But still another unique new touch is a 20-seat movie theater, the Le Cinema Pigalle with a state-of-the-art flat screen and Dolby surround sound, and plush seats for comfortable movie viewing. Movie lovers can enjoy a varied selection of great films including classics, comedy, adventure, and drama, along with a selection of snacks including popcorn, candy, and even hors d’oeuvres, making going to the movies an even more enjoyable experience. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, in fact, is the first river cruise line to offer a movie theater on board its ships.
At the christening ceremony itself, held in Amsterdam last month, it was the Tollman family that was rightfully front and center, with Beatrice Tollman, godmother and namesake of Uniworld’s River Beatrice, and president of Red Carnation Hotels, sharing the spotlight with her daughter, Antoinette Tollman, godmother and namesake of the Antoinette, both of whom worked to create the unique 18th century French design, with the most hands-on effort coming from Antoinette, who worked on everything from basic design to filling the welcome baskets with elegant chocolates and other treats. The rest of the design team members were veterans of the design efforts on the River Beatrice and all of Uniworld’s ships, as well as Travel Corporation’s Red Carnation Hotels.
It wasn’t hard to see that the crew and staff training aboard Uniworld ships has a universal feel to it that ensures some very pleasurable crew-passenger interaction. One of our servers, for example, college trained in the culinary arts, told us about her plans to become a master sommelier, adding more than a little information about how to maximize the pleasure of an after-dinner brandy—run hot water on the glass then pour in the brandy. Still another hotel worker made several trips to our cabin when we checked-in to ensure we had everything we needed.
It is truly five-star service that accents the very obvious five-star appointments on the ship. The spa services, for example—minimal, if offered at all on other river cruisers—are pretty much full-service with a gym, as well, while the conservatory on the top deck of the ship, gives you the feeling of lazing back in a Parisian garden—it’s absolutely charming and offers full services such as light lunches and refreshments.
In addition to the Castles Along the Rhine itinerary mentioned above—with rates ranging from $1,999 to $3,099—at the end of the year there are four 8-day holiday cruises scheduled beginning Nov. 30 with the last sailing scheduled for Dec. 21 and priced from $2,099 pp to $2,299 pp. All of the port stops in Switzerland, France, and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this Christmas Markets cruise where passengers can enjoy the delightful Christmas Markets of Basel, Switzerland, and Strasbourg, France, as well as lovely Medieval villages in Germany such as Heidelberg, Mainz, Rudesheim, and Koblenz, as well as the majestic city of Cologne.
“We completed our first official sailing on March 27, but the ship’s doing tremendously well,” Young says, pointing out that the load factor for the entire season has been incredibly impressive. “So it’s sold extremely well—that’s for the main season—then we do have quite a bit of capacity left for the holiday markets.”