13 Emerald Waterways Emerald Destiny Senior Cruise Reviews

Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went ... Read More
Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went off on a bus tour and when we arrived at the Skye boat to find our luggage in the same room number we had vacated. We were greeted warmly with a glass of champagne and a whole new crew except for Patricia, the cruise organizer and Brett the entertainment person. Both boats provided great friendly service and food. Entertainment was quite good. Every need was looked after. Excursions were very good and the hired tour guides were excellent. We didn't feel over stimulated and had enough time to relax and enjoy time on board. The views from the boat were phenomenal and we took a lot of great photos. If money is not an issue we would assuredly go again. It was our trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and ... Read More
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and informative. Our cruise director was very genuine and knowledgeable, and always made an effort to talk to everyone. The ship is beautiful. There is a lovely pool and in the evening the floor goes over it and it is turned into a cinema! Our rooms were always kept neat and it was truly refreshing coming back to the room after a full day of activities! After dinner, it was always a joy coming back to a pillow chocolate! We even had adorable towel bunnies which were quite impressive! The activities were great for people of all ages, children to the elderly, and I could rave about the service forever, but I am about to go sit atop the lovely sun deck on the ship!:) (We are on the Emerald Star traveling from Bucharest to Budapest. It wouldn’t allow me to properly click which destination or date! We boarded 07/13/19 and disembark 07/21/19! We are on the Danube additionally not the Rhine, this website wouldn’t allow me to properly click my cruise but I just had to fill this out because my experience was unforgettable.) Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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 April 2019
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
Sail Date June 2018
1.Ship is new. All the facilities are high tech,Opening and closing of the windows and curtains,digital newspaper,and so on 2.The ship does not shake( pitching and rolling ) like an ocean cruise 3.Hospitality is wonderful. Crew ... Read More
1.Ship is new. All the facilities are high tech,Opening and closing of the windows and curtains,digital newspaper,and so on 2.The ship does not shake( pitching and rolling ) like an ocean cruise 3.Hospitality is wonderful. Crew members were all good smiles and good hospitality Especially, the person in the Cabin Stewart was kind 4.Convenient site where The ship was moored. In Budapest, it was in front of the Diet. Please imagine. There are the beauty of the night view spreading in front of you In Vienna, When I woke up, I saw from the room that the Millennium Tower in Vienna was shining in the morning sun. It was incredibly spectacular sight 5.Delicious food and alcohol Although it tastes good to say, it looks beautiful I took many photos of beautiful dishes I will write about this pretty experience in my blog Finally I would like to thank all the crew members p.s. Claws unlimited laundry service/Per bag?, 26€, are very Convenient I used it twice Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had not done it before and wanted to visit the cities we stopped at without packing and unpacking. River cruising is a gentle way of holidaying. Meeting interesting people from many different countries and enjoying good food. All ... Read More
We had not done it before and wanted to visit the cities we stopped at without packing and unpacking. River cruising is a gentle way of holidaying. Meeting interesting people from many different countries and enjoying good food. All excursions were well organised and the local guides were superb.The coaches and drivers were also excellent and drove well. The way of communication when out on excursion was via Quietvox and worked very well making it easy to hear the information by our own particular guide . All staff were courteous and friendly at all times. The room was spacious with plenty of storage space and were serviced twice a day.The sundeck was well furnished. The on-board announcements were clear and informative without being intrusive,the 15 minute warning before any disembarkation was just right not too early and not too last minute.The programme director was clear and helpful at all times. Would recommend this cruise to our friends Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest has been on our wish list for many years. We enjoyed our 2 nights in Amsterdam before we boarded our ship and were pleasantly surprised when we went on board. It was lovely as the ship was only a ... Read More
This cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest has been on our wish list for many years. We enjoyed our 2 nights in Amsterdam before we boarded our ship and were pleasantly surprised when we went on board. It was lovely as the ship was only a couple of mths old and our cabin was beautiful. It spacious, clean and our cabin attendant was lovely. She always went out of her way to make sure we had every thing that we needed and were comfortable. The food was exceptional,our only complaint, was we usually ate too much so it was always good to get off the ship and do the daily walk about tours of each beautiful and historic city and towns. The dining room staff were always friendly,professional and provided us with a lot of laughs and the crew made the trip very relaxing, Michael our crew director was excellent, and very knowledgeable, every night telling us what we would be doing the next day and what to expect. The onboard entertainment was varied and interesting with glass blowing,ethnic dancing and music etc. Shore excursions where great, and guides very informative. We could not fault the cruise, ship or staff in any way and would recommend it highly to anyone wanting to do this trip. H & D Waldron Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose Emerald for its all-inclusive plan and it was ALL-INCLUSIVE. Our trip started with our first flight getting cancelled. Working with Emerald and the airline, we were able to get to Nuremburg some 7 hours later than had been ... Read More
We choose Emerald for its all-inclusive plan and it was ALL-INCLUSIVE. Our trip started with our first flight getting cancelled. Working with Emerald and the airline, we were able to get to Nuremburg some 7 hours later than had been planned. Emerald was there to pick us up howbeit without our luggage. Working tirelessly, Emerald was able to locate our luggage and get on-board 2 days later. With fresh clothing, we began to enjoy our trip. Our ship Destiny was one of their newest ships and it was truly a pleasure to be sailing in such wonderful ship. We had the Grand Balcony room and with its amenities, we could not ask for much more. Enjoying our balcony, we could lower the glass for a real sense of traveling outside. A note about our bed. It was very comfortable, however, we did not need a king bed in our room. Perhaps in the future they can offer queen size as well. Being this was our second river cruise, our meals aboard the Destiny were much better than the meals on our first cruise. What made the difference for us was the quality, selection and service. They served ice cream, 2 flavors a day, each day of our trip. Our first cruise we were never offered ice cream. The entertainment was another plus for Emerald. With live music be played in the lounge after dinner, you could really relax and meet new friends. Emerald provided everything we needed when it came to the shore excursions and ports that we visited. Bikes were offered to anyone wanting to get a little exercise the pedaling way. Would we ride with Emerald again? By all means it would be our pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
While we're not new to ocean cruising, this was our first River Cruise and we have been impressed by Emerald and their staff. The whole package was well-organised and ran smoothly, despite delays in the Main river and the ... Read More
While we're not new to ocean cruising, this was our first River Cruise and we have been impressed by Emerald and their staff. The whole package was well-organised and ran smoothly, despite delays in the Main river and the Main-Danube canal, and we all accommodated the revisions in timetable without any problems. The ship - only two months old when we boarded - was magnificent, and both the crew and hotel/cruise staff seemed proud of her. The food was excellent - although not everybody we spoke to agreed - and we could easily choose from the short menu of dishes offered in the evening and limited selection when we took lunch (we usually skip lunch on cruises!). It reflected the locality and the character of the voyage well. Our cabin, although a little smaller than we have been used to at sea, was well-appointed and more than adequate - we don't spend too long in it, anyway. Most tours, wine with meals and tips are included, so don't be concerned by the "Up front" price. The tours we often simply walking from where we had docked near city centres. The cruse directory had arranged for various entertainers to come on board when we had a late departure, and there was a resident pianist, but don't expect grand cruise ship shows - there are less than 200 passengers! A warning - the Main and the canal have low bridges - the top desk had to be closed for several days, leaving no outside space unless yo had a balconly. Overall? we'll probably go back to Emerald in the future, depending on the itinerary 9and any offers we see)! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my ... Read More
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my fussy choice of meals, thanks Chef! The staff were very efficient and very, naturally, friendly. All the tours were very well organised. We never felt rushed from one place to another, they were kept to a very slow pace to keep the whole experiences very relaxed. The on board entertainment was very relaxed and enjoyable, nice touch to have a cinema available in the pool area. The only downside to a fantastic holiday came at the beginning when we were delayed travelling by train to the embarkation point resulting in a very stressful day until arriving at the ship. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants a high quality, totally relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river ... Read More
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river cruising. I know some readers may be thinking, "Yes, but your tours are included and I don't like the ques or the kids or size of ocean ships." I could take issue with all of those statements based on our experience but won't go into it as I'm writing to review one particular ship. I wasn't sure this type of trip would be right for my husband because while he can walk unassisted and usually without a cane, the walking tours, often uneven walking surfaces, sights without accessible features more modern structures tend to have is often mentioned as reasons why people with mobility issues aren't advised to try this type of vacation at times in travel articles, etc. However, these boards were very helpful in my research (reading about "slow walker" tours, which ships had which features, etc.) and our neighbors had done 2 river cruises on Viking in the past 2 years and gave us a lot of info. which helped. River cruises are not for those in a wheelchair. If ramps are not a problem and one can do steps - at least a bit - then it's possible to enjoy a river cruise. Some land activities or tours may have to be skipped for the highly impaired but for moderately impaired walkers, a river tour is doable. I researched the various lines and "personalities" of them, as well as the ships and checked pricing. Our intial plan was to cruise in 2018. I was not happy with the cost and resisted pulling the trigger on a booking. After reading about the various lines, I compared prices and other features of Emerald, Viking and Avalon cruises. Emerald seemed to be the best value and had some extra features on it's ships (like the pools) that we likedwhich other lines lacked. Additionally, a half price sale on all remaining 2017 cabins finally convinced us, and while there were hardly any dates left, we managed to get a cabin for June, which was our desired month to go. The demographics of this cruise: Avg. age was retirement and above, with a decent number of those in their 40's or 50's. There was one family on board with 2 sons. The boys looked about 8 and 10 or 11 in my estimate and conducted themselves very well. I figured they must be bored out their minds, but their father often took them swimming and they certainly seemed to have fun in the pool. There was a very high percentage of people from the UK on board, with a fair number of Australians, a fair number of people of Asian or Indian decent, some from Germany and maybe 15 or so from the U.S. (the best could tell). English was the ship's language and all of the crew seemed able to speak English. This ship is outstanding in both design and cleanliness. There is lots of chrome and glass, kept smudge free almost miraculously. The shower power is good and the linens and bedding of very good quality. We had an "acquarium room", so the windows were positioned just above the water line. This wasn't bad at all! Especially since sometimes the river boats were "stacked" side by side. So anyone with the "balcony" type windows might just be a foot or so from a cabin on another ship, blocking any view. The Emerald ships' drafts are shallow and the wheelhouses can drop down under low bridges to a lower level than many others so they are often able to continue cruising when the rivers are too low for many ships or too high for others that have trouble with low bridges and high water. Dress really was not formal at all on any night. Just a couple of men had on jackets one or two nights. On those nights a very few women dressed up as though for a cocktail party on a couple of nights. but they were definitely exceptions to the rule. Some wore resort casual dresses, most wore pants or capris. Overall the dress was relaxed and not at all formal. I wore capris every night with a top nicer than one I'd have worn for shore side sightseeing. Most people seemed to have dressed down, with clothing one would call resort casual. At the captain's dinner, a fair number of men wore dress shirts (but no ties) .and nice slacks. Other nights most wore polo style shirts and Dockers style slacks or khakis. I even noticed men wearing shorts at dinner in the dining room a couple of times, but not a lot. My favorite part of the cruise was simply the times we were underway on the river and the section of the Rhine with the many castles. Even late in the evening to nightfall there were things to look at - such as the moon, bridges, houses we'd pass, etc. Just cruising along was so relaxing! (I wish there had been more time cruising along.) From talking to others who had sailed on Viking or other lines, it sounded like our tours and things were almost identical to other lines' doing the same itinerary. They usually departed at 9 a.m. Some guides were better than others. Personally, we are not big on official "tours", preferring to do things we especially want to do on our own schedule and in our own way. However, as so many do, we took advantage of the tours "because we paid for them" in our fare. If we get to do another river cruise, we may be more picky about which tours we actually take part in. We usually had a decent amount of time on our own to peruse shops or whatever at the stops we made. My favorite was a trip through the Black Forest region to an historical park with old Bavarian farm houses, etc. There was a demonstration of how Black Forest Cake is made. Everyone was given a piece and it was SOOOO delicious! Many commented that it was the best they'd ever eaten! Entertainment may have been a bit more lively than on some lines as there was actually a couple of nights where people danced to disco and oldies. One afternoon some opera singers performed. Most nights there was a piano player in the lounge. The last night was a very enjoyable crew show and afterwards they did a "YMCA" performance and the dance to get the crowd moving. The effort the staff makes to please the passengers was above and beyond. No matter what, they would go out of their way to please. Especially a couple of the bar waiters who didn't hesitate to insist they could bring our drinks to us no matter where we were hanging out, be it the top deck, the lovely and relaxing pool area or the lounge. Sometimes we initially would go down to the lounge bar planning to get our drink and carry it up with us. However, we were urged to allow the staff to wait on us and they did. The food was always of very good quality and very nicely presented. Although the selections weren't as numerous as on an ocean going cruise, whatever they could provide or do to please your palate, they did. (I am quite picky about steak or beef and want mine very well done, so am usually afraid to order it. Our waiter insisted the meat would be cooked the way I wanted it and it was, even though I knew the cook or chef was going out of his way to make it that way). The included house wines were fine, although somehow (?), to our surprise, we were told upon check in that we had the upgraded beverage package! Though my husband and I are not heavy drinkers, I was very happy to get my favorite, a caparhina (very well and properly made and tasty, with plenty of muddled limes) every day. My only criticism was that at the breakfast and sometimes the lunch buffets, the layout of the food could have been better organized. At times (especially the first day's breakfast buffet) food was laid out in such a manner that people started out on both sides, passing each other in at the far end, with confusion as to whose turn it was to serve themselves and who was going in what direction. Plus there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to which dish - or maybe 2 - and not necessarily an important dish, would duplicated on both sides of the buffet, but most items were not. I can't say enough about the man who made the omelets. Very organized and he worked at a good pace, making tasty individual omelets or eggs to order. Our "Jewels of the Rhine" cruise was initially listed on the Emerald website as being on the Emerald Dawn. Since we booked only barely 2 months out with a T/A who was new to us and operated out of a different state (I booked with them due to a rebate offered through that agency), I was not specifically made aware that our ship was to be the Destiny until we boarded. We had to walk through a Viking ship to reach our ship so we hadn't seen the name on the hull of our's. We learned upon check in due to the "Welcome to the Destiny" offered us by the staff and officers in the lobby. We were quite surprised to be getting on a 5 week old ship! Lucky us! I can highly recommend this ship and this cruise line. I felt we got a very good price, though the undiscounted, full price would still have been somewhat less than a similar cruise on any of the mainstream river cruise lines. So I will agree, it does seem to be the best value cruise line! For the record, if we do another river cruise, well definitely go on Emerald Waterways again. They offer an excellent product and excellent value. We are still confirmed ocean cruisers, though, so this type of cruise won't take the place of those. We just see the 2 types of vacations similar yet very different and enjoy both Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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