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35 Emerald Waterways Bucharest Cruise Reviews

To complete the full length of the river Danube. Have travelled by Viking in 2016 from Germany to Budapest and had a wonderful time. So thought that it would make sense to complete the Danube by going fro Bucharest to ... Read More
To complete the full length of the river Danube. Have travelled by Viking in 2016 from Germany to Budapest and had a wonderful time. So thought that it would make sense to complete the Danube by going fro Bucharest to Budapest. Also to change from Viking to Emerald just to experience a different cruise experience. As we have previously on used Viking.. Am pleased to say that we were not disappointed. Would certainly consider Emerald in the future as the company were very well organised. The ship was a dream and my Wife was particularly struck with the Cinema where the four of us spent a pleasant Evening watching Jack Reacher who is my favourite read. Also she was particularly surprised to find out how enjoyable the pool was. Will certainly recommend Emerald to friends and will consider booking with the line in the near future. Perhaps for the French Waterways . Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this trip because I am interested in Eastern Europe and it certainly lived up to and beyond expectations.The excursions were long enough and I must admit I wish I could have spent more time in some places as there was so much to ... Read More
I chose this trip because I am interested in Eastern Europe and it certainly lived up to and beyond expectations.The excursions were long enough and I must admit I wish I could have spent more time in some places as there was so much to see. The local guides were excellent with vast knowledge ,only to happy to answer questions. The cruse was well organised and our cruise director Simona was excellent nothing was too much trouble. The ship was comfortable,never looked overcrowded and I liked the free seating at meal times,so that you could sit with friends.the evening entertainment was fun ,not too long. The sun decks were well stocked with comfortable seating Service on board was excellent all the staff were professional and attentive.Dining was good with plenty of choice. Cabins were spacious with lots of storage and very comfortable,even providing a fly screen if you wanted the window open. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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
We liked the itinerary,never having been to Bucharest or indeed having done a river cruise. My husband is disabled so traveling can be difficult but Emerald were excellent from the time we booked. There was assistance at the ... Read More
We liked the itinerary,never having been to Bucharest or indeed having done a river cruise. My husband is disabled so traveling can be difficult but Emerald were excellent from the time we booked. There was assistance at the airports,the hotel in Bucharest and at embarkation. The ship was sparkling clean throughout.Our cabin was large enough to cope with a folding mobility scooter and the crew were always on hand to help us. They could not have been better- nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was delicious and the service in the dining room just right. We didn't go on the all day excursions as they would have been too long for my husband but we thoroughly enjoyed our days on the ship, relaxing on the sundeck looking at the beautiful scenery . One of the best things was that there was no piped music so we could just enjoy the sounds of the river and the birds, it was so peaceful . The excursions we did go on were well organised and very enjoyable. We will definitely travel with Emerald again, just need to find the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We fancied a cruise but didn't fancy the idea of sharing a 10-day pub/restaurant crawl across the ocean with 3000 other people, so decided on a river cruise with Emerald Waterways up the Danube from Bucharest to Budapest. It was ... Read More
We fancied a cruise but didn't fancy the idea of sharing a 10-day pub/restaurant crawl across the ocean with 3000 other people, so decided on a river cruise with Emerald Waterways up the Danube from Bucharest to Budapest. It was entertaining, educational and seriously luxurious. The guests were all adults and a good cross-section from across the planet; Oz, NZ, Canada, and UK mostly with some US, but there was also a small group from Brazil who, in spite of having little English, still seemed to enjoy the trip. The ship was practically brand new and very comfortable. The captain was very approachable and impressed us all with his seamanship (or would that be rivermanshio?). The food was outstanding and the drinks at lunch and dinner comprised good quality wines that just kept coming. Acquiring in advance a drinks package was a good idea although drinks on-board outside of mealtimes were reasonably priced. We only went on the included excursions but they were pretty good (if you like a lot of beautiful old churches) although one did include a 2-hour coach journey which, frankly, I could have done without - Eastern European roads aren't brilliant. Eastern European river ports aren't much to write home about either but Silistra, Belgrade and Budapest were lovely. We have only 2 negative comments about the whole trip: 1. We could have done without 2 nights in the Bucharest Sheraton - it's a good quality business hotel in the middle of a concrete jungle - but all cities are the same and we wanted to be on the ship. 2. It's a pity that for some parts of the river cruise we travelled at night - we were there for the cruise; to watch the countryside drift by at 10 knots, not for the joy of being nailed to some pokey quayside for a few hours whilst we all went on a coach journey, followed by a night passage. It is, after all, marketed as a River Cruise not a coach-borne site-seeing trip. Would we go again? Absolutely. Wonderful value for money and some terrifically unique experiences. We met some lovely people on-board and some incredibly friendly ex-communists ashore. Next time though we'll make sure any hotel stopover is at the end of the trip and not the beginning. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our second cruise on the Emerald Sun. Having done the trip from Budapest to Amsterdam we now wanted to complete our experience of the Danube by sailing from Bucharest to Budapest. This enabled us to tick off several more countries ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Emerald Sun. Having done the trip from Budapest to Amsterdam we now wanted to complete our experience of the Danube by sailing from Bucharest to Budapest. This enabled us to tick off several more countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia as well as revisiting Hungary. The Emerald Sun was as enchanting as it had been in 2015 and several small improvements have made it even more enjoyable. For example the power jet in the pool is a real challenge. We find it hard to find fault with anything. The organisation is superb throughout and if anything does go wrong due to events beyond Emeralds control there is always a fall back plan available. We had a grand balcony cabin which was well equipped and advantage is taken of every inch of space with drawers and cupboards in unexpected places. Clientele is mainly British and Australian together with a sprinkling of Canadians and Americans. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This 10 day tour included a 7 night cruise from Bucharest to Budapest. Two nights in Bucharest preceded the cruise, on which from embarkation to disembarkation, every detail was attended to. Our ship was only a couple of years old, and ... Read More
This 10 day tour included a 7 night cruise from Bucharest to Budapest. Two nights in Bucharest preceded the cruise, on which from embarkation to disembarkation, every detail was attended to. Our ship was only a couple of years old, and was spotlessly clean. The staff all appeared to genuinely enjoy serving their guests - from the Captain to the room attendants. Meals were superb, with plenty of choice and beautifully presented. The evening entertainment was very enjoyable, especially the show put on by the crew, and the Serbian folk group. Shore excursions provided an opportunity to learn a little of the history of the countries through which we passed - Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary. All of the guides on our shore excursions spoke excellent English and were knowledgeable and passionate about their home countries. I believe the tour was excellent value for money, and I look forward to travelling with Emerald Waterways again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We knew this was going to be a special holiday the moment we saw the lovely backpacks and wallet containing our tickets and information, but were surprised at just how special it was. The tour included a couple of nights in Bucharest ... Read More
We knew this was going to be a special holiday the moment we saw the lovely backpacks and wallet containing our tickets and information, but were surprised at just how special it was. The tour included a couple of nights in Bucharest – a wonderfully interesting city, which exceeded our expectations on every level. Our stay at the Sheraton was very good – we upgraded to the Club floor, where the lounge was open from breakfast until 11pm. Bucharest was certainly as clean and safe (or safer) than Barcelona, with an amazing amount of history to discover. A city tour was included and the People’s Palace was a real highlight, even though we only saw 10% of the building – and that took over an hour! We had an extra day in Bucharest, so also took a free walking tour and a “Hidden Bucharest” tour we found on Viator. All three tours showed the city off in different ways. With a freak heatwave of up to 30C, it was too hot to go to the Village museum, so we visited the Peasant Museum – I got told off for taking a photo by a security guard who then started talking on her phone! Apart from that incident, we found the Romanians very friendly and enjoyed very good service everywhere we went. After checking out from the hotel, we went to lunch at Cara Cu Bere, one of Bucharest’s more touristy restaurants, where the food and service was excellent. We were then taken to the ship, docked at Giurgiu, not that we saw the town particularly – the ship was mostly docked a fair way from any of the towns and villages, with the exception of Belgrade and Budapest. On arrival at the ship, we were greeted with a non-alcoholic cocktail and a hot towel with smiling staff showing us to our cabins – and pointing out the cupboards behind the mirrors in the bathroom. Amazingly, our luggage was already in the cabin. I double checked that my bedding was hypo allergenic, however, woke up at around 4am wheezing and sneezing as one of the duvets seemed to have feathers in it, but it was quickly changed (yes, at 4am!) We had an offer that included all drinks, not that we seemed to take advantage of it that much - wine at lunch and dinner was really enough for us! We also liked that there was no tipping - it makes it much simpler and easier - and far less embarrassing - for us Europeans. The cabin was very well appointed – bathrobe/slippers, still and sparkling water, a beautiful guidebook (which we could keep!), along with a big television and a lot of drawer space. However, the hanging space was limited by the safe, which could easily have been put next to the wardrobe on the huge shelf. My only other niggle about the ship was that there was one public toilet on each floor and absolutely no reason why they couldn’t be unisex and weren’t more disabled-friendly. The ship was spotless, service was amazing – I’m allergic to cheese and one day was greeted at lunch by the head chef who greeted me by name and said that the Serbian meatballs had cheese in them, but he’d made a couple especially for me. We did, however, found the restaurant on the noisy side, making it sometimes difficult to hear our fellow travellers. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and dinner was a four or five course meal, with a meat, fish or veggie option. You could also have steak, salmon or chicken for lunch or dinner – one day, I couldn’t choose, so had two main courses! One day, a galley tour was offered, but we were in Belgrade and unfortunately missed it, however, we were brought up to speed by other guests. The lounge was the main room for socialising, although smokers were on top and a smattering of people used the pool. We never saw the cinema in use – on the first night, they lost the DVD and most other nights, there was some entertainment, or we sat chatting to fellow passengers, who, with the exception of some travel bloggers, were just about all retired, making charming and interesting company. The staff were all excellent and the captain was exceptionally friendly and approachable. It’s hard to focus on one person, but Jana, the tour leader, was simply amazing – always friendly and so organised, ensuring everything ran smoothly in a part of the world where I’m sure that there are sudden changes, such as customs regulations sailing in and out of the EU in Serbia. Tours: At each port, tours were included and good maps were given out, although on this trip, most stops were away from too much to see and do. Alfatar – we had an English guide, Denis, who married a Bulgarian wife and had lived in Ruse for over ten years. He wasn’t that keen on talking about Bulgarian history (cutting it down to a few minutes!), but did give some insights into the practicalities of living in Bulgaria. Our tour to a school was imaginative and exceptionally interesting – the kids were just adorable and exceptionally well behaved. Veliko Tarnovo / Abarnassi – Denis was once again our guide and told us much more about the history of the two towns. Veliko Tarnovo was the old capital of Bulgaria and our time there was a little short, however, we had a lovely lunch with a fantastic view and agreed we’d like to visit the town in more depth. Arbanassi was a lovely little village with a fascinating church where a local Bulgarian guide explained all about it, and then a four piece choir sang, showing off the acoustics of the church, not to mention their singing prowess. The next day was spent cruising through the Iron Gates. It seemed to go by very quickly, and was a lovely relaxing day. Belgrade Our day outside the EU meant that any mobile phone calls went from being included in our tariff to 40p a minute, so they remained firmly switched off! A lot of our friends came to Belgrade when they hosted Eurovision in 2006, and called it Hell-grade. Our guide was only too aware of the city’s failings and painted a colourful picture with a great deal of detail in the very sad history of this region, remnants of the war are still in evidence. We found the city very interesting and possibly rather different to how it was 10 years ago. It was very strange to see lots of souvenirs with Putin, exceptionally off putting and a little scary for a same sex couple. Our tour should have included Tito’s mausoleum, but it was closed on a Monday. We weren’t sure how safe Belgrade was so opted for the additional Theatre tour in the afternoon which was very interesting and worth the €29. It’s a beautiful theatre, interesting to go backstage. We ended with a short concert by two young opera singers (along with a glass of bubbly!) which was yet another highlight of the trip. We were going to go back for the galley tour, but decided to have a little wander around the city and walked back to the ship, which was down a flight of stairs, so shuttle buses were arranged, leaving every 30 minutes until about 6. After dinner, a very energetic group of dancers and musicians entertained us. Vukovar/Osijek It was time for the Croatian side of the story to be told – Vukovar has a very sad recent past and our guide brought it all to life. She was definitely the most talkative guide we had, combining history with culture. The tour around Osijek was interesting enough, but then we went to a fisherman’s house who entertained us with humour, wine, ajvar, sausages and cake. We then got back on the coach and went to our home hosted lunch which was a true highlight of the tour. There should have been ten of us, but somehow 12 came in, meaning that the host didn’t sit with us. However, she did tell us about her life in Croatia and how she’d had to go to live with her sister in Stuttgart during the war. All too quickly, it was time to get on the bus again. Kalosca Again, the ship didn’t dock near a town, but a coach took us on a three in one tour – firstly, to the paprika museum where we were greeted by an old woman and some bread/paprika. She gave an interesting talk, then we were offered paprika brandy – an acquired taste. It was then onto an old style house museum where our guide showed us round – the house had a fascinating kitchen with the ovens ingeniously heating the rooms to the sides. He also pointed out a cricket bat shaped object, asking what we thought it was – I can’t remember its real use, but one of the passengers did ask whether it was to beat their wife?! The final part of the tour was to a horse farm, where some amazing horsemanship was shown – including a rider standing on two sponges on two horses and leading 10 horses around the track. We were also treated to more wine, bread and dripping and cake – and a ride round on a farmer’s carriage. We then got back to the ship for a late lunch and had the afternoon to pack – including the paprika that had been given to us as a gift on our return to the ship! It worked well as a bribe for the questionnaires which we also filled in during the afternoon! After dinner (which included the obligatory baked Alaska parade – with real sparklers!) – we were treated to a spectacular view of Budapest by night, a wonderful way to end a wonderful trip. Disembarkation was exceptionally civilised. Our transfer was organised for 11 – the suitcase had to be out by 8.30 and we could use our cabin until 9.30. We went out earlier for a quick walk around Budapest. Only regret? Not leaving this holiday for a big birthday or anniversary. But then again, we’re so lucky to have been able to take this trip as this area has been rocked by war so many times. We had the most sensational holiday, travelling in comfort through some of Europe’s most troubled areas and how they’re making progress since the communist era. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the ... Read More
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the advertised library and shop? Don't bother, they don't exist! The gym has only one working machine "the rest have never worked". We have done several river trips with 3 other cruise companies and thoroughly enjoyed them, awarding 8 to 10 out of 10. Emerald offers no talks on local history etc and their evening entertainment is truly awful. Three quiz nights, for example. Why not be done with it and have three bingo nights as well! The side trips were not that enjoyable, but perhaps this reflects the dearth of suitable venues. The supposed highlight of the cruise, the gorge, was mostly done in the dark for some reason. The Bucharest hotel was no more than 2 star and reminiscent of the communist era. An experience not to be repeated; surprisingly parent company is Scenic Tours. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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