Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: July 2019
My brother and his wife had cruised with Emerald Waterways a few years ago, and they were highly impressed. So on their recommendations, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. All gratuities were included. Bicycles were on board to ... Read More
My brother and his wife had cruised with Emerald Waterways a few years ago, and they were highly impressed. So on their recommendations, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. All gratuities were included. Bicycles were on board to be signed out and used at port. Swimming pool on board. Nightly entertainment. Delicious, artistically presented dinners with excellent vegetarian selections. In Basel we boarded about 1100, and rested in the lounge with other early passengers while rooms were being prepared. We were given a wonderful buffet lunch, and then taken to our rooms. The excursions were well directed and interesting. Free time usually in the afternoons to pursue other interests or rest on top deck. At the end of the tour, because we were not being transferred to the Amsterdam Airport, but rather staying in Amsterdam for three more days, we waited in the lounge until our taxi arrived to take us to the Airbnb. I would like the coordinator of Emerald Destiny to know that the taxi charged us 35 EU to travel about 15-20 min from our boat to the airbnb. We didn't notice that he hadn't put the meter on, and were too naive to know what the usual fare should be for this short distance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and ... Read More
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and she was aware of the noise issue and told me she had reported it to the company, but nothing ever changes. So if you want a peaceful cruise, don't chose Emerald Waterways. Sleeping beneath a bowling alley was not my idea of a relaxing way to spend my nights on what is billed as a luxury cruise. I will not cruise with Emerald Water ways again. Everything else met my expectations. The ship was clean and well appointed and the staff was friendly and helpful. The shore excursions were well-planned and executed. My main concern is the quality of the sleeping experience, a rather important part of any cruise. September was a great time to travel and I would encourage others to cruise the Rhine during this time of the year. My advice is to find another cruise line first. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were ... Read More
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were friendly and very knowledgeable.One of the highlights was the Concert in Vienna superb! The balcony suite cabin was great apart from the cigarette smoke drifted in when we had our window open shame the ship wasn’t no smoking. Apart from that everything was very good. We thought the meals were first class from breakfast to the five course evening meal. The all inclusive drinks package and the tips all included was brilliant. The whole package was very well organised and from the cruise director to our cabin cleaner were second to none. Most enjoyable five star service and ship was very good. Cruising down the Danube was very magnificent. Thank you again to everyone. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had not done it before and wanted to visit the cities we stopped at without packing and unpacking. River cruising is a gentle way of holidaying. Meeting interesting people from many different countries and enjoying good food. All ... Read More
We had not done it before and wanted to visit the cities we stopped at without packing and unpacking. River cruising is a gentle way of holidaying. Meeting interesting people from many different countries and enjoying good food. All excursions were well organised and the local guides were superb.The coaches and drivers were also excellent and drove well. The way of communication when out on excursion was via Quietvox and worked very well making it easy to hear the information by our own particular guide . All staff were courteous and friendly at all times. The room was spacious with plenty of storage space and were serviced twice a day.The sundeck was well furnished. The on-board announcements were clear and informative without being intrusive,the 15 minute warning before any disembarkation was just right not too early and not too last minute.The programme director was clear and helpful at all times. Would recommend this cruise to our friends Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my ... Read More
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my fussy choice of meals, thanks Chef! The staff were very efficient and very, naturally, friendly. All the tours were very well organised. We never felt rushed from one place to another, they were kept to a very slow pace to keep the whole experiences very relaxed. The on board entertainment was very relaxed and enjoyable, nice touch to have a cinema available in the pool area. The only downside to a fantastic holiday came at the beginning when we were delayed travelling by train to the embarkation point resulting in a very stressful day until arriving at the ship. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants a high quality, totally relaxing holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having been on numerous sea cruises we decided to try a river cruise for the first time with friends who have been before and recommended Emerald Waterways. Emerald Waterways delivered a good cruise with only some small changes to the ... Read More
Having been on numerous sea cruises we decided to try a river cruise for the first time with friends who have been before and recommended Emerald Waterways. Emerald Waterways delivered a good cruise with only some small changes to the itinerary, for example we had a buffet dinner the first night instead of a cocktail reception and welcome dinner which we had on the second night. This was actually better bearing in mind people would have been travelling the first day. The food was excellent considering the small kitchen and drinks flowed freely at lunch and dinner. We had a top deck R category cabin which was a tad small and the wardrobe space was not enough, but everything else was excellent. The entertainment could have been geared more to the area we were travelling in, but having said that the artists we saw were good. The crew were excellent giving a friendly service. In this day and age security could have been tighter, always a difficult balance between relaxed atmosphere and good security. One thing that struck us was the fact that smoking was allowed at the front on the top deck which meant when the boat was moving everybody at the back enjoyed the smoke as well!! All in all a good first river cruise, enjoyed the Rhine, super scenery and will book again with Emerald Waterways. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river ... Read More
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river cruising. I know some readers may be thinking, "Yes, but your tours are included and I don't like the ques or the kids or size of ocean ships." I could take issue with all of those statements based on our experience but won't go into it as I'm writing to review one particular ship. I wasn't sure this type of trip would be right for my husband because while he can walk unassisted and usually without a cane, the walking tours, often uneven walking surfaces, sights without accessible features more modern structures tend to have is often mentioned as reasons why people with mobility issues aren't advised to try this type of vacation at times in travel articles, etc. However, these boards were very helpful in my research (reading about "slow walker" tours, which ships had which features, etc.) and our neighbors had done 2 river cruises on Viking in the past 2 years and gave us a lot of info. which helped. River cruises are not for those in a wheelchair. If ramps are not a problem and one can do steps - at least a bit - then it's possible to enjoy a river cruise. Some land activities or tours may have to be skipped for the highly impaired but for moderately impaired walkers, a river tour is doable. I researched the various lines and "personalities" of them, as well as the ships and checked pricing. Our intial plan was to cruise in 2018. I was not happy with the cost and resisted pulling the trigger on a booking. After reading about the various lines, I compared prices and other features of Emerald, Viking and Avalon cruises. Emerald seemed to be the best value and had some extra features on it's ships (like the pools) that we likedwhich other lines lacked. Additionally, a half price sale on all remaining 2017 cabins finally convinced us, and while there were hardly any dates left, we managed to get a cabin for June, which was our desired month to go. The demographics of this cruise: Avg. age was retirement and above, with a decent number of those in their 40's or 50's. There was one family on board with 2 sons. The boys looked about 8 and 10 or 11 in my estimate and conducted themselves very well. I figured they must be bored out their minds, but their father often took them swimming and they certainly seemed to have fun in the pool. There was a very high percentage of people from the UK on board, with a fair number of Australians, a fair number of people of Asian or Indian decent, some from Germany and maybe 15 or so from the U.S. (the best could tell). English was the ship's language and all of the crew seemed able to speak English. This ship is outstanding in both design and cleanliness. There is lots of chrome and glass, kept smudge free almost miraculously. The shower power is good and the linens and bedding of very good quality. We had an "acquarium room", so the windows were positioned just above the water line. This wasn't bad at all! Especially since sometimes the river boats were "stacked" side by side. So anyone with the "balcony" type windows might just be a foot or so from a cabin on another ship, blocking any view. The Emerald ships' drafts are shallow and the wheelhouses can drop down under low bridges to a lower level than many others so they are often able to continue cruising when the rivers are too low for many ships or too high for others that have trouble with low bridges and high water. Dress really was not formal at all on any night. Just a couple of men had on jackets one or two nights. On those nights a very few women dressed up as though for a cocktail party on a couple of nights. but they were definitely exceptions to the rule. Some wore resort casual dresses, most wore pants or capris. Overall the dress was relaxed and not at all formal. I wore capris every night with a top nicer than one I'd have worn for shore side sightseeing. Most people seemed to have dressed down, with clothing one would call resort casual. At the captain's dinner, a fair number of men wore dress shirts (but no ties) .and nice slacks. Other nights most wore polo style shirts and Dockers style slacks or khakis. I even noticed men wearing shorts at dinner in the dining room a couple of times, but not a lot. My favorite part of the cruise was simply the times we were underway on the river and the section of the Rhine with the many castles. Even late in the evening to nightfall there were things to look at - such as the moon, bridges, houses we'd pass, etc. Just cruising along was so relaxing! (I wish there had been more time cruising along.) From talking to others who had sailed on Viking or other lines, it sounded like our tours and things were almost identical to other lines' doing the same itinerary. They usually departed at 9 a.m. Some guides were better than others. Personally, we are not big on official "tours", preferring to do things we especially want to do on our own schedule and in our own way. However, as so many do, we took advantage of the tours "because we paid for them" in our fare. If we get to do another river cruise, we may be more picky about which tours we actually take part in. We usually had a decent amount of time on our own to peruse shops or whatever at the stops we made. My favorite was a trip through the Black Forest region to an historical park with old Bavarian farm houses, etc. There was a demonstration of how Black Forest Cake is made. Everyone was given a piece and it was SOOOO delicious! Many commented that it was the best they'd ever eaten! Entertainment may have been a bit more lively than on some lines as there was actually a couple of nights where people danced to disco and oldies. One afternoon some opera singers performed. Most nights there was a piano player in the lounge. The last night was a very enjoyable crew show and afterwards they did a "YMCA" performance and the dance to get the crowd moving. The effort the staff makes to please the passengers was above and beyond. No matter what, they would go out of their way to please. Especially a couple of the bar waiters who didn't hesitate to insist they could bring our drinks to us no matter where we were hanging out, be it the top deck, the lovely and relaxing pool area or the lounge. Sometimes we initially would go down to the lounge bar planning to get our drink and carry it up with us. However, we were urged to allow the staff to wait on us and they did. The food was always of very good quality and very nicely presented. Although the selections weren't as numerous as on an ocean going cruise, whatever they could provide or do to please your palate, they did. (I am quite picky about steak or beef and want mine very well done, so am usually afraid to order it. Our waiter insisted the meat would be cooked the way I wanted it and it was, even though I knew the cook or chef was going out of his way to make it that way). The included house wines were fine, although somehow (?), to our surprise, we were told upon check in that we had the upgraded beverage package! Though my husband and I are not heavy drinkers, I was very happy to get my favorite, a caparhina (very well and properly made and tasty, with plenty of muddled limes) every day. My only criticism was that at the breakfast and sometimes the lunch buffets, the layout of the food could have been better organized. At times (especially the first day's breakfast buffet) food was laid out in such a manner that people started out on both sides, passing each other in at the far end, with confusion as to whose turn it was to serve themselves and who was going in what direction. Plus there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to which dish - or maybe 2 - and not necessarily an important dish, would duplicated on both sides of the buffet, but most items were not. I can't say enough about the man who made the omelets. Very organized and he worked at a good pace, making tasty individual omelets or eggs to order. Our "Jewels of the Rhine" cruise was initially listed on the Emerald website as being on the Emerald Dawn. Since we booked only barely 2 months out with a T/A who was new to us and operated out of a different state (I booked with them due to a rebate offered through that agency), I was not specifically made aware that our ship was to be the Destiny until we boarded. We had to walk through a Viking ship to reach our ship so we hadn't seen the name on the hull of our's. We learned upon check in due to the "Welcome to the Destiny" offered us by the staff and officers in the lobby. We were quite surprised to be getting on a 5 week old ship! Lucky us! I can highly recommend this ship and this cruise line. I felt we got a very good price, though the undiscounted, full price would still have been somewhat less than a similar cruise on any of the mainstream river cruise lines. So I will agree, it does seem to be the best value cruise line! For the record, if we do another river cruise, well definitely go on Emerald Waterways again. They offer an excellent product and excellent value. We are still confirmed ocean cruisers, though, so this type of cruise won't take the place of those. We just see the 2 types of vacations similar yet very different and enjoy both Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Being our first cruise it did not disappoint it was just perfect. The accommodation was clean and very comfortable with a fantastic river view Food was very varied and first class with the head chef giving his preferred choice of ... Read More
Being our first cruise it did not disappoint it was just perfect. The accommodation was clean and very comfortable with a fantastic river view Food was very varied and first class with the head chef giving his preferred choice of meal every night with a selection to suit all. You could not fault any of the staff, everyone of them went out of their way to make the holiday perfect and the staff performance night was really good The tours were of perfect length with great guide and very well organised and timed to suit lunch everyday The wifi connection was very fast considering it was on a boat. The cruise is very relaxed with smart casual dressing Would recommend this tour by Emerald who wants to try a cruise for the fist time and it will certainly put you in the mood for more. Totally five star in every demartment. Read Less
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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