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Lois R

UNIWORLD....GETS A BIG THUMBS UP FROM ME!

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Hello River cruisers,

 

Just back last night from my first UNIWORLD cruise and I had an AWESOME TIME!

This was not even your "normal river cruise" because Venice is an Island and so the stops

are within the area of Venice.  It is called "Gems Of Northern Italy" on The River Countess.

 

We had 112 guests and I found the food, service, staff, crew, etc...etc... all SUPERB!

 

Damiano was the Cruise Manager and he gets a BIG KUDOS from me. Bright, engaging,

knowledgeable and you can tell, he loves his gig. (and not bad on the eyes either LOL:classic_biggrin:)

 

I know I had read some reviews that were less than stellar but for me? This cruise

was outstanding and gets a BIG THUMBS UP from me!:classic_biggrin:

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Hello River cruisers,

 

Just back last night from my first UNIWORLD cruise and I had an AWESOME TIME!

This was not even your "normal river cruise" because Venice is an Island and so the stops

are within the area of Venice.  It is called "Gems Of Northern Italy" on The River Countess.

 

We had 112 guests and I found the food, service, staff, crew, etc...etc... all SUPERB!

 

Damiano was the Cruise Manager and he gets a BIG KUDOS from me. Bright, engaging,

knowledgeable and you can tell, he loves his gig. (and not bad on the eyes either LOL:classic_biggrin:)

 

I know I had read some reviews that were less than stellar but for me? This cruise

was outstanding and gets a BIG THUMBS UP from me!:classic_biggrin:

 

 

I was thinking about you yesterday, glad you enjoyed it! That was our first "river cruise" so will always be special. Uniworld's onboard experience has always been top-notch for us. (Right now, it's the corporate shenanigans we aren't pleased with) The Venice itinerary is certainly unique, but the scenery can't be beat, especially with good weather. Where's your next one?

 

Robin

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Hi Robin, I really thought about you during this trip:classic_smile:.  Everything was so well done and of course you never know

how other guests will be but overall, most everyone was friendly and courteous and prompt!

 

We had the most awesome private tour of St Mark's Cathedral in the evening.  Nobody else was

inside except our tour guide and us!

 

As for the next one, I really want to see Paris and go on the Seine:classic_biggrin:

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Welcome home Lois! Glad you enjoyed it as much as you'd hoped. The Seine is beautiful - at least from what we've seen of it. We sailed from Rouen to Honfleur on Silversea last year and we left Rouen in the early morning. The river scenery was just gorgeous all the way out to Honfleur.

 

Some day we will have to try the Venice itinerary. It's been a few years since our last Uniworld - might be time to change that, I guess.

Edited by jpalbny

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Hi JP:classic_biggrin: I am off today...….doing laundry....:classic_wacko:

 

Yes, I was very impressed with the entire thing......We went to some small islands around Venice...Burano, Torcello….Chiagga

And on the last day we went to the Murano glass factory. Pretty amazing stuff! We were given a glass blowing show.

 

I got some clarity (more so) and it is time for me to retire so I can see some of the world and have my own timing!!!

 

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Hi Robin, I really thought about you during this trip:classic_smile:.  Everything was so well done and of course you never know

how other guests will be but overall, most everyone was friendly and courteous and prompt!

 

We had the most awesome private tour of St Mark's Cathedral in the evening.  Nobody else was

inside except our tour guide and us!

 

St. Mark's private night tour was definitely a highlight for us as well. Sitting in the dark, and the lights coming on, one by one......

 

1 hour ago, Lois R said:

 

As for the next one, I really want to see Paris and go on the Seine:classic_biggrin:

 

Another favorite itinerary of ours!!

 

Robin

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Lois, you're back already???  Seems like it was just yesterday that you left.  Glad your first experience with Uniworld was stellar.  They are a top notch company.  Right now I'm with Acwmom.  I would sail Uniworld again, but due to their pricing structure, am looking at other lines.  

Edited by Roz

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Hi Lois, it sounds like you had an amazing time and found Uniworld to be all you had hoped for. I know you were also very happy with your AMA cruise. Can you share your thoughts on differences between the two lines and if you felt one stood out over the other? We have sailed with AMA and loved it. So just wonder if we should consider Uniworld.

 

i am not up on Uniworld’s pricing policies and would also like yo hear others’ opinions about that.

Sharon

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2 minutes ago, purduemom1 said:

Hi Lois, it sounds like you had an amazing time and found Uniworld to be all you had hoped for. I know you were also very happy with your AMA cruise. Can you share your thoughts on differences between the two lines and if you felt one stood out over the other? We have sailed with AMA and loved it. So just wonder if we should consider Uniworld.

 

i am not up on Uniworld’s pricing policies and would also like yo hear others’ opinions about that.

Sharon

 

I would also be interested in a comparison of the 2 lines.

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Hi Lois, glad that you had a wonderful time on your trip! Uniworld's Gems of Northern Italy continues to be one of our favorite cruises (so much so that we took it twice)! We really enjoyed exploring the Venice lagoon in depth, and the visits to the various islands. We've booked Uniworld's Grand France for late March/early April which combines their Paris and Normandy trip with their Burgundy and Provence trip.  Our first river cruise was on the Seine with Uniworld, and although the river will be a repeat, many of the excursions offered are different from that first trip.  We're especially looking forward to the trip to Mont St. Michel! 

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Glad to hear your trip was all you hoped for and more.  Looking forward to you getting time to do another detailed review like the last one you did...it's nice to sail on other's journeys!

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1 hour ago, Babcia7 said:

Hi Lois, glad that you had a wonderful time on your trip! Uniworld's Gems of Northern Italy continues to be one of our favorite cruises (so much so that we took it twice)! We really enjoyed exploring the Venice lagoon in depth, and the visits to the various islands. We've booked Uniworld's Grand France for late March/early April which combines their Paris and Normandy trip with their Burgundy and Provence trip.  Our first river cruise was on the Seine with Uniworld, and although the river will be a repeat, many of the excursions offered are different from that first trip.  We're especially looking forward to the trip to Mont St. Michel! 

 

Hi,:classic_smile: do you remember if Damiano  was your Cruise Manager? He is Swiss/Italian and has been doing this Venice itinerary for 6 or 7 years.  He is a big asset to the company.

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2 hours ago, purduemom1 said:

Hi Lois, it sounds like you had an amazing time and found Uniworld to be all you had hoped for. I know you were also very happy with your AMA cruise. Can you share your thoughts on differences between the two lines and if you felt one stood out over the other? We have sailed with AMA and loved it. So just wonder if we should consider Uniworld.

 

i am not up on Uniworld’s pricing policies and would also like yo hear others’ opinions about that.

Sharon

Hi Sharon, that first river cruise was over 3 years ago.....April 2016.  I can try to recall some of it but after this much time?

LOL...….I can say the ships are totally different...The AMA ship is more toned down (décor). I don't remember all the colors but I think it was simpler.

 

  The River Countess has lots of pretty blues/whites/creams......but...BUT.....she is going

into drydock next month and is being re-done for next year....not sure what the decor will be but I do know she is being overhauled and is being given a new name too.

 

I do remember the food being excellent on AMA and it was excellent on Uniworld.  Service was great on both lines.

Uniworld is All Inclusive....AMA had wine and beer included in your meals...any other drinks were extra.

Uniworld ALL drinks included.

 

This particular cruise was not what most people consider a "TRUE" river cruise.  We sailed all around the lagoon in Venice but not get to go on the River Po due to water issues.

  We went to some small islands and it was all VERY interesting.

We did have to take a bus a couple of times but nobody seemed to complain...…...at least that I could tell.

 

The tour guides are TOP NOTCH...…..enjoyed it ALOT...…...from my memory, the guides on AMA were good too.

Big difference about the cruises were ----  my AMA cruise was "regular" in the sense of docking and walking right off the ship into town/tour.    This cruise in Venice----as I mentioned, the boat could only dock in certain areas.

 

But again, I LOVE Venice....I love Italy so it was really all good:classic_biggrin:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daisi said:

Glad to hear your trip was all you hoped for and more.  Looking forward to you getting time to do another detailed review like the last one you did...it's nice to sail on other's journeys!

 

Hi Daisi, I am not doing a "full review" but if you have questions I will be happy to try and answer them.

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Thanks, Lois for the comparison. It sounds to me that both lines are good choices. I guess it would come down to itinerary and price and one should consider their preference for such things as decor or extra cost of alcohol. It seems that at one time all tips, even for the local guides were included on Uniworld. I don’t know if this is still the case or if AMA now also now includes these. They did not when we sailed with them. 

 

Good to know that both lines offer a great product.

 

As for a cruise on the Seine, there is a review of this cruise on Uniworld by Boblerm. You may have already seen it-it was a few months back. Great review with good info. 

Sharon

 

 

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Hi Sharon,:classic_smile: I have been catching up today....but for the last little while have been looking at River Cruises...….

Seems I am finding a couple of items on AMA that are MUCH less than Uniworld……...

 

My cruise I just went on? I was quite happy with the price I paid....but, not sure how I missed it---the cruise on the Seine?

OMG.....3 x the price for April:classic_wacko:.....that is ALOT of MONEY!!!!

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

 

My cruise I just went on? I was quite happy with the price I paid....but, not sure how I missed it---the cruise on the Seine?

OMG.....3 x the price for April:classic_wacko:.....that is ALOT of MONEY!!!!

 

And this is what Roz and I have concerns about, I think. When we booked our 2018 cruise in the fall of 2017, our TA was able to get us a "Labor Day" special, with an extra % off, plus the River Heritage Discount, plus the !0% off if we paid in full (this has always been an offering with Uniworld)  Plus, as RHC members, we were entitled to a one class upgrade, based on availability. We booked aquarium class, and the total for 2 of us was $4100.

 

Now, only some sailings have a small RHC discount, they advertise the "10% if paid in full" as some special offering, and our TA can no longer discount, but can give us a gift card once we sail. For the 2020 sailing, the price is $3179/person plus port fees (they are offering "free air" but I"d rather use miles. I'm not sure if they would discount for not using this, my guess is "not" given their current way of doing business.) On their Rhone cruises, "free air" looks to be about a $700 value, as the free air cruises are priced  $700 more than the cruises without free air.

 

I guess some people are foolish enough to pay those prices, and fall for these marketing tactics. But, there are too many other choices out there. 

 

Robin

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9 minutes ago, acwmom said:

 

And this is what Roz and I have concerns about, I think. When we booked our 2018 cruise in the fall of 2017, our TA was able to get us a "Labor Day" special, with an extra % off, plus the River Heritage Discount, plus the !0% off if we paid in full (this has always been an offering with Uniworld)  Plus, as RHC members, we were entitled to a one class upgrade, based on availability. We booked aquarium class, and the total for 2 of us was $4100.

 

Now, only some sailings have a small RHC discount, they advertise the "10% if paid in full" as some special offering, and our TA can no longer discount, but can give us a gift card once we sail. For the 2020 sailing, the price is $3179/person plus port fees (they are offering "free air" but I"d rather use miles. I'm not sure if they would discount for not using this, my guess is "not" given their current way of doing business.) On their Rhone cruises, "free air" looks to be about a $700 value, as the free air cruises are priced  $700 more than the cruises without free air.

 

I guess some people are foolish enough to pay those prices, and fall for these marketing tactics. But, there are too many other choices out there. 

 

Robin

Hi Robin…...since you mentioned pricing and amounts......no harm in me doing it too...….I paid about 3800.00...and I am ok with that honestly.  But the Seine for 2020...pricing is over 9000.00:classic_wacko:

I can find one for way less than that......solo. As much as I loved this cruise, I don't want to pay

over 5 grand more for 7 nights!

 

And I found a 16 night crossing with Silversea for quite a bit less than that!....that is in April.:classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Hi Robin…...since you mentioned pricing and amounts......no harm in me doing it too...….I paid about 3800.00 for my

cruise......and I was honestly ok with that......but the Seine is over 9 grand:classic_blink:....

I've never looked at solo pricing. It appears to be about double? (We had friends who had looked at an early November departure on the Venice cruise, and it seemed like it was ~$1800/person for them). 

I think the bottom-line, moral of the story is, their prices have really gone up.......And, in doing dummy bookings, these cruises aren't booking quickly, so it isn't a supply and demand issue. The onboard service and product are outstanding, but not THAT outstanding:-)

Robin

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Hi, they had run specials with low or no supplements......just depends on the sailing.  I had a small one because I

wanted a cabin on deck 2.  But that price was ok with me.  (not something I was unhappy with). But 9 grand

for a week? When this one was less than 4? WEIRD! AND HIGH!

 

 

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Robin summed up my concerns exactly.  The fares have gone WAY up,  making it even more expensive to sail solo,  and the price breaks on the single supplement are on fewer sailings and for less money.  

 

I'm holding off on booking anything for 2020 to see if better incentives are offered and/or fares are reduced.  In the meantime I'm looking at other lines. 

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3 hours ago, purduemom1 said:

Thanks, Lois for the comparison. It sounds to me that both lines are good choices. I guess it would come down to itinerary and price and one should consider their preference for such things as decor or extra cost of alcohol. It seems that at one time all tips, even for the local guides were included on Uniworld. I don’t know if this is still the case or if AMA now also now includes these. They did not when we sailed with them. 

 

Good to know that both lines offer a great product.

 

As for a cruise on the Seine, there is a review of this cruise on Uniworld by Boblerm. You may have already seen it-it was a few months back. Great review with good info. 

Sharon

 

 

Sharon, all tips were included on all 3 of my uniworld cruises.  Last one was fall of 2018.

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Thanks, Roz. Looks like it takes a lot of shopping and careful comparison to find the best option. Sounds like that is what Lois is doing today and finding some surprising prices but some good options also. 

Sharon

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Hi Sharon, oh...tips were included on my cruise too.  We had such good tour guides though, I gave them something extra.

 

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I agree that you should look at a few cruise lines, their itineraries, costs and what is included.  Uniworld, while by no means a bargain, seemed to be competitive on the Danube for the time period we were looking at using our pay in full discount of 10% and our River Heritage credit.  We were looking for above "aquarium level."  We only looked at Uniworld and Amawaterways.  Crystal was more expensive than both these lines but looked very nice. 

 

AMACerta - Danube Vilshofen to /Budapest

$5600 Room Class BB 210 sq ft per person with port charges (slightly bigger room)

Tips and drinks not included

 

AmaMagna -  unique boat

August 30 – September 6, 2020

AA   - 252 sq feet (noticeably bigger)    

$6,137 per person

Tips and drinks not included

 

Viking was about $4,700 without drinks (includes wine and beer at dinner) or tips and only one one excursion per port.

 

Uniworld SS Maria Theresa - 194 sq ft

Enchanting Danube August 30 -September 6, 2020

Deluxe Balcony 

$5,689

$200 -   River Heritage customers

$5,489 per person.

10% off you pay in full at the time of deposit, so the price is

 

 $4,959,10 per person - tips and drinks included

 

I don't think I broke any rules posting this info.  It's on their web sites.  I can see how a single supplement can get really pricey.

 

Our Seine Paris to Normandy cruise on Uniworld was more expensive, but it really was a great trip.

 

 

 

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