Q – We have sailed with Uniworld once before and we were totally impressed with the service, the food, and the wonderful crew on the Paris Impressions sailing aboard the Baroness. Quite frankly, we think you’re off on your ratings as we can’t imagine anything much better than what we experienced. But we are not as confident with our planning for our next Uniworld cruise on the Mekong Navigator doing the Timeless Wonders Itinerary that includes ports in Vietnam and Cambodia with two nights in Siem Reap.
First, will the services on this vessel, which I understand Uniworld doesn’t even own, match what we found on the Baroness.We are looking at a March 24th or September 8th sailing and wonder which date you would recommend. Finally, should we spend the money for a Prestige Suite or will the smaller, Signature Suite suffice?
A – What happened to your cruise consultant? Did she die? These questions should be discussed with a trusted advisor who knows you, your personal preferences, your financial comfort level, health issues etc. This is a big trip and you don’t want to get your answers from a web site. Now that we have gotten that momentary honesty off our chests, let’s proceed with the answers to your questions.
The Navigator was built in 2014 and has interior design standards that are unmatched by any European rivals. As we have pointed out, most of the Asia-based river boats are built to higher design standards than their European counterparts and they carry fewer guests. There are only 68 guests and the food is memorable. Most of the river boats in Asia, South America, and Europe, lease their boats and, by the way, their crews. So whether or not Uniworld holds title to the ship is not really relevant to the kind of experience you will have. We think this is an excellent, if busy, itinerary and there is no better way to see this part of the world in comfort. We love the combination of small towns and villages with the major cities in Vietnam and chance to spend two days at Angkor Wat.
We are less enthusiastic about your choice of dates. We want you on this itinerary in the dead of our winter as heat and humidity are major issues. Uniworld is offering eight sailings in January and February next year and we would recommend those dates. If that wont work, there are seven dates in November and December.
The Prestige staterooms are beautiful at 387 sq. feet but given how much time you will be spending off the boat, the 291 sq. ft. Signature Suites on the Upper Orchid Deck will serve you nicely. The money you save will cover your expenses ashore and one or two splurge dinners.