You've Gained Two Life-Long Customers,2/8/2015
We arrived in Vienna for embarkation extremely early—we made it to the ship before 9:00 a.m. Many of the previous week's passengers had not yet left the ship. The cruise manager, Claudia, ... welcomed us and offered us spaces in the lounge where breakfast was provided. Knowing that our rooms likely wouldn't be ready for hours (standard check-in time is 3:00 p.m., we conferred with her briefly over a map of Vienna and set out to explore the city. When we returned around 2:30 p.m., our room was ready and our luggage had been delivered.
We consider ourselves foodies, and we were extremely impressed with all of the food served on-board, particularly the local specialties. We tried to eat these at lunch and dinner every day. The servers and restaurant manager (Stefan) were quick to remember our preferences (like my husband wanting a local beer with every meal—even breakfast), and everything was presented as it is in fine restaurants. Although we had planned on eating onshore often before we boarded, we only skipped one meal on the River Ambassador.
Our room (129), while small, was extremely comfortable and had everything we needed, with more than ample storage space. We brought a cosmetics organizer that could hang on the back of the bathroom door for our toiletries, and that worked well (there is not much counter space in the bathroom). Noise was a bit of an issue, but I was somewhat prepared for that, knowing we had booked the lowest category cabin (the noise was from the engine and from water hitting the ship both while docked and while sailing).
The excursions were excellent. My favorites were Vienna As The Viennese Do and the Danube Bike Trip. Both of these were "choice" tours, which differed from the day's standard tour but were included in the cruise price. The QuiteVox system made it easy to hear our guides even as we broke away from the group, and they all provided excellent information (and were fluent English speakers).
As big fans of German culture, particularly Bavaria, we loved this itinerary. Each city was unique and offered something new to do. We were particularly interested in WWII history, but ended up learning a fair bit of medieval history as well.
The staff onboard were excellent. I can't name them all here, but I must say that the cruise manager, Claudia, made our trip extremely enjoyable. She knew we were wiling to venture out on our own and would give us tips and maps to get out and about while returning to the ship on time. She even talked through future travel plans in Germany with us! It was clear she had all of the guests best interests in mind.
I also took advantage of the spa service (60-minute full-body massage for $85), and was very pleased with the experience—it was my first massage! When we disembarked, the spa charge was all we owed. While the initial price of the cruise may seem a bit steep, you could truly get by without owing anything else to Uniworld at the end of the trip. We only spent a few hundred dollars on-shore during our seven-night cruise, and that included a fairly expensive, well-made hat we purchased in Regensburg.
After the cruise we were bussed to Prague for two nights in the Boscolo hotel. The accommodations were wonderful, and the location was good—a quick 7-minute walk to Old Town, but far enough out that you're not surrounded with drunken tourists and solicitors in the streets. If you want to explore Prague a bit more, it's just a block from a tram stop, metro station, and the main train station.
You can find more information about this trip on my blog: www.grosstravelchronicles.blogspot.com Read More...
One word: OUTSTANDING!,5/12/2014
As you know, we've sailed Avalon twice and Viking once in the past. Your presentation last year at our Travel, Ports, & Voyages meeting piqued our interest. And, we were clearly not disappointed! From the moment we boarded, the entire staff made us feel welcome and catered to us, as well as my friends/clients, like no other river cruise.
The Uniworld difference:
Staff- by the second day, most already knew our names. My wife told our waiter she can't have peppers. Never a problem throughout the cruise. Water, drink glasses promptly refilled both in lounge and dining room. Drinks on the ... deck, always filled, and if not, server told us to push the request button (never had to!).
Speaking of the top deck: Plush blankets for the ladies on a chilly afternoon cruise. Nice touch!
Food: Excellent throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner! Great choices. Drinks: Excellent choices, including top shelf, all-inclusive. (Bar opens at 9:00am! Too early for me!) Wines in the dining room changed daily to reflect the region visited. Excellent. One night my wife asked if a Riesling was still available from previous evening-not a problem!
Coffee/Tea: YES- REAL coffee! (not coffee-flavored product like the other cruise lines), Nothing like starting the day with a fresh-ground coffee or cappuccino, be it at the self service station or breakfast buffet. Also, a great selection of teas, fresh brewed leaves, not in a bag.
Ship/Stateroom: Up to date, well appointed, and spotless! Room always perfectly clean and organized.
Included Tours: Excellent presentation. Modern fleet of buses. Guides were all top-shelf.
Bicycles: Had a great group ride!
Cruise Manager: Christine Bremberger- very informative, and most important; always available for questions and comments.
Hotel Manager: Mihaela Arhilei- most pleasant, always greeted us by name. While all of the wait staff were excellent, Marija and Christian (bar staff) clearly stood out.
We're contemplating Russia either this year or next. As you may expect, on Uniworld, of course!
European Serenade June 2013,7/16/2013
Multi-generational trip with our twin 11-year old girls and had a wonderful experience.,7/6/2011
Although the kids did not start using the kids' room right away, it became their meeting place for fun - it was their "club" room.
As for our experience as parents - in one word, "pampered".
Thanks to the crew.