruises is a very important part of the trip, so please for future passengers make a little effort for those people with special food requirements before the first dinner As for shore excursions, I know there is limited things to see and do as in the Douro valley it is all about Port and wine. Which was fine. The excursion to Salamanca was a waste of time for us. We spent as much time riding back and forth on the bus as we did there. The comfort break was helpful for using the bathrooms but we did not need coffee, tea, and pastries as we just finished breakfast two hours before this stop. If we had not wasted time being fed again we could have spent more time in the town. So for future guests think hard about this trip. It Takes a long getting there and you have limited time to explore the city although the cathedrals were lovely to see but travelers need to weigh travel time verses time in Salamanca The other tours were mostly excellent. The Douro museum and the vineyard visit with dinner were great as was the archeological hike and e bike to the ocean. Since the boat could not travel at night we did spend a lot of time “relaxing” while we cruised the Douro. So if you want a quiet relaxing cruise this is for you. The reception staff excellent especially Pelipe All staff excellent as was service on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We took the Uniworld European Jewels cruise between October 19 and November 3 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Due to low river levels, we spent far too much time on a bus, missed excursions and had to transfer to three different ships. The ... Read More
We took the Uniworld European Jewels cruise between October 19 and November 3 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Due to low river levels, we spent far too much time on a bus, missed excursions and had to transfer to three different ships. The core of our complaint is that Uniworld was aware of this issue all summer and did not give us the opportunity to decide for ourselves whether we wished to proceed or postpone. We had purchased expensive trip insurance for just such an eventuality. However, Uniworld only notified us late the day before we were scheduled to depart for Budapest, effectively taking the decision away from us and forcing us into a highly substandard experience of tremendously less value. As far as the onboard experience goes, it was generally quite wonderful. Personnel on all three ships worked hard to make the best of a bad situation. The Captain on the River Empress (second ship) demonstrated truly outstanding leadership skills. He led the crew in a way that made them want to perform well. He also took full responsibility and did a good job managing customer complaints associated with using tour buses versus sailing. Also, the laundry service was well done and prompt. Bar service was friendly and always available, which helped soothe nerves of frustrated passengers. One exception to the positive feedback concerning onboard experiences was that food quality was less than we had experienced on two previous Uniworld cruises. Especially early during the cruise, there were far too many buffet style meals. During a mid-cruise survey, I commented that the chef was strangely absent. On previous Uniworld cruises, the chef was the star of the show. The day after I submitted my comment, the chef began to appear in the dining room. Again, this speaks to the leadership qualities of Captian Ferdy on the River Empress. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld ... Read More
Our 8 day river cruise has turned into a 4 day cruise and 4 day bus ride. Due to low river levels along the Rhine, we only got as far north as Kehl, Germany and are being bused into Amsterdam from there. Yes, I understand that Uniworld can’t control Mother Nature and water levels, but it would have been nice to have been warned that this was a possibility and been given the option to cancel with a refund. No mention was made that water levels might be a problem until once under way. On the second night out of Basel we received the “unforeseen” bad news that we would not be able to continue by ship. On the positive side, the crew has done everything they could to make the remainder of the trip as positive as possible, but again, a bus ride is not what we paid around $8000 for. As partial compensation they offered $1000/person off the fare of a future cruise. The only catch was we had to use it by the end of 2019. After contacting them, they did extend the deadline to the end of 2020. I really hate being so negative as we had received nothing but glowing reports from friends who had done several Uniworld cruises, but to say I am extremely disappointed is a gross understatement. Again, nothing against the crew of the ship as they seemed as disappointed as we were to be unable to continue as we were but I feel that Uniworld corporate could have handled this in a much better way. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the Enchanting Danube cruise mainly because my husband wanted a trip for his 50th birthday which included a river cruise in Germany and the Neuschwanstein castle. Uniworld offered both, plus a Generations cruise for these areas so ... Read More
We chose the Enchanting Danube cruise mainly because my husband wanted a trip for his 50th birthday which included a river cruise in Germany and the Neuschwanstein castle. Uniworld offered both, plus a Generations cruise for these areas so that our 13 year old son could have other kids on the ship to play with. We opted to arrive a day early to spend extra time in Munich. The hotel which Uniworld selected was Roomers. While the hotel was obviously fairly new, clean and had great staff, there were a lot of down sides. First, it was nowhere NEAR the center of town. That was very inconvenient unless you enjoy walking for an hour to get to the main part of the city. Second, the beds were hard and very uncomfortable. The hallways and elevators were very dark and there were a lot of mirrors. We found it a bit creepy, actually. The only restaurant at the hotel was very upscale Asian food with a strict dress code. Not the place to go after a long day seeing the sights. Now to our biggest disappointment. As I said earlier, our MAIN reason for choosing this cruise was for the castle. At the briefing the night before the trip started, we were informed of the land itinerary. And there was NO mention of the Neuschwanstein castle! When I inquired in the session about the castle option, I was told that Uniworld had decided to drop that option from the itinerary as they rarely had enough people who wished to go. There were 15 people in the room that day who had planned on going to the castle. I told her that I had inquired 4 times on the phone to Uniworld to make sure that the castle was still offered, and was told it was. The Uniworld representative was quick to point out that Uniworld has the right to drop any option and has no liability. I told her that I understood that, but with NO warning? I could have made our own arrangements if I'd had even a couple of days notice. The Uniworld rep stated that Greyline Tours offered the castle trip and the front desk of the hotel could help. So, my husband and I went immediately to the front desk. Greyline was, of course, completely booked for the next day. Our LAST day in Munich. We spent hours trying to find other options. By 10pm we had to give up. All the tickets were sold out for the castle tours. My husband had that castle on his bucket list for decades. And for him, THAT was the highlight of the trip. And now that was off the table. Next we went to Passau, a lovely city. We boarded the Maria Theresa there. We were brought right to the ship, and embarkation and settling in was easy and delightful. Lunch was being served so we could have a leisurely lunch while our luggage was brought to the room. The ship is lovely. Very ornate, gilt and mirrors, etc. The beds were outrageously comfortable. The staff, every single one of them, were helpful and cheerful. The food was a bit of a let down for us. It certainly wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as the reviews led us to believe. The desserts were ok. Not as good as some I had in local bakeries. There weren't enough German food options, which is what I was hoping for. I wanted sausages, cheeses, dumpling variations, schnitzels with various sauces, etc. And while there were a few items, not nearly what I would expect for a German cruise. We did enjoy the open air balcony in the room very much. Lovely touches included fresh chocolates in the room and 2 large glass bottles of water with the turndown service every evening. The activities ranged from amazing (a Mozart concert with opera singers in a small, intimate venue in Vienna, a city tour of Bratislava (a hidden gem!) and Budapest), to bleh (a tour of the church where Maria married Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music in the film took WAY too much time in Salzburg). This was a Generations Cruise, so they had activities for the children. There were about 30 children, I think, onboard. And the majority were between 11-15 years old. And one option was to …..draw and color in a monastery garden. Really? The activity said : Painting in the monastery garden. I thought that sounded great. My son and I could paint on a canvas in a wonderful spot, maybe learn a technique. But..no. Drawing and coloring. There were many bike riding options offered, but most of them were over 15 km. And that was a bit much for our 13 year old to do. And a parent would need to go with our son on any excursions. Adventures by Disney had many excursions for the children to do, AND had dedicated guides with them so the adults could do a different excursion. I had expected something similar, so that was disappointing. On the next to last day they finally offered some activities our son enjoyed. A mixology class onboard where the children could create their own Mocktails. And then a scavenger hunt. There was a pool onboard, but it was VERY small. You certainly couldn't actually swim in it. A cinema room was on the lower deck. A small room with seating for maybe 20, but that became the kids room during this cruise. There was a nice Viennese salon on the lower deck where a hot dog bar, television and a variety of cookies and cakes were always available. The salon also had a great self serve machine for macchiatos, espresso, coffee and hot chocolate. I really enjoyed that space. Our son, who tried the hot dog bar, said the hot dogs were good, but the buns, even when heated, were hard. There was a self serve washer and dryer as well. I didn't use it, but many of the passengers did. Summary: The hotel was not enjoyable. The ship was beautiful. The food was average. The staff was wonderful. The shore excursions were hit or miss. The room was excellent. Canceling a HIGHLIGHT of the tour with NO notice was inexcusable. We would not travel with Uniworld again. The prices were very high and if the experience matched it, my review would have been very different. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Arriving at the ship, AMG had a lovely canopy and were taking the cases of their passengers, we had no one, took our own case to a row of cases then embarked. A sad first impression for 6 star, especially when the competition is doing more ... Read More
Arriving at the ship, AMG had a lovely canopy and were taking the cases of their passengers, we had no one, took our own case to a row of cases then embarked. A sad first impression for 6 star, especially when the competition is doing more for their guests. Having seen the ship featured on a TV documentary we were excited to book and try our first river cruise, as seasoned ocean liner travellers at the top end, we could see this was our standard, and the price per night was actually more expensive than 6 star cruise ships so we feel we justifiably had high expectations. The ship is beautifully finished and very impressive looking, very elegant, the cabins were fine, after all is it a river ship so smaller is reasonable, and the en suite shower room was the best I have ever seen on a ship. The beds were great and small touches like chocolates in a jar were great. I hated the non provision of fresh cold water and no fridge, for 6 star I expect a cabin fridge and I am not interested in having to refill a tiny water bottle ever time I go out, then carry it around to bring back. I understand its about saving water and plastic, but this deep love for the environment was not extended to saving forests with loads of ridiculous letters, envelopes etc... being delivered daily. I don't mind the letters, but whilst I value the planet, on my holiday I would like some cold water provided on tours. Perhaps guests should be given a choice of refilling daily a small metal canister or having chilled bottled water for a tour. On arrival there was some fruit in the room, this disappeared after 24 hours. The cruise manager Kirsten was outstanding, and actually most of the staff were impressive, the reception desk staff were second to none, and bar staff brilliant also. I thought the food was exceptionally disappointing as was the whole dinning room experience, on occasion I felt more like I was at camp than 6 star. Buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, with tepid food and moderate dishes. Shared tables and slow clearing of plates, and slow drink delivery - such that often the drink arrived at the end of the meal. The evening meal served at 7pm daily was of a very low standard, cheap ingredients, I was looking forward to Lobster, Dover Sole, Scallops etc.... think more a bit of trout, a falafel ball or a bit of salmon. Usually cold, and on occasion the wrong order. 3 desserts, usually one of which being fruit salad, one being an ice cream and the other the main item, but often a cake. Ridiculously although the menu has the 3 desserts on occasion you are given without choice a special 'treat' dessert even if you don't want it. This was the worst dining experience I have ever had on a ship and not worthy of the hefty uniworld price tag. Heaven forbid you want to eat something outside of the very limited restaurant hours, the room service menu is dreadful and after 5pm even worse as it changes. The Viennese cafe, had a exceptionally limited range of offerings, but did usually have one nice, cake, come cheese and hot dogs. The tours were excellent, and the concert evening in Vienna very special. Be warned this is an action holiday, tours leave 8-9 depending on the day and you need to be ready and fed before departure. Thats fair enough, its the river cruise formula, although on some occasions we did wonder why they started quite so early as it did not seem necessary. On balance we did have a great holiday but we felt the price and six star offering were misleading, staff other than food staff were 6 star, the food was 3 star and value for money was very low. We will probably river cruise again, and whilst I am happy to pay for luxury, I am not happy to pay for it and then not get it, so I shall look very hard at the price and offering of the competition next time round. Uniworld, You need to up your game big time on the total experience the moment a guest enters the dininig room. It transforms 4-5 star to 2/3 star. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our 3rd Uniworld cruise and our last. The food was passable at best, with poor meat quality, limited fruits, and the worst bakery products ever. The chef is into recycling and as an example we had duck with sweet/sour red ... Read More
This was our 3rd Uniworld cruise and our last. The food was passable at best, with poor meat quality, limited fruits, and the worst bakery products ever. The chef is into recycling and as an example we had duck with sweet/sour red cabbage at night; the next day the remaining red cabbage was mixed with white rice. Another example of the quality is a snack when we returned from the Strauss Concert; hotdogs. pretzel buns, and goulash soup at 10:30 pm The buffet has limited hours and about 1/2 way though the opening hours items are combined to one side, cheese board never replenished, etc. Not one dinner entrée was outstanding ; the veal and beef items were tough. Soups were either salty or watery. Cakes were dry, breads choices repetitive and wine selection adequate. Service on Uni continues to be their best product. Our waiter "Z" was superb as was the entire staff. Excursions were a mixed bag with a superb tour of Linz, a spectacular concert in Vienna, and the remaining ok. Tours tend to stop for hours at churches eliminating the time in the cities. The guides were good for the most part; I am sure it is Uniworld who plans the itinerary. By the way Brataslavia is a find, and Uni would do well to spend more time there and less in Durnstein. Uniworld has decimated their value and you might as well take a mid range line with the largest cabin . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city ... Read More
Started Wed June 13 in Lisboa. Met at airport and transferred and given handout for restaurants etc around hotel. Site representative and most folks start the next day. We visited the zoo on Thurs. Briefing was Thurs night. Fri was city tour in am and on own in PM (too few picked extra cost optional). Sat was on own or optional extra cost guided tour. Sun transforms to visit with stop at Coimbra Univ. Then finally on ship at Cais Gai. Trip ok. Problem for me is other than visits to Port vineyards and hearing about port wine, there didn't seem much of interest on the Douro. Maybe that is why the start in Lisboa and day trip to Salamanca. And after getting to Salamanca we were mostly by ourselves. Memorable events were the visit to the Archeolgical site at Coa (NOT for folks with mobility issues), going through the Carrapatelo dam (2nd upriver from Porto) the deepest in Europe and "Mr Bean" at the dinner at the Enoteca da Avessada. The most memorable was an accident. The ship was docked at Cais Gai the evening of June 23 before Sai Joao day. Great fire work display at midnight right in front of us from boats in midriver and the bridge. Unlike others I really like the diff Portuguese food. And one could always ask for e.g. the striploin steak and fries etc from the alt menu. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose the cruise because it was a decent price and I had never visited Venice before. I wasn't overly excited for the cruise before leaving, as I love cruising on the rivers and this was not on a river. From the moment we ... Read More
I chose the cruise because it was a decent price and I had never visited Venice before. I wasn't overly excited for the cruise before leaving, as I love cruising on the rivers and this was not on a river. From the moment we boarded though, we were totally pampered. The ship was beautifully decorated and even though we were on the bottom level, we never felt like we were less than the passengers in the suites. The drinks were free flowing and the bartender was always willing to try a new concoction. Our chef Bogdon was brilliant and made every meal special and delicious. When I saw him buying the fresh octopus at the local fish market, I thought to myself "Not eating that". Well I did eat it and it was so delicious, I had seconds. Our waiter Dan made every meal a fun experience. Always had a great smile and a little joke for us. It's little things like that that make a cruise special. The excursions that Uniworld arranged were great. We had wonderful and knowledgeable guides giving us so much information on the history of everywhere that we went. One thing that I was disappointed in was Uniworld's decision to discontinue the "Easy walking tours". I have a very bad knee and had some rib bruising and could no way keep up with the group. We also had people well into their 80's (87 yrs.) that had health issues and had a hard time keeping up. Take note Uniworld, most of your passengers are 60+ and some have health/physical problems. They should beable to be comfortable taking the tours and not have to struggle to keep up. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met ... Read More
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met expectations it was the attitude of the staff on board and on arranged tours that made the trip very special. The staff were more than just friendly and helpful - they were an integral part of the experience. Their humour alone was worth the trip. Shore excursions were effortless and enjoyable, the scenery along the way was magnificant. Were held a professional conference on board for 80 delegates and although the ship was not designed for conferencing the ships crew did everything necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our conference including the rearranging of furniture and the set up of conference facilities daily, rescheduling tours, meals and events to accommodate conference sessions. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks ... Read More
Uniworld stresses that they will honor special diets and require the client to call before the cruise to state those needs. There was no such record, nor were my diet concerns addressed, although lip service was paid, for the first 2 weeks of the cruise. I walked out of several meals because there was nothing I could eat. Not until my husband vociferously complained did anything get served to me that I could eat (not rocket science--just low salt). Uniworld says no children on the cruises, yet the captain's 2-year-old was on the cruise, riding his trike over clients' feet and screeching and riding through all the public areas. I went on this cruise NOT to be with children--yet here I had to endure it. At a mighty cost. No client is allowed in the wheelhouse, for safety concerns. Yet the captain's child and his strewn toys were in the wheelhouse. Uniworld says no wheelchairs, yet one client had one, and when that client was on a tour, the other clients had to wait for and assist her. Not what I paid for. Again. Ninety percent of the passengers came down with acute bronchitis. Uniworld turned its head at this, refusing to acknowledge there was a problem. I was blamed for not wearing a scarf around my neck, as to the cause of my illness. Hygiene on the ship is unacceptable, forcing clients to share serving spoons, with no enforcement of hand sanitizing or wiping down of the arms of dining chairs, repeated use of the same plastic gloves as cleaners move from cabin to cabin, spreading germs, and candy in jars into which clients stick their hands. To top it off, Uniworld made us pay for a cab to/from a hospital to treat the bronchitis. Really? The daily handout on things to do/see in a particular stopping point are mere cuttings and pastings that someone has slapped together and have little relevance. Why mention shopping and nightlife when we are stopping in a town for 2 hours during the day and have no access to such areas? Why state that what follows in the printout are 10 restaurants to experience--and just 3 are listed. Does no one even read what is dispensed daily? This trip was an unforgivable waste of my money. Uniworld should be ashamed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our third Uniworld cruise so we had two others to compare. As with the others, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. That is not to say there weren't a few negatives which I will get to later. My comments are intended to be ... Read More
This was our third Uniworld cruise so we had two others to compare. As with the others, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. That is not to say there weren't a few negatives which I will get to later. My comments are intended to be constructive and I would not want to let them dissuade you from taking this cruise. First though, I need to acknowledge the exemplary crew. They were always at the ready to happily do whatever was requested. They are very personable and go out of their way to make sure you aren't lacking for anything. Even up to the Captain who joined us for a drink and a bike ride (on separate occasions). Nobody knew each other before the cruise but we soon formed a group of ten. Being part of such a group goes a long way to making the cruise that much more fun and enjoyable. I would encourage anyone to quickly make some friendships rather than go it alone as a couple. Food was always very good. Presentation and service was excellent unless, of course, you opted for the buffet (breakfast and lunch) then you know who to blame. There is a fixed menu for the Captain's Welcome and Farewell dinners. We can't agree with the few criticisms regarding lack of choice as the meals were top notch. Maybe those with a food restriction of some sort could possibly find it less than ideal. Even though the Po River had dried out and we were 'confined' to the Venetian Lagoon, we did not feel we missed out on too much. Only one day was impacted when we had a longer bus ride to Bologna than what would have otherwise been the case. Being all inclusive is the way to go. You are not forever signing charge slips, paying for tours and/or handing out tips as on an ocean cruise. The decision becomes which tour shall we go on rather than how much is it going to cost us. "Front of the line" and/or exclusive openings is terrific - no mobs and long lines to have to tolerate. The local tour guides were impressively knowledgeable, maybe to a fault. Sometimes we felt a little overwhelmed by long history lessons - but there is so more than what we have in North America. It may well be a case of what is too much for some is too little for others - damned if you do and damned if you don't. The guides' English vocabulary was really good and I was often surprised at some of the words I wouldn't have expected from someone using a foreign language. But they all seemed to have been trained at the same school where they learned our words properly should have an extra vowel tacked on the end. Something like "Nowa, let'sa walka this waya" or "Crossa over the bridgea". I'm not being critical as it got to be somewhat humorous at times. I guess it's a part of the Italian DNA. Admittedly, we didn't get the book out and compare square footage. But the cabin gave us a sense that it was smaller than, for instance, the same cabin on the River Princess. Maybe, the positioning of the bathroom door was a factor. Someone could easily lose a knee cap if s/he was sitting on the edge of the bed and the other person unknowingly came out of the bathroom too quickly. Having said that, the cabins are very well appointed and clean. The fairies who come into your cabin when you aren't there to make your bed, etc., do an excellent job. The big negative? The horrible internet service (and I use the term 'service' loosely). More often than not there was intermittent service or none at all - even if the ship had been tied up all day. Then, if and when you could get access, it was very slow - reminiscent of the old dial-up days. More than once I encountered a service drop in the middle of my trying to do something. A relatively minor point: I'm not sure if it was the particular driver at fault or the schedule. The long drive from Milan to Venice was very slow. It was very unusual for us pass another vehicle - they all passed us. The other bus with us had long disappeared out of sight. If it was a scheduling matter, I don't think it is necessary to leave Milan quite so early. We opted to not do the Rome extension. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Please note that our family has lived overseas on three different continents, and we traveled a great deal in each area, usually on our own with children. We decided on this small cruise for several reasons: friends joined us, the area ... Read More
Please note that our family has lived overseas on three different continents, and we traveled a great deal in each area, usually on our own with children. We decided on this small cruise for several reasons: friends joined us, the area interested us, and the definite ease of travel. For the record: I will never, ever, ever take a cruise on a larger ship. Massive amounts of people make my skin crawl. We are of a certain age (me especially) and watching the world go by at a leisurely pace with everything arranged suited us immensely. The staff, crew, and guides spoiled us; this can be disconcerting at times because it is not how we live. Granted, they were not helicopter-intrusive, but they were always present. The food on board was always very tasty and always featured local foods and very fresh ingredients. There were American/English staples for the breakfast and lunch buffets; then they also offered a variety of native items. Dinners were a la carte with three choices: meat, fish, vegetarian. There were other options--but, never taken. Our chef was a youthful Portuguese gentleman who took pride in our table fare and every plate was picture-perfect. Because we were traveling along the Danube, many local wines were poured. They were generally not to my taste and the wait staff was at the ready with alternative choices. Our outings were, of course, well-planned. Local guides met us and filled our heads with dates and names and histories galore. They all spoke very clearly with charming accents. We were given portable ear pieces so that hearing them was not a challenge. Generally, our crowd was a little more geriatric and they accommodated us nicely. Those with great spirit and good health had the option of bicycling from port to port or taking more vigorous tours. Bless their hearts. I was impaired after our three day stay in Prague and the ship had the common sense to have walking sticks available for those of us with mobility challenges. With my ‘magic stick’, I was able to conjure easier paths, elevators, chairs, kindness, and great respect (always after the threat of a wallop). Early June and it proved to be tourist season for the whole world. Some sites were over-crowded and almost claustrophobic--Disney World jammed, you know what I mean. I enjoyed it when arrangements were made for early tours, private entrees, and alternative destinations. River cruises have become quite popular; in larger ports there could be up to 20 ships docked in close proximity. At times our luxuriously large window was blocked by another ship docked next to us. Note to cruise executives: if you are charging us for an immense window, please make sure the view is worthwhile. My husband and I struck out on our own several times with good directions and some helpful hints about the local city. This is what I truly enjoy doing: exploring and observing without a definite timetable. We have been on guided tours, but the venues were more volatile and we had small children with us (Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey). Moving about en masse with about 20 people became a little tedious even though everyone was pleasant and as enthralled as we were. My mailman asked me what my most favorite thing about our trip was. For me, it was talking to those citizens who had lived behind the Iron Curtain and were now venturing into capitalism and their surge into freedom; feeling the history of their countries through stories of change and fear and loss and resurgence--always with pride in their voices. Being on the ship was peaceful. You could relax in the quiet of your room (it was well-insulated) or find a spot in a common area that gave you a view and few people. If you were so inclined, there were people ready to converse, order drinks with you, or engage in rollicking fun. In truth, I am imagining the rollicking fun part as I was usually very tired and ready for my comfortable bed. If I take another cruise, I think it will be one with a theme. Not a drinking or history tour, but one of a more eclectic subject: Northern lights and the fjords of Norway may be calling me as I dine with astronomers. My guess is, Scrabble tours would probably just get ugly. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We were invited to go with a group. My wife had always wanted to go on a river Cruise. People had recommended Uniworld and the Duoro river cruise to us. It was a beautiful voyage to a unique place. I would have liked more physically ... Read More
We were invited to go with a group. My wife had always wanted to go on a river Cruise. People had recommended Uniworld and the Duoro river cruise to us. It was a beautiful voyage to a unique place. I would have liked more physically vigorous activities and a bit better fitness facility, especially in the light of the wonderful food and wine that was included. Our group was united in our appreciation of the wonderful staff on board from the Hotel Manager Andre, the head of the dining hall Anna, our waiter Artur and the bursor Sandra who all went way out of their way to make sure our group had a great time. The rest of the staff was terrific as well and its hard to mention every single person. We enjoyed our stays in Lisbon and Porto as well and the tours were interesting.We would recommend this trip to everyone. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We did a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Milan with included excursion to see the last supper, the excursion was excellent one of the best I have ever done and I have done quite a few, the guide was very entertaining. The hotel Rosa Grand was ... Read More
We did a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Milan with included excursion to see the last supper, the excursion was excellent one of the best I have ever done and I have done quite a few, the guide was very entertaining. The hotel Rosa Grand was in a fab location right in the centre of the city within sight of the beautiful Cathedral. I recommend a visit to Flash Restaurant around the corner from the hotel, where they do fantastic pizzas and pasta. The hotel was adequate if a bit large and impersonal but served a purpose. The ship was nice and so were the cabins just a little small. After reading all the previous reviews I think I was expecting a lot more with regards to the service, unfortunately for us the ship was full and so the service fell short, there was a couple of grumpy staff and not many of them had the 'nothing is too much trouble attitude' probably because they were overworked, but considering the cost of this cruise this should not happen. The temperature in the bar was at times freezing, we complained to the bar staff and didn't notice a difference we complained to the cruise manager who said I know I keep telling him to turn it down but you try and see if you have more luck than me, one evening we fetched blankets from the pizza restaurant to put over our knees in the bar. With regards to the dress code I found a lot of people very casual even on the gala dinner night, some men in jackets but not all and with regards to jeans someone on a previous review said "you will stand out if you wear jeans on an evening" this was not the case, some people were in tracksuit bottoms on an evening. The ship does a small amount of cruising on the river Po but not much, it mainly sits in different areas of the venice Lagoon. Also there are 2 occasions where the ship has to sail on the ocean to move location and on these occasions everyone must disembark for the day due to maritime law, so if you were tired or feeling ill no choice but to choose one of the included excursions. Food - the food was good but very little selection, one meat dish, one fish dish, one veggie option and one healthy eating option, so if like my husband you don't like fish you had no choice, breakfasts were good with a nice choice and nice quality. Drinks - Although they claim to offer fine wines you are only ever offered 1 red and 1 white, unless you ask for the wine list where there are other option free of charge, no one tells you about this though we were alerted to it by another passenger, also they only have 1 rose and this is not on the wine list, when you ask for rose they always have to go and look for it. During the cruise they ran out of peach for the bellinis and they ran out of baileys. Excursions were good but the transfer to Bologna was too long, nearly 2 hours each way So the above reasons are why I don't think its worth the high price tag. Think I may have been spoilt as have stayed in some very nice hotels where the customer service has far exceeded the service on the Countess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Always wanted to cruise the Rhine river and now have achieved it. The management of the restaurant, tours and ship was outstanding leaving us to enjoy our holiday stress free. The tour guides utilised by Uniworld were excellent, they all ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise the Rhine river and now have achieved it. The management of the restaurant, tours and ship was outstanding leaving us to enjoy our holiday stress free. The tour guides utilised by Uniworld were excellent, they all knew their subject very well and presented the knowledge to us at a good level so that all understood. After each tour we were given time to explore the town by ourselves but with having had a tour earlier finding our way around was easy. I particularly enjoyed the fitness classes in the morning each one varied and just long enough. The restaurant and bar staff went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our meals and time in the piano bar. Evening entertainment was very good, the pianist/vocalist entertained us with a wide variety of songs. Our stateroom was kept emasculate at all times and we enjoyed the little surprise each night when we returned to our cabin. All in all an outstanding job well done. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
After researching potential cruise companies for my first ever river cruise in Europe, I decided on Uniworld with its consistent annual award-winning history. I wanted a trip that covered all expenses, including accommodation, food, ... Read More
After researching potential cruise companies for my first ever river cruise in Europe, I decided on Uniworld with its consistent annual award-winning history. I wanted a trip that covered all expenses, including accommodation, food, beverage, tours/excursions with options for the less physically able - I use a walking stick - and gratuities, as once I stepped on board, I wanted to be carefree and to simply enjoy myself. Though my luxurious cabin and ensuite were compact, the bed was super comfortable, and there was abundant closet space with, surprisingly, plenty of clothes hangers :) As the French Balcony door slid open, I could enjoy fresh air, sunshine and constantly changing view from my cabin without heading up to the sun deck. Everything on this floating hotel was 5 star - the friendly yet professional staff bent over backwards to meet our needs - no request was too difficult; chef and his team cooked and baked everything onboard; and the ship was spotless. Cudos to the heads of departments who pulled their staff together into a wonderful team on the River Princess. Cudos to the staff as they helped each other out, even across departments, and radiated boundless and positive energy everyday, despite working hard for extremely long hours. We feasted shamelessly on full buffet breakfasts and lunches and a la carte dinners, and if you had room for fruit and desserts, they too were in plentiful supply. I do believe the majority of us were glad we brought loose comfortable clothes to accommodate expanding waistlines. As we stopped at a different town every day, food and wines from that particular region were featured on the menu for that day. Afternoon tea was available for those who still had an appetite between our main meals and the lolly counter was open 24 hours a day, and home-made cookies beside the self-catering hot drink machine on the patio. Cocktail hour tempted us with more exciting refreshments to try while we relaxed and chatted with soft gentle music played by the resident musician. After dinner, most of us would head to back to the Piano Lounge for more chin-wagging and themed nightly music you could along and dance to, if you had energy left after the day's excursions. Every evening before dinner, our cruise manager would go over what tours and excursion would be on offer the next day. This would be followed up with a printed schedule provided with a surprise of the day when our beds were turned down that evening. If you're active, there were walking and cycling tours you could go on, while the rest of us either took the day and/or afternoon city tours and other options on offer, or chose to while away the time to sit or stretch out on the sun deck. As always, plentiful liquid refreshments found their way up to quench our thirst.. As one who chose the 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam European Jewels cruise, I had a field day seeing and absorbing history and culture at every stop. I also loved the concert in Vienna, which included demonstrations of the Viennese Waltz and some entertaining light opera. You simply can't go to Vienna and not enjoy the music in a beautiful historical building. Though I arrived in Budapest then stepped on board straight away, I did stay a couple of days in Amsterdam on Uniworld's post-cruise package so I could explore the city and also look for windmills and tulips. I wish I had done a pre-cruise few days in Budapest as well. Would I go again with Uniworld? Ooohhhh, a definite YES! This first time has set the standard so high, that it would be a challenge to find any other company able to exceed my now skyhigh expectations. Read Less
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