Uniworld could have helped us!

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 01:45 AM.
#1
535 Posts
Joined May 2005
We just returned from Uniworld's SS Antoinette fabulous trip and I will answer questions and also post a review when I recover from the long return flight .

We booked the post cruise ext. with Uniworld in Lucerne. Very expensive but we wanted no hassle and also we didn't want to have to worry about transfers . We were informed at the Hotel that we had no transfer to Zurich airport. Evidently after many emails to Uniworld and my travel agent there would be no transfer we were on our own. The travel agent sent me a copy of their email which I never received that stated we needed to give them info on our airline departure schedule. On our documents from Uniworld it said transfers and I assumed that when we arrived in Lucerne that the info would be at our Hotel. It was a huge distraction on our trip waiting to hear from Uniworld to try and resolve this issue. From Lucerne Uniworld only makes airport transfers to Basel. We had no knowledge of this! We paid $2000 for two days which was to include our transfer. We had to pay $235 francs for a car to Zurich airport. Needless to say we were upset ..
#2
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Wow, this should have been such an easy fix. Very disappointing that Uniworld did not take the high road and provide the service you paid for!

Concerning that a company like Uniworld thinks leaving a guest stranded is ok???

amd1234 I would have been really upset also.... Terrible way to end a great trip and does leave a rather sour taste in your mouth.

Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#3
USA
1,401 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
You need a new TA. Your TA should have had all this worked out and understood by all parties, long before you got on the first plane. It's what they get paid to do.
#4
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by pinotlover
You need a new TA. Your TA should have had all this worked out and understood by all parties, long before you got on the first plane. It's what they get paid to do.

I do have to agree with this.... Your TA is who the buck stops with and should have paid attn to e-mails and details from Uniworld. Just concerning that Uniworld could not have stepped in and saved a guest the "bad taste" of a vacation ending so poorly.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#5
Australia
1,174 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Definitely you need a new TA. If Uniworld needed info about your flights your TA should have provided it. Not your problem.

Our TA arranges all our transfers without us even asking. She knows what I want and just does it.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Strath


HAL Ms Zuiderdam Alaska 05/25/2013
Scenic Jade - Jewels of Europe 09/17/2014
Scenic Gem - Gems of the Seine 10/06/2014
Scenic Emerald - South of France 10/19/2014
HAL Ms Zuiderdam Mediterranean 04/14/2015
HAL Ms Noordam Aust/NZ 03/25/2016
#6
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I'm also on the "get a new TA" bandwagon. I'm pretty sure that Uniworld would have asked your TA about your transfer details about three weeks before you went on your trip. We booked our upcoming Tauck holiday direct with them this time (their Australian agent are charlatans) and they just confirmed by email our transfer arrangements at the start and completion of our holiday which starts on our arrival on 9th August. Your TA has let you down badly.

I should also add, although it's not relevant to the OP's question, that I recently saw a very well made amateur video of the SS Antoinette and she looks a fine boat to travel on.
#7
416 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by amd1234
We just returned from Uniworld's SS Antoinette fabulous trip and I will answer questions and also post a review when I recover from the long return flight .

We booked the post cruise ext. with Uniworld in Lucerne. Very expensive but we wanted no hassle and also we didn't want to have to worry about transfers . We were informed at the Hotel that we had no transfer to Zurich airport. Evidently after many emails to Uniworld and my travel agent there would be no transfer we were on our own. The travel agent sent me a copy of their email which I never received that stated we needed to give them info on our airline departure schedule. On our documents from Uniworld it said transfers and I assumed that when we arrived in Lucerne that the info would be at our Hotel. It was a huge distraction on our trip waiting to hear from Uniworld to try and resolve this issue. From Lucerne Uniworld only makes airport transfers to Basel. We had no knowledge of this! We paid $2000 for two days which was to include our transfer. We had to pay $235 francs for a car to Zurich airport. Needless to say we were upset ..
You could have taken the Swiss Rail direct to Zurich Flughafen from Lucerne for 14 francs each. We were in Switzerland about one month ago, and were very impressed by the rail system.
#8
Madison, WI
453 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I worked with an online TA to book my Uniworld trip (September 2014), and the booking confirmations she forwarded me last year clearly said that transfers were included for flights I bought on my own IF I arrived/departed within a certain time frame and IF our travel details were communicated to Uniworld at least 45 days before departure. It's in the standard confirmation language.

I hate to say it, but you should have read the entire confirmation. Especially if you booked with a discount/online TA like I did, it seems like you only get service when you ask for it. My TA is very responsive, just not very proactive.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming:
7/1/17 - Sensations of Southern France (Emerald Liberté)
11/17/18 - Splendors of Egypt & The Nile

Sailed:
12/20/15 - River Orchid & Vietnam/Cambodia land tour (blog)
09/07/14 - River Ambassador (review & blog)

Check out my travel blog: http://www.grosstravelchronicles.blogspot.com
#9
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
It's very possible that due to the OP booking thru a TA he never got the Uniworld confirmations but only the confirm issued by the TA. I always ask for the cruise line confirmation in addition to the one sent by my TA.




Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#10
Wake Forest, NC
1,022 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I totally agree that you have a TA problem. I have booked your same cruise for next May. I considered doing the Lucerne extension at one point but my TA told me the transfer was only to Basel, and I was not sure I wanted to fly out of that airport. Consequently, I am not using Uniworld's post cruise expensive extension. I think you should contact your TA and ask them to contact Uniworld. You paid for something you did not get. They should go to bat for you and try to get the cost of the transfer refunded for you. Your TA has a lot more influence than you do.
#11
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Frankly the TA should pay for the transfer the OP ended up taking! Aa the TA should have provided Uniworld with the info needed.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#12
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by nana541
Frankly the TA should pay for the transfer the OP ended up taking! Aa the TA should have provided Uniworld with the info needed.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Exactly! Just keep in mind: an average TA's commission (does not matter online TA or not) from a river cruise is about $700 - $1300...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
AT SEA: 16 cruises
RIVER:
2011 -- Viking Sun 'Rhine Getaway'
2012 -- Viking Primadonna 'Passage to Eastern Europe'
2013 -- Viking Odin 'Tulips & Windmills'
2013 -- Viking Lomonosov 'Footsteps of the Cossacks'
2013 -- Viking Spirit 'Paris & the Heart of Normandy'
2014 -- Viking Schumann 'Elegant Elbe'
2014 -- AMA Waterways 'Melodies of the Danube'
2014 -- Viking Hemming 'Portugal's River of Gold'
2015 -- American Eagle 'Lower Mississippi'
2016 -- Viking Forseti 'Chateaux, Rivers & Wine'
2016 -- Mekong Navigator 'Mekong River Cruise with Saigon & Siem Reap'
------- Next Up -----

------- Email me here: [email protected]
#13
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by id est
Exactly! Just keep in mind: an average TA's commission (does not matter online TA or not) from a river cruise is about $700 - $1300...

Depending on the fare but the benefits provided by my TA exceeded your figures so that is not necessarily the case.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#14
USA
1,401 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Bottom Line. Fire the TA! They are the ones that did you end with gross arrogance. I won't even waste time trying to get money back from the TA, in that I wouldn't want to have another conversation with them, ever. You did also take an extremely expensive alternate, with the private car, when the train is easy and comfortable.
#15
535 Posts
Joined May 2005
The Uniworld rep at our Hotel gave us the alternate choice of the train and it was also expensive. This required taken a cab to train carrying the luggage and the reason for our ext was not to do this. My husband is 73 and had knee surgery two months ago. We had no choice. Also Post script Zurich airport was just horrible no sense of order no signs for directions and a ton of walking. After all the walking we had to board a bus to get our plane. Would never choose this airport again!
#16
982 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by pinotlover
Bottom Line. Fire the TA! They are the ones that did you end with gross arrogance. I won't even waste time trying to get money back from the TA, in that I wouldn't want to have another conversation with them, ever. You did also take an extremely expensive alternate, with the private car, when the train is easy and comfortable.
The OP should at least let the TA know what happened and that it could have been avoided had the TA been more diligent. I do agree that Uniworld could have been more helpful in locating suitable transfers. As for the OP choosing a private car, under the circumstances, she may not have had the opportunity to research options. Not every traveler is comfortable using mass transit in another country where language is a problem.

This situation just reminds all of us how important it is to follow up on all our travel details making sure we know just what is included and how it will work out. We should be able to rely on our TA but in many cases that just isn't the case....unfortunately. I have had more than one incident where I have "caught" mistakes or oversights made by our various TAs. Actually, I have yet to find one that is really good...still looking!
#17
New York
7,791 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by amd1234
The Uniworld rep at our Hotel gave us the alternate choice of the train and it was also expensive. This required taken a cab to train carrying the luggage and the reason for our ext was not to do this. My husband is 73 and had knee surgery two months ago. We had no choice. Also Post script Zurich airport was just horrible no sense of order no signs for directions and a ton of walking. After all the walking we had to board a bus to get our plane. Would never choose this airport again!
We did the post-extension on AMA which ended in Zurich. They brought us to the airport and had several AMA reps guiding us through the "maze" to the right lines. I know we paid a premium for the extension vs DIY, but things like that made it worth every penny.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean B2B 1-2019

Completed:
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016; Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016; Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016; AmaDagio Provence 9-2015; Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015; Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015; Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014; Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014; Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014; AmaCello Rhine 8-2013; Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013; Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012; Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#19
1,158 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by amd1234
The Uniworld rep at our Hotel gave us the alternate choice of the train and it was also expensive. This required taken a cab to train carrying the luggage and the reason for our ext was not to do this. My husband is 73 and had knee surgery two months ago. We had no choice. Also Post script Zurich airport was just horrible no sense of order no signs for directions and a ton of walking. After all the walking we had to board a bus to get our plane. Would never choose this airport again!
With regard to Zurich Airport the train station is directly under the Main Terminal.
I have never had a problem locating the relevant Airline's Check In desks.

When arriving by car/taxi, it is usually the case at Airports that a group of Airlines have a dedicated Terminal entrance specifically to minimise excessive walking to check in.
#20
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by English Voyager
With regard to Zurich Airport the train station is directly under the Main Terminal.
I have never had a problem locating the relevant Airline's Check In desks.

When arriving by car/taxi, it is usually the case at Airports that a group of Airlines have a dedicated Terminal entrance specifically to minimise excessive walking to check in.
Agree. Zurich airport is one of the easiest in navigation. Back in April we had no problem in finding a flight and the hotel shuttle.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
AT SEA: 16 cruises
RIVER:
2011 -- Viking Sun 'Rhine Getaway'
2012 -- Viking Primadonna 'Passage to Eastern Europe'
2013 -- Viking Odin 'Tulips & Windmills'
2013 -- Viking Lomonosov 'Footsteps of the Cossacks'
2013 -- Viking Spirit 'Paris & the Heart of Normandy'
2014 -- Viking Schumann 'Elegant Elbe'
2014 -- AMA Waterways 'Melodies of the Danube'
2014 -- Viking Hemming 'Portugal's River of Gold'
2015 -- American Eagle 'Lower Mississippi'
2016 -- Viking Forseti 'Chateaux, Rivers & Wine'
2016 -- Mekong Navigator 'Mekong River Cruise with Saigon & Siem Reap'
------- Next Up -----

------- Email me here: [email protected]