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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was part of a 21 day Lisbon to Nice Package put together by Emerald / Evergreen as it’s known in Australia.. So this will be a trip report and review on the boat itself.. We arrived in Lisbon a day early, which I ... Read More
This cruise was part of a 21 day Lisbon to Nice Package put together by Emerald / Evergreen as it’s known in Australia.. So this will be a trip report and review on the boat itself.. We arrived in Lisbon a day early, which I recommend..Evergreen ( E) still picked us up from the airport ...there were three couples doing that... so when we got out through customs we found the Emerald sign very easily, no Driver just the sign. So the six of us just waited until he had a cigarette or whatever it was he was doing, he showed up after about 10 minutes and drive us to the Jupiter Lisboa Hotel . the other two couples, of course had a room ready for them but not us.Anyway we just went for a walk and enjoyed ourselves ,and after an hour or so, we got our room and it was worth the wait because it sounds like we got a better room than they did. Our room was a very good size with a French balcony that opened slightly to let the fresh Air in, and in the days, following allowed our clothes to dry . The next day I had pre-booked a Viator Day trip to sintra and cascais... this cost about $78 Australian each for a 8 to 9 hour trip that went so many places and saw so much . Far more extensive than the evergreen 3 1/2 hour trip to Sintra that was available the following day. . When we arrived back to the hotel after our day trip ,the foyer was full of Evergreen people having drinks and making their way into have dinner. This was very nice and it was then that we found out that most of these people had been on a land content trip with Evergreen prior to this and this was the last part of their trip . I did hear some grumblings from these people that they felt like they were being forgotten or left out because Evergreen was concentrating on the new customers now but I did not see any evidence of that . The dinner at the Jupiter hotel was very nice it was a buffet and gave everybody a chance to meet each other have a drink and retire for the night. So the next few days were spent on a half day trip around Lisbon that was included ,which was really good and just walking around ourselves enjoying things . Hotel it self was not particularly that close to the waterfront but there is so much to see around and easy to get to the waterfront that it’s not a problem, but it’s a beautiful hotel . So on Saturday, 8 September we all have to pack to leave ,some going home and some going on a bus to Porto to meet this boat. We stopped at a place for a comfort stop and snack and then later on at lunch at a place called Nazare.. I did hear the usual whingeing from people about why aren’t we getting to the boat quicker but it’s a reasonable drive and obviously the people in Porto want to clean and turn over the boat ready for us and so would prefer us to be a little later . So later in the afternoon we drove through the streets and down to the river and we could see the boat which looked really nice and staff waiting for us at the front. We got off and were excourted to our allocated rooms, then we had a briefing and a buffet dinner . the buffet dinner was excellent, , and we got to meet the other people that were already on the boat that were just doing the seven days on the Porto or joining the boat from other tours . So back to our room and we had room 216 in the middle deck. As I am a person that does their research, I knew exactly what the room would look like and the size so there was no surprises, probably that it was slightly bigger than I had expected. I did expect that it is a narrow walkway between the bed to get into the bathroom ,but that’s okay not a problem for us ,but the balcony area was slightly bigger than I had expected. I did notice that some people said that they were disappointed that it wasn’t a true balcony and when I asked them if they had bothered to look at the brochures or even do any research, the answer was no ,so I just thought they were stupid to be honest. As the brochure says, it is a drop-down window, that you can lean out and have a look if you like, get plenty of fresh air and if you hang your clothes in front of the window like I did they were dry in a day. There is plenty of hanging space, it doesn’t look much, but there was enough for us ...enormous amount of drawers for your clothes, plenty of bench space and the walls are metal, so I took magnetic hooks and clips and hang things up from the walls above the TV ,to free up the bench space.. The rooms are minimalist and very comfortable, the bed is very comfortable too ,so together with the small but functional bathroom that had shelves built into the walls ,we were very happy.It had a mini bar, which I filled with some wine that I had bought at Lisbon but didn’t drink.. I enjoyed it sitting in my room watching the world go by. The ship it self is like the rooms, very minimalist and lots of mirrors everywhere so it looks extremely clean, tidy and spacious. .I did notice that the glass doors that went to the restaurant or the bar area, were always kept open so there was no accidents of people walking into them. The bar area, where all the port talks and entertainment were, has the bar in the middle and people complained in previous reviews about not being able to see anything, but I did not find that to be the case, as there were TVs that broadcast all the talks around the rooms, so it was very easy to see what was going on. On the Top deck there was the pool and lots and lots of chairs and tables for people to sit , which was lovely. The pool is not deep, if you sit in the water it will lap at your chest and it’s just beautiful to sit there in the afternoon and watch the Vineyards and beautiful Quintas float past. The first night in Porto, just before the sun set, we did a cruise by the Porto area under some bridges and back and watched all the lights turn on in the city which was lovely and also the start of the sunset which was beautiful.. In the mornings there was stretching classes but the only stretching I did was stretching my arm out to the breakfast buffet ,which I enjoyed at the front of the ship in the bar area ,where a light breakfast was put out every morning for those up Early or just wanting a simple breakfast. There was a coffee machine in this area and also a coffee machine at the other end of the bar set up with beautiful teas, coffees, hot chocolate’s, biscuits etc..Next to this area is a small alcove that houses some games, some books, magazines ,daily printouts of news from different countries and also somewhere where you can put your excursion listening device and hear a running commentary about what we’re passing on the river. We had an early introduction to all the staff, they all look very nice, they are all Portuguese and seem to get on well together . Our tour director was Elizabeth who was quite funny and very good and the hotel manager was Manuel, also a very friendly man although I found him a little hard to understand sometimes . I have done and Amsterdam to Bucharest River cruise and really did not expect much from the Portugal one. I just thought it would be relaxing but not as picturesque but I was wrong ,both my husband and I really enjoyed the Portugal scenery ,it’s different but just really nice and it’s a shame that the river is so short because I would’ve loved to have spent longer on there.. we only did the excursions that were provided by Evergreen, did not bother with any extra ,as we were quite happy with the ones that we got. we enjoyed the museums that we saw which quite frankly I thought would be boring but again I was wrong, we enjoyed going to Salamanca in Spain and the two hour bus trip getting there and back was not a problem. I can’t understand people complaining about this because there was so much to see on the road and we had some stops and I would say 90% of the people had a snooze on the bus coming back Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Our cruise was the Sensations of Southern France from Evergreen Waterways. The ship was beautiful and immaculate, the staff outstanding, we had wonderful food and amazing wines. We were warmly welcomed and given full explanations of how ... Read More
Our cruise was the Sensations of Southern France from Evergreen Waterways. The ship was beautiful and immaculate, the staff outstanding, we had wonderful food and amazing wines. We were warmly welcomed and given full explanations of how everything would be done. It seemed nothing was too much trouble. We received a comprehensive information sheet every evening about the next day's destination and what activities would be available. Guided walking tours were flexible with faster and slower groups to help suit those less mobile like myself. Lots of information about places, people, culture and architecture was given by the local guides. The food was top quality with lots of variety and more than anyone could eat. A guest celebrity chef came aboard to cook local dishes one night, but frankly the regular shipboard cuisine eclipsed his dishes. Local produce and wines were the focus of the menus. As we docked in Tournon we saw world-famous vineyards of M Chapoutier and Paul Jaboulet Aine on the hills above us. How exciting to realise both vineyards were represented on the wine list for lunch and dinner that day! One night the people in the cabin next door to ours turned their tv up loud then went to sleep (passed out)! The wonderful night staff went to great and ingenious lengths to solve the problem for us. Even the disembarkation and final distribution of luggage was handled smoothly and efficiently. We are literally counting the days until we can book another Emerald cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at ... Read More
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at the airport and transported to the dock at Porto with relevant ease and escorted to our cabin after being greeted on board by Manuel. All the staff were very friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. The Radiance was a beautiful ship and a pleasure to be on. Cabin was a little noisy when starting the engines and the shower was a little small to get in and out for a large person but very clean. Excursions were very informative and not too long. Entertainment was varied and mainly good especially the Quiz nights and we were luckyto win both of them. I would definitely travel with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise ... Read More
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise director very efficient and friendly, and gave us a brief overview every night of what to expect the next day. Excursions every day well organised and never rushed. The Quietvox system worked extremely well and we enjoyed all the visits. Entertainment was low key and unobtrusive, which suited us. The piano player was really good and an accomplished musician who played to his audience whether soft music or music to dance to in the evening. Breakfast and lunch were self service and lighter alternatives offered in another part of the ship. Dinner was superb and beautifully presented with lovely wine. We have no hesitation in recommending Emerald Waterways for European River Cruises as they offer probably the best value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and ... Read More
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and excursions ran smoothly, to Alexander and the bar/wait staff who kept our thirsts at bay, to the cooks and restaurant staff who fed us the best food with the best service, and all of the other staff on board. the excursions were so much fun... each port had local tour guides for us and they were all so knowledgeable and knew how to keep us entertained. The free time at each port allowed us to enjoy local beers, restaurants and get some shopping in. Strasbourg was a highlight. but Cologne, Koblenz and the Black Forest areas were all close 2nds. Relaxing before and/or after dinner in the lounge was always a treat; especially when nina brought in an electric violinist 1 night to play for us... that was really cool. the Pool area was nice to take a dip and the sun deck offered the chance to get some tanning done and great sight seeing. We had such a great time and cannot wait to take another cruise from Emerald next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the ... Read More
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the balcony was internal, you still had a lovely view of the river and if you wanted too, the window came down half way so you could lean on the rail and enjoy the fresh air. The bed and pillows were sooo comfortable and yes the pillows were soft, but all you needed to do was ask for another one if needed. The size of the cabin was fine and more than enough storage space for your clothes with additional storage under the bed for suitcases. Some people have commented that the cabins were small, but remember, you only sleep in them. The food was excellent and was available in some form throughout the day ie early/late breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and evening snacks.Entertainment was very good and varied. The bar, where most people retired to on an evening was great. We went on all the inclusive guided walks which was most, if not every day. The guides we walked with were very good and very knowledgeable about the town/city we were visiting. They gave you a good insight into the place so, if you wanted to explore in the afternoon, you could go back to any of the places that interested you. But for us, the stars of the show were the cruise, from Jana the Cruise Director to the man who polished the chrome handrails everyday, the Captain and Second to the cleaners, the Chefs to the guys in the engine room. Everyone of them worked their socks off and made sure all the passengers had a great time and wanted for nothing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, we had a lovely time and will definitely do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine ... Read More
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine flowed well! Cruise Director very helpful and always smiling and knowledgeable who put a great package together with lots of added touches to make the days very special Tours were given by brilliant knowledgeable local guides catering for all abilities. Cabins are a bit small but loved the balcony view. Cabin service was excellent, Jolene was very efficient and pleasant Embarkation great, greeted well and cabins ready when we arrived Disembarkation was smooth and very organised and buses arrived on time and put our cases on the bus. We had a wonderful time and would certainly book again. it wasn't the cheapest cruise but you mainly get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this ... Read More
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this amazingly beautiful river boat, the program of visits along the Danube, its incredible staff and their professionalism. Value for money? without any doubt - a golden thread of goodwill linked each day. Bravo, Emerald Waterways! We'll be booking again! If there were any issues these were related to arrival at Munich airport where the instructions and information as well as the Tour operator were poorly represented. Likewise at departure from Budapest airport there were long delays due to another baggage handling breakdown and complete lack of customer information. Highlight of the cruise was in fact the Farewell Party with the Captain when he and all the crew and staff were represented. All passengers gave them a standing ovation and it was an extraordinary but full deserved recognition of the success of the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that Vienna would be closed on our free day there, I.e. Sunday. However, this was more than compensated by the alternative excursion to Bratislava. Following our experience on a previous cruise, We also chose to book the cruise via a travel agent, rather than directly with the cruise operator. This turned out to be very wise. The travel agent dealt with all the flight issues, and everything went according to plan. The cruise company's representatives to and from the airports were really obliging. On board, all the staff were first class and really engaged with the guests without being fawning or overbearing. We particularly liked the option of a lighter lunch and breakfast, together with a light tea, a service not offered by our previous cruise operator, and this reduced the tendency to over indulge. In addition, the layout of the dining room accommodated those couples who wanted to be on their own, those who wished to dine with newly made friends, and those who had gone in a party and wished to dine as a party. We were also able to observe the readiness with which the chef was able to accommodate those guests who had specific dietary requirements. There was a varied range of excursions and for these, there were really nice touches such as umbrellas and walking poles in the cabins. The evening entertainment was not really relevant to ourselves but that which was offered seemed to be in keeping with the demographic attracted to river cruising as opposed to ocean cruising. Just about everything about the cruise more than met our expectations, and we have no hesitation in recommending Emerald to prospective river cruisers. Indeed, we are already looking to book our next river cruise with Emerald. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are ... Read More
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are cruise would Br be leaving for another day as the ship could. Not sail into Budapest. A shock hearing this from the hotel and not the cruise line. So we were bused to our next stop Bratislava. We got on the boat a day later. Nice cabins lower deck level 1. Boat full. My wife and I are 54 years old. Average age on boat 70 plus. Even though we attended a emerald cruise event in our city after booked and specifically aske the age range and was informed that lots of 40 and 50 year olds were in these cruises. Crew were excellent in every way. Sailed for 4 days back and forth the last days in and out of Austria only to find when we got back from a really poor and expensive excursion on the Thursday that the ship could not go on. We had a few choices. Stay with the program and BUS around nd in and out of hotels. Meaning lots of unpacking. Hotel meals etc. Or they would fly us home. We had already extended our flight to accommodate extra days with friends at the end of the cruise so that was out. They would only compensate for seven days of lost travel. Web in fact we lost 10 nights. Saw an interesting note on this site in June emerald having water issues but did not bother informing passengers ahead of time. As well you can tell me the ship did not realize they’ve ever not traveling on a river past 5 days. Food was not 5 star. 3.5 at best. Lots of same old for breakfast and lunch. Don’t stay in the lunch or dinner room past the allotted hours or they would flash the light for you to get out. Having them boost about unlimited beer and wine for lunch and dinner is a joke. Draft beeer , one brand. A few glasses maybe but you only have a just over an hour and get out of the room. Fitness rom hold maybe two people. Emerald failed. Expensive excursions that are not included are a rip off. We are still in Europe after paying a lot of money to see things the cruise line failed to provide . Did not expect have to play travel agent for 10 days , truly is a crime. If you plan a summer cruise and don’t get to do it. don’t do it book with another company later on in the year if you go. Not with Emerald as they do not care about their customers just the booking. Poor planning all around. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Almost exceeded all expectations from start to finish, excellent customer service from all staff, lead by Captain Dario and Captain 2 Remi and superbly supported by Jana, the Cruise Director. Cleanliness, spaces both within Cabin and ... Read More
Almost exceeded all expectations from start to finish, excellent customer service from all staff, lead by Captain Dario and Captain 2 Remi and superbly supported by Jana, the Cruise Director. Cleanliness, spaces both within Cabin and public rooms perfectly adequate for the number of guests on board. Had a lower deck cabin which was fine - hardly spent time in it! Food plentiful, very good at all meals always something to suit all tastes - perhaps even spoilt for choice - HOWEVER, one of the reasons for choosing this particular cruise on the Rhone was it was promoted that cuisine on board would be using fresh local food and the food and style of southern France: sadly during the galley tour we learnt that food was centrally sourced including bread and ice cream and that meals were planned by Head Office for all cruise ships whether they were on Rhone or Danube. The only real Provencal meal was the one prepared by the guest chef, which was superb, and could not be faulted. This doesn't mean that the Head Chef didn't have his twist on how he presented his food and he certainly had style and presence: it was just a disappointment that our understanding was marred by the fact that it wasn't all as authentic as expected. Overall there was a good balance of activities which you could take up or leave and do your own thing. The knowledge sessions on cheese and wine were interesting and the one evening of dancing was most unexpected but very enjoyable, more so seeing such interaction of all staff with guests. As with the food, the marketing suggested that there would be opportunity to visit vineyards and 'savour some of the world's best wines' sadly we sailed passed them by night sailing. We would arrange our own next time for example, in hindsight. we would have had time to visit L'Hermitage in Touron. We will go again, these two aspects lost the 5th star, but didn't mar our overall experience. we are already looking at dates for next year! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise encapsulated all our expectations of a luxury cruise down an iconic river of Europe. The ship was very comfortable and the food excellent with the staff happy to accommodate preferences and suggest alternatives that may not ... Read More
This cruise encapsulated all our expectations of a luxury cruise down an iconic river of Europe. The ship was very comfortable and the food excellent with the staff happy to accommodate preferences and suggest alternatives that may not be on the menu. All the crew gave excellent service, especially the cabin stewardess and the waiting staff in the dining room. The pool area was an unexpected benefit, an ideal place to sit and relax during a free afternoon, with attentive service from the bar waiters. The pool was small but had a jet function that enabled you to swim against a jet of water and so exercise (but not get anywhere)! The included tours were well conducted with knowledgeable guides who took pleasure in introducing us to their city, whether it be the large metropolis of Lyon or the fascinating medieval quarters of Beaune to the Roman amphitheatre and escapades of Van Gogh in Arles. The Active options were good, especially the bike tour along the river in Tournon which was terrific, with great guides and interesting bikes (mine has 3 brakes!) All arrangements and logistics were seamless thanks to the tireless efforts of the crew especially of the cruise director Jana and the hotel manager Istvan. The week went too quickly! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and ... Read More
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and river,emerald is the best by far ! The scandinavian company should look out! Food by the executive chef and his team was wonderful,again the chef came to tables to ask our opinions,never had this before ! Excursions were amazing with good guides ,so helpful and interesting. We like salamanca the best ,a wonderful old city,so colourful and vibrant.The bar and restaurant staff could not be more helpful on board the ship,service with a smile,you do not always get this on other ships. Cabin compact but functional and again very friendly and efficient service ,nothing too much trouble .Manuel and Cornel spent so much time to make sure that everything was just right but never intrusive . We will be back with emerald again next year without doubt,emerald is the best in the fleet! Howard and Christine Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were extremely impressed with the high standards on board the ship. The cabins were luxurious and stylishly decorated with wonderfully comfortable beds. Food was good and plentiful. All of the staff on board the ship were helpful, polite and good natured and did a fantastic job. Whilst we were cruising, the Danube waters became very low and some ships could not continue with their cruise as expected. However, our Captain got us through the expected itinerary with just a few hold ups due to having to sail more slowly than usual. Top marks to all the Emerald Destiny staff in all departments. There were lots of activities to entertain us on board and off. There were energetic bike rides on offer as well as additional trips to cities away from the river if you wanted to spread your wings a bit. In the evenings there was music and dancing available and sometimes local folk musicians giving us a taste of the local culture. The absolute highlight of our trip though was the music recital and dance performance in Vienna. Vincent and Flavia danced sublimely and then were happy to meet us, their fans, having pictures taken and a chat. There were very few downsides to the cruise, but we were very disappointed that our stop in Linz was on a Sunday when everything was closed. There were some really interesting vintage and artisan shops there, so not being able to go in was frustrating. Another slight disappointment was that during the on-board dancing masterclass with Vincent and Flavia the day after their performance, there was not enough room for everyone who wanted to take part. More thought was needed about how furniture could be moved and space created. Overall though, this was a fabulous experience and one that I am happy to recommend. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals only. We did have a few drinks between meals but mostly at the beginning of the cruise and used our credits on board to pay. The care with our Cruise director Darren was outstanding so was the whole crew .Each night we get explanations on the next day activities and countries what excursions to choose. There is lots of free time if we choose to do nothing. They truly care. Darren went out of his way to accommodate us during the heat wave to make us comfortable during excursions. The Captain is the only one who risked going through the low water levels we stayed informed all the way. Precautions were taken and we felt secure. The comfort on the ship is outstanding. Air conditioning on-going. Sheets and bed all is top quality. Embarkation and disembarkation are easy pizzy! No hassle, no climbing stairs, waiting for contents to be checked, many entrances to come in or out from, good monitoring of passengers entering or exiting ship even when anchored with other ships. Activities with music and dancers from different countries were awesome and had us all participating (no obligation). Loved that the tips were included no extra to pay ever!!! We loved Vienna. The after thought is spend less time in little countries such as Lynz and Durnstein and more in bigger countries like 2 days in Vienna as it was in Budapest. Vienna is wonderful the history, the buildings, the sites...we would like to return to spend one week in Vienna only. Concert in Vienna is a must. Family visit in Bratislava is high on our list of likes. The Budapest part is something to remember for the rest of your life. We took the option to stay in Budapest and regretted it simply because Emerald excursions did such a good job at showing us the country plus the night cruise was breathtaking, 2 days more cost us over $1000. (we had to pay for our excursions, food and all) and not worth it because we had covered so much with our guides for free and great explanations. First 3 days in Prague were very well organized, our tour guide was perfectly bilingual, helpful and knowledgeable. She told us so much on on each one of our tours we really enjoyed those 3 days. The bus to Nuremberg on the 4th day made us wonder why we left Prague so late. We were under the impression that there was an organized tour in Nuremberg before boarding the ship. We left Prague at 1h30pm it took us 5 hours to get from Prague to Nuremberg. The meal stop (at our expense) was in a mcDonalds on the side of the road. Could have had a lunch packed for us from the hotel before leaving or go to a local restaurant? Anyhow, this stop is not representative of the ship standards and was very disappointing in terms of a short visit in Nuremberg and food but we should of understood at that moment that the food standards of Emerald are far from ours... Speaking of food... If you like veggies and soup (soups were very good but very salty) bread and cold cuts and desserts you are in for a treat also, there were many fruit and nuts to choose from.I have travelled more than my share business and pleasure, sea cruises, organized or not trips, it is the first time I come back having lost weight because nothing on the menu turned our crank! Nothing refined...I can appreciate we ate local...goulash, sausages, sauerkraut, shneizell we had the impression that nothing was freshly made more like warmed up cafeteria and fat. There was an option choice for those who did not like the day menu, steak, salmon or chicken breast. Steak was not the best quality and lots of pulling to cut, if you like your steak medium rare by the time they come up the stairs and serve it continues to cook and turns out to be well done; the chicken is more like an overcooked thin cutlets=dry like cardboard, salmon very dry and small portion. Captain's night Chateaubriand and fish the portions were so small 3 bites later and it was gone, night of the Celebration supper Beef cheeks tasted like plastic (could not eat it had a salad with cheese) . Lunch is a buffet pretty much always the same. I hate to post such a bad review for food because all the rest was soooooo over the top excellent.But for our group food kicks the experience up a notch! We would like an explanation of why the quality was so poor it will help us choose our next cruise. I do recommend this cruise and if food is important for you then ask more questions before you book. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected ... Read More
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected operation on his foot a few days before we came away. All seats had been block booked by River voyages so we were unable to change them. and the assistance was not as we expected. On arrival at Marseille my husband was expected to walk about 500 yds to the coach, no wheelchairs & the ground was hot ! Fortunately after a lot of questioning as I might add we had informed river voyages & emerald of this problem we had well beforehand , a very kind taxi was arranged to take my husband and another passenger also with a similar problem to the coach for free, which we were very grateful for. Once on the boat a wheelchair was provided which made life a lot easier, but unfortunately we encountered the same thing on our arrival back at Lyon Airport having left the taxi from the ship. The assistance was non existant & we were told we wouldn't get any until after we had checked in. The problem with that was that there was no one at the BA counter for about two hours after we got there. When we did eventually get to check in as we couldn't pre book our seats they were issued at check in because again they were block booked so we were given seats at the back of the aircraft which when we asked if they could be changed there was a flat 'no no'! Fortunately as we approached the aircraft door the first officer was there & my Husband displayed his dissatisfaction & he was able to instruct the crew to find a more suitable seat for him & a wheelchair to help him to his seat, to which he was very grateful. On arrival at Heathrow the assistance company then said that we weren't even on his books, when we knew that it was not true as we had had an email confirming it!! So unfortunately that was the damper to our holiday , but the actual cruise was amazing the staff from the captain to the porters were excellent, & couldn't do enough to help. The cabin was spotlessly clean --as was the rest of the ship, the food superb, & a totally different menu each day. Hotel Manager & Cruise Director kept everyone 'on their toes',[ loved the quirky stories daily given by the cruise director] , restaurant service was very good, & the entertainment was just right, not over the top, but suitable for the cruise & passengers it carried. All ports & shore excursions were good, but unfortunately due to my husbands foot, we were unable to do all the walking they entailed, but having said that with the aid of the wheelchair we were able to go ashore by ourselves, which we were quite happy with. As much as we love children it was nice not to have any on board! Despite all our problems at either end we would definitely go again , hopefully next time without injuries to hamper us . We will certainly recommend Emerald Waterways to friends, & hopefully join another one in a few years time! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first Emerald River cruise. The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and ... Read More
This was my first Emerald River cruise. The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team all genuinely seem to support each other and work well together. The ship is modern and spacious enough that one doesn't feel crowded and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers but there are also plenty of tables for two if you prefer. . The entertainment after dinner was well organised and good fun but you could just sit and chat if you preferred at the other end of the lounge.. The food was superb, beautifully presented and the wines were excellent. The trips are informative and interesting. The highlights for me were the trip to Salamanca and the rustic dinner in the vineyard. The onboard activities were fun, the tile painting, bracelet making were all very popular and you came away with a nice little memento. I will definitely be back with Emerald in the very near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We have saile other river cruises before, but this was first time in Portugal. We chose Emerald vpbecause the ship was new. We were not disappointed. Cabins like most river boats are small but well laid out. You will not spend much ... Read More
We have saile other river cruises before, but this was first time in Portugal. We chose Emerald vpbecause the ship was new. We were not disappointed. Cabins like most river boats are small but well laid out. You will not spend much time in your cabin. The staff, from the hotel manager, Manuel Peraira to the great bar staff, including Wilson and Theresa were outstanding. One highlight was the tour to Salamanca. While the bus ride was long, two hours each way it a beautiful city to visit Another highlight was dinner at a winery. Very well done. The optional to the Matteus palace was worth the extra fee. Warning, it can be very hot in August with temperatures in high 90’s. Air conditioning on ship is excellent. The tours were good and food excellent. Would I choose Emerald again? Yes, if it was an itinerary that suited my needs. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet ... Read More
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet style and your mains are on a menu and cooked fresh. There are wines and beers throughout lunch (as much as you want) supplied by a great team of waiters. Dinner is alacarte with a good selection on the menu every night, again with plenty of wines supplied throughout the meal. The service on board is 1st class and you need for nothing from getting on board to leaving at the end of the cruise. There is light entertainment every night usually a piano player so don’t expect shows every night. The lounge area is very relaxing and you will also find the bar there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The staff were very attentive and very friendly it was obvious they were having fun and this was infectious creating lots of fun for us. The itinerary was well organized with many excellent day trips to a wide variety of places. Each one ... Read More
The staff were very attentive and very friendly it was obvious they were having fun and this was infectious creating lots of fun for us. The itinerary was well organized with many excellent day trips to a wide variety of places. Each one provided uswith well informed guides who were very easy to listen to and who helped us to see and understand the history and culture of their destination. The food was very well prepared with buffet style breakfasts and lunches. Dinner allowed much variety and was aka cart. Foods of the region were featured as well as steak salmon or vegetarian meals. The cabins were perfectly laid out and provided us with just enough space and all the necessary amenities. There were numerous extras with regards to local entertainers and added programs that enhanced our trip. There were no hidden fees everything was included. Our cruise director Darren ensured everyone enjoyed as much or as little as they wanted. We would book another cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The itinerary featured several cities that we were keen to visit as well as the Danube experience. The daily activity options were varied which met the needs of the very active as well as those who wanted a more gentle approach to the ... Read More
The itinerary featured several cities that we were keen to visit as well as the Danube experience. The daily activity options were varied which met the needs of the very active as well as those who wanted a more gentle approach to the trip. We wanted to make the most of the day time cruising experience which worked well. If the ship was cruising at night it was vert restful looking out of the cabin window seeing the water passing by. The food was very good as was the wine and other beverages. The wine changed daily as did the menu to feature the local cuisine and wine region One very impressive aspect was the excellent team spirit demonstrated by the ships team Without exception they were all very customer focused and attentive. The cruise director was extremely good and all tours were well organised. Great thought has gone into ensuring a great customer experience by Emerald/. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and ... Read More
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly indeed. The ship was extremely clean and tidy and all of the staff were very friendly, polite and helpful. The cabin was always clean and very tidy and the swan that the lady made out of two towels one day was brilliant! The waiting staff and others laughed and joked with us and the other passengers!! The food was extremely good and you could eat as much as you wanted at the buffet breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The service overall was superb. The entertainment on board was great and the various groups that came on board were very good. The resident singer/keyboard player was extremely talented. The guided tours were very informative and the guides' English was always very good. The only problem was that the guide in Budapest, didn't wait for everyone to get off the bus, before moving off, which meant that a group of us lost him a couple of times. The trip in Bratislava to visit a lady in her home, was the highlight of the whole trip for us. It was extremely interesting to be able to talk to her and to find out her opinions about life during Communism and life afterwards.Our interpreter, who was a 16-year old lad called Oliver had superb English and I was very impressed with his language skills for someone so young!!! The cake and drink that she gave us was delicious. Something on the boat that we felt was not good at all, was a step that a man fell over in the restaurant on the ship. I also nearly fell over on it, although I had been told that it was there. It was a step at the far end of the restaurant (at the front of the ship) and it was only about 3 inches or so high. However one dark carpet finished before it and the actual step was covered by another dark carpet, so that it was not very visible at all. I think that there needs to be some obvious tape or some form of marking it out to people, so that they can see it much more easily... All of the staff onboard were brilliant, but Darren the Cruise Director was a star, as he not only ensured that we were fully aware of what was happening, where and when, but he also produced our luggage tags for us before disembarkation and was on and off the boat on disembarkation day with every group of passengers, checking that our luggage was there and saying goodbye to us. He was also a very funny entertainer during the daily Port Talks and the little readings that he did just before we went to dinner were hilarious. He's very good with accents too!!!! Unfortunately, me and my Mum got tummy bugs a few days after the end of the cruise, but at least it was much better that getting them during the cruise. An extremely enjoyable and informative cruise and I wouldn't hesitate in using Emerald again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled ... Read More
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled on the Danube, joining the Destiny at Budapest and finishing at Passau. We had a lower cabin with restricted view. We flew back via Munich. So arrival and embarkation was fine. Emerald arrange everyone to collect from various planes so we had about 30 mins wait before going on the bus to the ship. Getting on was very straight forward. The river water was low and someone tripped and the slope was quite steep, however the low water meant that not all ships following us got through. So whilst good weather is often an advantage I will be looking to see if there are exceptionally low water conditions as part of my planning - This was chosen at the last minute. We don't normally do trip but short trips were included in the price, these help orientate us in whatever town or village we were in and were great. We also had some really great entertainment, for example, in Vienna, we went to the Arsenal (a war museum) one evening, for bubbly and in this venue we were entertained by a Strauss music concert and lieder, then a Q&A and dance routines by Vincent and Flavia (ex-Strictly Come Dancing fame), ex-world champion Argentine Tango dancers. They gave us a dance lesson the next day and were very funny and charming. Other on-board entertainment was local and maybe not to everyone's taste. There is no real room for dancing (a postage stamp of a dance floor), it's not really that type of trip. The food was excellent, with local delicacies on offer each evening. There is only one set time for dinner, however no fixed seating, so if you end up sitting with someone you don't like, you can avoid them the second time. the average cruiser appeared to be older active person (there's often quite a bit of walking in the orientation trips). The Austrian and Bavarian villages often have old uneven pavements and can be on hills. They also offer free bike excursions (or you can simply borrow a bike). The weather was exceptionally hot and many destinations don't have air-conditioning, so if going at a hot time of year bring a fan! The ship, however, is just right, neither too hot nor cold. We first thought of buying an upgrade to a balcony, but this was rather expensive. We are glad we didn't as often those with windows couldn't see out as on canals and rivers, other ships have a habit of tying up against you at night, so it would be only of benefit when cruising during the day. The horizon lounge offered great views and some people spent the cruising time on the top deck. It did not feel crowded, even at lunch time and no long queues or aimlessly trying to find a seat as we have done in ocean going vessels. The food was surprisingly good with options of Hungarian, Austrian and Bavarian dishes on offer as you went through those countries. Wine and beer included at lunch and dinner. The cabin was fine, and as I didn't need to bring formal wear, there was plenty of storage space. Ladies did dress up slightly on some evenings, but not as formal as on larger ships. It was too hot to wear a jacket, so smart/casual trousers and shirt was fine for evening. There was a slight whoosh, from the toilets as they flushed (powerful flush!) and sometimes you would hear this in the mornings, but no-one else seemed to notice. Shower was excellent. The only slight niggle was disembarkation and being at the airport four hours before our flight (which ended up being delayed by 1.3 hours, missing our connection, necessitating a 12 hour overall door-to-door journey- not Emerald's fault but we will add on some days at the end on our next cruise.) The destinations were interesting, beautiful and allowed for enough cruising/visiting time. Almost wanted to do a back-to-back as every destination was worthy of more time spent in it. Service was exceptional in all departments. It was our first river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and ... Read More
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and efficient. The service could not be faulted. The weather was good but the water levels very low which required the captain to alter the schedule a little to get past the restriction which he did successfully, when other boats were stranded. He had to empty the swimming pool briefly to reduce weight and gain sufficient clearance(3 cm). Something to think about when taking river cruises in the Summer months. The on- board spending allowance(200 euros/ cabin) was very helpful in buying gifts. The menu choices were extensive and the food delicious, and with the generous wines at meals, we felt it was unnecessary to buy the drinks package. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I have been aiming for years to do a river cruise on the Rhone and Saone, with the historical and artistic connections of Arles and Avignon in particular high on my bucket list. I had also been noticing the attractions of the new Emerald ... Read More
I have been aiming for years to do a river cruise on the Rhone and Saone, with the historical and artistic connections of Arles and Avignon in particular high on my bucket list. I had also been noticing the attractions of the new Emerald line. Suddenly a solo-traveller special was dropped into my lap by Premier Cruises, and I grabbed the opportunity. The ship -- 15 months old with up to 138 passengers -- was even more elegant than I anticipated. From Captain to Cruise Director, the staff was delightful, and both food and service were first rate. I also loved the pool, and took full advantage of my few opportunities to use it. Few because I'm one of those passengers who cannot stand to miss a single excursion! And these were all top notch, with terrific guides and richly rewarding destinations! Unlike many river cruise lines, Emerald does not dictate restaurant seating or tour groups -- you pick your own. This is refreshing in some respects, but though you meet many more people that way, the number you get to actually know is far fewer. For a solo traveller, that proved a little disappointing. But would I travel with Emerald again? In a heartbeat! Read Less
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