2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, with some of the ports being new to us. We have travelled on Emerald Waterways several times before, so had a high expectation and our expectations were all met and exceeded by this ship, its crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, with some of the ports being new to us. We have travelled on Emerald Waterways several times before, so had a high expectation and our expectations were all met and exceeded by this ship, its crew and the itinerary. Emerald have high standards, and this continues on this ship. The crew are very hard working and friendly, and make every effort to respond to whatever requests passengers make. As with every Emerald ship we have been on, the food is to a very high standard. The crew prepare the dining room perfectly, so that it is almost a shame for the passengers to come in and spoil the beautifully laid tables. Cabins on river ships have to be fairly small, but they are well thought out with adequate storage space, and very good quality amenities. The Quietvox system which is provided free for shore excursions, is really good. Entertainment is always good on these ships, but on this cruise there were two US singer/songwriters plus a large group of their followers, all of whom added to the normal entertainment. The singers gave three concerts during the week, which were fun and enjoyable. There were also local artistes who came on board, and they were also good. If we have one less positive point about Emerald it is that we have done almost all of their itineraries and need them to add more so that we can make more bookings. We love sailing with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I was chosen to perform with a friend on board Brent Burns and 88 Parrot Head fans who went with us. My wife and I have done cruises on bigger ships, this was the first time on a river cruise. From the moment we hit the Amsterdam airport ... Read More
I was chosen to perform with a friend on board Brent Burns and 88 Parrot Head fans who went with us. My wife and I have done cruises on bigger ships, this was the first time on a river cruise. From the moment we hit the Amsterdam airport to the time we departed from Zurich we just had a great time. The ship in one I would choose again and again. The staff were helpful, friendly and seem to always have a smile on their faces as if they enjoyed what they did...a rarity. From our director to the young lady who tended to our cabin, to the front desk, the food staff...all were just outstanding. Our onshore tours were well organized and our tour guides were informative and friendly. We truly enjoyed the mix of being able to relax and yet still see a lot all at the same time. And certainly we enjoyed not having to pack and repack numerous times during this week journey. I would recommend this trip and this ship highly to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Emerald from a friend's recommendation and were not disappointed. We made our own flight arrangements and flew into Budapest 3 days prior to our departure to meet up with our friends and explore the city. What a ... Read More
We chose Emerald from a friend's recommendation and were not disappointed. We made our own flight arrangements and flew into Budapest 3 days prior to our departure to meet up with our friends and explore the city. What a fabulous destination; steeped in history with fantastic shopping and food. We checked into Emerald on departure day and were warmly greeted. All our luggage showed up in our spacious room and cocktails were served. Awesome start. The food was fresh, innovative, hearty and always personalized with amazing service from every single staff member....without exception The Emerald team made EVERYONE feel they were the most important customer. Take advantage of every excursion and active adventure that Emerald offers. Great tour guides (fluent English), incredible history, scenery and sights in all ports of call. The Emerald Active selections were a lot of fun and helped keep some of the inevitable weight gain at bay. We highly recommend Emerald and the Danube Delights agenda...we would do it all over again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I booked ‘The Enchantment of Eastern Europe’ cruise for May 2019. This was our first river cruise in Europe. The whole holiday package was booked with Emerald and we certainly could not fault the organisation from ... Read More
My husband and I booked ‘The Enchantment of Eastern Europe’ cruise for May 2019. This was our first river cruise in Europe. The whole holiday package was booked with Emerald and we certainly could not fault the organisation from arriving in Budapest to being dropped back off at the airport on Bucharest and all the hotels/transfers/excursions in between. First impressions of the ship was great. Very sleek with modern, comfortable furnishings. If you are used to ocean cruising though the rooms are very small. We had a balcony room which turned out to be useless. We were frequently docked beside other boats rendering the balcony unusable. When you did open the window you ended up with mosquitos and bugs flying into the room. The only problem in the room was the noise from flushing toilets – it was so loud. I have never experienced this level of noise from the toilets on a ship before. If you were standing near the door the noise made you jump it was so loud. On the first evening we had an evening cruise along the Danube and this was a highlight. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. For the first 3 days the scenery was boring and monotonous – speaking to other cruisers they recommended sailing up The Danube as it is much more interesting and picturesque. The cruise director was excellent. She briefed us each night before dinner with details of the following day and its activities. She was extremely knowledgeable and approachable. The food was a disappointment. It was very salty, (especially the soup) lots of garlic and mustard. On one evening both appetisers contained feta cheese. Food was never served hot it was always lukewarm. I expected wine to be served from the countries we were travelling through but it was mostly German and Austrian. The service in the restaurant seemed to vary depending on where you were sitting. There is only one restaurant and dinner was served every night at 7pm. We like to eat alone and the layout of the restaurant accommodated this. In fact most of the tables for 2 were beside the window. You had to be there when the restaurant opened to guarantee getting the table size you wanted. We tended to skip breakfast and have the lighter lunch in the lounge. This suited us as it was too busy in the dining room. There was a coffee machine in the lounge which had a good choice of different coffees and even hot chocolate. The drinks were always warm - never hot We didn’t do all the trips on offer preferring sometimes to do our own thing. The excursions we did go on were well-planned and the guides knowledgeable. The excursions tagged as ‘Emerald Active’ were anything but. The one we went on to the rock church was more of a stroll. All the trips were at a very slow pace which I found frustrating. The evening entertainment was virtually non-existent but this didn’t really matter to us. Emerald now have an activity manager on the ship who did a few pieces of entertainment in the evening after dinner e.g. Name that Tune, Neil Diamond songs, The Rat Pack. It was all very boring. We always tend to book through a travel agent and on this occasion we were pleased we did as on the return journey we had to fly from Bucharest to Frankfurt then on to Manchester. The flight to Manchester was cancelled (along with many other flights due to thunderstorms). I managed to contact our agent and he rebooked us on a flight early the following morning. We had to stand in a queue in Frankfurt airport for 3.5 hours to be allocated accommodation for the evening. All in all I found the European river cruising experience sedate and boring. Even though we paid a similar price to what we would pay for an ocean cruise of the same length this experience was far inferior. If I were to try it again in the future I would choose a different river and probably a different cruise company. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and ... Read More
I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and went directly to the ship at around 1 PM thinking we could at least check our bags until the room was ready and do some walking on our own. When we got to the ship we were pleasantly surprised to find that lunch was being served until 3 pm. There was also an escorted walk by the Activities Director after lunch. This was appreciated but it would have been nice to have been told this in advance of our arrival. We were also not aware in advance that we were going to receive a tour of Bucharest on our departure day. They kept us busy until 3 pm when the hotel rooms were available. Again we were not informed of this until the day before and fortunately we had not arranged any tours for that day on our own. Yes the room is noisy. We had a room on the lowest deck without a “balcony”. You know there is a noise issue when you find they have provided ear plugs. The flushing of toilets does sound like a bowling ball. Hopefully your neighbors do not flush often in the middle of the night! On the other side of the room, you can hear the scrapping of chairs above you whenever the furniture is rearranged. The problem is that the balcony portion of the room has a wood floor so anytime a chair is moved, you can hear it. Too bad they didn’t extend the carpeting over the whole room or put some tennis balls on the bottom of the chairs to prevent this. If your neighbors watch TV or talk you can also hear them. My personal solution to the noise problem is to play a white noise app on my iPhone and/or iPad. It masked out some of the noise but its hard to avoid the loud toilets. The room came with a large umbrella and some good quality walking sticks. Storage is tight in the room but we made do with the various shelves (two in the bathroom next to the sink were kind of hidden). It would have been nice to have a place next to the door to store your room keys to avoid leaving without them. There was no instructions for the thermostat so I had to ask at reception as I wasn’t sure what all the buttons and colors meant. There was a strange large black tumbler in the bathroom. It did not look clean. I had to ask and was told it was for toothbrushes which seemed strange. I stored it out of sight. Emerald advertises that you will receive a backpack and wallet. We did not receive ours before departure but did get a notice that they were delayed from the supplier. It is now two weeks after our cruise and we still have not received them. We were glad to not have spent the extra money for a balcony as on this cruise it would have been almost useless. Most of the daytime cruising is not particularly scenic and can be viewed just as well from the lounge areas. When in port you are probably going to be next to the dock or another ship so there is not anything to see. However, one morning I opened the curtain and got a view of a naked lady on the ship next to us, not more than 10 feet away. She was my age, so it was not a pleasant site. If you do get a balcony, most of the time we were docked port side to the piers so the starboard side seemed to be preferable, at least for this cruise. The port talks were not broadcast in our room. I asked the cruise director and she told me that the audio was broken and therefore they could not do it. This was an incontinence as the lounge does get fairly crowded with some people standing. Meal service at dinner varied depending on where you sat. Some evenings it was efficient but on others it was extremely slow and drawn out. Guests at other tables were having dessert while we were still waiting for our entrees. We were almost never asked if we wanted coffee at the end of the meal. We did learn the best areas to sit if we wanted better service. The soups were salty and thin, mostly broths. The food was never hot and perhaps this is because they do not cover the plates. I did enjoy the appetizers, entrees and desserts for the most part and appreciated the smaller sizes. I had steak one night (which is available every night) and it was excellent. Lunch in the dining room was disappointing. If you arrived at the middle of the lunch period it was difficult to find a clean, set table. If you asked a server to reset a table, it was a major undertaking that took a long time. It was also difficult to find a server to take your drink order if you did not arrive at the start of the meal time. The buffet itself was not replenished or even minimally maintained during the meal period. One day we saw nearly empty trays that were left untouched for 45 minutes. I took a picture of this and sent it to Emerald but did not get a reply. The picture is attached to this review. I mentioned this to a server and he only shrugged his shoulders. When they reset the tables, they did not replace or clean the table mats in any way. They looked dirty and unsanitary. The tables for two were convenient but the curtains could not be easily pulled back and sometimes blocked the view. An easy fix would be to install some curtain ties. Another easy fix would be for the ID scanner that you need to use when departing and returning to the ship. The ID’s our worn on a neck lanyard but the scanner is on a pedestal that is about 4 ft tall. This means everyone has to lean over at an uncomfortable angle to scan their ID. The pedestal needs to be raised a few feet, perhaps placed on a base so that it would be easier to do the scan. We chose Emerald particularly because of the advertised on board bikes. The Cruise Director announced that of the 20 bikes on board, 5 were broken. When we tried to sign up for the guided bike tour of Belgrade (the only one offered during the week long cruise) we could only be waitlisted as 15 passengers had already signed up. It was unclear when the list was made available and we tried to sign up just after the excursion talk finished. We talked to the Cruise Director and to her credit she was able to arrange for more bikes so that we were able to go on the excursion which was enjoyable. However, this should not have been an issue as the bike tour is heavily promoted by Emerald and I could not find any mention in the fine print that it was subject to availability. It would also be helpful if information could have been provided about bike paths/lanes that could be used on our own in the various ports. It was difficult to research this info on our own as we were not sure where we would be docked ahead of time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our very first river cruise, and it's hard to believe we'll ever have a more enjoyable, rewarding cruise experience. My wife and I usually go on more adventurous, independent holidays, and were nervous that we might feel a ... Read More
Our very first river cruise, and it's hard to believe we'll ever have a more enjoyable, rewarding cruise experience. My wife and I usually go on more adventurous, independent holidays, and were nervous that we might feel a little claustrophobic and restricted. How wrong we were.... From the moment we climbed on board to be checked in to the final sumptuous breakfast before disembarking, everything was perfect. On board the Emerald Destiny, our cabin was outstanding, the food was high quality and with sensible proportions, the entertainment was spot on and the entire staff and crew professional and friendly. We enjoyed the flexibility of meals, in the lounge or in the dining room, and loved the opportunity to meet interesting new people at each meal taken in the dining room, rather than being allocated the same table with the same people every day. Phew. Away from the ship, the shore excursions were interesting and led by expert local guides who really helped to give us a deep insight into Balkan history, culture, food and wine. The undoubted highlight for me was a trip to a local Elementary school in Osijek, Croatia, followed by a lovely authentic lunch hosted by a Croatian lady in her humble home. Our first river cruise, but hopefully not our last.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I ... Read More
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I wanted to do this one as I was told that it is a great cruise for beginners and most people can trace some family heritage to that area. I was not disappointed with my choice. Not know what to expect, I was really surprised at how much detail and organization the cruise director had. He had us well prepared for what we were going to do the next day and where to be when it was time to go. Between the cruise director and the activities director, you had a ton of choices for things to do to fill your morning, day and evening. The food and the restaurant were amazing. The staff absolutely made sure you had more than enough to east and drink. If you somehow left hungry, it is your own fault. I was amazed at how many of the staff members knew the guests by name and what they drank. The front of the house/hotel staff has embrocation and disembarkation down to a science. It only took a few minutes each day to unload the entire ship The cabin was awesome. Plenty of room for everything. It is like a nice hotel room in the states... a little bit smaller but very nice. Very sleek modern design with A/C great for American travelers. The bathroom/shower is a little small, but i am a big guy and I was still able to use it without much effort. Even thought he shore excursions are very planned outwith guides, you have plenty of free time to take care of all of your shopping needs or go see something that might not be on the tour. They are also extremely flexible if you do not want to go on the tour or if you wan to break off at any point The nightly entertainment was great. The entire ship was engaged and having a blast. I would absolutely use Emerald again for a river cruise and recommend to anyone Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first ever river cruise and will be back for another. Service from the time we were picked up at the airport until final departure from Prague was excellent. The ship was clean, spacious and an absolute dream to be on. The ... Read More
This was our first ever river cruise and will be back for another. Service from the time we were picked up at the airport until final departure from Prague was excellent. The ship was clean, spacious and an absolute dream to be on. The choice of foods and dining experiences was excellent. The one thing that stood out was the food services personnel. I would rate them at 150%. We joked, we laughed and we all had a good time. An experience to remember. Every port had an excursion. The guides (local) that were provided were very knowledgeable of their town and the surrounds. Their historical knowledge was far above anything that I had ever heard. Entertainment that was provided was adequate and very specific to the location at the appropriate time. The entertainers were professional and very good at what they did. Would I do it again. Without a moments hesitation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Highly recommended for value & service. We did all excursions and found the value to be great. Food on board was exceptional. They provided special evenings of local culture & food. A real highlight of the tour. Ship was the ... Read More
Highly recommended for value & service. We did all excursions and found the value to be great. Food on board was exceptional. They provided special evenings of local culture & food. A real highlight of the tour. Ship was the newest in the fleet and in great shape. The port locations provided a great exposure for each destination. This was our first cruise and would definitely go again. The level of training by the staff was great. Our cabin was always cleaned well and timely. Boarding the boat on the beginning was seamless. They also had the disembarkation well coordinated. Our bags were handled and we did not worry about them. The ship provided a great variety of activities to pass the time but you were more likely to be top deck to watch the beautiful scenery pass by. I would highly recommend this cruise line and this particular trip to our friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I am an airline employee and received information from ID 90 and they shared a special that looked like something we wanted to try. It turned out to be really great and we loved the crew and ship! Would definitely do it again. We took ... Read More
I am an airline employee and received information from ID 90 and they shared a special that looked like something we wanted to try. It turned out to be really great and we loved the crew and ship! Would definitely do it again. We took another couple and they agreed it was a great time! The ship was one of the newest, very pretty and our cabin was very nice. Dining was great and even had Hungarian goulash available when we came back late from our private concert while in Vienna.~ Loved the greeting with the hot towels and our cabin was always made up and cleaned when we returned from being out and about! Would we do it again, YES!!! We were invited to sit the last evening at the captain's table. We found Jasper to be quite experienced and would hope to have him lead the ship again should we have the opportunity to be so lucky to have him. Also shout out to Maria, the head of the cabins and we also thought that Balegio was superb at leading all of us on announcements and directions. Loved it!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise but it will not be our last. When we arrived we were greeted by our cruise director Balazs Varga and processed quickly. Staff was friendly and answered all our questions. We were told this was the first ... Read More
This was our first river cruise but it will not be our last. When we arrived we were greeted by our cruise director Balazs Varga and processed quickly. Staff was friendly and answered all our questions. We were told this was the first cruise of the season, A tour of the boat was given by our cabin Stuart and then were brought to the dinning area. During the entire trip the food was excellent and there was a great variety, you will not starve. There was always a chef's recommendation with wine pairing. Service was excellent. The tours and activities provided by Emerald were very good. One was never bored. Again I would like to say thank you to Balazs he did a great job. He is very knowledge and always trying to help to make your cruise enjoyable. Once the boat was docked it was nice to be able to walk to so many places. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Note: We were supposed to sail on the Emerald Destiny, but because of low water levels, passengers cruised on the Emerald Sun instead. Our Christmas Market cruise with Emerald Waterways was everything we had hoped it would be. We ... Read More
Note: We were supposed to sail on the Emerald Destiny, but because of low water levels, passengers cruised on the Emerald Sun instead. Our Christmas Market cruise with Emerald Waterways was everything we had hoped it would be. We started in Budapest and travelled along the Danube until we reached Nuremberg where we proceeded by motor coach for the three-day extension in Prague. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, thanks to the cruise director and staff who attended to every detail. This was our first river cruise and we were impressed with the personal attention that the staff provided to each of its passengers such as arranging transfers to and from the airport, assisting in planning activities, providing free use of an iPad on board, etc. There were many items included in the cruise package including tipping, complimentary beverages with lunch and dinner (including wine and beer), as well as many walking tours with experienced guides. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our port stops. The ship was docked as close as possible to the towns and cities we were visiting which made it convenient for touring. We were especially charmed by the Christmas markets in Budapest and Prague which offered a variety of local foods and numerous hand-made crafts. The Christmas lights and decorations added a magical touch to the overall atmosphere. The smaller places we stopped at were also delightful. One excursion offered the opportunity of meeting with a Slovakian couple in their private home to enjoy coffee and cake with them. Dürnstein is a lovely town with lots of atmosphere, plenty of shopping opportunities, and you can even explore the castle ruins. Other interesting excursions that were available included a trip to the enchanting city of Salzburg. Prague is a captivating city with its stunning architecture and lovely cultural atmosphere. The three-day extension included the coach transfer from Nuremberg to Prague, accommodation, daily breakfast, and a local dinner with entertainment, as well as the services of a tour guide. We were pleased with our accommodation in Prague at the Grandium Hotel which was only a short walk from Old Town Square. The excellent complimentary buffet breakfast was offered in a spacious dining area, and it included a generous assortment of selections. On this portion of the trip, we were accompanied by a most professional, knowledgeable, personable, and experienced tour guide. He provided a very interesting city tour which included various highlights such as Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and a visit to the Old Town Square. I would highly recommend this guide if you are ever in Prague (Petr, pzamostny@bdiscovery.org). We wish to extend a sincere thanks to all the staff and tour guides of Emerald Waterways for a wonderful trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the case. I have written about our cabin below so I won't go into that any further. The ship was very nice and comfortable and the staff was great. Michael the Cruise Director was outstanding. The food was plentiful and you would never go hungry but my husband said it was nothing special. The soups were weak and salty; not much taste. The dinners were somewhat unusual too; beef cheeks and lots of lamb!!!! At dinner we expected men to wear long pants but instead we had several that had on sport shorts and flip flops. Emerald does have a dress policy but doesn't enforce it. We talked with the Hotel manager and the head of the dining room who admitted they had a dress code but they didn't ask the gentlemen to please put on pants for dinner. Very disappointing. The tours and guides were excellent. Most were college students who were very entertaining and knowledgeable. Because of the low river levels we only missed two stops in Passau and Koblenz and were very, very fortunate to be able to sail all the way to Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were extremely impressed with the high standards on board the ship. The cabins were luxurious and stylishly decorated with wonderfully comfortable beds. Food was good and plentiful. All of the staff on board the ship were helpful, polite and good natured and did a fantastic job. Whilst we were cruising, the Danube waters became very low and some ships could not continue with their cruise as expected. However, our Captain got us through the expected itinerary with just a few hold ups due to having to sail more slowly than usual. Top marks to all the Emerald Destiny staff in all departments. There were lots of activities to entertain us on board and off. There were energetic bike rides on offer as well as additional trips to cities away from the river if you wanted to spread your wings a bit. In the evenings there was music and dancing available and sometimes local folk musicians giving us a taste of the local culture. The absolute highlight of our trip though was the music recital and dance performance in Vienna. Vincent and Flavia danced sublimely and then were happy to meet us, their fans, having pictures taken and a chat. There were very few downsides to the cruise, but we were very disappointed that our stop in Linz was on a Sunday when everything was closed. There were some really interesting vintage and artisan shops there, so not being able to go in was frustrating. Another slight disappointment was that during the on-board dancing masterclass with Vincent and Flavia the day after their performance, there was not enough room for everyone who wanted to take part. More thought was needed about how furniture could be moved and space created. Overall though, this was a fabulous experience and one that I am happy to recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
After lots of research we decided that an Emerald cruise would give us a great holiday. This was our first experience of cruising and we chose Emerald as the itinerary looked good, the ship appeared luxurious and the services on offer ... Read More
After lots of research we decided that an Emerald cruise would give us a great holiday. This was our first experience of cruising and we chose Emerald as the itinerary looked good, the ship appeared luxurious and the services on offer were ideal for us. From the very start every aspect of our holiday was meticulously organised and we felt like VIPS. The comfort on board was fantastic, food fabulous and every crew member helpful, polite and efficient. The itinerary of excursions was very good but there was no pressure to join in - we did what we wanted to, or just relaxed on board. We are not people who are keen on mixing with large groups and we were delighted to find that we could eat at a table for two if we felt like it. Although the crew were attentive they were also discreet and we were never "pestered" to join in with on board events nor required to vacate our cabin - our steward happily fitted his cleaning duties into our schedule. This first cruise was so good that we have already booked a cruise with Emerald, this time on the Rhine next July. You may find similar cruises for a lower price, but for the quality of every aspect of a river cruise Emerald is worth any extra expense. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Everything and More. I am generally not a cruise person, my wife and I have been on two previous ocean cruises and while I enjoyed them there were aspects that I was not happy with. This was our first River cruise and I thought that we ... Read More
Everything and More. I am generally not a cruise person, my wife and I have been on two previous ocean cruises and while I enjoyed them there were aspects that I was not happy with. This was our first River cruise and I thought that we would give it a try and see if it was any different than our previous experiences. After being on the Emerald Destiny we will absolutely be going on more. Our first surprise was when we were checking in, we were informed that we had been upgraded from our original Grand Balcony Suite to an Owners Suite. The new room was gorgeous with a large amount of space, including a sitting area and walk in closet. We were able to look at the room that we had originally booked and found it to also be a very good room however, smaller. Every member of the crew was friendly, courteous and happy to help us out with anything that we wanted. In particular, our cabin steward greeted us every morning with a smile and a Good Morning and asked if there was anything that he could get us. One of the classiest things that the cruise did was to introduce all of the crew to the passengers during the closing night meal. The ship wanted you to think of the crew as your family and they certainly did that. We found the food on the ship to generally be of the highest quality and with a reasonable variety. Breakfast was a buffet with a station where eggs could be ordered to your liking. Lunch was served in two locations, the main restaurant and in the lounge. Both locations had a buffet component (the lounge smaller however) and in the main restaurant there was also a main component that could be ordered a-la-cart. After the big breakfast that we ate, we generally ate in the lounge as there were less crowds and it served just what we wanted. Dinner consisted of your choice of two options for every course (these were different every day), as well as an always available steak, chips, fish and other standard fare. In general I loved the food, it was varied and very flavorful, however, there were a couple of inconsistencies. In one instance, a steak ordered by a dinner companion came “well done” when it was ordered “medium rare” (another steak the next night came perfectly cooked). For me I found one of the pieces of Weiner Schnitzel that I had order to be over cooked and dry. Even with these errors I rate the food on the trip very high. One of the highlights on the trip for us was the friendliness of the other passengers and how easy it was to engage with them. The seating arrangement in the dining room makes it almost impossible for people not to engage with each other. We met a number of new friends on this trip. The makeup of the passengers is generally an older crowd with most from England with some from Canada, and a smattering of other locations. Each day there was an included walking tour of the current stop. The tour guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and able to answer any questions that we asked. Given the number of people that went on these tours we were broken into smaller more manageable groups (generally 10 – 50 individuals per group), and on some stops one group was specifically designated for individuals who wanted a more “gentle” tour. Even the regular tours were not taxing we saw and learned a lot of local history and sites. In addition to the included tours there were optional tours for the active/healthy crowd as well as the special Vienna Concert. We went on the concert trip and I found it to be one of the highlights of the cruise. The ship is only a little over a year old and is gorgeous. One of the unique aspects is the pool. A number of people, including my wife, would go to the pool to cool off and relax after one of our tours. I could go on and on about how good this cruise was but I have to stop somewhere. Were there some disappointments on the cruise, yes (the weather was not the best and we did not get to enjoy the balcony as much as we would have liked), but the real telling statement is that I want to book another cruise with Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The destiny is a beautiful river boat with modern layout and appeal. From the beginning the “all in” travel from Budapest to Passau, Will filled with planned guided tours that gave you history and character from a variety of towns and ... Read More
The destiny is a beautiful river boat with modern layout and appeal. From the beginning the “all in” travel from Budapest to Passau, Will filled with planned guided tours that gave you history and character from a variety of towns and cities, including Melk, Durnstien, Linz, Vienna, Passau, with picturesque coats of the Danube and classical Bavarian, Austrian, and Hungarian towns. We were entrained by the Vienna imperial orchestra, the concert was outstanding. The food and wine was good and regional, amazing for serving over 150 passengers. Most of all from the crew to the cabin management and the hospitality staff were top extremely friendly and the organist was top rate (he was a professional opera singer). Can not say enough positive things about our trip. Budapest at night cruise was breath taking. Vienna (my first time) has great buildings and museums, Melk Abbey was so over the top, but still strikingly beautiful. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's ... Read More
We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's transfers. The ship is brand new, but everything ran smoothly and most of the initial kinks seem to be ironed out. Our crew and staff were friendly and accomodating; as our cruise director, Michael, gauged how energetic some of us were, he added/modified activities to cater for us. As Emerald is a fairly new line with a small fleet, they don't always have the choice berths in port. In fact we found out that our embarkation berth in Budapest was so far away from the city centre that we stayed based at our mid-town hotel so we could continue exploring the sights right until just before dinner on the Destiny. Our ethos was that the boat is a logistical aide and not the destination itself. Breakfast and lunch were buffet affairs. Although there was a decent spread, I found breakfast became a little monotonous. At least lunch always included some locally inspired dishes to give us variety. Dinners were sit down meals with plated service- selection of starters, soup, mains and dessert. The quality and presentation of dishes was consistently good and professional. Service was a little inconsistent at times if there were any unusual requests, but generally it was friendly and sharp. Service in the lounge was friendly and efficient. Very seldom did anyone have to wait to get a drink in hand. With our cocktail requests the bartenders tended to pour too much liquor in the glass. Our onboard entertainer was a talented singer-pianist with a wide repertoire. Sometimes however, he tried too hard to get the party going, rather than let the natural rhythm of the guests dictate the pacing of the songs. Our guests artists included a zither player, oom-pah band and Hungarian folk musicians. We expected these might be a bit kitsch, but they all turned out to be skillful and quite entertaining. On board exercise facilities included a few ergonomic machines, a small pool, and the rooftop walking track. Unfortunately, due to the height restrictions on the Main canal the rooftop was closed nearly half our trip so we could not fully utilise these facilities. The included tours of all the cities were generally of a very high standard, giving us a lot of information about the city, while still entertaining us and allowing us time to explore (or shop) on our own. We became quite spoilt by this experience and will definitely opt for local guides on any of our future holidays. All-in-all we were very happy with our trip on Emerald. It was great value for money and the experience was definitely one of our bucket list objectives achieved. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
After doing some research, we decided on Emerald as the dates and duration suited us. Also your brochure was very persuasive with lovely photos. We decided on a grand balcony stateroom but were disappointed to find on many occasions ... Read More
After doing some research, we decided on Emerald as the dates and duration suited us. Also your brochure was very persuasive with lovely photos. We decided on a grand balcony stateroom but were disappointed to find on many occasions that other boats were moored along side us. This meant having to keep the blinds closed during the day. The food was very disappointing at first but improved a little towards the end of the week. After dinner we felt rushed out of the dining room as staff were trying to set up for the next day. We would have liked to be able to sit there and have after dinner drinks and carry on a conversation with other guests. The music in the lounge was always so loud it was difficult to hear what others were saying. Our highlights were Regensburg, but we didn't have much time there as we sailed early in the day. The best guide by far was Alex in Passau. He was amusing and had knowledge of not only the history but current and relevant information about his area. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose a cruise along the Danube to appreciate the many historic cities built along this major European trade route. The restaurant and food on the Emerald Destiny was first rate and the staff were always helpful and attentive. ... Read More
We chose a cruise along the Danube to appreciate the many historic cities built along this major European trade route. The restaurant and food on the Emerald Destiny was first rate and the staff were always helpful and attentive. Onboard entertainment was good with a Hungarian band complete with Tymbala at Budapest, an excellent crew show and a German umpah band after Regensberg. There were guided sight seeing tours each day apart from the arrival and departure days. These were short but helpful and there was always additional time to explore places in more detail. The evening concert in Vienna by the Imperial Vienna Orchestra in the former palace of Prince Lobowsky where Beethoven's third symphony was premiered was a highlight. The ship was commissioned in April 2017 and is in beautiful condition with comfortable cabins and spacious public areas. Bar staff were exceptional regularly moving around the ship to provide service to guests. There are bicycles on board for daily personal use which I used only once on an organised ride between Dürnstein and Melk, a trip of 22 miles, a flat route with helpful local guides on off road routes almost throughout. Suitable for people with limited cycling experience.p Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise for a variety of reasons the first being value for money, the second being the route along the Danube visiting cities that I had never seen. I had never taken a river cruise and I did not know what to expect. We arrived ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a variety of reasons the first being value for money, the second being the route along the Danube visiting cities that I had never seen. I had never taken a river cruise and I did not know what to expect. We arrived in Budapest early to really see the city and this is a must! The city is spectacular and the two days we spent was really not enough. We met the boat and immediately encountered a wonderful welcome and met some of the crew who would serve us for the next 7 days. The Emerald Destiny is a sparkling new boat and we were surprised by the large , functional cabin even though I had opted for the lower cabin with a smaller view rather than the panoramic window. Cost was a factor here and I personally didn't think the extra money was worth it especially since most cruising was done at night and daytime views were everywhere in the common areas of the boat. There were only a total of 168 people on board making for a cosy atmosphere. If you like the hullabaloo of the huge cruising ships, this may not be for you. What a great way to meet people from different countries and backgrounds. We made some great friends over the sumptuous dinners and the art of conversation is very much revived in the comfort of the large lounge. The cities visited were spectacular and the daily guided tours were very informative and made especially easy with the new earplug monitors so you can hear the guide at all times. I can't say enough about the attentiveness of the crew. My wife is gluten free and the head waiter searched her out every day to make sure she was happy. We ended our trip in the fairy tale city of Nuremburg which is also worth a night or two the we traveled to the most picturesque city in the world. Prague is truly the jewel of Europe and should not be missed. I live in Montreal Canada but I am Australian. I was proud to hear that Emerald is an Aussie company. Onya guys!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise definitely meets expectations. The food is great, along with the service. The only thing I didn't care for, is that it's not for active people. If you're active or like to workout at all, the gym is basically ... Read More
The cruise definitely meets expectations. The food is great, along with the service. The only thing I didn't care for, is that it's not for active people. If you're active or like to workout at all, the gym is basically useless. It has a rowing machine and a bench, and fits one person comfortably at a time. Not even a basic treadmill. To top it off, you're told that you can't use the top deck to run, as patrons below are disturbed. The top deck is also closed for the last 1-2 days of travel. It's a small ship, which makes it intimate, but has it's limitations for sure. But then again, if you're there to eat and drink away and don't care much on being active, it's a paradise for you. The cabins are decent, the housekeeping staff is great. Alcohol is readily available. It definitely provides good service, the piece missing is good activities for active people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We have cruised on big ocean liners and experienced some pretty stormy weather. This was our first river cruise and it was a wonderful experience. Smooth sailing, fine dining, excellent tours included in the price and exceptionally helpful ... Read More
We have cruised on big ocean liners and experienced some pretty stormy weather. This was our first river cruise and it was a wonderful experience. Smooth sailing, fine dining, excellent tours included in the price and exceptionally helpful and friendly crew. The highlight of the tour for us was the concert in Vienna which was extra but so worth it. The smaller number of passengers made for a really friendly atmosphere and we were entertained at the beginning of the cruise by Hungarian folklore music & dancing and at the end by a Bavarian oompa band. The resident pianist was also a very good singer. Some of the talented crew also entertained us mid week. I have to mention our cruise director. He was so friendly, helpful and organised and was moving on to a different ship for tours out of Amsterdam which he said were beautiful too. We would definitely recommend Emerald Waterway cruises and hope we can take part in another one in the not too distant future. Hopefully we can meet up again with the lovely American couple who became dear friends in the space of 1 week. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I wanted to experience river cruising to compare with being on a larger ship, and travelling with Emerald far exceeded my expectations. They are amazingly well organized and efficient, and will go out of their way to accommodate every ... Read More
I wanted to experience river cruising to compare with being on a larger ship, and travelling with Emerald far exceeded my expectations. They are amazingly well organized and efficient, and will go out of their way to accommodate every request. The ship is very well laid out, the facilities excellent, and the pool and then the evening films in that venue were charming. The meals were all excellent, and the daily tours very well organized and carried out. Everything ran like clock work while being relaxed at the same time. I cannot praise the company or the staff enough and have only kudos to send to them. The best was the relaxed atmosphere and sense of community which developed from the first night. I also appreciated all of the daily tours and the tour guides who were so well informed. The fact that all gratuities were included was very helpful and helped me in making Emerald my choice. Read Less
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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