6 Emerald Waterways Emerald Destiny Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - All

I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and ... Read More
I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and went directly to the ship at around 1 PM thinking we could at least check our bags until the room was ready and do some walking on our own. When we got to the ship we were pleasantly surprised to find that lunch was being served until 3 pm. There was also an escorted walk by the Activities Director after lunch. This was appreciated but it would have been nice to have been told this in advance of our arrival. We were also not aware in advance that we were going to receive a tour of Bucharest on our departure day. They kept us busy until 3 pm when the hotel rooms were available. Again we were not informed of this until the day before and fortunately we had not arranged any tours for that day on our own. Yes the room is noisy. We had a room on the lowest deck without a “balcony”. You know there is a noise issue when you find they have provided ear plugs. The flushing of toilets does sound like a bowling ball. Hopefully your neighbors do not flush often in the middle of the night! On the other side of the room, you can hear the scrapping of chairs above you whenever the furniture is rearranged. The problem is that the balcony portion of the room has a wood floor so anytime a chair is moved, you can hear it. Too bad they didn’t extend the carpeting over the whole room or put some tennis balls on the bottom of the chairs to prevent this. If your neighbors watch TV or talk you can also hear them. My personal solution to the noise problem is to play a white noise app on my iPhone and/or iPad. It masked out some of the noise but its hard to avoid the loud toilets. The room came with a large umbrella and some good quality walking sticks. Storage is tight in the room but we made do with the various shelves (two in the bathroom next to the sink were kind of hidden). It would have been nice to have a place next to the door to store your room keys to avoid leaving without them. There was no instructions for the thermostat so I had to ask at reception as I wasn’t sure what all the buttons and colors meant. There was a strange large black tumbler in the bathroom. It did not look clean. I had to ask and was told it was for toothbrushes which seemed strange. I stored it out of sight. Emerald advertises that you will receive a backpack and wallet. We did not receive ours before departure but did get a notice that they were delayed from the supplier. It is now two weeks after our cruise and we still have not received them. We were glad to not have spent the extra money for a balcony as on this cruise it would have been almost useless. Most of the daytime cruising is not particularly scenic and can be viewed just as well from the lounge areas. When in port you are probably going to be next to the dock or another ship so there is not anything to see. However, one morning I opened the curtain and got a view of a naked lady on the ship next to us, not more than 10 feet away. She was my age, so it was not a pleasant site. If you do get a balcony, most of the time we were docked port side to the piers so the starboard side seemed to be preferable, at least for this cruise. The port talks were not broadcast in our room. I asked the cruise director and she told me that the audio was broken and therefore they could not do it. This was an incontinence as the lounge does get fairly crowded with some people standing. Meal service at dinner varied depending on where you sat. Some evenings it was efficient but on others it was extremely slow and drawn out. Guests at other tables were having dessert while we were still waiting for our entrees. We were almost never asked if we wanted coffee at the end of the meal. We did learn the best areas to sit if we wanted better service. The soups were salty and thin, mostly broths. The food was never hot and perhaps this is because they do not cover the plates. I did enjoy the appetizers, entrees and desserts for the most part and appreciated the smaller sizes. I had steak one night (which is available every night) and it was excellent. Lunch in the dining room was disappointing. If you arrived at the middle of the lunch period it was difficult to find a clean, set table. If you asked a server to reset a table, it was a major undertaking that took a long time. It was also difficult to find a server to take your drink order if you did not arrive at the start of the meal time. The buffet itself was not replenished or even minimally maintained during the meal period. One day we saw nearly empty trays that were left untouched for 45 minutes. I took a picture of this and sent it to Emerald but did not get a reply. The picture is attached to this review. I mentioned this to a server and he only shrugged his shoulders. When they reset the tables, they did not replace or clean the table mats in any way. They looked dirty and unsanitary. The tables for two were convenient but the curtains could not be easily pulled back and sometimes blocked the view. An easy fix would be to install some curtain ties. Another easy fix would be for the ID scanner that you need to use when departing and returning to the ship. The ID’s our worn on a neck lanyard but the scanner is on a pedestal that is about 4 ft tall. This means everyone has to lean over at an uncomfortable angle to scan their ID. The pedestal needs to be raised a few feet, perhaps placed on a base so that it would be easier to do the scan. We chose Emerald particularly because of the advertised on board bikes. The Cruise Director announced that of the 20 bikes on board, 5 were broken. When we tried to sign up for the guided bike tour of Belgrade (the only one offered during the week long cruise) we could only be waitlisted as 15 passengers had already signed up. It was unclear when the list was made available and we tried to sign up just after the excursion talk finished. We talked to the Cruise Director and to her credit she was able to arrange for more bikes so that we were able to go on the excursion which was enjoyable. However, this should not have been an issue as the bike tour is heavily promoted by Emerald and I could not find any mention in the fine print that it was subject to availability. It would also be helpful if information could have been provided about bike paths/lanes that could be used on our own in the various ports. It was difficult to research this info on our own as we were not sure where we would be docked ahead of time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I ... Read More
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I wanted to do this one as I was told that it is a great cruise for beginners and most people can trace some family heritage to that area. I was not disappointed with my choice. Not know what to expect, I was really surprised at how much detail and organization the cruise director had. He had us well prepared for what we were going to do the next day and where to be when it was time to go. Between the cruise director and the activities director, you had a ton of choices for things to do to fill your morning, day and evening. The food and the restaurant were amazing. The staff absolutely made sure you had more than enough to east and drink. If you somehow left hungry, it is your own fault. I was amazed at how many of the staff members knew the guests by name and what they drank. The front of the house/hotel staff has embrocation and disembarkation down to a science. It only took a few minutes each day to unload the entire ship The cabin was awesome. Plenty of room for everything. It is like a nice hotel room in the states... a little bit smaller but very nice. Very sleek modern design with A/C great for American travelers. The bathroom/shower is a little small, but i am a big guy and I was still able to use it without much effort. Even thought he shore excursions are very planned outwith guides, you have plenty of free time to take care of all of your shopping needs or go see something that might not be on the tour. They are also extremely flexible if you do not want to go on the tour or if you wan to break off at any point The nightly entertainment was great. The entire ship was engaged and having a blast. I would absolutely use Emerald again for a river cruise and recommend to anyone Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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