4 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
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: 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
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My mother, who passed away earlier this summer, swore she would never go on a cruise. My father, widowed at the ripe young age of 79 and overwhelmed by sadness and being alone, asked me to accompany him on a cruise. We had friends who ... Read More
My mother, who passed away earlier this summer, swore she would never go on a cruise. My father, widowed at the ripe young age of 79 and overwhelmed by sadness and being alone, asked me to accompany him on a cruise. We had friends who had traveled with Uniworld in Europe previously and raved about the experience. In fact, they took the exact cruise (Castles on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel) we signed up for several years before. So we planned the trip around my father's octogenarian cousin in Amsterdam... we'd start there and end there. The flight in coach class from LAX to Amsterdam was great for me, but my dad was super uncomfortable. He would have preferred a stop-over. I think he is nuts. KLM was nice, although they did switch aircraft on us at the last minute and it's conceivable that we got a plane with smaller seats. I admit that the seats were small and close to one another. Again, he would have preferred a break. I say get it all over with. (Note: the flight home was also nonstop, seats were roomier, and the flight was a breeze.) In Amsterdam we stayed at the modest but super comfy (and ideally located) Best Western Delphi on Apollolan, adjacent to the Beethovenstraadt shopping district. Easy to catch the trolley to the heart of Amsterdam, but far enough away for peace, quiet, and cost-effective travelling. Online pricing was great. Location was literally 5 to 7 minutes from the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in super efficient and easy-to-use public transit. Got ourselves to the port in Amsterdam for the cruise, easy as pie. Cruise folk were welcoming from the very beginning. We ate lunch on board before sailing - with my dad's cousin, I might add - and despite the cold and light rain (mid-October departure) it was a fun and exciting day. Sites were great along the Rhine. Walking tours, particularly the gentle walkers tours, were ideal for my slow dad. And the availability of the Alpine walking sticks was genius. Whoever thought of that should get a raise. REALLY helped my dad (and many others on the cruise) get around on cobbled streets. Weather was cold, and for the most part grey; for me it was a tremendous and wonderful change from the California drought. My dad, also known as Grumpy Grumperson, was a bit put out, but had the proper clothing and was fine. Heavy coat, cashmere scarf, nice lined gloves and an in-room thermostat... what more could he ask for? Don't ask... Day trips were well-planned, well-guided, and not too overwhelming (not too fast, not too far, not too much information to manage), even though their cost was in addition to the cruise for the most part. My favorite was the Black Forest. Would have loved more time in Strasbourg - guess I'll have to go back. Heidelberg Castle tour was lovely, but if you've been before (as we both had), that field trip is ONLY a shopping excursion. Included for all excursions were ear pieces with transmitters so on tour with a guide, you could easily hear everything being said. That was SUPER clever, and worthwhile. Ship amenities were wonderful. Meals were plentiful, delicious, and varied. Super nice to be able to eat well (read healthy) at every single meal and not feel like I was missing out. The fact that drinks - ALL drinks - are included in the price of admission makes the cruise even better. I had prosecco a lot. My dad is a single malt scotch guy. Neither of us was disappointed. Would have liked a better rowing machine in the gym, but who goes on a cruise to row in the workout room? I guess I do. My dad had a couple of massages and loved them. Thanks for making that service available. Bar/lounge entertainment was a bit 1950s Vegas hotel, but I imagine it's hard to find excellence when you're at sea (on the river) for weeks at a time. Pianist was good, but not great. It's OK - it was background noise to the rest of the trip. And he was far better than having no music at all. Staff were OUTSTANDING. LOVE YOU GUYS! First, they put up with Mr. Grumperson. Second, and more importantly, they were charming, smart, witty, fun, professional, and attentive. Seriously, thank you all. Rooms were surprisingly (to me) comfortable for such a small space. The beds were plush, as were the bathrobes. Room safe was a breeze to use. Bathroom was totally great (love the nightlight feature). HATED when another ship was parked outside my bedroom window, but I'm guessing that couldn't be helped. If it had happened more than once and for more than a relatively limited time, I might have been uncomfortable. Would love to take a cruise with my love next time (although my dad can come too as long as he's less grumpy). But, I have to say, that as far as having a vacation where I was supposed to be looking after my dad while on holiday, the river cruise was ideal, and Uniworld made it totally possible. Thanks, Uniworld. I had a lovely time. I hope I can do it again, soon! 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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