Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and staff were helpful and the Cruise Director was exceptional - thanks Darren! Having a larger pool was a bonus, as were the acuarobics. Entertainment was up to the usual Emerald standard, and the shore excursions and activities each day were interesting and good value. Food was generally very imaginative and we had the services of a famous French chef one evening, who produced a really splendid dinner. It was a very hot week, and the air conditioning throughout the ship was welcome. This meant that outside activities were restricted. I would have preferred a more relaxed dining option like we had on the Douro - i.e. dinner from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. rather than the set time of 7 with a 15 minute window. Too early for us, but I understand that the Americans like to dine at that time. The ship mainly sailed through the night, and that meant we didn't enjoy much of the wonderful countryside and the excitement of going through the 12 locks - the nicest days were the last two, leaving at 3.15p.m. for the journey. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous ... Read More
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous backpacks and ticket wallet pre-cruise. They met our plane, and transferred us to the hotel, even though we arrived two days early to get acclimated to the new time zone. Ship was beautiful, spotless, and cabin space very well planned, with plenty of storage space for our two huge bags of luggage, as we traveled pre and post cruise. We would have liked more hooks. They provided bathrobes and velour slippers, Each room had a flat screen TV with huge number of channels, with movies, TV series, travel videos. Umbrellas, walking canes, earplugs, Moulton Brown toiletries, and WASHCLOTHS---a rarity in France. Shower space was fabulous compared to our last cruise on a regular cruise ship in March. Just wonderful. The only negative was the chairs in our in-room balcony were too big for the space and really, really uncomfortable. Included tours were excellent, the guides on almost every tour were delightful, charming, humorous, knowledgeable and spoke perfect English, which we followed on our Emerald padded headsets, which you re-charge every day. We booked 3 extra tours for the afternoons, and they were worth every penny, as these were spectacular points of interest visually, and you also got to see the countryside on the way to the destination. I don't think you could take a bad picture at any of the places we visited---we took over 75--- and every single one could be a postcard. Tournon was our least favorite stop, as there is not a tremendous amount there---maybe a cooking class could have been offered? Evening entertainment for us was mostly movies in the room, but we did go to the movie trivia night--where I won the bottle of wine! It was lots of fun, though we wished the evening events started just a bit earlier, as 9:15PM was late when you had to get up early in the morning for the tours. We are not morning people, but we adjusted. Our cruise director Darren, and the activities director Didi (I'm sorry if I have misspelled their names) were very entertaining, helpful, and efficient. Loved these guys! My husband took one of the bike tours, and enjoyed it immensely. Never used the pool, gym, hairdresser, masseuse, or did yoga, so can't comment on those activities. Breakfast had 3 times; early, regular, and quick bite so you could make the tours. Buffet of selections for every taste, but darned near impossible to get a cup of coffee right when you sat down. Don't know why they don't have coffee machines in the dining room, as I ended up getting mine at the machine in the bar and walking it downstairs---not good--- or safe. Lunch buffet was also very good, lots of selections, with choice of two kinds of ice creams with toppings, and sauces--- every day. Always a line for that. Again, getting a non-wine beverage here was also a problem, and I ended up bringing my iced tea down from the bar. However, if you are a wine drinker, you're in great shape on this cruise, as they never stop pouring...….ever. Dinner was our least favorite meal. We advised in advance that we don't eat pork products, veal, and I'm allergic to shellfish. The first night there was nothing on the menu I could eat, so I spoke to the maître d. She advised there was always a choice of a steak, salmon fillet, or chicken breast and Caesar salad. So, we ordered the steak the first night. The Caesar salad came with BACON sprinkled on it (!!!) and the steak was very tough, so we stuck with salmon most nights--though I don't love it, it was tastier than a plain chicken breast. The celebrity chef night was absolutely the best meal of the cruise, and we could have had his menu and bread every night and would have been very, very happy. The dining staff needed more training, as they could not accommodate any special requests, i.e. dressing on the side for the Caesar salad. In fact one night I was told that the Caesar was an entrée! They cannot deviate, and don't understand what you are trying to say. Also, they forgot two special meals at two other tables around us, and one passenger was furious. Dinner is one sitting at 7PM, so I understand the difficulty of serving over 130 people all at once. Maybe a smaller buffet in the bar area would help--- like they do for breakfast. I actually prefer buffets, as I can choose what and how much I eat. Dining portions were very small, but OK for us. Miguel the dining manager was very charming, always cheerful---but he has his hands full training this dining staff. Also, they need to try to smile more, as they always seemed stressed---which they were, I'm sure. If you have never taken a river cruise before, please be aware there is lots and lots of walking, sometimes you have to climb up and down stairs as you cross over other boats you are tied up to. Because you are tied up to them on some days, you cannot raise the shades in your cabin---so the "balcony" becomes unusable. But you are off early and don't spend much time in the cabin on most days. Also, this cruise is not suitable for children, as there are no activities for them. Most of the cruisers, I would guess, were over 60. All in all, an almost perfect vacation. Wish they did a Normandy River Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise was a present from my parents and for a range of reasons I took my son, so our family group ranged from 16-76 years old. I was a bit anxious about this, assuming (rightly) that he was going to be decades younger than most ... Read More
This cruise was a present from my parents and for a range of reasons I took my son, so our family group ranged from 16-76 years old. I was a bit anxious about this, assuming (rightly) that he was going to be decades younger than most people. It didn't make a difference! We had an absolute ball. We were picked up efficiently, fed on arrival and then the secret luggage fairies delivered our bags to our room...with check in being earlier than expected. The cabins were a delight - the window came down to give the impression of a balcony...beds were comfy, shower strong and loads of storage space. The food was brilliant - obviously we ate too much and I had plenty of excellent wine. I bought the extended drinks package, so for a small additional amount, had free flowing wine and beer.Without this, the drinks were slightly expensive. The staff were just brilliant - a special mention to Miguel - the hotel manager - he was everywhere - loading bags, serving ice cream, moving bikes. The company is lucky to have him. Our excursion guides were all slightly' quirky' - funny, knowledgable and at no point turgid or boring. There were a range of walking groups, from a bit of a hike to gentle walking - so catering for everyone. We were rubbish at the quizzes, but at least there were plenty we could try. There is a swimming pool and gym (not huge, but OK) on board, lots of cycles, yoga and aqua. It didn't make a dent on the food I ate - but it could have been much worse! So I have gone from being slightly anxious to discussing our next trip with Emerald! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not ... Read More
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not allowed to work and we had to spend last night in hotel. We were looked after excellently by the Emerald staff, cannot praise them enough. The whole cruise was excellent. The wine experts very entertaining and knowledgable. The wine tasting was a real treat, expertly presented. The food was superb especially the gourmet evening with French chef. The wine selection for the meals were very good and added to the enjoyment. No faults to list, just praise for the staff and crew. The boat was kept spotless the cabins were efficiently serviced with attention to detail. All the included excursions were well organised with very good local guides. Let’s hope the boat is going again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. We were disappointed that the ship often sailed during the night. When it did sail during the day, there was no access to the top deck due to the many, many lochs and bridges. (There was free access when in port). On day 6, the french authorities boarded the ship for an audit. The ship was prevented from completing its journey. The next day : * we travelled by coach to a vineyard - over 2 hours each way * a scheduled cheese/wine event did not take place * we made our own arrangements for lunch * returning from the coach trip, we were told to pack as we would be staying overnight at the Radisson hotel and we had to find somewhere for our evening meal * we were able to claim for 2 basic meals - but the allowance was far short of the standard and number of courses we had become accustomed to plus, unlimited wine with our meals * passengers were very low in spirit at the end of the holiday and we have never had an explanation as to why the ship's paperwork was not in order. * Liberte was unable to make its return journey to Arles, meaning many more disappointed people. I have written to Emerald Waterways suggesting compensation should be a seventh of the cruise price. I have not had a reply - just a standard letter and a cheque for £110. I don’t think this is adequate when you consider the disruption and inconvenience we experienced. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very ... Read More
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very expensive. Let me explain - after our evening meal on Thursday the captain announced that we had been ordered to return to Lyon by the French Authorities- no explanation as to why and we still don’t know why. We were told that on Friday morning we were to have breakfast between 7am and 8am as the staff, who were all wonderful, had been ordered to cease all services at 8am. So if you stayed on board, which we did, there was no lunch, no evening meal not even a cup of coffee. We elected to stay on board instead of subjecting ourselves to a very long coach journey. When the coach did return we were told to pack our cases and be ready to leave as we were to be transferred the hotel Radisson in Lyon. This is not what you expect to experience on an expensive river cruise with a reputable company. I must say the Cruise Director Jana (I hope that is how to spell her name) was absolutely marvellous and was assisted by Drazen who was also marvellous. They had arranged wonderful entertainment. One thing we were disappointed with was that we couldn’t enjoy sitting on the top deck when the ship was sailing as we did when we were on the Rhine cruise. I’m not sure the French Authorities want to have cruises on their rivers if this is how they treat the people on them. We still haven’t had an explanation as to why this situation occurred. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Having been with emerald last year to Holland and Belgium we loved it so much we booked again, such luxury and quality. Emerald are good value for money, not cheap or too expensive. This company have very good staff all over the ship, they ... Read More
Having been with emerald last year to Holland and Belgium we loved it so much we booked again, such luxury and quality. Emerald are good value for money, not cheap or too expensive. This company have very good staff all over the ship, they can’t do enough for you, very attentive, the Liberte is a small ship, the guests are like having a big family, very friendly. The tour guides are fantastic, very knowledgeable and most are French and they speak in English. The food every day is geogeous from breakfast, lunch and dinner to afternoon tea and late night snacks. The accommodation is luxurious and comfortable, lovely beds. The tours that are included in the price are brilliant. I would not hesitate to book again for another cruise with Emerald it’s deciding exactly where to next so much choice. From home to the airport then the transfers it was effortless. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first river cruise with Emerald and it won’t be our last. Everything was so well organised from the embarkation at Lyon to disembarkation at Arles. When we joined the ship it was lunchtime they had prepared a buffet for ... Read More
This was our first river cruise with Emerald and it won’t be our last. Everything was so well organised from the embarkation at Lyon to disembarkation at Arles. When we joined the ship it was lunchtime they had prepared a buffet for everyone which was very nice, check in is officially 3pm but our cabin was ready early, the cabins are very nice light and airy lovely beds and nice bedding. The whole ship is lovely very clean and modern and comfortable. The dining room is very nice always a good selection of food at every meal and different wines every day, which were excellent, the staff work so hard always have a smile, wherever they are they will greet you, they were such a lovely crew. Whoever did the laundry deserves a big pat on their back, it was so quick beautifully returned and done in such hot conditions as the outside temperatures was 35+ Some of the days! The cruise director Yana was fantastic, she was always there happy cheerful ready to greet everyone, she works so hard but we could tell she loves her job, she is a real joy I hope we meet her again. We were only back three days and we booked another river cruise with them for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the experience, hard work and dedication of our super (and funny) cruise director Darren (he reminded me of Alan Carr). As on our previous two cruises with Emerald, all meals and the complimentary wines served with lunch and dinner were just superb (one or two of the waiters serving wine seemed more reluctant than others to top-up regularly, but they were easily avoided by moving to a table where one of their more generous colleagues were serving). There was an inclusive excursion at every stop, with local top notch tour guides provided. Every town/city was interesting, we particularly enjoyed Avignon and Viviers, and we found these inclusive tours were enough without going on additional paying excursions in the afternoon. We thought that rather too much cruising was done during the hours of darkness, and it would have been nice to have more opportunities to sit and watch the world go by during the afternoons and evenings, but I'm sure there were probably good logistical reasons for this. We would certainly go on another Emerald river cruise, but are quickly running out of rivers in Europe. I've marked fitness & recreation, entertainment and enrichment activities as excellent, but in all honesty, I didn't avail myself of any fitness facilities and the other two categories are a matter of taste. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We were interested in the area and have travelled on Emerald before and liked the boats (especially the swimming pool). . The crew were very good, customer service excellent, a there was a varied and interesting events programme. There ... Read More
We were interested in the area and have travelled on Emerald before and liked the boats (especially the swimming pool). . The crew were very good, customer service excellent, a there was a varied and interesting events programme. There was not a lot of sailing during the day as the nature of the trip meant there were short hops rather than long gaps between towns but that was more than made up for by the interesting medieval towns on the itinerary. There was lots to do on and off board with a full programme including yoga, walking tours, aqua aerobics and quizzes and all the staff were cheerful, efficient and hard working and any problems ( of which there were few) were dealt with immediately). The cabins were comfortable and well designed with ample storage space and kept immaculately clean by the housekeeping staff and there was a good choice of food, delicious and well cooked. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
First impressions of the boat were excellent and we had no reason to change our minds. Embarkation was smooth and we were shown to our very comfy accommodation. The cabin was quite compact but very well designed so space wasn’t a ... Read More
First impressions of the boat were excellent and we had no reason to change our minds. Embarkation was smooth and we were shown to our very comfy accommodation. The cabin was quite compact but very well designed so space wasn’t a problem. It was kept immaculately by the housekeeping staff throughout our trip. The food was outstanding, covering many of the regional specialties during the course of the week, always plenty of choice and always delicious. The wine was well chosen and flowed freely during lunch and dinner. We cannot praise the staff enough, always friendly and helpful. They made you feel your enjoyment of the holiday was very important to them. The daily excursions were well chosen using knowledgeable and helpful local guides. The evening entertainment on board was enjoyable, especially the quizzes and dancing, we also had great fun taking part in a salsa lesson one afternoon. We were particularly impressed by the officers’ sympathetic, discreet and effective handling of a thankfully minor medical emergency involving my husband, who has diabetes. The discreet subsequent enquires as to his health were greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone for a fabulous cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Emerald Cruise: Lyon to Arles with Nice extension – June 8-18, 2019 Last year, my wife and I, along with another couple booked the Rhine river cruise with Emerald Cruise Line, adding 3 days in Nice as an extension of the trip. The ... Read More
Emerald Cruise: Lyon to Arles with Nice extension – June 8-18, 2019 Last year, my wife and I, along with another couple booked the Rhine river cruise with Emerald Cruise Line, adding 3 days in Nice as an extension of the trip. The cruise itself was awesome! River cruising allows you to watch the countryside go by at a pleasant and relaxing pace. We never felt the motion of the ship, nor heard the sound of the engines. We often lowered the upper window of our French balcony, hanging our heads out the window to enjoy the air and the views. The room was comfy, and efficiently used the space. Our housekeeper, Petra, was friendly, efficient and kept our room immaculate without ever disturbing us. We sailed North to South from Lyon to Arles, making stops at Chalon, Tournon, Viviers, and Avignon. Our Cruise Director, Jana, introduced herself and made us feel welcome and at ease, giving us an overview of what we would see in the following 7 days. Each evening she would explain the next day’s itinerary and what excursion options we could choose [or just relax on the ship playing games and meeting new friends]. At each of those nightly previews she would relate a “story” to us which would crack us up. You can’t miss Jana’s stories. She introduced the captain and the captain 2. The captain welcomed us in French while captain 2 translated, adding several funny quips which may or may not have been in the original. Jana then brought out Istvan, the “floating hotel” director. He obviously has a stressful job and emphasized our comfort and safety. Next, we met our activities director Drazen, who was hysterical the entire trip. He led most of the games such as music and movie trivia, true-or-false, and the more physical activities such as bike trips, pool aquatics. The chef, Theo, was very talented. The food was outstanding. The breakfast was a full buffet, lunch was a buffet combo with the main entrée being a selection prepared in the galley kitchen. Dinner was outstanding both in its variety [with many different selections for each night] and the quality of the cuisine and presentation. Every dinner exceeded our expectations. And, of course, the wines from the Rhone valley [Cote du Rhone, Burgundy, T’ain L’Hermitage, Chateauneuf de Pape] were outstanding. The servers in the dining room were attentive [especially Antonio], and mastered the art of mirrored service, so that both sides of the table received their plates at the same time. They must have made 15 trips each meal up and down the stairs from the dining room to the galley. Everyone could choose their daily excursions depending on their wishes and/or activity level. And they were all great! Informative bus/walking/bike tours utilized local guides who knew the area and their subjects, and geared their script and speed to their audience. Emerald has done a great job of building a crew on this ship who works as a team and as a family, always smiling, accommodating our every need and excited to share with us the pleasures of river cruising. By the way, don’t sleep through the locks. To see the ship go through one of those is fascinating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had never been to the south of France and wanted to get a taste of the area to know whether we would like to return. We chose to spend a few days in Lyon ahead of the trip to overcome jet lag and to get to know the area, and we chose ... Read More
We had never been to the south of France and wanted to get a taste of the area to know whether we would like to return. We chose to spend a few days in Lyon ahead of the trip to overcome jet lag and to get to know the area, and we chose the Nice extension at the end of the journey for the same reason. Embarkation in Lyon and disembarkation in Arles were both smooth.The ship was new, clean, efficient and the operation was run very well. The service throughout is first good. The cabins were well appointed, and there was plenty of room for our luggage under the bed. Although the cabins are small, we really only slept there and didn't need a larger cabin. The food continues to be excellent and suitably varied by region. Our cruise director, Jana, is fantastic; coincidentally, she had been our cruise director on our first cruise three years ago, and we were delighted to see her. She recognized us right away! There were many more activities during the cruise this time, and they were well thought out and attracted a good number of guests. We enjoyed the shore excursions, although a few of the local guides were disappointing. We passed on our thoughts at the end of the trip via the evaluation form. For us, the best extra excursion was to Pont du Gard, the amazing Roman aqueduct. We were joined by two other family members and two friends, for a party of six. Would we take another cruise on Emerald? In a heartbeat! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our second cruise on Emerald Waterways and as wonderful as the first. Great value on a fabulous itinerary. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. A special thanks to Darien for being attentive and hilarious; he made the trip ... Read More
Our second cruise on Emerald Waterways and as wonderful as the first. Great value on a fabulous itinerary. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. A special thanks to Darien for being attentive and hilarious; he made the trip special. The food was excellent and even include a diner prepared by a celebrity chef; an underlying fantastic meal. The wines served were very good and changed ever day. Somehow they seem to outdo the previous day’s selection ever day. All the city stops were interesting with an included morning tour in each, we took 2 of the 4 optional afternoon tours; finding them both well worth it. All the guides we had were professional and informative. Seeing the Roman Aqueduct was a particularly memorable sight. Both River Cruises we have taken have been relaxing and afforded us the opportunity to meet interesting other people; this trip was no exception as we spent much time with two other couples; one from Perth Australia and another from England near the Scotland border and with one our neighbors and their associated friends. We were shocked to find a group of 16 on board that were from nearby in our little state of Delaware; what are the odds. Highly recommend Emerald Warerways. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to see something of the South of France & sample some of the wines. We have travelled with Emerald twice before & really enjoyed the holidays. This cruise was of similar standard however there were a few minor problems. The ... Read More
Wanted to see something of the South of France & sample some of the wines. We have travelled with Emerald twice before & really enjoyed the holidays. This cruise was of similar standard however there were a few minor problems. The cabins were smaller than The Emerald Sky - lacking in storage space. When the weather was really hot & we wanted the swimming pool roof open non of the staff knew how to operate the roof so it remained closed. The food in the evenings was OK - the meat was on the whole was tough & I was unable to eat it at times, the restaurant staff never noticed that I was not eating until dinner was over so I was unable to have another meal. One of our party is Gluten Free therefore unable to drink beer/lager, as we had had a problem with getting cider on the Emerald Skye I contacted Emerald before our holiday & was told they would inform Liberte staff however the bar staff did not understand cider & insisted on serving it in a small wine glass even though we were paying for a full 330mls, they were obviously keeping what was left in the bottle for the next drink which consequently was flat & undrinkable. We enjoyed the excursions, saw some amazing places, the guides were excellent. The staff on the whole were enthusiastic & friendly & accommodating. It was a shame that most of the sailing was at night so we were unable to sit on the sun deck & watch the world go by & see the sights unlike the Rhine cruise. The ship was clean, the cabin staff efficient. One the whole we had a lovely week and would sail with Emerald again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We arrived before our check-in time so cabin was not yet ready but we were welcomed on board, our luggage was stored for us and we were offered buffet lunch. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized. Cabins are very ... Read More
We arrived before our check-in time so cabin was not yet ready but we were welcomed on board, our luggage was stored for us and we were offered buffet lunch. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized. Cabins are very comfortable and efficient. Crew was exceptional. Meals on board were delicious - chef takes advantage of regional specialties and local fresh markets. Free wine (white, red, rose) and beer (only one choice on draught) with lunch and dinner (3 hour windows each). Panoramic balcony rooms have windows the full cabin width where the top drops down to allow plenty of outdoor air and viewing. Emerald's payment policy of 50% at booking with remaining balance due shortly before cruising was appreciated (rather than full payment required at booking like at least one other company). Tip: take advantage of discounts offered by attending an information session. Emerald's docking locations are typically right in the city centre so there weren't many bus trips; you could walk to the town centres which was appreciated if you wanted to go back into town during free time. Included shore excursions were interesting and educational. Local tour guides in each town were very personable and knowledgeable. The optional tour ($) to Pont du Gard was a definite highlight of the trip. Worth every Euro! Emerald also has the policy of encouraging their guests to buy and bring on board local beer, wine and food and will gladly uncork and provide glasses, etc. for you. We would definitely book with Emerald again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This staff were terrific - professional, and very well organised. Each member was war and friendly, without familiarity. Though they did know what our preferences for tea/coffee, wine etc. after a couple of days. The pace was gentle, ... Read More
This staff were terrific - professional, and very well organised. Each member was war and friendly, without familiarity. Though they did know what our preferences for tea/coffee, wine etc. after a couple of days. The pace was gentle, offering well guided daily walks, and more activities if one wanted. Local guides provided much one the way of local and historical information. The food at all meals was excellent, and the wines were local to each area we visited and the wait staff ‘generous’ with it, within reason. The bar offered many selections either a la Carte or via a couple of drinks package options. Again, the staff excelled and provided fun and entertainment. The cabin was well set out, spacious for its type and facilities. Cabin service twice daily was very good. The welcoming warm and the disembarkation procedure was seamless and very well organised. Could not fault any service provided and had a wonderful time on aboard and at our stops along the way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Went on a river cruise on board the Emerald Liberte back in April. Can't say enough about the entire trip. From the moment we boarded the crew were so welcoming and helpful. Our cabins were nice but the balcony and window were ... Read More
Went on a river cruise on board the Emerald Liberte back in April. Can't say enough about the entire trip. From the moment we boarded the crew were so welcoming and helpful. Our cabins were nice but the balcony and window were fantastic. Everyday the food was amazing. From breakfast to dinner, there was always something delicious to eat. The staff in the lounge and dining room were always there to help. Both Captains and Yanna and Drazen were exceptional. The daily excursions gave you a nice feel for the towns we stopped in. It was great docking right in the middle of the towns. Every town we stopped it was beautiful but my favorites would be Lyon, Avignon and Arles. Nightly entertainment was fun. But it was also relaxing to just sit in enjoy a conversation with the group. It was the most wonderfully relaxing but fun trip I have taken in a while. I can't wait to take another Emerald Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a ... Read More
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a very competent, friendly and professional team who constantly demonstrated a desire to please. Accommodation, bar and drinks, onboard entertainment, pool/cinema area and especially the food and accompanying wines were all consistently very good. And of course last but not least, the guided land tours and scenery were in excess of expectations. We had a drinks package and struggled thereafter to spend money on board! My wife regrettably made up for it whilst on shore and we came home with marvellous cheeses, mustards, wines and chocolates! Jana the cruise Director and DD the cruise Entertainment director were superb and got to know all 130 passengers personally and treated them as both individuals and as members of the Team Emerald. A glowing review I know but well deserved Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the ... Read More
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the deck, or by the pool, or walk the town where the ship is docked. Cabins were clean, quiet and efficient. The gym is small, but there is a running track up on top of the ship. There was plenty of walking on the tours, so lots of opportunities to get exercise if you want it. This is a mature crowd, and children are not allowed which makes for a very quiet good time. The cruise is geared towards an older crowd, so if you are looking for extreme partying or a 24 hour buffet, this isn't the cruise for you. There is always some sort of entertainment at night. There isn't much shopping to do, but for me, I appreciate a more educational trip - the tour guides were very interesting and full of information. Great Value, great time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Ship was great. Crew was outstanding.Everthing. With a smile. Gabriela our cabin stewardess was particularly attentive and went the extra mile to make our accommodations clean and beautiful.The captain was very helpful with explaining the ... Read More
Ship was great. Crew was outstanding.Everthing. With a smile. Gabriela our cabin stewardess was particularly attentive and went the extra mile to make our accommodations clean and beautiful.The captain was very helpful with explaining the operational functions of piloting the ship. Jana was very organized and efficient,and enthusiastic.We also enjoyed our waiters especially Sasa. We appreciated the variety in all the meals served ,Many of the choices were well prepared and beautifully presented. The evening with the local chef was a lovely surprise. And he even signed the menus for us! We thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed the daily tours with the knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides we appreciated the special events such as the wine tasting and the cheese tastings. It was great having entertainment each evening. Enjoyed the option of watching movies. We liked the option of having bike rides. Also appreciated the Pool. We enjoyed most of the wines but thought the house wines available from the bar could have been more varied. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Although veteran ocean cruisers, we'd never tried river cruising until August 2017, when we sailed with Emerald Waterways on the Douro in Portugal. Reader, we loved it! Measured against our vague criteria of Ambience (the ship and its ... Read More
Although veteran ocean cruisers, we'd never tried river cruising until August 2017, when we sailed with Emerald Waterways on the Douro in Portugal. Reader, we loved it! Measured against our vague criteria of Ambience (the ship and its facilities, the river, its scenery and towns), Service (the crew's friendliness, helpfulness and professionalism) and Food (quality, variety, flavour, novelty), everything was absolutely excellent. Especially the food: great news, since it's a major focus of every holiday we take. Portugese chef Nuno Gomes was an absolute star, turning out delightful delicacies, dish after dish. Not only talented, but also enthusiastic and proud of what he created, Nuno was to be seen running the egg station each morning at breakfast, and at lunch explaining the regional dishes which he'd that day prepared. He was a highly-competent professional, and he absolutely made our holiday. And so we returned to Emerald in October 2018, this time on the Rhône in France (from Lyon to Arles). Well, the Ambience was again excellent, and so indeed was the Service (everyone from Captain Dario on down was lovely); we've nothing negative to say about either. Which brings us to the Food. The Food was, well, OK. It wasn't poor, it wasn't unpleasant, the ingredients were excellent... it just wasn't as well-prepared as we'd hoped for. Chef Teodor (much younger than Nuno) seemed to be just going though the motions; there was no passion in his food. Favours were indistinct or muddy, corners were cut (eg 'glazed carrots' were plain boiled, fruit wasn't fully peeled) and, boy, were potatoes over-used! Every soup was potato soup; the 'fresh carrot' soup had added hints of carrot, the 'fresh fennel' soup had only added aniseeds, and the 'fresh cauliflower' soup had been shown a photograph of a cauliflower. Even a 'Quiche Lorraine' (classically eggs, cream and bacon, plus optional cheese) was padded with potato; sheesh! And if you're dishing up a succession of bland wispy gelatine-set savoury mousses, please don't try to dignify them as 'parfaits', or 'pates', or 'terrines'. So, meal after meal, we were left thinking: with a little more care and imagination, that could have been so much nicer. (The star of every lunch and dinner was waiter/sommelier Sasa, whose insightful comments on the wines he was serving were very much appreciated.) In summary, the cruise was a bit disappointing -- for us -- only because of the cookery. On the other hand, most of the other passengers seemed perfectly happy, so maybe you shouldn't pay too much attention to these remarks... unless food means as much to you as it does to us. 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
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
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
Emerald Liberte Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.8
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.2
Family 1.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 2.0 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5

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