Sunday, November 21, 2010

Uniworld's Rhine Discovery Nuremberg to Basel, Switzerland

I'm almost as excited about the river cruise as I am about my land adventures. Nothing else could follow such an exciting week without being a huge letdown.  If you're not familiar with European river cruises, I've read that they are amazing. The "ships" are much smaller than ocean cruisers, typically 65 to 70 cabins with a maximum capacity of between 125 and 150 passengers. Imagine that! Certainly more personal than sailing with 3,000 strangers... 

The other nice thing about Uniworld's ships is that even though we will be in Europe, all of the crew speak English, the menus and other written material are in English, and the price of the cruise includes an excursion in each town with an English-Speaking tour guide.  They provide each passenger with a little headset so that regardless if you are close to the tour guide or not, you can hear everything they are saying.  You also get free time in each town after the tour to explore on your own. 

Enter Cruise Critic!!

Another website that has become my constant companion while planning this trip is a site called Cruise Critic.  They have reviews and a very active message board about everything cruise related.  One section of the message board is dedicated to river cruising. I've learned so much about river cruising from reading the messages and all of the great replies.

One of the great features of Cruise Critic is a section called Roll Calls. You can post your particular cruise ship, date and destination and see if anyone else on the board is booked on the same cruise that you are.  So I decided to give it a try. Lo and Behold, I have "met" three other ladies that will be on the same cruise as me.  

Nomi is from Toronto, Canada and will also be traveling solo. This is her second Uniworld cruise so she has been super-helpful in answering all my questions. 

Barb is from Las Vegas. She and her friend Sharon will be traveling together. Coincidentally, they were on the exact same cruise as Nomi last year, although they didn't actually meet each other on that cruise.  

We are now Facebook Friends and are planning to get together on embarkation day to go exploring Nuremberg together before the ship sets sail. It will be so nice to board knowing that I'll have friendly faces to dine with, and socialize with during my cruise!

Here's a quick rundown of the towns that we will be visiting on the cruise:

  • Day 1 - Nuremberg
  • Day 2 - Bamberg
  • Day 3 - Würzburg (with an optional afternoon excursion to Rothenburg ob der Tauber)
  • Day 4 - Miltenberg
  • Day 5 - Rüdesheim
  • Day 6 - Heidelberg
  • Day 7 - Strasbourg, France
  • Day 8 - Disembark in Basel Switzerland and fly home

So that's it for now! We're completely up to date until Tuesday when I hear from Willi-Martin on his meeting with the residents of Leonhard's birth home on Falkengasse. 

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