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46 Emerald Waterways Arles Cruise Reviews

The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef ... Read More
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef who cooked an amazing regional menu. We visited some beautiful places including Arles, Avignon, , Tournon, Lyon and Beaune, the highlight of these being Avignon. The local guides were all very knowledgable and interesting, keeping us entertained as we walked around the beautiful places. On board there was always plenty to do, with quizzes, game shows, golf and Boules. There were also local presentations on wine, silk scarves and cheese, which were very interesting. There was a lovely mix of people to meet on board with several nationalities represented including Australian,Canadian, American, South African and British. I would highly recommend this trip and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. We were disappointed that the ship often sailed during the night. When it did sail during the day, there was no access to the top deck due to the many, many lochs and bridges. (There was free access when in port). On day 6, the french authorities boarded the ship for an audit. The ship was prevented from completing its journey. The next day : * we travelled by coach to a vineyard - over 2 hours each way * a scheduled cheese/wine event did not take place * we made our own arrangements for lunch * returning from the coach trip, we were told to pack as we would be staying overnight at the Radisson hotel and we had to find somewhere for our evening meal * we were able to claim for 2 basic meals - but the allowance was far short of the standard and number of courses we had become accustomed to plus, unlimited wine with our meals * passengers were very low in spirit at the end of the holiday and we have never had an explanation as to why the ship's paperwork was not in order. * Liberte was unable to make its return journey to Arles, meaning many more disappointed people. I have written to Emerald Waterways suggesting compensation should be a seventh of the cruise price. I have not had a reply - just a standard letter and a cheque for £110. I don’t think this is adequate when you consider the disruption and inconvenience we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very ... Read More
The quality of food and the service on board this ship is excellent. Unfortunately the disembarkation and the situation we found ourselves in was traumatic to say the least and it robbed us of the last two days of our cruise which was very expensive. Let me explain - after our evening meal on Thursday the captain announced that we had been ordered to return to Lyon by the French Authorities- no explanation as to why and we still don’t know why. We were told that on Friday morning we were to have breakfast between 7am and 8am as the staff, who were all wonderful, had been ordered to cease all services at 8am. So if you stayed on board, which we did, there was no lunch, no evening meal not even a cup of coffee. We elected to stay on board instead of subjecting ourselves to a very long coach journey. When the coach did return we were told to pack our cases and be ready to leave as we were to be transferred the hotel Radisson in Lyon. This is not what you expect to experience on an expensive river cruise with a reputable company. I must say the Cruise Director Jana (I hope that is how to spell her name) was absolutely marvellous and was assisted by Drazen who was also marvellous. They had arranged wonderful entertainment. One thing we were disappointed with was that we couldn’t enjoy sitting on the top deck when the ship was sailing as we did when we were on the Rhine cruise. I’m not sure the French Authorities want to have cruises on their rivers if this is how they treat the people on them. We still haven’t had an explanation as to why this situation occurred. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not ... Read More
Just wondering when did French authorities release the boat to start cruising again. We had to spend last night in Radisson Blu in Lyon following the French Authority demanding a ‘controlle’ inspection on the boat. The staff were not allowed to work and we had to spend last night in hotel. We were looked after excellently by the Emerald staff, cannot praise them enough. The whole cruise was excellent. The wine experts very entertaining and knowledgable. The wine tasting was a real treat, expertly presented. The food was superb especially the gourmet evening with French chef. The wine selection for the meals were very good and added to the enjoyment. No faults to list, just praise for the staff and crew. The boat was kept spotless the cabins were efficiently serviced with attention to detail. All the included excursions were well organised with very good local guides. Let’s hope the boat is going again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Emerald, having thoroughly enjoyed the two previous ones on the Douro and Rhine, we were not disappointed. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, largely due, in our opinion to the experience, hard work and dedication of our super (and funny) cruise director Darren (he reminded me of Alan Carr). As on our previous two cruises with Emerald, all meals and the complimentary wines served with lunch and dinner were just superb (one or two of the waiters serving wine seemed more reluctant than others to top-up regularly, but they were easily avoided by moving to a table where one of their more generous colleagues were serving). There was an inclusive excursion at every stop, with local top notch tour guides provided. Every town/city was interesting, we particularly enjoyed Avignon and Viviers, and we found these inclusive tours were enough without going on additional paying excursions in the afternoon. We thought that rather too much cruising was done during the hours of darkness, and it would have been nice to have more opportunities to sit and watch the world go by during the afternoons and evenings, but I'm sure there were probably good logistical reasons for this. We would certainly go on another Emerald river cruise, but are quickly running out of rivers in Europe. I've marked fitness & recreation, entertainment and enrichment activities as excellent, but in all honesty, I didn't avail myself of any fitness facilities and the other two categories are a matter of taste. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were interested in the area and have travelled on Emerald before and liked the boats (especially the swimming pool). . The crew were very good, customer service excellent, a there was a varied and interesting events programme. There ... Read More
We were interested in the area and have travelled on Emerald before and liked the boats (especially the swimming pool). . The crew were very good, customer service excellent, a there was a varied and interesting events programme. There was not a lot of sailing during the day as the nature of the trip meant there were short hops rather than long gaps between towns but that was more than made up for by the interesting medieval towns on the itinerary. There was lots to do on and off board with a full programme including yoga, walking tours, aqua aerobics and quizzes and all the staff were cheerful, efficient and hard working and any problems ( of which there were few) were dealt with immediately). The cabins were comfortable and well designed with ample storage space and kept immaculately clean by the housekeeping staff and there was a good choice of food, delicious and well cooked. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a ... Read More
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a very competent, friendly and professional team who constantly demonstrated a desire to please. Accommodation, bar and drinks, onboard entertainment, pool/cinema area and especially the food and accompanying wines were all consistently very good. And of course last but not least, the guided land tours and scenery were in excess of expectations. We had a drinks package and struggled thereafter to spend money on board! My wife regrettably made up for it whilst on shore and we came home with marvellous cheeses, mustards, wines and chocolates! Jana the cruise Director and DD the cruise Entertainment director were superb and got to know all 130 passengers personally and treated them as both individuals and as members of the Team Emerald. A glowing review I know but well deserved Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the ... Read More
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the deck, or by the pool, or walk the town where the ship is docked. Cabins were clean, quiet and efficient. The gym is small, but there is a running track up on top of the ship. There was plenty of walking on the tours, so lots of opportunities to get exercise if you want it. This is a mature crowd, and children are not allowed which makes for a very quiet good time. The cruise is geared towards an older crowd, so if you are looking for extreme partying or a 24 hour buffet, this isn't the cruise for you. There is always some sort of entertainment at night. There isn't much shopping to do, but for me, I appreciate a more educational trip - the tour guides were very interesting and full of information. Great Value, great time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all ... Read More
The Emerald Liberte is just one year old and has lovely clean and uncluttered lines. The swimming pool is a big bonus and doubles as a cinema when the floor is slid over it. Service from the lovely young hard-working crew is amazing, all overseen by Istevan the Hotel Manager who is a huge asset to Emerald Waterways. Everything runs incredibly smoothly because of his management - a true, gracious professional. The food is fantastic - consistently. The housekeeping team are wonderful and rooms are looked after well with an evening 'turn-down' service. I would say to those who have never been on a river cruise, remember that you are herded together with a lot of diverse folk in a limited space. You also have to enjoy being organised in a 'hi-de-hi campers' fashion. It's not for everyone and it's not for us again. Having said that, if you are thinking of a river cruise, I'm convinced you couldn't do better than Emerald Waterways - they have style. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose tis cruise with friends for a relaxing late summer cruise in France and despite the loss of our luggage we very much enjoyed the cruise. The Cruise Director (Jana) did a great job through out the cruise and helped us retrieve our ... Read More
We chose tis cruise with friends for a relaxing late summer cruise in France and despite the loss of our luggage we very much enjoyed the cruise. The Cruise Director (Jana) did a great job through out the cruise and helped us retrieve our bags, it appears that AF loose bags very frequently at CDG and also lost one of our bags on our return journey. The crew where very helpful and nothing was a problem for them they are credit to Emerald. The ship was spotless and the rooms very nice, service in the restaurant was good along with excellent food except for the first gala dinner with the lamb main course more like mutton than lamb My only other criticisms are the need for more free time to be allowed during the included trips and the coach transfer from the airport that meant we had to wait around for other flights to arrive to fill up the coach rather than proceeding after arrival to the ship. We will certainly consider joining Emerald on our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly ... Read More
We liked the destination and itinerary plus our previous experience of Emerald service left us wanting more. The crew were all excellent at their jobs and went out of their way to accommodate all requests. The cabin was cleaned promptly each morning and evening with the minimum of fuss or inconvenience to us. The Cruise Director was extremely knowledgeable on all matters regarding the destinations we visited and always presented a pleasant happy manner throughout our cruise. The food was excellent in particular the evening meals with a good choice of dishes all accompanied by a good choice of wine.The service could not be faulted very efficient and timely. The onboard entertainment is what you would have expected but the pianist did try to accommodate most musical requests. The choice of excursions was okay at best, with very knowledgeable guides providing commentary. Overall an excellent experience at a reasonable cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the ... Read More
When we booked this cruise my husband and I we were expecting a week of pure indulgence and it didn't disappoint. The ship was very modern and although smallest in the fleet was very spacious. We had a balcony cabin and although the balcony was internal, you still had a lovely view of the river and if you wanted too, the window came down half way so you could lean on the rail and enjoy the fresh air. The bed and pillows were sooo comfortable and yes the pillows were soft, but all you needed to do was ask for another one if needed. The size of the cabin was fine and more than enough storage space for your clothes with additional storage under the bed for suitcases. Some people have commented that the cabins were small, but remember, you only sleep in them. The food was excellent and was available in some form throughout the day ie early/late breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and evening snacks.Entertainment was very good and varied. The bar, where most people retired to on an evening was great. We went on all the inclusive guided walks which was most, if not every day. The guides we walked with were very good and very knowledgeable about the town/city we were visiting. They gave you a good insight into the place so, if you wanted to explore in the afternoon, you could go back to any of the places that interested you. But for us, the stars of the show were the cruise, from Jana the Cruise Director to the man who polished the chrome handrails everyday, the Captain and Second to the cleaners, the Chefs to the guys in the engine room. Everyone of them worked their socks off and made sure all the passengers had a great time and wanted for nothing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, we had a lovely time and will definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected ... Read More
This was our first European river cruise & the first with Emerald Waterways. The only problem we encountered was our arrival at Heathrow airport where we had booked assistance due to the fact that my Husband had had an unexpected operation on his foot a few days before we came away. All seats had been block booked by River voyages so we were unable to change them. and the assistance was not as we expected. On arrival at Marseille my husband was expected to walk about 500 yds to the coach, no wheelchairs & the ground was hot ! Fortunately after a lot of questioning as I might add we had informed river voyages & emerald of this problem we had well beforehand , a very kind taxi was arranged to take my husband and another passenger also with a similar problem to the coach for free, which we were very grateful for. Once on the boat a wheelchair was provided which made life a lot easier, but unfortunately we encountered the same thing on our arrival back at Lyon Airport having left the taxi from the ship. The assistance was non existant & we were told we wouldn't get any until after we had checked in. The problem with that was that there was no one at the BA counter for about two hours after we got there. When we did eventually get to check in as we couldn't pre book our seats they were issued at check in because again they were block booked so we were given seats at the back of the aircraft which when we asked if they could be changed there was a flat 'no no'! Fortunately as we approached the aircraft door the first officer was there & my Husband displayed his dissatisfaction & he was able to instruct the crew to find a more suitable seat for him & a wheelchair to help him to his seat, to which he was very grateful. On arrival at Heathrow the assistance company then said that we weren't even on his books, when we knew that it was not true as we had had an email confirming it!! So unfortunately that was the damper to our holiday , but the actual cruise was amazing the staff from the captain to the porters were excellent, & couldn't do enough to help. The cabin was spotlessly clean --as was the rest of the ship, the food superb, & a totally different menu each day. Hotel Manager & Cruise Director kept everyone 'on their toes',[ loved the quirky stories daily given by the cruise director] , restaurant service was very good, & the entertainment was just right, not over the top, but suitable for the cruise & passengers it carried. All ports & shore excursions were good, but unfortunately due to my husbands foot, we were unable to do all the walking they entailed, but having said that with the aid of the wheelchair we were able to go ashore by ourselves, which we were quite happy with. As much as we love children it was nice not to have any on board! Despite all our problems at either end we would definitely go again , hopefully next time without injuries to hamper us . We will certainly recommend Emerald Waterways to friends, & hopefully join another one in a few years time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this boat because of the price. Myself and 3 other girls had never had an opportunity to take a river cruise, mostly because they were too expensive. When my travel agent told me about this trip and that it included free air fare, ... Read More
We chose this boat because of the price. Myself and 3 other girls had never had an opportunity to take a river cruise, mostly because they were too expensive. When my travel agent told me about this trip and that it included free air fare, shuttles, 5 tours, an additional night at the Radison Blu in Lyon, and gratuities we decided to give it a try. We had missed our flight due to the plane being late in London. I was frantic, not knowing how we were going to get land travel to Arles (a 3.5 hour trip) because we were going to be 4 hours late to Nice, France. However, I called Emerald's emergency line and they arranged for a driver and an Emerald tourist assistant to meet us at the gate. Once we arrived and started the long trip to the boat from the parking lot, some of the staff saw us and literally ran to our aid, they included the captain, the manager, Darren the social director and wait staff. Wow, how incredible is that? In fact, the staff went out of their way to assist us the entire trip. The boat was exceptionally clean, every time you saw an employee they were cleaning something. I even spotted the manager cleaning a spot off the wall! So pleasant in an age that so many employees in America are more concerned with their phones then their jobs. The food, wine and service were all top notch. My husband is an excellent cook, but I have never tasted food that good and was presented so delightfully in my life. Emerald be advised HE is not happy with your chef and kitchen staff! Says it will be much harder to please me now. Lol The tours around France were informative and wonderful. If I were to ever take another river boat trip I would definitely go with this cruise line. Good job Emerald employees, you made our trip a shining success! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were tempted into this cruise for the great itinerary on the rivers Rhone and Saone. We liked the fact that Emerald do an all inclusive (drinks with lunch and dinner and organised shore excursions). We were not disappointed. Our cabin ... Read More
We were tempted into this cruise for the great itinerary on the rivers Rhone and Saone. We liked the fact that Emerald do an all inclusive (drinks with lunch and dinner and organised shore excursions). We were not disappointed. Our cabin was small but well designed with a very comfortable king size bed and lovely white linen. We had full size opening windows. Plenty of storage. The crew were all excellent, friendly and efficient. Food was good and plentiful and there was plenty of fun to be had in the evenings. The on shore excursions were led by local guides and were all very enjoyable. We had plenty of time available at each port including overnight at embarkation and disembarkation. On arrival we were met by both the captain and cruise director and our luggage we were taken to our cabin immediately by a crew member. Disembarkation was equally smooth....our Eurostar journey was very late in the day.....but impressively we were able to stay on board, have lunch and wine, and relax until late afternoon when our taxi driver arrived to take us to the station. Overall, we thought the Emerald staff all worked very hard but created a cheerful and relaxing atmosphere for passengers to enjoy their holiday. This cruise is not for children but great for couples and singles. We would go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose emerald because of their reputation and the itinerary as we have never visited France before.I think we were lucky with our flights not to much delay as others found a lot of disruption not emerald fault but Air France. On ... Read More
We chose emerald because of their reputation and the itinerary as we have never visited France before.I think we were lucky with our flights not to much delay as others found a lot of disruption not emerald fault but Air France. On arrival the ship looked fantastic clean,modern and sleek,you are greeted by very friendly staff who kept smiling all week even though they worked dawn till dusk. The stateroom was excellent with the electronic operated window to turn your room into open balcony,although the bathroom was small the shower was excellent with a glass door to close instead of the dreaded plastic curtain. The food was fantastic everyday different choices,I am a fussy eater sometimes but what ever was put in front of me I ate although not a great cheese lover I found some of the french cheeses excellent especially with the red wine matched to it. When dining your glasses were kept topped up by the staff on a regular basis always happy and might play a little joke on you,the food was always hot and presented well. We did a tour of the galley and were amazed how small and clean it was,only 7staff worked there,the head chef was very entertaining with his wit and sense of humour. The cruise director Jani was fantastic keeping everyone entertained with her evening jokes before the evening meals.the true or false evening showed how good the rapport between the staff was. The daily tours were knowledgeable and well run excellent guides. We had the privilege of Tim Wonacott on board and he kept us entertained on certain nights with his knowledge of antiques and his life stories I must mention Danuka our housemaid she was excellent her towel animals were brilliant especially the dog with the wife's glasses on,chocolates on the pillows I could go on and on We met some lovely people on board and made good friends with them. I must also mention the captain and his No2 although he could not speak much English his no2 translated for him we had a local band on board the wife said they were the best dancers she had met. Just to reiterate the ship the crew and the excursions were excellent and I would recommend this cruise to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was a good offer in an area we had been hoping to explore. The staff worked amazingly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and they were friendly and polite at all times. There were daily meetings when we were introduced to heads ... Read More
It was a good offer in an area we had been hoping to explore. The staff worked amazingly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and they were friendly and polite at all times. There were daily meetings when we were introduced to heads of departments and even had the opportunity to visit the Galley. The Cruise Director was impressive, energetic, knowledgeable and good fun. She involved staff members in evening entertainment. The food was varied and delicious and options for lighter breakfast and lunch. Alcoholic drinks freely available at lunch and dinner. The resident Musician was very talented and entertained us regularly providing a good background during social times. A hot drinks machine was available in the lounge at all times. The whole ship was kept spotless and just like new. We attended film shows. The excursions were most enjoyable especially the visit to Beaune. I am sure the excellence of the crew contributed to the friendliness of fellow passengers and the general ambience of a memorable week. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Great price and fantastic staff. Food was awesome......check out Travelzoo.com for fantastic deals, greater than 50% off. Great tours - will travel with Emerald again. Rooms were excellent and the staff kept it cleaned and restocked ... Read More
Great price and fantastic staff. Food was awesome......check out Travelzoo.com for fantastic deals, greater than 50% off. Great tours - will travel with Emerald again. Rooms were excellent and the staff kept it cleaned and restocked three times a day. Wine and Beer were provided at lunch and dinner. They kept your wine glass full at all times. They had a Top Chef contesttent come on the ship and prepare the dinner one evening. Food was excellent and all the service staff were very friendly and very attentive. Great breakfast and loved the omelet bar. Cruise Director was excellent and kept us always on time. She provided very fun group games nightly. Only river cruise ship with a small swimming pool which converts into a movie screen at night. Great variety of movies on the room TV. As normal on river crluises, a daily excursion was included in the price and there were also other excursions that you could,purchase for a very reasonable fee. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
OUTSTANDING: This was the first time we have cruised with Emerald and we were extremely pleased all the way around. The staff was incredible! They continually were friendly, helpful, and attentive. Within a few days, the knew many of ... Read More
OUTSTANDING: This was the first time we have cruised with Emerald and we were extremely pleased all the way around. The staff was incredible! They continually were friendly, helpful, and attentive. Within a few days, the knew many of the passengers names and preferences. The ships captain and staff members were also very visible and welcoming. Our cruise director, Darren, was quite good. He was knowledgeable and funny and offered a variety of activities. We were on the ship Liberte, which we were told had been christened the year before. It was excellent in every way. The cabins were designed with maximum efficiency and the bathroom shower was incredible (i.e. roomy with solid water pressure). The daily morning tours were typical but very good. All of the guides were knowledge and spoke multiple languages. The technology/earphones worked perfectly. We went on a few extra excursions and a couple of the optional Emerald Fit excursions and were extremely pleased. For meals, we ate at the "light" breakfast, which was more than enough. Other guests indicated the "regular" breakfast was outstanding. Lunch for us was always in the French countryside, but again guest remarked that the lunch buffet was excellent. We did, however, enjoy the evening meals and were very pleased about the quality, taste, presentation and variety of the food served. The chef never disappointed. Top were the various sauces on the seafood, beef or chicken entries; the soups and of course, the desserts. ONLY AREA FOR IMPROVEMENT EMBARKATION: The only area for improvement was at the Nice airport for the transportation to the ship. The instruction indicated to meet the Emerald representative at car rental hub near Tubbs Restaurant. At the airport, there were immediate signs for the car rental hub, but we soon found out there were multiple car rental hubs in the airport and we had just dragged all of the luggage to the wrong one. When asking for assistance at the first car rental hub on where we should go, they were not helpful. We ended up putting the Tubbs Restaurant into the iPhone maps, and found our way through the phone GPS. So I would update the instruction to further define the particular car rental hub or direct via the Tubbs Restaurant first. Once we found the Tubbs Restaurant, the Emerald rep was there and visible. The second issue was related to the chartered transportation to the ship. When booking our trip, we were informed that we had to arrive at the Nice airport in early or mid-morning, as the complimentary charter bus transportation would leave at 12:30 pm for the 2 plus hour drive to the ship's port. When we found the Emerald rep and checked in, she told us the charter bus would be delayed and would not leave until closer to 2 pm. This required us, and many other couples, to sit some 3 plus hours in the airport before taking the 2 hour bus ride. What many of us found frustrating, is when we did leave the airport, Emerald had chartered two buses. So, it would have been nice if one had left on time and the other remained for the later arrivals instead of delaying everyone. Other than the issues at embarkation, we would highly recommend Emerald Waterways. Our cruise was the Sensations of Southern France from Arles to Lyon and it was perfect in so many ways! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our first river cruise. Staff couldn't have been better. The food was exceptional!! Far more than we expected. Just the right amount was always made available to us without gorging ourselves. We were very pleased that ALL ... Read More
Our first river cruise. Staff couldn't have been better. The food was exceptional!! Far more than we expected. Just the right amount was always made available to us without gorging ourselves. We were very pleased that ALL gratuities were included so we didn't have to concern ourselves in thinking what was appropriate for every staff member upon disembarking. The room was very comfortable and the design of the balcony window was really a plus for us. Such an intimate group allowed you to forge friendships and really get to know your fellow passengers. The included excursions were well organized and interesting. We really didn't see how anyone had the energy and stamina to also do the optional excursions later that same day. Our only wish was that there could have been a higher level of entertainment. That said, if we decided to river cruise again, we would only consider Emerald Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first experience on a river cruise, and everything about it exceeded my expectations: the quality of service, the exceptional cuisine, and the variety of available activities. The ship offered the perfect balance of guided ... Read More
This was my first experience on a river cruise, and everything about it exceeded my expectations: the quality of service, the exceptional cuisine, and the variety of available activities. The ship offered the perfect balance of guided excursions, free time, and on-board entertainment, so whether you wanted to wander around town or just sit on deck and read, you never felt like you were missing out. Guests could join the included walking tours of each city or explore on their own. There were four Discover More excursions, and several active excursions (such as bike rides, hikes, etc.) as well, appealing to a wide range of interests. The Baux de Provence and Pont du Gard excursions were by far my favorites. In addition, the trip definitely left you with a heightened awareness of French culture and history, from the unique sightseeing opportunities to on-board experiences like a regional wine tasting, a regional cheese tasting, and a special meal prepared by a local celebrity chef (Top Chef finalist Fabien Morreale). Several people I spoke to commented on the superiority of the food and more modern features on the ship compared to other river cruises they had taken. Overall, I was extremely impressed and would definitely recommend the trip to other travelers! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Having enjoyed two previous cruises with Emerald we decided to experience some areas of France which we had visited in the past but this time by the river. The cruise fulfilled our expectations in every way. The crew could not have ... Read More
Having enjoyed two previous cruises with Emerald we decided to experience some areas of France which we had visited in the past but this time by the river. The cruise fulfilled our expectations in every way. The crew could not have been more helpful; food was excellent; inclusive trips were most enjoyable and catered for different levels of fitness; our cabin was most comfortable and even provided us with the best of toiletries. The crew worked hard to keep all the public areas scrupulously clean and the waiting staff did an excellent job in providing refreshments wherever you were on board. The only criticism of this holiday is the travel arrangements. Not being able to get a direct flight was disappointing but the time allowed for transfers in Amsterdam made matters much worse and caused unnecessary stress. In our case we missed our connection on the return journey and had to wait almost five hours in Schiphol airport causing us additional expense and a problem with taxi arrangements in Edinburgh. Anyone considering a river cruise should be aware and insist on better transfer times or flight arrangements. However we have fantastic memories of the cruise and cannot fault the ship or the staff in any way. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We loved cruising but my wife got queasy at sea so we tried River cruising. Did we like it, no, we loved it. The crew went out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. We sat on the final day and tried to think what could have been done ... Read More
We loved cruising but my wife got queasy at sea so we tried River cruising. Did we like it, no, we loved it. The crew went out of their way to be welcoming and helpful. We sat on the final day and tried to think what could have been done better and part from the meet and greet at Marseille Airport we could not think of anything. We chose to upgrade to the best cabin and whilst it was expensive the extra space was welcome. Food was just wonderful. Based on French cuisine but with plenty of alternatives. The boat was immaculate, the crew repainted even the merest of marks from deploying the gangplank etc. It was impossible to sit anywhere on the boat for longer that 5 minutes without someone asking if you wanted service. Some of the passengers were experienced river cruise tourists and they all said the service was the best they had experienced. We are already looking at next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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