Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > River Cruising
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

River Cruising Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 05:10 PM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default Just Back - S.S. Antoinette

We had a wonderful time on Uniworld's S.S. Antoinette, doing the Castles on the Rhine itinerary from Basel to Amsterdam. The ship was new and sparkling, the food and atmosphere were excellent, our fellow passengers congenial, and the itinerary outstanding. It was our third trip with Uniworld and the best one yet.
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old April 25th, 2012, 09:16 PM
Buck1949's Avatar
Buck1949 Buck1949 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 1,011
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by genmasjoy View Post
We had a wonderful time on Uniworld's S.S. Antoinette, doing the Castles on the Rhine itinerary from Basel to Amsterdam. The ship was new and sparkling, the food and atmosphere were excellent, our fellow passengers congenial, and the itinerary outstanding. It was our third trip with Uniworld and the best one yet.
That is so good to hear. I am currently in the process of looking and (probably) booking for next September 2013 the Castles of the Rhine river cruise with this ship but doing the cruise starting in Amsterdam and ending in Basel.

I would love to hear more details of your trip. Was there a lot of walking, (as I have had both my knees replaced within the last couple of years)?? What would you recommend as to things to bring?

Just as a point of info...... our initial intent is to do the Amsterdam to Basel river cruise....then train it to Frankfurt where we will possbly take an 11 day bus/train combo tour to Colonge, Dussledorf, Berlin, Nuremburg, Munich, Black Forest, and back to Frankfurt. Then we are trying to go to Regensburg to visit with an old friend of ours for a few days. Haven't put all the pieces of this together yet...but this is a preliminary plan at this point.

So....anything you can share/provide would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
__________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click Here to Email Me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sailed:
  • Aug 1993 - Alaska Inside Passage - Star Princess
  • July 2009 - Baltics (Dover, England to St.Petersburg, Russia) NCL Jewel
  • July 15, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage - NCL Pearl
  • September 1st 2013 - Castles Along the Rhine - Uniworld's 'SS Antoinette'
  • June 4, 2014 - Rome - NCL Epic (roundtrip)
Booked:
  • June 21. 2015 - Paris/Normandy - Uniworld's 'River Baroness'

Our Bucket List:
  • Panama Canal - (in 2016)?
  • St. Petersburg to Moscow - 'when things settle down'
  • Prague & Budapest
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - East Coast
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old April 26th, 2012, 09:40 AM
Wendy The Wanderer's Avatar
Wendy The Wanderer Wendy The Wanderer is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley ON, and Dunedin FL
Posts: 12,144
Default

I'd love to hear more about this ship. What kind of cabin did you have, and how was it?
__________________
Paul Gauguin 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2014
Oceania Riviera, Nov. 2013
Seven Seas Navigator, Dec. 2006, Alaska May 2012
Radisson Diamond June, 2004
Regent Voyager, June '06, Dec. '07, Dec. '09, Dec. 2010
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:27 PM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default

Hi, I suggest that for packing you have layers. It was 40-50 degrees during our trip and most days I wore a sweater and a jacket, sometimes a hat and gloves as well. In the evenings on the ship, people tended to wear casual clothing but there was a gala welcome dinner and a gala farewell dinner which were more dress up - sport coats for men and a dressy top/black pants for women. There is a lot of walking involved over cobblestone streets and up and down stairs. It is a historic area. On Uniworld there was a group for "slow walkers" who had mobility issues. I noticed some passengers took taxis from the ship to a point of interest, example: the Cologne cathedral which was about a mile from the dock. We had a cabin on the lower level of the ship. It was the same size as the others, just a flight down and with smaller windows. It was fine and we were very comfortable. You never hear noise from other cabins and if you want a wider view of the river, it's just a flight upstairs. We usually get a balcony cabin on an ocean cruise but didn't think it would matter on the river boat since the weather was cold and we wouldn't really use it. The beds are high enough that suitcases fit under them, and there is adequate built in closet and drawer space. The bathroom is small but modern and the ship provides bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and a hair dryer.

Last edited by genmasjoy; April 27th, 2012 at 02:36 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old April 28th, 2012, 05:04 PM
blingbling's Avatar
blingbling blingbling is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 275
Default Your time in Basel

Any tips about Basel? Places to eat, or see prior to cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by genmasjoy View Post
Hi, I suggest that for packing you have layers. It was 40-50 degrees during our trip and most days I wore a sweater and a jacket, sometimes a hat and gloves as well. In the evenings on the ship, people tended to wear casual clothing but there was a gala welcome dinner and a gala farewell dinner which were more dress up - sport coats for men and a dressy top/black pants for women. There is a lot of walking involved over cobblestone streets and up and down stairs. It is a historic area. On Uniworld there was a group for "slow walkers" who had mobility issues. I noticed some passengers took taxis from the ship to a point of interest, example: the Cologne cathedral which was about a mile from the dock. We had a cabin on the lower level of the ship. It was the same size as the others, just a flight down and with smaller windows. It was fine and we were very comfortable. You never hear noise from other cabins and if you want a wider view of the river, it's just a flight upstairs. We usually get a balcony cabin on an ocean cruise but didn't think it would matter on the river boat since the weather was cold and we wouldn't really use it. The beds are high enough that suitcases fit under them, and there is adequate built in closet and drawer space. The bathroom is small but modern and the ship provides bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and a hair dryer.
__________________

Life's Too Short to be Dull





Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old April 28th, 2012, 10:21 PM
stanc3 stanc3 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Plymouth, MA
Posts: 67
Default

Basel is a great city, but very expensive. We ate at an outdoor cafe and it cost us $94 for a Mexican dinner. We ended up getting coffee at McDonalds. The trams are free to tourists and Basel is also a great walking city. We did a day trip to Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus which was amazing. We loved Basel especially walking around the river. We stayed at the Schweizerhof Hotel near the train station. The trams run directly in front of the hotel and we liked the staff, breakfast and room. It was an excellent place to stay before our cruise.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old April 29th, 2012, 12:29 AM
ltansil ltansil is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: germantown, tn. USA
Posts: 52
Default aprilnine

Do you know if you can take the free tram from the train station in Basel to the dock? Thank you for any help!
__________________
MemphisBunch
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old April 29th, 2012, 08:33 AM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default

We took the 2 day precruise offer from Uniworld and spent two nights in Lucerne. It was beautiful. The hotel, Wilden Mann, was in the historic area and everything was in walking distance. There was a local host, Mark, who met with us, gave us suggestions, and escorted us on a walking tour and boat ride on the lake. There were 22 people in the group. We didn't spend time in Basel because a bus picked us up the morning of the cruise and took us to the boat. As noted by another poster, Switzerland is expensive. It is not using the Euro, the currency is Swiss Francs. We had dinner the first night in a typical German restaurant - sausages, saukeraut - and it was $70 for two of us. The second night we had fish and chips in a British pub and it was $50. The precruise extension included the room, breakfast, the walking tour/boat ride, and transfers, so the two dinners were our only main out of pocket expenses. The breakfast buffet in the hotel was substantial so we just had a light - soup and salad - lunch.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old April 29th, 2012, 03:54 PM
RvrCrzr's Avatar
RvrCrzr RvrCrzr is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,032
Default

Antoinette was docked in Rudesheim near Scenic Crystal. I nearly boarded it to check it out but I didn't want to be late for the Crystal Christening Ceremony. If you are a travel agent, they will usually let you onboard to look around by showing your business card/ID.
__________________
Pete
River Cruise Guru




Next up: Emerald Waterways, Emerald Star on the Danube
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old April 29th, 2012, 08:26 PM
stanc3 stanc3 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Plymouth, MA
Posts: 67
Default

We took the tram #8 to the end of the line and walked 2 blocks through an industrial area of Basel to the boat. It was an easy walk and we were sure to check out where the boat docked before hand. Taxis are expensive and we were up for the adventure. We also took the free bus from the airport to the train station/hotel.
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old April 30th, 2012, 03:51 PM
Buck1949's Avatar
Buck1949 Buck1949 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 1,011
Default

OK....another question....not that it is a great big deal....but was curious if travelling from Amsterdam to Basel on the SS Antoinette does it really made any difference which side of the ship was best to see ports on arrival and to book a cabin? Are the port landings anymore prevalent on one side than the other.

I for one kind of like to watch the dock areas when in ports...but again..just a personal preference for me.

Thanks for any thoughts.
__________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click Here to Email Me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sailed:
  • Aug 1993 - Alaska Inside Passage - Star Princess
  • July 2009 - Baltics (Dover, England to St.Petersburg, Russia) NCL Jewel
  • July 15, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage - NCL Pearl
  • September 1st 2013 - Castles Along the Rhine - Uniworld's 'SS Antoinette'
  • June 4, 2014 - Rome - NCL Epic (roundtrip)
Booked:
  • June 21. 2015 - Paris/Normandy - Uniworld's 'River Baroness'

Our Bucket List:
  • Panama Canal - (in 2016)?
  • St. Petersburg to Moscow - 'when things settle down'
  • Prague & Budapest
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - East Coast

Last edited by Buck1949; April 30th, 2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: wording
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 30th, 2012, 09:37 PM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default

I don't think it makes much difference. At some of the ports we were tied to another river boat and had to walk through its lobby to the pier, and at others our window was flush against the seawall (canalwall?). The best scenery is while cruising, viewed from either the lounge windows or up on deck weather permitting.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old April 30th, 2012, 09:46 PM
Buck1949's Avatar
Buck1949 Buck1949 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 1,011
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by genmasjoy View Post
I don't think it makes much difference. At some of the ports we were tied to another river boat and had to walk through its lobby to the pier, and at others our window was flush against the seawall (canalwall?). The best scenery is while cruising, viewed from either the lounge windows or up on deck weather permitting.
Thank you.

Along with leaning toward this particular ship/cruise I am trying to figure all the possibilities. Next will be to figure what particular category/room - ship location my wife and I may want etc. especially with my 2 artificial knees to contend with.

Thanks once again for your insight.
__________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click Here to Email Me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sailed:
  • Aug 1993 - Alaska Inside Passage - Star Princess
  • July 2009 - Baltics (Dover, England to St.Petersburg, Russia) NCL Jewel
  • July 15, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage - NCL Pearl
  • September 1st 2013 - Castles Along the Rhine - Uniworld's 'SS Antoinette'
  • June 4, 2014 - Rome - NCL Epic (roundtrip)
Booked:
  • June 21. 2015 - Paris/Normandy - Uniworld's 'River Baroness'

Our Bucket List:
  • Panama Canal - (in 2016)?
  • St. Petersburg to Moscow - 'when things settle down'
  • Prague & Budapest
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - East Coast
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old May 1st, 2012, 07:49 AM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default

I noticed there is a small elevator on the Antoinette which connects the inside portions of the ship. To go up to the observation deck, the only way to get there is outside stairs. One of the outside stairwells has a motorized chairlift. Since the ship is fairly new, I think it was built to be more accessible than the older ones. You could join the "gentle walkers" group for shore tours.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:43 PM
SuiteTraveler SuiteTraveler is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,798
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by genmasjoy View Post
We had a wonderful time on Uniworld's S.S. Antoinette, doing the Castles on the Rhine itinerary from Basel to Amsterdam. The ship was new and sparkling, the food and atmosphere were excellent, our fellow passengers congenial, and the itinerary outstanding. It was our third trip with Uniworld and the best one yet.
I'm so excited to read this! We are going on the reverse trip (Amsterdam to Basel) next week! My question is on the regular walking tours do they make you walk really fast or is it more normal and relaxed? I like to take my time and if I see an interesting shop, run in for a minute or two. I will go in churches or museums from time to time, but my real interest is in the towns and trying local food/wine, etc.
__________________


Last edited by SuiteTraveler; May 2nd, 2012 at 11:50 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 09:29 AM
Riviera bound's Avatar
Riviera bound Riviera bound is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Posts: 318
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck1949 View Post
That is so good to hear. I am currently in the process of looking and (probably) booking for next September 2013 the Castles of the Rhine river cruise with this ship but doing the cruise starting in Amsterdam and ending in Basel.

I would love to hear more details of your trip. Was there a lot of walking, (as I have had both my knees replaced within the last couple of years)?? What would you recommend as to things to bring?

Just as a point of info...... our initial intent is to do the Amsterdam to Basel river cruise....then train it to Frankfurt where we will possbly take an 11 day bus/train combo tour to Colonge, Dussledorf, Berlin, Nuremburg, Munich, Black Forest, and back to Frankfurt. Then we are trying to go to Regensburg to visit with an old friend of ours for a few days. Haven't put all the pieces of this together yet...but this is a preliminary plan at this point.

So....anything you can share/provide would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
That trip plan sounds fantastic.The bus train combo trip after your river boat cruise sounds great. I hope you get it all worked out.The trains are a marvelous way to travel in Europe. We just got back from an Avalon Romantic Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. After our trip we spent 2 days in Amsterdam and then took the train to Frankfurt where we rented a car. We drove through the countryside to the smaller communities of Marburg and Fambach for 2 days where we traced our roots. It was marvelous. Then we spent two days in Nuremberg and 2 days in Munich. Before we boarded in Basel we spent 2 days touring Switzerland by car and train. We ate lunch at the foot of the Matterhorn. Great train ride there too.

To answer the walking question. Yes, we did a lot of walking but with new knees you will do fine. Take comfortable walking shoes and start walking everyday now as much as you can. You will build up your stamina and be fine.
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 09:38 AM
genmasjoy genmasjoy is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 552
Default

Suite Traveler, the walking tours are usually orientation type tours and then you are released for free time to wander on your own. They use a vox box, which is like a radio with an earphone so that you can hear your guide without having to stand right next to him or her, so if you get behind the group, it's easy to catch up.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 10:35 AM
sayaguru's Avatar
sayaguru sayaguru is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,012
Default

Hi, we are looking at doing this cruise next year in May. We did a Uniworld cruise last year and loved it.
However the travel agent said it's cheaper to do the Viking one which is the same time and places. She also mentioned the new long ships which look great.
Any opinions between the two? It's early days. Will the prices get cheaper later? Is it worth the price difference? About $800pp at the moment.
Can I ask how much your trip was? or anyone else? I know from my last trip the price ranges people paid were huge. I know it depends on timing etc.

I find the pricing very confusing.
__________________
NOTHING BOOKED. But looking.

2014- July. HAL Noordam- Adriatic
2014- June. Azamara Journey- Baltics
2014- April Diamond Princess- Japan/Taiwan
2013-Dec Sun Princess- Pacific Islands
2013-May MSC Magnifica (not impressed)
2013 April- Norwegian Jade- Holy Land
2011 April- Uniworld River Beatrice- Enchanting Danube.
2008 Dec/2009 Jan -Rhapsody of the Seas-New Zealand
2007- Oct -Pacific Sun-Vanuatu, Noumea
2007- July -Pacific Sun-Vanuatu, Isle of Pines
2007- May -Diamond Princess-Alaska
2003- April -Superstar Leo- Suva, Noumea
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:00 AM
Buck1949's Avatar
Buck1949 Buck1949 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 1,011
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riviera bound View Post
..... We just got back from an Avalon Romantic Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. After our trip we spent 2 days in Amsterdam and then took the train to Frankfurt where we rented a car. We drove through the countryside to the smaller communities of Marburg and Fambach for 2 days where we traced our roots. It was marvelous. Then we spent two days in Nuremberg and 2 days in Munich. Before we boarded in Basel we spent 2 days touring Switzerland by car and train. We ate lunch at the foot of the Matterhorn. Great train ride there too.
What an Awesome trip for you.......

We were also looking at the exact same river trip starting in Basel using Avalon. One thing that concerned us was - that we were told travelling on Avalon that the Black Forest was NOT part of the cruise excursion. Is it true that the Black Forest was left off with Avalon??

Since I last posted we have changed our 'train' of thought so to speak. We are now thinking of this type itinerary:

Fly into Berlin, and spend 3 days there (partial guided and partial on your own tours). Then a train ride to Munich, where again you have both guided and on your own tours. After Munich we intend to make our way up to Regensburg where I have an old friend we hope to spend some time with, then on to Nuremburg for 2 or 3 days. After Nuremburg, we are thinking of taking the train to Basel where we board the SS Antoinette.

We also are thinking of spending an extra day or two in Amsterdam before we fly back to Arizona. We sort of decided while the bus / train allowed us to see some other sites, we thought that 11 days on a bus AFTER the river cruise may be a bit more tiring than we wanted. And trying to make it to Regensburg for a few extra days was also important to us to do.

So anyway.... this is the new plan. Anyone else done anything like this?

Thanks once again for all the responses and insights. It is great seeing what others have done.
__________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click Here to Email Me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sailed:
  • Aug 1993 - Alaska Inside Passage - Star Princess
  • July 2009 - Baltics (Dover, England to St.Petersburg, Russia) NCL Jewel
  • July 15, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage - NCL Pearl
  • September 1st 2013 - Castles Along the Rhine - Uniworld's 'SS Antoinette'
  • June 4, 2014 - Rome - NCL Epic (roundtrip)
Booked:
  • June 21. 2015 - Paris/Normandy - Uniworld's 'River Baroness'

Our Bucket List:
  • Panama Canal - (in 2016)?
  • St. Petersburg to Moscow - 'when things settle down'
  • Prague & Budapest
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - East Coast

Last edited by Buck1949; May 3rd, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:16 AM
Buck1949's Avatar
Buck1949 Buck1949 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 1,011
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayaguru View Post
Hi, we are looking at doing this cruise next year in May. We did a Uniworld cruise last year and loved it.
However the travel agent said it's cheaper to do the Viking one which is the same time and places. She also mentioned the new long ships which look great.
Any opinions between the two? It's early days. Will the prices get cheaper later? Is it worth the price difference? About $800pp at the moment.
Can I ask how much your trip was? or anyone else? I know from my last trip the price ranges people paid were huge. I know it depends on timing etc.

I find the pricing very confusing.
While I have no first hand knowledge about actually booking with Uniworld or Viking, I was personally told from a travel agent that books bunches of these river cruises who has also travelled on both lines, that she prefers Uniworld... (even with the price differences) NOT MY OPINION... it was hers.

I have found that booking this summer (before June 30) for next year gives me an $800 discount if paid in full for the Uniworld cruise...and I think a $250 using Avalon also with a set final date to book. Im not sure of Viking's discounts. While I don't like giving anyone my money for over a year in advance (in my case) saving $800 is hard to beat. Also the particular travel company we are using is offering us another $600 + in discounts on the Uniworld cruise. (guess I am not allowed to say what travel company).

I'm sure others have actual experiences ... this is what I have learned so far.
__________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Click Here to Email Me
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Sailed:
  • Aug 1993 - Alaska Inside Passage - Star Princess
  • July 2009 - Baltics (Dover, England to St.Petersburg, Russia) NCL Jewel
  • July 15, 2012 - Alaska Inside Passage - NCL Pearl
  • September 1st 2013 - Castles Along the Rhine - Uniworld's 'SS Antoinette'
  • June 4, 2014 - Rome - NCL Epic (roundtrip)
Booked:
  • June 21. 2015 - Paris/Normandy - Uniworld's 'River Baroness'

Our Bucket List:
  • Panama Canal - (in 2016)?
  • St. Petersburg to Moscow - 'when things settle down'
  • Prague & Budapest
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - East Coast
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:45 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.