Watch on the Rhine: Uniworld v. Avalon

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Feb 4th, 2010, 10:39 AM
  #1
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Watch on the Rhine: Uniworld v. Avalon

My wife and I, both about 60, wish to take a September river cruise and are weighing Uniworld's "Castles Along the Rhine" on its River Ambassador vs. Avalon's "Romantic Rhine" on either Felicity or Luminary. They both go Amsterdam-Basel and have most of the same port stops. Could you, especially if you have experienced both lines, compare them on:
--Dining (we like sophisticated food and a quiet atmosphere)
--Shore excursions (we like a mix of guided and free time and beauty rather than shopping)
--Service
--Ship feel (cabin size is less important than entire ship's decor and graciousness)
--Value for the money

Of course, if anyone thinks another line is superior to either of these, we're open to suggestion.

Thanks!
charmcity is offline  
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Feb 5th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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The river Ambassador is older ship,but refurbished a few years ago. The Avalon ships are new, and so maybe nicer decor? I haven't sailed on Avalon, but some friends tell me that Avalon doesn't offer as much included as Uniworld or AMA Waterways. AMA Waterways is my overall favorite--I've been on them several times and never disappointed. Check the AMA Rhine cruise.
sueswny is offline  
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Feb 5th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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Uniworld's cruise is less expensive. Uniworld offers a winetasting in Castle Vollrads, exclusively offered by Uniworld. Uniworld will have a full day at Alsatian wine-road (Avalon does not offer this). Uniworld won top dining and top cabins by Zagat Cruise Survey and only river cruise company in this survey.
cruisefan10 is offline  
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Feb 13th, 2010, 10:24 PM
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We've done cruises with Uniworld and Avalon and thought the Avalon boat was much nicer. We paid extra for a cabin with a french balcony and were really glad that we had done so. The cabins on the lower level had permanently closed windows and at times the water was mid-way up the glass.

Food was similar. Wine or beer with dinner was free with Avalon (may be free with Uniworld now). There is one sitting for lunch and dinner so you may not get the quiet atmosphere you want, but we found that by sitting at different tables each day, it was a pleasant way to make new friends from other countries.

We thought the mix of organised sightseeing and free time was good, particularly with Avalon.

In short, we would book Avalon for our next cruise.
marg is offline  
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Feb 16th, 2010, 05:37 PM
  #5
 
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Marg... "...at times the water was mid-way up the glass" -
How could that possibly be? Waves splashing?? Sinking???
Sorry, but I am trying to imagine what you mean. I have been on the lower level and the water never came anywhere near the level of the windows.
charli is offline  
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Feb 21st, 2010, 09:16 PM
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No, the boat wasn't sinking. Some of the bridges were very low and the boat was designed to take water into the ballast tanks which then means that the boat gets lower in the water and consequently can pass under the bridge. For cabins on the lowest level, that means that the water level sometimes came half-way up the window. One passenger complained about something unpleasant floating outside her window.
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