22 Emerald Waterways Emerald Dawn Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to finish was first class all the way. We chose a standard cabin with the small full width window this being as a result of reviews commenting on the large floor to ceiling windows allowing full vision into the cabin when parked alongside other river cruise boats , which did occur on 4 port stops . We figured a full large window was not required as we would be out of the cabin most of the time on the sun deck or in the lounge which we were !! All of the staff on board were excellent this made the cruise a 5 star floating hotel . The food was outstanding , with the menu reflecting the ports of call . All the excursions were included in the price which were accompanied by a qualified tour guide. The high light for us was the Vienna Orchestral music evening located at the Vienna school of music , absolutely beautiful evening with two opera singers during the event , a “must” excursion don’t miss it ! . Last port of call was Budapest , the tour being split via coach and walking a beautiful city , the boat moored opposite there Houses of Parliament, illuminated at night directly across the river, amazing photo opportunity puts the UK houses of parliament to shame . A truly great river cruise on the river Danube with a great cruise company, well done Emerald waterways we will be back . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. ... Read More
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. Coffee excellent. Appreciate free water bottles in room and on leaving ship. Spacious storage of cabin. Best layout of a cabin on a cruise we have ever had. Good food. 24 locks on the Danube and the canal were interesting. The Vienna special excursion to the music museum to see the group of seven musicians was excellent and entertaining as well as a beautiful location. The VBT trips each day were under 22 miles. Good bikes. The bike trips were rated as easy and basically were. Recommend being used to a bike before you get on. Hotel room for the pre- in Prague and the post trip in Budapest were excellent. Recommend highly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only ... Read More
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only big enough for 10 people and luggage and we were about 35 people. Then 2and 1/2 drive with no bathroom break. Not sure who was a fault but certainty a disconnect. Staff on board were excellent and could not do enough for us. Chef and head Maitre De worked together to develope gluten free diet for my husband. We thought entertainment was only so/so. We did not have oompa band. But social director sang 2 nights one would have been ok. All sightseeing tours were free and were excellent. We enjoyed wine tastings and beer tasting free on tours. We enjoyed sitting up going through locks. The uptop BBQ was great.We would choose Emerald again. Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Everything about our cruise was of the very highest order, from the ship itself to the crew and the food - all absolutely 5 star. Special shout out to cruise director Luis who was, all at the one time, friendly, accessible and thoroughly ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was of the very highest order, from the ship itself to the crew and the food - all absolutely 5 star. Special shout out to cruise director Luis who was, all at the one time, friendly, accessible and thoroughly professional all the while maintaining a great sense of humour. Can’t thank him enough for his efforts on behalf of all passengers aboard this superlative river cruise ship. There was a time during our cruise when the water levels on the Rhine were low and potentially problematic and indeed a number of ships from other lines just gave it up with everyone having to continue by coach. Not our mob though, they kicked off the passengers (for a shore activity we would have been doing anyway), drained the pool and the water tanks thus raising the ships water level and successfully managed to get through. We reembarked a bit further down the river and the cruise continued with barely a blip and. They went the extra mile for us where others others would not and we were so very appreciative. Cannot say enough nice things about Emerald Dawn and her fantastic captain & crew. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We where looking for a different idea for our holidays and went to a presentation for Emerald Waterways in Vancouver. We were impressed with the presentation and the all inclusive price no nickel and dimming you at very turn. So we took ... Read More
We where looking for a different idea for our holidays and went to a presentation for Emerald Waterways in Vancouver. We were impressed with the presentation and the all inclusive price no nickel and dimming you at very turn. So we took a brochure and a couple of weeks later booked the 8 day trip down the Rhine. We had an excellent trip, enjoyed all the off boat excursions. They were all very well organized with each days itinerary and map of the excursions. The guides where quiet knowledgeable and with the Quietvox system you could easily follow and hear your guide. Topping it off was the excellent food and service with lots of choices. I really liked the extra touch of the towels sculpture left at the end of the bed with the next day programme. We will be looking forward to another Emerald Waterways trip in 2020, somewhere ??? Had a great holiday and highly recommend Emerald Waterways. 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
We have just returned from a week long cruise on the Emerald Dawn from Amsterdam to Basel. We were very impressed by the level of service and the facilities. All members of staff from cruise director Michael, the hotel manager Albert, ... Read More
We have just returned from a week long cruise on the Emerald Dawn from Amsterdam to Basel. We were very impressed by the level of service and the facilities. All members of staff from cruise director Michael, the hotel manager Albert, entertainment manager Callum to Bali who cleaned our room were friendly, helpful and worked hard to make the cruise special. The ship The ship was clean, light and spacious with a lounge area which was great for meeting with other guests and for entertainment. There was also tea and coffee available at all times. We didn't use the pool but it did look very inviting and often this was a quieter area on the ship. The sun deck was a favourite place and we luckily had the weather to enjoy it. Our cabin We had a panorama balcony cabin on the upper deck which was kept spotless by the housekeeping staff. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom, although compact as one would expect on a river cruise boat, was more than adequate. Blinds on the window allowed complete privacy - important if you are moored next to another boat which happened on a couple of occasions. We were surprised by how quiet it was at night, even when cruising, and this was maybe the advantage of an upper deck room. There was a good entertainment system with films available. Dining Breakfast was great with a good selection and there was a choice of a light lunch in the lounge or a more comprehensive meal in the Reflections restaurant. In addition there was afternoon tea. Dinner was a busy affair with all guests seated at the same time to make service easier. However service was very good and wine with the meal was plentiful. I have read some reviews about portion sizes but considering all the other meals available we felt they were more than adequate. The quality of food was on the whole good. We received a drinks package as we had booked early and did enjoy being able to have additional drinks with no extra cost. Excursions We particularly enjoyed our tours of Amsterdam, Koblenz and Strasbourg though Cologne was not such an attractive place. Most of the guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining and the pace of walking was comfortable. There was usually a special group for those that wanted a slower walk. The hike in the Black Forest was a lovely way to complete the cruise and we wished it could have been a bit longer. The beauty of this was that if you wanted a quiet day on the ship you could forego the trips. Overview One of the things that made me choose Emerald was that all tips including those for guides, were included in the price which made the trip stress free. Information about each day was presented in a programme delivered to our room the night before. Embarkation, disembarkation, trips, and events were all well organised and ran smoothly - no mean feat when dealing with nearly 180 passengers. We had a wonderful time and will certainly be considering Emerald for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did go the full trip on the Emerald Dawn. The crew were fantastic, they were so attentive and friendly while being very efficient. The shore excursions all went well with very experienced guides. We did have snow which just made the trip for us. The cabin we had was comfortable enough. The cabin was very clean and well presented. The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was of a high standard. Our cruise director was seemed to work 20 hours a day as he always seemed to be working away at his desk! Our embarkation went very smoothly. We arranged our own travel after the cruise and our cruise director organised a suitable transport for 5 people for us to the train station. Everything just ran like clockwork. We would definately cruise with Evergreen/Emerald Waterways again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like royalty with drinks and a light lunch provided. We were then escorted to our rooms, which I must say were spotlessly clean and certainly large enough to accommodate all of our belongings. The staff could not have been more friendlier or helpful. The entertainment was wonderful. Everything from a Master Chef demonstration to Disco night! All the excursions were very well planned and we enjoyed each location and the tours. The food was beyond our expectations! Our wine glasses were never empty! Disembarkation was very well planned and we were taken to airport with plenty of time to spare. I would highly recommend Emerald as there service and care was beyond our expectations! Lovely crew on the Emerald Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My sister and I decided to go with evergreen (emerald waterways) as it is the cheaper sister company of scenic. Very similar itineraries etc, however at a more affordable price. Our cabin was nothing unusual, only slightly smaller than the ... Read More
My sister and I decided to go with evergreen (emerald waterways) as it is the cheaper sister company of scenic. Very similar itineraries etc, however at a more affordable price. Our cabin was nothing unusual, only slightly smaller than the more expensive ones. Our window was only small, but we were only in our cabin to sleep n change, so didn't affect us, we could still look out to see what the weather was like! And that is all you really need! The staff were of the highest quality, professional, polite and experienced. The food was great and plenty of it. Each lunch and dinner on board we had a selection of beer and wine, not top notch, but definitely drinkable! We got the wine and beer package @ $EU 9.90 per day, which entitled you to unlimited house wine and beer during the day, which was worth it. We didn't use the full amount every day, but it worked out cheaper than buying the drinks on an ad-hoc Basis. Definitely recommend you have a couple of days pre and post cruise wherever you are, as the cruise only supplies a small tour of these cities. Be prepared for the locks on the Budapest to Amsterdam cruise, around 68 of them. The shore excursions were mostly great, they were included and occurred in all ports, with active, medium and slow walkers catered for. Please be truthful in your estimation of your physical fitness, don't put your hand up for active if you cannot walk at a fast pace and easily go up n down steps. Also be prepared for uneven cobblestones paths, uneven steps etc. the optional excursions were mostly well worth it. Totally recommend this cruise and this boat (I can't call them ships as they are not big enough for that). Well worth it. Do it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first cruise of any description and it didn't disappoint. The ship, accommodation and facilities were exactly as described in the brochure. Without exception the staff were friendly, attentive and helpful. The public ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any description and it didn't disappoint. The ship, accommodation and facilities were exactly as described in the brochure. Without exception the staff were friendly, attentive and helpful. The public areas were clean and comfortable. Evening entertainment was varied and good. The excursions were well organised with excellent tour guides. Offering different levels of activity was an added bonus and suited all abilities. Only a few minor issues, the 'English bacon' was definitely not English bacon and the soup spoons were more like tablespoons! Also would have liked to see the bed linen changed more frequently (the towels were changed daily). We chose the cruise to fit in with our ruby wedding anniversary and definitely made the right journey from Amsterdam to Budapest. To journey the reverse route may have been a little disappointing as to end with a night cruise of Budapest was truly special. Thank you to all the Emerald Dawn crew for all your hard work. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this cruise if order to visit the Danube. Probably 7 or 9 days should be enough and the last part of the trip is not great enough as the 1st part. The german part is nice but some days you have not enough time to really look ... Read More
We choose this cruise if order to visit the Danube. Probably 7 or 9 days should be enough and the last part of the trip is not great enough as the 1st part. The german part is nice but some days you have not enough time to really look the towns and the onboard afternoon you have little to nothing to do. The top of the ship was banned to go during lot of days in the ⅓ of the trip and that is not good. The smoking area wasn't correctly placed and that should be better arranged respetos other but also the smokers. Food was good however eventually taste all the same and probably for the older people that was healthy but for the rest is tasteless. Breakfast can be better on the quality of food, like salmon or fruits... Also not always the wine was great, some days some Italians red that are not good enough to be onboard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Special for our 45th anniversary. Top notch accommodations and service Embarkation and,disembarkation was well arranged Staff service was second to none. Cabins very nice and spacious. Food and service was great. Shore excursions and ... Read More
Special for our 45th anniversary. Top notch accommodations and service Embarkation and,disembarkation was well arranged Staff service was second to none. Cabins very nice and spacious. Food and service was great. Shore excursions and guides were great with one exception. Emerald treatment was superb. We had way too much food. Excellent buffet for breakfast and lunch Great supper with choices, The waiters and wine concierge were super. Our cruise director and staff were great. Our cruise director was exceptionally talented A BBQ was offered on the top deck and was superb. I did the bike tour from Durnstein.to Melch and it was very beautiful (probably rated to difficult as were some of the tour hikes, One highlight was the home visit to a family in Bratislava. it was a very warm and enjoyable visit .We were allowed to bring family on the ship in Amsterdam to visit and see the ship, They too were impressed with the hospitality. We would do it again in a heart beat!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this for its destinations, as it was along the lower reaches of the Danube, which we didn't know. Embarkation was very smooth, though it was a pity there wasn't more time in Budapest. The cruise was full of interesting ... Read More
We chose this for its destinations, as it was along the lower reaches of the Danube, which we didn't know. Embarkation was very smooth, though it was a pity there wasn't more time in Budapest. The cruise was full of interesting trips, including visits to a school in Bulgaria, and a lunch with a local family in Croatia. All of the local guides were experienced, very knowledgeable, and spoke good English. The Cruise Director also gave us interesting daily talks on the countries we were visiting. On two evenings we had excellent local dancers/singers on board. Everybody I spoke to enjoyed the cruise very much; the ship is lovely, with good size cabins and lounge, and the food reflected the countries we were visiting. The service was excellent, and the staff (mainly East European) friendly, relaxed and efficient. There is an attractive indoor swimming pool, and a minute fitness room. WE did feel that during the one day with no port stop there could have been more activities arranged, especially as it rained solidly all day.We finished with 3 nights in the Sheraton in Bucharest, which is a stunning city. We mainly found our own meals in Bucharest, but we did feel that more could have been made of the final night's dinner, which was uninspiring and a big contrast to the excellent on-board meals. We certainly plan to travel again with this company, and would recommend this particular cruise as something a bit different. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise as a safe and interesting way to holiday with my elderly mother in a previously unvisited part of europe. The whole experience was great from beginning to end with very few decisions to be made except what to chose from ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a safe and interesting way to holiday with my elderly mother in a previously unvisited part of europe. The whole experience was great from beginning to end with very few decisions to be made except what to chose from the excellent menu choices in the restaurants or whether to go off indepent of the well guided excursions . All the staff (mostly Romanian and Indonesian) were absolutely charming, friendly and efficient. We particularly salute Ray Bauer, the Director, who was brilliant in every way, charming, informative, so helpful and reassuring especially about the capabilities of my mother. We cannot praise him enough. We met some lovely people from Ireland ,US, Canada and Hong Kong, found the Rhine a fascinating area with all its history and geography. The trip is not recommended for people who are physically disabled as the excursions need you to be able to walk a sufficient distance ( slower groups were however organised). The clever individual audio guides were great as were all our guided on each trip. If you don't like being part of a large group being herded about, it's certainly possible to do your own thing at each port . The addition of good bikes were great as the river has many easy cycle paths. only disappointment was the emptying of the pool half way up river due to worrying river levels and boat clearance. Impressive arrangement at rear of boat which is a very pleasant cinema at night. No tacky. evening entertainment , great piano playing though in bar! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This Cruise was chosen to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary and my wife's retirement. We have done a few sea cruises and wanted to try something different, it certainly was that. From the moment we arrived in Budapest until the ... Read More
This Cruise was chosen to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary and my wife's retirement. We have done a few sea cruises and wanted to try something different, it certainly was that. From the moment we arrived in Budapest until the arrival back at Heathrow it was perfect. The Crew from Captain to Cruise Director to waiters to Cabin Stewards treated us so well we really felt that they all enjoyed what they were doing. The options of trips were various and really well selected and the Guides were amazing. The food on board was excellent and always varied and the cabin was very comfortable. All in all we were delighted and amazed with the quality of services on board and the way we were treated by all concerned. We will be looking at doing this type of trip again, possibly France. Thank You for being Entertaining, Helpful and most of all your hard work. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
we picked this cruise because we saw it in our newspaper and it was a great deal with free flight so we tacked on 2 extra days in amsterdam and 2 days in paris. The ports and tours were amazing and our cruise director was fabulous. The ... Read More
we picked this cruise because we saw it in our newspaper and it was a great deal with free flight so we tacked on 2 extra days in amsterdam and 2 days in paris. The ports and tours were amazing and our cruise director was fabulous. The ship was built in 2014 so everything was quite new and clean, great storage in the room and bathroom. Everyone very friendly and helpful, it was a casual atmosphere so didn't have to dress up for any meals which we liked. Food was great. Entertainment was as you would expect on a river cruise i guess, one guy playing the piano,it was ok. our ship had an indoor pool which was great and at night it became a theatre for approx 20 people. The only complaint we had about the room was the sound of the toilet flushing from the floor above us, we were on second deck, was very noisy. our room was right at the front of the boat by reception and the smoking deck was closeby so smoke kept drifting into the room and we had to shut the balcony window. just don't get the room right by reception and all will be great. i would definitely recommend emerald waterways and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We've been on river cruises with a different but well known company previously and were planning to book with them again. However, luckily for us we were tempted to try "the new kid on the block" Emerald Waterways when we ... Read More
We've been on river cruises with a different but well known company previously and were planning to book with them again. However, luckily for us we were tempted to try "the new kid on the block" Emerald Waterways when we realised that we could cruise 15 days for the price of 7 or 8 on the other line. We were so happy with this decision as the cruise was absolutely first class with the second part along the Danube, which we had not previously considered, being our favourite portion of the trip. More importantly high rainfall and consequently high water levels meant that only the very modern and well designed Emerald ships could cope with river conditions. We called our captain "the Master of Limbo". With it's clever, state of the art design features, "The Emerald Dawn" was able to fully retract it's superstructures flush with the sun deck. In addition the crew could take water on-board as ballast enabling Emerald Dawn to lower itself in the river, so that we could shimmy under low bridges with just millimetres to spare even in flood conditions. Other River Cruisers were stuck, and in both directions up and down stream, their passengers either had to transfer/swap ships or were kept moored up and bussed to their various port destinations by coach. Everyone on board the "Emerald Dawn" (bit of a mouthful -who names these ships????) was fantastic. The "no tipping" (or tipping included in the price) protocol means that all crew really work as a team. There are no rivalries or jealousies and it makes for a lovely atmosphere on board. Our tour director Karla was absolutely amazing and everything ran like clockwork. Her advice and judgement to be totally trusted if you are lucky enough to have her on your trip. She knows this itinerary inside out. Her port talks were excellent and if you get the chance to hear her personal experience of growing up and living in the Flanders battlefields of WW1 don't miss it. Also not to be missed if you are fit enough, the hill walks, Nurenberg's Documentation Centre, the 32km bike ride through the Wachau Valley (get fit in advance if need be) and the trip to Cesky Krumlov. Oh and we adored the tea with a Slovakian family. Our hosts had a Scottish son-in-law and were so delighted to invite us into their home and tell us all about their lives - including their time under Communist rule. It was a really charming and informative insight into their world. We added four days in Budapest but it really wasn't long enough, so more trips to Czech, Slovakia and Hungary are planned. The boat itself. Best bits. Beautiful calm colour scheme throughout, lots of mirrors and reflective surfaces all immaculately clean. Suit even anyone with OCD. The pool with it's terrific swimming current and the lovely glass walled pool lounge area? The excellent Food All Allergies are catered for really well. A menu is provided (even for self service buffet) and any foods that you can't have are highlighted with grey so that you can focus instead on what you can have - which I found was easy and very positive. Chef will always cater to special requests too - there are always lots of alternatives. Some "local" recipes/cheeses/foods/drinks on the menu representative of each region traversed. On trips we really appreciated the individual radio receivers/earphones that picked up the guide who used a radio transmitter. It means that you can hear really well even if you wander off a bit, and really improves the feel of a guided tour because the guide talks in a normal speaking voice.oh and the Emerald umbrellas. They seemed to work as insurance because whenever we took them they weren't needed. There are alternatives on the tours to, to cater for different levels of fitness. There were "highlight moments" both on the tours and on board that Karla, the Captain and the crew really know how to make memorable for their guests, and we appreciated the care and commitment to the best possible guest experience that they all strived to ensure. Ten out of ten for the fantastic onboard Barbecue too. The crew are mostly from Eastern Europe and mostly young. All are extremely hardworking , conscientious, friendly and polite. Other passengers were mostly Aussies, there were some Canadians, a couple of US citizens, one person from Ireland and a few couples from UK. all great and all English speaking. Really our only complaint is with the amount of marketing. We booked through River Voyages.com and now receive brochures from them, the cruise line we previously booked with and Emerald, and between the three we can be sure of getting something in the mail virtually every working day! Sadly we are not that rich or we'd have booke Emerald the next day. So please guys no more now until 2017 Thanks x Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first river cruise to Europe, we have done around four ocean cruises with varied results. Ship - The Emerald Dawn was absolutely beautiful, with the state of art equipment like the swimming pool, sun deck, dinning areas ... Read More
This was our first river cruise to Europe, we have done around four ocean cruises with varied results. Ship - The Emerald Dawn was absolutely beautiful, with the state of art equipment like the swimming pool, sun deck, dinning areas & cabin. We found ourselves using the pool area quite often, mainly in the late afternoon as the bar & lounge area was very comfortable. Cabin - We chose the level 3 with the extra balcony & sliding glass window, which we used every day. The cabins were roomy with plenty of space for our clothes & bags etc.... The bathroom again had plenty of cupboards space for all our toilets. Rooms were very clean & spotless every day. No think was a problem, if you required new towels or more toilets it was dealt with strength away with no fuss. Dinning – Breakfast, we found we eat up stairs in level 3 which was the light breakfast every morning because there just was to much food in the main area & we just had to stop eating LOL. This was only a personal thing but it was quieter in this area as well. Lunch was a buffet type style with different food each day from the area we would travel through. Dinning - Each night would be a 5 course meal with again the theme from the area we were in accompanied with the local wines. Entertainment - This was armed at an older generation which was ok because the larger percentage of the quests were over 60 years of age. The crew entertainment night was a great hit, which was towards the end of the cruise & we got to know them a bit better. Service - This was 5 star all the way, there was not one person of the crew who would not go beyond the call of duty to be friendly, helpfully & personal. This was the icing on the cake which completed the whole experience. Ports & Shore Excursions – All shore excursions were excellent with great local guides which made the different, than just going by yourself & not knowing the history or story behind the sites. We did do two additional excursions, one to Weltenburg Abbey & the other the Cesky Krumlov. The Weltenburg Abbey was average & in hindsight would not have not gone but the Cesky Krumlov I would highly recommend. Push Bikes – The bikes they have on the ship are basic but effort for an afternoon ride, we found ourselves using the bikes after our local tour around the town/city we had just visited. I could recommend the organized tour bike ride on day 11 after a BBQ lunch in Melk. The distance was 32 kms but it was very casual riding. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
After many years of ocean cruising, this was our first River cruise and we chose the longest (Amsterdam to Budapest). We were aware that not many Americans chose Emerald cruise lines and even had our travel agent try to talk us into a ... Read More
After many years of ocean cruising, this was our first River cruise and we chose the longest (Amsterdam to Budapest). We were aware that not many Americans chose Emerald cruise lines and even had our travel agent try to talk us into a different river cruise line. (Note, most of the passengers were from Australia and the remaining from Great Britain and Canada... only a handful of us were from the USA). Prior to booking, I did extensive research on comparing ship's ages (ours celebrated its first year anniversary while we ere aboard), cabin size (again the balcony cabins were significantly larger than Vikings for same category) and ratings (rated by Cruise Critic to be #1 new river cruise line) -- and Emerald "on paper" looked to be the best overall for a lot less than other cruise lines of "comparable" quality. We are glad we chose Emerald. We were very impressed from the initial pick up service, to excellent service on board, to attention to details on the small things. The "included" excursions were excellent and we loved that they had special group tours for "gentle walkers" (i.e. slow moving elderly people). As a small criticism I am sort of a foodie, so I thought the food was beautifully presented and tasting (and selection-- they did present "local" cuisine as we went from country to country) was "good" but not outstanding (in comparison to dining quality on 5 star ocean cruises)-- but we were always satisfied, and most of our fellow passengers felt the food was excellent. As many have commented on other reviews, the common spaces (lounge and dining room) could get quite loud when full and conversations at time were difficult, but I don't see how that could be corrected. Also as in comparison to ocean cruises, the entertainment on board for most nights was only a lounge piano player. They did bring on local talent and "folk" shows a few times and the crew put on a great night of skits and entertainment, but most nights we were satisfied to relax after the large dinners (and bottomless glasses of "included" wine) in our cabins watching movies (recent releases) on our flat screen. The highlight of our trip though was the wonderful scenery flowing by as we sat in our balcony chairs (inside!-- out of the cold and sometimes wet spring weather) looking out at beautiful villages, endless green countryside, castles on hills, etc. If/when we book another river cruise, we will put Emerald Waterways at the top of our list, and without hesitation will recommend to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I felt that after looking at the competition this cruise provided equal value. The cruise I thought was really amazing and lived up to all our expectations. The interaction between the crew and the guests was fabulous and the performance ... Read More
I felt that after looking at the competition this cruise provided equal value. The cruise I thought was really amazing and lived up to all our expectations. The interaction between the crew and the guests was fabulous and the performance of the Cruise director was second to none.. Our Friends had to return home because of a personal family crises. The Cruise director handled the arrangements to get them off the ship and home so effectively and efficiently it was impressive. When our friends left the ship he had his arm in the mothers arm and was assisting her to the Taxis. This was noticed by many of the guests who were returning and they though the empathy he showed to the problem was just incredible. The Day excursions and walking tours were just right and some of the options we took were just right. I was impressed with the food quality the portions were just right and not overly large but if anyone wanted more then it was available. There were so many crew that were great it would be difficult to single out ho was the best. The were some great last minute arrangements that I thought was a god touch such as the Lock Celebration when we reached the deepest lock. It was another great activity that brought the guests together. Overall I think the cruise was really fantastic and exceeded all its expectations.. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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