29 Amsterdam Spring Break Cruise Reviews

Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ... Read More
Viking are very efficient, I cannot fault their communication and organisation. They organised the flights and transfers as well. However, they wanted an extortionate amount for 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise, so we organised it ourselves and so had to make our own way to the hotel. The ship was lovely, very clean, smooth lines, no chintz! The other passengers were probably 50% Americans, 25% British, 25% other and quite a wide age range from people in their 30s to 70s. I would say most of the people were 50 - 75. The service was excellent, but I think over the top. After cleaning the room in the morning, is there really any need for the maid to clean it again in the evening? This is one reason it is so expensive. I have stayed in top notch hotels where they close the curtains and turn down the bed and I think that is all that is needed. Alcoholic and soft drinks are included at both lunch at dinner and not just one, they keep topping up your glasses, so people like me who don't drink are actually subsidising those that do and they certainly take advantage of it! Some people opted for the drinks package which included certain drinks all day. However, both passengers in the state room have to take it, so it wasn't worth it for us. the service throughout the ship was excellent, with a good choice of food for breakfast and a limited choice for lunch with a good salad buffet and burgers if you did not fancy what was on offer. However, I was disappointed with the evening meals. There was always a regional menu of 3 courses, plus 2 choices of international dishes for each course and if you didn't like them, there was steak, burgers or chicken. However, I found it difficult to find something I liked every night and resorted to the steak and chips on several occasions. There was a German buffet one night, but as I am not keen on lots of sausages, cooked meat and pork I was not impressed, neither was the Jewish gentleman on our table! One night Thai soup was on the menu and I ordered that as it contained co-conut milk and as I am lactose intolerant did not expect to be served a very creamy soup containing milk! Also, the greatest disappointment for me was the tiny servings for dessert. The excursions were well organised with a leisurely option for those who had limited mobility, which we took advantage of as my husband had a bad knee. Little treats awaited us on our return to the ship which was nice and we all had electronic gizmos with earpieces so we could hear the guide, which were very easy to use. The excursions are mainly walking tours in the cities, concentrating on the history, architecture and cathedrals etc. The guides were very good except the fortress at Koblenz. The guide was an actor and it was supposed to be amusing, but it was not. The evening entertainment was mainly a pianist, but one evening there was a classical concert, another glass blowing demonstration on the adjoining ship, two quizzes which were great fun as they were not the usual format and a disco night. Ivan was in charge of this and he was excellent.We had been on ocean cruises but this was our first river cruise. We loved the fact there was less than 200 people on the boat, so you got to know people very quickly and we made some good friends. It was lovely to watch the scenery as you floated by and you won't get sea sick! Not far to walk to the cabin or the restaurant. However, there is not much to do when sailing except talk, drink, read, sunbathe, sleep or walk around the walking track. If we did another cruise, I probably would not take one that included drinks as this inflates the price if you don't drink very much. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having done a cruise down the Danube last year, so we were hooked. This time it was down the Rhine. Good food with good guides, we met some very interesting people and the scenery was amazing. Super cabin on the first deck with a French ... Read More
Having done a cruise down the Danube last year, so we were hooked. This time it was down the Rhine. Good food with good guides, we met some very interesting people and the scenery was amazing. Super cabin on the first deck with a French widow that opened all the way. Lots of interesting stops as we travelled towards Basel. The initial start in Amsterdam did not get off to a great start, there was nobody to greet us and we were left hanging about, even though we could see our Boat. We eventually made our way to the Boat, but our luggage was left in what I thought was an insecure area on the docks. We were shown to our cabin, it was only when we pointed out to senior staff on the Boat, that our luggage was still on the docks did somebody go and retrieve it. After that it was a super cruise. The part of the journey through all the Castles was amazing Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before we got out of bed! It was also nice having a choice if included excursions at each port. Everything was so well organized and the port talks during cocktail hour each evening were very helpful to get us prepared for our adventures the next day. We were amazed at how quickly and efficiently the meals were served to so many in the dining room. The service in every area of the ship was phenomenal as well because it was clear that each member of the staff really enjoyed their job and bent over backwards to make our journey exceptional. We will be back for more Avalon cruises in the future I am sure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment ... Read More
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment events like a concert or Medieval dinner in a castle just for us. You can have an early or late breakfast and there is always something to eat between meals. There is a gentle walk excursion for those that have some mobility issues. This was great for those with walkers, canes etc. I also loved the opportunity to have a laundry bag stuffed full of dirty clothes laundered free of charge once during the trip as it was very hot and we changed clothes a few times a day. A waiter even remembered me and my first name from a cruise I took 2 years ago. Pretty impressive!! The crew on the Jade went out of their way to make our cruise a true hassle free excursion. In short, "What you pay before you start is all you pay". Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really ... Read More
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really gave a good general feeling to chit chat and have a good relationship with the crew members. The only unfriendly ones are security staff, they have obviously not been told to have courteous or welcoming behavior. This feeling was mutual for everyone else on ship as well. The fact that we had to pay an extra fee of about 400 dollars/ per person, to get soft drinks and water during time on the ship was one of the companies sneaky ways of squeezing some more cash out of you. among other extra charges such as the gratuity charge every day per guest. The food options and timings were pretty good, there was a good range of different and same breakfast options everyday, same for lunch, and the dinner always had 2-3 new dishes everyday, which was great. The fact that we aren't allowed to explore in St. Petersberg without a visa to Russia was a huge pain, especially since it is the port where we are at for longest time ( 2 Days) . You are not allowed to explore St. Petersberg unless you are part of a shore excursion and you must stay with the group, unless of course you were prepared with a visa to Russia of course. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. ... Read More
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. I enjoyed getting to know the other passengers and was really able to get to know many with such a small number of passengers. I really liked being welcomed up in the wheelhouse at anytime to ask questions and learn about the ship. We had a group of ten that traveled together and we were always able to sit together and when a few of us wanted massages, the crew set up appointments as well as figured out transportation for us as well. Cabins were very clean and we still talk about how luxurious the towels were. Service and food was wonderful with lots of attentiveness. Already on my radar is going up the St Lawrence in Canada as well as a Scandinavian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We decided to do this cruise as a change from our normal sea cruises and not having been in the area before it proved to be a perfect choice. The Emerald Sky has a really happy atmosphere and we enjoyed every moment of the trip from ... Read More
We decided to do this cruise as a change from our normal sea cruises and not having been in the area before it proved to be a perfect choice. The Emerald Sky has a really happy atmosphere and we enjoyed every moment of the trip from Amsterdam to Basel The cruise director Darren made every effort to explain the following days itinerary and always made everyone laugh by telling one of his jokes or poems before we went to dinner. . He did a fabulous job as did everyone else onboard. The Captain was always there to wish you a good trip and again to welcome you back onboard which we thought was a nice touch. The tour guides were all very knowledgeable and gave you all the relevant facts without bombarding you with too many dates etc. There were a couple of special guest entertainers and the violinist who came onboard as we sailed down the middle Rhine area was fantastic. Normal entertainment was provided by a pianist who also proved to be a great DJ putting on a couple of lively disco nights. All in all a great cruise when we met lovely people who all added to the enjoyment of the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. ... Read More
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. Housekeeping is generally good with clean cabins and bathrooms. The trips were very well organised and interesting. If I could change anything about the itinerary I would have dropped the Volendam/Edam trip and replaced it with a full day in Amsterdam. We had only one half day in Amsterdam which is not really an adequate time for exploring and visiting the Rijksmuseum, for instance. Also the trip to the cheese factory, the day before, was a wasted morning. Most British passengers are not interested in watching cheese being made. We do make our own cheeses in Britain. Compared with our previous Eastern European cruise the food on this trip was not truthfully as good. The portions were tiny, not that I want huge portions. The fish for the main courses was pre-frozen and then cooked for dinner, and should really have been returned to the kitchen. The final dinner, the Chateau-Briand, was however, excellent as were the lunch time salads - superb. Timings and organisation to and from the airport were excellent. The Tour Director was informative and competent. The spoken English of a couple of the guides was difficult to understand. It was a nice touch when the Captain came to each bus on departure to say "Good bye" and to shake hands with all of us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first river cruise, and we chose AMA Waterways based on the reviews and the available trips for our spring break. We have no reason to ever try a different company! This was the Amalea's maiden voyage, so the ship was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we chose AMA Waterways based on the reviews and the available trips for our spring break. We have no reason to ever try a different company! This was the Amalea's maiden voyage, so the ship was sparkling perfection. Our standard room was comfortable and roomy enough; the bathroom was designed well and had space for storage. Comfort: the bed, shower, in-room monitor/computer and cabin controls were all high-end. The food was AMAZING - high end gourmet, fresh ingredients, way too much at all times, and standards like pizza, chicken and steak were always available. We really liked that they picked up fresh regional specialties, like cheese and chocolate, along the way, to make each dinner relevant and special. The wine selection for dinner was good quality. The lounge was very comfortable for having a drink or enjoying the entertainment. The entertainment was okay, but we would have liked to have danced more. The service, across the board, was IMPECCABLE. From the waitstaff to the cleaning staff, everyone was efficient, pleasant, and sincerely interested in making our vacation the best experience it could be. Our cruise manager, Rachel, was the best. Our shore excursions went off without a hitch, and the tours were well planned, varied and very interesting. We got only one mediocre guide out of 5, and the staff was attentive to our feedback about that. Otherwise, the local guides were knowledgeable, entertaining, and well vetted. We have already booked our next cruise with AMA on the Danube for July, 2019. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I/ We chose this cruise because I we have travelled with the R.C for the past three / two year's and myself and my sister-in-law wanted to see the Baltic region for a change. We have been to the Med. last year and the year before ... Read More
I/ We chose this cruise because I we have travelled with the R.C for the past three / two year's and myself and my sister-in-law wanted to see the Baltic region for a change. We have been to the Med. last year and the year before with my husband. We started from Amsterdam so we went a day early to see around Amsterdam and indeed the next day after register on the ship we were able to go back out again which was great. Amsterdam is a great place to go The amount of bicycles is just an amazing sight. We boarded the Vision of the Sea, which we were on last year, Our cabin looked clean but we found things on the floor on arrival from the guests before us and they were still there 11 days later at the end of our cruise . The bed's were together but we had asked them to be separated, It was done when we brought it to their attention. Dining: The my Time the menu was terrible Yes I understand that there will always be several meals on every night, which there was but the choices were not great and some nights I only took a mains and ice cream for after's. The food was only tepid at best and cold on another night and when we sent our soup back they ensurred that our meals for the next two night's were hot and then on our last night Back to being Tepid again...... Other night's we dreaded going to see what was on the menu, the food was bland and no taste at all that was most of the dishes. The Wind Jammer , The food was mostly spices not a lot of variety, bacon was just full of grease and mostly burnt, No attention to detail at all, Plates ect were not taken off tables like the pst two yer's, It just seemed everything was very slack. Entertainment: Cut back Big time and nothing on the deck and the same band on in the Centrum 3 times an evening and they only sang 3 song's most time (The same one's) 2 Elvis and another one. Got fed up with them 11 day's of listening to that , where before on the other 2 crusise's in the evenings we had different entertainment, Terrible. Services:- Cabin services were not great as empty plates, plastic bottle ect not taken out of room until we filled the bin to the top and over... Sheet's not changed once in 11 day's, Yes towels were changed when need. Port's and Shore Excursion's:- Berlin was one of the port's of call but infact it would have been a 3 hour trip there and 3 hours back,?? We didn't do this as it was way to far to travell and speaking to some people who did this excursion - They came across a road accident and delayed them by 1 hour so by the time they got to Berlin They did not have time to see inside some places that went to see, they were disappointed to say the least. In Russia, which was a fantastic place to see again from the people from the ship's trip out, one driver was stopped by police and it seemed that he was driving without a driving licence... the coach was left for 40 + minutes on the side of the road, the passenger's were not happen!! However myself and my sister-in law booked a trip through Trip adviser and we had a fantastic experience and it costed us far less money.... We did not have children travelling with us. I / we will NOT be travelling again with Royal Car. as we felt so let down... Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I thought I would enjoy this southbound trip on the Rhine as much as another itinerary a few years back with the same company. I was, frankly, disappointed in the service. I realize that there is only space on board for 44 crew members. ... Read More
I thought I would enjoy this southbound trip on the Rhine as much as another itinerary a few years back with the same company. I was, frankly, disappointed in the service. I realize that there is only space on board for 44 crew members. However, not all of these folks were up to snuff. The cabin stewardess was just starting out - day 1. There was a waiter in the dining room who also seemed to be lost. Dinner ended up taking about 2 1/2 hours each night. I am thinking Avalon needs to do a beta run with new staff so they have an idea about what to expect. But, I am thinking that did not happen. We did get a chance to see interesting sights and go to unique places. The cruise director was very good. Something that really bugged me about this trip was that after getting off a red eye flight, we were taken to a staging hotel where we spent from 8:00 am to 3:45 pm before being transported to the boat. I slept on a couch in the hotel lobby. I am thinking day rooms would have been the way to go, but I guess the cost would have been too high by offering this perk. Also, if you are not familiar with the Amsterdam airport you would not necessarily know where to report to meet the agent. In short, ask where the exit is and you kind of run into the gathering point. The red and white gathering point is not indicative of the company logo. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Always led by itinerary. Italy, Montenegro, Greek mainland and Islands just perfect end of May. No issues - an excellent voyage. Meals very good with Special diets catered for in Lido and restaurants. Very good hygiene practices in all ... Read More
Always led by itinerary. Italy, Montenegro, Greek mainland and Islands just perfect end of May. No issues - an excellent voyage. Meals very good with Special diets catered for in Lido and restaurants. Very good hygiene practices in all areas. No self-service - staff served everyone individually so there was no contamination in serving bowls. You still find a person filling their water bottles from the tap although there were large signs prohibiting this practice. English spoken by all staff. Enjoyed the relax ambience on board. Very busy schedule with only 2 sea days in 14 days so no time to sunbathe on decks. We occasionally had breakfast out on the back terrace. The small stage in the theatre did restrict movement for dancers and performers, but a refreshing array of shows were were splendidly performed. Would love to cruise on this beautiful ship again. Shame it does not enter Southampton port on any of it’s itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first cruise ever but we are now hooked for life. It was like staying in a wonderful hotel that moves from one city to the next. The cabins are comfortable It's exciting to wake up as we arrive in a new city Three ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever but we are now hooked for life. It was like staying in a wonderful hotel that moves from one city to the next. The cabins are comfortable It's exciting to wake up as we arrive in a new city Three wonderful meals a day in a restaurant or a self service cafe are followed by a world class stage show with talented dancers and singers. Trapeze artist performing scary shows. We had unlimited drink included, which gave us a chance to acquaint ourselves with a wholly range of new cocktails. We tended to dine on a large table of eight which gave us many opportunities to meet and exchange experiences with couples from all over the world. Staff are unfailingly polite and helpful The very few things like excursions and laundry have to be paid by the ship's card which takes away all feeling for cost and value. Have booked more for 2018 and 2019 Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
we did in fact enjoy our vacation in spite of the condition of the ship. We were aware of the age of this ship but shocked at the appearance. We have been on many cruises on many different lines but not prepared for this. Dirty and ... Read More
we did in fact enjoy our vacation in spite of the condition of the ship. We were aware of the age of this ship but shocked at the appearance. We have been on many cruises on many different lines but not prepared for this. Dirty and stained lounge cushions on the Promenade Deck, pitted and rusty tables at the back pool and badly chipped and dented cocktail tables in the Crow's Next Lounge (inside lounge). Photos available and sent to both Holland America and Vacations to Go. Both rated this ship a 4.5 even though Cruise Critic gave it a 3.5 and Cruise Line a 3.8 Both defended their rating in spite of seeing the photos. We requested a reduction on our final bill the day of disembarkation and was told that they would take it from the service charge. Confirming the "service charge" was the crews tip money we emphatically declined. The crew had nothing to do with the condition of these furnishings. These items were easily and inexpensively replaceable. After send Holland America a formal complaint we were offered dinner for two at the Pinnacle Grill and a $100 cabin credit ON OUR NEXT CRUISE. Fat chance. If this is how Holland America treats their passengers and personnel we are finished with Holland America. Dining was very slow and entertainment average. We had a balcony and it was find. Our cabin steward was wonderful. I couldn't imagine cheating these hard working people out of their tip money. I can only wonder how many people fell for this trick!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our second trip with Emerald - we enjoyed the Danube cruise last year, oddly on the same ship, captain and some of the crew! I can't recommend Emerald enough! Immaculately clean, comfortable accommodation. The staff were very ... Read More
Our second trip with Emerald - we enjoyed the Danube cruise last year, oddly on the same ship, captain and some of the crew! I can't recommend Emerald enough! Immaculately clean, comfortable accommodation. The staff were very friendly, helpful and attentive. The food was excellent - we even had a tour of the galley! Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with an amazing range of dishes available. The evening meal has table service and a menu with a choice of about 3 starters, soups, 3 main courses (although steak, salmon etc also available) then 3 desserts. Each day there is a Chef's Choice menu which we tended to pick each day. Excursions were very good with excellent, amusing well informed guides. My only slight negative is one I should have realised! The ship had a long distance to cover and so there did seem to be a lot of time to enjoy the scenery from a comfortable chair or the sun deck where I would have preferred to be a bit more active. We unreservedly recommend Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife did extensive research with emerald and several other cruise companies and found that emerald was closest to our ideal , the frosting on the cake was that all tips and taxes were included. The flights arranged and meeting at ... Read More
My wife did extensive research with emerald and several other cruise companies and found that emerald was closest to our ideal , the frosting on the cake was that all tips and taxes were included. The flights arranged and meeting at airport efficient and easy . Coach ready and then our luggage was taken care of and next saw them in our cabin. Same on homeward journey arrangements transfer and Ie plane boarding check in all handled efficiently. Biggest praise was for the staff and crew. All were always cheerful and pro active in their approach. Efficient,rembering our names , polite friendly service was smooth but not intrusive. Cruise director Nina van Loon very personable and helpful interesting talks and info. And shore excursions well balanced for all age types and plenty of free exploring or resting time, excellent choice of locations. Boat was smooth and quiet and well maintained could hardly feel any motion. All in all we are sold on river cruising and particularly Emerald and look forward to booking with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because I have always wanted to see the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens and what a display they have, not just of tulips but all the flowers are just so wonderful and you just cannot believe the colours and the size of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I have always wanted to see the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens and what a display they have, not just of tulips but all the flowers are just so wonderful and you just cannot believe the colours and the size of them. The orchid house was so so beautiful, you could just be in that for hours let alone walking round the outside. A must if you really like your garden and flowers, cannot wait to get the tulips I ordered in October and plant them in my own garden to remember the gardens. Also Amsterdam and Antwerp are cities we had not visited so it was a good chance to explore them also, plus the excursions all sounded so interesting and were. Arnhem where we visited the Airborne Museum which is dedicated to the battle of Arnhem in 1944 was so good plus the war cemetery,was very moving. It was a busy 7 days but we so enjoyed it plus meeting new people most in our age group was great. All service, food and staff are wonderful a friendly smile no matter what time of day it is. We really hope to book and go on another one next year making it our 3rd with Emerald , really nothing is to much trouble for them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like ... Read More
We used Uniworld on our 4 previous European river cruises and had been given a discount voucher because of some travel disruption last time (which was no fault of Uniworld and they took care of us extremely well.) We decided we would like to see the Kukenhof Gardens in April. I was not expecting a great deal from the ship, as it pre-dated and had smaller cabins than the magnificent Marie Antoinette, Catherine and Maria Theresa. And I wasn't excited about some unfamiliar destinations in the cruise (Veere etc). I can only say we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The cabins as always were luxuriously comfortable with lots of storage, just a bit less space to move around the bed. The crew I think were one of the nicest we have encountered and our tour guide Piet was definitely the best yet. The itinerary was perfectly paced and full of pleasant surprises. We loved the countryside and towns we visited, and those flowers!!! Just being there amongst them brought joy to my heart. And I'm no gardener! The catering and service on board were fantastic. I think I commented more than once that one would think the drinks staff were on commission selling drinks they were so forthcoming with them. But of course all food, drinks, tours and gratuities are included in the fare so we could really relax and just enjoy ourselves. Performers which came on board every couple of nights were great fun, and fitting for the cruise (e.g. Dutch folk dancers and mariners singing shanties). In short, I would definitely recommend this cruise and of course Uniworld as a company. Yes they cost a little more, but the value is definitely there. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked ... Read More
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked magnificent,so easy to get on Sky,refreshing drink and towel was presented,nice touch.We were in our cabin within 15 minutes and luggage almost behind us,that's impressive. Unpacked ,plenty of space for all the clothes and shoes do look in the bathroom there's 2 hidden cupboards behind the mirror smart.Then it was time to explore what we saw was a clean tidy ship,staff very very friendly always asking if every thing was ok or order a drink.We opted for the premium drinks package very nice.The only real big let down was the food ,I'm not a fussy eater at breakfast bacon burnt ,a fairly good selection,but boring,lunch some food tepid again boring.dinner ,what planet did that chef come from.some weird and wonderful mixtures he produced.The entertainment was ok,nothing to write home about.excursions superb there was 2 types fast pace or meander speed,we did both meander was perfect,a nice steady pace ,saw a lot of things,really good.Would we go again,yes,I think next time Portugal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Having previously tried a river cruise for the first time last year on the Danube with Emerald Waterways and being so impressed we decided to go again and they were our first choice as having been in sales all my life I was so impressed ... Read More
Having previously tried a river cruise for the first time last year on the Danube with Emerald Waterways and being so impressed we decided to go again and they were our first choice as having been in sales all my life I was so impressed with every aspect... their marketing, customer service is by far and above the best we have experienced and we have cruised and holiday with many of the leading names in the industry... Gifts of quality branded backpacks each along with your tickets & itinerary and even a complimentary afternoon at a concert in the top venue in Manchester early in the January this year ensures they demonstrates how much they value their guests and don't forget them. We joined the Emerald Star in Amsterdam and were delighted to find the same Cruise Director Patricia who is a fantastic person and makes all guests part of the Emerald family. Every member from the Captain down, go the extra mile to ensure your experience with Emerald is the best memories you can enjoy long after you return home. Food is freshly served on every occasion and of an extremely high standard & variety by some great waiters and chefs... special thanks to Sinton & Jumadi who were great characters and the bar staff with the lovely Vladimira all ensure every service was very professional. To Captain Vasyl Marichanu, Cruise Director Patricia, Chef Migh Hi (Sorry about any name spelling errors) & all the Emerald Star staff a BIG, BIG "THANK YOU" from us both... Howard & Lilian Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The embarkation process was very quick and easy which was appreciated after a very long journey. Our cabin was clean and tidy but thought the balcony was small.[little bit noisy] The ship was bigger then any others we had been on ... Read More
The embarkation process was very quick and easy which was appreciated after a very long journey. Our cabin was clean and tidy but thought the balcony was small.[little bit noisy] The ship was bigger then any others we had been on and seemed without much character We were on 2nd sitting for dining and found the staff very good MR.sabari and giving us much attention,with a smiling face.we love it,even in busy time he showing a warm smile and the way service is great.we never had these kind of service and conversation.The food was ok but have had better on other cruises. The entertainment was the worst by far we have seen over the years with cmv seeming to love ex Britain's got talent losers or lookalikes their main offering which is not what you expect. The shops were ok but the staffs attitude and service were very poor. In summary, every thing was average..except dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Has Avalon lost the plot or are they about to sink into murky water? One would think so by our experience. Picked up at 4.30am in the morning, in Amsterdam by 10.25am we were taken to a hotel where a meeting room has been hired and told ... Read More
Has Avalon lost the plot or are they about to sink into murky water? One would think so by our experience. Picked up at 4.30am in the morning, in Amsterdam by 10.25am we were taken to a hotel where a meeting room has been hired and told we have a choice, sit there until 4.00pm before we go to the ship with provided refreshments of lukewarm coffee in jugs, or go and walk around Amsterdam centre which was twenty minutes walk away. Okay, fair enough, we were early, although not our fault Avalon had booked the aircraft, so we wandered off, carrying all our belongings being no secure storage. Now to the boat (which we've decided it to be rather than a ship) and to a 'State Room' sold in the brochure to us as spacious with panoramic floor to ceiling window and comfortable seating, while we cruised along through the tulip fields of Holland. In our case the 'State Room' should be more aptly named 'Cabin in the Bilges' as a better description. I kid you not, the panoramic window turned out to be two narrow slits looking out at the concrete side of the jetty and a warning from the man who took us to the cabin to keep the curtains closed if we were changing. Although to be fair, when the boat was cruising you could look out, if you stood on your bed and held onto the ledge that is! Then the brochure claimed the cabins were the largest for this type of boat. We tend to disagree, the end of the bed was eleven inches from the dressing table, either side of the bed twelve inches from walls. The single chair (not two, one for each of us) to sit on, was more like a one you'd find in a kitchen, jammed under the dressing table with not enough room to be pulled out and use. Then the lighting of the room (we needed that having little or no window) was so bad we were forced to use the lights on our mobiles to look into the wardrobe, or the tiny safe seated at the back. Then, if you wanted a wet shave, forget it, far too dark in an en-suite that could only be described as bijou, or in practical terms so small that if the boat hit the jetty at least you couldn't fall over. Naturally, as one does, faced with this, you complain, after all the boat was only two thirds full, so they must have something better for two people in their late sixties? They did, we were proudly shown around a cabin with lounge chairs, panoramic window and actually room to walk around and could move, if we paid £1600 hundred pounds more that is, otherwise we stayed where we were and put up with it. That works out at £228 a night extra for the two of us, to be added to the £431 a night we'd already paid. Why was it, talking to people in these so called luxury rooms, that they paid the same as us? Very strange, or was it an attempt at extortion by the cruise manager once you are captured? However, being British we are are resourceful. We had the bed turned around sideways, got rid of the side tables, leaving the telephone on the floor and had two chairs brought from the lounge. Clever, eh? At least we could sit down, although one of us had to climb over the other to get into bed, then we had to stack the chairs on top of each other at the entrance door at night, to have room to get out of bed and go to the loo. That was because we were banned from leaving the chairs in the corridor at night, even after we said blocking our door was a fire hazard for us. They claimed that to have us leave chairs in the corridor would look bad for a boat offering four star accommodation, besides a hazard to other passengers. Right we were off, uncomfortable, yes, but the tulips awaited. No they didn't, there wasn't any. Why didn't someone tell us this little fact, that in late May the tulip cruise which we were on isn't? No one mentioned that even though the question was asked and verified, till we were aboard that is and holding an itinerary sent in advance included a day at the world renowned tulip gardens of Keukenhof, which was closed. At this point we wanted to go home, after all, we're only an hour or so flight away. But they convinced us that the alternative itinerary would make up. Well, yes and no, if you like to wander around towns at eight thirty in the morning, full of delivery lorries, smelly bags of rubbish besides rubbish carts and completely void of life. We found that out more than once, when ignoring the optional coach trips at an average cost of £55 each, we went back to the towns later in the day to find a vibrant cafe culture, open shops and people, yes people and no rubbish carts. I must mention the food, after all food is important on such holidays. It was okay, we've had better. Then most of the menu of the next day seemed to be recycled using a variation of the previous day's offerings they had over. As for breakfast, avoid the jams and honey in packets. They are so old the jam had gone a funny colour and the honey granulated. Also forget bacon unless you like it crispy, well burnt really and toast that one day gave you anemic toast, the next so charred you had to scrape it. Best meal advice. Avoid the fancy stuff, most are pretty ordinary, but they will make you steak and chips as an alternative, we lived on that. Overall impressions? I'm months off seventy, my partner is disabled, with a heart valve and pacemaker, besides associated problems. So maybe the hardened cruisers among you will laugh at our naivety. Maybe we shouldn't have believed the brochure that all cabins had panoramic windows and we really couldn't expect a two chairs in our cabin for £3500 on an eight day cruise. Maybe we should have realised the tulips were finished, even though we'd still few in our garden. Even so, we were entitled to some consideration rather than complacency, after the cruise director could only laugh that we'd had the bed turned around, bedside cabinets removed and another chair brought just to sit down. Besides required to climb over a bed to get in and stack chairs up blocking the exit. We’re going back to a cruise line that tells the truth and looks after you. Besides giving you a cabin for two and not a converted single cabin, where the bed won't fit the room and an en-suite that you can actually turn round in. As for Avalon, half empty boats, out and out lies to get you aboard, followed by indifference when something can be done about an obvious problem, for us indicates a cruise line that has no concern for its passengers. Be warned, make sure you are very clear what they are offering you, preferably in writing, or just don't go with them and find a cruise company that cares. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this because it departs from Hull to Rotterdam on P&O Ferries & then the coach takes us to the Lady Anne ship. This is much better than the long coach travel to Dover. The food on the Lady Anne was superb as was the ... Read More
We chose this because it departs from Hull to Rotterdam on P&O Ferries & then the coach takes us to the Lady Anne ship. This is much better than the long coach travel to Dover. The food on the Lady Anne was superb as was the service of the staff. The only bad thing was the very steep stairs (X2) to & from the lounge to the dining room. Our coach driver, Mark, of Llew Jones coaches for "The River Cruise Line" was the best we have ever had & should win an award for the cleanest coach inside as well as outside. Mark also booked us taxis to pick us up from our pick up point. Our days out were to Volendam (great) & Amsterdam (very crowded with lots of stag & hen does). Our other trips were to Kampen with a excursion to the Het Loo Palace (boring) & to the Keukenhof Gardens which was was very exhausting. We also did a cheese & wine Amsterdam cruise through the red light district on our last evening. On travelling back to the Rotterdam ferry we visited Delft & a trip around its pottery place.The food on the Rotterdam ferry was the same as the out going ferry but that price of s bottle of vino was £16 for a bottle I could have bought in ASDA for £4. This was an expensive but enjoyable trip but every thing was taken care of. I hope other travel operators will copy this Hull crossing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Went with the River Cruiseline on the Lady Anne Amsterdam & Bulbfield Spectacular Cruise 26th April 4 nights 5 days (not really because we were travelling for two of these days). Having done some research we decided to make our own ... Read More
Went with the River Cruiseline on the Lady Anne Amsterdam & Bulbfield Spectacular Cruise 26th April 4 nights 5 days (not really because we were travelling for two of these days). Having done some research we decided to make our own way to Dover and opted to stay pre and post nights at the Ramada (room was acceptable but the food was awful) so when our lovely driver David from Port Talbot managed to get on an earlier ferry on our return to England we decided to head straight for home because the Ramada had signs in the hotel apologising for the noise until midnight because there was a party. Now to the cruise itself - well it was more like the Lady Anne was being used as a floating hotel. We were informed before departure that we would not be going to Volendam because it was closed to all shipping traffic so we did very little river cruising and every morning we seemed to have to move early (6 a.m. the engines started) to a different spot. On our first night some of the cabins were broken into whilst moored in Amsterdam with valuables and medication taken. Luckily because of previous reviews saying how small the cabins are we decided to upgrade to a promenade deck cabin. It had everything we needed (after all you only want to sleep and have a shower) and for the amount of time we were there it was adequate but we wouldn't have wanted to spend a long time in it. Our cruise director was Maggie but we personally found her to be very arrogant and thought she was not really the right person for the job. The cruise manager was Robert and we found him friendly and helpful. What we found really odd was when we had a welcome meeting the next morning no-one mentioned the robbery even if it was just to warn us to be very careful. Perhaps they didn't want bad publicity but feel they handled it badly. All the crew were lovely and very friendly and all work extremely hard. We personally thought the food was very good considering the small amount of space the Chefs have to prepare it. There is only two choices for the evening meal. We were allocated seats in the restaurant on a table for 6 and were fortunate to be with two lovely couples and also spent our evenings with them having a great laugh. The restaurant is reached down two separate very steep and narrow stairs so definitely not suitable for the less mobile. It was our intention to do all the excursions but it was so hectic we opted out on the last day. The weather was awful with everything from snow sleet thunder lightning and rain and very very cold. Het Loo Palace was worth visiting. Keukenhof Gardens was really lovely and the tulips were at their best although it poured with rain whilst we were there so we probably didn't see all there was to see. The cheese and wine cruise was nice but the Amsterdam City and Diamond Factory was a complete waste of time as we had seen most of it on the cheese and wine cruise the night before. We didn't do the Mauritshuis Museum in the Hague but decided to walk around Amsterdam on our own. Very much like London very very busy dodging the cycles and trams. We had a nice time and are glad we did it but it was very tiring with more coach travel than cruising on the canals and when we did cruise we were in the restaurant having breakfast and could only see the water lapping against the windows. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Overall Thoughts about Viking There is no doubt about it, that Viking is a professional organisation who knows how to run river cruises and to make a cruise happy. The crew are well informed, attentive and clearly enjoy their work. That ... Read More
Overall Thoughts about Viking There is no doubt about it, that Viking is a professional organisation who knows how to run river cruises and to make a cruise happy. The crew are well informed, attentive and clearly enjoy their work. That makes a big difference. Our trip on Viking Skadi round the Dutch Bulbfieldi and the Cities of the Rhine Delta was very enjoyable. It was our first Viking River Cruise. But it may also be the last. Why? It was overpriced, and we suffered from a booking experience which has left a sour taste in the mouth. (Viking my redeem this, given time). First the positives. Here I would like to cite one person in particular who made the trip enjoyable. That was the Programme Director Gary Nicholson. His talks were informative, entertaining, and his team including the Concierge Desislava made everything smooth. The food was great too. Axel’s Chateaubriand was most delicious. Even the room cleaner Sandra was pleasant and spoke English beautifully. But did we get value for money? We are people who do our own thing, and we don’t drink much. Some told us that Amadeus might be better. All in all we had been satisfied and rated the cruise 'as expected'. Ruth gave it a higher rating. There were a couple of things we want to bring to the attention of the management . Get the booking experience easier. I know things change but getting information on routing and arrival and departure times was difficult and inconsistent, the staff did their best. There should a web page with all the information for the tour and boat, The booklet and the schedule were inconsistent with daily programmes not corresponding to the actual plan. The web page should rectify this. We should have been given the option of travelling by Eurostar. Other guests had this included for £50 more. We made our own arrangements and ended up paying a lot more. We have written to Viking about this. Will we get a refund? Who knows? It would have been a good idea if each passenger group was invited to submit a brief introduction and interests along its an optional photo. This should be printed and made downloadable. Then it would help when we met, and more importantly there could be space for exchanging email addresses etc, 5 Viking should issue a small map with our planned route. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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