This was our first river cruise. We took the Tulip and Windmill cruise from Amsterdam to Belgium. The contrast with the ocean cruises we have taken shows up most in the area of service but also in dining. Service on the ocean cruises we have gone on has been very good but Uniworld service is absolutely exceptional. The staff goes out of their way to give excellent service. They are very personable and sincere in seeing that you are pleased. If it is possible for them to do they will. Food is also exceptional, the quality of what is served and preparation stand out as well as the variety of dining opportunities each day. Unlike big ships river cruise ships do not have multiple restaurants and dining areas but I was amazed at the dining variety offered for less that 100 passengers.
All areas of the cruise were well done, the excursions were great with excellent guides, the cabins were comfortable, comparable in size to regular cabins to ocean cruises but well laid out. We noticed that all levels of staff did not hesitate to pitch in. The Captain even helped with luggage and checking people out when they left the ship. Our Cruise Director Bart was the energizer bunny and constantly entertaining
Uniworld provides a truly all inclusive experience, there are no extra charges for anything except for a few optional excursions which normally take place at the same time as included excursions. The charges for those are very reasonable but you have a very full excursion itinerary without them.
We traveled right after the Brussels airport bombing noticed that they took good care of both the people who booked their flights through them and those who did not. We did not but they still provided transfers to and from the airport and when they rerouted departing flights from Brussels to Amsterdam they included us on the transfer to the Amsterdam airport.
In summary we thoroughly enjoyed our Tulips and Windmill cruise, thought it was exceptional while at the same time providing a great value. They seem to take good care of their staff.