Written By: Caroline Hollar, Digital Marketing Manager, Gifted Travel Network
In the summer of 2017, I was selected out of a pool of other travel industry applicants to go on U by Uniworld’s first launch river cruise. I submitted a 30 second video explaining why U by Uniworld should pick me to experience this first river cruise adventure. Through my position at Gifted Travel Network, I have the opportunity to work with many travel agents from all over the country. I knew our agents were curious about U by Uniworld and would want feedback on this new product so they can sell to their 21-45 year old clients. Perhaps a bit selfishly, I wanted to experience this new cruise line for myself. So from October 7-11 2017, I was on U by Uniworld’s new ship, The B, sailing on the Seine in France along with fellow contest winners, Instagram influencers, writers, bloggers, Uniworld staff, and my chosen guest, GTN coworker, Sarah Reedy. I am excited to share my stories, photos, videos, and thoughts with our agents plus anyone else who is interested!
Overall this was an amazing trip.
The Ship: Décor
I love the vibe of The B. The theme is black and white with pops of bright colors. The cabins are all black and white with bright red accents. The dining room was beautiful and you guessed it, also black and white. Even the ship’s exterior was black with daily color changing neon lights highlighting the ship’s name. The B’s lounge area and Ice Bar also continued the modern night club vibe.
The Functionality of a River Cruise
They say that river cruising is great because you just have to unpack once. If you were to step inside our lovely studio room number 108, you may find the saying is more accurately ‘throw your overpacked suitcase in the corner of the room once.’ Even then, it was obviously super convenient to travel to different French cities while not worrying about packing, lugging around aforementioned overpacked suitcase, transportation, finding your next room, etc. I studied abroad in Paris during college, and I’ve experienced the backpacking/hostel form of traveling. As a very mature young professional of the old age of 23, I much prefer the river cruise way of traveling.
Originally, one of the main things that caught my interest of U by Uniworld was the opportunity to stay later in the ports of the destinations. Unfortunately, our planned pub crawl in Rouen was not possible due to Paris worker strikes. We had to leave Rouen early in order to get back to Paris before midnight. I would have loved to experience a night out in a French town, but it was out of our control. This just means I need to go back to experience it again on the full 8 day itinerary (hint, hint).
The B Nights
Even though I was looking forward to nights exploring the French cities, The B came alive at night. The dinners were a great way to meet new people since the tables could accommodate groups of 6 or more. I met so many great people, and it was so fun to party – I mean– test different foods, drinks, and activities for purposes of reporting back to my agents. The first night was the renaming ceremony, which took place on the deck overlooking the AMAZING Parisian view. One night, we had a silent disco in the Ice Bar -which I was skeptical of at first, but turned out to be a lot of fun. The final night was a pajama party, and everyone wore their U by Uniworld silky pajamas to the Lounge.
On a U by Uniworld cruise, you have options for excursions. Adventurous? Try the bike tours! Like a slower paced tour? Try the bus tour or walking tour. Early riser? Opt-in for the morning kayak adventure or yoga class. Prefer to sleep in because it was a late night the night before? No worries, you can go to brunch when you wake up and catch the afternoon main excursion! Don’t want to do any of the above? Go out exploring on your own! With my excursion choices, I personally got to experience a bike tour of Paris, breakfast on a sightseeing bus, Paris rooftops tour, biking in Rouen, and Versailles.
Shout out to the crew! The crew and U by Uniworld team were all so lovely, helpful, friendly, and awesome. To the dinner crew who helped accommodate my picky eating habits to the biking team who helped me not get run over by cars in the busy Paris intersections, and to the bartenders who knew our drink orders.
This was my first river cruise, and I am so excited that U by Uniworld exists so that millennials can now experience a river cruise made for our generation. I can’t wait for more people to experience U by Uniworld beginning in 2018. And U by Uniworld, if you need someone to test out the other itineraries, I would be happy to volunteer.