Arriving at the ship, AMG had a lovely canopy and were taking the cases of their passengers, we had no one, took our own case to a row of cases then embarked. A sad first impression for 6 star, especially when the competition is doing more for their guests.
Having seen the ship featured on a TV documentary we were excited to book and try our first river cruise, as seasoned ocean liner travellers at the top end, we could see this was our standard, and the price per night was actually more expensive than 6 star cruise ships so we feel we justifiably had high expectations.
The ship is beautifully finished and very impressive looking, very elegant, the cabins were fine, after all is it a river ship so smaller is reasonable, and the en suite shower room was the best I have ever seen on a ship. The beds were great and small touches like chocolates in a jar were great.
I hated the non provision of fresh cold water and no fridge, for 6 star I expect a cabin fridge and I am not interested in having to refill a tiny water bottle ever time I go out, then carry it around to bring back. I understand its about saving water and plastic, but this deep love for the environment was not extended to saving forests with loads of ridiculous letters, envelopes etc... being delivered daily. I don't mind the letters, but whilst I value the planet, on my holiday I would like some cold water provided on tours. Perhaps guests should be given a choice of refilling daily a small metal canister or having chilled bottled water for a tour.
On arrival there was some fruit in the room, this disappeared after 24 hours.
The cruise manager Kirsten was outstanding, and actually most of the staff were impressive, the reception desk staff were second to none, and bar staff brilliant also.
I thought the food was exceptionally disappointing as was the whole dinning room experience, on occasion I felt more like I was at camp than 6 star. Buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, with tepid food and moderate dishes. Shared tables and slow clearing of plates, and slow drink delivery - such that often the drink arrived at the end of the meal. The evening meal served at 7pm daily was of a very low standard, cheap ingredients, I was looking forward to Lobster, Dover Sole, Scallops etc.... think more a bit of trout, a falafel ball or a bit of salmon. Usually cold, and on occasion the wrong order. 3 desserts, usually one of which being fruit salad, one being an ice cream and the other the main item, but often a cake. Ridiculously although the menu has the 3 desserts on occasion you are given without choice a special 'treat' dessert even if you don't want it. This was the worst dining experience I have ever had on a ship and not worthy of the hefty uniworld price tag.
Heaven forbid you want to eat something outside of the very limited restaurant hours, the room service menu is dreadful and after 5pm even worse as it changes. The Viennese cafe, had a exceptionally limited range of offerings, but did usually have one nice, cake, come cheese and hot dogs.
The tours were excellent, and the concert evening in Vienna very special. Be warned this is an action holiday, tours leave 8-9 depending on the day and you need to be ready and fed before departure. Thats fair enough, its the river cruise formula, although on some occasions we did wonder why they started quite so early as it did not seem necessary.
On balance we did have a great holiday but we felt the price and six star offering were misleading, staff other than food staff were 6 star, the food was 3 star and value for money was very low.
We will probably river cruise again, and whilst I am happy to pay for luxury, I am not happy to pay for it and then not get it, so I shall look very hard at the price and offering of the competition next time round.
Uniworld, You need to up your game big time on the total experience the moment a guest enters the dininig room. It transforms 4-5 star to 2/3 star.