History has always been a favorite subject of mine. Having lived off the Gulf of Mexico for the better part of my life I decided to combine two passions: history and traveling. I’ve been on a few river cruises throughout the world and I must say, I’ve never understood all the hype about ocean cruising. Ocean cruises are very limited to their ports of stops and typically carry 3000 + people. With that many people disembarking the crowded ports, and then being informed that the actual cities are hours drive from the port, you then think the “short” visit isn’t worth the hassle.
Ocean cruises certainly have their appeal. But I just don’t have the burning desire to see the world along with 3,000 of my fellow passengers from the vantage point of a behemoth ship. However, after my cruise with Uniword, my point of view changed.
The minute I embarked on the deck of the Uniworld, S.S. Antoinette for my Castles on the Rhine river cruise, I felt like I had stepped back in time….. just by a few years. When I looked up, I fell in love all over again. Hanging in the main lobby were the same ocean blue chandeliers that had once hung in the original Traven on the Green in New York.
One of my favorite parts of this river cruise is that the ship only has 74 cabins. That means there are only 159 totally pampered guests. I felt at home right away with such Regal décor, mosaic-tile and marble floors. Everything was majestically themed throughout the whole ship. This all was done keeping with the center piece of the ship.
It wasn’t until I got to my stateroom that I realized that I hadn’t seen my luggage since I arrived at the airport. No need to worry though, Uniworld takes care of your luggage handling and everything had arrived safely intact.
My stateroom was spotless, of course keeping with aambiance of the ship the wall paintings were beautifully chosen. Sheets were clean, crisp and inviting.
Fewer guests means shorter lines. And the on-board director/historians really put the travelers in touch with the surroundings and daily itinerary with shore excursions that are included.
Another great advantage of being on a smaller ship is that we could reach so many smaller ports and cities at each location. It was so refreshing to not only see the country side up close and personal, but to remember the history and the fact that many of these classic cities were born because of their proximity to its rivers. The original trade routes offer unique destinations which gave me the chance to have my own authentic village experience.
Uniworld made this experience so easy and relaxing for me. I felt like I was on a luxurious floating hotel. I never felt rushed at any destination.
The staff at Uniworld go above and beyond when it comes to pampering the guests. All meals, soft drinks, coffee, tea and wine are included. There is also a full bar open at all times and coctail parties. The cruise director, Sylvia, was very hands-on with every angle of the running to the ship. The chef took every care with every plate that came out of the kitchen. Taste and presentation were all given with great pride and care.
I always thought that river cruising was for retired travelers, but I saw so many people of all ages enjoying themselves, that it’s obvious the word has gotten out. “River cruising is one of the best ways to see Europe up-close and personal.” Stopping at unique cities and villages that have little contact with the rest of the world is my new “inside passage”.
Castles along the Rhine with Uniworld River Cruises
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