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Momma Rene

Uniworld First Cruise

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We recently did the NCL Haven and decided big ships are no longer for us.  I am looking at our first river cruise and like the all inclusive Uniworld.  Now to choose an itinerary.  We are liking the Rhine Amsterdam to Basel cruise.  The Antoinette is sailing that itinerary as well as other Uniworld ships.  Was going to book it, however, discovered it is very noisy in the dining room and the rooms are showing wear.  The pool's access is only thru a ladder, which may be an issue for two 70 something guests.  Any suggestions?  The price point seems good to us being at $11,000 (no air).  Looking at summer river cruising.

 

I was trying to also find out the best river ship that Uniworld may have, but I cannot seem to locate that info.

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The Rhine itinerary you're looking at was the first one we did with Uniworld. We've found that we prefer to travel in either the spring or the fall since it's less crowded and the temps are more comfortable for a lot of walking. We've only been on the Uniworld Super Ships and the Antoinette was in very good shape when we were on the boat, although that was a few years ago. We loved the pool area and are not understanding the comment about accessing it only via a ladder.

 

Uniworld has been renovating a number of their ships to Super Ships and also adding new boats to their fleets. We'll be on the S.S. São Gabriel, a new boat on the Douro, later this year. We've only been on the Antoinette and the Maria Theresa (twice) so far, and enjoyed both.

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Thanks for your reply!  When you say crowded, I am wondering how busy. I’ve done the mega ships in major ports and it has been shoulder to shoulder. 
 

on the pool, I saw one response that the pool was accessed by a ladder to get into the pool. 
 

there were comments about the dining room area being so loud that you cannot hear conversations. 
 

I’m trying to get accurate info as this will be our 50th Anniversary cruise. I’m so grateful for your response 

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17 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

I saw one response that the pool was accessed by a ladder to get into the pool. 

In nautical terminology “stairs” are referred to as “ladders”. The sun deck on river boats almost always does not have elevator access (a function of the need to clear low bridges) and must be reached by stairs (aka ladders). As a general rule the stairs to the sun deck are moderately steep but do have railings to hold onto, and may have a stair chair lift. 

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I understand now that you mean the ladder for entry to the pool itself. I have bad knees and really didn’t find it a problem. I’m attaching a pic of it. The week that we were on the ship we never saw anyone else at the pool. It was like our private area. Note that it is a swim spa so you could turn the jet on if you wanted to swim against the pressure.

 

We didn’t find the dining room excessively loud but I think that would depend on how many large groups you have traveling together. 
 

As far as the crowds, that comment was really more about Europe in general in the summertime. We generally go in May or September or later. 

881FF204-2DCF-4DE1-A646-A52D682C79F2.jpeg

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Momma Rene,

I have just come from booking our 10th Uniworld cruise . It will be on the final cruise of the River Queen before she goes into dry dock and her magical transformation into a SS at the end of 2020.

I have toured a few of the SS ships, but never travelled on one. Why?  Not sure, but maybe because we have always felt comfortable on the original fleet. Yes, some of the ship may show a bit of wear, but not where it counts,  imho.  The beds are wonderful and made up in whatever fashion you like...duvets, or American style with sheets and blankets. Your cabin will be immaculate. The crew / staff will do everything to make your trip something special.

Yes, the dining room may be a bit noisy but that is the nature of low ceilings and a space with a lot of people in it. It will be the same on any ship.

I agree, spring or fall are preferred because of the weather and the sites being somewhat less crowded.

Have fun deciding on the perfect itinerary, 

RB

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We have done four Uniworld cruises, on four different aged, and sized ships. The smallest, the Baroness, was also the oldest, and now sails as U by Uniworld's "B" ship. We also sailed the River Countess, currently sailing the Venetian Lagoon and Po River (maybe). That ship is undergoing renovation and being turned into a "super ship" this off-season. We sailed the Antoinette in 2017, going the opposite direction as you are planning. In 2018, we sailed The SS Joie de Vivre.

 

The JDV is the newest "new build" that Uniworld is sailing in Europe. Of the four ships we have sailed, it is our favorite. To dampen the dining room "noise" (which only bothered us on the River Countess, whose dining room was aft) the JDV had padded inserts in the ceiling.  The other dining rooms we found to have an "energetic" level of noise, but we never had problems talking to our table mates. We liked the public spaces on the JDV the best, and liked having an alternative dining venue. However, we did enjoy the second bar better on the Antoinette. On the JDV, this area was a bar by night, but pool by day.

 

Like bubbulz, we travel in the early spring, to avoid the crowds, and the heat.

 

All of the ships have been in good repair when we've been on them. No complaints there. 

 

If you haven't read the stickies at the top of the forum, they are very helpful. River cruising is a different animal from ocean cruising. While the ships and number of passengers is much smaller, there is a much more "communal" feel, and you get to know your fellow passengers quite well (for better or for worse!)

 

Robin

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13 hours ago, TravelerThom said:

In nautical terminology “stairs” are referred to as “ladders”. The sun deck on river boats almost always does not have elevator access (a function of the need to clear low bridges) and must be reached by stairs (aka ladders). As a general rule the stairs to the sun deck are moderately steep but do have railings to hold onto, and may have a stair chair lift. 

Thanks so much!  We are booking the Antoinette. I believe our days of the mega cruise ship is over. 

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Momma Rene,

I am sure this is a good choice. As I have not sailed on the Antoinette I cannot comment on the experience but I have been up close to the ship from the outside. She looks elegant and the hallway with the chandelier looks so inviting in its opulence.

 

I also like the Basel to Amsterdam itinerary for the port stop in Boppard. It is rare among the ships serving the North-American market.

 

JpAlbny did a great blog on their journey a few years ago. Perhaps they will be around to read this and link to it.

 

Have a great time.

 

notamermaid

 

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Just one other note: On the Antoinnette the pool is actually on deck 4 along with the suites and other cabins and is at the rear end of that level near the spa. It is on the same level as the salon and the bar also.

A5B664B3-61D0-4863-A282-75EC03553A80.jpeg

Edited by bubbulz

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3 hours ago, bubbulz said:

Just one other note: On the Antoinnette the pool is actually on deck 4 along with the suites and other cabins and is at the rear end of that level near the spa. It is on the same level as the salon and the bar also.

A5B664B3-61D0-4863-A282-75EC03553A80.jpeg

Thanks so much!  I found the blog with a lot of photos.  It will be a dream come true!  Cannot wait to go.

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3 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

Thanks so much!  I found the blog with a lot of photos.  It will be a dream come true!  Cannot wait to go.

Enjoy! Wonderful way to celebrate a special anniversary!

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17 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

Thanks so much!  I found the blog with a lot of photos.  It will be a dream come true!  Cannot wait to go.

Congrats! The Antoinette is a beautiful ship. I have included a link to my trip report. We took a few different excursions than JP did, and I'm happy to answer any questions. Happy Anniversary as well. Make sure you let Uniworld know, so they can help you "celebrate" your milestone.

 

 

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3 hours ago, acwmom said:

Congrats! The Antoinette is a beautiful ship. I have included a link to my trip report. We took a few different excursions than JP did, and I'm happy to answer any questions. Happy Anniversary as well. Make sure you let Uniworld know, so they can help you "celebrate" your milestone.

 

Thanks so much for sending this on!  Amazing, beautiful!

 

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I wanted to thank everyone for their advice in selecting this cruise line and voyage.  Just curious about coffee in the morning.  After reading everyone's information, we opted for a French Balcony cabin.  However, I saw that it does not have a coffee machine or a mini bar included.  I love my morning coffee in my cabin.  What did everyone do in connection with coffee in the cabin in the morning or a quiet drink in the cabin?

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40 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

I wanted to thank everyone for their advice in selecting this cruise line and voyage.  Just curious about coffee in the morning.  After reading everyone's information, we opted for a French Balcony cabin.  However, I saw that it does not have a coffee machine or a mini bar included.  I love my morning coffee in my cabin.  What did everyone do in connection with coffee in the cabin in the morning or a quiet drink in the cabin?

I got up, threw on some clothes, and went to the coffee machine.  There will be croissants or pastries there too.

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2 hours ago, bubbulz said:

We usually ask for a wake up Knock at the door with a cup of coffee 

Love that!!!  Perfect!  

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16 hours ago, bubbulz said:

We usually ask for a wake up Knock at the door with a cup of coffee 

 

Did you have a butler?

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We loved the Antoinette too. I never noticed the noise in the dining room and it was a full ship. 
I also loved the pool. My husband and I were the only ones there the times we used the pool. So relaxing floating down the river while watching from the pool. 
we were celebrating a big anniversary so splurged on a butler cabin. So spoiled as he was so attentive. 
enjoy your anniversary and the beautiful Antoinette. 

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On 1/11/2020 at 12:13 PM, Roz said:

 

Did you have a butler?

Could have sworn I answered this but it doesn’t look like it got posted. We have had butlers on our later trips but did not on the Antoinette when we had a balcony stateroom. 

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1 hour ago, bubbulz said:

Could have sworn I answered this but it doesn’t look like it got posted. We have had butlers on our later trips but did not on the Antoinette when we had a balcony stateroom. 

Wow, that is wonderful!  I had read no room service. Hard for me to move without coffee

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On 1/10/2020 at 4:33 AM, notamermaid said:

JpAlbny did a great blog on their journey a few years ago. Perhaps they will be around to read this and link to it.

 

Thanks for remembering! We were in Antarctica and I was not spending much time on the River Cruising boards. Catching up now. 

 

On 1/10/2020 at 12:17 PM, Momma Rene said:

Thanks so much!  I found the blog with a lot of photos.  It will be a dream come true!  Cannot wait to go.

 

Glad you liked it. I hope you have a great cruise! If you have any questions I will answer - if I can remember - the cruise was almost 6 years ago. Time flies.

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