4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
WE chose this cruise over Viking because of the great deal. Our fare included the Premium Liquor package, r/t airfare for $295, an upgraded room, and one extra excursion. Viking's fare was almost $2000 more for all of that. (Note: ... Read More
WE chose this cruise over Viking because of the great deal. Our fare included the Premium Liquor package, r/t airfare for $295, an upgraded room, and one extra excursion. Viking's fare was almost $2000 more for all of that. (Note: Viking's trip includes 10 days vs. our 7 and also 3 days in Lisbon, which we did on our own for probably less.) Not having sailed with Emerald before we kept our expectations low. But we were pleasantly surprised. The ship was relatively new, full of chrome and glass with comfortable seating in the lounge. The staff were friendly, very accommodating, and helpful. Our room, albeit small like most river cruise cabins, was still comfortable with great beds. Given that it was November and the weather was not that good, it was nice to have the full window and a little extra space in the cabin to view the passing landscape vs. a regular balcony....much more comfortable. The food was very good - probably not up to the par of Viking (which I have taken 4 trips on), but still good....and the Portuguese wines were excellent...and they were not stingy with the pours. We did have to cope with cloudy and rainy days, but for the most part, our excursions were fine. One comment....on the first day the cruise director decided to give the full itinerary in much too much detail. You could see passengers just nodding off - and of course not listening. She then reported every night on the next day. Most cruise directors just give a short overview on the first night and then give more specifics daily. Suggest she do the same. The other comment, it would have been nice to have had a little more free time to wander the towns we visited...but we were told the ship had a tight schedule with the locks....I am sure the summer tours are better about this. Our disembarkation was one of the smoothest I have experienced. The cruise directors ordered a taxi and then personally escorted us to the car and helped with the luggage. Nice touch. Big kudos to the staff manning the concierge desk, the bar staff, the waiters and waitresses, and the cabin attendants. And the captain was very accessible. They all made the trip that much more special. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we have had excellent holidays with Emerald before and we had not done this cruise. The ship was quite new and was kept in immaculate condition. We were in an Owner's Suite which was very spacious ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have had excellent holidays with Emerald before and we had not done this cruise. The ship was quite new and was kept in immaculate condition. We were in an Owner's Suite which was very spacious and equipped with everything you would want. The meals were superb, enhanced by the included wine and beer, and the service exceptionally friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment of quizzes was good and the musical entertainment particularly enjoyable. The tile painting and cork bracelet making were unusual and entertaining. There were also demonstrations of cooking custard tarts and mixing cocktails based on Port, both of which allowed passengers to partake in the action. The shore excursions were well organised and interesting. The ship's Captain was more than a phantom figure but was around a lot of the time and particularly welcomed everyone back on board when returning from an excursion. We enjoyed this cruise enormously and are looking for more for next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent ... Read More
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent and gave us a taste of the local cuisine. The concierge Manuel was an exemplary organizer with a good command of the English language. He commanded the staff appropriately and effectively. He was always available and ready to help. He has a vast knowledge of the history and local culture. Without his direction the cruise would not have run as smoothly .I would recommend Manuel as concierge on any cruise. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing time and still be overseas enjoying the scenery the company the hospitality of this crew. It caters for all ages and tastes with numerous possibilities to organize your own holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally clean. The quality of the food prepared by a chef and his team was exceptional . Food provided for breakfast and lunch was also wonderful with a large variety and choice available. Wine was overflowing and good quality. The tours that were an included part of our larger tour were extremely good value showing the particular features of Portuguese life ( eg Port wine, cork ) There were only 107 people on board and getting on and off the boat was easy. There was lots of free time to do our own exploring and guests were able to choose to stay on board if they wished. Staff were amazing Their approach was friendly, engaging & helpful at all times. They were extremely professional in every role that they filled. They were also a lot of fun. activities provided on board were engaging, interesting and informative. We would absolutely recommend Emerald Waterways form our experience of the River Duoro Cruise on Emerals Radiance Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what I expected. All the meals were great and the wine never ending. We also purchased the premium beverage package which was not a bad value. The ship staff really made this trip memorable. Some of the people that did an exceptional job were: Maria, cruise director; Manuel, hotel director; Cornell, restaurant director; Claudia, guest services; Miguel and Tiago, bar service; and not but least, our housekeeper, Vanessa. Each of them worked tirelessly to make this cruise one of our best. We enjoyed the shore excursions included and opted to purchase two others that were worthwhile. Did a dinner one night at a working vineyard that was a lot of fun. Did you know that many wineries in the Duoro Valley actually stomp grapes with their feet for the premium wines? Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours ... Read More
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours interesting and well organised. We felt like VIPs - lush views from the Horizon lounge at breakfast, personal attention from the cruise director, Maria Elena, the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel made us feel really valued, while knowing that they lavished such attention on every other guest on board. All the staff were polite, friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team are the epitome of pleasant professionalism, a close working team who all genuinely seem to support each other and get on, which comes across well and makes the guests feel welcome and personally looked after. The ship is spacious enough that one doesn't feel crowded, yet is conducive to a friendly atmosphere, and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers and interesting conversations. Manuel and the cruise directors are knowledgeable about the Douro, and able to answer questions or chat amicably about anything - dinner cuisine and dinner conversation a very pleasurable mix. There was lively entertainment if we wanted to participate or listen, but if we preferred to retire to our cabin and our comfy beds, we couldn't hear anything. The food was superb, a good choice and generous portions, beautifully presented. The wines were excellent, and I've been converted from Spanish reds to Douro whites! The level of service and attention was such that by our second dinner, Cornell was ready and approaching with our preferred soft drink - wow! We didn't join the yoga on the top deck, preferring a leisurely lie in before breakfast, but the trips provided opportunity to walk or be more energetic - we took the less energetic options, strolling rather than climbing steps, or going kayaking - the choice is always the guests. The trips are informative and interesting without being like a school lesson, and there's always some free time, you don't have to be in a line behind the guides! A bit more time at the port tasting would have been welcome, but as a group we did ask the guide a lot of questions! The onboard activities were fun, the tile painting something quite different, and a unique memento; and the blind tasting was hilarious, but ultimately successful - I never even knew there were these varieties of port! All in all...Flawless! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included ... Read More
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included as was a night at a winery) and a real highlight was Salamanca. The food is just as good as on any river cruise. I particularly enjoyed sampling the Portuguese choices on the menu and the Vino Verde. The entertainment (if you want this) is low key - mainly just a pianist though on one night there was a delightful duo playing music from around the world and I even got up to dance. The only negatives for me were: firstly all the mirrors on the ship (it is a house of mirrors) which were initially very disorientating and secondly we decided to take a cabin on the lower deck (104) because we thought it might be too chilly to use a balcony. (In fact it was VERY hot in Portugal!) The cabin was comfortable (as was the bed) and fitted out very well but had a smell of damp that was unpleasant. If you are going on this cruise you also need to be aware that you need to get in early to book anything popular such as the tile painting, visit to the Mateuse Palace etc and alternative activities for onboard activities aren't available which is disappointing. Maria, our cruise director was delightful, as were all the Portuguese crew. They were perhaps the most friendly crew we have encountered and were wonderful ambassadors for Portugal. They were also very well organised. I loved the Douro, and would advise one of the upper decks with a balcony is worth the extra money. Just as an aside, we found the average age on the cruise somewhat older than we expected - more late 70s than the 50s to 60s that we were expecting but a nice mix of nationalities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
Emerald Radiance Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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