Uniworld Cruise Reviews
We sailed aboard the River Queen from Basel to Amsterdam via Trier along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Our late July early August 2014 voyage was outstanding. From the smooth embarkation process to the fine food throughout the two weeks to the excellent daily service to the informative, well-conducted tours to the final seamless disembarkation, we speak most highly of the Uniworld world. We're already planning our next Uniworld river cruise.
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...
18 day China,1/20/2015
Particularly enlightening for me were the lectures on Judaism & the Holocaust and life under Commmunism. My parents survived Nazi and Soviet invasions of their country, but refused to speak of those times except to say it was too painful and too dangerous (even 40 years later). It was difficult to ... listen to these lectures - but critically important to learn and remember so that history isn't repeated.
On a lighter note, New Year's Eve dinner at Budapest's Ethnographic Museum (catered by Gundel) was fantastic! I first learned of Gundel from restaurateur Georg Lang's "Cuisine of Hungary," imo an excellent introduction to traditional Hungarian cuisine with a dollop of history for good measure. So I expected something really special - and got it. The museum's great hall was decked out for a multi-course dinner with festively decorated tables and romantic (mainly classical) music played by a string quartet; hors d'oeuvres and cocktails were served in an upstairs gallery. Our dinner was excellent, from the goose liver appetizer through the perfectly-cooked veal tenderloin to the delicious dessert, all accompanied by Hungarian wines. The river cruise which followed showed us Budapest at its most charming and romantic.
Thank you, Uniworld, for a wonderful Christmas. This won't be our last Uniworld cruise! Read More...
Legendary Rhine & Moselle,12/31/2014
Kevin & I recently returned from our 5th Uniworld cruise, our 3rd on the majestic River Queen. From the moment of making our booking, the staff in Sydney were obliging and happy to assist. Upon reaching the dock in Amsterdam, we knew it was going to be another wonderful holiday. We were back with the Uniworld family.
To greet us at the gangway was a seaman/deckhand from a previous cruise on the River Ambassador. The next familiar face was Nikolay the restaurant Manager, also from River Ambassador. We were welcomed on-board like long lost cousins, open arms and warm smiles. We ... could not have wished for more.
Needless to say, the entire crews' devotion to duty and their caring for the needs of all of the passengers, still remains at 5 stars exactly as it was on our first cruise in 2009.Our special thanks and a big bouquet to each and every member of the crew without exception, for making this another unforgettable experience, for which Uniworld can be justly proud.
Ronald & Kevin
ps Already looking at he 2015 itineraries for cruise number 6
For us there is only one Company to cruise the Rivers of Europe with satisfaction all the way Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
Uniworld blows the competition out of the water!,12/22/2014
An Amazing Time,11/5/2014
European Jewels - October 2014,10/23/2014
An Unforgettable Holiday,9/18/2014
Awesome River Cruise,8/25/2014
Our 1st River cruise - and hopefully not our last. The S.S. Antoinette was outstanding, as was the crew and cruise experience overall. Uniworld in my opinion is a first class cruise operator.
On embarkation day, (we actually embarked from Basel Switzerland) we were greeted at the dock when we arrived at approximately noon. (Our departure was scheduled for midnight) Our luggage was immediately gathered, and directions given to us to begin our day onboard ship. After a short 'self' guided walk around the ship, we were encouraged to have lunch on ... the Sun Deck. We were informed at approximately 2:30 pm that our room was available. When we arrived at the room our luggage was awaiting and we were greeted by our cabin attendant and shown the room and it's amenities available to us. We found the room very comfortable with plenty of room for the two of us, and also plenty of storage available. The room boasted such things as a fresh carafe of water, very tasty candies, aluminum water bottles with carabiners as well as Vox headsets to be used while on our excursions were provided. Our cabin was also stocked with robes, and slippers for both of us, along with their signature bath products. Our cabin measured 196 square feet and had a French balcony, also with a large, electric, retractable glass wall . The ship itself also provided walking sticks and bicycles during our cruise and their use were highly encouraged.
Each member of the ships staff from the Captain to the maintenance personnel were always pleasant and were always smiling. The English speaking crew were always available to assist and/or answer questions.
One area of particular note was how we were treated and provided for when on our very 1st nite we were unable to leave Basel, Switzerland due to a mechanical failure of the locks upstream. During the night, ships staff made arrangements for buses to come to our dock, and gather us for our daily excursion. Due to the fact that we would not be onboard (as scheduled) for lunch, we were given compensation to have lunch in town. Our buses and tour guides were outstanding, and in this particular instance the entire experience was well handled. We managed to see all of the same locations originally intended and were only inconvenienced by having to able to tour an extra 2 hours total. While we were on the tour, the ship negotiated the Rhine and met us at our regularly scheduled dock at Breisach. The Captain and tour manager Tony, kept everyone informed of the issues and jokingly said that he would "Have to put the pedal to the metal" to make up a bit of lost river cruise time. This was a minor issue as we were not due into our next port Kehl/Strasbourg until the next morning.
This review will not go into the individual city tours but I will mention that every Tour and guide arranged in each port/city appeared very well versed on their particular area, and kept the tours extremely interesting. One particular note was of our tour guide Iris Burkin who escorted us to the Black Forest. Iris was outstanding, and even provided us with her private photo collection of points of interest in the area as we traveled, and a little treat toward the end of the tour.
A mention about the food and overall service in both the Dining and Lounge rooms is necessary as this too was a highlight of our trip. The food was extremely well prepared and presented, and a foods could be prepared for most dietary concerns, if needed. The waiters and maitre'd were constantly checking to insure that the food and beverage were to our liking. After the 1st day - it became apparent to staff that I was one of those that would rather have beer with my meals than the wine offerings and I was approached regularly to insure what I wanted to drink. This was also the case in the lounge where we congregated after dinner to listen to the outstanding performance of Marguerite and her husband. Did I mention the food was OUTSTANDING?
Overall we were pampered beyond belief, and well cared for in every aspect of this cruise. The ships attention to detail in all areas, especially SERVICE, could not have been any better in my opinion.
This cruise has sold us on the River Cruise experience, and while we have no other River Cruise company to compare Uniworld to, it would be extremely difficult to beat what was presented by this company and their staff.
We are definitely planning a future River Cruise, and YES!! it will most assuredly be on one of the Uniworld ships. Read More...
A Wonderful Experience,8/17/2014
Enchanting Danube exceeds high expectations,7/31/2014
River Duchess 6-Star Luxery,7/17/2014
Grand China and Yantze River Cruise,7/4/2014
Castles along the Rhine 2014,6/23/2014
Enchanting Danube 6 stars,6/7/2014
We met some wonderful people and will likely book other Uniworld tour!
Queen for a Week,6/4/2014
Now for a report on the ship. I have cruised 7 or 8 times on riverboats and probably a dozen times on ocean liners. I have NEVER seen a better staff. This staff is unbelievable! Each and every person was smiling and always saying hello and asking how our day was going. Not just to me, but to everyone. And as wonderful as the general staff was, there were standouts, and I mean standouts! Unfortunately, my daughter had her backpack stolen on the train from Rome. We could not get a police report at the train station because it was Sunday and the office was closed. When we got to the ship and Jennifer told the cruise manager, Damiano, what happened, he got a taxi and took her to the police station at the port. Unfortunately, it was also closed. The very next day, he made arrangements to take us to the police station at St. Mark’s Square after our tour. He stayed with us the whole time and was WONDERFUL in helping us explain what we needed in the police report for the insurance claim. And, he was smiling the whole time and told us not to worry when we told him how badly we felt he was using up his free time. Jen’s glasses were taken and he called around to see if there was a place that could replace them in a day. One of my clients broke his glasses and Damiano took them and had the frame replaced. He could not do enough for anyone on the ship. What a gem! He was OUTSTANDING.
There were a few people in my group who had special dietary needs. The very first night the restaurant manager, Romica, went to each of them and spent several minutes discussing their needs. We had vegans, vegetarians, gluten free and dairy intolerant issues. Each and every one of these clients told me how incredibly wonderful their food was. Every night Romica told them what they would be served. He was great! Daniel, the chef came to them every night to make sure all was okay. We had two birthdays, and the wonderful pastry chef made gorgeous cakes. I traveled with one woman who was an embarrassment to me. She was rude and very childish, even getting up and leaving the table once. The wait staff took it in stride and was so kind to her, even after the insulting things she did. I was in awe of them. (I will never invite her on one of my trips again.) A standout was Danail. He was so nice to her.
I loved seeing the RED CARNATION book and made sure that everyone in my group read it. At every buffet, one of the salad dressings said “Beatrice Tollman’s favorite salad dressing.” I heard someone say to someone else, “who is Beatrice Tollman?” The other woman said “I hear she has taken more Uniworld cruises than anyone else.” I had to chuckle and then I told them who she is. And, the dressing is delicious.
I became friendly with several crew members and had conversations with them, and each one said how wonderful it is working for Uniworld. Many have worked for one of your competitors and all said there is no comparison in the way they are treated. What a compliment to Uniworld, and your family.
So, from start to finish, I could not have had a better experience anywhere. Again, thank you for everything and giving me, and my clients (all who say they would travel with you again) wonderful memories.
Amazing Cruise Director,5/27/2014
Burgundy & Provence,5/25/2014
Had a Wonderful Cruise,5/22/2014
We are back from a delightful cruise. We loved the SS Catherine. Our cabin was fine even where it was situated and the decor of the ship delightful.We had a wonderful trip and experience of France which is what we wanted. Our Cruise Director, Adrian, was amazingly knowledgeable and made our cruise special. Thanks for your assistance when we needed it.
We will consider using Uniworld in the future whilst we can still travel.
Just Back from China,5/22/2014
We returned 2 days ago from one of your trips to China, guided by Hubert. We were extremely lucky to have him as the guide. He added immeasurably to our experience with his knowledge of the areas visited, the culture we observed, and the politics he helped us to understand. He was able to communicate admirably. This was our first Uniworld trip and Hubert was certainly a good ambassador in promoting future Uniworld adventures.
Excellent Cruise Director,5/22/2014
I want to emphasize (aside from the survey already submitted) the excellent performance and service of Edward Tong on our 4/24 - 5/8 China trip. He went out of his way on numerous occasions for many of us (securing aisle seats on domestic flights for me and purchasing special items). He was at all times professional, courteous, and thoroughly knowledgeable in all aspects of our journey. Uniworld is very fortunate in having such a supremely qualified tour manager representing it in China.
A Culturally Rich Immersion into China,5/22/2014
My wife and I have just returned home from Shanghai, our last stop on the above referenced tour and want to let you know that we had a thoroughly enjoyable vacation with your Company. It was a culturally rich immersion into China, its people and history.
Our tour manager Edward Xuming was an outstanding leader who made this trip such a positive experience for us as well as the rest of our group. Edward was extremely knowledgeable, caring and organized which enabled all of us to relax and enjoy our vacation.
Thank you and Edward.
John ... and Roz Arenson
An Impressive Experience,5/22/2014
Dear Ms. Kendall:
We were recently passengers on the SS Antoinette - from Basel to Amsterdam (May 11-19). In addition to the feedback forms we completed and handed in while on the ship, we were so impressed I wanted to add to what we'd already said.
We have cruised a number of times and are used to the hectic last day of getting suitcases out the door and evacuating the suites early in the morning. The staff are always very busy, cleaning up and getting ready for the new passengers arriving on the same day. We get the very ... strong message that they want us OFF - as soon as possible: "Here's your hat! What's your hurry?" is the meta-message!
This experience was QUITE different! Although we were asked to be out by 8:30 (not a bad time at all!), we were welcomed to spend the day on board and not rush away. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, a lovely morning on the sundeck basking in the unseasonably warm Amsterdam weather, and a lunch before making way to our hotel. We were amazed not only at this opportunity, but also at the generous excellence of service from the staff that continued seamlessly through this time. It was fun to see the new passengers arriving, thinking that it was only one short - but action-packed week ago that we were among them!
This added such a lovely ending note to our Uniworld experience. I hope that you pass along our appreciation to whomever appropriate.
We look forward to our next Uniworld Cruise and although there are many competitors out there, we continue to share how the quality of service we've experienced with Uniworld is exemplary!
All the best,
Great China Experience,5/19/2014
My name is Larry Rollen from St.Louis Missouri. My wife and I were recently in China for a fourteen day tour and River Cruse sponsored by Uniworld. The assigned host for us was Mr. Lee and I have nothing but praise for him and his planning and preperation to make our trip as enjoyable as could be. Mr. Lee was professional, courteous, and knowledgable about the Chinese culture and history. Mr. Lee made this trip one to definately remember we were so lucky to have his services. He assisted us when needed and each step of our journey was planned ... with persicion from beginning to end. I wanted to thank you to assigning him to our group. My wife and I thank you and Mr. Lee for making our China experience a great one. Mr. Lee is the best.
China Tibet & Yangtze,5/18/2014
Just completed the China experience with friends and amazing new friends.
The trip started the end of April 2014 and the weather was optimal for touring. The tour was well organized and seamless through the expertise of our guide, Mr. Edward Tong. Edward, the best guide I have ever experienced, was knowledgeable, articulate and ever conscious of his groups' needs.
The cruise was a blast with adequate accommodations. The hotels we stayed in were very good and the employees were very helpful. If this trip is on your bucket list then count on Uniworld to provide the logistical support to ... make it happen!Read More...