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Sail Date: August 2019
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! ... Read More
To spend time with my son and enjoy activities on board and ashore. The quizes were fun but one of the quiz masters made them more about him and entered into the realm of vulgarity on a family ship at 12.30.pm. Not a good idea! The food was exellent at all times and service was fairly good. I would like to single out Milton for High praise, he was an excellent and couertous waiter and took a real interest in us. The drinks system took a lot of getting used to by us passengers and the staff. I am guessing that the ultimate drinks package is a new venture and staff were very slow at times to return the all important cruise card to us, I am sure these teething problems will be sorted out in time. All in all a very enjoyable experience bit not without glitches and some improvements could be made. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of ... Read More
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of friendliness without being invasive. The staff on board Emerald Dawn were excellent. They provided us with a wonderful experience. The organised programme was exciting, and very well planned and we were guided through the most interesting sights of all the cities and villages we were able access. Many of the activities required overseeing at a very high level and the Emerald Dawn staff and guides achieved this level unhesitatingly. The tour guides had extensive knowledge of their area and this was noticed by the passengers. Overall our time onboard the Emerald Dawn was amazing and we would seriously like the staff to be praised for the excellent presentation of the river trip onboard the Emerald Dawn Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and ... Read More
We chose the Ventura as this was the only cruise that suited our availability - we were not disappointed. We arrived at Southampton after a 6 hour journey to be greeted by the parking service. Speedy and efficient, my car was taken and parked whilst we went into departures. No queueing, went straight into check in and on to the ship. This was my first time on Ventura and I was stunned. Glamorous and opulent, it was a beautiful sight. It was clean, bright and well kept, the decor sumptuous. Straight to our cabin, our cases were already there! I went in and our cabin did not disappoint. We'd selected E deck as my 80 yr old mother required to be near the entertainment decks and I expected a somewhat dreary cabin. I was wrong. It was lovely, the view unobstructed and the cabin spacious. It was bright, with and well maintained, no peeling corners but a spruce and well thought out design. The bathroom was super with a lovely shower. It wasn't big but certainly very useable. The cruise was excellent, there was much to do and the food was excellent. We ate on the Lido and there was so much choice. The waterfront restaurant was designed in a way that food was Centred on islands - you don't queue up like a canteen! The service was super and our cabin steward, Rajesh, could not have been more attentive. So many bars and restaurants, a lovely library, a super Arcade games room (which we enjoyed). Deck 15 pools are well designed, one with a retractable roof and it's not windy up there! All in all, a super cruise - I loved it. One thing, though. There's no cards room for adult games. I missed that. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Out of Southampton near me. However on 12 day cruise there were only 4 port visits. The visit to Lisbon being only half day. The last 3 days at sea were purgatory. Although the weather was beyond Freds control entertaining their guests ... Read More
Out of Southampton near me. However on 12 day cruise there were only 4 port visits. The visit to Lisbon being only half day. The last 3 days at sea were purgatory. Although the weather was beyond Freds control entertaining their guests was not. All outside decks were locked. There were four entertainment staff apart from Braemar singers and dancers. They could and should have made more effort. A film could have been shown, indoor games organised. Additional karioke or mr mrs type games the list is endless yet we were left to the library or bars. Presumably Fred is cutting back, service very poor lack of waiters very apparent. Also lack of port calls. We were at times almost at standstill waiting for time slot to dock. Have done similar cruise on CMV where staff always going extra mile. Finally the quality of food in Thistle. Very poor, with evidence of lunch menu items appearing in the evening menu. No disguising the representation of dishes in different guise. I went with Fred on Boudicca last Xmas and loved everything. Unfortunately had already Booked Braemar for this Christmas before going on this one. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The scenery everyday is awesome. Going through the locks was very interesting. Butlers and bartenders were friendly knowledgeable and attentive. Food was delicious and varied. I am allergic to shellfish and felt they could have done ... Read More
The scenery everyday is awesome. Going through the locks was very interesting. Butlers and bartenders were friendly knowledgeable and attentive. Food was delicious and varied. I am allergic to shellfish and felt they could have done a better job of ensuring that there was options when shellfish was on the menu. Portobellos the Portuguese restaurant was excellent with magnificent service. The evening Crystal dining room had a varied menu. We found the service very slow on the nights that the speciality service/restaurants were open. Loved the butler service for morning coffee! Relaxed before breakfast and enjoyed the scenery. The Portugese bar b que up on the sun deck was very good. Ribs were amazing! The musician was entertaining and engaged the crowd. One night there was local entertainment which was also very good and engaging! Cabins were efficient but small. Bathrooms were well appointed. The tours were good but some required too long a bus ride. A few were sick and not enough was done to find out why. Probably the heat as it was very hot Throughly enjoyed the trip though. Cruise directors were very knowledgeable. We took the three days in Lisbon prior which very worth the extra days. Porto was beautiful with great tours. Enjoyed the cooking class tour of the galley and being able to interact with the chef Very efficient boarding. A little confusion on the embarking as they moved us to a hotel. The lunch at the hotel was not very good compared to the ship Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
What an experience! Customer service levels off the Richter scale!! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The Chef, Steve Groves was charming and so modest! Greg Wallace was a bundle of energy and made time for everyone, we learnt so ... Read More
What an experience! Customer service levels off the Richter scale!! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The Chef, Steve Groves was charming and so modest! Greg Wallace was a bundle of energy and made time for everyone, we learnt so much about his life, such an interesting man. The oyster schuking was memorable and even those not keen were happy to listen and learn. The Head Chef Mattias was a lively character who gave entertaining demonstrations. The whole cruise was geared around food snd wine, taking us to some of the mist stunning vinyards in the Bordeaux region. It was action packed with talks and wine tasting in some of the most beautiful chateaus. The music extravaganza bresthtaking set in the fairy tale Chateau d'Agassac. A beautiful ship visiting the best of the region, stunning scenery and top class local guides, full of personality and information. The Cruise Director Andreea, was full of energy and never flagged, always happy to help and make you feel valued. My favourite wine tasting was at the beautiful Chateau de la Riviere! Such a fabulous setting. The Gala dinner was an event where all the crew came and danced with us, along with Gregg Wallace and Steve Groves. This was a stunning and memorable cruise and worth every one of its five stars!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Best reviews, best TRUE all-inclusive, best dates, best location stops and tours, amazing cabin. The staff is second to none. BBQ on deck, personal service, incredible food and beverages, informative and small-town tours... we will ... Read More
Best reviews, best TRUE all-inclusive, best dates, best location stops and tours, amazing cabin. The staff is second to none. BBQ on deck, personal service, incredible food and beverages, informative and small-town tours... we will be back many time! The ship is amazing, clean and well laid-out. Amazing and varied gourmet meals, well organized tours to very special destinations. The staff attentiveness is second to none. I researched over 25 river cruise lines for the best... this was it. Cabin, although expensive, was spacious and provided an un-encumbered view of all sides of the ship...truly and amazing experience. Special surprises such as an on-board BBQ, nightly entertainment from local sources, private concerts in Palais Lichtenstein, concert pianists, world-class violinists, dancers, and musicians. The cruise director Yvonne is a treasure and the captain and his crew approachable, thoughtful and willing to go the extra mile to ensure a wonderful and life changing experience. We will be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. Embarkation was a little confusing because the ship was docked away from the main docks in Vienna. But they had a representative stationed at the main dock with a Crystal wind feather, so arriving passengers could get specific instructions on the location of the ship. Once we were aboard, check-in was fast and easy. We were in one of the "petite suites", which lacks the double sinks and walk-in closet of the full-sized suites. Nevertheless, it was sufficient for our needs, spotlessly clean, quiet, and very comfortable. There was a good choice of excursions in every port. We loved the bicycle tours, although they should only be selected by people who are experienced cyclists. The ship offered a few extra activities, including a tour of the galley, and an evening sail through Budapest so we could see it lit up at night. Disembarkation went smoothly. While most other ships require passengers to be out of their room by 8:30, we were allowed to stay in ours until 10:00, giving us a few extra minutes of sleep, and a more leisurely disembarkation. This was our first Crystal river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We sailed around the Adriatic on Celebrity Infinity. We embarked in Venice and probably the biggest disappointment of the whole holiday was that the ship’s departure was delayed by several hours so that the sail away from Venice was in ... Read More
We sailed around the Adriatic on Celebrity Infinity. We embarked in Venice and probably the biggest disappointment of the whole holiday was that the ship’s departure was delayed by several hours so that the sail away from Venice was in darkness. We had really been looking forward to a spectacular start to the cruise so were bitterly disappointed. From then on, the cruise fully lived up to our expectations. Whilst the ship is a bit tired in places, it is still very comfortable and well laid out with none of the queues and crowding that we have experienced on other ships. The crew are very friendly and provide excellent service. We had a balcony cabin and were at the stern of the ship. I had put in a cheeky bid for a family cabin using Celebrity’s new scheme and we were rewarded with two rooms and a huge balcony. This was cabin 9199 which did have a drawback as it was directly below the Ocean View Bar and the movement of tables and chairs above was quite intrusive. The cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Ocean View buffet and were well satisfied with the food. It could get a bit crowded at peak times but we never failed to find a table. We had set time dining in the main dining room and shared a table with two other couples. The service was great and the food good with ample choice. We did use the new style Qsine and Tuscan speciality restaurants and were impressed with the food though you do have to pay a significant amount for the privilege. The experience in Qsine with the holograms was really something else. As we were dining at 8.30pm, the timing of the shows in the theatre at 7.30 and 9.30 did not suit us at all so we didn’t see any shows so cannot comment on the quality of them. Later in the evening we did go to a few events by the pool and in the Constellation Lounge. The silent disco was great fun. The house band Ocean’s Five tried hard but the female singer sang flat at times which was jarring on the ears. The other lounge entertainers were good and pleasant to listen to. We had the classic drinks package included which was perfectly adequate for our needs. Drinks are pretty expensive if you don’t have a package that is for sure. As Captain’s club members, we had 90 minutes free wifi which is just about enough for us. The wifi service is just about OK but slow at times. It is ridiculously expensive if you have to pay for it. On the other hand, the TV in the cabin was really poor with limited channels and a tendency to freeze. The cruise lasted for twelve days and with only two sea days was pretty full on in terms of the shore experience. We had been on the same cruise a few years previously and decided not to book any excursions as most ports were interesting enough to do our own thing. Koper in Slovenia was the first port of call and was pretty quiet on a Sunday morning although nice to stroll around. We decided to stay on board in Zadar and saved our energy for Split. Split was a really nice city with plenty to see. On our last cruise we had visited Salona and Trogir and had not seen much of Split so it was nice to take a relaxing stroll around the centre. We then went to Dubrovnik and previous experience had taught us to make an early start as it gets really crowded later on. It was a hot day but we managed to walk around the walls before it really got too hot. It is well worth doing but like everything else in Dubrovnik it doesn’t come cheap. The final leg of the Adriatic section was a visit to beautiful Kotor in Montenegro. This required a tender from the ship but again we went early so had no problems. Like Dubrovnik, Kotor gets really busy as the day goes on. It is quaint with narrow streets and fine old buildings and is well worth a visit. After a sea day, we arrived at Catania in Sicily. On our last cruise we had visited the tourist hotspots of Mount Etna and Taormina (well worth seeing) so we walked into the centre of Catania. It has many fine buildings and a beautiful square but in places it is suffering from decay. Nevertheless, it interesting to visit with the area around the fish market particularly lively. Another seas day and then Palma Mallorca. The city itself is great with bustling streets and a beautiful cathedral but the day was blighted by very badly organized transfers to and from the ship. The return transfer was particularly shambolic and we waited almost an hour and a half for a bus in the hot sun. The service was not provided by Celebrity but a local company but it really wasn’t good enough. Fearing something similar in Ibiza we decided to walk into town. Fortunately, we noticed a water taxi service right next to the ship (not mentioned by Celebrity) which took us right into the old town for 4 euros return. The transfer by bus was priced at 10 euros return. In both Mallorca and Ibiza we arrived in late morning and left in late evening which was not ideal. The final port before we disembarked in Barcelona was Valencia. The ship docked quite a long way out so the transfer to the old city took around 30 minutes. The old part of Valencia has beautiful old buildings and winding streets and is a joy to wander around. Disembarkation at Barcelona was straightforward and we had a quick transfer to the airport. We do cruise with Celebrity as a matter of choice and overall were not disappointed with the cruise living up to our expectations. The positives: great service, a comfortable ship, friendly like-minded people, good food The negatives: delayed departure from Venice, the transfer in Mallorca, poor TV service, timing of shows Would we cruise with Celebrity again – of course we would! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it. 2 adults & 1 teen Our Balcony Cabin was bigger than expected and equipped with everything we needed, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. Nice bedding and comfy beds Very Happy with our room attendant Sugi who was always smiling and kept our cabin in good order. We had a little problem with the Pullman bed on the first evening and that was dealt within minutes followed by an apology letter. We opted for “my time dinning” although booked our time slots in the planner before we sailed this way we still could be allocated the same table and waiter each night. Our waiter Beemal was great kept us entertained and was very attentive. Could not fault the food in any of the restaurants, bars or Cafe’s. We mainly ate in the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner. We used the Windjammer a couple of time and found the food to be very good, huge choice and although it was busy we didn’t have a problem finding a table. Johnny Rockets was also really good, milkshakes were amazing and worth the additional $9.95 per person on there own. The pool areas were quite busy especially on sea days when it was more difficult to find a sun bed, also it was school holidays so ship was generally busy, it never seemed overly crowded and we liked the adult solarium. We never had much of a wait getting drinks around the pool bars, the sky bar was our favourite, the staff were the friendliest, not that you need to go to the bar as there are plenty of waiters walking round delivering directly to our sun beds. Ice show, dance shows and Grease were amazing. My partner used the gym which was well equipped and he had a great view when arriving a ports first thing. We had the Key package and I would recommend it, it come with quite a few perks including the reserved seating for all the shows and the internet. We also were allocated time slots for the climbing wall, flow rider, ice skating and trampolines (we didn’t get round to doing most of them) The first day lunch was served in the main dining room but used the chops grill menu, It was a lovely and relaxed way to start our cruise. It was also nice to leave the ship when we wanted to rather than waiting to be called. Overall for what we paid which was about £17 per per person per day it was good value and would get again if offered at the name price. The only thing I would say is that it’s not fully advertised on the ship and you have to ask when you go into the theatre and shows to be seated. We had to select a showing for the Grease performance and was advised to meet in the bar and would be taken to our seats, this didn't happen so we made our own way and was shown to our seats. We left the ship at both ports in Spain but just had a walk around did not do any trips but would consider on our next cruise (already booked) it’s a shame the independence is not sailing from the UK next year as we really loved it, just hoping Athem lives up to it. Overall we had a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and staff were helpful and the Cruise Director was exceptional - thanks Darren! Having a larger pool was a bonus, as were the acuarobics. Entertainment was up to the usual Emerald standard, and the shore excursions and activities each day were interesting and good value. Food was generally very imaginative and we had the services of a famous French chef one evening, who produced a really splendid dinner. It was a very hot week, and the air conditioning throughout the ship was welcome. This meant that outside activities were restricted. I would have preferred a more relaxed dining option like we had on the Douro - i.e. dinner from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. rather than the set time of 7 with a 15 minute window. Too early for us, but I understand that the Americans like to dine at that time. The ship mainly sailed through the night, and that meant we didn't enjoy much of the wonderful countryside and the excitement of going through the 12 locks - the nicest days were the last two, leaving at 3.15p.m. for the journey. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous ... Read More
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous backpacks and ticket wallet pre-cruise. They met our plane, and transferred us to the hotel, even though we arrived two days early to get acclimated to the new time zone. Ship was beautiful, spotless, and cabin space very well planned, with plenty of storage space for our two huge bags of luggage, as we traveled pre and post cruise. We would have liked more hooks. They provided bathrobes and velour slippers, Each room had a flat screen TV with huge number of channels, with movies, TV series, travel videos. Umbrellas, walking canes, earplugs, Moulton Brown toiletries, and WASHCLOTHS---a rarity in France. Shower space was fabulous compared to our last cruise on a regular cruise ship in March. Just wonderful. The only negative was the chairs in our in-room balcony were too big for the space and really, really uncomfortable. Included tours were excellent, the guides on almost every tour were delightful, charming, humorous, knowledgeable and spoke perfect English, which we followed on our Emerald padded headsets, which you re-charge every day. We booked 3 extra tours for the afternoons, and they were worth every penny, as these were spectacular points of interest visually, and you also got to see the countryside on the way to the destination. I don't think you could take a bad picture at any of the places we visited---we took over 75--- and every single one could be a postcard. Tournon was our least favorite stop, as there is not a tremendous amount there---maybe a cooking class could have been offered? Evening entertainment for us was mostly movies in the room, but we did go to the movie trivia night--where I won the bottle of wine! It was lots of fun, though we wished the evening events started just a bit earlier, as 9:15PM was late when you had to get up early in the morning for the tours. We are not morning people, but we adjusted. Our cruise director Darren, and the activities director Didi (I'm sorry if I have misspelled their names) were very entertaining, helpful, and efficient. Loved these guys! My husband took one of the bike tours, and enjoyed it immensely. Never used the pool, gym, hairdresser, masseuse, or did yoga, so can't comment on those activities. Breakfast had 3 times; early, regular, and quick bite so you could make the tours. Buffet of selections for every taste, but darned near impossible to get a cup of coffee right when you sat down. Don't know why they don't have coffee machines in the dining room, as I ended up getting mine at the machine in the bar and walking it downstairs---not good--- or safe. Lunch buffet was also very good, lots of selections, with choice of two kinds of ice creams with toppings, and sauces--- every day. Always a line for that. Again, getting a non-wine beverage here was also a problem, and I ended up bringing my iced tea down from the bar. However, if you are a wine drinker, you're in great shape on this cruise, as they never stop pouring...….ever. Dinner was our least favorite meal. We advised in advance that we don't eat pork products, veal, and I'm allergic to shellfish. The first night there was nothing on the menu I could eat, so I spoke to the maître d. She advised there was always a choice of a steak, salmon fillet, or chicken breast and Caesar salad. So, we ordered the steak the first night. The Caesar salad came with BACON sprinkled on it (!!!) and the steak was very tough, so we stuck with salmon most nights--though I don't love it, it was tastier than a plain chicken breast. The celebrity chef night was absolutely the best meal of the cruise, and we could have had his menu and bread every night and would have been very, very happy. The dining staff needed more training, as they could not accommodate any special requests, i.e. dressing on the side for the Caesar salad. In fact one night I was told that the Caesar was an entrée! They cannot deviate, and don't understand what you are trying to say. Also, they forgot two special meals at two other tables around us, and one passenger was furious. Dinner is one sitting at 7PM, so I understand the difficulty of serving over 130 people all at once. Maybe a smaller buffet in the bar area would help--- like they do for breakfast. I actually prefer buffets, as I can choose what and how much I eat. Dining portions were very small, but OK for us. Miguel the dining manager was very charming, always cheerful---but he has his hands full training this dining staff. Also, they need to try to smile more, as they always seemed stressed---which they were, I'm sure. If you have never taken a river cruise before, please be aware there is lots and lots of walking, sometimes you have to climb up and down stairs as you cross over other boats you are tied up to. Because you are tied up to them on some days, you cannot raise the shades in your cabin---so the "balcony" becomes unusable. But you are off early and don't spend much time in the cabin on most days. Also, this cruise is not suitable for children, as there are no activities for them. Most of the cruisers, I would guess, were over 60. All in all, an almost perfect vacation. Wish they did a Normandy River Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Had great time , took my 12 year old daughter did not know what to expect after reading the last review. (Did notice dents in the lift doors and did hear about the young man who was tazered and the 39 passengers that had to leave the ship ... Read More
Had great time , took my 12 year old daughter did not know what to expect after reading the last review. (Did notice dents in the lift doors and did hear about the young man who was tazered and the 39 passengers that had to leave the ship from the week before we sailed) But thankfully we only experienced well behaved children and young adults on our cruise . Totally overwhelmed by the sheer size of this ship . Went on and explored at approximately 11am . Our time was 1-30 pm to embark but it really doesn’t matter what time you get there. The facilities are outstanding , from the pools to the flow rider to the theatres and dining rooms unbelievable ship . A couple of negatives , 1) the windjammer is an ‘buffet type diner’ I just personally found it stressful , just too busy , but the food was fantastic. Brilliant choice. 2) I didn’t have drink package for myself just my daughter and sometimes I felt like that I had took the cheap way to cruise when occasionally bar person would say ‘oh just a soda package ‘ 3) My room , nothing wrong with it but my daughter got chocolate on the cover the first night and it was not change throughout our stay , and even be night her sheet was missing so I found a trolley in the corridor and took one of it. Maybe I should have said something? Also I love the animal towels they put on your bed but we only got one , my daughter was so excited wish they could have done more has a friend she met had three, but I do understand they are busy. But all small things compared to the rest of the positives . Pool fantastic my daughter loved the jacuzzis Entertainment absolutely brilliant loved it all , went to grease , comedians , brilliant ice show, best night was silent disco we had great time , it was all just fab! Loads to do on ship , never got chance in the 6 nights to do it all and relax and we only left the ship once in Spain for couple of hours. My daughter loved the quiz at 8 pm every night even though we were not too good at it, then we did the family game show and then watched whatever was in that evening in the theatre fantastic! We also ordered the complimentary continental breakfast 2 days to our room , we loved it , what a treat. But the best experience we had on our holiday, was the dining . Our waiter and waitress was fantastic Lisele and Remidios . They made us feel so special catering to our every needs.. going out of there way to please us . We had great view of the sea from our table absolutely loved going down for dinner. Fantastic food, from duck to steaks to lamb chops and large shrimps !! We had an internal room which had plenty of space for the two of us and I loved it was so dark so slept later. Brilliant time we just want to go again . Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, ... Read More
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, zumba and other game shows to include all who wanted to join in. She also sang brilliantly and arranged disco nights. A couple of nights we were entertained by outside performers. A very varied and well organised entertainment plan. The restaurant was well run with very varied menu including all diets. They were very obliging whenever there was any type of foods you couldn't or didn't want to eat. They'd always find an alternative. Very attentive ensuring you always had a drink. Everyone served each course together and no hanging around between courses. Our rooms were very comfortable and clean. A laundry service was available at a reasonable cost. All the staff very friendly and efficient and always ready to make us laugh. I would definitely recommend emerald waterways Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony ... Read More
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony (in my opinion). Food is top notch, but we have no food allergies and are meat eaters. But there are vegetarian options if necessary. The staff is very considerate and helpful. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style while dinner is set. There's a choice of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees and 4 desserts. They also have the "Chefs Favourites" listed which is what the Chef recommends of the previously mentioned options. I went with the Chefs Favourites for all dinners and was not disappointed. They tried to pair the wine with area being travelled through, which was quite nice as well. There was an included excursion at each port and 2 where you had an option. On one of these the cost was extra, but we thought it was well worth it. It was the drive to Chochem. We did recommend on our survey of this excursion that we would have liked another 1/2 to hour of free time. Each stop has its unique features. The ship on/off procedure is well organized. All local tour guides were excellent and all spoke very good English as does the ship staff. The room steward did a a great job cleaning our room daily. Sarah, the entertainment director had evening entertainment of some sort planned but it's your choice to partake or not. The drink package selection could have more options but this isn't a big deal for us. As noted above, we had a great time and highly recommend this cruise. We will sail Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the cost. Usually cruise Celebrity but the cost for this was less for equivalent sailing. Our status with Celebrity transferred over to Royal and was a great benefit for us. All the ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the cost. Usually cruise Celebrity but the cost for this was less for equivalent sailing. Our status with Celebrity transferred over to Royal and was a great benefit for us. All the ports were great and crew was excellent. We only did two excursions and they were arranged privately. Did a tour in Tallin, Estonia and a 2 day tour in St. Petersburg, Russia. Other ports were Skagen and Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland. We began and ended in Amsterdam. For the ports - do your research. The transfers were expensive and not always necessary if you like to walk - and not always a long walk. Some of the areas were a short distance from the dock. The Brilliance was very shiny and new in most of the public areas. The Schooner Bar and Colony Club were very dark and reminiscent of an older type of ship decor. The cabins are in need of a redo. Food is very subjective. Meat ordered medium rare was usually overcooked and replaced. Other dishes were good and bad. I never went hungry! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand ... Read More
Embarkation was easy. Ship spotlessly clean and we could see the hard working staff cleaning and polishing every day and disinfecting all common areas. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Ferdinand our cabin steward was top notch, cabin was always spotless. The quality of food on Ventura is of a very high standard for such a large ship. Restaurants very nice. The menus in the three main dining rooms change daily. Buffet servery is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Only did one excursion, but chaotic trying to get off, should be called by excursion instead of loads of people queuing. The entertainment was average, not timed correctly, had to leave evening meal early to get to the first show. The comedian was a bit to near the knuckle for an 8.30pm show as there was youngsters there. Singing and dancing is not our cup of tea but there’s plenty of it if you like that sort of thing. Not much on during the day. The quizzes are poor, if you won you got stickers, whats happened to getting a little prize? People that had been on the ship pervious week said questions were the same. Drinks package extortionate, the dearest on ship I have been on, and done twelve cruises with different companies. On the positive, drinks were very reasonably priced. The service throughout the ship for the entire journey was perfect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a relaxing end of summer break. Having been on the Ventura before, we knew the ship relatively well. Embarkation was smooth and the staff in Southampton were great. We had an inside cabin on deck 12, which was well presented and our cabin steward was friendly and conscientious. We couldn't fault her or the standard of cleanliness. We found the dining experience to be, overall, very good. We ate in Sindhu on the first night, which was delicious and the staff were brilliant. We also had afternoon tea in the Epicurean on the second sea day. However, I feel the 3.30pm timing is a little late and we could have done with it being an hour or so earlier (we didn't eat lunch due to the reservation and we were hungry by the time 3.30pm came!!!) We opted for set time dining at 8.30pm. Having been on several cruises before, we know that, if you wish to change tables, the earlier you speak to a member of staff in the dining room the better. However, it took over 24 hours and five different members of staff until somebody actually listened to us and moved our table. We were given a table of 6 but wanted to sit on a table for 2. After being told many, many times that the staff in the Bay Tree Restaurant were 'working on it', we finally got a smaller table. It was confusing as to why it took so long, especially as half the smaller tables were empty all week... The staff in the Bay Tree were very nice but they were running around due to being incredibly busy. I found the food to be incredibly rich and had a hard time finding lighter choices whilst in the main dining room. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet were much more agreeable due to the variety of choices. I found the buffet to be quite calm whenever I went - we always managed to find a table. The entertainment was good, and I particularly enjoyed the addition of Sam and Mark and the Legend at Sea Steve Staunton. The Headliners group were decent and put on a couple of good shows. The ports were calm and relaxing, and we did have the weather on our side. Particular highlights were Santander and Guernsey - both beautiful destinations. I attended the port talks and found them to be useful. The organisation of the tender in Guernsey was seamless. When we disembarked, we opted to walk off the ship rather than wait for an allocated time and this was incredibly easy - we were in the car by 8am. Overall, a great trip and I'm pleased I chose P&O! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Wow! I have never been so spoiled! It was amazing, I truly believe that every staff member wants you to have the absolute best time are there to make sure it happens. From the initial greeting when we got to the boat to the time we left. ... Read More
Wow! I have never been so spoiled! It was amazing, I truly believe that every staff member wants you to have the absolute best time are there to make sure it happens. From the initial greeting when we got to the boat to the time we left. One of the highlights was When the chef would come out after each port talk and let you know the culinary masterpiece that he had prepared for you that evening. We were never hungry... The wait staff were always very attentive and polite and never left you wanting for anything (my husband may have had a couple of 2 dessert nights). The wine glasses were never empty. The excursions were top notch with really great guides. The cruise director JJ did such a great job of explaining all the possible excursions the first night that we actually ended up changing a couple of our choices and were not disappointed. The room and ship were luxurious and tastefully decorated. It was worth every dollar spent and I would definitely go on another scenic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our 9th time river cruising with Ama Waterways and once again tour experience was exceptional. Our cruise included a pre-stay in Paris and the a seven day cruise to the Normandy coast and back. Timing of all departures and ... Read More
This is our 9th time river cruising with Ama Waterways and once again tour experience was exceptional. Our cruise included a pre-stay in Paris and the a seven day cruise to the Normandy coast and back. Timing of all departures and excursions was outstanding and transportation, when required, was with Ama Waterways own buses which were clean and comfortable. The ship (AmaLyra) is not one of there newest ships but has been kept up remarkably well. Our cabin had a French balcony which we consider the best for river crising where your room is your balcony giving you that extra room with picture perfect views. Our cruise director was Maddy and this is our third experience with her - we consider her one of the best we have ever had. As usual, the staff were excellent and always there to help when needed and have great interaction with the guests. Dining was excellent and representative of the areas where we travelled with some special twists. Entertainment is restricted due to the nature of river cruising but local entertainment, some of which we have seen before, was brought on board a few evenings and did a wonderful job. With all the activity during the day, late evenings ae a premium. Ports were beyond expectation and selection of optional cruises made it even more so. There was a good blend of excursions mixed with daytime sailing that made it very enjoyable. The presentation given by the cruise director the day prior made selections so much easier when there was some confusion on our part as to which one to cruise. We have now been on all the rivers that Ama Waterways travel including a reapeat of the Douro river but would not hesitate to go again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact ... Read More
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact that once you paid the fare everything was included, no surprises at the end of the cruise. Highly recommend Scenic Cruises! Embarkation and disembarkation was very organized and went smoothly. The ports of call and shore excursions were well organized and very interesting. I would have liked to have more than 1 day in Budapest and maybe 1 less day in Vienna. The entertainment was very good with a good variety and many special things only for Scenic like the classical music concert at Palais Liechtenstein, and the Salzburg Sound of Music Show. Our cruise director, Richard Grey, did an excellent job of organizing local talents to come on board to entertain us. Al in all I would highly recommend Scenic Tours and I plan to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. ... Read More
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. HOWEVER, those with canes, or disabilities don't have equal access to sites which require extensive walking,climbing .However, staff at the sites eg Vienna private show helped with special access to elevators and seating. The music shoe in Viea was outstandin and worth every penny. Loved the Hungarian band and dancers on board the Sky Glad to have all tips included in price.Easy! The buses to and from sites were well organized . Luggage handled by staff boarding and debarking. Weathe was great for the end of August on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest except a bit tpp warm om Aug 30 to Aug 31. I would recommend this trip and itinerary. Just add more otions for those with disabilities and perhaps seat these people first on buses. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I have been regular passengers with P&O over the last 9 years having just completed out twentieth cruise. In August we sailed on the Arcadia and I have to say that there were a lot of things wrong with the ship. We have ... Read More
My wife and I have been regular passengers with P&O over the last 9 years having just completed out twentieth cruise. In August we sailed on the Arcadia and I have to say that there were a lot of things wrong with the ship. We have seen standards fall over the years but the situation is becoming critical. Where has all the serving staff gone? There are nowhere near enough waiters in the bars and it is almost impossible to get served anywhere without having to go to the bar and order there. This ties the one or two waiters to the bar area which stops them going around the tables to take passenger’s orders. It’s a Catch 22 situation. The quality of the draught beers was terrible with beers tasting of cleaning fluid which forced me to drink only bottled beer for almost the entire cruise. There is no bar service on the promenade deck at all leaving passengers to have to fetch drink from an internal bar and carry them all the way outside. The Cabin Stewards have been downsized so much that they now have to do around twenty cabins each and the strain is showing as, despite their best efforts, the stewards are not doing everything they should. Take balcony cleaning for instance: According to the Deck Managers I have spoken with on various ships, cabin stewards are supposed to clean the balconies daily but, yet again, my wife had to suffer dirty furniture, dirty glass, dirty handrails and a dirty balcony floor. We finally took action ourselves and asked reception of a mop, bucket and squeegee so that we could do the job ourselves. This had an effect as our steward was instructed to clean our balcony daily but it didn’t last long. Arcadia is looking tired and rusty and in port, she looks filthy with unclean glass and windows and rust everywhere. The cabin and bathrooms are showing their age. Most public areas are clean I’m glad to say. The food is just awful in the buffet restaurant, too little choice, poorly cooked and arranged in a totally illogical manner. The move by P&O to bulk sauce dispensers rather than sachets, has led to the demise of Salad Cream which has now been replaced with a substitute that is nowhere near as good. Who thought up the idea of serving frozen butter portions? It is impossible to butter a roll unless you wait 10 minutes for the butter to soften enough to be spread. What has happened to the availability of Flora spread? It has been replaced with a generic “Margarine” which tastes awful. The service in the Main Dining Room is just awful, too slow and haphazard and the food quality is poor compared with previous cruises. The waiters work very hard and I do not blame them at all but the management and P&O themselves need to take a step back and realize that passenger comfort and service are what really matters on a cruise ship. Everything seems to be about saving money! My wife and I have five more cruises booked with P&O and we are already considering cancelling some of them next year (luckily they were booked onboard so we paid only £50 deposit each). We very much doubt that we will sail with P&O after 2020 as we would rather pay more to get proper service and quality with other cruise lines. Arcadia was in Norovirus lock-down when we boarded and this lasted for four days.Everything is served to you, even a glass of water in the buffet. Thankfully it ended but the lock-down returned for the last four days of the cruise due to a “few” cases of Norovirus, our sources said that it was a large number of passengers affected. Considering that Norovirus was being reported on the Arcadia back in June of this year, they clearly have a serious problem. We still enjoyed our cruise despite all the above and we cannot fault the waiting staff and our cabin steward. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Booked this cruise to celebrate a friends anniversary. They have cruised before, we hadn’t. Very disappointed. Ship is worn and dated with painting going on all the time. Pool at the rear is dirty with broken tiles. People squashed ... Read More
Booked this cruise to celebrate a friends anniversary. They have cruised before, we hadn’t. Very disappointed. Ship is worn and dated with painting going on all the time. Pool at the rear is dirty with broken tiles. People squashed around on sun beds with little room to move. Regularly felt sick from the sulphur dioxide and soot covering the back of the ship. Regularly had black spots all over my body and any clothes. Staff were not bothered when we complained and the pool didn’t get cleaned. Food is bland and tasteless, especially the fine dining. I have had better school dinners. Entertainment was tacky and more suited to black pool butlins! What a waste of money. Never again! Have travelled all around and this is not luxury. It is 3* at best. Could have flown to Thailand or similar and stayed in a 5* hotel for the cost of this trip. Save your money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less

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