April 2015 - Queen Isabel to Europe
We would recommend this tour/cruise for those who want to learn more about Portugal, Spain and Port wine. Lisbon and Portugal were the highlights as the Lisbon tour director/Uniworld rep. was the best. She gave us suggestions of local restaurants and things to do in our free time in Lisbon. We spent 4 hours enjoying a museum she recommended near the hotel. The Intercontinental Hotel in Lisbon exceeded our expectations but we cannot say the same about the Palace Hotel. The only great thing about the Palace was the location and door staff. It did not live up to the 5 star rating, beds and pillows were too soft, quite a few on the tour complained and were told they were in the "cheap" rooms, what did they expect so the staff put a board under the mattress. The beds were soft in the higher priced rooms too. The Uniworld staff and tour guides in Spain did not measure up to the high bar set by the Portugal staff and guides. The River part of the trip was very interesting, the boat staff was trying but service and quality of the food was just not there. The cruise did not live up to what we expected from Uniworld , maybe it was because we had just been spoiled by excellent service on a 14 day Seabourn cruise before arriving in Lisbon to begin this adventure. We had been told that Uniworld was equal to Seabourn in service and accommodations, but we did not find that to be the case. The food and service was equal to a previous Viking tour we had taken at lesser price. We enjoyed the Douro River but spent too much time of buses for the time spent touring. If we book another river cruise, we would try another all inclusive company before returning to Uniworld.