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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We commenced a 14 day cruise starting from Cologne and due to finish in Budapest. We were oblivious to the low water problems before we left. It was obvious from day 3 that there were serious river level issues. Perfect Recipe for holiday ... Read More
We commenced a 14 day cruise starting from Cologne and due to finish in Budapest. We were oblivious to the low water problems before we left. It was obvious from day 3 that there were serious river level issues. Perfect Recipe for holiday stress. We received conflicting updates , missed 2 itinerary stops , had the Nuremberg visit seriously shortened and then didn’t cruise any further from day 7 being moored near Straubing. We were taken on some time filling bus trips until finally the axe fell and we were told by the cruise manager that the trip was being curtailed and we would be flown home from Munich. We were duly despatched from the ship at 4 30am We never got to see Vienna or Budapest. This trip should never have been allowed to commence with such uncertainty and by running it and ruining it we won’t get the opportunity again to visit those special cities. This was the most expensive holiday we have ever booked and was a total and absolute calamity. We were the victims of indecision and procrastination for had the trip been cancelled at least we would have had the opportunity to re book . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second cruise with Riviera and we weren’t disappointed. The journey was breathtaking at times, Emily Bronte is luxurious, the staff seemed to go out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and I wouldn’t hesitate to ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Riviera and we weren’t disappointed. The journey was breathtaking at times, Emily Bronte is luxurious, the staff seemed to go out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I was glad we’d started the cruise in Cologne because as we sailed down the Rhine the scenery became more beautiful. Both Cologne and Koblenz were pretty enough but nothing compared to the treats that were to come. I loved sailing through the picturesque Rhine Valley, Rudesheim was a delight, made even better by the coffee, Titisee was also a delight and we enjoyed our slice of Black Forest gateaux sitting by the lake. All of those trips seemed relaxed and well organised. Most, but not all, were in the afternoon so that meant that after breakfast we could listen to Barbara’s information about the next place we were going to visit. However, nothing prepared us for the amazing visit to Schynige Platte. You need to see it to believe it. We ate our packed lunches in certainly the most beautiful place I have ever eaten lunch and arguably the most beautiful place on Earth. It was truly wonderful. I do have a gripe about this trip though. We could have done without the long journey afterwards to Lucerne before heading back on another long journey to the ship. We arrived there late on Sunday afternoon so shops were closed and the few which were still open were packed with other tourists. We were only there for about an hour, and when we arrived it was pouring with rain. All we managed to do was grab a cup of tea in a cafe which was closing and visit the loo. We saw very little of Lucerne except on the walk back to the coach. One of the coaches should have gone to Lucerne for the whole day - it’s certainly worth seeing, but instead we were all a bit grumpy about it. I hope they get that sorted because it spoiled our last day a little bit when we could have gone back to the ship and enjoyed our last afternoon and night on board. Instead we had a late dinner, and then had to pack so it was all a bit of a rush. We were given envelopes and a suggestion that we should tip in the region of €8-11 per person per day. I wish they would just charge us extra for the holiday and pay the staff a decent wage without the need for tips. Any cruise line which does this will get our business in future as I consider asking for money distasteful and demeaning to the staff. It was also hinted that the cruise director Jane and Barbara weren’t included. I wouldn’t go on that cruise again as I’ve seen it, but I’d highly recommend it. I’d certainly go on another river cruise especially one which charges more and doesn’t expect tips. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in ... Read More
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in 2015, but due to health problems was not able to travel in 2016. Unfortunately lost fare, but rebooked and repaid to travel this year. So you probably can guess how much the anticipation for this holiday. Flight to Frankfurt and drive to Cologne went smoothly, as did boarding, then things started to go wrong. While exploring on deck tripped on the top step on one of the staircases. A short while later the same thing happened on a different staircase. In all this happened four times. On investigated it was noticed that staircase descending from the deck had 'astroturf' going right to the edge of the steps, hiding the top step, all other steps had a very clear metal edges. Later while sitting on the forward part of the deck, to watch the departure from Cologne, we were choaked by exhaust fumes coming from a black hole on the top of the mast at the front of the boat, just level with the seating area. It transpired that there was an engine below which powered the bow propeller. I seems that the same funnel also extracted fumes from the kitchen below. I shared my concerns with the young lady 'hotel manager' who said she would pass my comments on to the captain.. The problem with the exhaust continued throughout the cruise, so the same report was made to the male Riviera rep who advised to write to head office. I did take some photographs of the sooty, oily deposits that came from that exhaust. I must have been seen with my camera because over the next two days some crew were scrubbing away. Another thing about the deck. Either the boat was too high, or the bridges were too low, because all chairs, tables, screens, even the funnels were removed from the deck, which was out of bounds while sailing. But, it was a novelty to watch the ships bridge while going under a road bridge. The bridge was lowered on hydraulic and disappeared, leaving just the drivers head showing. The other major, I think, issue was that the ship did not belong to Riviera but to Schilla, a Swiss company I was told. All the crew were employed by Schilla, many from Indonesia. In fact there were no native English speakers on board, except the passengers, which made communicating with staff a bit difficult on occasions. A few words about food. Not what I was expecting (for the price), one day cows cheek, another raw meat balls, Soup portions barely cover the bottom of the bowls. Dessert spoons were really teaspoons, but matched the portions size of some of the desserts. No beef wellington, but we did get baked Alaska. Entertainment: A resident pianist, crew show and a string quartet in Vienna. Tours: Appeared to consist of driving through heavy traffic round town and walking tours which seemed to get jumbled up with groups from the several other boat moored nearby. Disembarkation: please read review on Wizz Air To be fair I did enjoy the sailing part, the 66 locks we passed through, the scenery, and the majority of the other passengers. Would I do another river cruise? Well having done the Amazon and the Nile, probably not. Comparing costs would be the decider, and with sea cruises considerably cheaper, and offering a lot more are a much more attractive alternative Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise initially for its its itinerary, as we have never visited any of the towns or cities along the route. The ship is new for the 2017 season, operated by Scylla of Switzerland with 2 Riviera reps on board - Leslie and ... Read More
We chose this cruise initially for its its itinerary, as we have never visited any of the towns or cities along the route. The ship is new for the 2017 season, operated by Scylla of Switzerland with 2 Riviera reps on board - Leslie and Inken who were excellent. We traveled to the ship via Eurostar from St Pancras to Brussels and were then taken by coach to the ship moored in Cologne. We did not have time to visit Cologne. At St Pancras we were able to deposit our luggage and not have to deal with it again until our arrival in Brussels. We then took the the bags out to the waiting coach where they were loaded by the driver and guide and then delivered to our cabin door on arrival. The food at all meals is excellent, couldn't fault it at all. The head chef did an amazing job creating 15 different evening menus (a choice of meat, fish or veggie + chicken or salmon if you didn't fancy the dishes of the day). There was a hot buffet at lunch time but I can't comment on this as I stuck to salads (and a dessert). The breakfast buffet was very comprehensive. The wines and beer were not over priced but of good quality. You could also book the evening bistro on the top deck, which accommodates 24, at no extra cost, for a quiet meal; at lunch time the bistro offers pizza and posh burger type meals. All the staff are well trained and friendly. Not much evening entertainment - a pianist in the lounge. The Riviera reps organised a quiz night and the crew entertained us one night. We also had a string quartet performance on our night in Vienna which was very good. The ship has a large deck area with ample seating and sun cover but part of it was closed for part of the journey, due to low bridges (and maybe high water levels). You do go through 66 locks on this cruise but we never found it a problem. We visited a number of small towns down the Rhine, Main & Danube, where we were moored close to the town centres. If we had to moor further away, in the larger towns/cities, transport was available. Whenever we had a guided tour the guides were well informed and interesting. The cruise finished in Budapest. Our flight was quite late so we were able to do more sightseeing in the morning and the ship provided the late departers with a light lunch. With hindsight we would have skipped the Eurostar as it is more convenient to have left your car at your return airport and more connections from the North of England would be good. Finally, we have already booked the Danube to the Black Sea cruise for 2018, so that says it all really Read Less
Emily Bronte Ratings
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