Q – Our family has been following RiverBoatRatings for the past four years and we’re pretty much at the point where we feel like we know as much about this part of the travel industry as most travel agents. So thanks for that. We are going to be booking several cabins to celebrate my mother’s eightieth birthday and I am looking at one of the “Generations” theme cruises. Will the kids be entertained as Uniworld’s web site promises? I am also wondering about the early booking discount of 10%? As you say, “Is this One a Real Deal?”.

A – Uniworld is not as adept at handling kids as Disney is on their AMA Programs or the special Tauck sailings in conjunction with their long-established Bridges division. The people at Disney are kid “scientistsand it is hard to compete with them in the delivery of services to patrons under the age of 16. Older teens are such a bizarre species that we’re not sure that any river boat can adequately contain them – but they are making valiant efforts. Uniworld is doing some rather fascinating demographic extension reaching out to Millennials with the “U” sailings and to families through generations. We would want them to have some time to learn from their children’s activities programs as they are new. But, that said, Uniworld is a river boat product that is on an upward spiral and we see their ratings go up as new CSI reports come in.

The 10% early booking promotion is very real. It is doubtful that you could count on earning 10% annually in if you kept the money in an index fund so it would seem to us you should take advantage of the early booking offer. Our current rule of thumb is to advise that you do full payment in any situation where the EBD is 6% or higher.

Best to “Mom” and thanks for sticking with us for the past four years.