Have just returned from an excellent cruise aboard the River Princess, commencing in Amsterdam, moored just behind the Central Station, so very convenient; We travelled independently as we already live in Europe, so this review is just about the cruise itself. The boat was exactly as described on Uniworld's website, and the cabin, which was on the starboard side (highly desirable on rivers/canals rather than the port side preference of Cruise liners), enabled us to spread our possessions very comfortably, as there was loads of storage. The fittings and quality were of 4 star hotel quality, and the bathroom was a reasonable size and well laid out, again with loads of storage room. When we booked we were aware that the boat could not be boarded until 2 hours before sailing, but as we had had to check out of our hotel by 11 a.m. I telephoned the boat reception and was informed that we were welcome immediately, could put our bags in Reception, and could have a complimentary lunch onboard, although the cabins were not going to be available until the stated onboard time. We therefore taxied to the boat, our bags were immediately picked up by the cheerful and welcoming crew, and the Hotel Manager (In charge of the ship's facilities) welcomed us aboard with great courtesy. The lunch was set out buffet style in the main lounge area and was fresh, plentiful and served with cold or hot drinks. We also could use the restrooms and the top sundeck for the remainder of the afternoon.
The whole boat was immaculate, no hidden scruffy corners, everything well looked after. The service throughout was excellent and all the staff and crew were amiable and readily available. We did feel that the tone for the whole voyage was set by the Captain, Antony van den Boom, who was always smiling, very efficient and ready to lend a hand to any of his crew whenever needed, so a very happy ship.
The food was of a very good standard, and well presented. We did find that there was sometimes a lack of choice, in that due to the restrictions of the kitchen size on such a comparatively small vessel only one meat, one fish and one vegetarian choice for main course was offered each day, though the quality was excellent, just a bit experimental with ingredients sometimes, although there was always a fallback choice of steak and fries or chicken fillets and fries. The menus comprised a starter dish of some innovation, excellent and very unusual on occasion soups, a fish course, the main course, and exquisite desserts or well-selected cheeses and biscuits. Coffee in all its forms, plus tea always available throughout. The wine list (and indeed the drinks in the Cocktail Lounge) were very reasonably priced indeed, compared with on land prices in Europe generally, and certainly with our home prices, and there was no hidden service charge applied. As an alternative to a choice from the extensive wine list, the chef offered suggested wines each day at very competitive prices for example €16 - €21, and an unfinished bottle could be cabin-marked and brought to the table next day if wished. On the liquor line there was a special promotion each afternoon of a particular Cocktail at a reduced cost. I did notice that there was no pressure to buy drinks unlike the constant harassment on the seagoing cruises, and in fact very little drinks appear to have been ordered during the evening entertainment time in the lounge.