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39 Emerald Waterways Basel Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date July 2019
From the moment we arrived at the ship we were treated and made to feel very special. Transfers to and from the airport were stress free, and on time. The ship was well laid out, cabins more than adequate, entertainment and activities well ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the ship we were treated and made to feel very special. Transfers to and from the airport were stress free, and on time. The ship was well laid out, cabins more than adequate, entertainment and activities well organised and run, our cruise director was great, always kept us well informed. The food was amazing with plenty of choices. Was always well presented and delivered hot. The staff are always friendly, lots of fun. Places on the boat to sit and enjoy the view, or just sit quietly if wanted. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff. The cabins where kept immaculate and very clean, the bed was comfortable. This cruise was more than I had dreamed of. It is something my husband and I had dreamed of for many years. We would recommend this to anyone. We saw a lot of places and things, tour guides always very informative. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I have been on a couple of ocean cruises and I was not really thrilled with them. Last year we thought that we would give River cruising a try, and chose a trip from Budapest to Passeau on the Danube. All the reviews of Emerald ... Read More
My wife and I have been on a couple of ocean cruises and I was not really thrilled with them. Last year we thought that we would give River cruising a try, and chose a trip from Budapest to Passeau on the Danube. All the reviews of Emerald were great so we booked our trip with them. Our experience was excellent on that cruise and we booked this cruise up the Rhine almost as soon as we got back home. What makes Emerald so exceptional to me is the staff. From the time you get on board until the time you leave, they are there trying to make your stay as pleasant as they can. Our cabin assistant Paul would greet us with a hello and how are you, or how was your meal, every time we saw him. The bar staff quickly became aware of what our favorite drinks and we hardly had to say what we wanted before it was there for us. The serving staff at meals were always questioning how we had enjoyed what we had just been served, and were ready to address any issues we may have had. One evening, a dining partner found the meat of his dinner to be especially good and asked if it was possible to receive more, within minutes he received a new plate with an additional double portion of the meat. What I also find exceptional with Emerald is the way that they treat the staff. On both cruises, all of the staff on board were presented to the passengers giving us an opportunity to show our appreciation. On a tour of the kitchen I found out that the ship provides meals to the staff similar to the passengers but also based on their dietary and religious needs. On this cruise I have to single out the Cruise Director Nina, for the work that she did in juggling the tours that we went on. Due to events beyond her control she had to make last minute scheduling changes that could not have been easy. The Activities Director kept the evenings highly entertaining with a variety of shows, musicals, and games that engaged everyone on board. The one final person that I would like to mention is the Hospitality Director Albert Andrei. We were fortunate enough to meet him on our previous cruise and were surprised to see him on this ship. While it was a surprise, it also indicated that we would be well taken care of. A happy, efficient staff is not magic, it is built and encouraged by management and I credit this to Albert on the Emerald Dawn. So how was the ship and everything else about the cruise? It was everything that I had experienced the previous year. The room was great, the food was great, the excursions were informative and of the right duration, the scenery while cruising was beautiful. Did we have any issues on this trip? Sure. You can’t take a trip like this without having minor inconveniences. However, we enjoyed every minute of it. Our challenge now is to decide which Emerald cruise to take next year. It is down to Portugal, or Southeast Asia. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first foray into cruising, as I suffer from very bad motion sickness, an ocean cruise was definitely not on the cards! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary so chose what we hoped was a special cruise on a special ... Read More
This was our first foray into cruising, as I suffer from very bad motion sickness, an ocean cruise was definitely not on the cards! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary so chose what we hoped was a special cruise on a special boat and we were not disappointed. Everything from the overall design to the onboard style and decor was stunning, with a gorgeous pool area (seriously underused on our trip), although for us having it to ourselves was lovely, especially with the poolside bar and comfy chairs. All the staff could not have been friendlier, from the housekeeping to the bar staff, from the waiters to Albert the hotel manager, and not forgetting Michael the cruise director, they were all so helpful and charming with a good sense of humour! On this particular cruise, we liked the choice in activities and excursions available, all targeted at those enjoying their cruise at different levels and pace. So there were always active excursions as well as more gentle ones on offer. Similarly we didn’t always want to go on the coach tours, so when moored up in the great city locations often meant we could do our own thing, and pop back to the ship for lunch/dinner, just like a hotel. That said the organised excursions and tours we did get involved in were all excellent with handpicked informative and entertaining tour guides. The food was simply amazing, chef Stefan was an inspiration with his choices, often regionally themed as we sailed through various places. Wines were similarly excellent, all good quality and lots of it on offer! We loved the galley tour, seeing where our fantastic meals were created. We were really quite emotional (and more than a little embarrassed) on the last night to be presented with a beautifully decorated Anniversary cake in front of the very full restaurant! I am happy to report we will certainly be booking again with Emerald Waterways and more importantly, I did not suffer from even a teeny bit of travel sickness as the ship is so beautifully quiet and very stable, so there is no sensation at all of any movement other than travelling forwards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having completed an excellent Norwegian Northern Lights cruise we received an offer via Iglu Cruises for this cruise which included some good perks like the Premium Drinks package and an M&S voucher for both of us. Having looked ... Read More
Having completed an excellent Norwegian Northern Lights cruise we received an offer via Iglu Cruises for this cruise which included some good perks like the Premium Drinks package and an M&S voucher for both of us. Having looked into Emerald Waterways they got good reviews and the ships are all quite new and looked lovely. We have cruised on the sea before, but never on a river and we thought the Rhine would be interesting. We were not disappointed! We didn't get to explore Basel before we sailed as we were tired although there was a couple of hours which was available and some did. The airport transfer and embarkation all went smoothly and we were made very welcome on arrival at the ship. The cabins were ready ahead of the scheduled time which was nice. We had a Panorama Balcony stateroom which was a good size and very nicely furnished and fitted. The shower room was particularly generously sized for a ship. There was very little noise when the ship was sailing and it was exceptionally smooth. The only time we heard anything was when berthing at the ports but it was minimal. Dining was excellent with a good choice of dishes and much use of local produce. The hotel staff were very helpful and did their best to accommodate any special requests. The number and choice of ports was just about right and the price included guided tours at each stop. Other more active excursions were available at extra cost, but we didn't use these. Most of the tours were good although a couple of the guides were not really on top of their game. The bar/lounge was very comfortable and well staffed with a selection of books and games available to borrow. As we had the Premium Drinks package we could order anything from the bar at anytime without charge. All guests get complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with lunch and dinner. The ship was able to accommodate all guests at one open sitting for dinner. As mentioned above all the staff were very friendly and helpful and Michael our Cruise Director kept us all fully informed about the daily schedule and timings. This was delivered to each cabin the night before. If there was any area which was a bit disappointing it was the evening entertainment. We had a group of opera singers who were no doubt very good but not to our taste. On another evening we had a lovely violinist who played a wide variety of music and was excellent. A karaoke night was less successful and we felt not really a good choice for the type of passengers on board. There were also a couple of film nights, but we didn't go to these. Yes we would certainly go again having enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say is a huge "Thank you" to all the hard working Emerald Sky's crew/staff and the Emerald Cruise hospitality team onboard the Sky for making our trip memorable. All of the tours went seamlessly and were well thought out and very informative, all the tour guides knowlegable and able to answer all questions about our visits to the various places etc. The food was 1st class (Andraz the chef we had met before on the Emerald Sun in 2016) from the Buffet Breakfast and Lunch, to the Wonderful Dinners each evening, served extremely well by the extremely hard working waiters and waitresses. Widodo our cabin Steward worked very hard and kept our Panorama Balcony Suite well stocked with water and consumables. Many thanks to Balasz our Cruise Director who also worked very hard organising everything in port and the entertainment on board the Emerald Sky. Also keeping all the tour port talks interesting and happening ontime. This was our 3rd cruise with Emerald waterways and we are looking forward to joining them again in April 2019 in Amsterdam for our trip around Holland and Belgium. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Group that travels together often. We wanted a sharing experience that also had diversity of experiences. We could see beautiful sites and interact with other passengers from around the world. We had a great Cruise director in Alex. ... Read More
Group that travels together often. We wanted a sharing experience that also had diversity of experiences. We could see beautiful sites and interact with other passengers from around the world. We had a great Cruise director in Alex. He did his research and gave entertaining talks. Dining staff was great. Gilbert and Svet and Bojan were everywhere. Mladin was a good overeseer. Recipes were varied for everyone to find something they enjoyed. It seemed that great care was taken in the preparation of meals. Our cabin was kept immaculate by Widoto. Other staff were very warm and friendly, also. Side tours were varied and fun, especially the bike tour in Amsterdam. Visiting with a previous exchange student was special. I appreciated the beautiful scenery as an amateur photographer. There were many side trips where we could explore on our own time. Organization was well done. The Captain let me see inside the "wheelhouse". Cool! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After reading many reviews we chose Emerald Waterways for the value, amenities, and itinerary. They did not disappoint. We were picked up at the airport and had seamless transfers for each leg of the trip. We added the pre-cruise package ... Read More
After reading many reviews we chose Emerald Waterways for the value, amenities, and itinerary. They did not disappoint. We were picked up at the airport and had seamless transfers for each leg of the trip. We added the pre-cruise package in Zurich and Lucerne. Stayed in great hotels and had a fabulous guide accompany us throughout. Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and painless. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful, modern river ship that is well maintained and exceptionally clean. All of the staff were friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. 182 guests to 46 staff- not a bad ratio! Our room was very comfortable, with a surprising amount of storage room. Great shower. Great bed. In addition to the usual items, we found robes, slippers, an umbrella, and even walking sticks in our room. The ship includes an indoor, heated swimming pool (with optional current) at the stern that looks out to the river through a floor to ceiling window. The floor of the pool comes up to created a movie theater on some evenings. Emerald brings bicycles along for passenger who wish to use them in port. There was a nice variety on the menu and all of the food was beautifully presented. Some dishes could have used a bit more flavor, but that was our only complaint. Wine and beer were complimentary with lunch and dinner. Each port included an excursion and we found each of our guides well informed as well as entertaining. We loved that fact that our entire trip was included in their pricing-even the tips! We felt we got a wonderful value as well as a memorable trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had never sailed on the Rhine and wished to see Strasbourg. We had sailed with Scenic before and Emerald are a part of the same group, so we had reasonable expectations of a similar high standard. The food and service were excellent. ... Read More
We had never sailed on the Rhine and wished to see Strasbourg. We had sailed with Scenic before and Emerald are a part of the same group, so we had reasonable expectations of a similar high standard. The food and service were excellent. All the crew whom we interfaced with throughout the cruise were cheerful, helpful and could not be faulted. This includes Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Reception, waiters, wine-waiters, seamen, cabin housekeeper and catering staff. The resident pianist/singer was excellent. The ports and excursions were fine, but there could have been more and more varied en-board entertainment. We had an inclusive drinks package which worked well, but not all the table wines were first class. In particular the Austrian Merlot was very thin and had little flavour. All the food was excellent except for one starter of salmon mousse which had no salmon taste and a beetroot soup which was very pale and tasted of nothing at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We found this cruise to be very well organized. The communication with guests was excellent. The transitions from port to port was smooth as were the disembarkations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and efficient! Food was good and ... Read More
We found this cruise to be very well organized. The communication with guests was excellent. The transitions from port to port was smooth as were the disembarkations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and efficient! Food was good and service was excellent. Staff went out of their way to accommodate any needs. Most of the tours were well done. Strasbourg tour guide was a bit of a disappointment but all others were very knowledgeable and fun. The facilities were surprising considering riverboats are not very big. They were comfortable and covered every need. The cabins are efficiently designed and the beds are comfortable. We are seniors and appreciated that tours came with a gentle option for older guests but also had more active options for the more active traveler. The cruise director was helpful and fun, she quickly arranged for tickets to museums and was on hand for any assistance needed. Next year we hope to do the Danube with this company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I did this cruise with my sister, mother and aunt. As I am unable to walk a lot due to continuous cancer issues. We were served like royalty from day one. All trips were well organised and arranged. All staff were extremely friendly. ... Read More
I did this cruise with my sister, mother and aunt. As I am unable to walk a lot due to continuous cancer issues. We were served like royalty from day one. All trips were well organised and arranged. All staff were extremely friendly. This is a very professional River Cruise and I hope to return soon, for another experience. We were not met at the airport in Zurich by waterways, but by Scenic (we didn't know who would fetch us). We knew which port we would start at, just the time seemed confusing. The dining experience was phenomenal. So much choice and efficient and friendly waiters. Quiz nights, music night and Nina our entertainment director kept us updated all the time. Just was disappointed that whilst cruising past the Loreley, we could not hear Nina on the microphone below deck (please check out systems) as it was a beautiful day to be outside. Galley excursion was very interesting too. Ships Captain did a great job as did all his crew, whilst sailing and docking, etc. We made lots of friends. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First time on a cruise and not sure what to expect. I did explore the departure city very briefly. The staff was friendly and helpful and attentive. I was vacationing with friends. My cabin was clean, the ship was easily gotten around. ... Read More
First time on a cruise and not sure what to expect. I did explore the departure city very briefly. The staff was friendly and helpful and attentive. I was vacationing with friends. My cabin was clean, the ship was easily gotten around. I cannot say enough about the staff - warm, friendly, attentive and fun. The food offered was widely varied for everyone’s tastes. There was something for everyone. The activities and entertainment was fun and lively. The port and shore excursions were overall interesting and the guides knowledgeable and entertaining. Would I go again? Most certainly! Would I recommend this cruise and cruise line? Definitely! Embarkation was smooth because the staff answered any and all questions on the spot. Disembarkation review by the staff seems easy enough and I am sure if there are any questions or problems that the staff will assist with efficiency. All in all, it was a most enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had chosen this cruise after spending 8 days in 2016 on the Danube cruise and had a great experience. All the staff on board were very friendly and efficient and polite. The cruise Michael was very professional and knowledgeable, in ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise after spending 8 days in 2016 on the Danube cruise and had a great experience. All the staff on board were very friendly and efficient and polite. The cruise Michael was very professional and knowledgeable, in fact he was our tour director on the Danube cruise. All the trips and visits were all well organised and interesting and we had no complaints on any of them. The onboard experience was perfect, lovely cabin, excellent food and drink and great entertainment. The flights to and from the destinations all were on time and with no problems experienced. Travel from the airport by coach to the ship was trouble free and also the return from the boat to the airport. All in all I would recommend river cruises as a great way to see lots of different places with expert tour guides to make it very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
First cruise experience (river or ocean), selected due to interesting places visited in one week. All of the staff were terrific - very helpful, giving the impression nothing would be too much trouble and all were very friendly and ... Read More
First cruise experience (river or ocean), selected due to interesting places visited in one week. All of the staff were terrific - very helpful, giving the impression nothing would be too much trouble and all were very friendly and supportive. Cruise Director Michael was very organised and also very positive in all he did. Food and wine selections were generally excellent. It was a shame that the cinema/pool options were not fully functioning throughout; on a relatively small boat and if the weather does not let you out on deck, I realise it is difficult to have many options in the evening, but there really was no alternative to the bar/lounge and whatever entertainment was set out in the evening if we were sailing or away from a town when moored. The excursions were excellent ; the hike in the Black Forest was led by two super guides who were informative and supported the participants with shade and water breaks on a very hot day. The history- post-grad student Mark who took us around Koblenz was outstanding - probably the best guided tour we ever had for information, enthusiasm and answering questions from thr Group. In general, the balance of shore time between well-led tours and free time was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose to cruise again with Emerald following a very enjoyable experience with them two years ago on the Danube. I chose the Rhine this time, from Basel to Amsterdam and was not disappointed. The food was excellent, beautifully ... Read More
I chose to cruise again with Emerald following a very enjoyable experience with them two years ago on the Danube. I chose the Rhine this time, from Basel to Amsterdam and was not disappointed. The food was excellent, beautifully presented, wonderful choices and plentiful. Breakfast choices included full cooked breakfast, cereal, cold meats and cheese or a combination of everything! The staff could not have been more helpful and cheerful and nothing was too much trouble. The ship, including my cabin was immaculate. The entertainment and trips ashore were varied and enjoyable. Quizzes at lunchtime and in the evening for those who wanted to take part. The ship has a cinema with a different film being presented each night. We were spoilt for choice some days! Trips ashore included a hike in the Black Forest followed by coffee and Black Forest gateau, wonderful. A canal boat trip in Amsterdam was also included. My companion took advantage of on board beauty treatments and thoroughly enjoyed them. Leisure time was plentiful if required. Well done Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Recommended by friends and travel agent. The ship was immaculate. The staff were outstanding, the food was great. The mix of activities, excursions and leisure time suited us perfectly ( mid sixties couple in good health ). Our cabin ... Read More
Recommended by friends and travel agent. The ship was immaculate. The staff were outstanding, the food was great. The mix of activities, excursions and leisure time suited us perfectly ( mid sixties couple in good health ). Our cabin was very nice and was spotless. The bed was very comfortable. We chose the low cost, water level cabin with a small window and were very happy with it , as we spent most of our time on the sundeck or the fore-deck enjoying the beautiful views. The ship is very quiet and vibration free. The only time you could notice the engines was when docking or during maneuvers in port. While docked you could occasionally hear some noise from onshore but this was not under the control of the cruise and was very infrequent and unobtrusive. The meals on board were excellent and there were always lots of excellent alternates available. This is a small ship and not like an ocean cruise with several restaurants of varying type. That being said ; there was always food available and it was always excellent quality. Dining is always informal. There was never any requirement to get "dressed up" for any meal or activity. On board activities were obviously not as varied as on huge ocean liner; but this was fine because we in a new port every day. Exploration and sightseeing were the focus of the cruise. There were small scale ( but very nice ) activities and entertainment in the evenings. This would not be a great cruise for people who spend all their time on the ship. The on-shore excursions were well designed and tailored for the ( mostly over 50 ) passengers. There were fast paced, regular, and "gentle" tours and guides for the varying levels of mobility present. There were also hiking and bicycle tours for those who wanted a higher activity level. The crew and service level were excellent. Their English was great and they were all very friendly and accommodating. I would not recommend this as a cruise for small kids. It is more oriented to a mature adult group. It is a small ship and the ability to entertain kids is limited. We quite enjoyed the quiet , laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. One of the best things about Emerald is their all inclusive service. There is ZERO expectation to have tips or gratuities of any sort for any activity during the cruise either on or off the ship. You could quite literally enjoy the entire cruise ( without limiting activities, excursions etc ) and not spend a penny. We loved the cruise and are planning another with Emerald already. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I am not a good sailor on the sea, so my partner persuaded me to try a River Cruise. We are not young, my partner being 86 and I am 2 months short of 80, and this cruise was absolutely right for us. We did not have any complaints, ... Read More
I am not a good sailor on the sea, so my partner persuaded me to try a River Cruise. We are not young, my partner being 86 and I am 2 months short of 80, and this cruise was absolutely right for us. We did not have any complaints, and the staff were really so nice and pleasant. We did go on every morning outing, but on the slow or gentle walking bus or guide, which suited us and we enjoyed what we saw. The entertainment was all to our liking, and the resident pianist, who also sang, was excellent too. I didn't realise there would be a dance floor, or I would have included suitable shoes, but we still managed to have a dance, which we love. I was so happy that I didn't put on any weight (having seen this happen to others on cruises) and this was due to the food that we got - there was no time we were unhappy with anything. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We got a good deal on a mid-October cruise, so we jumped on it. We had a nice room, small, but quite adequate for the 8 days on the ship. We didn't stay in our room, other than to sleep at night, so we were fine. They planned out the ... Read More
We got a good deal on a mid-October cruise, so we jumped on it. We had a nice room, small, but quite adequate for the 8 days on the ship. We didn't stay in our room, other than to sleep at night, so we were fine. They planned out the room so that everything could be put away without bumping into anything. Suitcases of all sizes fit under the bed, good size closet with plenty of coat hangers and shelves, bathroom had several shelves behind a large mirror and large drawer under the sink. They had walking sticks available, slippers and bathrobes to use. They thought of everything. Although they had a pool and movie theatre serving popcorn, we didn't take advantage of either. Many people did though and we heard enjoyed both. Food was good, but the dining room was a bit loud. Plenty of beer and wine was served. We drink Savigaun Blanc and some nights they had it while others they didn't. Very inconsistent. Otherwise, the meals were varied and delicious. We found out that our week was the last for the season and we felt that they were purposely starting to run out of stuff. Evening entertainment was very good. We cruised the Danube on Viking and the entertainment on the Emerald was far superior. Many fun song and dance contests were going on, which made it lots of fun. We had a very active crowd on rhe ship. Our Cruise Director Barash, was fabulous...much better than the one on our Viking cruise. An excellent CD makes the trip much more enjoyable, which he did. Although the ship grounded during the middle of the night and we lost one propellor, there was open transparency and we were never made to feel that our safety was compromised. Our captain couldn't speak English, which was surprising to us, Barash always translated for us making sure we were informed. After a wonderful cruise on Viking, we were a bit concerned about Emerald. We were pleasantly surprised by the mix of ages and the different countries that people came from. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and would not only recommend Emerald, but we would definitely go on another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Evergreen Emerald Sun cruise as we wanted a 7 night cruise ending in Switzerland. We could not fault this cruise. The staff were extremely professional, very friendly and helpful. The cruise ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Evergreen Emerald Sun cruise as we wanted a 7 night cruise ending in Switzerland. We could not fault this cruise. The staff were extremely professional, very friendly and helpful. The cruise director was brilliant. She worked extremely hard day and night, and ensured everything ran smoothly both on the ship, day excursions, and nighttime entertainment. The cities we visited were great, with comfortable coaches and knowledgeable guides waiting for us at every stop. We did city walking tours, usually around the old towns, and also had free time to explore the cities on our own. If you want to rest, then day excursions are quite tiring, so some people stay on board the ship to relax. Some sailings are over night, so we often woke to find ourselves moored further along the river. The ship is very smooth, with very little movement felt, even at night while sleeping. A wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Sail Date June 2017
Chose this cruise because my German teacher when I was at school talked about the places we visited, and also to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary. From beginning to end the crew were superb! The ship was kept wonderfully clean and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because my German teacher when I was at school talked about the places we visited, and also to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary. From beginning to end the crew were superb! The ship was kept wonderfully clean and safe. Our bags were delayed by KLM for 24 hours. The housekeeping officer arranged to have our travelling clothes laundered overnight and ready to wear the next morning, at no cost to us. Thank you. Activities were well organised and guides were very knowledgeable. The evening entertainment was varied, a violinist, a duo who performed operatic songs connected with the region, a dj who played songs from the 60's and 70's , a resident pianist. The best entertainment from our point of view was the crew show. A mix of talent! Food vas varied and very well presented. The chef came every evening before dinner to explain some of the dishes. I ( being a trained caterer) was impressed with the galley tour, the head chef gave us explanations of the different work stations etc. There's not much room down there! All crew were friendly courteous and polite. Always smiling too! Would not hesitate to recommend Emerald and hope to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first river cruise and is a great way of exploring the Rhine Valley. We arrived late in the day to explore Basel but were made very welcome on board. The staff were lovely and nothing too much trouble. Dining was excellent ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and is a great way of exploring the Rhine Valley. We arrived late in the day to explore Basel but were made very welcome on board. The staff were lovely and nothing too much trouble. Dining was excellent with plenty of choices at the buffet during breakfast and lunch. In the evening the waiters served us some mouthwatering cuisine. Since were not herded to the same table each day we have made several new friends Michael our cruise director had arranged a choice of guided and different paced excursions each day for us.These were very informative and the guides had a lovey sense of humour. Micheal was great and always made sure we were well looked after and armed with maps and times to be back on our free time to explore. The staff one evening entertained us including dancing from Indonesia and sketches akin to "Two soups" from Victoria Wood. This was the best show I had seen in ages. I would certainly recommend this way to travel and can't wait to try another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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