I had the opportunity to take a cruise for THE FIRST TIME a few months ago with U by Uniworld. But this isn’t you’re ordinary cruise, it’s a millennial only cruise. Yes, everyone on the ship is in their 20’s or early 30’s. I absolutely love the concept behind it. In April, I cruised on “The A” which made its way down the Rhine river from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. Prior to this trip, I’d never been to either cities, or countries for that matter! So, when my girl Christina invited me to join her, I couldn’t say no!
For this specific itinerary from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, you’ll be on The A. This ship has the capacity to hold 120 guests, much smaller than other cruise ships you are familiar with I’m sure. But the ship size fits the very intimate setting: the Rhine River. Any bigger would be ridiculous!
It’s sleek and sophisticated design is what really got me. The black and white color scheme accented with neon colors, metals, pop culture art, and mirrors throughout just screams millennial only cruise!
First things first, let’s get familiarized with where you’ll be sleeping for the next week. There are three different room types on The A- Studio, Balcony and Suite. The studio is perfect for those traveling solo. The balcony rooms are a bit bigger, and this is the room type I stayed in. It has a balcony (obviously), a full bed, a private bathroom with a rain shower, giant mirrors, a closet, and storage units. These rooms are ideal for two people traveling together however, I can’t imagine sharing this room with another female. You all know I am an over packer, so naturally I used the entire closet to unpack and stuffed my suitcase underneath the bed for the week! The 4 suites, as you can imagine, are sweet. They are the largest room type on board, definitely a splurge but if you have the budget or are looking to celebrate something special then this room type is for you!
Facilities and Amenities On Board
The facilities exceeded my expectations coming into this whole experience! There are two lounges on board. The U Lounge which is the main hub of the ship is also on the main floor of the ship. It’s a great spot for afternoon coffee or after dinner drinks. The rooftop lounge is on the top level of the ship. It also has the best views, especially when you’re cruising down the Rhine spotting castles. Catch some rays, chat with friends, or grab a mat and join the rest of the crew for morning yoga. The rooftop is a great little escape.
There is an Ice Bar on the rooftop deck too! Sip on signature U cocktails and craft beers while dancing in a silent disco or to mixes of international DJs! Check the schedule of your cruise for a better idea of the events here.
The A is also equipped with a spa and full gym (!!). The spa has everything from massages to beauty treatments. The gym was my sanctuary on board, I went every day. The most difficult thing I encounter while traveling is sticking to my routine but on The A I was able to keep myself in check after indulging on delicious dinners (more on that to come). The Wellness Coach on board can set up nearly any excursion you might want to go on if working out outside is more your style.
Some other complimentary amenities are as follows. There is laundry available you just need to purchase detergent for 1 euro. The 24-hour coffee station was a game changer for me. Enjoy coffee or tea 24 hours a day, complimentary! Fuel your body for some exploring with a cappuccino or wind down with mint tea! You have unlimited access to the bikes on board. So, if you’re into biking your way through a city, sign one out when you dock!
Wifi was a bit spotty for me on the ship and I have international service through T-Mobile. I was able to rent a hotspot (for an additional cost not included in the base price) but it was a lifesaver. It worked everywhere on the ship and was very fast. I believe it was 8 euro a day, which is a bit pricey so only rent if absolutely necessary!
Finally, the on-board WhatsApp group chat. Really playing into that millennial vibe. Every day, the U Host sends an outline of the next day’s activities and dinner menu. It’s also a place where you can ask questions regarding anything!
Food On Board
Your cruise includes two meals on board, brunch and dinner. A small breakfast of coffee and pastries is served in the U lounge from 7am-10am. After that, from 10am-1pm brunch is served in the restaurant on the downstairs deck. Its served buffet style and the menu items change daily. Everything from salads to more pastries to fresh fruit to meats and cheeses. There is a chef preparing eggs, omelets, pancakes and waffles too! Coming from someone that is both gluten and dairy free, the food was delicious and I could always expect to be able to eat a few of the options available. My go to breakfast/brunch situation was typically a salad of arugula and spinach topped with sun dried tomatoes, almonds, fresh vegetables like peppers and cucumbers, with an egg on top and usually a drizzle of olive oil! Fruit and potatoes would sometimes make an appearance on my plate. I can’t forget the coffee! Coffee and coconut milk was my go to.
Dinner was always a set 3-course menu. Again, the crew was so accommodating and created something new, every night, for those with dietary restrictions- in addition to the already set menu for those without restrictions. One of my favorite dishes from dinner was the soup, especially the cream of pumpkin- which was DAIRY FREE! I couldn’t believe my taste buds after taking one slurp of it. So rich and creamy.
I have to say, the kitchen crew made the food situation a breeze. Given my dietary restrictions, you can imagine I have a hard time when traveling. But the staff of The A made every effort to provide me with delicious meals and options. I never felt like I was missing out on anything because every alternative dish was so delicious.
Optional Activities and Tours
Before we get to the itinerary you should know there are 11 excursions included and 12 ‘U Times’ which are optional excursions at an additional cost on this millennial only cruise down the Rhine. These are all outlined once you book and the U Host will let you know the U Times at the beginning of the trip.
Itinerary + Scheduled Dockings of your Millennial Only Cruise
U by Uniworld really kept the solo traveler in mind when curating this itinerary for this millennial only cruise. With 11 group activities included in your package and 12 additional U Times (these are extras that you would have to pay for but are optional) there is something for everyone. Christina and I went a little off book and stuck to our own schedule based on what we wanted to see. You’ll have that option too!
Something that’s great about cruising is that you don’t have to explore anywhere you don’t want to. If I could have, I would have gotten off the boat at every docking but alas, the work never ends so I had to pass on a few stops. Here’s what Christina and I got up to off the ship!
Day 1+2- Frankfurt
Who knew Germany was so… green!? There was a path for walking, running, biking- whichever you prefer- right where we were docked. It was a beautiful spot. Walking though Frankfurt I discovered on modern and industrial it was. From a photo perspective I gravitate towards nature and culture more than industrial locations but this city was beautiful nonetheless.
Day 3- Rüdesheim and Koblenz
This was one of my favorite stops on the cruise down the Rhine. There was the option to hike to a castle nearby but a small group of us opted to taxi to Ehrenfels Castle, another castle close to where we docked, to take some photos. In the photos we saw online it didn’t look like anything special but in person, this place is a stunner. While it might be completely locked up there are so many great vantage points. You can see the Rhine below and some of the small towns along it. Ehrenfels was really set in a fairytale, surrounded by wild flowers, vineyards and rolling hills for as far as the eye could see.
Day 4- Koblenz, Remagen, Bonn and Cologne
There are a few stops along the Rhine on day 4. I encourage you to get out and explore the quaint German towns, especially Koblenz!
Day 5- Cologne and Duisburg
Cologne was one of my favorite German cities. This juxtaposition of where old meets new is seen throughout the city. Whether you’re walking along the water or deep in the city, take in the smells of freshly baked pastries and the endless history that lies within the hidden alleyways of Cologne. Some must see’s are the love lock bridge, Market Square, and catch a glimpse of the Cologne Cathedral. It’s beautiful from any angle.
Day 6- Amsterdam
Saving the best for last, I like your style U by Uniworld! Hit the ground running once you get to Amsterdam! There is so much to see and do in this city. From wandering the streets, to eating at all of the yummy cafes, to visiting museums and greenhouses and of course, the Red Light District- Amsterdam has become my favorite European city to date. Complete guide to Amsterdam coming soon!
Day 7- Haarlem and Amsterdam
Visiting Haarlem in Tulip season was something I always wanted to do. I am so happy I was able to visit! The ship will dock just a half hour from Keukenhof Gardens. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the gardens on an excursion with the rest of the group, or if you’re like me, you don’t want to be confined to the grounds of a garden, even if it is beautiful. I like to get out and explore on my own. We took an Uber to Lisse and after a few hiccups Christina and I finally rented some bicycles from a shop right at Keukenhof Gardens. This is the best and most efficient way to see the fields. There are countless bike paths that take you throughout all of the different fields, cars are not permitted on the bike paths so if you’re in a car you will really miss out! Be careful when trying to get photos, we were told it’s actually ‘illegal’ and is considered trespassing if you wander into the fields on your own. To get these photos, we asked the owner of the farm and he was kind enough to let us in for a few hours.
Day 8- Amsterdam
Check out from your beloved millennial only cruise is at 8:30am, so depending on your flight time you can go out and explore a bit more or head straight to the airport!
I hope reading this has convinced you that you absolutely have to cruise down the Rhine with U by Uniworld on a millennial only cruise! Like I said, it was my first cruise ever so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, you can definitely expect me to take another cruise or two! Have you cruised before? What’s your take?