1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Europe River Cruises
  4. Europe River Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: March 2019
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Because we saw the cruise on Getaway and wanted to see the Christmas lights and markets of Europe. This was our first ever cruise and it will certainly be hard to top. Scenic thought if everything. Everything on this cruise was well ... Read More
Because we saw the cruise on Getaway and wanted to see the Christmas lights and markets of Europe. This was our first ever cruise and it will certainly be hard to top. Scenic thought if everything. Everything on this cruise was well organised especially free choice excursions. Nothing seemed to trouble the staff and they were excellent and helpful. The dining facilities and food were excellent and if anyone went hungry well that was their fault. The butler service was excellent as well, all staff made our first cruise that much more enjoyable. The only downside I would say was the dress standards. The A-Z booklet in the cabin recommended that no shorts were to be worn in the dining room and it was preferable for men to wear jackets to dinner. Very few of the guests took notice of this. Some even wore baseball caps in the lounge and dinning area, which to me is not the place for these items. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the ... Read More
we had expected a magical experience after watching Jane MacDonald on this Christmas Markets Cruise last year. The itinerary was wrong as it had listed an Xmas Market every day. They failed to advise us prior to the cruise that the shops close on Xmas Eve so the last market was on the 23rd. The ship was beautiful but the cruise was dull & boring with no atmosphere. The cabin was lovely, well decorated but did lack a mini bar. Service very good. Every night we were entertained by the same duo apart from an additional singer one night who bombarded us with non stop Xmas songs. As you can imagine, by Xmas eve we were sick of hearing Xmas songs. The food was good but we never saw a menu until we sat down for dinner. One exception was Xmas night when the turkey was awful as it was stuffed with figs! There was no onboard activities, so for those who did not get off the ship or go on an excursion, it was uneventful. For what we paid we could have had 3 months on an ocean cruise. No more river cruises for us, especially with Uniworld! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Scenic cruise was on our bucket list for quite a while and we have no regrets for choosing to sail with Scenic during the Christmas period. Great itinerary was provided for the 7 days and the last minute substitute the city of Obernai was ... Read More
Scenic cruise was on our bucket list for quite a while and we have no regrets for choosing to sail with Scenic during the Christmas period. Great itinerary was provided for the 7 days and the last minute substitute the city of Obernai was simply gorgeous, passing the Alsace region and it’s small towns was like stepping into a winter fairitale. Cruise director Yvonne was phenomenal her knowledge of the region and her adventurous spirit was greatly appreciated hotel manager Djordje and staff were great and went above and beyond to meet our expectations. Our last dinner at Portobellos was excellent as was the chef. The cabin was spotlessly clean and spacious ,the view from the cabin was beautiful . crystal dining restaurant manager Gianni was were very attentive and knowledgeable as were the wait staff. Well done and thank you for the wonderful and memorable 7 night stay. Thanks Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was ... Read More
My wife and I have always wanted to take a river cruise with Viking. Their commercials are enticing and we thought we would have a wonderful trip. We agreed with Viking’s CEO, Torstein Hagen, that travel was broadening and time was short. This cruise was expensive and we saved a long time to take it. Unfortunately, reality did not meet expectations. We we were forced to take long bus rides to destinations that we could not sail to because of the low river levels (Bratislava and Budapest). The bus rides were tedious and exhausting and because we used buses, which took time away from the excursions, one of the optional trips we booked was canceled. In addition, my wife got very sick and was unable to enjoy the rest of the cruise because of the long rides. If we wanted to ride buses we would have booked a guided tour. They did send two emails, one three months and another one two days in advance of the cruise, but the lead time was too short to cancel without full penalty. It does mention in the Terms and Conditions that “Itineraries are subject to change and may need to be altered or canceled specifically because of water levels or wind or other factors.” but some kind of compensation should have been offered. Other river cruise companies did offer partial refunds. A company with Viking’s reputation should have been more caring toward their customers. Because of this we will never book another Viking Cruise, river or ocean. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were originally scheduled to be on the Crystal Bach for a Rhine excursion from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. However, we were alerted a week beforehand that the cruise was being switched to another ship. We discovered a bit later in the ... Read More
We were originally scheduled to be on the Crystal Bach for a Rhine excursion from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. However, we were alerted a week beforehand that the cruise was being switched to another ship. We discovered a bit later in the cruise that the Bach had been hit by a barge and needed to be repaired. We were offered to switch to the Bach's sister ship, the Mahler. Also, the itinerary was drastically changed due to low water levels in the Rhine. Our point of embarkation was also changed from Frankfurt to Cologne. Crystal took care of transfer from Frankfurt Airport to Cologne. Although it wasn't the ship, nor the cruise for which we'd signed up, we had a wonderful time. The food was wonderful both in the Bistro and in the Waterside. The staff and crew were incredibly cordial and helpful. The excursions were great, especially considering that Crystal had to do some fast thinking to schedule them. Entertainer Neal Fullerton was a treat. He's incredibly talented and also knows how to get the passengers involved. Our cabin/suite was a luxurious, comfortable haven. As always, it was stocked with wonderful wines and the nightly turn-down chocolates. This cruise was relaxing and lovely. Regardless of the need to go to "Plan B," we decided to do an open booking for a future cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different ... Read More
We managed to have a nice time but upon further reflection, I’d have to say it didn’t meet our expectations and couldn’t compare to our experience with AMA and the Normandy trip. Some of that is driven by the totally different venue....the makeup of the Seine vs the Douro but a lot of it was just a poorly orchestrated itinerary. As I’m sure you’re aware, unlike the Seine, the river boats can’t cruise the Douro at night which probably presents some logistical issues. That said, as a more upscale provider, I would have expected UniWorld to have figured out how to compensate and address this. The other issue is that while the Douro is lovely and the scenery beautiful, there isn’t tons to do. Unlike the Seine, there are few cute little villages (except Porto) to explore along its banks so understandably, every sight or at least most, we were bused to. However, they did these bus rides/tours in the morning which meant rising at 6/6:30 to dress and get breakfast so we could be on the bus usually by 8:30 (one morning may have been 9). Then they’d get us back on the bus and back on the boat midday for lunch and an afternoon of sailing. Nothing of real substance to do except drink (btw the wine is delicious!). I should note that one day was a full day trip to Salamanca so of course we had to be up and out early but the others were half day excursions. If memory serves me, 3 of those morning / half day excursions involved wine tastings! Really....at 10am!!!!! Had they flipped the schedule and allowed for more leisurely mornings to eat breakfast and watch the countryside go by, the whole experience would have been more enjoyable and relaxing. We finished the cruise depleted and exhausted! Two other points. Lisbon. They put us up at the Corinthia Hotel on the outskirts of the city. The hotel was fine but the location made it difficult to get out and easily enjoy the city. On the return we stayed in the heart of the city (unfortunately it was only for one night). How much more delightful our Lisbon experience would have been had we been there for 3 days at the front end! I’m not sure if other tour companies offer a more centrally located hotel. If this is typical then I would urge you to suggest that people make their own hotel arrangements in Lisbon so they can take advantage of the city. There are plenty of local guides and a hop on hop off bus to get an overview of the city and then people can get out on their own and explore. The Douro is very dependent on the weather. Our week was cloudy, cold and rainy. The week before was lovely. But since there is so little to do, it’s extra important to have good weather. I wouldn't book beyond mid October. The food was inconsistent so disappointing. The buffet food at lunch was not always hot. Ama had a few things you could order from the kitchen, such as pasta, that came out hot. Uniworld was only buffet and carving station. Seafood was usually over cooked. They didn’t have some Portuguese specialties like shrimp in garlic or large prawns. Or even lobster. I expected this on a luxury line. It did seem like they were serving less expensive foods. The pork tenderloin the first night was excellent. The rest of the dinners were not memorable. Red Wines were excellent even though they were pretty inexpensive (we looked In stores). Our waiter, we had the same table all week, was outstanding. The Sandeman trip was a highlight - beautiful ride up. Would recommend the duo the last night in Porto be put on the first night in Porto - they we’re outstanding. Kirsten, the cruise director, was ok but a little misleading on what a disabled person could do. Also, the wine guy who explained the wine was worthless. It didn’t really tell us anything so I’d just eliminate that part. I would also recommend that Uniworld send more information in advance of the cruise. We skipped the dinner at the local winery, because we didn’t want the bus ride in the dark, or more cabbage soup. The dinner on the ship that night was mediocre. People said the winery dinner was not very good but the evening was fun. Coimbra was lovely, even though it poured. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. ... Read More
You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. They didn’t deliver a luxury experience, even though they still had the opportunity and facilities to do so, instead they provided terrible service with really cheap food (often buffets) and really cheap wine. I thought after their 16 million dollar class action case they lost last year that they would have improved their service, but they have obviously learnt nothing from past mistakes. We were advised by email on 19th October (5 days before our cruise, and we were already in Europe) that we would have to do land arrangements for four nights before joining the Scenic Jewel (instead of Scenic Opal) in Regensburg on 28th October. We were not advised of an option to cancel the tour. We were then emailed on 22nd October advising which hotels we would be staying at. Still no option to cancel. On the 24th October in Budapest we met our Tour Director, and was given an update on the trip. At that stage we found out that there were 109 people booked for this cruise but only 65 showed up in Budapest and 44 people cancelled and didn’t travel. After speaking with people on the tour we found out that scenic contacted some people before they left Australia and gave them an option to cancel, and didn’t bother to contact other passengers at all (including us, except for an email advising a change to the itinerary, but not advising any option to cancel). We were informed that the river was the lowest in over 100 years by the tour director, so obviously scenic knew well in advance that this trip was going to be affected and yet we were not advised. Looking at reviews of previous scenic passengers that cruised this itinerary this year, there were many disruptions, so scenic should have advised us well before we left Australia and given us an option to cancel like they did for only select passengers. We totally understand that scenic can not help the water levels being so low that they can’t operate the cruise at certain sections of the river, however, they knew the river conditions well in advance of the cruise as they’d had problems all summer. They should have given everyone, not just a select few, the option the cancel before leaving Australia. I wonder if they went ahead with this cruise because they had a travel agent famil group booked on this cruise? I telephoned and emailed Scenic in Australia from Budapest, after our tour briefing, however they were not of any help at all and just gave a generic reply to claim for compensation when we return home. Rather than going into a long letter, I’ve itemised below the terrible experience that we had from Scenic considering that Scenic has advertised this “Luxury River Cruise” as an all inclusive (spirits, wines, soft drinks, tea, coffee and mini bar), with anytime dining. - we were advised in writing by the tour director that we were allowed up to two glasses of wine, beer or soft drink with dinner and one glass with lunch during the first four days of our trip which was conducted by land (hotels and buses) - Even though scenic had the access to provide spirits, wine, coffee, tea, afternoon tea...etc at the hotels we were staying at, scenic would not include this for us and we were told we would have to pay for these ourselves. - The quality of the buffet food and wine we received at the hotels was of a very poor quality. The food was like something you’d get at an RSL club and the wines were really cheap and nasty. We stayed at very nice hotels, but received the cheapest quality of food and wine. - We finally boarded the scenic jewel in Regensburg, on 28th October. - We were onboard the ship for 10 nights. During this time, there was no anytime dining in the crystal dining room (as advertised by scenic) instead we were restricted to sometimes late dining times and the waiters were always in a hurry to get us fed and out of the restaurant. - Portobellos was only open 2 nights out of the 10! Why?? - For 8 out of 10 nights on the cruise there was only one dining option, and that was a fixed time, which is totally opposite to what scenic advertise. - There was absolutely no drinks or food service on the top deck during the entire cruise, which is completely the opposite experience of friends who have done this cruise before. I know there was part of the cruise when the top deck was closed when going under bridges, but we received no service there at all the entire cruise. Even when we docked in Amsterdam, we saw Viking and Avalon ships beside us serving their passengers drinks and food on their top decks.....our ship was completely dead in atmosphere and service. - The food quality on the ship was very “hit and miss”. Sometimes the food was very nice, other days they food was just terrible and quite often cold. - The cakes in the river cafe were a generic shop bought cake that was often stale by being cut and left in the display cabinet. - We were never offered a packed picnic lunch, as advertised by scenic, if we didn’t want to do an organised tour and just do our own sightseeing. - The entertainment onboard the ship was really amateur and something you’d expect on a budget cruise, not a luxury cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we ... Read More
Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we had the same food and beverage as others in a different deck Notice of low water was send by email the day of departure after we had inquire 2 weeks before and everything was supposed to be ok Hotel in Budapest was not as we were told. We were supposed to have a Premium Deluxe suite as confirmed by Scenic Under expectation....ordinary wine, no more Maccallen after one day, food was serve too fast, dining room like a cafeteria with bright lights, etc.. Had to change ships 3 times Pearl, Opal and Amber Service was not equal on every boat Did not see the Butler or inadequate On the Amber the waiter was impolite ....throw fork and knife on my table the last night, nearly agressive Guided tours were very limited to a walk in the city and no visit except for Melk and Wurzburg Read Less

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop