5 Emerald Waterways Emerald Dawn First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

A friend suggested the cruise as a reunion for our professional group. We had a wonderful time together on a new, modern, efficient ship. Emerald accommodated our large group. The international staff were exceptional; professional, ... Read More
A friend suggested the cruise as a reunion for our professional group. We had a wonderful time together on a new, modern, efficient ship. Emerald accommodated our large group. The international staff were exceptional; professional, polished, expert, entertaining, caring, and very personable. The staff got to know our names and we got to know theirs; very comforting and friendly. The staff even gave us a talent show one night; they never stopped working for us. The educational, recreational, and social events were surprisingly good (I'm new to scheduled group activities) and relaxing. It was fun to travel through locks, nature, small towns, large cities, and vineyards. Emerald worked with expert tour guides, bus drivers, bike guides, canal companies, and auxiliary tour options. The captain of the Emerald Dawn was a veteran of the European rivers and was respected by others. Emerald thought of everything-very classy. I highly recommend this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first time on a river cruise. We were with a group of 14. We really didn't know what to expect. I can honestly say we were not disappointed. The ship (Emerald Dawn) was brand new. Only on its 5th voyage. We really ... Read More
This was our first time on a river cruise. We were with a group of 14. We really didn't know what to expect. I can honestly say we were not disappointed. The ship (Emerald Dawn) was brand new. Only on its 5th voyage. We really liked the intimate setting. About 120 passengers were on this cruise. We got to know just about everybody. The ship is small. Only three levels and about 440 feet long. The dining room, lounge and pubic areas are in the front (bow) of the ship. Pool and exercise area in the back (stern). Yes, there are only three public bathrooms (as mentioned by a previous poster), but they are right next to the dining room and lounge. You might have to walk back to your room, but I've had to walk further to go to the bathroom at a baseball stadium. Come on, it's only a couple hundred feet in one direction or another. ;) Breakfast and lunch was served buffet style and seating was open. We (and most others) still ended up seated with the same group at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner was served at 7:00 pm and served by the waiters. There was no "open seating" (A complaint made by a previous poster. Come on, really. There are only 120 - 160 people on the entire ship. It's not like you have 2000 people to feed.) The food was fresh and very good. At each port, fresh food, produce and beverages were brought on board. Watching them load the ship was interesting. They formed a "bucket brigade" and passed all the boxes down the gang plank. The garbage was taken off the ship using the same method, as was the luggage on and off the ship. The trips and tours were optional but included. Some were half a day, some a full day inclusive of lunch and one was the opportunity to be entertained by a local talent. The gym was very small. Two stationary bikes and one rowing machine. There is jogging track on the top level and plenty of deck chairs (no need to save one with a towel). Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is the first time I have been on a river cruise and I can only say that I was not disappointed at all. From arriving in Budapest in sweltering heat and walking down the gangplank to the day we left the ship, it was absolutely ... Read More
This is the first time I have been on a river cruise and I can only say that I was not disappointed at all. From arriving in Budapest in sweltering heat and walking down the gangplank to the day we left the ship, it was absolutely fantastic. The amenities, service and staff were first class and I can only say that it was a superb, relaxing, fun holiday. We met and have made friends with some really lovely people. Our cabin was one of the cheaper options, a stateroom, and although we did not have the picture window, the facilities were exactly the same as the more expensive rooms. The food was plentiful, fresh and very very good. An amazing choice - not all to my personal taste but then there was plenty to choose from. The format was a buffet style breakfast and lunch and waiter service for dinner in the Restaurant with a lighter version of breakfast and lunch being available from the lounge area. If you did not wish to sample some of the cuisine from the countries you were visiting or cruising through, then there were staple dishes you could select - steak; poached salmon etc. It was difficult to believe that you were on board a ship and not in a high quality restaurant and that space below deck, in the galley, was very restricted. It was also a bonus that all wine, beer and soft drinks consumed during meals were included and incorporated into the price of the trip. Should you wish to drink more during the day, there were two upgrade options available. Again, excellent value. Tea and coffee were available 24 hours a day. The décor for the whole ship was clean, bright and modern. This was to be expected as the ship was only a couple of months old - and I did hear one or two comments from older guests that it was a little 'too modern' for their liking with a little too many mirrors and too much chrome! It was exceptionally clean, hygienic and stylish. The staff on board were superb - quite a few from Eastern Europe themselves so able to give that personal touch to the holiday. All the staff, without exception, went out of their way to be polite and helpful and genuinely wanted you, the guest, to enjoy yourself to the full. The additional leisure facilities on board were unbelievable. A small gym, massage parlour, walking track, O's and X's, small pitch and putt and of course, the pool which converted into a cinema in the evening. During the day, the roof to the pool was open and then in the evening the floor of the pool rose and made the whole area into a cinema, with fresh popcorn being offered! Absolutely wonderful. The trips and tours were optional but included. Some were half a day, some a full day inclusive of lunch and one was the opportunity to be entertained by a local family. Most entertaining and enjoyable. There is nothing I could say that I disliked. I did make one or two suggestions on the feed back form at the end of the holiday but these were only minor things. Thank you to all the current staff on Emerald Dawn for giving my husband and I a fantastic, first time river cruise experience. We shall certainly be back! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Absolutely Awsome river cruise on the Rhine River at the end of June. We've travelled the world on many ocean cruises and decided to try a river cruise. Choice of companies was many but we are absolutely delighted to have discovered ... Read More
Absolutely Awsome river cruise on the Rhine River at the end of June. We've travelled the world on many ocean cruises and decided to try a river cruise. Choice of companies was many but we are absolutely delighted to have discovered Emerald Waterways. What a great company, shiny new ships, outstanding staff and very interesting tours and experiences. Clearly the new kid on the block and they are trying very hard to impress and that they did. From the captain to the cruise director to the servers and housekeeping staff, all were very professional and brought a can do attitude to their job and the passengers comforts. Our Chef was excellent, with very creative meal selections served in a leisurely fashion allowing for wonderful interaction with with new found friends from across the globe. If we had to point to only one staff member that best represented the crew it would be "Alexandra", a young hostess/server who greeted everyone with an infectious smile and a level of service that belies her young age. A medical emergency with one of our passengers in mid cruise was handled expeditiously, professionally and in a very timely manner by the crew and land based emergency services which gave us an even greater sense of comfort in the emphasis that Emerald Waterways places on its passanger's safety and security. All in all, we would say without hesitation that Emerald Waterways is well on the way to becoming the Gold Standard by which all other River cruise companies will be judged. Beverly/Jerry Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was only the third time out for the lovely new Emerald Dawn and maybe this means that the staff were trying harder than normal, or maybe this is the norm? Anyway they were truly excellent. From the cases being delivered to our suite, ... Read More
This was only the third time out for the lovely new Emerald Dawn and maybe this means that the staff were trying harder than normal, or maybe this is the norm? Anyway they were truly excellent. From the cases being delivered to our suite, to a fabulous chambermaid, Dana, to polite, professional front of house staff to well trained and thoughtful waiters, this felt like we were in a moving 5 star hotel. OK we had opted to stay in the more expensive Owners Suite but the overall quality of the boat was simply excellent. Breakfast and lunches were buffets with a wide range of choice and the evening meals, again wide choice, were superb. We really liked the size of the river cruise boats and certainly would not consider one of the big Ocean going cruises. It was lovely to moor right in the middle of town, in Cologne we were 5 minutes from the beautiful Catherdral. Late one night I wandered down to the pool to catch the last half hour of the film Some like it hot, I settled into one of the comfy chairs and within minutes a member of staff brought me a tub of freshly popped popcorn. That's the kind of service I like. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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