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9 Uniworld Lisbon Cruise Reviews

Overall excellent service. Boarding was very smooth. we were the first to board. Rooms were smaller than other Uniworld boats. We were on the lower level. this boat had a wider wall than other boats. The boat did have a problem with ... Read More
Overall excellent service. Boarding was very smooth. we were the first to board. Rooms were smaller than other Uniworld boats. We were on the lower level. this boat had a wider wall than other boats. The boat did have a problem with a lack of hot water. cold showers were not pleasant. The water problem did seem to get better later in the cruise, but only for short showers. Food service started a little rough. I was served raw salmon, and my wife was served raw chicken. I think it took a little while for the cooks to get used to the ovens. The food overall was very good. The lunches were outstanding. Uniworld offers local foods, and the chef did a great job with them. The only other misstep was during a flaming salmon presentation. The fire unexpectedly jumped and caught two passengers on fire. one was singed, the other had the presence of mind to roll on the ground and escaped with minor injuries. The restaurant staff was fantastic. the really anticipated your needs. Service was always prompt and with a smile. Problems were handled very well. Bar staff was also very good. they remembered what you liked. The only drawback was Uniworld did not include the same high quality drinks as part of the all inclusive. Many other passengers and myself were surprised to find a 9 euro fee for Makers Mark. The wines and port served at dinner and in the bar were surprisingly good. Excursions were changed because of maintenance on a river lock. This changed our itinerary. Overall I thought Uniworld did a good job redoing our ports. Our favorite excursion was dinner at a winery. the owner was a real character. The Sandman port tour would have been better if more time was added to enjoy the grounds. Front desk staff were mostly outstanding. One new person was not up to speed yet, but was very friendly. Lounge entertainer was better than other Uniworld boats. the additional entertainers were ok. My favorite part was cruising by the vinyards. The landscape was beautiful.This is not a high activity cruise. It is a great cruse for someone who wants to relax and enjoy some nice wines Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and ... Read More
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and having 3 days to explore the Portuguese capital city and acclimate to the time change was very well-planned. The Corinthia Hotel was outstanding and their included breakfast buffet was simply amazing. Our Uniworld hosts and tour guides were very impressive, experienced, friendly and helpful at every opportunity. Once we were transferred to Porto to board the Queen Isabel and embark on our tour of the Douro River Valley, we were once again very impressed with the ship and especially the staff members. Without exception, everyone we interacted with were overwhelmingly helpful and focused on quality guest service. Being on a small boutique cruise ship offered the opportunity to meet and interact with everyone onboard. We appreciated the personal interaction and familiarity we developed with the crew members. By the second day onboard, many were already greeting us by name! Simply amazing. Each day offered us different engaging adventures that were well-planned and enjoyable at every port of call. The onboard dining was simply outstanding and the entire dining room staff was always focused on providing great service to all guests. We also were amazed at the lounge staff, especially our favorite bartender, Alexandra. She was wonderful and by the end of the cruise, we felt as if we'd made a new friend! Ours was the final cruise of the 2018 season and we were consistently impressed with the pleasant interactions we experienced with everyone onboard and the friendly service we received, usually accompanied by a bright smile. Thanks to the entire staff and crew of the Queen Isabel for a relaxing and memorable vacation! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Have taken several European river cruises but had never been to Portugal or on Uniworld. Trip started on land in Lisbon. The Corinthia Hotel was excellent. Our U host recommended a walk to tour the Gulbenkian Museum for our spare time. ... Read More
Have taken several European river cruises but had never been to Portugal or on Uniworld. Trip started on land in Lisbon. The Corinthia Hotel was excellent. Our U host recommended a walk to tour the Gulbenkian Museum for our spare time. Outstanding art collection including masters Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, etc. Next day we opted for an optional tour to the National Palace, Sintra and another palace and the seaside town of Cascais. Worth taking. Then the journey to Porto to meet our ship. Stopped to have a nice Portugal family country style lunch at a restaurant frequented by 3 other tours. No criticism; loved the lunch. Then onto the old University of Coimbra, its St Michaels chapel and the fascinating old library. Like all ships on the Douro river the Queen Isabel is by necessity undersized. Our cabin was necessarily very small but somehow the shower was big enough. One criticism of Uniworld's Queen Isabel was that the lounge was dark and they kept shades drawn too much of the day. I missed the open, all windows lounge on Viking. A small ship size issue was only one public bathroom. Made departure day after breakfast coffee problematic as your rooms are unavailable after 8 AM. Suggest they leave the 2 adjacent to lobby cabins open to the public at departure and then clean them last. Loved Porto and our tour of the city. Train station with blue Portugese tiles was interesting. Meals were excellent. Lunch buffets were outstanding in variety and quality. Service was timely and effective. Some swelling of ankles from all the salt used in Portuguese cooking. My favorite tour was the Côa Valley Archaeological Park visit. Some climbing down & up but fine for folks without mobility issues. Pictures of various animals from 20,000 to 30,000 years ago carved into the rocks. Beautiful new museum. The Douro river is surrounded by green. Mostly wineries but some wild areas. Very pleasing scenery vs industrialized European rivers. Loved the views. A very pretty cruise. I'd gladly book another cruise on Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was out 5th cruise with Uniworld and the previous 4 were great. We were looking forward to seeing Portugal with same quality. Unfortunately, we were disapppomted. Many of the tours Included excessive free/shopping time, and the meals ... Read More
This was out 5th cruise with Uniworld and the previous 4 were great. We were looking forward to seeing Portugal with same quality. Unfortunately, we were disapppomted. Many of the tours Included excessive free/shopping time, and the meals were below the standard that we had come to expect. There was an emphasis on Portuguese food, but it was not planned with an appropriate consideration for the tastes of the non-Portuguese clientele. Hot food was often served warm or cold. There were many times where tours could have been expanded and where experts could have been brought on board during sailing times to improve the quality of the experience while providing better insight to Portuguese history, culture, and customs. Outstanding service and staff support helped to offset some of the problems. We thoroughly enjoyed our trips on the Rhine and in France and are looking forward to a trip in the fall to Italy. Overall, while I would still recommend Uniworld, I cannot recommend this particular trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Horrible guide, dreadful cruise experience as we were not on ship--long bus trips, guide did not give information or attend to our comfort, safety or try to give us a good experience. The food on the ship was wonderful, the people on the ... Read More
Horrible guide, dreadful cruise experience as we were not on ship--long bus trips, guide did not give information or attend to our comfort, safety or try to give us a good experience. The food on the ship was wonderful, the people on the ship were wonderful, but 4 days out of 7, no sailing, and the promised excursions mostly did not happen. Instead we got long bus rides to second or third rate destinations, and, most importantly, NO GUIDES!!! The guides waited by the busses, chatting, and left us to find our own way. Silent or chatted with the drivers during the drives. One guest fell land broke her arm, another was left behind when she could not find her way to the bus in time. The guide made strange choices--walking us up long outside staircases by parking garages instead of into main entrances off main streets, putting us in hotels with no porters and not helping with luggage, even for the lady with the broken arm--just generally glad to be home! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose a uniworld cruise on Queen Isabel, which was a special offer in the Telegraph. Had a most enjoyable river cruise on the Douro. Cruise staff were helpful and friendly, very efficient cruise director. Interesting variety of ... Read More
We choose a uniworld cruise on Queen Isabel, which was a special offer in the Telegraph. Had a most enjoyable river cruise on the Douro. Cruise staff were helpful and friendly, very efficient cruise director. Interesting variety of visits, including two vineyards, and the Douro National Park. Food was excellent and all trips and tips included. Cabin very small but functional, could of done with more storage. Food breakfast choice of self service in main lounge and served breakfast in restaurant.Great choice of fruit, juices, cold meats, cereals, yoghurts, cooked breakfast, croissant and breads. Lunch again choice of venues, both help yourself. Main restruant choice of hot and cold main courses. Good choice of drinks 24 hrs a day, including cocktails in the evening. Mix of Brits, Americans and Canadians on board Would certainly consider Uniworld again, all inclusive river cruises to be recommended. Holiday also included two days in Lisbon, which was a interesting city Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We choose Uniworld based on their reputation as a 5 or 6 star line. of the 13 day cruise from Lisbon to Madrid, we were on the ship 8 nights and the other nights in very nice hotels. The overall experience was good, worst part of the ... Read More
We choose Uniworld based on their reputation as a 5 or 6 star line. of the 13 day cruise from Lisbon to Madrid, we were on the ship 8 nights and the other nights in very nice hotels. The overall experience was good, worst part of the cruise was on the ship. They were VERY understaffed and they kept saying the air conditioning was being fixed, however it NEVR worked the entire time!! Extremely uncomfortable in the lounge and dining room!!! They had ONE waiter/bartender for 50 people on the sun deck. You could NOT ask for a drink at the bar! You were told the drink would be brought to you. Yes, a half hour later!! Again, One bartender, ONE waiter!! for 100 people!! I could go on but just say we were, and our friends that travelled with, were EXTREMELY Disappointed in Uniworld. We did find out that the Queen Isabel is not operated by Uniworld, but it is leased out?? Not on the ship, The tours and guides were very good Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
A very disappointing river cruise, given the perceived reputation of the Uniworld brand. Although this was our first time on Uniworld, there were many "regulars" on board who were also not impressed. I believe we were the ... Read More
A very disappointing river cruise, given the perceived reputation of the Uniworld brand. Although this was our first time on Uniworld, there were many "regulars" on board who were also not impressed. I believe we were the first cruise that was able to make it from Porto all the way for some time. (the river had been too high ). If you have cruised on the Rhine, Danube or the French rivers you will find the Duoro rather lacking. There are very few towns of any substance on it - a function of geography - and almost all tours involve quite long coach rides. Apart from the vinyards the overwhelming impression is of the profusion of derelict habitations, often with trees growing through the roofs. The rep. in Lisbon - Pilar - was excellent, giving us welcome help with joining complications. The cabin attendants, again, were good. The wait staff I feel were understaffed and at times had to run to stand still, although good humoured and mostly friendly. The problems came from the overall management, which did not live up to the star rating. One example appeared early on: sitting on the deck chairs rapidly produced wet pants. Either rain overnight or deck washing had saturated the cushion interiors. Of itself a small thing, but it would just not happen on top rated companies. Deck staff also appeared to be in short supply; the captain was often to be seen sweeping up or otherwise cleaning various venues. Our cabin had a French balcony; a far better idea than a full balcony which takes away a lot of cabin real estate for very little gain. As it was, the cabin could politely be termed "bijou" to the point of being claustrophobic. It always takes a day or two for a couple to orchestrate their movements to be collision-free in a new cabin and this one certainly took some time. The tour guides were of variable effectiveness. One or two were so garrulous that many guests lost the will to live. No doubt the language factor comes into this but it does appear that the company has just let the local subcontractors get on with it. And I think this is the basic problem: the vessel and operation are not actually Uniworld but contracted to local companies. Having said that, Uniworld has overall responsibility for standards. It did appear that a manager was parachuted in, halfway along the river, but was not seen to be particularly proactive. Disembarkation was at a horrendously early hour, followed by a long drive to Salamanca, where luggage lock-up and coffee & biscuits were arranged for the several hours before the coach change to Madrid. Except that the hotel didn't have the booking: guests milled around for almost an hour until things were sorted out and some jugs of coffee appeared. The "lock-up" turned out to be a part of a conference room marked out by a ring of chairs. A few Euros had been handed out for lunch. More like a school outing than a well managed upscale operation. Would I book another Uniworld cruise? Difficult to say: based on this one and given the pricing then, no. However, regular guests did say that this cruise was not typical of the usual standard. But there's an awful lot of quality competition today on European river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First let me say that my wife and I have been on quite a few ocean and river cruises before with several on Uniworld. When we travel we like to have an enjoyable time, see the sights the locals see, eat the food the locals eat, and get to ... Read More
First let me say that my wife and I have been on quite a few ocean and river cruises before with several on Uniworld. When we travel we like to have an enjoyable time, see the sights the locals see, eat the food the locals eat, and get to know the countries we are visiting. We understood long before booking this trip that Uniworld was teaming with Douro Azul and that the ship was leased from Douro Azul. I read reviews stating that the cruise did not meet normal Uniworld standards, but we booked anyway. That said, we had an absolutely outstanding cruise. We traveled to Lisbon a day early so that we could get over jet lag before the trip started. We stayed at the Tiara Park Atlantic hotel which was the hotel Uniworld uses for its Lisbon extension. The hotel made it very easy. We did not have to change rooms and they combined the bill so that we would only have to pay once. The restaurant on site was great for dinner and acceptable for breakfast. Rooms were good size and spotlessly clean. Our second day in Lisbon (first of the cruise) we met Ercilia Afonso, our cruise director. She is a fire ball. Uniworld couldn't ask for a better representative. We were lucky in that she was going to stay with us for the Douro River portion also. She helped people find missing luggage, locate good restaurants, and learn about the country. Can't say enough good things about her. After a couple of days of touring Lisbon and Sintra (which was worth the visit), we got on buses to Porto. The buses had plenty of leg room and were comfortable. Drivers were experienced and the guides gave us a running commentary along the route. First stop was Coimbra for lunch and a visit to the University. Good planning on Uniworld's part as this got us to Porto on time to get right into our cabins on the ship. We had cabin 310. It was good sized and had a small balcony. The cabin was quiet, clean, and had plenty of space to store items. The ship was smaller than most Uniworld ships because the locks on the Douro are smaller than the locks on other European rivers. The ship was in great shape and the crew was superb. Every stop, crew members were out washing the ship and conducting preventive maintenance. The captain obviously trained his crew very well. Pedro, the Hotel Manager, Silvino, the Restaurant Manager, and Dinis, the Chef, were everywhere. They were highly visible and approachable the entire cruise. If I didn't know that they weren't Uniworld employees, I would have assumed that they were. I saw absolutely no difference in the way that they did their jobs than I saw on the other eight Uniworld cruises we have been on. While food is a subjective matter, we found it to be very good. Actually too good since it is requiring a diet back home to loose the weight gained. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and dinner was sit down. What we really liked was the chef prepared menus that incorporated local dishes into almost every meal. That is one of the reasons we travel. He did a very good job of it and we found some new favorite foods. The tours were all very good with our favorite being the harvesting tour to the Quinta. It was probably the most fun we have ever had on any river or ocean tour. The Quinta owner put on a show that was super. We felt like family members when we left. Service was good throughout to include the restaurant staff, hotel personnel, front desk, bar, and music. To say we were relaxed is an understatement. We liked cruising during the day and looking at the beautiful scenery. Sitting on the balcony was a definite plus. Uniworld's all inclusive policy took the concern of tipping out of the equation and made the trip even more relaxing. Overall, we were pleased with all aspects of the trip and would not hesitate to recommend it to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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