Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the location and price. We were met at dockside by the tour director (Nina), dropped our bags off. She took us onboard where we could have a snack and a coffee. We then went off to explore Amsterdam. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the location and price. We were met at dockside by the tour director (Nina), dropped our bags off. She took us onboard where we could have a snack and a coffee. We then went off to explore Amsterdam. There was no set seating in the dining area so you could choose to join others or be by yourself. The meals were a la carte and lunch and dinner usually consisted of five courses, breakfast was a very good buffet. Service was great, attentive but not hovering over your shoulder. The only negative about food/dining was that sometimes it was slow but overall very good. The Rhine River was spectacular, the shore trips were excellent and very well organised, english speaking guides on every occasion and we were provided with a listening device so that it wasn't necessary to be next to the guide to hear him. My big gripe is that on this particular trip Emerald/Evergreen had a film crew on board,complete with models to produce a advertising clip. That was a pain, go to the pool and they were there filming, you're lying in the sun on the top deck and the next thing there is a drone buzzing up and down,around the ship filming. I thought it was intrusive. Another thing it seemed that the film crew had special privileges, they were allowed to smoke on the Terrace (which is a non smoking area) everyone else had to smoke at a special area at the stern. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I have been on a couple of ocean cruises and I was not really thrilled with them. Last year we thought that we would give River cruising a try, and chose a trip from Budapest to Passeau on the Danube. All the reviews of Emerald ... Read More
My wife and I have been on a couple of ocean cruises and I was not really thrilled with them. Last year we thought that we would give River cruising a try, and chose a trip from Budapest to Passeau on the Danube. All the reviews of Emerald were great so we booked our trip with them. Our experience was excellent on that cruise and we booked this cruise up the Rhine almost as soon as we got back home. What makes Emerald so exceptional to me is the staff. From the time you get on board until the time you leave, they are there trying to make your stay as pleasant as they can. Our cabin assistant Paul would greet us with a hello and how are you, or how was your meal, every time we saw him. The bar staff quickly became aware of what our favorite drinks and we hardly had to say what we wanted before it was there for us. The serving staff at meals were always questioning how we had enjoyed what we had just been served, and were ready to address any issues we may have had. One evening, a dining partner found the meat of his dinner to be especially good and asked if it was possible to receive more, within minutes he received a new plate with an additional double portion of the meat. What I also find exceptional with Emerald is the way that they treat the staff. On both cruises, all of the staff on board were presented to the passengers giving us an opportunity to show our appreciation. On a tour of the kitchen I found out that the ship provides meals to the staff similar to the passengers but also based on their dietary and religious needs. On this cruise I have to single out the Cruise Director Nina, for the work that she did in juggling the tours that we went on. Due to events beyond her control she had to make last minute scheduling changes that could not have been easy. The Activities Director kept the evenings highly entertaining with a variety of shows, musicals, and games that engaged everyone on board. The one final person that I would like to mention is the Hospitality Director Albert Andrei. We were fortunate enough to meet him on our previous cruise and were surprised to see him on this ship. While it was a surprise, it also indicated that we would be well taken care of. A happy, efficient staff is not magic, it is built and encouraged by management and I credit this to Albert on the Emerald Dawn. So how was the ship and everything else about the cruise? It was everything that I had experienced the previous year. The room was great, the food was great, the excursions were informative and of the right duration, the scenery while cruising was beautiful. Did we have any issues on this trip? Sure. You can’t take a trip like this without having minor inconveniences. However, we enjoyed every minute of it. Our challenge now is to decide which Emerald cruise to take next year. It is down to Portugal, or Southeast Asia. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as it suited us and our friends date wise, number of days wise and places it visited. Having done 3 cruises on large ships (2 in the Caribbean and 1 to the Norway fjords) we were surprised how different it was. It ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it suited us and our friends date wise, number of days wise and places it visited. Having done 3 cruises on large ships (2 in the Caribbean and 1 to the Norway fjords) we were surprised how different it was. It was so relaxing watching the world go slowly by and you could barely notice the movement. Sea sickness doesn't happen on these cruises, yet you still visit other places from the same 'hotel' room. Our only downside was getting up early most days for trips, which started between 0815 and 0915. The cabin was spacious, the food great, the service wonderful and the staff so friendly. We enjoyed the violinist and opera singers - two separate entertainers on different days. The pool was lovely for cooling off in too, though rather small for swimming in. Our drinks package worked well and was far more economical. Being with around 170 passengers, you get to know more people on the cruise and a lot of the staff. We are already planning our next river cruise! Most people on the cruise were 60-75, like us. If you are younger and don't mind being in the minority then that is fine. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Our first European trip was an incredible experience. We fell in love with the culture, the people and, of course, Emerald. We were impressed by the simplicity and warmth of the check in and check out process. The food was delish and ... Read More
Our first European trip was an incredible experience. We fell in love with the culture, the people and, of course, Emerald. We were impressed by the simplicity and warmth of the check in and check out process. The food was delish and more always available if needed....perfect for a 15yr old son. The service was excellent without being stuffy. They knew us by name the moment we stepped on!! The ports and tours were a perfect blend of activities that made us feel much more involved in the true culture of the towns. The age group on board was much older than us and quiet but our family enjoyed meeting and learning from others. However, more younger people on board would have been nice for our family especially in the evenings. We also would have loved more flexibility with meals particularly dinner. Maybe a serving time within a 90 min time frame would have allowed us some variability. Overall, Emerald exceeded our expectations and solidified our love for Emerald, river cruises and Europe. We can't wait to sail with Emerald again!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We did the Splendours of Europe cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Originally to be on Emerald Sky but changed to Emerald Dawn due to the lock issue near Nuremburg. The arrival on the ship was seamless and all the staff were so gracious ... Read More
We did the Splendours of Europe cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Originally to be on Emerald Sky but changed to Emerald Dawn due to the lock issue near Nuremburg. The arrival on the ship was seamless and all the staff were so gracious and helpful. Cruise Director Nina was excellent. she was on top of everything, informative and kept us up to date on excursions, etc. Our cabin was perfect for the two of us and out cabin assistant Dysas was friendly, happy and so efficient. This was our first river cruise or any cruise and we could not have picked a better route, or company to do this with. We did numerous excursions, including two 30+ km bike tours. the guides provided by Emerald were very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour making the tours very entertaining and informative. The dining on board for all meals was exceptional. We had the menu for the next day, the evening before and service was very quick and the the staff were so attentive. Never a wine glass or beer glass was empty for long. There was also entertainment during the evening. We had a violinist, oom pah pah band, trivia nights, etc. If you were not entertained, that was your problem. The tours included a visit to a family on one stop and that was so different and so delightful to viist with locals. Cannot say enough good things about Emerald Waterways, their crew and the way we were treated. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises. We travelled with 2 friends who have only cruises one before. We we very impressed by the design and quality of finishes on the ship - much better than expected and frankly better ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises. We travelled with 2 friends who have only cruises one before. We we very impressed by the design and quality of finishes on the ship - much better than expected and frankly better than we have seen on many luxury brand ocean cruises - very slick and contemporary. The food was excellent - not high end , but very well presented and very delicious- the chef did wonderful things with simple ingredients and we did no feel that we were overdosed on rich foods. All of the staff was great - the cruise director, Luis, was fantastic. Entertainment was low key and fun. Excursions were excellent. Typical of river cruising, we often had to board or disembark by walking through other ships - we have to say that we much preferred the look of ours! Will definitely travel with Emerald again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on a seminar by Emerald and they offered a lot of incentives so we decided to give it a try. It was our first River Cruise so we didn't know what to expect and it was overall a great experience. The staff were very ... Read More
We went on a seminar by Emerald and they offered a lot of incentives so we decided to give it a try. It was our first River Cruise so we didn't know what to expect and it was overall a great experience. The staff were very pleasant and helpful and the ship itself was very comfortable and well maintained. The only drawbacks that we found is the entertainment in the evening was not to our liking, a lot of games such as trivia and karaoke where we would have preferred more relaxing music after dinner. The activity director was good at trying to accommodate everyone but what he was asked to offer was not for everyone. On the couple of nights that he entertained it was great, he had an amazing voice and you could tell everyone enjoyed it as that was the only time the lounge was full after dinner. The breakfast and lunch buffets were great but dinner most nights were boring as in the selection was not what we expected, a lot of stew like meals and little variety. A couple of nights the dinner meals were really good such as the night they had duck and another night was a Chateaubriand. We were expecting possibly shrimp or scallops to be on the menu. The shore excursions were really good, the guides were well informed and their communication skills were excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Having completed an excellent Norwegian Northern Lights cruise we received an offer via Iglu Cruises for this cruise which included some good perks like the Premium Drinks package and an M&S voucher for both of us. Having looked ... Read More
Having completed an excellent Norwegian Northern Lights cruise we received an offer via Iglu Cruises for this cruise which included some good perks like the Premium Drinks package and an M&S voucher for both of us. Having looked into Emerald Waterways they got good reviews and the ships are all quite new and looked lovely. We have cruised on the sea before, but never on a river and we thought the Rhine would be interesting. We were not disappointed! We didn't get to explore Basel before we sailed as we were tired although there was a couple of hours which was available and some did. The airport transfer and embarkation all went smoothly and we were made very welcome on arrival at the ship. The cabins were ready ahead of the scheduled time which was nice. We had a Panorama Balcony stateroom which was a good size and very nicely furnished and fitted. The shower room was particularly generously sized for a ship. There was very little noise when the ship was sailing and it was exceptionally smooth. The only time we heard anything was when berthing at the ports but it was minimal. Dining was excellent with a good choice of dishes and much use of local produce. The hotel staff were very helpful and did their best to accommodate any special requests. The number and choice of ports was just about right and the price included guided tours at each stop. Other more active excursions were available at extra cost, but we didn't use these. Most of the tours were good although a couple of the guides were not really on top of their game. The bar/lounge was very comfortable and well staffed with a selection of books and games available to borrow. As we had the Premium Drinks package we could order anything from the bar at anytime without charge. All guests get complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with lunch and dinner. The ship was able to accommodate all guests at one open sitting for dinner. As mentioned above all the staff were very friendly and helpful and Michael our Cruise Director kept us all fully informed about the daily schedule and timings. This was delivered to each cabin the night before. If there was any area which was a bit disappointing it was the evening entertainment. We had a group of opera singers who were no doubt very good but not to our taste. On another evening we had a lovely violinist who played a wide variety of music and was excellent. A karaoke night was less successful and we felt not really a good choice for the type of passengers on board. There were also a couple of film nights, but we didn't go to these. Yes we would certainly go again having enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first foray into cruising, as I suffer from very bad motion sickness, an ocean cruise was definitely not on the cards! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary so chose what we hoped was a special cruise on a special ... Read More
This was our first foray into cruising, as I suffer from very bad motion sickness, an ocean cruise was definitely not on the cards! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary so chose what we hoped was a special cruise on a special boat and we were not disappointed. Everything from the overall design to the onboard style and decor was stunning, with a gorgeous pool area (seriously underused on our trip), although for us having it to ourselves was lovely, especially with the poolside bar and comfy chairs. All the staff could not have been friendlier, from the housekeeping to the bar staff, from the waiters to Albert the hotel manager, and not forgetting Michael the cruise director, they were all so helpful and charming with a good sense of humour! On this particular cruise, we liked the choice in activities and excursions available, all targeted at those enjoying their cruise at different levels and pace. So there were always active excursions as well as more gentle ones on offer. Similarly we didn’t always want to go on the coach tours, so when moored up in the great city locations often meant we could do our own thing, and pop back to the ship for lunch/dinner, just like a hotel. That said the organised excursions and tours we did get involved in were all excellent with handpicked informative and entertaining tour guides. The food was simply amazing, chef Stefan was an inspiration with his choices, often regionally themed as we sailed through various places. Wines were similarly excellent, all good quality and lots of it on offer! We loved the galley tour, seeing where our fantastic meals were created. We were really quite emotional (and more than a little embarrassed) on the last night to be presented with a beautifully decorated Anniversary cake in front of the very full restaurant! I am happy to report we will certainly be booking again with Emerald Waterways and more importantly, I did not suffer from even a teeny bit of travel sickness as the ship is so beautifully quiet and very stable, so there is no sensation at all of any movement other than travelling forwards. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have just returned from a week long cruise on the Emerald Dawn from Amsterdam to Basel. We were very impressed by the level of service and the facilities. All members of staff from cruise director Michael, the hotel manager Albert, ... Read More
We have just returned from a week long cruise on the Emerald Dawn from Amsterdam to Basel. We were very impressed by the level of service and the facilities. All members of staff from cruise director Michael, the hotel manager Albert, entertainment manager Callum to Bali who cleaned our room were friendly, helpful and worked hard to make the cruise special. The ship The ship was clean, light and spacious with a lounge area which was great for meeting with other guests and for entertainment. There was also tea and coffee available at all times. We didn't use the pool but it did look very inviting and often this was a quieter area on the ship. The sun deck was a favourite place and we luckily had the weather to enjoy it. Our cabin We had a panorama balcony cabin on the upper deck which was kept spotless by the housekeeping staff. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom, although compact as one would expect on a river cruise boat, was more than adequate. Blinds on the window allowed complete privacy - important if you are moored next to another boat which happened on a couple of occasions. We were surprised by how quiet it was at night, even when cruising, and this was maybe the advantage of an upper deck room. There was a good entertainment system with films available. Dining Breakfast was great with a good selection and there was a choice of a light lunch in the lounge or a more comprehensive meal in the Reflections restaurant. In addition there was afternoon tea. Dinner was a busy affair with all guests seated at the same time to make service easier. However service was very good and wine with the meal was plentiful. I have read some reviews about portion sizes but considering all the other meals available we felt they were more than adequate. The quality of food was on the whole good. We received a drinks package as we had booked early and did enjoy being able to have additional drinks with no extra cost. Excursions We particularly enjoyed our tours of Amsterdam, Koblenz and Strasbourg though Cologne was not such an attractive place. Most of the guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining and the pace of walking was comfortable. There was usually a special group for those that wanted a slower walk. The hike in the Black Forest was a lovely way to complete the cruise and we wished it could have been a bit longer. The beauty of this was that if you wanted a quiet day on the ship you could forego the trips. Overview One of the things that made me choose Emerald was that all tips including those for guides, were included in the price which made the trip stress free. Information about each day was presented in a programme delivered to our room the night before. Embarkation, disembarkation, trips, and events were all well organised and ran smoothly - no mean feat when dealing with nearly 180 passengers. We had a wonderful time and will certainly be considering Emerald for our next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many ... Read More
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many cruises were impacted with people having to change boats or take long legs on coaches. Thankfully this never happened to us. Whilst, Evergreen have their river guarantee we didn't need to rely on it. About a week before the cruise we were called by Evergreen to tell us the situation and give us a couple of options. We decided to proceed as planned. The ship was excellent and we were in a grand balcony suite, it provided a a little extra room and a few extra comforts. Now for some specifics: Food: The food was a generally pretty good - in terms of quality and quantity it couldn't be faulted. Where there is room for improvement is variety. As someone who doesn't eat fish/seafood I was often left with one choice. They have a couple of standing choices in terms of steaks and chicken but these were not well prepared in my opinion. Alcohol - they offer free beer and wine with meals. If you want anything else outside of meal times you will need to pay for it or arrange for a drinks package. This is what we did. Laundry - depending on your canine choice you may get some pieces of laundry included - a couple of pieces a day. Regardless its not enough and the laundry charges are stupendously high. Tours - You basically stop in a town each day. Usually in the morning, you have breakfast and at about 9am you muster to go exploring. There are local guides and audio devices for each person so you can listen to the guides explanation. This was very good and all of the guides we experienced were professional and most often had a great sense of humour. They are usually residents in the towns you visit. You then get a couple of hours of free time to go shopping or exploring in your own time. Discover More Tours - These tours are offered as additional extras. They go to slightly out of the way places - usually by coach. You pay more for these and they happen while the rest of the passengers are doing the standard tour. We did a couple - to the Dracenfels castle and to Saltzburg. Each of these was about $120 per person. The Salzburg tour was excellent (think town from Sound of Music) the Dracenfels castles was a complete waste of time and money. This was one of the first tours and as such it didn't help us get off to the best start. The castle is basically a large house that has been designed to look like a castle. It was opened up especially for our tour - but that said there were covers over stall/shops that had been set up inside to keep them out the snow. The guide tried hard but could do too much. There were a number of onboard entertainment events - including local performers from Austria and Hungary - excellent events. There were a couple of other entertainment activities such as trivia and dance nights. The cruise director we had on board - Darren, was excellent. He worked tirelessly to make everything happen. A great personality and helped make the trip fun. Cannot recommend him highly enough. I've seen a few other comments about the age of the passengers. My wife and I are both 46 and while we amongst the youngest on the ship (there were a few in there 20s) we didn't feel out of place. There were plenty of fit and able people and most groups walked a good pace. There was typically one group for 'slow' walkers. As I indicated earlier we really enjoyed the trip. We paid for the upgrades to business class flights and the upgraded cabin. The business class flights were a good option when coming from Australia especially if you are over 6ft tall. We arrived a little early - 3 days in Amsterdam and stayed a little later in Budapest (another 3 days). If I had my time again I would reduce the post cruise Budapest stay to an extra day. We will probably take another cruise like this in a couple of years to go and we happily choose Evergreen again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did go the full trip on the Emerald Dawn. The crew were fantastic, they were so attentive and friendly while being very efficient. The shore excursions all went well with very experienced guides. We did have snow which just made the trip for us. The cabin we had was comfortable enough. The cabin was very clean and well presented. The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was of a high standard. Our cruise director was seemed to work 20 hours a day as he always seemed to be working away at his desk! Our embarkation went very smoothly. We arranged our own travel after the cruise and our cruise director organised a suitable transport for 5 people for us to the train station. Everything just ran like clockwork. We would definately cruise with Evergreen/Emerald Waterways again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was ... Read More
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was excellent--particularly when a glass was served to us in the pool area when we were cruising in the area where the wine was produced. Nice touch! The food was very good but not spectacular. The meat was often over-cooked. The chef needs a commercial souvide. We were very impressed with the housekeeping staff who tided/cleaned our cabin twice a day. The serving staff were amazingly attentive. We did a pre-cruise stay in Prague and loved our tour director--I can't remember her name but her nickname was "Foxy". We paid extra for the concert in Vienna and thought it was over-priced for an hour of music. We will definitely consider Emerald for another cruise in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We were booked on the Emerald Dawn but the ship was changed to the Emerald Sun. The central problem was noise from above at all hours of the night. The toilets on the ship were of an airline design. We were on the second level, and had ... Read More
We were booked on the Emerald Dawn but the ship was changed to the Emerald Sun. The central problem was noise from above at all hours of the night. The toilets on the ship were of an airline design. We were on the second level, and had to endure the explosive sound of the toilet from the cabin above throughout the night. We were awakened many times during the night, even when using earplugs. I was tired in the daytime and could not enjoy activities as much as if I had been able to sleep normally. Toward the end of the cruise, I could not wait to get off the ship. There was nothing the staff could do about the noise. We sailed from Budapest to Passau, and then had three days in Prague. We had a good tour of Budapest before we started our cruise. We opted for the excursions that were part of the cruise package as we had not travelled in Eastern Europe before. These excursions were very satisfactory and the guides were excellent. Embarkation, disembarkation and transfers were very smooth, well organized and on time. Outside of our cabin, the ship was fine. Sailing along the river on the upper deck was very enjoyable. Service was good. Our tour director (Alex) was very informative and a good entertainer. The food, for the most part, was satisfactory, except for some of the dinner entrees, which were overcooked. Portions were small. We had schnitzel one night that was unrecognizable as such. This was our first river cruise, and I came away from it with mixed feelings. I really enjoyed seeing the European capitals (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague) that we had never seen before. The tours were good and the guides were excellent. Sailing on the river was very enjoyable. However, the lack of sleep due to cabin noise was a serious drawback and is the primary reason for giving the cruise an overall rating of poor and a cabin rating of terrible. I will never sail with Emerald again. If I had known about the noise issue, I would have booked a cabin on the top deck for the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like royalty with drinks and a light lunch provided. We were then escorted to our rooms, which I must say were spotlessly clean and certainly large enough to accommodate all of our belongings. The staff could not have been more friendlier or helpful. The entertainment was wonderful. Everything from a Master Chef demonstration to Disco night! All the excursions were very well planned and we enjoyed each location and the tours. The food was beyond our expectations! Our wine glasses were never empty! Disembarkation was very well planned and we were taken to airport with plenty of time to spare. I would highly recommend Emerald as there service and care was beyond our expectations! Lovely crew on the Emerald Dawn! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I sold our house which we had lived in for 35 years. We decided to treat ourselves to a vacation. We had received numerous catalogs from numerous cruise companies. We tried to book a Viking cruise.We were unsuccessful and ... Read More
My husband and I sold our house which we had lived in for 35 years. We decided to treat ourselves to a vacation. We had received numerous catalogs from numerous cruise companies. We tried to book a Viking cruise.We were unsuccessful and did not want to wait uintil 2019 to book our vacation. At the last minute we found an excellent deal on an Emerald cruise. I am so happy we chose Emerald. Everything was outstanding and inclusive. We did not have to spend a dime on the boat. The serivce was outstanding. From the front desk to the kitchen. These lovely people worked so very hard to make our experience memorable. The hotel manager was handsome and kind and very funny. The wait staff was amazing. They practically read your mind. The room attendants were wonderful. The chef and his staff put out the most delicious menu. Every meal was excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise ... Read More
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise director very efficient and friendly, and gave us a brief overview every night of what to expect the next day. Excursions every day well organised and never rushed. The Quietvox system worked extremely well and we enjoyed all the visits. Entertainment was low key and unobtrusive, which suited us. The piano player was really good and an accomplished musician who played to his audience whether soft music or music to dance to in the evening. Breakfast and lunch were self service and lighter alternatives offered in another part of the ship. Dinner was superb and beautifully presented with lovely wine. We have no hesitation in recommending Emerald Waterways for European River Cruises as they offer probably the best value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and ... Read More
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and excursions ran smoothly, to Alexander and the bar/wait staff who kept our thirsts at bay, to the cooks and restaurant staff who fed us the best food with the best service, and all of the other staff on board. the excursions were so much fun... each port had local tour guides for us and they were all so knowledgeable and knew how to keep us entertained. The free time at each port allowed us to enjoy local beers, restaurants and get some shopping in. Strasbourg was a highlight. but Cologne, Koblenz and the Black Forest areas were all close 2nds. Relaxing before and/or after dinner in the lounge was always a treat; especially when nina brought in an electric violinist 1 night to play for us... that was really cool. the Pool area was nice to take a dip and the sun deck offered the chance to get some tanning done and great sight seeing. We had such a great time and cannot wait to take another cruise from Emerald next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise company which is marketed as Evergreen in Australia, because of Cruise Critic ratings and also word of mouth feedback from others who had sailed with Evergreen/Emerald. We spent eight nights on Emerald Dawn and then ... Read More
We chose this cruise company which is marketed as Evergreen in Australia, because of Cruise Critic ratings and also word of mouth feedback from others who had sailed with Evergreen/Emerald. We spent eight nights on Emerald Dawn and then transferred to Emerald Sky for six nights because of low water levels in the Danube River. We only spent one day travelling by bus and we did not miss any scheduled stops. The transfer from one boat to another was very professionally organised, made into a smooth transfer for the passengers. Our cruise director, Michael, stayed with us for the whole cruise and that was very pleasing. Michael is very professional, helpful, informative and certainly impressed us with his ability to know the names of all passengers within a short period of time. Emerald Dawn is apparently one year newer than Emerald Sky and this was only evident in small ways where feedback from previous passengers must have been taken and used to make improvements such as extra storage in the bathroom, a small desk built into the cabin. Both boats were of a very high standard in overall presentation. We did not want to be paying for a cruise with unlimited alcohol available throughout the day because only one of us actually drinks alcohol. The wines supplied with lunch and dinner met our needs. We really enjoyed the fact that passengers came from several countries, eg, Australia, Canada, US, UK, NZ. Dining with passengers from various countries was one of the pleasures of the trip, we found our fellow passengers to be very friendly. Passengers ranged in age from very young adults to quite fit senior citizens. This cruise catered very well for passengers wanting more physically challenging activities such as hikes and bike riding through their Emerald Active Options.We enjoyed a guided bike ride about 20kms out into rural areas.(using bikes from the boat) when the boat was moored in Amsterdam. All the local guides were of a very high standard, all used spoke English very clearly and use of the Quiet Boxes (Whisperers) helped make guided walks very successful. Overall, very good value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The vessel was very new with excellent facilities onboard. Having previously travelled with Scenic we actually preferred the less formal service provided by Evergreen (who are part of the Scenic corporate group). Overall food, ship ... Read More
The vessel was very new with excellent facilities onboard. Having previously travelled with Scenic we actually preferred the less formal service provided by Evergreen (who are part of the Scenic corporate group). Overall food, ship facilities, & the service levels that staff consistently provided were excellent over the full duration of the cruise. Highly recommend this service provided via Evergreen Tours on Emerald Waterways vessel "Emerald Dawn". With return airfares in the total tour cost it is great value for your money. The shore tours were quite informative with tour guides ranging from dry and boring to witty and humorous to keep our attention. We had intended to cycle in 3 different ports as advertised by Evergreen, but were disappointed when we found only 16 bicycles available for 164 passengers. Any reasonable mathematician can quickly see their are going to be some very unhappy guests. After some colourful dialogue to the Cruise Director on behalf of the cyclists who registered but were unable to go cycling along the river paths, the Cruise Director then went the extra yard to hire extra cycles to prevent a social media backlash. In closing we thank the Cruise Director for eventually coming through. However "caveat emptor" let the buyer beware of what is being advertised for your cruise before you pay for it in full. Bon voyage !!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, ... Read More
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, and take one of the longer cruises (15 days) and added the extra extension to Prague. When we came out of the airport in Amsterdam an Emerald representative was waiting to take us to the ship. A crew member came to take charge of our suitcase. Signing in to register onto the ship went very smooth, we were then escorted to our cabin and shown around and what was where and how it all worked. We were told that refreshments were available in the lounge whenever we were ready after freshening up a bit. From there we thought we were in heaven. Service in the Lounge and Dining Room was superb. The food was first class and varied and I was afraid I'd gain weight in those two weeks. All meals provided a choice of wines and/or beer. We had been provided a personalized itinerary outlining what we had singed up for when we booked the tour, so there were no real surprises. Our tour director (Michael) was absolute tops. He was a pleasure to deal with and never too busy to provide answers to questions which might arise. All of the tour guides were local and knew the local history and provided that little extra information that cannot be gleaned from reading a guide book. Obviously some were better than others. The only criticism I can level is the fact that neither my wife nor I were aware how long the bus trip from Budapest to Prague would be (8 hours on the bus). That makes for a long day. One slightly negative item was that one excursion we had signed up for and prepaid was cancelled for lack of participants. We were advised this happens occasionally and a refund will be sent to us automatically. The other unfortunate event was the fact that the water in the Danube was too low for the Emerald Dawn to go all the way to Budapest and we had to be bused around the low water area to meet the sister ship to finish the trip. This is out of the control of Emerald and fortunately they had the other ship available to allow us to continue. This unfortunately required packing up our belongings and then unpacking on the Emerald Star. We found the service on the Star to be one step lower than on the Emerald Dawn, and this feeling was echoed by a number of other guests as well. We had heard about some other river cruise lines that did not have the extra ship available and their guests were given the choice of flying home or continuing the entire tour by bus. I would highly recommend this tour and would do it again, except for the Prague extension. I would however be interested in visiting Prague as a separate trip for two weeks or so - it is a fascinating city. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We researched a few companies offering Europe river cruises and decided on Emerald. We upgraded to a panoramic balcony suite. The room was great with floor to ceiling windows and the top portion slid down. The staff were always welcoming ... Read More
We researched a few companies offering Europe river cruises and decided on Emerald. We upgraded to a panoramic balcony suite. The room was great with floor to ceiling windows and the top portion slid down. The staff were always welcoming and polite. We had a couple of issues with our bathroom but they were dealt with efficiently and we had no further issues. The food offered was so good and served efficiently. There was always a decent selection to decide from and including local delicacies was fun. The service at supper was amazing. The wines offered with the meals were excellent. My only concern was that they were sometimes removed from the service too early. Also loved the coffee machine in the lounge. Afternoon teas were nice too but evening snack was a disappointment. The port stops on the trip were well planned and very interesting. Sometimes they dragged on a bit as I would have preferred extra time to explore or shop. But the sights and history were amazing. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We were able to check in early and leave a bit later. Because we had arrived in Holland a week earlier and stayed in Switzerland a week longer we did not qualify for any transfers. That was a bit disappointing at the end as we could have used the transport to the airport to pick up our car rental. Instead we paid a ridiculous amount for a cab ride. I would most definitely recommend Emerald Waterways for river cruising and would consider going again to a different destination with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is the first cruise we have undertaken and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The ship was absolutely spotless, the crew very very helpful with cruise director Alex there to help. The dining was an experience on it’s own, the ... Read More
This is the first cruise we have undertaken and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The ship was absolutely spotless, the crew very very helpful with cruise director Alex there to help. The dining was an experience on it’s own, the food beautifully cooked and served by very competent waiters. The on shore excursions were well organised with very knowledgeable guides. The highlights for us was Strasbourg, The Black Forest museum and the cable car ride to the castle in Koblenz. We will most certainly book another river cruise, land in view the whole time! We flew from Newcastle but the return wasn’t as straightforward as we had to change planes in Paris C de G, a massive place. The only part of the holiday we didn’t enjoy. One abiding memory is the amount of cargo carrying vessels on the river and negotiating the large locks. Another was the size of the Lorelei statue, blink and you missed it! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose to cruise the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basil. From the time we booked to the time we disembarked the service was excellent. The ship was modern and extremely well maintained.The crew were professional in the performance of there ... Read More
We chose to cruise the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basil. From the time we booked to the time we disembarked the service was excellent. The ship was modern and extremely well maintained.The crew were professional in the performance of there duties and always had the customers best interests in mind.The food was plentiful varied and delicious. The service in the dining room was second to none.The staff were always smiling and efficient in the performance of there duties. House keeping did a great job in keeping the cabins clean and well appointed.The cruise director continually kept everyone up to date on all of the ships tours and activities.His knowledge and history of all locations were presented in great detail before each tour. Questions were answered quickly ensuring customer satisfaction.All the tours were well organized well run and interesting.All aspects of the cruise experience was outstanding. As a result of the outstanding service I would highly recommend this company to anyone looking to do a cruise. I would definitely take another cruise with this company' Thanks for the Great Experience Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We've been on ocean cruises before but this is so much better since you can see the countryside as you're sailing. Budapest was a great starting point, we spent a couple of days ahead and enjoyed it...so different than we ... Read More
We've been on ocean cruises before but this is so much better since you can see the countryside as you're sailing. Budapest was a great starting point, we spent a couple of days ahead and enjoyed it...so different than we expected and the city is certainly the highlight of the Danube. We especially loved the night cruise. The ship is well set up. The room layout efficient and effective. The dining room was great and the food was excellent. It was also great to see local dishes and entertainment on board and the wine!! Service was excellent. It was great to have a pool onboard as well as a theatre. The sun deck was too hot on most days due to the exceptionally warm weather. But the cruise through the Rhine gorge was the best viewed from the sundeck and great that the weather was excellent! Each port was different and the tours were well done... good guides, good sightseeing, the walking was okay and not strenuous. The "quiet-voxes" were excellent on the tours so you could hear the guide. The maps & port/phone# cards were helpful. I was happy to see that the umbrellas and walking poles were provided!!! The check-in/check-out at each port was efficient although they could have the system at each exit/egress to make it easier. The hand sanitizer stands were a great idea and well used. The cruise director, Michael, was excellent and we enjoyed his evening reviews of the upcoming activities. Disembarkation went smoothly and efficiently. There were no children on this cruise.... all adults. Read Less
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