In August of 2011, we experienced a Uniworld Enchanting Danube Passau – Budapest river cruise onboard the River Beatrice with pre and post stays in Prague and Budapest. It was a wonderful trip packed with activities. The trip began with a 3-night stay in Prague. It’s an easy city to explore on your own. We picked up a couple guidebooks from the library to review on the plane. The hotel concierge and transfer company provided excellent maps – great walking city.
We stayed at The Augustine Prague – a Rocco Forte property. In a great location with a unique history – created from a 13th century Augustinian St. Thomas Monastery. With just 101 rooms, the experience is truly intimate. Good to know:
- Every room is different (think monastery)
- Room rate is driven by location and view
- Casual yet elegant atmosphere
- Nice size gym – great equipment
- Tom’s Bar and The Brewery Bar both fun
- Internet access expensive - $30USD per day
Uniworld Beatrice – Enchanting Danube from Passau to Budapest
Excellent service and amenities. We were in cabin 423 – Category 1. The stateroom was a bit small (150 sq foot), but nice French balcony and ample storage space. Looked at the suites – would definitely recommend upgrading – the cost per day is not that much more. The suites are 225 sq foot and provide butler service.
The itinerary was nice because every port of call was different. We all agreed starting in Passau was preferred as each stop provided a little more in terms of exploration and to end in Budapest was truly fabulous. The whisper headsets were great and local guides quite good. The cruise director on board was knowledgeable and entertaining. Good to know:
- Al Fresco dining suggested in Cruise Companion is offered just 2 nights and can be outside if weather permits. It is also offered to past Uniworld cruisers before regular guests (we could only secure one night). When the weather does not permit the private dining is served in the Captain’s lounge – same menu as a regular dining room.
- Complimentary walking sticks and bikes were quite nice. Per cruise companion, both could be reserved just one day in advance.
- Internet access was free but really slow – the Cruise Companion stated this would be the case.
- The gym was small but adequate for the size of the vessel – it was open 24/7.
- The launderette was clean and easy to use – convenient to press items and not crowded.
- Embarkation and Disembarkation were down to a science. Very well organized and hassle-free.
We added a post stay in Budapest. Since Uniworld provided a half day sightseeing experience here, we chose to add a 2-night extension which was perfect. I contacted the Ensemble On-Location supplier JoAn VIP Travel www.joanvip.com Andrea Goczo Magyar, the Managing Director responded immediately and was excellent to work with. We stayed at the Kempinski Corvinus Budapest - excellent location on the Pest side. Good to know:
- Ensemble amenities are quite good
- Rooms are spacious and service is outstanding
- Smoking is allowed in the lobby (not uncommon for European hotels)
- Breakfast buffet outstanding
- Large gym with excellent facilities – open 24/7
- Great location for shopping – not far from the Great Market Hall
Andrea at JoAn VIP Travel provided two ½ day walking tours and a cooking class www.chefparade.hu/ The cooking class was hands-on, tons of fun and you actually buy your ingredients at the Great Market Hall prior to the class – just like the locals do. Andrea was our personal guide – she was delightful! I would highly recommend using her services. She can arrange sightseeing in many of Uniworld’s European ports - it’s truly a unique experience. Good to know:
Budapest is a fun city to walk – public transportation is inexpensive and easy to use.
There are tons of outdoor cafes and restaurants – I recommend Dunacorso Etterem www.dunacorso.hu – great view – excellent menu.
Lots of shopping opportunities.