July 28th ~ Basel, Switzerland: On board the River Queen
UNIWORLD – Legendary Rhine and Moselle
Day one of a river cruise is when one simply gets on board, unpack a suitcase or two, perhaps explore the ship a little, find your way to the main lounge, try out the drink of the day or have a glass of wine (or both), and start meeting a few people.
Since we had arrived in Basel the day before and had to check out of our hotel before noon, we were amongst the first to board. The majority of the passengers were flying in the same day and would arrive in batches after being met at the airport by a Uniworld representative and delivered to the ship via a brand new Uniworld bus.
The check-in procedure for Uniworld is straight forward. Having already filled out the online pre-departure forms, all we had to do when we boarded was show our passports, have our pictures taken and receive our key card.
The keycard will be used to unlock our cabin door and to scan out and then back in every time we leave the ship. That way the crew will know if everyone is, or is not, back on board when it is time to depart each city.
Uniworld seems to lean toward a very French European style of decoration in their cabins. Colorful, bold, elegant and comfortable with luxury bedding and linens. Also provided in the cabin is a safe, umbrella, comfy bath robes and slippers, hair dryer, flat screen TV, heating/air conditioning controls, telephone, L’Occitane bath/beauty products, and bottled water.
The onboard WiFi was adequate, although not always accessible while cruising. A couple of computer stations were provided for anyone wanting to check their emails and were not already lugging their own laptop, iPad or iPhone with them.
I know you have all heard that the food on cruises is legendary – more than ample, large variety of local specialties, and desserts to die for. Uniworld goes a step beyond with choosing locally sourced fresh ingredients, cooks with whole (not processed or packaged) ingredients and avoids using artificial chemicals.
A dream for someone like Tim with allergies to processed foods or artificial ingredients!
With only four suites, and 60 cabins, the maximum passengers on board would be 128 with a staff of 41. The cabins and all public areas are non-smoking.
The staff has been well-trained. You are always greeted when passing, smiles are warm and genuine, and any request is fulfilled ASAP with a desire for you to experience the best possible vacation.
We knew from our pre-trip information booklet that our cabin would not be ready until 3:00 pm, but we were invited to relax in the lounge, enjoy lunch in the dining room, and start getting to know the other early arrivals.
It seems that the initial dialogs all started out with:
- Where are you from?
- Have you traveled with Uniworld before?
- Are you retired?
- What was your career/business/profession?
- Eventually we got around to names/kids/grandkids…
There is a Wellbeing Coach on board who leads a daily exercise program at 7:00 am for those wishing to stay more active or burn off some calories from the extra drinks and desserts consumed. He is also an excellent massage therapist.
The price of our cruise included all gratuities, daily sightseeing excursions (there are a few optional tours offered at a reasonable price), and wine and/or mixed drinks.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful to once again have the opportunity to be spoiled, pampered, educated, entertained and fed delicious meals on our second Uniworld river cruise.
Curious to learn more about river cruises? We invite you to follow along our day-to-day journey as we depart Switzerland to explore four more countries including Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
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