5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Sal and i have just got back from a fabulous Rhine River Cruise on the River Empress. We enjoyed every minute on the elegant yet cozy ship. We were particularly impressed with the personal attention we were given, everything was sparkling ... Read More
Sal and i have just got back from a fabulous Rhine River Cruise on the River Empress. We enjoyed every minute on the elegant yet cozy ship. We were particularly impressed with the personal attention we were given, everything was sparkling clean, the friendliness of the crew all added to make a unforgettable vacation. Special mention goes to George our cabin attendant who kept our cabin spotless, delightful Monica who catered to our every need in the dining area, the bar lady who made us our cocktails, Ramona who organized the excursions and the personnel at the front desk who answered all our questions so patiently. We have already recommended Uniworld to our friends and family.The food presentation and freshness were very good. We enjoyed eating the bread and cheeses from the ports that we visited. Overall we were very impressed Thank you all for making our cruise unforgettable - Juliet and Sal De Souza Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever ... Read More
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever region we were in was a delight on this all inclusive cruise. The service by the wonderful crew was superb! Nicolay runs a wonderful dining room, any request I had he fulfilled for us. Great waiters and waitresses, all had their own special qualities Plus the bar with Mariya and Silviya working very hard to please, constantly smiling. They never tell you no. Anthony making sure we were introduced to each city we came into port on great excursions. Our cabin was wonderfully taken care of by Tihimore who had a ready smile she shared. It felt like home the entire stay. Thank you so much, made many memories for myself and my fiancé. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Uniworld failed, and then failed again. Yet we had a wonderful cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Uniworld product to anyone. This was my 37th cruise; fourth river ... Read More
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Uniworld failed, and then failed again. Yet we had a wonderful cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Uniworld product to anyone. This was my 37th cruise; fourth river cruise; third Europe river cruise; first Uniworld. My favorite ocean cruises are Crystal and Celebrity, and in Europe our two river cruises were on AmaWaterways (I’d certainly be happy to cruise with them again). We booked through an agency that puts together air and “best available” cruise cabins, close to departure, at good prices. We were hesitant to let somebody else plan our air, but we booked less than two months in advance on a cruise we had wanted to do but didn’t think we could fit into our busy schedule! This itinerary has a Jewish Heritage option for tours in 2018, which is what attracted us to it. I had inquired about whether they’d be doing the same for 2019 and they didn’t know yet. Because the planning would be minimal (just check the weather and try to pack appropriately), we decided to jump in and book. We actually were happy with the Delta flights chosen for us. We were flying to Basel to start the cruise, and we knew we’d have three ups and downs (we don’t live in a hub city) so it was fine. What was a bit frustrating is that the Basel airport has two distinct exits, one into France and one into Switzerland. We didn’t see the signs about that; we were merely focused on finding our luggage carousel. Luckily a friend who was with us saw the appropriate signs and stopped us from using the wrong exit. I thought Uniworld could’ve mentioned that for guests embarking in Basel. Then to compound the frustration, after finding the representative and boarding the bus for our group transfer, we arrive at the “pier”, with two ships parked along side. No representative from Uniworld welcomed us. Only one crew member came to get luggage, and he couldn’t take everybody’s at once. Finally a second crew member showed up and assured us he’d take our bags, suggesting that we just go to board the River Empress. It wasn’t even clear which way to choose to walk to the ship! Ok, all of that was quickly forgotten when we got on board and could relax comfortably for an hour in the lounge, or even outside on the deck, until lunch was served in the main dining room. After that, it was easy to leave our carry-ons with the front desk and walk into the center of the town, where we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the lovely market full of flowers, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and food stalls. We saw city hall and found the cathedral, so we felt we had started our European sightseeing quite nicely. Back at the ship, we unpacked and were ready for dinner and bedtime! Before dinner each evening, the Cruise Manager gives a briefing about the next day’s activities. The lounge is comfortable and everybody who wishes to attend fits in nicely. The sommelier/bartender gives a briefing about the included wines that evening for dinner as well as the ones with an upcharge (one white and one red in both categories). That’s a good time to visit with the Cruise Manager if you have any questions about the next day. Also, when you return to your cabin, you’ll find the information about the next day, and there’s plenty of detail that kept us well clued in. We were quite pleased with all of the meals aboard the River Empress. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and you quickly figure out which things are duplicated on both sides and where to find your favorites. On a few occasions, restocking wasn’t as quick as we might hope to see, but otherwise everything was available and at the correct temperature. For breakfast, you can order from the menu if you wish, instead of picking out your own things or going to the gentleman cooking the eggs, and there’s one special dish every morning. We were a party of four, and often dined with three additional guests we met onboard, and I would say that all of us were quite happy with the food – and we were VERY happy with the service. We made a point of sitting in the same area because we knew the waiter, Milen, was so good. Special kudos to Uniworld for the nice job they did incorporating local foods into the menus. I never met our cabin stewardess but she definitely did a good job. I adjusted the little chairs the first night, or I would’ve tripped over them in the middle of the night! But otherwise the cabin was fine, although small. Still, we had enough room to unpack and we certainly had a nice hot shower every day and a truly comfortable night’s sleep. Sometimes we even had a nice view out our window! Other times, we had a view of the river ship next to us, or the walls of the locks that are used to navigate the river, or the docking area. On the little desk/dressing table, there’s an apothecary jar with small, delicious chocolates, and that went a long way to erase my frustration from our airport and river arrival. There’s a lounge entertainer before and after dinner, so there’s lovely background music and the opportunity for dancing. One evening, there was a group of three performers who were extremely well received (perhaps because they were over the age of 60, as was most of the cruising population). The cocktail waitress joined the packed dance floor when they played YMCA. The tours were exactly what we wanted. We had signed up for the Jewish Heritage tours at every port stop that offered them (six out of seven) and the sites we visited, and the tour guides, were excellent in four out of the six and just a bit disappointing in the other two. These tours require advance sign-up, and varied from 24 to 30 guests, always with two tour guides. Usually the tour guides were in two separate groups part of the time and together, all of us, the rest of the time. For the most part it worked great. There are forms to evaluate the tour guides and I certainly took the opportunity of telling who was great and who was not so great. As you may know, river cruising is very big in Europe, so there’s no doubt plenty of competition for the various companies to book the guides. Uniworld uses the QuietVox system so we can always hear the tour guides. I wear hearing aids and I had no trouble using the QuietVox earpiece with no adjustment needed. The only thing one needs to remember is to charge the system every night and take it with you the next day on tour. One day there was a really good speaker onboard, and one morning there was scenic cruising through the area with many lovely castles and legends. The cruise manager narrated, using the QuietVox system. As an aside, while we were onboard, Uniworld announced that the Jewish Heritage tours for 2019 will be offered on the Rhine again and also on the Danube. For some totally unknown reason, the Danube cruise seems not to be including Budapest. That makes no sense to me (not that anybody asked me). Uniworld is an all-inclusive cruise line. All our tours, alcohol, and gratuities, off and on the ship, were included in the cruise fare. I like that a lot. On occasion there’s an opportunity to do an off-ship experience with an upcharge. I didn’t do any, but a friend did and she was very happy with it. The only other things you might spend money for on the ship are purchases in the gift shop, massages, or the upcharge wines (only by the bottle). Our Cruise Manager was Anthony and I thought he was outstanding. He’s a huge asset for Uniworld. Actually, I have to say all the crew and staff I dealt with were excellent. All in all, a truly lovely cruise experience. I would be delighted to cruise with Uniworld again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
A River Cruise was on my bucket list. What got my attention was the FREE air included, not to mention all drinks, taxes, tips, tours, transfers, etc. It was a value that couldn't be passed up. I have been on 50 ships over the last 30 ... Read More
A River Cruise was on my bucket list. What got my attention was the FREE air included, not to mention all drinks, taxes, tips, tours, transfers, etc. It was a value that couldn't be passed up. I have been on 50 ships over the last 30 years. I have never seen a level of this excellence with a crew. Everyone had a smile on their face, and were friendly and more than willing to get you anything you needed. Even it it wasn't their specific job. What this told me was this has got to be a crew that loves what they do and is treated well by the captain and the management. Speaking of the Captain.... Unlike most ships I have sailed, the captain makes an appearance at the Captain's reception then you never see him again. Not so aboard the River Empress! He could be seen at meal times in line with the guests, saying hello to people and his staff. I truly felt like i was spending a week with family. I loved the fact that if you were in the lounge and you needed to run back to your room, it took 2 minutes. You didn't have to navigate elevators and floors of crowds. The small ships make you feel like you are on a private small exclusive group. I will certainly make it a point to travel on Uniworld again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Our European Jewels cruise was everything we could have hoped for1 We loved the ship, River Empress, and the entire staff. The ship was sparkling clean and comfortable. The furnishings are plush, comfortable, and stylish (not utilitarian ... Read More
Our European Jewels cruise was everything we could have hoped for1 We loved the ship, River Empress, and the entire staff. The ship was sparkling clean and comfortable. The furnishings are plush, comfortable, and stylish (not utilitarian looking and hard). Our cabin was very comfortable and our butler was wonderful and helpful. The excursions were very good with an option for every individual's ability. The staff was friendly, skilled, and accommodating. The "all inclusive" program made the trip stress free and relaxed. Food and drink superb. Actually, we just loved it all. Hope to go on another trip with Uniworld soon. Many thanks to Zelko, Sylvia, Ibi, Valentino, Rene, Jose, Shondra, Adrian, and all the others who made this a great trip! As for the extensions in Amsterdam and Budapest, we were well taken care of on these days as well. We were met by excellent guides in both cities who took great care of us! Thanks, Murial and Romulus. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We had the suite right across the hall from the Mock's and totally agree with everything she wrote but we have some additional comments to present.... We have now cruised twice with both Viking and Uniworld. We even cruised this ... Read More
We had the suite right across the hall from the Mock's and totally agree with everything she wrote but we have some additional comments to present.... We have now cruised twice with both Viking and Uniworld. We even cruised this itinerary two years ago with Viking. We loved Viking and don't have anything bad to say about them but there are some differences between Uniworld and Viking that are worth considering. The Viking longboats are very Scandinavian and all of them are exactly the same while the Uniworld boats are very European and eclectically decorated. The Viking boats hold 190 passengers and are usually full. The Uniworld Empress and several others hold 120 passengers and both of our cruises with Uniworld only had about 80 passengers on board. The obvious difference is that the crew to passenger ratio is dramatically better on Uniworld. For example, each line had one bartender and cruise director. The Uniworld crew got to know us by name almost immediately and we got a lot more attention. The Empress is older but is absolutely perfectly maintained. Everything sparkled and worked perfectly. The technology is all up to date. The Empress has a very unique configuration different from the Viking boats and the River Baroness we cruised on last year. It has a glass walled room on the upper deck that can be used for relaxing or eating. The bar serviced the room and were constantly bringing extras such as hot chocolate up to the room. The front deck is lower than the rest of the sudeck. This allowed passengers to sit outside when the sundeck was closed for low bridges. Because there were fewer passengers, no one was ever jockeying for chairs as on the Viking boats. We found it interesting that Uniworld had a bus that travelled the entire itinerary with us from Amsterdam to Budapest. The driver.... darn, we forget his name... was great and got to know us. It just made for a great experience. The excursions were excellent and we even got to tour a BMW factory. OK, so it wasn't another cathedral, but it was very interesting and not a lickety split tour. It was over two hours and we were right on the factory tour watching a roll of steel being turned into a BMW. Really fascinating. We would be remiss in not mentioning how nice it was to not have to deal with gratuities at every turn and to have all wine and spirits included at all times....even Jonny Walker Black. On one of our Viking cruises, we were in line to pay our bill the last night. The very nice lady taking care of everything asked the lady in front of us if she wanted to add a crew and program director gratuity to hir bill. The passenger responded that she did not believe in gratuities. We also saw the same thing happen at the end of tours when it was time to hand the bus driver and tour guide a gratuity... many times we saw other passengers stiff them. We love the Uniworld inclusive plan and feel that should become the norm. One more thing, the dining room director only had 80 passengers to deal with. My wife has an onion food allergy. At EVERY meal, he would greet my wife and actually walk around the buffets at breakfast and lunch and show here what did or did not have onions in the recipe. For dinner, he would come right to our table and review the menu with her. Just some things to consider when choosing between Uniworld and Viking. We are signed up for a Viking Ocean cruise in 2018. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Cruise recommended by Dubbo Travel Agent. Note Stopped in Lucerne for couple of days. Jung Frau is great excursion. Top of Europe We are 50 and not sure of age group. People of all ages and great people. Cruise, Excursions, ... Read More
Cruise recommended by Dubbo Travel Agent. Note Stopped in Lucerne for couple of days. Jung Frau is great excursion. Top of Europe We are 50 and not sure of age group. People of all ages and great people. Cruise, Excursions, Staff sensational Highlights were Castles, all organised Excusions, Staff, in addition quick Hooray to Sylvia, Jose, Szandra and Rik Sensational people. Met some great people cruising from South Africa, Britain, Bahamas, Aussies etc. Seriously had a ball, great time and cant wait to do another river cruise. The staff are fantastic, all inclusive so no more to pay The Castles on the Rhine, i dressed up in the lederhosen for the castles section (bratwurst and beers on top deck) and all the staff and patrons loved it, made the day. All stops, Strasborg, Black Forest, Rudeshiem, Boppard, Koblenz, Colongne all great. Bike ride from Boppard to Koblenz unreal, plenty of exercise if you want, 7k walk from Rudeshiem, walking through towns Seriously, it is like 1 on 1, staff look after you. The 8 days went like that, To finish off a couple of days in Amsterdam. Windmills, Clogs, Cheese, life in Holland (insane) could not be better, Best 2 weeks ever Dave from Geurie (AUS) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first river cruise, Castles along the Rhine, and after doing research and looking over reviews we are 100% happy we chose Uniworld. The staff were outgoing, accommodating, always said hello, and wanted to please you. Captain ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, Castles along the Rhine, and after doing research and looking over reviews we are 100% happy we chose Uniworld. The staff were outgoing, accommodating, always said hello, and wanted to please you. Captain Ferdy was always present. At times even helping crew unloading garbage or tying up the ship. Food was excellent, with variety in the breakfast and lunch buffets. I loved the different cheeses they presented daily Dinner was well presented, 5 course with two mains to choose from along with fish, steak if you didn't like the mains. The included wines and bar drinks were very good. On our cruise there were mostly Americans, Brits, Canadians, Australians. We made good friendships. Great assets to Uniworld: and a shout out to cruise director Kirsten who lead some of the included shore excursions. Silva and Nick in the lounge, Anata and Pedro in the dinning. All remaining staff aimed to please. This is a little pricier than other river cruise lines, but everything is included, including Wi-Fi. No tipping, not even the tour guides. First Class. Keep up the good work. We are glad we chose Uniworld and look forward to other cruises in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I can't think of one bad thing to say about Uniworld or our cruise experience. Everything was well planned and well executed. The food was first rate, accommodations excellent, staff outstanding! When my wife made a minor request ... Read More
I can't think of one bad thing to say about Uniworld or our cruise experience. Everything was well planned and well executed. The food was first rate, accommodations excellent, staff outstanding! When my wife made a minor request the staff member replied "This is you home" and it really felt that way. The dining onboard was excellent. We were informed each evening of what to expect. The chef had his recommendation, but there were alternatives that were equally outstanding. A cocktail hour in the lounge preceded each dinner and appetizers and drinks were served quickly and readily. A good selection of varied excursions were available. We crammed as many as 3 into one busy day! The 16 mile bike ride along the Rhine while our ship cruised was a special treat. The tour guides were friendly and informed. We really got a good feel for the flavor of each area we visited. We could not have enjoyed the cruise more. We're already talking about our next Uniworld cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Castles Along the Rhine. Just a top notch experience. Awesome ship and crew/staff. Everybody was wonderful. Cruise director Tabea as well as Sylvia and Robert in the lounge and many many more, were just great! The itinerary was ... Read More
Castles Along the Rhine. Just a top notch experience. Awesome ship and crew/staff. Everybody was wonderful. Cruise director Tabea as well as Sylvia and Robert in the lounge and many many more, were just great! The itinerary was excellent, the excursions were well planned and very valuable experiences. The food and service were just the best. The fitness center was a bit small and they might have benefited from more laundry facilities. Flexibility with special diets was well done. Our first Cruise of any kind. So awesome to wake up each day in a new city. The trip through the Rhine Gorge was especially beautiful and memorable. The ability to tour some of the castles was even better. There was something for everybody. They are very accommodating to the old and young alike. We will definitely be doing more River Cruises with Uniworld. If you've never done a cruise, we would highly recommend it. If you have done several, you'll love Uniworld's cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Uniworld was considerate of the single traveler. There was a waiver of the single supplement which was greatly appreciated. The staff was very astute and sensitive to the needs of all passengers. The service was exceptional. Each and ... Read More
Uniworld was considerate of the single traveler. There was a waiver of the single supplement which was greatly appreciated. The staff was very astute and sensitive to the needs of all passengers. The service was exceptional. Each and every crew member from the Captain to the housekeeping staff was friendly and personable. The bar staff was charming and very accessible. The dinners were comparable to any elegant gourmet restaurant. There were many selections and even off menu choices for the not so adventurous gourmand The choice of excursions was varied and appealing to any activity level of traveler. The Vinegar tasting was a memorable and unique experience. I would highly recommend that excursion. This was my first Uniworld Cruise, actually my first river cruise. I have been on many of the Nationally Advertized Mega Cruise Ships and lines. This was a very enjoyable, intimate cruise I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again The only negative was that the cabin was a little dated, bathroom however, was plush marble and shower a good size. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our second cruise with Uniworld. It met all of our expectations and then some. After our experiences on our first cruise, our expectations were high. While I admit I haven't cruised with other lines, those that I talked with ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Uniworld. It met all of our expectations and then some. After our experiences on our first cruise, our expectations were high. While I admit I haven't cruised with other lines, those that I talked with who have ay Uniworld does it better. The food, the service, the rooms and the "all-inclusiveness" are truly #1. We enjoyed shore excursions daily. We toured two small towns in France which was too much for the time allotted. We could have spent the entire morning in one of the towns and still not had enough time! Castles along the Rhein was a great cruise that took us from Amsterdam through stops in Germany and France ending in Switzerland. This cruise has a good mix of cruising on the river and stopping at interesting cities. Weather in May turned out to be milder that we were expecting. Temps were in the high 60s to low 70s during the cruise. Uniworld does it right. I am looking forward to our next cruise with Uniworld. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Our travel agent recommended this. Extremely good choice due for needed attention on mobility. The cruise director and the staff went out of their way to make this possible. I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again, and hope very ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this. Extremely good choice due for needed attention on mobility. The cruise director and the staff went out of their way to make this possible. I would definitely cruise with Uniworld again, and hope very soon. The food was outstanding. The crew worked very well together and always with a smile and willing to help. I was not able to climb the stairs to the sundeck but the crew set up a station for me to take photos of the castles. The captain even came by to make sure everything was fine for me. This was beyond the call of duty. The dining room staff went out of their way for me as I could not manage the buffet lines. My wife and I are already going through the latest Uniworld catalog to plan our next cruise. We had a wonderful time and thought that it was a good value. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We just returned from Castles along the Rhine and we're still excited about it. This being our first cruise ever we may not be the ones to ask but we cannot say enough good about this cruise line and our experience. We were encouraged ... Read More
We just returned from Castles along the Rhine and we're still excited about it. This being our first cruise ever we may not be the ones to ask but we cannot say enough good about this cruise line and our experience. We were encouraged by our travel agent to try Uniworld when we told her we were thinking river cruise. From the pick up at the airport on we continued to be impressed by the attention given to us by every staff member we encountered. We arrived early in the day and our stateroom not yet ready. We waited in the lounge where we were welcome to eat and drink anything from the late breakfast, the dining room lunch and the bar. Once settled we were very happy with the size of our stateroom and the amenities within. Plenty of storage space and a comfy bed. Taking many of the offshore excursions we found the guides were very knowledgeable, easy to understand, friendly, willing to share and answer questions. Every meal was a feast for the eyes and the tummy and service was great. Many of the staff made you feel as though you were long lost friends and you were the only one in the room. Always eager to visit, share local info and keep your tummy and glass full. Our captain was very present, friendly, and eager to share his knowledge as well. Because we enjoy cocktail hour before dinner we came to know a little about the wait staff and enjoyed chatting with them. They took good care of us. Hooray for Sylvia, Mariya and Nesta. The entertainment nightly was always fun and engaging. It created a very lively, fun and relaxed atmosphere We would do this trip again and highly recommend it. We are looking for our next Uniworld excursion and can't quite decide which it will be. Thinking about Danube Discovery & Prague. The only thing that could possibly make this any better would be if we could take the staff from this cruise along on our next. PS The two small villages, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr made me want to look for a place to live and have my belongings shipped. Stunning views along the way, lovely and quaint little villages. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Our travel agent suggested we try Uniworld for a river cruise. Together we chose Castles Along the Rhine. We were greeted at the airport in Amsterdam by a Uniworld representative and soon we were whisked away to meet our ship, the River ... Read More
Our travel agent suggested we try Uniworld for a river cruise. Together we chose Castles Along the Rhine. We were greeted at the airport in Amsterdam by a Uniworld representative and soon we were whisked away to meet our ship, the River Empress. We were impressed that Uniworld made that drive for just the two of us. We were greeted again at the ramp of the ship and shown to the lounge where we were welcome to anything to eat and drink until our room was ready. We enjoyed some coffee and juice and soon after enjoyed a huge and beautiful buffet lunch in the dining room. Once our stateroom was ready we were gladly settled in and in awe of the beauty and amenities within. Everyday with Uniworld was an outstanding experience. The tours were informative with excellent, well spoken, easily understood, English speaking, knowledgeable guides. All the staff and crew were kind, courteous & helpful and enjoyable to interact with. We especially liked the evening entertainment as it kept the crowd lively and engaged. We will definitely do this again, in fact we are working on that as I write. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We were referred to this cruise by a family member, who also took the cruise with us. We could not have been more pleased. Uniworld is very easy to work with. The boat was small, with only 126 passengers - so easy to manage, unlike an ... Read More
We were referred to this cruise by a family member, who also took the cruise with us. We could not have been more pleased. Uniworld is very easy to work with. The boat was small, with only 126 passengers - so easy to manage, unlike an ocean cruise. The crew on our boat, River Empress, was friendly, knowledgeable, and took excellent care of us. We were pampered all week. But, even on the last day when there was so much activity on the boat between passengers leaving and passengers coming, my husband became very ill and the cruise manager literally took personal care of us to get us what we needed. No stress or worries. The ports were both charming and interesting. The excursions were well planned, with local tour guides who added personal stories that provided local insight and culture in addition to learning the history. Plenty of choices and plenty to do, but not overwhelming. We will vacation with Uniworld again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Chose this to enjoy exceptional comforts of cruise and learning excursions. Returned to Uniworld again in 2016 following MOST satisfactory and satisfying 2015 Paris/Normandy cruise (to celebrate 50th wedding anniversary). Physical ... Read More
Chose this to enjoy exceptional comforts of cruise and learning excursions. Returned to Uniworld again in 2016 following MOST satisfactory and satisfying 2015 Paris/Normandy cruise (to celebrate 50th wedding anniversary). Physical comforts were most satisfactory; service was exceptional, first class; food was outstanding; excursion guides and hosts were awesome!!! Both cruises, trips. It really is refreshing, relaxing, "freeing" to simply unpack and put your clothes in one closet for several days and let them follow you to numerous ports and land excursions with very knowledgeable, most cordial, patient and personable local guides and be continually welcomed and pampered by quality on board staff. And, the pre and post cruise experiences were comparable quality too. It was comforting to experience safety as foremost (but handled seamlessly) and for all activities, events, actions to occur on schedule. Uniworld even arranged to have, provide my favorite bourbon and were continually aware of and unobtrusively assisted with (vegetarian) diet foods. We will enjoy other river cruises with Uniworld! Again, the Uniworld team (ie: people) are OUTSTANDING! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
This cruise exceeded my expectations by a 1,000%. Our luggage was 4 days late and the crew went over and above to keep us informed about the luggage and to take care of laundering the clothes that we had and getting them to us timely each ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations by a 1,000%. Our luggage was 4 days late and the crew went over and above to keep us informed about the luggage and to take care of laundering the clothes that we had and getting them to us timely each morning so that we wouldn't miss any excursions. I cannot say enough about the professional, caring and extreme service that we had on board this ship. The excursions and local guides were first-rate and I couldn't pick a favorite, they were all extremely interesting and well planned. The service in the dining room and the food was excellent everyday and the "Al Fresco" dining experience was fantastic. The entertainment was excellent. I would only recommend that maybe some entertainment that involved the passengers to promote interaction. Our Cruise Director, Piet was absolutely fantastic and his informative talks really prepared us for the excursions the next day. This was my first river cruise and I am hooked on Uniworld and would highly recommend them!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first river cruise, so we really did not know what to expect. We found that the minute we came on board the ship we felt very welcomed. Quickly, we realized that we made the correct decision to chose Uniworld. The service ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, so we really did not know what to expect. We found that the minute we came on board the ship we felt very welcomed. Quickly, we realized that we made the correct decision to chose Uniworld. The service of every staff member from housekeeping, to the captain was excellent. Our cruise director Piet, was outstanding. The various tours were informative an unique that provided life time memories. The venues were particularly interesting, including the vinegar tasting, wine tasting at Vollards Castle and the visit to Marksburg Castle. The food selections, quality and presentation were above our expectations. Our service staff was attentive and engaging. By the end of the cruise, it felt that the staff was part of your family. The only negative is that the ship is beginning to show it's age, particularly in the cabins. The wall fabrics appear worn are in need of updating. A very pleasurable and memorable experience! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
first river cruise. food and service was exceptional. .breakfast and lunch were buffet style while dinner was off a menu. the quality of the food and service in the dining room was more than superb. crew knew your names within 24 hours. ... Read More
first river cruise. food and service was exceptional. .breakfast and lunch were buffet style while dinner was off a menu. the quality of the food and service in the dining room was more than superb. crew knew your names within 24 hours. there was nothing that they wouldn't do for you if asked. the tour choices were terrific and allowed you time to do some wandering on your own. boat and room were nicely decorated. room could have been a bit more spacious, but was fine. for the most part, ports and shore excursions were good. stayed one night in basel, switzerland before the cruise. very enjoyable city. stayed three nights in Amsterdam after the cruise. highly recommend that you do not rush home but extend your stay in Amsterdam. had a great time walking the city and taking tours. . we are already discussing our next uniworld cruise as our first one exceeded our expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We just returned from an amazing trip on the River Empress on one of its designated family cruises. It was beyond any of our expectations. There were 13 people in our party of extended family members (including 5 children ranging from ... Read More
We just returned from an amazing trip on the River Empress on one of its designated family cruises. It was beyond any of our expectations. There were 13 people in our party of extended family members (including 5 children ranging from 3-17). The service by the staff was extraordinary. They were attentive to the adults and children and engaged in making each experience fabulous for all. The embarkation and disembarkation process was seamless. The cabins were beautifully and efficiently designed. The food was excellent. The chef was creative and provided fun experiences including fun additions like German sausages served on deck as we sailed by all of the beautiful castles along the Rhine. Every meal had a new surprise - - delicious! The excursions and onboard activities were perfect for children. The staff even organized a kick around game of soccer at our port near Colmar and the kids loved it. One of their favorite activities was going for ice cream with Captain Henk and the children's hosts. The kids loved playing chess on the top deck and going through the locks. The crew spent time teaching the kids about the locks and letting them be engaged in the process. We would definitely cruise with Uniworld again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our family recently returned from the Castles on the Rhine family cruise upon the River Empress. The entire experience was fantastic. The River Empress is an older ship, but is well maintained and quite elegant. Embarkation was very ... Read More
Our family recently returned from the Castles on the Rhine family cruise upon the River Empress. The entire experience was fantastic. The River Empress is an older ship, but is well maintained and quite elegant. Embarkation was very easy. We arrived before our room was ready so our bags were whisked away and we hung out in the lounge where drinks were served and snacks were available while we waited. Lunch was also served during this time. The cabins are small, but that's what you expect on a river boat. The bathroom was actually larger than I've seen on other river boats, especially the shower, and it was well laid out. Breakfast and lunch were buffets that included a wide variety of choices, and always something kid friendly, along with some great local food. Each night we had several choices at dinner for appetizers, soup, entree, and dessert. There were also some additional choices of entree (steak, chicken, vegetarian, etc.) if you couldn't find anything to suit your taste on the menu. There were also two wines selections each evening, of which I tried quite a few, and they were all very nice. The food was fantastic and my son enjoyed trying some new things. He even tried the escargot! The staff in the dining room is great and he really enjoyed interacting with them. The chef also served sausage, pretzels and beer as we sailed past the beautiful castles. Afternoon tea was served on some days (whenever we were on board at tea time) and there was a cocktail hour with snacks every evening. It is really easy to overeat on this cruise! The excursions were fun and informative. Some additional excursions were added (at no additional cost) due to this being a family cruise. That was a nice surprise. The captain's lounge was converted into a game room for the kids. In addition there were plenty of activities on board to keep the kids entertained. The crew seemed to genuinely enjoy having the young people on board. Every evening when we returned to our room a little gift had been left for us. I don't know if this is typical or is limited to the family cruise, but it was a thoughtful, pleasant surprise. A couple of optional excursions were offered and we took part in these. Both were very enjoyable, but during this time there were multiple shuttles back and forth to the cities near which we were docked,which makes it easy do some sightseeing or shopping on your own during this time. So there is plenty to do without investing in the optional tours. Most notably, the service on this ship is exemplary. The attention to detail by the staff and crew is just amazing. It's the perfect way to take a thoroughly relaxing vacation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We were going to try Viking, but then the Uniworld came on the horizon, and we thought: Why not try something else? The experience started out on the wrong foot. We were supposed to be met by a representative outside the customs area at ... Read More
We were going to try Viking, but then the Uniworld came on the horizon, and we thought: Why not try something else? The experience started out on the wrong foot. We were supposed to be met by a representative outside the customs area at Schiphol airport upon arriving Amsterdam, but no one was in sight to meet us. After a fruitless search for the evasive rep, we hailed a taxi and arrived at the main train station 80 Euros in the red. The driver did not know where the boat was, so we had to lug ourselves and the luggage another quarter mile to the boat. Luckily, Uniworld stepped up to the plate and reimbursed us for the taxi fare, and it was smooth sailing from there on. The ship is lovely, but a little reminiscent of grandma's house with swag curtains and brocade chairs. And you have to seek high and low for a chair that is comfortable to sit in, everything was rather straight backed all over. The cabin was small, but with ample room for our wardrobe, comfortable beds and a fabulous shower in the miniscule bathroom. Service was outstanding all over. Everybody was friendly and helpful and willing to tend to all our needs. The food was probably the among the best we have had on any cruise, and there was plenty of it. The wine flowed freely, and wherever you were sitting on the ship, a waiter was sure to find you and make sure you had a drink in your hand. The tours were arranged in comfortable buses with informative guides, and there was always enough time in every port to do some wandering around on one's own. The entertainment was rather mediocre, but then again, who needs to be entertained all the time with all the beautiful scenery. All in all, a very satisfying experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Just returned from the Uniworld River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel and cannot rave about it enough! We had 100 people on the cruise and everyone just raved about the quality of the food and service. In fact, some people on the cruise ... Read More
Just returned from the Uniworld River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel and cannot rave about it enough! We had 100 people on the cruise and everyone just raved about the quality of the food and service. In fact, some people on the cruise that had been on many Uniworld trips said this one had the best service they've seen. It was fabulous. Wine pairings were great, but the staff also served anything on request, from Mexican coffee, to Pina Coladas to hard drinks. We try and eat well when at home and the healthy choices at every meal, from smoothies, fruits/cereal to omelettes at breakfast, to wonderful salads at lunch and dinner that allowed us to cheat with desserts. But it was the wonderful tours, the lounging on top of the ship while passing castles, and small villages, the incredible staff that pulled out bicycles for us to ride when in port! This was our fourth cruise and was by far the best one. Uniworld has every single detail down to a science. After tours, the staff often greets returning guests with towelettes and tea or juice! We are already to planning our next Uniworld trip! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We choose this cruise on the recommendation of our AAA travel agent and took advantage of a limited time pricing advantage. Although we have cruised many times this was our first river cruise. We were impressed on our arrival with the ... Read More
We choose this cruise on the recommendation of our AAA travel agent and took advantage of a limited time pricing advantage. Although we have cruised many times this was our first river cruise. We were impressed on our arrival with the service, taking our luggage and delivering it to our stateroom and the ease with which we were able to check in. Our cabin was at the water line and was similar to the inside cabins we have had on an ocean ship. However, it was much more luxuriously furnished and the bed was wonderful! All of the products furnished in the bathroom were top of the line. The lounge was spacious providing plenty of room for presentations, entertainment, dancing and socialization. The best part was that all drinks were included in our cruise price and the bar service was exceptional! We spent our evenings making wonderful new friend. This is where we had our daily briefings from our cruise director for the next days stops and excursions. Our cruise director Anthony was wonderful with an extensive knowledge of our destinations and did an excellent job of arranging the excursions. Daily there were free excursions and some ports had excursions at a reasonable additional cost. These were for the Black Forest and the Heidelburg Castle and were well worth the additional charge. Best of all, the day we cruised past the castles was all blue skies and sunshine. Anthony described the castles in detail with interesting stories about each one. The dining room was also spacious and beautifully appointed. Our head of food service, Sam, did an excellent job of making every guest feel special as did the waiters. My husband is a big man who likes to eat and Sam made sure that he got enough each evening. My husband enjoys the variety of activities offered on the larger ocean ships, but I loved the intimacy of the smaller river cruise. If we ever go on another river cruise it will definitely be with Uniworld. Read Less
River Empress Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 2.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5
Rates 4.0 4.7

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