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jpalbny

Uniworld, SS Antoinette – Basel to Amsterdam 3/30/14 on Tape Delay

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Another thank you from a future traveler on the same route. I almost feel as if I've already taken the trip. Great photos and commentary.

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Another thank you from a future traveler on the same route. I almost feel as if I've already taken the trip. Great photos and commentary.

 

Thanks! Hope we didn't spoil it for you. It really was a great time.

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We're quite excited now, as we embark tomorrow morning in Amsterdam. This will be our second Uniworld river cruise and we found "The Jewels of the Nile" to be a very satisfying experience.

 

We've just had 6 full days in Amsterdam, very enjoyable. The Van Gogh and Reijkmuseums full of treasures, and the street life very entertaining, to say the least!

 

For our last evening here, we're going to do a Canal boat tour after dusk, and find a restaurant with some sort of exotic cuisine.

 

JP & Chris: thanks so much for the great write-up--really should be a sticky!

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Your photos and remarks are so impressive!! Cant wait to take the Basel to Amsterdam down the Rhine Uniworld river cruise this summer. Love the photos!!!

A few quick questions..there seems to be some choices on excursions...without fanfare which would you prefer?

thanks

 

Breisach...wine villages vs colmar city tour

Strasbourgh...by canal vs. walking tour

Speyer....walking tour vs vinegar tasting...

Also there are three optional excursions...any thoughts..?

thanks

Rick

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Breisach...wine villages vs colmar city tour

Strasbourgh...by canal vs. walking tour

Speyer....walking tour vs vinegar tasting...

Also there are three optional excursions...any thoughts..?

thanks

Rick

 

Hi Rick, thanks for your comments.

 

In Breisach - tough choice! People spoke highly of Collmar. We found the small wine villages to be charming as well. Doubt you'd go wrong with either.

 

Strasbourgh - probably depends on how much walking you'd like to do. For us the most picturesque views were the buildings reflected in the water. The canal boats didn't look terribly exciting though and I think you're behind windows, rather than looking through an open window. So maybe the views wouldn't be as good from the boats.

 

Speyer - we did the walking tour and weren't terribly excited by it. The vinegar tasting sounded unique. Maybe we should have taken that... Or, just go to Speyer and wander on your own. You won't really miss much skipping the walking tour.

 

Optionals:

 

We did Heidelberg and really liked it. Worth it, IMO.

 

Marksburg is OK. Would have liked more time in the castle.

 

Didn't do the Black Forest tour. Those who did liked it, but it's a lot of bus riding. If you want to buy a cuckoo clock, this is your chance!

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thanks...for the first time going with Uniworld on the pre-cruise program..going to Lucerne. Have heard anything on that part of the trip? Went with them for the travel arrangements as well as the hotels, which tend to be both pricey and difficult to get at that time of the summer....Still no bargain through Uniworld but at least it is taken care of....;)

Rick

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thanks...for the first time going with Uniworld on the pre-cruise program..going to Lucerne. Have heard anything on that part of the trip? Went with them for the travel arrangements as well as the hotels, which tend to be both pricey and difficult to get at that time of the summer....Still no bargain through Uniworld but at least it is taken care of....;)

Rick

 

Rick, if your going right away, please let us know how Uniworld does on Pre-cruise hotels and city tours? Also post-cruise at Amsterdam if your doing it? We will be flying in on the pre-cruise to Lucerne on June the 5th.

 

JP, thanks for the shore excursions break-downs. We will be adding that Black Forest one to our optional trips...

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Unfortunately, our pre cruise in like August 14th in Lucerne. So you will be able to let me know how it was with Uniworld!! Last summer we did Aix-in-Provence on our own before the Provence-Burgundy trip on our own. Though they originally told us they would not provide transportation from with Aix or Marseille airport, we did get a ride to the ship from the airport with the group in Marseilles.

And they were very pleasant about it when we presented ourselves! Really.

This time going across Switzerland thought it would be just easier to go with Uniworld from the start.

I have heard the castles during that 30 miles stretch of the Rhine really fly by!

Very excited. Keep the info coming!!!

Rick

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thanks...for the first time going with Uniworld on the pre-cruise program..going to Lucerne. Have heard anything on that part of the trip? Went with them for the travel arrangements as well as the hotels, which tend to be both pricey and difficult to get at that time of the summer....Still no bargain through Uniworld but at least it is taken care of....;)

Rick

 

Yes, there are pros and cons of doing it yourself... We have spent weeks researching our upcoming trip to Germany and the Alps, where we're driving on our own for a week. It's a ton of work! There are advantages to letting Uniworld take care of everything. There is almost too much material on the Internet these days, and the number of choices is almost paralyzing.

 

We will be in Lucerne for a day later this month, so we're looking forward to seeing this area. I don't remember talking to anyone on our cruise who did this pre-cruise program, though. So I can't give you more specific information about that.

 

...

 

It is funny how they handle the transfers (in reference to your other post). We almost had the same issue with them this past cruise. We arrived independently in Zurich pre-cruise, and we had a rental car which we were returning to the Basel airport. Yet they said they couldn't give us a transfer unless we were flying in. All worked out in the end, though, and as was your experience, the airport rep was happy to see us.

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Unfortunately, our pre cruise in like August 14th in Lucerne. So you will be able to let me know how it was with Uniworld!! Last summer we did Aix-in-Provence on our own before the Provence-Burgundy trip on our own. Though they originally told us they would not provide transportation from with Aix or Marseille airport, we did get a ride to the ship from the airport with the group in Marseilles.

And they were very pleasant about it when we presented ourselves! Really.

This time going across Switzerland thought it would be just easier to go with Uniworld from the start.

I have heard the castles during that 30 miles stretch of the Rhine really fly by!

Very excited. Keep the info coming!!!

Rick

 

Got it, we will be the first unless someone adds it prior to the first part of June. We plan on making a full review to fill in some questions we have about the ship, that we could never find. Here is a review link to a new ship Silversea put in service recently http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=244271 Plan on basically using the same format.

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Got it, we will be the first unless someone adds it prior to the first part of June. We plan on making a full review to fill in some questions we have about the ship, that we could never find.

 

If I have a chance, I'll post some pictures of Lucerne after we visit there in a few weeks. Guess it's relevant to this thread...

 

If you have any further specific questions about the ship, I can try to answer. I know I couldn't answer all of your earlier questions, so if they are still the same questions, apologies in advance!

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JP & Chris,

Thanks so much for your pics & info re:Uniworld's Castles Along the Rhine. We will be taking it in Sept.14 & appreciate the preview. We are also doing Bellagio on Lake Como before & Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels following the cruise.

Enjoy Munich!

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JP & Chris, I enjoyed your pictures and review of Castles on the Rhine. We are cruising Amsterdam to Basel leaving June 29 from Amsterdam. This will be our second cruise with Uniworld. last year we cruised Burgundy and Provence with a precruise on our own to Paris ( three days). We stayed three nights in Aix post cruise also on our own. A ton of planning and a little bit of a problem with boarding the wrong train to Lyon but it all worked out a lesson learned. We loved Uniworld and I only hope this itinerary will be as enjoyable. We are doing a pre cruise to Amsterdam on our own and post cruise with Uniworld a bit expensive but I wanted to end the trip without a hassle. We haven't decided on the excursions We booked this trip last July and there were only two cabins available .. Thanks again for taking the time to write such a terrific review.

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In the pre-trip to Lucerne, a walking tour and lake cruise is included. The optional excursion is "golden round trip" to Mt. Pilatus. So, if you go on a trip to Mt. Pilatus, would be interested in your thoughts and photos!

thanks..

Rick

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JP & Chris, I enjoyed your pictures and review of Castles on the Rhine. We are cruising Amsterdam to Basel leaving June 29 from Amsterdam. This will be our second cruise with Uniworld. last year we cruised Burgundy and Provence with a precruise on our own to Paris ( three days). We stayed three nights in Aix post cruise also on our own. A ton of planning and a little bit of a problem with boarding the wrong train to Lyon but it all worked out a lesson learned. We loved Uniworld and I only hope this itinerary will be as enjoyable. We are doing a pre cruise to Amsterdam on our own and post cruise with Uniworld a bit expensive but I wanted to end the trip without a hassle. We haven't decided on the excursions We booked this trip last July and there were only two cabins available .. Thanks again for taking the time to write such a terrific review.

 

We are taking this same cruise July 13 and have booked the pre cruise to Amsterdam with Uniworld as well. If you have a chance to post any information about the pre cruise when you get back I would greatly appreciate it. I've not found much written about this anywhere and I'm not sure what to expect. I do know it doesn't include Anne Frank museum so I booked it myself on line so I won't have to stand in line when I get there. I understand we arrive right at our appointed time and can walk right in bypassing by all accounts lengthy lines.

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In November had tickets to the Anne Frank house on a Sunday. Got right in, but the lines were blocks long!! The next day went by there on a canal cruise and there was NO line at all into the Anne Frank house......go figure...

Rick

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Sadly, the Anne Frank House has gone corporate and is a big business now. Her's is a story that repeated itself thousands of times in Amsterdam with many families hidden in crawl spaces and attics. Luckily her story was preserved and we can visit now but I miss the days when you could just stroll in, walk through the rooms where nothing had to be covered in lucite and the book store was just a small counter with a friendly clerk. I wonder if there are any other "hiding places" in Amsterdam that can be visited as well? I've heard that The Jewish Museum is also well worth a visit and there is a small satellite of The Hermitage in the same block.

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I will certainly post a review on my trip when I return. After reading posts on the Amsterdam forum I booked three nights through a Priceline bid. a 4 star Hotel for $100.00 per night. Great location. I also purchased my tickets for the Ann Frank House and Rikesmuseum. We will also take a canal cruise other then that we will just enjoy walking Amsterdam.

 

We are still discussing whether or not to take the Mt Pilatus excursion . Height is an issue with both of us! I would love to hear from people who have done this trip. It looks so beautiful... I am leaning toward booking this trip..

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I will certainly post a review on my trip when I return. After reading posts on the Amsterdam forum I booked three nights through a Priceline bid. a 4 star Hotel for $100.00 per night. Great location. I also purchased my tickets for the Ann Frank House and Rikesmuseum. We will also take a canal cruise other then that we will just enjoy walking Amsterdam.

 

We are still discussing whether or not to take the Mt Pilatus excursion . Height is an issue with both of us! I would love to hear from people who have done this trip. It looks so beautiful... I am leaning toward booking this trip..

Which Amsterdam Hotel did you get on priceline? We will probably use the same method for our precruise stay in 2015.

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The Hotel Schiller. From what I read it's a great location.. Don't give up on the bidding process. It took a few weeks My bid kept being rejected. Go to the Amsterdam forum I know there is a link that will give you the specifics . Good Luck!

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Please don't complain about stuff being covered in anything approaching an archive or museum it's not necessarily going corporate there are tried and tested ways of preserving artefacts for our children to appreciate as much as we do at times it may seem fussy or hit and miss but in the main it does work. Just think someone in the past thought that we may appreciate what happened then. I love my job, happy cruising and enjoy Europe.

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The Hotel Schiller. From what I read it's a great location.. Don't give up on the bidding process. It took a few weeks My bid kept being rejected. Go to the Amsterdam forum I know there is a link that will give you the specifics . Good Luck!

Thanks. Good to have another hotel name.

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jpalbny, thanks for such a great review and pictures! We did an early December Christmas Markets cruise down the Rhine on the SS Antoinette, but the itinerary was fairly different. For example, the Heidelberg tour was included and we stopped in a few different cities. We loved the ship and the itinerary!

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Thanks so much for the detailed diary of your trip and the pictures!! My wife and I are doing the cruise starting on Saturday, May 17 flying out tomorrow. We are even more excited after reading your review. Thanks for spending so much time to put this together!!

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Not sure if this is where to post my question. We are going on the SS Antoinette on July 27th. One of our stops is Cologne. I understand there is an old prison museum there. How do I find out where the ship docks so I will know if it is walkable from the ship.

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