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Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruise and we were celebrating a special occasion. Everything was great - cabin layout quite adequate with lovely big comfy bed, lovely en suite with great shower, all sparkling clean. Food was fantastic, loads of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were celebrating a special occasion. Everything was great - cabin layout quite adequate with lovely big comfy bed, lovely en suite with great shower, all sparkling clean. Food was fantastic, loads of choice for breakfast and lunch, more formal meal in the evening but still with three or four choices on the four course menu. Masses of choice in drinks including malt whiskies, all staff were friendly and professional. Trips varied but generally good and there was usually a choice. So what was the problem?? I have to firstly state that I am a poor sleeper. So, we had paid for a 'deluxe' cabin, which meant we had a good sized, non opening window and were located at the front on the second level. All cabins are the same size and layout, you pay for the window, ours was fine from that point of view. What was definitely not fine was the hellish noise we experienced from the engines at the front, located maybe six feet from our door, which was the second last in the corridor. The last door between us and the engine room was the bottle store. 100+ passengers on an all inclusive cruise get through a lot of bottles so the staff were constantly in and out during the day and in the evening, clattering and clanking as they restocked. But worst by far was the engine noise. Apparently the engines at the front are the ones which deal with sideways positioning and are therefore heavily engaged when passing through locks. There are a great many locks between Basel and Amsterdam, and we sailed through the vast majority of them overnight, mainly on nights 1 & 2. This meant that I barely slept during either of these nights doe to the roaring of the engine. We spoke to passengers who were in the cheaper cabins one level down but who heard nothing. We were very unfortunate in the location of our room. And to add insult to injury a couple of nights later we had dancing in the lounge from 9.30pm. Guess what, the lounge turned out to be directly above our heads. We ended up going ashore and walking along the towpath for an hour or so in the pitch dark, thankfully when we returned after 11.00 the band was finishing. Lots of apologies and a bottle of fizzy wine the next day from the hotel manager on board. So apart from the noise the cruise was 5*. Unfortunately if you can't sleep at night you can't enjoy the days. I have since been in touch with customer services who tell me that noise is not unexpected. Well it was completely unexpected for me and served to seriously detract from our holiday. Should you have a problem I cannot recommend Uniworld customer services. So yes, go on the trip but only if you can be absolutely certain you will not end up in CABIN 202! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We are Heritage members and sailed with Uniworld before on the S.S. Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy. Our experience with Uniworld in 2017 was exceptional! BUT THIS EXPERIENCE ON RIVER PRINCESS WAS NOT! Front Desk Hotel Manager ... Read More
We are Heritage members and sailed with Uniworld before on the S.S. Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy. Our experience with Uniworld in 2017 was exceptional! BUT THIS EXPERIENCE ON RIVER PRINCESS WAS NOT! Front Desk Hotel Manager and staff looked upset and serious if you asked a question. No smiles at anytime. It was as if all of them had some attitudes. The wait staff were arguing at times in their Romanian or Slavic language-you could see the tension. I even had to get up at dinner to ask for water. They forgot my meal and had to remind them but all they always said was it is coming and then they would turn to each other and argue. It was extremely uncomfortable. The dining room was poorly set up not allowing much choices on seating to meet others and definitely NOT what our last experience was. It was a typical dining room as if it were on a Celebrity Cruise. The food on the River Princess was below standard-not typical of Uniworld’s fine culinary fare. It tasted comparable to most large massive mid budget cruise liners. We were extremely appalled that we were served a buffet one evening for dinner. Our Food was served Luke warm or cold at table side. I sent back several dinners due to flavor and being cold. My husband ordered a simple steak and looked grey in color as if they threw it is a broiler and rushed it out. He sent it back. We waited so long for our food to come a good portion of the time. Having to remind them! Never told in the morning there was a special dish. When the omelet station chef overheard me speak to another guest he said there is always a special and showed it to me. When I asked him to order me one, he said, " sorry, you have to go to your table and ask your waiter". The waiter NEVER CAME! I had to flag them down. That was done more than just one day on a 8 day trip. The choices of food served were the same almost everyday at lunch or breakfast. Many times.I had to wait 30 minutes for poached eggs. Poached eggs take 2-3 minutes to make. I made my own toast. The Eggs Benedict in morning was cold and thick sauce I could not eat it. Our tour guides were not the best and rushed us. Even an expert lecturer who traveled on the ship and spoke about the history stopped our guide during a tour and told her she was not telling the history as per the Jewish Heritage Tour it was to be. The ship was old and tired. My advice would be to remove this ship from circulation. It is old and many issues. The trip was from Vienna to Prague. They went to Nuremberg and bussed us to Prague-(4 hours) not given water bottles and stopped 1/2 way to buy some! Our choices of tours were do as locals with a basic walking neighborhoods, biking, hiking in Bavarian Forrest or Pay for other tours that were not worth the money-Especially the Schoenbrunn Palace-we paid 66Euro per person. We were taken to 4 rooms that were an apartment of a Queen who liked tropical islands and murals on walls, no furniture at all to view. Rushe in and out. There maybe 15 minutes it was so small. Took us on a specific tour in a museum to see directly the Vermeer painting a just a few other paintings. Then told to go to the gardens and walk around for 45 minutes in the blaring heat! She was abrupt and she had 45 minutes to herself and she could have let us stay in the museum if we chose too. But we HAD to leave it! We hung around in the heat and had nothing to do. I wrote a letter to corporate office explaining our experience in detail. They had the audacity to insult us with a $150 per person credit on board to be used on our next trip and expires no later than December 2020! Other passengers who had been on Uniworld before and had good experience prior were also upset and said Viking they took once did a better job on food , staff and quality. We are done with Uniworld. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary on the Danube from Budapest to Passau, Germany and we chose Uniworld on the advice of a few friends. We liked the idea of an all inclusive trip, we've been on a few ocean ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary on the Danube from Budapest to Passau, Germany and we chose Uniworld on the advice of a few friends. We liked the idea of an all inclusive trip, we've been on a few ocean cruises where that was not the case. We booked the Uniworld add-on of two nights in Budapest before embarking on our cruise. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Budapest. Our tour guide/concierge Romulus was wonderful, helped us with restaurant reservations and guidance on where to visit, as well as leading our tours which were included with the add-on. There are a couple of optional tours which were an extra fee, we did book the trip to Sznentendre, which was a lovely little town, full of little stalls with locally made goods. We loved Budapest, the food was wonderful, locally produced wines were very good, the people were friendly, I highly recommend it. Our embarkation onto the ship was extremely smooth. Our luggage went from hotel to ship with no problems. The check in procedure was simple and efficient. Debarkation was also smooth. The ship is beautiful, all the public rooms make you feel like you are staying in one of the palaces you visit along the way. We stayed in a balcony room on the 4th deck, the room is small but very comfortable, There is plenty of storage and the empty suitcases did fit under the bed. I'm not sure if it was worth the extra money for the balcony room, the balcony takes up space in the 194 sq ft, but it was nice being on the upper floor of the ship. The food is really good and there are regional specialties served as you travel along the river. There are always regional wines as well, which were very good and generously poured. The service was excellent, couldn't think of a thing that they could improve on. There isn't much in the way of entertainment at night but we were so tired it didn't matter. The ports along the Danube were beautiful, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Melk, Linz (Salzburg) and Passau. The included tours were all great there were a few which were additional fees, like a Pub Crawl in Budapest (fun) and a tour of Schonbrunn in Vienna, both worth the extra cash. We would definitely try another Uniworld river cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld ... Read More
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld certainly knows what it's doing when it comes to hiring the "best of the best" as we found each and every person on board to be kind, engaging, fun, service oriented and just lovely. In particular Adrian, our Waiter, was Amazing, as was a bar waitress named Sylvia. Always a smile, they remembered the smallest details: How you like your drink, or the type of coffee you enjoyed. Our stewardess kept the cabin SPOTLESS and we were so impressed with how quickly they did their work. Can't praise them enough! Food: Meal quality was a little uneven. In particular Uniworld always has some basics on the menu in case you can't find anything you like in the daily featured dishes at dinner. The "Everyday" menu included things like Chicken and Steaks and Salmon and while prepared pretty well, the quality of the ingredients seemed to be lacking a bit. Strongly suggest they look to their purveyors to up that quality of the proteins on board. The breakfast and Lunches are all buffets and they were really excellent always plenty of choices. The dining room is a bit tight with big comfy chairs but overall a very pleasant place to spend a good portion of the evening. Again, the staff shined with complimentary wine flowing. Overall dinners were OK, just not at the level we were expecting at this price point. Tours: This is where I feel Uniworld really shines and is totally the reason to pay a little more for Uniworld. We saw other lines with huge groups of people but Uniworld had these small intimate group tours around the various cities. We couldn't have been more impressed with the guides (they get the best of the best) and loved the 'do as the locals do" visiting markets, riding public transit with our guide and learning ever so much, about the daily lives of the locals. A++++. Accommodations: So Uniworld claims to have the best beds on the rivers and indeed they do. Seriously it's no joke, these beds are off the chart. It's like sleeping in a gloved hand, resting on a cloud. I could go on and on but suffice to say, you will want to try, as we did, to figure out how to get this bed home with you! The decor is really quite something, shall I say " Over the Top". Makes you feel like you are staying in one of the palaces that you've toured each day. Initially I was a bit taken aback, but quickly realized it was replicating the experience of old Europe and very quickly I fell in love with it all the tufts and frills. while I wouldn't decorate my home this way, the style and glamour immersed you in the European style and we loved it! Ambiance: Sadly on our sailing there wasn't a piano player in the lounge and that was a miss, as a little music during cocktail hour and afterwards would have made the product come to life a little more. Uniworld does bring on entertainment in some of the ports but would have loved a little more consistency in this area. I found the other guest on board to be quite social and we met tons of new friends. Bottom Line: It's worth the extra $$. You will be wowed and super comfy! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the fifth Uniworld cruise for my wife and me and it immediately followed the Highlights of Eastern Europe on the S.S. Beatrice. Our experience on the Beatrice did not meet the Uniworld standards so we were anxious to see if this ... Read More
This was the fifth Uniworld cruise for my wife and me and it immediately followed the Highlights of Eastern Europe on the S.S. Beatrice. Our experience on the Beatrice did not meet the Uniworld standards so we were anxious to see if this cruise met the Uniworld standards. This cruise was excellent in all areas: the staff, service, ship, food and excursions. Be advised that this is not your normal river cruise. There is some cruising but much of the time is spent docked in the Venice Lagoon and traveling by water taxi. It’s a great way to visit Venice. The trip started with two nights at the Rosa Grand Hotel in Milan. There was a welcome meeting at 5 pm where the local Uniworld host explained the schedule for the next two days which was followed by a vicinity walk around the hotel area. Uniworld made dinner reservations at a local restaurant (at your own expense) or you could have dinner on your own. Uniworld did this for both nights and it was very convenient to have the reservations made because Milan was very crowded because it was Design Week. The next day following the included breakfast at the hotel (which was a delicious selection) we had a walking tour of Milan. The group size averaged about 25 people. Our first stop was a private viewing of the Last Supper. Our group was alone in the viewing area for about 30 minutes while the guide discussed the painting. Our last stop was the interior of the Milan Cathedral (Duomo). That afternoon there was an optional Duomo Rooftop Tour via elevator (55 € per person) which included an aperitif after the visit. You could also purchase a tour ticket and do the tour on your own. I would recommend doing it with the group because it includes a very knowledgeable guide. This tour was very interesting but not for anyone with a fear of heights or mobility issues. It includes a lot of walking and stairs. The next morning following breakfast, we traveled to Verona where we had a walking tour followed by lunch and wine tasting at Serego Alighieri Wine Estate. We arrived in Venice about 4:30 pm and boarded the River Countess. The next day we had a 3.7 mile walking tour which included a visit to Doge’s Palace and returned to the ship thru the back alleys and streets. The groups were small and the guide was excellent. Several different excursions were offered each day. That afternoon we sailed the Venice Lagoon. Our group visit to St. Mark’s Cathedral was cancelled due to Easter preparations. An after-hour visit of Scuola Grande di San Rocco was substituted. Many guests, ourselves included, felt this was a poor substitution. It involved a lot of walking over uneven ground in the dark and once we reached the building, the paintings weren’t that interesting. The next day was one of two when the River Countess crossed the Adriatic Sea and Italian Maritime authorities do not allow passengers to remain on the ship. We enjoyed a walk through Chioggia and a boat tour through the lagoon to hear about mussel harvesting before enjoying a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. That afternoon we sailed the Po River. The next day we had a Bologna walking tour, pasta making demonstration and Bolognese lunch. That evening we sailed the Po River. The next morning we visited the local market in Chioggia and sailed the Venice Lagoon in the afternoon. The next day we visited the “Magic Islands of Venice” (Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano) via private boat. The following day was one of our favorite excursions: a water taxi ride to the Rialto market with the ship’s chef to purchase produce, meat and fish for today’s lunch and dinner. We also had time to take a gondola ride. In the afternoon we visited the AVG Murano glass factory for a glass-blowing demonstration and opportunity to purchase Murano glass pieces. Early the next morning Uniworld took us to the airport for our flight home. A Uniworld representative took us to our check-in counter and then to the security check to make sure everything went smoothly. The River Countess is a wonderful ship. We enjoyed all of our meals in the Savoy restaurant and there is Osteria Siena which seats about 20 people and serves delicious pizza. There was an on-board musician that played during the afternoon and evening hours when local entertainment was not brought onboard. Our cruise director was wonderful and made sure everything ran smoothly. The walking groups averaged about 15 people, the local guides were excellent and a gentle walkers group was offered. Since we were past passengers, we each had one bag of laundry done. The turnaround time was quick and everything came back nicely folded or on hangers. There was a lady on this cruise that used an electric scooter. The Uniworld staff members went above and beyond to accommodate this passenger, carrying her scooter on and off the boat for excursions and assisting her in every way imaginable. They went above and beyond. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other ... Read More
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other boats. This time it was the head chef and our waiter Alexander. This particular cruise pays special attention to the D-Day landing sites in Normandy. For those of you interested in history and the sacrifices our young men made to free the world of terror, this is the cruise to take. Being there in person gives you a whole different perspective than what you got from the history books. On board we enjoyed a plethora of gourmet meals accompanied by a superb selection of quality wines. Try the La Cave du Vin for cozy, hands on, fine dining in the boat’s wine cellar. Book as soon you get on board because it fills up quickly. There is an extra charge for this but worth it. And the bar in the Salon Toulouse will amaze you with the selection of fine beverages from all over the world. Cleanliness on board is beyond reproach as is the friendliness and the service of the entire crew. Special thanks for service above and beyond go to our Hotel Manager Maria and our waiters Nikolay and Alexander. And the shore excursions are always well orchestrated and professionally guided through interesting places. But as with everything in life there are always some glitches, minor in this case but annoying. This boat was just refurbished so they added some “improvements”. The faucet in the bathroom sink has separate hot and cold water controls. The hot water is scolding hot so it takes you a while to temper it to a usable temperature with the two handles. But the bigger problem is the water spout which comes out from the wall and almost to the outside edge of the sink. It makes it impossible to bring your face over the sink and to bring the water to your face to wash it. You have to stand back and the water goes over your feet and the floor. Hint to the designers; shorten the spout by at least six inches. The other goof is the new “Do not disturb” notification. They’ve done away with the door handle sign and replaced it with an electronic touch pad inside the cabin. However, this very sensitive unit is just below the wall slot where you insert the key card to turn on the room utilities. It is almost certain that you will touch it inadvertently and alter the setting when you insert and remove the key card. And when the card is in the slot it hides the indicator light. So when we didn’t get our cabin made up for two days I went to the reception desk for an explanation. They knew immediately what was going on because it has happened to others and they very kindly explained how this new system functions. And lastly, the room thermostat control is another touch pad unit. It is preset to 23 degrees Celsius and has a wide range of temperature settings. But regardless of what temperature you change it to the room temperature never changes from the preset temp. But these minor glitches will not deter us from sailing on Uniworld again. As a matter of fact, while on board we booked the Bordeaux cruise for May 2020. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been wanting to visit Egypt since I was 4 years old. Instability and fear had always held me back until I discovered Uniworld River Cruises. Uniworld has a unique way of always making you feel like you’re a VIP. So was it possible ... Read More
I have been wanting to visit Egypt since I was 4 years old. Instability and fear had always held me back until I discovered Uniworld River Cruises. Uniworld has a unique way of always making you feel like you’re a VIP. So was it possible that Uniworld could possibly provide us the security and comforts of home that we demand in Egypt? The only way that question could possibly be answered was to book the trip and find out first hand. So after much anxiety we did we booked our trip for March 23, and I am all the more thankful and grateful for the decision we made. For us, it was truly that trip of our life time thanks to Uniworld. We arrived at the Cairo airport a day early and was greeted by a smiling and friendly Egyptian holding up a Uniworld sign named Ahab. He grabbed our luggage and the luggage of another Uniworld couple and headed us to the Uniworld Van. He then began to explain all the wonderful things we would be experiencing over the next two weeks and gave us a short Egyptian language lesson. He was funny and knowledgeable and gave us a very positive impression of what was instore. He offered us an optional day trip to the bent pyramid. Any time you meet a 55 year old guide with a high energy cell phone ring tone, you know you are in for a really good time but we had already made other plans. Uniworlds trip includes a visit to the pyramids, sphinx and camel ride, but we were so anxious we booked a private half day exertion via Viator and had a really good guide named Marwa who made certain we had a great time, along with lots of photo opportunities. Our stays at the Four Season Hotel was wonderful. This hotel is well managed and was like an luxury oasis in the middle of the desert. This hotel exhibited very good security and we always felt safe. Our room was magnificent and over looked the Nile River. My wife and I were treated like VIP’s the entire visit and we received exceptional service. The spa was fantastic and the services they provided were extremely professional. We dined at the Italian and Oriental restaurants and the buffet. The food and service at the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner was our favorite! Since there was 72 people, they divided us into two groups and each assigned a bus and our own Egyptologist. Ours was named Tarek Mostafa and he was absolutely wonderful. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable about Egypt but had good command of the English language, authentic, funny and extremely good dresser. He also made us feel like we were VIP’s the entire trip. My wife and I have traveled to a lot of places in this world and used a lot of guides via Uniworld, Tauck and Viking, but Tarek Mostafa is hands down the best we have ever experienced. I hope you are lucky enough to have him as your Egyptologist. He went out of his way to provide our group with plenty of safe shopping opportunities during a very packed schedule and even helped us negotiate prices with vendors. He will teach you how to deal with locals trying to sell you stuff for one dollar. Every local knew him, and locals treated him with great respect and admiration. If you are lucky enough to get Tarek as your guide, you tell him Pete said hello. I loved the ole majestic Tosca river boat and all the five star staff that they had on board. I thought it was elegant and beautiful just not a quiet as the electric boats Uniworld has in Europe. She parted the waves of the Nile like a knife through butter. I loved all the wood work, comfortable seating and the pictures of old Egypt that hand on the wall. We enjoyed the Egyptian entertainment and dressing up for the Galabeya party. I even learned how to really dance like an Egyptian! We absolutely loved cruising the Nile River from on top of the Tosca. Plenty of comfortable seating and nice relaxing pool. We returned home so dark, that our family thought we had gone to Miami. Expect to see lots of beautiful tall palm trees and tons of banana trees. The only modern machinery you will see is electric pumps to irrigate the miles of farms. I saw lots of fisherman checking trout lines and nets. My favorite were the smiling faces and waving arms of children along the banks of the Nile all happy to see us. Every single day of our trip went as planned and we were always informed throughout the day by our Egyptologist, staff on board the ship and received a printed itinerary of next day’s events in detail. We always felt extremely safe because on every single excursion we had our own embedded guard who wore a three piece suit and holstered an impressive 9mm MP5. In addition, our buses were always escorted by the Egyptian military or police. Everyone waved to us and thanked us for visiting Egypt. I cannot tell you how many people randomly thanks us for coming to Egypt. Not once did we feel unsafe or threatened. We loved the balloon ride and the trip to Abu Simbal. Everything worked like clockwork during the entire trip. We were lucky that the Nile was high enough to cruise to Dendra, and that there were not sand storms or strong winds for us to experience the hot air balloon ride. All the interior Egyptian flights were with Egypt air and they ran smooth and security was extremely good. Expect some early morning wake-ups to avoid the heat, other tourist and sand that can rise up to 13,000 feet during the mid-day. Trust in the process cause these folks are experts when it comes to experiencing Egypt in a safe and comfortable manor. In return, we experienced a perfect trip and a trip of a life time that I will always remember. We left Egypt with a greater knowledge of Egypt and a much better understanding of the Muslim and Christian people who call Egypt home. The last days visit to the pyramids, sphinx and camel ride was as much fun as the first one! I just wish my wife would have let me buy one of those camels for the back yard. Uniworld not only meet our expectations but exceeded them. Ahab, even helped us inside the airport terminal to make sure we made it through security and check our luggage with no issues on the way home. No other company has ever done that for us. These folks treated us like family. If you want to see and experience Egypt first class and feel like a VIP, choose Uniworld’s Splendors of Egypt! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
What a trip of a lifetime! Uniworld's Splendors of Egypt and the Nile was one of my most memorable vacations due mainly to our Egyptologist, Mohamed Ragheb, the fabulous staff on the River Tosca and the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel ... Read More
What a trip of a lifetime! Uniworld's Splendors of Egypt and the Nile was one of my most memorable vacations due mainly to our Egyptologist, Mohamed Ragheb, the fabulous staff on the River Tosca and the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel overlooking the Nile River in Cairo. I have traveled to about 50 countries on 6 continents and this trip offered one of the best itineraries with staff offering the most attentive service ever. It's my 8th cruise (all ocean until this river cruise) and I will definitely be river cruising again. Mohamed just made ancient Egypt come to life with his tales about the pharaohs, heiroglyphics and gods/goddesses. He was extremely knowledgeable, well-educated and was able to answer just about any question about Egypt immediately. He was also very funny and charming, with no air of academic pretentiousness. Every day there were several items on the itinerary to look forward to; I thought I might get bored with too many temples, mosques, pyramids, etc. but each day seemed to be more fascinating than the last. The Uniworld itinerary did a good job of mixing ancient Egyptian sites with felucca (sailboat) rides on the NIle, a Nubian Village visit, and High Tea at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile. There are a lot of included excursions, virtually all of the major sites. Definitely climb into the Great Pyramid to the tomb with the sarcophagus if you are physically able to, and take the camel ride in Giza. I also recommend going on nearly all the optional excursions, especially the optional excursion to Abu Simbel...what an experience! We signed up for the hot air balloons into the Valley of the Kings, but unfortunately there was a sandstorm and we were unable to go. We did both sound and light shows, but not the dinner cruise as we elected to go to Khan Al Khalili (the grand market in Cairo) on our own instead. Also, we did the optional Coptic Christian church tour upon returning to Cairo (after the Nile River cruise) with the other tour guide Akrum (for the group on Bus B, since we were on Bus A) who was also excellent. We got to see where the Holy Family stayed when they fled to Egypt on this Coptic Christian tour. The quality of the food, the staff and the small group experience (with a wonderful group of fellow travelers) was remarkable. My only suggestion on the food is to offer more Egyptian options for each meal since they were the most delicious (even though they can be special ordered I don't like to create a fuss and generally will eat what's served.) The ship River Tosca has an understated elegance. It was a bit dated, but that was hardly noticeable given the size of the cabins (over 300 square feet) and the quality of the service. The staff was so attentive to every detail and really tried to make the experience special for everyone. They were willing to cook off-menu items if you asked. They went out of their way to go above and beyond what I have experienced on other larger cruises (Viking, Celebrity, Princess, etc.) The 90 minute massages were also good for only about $45 USD. The transfers to and from the airport went extremely smoothly, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo was just so lovely. I was a little nervous about safety before going, but having now returned from Egypt it seems as safe as anywhere in the world. There is almost no petty crime. The risk of terrorism exists, but that can happen anywhere (Barcelona, Paris, New York, Washington DC) and the likelihood of that happening is extremely low. The Egyptian government seems very committed to keeping tourists safe, and provides armed guards to protect tourists in some venues. I personally felt very safe and protected at all times with Mohamed and the entire Uniworld staff. Bring lots of $1 bills for tips and bathroom attendants. Also a lot of the items to buy in the souks cost $1. The US dollar goes very far in Egypt so it's a great time for Americans to go. In fact, several Egyptians we met were very happy to see that Americans are coming back, and said so. There are a lot of early mornings, but the sights are much less crowded and the temperature is more comfortable then. After the morning tours, typically there is time in the afternoon to rest/nap on the boat or in the hotel before the late afternoon/evening excursions. So while it's busy it is not overwhelming, even if you do nearly all the optional excursions. Truly this was one of the most magical trips, due in great part to our Egyptologist Mohamed Ragheb. He was charming, friendly, funny and brilliant, and made exploring ancient Egypt a very colorful and memorable experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As ... Read More
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As to the land tour, the sights visited were directly on point and as advertised, travel arrangements were well done and every element of the tour was meticulously organized. In particular, our tour director (Binh) performed in an exceptional manner. The hotels on the land portion of the tour (Hanoi, Siem Reap and Saigon) were also excellent. As to the cruise portion of the tour, the food was great, our "prestige suite" met our expectations (although the quarters were a bit smaller than a suite on a sea-going cruise ship) and the staff was truly remarkable. From the waiters, to the "butlers," to the people who cared for our cabin, genuine friendliness was the standard - at all times. I also note the Uniworld representative (Roberto) on the cruise was present almost "everywhere" and was very helpful. The only negative I can think of centers on the fact the tour guides (one in Hanoi, one in Cambodia and another in Saigon) were, at times, a little difficult to understand because (of course), English was not their native language. One other point, I became ill (vomiting and diarrhea) one night and the crew was helpful in addressing this situation. Fortunately, i recovered fairly quickly. In summary, I very much recommend Uniworld in general and the Vietnam/Cambodia tour in particular. Both my wife and I fully enjoyed the tour and offer our highest recommendation. As we frequently visited "rustic" sights or areas, those who may be mobility challenged may find portions difficult. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were ... Read More
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were travelling so there were 2 cars for our us!. The Oberoi Delhi is very nice hotel, clean and the service is absolutely wonderful for our 2 night stay. This is consistent with each of the amazing Oberoi Hotels that are used on this trip. You will get a briefing and meet your Tour Manager. (ours was Vishal..fantastic and totally organized and on top of everything for the entire journey). Our land based Guide (Rishi) was excellent too! We boarded a very clean comfortable bus (there were 2 buses for our group of 27 and never felt crowded) and did a sight see around Delhi and fortunately due to a Political rally that would of had us caught up in traffic, we altered the Gandhi Tomb portion and went to the place he spent his last days. This we recommended to be in the tour in the future instead of the tomb, it is so worth while to see. Agra and the Taj Mahal were the next stop. From the Oberoi hotel, every room has a view of the Taj! It is a short golf cart ride to the main gate. You get to visit twice, once in the afternoon for sunset and then again for sunrise. Do both visits! Next was Jaipur. Here you get to view a place where they make inlaid marble items. (a bit of a tourist stop, no one purchased anything and we never felt pressure to do so). Next was a carpet stop, you get the presentation etc..prices are good. (we actually bought one after we had a super lunch around the corner.) There were lots of other stops too during our stays in Dehli, Agra & Jaipur, this is just a taste. The next day is an early rise for the flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival we are met by our two new local guides & board a bus for our transfer to the Ganges Voyager II, the bus is ok, not as nice and smooth as the ones used for the other cities. A city tour of Kolkata gets you ready for the next leg of your journey. During the travels through India, you will see lots of areas with people living amongst garbage & animals, tough to see, and the honking is constant, (Honking is a language on the road, it will be explained and then you realize how they communicate as they drive). Once you board your ship, if you thought the land portion was crazy hectic, prepare to be swept away!! The service on board is outstanding! The cruise itself is something you can't explain but have to experience! The stops on the Ganges starts with Kalna. This is were you start to realize how friendly the people are in the villages all along the river. They have very little in terms of possessions (comparing that of most westerners). They have a culture and way of life that works for them. The children come up to us to say hello and wave as they are so happy to see us. The smiles go on forever! This is the first step into the incredible life along this amazing river that is used by the people every day. Each day we traveled to a different village and each time it was a new adventure. You will see how families, and their way of life, come together. The colors along the river bank are another highlight. No one in our group suffered with any major stomach issue. A bit gassy one day by one, but didn't stop any plans. We had our vaccinations as recommended, and we all took Ducoral before arriving. There were 3 people on board who had a bit of tummy trouble, don't know if they had used anything prior to the cruise. The water on the ship is treated but we used bottled water for teeth brushing just to be sure and there is an ample supply of water. Each day when you return from the shore excursion, as you enter the ship, you remove your shoes and they clean them and return them to your door in a few minutes. On your shore excursions, the staff from the ship are always around to keep you supplied with hand sanitizers and help you with translation if you need. They are outstanding every day! The food on board was another highlight. If you are not wanting to try the local foods, there is plenty of western style options that they will have or prepare for you. Their Indian cuisine was excellent. So much variety and flavors that you want to keep eating! I will explain my ratings here: This Ganges Voyager II is not Uniworld's own ship, it is used by them but is definitely the nicest one on the Ganges. Embarkation- smooth and easy Cabin, no issue, bathroom counter is a bit small - shower is huge, bed is comfy. Dining - lots of variety of food, even for myself being probably too cautious. Enrichment activities - cooking demo, talks about the way of life of the Ganges people and Saree & turban wearing demonstration, tour of the engine room, yoga twice a day, everyone had fun. Entertainment - couple of Indian dance groups came on board, very colorful and gave you a taste of how deep their traditions are. Small gym- not a lot of time to use it but you can fit it in if you like. Spa has two ladies for facials & massages. My wife had 3 massages and I had one and they were excellent. Onboard experience- above a 5 if I could give it. The crew are your friends and gracious and always there for your every need. wifi service was good in some locations and in and out in others. Might be a few hours without but not too long as I managed ok. Public Rooms- Lounge outside and bar area both on upper deck providing views of the Ganges left and right, just don't know which way to keep looking! Shore excursions- you will get use to the sight of Water buffalo on the streets along with cows and pigs. The people and colors and smiles will stick with you! Value for Money- ABSOLUTELY, this is a great way to see a little part of India. This is a luxury cruise and you get totally immersed into it all on the Ganges. There were so many highlights on this trip, but here are some extras I wanted to add. I mentioned this one above- All the Oberoi hotels, Ghandi's last place residence, Taj Mahal, Rickshaw ride in Kalna, Craftsman in Matiari village, having a try at Cricket in Murshidabad with the crew. Read Less
4 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
3 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just got back from a fabulous trip to India's Golden Triangle and the Ganges River by Uniworld. On land went to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, staying at the incredible Oberoi hotels. The hotel service, food, ambiance was the best ever. The ... Read More
Just got back from a fabulous trip to India's Golden Triangle and the Ganges River by Uniworld. On land went to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, staying at the incredible Oberoi hotels. The hotel service, food, ambiance was the best ever. The rooms spacious and elegant. In Agra from the room's veranda you can see the Taj Mahal Embarked smoothly from Kalkuta to the river cruise ship the Ganges Explorer !!, which looks like a New Orleans paddle wheeler. The Cabins were gorgeous and huge, food very good. As someone who hates Indian food I was hesitant about taking this trip, but was able to get Thai (which I love) Chinese and Continental food both in hotels and aboard ship. The soups on the ship were especially good. In our group of 28 only 2 people got sick...they ate street food ! The only secret to staying well is drink and use for teeth brushing only bottled water! The ports all had interesting temples, towns and sights along the way. Found the Indian people to be very friendly and kind. Service at hotels and aboard ship to be wonderful. Staff was dedicated to seeing you have the best trip of your life! Hemesh, our trip leader did everything humanly possible to see that everything ran smoothly. When my husband developed an awful cold and cough an Indian doctor was called by Hemesh and the manager of the cruise who came to attend him. They took care of everything and did not bill us for the visit or medicine. Uniworld did a wonderful job with this fantastic trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night ... Read More
My husband and I were passengers on the Basel to Amsterdam "Castles Along the Rhine" October 14-22, 2018 river cruise with Uniworld on board the SS Antoinette. On the second night( the first night of this "7 night voyage" was the overnight cruise to Breisach from Basel), we were informed that there was a possibility that the cruise might be cut short because of low river levels. Sure enough, at the 3rd evening update we were told that we would not be traveling any further on the boat. We were offered a four day, 3 night bus trip from Strasbourg to Amsterdam to complete our cruise. This would involve 3 overnight stops at hotels selected by Uniworld and we would receive vouchers for meals at each of the stops.Uniworld also offered $1000 per person off of a future cruise in 2019. Our group of 6 felt that since we had signed up for a cruise, we did not want to experience the Rhine by bus, nor did we want to pack and unpack our bags each night or have to search out restaurants for dinner at every stop, so we proposed to the cruise director that we would stay on the boat and return to Basel with the passengers that were being transferred from a southbound boat onto the SS Antoinette to complete their cruise. Late in the day on the 4th night we were told that our request had been accepted. This necessitated purchasing airline tickets from Basel to Amsterdam at a cost of $250per person since our return flights to the US were out of Amsterdam. At the 3rd night update, when the cruise cancellation was announced , the captain stated that they had hoped that a weather system moving over the south of France would move further north and provide enough rainfall to fill the river so passage would be possible. The system never moved north. This indicated to us that Uniworld knew in advance of our departure that the river level was too low, since we had already been told within 24 hours of departure that cancellation was a possibility. We felt deceived and taken advantage of. Therefore on our return to the US we requested a full refund of our cruise faire. We were offered 20% refund and a $1000 credit for a cruise in 2019. I have also included pictures of the "upgraded" suite we were offered for the return to Basel. Uniworld promotes their cruises as an upscale, luxury experience. Somehow tattered throw pillows, a worn out lounge chair, stained bedcover and ripped curtain are their idea of luxury. The meals onboard were also a huge disappointment. While the volume of food was more than adequate, the quality and preparation were sorely lacking.( ie.french onion soup consisted of 3 pieces of onion floating in weak beef broth with a cheese crouton on the side. This was served on two nights.) Having only traveled as far as Strasbourg, we did not see any castles. I gave this cruise 2 stars only because the staff was exceptional and the optional cooking class out of Strasbourg was amazing. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion ... Read More
My wife and I are repeat customers on Uniworld River Cruises and were on the ill-fated above eight-day river cruise that in effect lasted 2-3 days. We departed Basel on October 14, 2018. At that time the crew had to know that completion of the scheduled eight-day river cruise was extremely unlikely, given conditions on the Rhine at that time. The Captain later indicated to us that at the time we had left Basel, he was aware of the low levels, but was hoping for an immediate rainstorm to boost the river. Within two days -- when we arrived at our second port of Strasbourg – we were told that because of water levels, the river cruise was essentially over and that the remainder of the cruise would be an impromptu attempt to duplicate what we had paid for. We were never given any choice as to how we wished to proceed at that point. As a result, a day later our crowded bus sped past the fabled Rhine castles in the fading twilight. We never saw the port of Mannheim (Speyer) or Koblenz, despite brochure promises we would dock there. We took long and tedious rides on buses (5 hours in the case of the excursion to Marksburg Castle), instead of the short excursions that had been scheduled. I had signed up for your bicycling excursion, but that was cancelled as well. Instead of our cabin, we were placed in two different hotels. Instead of eight days of fine dining experiences with wine and spirits, we given a token amount of per diem money, to buy food wherever we could find it. I understand that there are weather risks, and that their contract allows them to make accommodations in the event of circumstances such as this. But what I am saying is that their attempt to remedy the situation completely failed to substantially comply with the experiences that they had promised. The company’s offer of $1000 per passenger on a future cruise in 2019 is totally inadequate and of no use to us: our 2019 travel plans were long ago finalized. I will never again risk my money again with Uniworld. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
While water levels on the Danube and Rhine were beyond Uniworlds control the way they handled things was very unprofessional. They knew of the river conditions several weeks prior to departure but deliberately kept this information from ... Read More
While water levels on the Danube and Rhine were beyond Uniworlds control the way they handled things was very unprofessional. They knew of the river conditions several weeks prior to departure but deliberately kept this information from participants Having purchased trip insurance from Uniworld had they been up front about the conditions I would have gladly cancelled and rescheduled at at later time when conditions had improved. The bottom line was Uniworld delivered an inferior product at every operating level..We changed ships twice winding up docked in Frankfurt for 2 nights before finishing the last half of the trip via bus.. Service on both ships was average at best and food was a 3 Star product as opposed to the 5 Star quality Uniworld promotes. The bus segment of the trip was a chaotic disaster. Having spent over 25 years in the travel industry I feel qualified to critique a product and in my opinion Uniworld delivered an inferior product. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We started at Roomers hotel in Munich. We did not think much of this hotel. It is chic and stylish, but not for us. Everything was black and the room was not laid out for good use of space. We loved the SS Maria Theresa. The ship was ... Read More
We started at Roomers hotel in Munich. We did not think much of this hotel. It is chic and stylish, but not for us. Everything was black and the room was not laid out for good use of space. We loved the SS Maria Theresa. The ship was exquisite. We were very comfortable in our room and loved the french balcony - it was the first time we had ever had a full wall window that would fully open. Service on the ship was outstanding, we can't say enough good things about all the staff. Especially the two Alex's at the bar, but also the desk, the dining room, Marko our room steward. Tours were enjoyable, we had fun on every one, and there were tours tailored to all paces - slow or fast. Food average. Corinthia hotel after disembark in Budapest was 5 star. This was our first river cruise, will sail Uniworld again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third Uniworld Cruise and we can’t imagine using another river cruise line. The ship is beautiful and modern. Our suite even had tvs in the mirrors in the bedroom and bathroom. Our suite was 300 square feet of luxury with ... Read More
This was our third Uniworld Cruise and we can’t imagine using another river cruise line. The ship is beautiful and modern. Our suite even had tvs in the mirrors in the bedroom and bathroom. Our suite was 300 square feet of luxury with fabric covered walls and drapes. There was lots of closet space and the king bed faced the river, unlike many other ships. We had an open bar in crystal decanters as well as a fully stocked fridge with juices, water and mixers all replenished daily. Our butler, Tibor greeted us in our room and took care of every request, right down to the brands of alcohol we requested. He anticipated many before we ever even asked. Our room attendant, Peter was always prompt attentive and pleasant. The food on board was wonderful with so many selections it was hard to choose. Our main waiter, Miguel was a dream...friendly, attentive, funny and fluent in English, as was the entire crew. At dinner, if you can’t choose between two entrees, Miguel would just bring both, no problem. The menu also had selections for those with dietary requirements. Nothing was ever a problem. The somolier, Laura was knowledgeable and attentive and had recommendations for us every evening. The bar was open and bright and Frederico and Fredrica were ever present, quickly learning our preferences and bringing them almostvas soon as we sat down. Want a particular brand?? No problem, just ask. There were so many wonderful staffers..Nedko, Sandu, Richard, and too may others to name, but everyone working onboard always had a smile and a desire to please. From the chef to the spa attendant, these people were on a quest to make us happy. I don’t want to knock other cruiselines, but for river cruises, we’ll never look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third river cruise on Uniworld. The service was impeccable, the food out of this world. This particular cruise was so enjoyable. We did the all the optional masterpiece excursions, which was well worth the money. The staff ... Read More
This was our third river cruise on Uniworld. The service was impeccable, the food out of this world. This particular cruise was so enjoyable. We did the all the optional masterpiece excursions, which was well worth the money. The staff aboard was so attentive and friendly. I would like to name those responsible for our wonderful trip. First, our butler, Tibor. I was sick one day and he brought hot tea and a water bottle to me! Over and above! Our room keeper, Peter, met every need we had.The chef, Florian... outstanding cuisine and even better personality. Our servers Frederico, Federica, Jonaz, Sandu. Again, over and above spectacular service. Our waiter and sommelier, Miguel and Laura.. led our culinary journey every evening. The excursions were wonderful. We went to an olive farm, 2 chateaus, and a culinary school in Lyon, the culinary capital of the world! Absolutely wonderful experience. What a great way to see the Rhone valley! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
It has taken me more than 12 months to compose this review, mainly due to my bitter disappointment with Uniworld.My husband and I  did the Grand France river cruise and before that had been big fans of Uniworld. We had previously done the ... Read More
It has taken me more than 12 months to compose this review, mainly due to my bitter disappointment with Uniworld.My husband and I  did the Grand France river cruise and before that had been big fans of Uniworld. We had previously done the Christmas markets from Vienna to Nuremberg on the SS Maria Theresa, but after our Grand France tour would not recommend Uniworld and we are planning an Amsterdam to Budapest with another cruise line.Admittedly the Maria Theresa is a hard act to follow, but the first half of the Grand France cruise from Avignon to Lyon on the SS Catherine was wonderful and all that we expected. Service was great,food was delicious and staff were attentive and responsive.However that all changed when we boarded the SS Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy.I will deal with the boat first and how the layout and omissions have affected the quality of the experience.. We had a French Balcony cabin on the Balzac deck. No complaints with that,the usual high quality linens and cabin we had come to expect from Uniworld. The bathroom layout was a little cramped and not as comfortable as the Catherine and Maria Theresa but I acknowledge that is trivial and hardly worth mentioning! Uniworld promotes this boat as a luxury ship and that description beggars belief! Uniworld have tinkered with the design of the ships in an effort to squeeze more dollars from cruisers and that was quite obvious on the ship.On both the SS Maria Theresa and the SS Catherine the Bar du Leopard was located at the rear of the ship with a 24 horu tea and coffee station and swimming pool. For the Joie de Vivre Uniworld has dumped the Bar du Leopard and instead has Club L'Esprit and Claude's and a swimming pool instead,as well as an ambitiously named 24 hour coffee station (cupboard would have been a more accurate description) The layout suffered from an alternate drinking and lounging place like the Bar du Leopard. Both the Maria Theresa and Catherine and a coffee "shop" or room where one could partake of a hot drink and cookie. This was absent in the layout of the Joie de Vivre where the La Cave des Vins replaced the coffee shop. The cover charge for eating in that venue was 90 Euros and a cynical interpretion is that Uniworld were hoping to gouge an extra fee from their cruisers.I will deal with the tea and coffee stations.The deck plans of the Joie de Vivre show a 24 hour tea and coffee station on the Victor Hugo deck in Salon Toulouse (the main salon). I could not find the 24 hour tea and coffee station. In the rare event that a waiter did serve us when we sat in the salon we  were brought a coffee or tea with a tiny cookie resting on the saucer.Otherwise we would approach the bar and ask for tea and coffee only to be told that the waiter would serve us,so we scurried back to our seats for the waiter to appear. Our other alternative was to hit the self serve tea and coffee station/cupboard at the rear of the ship next to Club L'Esprit. A complaint I have is that there were no cookies at the self serve cupboard. There were  cookies on both the Maria Theresa and Catherine tea and coffee "shops." This sounds trivial but when  you awaken at five am and want a coffee and one plain cookie  it would be nice to have access to them, and quite frankly for the  money uniworld charges passengers it is not too much to askfor a cookie to be provided. I completed the mid cruise review and suggested cookies could be placed in the 24 tea and coffee station and the crew responded by placing a  jar of homemade cookies in our cabin. I know this will come across as fussy  but the response missed the point. I wanted everyone to have access to the cookies (delicious by the way) by having them available at the 24 hour tea and coffee station. Cheap penny pinching by Uniworld. I will deal with Le Bistrot. We were looking forward to eating at Le Bistrot as it is promoted by Uniworld as an alternate eating venue and we had read a rather complimentary review in our city's newspaper of Le Bistrot. Also we had met some cruisers who raved about Le Bistrot and told us they had eaten in there almost every night. Sadly Le Bistrot was closed for the Paris- Normandy cruise and only opened on one night for a special dining night. When I tried to register for this I was told my name would be placed on the waiting list...so I asked if there were  many people on the waiting list could they not open Le Bistrot for a second night. This was not possible. I can only assume it was cost cutting on Uniworld's part that led to the closure of Le Bistrot for the entire journey. Service The service in the main dining room Le Pigalle was appalling and not up to the standard I expected from Uniworld. It was a struggle to get the waiters' attention, much less a tea or coffee at breakfast and forget about the a la carte menu at that meal.At lunch and dinner, my water glass was not refilled and I had to leave the table to approach waiters to ask for this to be done( which I don't mind) only to have the request forgotten. I am not a big drinker but would drink more than one wine with dinner and it was a struggle to have my wineglass refilled. I don't think that was pennypinching but merely staff who did not act as team or care about serving people.Penny pinching  One incident that highlights the lack of staff and thus cost cutting was one afternoon my husband and I were seated in salon Toulouse optimistically hoping for a coffee. A fellow passenger approached the bar and asked the attendant if she could have five champagne flutes and a bottle of champagne as she and her friends were seated at Club L'Esprit and would like some champagne and there was no one serving at ClubL'Esprit. A not unreasonable request at 4.40 pm and furthermore, one that was delivered with courtesy and charm. The bar attendant apologised and told her she could not give her the bottle and glasses (okay there are rules and we all abide by them) and asked if the woman could wait until 5 pm as the Bar attendant would be at Club L'Esprit then. My beef is not the rules but that there was not another person on duty. I cannot exaggerate how disappointing the lack of wait staff and how poor the customer service was on the Joie de Vivre. Overall I was bitterly disappointed with this ship. We had had a wonderful experience on both the Maria Theresa and Catherine and had been loyal to Uniworld in our discussions with family and friends.In discussions with fellow Aussies on the cruise it became apparent they felt the same.  Before you dismiss me as a petulant diva, remember that Uniworld markets itself as five star and the cruise cost  us approximately $700 Australian dollars per person per night. I expected more for that amount of money and truly believe that Uniworld's penny pinching and cost cutting impacted on our experience. For Aussies, a good friend travelled on APT Amsterdam- Budapest and that is what we will try. In the time since we have cruised on the Joie de Vivre I have read reviews on this forum and have been incredulous and envious of other people's experience with this cruise ship. My complaints may seem trivial but did impact on our enjoyment of the cruise.On a side note I have seen Scenic's Avignon to Lyon cruise that features a dinner in the papal palace in Avignon. I would love to have done that but Uniworld did not offer that option.My recommendation is avoid Uniworld. I certainly will. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in ... Read More
Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in the swells provided by other traffic so the boat rocked around a lot which is not what happens on actual river cruises. Some of the shore trips were OK but most were not. They started early and there was no plan B for the extreme heat or if it rained. Two of the shore trips were on buses for at hour to hour and a half and we were shown a market and a church and then given "free time" for between 1.5 to 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and no help in finding shelter. On one occasion people were told if it was too hot to walk the 20 minutes back to the bus they would get them a taxi which would cost them. It is quite usual for these cruises to have bus trips but our experience has been that the guides stay with the group unless people choose to "do their own thing" and that lunch has in the past been included. In this case it was "come back to this point after lunch" with no idea where was a good place to eat and if there were any air-conditioned cafes. I am sure some people want to shop all the time but most of us did not so the long free time was annoying. In the advertising nobody tell you that you will have to get off the boat twice while they move the boat. This occurs when the boat moves from the Venice Lagoon to the Po River and you then rejoin the boat at an isolated dock and proceed up the river for a couple of hours and dock at another isolated dock in an area full of mosquitos. The area you cruise is basically swamp with nothing much to see but river is apparently navigable for 100 miles up to a town called Polesella. It could have been that the river was too low for us to go too far but nothing was said at the time. I believe we only went to the end of the Po so they could call it a river cruise. The rest of the time the cruise involved moving from one wharf to another which took half an hour, sitting at the dock, a nice cruise up the lagoon for a couple of hours and then back to the wharf and then the short cruise up the Po. The rest of the time the ship did not move and we were transported by water taxis and a hired launch. Three of the tours were worthwhile. The two trips to St Marco, particularly the evening tour of the basilica and the optional tour of the Galleria and the launch trip to the island of Burano although the latter involved 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and find your own lunch and no instructions of which cafes were good. We would definitely not go again and would advise people that if they wanted to see Venice they would be better off taking a tour which was based at a hotel and taking water taxis and the like to get around the lagoon. Give the mosquito infested Po a miss. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of American Express platinum travel services and reviews. Prior to leaving we had reservations as we had read some not so great reviews on the ship and service .We contacted our Agent as well as Uniworld and were assured that all our concerns had been addressed and that Uniworld had trained the Portuguese crew and that it was not their ship but leased it out Let’s start by being positive,the Portuguese staff were great and all spoke English and went out of their way to please you ,unfortunately as I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years doesn’t matter how great you are if there are not enough of you it’s impossible to give the level of service demanded on what is meant to be a 5 star crise The actual boat ,the cabins and itinerary were also very good but because ships are not allowed to travel at night it’s a lot of wasted time Now for the bad ,Uniworld staff on board pretended to be sympathetic to all your needs but always came back to you with the same line our head office says we can’t give you what was promised but will accommodate you to the best we can ie as our flight was outside there time allotment they would order us a taxi of which we would have to pay Secondly our power in our room blew up my wife’s hairdryer and my shaver blew We used the same transformer in Lisbon and it worked great ,was told it was our issue and said I could buy some stuff in the shop ,no way after making a stink they brought me some disposable razors and some shaving cream Next our neighbors cabin was leaking dark brown sewage out of her toilet which we could smell The food at best was average we were told we would be getting fresh local foods especially fish , haha we had fish 2 times and once it was about 1by 2 and we did get sardines at our last lunch Breakfast and lunch were good but dinners were to many courses (my opinion less choices and more quality ) would be best served .once again staff tried everything to accommodate us by making special treats to try and compensate We also go sick after the second day both vomiting and diarrhea and learn that many other passengers suffered same fate Lastly some of the excursions we had especially the last dinner outing to a winery was just terrible,the food inedible We met many other guests on board who had been other Uniworld crises from Amsterdam and other ports that were fantastic,I guess this one is there biggest money maker but if the want my business back they will need to really make me an offer I could not refuse Planing a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and heard similar issues as they don’t own boat or have control of staff Might have to look into other lines Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated Read Less
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