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Quality of Russian Cruises

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Imperial Waterways of Russia: Quality of Russian Cruises
usna85flusna85flMember since 1/28/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012 8:54 PM
The top destination on my cruise travel list is Russia, for a variety of reasons. However, I am very concerned about the quality of the Moscow - St Petersburg cruises, even on UniWorld. Every river cruise line begins the description of their Russia river cruise with caveats ... all to the effect of "it's nice, but we don't own the ship, and it may not be up to our same standards." UniWorld is no different.

Whenever there are questions, the cruise line normally responds with verbatim quotes from the literarture, with no new information or additional insight.

Has anyone actually sailed on UniWorld River Victoria who can offer some real, honest feedback about this cruise through Russia? $10k for cruise only for two people, plus airfare from the US, is too much money for a mediocre experience.

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rhmgadmrhmgadmMember since 4/9/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Monday, April 09, 2012 9:12 AM
I have the same question. Our previous Uniworld experience was excellent, but I don't want to spend this kind of money if it's not up to their standards. Hope someone with experience replies soon.
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rubmarrubmarMember since 4/24/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 7:50 PM
we are going this september 3rd and there have been people returning and they have had an excellent experience. they have not been in their other cruises. this will be our very first river cruise. i was concerned about that as well. i hear a great deal about vicking and i was adviced to go on the imperial waterway - victoria. the boat is 99% filled. my brother in law and his wife just had to cancel. i trust that this will be awesome.
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rubmarrubmarMember since 4/24/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:09 PM
I am surprised that no one from Uniworld responds to the question regardin that this boat is not owend by them. when I was ready to book with Vicking the Uniworld representative gave a song and dance presentation that Uniworld is the best. Where is the Uniworld representative now. How come there is so little being written aboutthe Victoria. I do not care about the other boats. Uniwrold, i do not care if they own it or not, their name is on it. Can someone please send details about this boat. send more pictures. we do not know anything about the food. is it going to be Russian food. someone has to write back.
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communitymanagercommunitymanagerMember since 10/5/2011 Login to add friend Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 2:24 AM
Hello and thanks for posting your message in our community center.

For more information on the River Victoria, please click on the following links (or copy and paste the URLs below to your browser):

http://www.boomer-livingplus.com/article/cruising_down_russian_rivers

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150263867446005.368811.24331196004&type=3

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1429240

http://www.travelsignposts.com/river-cruises/riverboats/russian-river-cruises

http://www.uniworld.com/Destinations/Ships/Russia/River_Victoria

http://www.uniworld.com/Destinations/Russia/Imperial_Waterways_of_Russia

Feel free to contact us for more info at 1-800-733-7820, 1-818-382-7820, or customerservice@uniworld.com.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Anne (Uniworld's community manager)
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franskifranskiMember since 9/8/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Saturday, September 08, 2012 2:07 PM
Hi -

Sorry I didn't respond earlier - I wasn't aware that Uniworld had a forum here. I do post quite a bit on Cruise Critic.

My husband and I travelled with Uniworld on this itinerary this year - and it was an amazing trip. We started in St. Petersburg. We had prepared ourselves for "less" based on the disclaimers that are posted. And, this was absolutely "more" than we had prepared for. The staff were phenomenal, the food fantastic. We stayed lowest category cabin (aka Aquarium class) and were very happy down in the bowels of the boat. I mus say, however, that the balconies did look nice.

This was our 3rd river cruise with Uniworld - and, as usual, this exceeded our expectations.
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AndyAndyMember since 9/9/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Sunday, September 09, 2012 8:14 PM
My wife and I were on the Russian Cruise ending September 3, 2012. We had previously sailed on the River Beatrice on the Danube, three years ago.
The ship is not quite as good as the River Beatrice, but it is very close. It is well done, the food is very good (but not quite up to the River Beatrice standard) but the crew was excellent, and I recommend making the trip. We had a good crowd of passengers and everyone had a great time. Serving staff, housekeeping staff, the Restaurant Manager, the bartenders and the Cruise Director were all fabulous.

There were four musicians on board and a university professor (who gave lectures on Russian history). It was all good. Two of the musicians play balalaika and button accordion, and they are fabulous. They are in their early twenties, I think. They also double as photographers and will sell you the great pictures they take of you. Neither speaks English (at least not much more than, "Smile please!"). Both are utterly charming.

One night there was some kind of disaster in the galley and the pasta entree was late - since most of us were in a hurry to get to the ballet, the delay was critical and some people did not get their entree before leaving. They served a late snack, so no one went to bed hungry.

But the interesting thing was that by that time in the cruise there was so much good will developed because of the fabulous service we had received there was not much in the way of complaint that I heard, and the next day no one was even talking about it.

Some passengers had previously cruised with Viking and they were complete Uniworld converts.

If you are interested in cruising in Russia, I highly recommend the River Victoria. Getting the Russian visas was a royal pain, but that is not Uniworld's fault.
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amstar23amstar23Member since 10/29/2012 Login to add friend Posted: Monday, October 29, 2012 2:22 PM
Could you give more information on getting the Russian Visa? Are you American and did you have to send your passport to get the Visa? How long did it take?
I have really wanted to see Russia, but the time consideration for the visa for me is crucial, as I am working out of country and when I go home to the States am there only 2 weeks before having to leave for the rest of the vacation. So not sure whether even with applying for "expedited" that I could get the visa in time. And then of course if I have to send my passport with it, then if the visa were delayed, I wouldn't have that or my passport and couldn't go anywhere, including returning in time for my job.

So depending on your answer and suggestion, I may need to postpone this further down the road after I've returned to the States permanently.
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