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The A Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
4 reviews
1 Award

Danube Flow: Beautiful ship, interesting stops, okay food, very uneven service

Review for The A to Europe River
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~Brandy~
6-10 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Cabin
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Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2019
Cabin: Standard Stateroom with French Balcony
Breakfast, always a buffet, always the same, but fresh.
The U Lounge, the one lounge open during our cruise. The rooftop Ice Bar wa
The view from our tiny French balcony.
The ship had a fun, trendy design with some interesting art.

For our first river cruise, we select U by Uniworld (now U River Cruises) specifically to cruise with a younger demographic, as we are in our late 30's and enjoy a fun atmosphere. I was a little concerned about the very little I could find online about the newish offshoot of regular Uniworld, but we figured we would give it a try. It was a little cheaper than Viking for a week on the Danube.

First, we had an unexpected delay when a ship ran aground (not ours, but ahead on the Danube) on the morning of the second day, when we had only been sailing a few hours. We had left Regensburg and not yet arrived in Linz when we docked unexpectedly in Deggendorf as we were not allowed to continue on the river. Although this was my first river cruise, I understood going in that the rivers are unpredictable and our itinerary might change. The weird thing was the complete lack of communication during this time. We had a WhatsApp group that would send notifications of schedules, events, etc and nobody from the staff ever said anything about what had happened. They seemed scared to death to admit anything had gone "wrong" and were very defensive. We only learned what had happened from people docked on a neighboring Viking ship. During this time, the passengers became increasingly irate, threatening to leave, worried that we would spend the week docked in Deggendorf. After two days, we were cleared to leave again and continued on, missing only one port (although we had to be bussed to some because of the schedule change).

This weird, defensive service was sort of the theme of the week. We joked that their customer service philosophy was to start every conversation by telling the guest that they shouldn't be mad. I can only assume that they have had a lot of angry people in the past with the various challenges of the river, and the Danube being impassable was certainly out of their control (many other river cruise ships were with us at Deggendorf) but an apology for the inconvenience and some small offering would have been nice. I think a single free drink might have mollified me at that point.

Cabin Review

Standard Stateroom with French Balcony

Cabin 1

The room was small, but had everything we needed. The bed was comfortable. The balcony was a waste as we spent almost all waking hours sandwiched between other ships. We were almost at the very end of the hallway, but the ship was so small it hardly mattered. I thought the second floor was the best place to be, for proximity to all other spaces.

Port Reviews

Regensburg

Regensburg was very cute and easily walkable from where the ship docked. We ate at the famous sausage restaurant there (expensive, but good) then took a nighttime walk to a nearby Oktoberfest-like celebration.

Vienna

What a beautiful town with so many great sights! The train system was easy to navigate and we saw so much in a day. I would go back to just Vienna.

Bratislava

We had only a few hours in Bratislava and didn't make it much past the area right near where we docked, which was mostly souvenir junk shops and restaurants. It was just okay. It did not have the personality of our other port stops.

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