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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald ... Read More
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald Sun that was unable to complete it’s previous cruise due to low water levels on the Danube. We were most disappointed with the latter portion of our “cruise”. We had anticipated that we might need to be bussed from one ship to another past a shallow part of the river. We did not suspect that the last 5 days of the trip would be done by coach. This resulted in: • Missing some of the main attractions and events that we were looking forward to. • Mediocre mass meals, rushed and served in overwhelmed restaurants • Long bus rides • The use of highway rest stops with long lines for toilet facilities • Lengthy walks a brisk pace to get to hotels and restaurants • Guided walks where we were unable to hear the guides due to the absence of the personal sound systems that had been left on the ship • Considerable time spent in lines or waiting for something to happen • Much jostling with other passengers at venues • On the plus side, we were put up in 3 lovely Hotels Apparently we are to be offered some financial compensation as part of a “cruise guarantee”. Both my wife and I feel that it will not make up for our disappointment at the way the cruise ended. In my opinion, the fact that the organization and execution of these last 5 days was placed on the shoulders of the ship’s cruise director, resulted in a less than satisfactory experience. Although she was excellent whilst on the ship, running a coach tour, especially one for 138 passengers, requires a different set of skills and specific expertise. I do not fault her, as she worked her heart out and was obviously stressed. I put the blame on the company that placed her in that position. Again, in my opinion, Emerald should have anticipated that the ship would not be able to navigate the whole river and deployed replacement vessels as needed. If they could not provide the cruise as advertised, they should have cancelled it and offered us other options. Low water on the rivers had been an issue all summer. I feel that decisions about this cruise were not made with customer service as a priority. As a result, we were left with a very poor opinion of Emerald/Scenic. We enjoyed the first few days on the Sky. We had several excursions where the leaders were exceptional and injected their talks on history and architecture with humour and personal antidotes. Other guides seemed to be intent on providing the group with as much information that they could fit into an hour- long march through the centre of town. I really enjoyed my bicycle excursion through the Dutch countryside on the first day of the cruse and was looking forward to several more as the trip progressed. Dining Meals are provided in the aptly named “Reflections Restaurant”. A light breakfast and lunch is available in the upper floor lounge. Dinner is table service while breakfast and lunch are buffet style. We found that the service staff were attentive and friendly. The food was well prepared and there were a variety of menu choices, Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner in unlimited quantities. Some of us found that the wines offered were only of average quality. We found one major fault with the dining room. It was incredibly noisy. We found our selves almost shouting to be heard by our dinner companions – it was apparent that others were in the same situation, which added to the din. The previously mentioned hard glossy surfaces that adorned the room seemed to reflect every sound. Tables were set up so that conversations and laughter carried the length of the room. The bright, high key lighting did nothing to mute the voices of those who tended to be loud. The atmosphere was more akin to a dining hall than “fine dining” The “Reflections” dining room needs some serious work on acoustics the next time this ship is in refit.  Other The other public areas were well laid out and there was a nice outdoor area at the front of the ship. The pool area at the stern was a nice quiet spot to read. I enjoyed the beverage machines that were available all day with a variety of coffees and teas. Having bicycles available for shore excursions was a nice touch. The captain was very personable and was seen interacting with passengers on many occasions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the information they needed to make the most of the trip, besides being unfailingly funny and truly solicitous of his guests' welfare and experience. The hotel manager Isztvan and his entire staff (sorry for misspellings) were also endlessly swift, efficient, smiling, and tireless. Our cabin steward, Gabriela, made sure that our cabin was always spotless, and we really appreciated her sense of humor when she put my husband's sunglasses on the towel dog she made for us one night. The chef Teo and his staff did a remarkable job of producing really wonderful food every two hours (Darren's phrase, not mine) with superb service at mealtimes and in the bar upstairs. I've crewed a sailboat with 14 people aboard as cook, deckhand, and general bottle washer and I know how hard it is to maintain the kind of standards we saw aboard the Liberte. Bravo. The sailing staff also was quick, efficient, and also endlessly pleasant when we saw them. We enjoyed the captains mightily, in particular Remi's (again, sorry for misspellings) technical talk toward the end of the cruise. Each of the guides the ship provided for our included tours and those hired was knowledgeable, competent, and funny. We enjoyed them all. This was our first cruise of any kind. It made believers of both of us - in this type of vacation and in Emerald and the Liberte in particular. We'll be back. Bon voyage - J Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was ... Read More
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was excellent--particularly when a glass was served to us in the pool area when we were cruising in the area where the wine was produced. Nice touch! The food was very good but not spectacular. The meat was often over-cooked. The chef needs a commercial souvide. We were very impressed with the housekeeping staff who tided/cleaned our cabin twice a day. The serving staff were amazingly attentive. We did a pre-cruise stay in Prague and loved our tour director--I can't remember her name but her nickname was "Foxy". We paid extra for the concert in Vienna and thought it was over-priced for an hour of music. We will definitely consider Emerald for another cruise in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not Neuremberg but we missed none of the tours, being bussed to Regensburg. We were upgraded to a better grade cabin and were very happy with the facilities in the cabin. The food was always of a high standard and there was plenty on offer at all meals. The cruise director Simona was enthusiastic and arranged our tours etc brilliantly. The tours were always interesting and the ports of call were varied. Melk Abbey and Bratislava were highlights. A visit to a Slovakian family was a lovely addition to the experience. We have another cruise booked for next year and we are looking forward to another amazing holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all ... Read More
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all overseen by Istevan the Hotel Manager who is a huge asset to Emerald Waterways. Everything runs incredibly smoothly because of his management - a true, gracious professional. The food is fantastic - consistently. The housekeeping team are wonderful and rooms are looked after well with an evening 'turn-down' service. I would say to those who have never been on a river cruise, remember that you are herded together with a lot of diverse folk in a limited space. You also have to enjoy being organised in a 'hi-de-hi campers' fashion. It's not for everyone and it's not for us again. Having said that, if you are thinking of a river cruise, I'm convinced you couldn't do better than Emerald Waterways - they have style. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally clean. The quality of the food prepared by a chef and his team was exceptional . Food provided for breakfast and lunch was also wonderful with a large variety and choice available. Wine was overflowing and good quality. The tours that were an included part of our larger tour were extremely good value showing the particular features of Portuguese life ( eg Port wine, cork ) There were only 107 people on board and getting on and off the boat was easy. There was lots of free time to do our own exploring and guests were able to choose to stay on board if they wished. Staff were amazing Their approach was friendly, engaging & helpful at all times. They were extremely professional in every role that they filled. They were also a lot of fun. activities provided on board were engaging, interesting and informative. We would absolutely recommend Emerald Waterways form our experience of the River Duoro Cruise on Emerals Radiance Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours ... Read More
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours interesting and well organised. We felt like VIPs - lush views from the Horizon lounge at breakfast, personal attention from the cruise director, Maria Elena, the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel made us feel really valued, while knowing that they lavished such attention on every other guest on board. All the staff were polite, friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team are the epitome of pleasant professionalism, a close working team who all genuinely seem to support each other and get on, which comes across well and makes the guests feel welcome and personally looked after. The ship is spacious enough that one doesn't feel crowded, yet is conducive to a friendly atmosphere, and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers and interesting conversations. Manuel and the cruise directors are knowledgeable about the Douro, and able to answer questions or chat amicably about anything - dinner cuisine and dinner conversation a very pleasurable mix. There was lively entertainment if we wanted to participate or listen, but if we preferred to retire to our cabin and our comfy beds, we couldn't hear anything. The food was superb, a good choice and generous portions, beautifully presented. The wines were excellent, and I've been converted from Spanish reds to Douro whites! The level of service and attention was such that by our second dinner, Cornell was ready and approaching with our preferred soft drink - wow! We didn't join the yoga on the top deck, preferring a leisurely lie in before breakfast, but the trips provided opportunity to walk or be more energetic - we took the less energetic options, strolling rather than climbing steps, or going kayaking - the choice is always the guests. The trips are informative and interesting without being like a school lesson, and there's always some free time, you don't have to be in a line behind the guides! A bit more time at the port tasting would have been welcome, but as a group we did ask the guide a lot of questions! The onboard activities were fun, the tile painting something quite different, and a unique memento; and the blind tasting was hilarious, but ultimately successful - I never even knew there were these varieties of port! All in all...Flawless! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what I expected. All the meals were great and the wine never ending. We also purchased the premium beverage package which was not a bad value. The ship staff really made this trip memorable. Some of the people that did an exceptional job were: Maria, cruise director; Manuel, hotel director; Cornell, restaurant director; Claudia, guest services; Miguel and Tiago, bar service; and not but least, our housekeeper, Vanessa. Each of them worked tirelessly to make this cruise one of our best. We enjoyed the shore excursions included and opted to purchase two others that were worthwhile. Did a dinner one night at a working vineyard that was a lot of fun. Did you know that many wineries in the Duoro Valley actually stomp grapes with their feet for the premium wines? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water ... Read More
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water levels. We were told that many other cruise ships had to bus their guests around the low areas but our very experienced captain was able to sail us through although we had to bypass a stop at one town because of low water. Improvements could be made in food services, particularly for vegetarians. The veggie menu showed little imagination; very heavily potato based, not enough protein based veggies. Accessibility on the shore excursions for persons with limited mobility could be improved by making sure the shore drop off and pickup points were the same place. Often there was a considerable walking distance between these points. Also, more information could be made available on how to access tour trams (cho-cho trains) for those who cannot walk around the towns. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise director, was the best I have experienced. She was warm, caring, and always thinking of ways to aid passengers who had difficulty with mobility. The food was outstanding and the chef was so friendly. I mentioned that I loved one soup and the next day it was under my door! The last night most of the crew came and danced with the passengers. Such fun. I have sailed on Gate1, Amawaterways, Viking, and Emerald and Emerald provided the best experience. I would not hesitate to sail with them again and am already searching for a 2019 trip. Give Emerald a try. You will not regret it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every ... Read More
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every meal. The only negative comment would be that the restaurant and lounge area were very noisy. The included shore excursions were well organised, we liked the freedom of not having to give our names in advance, just turn up if you want to go, so if you change your mind at the last minute that was no problem. There was not much entertainment, unlike the ocean cruises but if you want the glitz and glamour then a river cruise is not for you. The ship was absolutely spotless, the same with the cabin. The crew were very friendly and efficient, always smiling and seeing them all at the Captain's Gala Dinner was lovely, haven't had that on other river cruises. Would recommend Emerald without hesitation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the case. I have written about our cabin below so I won't go into that any further. The ship was very nice and comfortable and the staff was great. Michael the Cruise Director was outstanding. The food was plentiful and you would never go hungry but my husband said it was nothing special. The soups were weak and salty; not much taste. The dinners were somewhat unusual too; beef cheeks and lots of lamb!!!! At dinner we expected men to wear long pants but instead we had several that had on sport shorts and flip flops. Emerald does have a dress policy but doesn't enforce it. We talked with the Hotel manager and the head of the dining room who admitted they had a dress code but they didn't ask the gentlemen to please put on pants for dinner. Very disappointing. The tours and guides were excellent. Most were college students who were very entertaining and knowledgeable. Because of the low river levels we only missed two stops in Passau and Koblenz and were very, very fortunate to be able to sail all the way to Amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included ... Read More
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included as was a night at a winery) and a real highlight was Salamanca. The food is just as good as on any river cruise. I particularly enjoyed sampling the Portuguese choices on the menu and the Vino Verde. The entertainment (if you want this) is low key - mainly just a pianist though on one night there was a delightful duo playing music from around the world and I even got up to dance. The only negatives for me were: firstly all the mirrors on the ship (it is a house of mirrors) which were initially very disorientating and secondly we decided to take a cabin on the lower deck (104) because we thought it might be too chilly to use a balcony. (In fact it was VERY hot in Portugal!) The cabin was comfortable (as was the bed) and fitted out very well but had a smell of damp that was unpleasant. If you are going on this cruise you also need to be aware that you need to get in early to book anything popular such as the tile painting, visit to the Mateuse Palace etc and alternative activities for onboard activities aren't available which is disappointing. Maria, our cruise director was delightful, as were all the Portuguese crew. They were perhaps the most friendly crew we have encountered and were wonderful ambassadors for Portugal. They were also very well organised. I loved the Douro, and would advise one of the upper decks with a balcony is worth the extra money. Just as an aside, we found the average age on the cruise somewhat older than we expected - more late 70s than the 50s to 60s that we were expecting but a nice mix of nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We joined this boat after spending seven nights on EMERALD RADIANCE, as part of a 21 day trip put together by Evergreen, called Lisbon to Nice... So the trip on Liberte started quite late in the afternoon after a long day sitting around ... Read More
We joined this boat after spending seven nights on EMERALD RADIANCE, as part of a 21 day trip put together by Evergreen, called Lisbon to Nice... So the trip on Liberte started quite late in the afternoon after a long day sitting around in airports , getting from Porto to Lyon... This is not something mentioned in the brochures when you go to book.. Either is the fact that the luggage allowance on the TAP airlines is considerably less than the Singapore Air that they flew us out on. So keep this in mind! We had to be up at 5am in Porto ,and bussed to the airport early for a quick flight to Lisbon. then a nearly four hour wait at Lisbon Airport until we got a flight to Lyon.. ( we know there were earlier flights from Lisbon because people NOT on our package ,caught an earlier plane from Lisbon, giving them more time in Lyon) . So we all finally arrived at Lyon, quite exhausted.. they did transport us via mini bus to the boat, 6-8 at a time ,as soon as we came out of customs.....rather than waiting for all of us to be ready to go.. so we arrived first and started unpacking..we had missed the safety talk and introductions to the staff, so we had that after dinner. As I previously said, some of the people also travelling from Porto we’re there hours before us...I think that area should be improved... a totally wasted day for us.. Anyhow, onto the boat.. I’m quite sure this boat is slightly bigger than the Radiance, I could tell by the extra few inches gap that we had between the bed and the bathroom.. the room was set out identically to the Radiance...nice drop down window for fresh air and a drying breeze.. Plenty of storage , bench space.. again I used my magnets on the walls to keep paperwork off the benches.. water and glasses supplied, as well as robes and slippers, umbrella, walking sticks etc. Very comfortable room and bed. The bathroom... almost identical to Radiance again except it didn’t have the little recessed shelves that Radiance had, or a magnifying mirror that is so necessary these days..The toiletries provided on this boat were MOLTON BROWN.. A high end English company I think ..I know they are expensive to buy, but I have to say that the hair conditioner was rubbish...the toiletries provided on Radiance were better (Castelbel) Not sure, but it felt like the shower was smaller....I’d hate to be a bigger person.. I have to say , that I had a great deal of trouble getting my toiletries replenished on this boat..I had to ask nearly every day for more products.. never had that before.. ( I have very long hair that needs a couple of bottles of shampoo and conditioner each time it’s washed) Only given one soap..I hand wash every day, so needed more.. not a big problem, but frankly after being asked once, you’d think the steward would be onto this.. So this boat was different to the Radiance...the restaurant and bar area were in the same spots up the front.. all very minimalist and beautiful.. With the Pool area at the back .. there’s a spiral staircase at the end of each levels corridor ,that takes you to this area, or right upstairs, or to the spa etc.. If your cabin is towards the rear,this saves you having to go right back to reception and up those stairs .. The pool area is divine really, plenty of seating, a nice bar/ coffee area, a shower and toilet, and well stocked with towels.. super comfy seats and tables...Just perfect for lounging around.. the pool , although small, is plenty roomy enough and a good depth. And of course , at night it transforms into a theatre, with popcorn.. just wonderful. So I liked this boat alittle more than the Radiance...just the layout, nothing else, but I’m aware that boats have to built to fit with the locks.. Again, we had fantastic staff on board..Jana the cruise director, Istvan, the hotel manager and all the others.. it’s obvious that they all get on well , and make the most of their busy times on the boat.. we had some very funny quizz, trivia and guessing games nights with the staff.. they were quite hilarious. We had cheese tastings, gallery tours , Fabien Morales special dinners... , wonderful excursions...even though we had visited a couple of these towns before, we saw different sides to them ... we never felt rushed, we had plenty of free time and were taken to the main places that most visitors would want to see. And plenty of advice and maps given, should you want to venture out on your own.. I made the walk to the Valhronna chocolate factory from our stop at Tournon.. OMG, any chocoholics out there... there are so many free samples that’s it’s criminal..lol. I did buy some, to make up for my gluttony whilst in the shop.. From Arles, our finishing point, we were bussed to Nice for three night.. long story short.. really enjoyed the time there and the Hotel Splendid.. Would I do this trip again..IN A HEARTBEAT.. Favourite Hotel...Jupiter Lisboa.. Favourite cruise.. definitely the Portugal Duoro.. loved the scenery and met some fabulous people on board ( unfortunately they went home after Porto ) Favourite ship. LIBERTE... loved the pool area and slightly bigger rooms ( on both boats we stayed in the middle category and level ,with balcony ...same sized rooms as the top ones, but much lower price and no rooftop noise) Would I travel with Evergreen again.? .. book me in now.. I found them to be well organised, food great, wine plentiful, you can do as much or as little as you please, rooms, small but perfectly designed. It was our fourtieth wedding anniversary whilst on board.. we had a wonderful surprise of sparkling wine and towel lovebirds put on our beds during dinner which was lovely..BUT I had found out that another couple were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that night too.. after dinner, I told Jana, and I could see them running around madly to do up this others couples room also ...which they did and the other couple were overwhelmed and so happy.. GREAT JOB guys.. Fabulous holiday, Thanks Evergreen and ALL THE STAFF from both boats. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Went online and put in dates and place that worked for us and where we wanted to go. This cruise was shown so we chose it quite randomly. On first sight we were very impressed with the boat, it was clean and very modern. From the moment we ... Read More
Went online and put in dates and place that worked for us and where we wanted to go. This cruise was shown so we chose it quite randomly. On first sight we were very impressed with the boat, it was clean and very modern. From the moment we boarded it seemed that all staff wished to do was meet our every need. The staff were extremely polite and helpful. The ship was new and it was very well maintained. The food and wines were of a high quality and reflected the different towns and cities we visited. The opportunities for onshore sightseeing were interesting and fun. We really enjoyed the hearing from the 2nd Captain how the boat was piloted and where it had come from. We were amazed at the skill of the Captains getting us under the very many bridges and through the locks. We felt very safe, well treated and looked after on this cruise. We would recommend both this cruise and this company to everyone. 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: September 2018
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went ... Read More
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went flawlessly and we were soon on the Emerals Sky. Originally we were supposed to be on the Emerald Destiny but due to low water levels we were changed to the Sky. This didn’t present any problems however as the crew of Sky, excuse the pun, went overboard to make us feel so welcome. Arriving way before our expected arrival time our cabins were soon made ready and we were able to settle in and relax a little from a long flight and have a light lunch. Even Captain Stamen Dimitrov and Cruise Dorector Balazs were there to greet us on our arrival. Certainly a sign of things to come as we could not say more about the great service we received from all of the crew throughout the cruise. The Rhine cruise likely many in Europe is a trip through history and the tours and the guides we were fortunate to have were first class. All were well organized and having an “active” tour was a great option. The only bike option was in Amsterdam however so another on the cruise would likely go over well. Our dining experience was pretty much 4 star and the service was excellent although a little bit of extra help at the omelet station in the morning might have sped things along. Entertainment was fairly low key as things tend to be on a river boat cruise, just a pianist, but we should comment that the electronic violinist who came aboard one evening was excellent. In closing we would like to make special mention of our Captain Stamen Dimitrov who was so personalable, and skilled in navigating our ship safely through low water levels to reach our destinations. Also our Cruise Director Balazs who worked so hard to organize all the tours and events and made them go so well. Thank you. Still waiting for the photo Balazs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say is a huge "Thank you" to all the hard working Emerald Sky's crew/staff and the Emerald Cruise hospitality team onboard the Sky for making our trip memorable. All of the tours went seamlessly and were well thought out and very informative, all the tour guides knowlegable and able to answer all questions about our visits to the various places etc. The food was 1st class (Andraz the chef we had met before on the Emerald Sun in 2016) from the Buffet Breakfast and Lunch, to the Wonderful Dinners each evening, served extremely well by the extremely hard working waiters and waitresses. Widodo our cabin Steward worked very hard and kept our Panorama Balcony Suite well stocked with water and consumables. Many thanks to Balasz our Cruise Director who also worked very hard organising everything in port and the entertainment on board the Emerald Sky. Also keeping all the tour port talks interesting and happening ontime. This was our 3rd cruise with Emerald waterways and we are looking forward to joining them again in April 2019 in Amsterdam for our trip around Holland and Belgium. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and ... Read More
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and she was aware of the noise issue and told me she had reported it to the company, but nothing ever changes. So if you want a peaceful cruise, don't chose Emerald Waterways. Sleeping beneath a bowling alley was not my idea of a relaxing way to spend my nights on what is billed as a luxury cruise. I will not cruise with Emerald Water ways again. Everything else met my expectations. The ship was clean and well appointed and the staff was friendly and helpful. The shore excursions were well-planned and executed. My main concern is the quality of the sleeping experience, a rather important part of any cruise. September was a great time to travel and I would encourage others to cruise the Rhine during this time of the year. My advice is to find another cruise line first. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were ... Read More
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were friendly and very knowledgeable.One of the highlights was the Concert in Vienna superb! The balcony suite cabin was great apart from the cigarette smoke drifted in when we had our window open shame the ship wasn’t no smoking. Apart from that everything was very good. We thought the meals were first class from breakfast to the five course evening meal. The all inclusive drinks package and the tips all included was brilliant. The whole package was very well organised and from the cruise director to our cabin cleaner were second to none. Most enjoyable five star service and ship was very good. Cruising down the Danube was very magnificent. Thank you again to everyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked this ship so much more! The size meant ease of getting around and the smaller number of passengers meant much more concentrated attention to us passengers! We got to know the staff. They were all pleasant and very friendly. Meals were delightful, well served and delicious, We enjoyed trivia night, the violin player and also the music by the three classical performers was excellent! We also enjoyed the piano player! We enjoyed the tours and appreciated the fact that they were all well run with good guides and buses that were always punctual. I never worried that I would be lost!! Thank you for an outstanding trip!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we ... Read More
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we could not find the meeting staff for Emerald - no signs - no notices at the cafe proposed for the meeting. We were then approached by a lady with no identification telling us that our transport had left and we would not get transport until 14.30 - flippantly told just to have some lunch!! We were taken to the car and left the airport at 2.30pm. When nearing Passau the driver informed us that we still had one hour to drive. He then proceeded south and obviously had no idea where he was going, we went through fields and farmyards but no sign of a river. The driver would not stop to find out where we were - my husband called Emerald Dawn and asked where they were berthed - he told us near the central station in Amsterdam! After a further 4 calls where the driver would not communicate with the ship - we asked for his papers which stated we were going to Emerald Sun. We finally arrived at the ship at 6.20pm - no apology for lack of information or inconvenience, in fact quite the opposite. We wrote a letter to the CEO of Emerald and handed a copy to the cruise director - he did not even acknowledge it. They then told us we would be going back up the river to Regensburg the following day by coach - 2.5 hours each way - this was not what we expected and could not face another long bus trip. By the next day we had somewhat calmed down and the remainder of the cruise was good. On leaving the ship on 15th Sept. we were taken to Budapest Airport for the flight to Amsterdam and on to Edinburgh, the flight arrived late - the air bridge would not work the steward announced we would still catch our flight to Edinburgh. We RAN to the gate to find out the Edinburgh flight was gone -we are 74 years old and did not feel good after this rush. KLM were very helpful put us on the next flight where we found that 2 of our fellow ship passengers going to Edinburgh were booked and had not had the rush to a flight that was gone. The inefficiencies of the transfers were appalling, but the most disappointing was the attitude of the management of the ship, they were just not interested. this experience would not entice us to book Emerald again, in fact we could not recommend it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly ... Read More
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly each morning and evening with the minimum of fuss or inconvenience to us. The Cruise Director was extremely knowledgeable on all matters regarding the destinations we visited and always presented a pleasant happy manner throughout our cruise. The food was excellent in particular the evening meals with a good choice of dishes all accompanied by a good choice of wine.The service could not be faulted very efficient and timely. The onboard entertainment is what you would have expected but the pianist did try to accommodate most musical requests. The choice of excursions was okay at best, with very knowledgeable guides providing commentary. Overall an excellent experience at a reasonable cost. Read Less
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