Sail Date: August 2019
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were ... Read More
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were superb views from the ship as we sailed up the Danube.The daily walking tours with local guides orientated you to each new place allowing you to return after lunch to explore further if you wished.The on board infinity pool is small but pleasant.We will definitely choose Emerald river cruises for another holiday.The cruise director,Darren, is truly wonderful -I am sure you are extremely lucky to have him as he could have a very fruitful career on the stage- but his attention to detail - and everybody 's attention to detail, from cabin assistant, waiting staff and chef- has been truly exemplary and unsurpassed by any other holiday company that we have ever been on and everyone's pleasant demeanour is a joy to behold. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Emerald took excellent care of us from embarking to disembarking. We were the first guests to arrive for the new cruise. Though the staff was very busy getting the previous guests off , they were attentive to our needs. Nenad ... Read More
Emerald took excellent care of us from embarking to disembarking. We were the first guests to arrive for the new cruise. Though the staff was very busy getting the previous guests off , they were attentive to our needs. Nenad recognized that the members of our arrival group had traveled from long distances (the USA and Australia) and asked his crew to immediately ready our rooms so that we could refresh ourselves. Each day Darren did an excellent job arranging the excursions and events with every detail taken care of. The servers were always attentive but 2, Draganna and Jane, made an extra effort to remember our preferences and serve us accordingly. The food was always pleasing to the eye and palate and the chef should be applauded. We also are appreciative of the housekeeping staff that provided us with a clean and tidy room and clean linens everywhere. So many people seamlessly and beautifully providing us with a very pleasing experience. Standout events for us we’re the bike ride from Melk to Dürnstein and the Waltz Concert in Vienna. The bike ride gave us the opportunity to savor the scenery and the flavor of the small villages. We wouldn’t have missed it! The talents exhibited by the orchestra that entertained us in Vienna were exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
After watching the tv show cruising with Jane McDonald, we decided to give it a try, as she had an amazing time. The boat was amazing clean modern well kept, the food was fantastic breakfast, lunch and dinner great choice of food. ... Read More
After watching the tv show cruising with Jane McDonald, we decided to give it a try, as she had an amazing time. The boat was amazing clean modern well kept, the food was fantastic breakfast, lunch and dinner great choice of food. the service was great, polite friendly so well mannered nothing too much trouble very attentive . A lot of the trips where included, the guided tours where very informative, gave in site and place to visit, the guides where all local and very knowledgable. Very relaxing when cruising to out next destination Ideal for complete relaxation on board, we used the pool and sun deck On board services where great something for every one, the high light was being invited on the last night to join the captains table for dinner We defiantly recommend and would use emerald again would look to go on another emerald cruise at a different location Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and Emerald gave us the best value for money. Being met at the airport was easy, Staff pleasant and helpful. Embarkation was easy too. We were met as soon as we left the coach, our cases taken from us. ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Danube, and Emerald gave us the best value for money. Being met at the airport was easy, Staff pleasant and helpful. Embarkation was easy too. We were met as soon as we left the coach, our cases taken from us. Check-in was so quick and we were then given a personal explanation of our cruise card and taken to our cabin. Ship well laid out with a sun deck, lounge and a small pool area.Cabin, clean and tidy and not overly large, but sufficient room for the two of us. Complimentary water in the cabin and every time we went on a tour complimentary water was provided. Tea/Coffee/Hot Chocolate was available in the loung e area 24/7, and was good quality. Buffet style breakfast and lunch, with plenty of choice.Continental style breakfast was available, in the lounge, before the main breakfast in the dining room, and aslo after as well, until 10:00 am. A light lunch was also available inthe lounge as well as a full lunch in the dining room. Dinner had a choice at every course, and also had the staple steak, chicken and salmon too. Wine was plentiful at lunch and dinner. Service was excellent through out the ship. All excursions were well organised and had excellent guides and all ports were very interesting. No problems at disembarkation and was very well organised Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I couldn't have hoped for more fun on a cruise period the crew was absolutely amazing from the cabin stewards to the captain. Everyone was very attentive and helpful they always had a smile. But, aside from having a lot of fun ... Read More
I couldn't have hoped for more fun on a cruise period the crew was absolutely amazing from the cabin stewards to the captain. Everyone was very attentive and helpful they always had a smile. But, aside from having a lot of fun they're also very professional. Balazs, our cruise director, made us feel just like family. The dining room staff was always there to help. The food was amazing. I don't know how they do it in such a small galley. Kristijan was incredible. He works so hard. Igor always helped and greeted us with a smile. Jela should get paid by the mile because she runs herself ragged. The others like Patrik and Viktor were always so polite and ready to help. I could never say enough kind things. The Captain is a busy many but, even he made us feel like friends. The ports were excellent and the sights were numerous and beautiful. I have never seen anything like it. There was really too much to list and the details are numerous. Budapest is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The sights, the sounds and laughter will always stay with me. Thank you Emerald Star, you're amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Itinerary is what interested us with this cruise with Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest. Tour guides were great, small groups of twenty or so, all English speaking like us. Staff was super accommodating finding food for our picky ... Read More
Itinerary is what interested us with this cruise with Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest. Tour guides were great, small groups of twenty or so, all English speaking like us. Staff was super accommodating finding food for our picky eaters, pulling ice cream flavors out of the freezer for our special request. Rooms were small but well organized. Lots of hangers but not much room for longer items. Safe in room and hair dryer. Bathroom has two medicine cabinets to hide away your stuff. Six large drawers to unpack. We started with three days in Prague. First day an orientation briefing with the wonderful Pavlena who was not only our tour guide, but got our hotel room assignments, suggested restaurants, walking areas, etc. she took us on a short walk the first day just to get us accustomed to our surroundings. The hotel grandium staff was great. We ate across the street for lunch and settled into our rooms in the afternoon. We had a wonderful walking tour the following day where we saw the highlights and pavlena arranged for bus rides back for those wanting less walking.second day we did the optional tasting tour, which was ok. Thanks to pavlena, who walked us to and from the tasting, we saw more sights on the way. Third day was transfer to the ship, four hours with a stop for restroom and sandwiches. Boarded at passau instead of Nuremberg due to low water. Luckily we didn’t miss any tours and were able to continue by ship the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Wanted to cruise the Danube. Unfortunately the water levels were too low and we had to be bussed instead of cruising from Passau. This spoilt the trip as cruising is much more relaxing than coach journeys. The cruise director and ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Danube. Unfortunately the water levels were too low and we had to be bussed instead of cruising from Passau. This spoilt the trip as cruising is much more relaxing than coach journeys. The cruise director and entertainment manager were very good, but trips out were not booked in advance making disembarkation a bit erratic. The waiter service was superb. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff. Each and everyone of the waiting staff were very friendly and committed to giving an excellent service. One bar waitress, Jane , only joined as a new member of staff at Bratislava, but showed such confidence and enthusiasm. We were on the premium drinks package as part of the Black Friday deal, and she bought me a drink up onto the sun deck without me asking! (An orange and Pineapple juice). Only very disappointed with the cabin layout and not being able to cruise past Passau. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Having done a number of Ocean cruises, we had decided we would like to try a river cruise, and the Danube sounded good. Recommended to Emerald Waterways by our local travel agent. We were delighted with the cruise - Budapest to Nuremberg, ... Read More
Having done a number of Ocean cruises, we had decided we would like to try a river cruise, and the Danube sounded good. Recommended to Emerald Waterways by our local travel agent. We were delighted with the cruise - Budapest to Nuremberg, beautiful and very interesting. We were due to sail on the Emerald Destiny, but due to some problem with that ship we were actually on the Emerald Star. We couldn't fault the orgainsiation, staff, food or accommodation. The staff were very friendly and seemed a happy bunch. The three meals a day (plus snacks which were unexpected!) were varied and of excellent quality. Wines, beers, soft drinks with lunch and dinner were included in the package as were the tea and coffee available 24 hours. The walking tours, also included, every day, were of high quality. Evening entertainment was varied and enjoyable. The other guests were a lovely group - of various nationalities, which made them more interesting! We sat wherever we wished at the meals, which meant that we chatted to a variety of people during the week. Our cabin had everything we needed - comfortable beds, 2 chairs by the window, TV, fridge, good shower room, and plenty of storage space. Very pleased indeed that we chose Emerald Waterways, and hope to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Having looked at reviews and compared prices I selected Emerald Waterways. I had high expectations, but even these were surpassed. The itinerary and options are really good and well-organised and the ship's interior is great. All ... Read More
Having looked at reviews and compared prices I selected Emerald Waterways. I had high expectations, but even these were surpassed. The itinerary and options are really good and well-organised and the ship's interior is great. All staff were superb- they were professional, friendly and did all they could to make the journey unforgettable. The food was fresh and varied. The crew were even willing to make a special request. Communication on board was excellent, with a concise pre-dinner briefing. Evening entertainment was varied and enjoyable. The panoramic cabin was a reasonable size and the bed very comfortable. The shore excursions were great, and all guides were passionate about their city or town. The only improvement I can suggest is the process of informing guests where to embark. A few passengers were disappointed with this aspect, and an email would have made things easier. There was absolutely nothing on board I was disappointed with, and am now planning my next cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise director made us feel at ease as we sailed along the Danube, parting his knowledge with us and making sure we knew what we were doing at all times. It definitely took the stress out of a holiday! All the staff on board were ... Read More
The cruise director made us feel at ease as we sailed along the Danube, parting his knowledge with us and making sure we knew what we were doing at all times. It definitely took the stress out of a holiday! All the staff on board were lovely and extremely attentive to everyone’s needs. We visited many cities and went on interesting tours with knowledgeable guides, and were welcomed back every day with amazing food! The ship was always clean and cabins were serviced each day to a high standard. We felt safe and secure all week and never worried about leaving our belongings on board. The entertainment was well organised so we always felt like there was something to look forward to even if we didn’t go on an excursion. Most of all we enjoyed getting to know all the guests and experiencing an amazing time together! I would highly recommend an Emerald cruise to anyone who wants a stress free relaxing holiday, with still plenty to see! It’s not a huge ship either, with only around 150 passengers we all felt well cared for. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald ... Read More
Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald Star. We had not been told, in fact our agent had checked only a few days previously and was told there were no changes. No matter, the ships are virtually identical. We found the plusses tp be ALL inclusive, a more personal feeling (only 169 passengers) able to regularly meet the same people who we enjoyed being with and more to see as always in sight of land. On the minus side we found cabin space quite limited especially hanging space which was only fifteen inches of usable rail. Despite having a 'balcony' passengers were encouraged not to open the window when moving. Entertainment was very limited unless you are keen on quizzes and games. The couple of performances by local artists were however very good. The dining room was so noisy. All glass and chrome it did not absorb any of the sound. It was almost impossible to talk to people on the same table. This was made worse by only the one sitting where almost everyone came in at once which significantly affected the time it took to be served. Dinner times were consistently over two hours long which may be fine for some but too long for us. Mooring places could sometimes be a bit grim. Just a floating dock in the middle of nowhere. Two or three of the trips took place whilst the ship was moving to another place so with quite a bit of overnight cruising there was not a great deal of moving whilst on board during the day. We had to try it but I think it will be big ship cruising from now on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose to cruise as we wanted to experience something different. We thought it would be a relaxing and luxurious way to travel whilst being able to visit several countries on the way. From the moment we arrived at the ship there was a ... Read More
We choose to cruise as we wanted to experience something different. We thought it would be a relaxing and luxurious way to travel whilst being able to visit several countries on the way. From the moment we arrived at the ship there was a warm and friendly welcome from the cruise director Balazs and the other staff that greeted us. We found our cabin to be well equipped, comfortable and quite spacious. We soon got used to life on board and found there were and good choice of excursions and activities to suit everyone. The friendliness of all crew and staff made the trip very enjoyable. They were helpful, polite and efficient and nothing was too much trouble. There was a wonderful ambience on board the ship and it was very easy to join in the social activities on offer. We enjoyed this cruise so much, it exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate to cruise again with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
From the moment we arrived at the ship we were treated and made to feel very special. Transfers to and from the airport were stress free, and on time. The ship was well laid out, cabins more than adequate, entertainment and activities well ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the ship we were treated and made to feel very special. Transfers to and from the airport were stress free, and on time. The ship was well laid out, cabins more than adequate, entertainment and activities well organised and run, our cruise director was great, always kept us well informed. The food was amazing with plenty of choices. Was always well presented and delivered hot. The staff are always friendly, lots of fun. Places on the boat to sit and enjoy the view, or just sit quietly if wanted. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff. The cabins where kept immaculate and very clean, the bed was comfortable. This cruise was more than I had dreamed of. It is something my husband and I had dreamed of for many years. We would recommend this to anyone. We saw a lot of places and things, tour guides always very informative. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on our first river cruise a few weeks ago. We were scheduled to be on the Emerald Destiny but owing to some port issues, we sailed on the Star instead. I was originally a bit disappointed only because Destiny is a newer vessel. ... Read More
We sailed on our first river cruise a few weeks ago. We were scheduled to be on the Emerald Destiny but owing to some port issues, we sailed on the Star instead. I was originally a bit disappointed only because Destiny is a newer vessel. However, the Star and its crew exceeded all our expectations. There were 7 in our group - celebrating my upcoming birthday - the ages ranged from 27 - 68. And we are a fairly tough bunch to impress - several of us had traveled fairly extensively - but a wonderful time was had by all. Vessel - was sparkling clean, well-maintained and we had no complaints. We were in the lower staterooms which were nicely-sized, well-appointed and had large windows. On several occasions we were beside port walls or other boats and were glad we didn't spend more on balcony rooms. We had plenty of space for our belongings and stowed the suitcases under the bed. Around mid-week, we had some occasional noise from the area below but it was easily blocked if needed overnight, by the provided earplugs. I used these on 2 nights. Others did not use them and had no issues with noise. Room was services twice a day - always clean and tidy. Loved the aesthetic which was modern and on the "glam" side. Lots of chrome and contemporary touches. Tasteful throughout. Lots of space to spread out and not crowded for dining or port talks in the lounge. There is a small gym, small pool, massage room and salon, on board. The top deck is very comfortable for viewing the beautiful scenery while traveling between ports during the day and at night. Staff -- we can't say enough about the stellar staff on this vessel. Everyone was very, very good. These folks know hospitality and take pride in their work. The cruise director, Geanina, was beyond excellent. Calm, cool and professional at all times and handled all issues with care and consideration - making special accommodations for us several times. Communication was thorough and timely throughout the week. Ziggy (overall manager) went above and beyond on several occasions for us and Constantin (dining manager) checked in routinely to make sure everyone was happy. Kris, our main server made the cruise special for all of us. His attention to detail, good humor and commitment to his work was obvious. Exceptional focus that made for a truly memorable celebration. Martin was more behind the scenes but did a wonderful job keeping our stateroom in great shape. Food -- We enjoyed the food very much. As others have noted, they are a bit heavy with the salt in the soups on occasion but overall, we thought the choices, preparation and presentation were all very, very good. We also had several folks with food restrictions and they were fantastic making sure everyone's needs were met. We had a few foodies with us and they were impressed with many of the meals. The wines were paired nicely and were of good quality. And they are generous with pours. Snacks and tea in the afternoons and coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cookies available at all times in the lounge. Outings - guides were all very good and met or exceeded expectations at all ports. Outings left on time and returned on time. We added on the concert in Vienna and the Salzburg trip - both were terrific. We had two classically trained musicians (voice and instrumental) with us and I was a bit anxious about the concert - but we were all very, very impressed with the quality of the instruments and voices. Top notch performances in a stunning space with amazing acoustics. A very special private evening in Vienna. Ports - we loved them all (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, Passau (we opted for Salzburg) and Regensburg. They provided a wonderful variety of sizes, beauty and "vibe." The low water levels in the Danube prevented us from getting to Nuremburg but the captain got us to Regensburg so we would not miss a port and then took us back to Passau for disembarkation. Above and beyond. Specific pluses - we did not have to deal with taking lots of extra cash for gratuities for the various staff and tour guides. EW puts all of the gratuities in the cost of the trip - yay!!! We did provide a little extra to a couple of folks on the ship. We are already planning our next trip - it will be on Emerald Waterways (or Scenic). Negatives - nothing on the cruise. We would prefer a bit more communication in the months leading up to the trip. I never got a deadline for providing all the info for passengers and that was a bit hectic and last minute when I got a call saying I needed to get the info in within a day. But generally, the negatives were minor and our interactions in booking went well. Truly a delightful trip full of lifetime memories for our family - thank you, Emerald Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had always wanted to go on a river cruise, It was much better that a cruise on an ocean liner , The cruise director always let us know what was coming up next and that was very helpful , The shore excursions were great and the food was ... Read More
We had always wanted to go on a river cruise, It was much better that a cruise on an ocean liner , The cruise director always let us know what was coming up next and that was very helpful , The shore excursions were great and the food was great on the boat. The beer was very good and the wine was excellent. We especially liked meeting local people in Bratislava. The crew was always there for you in case you had any questions I made a video slideshow of just the pictures I took and put it on Youtuber . I made a separate slideshow from my wife's pictures We also me two couples that we dined with almost every night . One couple was from Canada and the other was from the UK. They were delightful people One of the most enjoyable times was when we were cruising in the heart of the wine country and the captain, or tour guide was explaining what we were seeing. The cruise into Budapest during dinner was also very enjoyable, We would definitely do another cruise -Mark Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had often thought about cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest. Friends said it really didnt matter much which line you used, they all go to the same places, and when you walk through other ships at ports they are all very similar. So when ... Read More
We had often thought about cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest. Friends said it really didnt matter much which line you used, they all go to the same places, and when you walk through other ships at ports they are all very similar. So when Emerald launched into the NZ market with sharp entry prices we picked on price. Always warry about "you get what you pay for" our first impressions at the quality of the bags put us into a positive frame of mind, shallow as that may seem. On 27 May we embarked on the Emerald Star in Amsterdam for a cruise to Budapest. The plus The ship is nice and modern. Really comfy cabins. Clean. Well designed. Quite often your ship is tied up to other lines, you pass through and get a bit of a look. I think Emerald are as good as any and better than a few. We are picky. We found the service and staff wonderful. Right from when they spotted us getting out of the taxi on the wharf. No OTT "I want to be your best friend" just courteous and efficient service. There is one sitting for meals. At a table for 6, all the meals arrived hot at the same time. Nothing was a problem. No pestering to buy drinks, but if you wanted one it a steward was there. Must be esp! At lunch and dinner wine and beer is included, your glass never emptied. You needed to watch and say no if you didn't want topped up. Entertainment Emerald now have an entertainment mgr. New this season. Ours, Bret, was brilliant and he had the place humming every night. Other lines don't do this. They also bought on musicians from time to time. It was great. They make a fuss about birthdays and anniversaries. (They must get birthdays from your passport) The heated pool.is wonderful. Its quite surreal swimming in an infinity pool when its raining outside (its got a glass roof) They are quite obsessive at making sure those with allergies are catered for. Once again nothing is too much trouble. The Dining manager, Constantine could not have been more helpful. Generally the food is great. They need some desert recipes. They are average for snacks. The Cons Too much time is spent motoring up the River. For almost 1/2 the trip the handrails were down on the top deck as bridges were low and you cant use the top deck. Stops in some towns far too short. The noise!!!! you can not hear anyone in the corridor or speaking next door but the noise from locks and toilets is incredible. More detail in cabin review. The bikes! The provide bikes were about as basic as you can get. In the ports you can see that other lines have proper bikes. Most have a few E Bikes. Emeralds bike are a joke, only thing missing is the trainer wheels. To be fair they do discourage you from using them. I doubt we would ever go on another River Cruise, ocean cruising is better value for $. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
From start to finish, the cruise was outstanding. We had to leave our hotel at 10 am and enquired if we could drop our bags off at the boat just after 10 as we knew check in wasn't until 3 pm. The email response was, not a problem. ... Read More
From start to finish, the cruise was outstanding. We had to leave our hotel at 10 am and enquired if we could drop our bags off at the boat just after 10 as we knew check in wasn't until 3 pm. The email response was, not a problem. Arrived around 10:30 am and were welcomed on board and was asked to head upstairs, help ourselves to a coffee and they would organise our room to be readied first for us. Very unexpected, but a wonderful first impression and we were in our room at 11:15 am when we thought we wouldn't be there until after 3 pm. Lunch was also offered. We were in the "aquarium" class and we have decided next time to go up a level so we could have a bit of a view, but more importantly, some fresh air if needed. Going from Budapest to Amsterdam, the port side was moored alongside the piers and other boats more so than the starboard side, so would get a starboard cabin next time for the trip. Food: I found the food to be varied and delicious with those who like meat, potato and three veges catered for. If the mains were not to your liking, every lunch and evening meal, there was chicken, fish or steak you could choose. All of the staff were outstanding; the captain, who as we were ahead of time, stopped in the early morning and waited until after 8 am when we were to go through one of the biggest locks so that the passengers could watch, the cleaning staff, chefs and wait staff. Nothing was too much trouble and there as always a smile on their faces. I don't know how they do it. I enjoyed the activities and it was good that they included walks for those who were a bit slower than other and another for those who were a bit more active and those who liked a bit of a hike. When we finished our cruise at Amsterdam, we weren't due to check into our hotel until later in the afternoon, and they were happy for those who didn't have to leave until a bit later, to wait on board and have lunch. Cons: I don't have any. If I am unhappy with something, I will let the people know so that they are aware of the issue and can look to improve things for later. This cruise and especially the staff was once again - outstanding and would happily do another cruise with Emerald (Evergreen) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise as it was an area we were interested in seeing. We stopped at very interesting places which gave us access to local history and culture in a comfortable manner. The guides were particularly good and made the historical ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was an area we were interested in seeing. We stopped at very interesting places which gave us access to local history and culture in a comfortable manner. The guides were particularly good and made the historical information very interesting. We had an extended stay in Bucharest at the beginning of the holiday at the Raddison Blue hotel which proved to be a good start to an excellent holiday. We were able to explore this wonderful city as well as having a city tour before embarkation. We joined the ship and were shown to our cabin by one of the ships stewards who told us about the facilities in the cabin. The meals on board have been excellent and good choices at each sitting. The restaurant staff have been very helpful and attentive throughout. We have enjoyed the entertainment on board but on a special note was Brett's performance. Also our cabin steward was excellent and always mindful of our needs. The shore excursions we joined were interesting and helped us understand local culture Our Cruise Director,Patricia, was most excellent at her job, very helpful and very pleasant at all times. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our 5th River Cruise (1st with Emerald) and one of best, the cruise director was excellent and organised fantastic tours with brilliant guides we particularly enjoyed the home hosted lunch in Croatia which was well organised with the ... Read More
Our 5th River Cruise (1st with Emerald) and one of best, the cruise director was excellent and organised fantastic tours with brilliant guides we particularly enjoyed the home hosted lunch in Croatia which was well organised with the guests being split up into small groups of 8 with an interpreter. Glad we booked a starboard cabin (odd numbers) as we seemed to dock on the port side most days. Cruise covered Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania and it was interesting to hear the history of these countries, both past and recent from the guides who all spoke excellent English. Emerald had just introduced an entertainment organiser on board and I must say the quality of the entertainment was a big step forward from the usual piano player, I hope Emerald introduce this on other ships. Swimming pool on Emerald Star is also a nice quiet location where you can sit and enjoy a coffee and biscuits. At the end of the cruise a one night stay in Bucharest was included, the tour there was good but the arrival at the Hotel was a bit chaotic with 150 of us all trying to fit into 4 lifts, best to wait in reception area until things quiet down. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked this ship so much more! The size meant ease of getting around and the smaller number of passengers meant much more concentrated attention to us passengers! We got to know the staff. They were all pleasant and very friendly. Meals were delightful, well served and delicious, We enjoyed trivia night, the violin player and also the music by the three classical performers was excellent! We also enjoyed the piano player! We enjoyed the tours and appreciated the fact that they were all well run with good guides and buses that were always punctual. I never worried that I would be lost!! Thank you for an outstanding trip!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is the first time we have travelled with Emerald. The organisation, trips, boat and staff could not have been better. Everything was well planned and the staff on the boat could not have been more friendly and efficient. The choice of ... Read More
This is the first time we have travelled with Emerald. The organisation, trips, boat and staff could not have been better. Everything was well planned and the staff on the boat could not have been more friendly and efficient. The choice of food (and wine) on the boat was fine, the entertainment was good and everything was clean and tidy. The trips were exactly what we wanted and we had plenty of free time to do what we wanted and explore other places. The cruise Director Patricia could not have been more helpful and planned every detail of the holiday to make sure nothing was left to chance. Our 3 days in Prague could not have gone better. The hotel location was excellent and rooms were modern and clean. We visited many places that we had read about before and finished off with a nice evening meal overlooking the city. Overall it was a great holiday and one which we will remember for all the right reasons! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this river cruise over other companies because of the off ship activities it offered - guided cycling and walking. This was our first river cruise I was impressed with the well thought design of the ship - the swimming pool ... Read More
We choose this river cruise over other companies because of the off ship activities it offered - guided cycling and walking. This was our first river cruise I was impressed with the well thought design of the ship - the swimming pool that becomes a cinema most nights, the seating area that could give you benefits of being outside on the balcony or inside in the room at the touch of the button. So a balcony without losing space in the room an excellent idea! I was a little concerned that having last been on a sea cruise as teenage a nice ship like this would be very stuffy. To my relief this this was not the case, the crew were friendly, one big happy family and content to make us part of their live for the fortnight. The cruise director Patricia was excellent. It was particularly good to see that she could switch easily from helping with folks with a range of abilities that used wheel chairs on a part time basis to those to whom a 10 mile walk or 20 mile bike ride. The program was varied We were surprised that there were so few clashes in the included programs. I clearly remember one day were took the guided tour of Melk came back for lunch then rode a bike the 20+ miles through the Wachau Valley to Durnstein. Arriving at Durnstein just in time to quickly change and walk up to the top of castle where Richard the Lion heart was held for a while and back to the ship before dinner - wonderful. Being in a mid cabin was handy because it was the same level as the restaurant. Food was excellent. Some days we wondered what our room would like when got back - what sort of towel folded animal would be joining us -excellent work - good fun! Plenty of variety and good found at breakfast and lunch. Dinner was excellent just what you you would expect from a modern continental restaurant. Tea and evening snacks were things we had not expected - no reason to go hungry - the chief was only to happy to please those who were vegan or who had special diets. The locals that can on board of an evening to entertain us were good and varied. The on board pianist has an extensive play list. Having pop corn in the cinema whilst going back wards was different Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we ... Read More
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we would know our total costs up front and not have to worry about surprises. We enjoyed an included guided tour at each stop along the way between Passau and Budapest with local experienced guides. The common areas on the ship like the lounge, dining room, pool and sun deck were comfortable and well maintained - many a luxurious hour was spent watching the exquisite countryside glide past. At one point as we were all on the sun deck enjoying a description of the vineyards we were passing the serving crew appeared carrying trays of the wine being described - very classy. We had been told that the approach to Budapest was especially impressive and given the approximate arrival time early the next morning - sitting on the deck, sipping a cappuccino while classical music played and the river sights appeared ahead of us is something we'll never forget...also the night cruise under the lighted bridges of Budapest was unforgettable too and the crew once again offering trays of 'Blue Danube cocktails' added a lovely touch. We enjoyed all the generous meals offered with local dishes thrown in to highlight our ports of call. While there were daily specials offered there was also a menu you could order from if you preferred. The wine offerings always reflected the area we were passing through. Especially outstanding was the accommodation of food allergies - no fuss about the fact that I hadn't mentioned my preference for gluten free prior to the trip, it was easily accommodated. We were delighted with our cabin - tight quarters given the ship's size but perfectly fitted and the panoramic windows were a big hit with us. The service was second to none with everyone from the cabin crew to the servers to the reception staff always cheerful, accommodating and professional - they were always available and enthusiastic. The fact that the cruise director, manager and captain were always easily accessible impressed us a great deal - any inquiry, concern or question was always taken seriously and responded to promptly. Our fellow passengers were all of a similar age and temperament - some rare younger couples stood out but seemed perfectly at home. If there were any partiers aboard then we weren't aware of it as we retired fairly early. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have a lot to say, but I will try and keep it short! I did this cruise as a FAM trip for selling quite a bit of Emerald as a Travel agent with Flight Centre, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I traveled to ... Read More
I have a lot to say, but I will try and keep it short! I did this cruise as a FAM trip for selling quite a bit of Emerald as a Travel agent with Flight Centre, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I traveled to Budapest with my mother for this River cruise and did the 8 day Danube Delights. Small notes: With needing to be out of the rooms at 8:00 am for check out (on the cruise end) an earlier check in would have been nice if a few rooms are ready instead of waiting for all rooms to be ready. We were only able to fly in that same day and we were tired and gross from the long flight. We missed the day of exploring Budapest by waiting for the room to freshen up prior to going out. This would be the only thing for check-in, otherwise all was fine. The drink packages available on board for service outside of the included beverages are extremely reasonable! These can be added on at any time once on board the ship. Food on the ship was amazing, with a wide selection for all meals. The evening snacks after the entertainment could have been a bit more substantial especially for those that decide to carry on with a few drinks. The option between a light breakfast/lunch or a larger buffet is a great alternative for most people. Excursions offered by Emerald will have you active the entire time. The options for a slower based tour vs. an option active tour such as a heavy hike, a 32km bike ride, or a fast passed walking tour was great to have! There was never a day where you had to think of something to do which I quite enjoyed. Alternatively, if you wished to just relax and enjoy the sights, you are always welcome to stay on board the ship. Optional excursions are also available on board or prior to arrival with booking through your agent for an additional cost. We did 2 optional excursions, The private Vienna Orchestra and the day trip to Salzburg. Both were worth every penny, and I would highly recommend spending a little bit more to do any of the additional excursions. Entertainment was a bit on the slack end other than the people the would bring on board at certain ports. More little activities for the in-between times like a fun game of bingo or a better put together game of trivia after dinner would be fun. Our cruise director Patricia is amazing at what she does. The organization she kept throughout the staff and all passengers was incredible and her knowledge of the product and destinations was a great touch. When you were awake at 7:00 am, she was awake, and would be the last person you would see once you were off to bed after the evening entertainment. A big kudos to her for an amazing job. I would definitely recommend sailing with Emerald if you are looking for a high end cruise that give you the opportunity to let your hair down and not worry about being dressed to the nines every evening. Read Less
Emerald Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.5 4.3
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.2

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