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UNIWORLD River Beatrice Budapest to Prague

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We are back from our Uniworld River Boat cruise on the Danube starting in Budapest and ending in Prague (after a 3 hour bus ride). It was a great trip and wonderful not being nickeled and dimed to death. Everything was included in the price - food, open bar, tours, gratuities, transfers. It was nice not thinking about whether we wanted to spend money on something or not. This was our first river boat tour and we really enjoyed it, although by the end I have to say that I experienced information overload.

The cabins were small but very nice. Clean, comfy. We were in a Category 3 so were above the water level and had sliding glass doors which opened in front of a tiny table and chairs. Not a balcony, but nice to sit there. It was also wonderful to go up on deck to be able to see out both sides of the boat. There were canopies set up on deck so we could avoid the sun if we wanted to. The wheelhouse was up there as well so we saw quite a bit of the captain who was so friendly and always seen out and about the boat. He was happy to talk to everyone at any time. That was one big difference between ocean cruises and a river boat cruise - seeing the captain all over the boat and having conversations with him.

The trip included going through 25 locks. We got stuck in one for 2 hours so that was interesting, especially since it was a national holiday and the engineers had to be paged to help get us out. We just hoped that they hadn't been in the Biergartens! Some of the locks went up and some took us down depending on which side of the continental Divide we were on (marked by a huge concrete wall at that point).

The tours provided were interesting and varied. There was always a choice of 2 tours, some of which were limited in number, but we had no problem getting what we wanted. We took several city tours, a vineyard hike, another hike, a tour of the Melk Abbey, a Regensburg Jewish tour (which actually included the city tour so that was a good choice). There was an optional (as in extra price) concert in a monastery which we loved and definitely recommend, and an optional progressive dinner in various areas of the boat (which we did not do). The BMW factory tour which we had wanted to do was canceled. They had said it wouldn't operate on Sundays, but we were scheduled to be there on Monday so we don't know what happened. On board one day there was a strudel cooking demo in the Lounge. We also had one "day at sea" on the Danube-Main Canal. The tour time in Budapest on the first day was at 8:45. Unfortunately my alarm didn't go off, but I somehow woke up at 8:33. It was a whirlwind, but I made it to the last bus. Tour times the other days were more reasonable, usually at 10 or 1.

Meal seating was wherever you wanted to sit at each meal. Breakfasts and lunches were buffet and dinner was ordered off a menu. As with ocean cruises, you could order as much as you liked, but the portions were not too large. We were comfortably full by the end of dinner but not overly stuffed. I didn't realize this until closer to the end of the trip, but you could order from a menu at breakfast as well as the buffet. I ordered delicious eggs benedict a couple of times. If anyone is going on this trip, ask to see the breakfast menu if they don't offer it to you.

The Prague portion of the trip placed us in a wonderful hotel within walking distance of the old town and only included breakfast. Breakfast at the hotel though was copious and very good. We stayed an extra day after the official trip ended and were still able to use the included transfer back to the airport.

I know one person going on this cruise soon, so if there are questions, ask away! Definitely recommend this cruise line!

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