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