37 Emerald Waterways Emerald Dawn Senior Cruise Reviews

This was our first river cruise and it would be difficult to find fault with anything. We started with 2 nights in Prague, which was in a very comfortable hotel with an excellent tour guide. Transfer to Nuremberg was by the most luxurious ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it would be difficult to find fault with anything. We started with 2 nights in Prague, which was in a very comfortable hotel with an excellent tour guide. Transfer to Nuremberg was by the most luxurious coach we have ever been on, and was completely hassle free. A great way to set up the rest of the trip! The ship was stunning, cabins were very clean and comfortable, the food was superb and plentiful! All the crew were extremely helpful and went out of their way to make the trip as much fun as they could. The drinks package at 20 euros a night was an absolute bargain and worth every penny. We did not need to take the extra excursions as the inclusive trips were well thought out and planned, with local tour guides who were very knowledgeable and took just the right pace for all members of the trip. We would not hesitate to return (when funds allow!!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise was made available to Seniors in Australia. The ship, Emerald Dawn was a very new ship. It was lavishly appointed in everything modern. The cabin's balcony was good as all that had to be done was to lower the top of the ... Read More
This cruise was made available to Seniors in Australia. The ship, Emerald Dawn was a very new ship. It was lavishly appointed in everything modern. The cabin's balcony was good as all that had to be done was to lower the top of the outer window and the balcony was there. The crew could not do enough for us and were always on hand to welcome you and help out if something needed attention. The itinerary Bucharest to Nuremberg was one of the most interesting and fascinating itineraries I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Port excursions were very well organised and interesting. Entertainment on board was good as were the visits to resident's homes in certain ports. It was wonderful to talk about our way of life and hear about their way of life, customs etc. Different foods and wines served by these people showed just how different our tastes are. On board food, wines and beers were of a very high standard. Waiting staff wasted little time in remembering your wine and beer choices. I would certainly recommend Evergreen River Cruises to anybody contemplating a River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Previous experience with river cruising was in Russia last year where, although we enjoyed the experience, the accommodation and food were rather spartan, so we were not quite sure what to expect with Emerald; what a surprise, a beautiful ... Read More
Previous experience with river cruising was in Russia last year where, although we enjoyed the experience, the accommodation and food were rather spartan, so we were not quite sure what to expect with Emerald; what a surprise, a beautiful almost new ship where the food and service were outstanding! We had only booked a few weeks beforehand and as a result had got the last cabin available, which was on the lower deck with a 'picture' window - wasn't too sure about that but when we saw the actual cabin the uncertainty vanished; true, when you look out of the window you were only about a foot above the river level and as a result the window was rather splash marked but that certainly didn't detract from the experience. Tours had been arranged for each of the stops we made and we took advantage of these. Clearly some thought and been put into each of these and the proved interesting and informative. We didn't take advantage of the extended range of tours, but it was good to know the these were on offer. As might have been hoped for, staff were very helpful and friendly and the tour director, Simone went our of there way to make sure that everyone was informed and involved. Dining room director, Ross, really made sure that service was tip-top. I would certainly be happy to book with Emerald again Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Emerald waterways is a young company although part of an established company so the boat was pretty well brand new. The lay out and comfort was first class. Our cabin was wonderful a good size and spotless. Loved the electric window ... Read More
Emerald waterways is a young company although part of an established company so the boat was pretty well brand new. The lay out and comfort was first class. Our cabin was wonderful a good size and spotless. Loved the electric window which allowed a great view outside. The food was first class and never repeated at lunch and dinner times. The staff couldn`t be faulted at all ,we were served with a smile from the start of our holiday to the last day. The was plenty of entertainment but the best was the crew who gave us the best show of the holiday. I laughed more that night than a week of television. The ports and excursions were really good but need work on one or two of them. To end I would book with this company again in a heartbeat and I know we will but try a different river. If the rest of the fleet has staff who come close to the ones on Emerald Dawn then i`ll be in for a great time again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise not only met our expectations but exceeded them. The ship was A1, cabin excellent, the dining was delicious all you could want and more. The activities were fantastic. The service was first class, excursions were great, ... Read More
This cruise not only met our expectations but exceeded them. The ship was A1, cabin excellent, the dining was delicious all you could want and more. The activities were fantastic. The service was first class, excursions were great, informative and enjoyable. We have been on other cruises but this one was excellent in every way, could not fault anything. Ten out of Ten. The staff were very friendly and efficient. The meals were fantastic, more than enough. We enjoyed ourselves, there is nothing on this cruise that you would not find. Emerald Waters are fantastic and we would have no hesitation in cruising with them again. Everything was done to perfection. From embarkation to disembarkation was well organised and run very professional. The staff are all very knowledgeable and helpful, it is them that make the cruise such a wonderful experience, from beginning to end. Commendations to all at Emerald Waters!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My husband and I, plus two friends, chose Emerald Waterways to celebrate our 70th birthdays this year - Rhine Cruise. I did all the research, booking, etc, for our little group and the reasons I chose Emerald are as follows: - ... Read More
My husband and I, plus two friends, chose Emerald Waterways to celebrate our 70th birthdays this year - Rhine Cruise. I did all the research, booking, etc, for our little group and the reasons I chose Emerald are as follows: - virtually brand new boat with some innovative features, i.e. swimming pool which doubles up as a cinema in the evening (that was really fun.) - Free drinks with lunch and dinner (alcohol and non-alcohol). ( At times we had to stop the waiters constantly filling our glasses!) - All shore excursions included in cost - All tips included in cost (although we still discreetly tipped our 'favourite' waiters) - 100 Euros per person to spend on board (it proved difficult to spend it when everything was included!) We have cruised before but this one surpassed all expectation. Embarkation and disembarkation were organised like a military maneouvre - excellent! The staff were, without exception, EXCELLENT: 47 of them of whom 43 were Romanian, 1 German, 1 Hungarian and 1 Bulgarian (we think!). The Captain, the Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director were just wonderful! The restaurant and bar staff were efficient & quick but still took the time to be friendly and pass a few words of greeting. Everyone made us feel welcome. They cared! The cabins we had were the least expensive, on the bottom deck, but were utterly fabulous. We chose to have these cabins as they did not have full windows and, having found big windows a bit of a problem before (i.e. when other boats are stacked up against you, or when you want to pop into the cabin to change), we felt it not worthwhile to pay extra for a 'superior cabin. The only thing missing in there which we would have liked was a tea/coffee making facility - although free tea/coffee + biscuits were available all day and evening in the lounge. Even so, it's not quite the same as having it in the cabin for those early morning and late night cuppas! The food was excellent too - even "a la carte", although understandably limited to 2/3 choices per course. On previous river cruises, there were set meals and set tables. The latter is something we would have liked on Emerald Dawn whereas it was free seating; this leads to everyone trying to get there first, plus you don't get to know your own waiter as well as you would if you had the same one all week. The excursions were quite good and the local guides excellent. We would have preferred that the last day was not spent in Amsterdam, however. It would have been preferable to have another stop off in Germany and just departed the cruise in Amsterdam. It seemed like a complete waste of a day. TO SUMMARISE: we would go with Emerald again without a second thought! We are just sorry that they don't do the next itinerary we wish to do: St Petersburg to Moscow. We live in hope that, with two new ships coming on line soon, this route will be introduced by Emerald Waterways in the not-too-distant future. We shall be having our 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2018 and that is when we will be looking for this Russian cruise - so, come on Emerald, get this new itinerary sorted out by then!! :) :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our third cruise with Emerald, & we just new it would suite our personal needs just perfectly. Having had a Christmas New Year cruise with Avalon we wanted to return to a cruise line that makes us feel so very comfortable ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Emerald, & we just new it would suite our personal needs just perfectly. Having had a Christmas New Year cruise with Avalon we wanted to return to a cruise line that makes us feel so very comfortable & welcome. With such a high crew/passenger ratio it enables this particular Line to foster a very friendly, almost family atmosphere. To witness the breakdown of the typical 'British Reserve' within a day or so, tells its own story! The tours, food, service & entertainment were exemplary. My only suggestion would be that as passengers arrive at the respective airport at diverse times, & the couriers can not necessarily meet every person as they arrive from customs. It would help if a notice was prominently left at the Info Desk with ETA of the courier. Having travelled with Emerald before the absence of a courier did not phase me. However, other passengers were somewhat worried. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I like to just relax on holiday, so for that reason i like cruises. Unpack once, and meals and activities all become someone else's problem. We couldn't handle another open ocean cruise. No matter how big the ship is, there ... Read More
I like to just relax on holiday, so for that reason i like cruises. Unpack once, and meals and activities all become someone else's problem. We couldn't handle another open ocean cruise. No matter how big the ship is, there seems to always be a rolling motion. I don't normally get seasick, but when the person your are with does, it becomes contagious. So this time it was a river cruise. From start to finish, I have never traveled so smoothly. We chose the Paris before add on,and the Prague after. Honestly, book this independently. It was not worth the money Evergreen charged. I booked all my own tours in Paris over the internet and I was very happy with them. ( 2h segway tour of Versailles gardens, 3h segway tour through the center of Paris, 2h group of 6 with own guide through The Louvre) Evergreen chose to cancel the pre-booked Versailles Palace tour the day before it was due to happen. Due to the late notice, my options were reduced to walking up to the entrance through the queue and walking through the palace with a headset. Had I been given a reasonable notice, I could have had the opportunity to organise a private tour. Very unimpressed. Be aware that Evergreen reserves the right to cancel anything, anytime, and does so often. The good, Except by looking out the window, you don't even know if you are moving. Rooms were small but otherwise excellent. Bathrooms were a marvel of space conservation. Public areas were more than adequate. The bad, -The chairs in the cabin are too low. I am 6 foot, and when sitting in the chair at the railing, it is right in the middle of my view. I always found myself sitting high in the chair, or sitting on a pillow. If the chairs were 200mm higher, it would be a vastly improved experience. -The food was adequate but never rose above that. Think RSL fare. Do not expect to be wowed by the offerings. As I said, adequate. -Coffee..........what can I say. The machines were good. The beans were good, But what idiot thought UHT milk was suitable for a boat load of coffee drinking Australians. When the crew were questioned on this ludicrous preposition, I was told twice, that there was no room for the cows on board. Condescending. The boat stopped at a town every day. How hard is it to load fresh milk for coffee? -Tours..........every day we stopped in a quaint old town center. The tours marched off to show us exactly the same things day after day. Why not organise the tour guides to give slightly different talks, which the guests can then choose from? History, architecture. food, scenery, customs, gardens. One example, every day we passes countless vineyards, never a winery tour. - I am 49, I was the youngest guest on board. The average age is about 65 - 70. Expect canes, walkers, wheelchairs. The fastest pace the trip ever achieves is a slow walk. Think about organising your own side tours. The ugly - no ugly, just a bit average, which could be improved quite easily Would I do it again. Yes, but with the experience I have gained, very differently. Much more of my own itinerary. I would smuggle some fresh milk on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We went on Emerald's 1st cruise down the Danube last year from Budapest to the Black Sea. We enjoyed it all so much that as soon as we got home we booked to do the journey up the Danube and down the Rhine to Amsterdam. It was ... Read More
We went on Emerald's 1st cruise down the Danube last year from Budapest to the Black Sea. We enjoyed it all so much that as soon as we got home we booked to do the journey up the Danube and down the Rhine to Amsterdam. It was excellent in all respects. From arrival at Budapest to departing at Amsterdam Schiphol, everything went like clockwork. The staff are amazing - all of them. They are efficient, calm, friendly, helpful - they made both cruises wonderful experiences and we do hope that there will soon be an Emerald cruise including Russia and the Baltics. The meals were all we could have wished for and the restaurant is informal but slick, service is efficient and local specialties are offered at each stage. Shore tours are well organised, local tour guides were in most cases excellent and opportunites were offered for all levels of activity and involvement. The pool is a huge bonus for us, we do not know of another river cruise line offering pool facilities. Our cabin on the top deck was spacious, had a huge picture window with indoor balcony, was well serviced daily and was very comfortable. Entertainment was available including local artistes, folk groups etc and these were all of high standard. We particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet a local family in a small group (12) and discuss traditions, education, jobs and prices of daily needs with them. We became more travellers than tourists. 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
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
Embarked on this ship at 12.10, but not able to get in cabins until 15.00, despite others getting to their cabins immediately on boarding, and the rooms were all ready to go, but stopped by the officious jobs worth, so called Hotel ... Read More
Embarked on this ship at 12.10, but not able to get in cabins until 15.00, despite others getting to their cabins immediately on boarding, and the rooms were all ready to go, but stopped by the officious jobs worth, so called Hotel manageress. Food was 3* not 5* the crew were all eastern European and I doubt if any of them had had a 5* meal in their lives. Lunch was queing in a line around an oblong service bar and you went around until whatever you fancied, you passed by. There were no set areas for soup mains deserts etc. Dinner was a 2-3 hour sit down, have these people have never heard of 'Open Dining'? Typically one meal, I ordered at 18.45 the starter came a 19.20,soup 19.50, main course 20.20, desert 20.50. The dining chairs are hard very uncomfortable. Tours started at 08.00 or 09.00 and ended about 2 hours later, as most of the passengers were over 70 why not start tours later? Consequently us and other passengers never got onto a tour. In Cologne there was a 20 minute walk into town, no shuttle buses laid on at any stop, for this I paid £6,000 for two. What a rip off. There are only 3 toilets on board for 164 passengers, 1 male, 1 female and 1 unisex, so usually if you need the loo it is a treck back to the cabin, down, or up the one flight of stairs, which being made of a 'glass like' substance were dangerous, we saw a passenger fall down. You get a survey form at the end of the cruise which asks what is the best aspect of your holiday.. Getting Off was my highlight. Give this Cruise line a big miss and go on a proper sea cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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