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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald ... Read More
Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald Star. We had not been told, in fact our agent had checked only a few days previously and was told there were no changes. No matter, the ships are virtually identical. We found the plusses tp be ALL inclusive, a more personal feeling (only 169 passengers) able to regularly meet the same people who we enjoyed being with and more to see as always in sight of land. On the minus side we found cabin space quite limited especially hanging space which was only fifteen inches of usable rail. Despite having a 'balcony' passengers were encouraged not to open the window when moving. Entertainment was very limited unless you are keen on quizzes and games. The couple of performances by local artists were however very good. The dining room was so noisy. All glass and chrome it did not absorb any of the sound. It was almost impossible to talk to people on the same table. This was made worse by only the one sitting where almost everyone came in at once which significantly affected the time it took to be served. Dinner times were consistently over two hours long which may be fine for some but too long for us. Mooring places could sometimes be a bit grim. Just a floating dock in the middle of nowhere. Two or three of the trips took place whilst the ship was moving to another place so with quite a bit of overnight cruising there was not a great deal of moving whilst on board during the day. We had to try it but I think it will be big ship cruising from now on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose to cruise as we wanted to experience something different. We thought it would be a relaxing and luxurious way to travel whilst being able to visit several countries on the way. From the moment we arrived at the ship there was a ... Read More
We choose to cruise as we wanted to experience something different. We thought it would be a relaxing and luxurious way to travel whilst being able to visit several countries on the way. From the moment we arrived at the ship there was a warm and friendly welcome from the cruise director Balazs and the other staff that greeted us. We found our cabin to be well equipped, comfortable and quite spacious. We soon got used to life on board and found there were and good choice of excursions and activities to suit everyone. The friendliness of all crew and staff made the trip very enjoyable. They were helpful, polite and efficient and nothing was too much trouble. There was a wonderful ambience on board the ship and it was very easy to join in the social activities on offer. We enjoyed this cruise so much, it exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate to cruise again with Emerald. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and ... Read More
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and informative. Our cruise director was very genuine and knowledgeable, and always made an effort to talk to everyone. The ship is beautiful. There is a lovely pool and in the evening the floor goes over it and it is turned into a cinema! Our rooms were always kept neat and it was truly refreshing coming back to the room after a full day of activities! After dinner, it was always a joy coming back to a pillow chocolate! We even had adorable towel bunnies which were quite impressive! The activities were great for people of all ages, children to the elderly, and I could rave about the service forever, but I am about to go sit atop the lovely sun deck on the ship!:) (We are on the Emerald Star traveling from Bucharest to Budapest. It wouldn’t allow me to properly click which destination or date! We boarded 07/13/19 and disembark 07/21/19! We are on the Danube additionally not the Rhine, this website wouldn’t allow me to properly click my cruise but I just had to fill this out because my experience was unforgettable.) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise as it was an area we were interested in seeing. We stopped at very interesting places which gave us access to local history and culture in a comfortable manner. The guides were particularly good and made the historical ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was an area we were interested in seeing. We stopped at very interesting places which gave us access to local history and culture in a comfortable manner. The guides were particularly good and made the historical information very interesting. We had an extended stay in Bucharest at the beginning of the holiday at the Raddison Blue hotel which proved to be a good start to an excellent holiday. We were able to explore this wonderful city as well as having a city tour before embarkation. We joined the ship and were shown to our cabin by one of the ships stewards who told us about the facilities in the cabin. The meals on board have been excellent and good choices at each sitting. The restaurant staff have been very helpful and attentive throughout. We have enjoyed the entertainment on board but on a special note was Brett's performance. Also our cabin steward was excellent and always mindful of our needs. The shore excursions we joined were interesting and helped us understand local culture Our Cruise Director,Patricia, was most excellent at her job, very helpful and very pleasant at all times. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother ... Read More
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother set up this trip for her 80th birthday I got a chance to see what the fuss was about. Wow. WOW. First off, you do get to see PLENTY! And one of the wonderful things about Emerald Waterways is that they do all of the planning for you: passes, passport review (Enchantment of Eastern Europe goes through 5 countries in 9 days, so this is a LOT of paperwork off my plate), tour buses, guides, the works. Given I'm over burdened with logistics in my day-to-day life, this all-inclusive experience takes a lot of the stress out of planning a vacation. Emerald also coordinates experiences that going it alone can't, most notably an in-home visit for a homemade lunch with a Croatian family. The guides on all off-ship excursions are excellent. If you're a history buff (like me!) you get a lot of history and context for what you're seeing, from someone who lives there and has lived that history. Given how little I knew about eastern Europe in general this was a huge plus for me. I didn't know about the long shadows both the Roman and Ottoman empires cast over this part of the world, nor the varied and nuanced experiences of the Cold War and communism in the Balkans. I went back to the ship each night with a dozen notes for follow up at the library when I got home. The ship itself was exceptional. Service was incredibly attentive - within two days the waiters knew me and my coffee preferences on sight. The cruise director briefed us each night, so we'd know what to expect in terms of activities, local currencies and time changes, menu (more on that later), and was incredibly approachable and knowledgable. One thing that always daunted me about the idea of a cruise was getting lost on a huge boat of hundreds of people. I appreciated the fairly small ship and crew/crowd size (I think plus crew it was less than 200 people). I think this allowed both for better service and easier interactions between fellow vacationers at dinners and on excursions. The food was fantastic. They never overfed you, but I can honestly say my stomach never growled once the entire time I was on board. Dinner was previewed each night with a handout and chef recommendations, the latter of which almost never set a foot wrong. The food was excellent, in small enough portions to not feel overstuffed by appetizer, soup, main course and dessert. "One" glass of wine is provided with dinner, but that glass is constantly refilled by the attentive wait staff. Breakfast and lunch buffets were equally good. All meals included vegetarian options, and the staff even accommodated dietary restrictions on the family lunch visits. My only reservations: I'd have preferred a bit more "quiet space". Even during in the quietest times in the public areas there was music running, when I would have just preferred to hear the lull of the water against the ship's hull. I would have welcomed more opportunities to exchange cash/go to ATMs. While most of the countries on this trip (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary) take euros some of the time, each country has its own currency and not all vendors take credit/debit cards. It was quite easy to wind up with a handful of currency on Wednesday that you couldn't use Thursday and couldn't exchange easily. I would also have liked the opportunity to visit a post office to send souvenirs home, but this may be out of an unrealistic desire to avoid overweight bag charges. The short version: would I do again? You bet! You get to see a lot with very little logistics on your part and you only have to unpack once. The food is phenomenal and all of it is included, including tips. The staff can help you with just about anything where you might get stuck, and you go home with unique memories and even more curiosity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions ... Read More
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions were superb - cannot be faulted. The bedroom was all we had expected, clean and very comfortable, with lots of coat-hangers, which was a very pleasant surprise, not the norm! ( I had taken a few, just in case!) Toiletries were good and stocked up everyday and the room was attended to twice daily.. As we had booked a balcony suite, that is what we expected, not two chairs and a table inside the cabin. This would be our only complaint of the ship but it didn't spoil an otherwise truly memorable holiday. We have travelled with other cruise companies but this is definitely the best so far. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. ... Read More
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. There were a few minor problems: -air conditioning was sometimes poor, most notably in busy restaurant at dinner -WIFI was intermittent, we lost WIFI for 3-4 days along the Danube- most frustrating ! -The map for Ruese, Bulgaria was incorrect; the ship was berthed off map; our walking tour was most interesting though and worthy of our efforts. People most helpful & friendly. The itinerary included many interesting locations, with much history to see & enjoy. The guides were excellent. -The wine tasting near Vidin was excellent. -more time could be spent in Bucharest & Budapest on our itinerary, Overall, an excellent itinerary and an excellent ship, the Emerald Sun. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
All aspects of the trip went smoothly, our ship was luxurious, cabin (lowest deck) was spacious and beds and shower etc were great. Service by cruise staff was of high quality... friendly and very attentive. The daily shore excursions were ... Read More
All aspects of the trip went smoothly, our ship was luxurious, cabin (lowest deck) was spacious and beds and shower etc were great. Service by cruise staff was of high quality... friendly and very attentive. The daily shore excursions were varied, tour guides were local and very knowledgeable, we learnt a lot about the history and local cultures. Food was good, wide selection. We only cruised between Bucharest and Budapest, so didn’t go all the way to Amsterdam. We would definitely travel with Emerald Waterways (Evergreen in Australia) again. Highlights included the tour of Viminacium, a very large Roman archeological site with interesting burial findings, and seeing the 1 million year old mammoth skeleton, completely preserved in situ was very interesting as well. The Puszta Horse farm in Hungary was also excellent, great skills of the Magyar horsemen were on show, and included horse cart ride to see the local grey cattle with their huge horns and the local sheep with their long spiraling horns. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Everything was wonderful except I would not go again on Emerald Dawn, or orther ships like her, because the ill-fitting sliding bathroom door was only 60 cm from the nearest pillow of the bed and the loo was only another 45cm further ... Read More
Everything was wonderful except I would not go again on Emerald Dawn, or orther ships like her, because the ill-fitting sliding bathroom door was only 60 cm from the nearest pillow of the bed and the loo was only another 45cm further away.....so all forms of privacy are lost when you have to answer " the call of nature " to have less privacy than that which I have at home is totally unacceptable !! Also, the practice of the company to " give you a gift of 100euros each " to spend mainly on bar-drinks, is not as generous as it first seems. In the whole week, my wife and I only " usedup" 50 euros out of the " allowance " of 200 euros. so they "made " 150 euros out of us for nothing. It would be far more fair to " sign a tab " for whatever you bought and paid a bill at the end of the week, like you do in any case, for all perchases .....so beware, choose a company that doesn't pretend to give you something when It's your own money in the first place !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We decided to a river cruise and picked somewhere we had never been. The ship was well laid out the service was excellent and friendly. the included excursions were well organised and informative. A wonderful trip, and we will ... Read More
We decided to a river cruise and picked somewhere we had never been. The ship was well laid out the service was excellent and friendly. the included excursions were well organised and informative. A wonderful trip, and we will definitely go river cruising again We did a Mediterranean cruise some time ago, and found the larger ship not so welcoming. The river cruise ship is more intimate and friendly and has a much nicer atmosphere. The local guides on the excursions were very knowledgeable and approachable. We liked the fact that everything is included, no extra costs for gratuities, and no extra cost for excursions. There was an optional extra but we did not take it. The dining was terrific and wine was included and not stinted. The cruise director gave out information on ports and countries we passed through .which kept us well informed. A great experience and really excellent value for money Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea ... Read More
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea and sickness which carried on for 34 hrs. It was reported to the cruise director next morning whose only concern was my wife was missing the trip. When I recovered I went to see the cruise director who denied he had been told and said no crew or other passengers were ill but after confrontation admitted 9 other cabins had got it then my wife got it the buffet was closed to self service until no new cases but only lasted for 1 day and people still becoming ill until end of cruise including crew as we were told by our cabin steward.cabins were poorly designed. The food was mediocre tasteless and usually cold bit like Wetherspoons, seems like all sourced from central kitchen. Cruise director unhelpful staff self praised without justification. This is one company we will never travel with again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the ... Read More
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. First aid box needed more bandages (I sprained an ankle). since there is no where else to comment to the food. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. , Some commentaries on buses difficult to follow: Speakers often pitched in, without alerting us that they were going to speak, so if one was thinking of something else, or concentrating on the scenery, it was possible to miss the start, and then to catch up. Also older people cannot take in the spoken word as quickly as youngsters, so speakers need to speak slowly and clearly. . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Wanted to compare it with sea cruising. We go on sea cruising a lot and they cater better for dietary problems. too long to wait for meals. When you are on trips food was not good and should of been told when it was going to be serve ... Read More
Wanted to compare it with sea cruising. We go on sea cruising a lot and they cater better for dietary problems. too long to wait for meals. When you are on trips food was not good and should of been told when it was going to be serve late.There was also a lecture in the pool area on the only time to had to go in the pool, very bad organisation. Very little selection in fruit and biscuits. Not very happy about the food at all, thought it would of been better for the price, very expensive for what we got. Cabin and ship was very clean and modern, could do with better entertainment, also when they had a captains welcome and farewell party you should of been able to order any drink, they were very stingy with the champagne, it was an 1" in the bottom of the flute. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We had Emerald highly recommended by our Travel Agent, who had sent other clients on your Danube cruises. We were also swayed by the brochure, which promised a most enjoyable cruise. In the main, we did enjoy it, but there were ... Read More
We had Emerald highly recommended by our Travel Agent, who had sent other clients on your Danube cruises. We were also swayed by the brochure, which promised a most enjoyable cruise. In the main, we did enjoy it, but there were aspects that we thought could be significantly improved. Our main disappointment was the cuisine. We did not like the single sitting arrangement for dinner. We thought the food at dinner especially was short on variety, quality and quantity, with too much emphasis on presentation. We were not offered a barbeque, despite the great weather on our first three days. There were only 3 nights when the 'quiet area' was available with nowhere to sit quietly on other nights. We felt that a number of the tours were included just to fill in the timetable. However, the guides throughout were excellent, and we learned a great deal about the history of the 5 countries visited during and post Communism. The visits to the various fortresses and farms were overdone and added little value. The horse show was only average and very muddy!!. The two lunch meals out were disappointing, although we enjoyed the private house lunch. The service and professionalism of the crew was excellent, the ship was very well appointed, and the free use 24/7 of the coffee/tea machine was much appreciated (Suggest you provide a similar machine in the Dining Room as an alternative to the weak coffee served at breakfast). All this went a long way to making the cruise enjoyable, and to mitigating the issues highlighted above.. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky ... Read More
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky but it was changed to Sun, which was no problem as the ships are identical. The ship itself was spotless, every one of the crew was helpful and polite. The shiny surfaces, glass and mirrored surfaces did take a bit of getting used to, and could be a bit of a problem especially the stairs where we saw a few near accidents. The balcony suite was fine, always kept immaculately clean by Darko. Plenty of hanging storage as the safe has now been moved. The dining experience however was nothing like as advertised. The dining room itself is extremely noisy, and the only way to converse with fellow passengers is to shout, making it an uncomfortable experience. The food was to say the least disappointing and not at all as represented in the brochure. I have to say however, a fellow traveller who had recently been on Sky said the meals on there were excellent. Portions were extremely small, bland and unappetising. Several guests felt they had to order double to be satisfied. A starter of meatballs should not only consist of one meatball, neither should the cheese board consist of three tiny cubes of cheese with a similar thumbnail size of chutney and no crackers. We flew KLM Manchester via Schiphol threw Emerald. When we arrived in Bucharest our luggage along with quite a few other couples failed to arrive. We duly filled in the claim form, went out into arrivals to find all the transport had gone. Ourselves with one other couple after landing at 1.20pm had to wait until 5.20pm for transport, despite the Emerald rep telling us first of all it would only be 10mins. She then asked us to wait for the London flight promising us to be first on the transport. We were then totally ignored when the transport arrived but managed to tag on at the end. When we got to the hotel our cruise director Yana took details of our lost luggage, but after that showed no interest in it unless we asked her. We were not informed the night after when it arrived and the following morning it had disappeared again, thankfully found on another floor!! As a result of this we went from Wednesday morning till Saturday afternoon in the clothes we stood up in. Yana did say on the Friday, again after asking what we should do, that we had €100 each for necessities. This experience soured what should have been a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My husband and I wanted to see Eastern Europe. Our stay at the Sheraton in Bucharest was good also the tour of the City. The Sky Emerald was a very well designed ship very contemporary design with clean lines, which we loved, however ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to see Eastern Europe. Our stay at the Sheraton in Bucharest was good also the tour of the City. The Sky Emerald was a very well designed ship very contemporary design with clean lines, which we loved, however the cabin space was small and not enough room to hang our clothes. On the other hand there were ample spaces in the very deep drawers. Another minus for us was that we had to turn side ways to get to the bathroom as the bed was next to it which left little room to move. We were also disappointed with the balcony, or lack of one, as we paid extra to have one. The service on board ship was good but very noisy dining room both at breakfast and dinner. The entertaining was very poor and was the crew show. The travel to embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly The overall trip was very interesting and the Guides were all extremely knowledgeable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Excellent Cruise, good value for money. Service on board was very good and the dining room staff were excellent as was the food which was of very good quality and variety. The cabins were clean and comfortable and the steward was very ... Read More
Excellent Cruise, good value for money. Service on board was very good and the dining room staff were excellent as was the food which was of very good quality and variety. The cabins were clean and comfortable and the steward was very helpful. there were plenty of chairs, sun beds shaded areas on the sun deck and on hot days water was supplied at no cost as well as the waters ready to supply us with other drinks. the only criticism that I have was that there were no blankets kept on the sun deck to soften the hardness of the sun beds as have been supplied on other cruises. the swimming pool was a great asset and was kept clean and tidy at all times. the free drinks with lunch and dinner were an excellent idea. the trips out were interesting and the coach travel to and from the venues was of high quality. All in all this was a very good choice of cruise and we would consider using Emerald for any future crises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Trip looked interesting, the cruise went to several countries not visited before and the all inclusive nature of the trip appealed. The ship was elegant and seemed to have all that we would require. The food was excellent, although, ... Read More
Trip looked interesting, the cruise went to several countries not visited before and the all inclusive nature of the trip appealed. The ship was elegant and seemed to have all that we would require. The food was excellent, although, not that adventurous, particularly in the evening. Staff were always approachable and friendly. The evening entertainment was very basic and not to our taste, in the main. The same applied to the all day cruising. Excursions were excellent. The guides were first class. They knew their subject, had humour and patience with all. Very impressive with every one of them and the quality of their experience. Cabin was fine. Very compact, but it served its purpose.It was kept clean and tidy by housekeeping. The hotel was good and the food plentiful and good quality. It was not made clear to us that we would have to provide lunch and diner on our day in Bucharest. Not a problem, but better to be informed when booking. The contact before the trip was the only disappointment. The final details came late, no promised 'phone call was made and only one rucksack delivered,instead of two. The only blemish on the trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We picked this cruise as we wanted to visit countries that were new to us and 5 countries in 7 days.. Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary fitted the bill! WE were very impressed with the organisation from beginning to end. ... Read More
We picked this cruise as we wanted to visit countries that were new to us and 5 countries in 7 days.. Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary fitted the bill! WE were very impressed with the organisation from beginning to end. Transfers went smoothly and on disembarkation day cases and rooms did not have to be vacated until 8:30, we were leaving the ship at 1pm and were surprised to find that we were given lunch before departing in our taxi as we were the only ones on our flight from the ship. Our cruise director Matthew was always helpful and attentive and on the last night we found out what a good voice he had. The included trips proved to be far more interesting than we expected and our guides spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable. The idea of splitting the coaches into 4 with 4 being for the most active and 1 being for people who needed a slower pace worked well and was appreciated by all we met. We went on 2 "extra" trips, the first being the open air museum in Bucharest. This was probably the least enjoyable of the excursions, possibly because it only stopped raining as we arrived and we were only able to visit 3 houses, the rest being locked, however it was still interesting. Our second excursion was to the National theatre in Belgrade. That was a marvellous experience, seeing backstage, costume making etc and finally we were treated to a concert by 2 student opera singers, who had beautiful voices... and we had a glass of wine as well! The ship was comfortable, the glass sides in the dining room and the lounge added to the experience, especially as the weather was not good enough to sit on deck. The food was good but not exceptional, however the wine made up for that and all the staff were excellent. Coffee was a let down, often only warm and/or weak and we resorted to making a drink on the lounge machine which was always available. Entertainment: We had a local dance troupe one night, who were good and a Croatian band one night. However a criticism of the lounge was that many of the seats faced away from the dance floor and if you had one of those seats you were limited to watching the acts on the TV screens placed at either end of the lounge. Although WiFi was provided for most of the cruise this proved unusable, (maybe a plus point depending on your viewpoint!) We have no hesitation in saying that we would travel with Emerald again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
AFter 4 river cruises, I figured that the companies were all great and did not matter too much. But, I was wrong. My first time on Emerald and I was dissatisfied with the service. Things did not start out too well for me when my airport ... Read More
AFter 4 river cruises, I figured that the companies were all great and did not matter too much. But, I was wrong. My first time on Emerald and I was dissatisfied with the service. Things did not start out too well for me when my airport transportation from Emerad did not show up, and despite there being someone there from the sister company Scenic, this representative told me she never heard of Emerald and would not help me. The driver was contacted by a random stranger and he apologized, but I got no apology from the cruise line or cruise director for the over 1 hour wait. The only other part I personally was affected by was when I inquired about an optional excursion, the cruise director basically talked me out of it and said it would not be that great, but everyone who went on the trip said it was really amazing. I think the cruise directors inexperience really showed in instances like this, and forgetting to tell us to bring our passports on certain excursions. I found my balcony cabin very nice, and roomy for 1 person, but I heard from others that for 2 people it was too cozy. I found that the cabin and the rest of the ship was very modern and stylish, though some of the chairs were too much on style and not enough on comfort (particularly difficult to get out of...). I personally loved that the balcony was just a window that dropped down, I loved sitting there, and loved the extra space that it affords. The food and wine was very good, I really enjoyed the quiet and smaller breakfast and lunch in the lounge. As a solo traveler, I enjoy eating with others but spending over an hour each meal for food and chatting gets tedious. I thought that the guides and excursions were excellent, and seeing Eastern Europe this was was less intimidating (because of language and alphabet barriers). I don't think it is a good intro to Eruope for beginners, and if you are going the whole distance, I would recommend starting East and going west- especially if you go further west than Budapst where the scenery is prettier. The local entertainment brought onboard was excellent, but the lounge was just too small to fit everyone comfortably. One word of caution for those with reduced abilities. There is an elevator on board, but you have to climb stairs to get on and off the ship (and muster). There were a few on the trip in scooters but this part of the world is not ready for this, I saw them always tailing behind and getting stuck with staircase. And, even though there is a slow walkers group, the amount of walking in some ports was a lot, and getting up and down in coaches is also tiring, so make sure your fitness is up before you attempt it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Good reports about the ship and crew. The staff were great - dining waiter Alin, Milan and all the others were charming and very attentive. Cabin staff Elena was great too. Yes, we would be delighted to travel with Emerald again. The ... Read More
Good reports about the ship and crew. The staff were great - dining waiter Alin, Milan and all the others were charming and very attentive. Cabin staff Elena was great too. Yes, we would be delighted to travel with Emerald again. The ports visited were most interesting especially Belgrade . Only problem being was with the currencies in the different countries - Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia - we wanted to spend money but had difficulty as most of these countries wanted local currency - it would have been good to have had a money exchange on board the ship !! Hungary was ok as they would accepted credit cards and euros as I suppose it is more developed as a tourist city. The organisation of the cruise and the explanation of the itinerary was well presented by Simona - super girl with great personality. We were lucky enough to be invited to the Captain's Table which was really a thrill. Captain Zamfir Costica was a very charming and interesting man and spoke to him frequently later about his experiences on the river Danube over many years. We spent three days in Budapest after disembarkation and all went smoothly before flying home. We loved the experience of it all !! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We liked the itinerary from Bucharest to Budapest. We were able to get to several countries we had not been to before. We had a lot of very interesting side trips, most of which were included and learned a lot about their history ... Read More
We liked the itinerary from Bucharest to Budapest. We were able to get to several countries we had not been to before. We had a lot of very interesting side trips, most of which were included and learned a lot about their history specifically what life was like under Communism. The people are warm and passionate about their countries. We got to taste some the regional food specialties and try the local liqueurs--which were interesting. The cruise boat consisted mostly of English people--I think this company has a large office in London, so we were two of 5 Americans on board. Everyday on board there was a tea time. The breakfasts and lunches were buffets but the dinner was off of a menu. The lunch buffet was interesting because the chef made regional dishes based on the country we were in, plus included salads, several entrees, desserts, and homemade ice cream--plus wine at lunch and dinner. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
After many ocean cruises and a couple of non-European river cruises, this was our first European river cruise. We were absolutely blown away by Emerald and the Dawn. The overall organisation of the trip was excellent. We spent two ... Read More
After many ocean cruises and a couple of non-European river cruises, this was our first European river cruise. We were absolutely blown away by Emerald and the Dawn. The overall organisation of the trip was excellent. We spent two nights pre-cruise in Bucharest at the Sheraton - the room was small and disappointing, but the breakfast was good. During our trip we were taken on so many excellent excursions, that it is hard to single out any one, but starting on the city tour, the guide in Bucharest really brought the Ceausescu situation and the revolution to life with her detailed account of the events. The other guides on our daily trips were equally qualified, and we learned so much about the Balkan states and their history. Some days we had half day tours, but on a couple of occasions we had lunch out (memorably with a village family in their house) and then picked the ship up further downstream. On all trips we used receivers, which were kept in our cabin, and it was up to us to keep them charged for the next day. Emerald Dawn is a beautiful ship - new, modern, clean, plenty of room for everyone, the cabins are comfortable, the public rooms are light and airy, the food is good, nothing is too much trouble for the staff. It is excellent. Our compliments to the Captain and all the crew for their hard work and efforts to make everything seamless. Would we go again? Certainly!! We are hoping to cover the rest of the river from Budapest to Amsterdam next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Most of the cruise was very good with excellent excursions and good service from the cruise director with regards to these excursions. On board service was not so good though, I have been a coeliac for many years and Emerald were informed ... Read More
Most of the cruise was very good with excellent excursions and good service from the cruise director with regards to these excursions. On board service was not so good though, I have been a coeliac for many years and Emerald were informed of my need for a gluten free diet when the cruise was booked, I was told on arrival that this would be catered for and was well understood. Each day I was given a menu marked with the items I could and couldn't eat, but one night I was given spaghetti with my meal and when asked was told no I couldn't eat it as it contained gluten, the same night wafers were put in my dessert, again not gluten free. The restaurant manager said he would give extra training to the waiter but the next day he gave me a menu with items containing gluten not marked, this time he blamed the chef. On the 4th day at breakfast the already opened packet of cereal I had been using was finished, I mistakenly assumed there would be another packet I could start the next day but apparently not, less than half a packet was all I was supposed to eat in 7 days and when I complained I was told by the cruise director that I should have said when booking if I wanted to eat cereal every morning. The restaurant manager did say he would send somebody ashore to buy more but when I asked the next morning the waiter said he had not asked anybody and it would have been easy to get as we were docked overnight in Budapest with shops nearby.On the last night in the restaurant baked alaska was served I was told I would have a gluten free serving but when it arrived it had had the meringue removed but still had the sponge on it, I asked the waiter if this was right and he took it back to the kitchen where they just added more and said it was fine to eat I didn't think this was right so he again went to the kitchen where they removed the sponge and returned with ice cream with some sponge still attached I decided not to eat it. At teatimes I was given a gluten free roll with salad in it but never given anything else, great fun watching everybody else having a large variety of sandwiches and cakes to choose from. I also informed Emerald when booking that I needed a sharps box and requested one for my cabin but they said they didn't supply them and I would have to bring my own, I did phone a second time to confirm this and was told although lots of people had complained they did not supply them so I purchased one and took it with me. The first morning on board I was talking to our cabin stewardess and during this conversation she asked why I hadn't asked her for a sharps box as they had them on board. The service from the bar staff and cabin stewardess was excellent and the waiters in the dining room were very polite and helpful but needed more training with special diets. The restaurant manager seemed to be helpful until I had problems then managed to avoid me for the last couple of days Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise from one of the Emerald brochures, having explored the various places that we would be visiting, and could not have been more satisfied with our choice. From our first contact with the Emerald staff we were treated ... Read More
We chose this cruise from one of the Emerald brochures, having explored the various places that we would be visiting, and could not have been more satisfied with our choice. From our first contact with the Emerald staff we were treated with courtesy, and embarkation from the buses that brought us from Bucharest down to the Emerald Dawn was efficient and welcoming. This ship is relatively new, and beautifully furnished throughout. The Lounge and the dining area are spacious, light and airy, and the public areas outside, i.e. the sundeck and balcony are well provided with chairs of various types, tables, and footrests. For the first two or three days of our stay the Lounge was free of the seemingly ubiquitous musak, and that was lovely, but after a couple of days it did appear - shame ! Our cabin had an integral balcony, and we were very pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to one with extra facilities (fresh fruit, a superb coffee machine); our beds were very comfortable, and every facility that we could wish for was provided. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean throughout our stay, and the only suggestion that we could make which would enhance a stay would be the provision of a handrail in the shower. Dining on the ship, whether informally at breakfast and lunch or formally in the evening, was excellent, and the waiting staff and Maitre D ensured that our every need was met. Afternoon tea was provided, land that was so luscious that we gave it a miss, fearing for our waistlines ! We were very surprised indeed to be invited to the Captain's table for dinner - such a pleasure ! The swimming pool, and the calm area in which it is situated, was a wonderful addition to the experience, and although we did not visit this when it transformed into a cinema at night we did, one evening, relax there in the peaceful blue lighting. The entertainment on the ship was excellent, and the Cruise Director enhanced our holiday by the short talks that she gave before dinner each evening, highlighting the next days' activities, Every port and shore excursion, all of which were interesting and informative, was organised and managed in the most efficient manner, without, at any time, causing us to feel that we were being organised far too regimentally. The local guides were excellent and always enhanced our experiences to a great degree. To sum up, we cannot, in any way, find a single fault with this marvellous holiday, and can only compliment the whole crew and every staff member on the level of service, kindness and humour with which they carry out their duties. We hope that we will be able to travel on this ship again. Read Less
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