7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first river cruise and the standard of accommodation, food and service on the Emerald Star was hard to fault. The staff made everything - even passing through the deepest lock on our journey - a cause for celebration and a ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the standard of accommodation, food and service on the Emerald Star was hard to fault. The staff made everything - even passing through the deepest lock on our journey - a cause for celebration and a glass of bubbly. They were constantly friendly, cheerful and hardworking. We were a little younger than most passengers who were 60+ and that meant we found some of the trips a bit slow but you could always leave the organised tour and explore on your own. The vast majority of the other guests were Australian which made for a great atmosphere with loads of people who were ready to chat and a lot of fun. We loved the clever design of the boat and were amazed at the amount of space and storage in our cabin. The pool is tiny but was underused so it was possible to get a proper swim, albeit with a lot of turns! Would also say that I can be seasick on a 20 minute ferry crossing but the boat was so stable I was absolutely fine. We travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam and found the stops in Bavaria especially beautiful - for a shorter cruise we'd say do the Danube and Main rather than the Rhine, but that was just our taste. We'll definitely be cruising with Emerald again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
I am not really one to write reviews but after my experience on the Emerald Star I felt compelled to share what I can only describe as "the trip of a lifetime!". I have avoided ocean cruising as my husband gets seasick but after ... Read More
I am not really one to write reviews but after my experience on the Emerald Star I felt compelled to share what I can only describe as "the trip of a lifetime!". I have avoided ocean cruising as my husband gets seasick but after speaking to some friends who had been river cruising, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. We flew into Munich from Manchester and were met by the Emerald Rep at the airport and transferred to the ship. I'm not quite sure what I expected but I was blown away by how clean, luxurious, light and airy the ship was! We were shown to our cabin after a light lunch and it was bigger than I expected with full length windows that slide down at the press of a button. I could get used to this! The staff on board were fantastic, always cleaning and looking after you. Our cabin cleaner always had a smile at the ready and seemed genuinley interested in how our day was and where we had been out to experience without being too informal. In fact, all of the staff seemed to know who they could have a joke with and who preferred a more serious approach whilst they were proffessional to a T! The food was some of the best food I have tasted. I was impressed by the buffet on the first night but when the gala dinners and the al a carte service started on the second night, our evening meals became an event to look forward to! There was always 2 options of starters and soups plus 3 choices for main meals. If you didnt like those choices, you could choose from Salmon, steak and chicken every night as well and the steak was cooked to perfection! The deserts were delightful although I would have liked to have know which cheeses were on the cheese board as I don't like all cheeses. The excursions we went on were well organised and although they were tiring, we learnt so much about the local areas and history. Our guides had these "whisper boxes" and we carried a box around our necks with headphones so even if I held back to take a picture, I could still hear the guide talking. I won't bore you with all the destinations but my 2 favourites were Cesky Krumlov which was an extra excursion with Emerald but well worth it. It is a stunning little town really quirky but so picturesque. The other was Budapest, the history, the buildings and the tour was so enjoyable and informative. We read before we went that gratuities were included with Emerald Waterways but we were surprised to find that even the bus drivers and guides don't ask for tips. In fact, one guide refused on the first trip when my husband offered her some money saying she had been paid. We did leave some for the cleaning staff as they were so exceptional and it felt wrong to us not to leave something. So, good and bad points: Good; the staff are the best I have ever come across. The food, the excursions, the pool was lovely although we only went in once, the cabin was immaculate and the bed was so comfy! Bad; Some of the excursions were a little tiring as my husband isn't good on his feet, although there was a slower group which helped and Karla our Cruise Director told us before hand what was entailed. Munich airport was huge and we werent prepared for how far we had to walk to the meeting point. I can't actually think of anything else bad. The Emerald Star was a beautiful ship, light airy and contemporary in design. The staff were attentive and proffessional and couldn't have done more to make our trip special. The excursions were brilliantly executed, informative and educational with excellent clearly spoken guides. Karla our cruise director was fantastic and her port talks were informative, light and entertaining. Compared to the other ships we saw on the river, the Emerald Star was the Queen of the Danube and I wouldnt hesitate to recommend to other people, I already have to friends and family since we got home! Well done Emerald, I will be booking again soon! Read Less
Emerald Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 1.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.5 4.3
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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