My husband and I recently returned from a Holiday Markets Cruise on board Uniworld’s River Beatrice. Uniworld operates 17 ships, carrying an average of 130 guests. Uniworld visits 20 countries throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, sailing 13 of the world’s most breathtaking rivers. Uniworld is an award winning river cruise line with impeccable service and world class dining.
We sailed the Danube, starting in Budapest, Hungary and ending in Passau, Germany. Along the way we visited Slovakia; Linz, Austria; Vienna, Austria and Salzburg, Austria. This was my first River Cruise, and after sailing many ocean cruises I was not certain that I would enjoy it. I knew I would love the itinerary, but was unsure about a small river ship. So, a bit about the River Beatrice. It has three passenger decks and a top deck. We were in a Category 1 stateroom with a French balcony. The room was smaller than an ocean cruise stateroom, but it was just perfect. Beautifully decorated, like a boutique hotel. Amenities were outstanding and storage was sufficient. There was a Captain’s Lounge with a library, a dining room, and larger lounge and bar. The ship was decorated for the Christmas holiday as well. One of my concerns was that I would be bored since there was no Broadway style entertainment. I have to say I was pleasantly proven wrong! I enjoyed the local entertainment and sitting in the lounge conversing with other passengers. The itinerary is so busy that the quieter times are much appreciated and necessary. The ship was just perfect.
For the dining, the food was very good. For breakfast, there was a buffet with your standard items, eggs, omelet’s, waffles, bacon, sausage, fruits, cereals, etc. There would also be an option for Eggs Benedict or another specialty item daily. Lunch was also buffet style and offered some food that was local to our destination. Dinner was a sit down venue. The dinner choices are not as plentiful as an ocean cruise, and they are geared towards the destination that you are visiting. There were two nights of seven where I did not care for any of the main selections. The alternative choices each evening were chicken breast or a sirloin steak, so it was nice to have a “regular” choice. Beer, wine and soft drinks were complementary during lunch and dinner as well and the wines were local to our destination. On some evenings there was also a specialty dining venue in the Captain’s Lounge, which is complementary but you need to reserve your spot. We did eat here one evening, and were served Filet Mignon, which was wonderful.
One of my favorite things on board the ship was the coffee/espresso machines. There were two on board and I did visit them a couple of times a day! You could have regular coffee, cappuccino, espresso and hot chocolate. I know, that might be silly, but it was wonderful!
The itinerary was incredible. Cruising on the Danube, we were so close to our destinations. Each stop had an included shore excursion as well and the guides were local and very knowledgeable. I completely fell in love with Europe. Vienna, Austria had to be my favorite with Budapest, Hungary a close second. It is so incredibly beautiful, and to hear and see the history was so amazing.
If you have not considered river cruising, now is the time. I love ocean cruises, but I am not sure how I am going to feel on my next one after being on board Uniworld’s River Beatrice. I would recommend river cruising to just about anyone, no matter what age.
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