4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had taken 3 and our sons and their wives had each taken 1 cruise with Uniworld, and we were completely satisfied. However, this was a totally different story. This was a generational cruise--the Remarkable Rhine. My husband and I ... Read More
We had taken 3 and our sons and their wives had each taken 1 cruise with Uniworld, and we were completely satisfied. However, this was a totally different story. This was a generational cruise--the Remarkable Rhine. My husband and I wanted our children and grandchildren to have this unique experience. I am posting photos of my one of my son's rooms to show the deplorable condition. Ours was not much better, but I did not take pictures of it. We spent a lot of money on this cruise for 11 of us. I complained to Uniworld and asked for a partial refund. Instead, we got certificates that have to be used within a year. We are not happy with their response to our situation. We will not be taking any Uniworld cruises in the future. They are going to redo that ship, but they should have lowered the prices to be in line with its condition. The prices were the same as others were paying for one of their super ships. Also, we had informed Uniworld months ahead that our flight had been canceled and that we would e arriving at 5:20 instead of at their 5:00 deadline. At first, they said that we would have to find our own way to the ship. After I reminded them that there were 11 of us and that we would be arriving only 20 minutes after their deadline, they agreed to pick us up. Our flight was over 45 minutes late, and our transport was gone. We called Uniworld, and they told us to make our own transport arrangements to the ship. We finally arrived just in time for dinner. I feel that their transport company should have had enough experience to check our flight schedule and have seen that we were going to be late and planned accordingly. We were reimbursed for our transport. In all, my husband and I were so happy that we were able to provide our family with this experience and looked forward to it for almost a year. We remain totally disappointed with our experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We contracted this cruise with others through a common travel agent and received great value. The rooms on the 3rd level are quite small, requiring my wife and I to signal each other as to where we were headed in the room in order to make ... Read More
We contracted this cruise with others through a common travel agent and received great value. The rooms on the 3rd level are quite small, requiring my wife and I to signal each other as to where we were headed in the room in order to make space for us to pass. There is sufficient closet space, few drawers, a good safe, and interestingly the wall covers have a foam base which eliminates all noise other than that in the room. The daily trips related to the Jewish Excursions throughout the week and the guides, with one exception, were among the best we have experienced. Everything was easy here, prompted by a rather modest size passenger list. The food was from good to very good, with outstanding restaurant service, especially the maître d' who provided my wife at every meal with a serrated knife since she has problems with her hand. He would come up behind us, wherever we sat, and unobtrusively replace the cutlery. And he had the cook prepare a side dish for a passenger we sat with based on her request. MOST IMPRESSIVE. There is less to do in the afternoons after the tours and other than a piano player, nothing in the evening...with one exception. While the cruise director did good work describing the castles on the Rhine, more information would have been very helpful and more entertainment in the evening would have enhanced the trip. Our room was kept spotless, and the ship itself was exceedingly clean. It was a comfortable cruise with a very attentive staff. I wish that it had some added features in order for me to recommend this excursion to others. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
I know I should review the ship and the ports, but looking back on the trip, the service is what I remember most and what makes me want to travel with Uniworld again. The trip was great, despite the rainiest spring Europe has had in over ... Read More
I know I should review the ship and the ports, but looking back on the trip, the service is what I remember most and what makes me want to travel with Uniworld again. The trip was great, despite the rainiest spring Europe has had in over 30 years (or so said EVERY single tour guide). We did make it through the trip prior to the horrible flooding. We were extremely lucky. I was lucky enough to have my mother plan and pay for this cruise. We took the River Empress from Amsterdam to Budapest in late May 2013. 5 of us cruised together for the first time. 2 mother and daughters (first set: 60 and 40 2nd set: 50 and 14) and one husband. The entire ship had no idea who was whose mother, but that's another story. I cannot say enough good things about Uniworld. Our great service started from a room mix up in Amsterdam. Muriel, our Uniworld hotel lady (not sure of her technical term) was able to sort it out quickly and calm my crazy mother. She also sorted out a planned toured booked with another company. Without her help, we would have never sorted that mess out. The tours booked through Uniworld had no issues, it was the cheap ones my mother found on line that caused grief. Great welcome on board the beautiful River Empress. Lovely lounge and quiet Captain lounge. The bar service was great. Violetta, the bar manager, made sure the 14 year old traveling with us felt special, not like some little kid. Alex, the server, impressed us on the first night. Even though there were no assigned tables, we made sure we got to the 6 top in his section every night. He had patience and a great sense of humor. Again, service was amazing. The crew would bend over backwards to make us happy. Not my mother, the other mother, had pureed sweet potato with a dish. It was not prepared her normal way, it was savory, not sweet. She told Alex it would taste better with butter, sugar and cinnamon. He laughed and nodded and walked away. He shortly returned with 3 pats of butter, 6 sugar packets and a small prep bowl of cinnamon. He would also try to find diary free desserts for my husband, who didn't think he should mark the special dietary needs on his cruise profile. (TIP: mark lactose free on any cruise profile in the future) Our trip's only drawback was the weather. It was the rainiest and coolest in 30 years. It didn't rain 24/7, and we did have 2 sunny days and some partly cloudy days between the rain drops. This is not normal. I have been told by some Travel agents May and June are the perfect times to do this trip. Between our cruise director, Rik and our 1st captain, we were well informed of our progress and if the rising river waters would impede our trip. One more shoutout, to Daniella, the deck attendant. She along with Violetta and Alex made this trip of a life even more amazing. I may have mention a few memorable people by name, but the entire crew of the River Empress made this a great cruise. They all have spoiled me for any cruises in the future.   Read Less
River Empress Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 2.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 4.7

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