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Kate

Age: 55

Occupation:Clinical Social Work Director - psychiatric hospital

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Uniworld

Ship: Douro Queen

Sailing Date: 2010-07-3

Itinerary: Porto - Porto

Would highly recommend this cruise - the scenery was gorgeous, the ship was perfect - not too big, easy access to the deck, pool (it was never crowded) - the staff was wonderful - bent over backward to make sure everyone had a good time. One of the waiter heard someone say they liked figs and at the next meal he presented her with a bowl of picture-perfect figs that he had picked up at the market that day! The day trips were really good, although the trip to Salamanca didn't allow enough free time - we wish we had skipped the lunch (the food was not good - the only disappointing meal of the trip) and had lunch on our own. The bus drivers are really skilled - if you have any fear of hights, don't get a seat in the front and on the top level of the double-decker bus - at times it looked like the front end was going over the mountain!

It was excellent - lots of variety, an amazing number of choices at each meal. Would have liked more local favorites, but I know the chef was trying to appeal to a wide audience. The chef and staff are artists - the food was delicious, beautifully presented - all from an amazingly small kitchen!

It was very comfortable. We were really glad we had a balcony - you can actually sit out on it (there are 2 chairs and a small table - just barely room, but that's all we needed.) We slip our suitcases under the bed so they didn't take up space, and used the closet and drawers. The only slight challenge was that the 2 single beds were pushed together but made up separately, so it was difficult to figure out a way to make it one bed. It seemed that the room was made up and cleaned every time we stepped out of it - sure missed that when we got back home! : ) Beds were turned down (with chocolates!) nightly, with the next day's schedule left - that really made planning easy - it even had the next day's weather on it.

They were okay - the musician - Dalmir - was very good and really nice. There were a variety of lectures offered - during the days we were cruising it was hard to come down off the deck for a lecture when the scenery was so gorgeous. The local musicians were good - got to hear a little fado, which was nice. Be sure to attend the opening of vintage port, if the captain offers that - it's like magic! (Can't give away the technique - you must see it yourself...)

As above, we would recommend skipping the lunch in Salamanca, although the flamenco dancers were good. The food wasn't, and the room where it was held was pretty non-descript. There were so many wonderful options for lunch around the square - would have been perfect for people watching. Other excursions were really good - enjoyed them all.

This was a first cruise - ocean cruises had never appealed to us. Loved river cruising - we got to know many of the other people on board (there were only 88 of us that cruise), the cruising was part of the entertainment (it's indescribable cruising past vinyard after vinyard, with the quinta names posted, all of them rising from the river in perfect rows...), it wasn't formal, the people (fellow cruisers and staff) were friendly and unpretentious, good value for the money. This was the perfect way to see many places without having to pack up and move around frequently. We also went to Lisbon for 3 days first - would highly recommend that as well. That gave us a chance to do a little exploring on our own and get adjusted to the time difference before setting sail.

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