Want an honest U by Uniworld review from someone who’s not typically a cruiser? Read on!
Mike and I are not typically cruisers, and we’re certainly not all-inclusive resort type people. We’re like your typical well-traveled millennials who like to plan everything on their own and get into the nitty-gritty streets of cities far from large tourist groups.
That being said, after an invitation to explore France for a week on the B, U by Uniworld has become the first exception to our anti-all-inclusive type holidays. Out of all the U by Uniworld reviews you’ll see, this may be the most honest one written by and for the typical well-traveled millennial.
Yep, we’ll get into the good, bad, and even the ugly if you keep on reading to find out if the Northern France at a Glance cruise by U by Uniworld is for you!
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About the U by Uniworld B Boat
- The U by Uniworld B boat sails on the Seine for the Nothern France at a Glance trip.
- The experience is eight days long.
- The B boat stops in Paris, Vernon, Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebex-en-Caux, and Conflans-Ssainte-Honorine.
- You have 14 meals onboard, two dedicated U hosts (local experts to help you with your trip), included excursions, and activities on board.
- There are additional U Time excursions (off boat excursions), which you can purchase à la carte style.
The Good About U by Uniworld
All U by Uniworld reviews mention the good side of the cruise and with excellent reason. There are more than a handful of reasons that would entice me to go on a U by Uniworld cruise again.
I’m actually thinking of the Germany’s Finest cruise on the U by Uniworld the A boat– anyone want to join?
Because of my fibromyalgia, which results in constant back and neck pains, I was a bit worried about not packing my own pillows and the possible thought of sleeping on a bed less comfortable than my own for a whole week. Well, I was in luck!
The beds in the U by Uniworld rooms are ridiculously comfortable, and everyone I talked to about them on board totally agreed. I would even argue that the U by Uniworld bed is even more cozy than mine, especially that comforter. I emailed customer service afterwards asking what brand it was LOL.
Great Bikes to Rent
Besides the bike tours that is included as part of your cruise, you’re allowed to take out one of the many bikes that the B boat has. Their bikes have lots of gears and are highly maintained, which makes it easy to enjoy a rigorous bike ride on France’s hilly terrain or keep it chill along the Seine.
Being able to rent a bike and go out wherever he pleased really made Mike’s trip since he LOVES biking. He simply used Google Maps to find a national park nearby and biked away for a couple of hours.
If you love biking like he does or would rather use that to get around instead of walking or taking public transportation, then this is a HUGE bonus. Other river cruises do not offer bikes like U by Uniworld does.
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Brunch on the Boat
As a foodie whose daily activities revolve around the restaurants I’ve reserved, I thought I’d miss the focal point of how I usually travel, but I didn’t! With food taken care of, I traveled in a way I haven’t in a very long time– by focusing purely on activities and really discovering the nooks and cranny of a city.
Mike and I were both surprised at how good the food was. Everything was well prepared, local to the region when possible, and fresh. We couldn’t stop ourselves from over-eating. After all, isn’t that what buffets are for?
In addition to my fibromyalgia, I have lactose intolerance, food allergies, and digestive issues and tend to get sick at least once or twice in one weekend trip. I didn’t get sick AT ALL on U by Uniworld meaning the food is fresh and on the healthier side. They’re also really good at informing you which foods has potential allergens.
Overall, there’s so many options of food that there’s really something for everyone, which includes plenty of choices for vegetarians!
Appropriate Meal Times
Ever miss breakfast at a hotel because they serve it from 6:00-9:00AM or some time too early that you can’t get up for? Well, you don’t have to worry about that on U by Uniworld. This is the perfect cruise for partiers, and as a result, those who like to sleep in!
Depending on the day’s activity, brunch started at a casual 9:00AM and sometimes went to 11:00AM. Then dinner would start around 7:30PM.
With how many activities you do during the day and also how much you probably will eat at brunch with their omelette station, full breakfast, fruit, and more, you won’t need to squeeze lunch into siteseeing or even rush back to the boat to have lunch.
U by Uniworld actually doesn’t offer lunch unlike most river cruises but with good reason. They don’t want to make you feel like you have to go back to the boat to eat since you “paid” for it as part of your cruise package. They want you to be out and about as much as possible! How nice!
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Photo taken in Rouen, France
No Hassle of Usual Travels
On average, I go to one or two countries a month so I consider myself a pro at traveling, but if there’s anything I dislike, it’s the constant packing and repacking of my luggage when I’m jumping around from city to city. I absolutely loved that I could leave my stuff in one room as the boat took us from place to place (six to be exact).
It was also nice not having to keep track of hotel confirmations, train times, passport, and security (for the most part). We were advised to leave our passports in the safe within the room and had nothing else to take care of since we were traveling with the boat! So hassle-free.
The U by Uniworld age limit used to only allow 21-45 year olds, but they removed that restriction back in May, which made for a nice mix of ages on the B boat I was on. I met a lot of people in theirs 20s and 30s, but what was especially nice was meeting moms and their sons/daughters. If the age restriction was still on, then moms/their kids couldn’t have this fun quality time in Europe!
I also got to hang out with people in theirs 60-70s that I normally wouldn’t get to interact with in my normal lifestyle. This opened up lots of deep conversations about Mike’s and my current situation of living in Europe and learning from their past experiences.
But overall, age wasn’t really a thing here. Everyone biked, partied, and ate together sharing the commonality of enjoying vacation on the boat!
Fun Social Community
Wow, the community on this boat was absolutely amazing. If you like to socialize and meet new people while traveling, then you can possibly make some lifelong friends on this boat. There were a couple of groups on the B boat that I was on that said they were going to even do a reunion trip together in 2019!
Socializing comes in all different shapes and sizes. First off, everyone is put on a group chat together on Whatsapp because of their green, paperless initiative. I thought this form of communication would be mainly used to give us our itinerary for the next day, but passengers on the boat used it to talk with each other and share photos of their day.
Second, the dining area is quite social as passengers tend to sit wherever there’s an open table creating conversation. Lastly, between the classes on board, party with a DJ, and silent disco*, there are tons of social events where you can meet your next travel BFF.
*Unlike Chris Faust’s experience of the U by Uniworld cruise, our silent disco night was packed with about 50+ of the passengers dancing for hours.
Unlimited Drink Package
I didn’t grab this package but I know a handful of people who did. If you like to drink and want to party, party, party, then there is an unlimited drink package for €300.
The regular U by Uniworld drink prices weren’t bad though. Your standard drinks ranged from €4 to 9 (based on my memory).
If you like to pinch pennies wherever you can, head to the bar on the first day to figure out how many drinks you’d need to realistically get to make the drink package worth it.
To see why else you’d want to book the Northern France at a Glance trip around Paris, head to the U by Uniworld site, and check out the goods yourself! There’s so much more that I didn’t mention like filtered water in every room, a gym, free laundry machines, etc.
The Bad of U by Uniworld
U by Uniworld had little nuisances that I easily brushed off my shoulder, but so you’re properly prepared with experienced tips, here are a few of minor things to note.
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Photo taken in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine
Limited Wifi in Room
Wifi in the U by Uniworld rooms was limited. Checking emails or going on Instagram was fine, but anything more like watching YouTube or Netflix wasn’t really possible.
That being said, I was actually happy about this. It’s SO hard to disconnect on trips with our iPhones and found having limited wifi a good reason not to hole up in our rooms doing things we normally would at home. It pushed us to go outside more and really enjoy the daily activities and cities we were in.
If you do need good wifi, you can simply go to the lounge and use your laptop or phone there, and for the night you want to stay in and watch a movie, you can buy a movie from the in-room entertainment for €5, which is the same amount as renting a movie on Google Play or Amazon.
Quickly Booked Activities on Board
There were so many fun activities on board like Wine and Paint and Cocktail Mixology classes, and I missed them all because they were booked by the time I decided to sign up.
Sign up for any activities you want to do on the first day so you don’t miss out on anything! This also includes the Paris retro sidecar tour (paid excursion), which is super popular and SO much fun.
Lack of Board Games
Maybe living in the Amsterdam* has really rubbed off on me or maybe I just wanted another option for a good night other than dancing to the DJ in the lounge area, but there were a couple of times I wish the boat had board games. If you’re a passenger like me who likes to have a few quieter nights in addition the the DJ and silent disco nights, bring a pack of cards!
*Many cozy bars in Amsterdam have board games to play.
The Ugly Part of this U by Uniworld Review
Let’s jump into the ugly part of this U by Uniworld review.
I went on three U Time excursions and loved them all except for the one to the Cliffs of Etretat simply because the day trip felt too rushed. I personally felt like we didn’t have enough time at the cliffs and could’ve cut out other parts of the day so we could’ve enjoyed the scenery more. This was (relatively) the worst part of my week on the cruise so really not that bad.
My only tip to you is that if you are buying a U Time excursion and a specific part of it is really important to you, ask your friendly, super helpful hosts on the boat what the exact timetable of the trip is. If it’s not to your liking, then you may want to look into other options to customize a day trip for yourself.
As new river cruise goers, Mike and I definitely think if there’s a river cruise out there for millennials, this one is it with its casual schedule and active activities. It’s especially great if you’re a first-time Europe visitor who likes to socialize and wants a hassle-free way to travel.
See if the Northern France at a Glance river cruise by U by Uniworld is something you’d want to do! Click here to go to the U by Uniworld site.
Thanks for stopping by and reading by U by Uniworld review! I hope you found it to be helpful. xo.
Tuesday 2nd of July 2019
Thank you for all the details about your experiences. My husband and are in that 60 to 70 age group so it's good to know that she is not a restriction.
Friday 26th of April 2019
so helpful. do you know anyone who has done their Christmas cruise? Considering that for our family.
Sunday 28th of April 2019
No. Unfortunately I haven't but if you go, please let me know! Thanks!