This was our second UniWorld cruise, and my third river cruise. UniWorld by far exceeds other river cruise experiences that I or any of my friends have enjoyed. While most of the European river cruise companies follow similar itineraries, the total cost and experience vary from one line to another. On this ship, Captain Heinrich mingled with passengers and greeted us as we returned from excursions. The crew were attentive, friendly, and accommodating--to a person.
Food was excellent--in fact we returned to the ship for meals at times when we were on shore nearby and had excellent dining opportunities. Dinners were outstanding and it was always fun to find out what the Chef would prepare for us next. The menu offered wide varieties, local flavor, consistently delicious and served by the most outstanding staff. The staterooms are very comfortable, quiet, with the feel of a nice hotel. The bed was very comfortable.
Excursions were just the right length, led by very good guides, and we often felt sympathy for other (non UniWorld) passengers whose excursions had them walking lengthy uphill climbs or altered itinerary due to rain. When about 6 river ships had a high water delay (at a loch) the UniWorld Cruise Manager and Captain absolutely worked miracles to arrange excursions of excellence. The excursions we were able to select, while the ship was waiting for the loch to open, were some of the best. On a holiday Sunday and Monday, coach, drivers and guides were arranged. It was (to the passengers) as if this were effortless. The transport and guides were known and vetted by UW thus the quality of our excursions were excellent! (While some of the other ships had passengers onboard with no excursions). We had village, castle, vineyards, cathedrals, art and architecture with or without plenty of walking. There was time to see and experience most of the towns and villages on our own if we so desired. A guide in Trier, an archeologist, was amazing in his ability to make the town's Roman ruins and history come alive. We are already planning two more UW cruises. This is the best way to get to know where, in Europe, you would like to come back for vacation.
About cost. UW is all-inclusive. Tips, excursions, drinks (I never saw anyone intoxicated) special dining, everything.
Once booked there is nothing to worry about, they WILL take care of you. Right down to the flight we booked through UW, they made the experience truly carefree. Returning guests are given a discount.
Like a hotel. Comfortable bed, nice decor, large enough bathroom, marble floors, CLEAN throughout. L'occitane products, pillow menu, US and EU electrical outlets, hair dryer provided. My hair styling tool (flat iron) worked just fine, and this is a problem in some ships. They also have a guest laundry, which helps in packing light.
Amsterdam by Canal--a must! Although we had traveled by River Cruise the city viewed from canal was the perfect way to see the "inside" of Amsterdam. We booked this with UniWorld and their guide made the cruise excellent rather than very good. I'd done the same cruise several years ago with headphones and not a live guide. It's nice to be able to interact, ask a few questions, take notes of places to return and explore.View All 311 Canal Tour Reviews
Sales are the main objective. So if you are in the market this is a good stop.View All 17 Diamond Factory Reviews
Too much to see in half day! We focused on the Masters, and our UniWorld guide was one of the best museum guides I've ever had. Recommend more than 4 hours at this museum.View All 77 Rijksmuseum Reviews
Selection of art from the Hermitage, but after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh it was a bit of letdown. Part of the iAmsterdam Card it is definitely worth a visit.View All 9 The Hermitage Tour Reviews
Perfect half day museum experience for those who love the art of Van Gogh.View All 65 Van Gogh Museum Reviews