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7 Emerald Waterways Bucharest Cruise Reviews

Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald ... Read More
Having (Ocean) cruised for a few times we decided we should try a river cruise. We had heard good reports from friends so gave it a go. We arrived at Bucharest expecting to go on Emerald Destiny and found out it was going to be Emerald Star. We had not been told, in fact our agent had checked only a few days previously and was told there were no changes. No matter, the ships are virtually identical. We found the plusses tp be ALL inclusive, a more personal feeling (only 169 passengers) able to regularly meet the same people who we enjoyed being with and more to see as always in sight of land. On the minus side we found cabin space quite limited especially hanging space which was only fifteen inches of usable rail. Despite having a 'balcony' passengers were encouraged not to open the window when moving. Entertainment was very limited unless you are keen on quizzes and games. The couple of performances by local artists were however very good. The dining room was so noisy. All glass and chrome it did not absorb any of the sound. It was almost impossible to talk to people on the same table. This was made worse by only the one sitting where almost everyone came in at once which significantly affected the time it took to be served. Dinner times were consistently over two hours long which may be fine for some but too long for us. Mooring places could sometimes be a bit grim. Just a floating dock in the middle of nowhere. Two or three of the trips took place whilst the ship was moving to another place so with quite a bit of overnight cruising there was not a great deal of moving whilst on board during the day. We had to try it but I think it will be big ship cruising from now on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother ... Read More
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother set up this trip for her 80th birthday I got a chance to see what the fuss was about. Wow. WOW. First off, you do get to see PLENTY! And one of the wonderful things about Emerald Waterways is that they do all of the planning for you: passes, passport review (Enchantment of Eastern Europe goes through 5 countries in 9 days, so this is a LOT of paperwork off my plate), tour buses, guides, the works. Given I'm over burdened with logistics in my day-to-day life, this all-inclusive experience takes a lot of the stress out of planning a vacation. Emerald also coordinates experiences that going it alone can't, most notably an in-home visit for a homemade lunch with a Croatian family. The guides on all off-ship excursions are excellent. If you're a history buff (like me!) you get a lot of history and context for what you're seeing, from someone who lives there and has lived that history. Given how little I knew about eastern Europe in general this was a huge plus for me. I didn't know about the long shadows both the Roman and Ottoman empires cast over this part of the world, nor the varied and nuanced experiences of the Cold War and communism in the Balkans. I went back to the ship each night with a dozen notes for follow up at the library when I got home. The ship itself was exceptional. Service was incredibly attentive - within two days the waiters knew me and my coffee preferences on sight. The cruise director briefed us each night, so we'd know what to expect in terms of activities, local currencies and time changes, menu (more on that later), and was incredibly approachable and knowledgable. One thing that always daunted me about the idea of a cruise was getting lost on a huge boat of hundreds of people. I appreciated the fairly small ship and crew/crowd size (I think plus crew it was less than 200 people). I think this allowed both for better service and easier interactions between fellow vacationers at dinners and on excursions. The food was fantastic. They never overfed you, but I can honestly say my stomach never growled once the entire time I was on board. Dinner was previewed each night with a handout and chef recommendations, the latter of which almost never set a foot wrong. The food was excellent, in small enough portions to not feel overstuffed by appetizer, soup, main course and dessert. "One" glass of wine is provided with dinner, but that glass is constantly refilled by the attentive wait staff. Breakfast and lunch buffets were equally good. All meals included vegetarian options, and the staff even accommodated dietary restrictions on the family lunch visits. My only reservations: I'd have preferred a bit more "quiet space". Even during in the quietest times in the public areas there was music running, when I would have just preferred to hear the lull of the water against the ship's hull. I would have welcomed more opportunities to exchange cash/go to ATMs. While most of the countries on this trip (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary) take euros some of the time, each country has its own currency and not all vendors take credit/debit cards. It was quite easy to wind up with a handful of currency on Wednesday that you couldn't use Thursday and couldn't exchange easily. I would also have liked the opportunity to visit a post office to send souvenirs home, but this may be out of an unrealistic desire to avoid overweight bag charges. The short version: would I do again? You bet! You get to see a lot with very little logistics on your part and you only have to unpack once. The food is phenomenal and all of it is included, including tips. The staff can help you with just about anything where you might get stuck, and you go home with unique memories and even more curiosity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. ... Read More
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. There were a few minor problems: -air conditioning was sometimes poor, most notably in busy restaurant at dinner -WIFI was intermittent, we lost WIFI for 3-4 days along the Danube- most frustrating ! -The map for Ruese, Bulgaria was incorrect; the ship was berthed off map; our walking tour was most interesting though and worthy of our efforts. People most helpful & friendly. The itinerary included many interesting locations, with much history to see & enjoy. The guides were excellent. -The wine tasting near Vidin was excellent. -more time could be spent in Bucharest & Budapest on our itinerary, Overall, an excellent itinerary and an excellent ship, the Emerald Sun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the ... Read More
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. First aid box needed more bandages (I sprained an ankle). since there is no where else to comment to the food. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. , Some commentaries on buses difficult to follow: Speakers often pitched in, without alerting us that they were going to speak, so if one was thinking of something else, or concentrating on the scenery, it was possible to miss the start, and then to catch up. Also older people cannot take in the spoken word as quickly as youngsters, so speakers need to speak slowly and clearly. . Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Excellent Cruise, good value for money. Service on board was very good and the dining room staff were excellent as was the food which was of very good quality and variety. The cabins were clean and comfortable and the steward was very ... Read More
Excellent Cruise, good value for money. Service on board was very good and the dining room staff were excellent as was the food which was of very good quality and variety. The cabins were clean and comfortable and the steward was very helpful. there were plenty of chairs, sun beds shaded areas on the sun deck and on hot days water was supplied at no cost as well as the waters ready to supply us with other drinks. the only criticism that I have was that there were no blankets kept on the sun deck to soften the hardness of the sun beds as have been supplied on other cruises. the swimming pool was a great asset and was kept clean and tidy at all times. the free drinks with lunch and dinner were an excellent idea. the trips out were interesting and the coach travel to and from the venues was of high quality. All in all this was a very good choice of cruise and we would consider using Emerald for any future crises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Trip looked interesting, the cruise went to several countries not visited before and the all inclusive nature of the trip appealed. The ship was elegant and seemed to have all that we would require. The food was excellent, although, ... Read More
Trip looked interesting, the cruise went to several countries not visited before and the all inclusive nature of the trip appealed. The ship was elegant and seemed to have all that we would require. The food was excellent, although, not that adventurous, particularly in the evening. Staff were always approachable and friendly. The evening entertainment was very basic and not to our taste, in the main. The same applied to the all day cruising. Excursions were excellent. The guides were first class. They knew their subject, had humour and patience with all. Very impressive with every one of them and the quality of their experience. Cabin was fine. Very compact, but it served its purpose.It was kept clean and tidy by housekeeping. The hotel was good and the food plentiful and good quality. It was not made clear to us that we would have to provide lunch and diner on our day in Bucharest. Not a problem, but better to be informed when booking. The contact before the trip was the only disappointment. The final details came late, no promised 'phone call was made and only one rucksack delivered,instead of two. The only blemish on the trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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