4 Emerald Waterways Emerald Dawn Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Everything was wonderful except I would not go again on Emerald Dawn, or orther ships like her, because the ill-fitting sliding bathroom door was only 60 cm from the nearest pillow of the bed and the loo was only another 45cm further ... Read More
Everything was wonderful except I would not go again on Emerald Dawn, or orther ships like her, because the ill-fitting sliding bathroom door was only 60 cm from the nearest pillow of the bed and the loo was only another 45cm further away.....so all forms of privacy are lost when you have to answer " the call of nature " to have less privacy than that which I have at home is totally unacceptable !! Also, the practice of the company to " give you a gift of 100euros each " to spend mainly on bar-drinks, is not as generous as it first seems. In the whole week, my wife and I only " usedup" 50 euros out of the " allowance " of 200 euros. so they "made " 150 euros out of us for nothing. It would be far more fair to " sign a tab " for whatever you bought and paid a bill at the end of the week, like you do in any case, for all perchases .....so beware, choose a company that doesn't pretend to give you something when It's your own money in the first place !! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We did the 8 day cruise from Amsterdam to Nuremberg. The inclusion of gratuities, tours, wine etc included in the very reasonable price, the positive reviews and the newness of the ship was our deciding point to take this cruise. We had ... Read More
We did the 8 day cruise from Amsterdam to Nuremberg. The inclusion of gratuities, tours, wine etc included in the very reasonable price, the positive reviews and the newness of the ship was our deciding point to take this cruise. We had free transportation from the airport to the ship and a personal welcome aboard from the cruise director. We explored Amsterdam on our own the day of arrival (9am) until our room was available (2pm). Our cabin was small but efficient. It was near the stern so we did hear some engine noise and occasional vibration going upstream although it didn't disturb our sleep too much. We were able to hang all our clothes and there were 2 large drawers for other items. Luggage was stowed under the bed. We had friendly efficient service from our cabin attendant. We had some laundry service with very quick turnaround. The bathroom was small but efficient. My only complaint was the extremely small bar of soap fell through the soap dish in the shower. Luckily I brought a larger bar from home in my luggage. I didn't care for the small bottles of shampoo/body soap, no sudsing, brought my own. The dining room was spacious, attractive and well laid out, lots of glass and shiny chrome. It was buffet dining for breakfast and lunch and sit-down open seating for dinner. Food was well prepared & tasty with good variety available although some of the same items were served at every meal. Dinner was 4 courses, appetizer, soup or salad, main entree and dessert, although you could certainly have less. Portions were plentiful for us although we tend to like smaller portions. I would have liked to have more salad selections for dinner and although we had some fish options, I would have liked some shellfish dishes. Different white and red wines were served each day at lunch and dinner and all were very good. Service at meals was excellent, the staff was professional & well trained and worked very hard to please the passengers. The main complaint we had was the very noisy dining room during lunch & particularly dinner. It really prevented having a decent conversation with our dining companions, even those sitting next to us! The noise level was quite irritating and they really need to do something about it. The lounge upstairs was much quieter and a light lunch was served there everyday and it was much more pleasant. Dinner always lasted about 2 hrs (7-9pm). We didn't participate in most of the entertainment/activities as we were generally tired after a day of tours. We did attend a violin concert (very loud) after dinner one night and a cooking demo one morning. We liked the cruise director's daily talk on the next days tour/activities. She was excellent and worked hard to make sure everyone had a good time and didn't get lost on the tours. I'm sure shepherding around 182 passengers is not an easy task. We docked at a different port everyday and had a tour at each port. We were bused from the ship to where the tour started with our tour guides. They were local, excellent guides, who were informative & well trained. Generally the enjoyable tours were about 90 min with free time afterwards. Although time was short in some ports, we felt we got a good overview of the town. Most ports were popular tourist spots so for us the limited time was fine. also the temps were quite warm and humid in Aug so we were happy to return to the air-conditioned ship. We found that Europe does not seem to have a lot of air conditioned buildings. The Rhine gorge was indeed the highlight of our trip, Castles & picturesque villages around every corner. Make sure to be on the sun deck if the weather is good for your best pics. Emerald gives an accurate description of the towns we visited. Unfortunately the sun deck was closed for the last 3 days of our cruise due to the low bridges on the Rhine/Main. We also went through some 68 locks which makes for a much slower pace of the ship. The scenery was beautiful lush green river banks, rolling hills & valleys and lots of vineyards especially in the Rudesheim area. Of course there are industrial areas that glide by as well as some of the most interesting bridges and buildings. All in all it was a delightful cruise for the most part. Would we go again? I'm not so sure. Although we met many really nice people, the noisy dining room after a few days was not enjoyable. Also the scenery seemed rather repetitive after awhile. We may stick to ocean cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First time river cruise for us. Had seen the commercials on television and we had always wanted to enjoy one. Emerald Waterways offered us half off and a drink package so we chose a 14 day sailing up the Danube starting in Budapest. ... Read More
First time river cruise for us. Had seen the commercials on television and we had always wanted to enjoy one. Emerald Waterways offered us half off and a drink package so we chose a 14 day sailing up the Danube starting in Budapest. Random knowledge which might help you in your choice: Ship sails under 2,000 bridges and goes through 68 locks on its way from Budapest to Amsterdam. A lot of traffic is on these rivers and will dictate how your trip will be (and of course if it is high water or low water level). One town we stopped in was cut short by 1 1/2 hours because we couldn't get through some of the locks during our time period. The ship is about 2 years old. You don't need an adaptor for your iPhone. The ship is great everything worked well. Our room, on the third floor, had ample storage, was clean and bright. Small but you are rarely there. One elevator. By law you are not allowed on the top deck of the ship for 5 days in a row. The reason being is that the space between the ship and bridges can be measured in inches! The ship takes on water to lower its profile on some of these bridges and the Captain's wheelhouse would sink down. Shorts were worn at dinner time I noticed except for the two special events. Internet worked well except when we were in a dock or in the countries of Hungary or Slovakia. Sometimes video would take a while to buffer if a lot of people were on it but very good for email or texting. On our ship most of the passengers were Australians followed by Canadians then people from the UK and finally Americans. Service was exemplary, most of the staff was from Serbia. Food was good, sometimes very. I felt that they tried too hard to make it look good instead of taste good. They varied it with the country the ship was in. Ship had three levels for the rooms. We walked through them all before most had boarded. The first deck the windows were very small and you had to look up to see through them. The people in them complained that it felt like a dungeon. Second and third decks were fine. You will be amazed at the number of river ships sailing. Sometimes we would dock and there would be ten other ships docked there. And you will have to walk over them to get to the destinations as the ships dock against each other. Do some walking before you go. This trip entails walking miles over uneven terrain. Bring a pair of shoes with you, get used to climbing stairs. There is usually a slower group you can join if walking is a problem. The ships in the commercials show the ships docking right in town. This is a fallacy. Usually you are bused (not far) into where you are going. Depends on the Dock Master of the city and the time you arrive but we usually docked out of the city center. Bring something to read, have a internet device or a hobby. You spent a lot of time on the ship sailing between stops. You will usually stop in the morning, have a tour, some free time in the city and then back to the ship. Get to your starting city a few days early if you can. Heard a lot of stories from fellow passengers about delays, lost baggage, etc. More air flights are delayed in summer than any other time due to storms. Great water pressure, almost instant hot water all the time. They allow you to ride their bikes. You sign them out. We did eight miles one day. They offered a stop where you could ride between cities next to the Danube (26 miles). We passed as the bikes were not that good. Our ship started out with 169 passengers and at Nuremberg we lost 38 and picked up 10. The ship brought on local entertainers and we enjoyed them all: Dancers from Hungary, a German Oom-Pah band, a German glass blower, Austrian lady whose family business made wine and jam. Ports: Budapest: Our second favorite port. We flew in here and enjoyed our cooking class, city tour, time at the Széchenyi Medicinal Baths. The ship cruised down the river here at night while it was illuminated. Hungarians lined the many bridges and cheered at us while we passed underneath. Wonderful! Bratislava: Favorite stop. Wonderful little place. Ship stopped right in town. Lots of time here, very inexpensive. Vienna: Lovely time. A large town though and very busy. Did the walking tour and went to the Spanish Riding School and attended a concert at night (had to buy it--worth it). Durnstein: Lovely little town. We skipped the palace tour but others said it was lovely. Melk: must do of course for the Monastery. Jaw dropping. Linz: another fine little town. Passau: we skipped this one and took the optional tour to Czech Republic city of Cesky Krumlov which we thought was superior. Even though it was about an hour and a half bus ride from the ship we felt we had a lot of time here. Castle, shopping. Regensburg: Wasn't too excited after our trip here. The only thing was another church and the thousand year old place where they had been selling sausages. Nuremburg: another large city we could have skipped. Bombed and ruined over 95% during World War II. Hitler's favorite city and they took us to a few places where he had given speeches. Had time to shop here and lunch outside the ship. Bamberg: Bishop's residence we liked. A nice tour. Gardens. Wurzburg: A charming little town with rivers through traditional German buildings. Miltenberg, Rudesheim- two little cities. You will see churches, cobblestone lanes. Little time in either. Cologne: I felt that the only reason they stopped here was for the church. Another large busy city I wish they had skipped for another one. You can pay to walk up the 532 steps to the steeple top as many on our ship did but we passed. Heard it was cramped and hot and the view was anemic but did not do it personally. Amsterdam: Canal tour on boat, walking tour (or some did bus tour). Ample time here as you get here the night before so you have a full day. We went to Ann Frank's house tour and ate out. Also walked back through the red light district at night time. Transfer to airport was seamless and easy. Ship is small so if you do not get along with someone on the ship there is little room to avoid. Most get the drinking package and will try to get the most out of it. You can understand where that is going. Are we glad we went? Of course. Saw and experienced so much. Wished there had been enrichment classes on board. Small ship with one cruise director who went above and beyond as the ship was never certain to arrive when it was supposed to. Passed at least twenty-thirty castles and man interesting buildings. Bring binoculars. Enjoy! I hope this review has helped. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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