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41 Emerald Waterways Entertainment Cruise Reviews

It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was ... Read More
It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was okay...it is a small ship maximum 113 guests and is very fun. The ship is 2 years old and Emerald has made this small ship seem larger with mirrors everywhere. It is bright and gleaming and the rooms are adequate for cruising. We were on the lowest deck of 3 floors and it even has a large window at the water level. Service was superb and so was the food. Great variety and very tasty and colorful. The breakfast and lunch menu was full of variety and choices. Dinner menu was elegant and 3 to 4 courses with just enough to satisfy the palate. Wine and drinks with every meal was included.The shore excursions led by the Emerald tour leaders and they were very knowledgeable. We saw churches, wine tastings ,food market, city tours , historical bridges and got free time to shop and try out the local foods. Overall, this was one of the best river tours we have done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my third trip using Evergreen (Australia), known as Emerald in Europe. My first 14day river trip. From the moment of embarkation to our disembarking, I could not fault this trip. All crew members were , at all times friendly, ... Read More
This was my third trip using Evergreen (Australia), known as Emerald in Europe. My first 14day river trip. From the moment of embarkation to our disembarking, I could not fault this trip. All crew members were , at all times friendly, happy and 100% professional. The onshore trips were most enjoyable and local guides knowledgeable, and pleasant. The meals on board were excellent, with lots of choices. A very big thank you, must go to our Tour Director , Luis His organizational skills were first class, and the whole trip went very smoothly. At all times, the ultimate professional, but also interacted well with the passengers. He had a great sense of humour, and a very happy disposition. (thanks for the dancing and the karaoke !!!!!) I was also fortunate to do the Paris and Prague extensions which also were well organised and enjoyable. One should not forget to mention Adam, the cabaret singer, and entertainment director. A pleasant young man, who also interacted well with the guests. I cannot speak highly enough of Evergreen tours, and I sincerely hope to be able to enjoy more travels with them. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his wife, the host of this cruise. We had not seen him perform live in 35 years and he was still amazing! The company sponsoring the cruise was Mayflower Tours and they did an excellent job. We received all our boarding documents before leaving home, including a nice backpack for the excursions. We received free airfare from Montana to Prague and then Budapest back to Montana. We upgraded our seats to Comfort Plus (about one thousand dollars each and worth every penny), just behind the first class section of the aircraft. We also added three days extra in Prague and Budapest to check out the cities on our own. We stayed at the Hotel Grandium in Prague, about a block from Wenceslas Square and within walking distance of almost everything. Outstanding hotel, with a breakfast to die for! In Budapest, we stayed at the InterContinental, right on the river by the Chain Bridge. I had stayed there 40 years ago, still a beautiful hotel. Our room was on the ninth floor, facing the river and the views were amazing, especially at night. Now to the ship. The Emerald Sun was beautifully maintained, spotless everywhere you went. The entire crew was exceptional and made you feel right at home. Initially, we booked a room on deck 1 (room 117) just below waterline and were more than happy with it. Just for the heck of it my wife inquired about an upgrade to deck 2 or 3 and for an extra $400.00 we moved up to deck 2 (room 214). The room was excellent. We loved having the window that lowered electrically half way open, turning the room into a big balcony. The bed was comfy, plenty of room for all our stuff and the bathroom plenty big enough. Our cabin attendant kept the room spotless. I can't say enough about the quality of the dining. Up to this point, nobody could compare to Celebrity, but these guys could and DID! All the meals were spectacular, we hated to get of that ship. The entertainment was beyond wonderful. To start with there were about 17 of us that signed up just because of Seamus Kennedy. He held trivial pursuit nights in the lounge and spur of the moment 1 or 2 hour mini-concerts at the pool for us. Not mention sing-a-longs during our bus rides. An absolute joy to travel with. The ship had various entertainers come aboard depending on what city we docked at, not to mention an amazing on-board piano player in the lounge almost every night. At every city we had ship sponsored walking tours with guides, very well organized. Also, there were many special excursions folks signed up for at an additional cost. We had lived just south of Munich for three years in the late 80's, so we skipped the extra excursions to Salzburg and Vienna. We absolutely loved Prague and Budapest and would recommend those two cities for a visit. Of note, we did most of our Danube River cruising at night while we slept. I do remember going thru many, many locks and that was interesting. We would definitely do a river cruise again. Oh BTW, we loved the Infinity Pool and used it almost daily, usually all to ourselves! My wife loved the exercise room and I loved watching her use it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a ... Read More
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a very competent, friendly and professional team who constantly demonstrated a desire to please. Accommodation, bar and drinks, onboard entertainment, pool/cinema area and especially the food and accompanying wines were all consistently very good. And of course last but not least, the guided land tours and scenery were in excess of expectations. We had a drinks package and struggled thereafter to spend money on board! My wife regrettably made up for it whilst on shore and we came home with marvellous cheeses, mustards, wines and chocolates! Jana the cruise Director and DD the cruise Entertainment director were superb and got to know all 130 passengers personally and treated them as both individuals and as members of the Team Emerald. A glowing review I know but well deserved Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many ... Read More
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many cruises were impacted with people having to change boats or take long legs on coaches. Thankfully this never happened to us. Whilst, Evergreen have their river guarantee we didn't need to rely on it. About a week before the cruise we were called by Evergreen to tell us the situation and give us a couple of options. We decided to proceed as planned. The ship was excellent and we were in a grand balcony suite, it provided a a little extra room and a few extra comforts. Now for some specifics: Food: The food was a generally pretty good - in terms of quality and quantity it couldn't be faulted. Where there is room for improvement is variety. As someone who doesn't eat fish/seafood I was often left with one choice. They have a couple of standing choices in terms of steaks and chicken but these were not well prepared in my opinion. Alcohol - they offer free beer and wine with meals. If you want anything else outside of meal times you will need to pay for it or arrange for a drinks package. This is what we did. Laundry - depending on your canine choice you may get some pieces of laundry included - a couple of pieces a day. Regardless its not enough and the laundry charges are stupendously high. Tours - You basically stop in a town each day. Usually in the morning, you have breakfast and at about 9am you muster to go exploring. There are local guides and audio devices for each person so you can listen to the guides explanation. This was very good and all of the guides we experienced were professional and most often had a great sense of humour. They are usually residents in the towns you visit. You then get a couple of hours of free time to go shopping or exploring in your own time. Discover More Tours - These tours are offered as additional extras. They go to slightly out of the way places - usually by coach. You pay more for these and they happen while the rest of the passengers are doing the standard tour. We did a couple - to the Dracenfels castle and to Saltzburg. Each of these was about $120 per person. The Salzburg tour was excellent (think town from Sound of Music) the Dracenfels castles was a complete waste of time and money. This was one of the first tours and as such it didn't help us get off to the best start. The castle is basically a large house that has been designed to look like a castle. It was opened up especially for our tour - but that said there were covers over stall/shops that had been set up inside to keep them out the snow. The guide tried hard but could do too much. There were a number of onboard entertainment events - including local performers from Austria and Hungary - excellent events. There were a couple of other entertainment activities such as trivia and dance nights. The cruise director we had on board - Darren, was excellent. He worked tirelessly to make everything happen. A great personality and helped make the trip fun. Cannot recommend him highly enough. I've seen a few other comments about the age of the passengers. My wife and I are both 46 and while we amongst the youngest on the ship (there were a few in there 20s) we didn't feel out of place. There were plenty of fit and able people and most groups walked a good pace. There was typically one group for 'slow' walkers. As I indicated earlier we really enjoyed the trip. We paid for the upgrades to business class flights and the upgraded cabin. The business class flights were a good option when coming from Australia especially if you are over 6ft tall. We arrived a little early - 3 days in Amsterdam and stayed a little later in Budapest (another 3 days). If I had my time again I would reduce the post cruise Budapest stay to an extra day. We will probably take another cruise like this in a couple of years to go and we happily choose Evergreen again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent ... Read More
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent and gave us a taste of the local cuisine. The concierge Manuel was an exemplary organizer with a good command of the English language. He commanded the staff appropriately and effectively. He was always available and ready to help. He has a vast knowledge of the history and local culture. Without his direction the cruise would not have run as smoothly .I would recommend Manuel as concierge on any cruise. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing time and still be overseas enjoying the scenery the company the hospitality of this crew. It caters for all ages and tastes with numerous possibilities to organize your own holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the information they needed to make the most of the trip, besides being unfailingly funny and truly solicitous of his guests' welfare and experience. The hotel manager Isztvan and his entire staff (sorry for misspellings) were also endlessly swift, efficient, smiling, and tireless. Our cabin steward, Gabriela, made sure that our cabin was always spotless, and we really appreciated her sense of humor when she put my husband's sunglasses on the towel dog she made for us one night. The chef Teo and his staff did a remarkable job of producing really wonderful food every two hours (Darren's phrase, not mine) with superb service at mealtimes and in the bar upstairs. I've crewed a sailboat with 14 people aboard as cook, deckhand, and general bottle washer and I know how hard it is to maintain the kind of standards we saw aboard the Liberte. Bravo. The sailing staff also was quick, efficient, and also endlessly pleasant when we saw them. We enjoyed the captains mightily, in particular Remi's (again, sorry for misspellings) technical talk toward the end of the cruise. Each of the guides the ship provided for our included tours and those hired was knowledgeable, competent, and funny. We enjoyed them all. This was our first cruise of any kind. It made believers of both of us - in this type of vacation and in Emerald and the Liberte in particular. We'll be back. Bon voyage - J Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally clean. The quality of the food prepared by a chef and his team was exceptional . Food provided for breakfast and lunch was also wonderful with a large variety and choice available. Wine was overflowing and good quality. The tours that were an included part of our larger tour were extremely good value showing the particular features of Portuguese life ( eg Port wine, cork ) There were only 107 people on board and getting on and off the boat was easy. There was lots of free time to do our own exploring and guests were able to choose to stay on board if they wished. Staff were amazing Their approach was friendly, engaging & helpful at all times. They were extremely professional in every role that they filled. They were also a lot of fun. activities provided on board were engaging, interesting and informative. We would absolutely recommend Emerald Waterways form our experience of the River Duoro Cruise on Emerals Radiance Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions ... Read More
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions were superb - cannot be faulted. The bedroom was all we had expected, clean and very comfortable, with lots of coat-hangers, which was a very pleasant surprise, not the norm! ( I had taken a few, just in case!) Toiletries were good and stocked up everyday and the room was attended to twice daily.. As we had booked a balcony suite, that is what we expected, not two chairs and a table inside the cabin. This would be our only complaint of the ship but it didn't spoil an otherwise truly memorable holiday. We have travelled with other cruise companies but this is definitely the best so far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went ... Read More
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went flawlessly and we were soon on the Emerals Sky. Originally we were supposed to be on the Emerald Destiny but due to low water levels we were changed to the Sky. This didn’t present any problems however as the crew of Sky, excuse the pun, went overboard to make us feel so welcome. Arriving way before our expected arrival time our cabins were soon made ready and we were able to settle in and relax a little from a long flight and have a light lunch. Even Captain Stamen Dimitrov and Cruise Dorector Balazs were there to greet us on our arrival. Certainly a sign of things to come as we could not say more about the great service we received from all of the crew throughout the cruise. The Rhine cruise likely many in Europe is a trip through history and the tours and the guides we were fortunate to have were first class. All were well organized and having an “active” tour was a great option. The only bike option was in Amsterdam however so another on the cruise would likely go over well. Our dining experience was pretty much 4 star and the service was excellent although a little bit of extra help at the omelet station in the morning might have sped things along. Entertainment was fairly low key as things tend to be on a river boat cruise, just a pianist, but we should comment that the electronic violinist who came aboard one evening was excellent. In closing we would like to make special mention of our Captain Stamen Dimitrov who was so personalable, and skilled in navigating our ship safely through low water levels to reach our destinations. Also our Cruise Director Balazs who worked so hard to organize all the tours and events and made them go so well. Thank you. Still waiting for the photo Balazs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our cruise was the Sensations of Southern France from Evergreen Waterways. The ship was beautiful and immaculate, the staff outstanding, we had wonderful food and amazing wines. We were warmly welcomed and given full explanations of how ... Read More
Our cruise was the Sensations of Southern France from Evergreen Waterways. The ship was beautiful and immaculate, the staff outstanding, we had wonderful food and amazing wines. We were warmly welcomed and given full explanations of how everything would be done. It seemed nothing was too much trouble. We received a comprehensive information sheet every evening about the next day's destination and what activities would be available. Guided walking tours were flexible with faster and slower groups to help suit those less mobile like myself. Lots of information about places, people, culture and architecture was given by the local guides. The food was top quality with lots of variety and more than anyone could eat. A guest celebrity chef came aboard to cook local dishes one night, but frankly the regular shipboard cuisine eclipsed his dishes. Local produce and wines were the focus of the menus. As we docked in Tournon we saw world-famous vineyards of M Chapoutier and Paul Jaboulet Aine on the hills above us. How exciting to realise both vineyards were represented on the wine list for lunch and dinner that day! One night the people in the cabin next door to ours turned their tv up loud then went to sleep (passed out)! The wonderful night staff went to great and ingenious lengths to solve the problem for us. Even the disembarkation and final distribution of luggage was handled smoothly and efficiently. We are literally counting the days until we can book another Emerald cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were extremely impressed with the high standards on board the ship. The cabins were luxurious and stylishly decorated with wonderfully comfortable beds. Food was good and plentiful. All of the staff on board the ship were helpful, polite and good natured and did a fantastic job. Whilst we were cruising, the Danube waters became very low and some ships could not continue with their cruise as expected. However, our Captain got us through the expected itinerary with just a few hold ups due to having to sail more slowly than usual. Top marks to all the Emerald Destiny staff in all departments. There were lots of activities to entertain us on board and off. There were energetic bike rides on offer as well as additional trips to cities away from the river if you wanted to spread your wings a bit. In the evenings there was music and dancing available and sometimes local folk musicians giving us a taste of the local culture. The absolute highlight of our trip though was the music recital and dance performance in Vienna. Vincent and Flavia danced sublimely and then were happy to meet us, their fans, having pictures taken and a chat. There were very few downsides to the cruise, but we were very disappointed that our stop in Linz was on a Sunday when everything was closed. There were some really interesting vintage and artisan shops there, so not being able to go in was frustrating. Another slight disappointment was that during the on-board dancing masterclass with Vincent and Flavia the day after their performance, there was not enough room for everyone who wanted to take part. More thought was needed about how furniture could be moved and space created. Overall though, this was a fabulous experience and one that I am happy to recommend. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals only. We did have a few drinks between meals but mostly at the beginning of the cruise and used our credits on board to pay. The care with our Cruise director Darren was outstanding so was the whole crew .Each night we get explanations on the next day activities and countries what excursions to choose. There is lots of free time if we choose to do nothing. They truly care. Darren went out of his way to accommodate us during the heat wave to make us comfortable during excursions. The Captain is the only one who risked going through the low water levels we stayed informed all the way. Precautions were taken and we felt secure. The comfort on the ship is outstanding. Air conditioning on-going. Sheets and bed all is top quality. Embarkation and disembarkation are easy pizzy! No hassle, no climbing stairs, waiting for contents to be checked, many entrances to come in or out from, good monitoring of passengers entering or exiting ship even when anchored with other ships. Activities with music and dancers from different countries were awesome and had us all participating (no obligation). Loved that the tips were included no extra to pay ever!!! We loved Vienna. The after thought is spend less time in little countries such as Lynz and Durnstein and more in bigger countries like 2 days in Vienna as it was in Budapest. Vienna is wonderful the history, the buildings, the sites...we would like to return to spend one week in Vienna only. Concert in Vienna is a must. Family visit in Bratislava is high on our list of likes. The Budapest part is something to remember for the rest of your life. We took the option to stay in Budapest and regretted it simply because Emerald excursions did such a good job at showing us the country plus the night cruise was breathtaking, 2 days more cost us over $1000. (we had to pay for our excursions, food and all) and not worth it because we had covered so much with our guides for free and great explanations. First 3 days in Prague were very well organized, our tour guide was perfectly bilingual, helpful and knowledgeable. She told us so much on on each one of our tours we really enjoyed those 3 days. The bus to Nuremberg on the 4th day made us wonder why we left Prague so late. We were under the impression that there was an organized tour in Nuremberg before boarding the ship. We left Prague at 1h30pm it took us 5 hours to get from Prague to Nuremberg. The meal stop (at our expense) was in a mcDonalds on the side of the road. Could have had a lunch packed for us from the hotel before leaving or go to a local restaurant? Anyhow, this stop is not representative of the ship standards and was very disappointing in terms of a short visit in Nuremberg and food but we should of understood at that moment that the food standards of Emerald are far from ours... Speaking of food... If you like veggies and soup (soups were very good but very salty) bread and cold cuts and desserts you are in for a treat also, there were many fruit and nuts to choose from.I have travelled more than my share business and pleasure, sea cruises, organized or not trips, it is the first time I come back having lost weight because nothing on the menu turned our crank! Nothing refined...I can appreciate we ate local...goulash, sausages, sauerkraut, shneizell we had the impression that nothing was freshly made more like warmed up cafeteria and fat. There was an option choice for those who did not like the day menu, steak, salmon or chicken breast. Steak was not the best quality and lots of pulling to cut, if you like your steak medium rare by the time they come up the stairs and serve it continues to cook and turns out to be well done; the chicken is more like an overcooked thin cutlets=dry like cardboard, salmon very dry and small portion. Captain's night Chateaubriand and fish the portions were so small 3 bites later and it was gone, night of the Celebration supper Beef cheeks tasted like plastic (could not eat it had a salad with cheese) . Lunch is a buffet pretty much always the same. I hate to post such a bad review for food because all the rest was soooooo over the top excellent.But for our group food kicks the experience up a notch! We would like an explanation of why the quality was so poor it will help us choose our next cruise. I do recommend this cruise and if food is important for you then ask more questions before you book. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and ... Read More
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and efficient. The service could not be faulted. The weather was good but the water levels very low which required the captain to alter the schedule a little to get past the restriction which he did successfully, when other boats were stranded. He had to empty the swimming pool briefly to reduce weight and gain sufficient clearance(3 cm). Something to think about when taking river cruises in the Summer months. The on- board spending allowance(200 euros/ cabin) was very helpful in buying gifts. The menu choices were extensive and the food delicious, and with the generous wines at meals, we felt it was unnecessary to buy the drinks package. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, ... Read More
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, and take one of the longer cruises (15 days) and added the extra extension to Prague. When we came out of the airport in Amsterdam an Emerald representative was waiting to take us to the ship. A crew member came to take charge of our suitcase. Signing in to register onto the ship went very smooth, we were then escorted to our cabin and shown around and what was where and how it all worked. We were told that refreshments were available in the lounge whenever we were ready after freshening up a bit. From there we thought we were in heaven. Service in the Lounge and Dining Room was superb. The food was first class and varied and I was afraid I'd gain weight in those two weeks. All meals provided a choice of wines and/or beer. We had been provided a personalized itinerary outlining what we had singed up for when we booked the tour, so there were no real surprises. Our tour director (Michael) was absolute tops. He was a pleasure to deal with and never too busy to provide answers to questions which might arise. All of the tour guides were local and knew the local history and provided that little extra information that cannot be gleaned from reading a guide book. Obviously some were better than others. The only criticism I can level is the fact that neither my wife nor I were aware how long the bus trip from Budapest to Prague would be (8 hours on the bus). That makes for a long day. One slightly negative item was that one excursion we had signed up for and prepaid was cancelled for lack of participants. We were advised this happens occasionally and a refund will be sent to us automatically. The other unfortunate event was the fact that the water in the Danube was too low for the Emerald Dawn to go all the way to Budapest and we had to be bused around the low water area to meet the sister ship to finish the trip. This is out of the control of Emerald and fortunately they had the other ship available to allow us to continue. This unfortunately required packing up our belongings and then unpacking on the Emerald Star. We found the service on the Star to be one step lower than on the Emerald Dawn, and this feeling was echoed by a number of other guests as well. We had heard about some other river cruise lines that did not have the extra ship available and their guests were given the choice of flying home or continuing the entire tour by bus. I would highly recommend this tour and would do it again, except for the Prague extension. I would however be interested in visiting Prague as a separate trip for two weeks or so - it is a fascinating city. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to ... Read More
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to spend night one in a hotel. The river was blocked by a cargo ship but this beyond control of the Emerald Sky. The staff is outstanding and did everything in their power to make the journey enjoyable. Nina, our cruise director was so sweet and very organized to name a few of her assets. There are 68 locks between Budapest and Amsterdam. Something for Prairie Canadians to see! You always see the beauty of the shores as you sail. Many vineyards etc All inclusive, except for alcohol but there was plenty of wine or beer with your meals. Lots of selection at the meals food wise. We took 6.00 adaptors for the plug ins. Would we go again?? In a heartbeat. May have to win the lottery to be able to afford another Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Previously, we had river cruised with Viking on the Danube/Rhine 15 day holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed. Had seen the adverts for Emerald Waterways and thought we would try a shorter cruise with them. The whole booking procedure was ... Read More
Previously, we had river cruised with Viking on the Danube/Rhine 15 day holiday which we thoroughly enjoyed. Had seen the adverts for Emerald Waterways and thought we would try a shorter cruise with them. The whole booking procedure was done by telephone and could not have been easier. As we had made and paid for our reservations of a Grand Balcony Suite early we also received the Premium Drinks package. This was of little value to my wife and me as we are not "big drinkers" and would not have been worth the cost if we had had to purchase it. At the outset, the ship is as luxurious as advertised except we found our suite to be somewhat small. The staff without exception are excellent as was the food. The service provided was first class including the bar staff remembering our preferred tipples. The suite was kept spotless as was the rest of the ship. Our walking tours were interesting and as I have hip and knee problems was pleased with the pace set by the guide. The evening entertainment was as expected and we enjoyed it during the nights we were not too tired from the day's activities. We did not use the swimming pool, exercise area or ladies hairdresser etc but overall considered the cruise good value for money. So why not 5*? On arrival at Lyon airport we were met as arranged by a young man who, after checking off his list set off across a cobbled space at a pace it was almost impossible for many of us to keep up. He stopped at the station for the rest of the party to arrive and then off again to the coach. We waited over 35 minutes in the coach for a couple whom we assumed had got lost. Surely it would have been better for him to go at a pace more relating to that of the ages and obvious infirmities of many of the guest. I would single out Yana and the Captain for special mention as memorable on our cruise. 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
Typically, we have chosen a more independent style of travel, but with everyone raving about river cruising we thought we would give it a try. Overall, this seemed to be a good company to cruise with. It is mostly all inclusive unless ... Read More
Typically, we have chosen a more independent style of travel, but with everyone raving about river cruising we thought we would give it a try. Overall, this seemed to be a good company to cruise with. It is mostly all inclusive unless you want to drink all day long. Wine and beer are available at meals and there is no limit. Included activities are mostly walking tours, however you can also bike if desired. The tours are educational, but because the guides have to adjust to all health and walking levels they tended to be less vigorous than what I would want. This is not a fault of the company, and they did try to gently organize groups into like fitness levels. Overall, I did like this company to cruise with, but I came away with the feeling that river cruising was not for me. It is far too structured for my liking and there were days that I felt herded like cattle to get the walking tour over with, back onthe boat and eat again! My LEAST favourite part is the line up to get into the dining room at dinner. They want everyone there at the same time as their food service is very structured. I understand why this has to occur, but it makes for a very un-relaxed feel at dinner. The buffet at breakfast and lunch is average quality....nothing outstanding but always good. The layout for traffic flow needs to be improved. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have travelled on Emerald before, on the Danube, two years ago, so this was our second river cruise. We were absolutely delighted in general with almost everything about our cruise, once again. The ship was fabulous, as expected, ... Read More
We have travelled on Emerald before, on the Danube, two years ago, so this was our second river cruise. We were absolutely delighted in general with almost everything about our cruise, once again. The ship was fabulous, as expected, since it was almost identical to the previous ship. Cabins, although small, are very well appointed and very comfortable. Embarkation and disembarkation were so easy - none of the fuss that there is on ocean cruises - but of course there were only 138 passengers. It was just as easy as booking into a lovely hotel. Similarly, during the cruise, leaving and returning to the ship was very simple and quick using the name badge scanners - it is lovely being in the centre of a town or village, at the point of disembarkation. The staff on the cruise, absolutely everyone, were fabulous - they were efficient, attentive, positive and enthusiastic - in particular the waiters were lovely, without being obsequious. The Hotel Director, Isthvan was charming. The captain was great fun- very visible, and very keen to engage with passengers throughout the cruise. He joined in several of the activities with enthusiasm. Roxana, the head receptionist was delightful too. The head of housekeeping was great fun and very enthusiastic. However, the star of the show without doubt was Darren the Cruise Director who was spectacular. He worked so hard, throughout our entire trip, but what was even better that he managed to be efficient, organised and deliver everything with charm and enthusiasm, humour and wit. He really was an absolute pleasure. The entertainments he provided were great fun, and well received. Everything ran smoothly due to his support and guidance. Every passenger I spoke to felt the same. I hope he will receive this positive feedback. The food was in general very good, and the evening with the guest chef was exceptional. I would comment that it is not really necessary to offer 4 - 5 courses each night - I am sure most people would agree that 3 courses is adequate, most of the time, although on occasion it is nice to make it extra special. The portion size however was good, so that even with the 4 courses it was not overload - however on most of the nights, my wife and I only ordered 3 courses. I must comment that on the one night I decided to order the steak, because I did not wish to eat off the main menu choices, the steak did NOT come as ordered ( medium) - I complained to the waiter, who immediately took it away, very pleasantly, and informed me that the chef was making a new one for me. The Head Chef himself came out a few minutes later with a new steak, was extremely apologetic, and wanted to check I was happy with the new one which he had personally cooked for me. It was perfect. It was a shame it happened, but it was dealt with perfectly, resolving the issue. Andreaa the restaurant manager was engaging, delightful and helpful throughout the cruise. A couple of constructive comments - we would have liked breakfast in the dining room to go on until 9.30am - we felt a 9am finish was too early, especially on the mornings when the included tours went out later. We did not personally feel it was necessary to offer a cooked lunch in addition to the buffet. We only ordered it once. Perhaps just extending the buffet to include a few extra items could negate the need for the ‘cooked’ main course. But that might just be our personal preference. We thought the breakfast chef should offer seasoning on the eggs / omelettes - rather than just suggesting adding at the table - cooking with a little salt / pepper would have been appreciated (if the request of the passenger). We loaned the ships bicycles one day for a lovely ride along the river bank - thoroughly enjoyed. The itinerary was perhaps not quite as exciting as we might have hoped in terms of some of the towns we visited. Avignon and Arles were great, and Lyon was a great city to start the trip. The highlight for us was the optional (paid) tour to Pont du Gard - the roman aqueduct. It was a sight never to be forgotten. I must comment negatively about the piano entertainer, Peter, I’m afraid. He was dreadful. I have much experience of cruise piano bar entertainers, as my son used to be one. I really have no idea how Emerald employed this man. His actual piano playing was ok, but his choice of music was pretty outdated and boring. Even taking into account the age demographic of the passengers, by any standards he was poor. Once he started singing it was even worse. As an English speaking passenger base, using a foreign singer, who really doesn’t speak English well was not a good idea. He did not ‘entertain’ - he was just ‘there’. He managed to empty the room and the dance floor throughout the cruise! In addition he made no effort to engage with the passengers at any time during the week, either when ‘working’ or when around the ship - indeed he was rarely around the ship - I suspect he stayed in his cabin most of the time. We loved the cruise, met many delightful people, and participated fully in what the ship and crew offered. It was only Peter that was the disappointment. Thanks again Emerald for offering a wonderful cruise holiday. We will definitely travel Emerald again, and will certainly recommend it. I cannot imagine what Scenic, at higher prices, can truly offer which justifies the extra price. (We might wait a couple of years until we reach the slightly higher age demographic - my wife is only 60, and I am 62 so we were at the lower end). That is a shame, but it is reality - it might be nice to consider if you could attract a slightly younger age group? Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. ... Read More
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. Well done will definitely recommend this type of holiday. In closing would like to say our hotel bookings and pick ups were all arranged and the arranged transport turned up on time. Food was lovely met good people and mad friends for live. Staff all around was very helpful and willing to share information. The tours were very inter active and pleasant, had a lot of walking, took the 35 km bike tour not very strenuous, tour guide looked after groupe well. Loved every town / City we visited. I as amaz d at th staffs concern regard to the passengers well being and safety during the cruise may it be on the ship or a land tours. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to adequately describe my experience aboard the Emerald Destiny! From the moment I arrived at the dock to the time I left the ship, I was made to feel important and pampered in every way. ... Read More
I do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to adequately describe my experience aboard the Emerald Destiny! From the moment I arrived at the dock to the time I left the ship, I was made to feel important and pampered in every way. Balage, the cruise director worked literally non-stop to make sure every detail was taken care of. As well, he organized amazing tours and special events on board so that everyone was entertained every day. I am amazed at how many "balls he keeps in the air" at once, never dropping any! There were so many stand out events, but the special events of the lock party and bbq on the top deck were so much fun. As well, the demonstrations of glass blowing, towel creations, and soup making were extremely interesting. Aside from that, the pre-dinner entertainment of zither playing, a German "oom pa pa" band and Hungarian folk show were professional and fun. I can't say enough. Zoran, the ship's musician was also great! The daily excursions which were included with the cruise were always informative, but the extras were what really stood out. The guides at each port were outstanding! The crew was also so skilled at their jobs. The kitchen staff and servers were friendly and funny while being consummate professionals. I have a food allergy which was taken care of at every meal. If I needed a substitution, the answer to my query was always "of course, no problem." The quality of the food was outstanding in every way. The servers in the lounge were always ready and willing to provide the best service to every guest. The Destiny always shone from bow to stern, thanks to the housekeepers who never stopped making the ship beautiful. I also admired the crew who made sure our ship was secure while navigating the locks along the way. Talk about hard work! These guys were amazing. I never got tired of watching them do what they would say is an"ordinary" job. I can't forget to mention the front desk staff. They too were so eager to help in any way, and were very friendly. No request was too small or irrelevant to honour. Finally, no review would be complete without a shout out to Captain Jasper who looked after everyone, every day. He is superbly skilled and very personable - always willing to answer questions about his job. If you are thinking of taking a significant holiday, this is IT! There could be no better way to go! Don't just think about going with Emerald - DO IT! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our ... Read More
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our first trip to central Europe. We all agreed that the cruise part of our trip was the highlight. The ship was nicely appointed, the food was good, the entertainment was enjoyable, the tours were well balanced with interesting historical information at a good pace but the crew were the BEST! I had inadvertently left my iPad in the Frankfurt airport prior to the cruise and would not have been able to arrange to get it back with the help of Michael, the cruise director. He went far above and beyond what would be expected to help me and in the nicest way. Thank you again Michael. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the rest of the crew could not have been more pleasant and helpful. They all seemed very happy at their jobs and with each other. We would definitely choose Emerld Waterways for another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I had never been on a riverboat cruise so picked this one simply through online research and because it stopped at the places I wished to see. The excursions and visits to castles, palaces, abbeys, churches and historic cities and towns ... Read More
I had never been on a riverboat cruise so picked this one simply through online research and because it stopped at the places I wished to see. The excursions and visits to castles, palaces, abbeys, churches and historic cities and towns were all wonderful - I’m sure I will never be there again, so it was a very compact and educational 2weeks. Most of the guides were very good. Some, however, dwelt on an excessive amount of facts which were quickly forgotten, too numerous to remember. I had some difficulty adjusting to and accepting the limitations of the riverboat itself. This was partly due to the fact that I had previously taken so many ocean cruises on some very large ships. We had a one bedroom suite which gave us more room than most of the passengers. The room needed more lighting esp. for a vanity. Women are still not considered in most hotels, ships etc. I disliked the open seating at the dining hall. If you did not get there promptly it was not always possible to find seating for all of your party together. Breakfast and lunch times were good re food choices, but the evening meal left much to be desired. Being exposed to European dishes is fine but not every night with the same selection of foods. I found it impossible to eat much of the food offered. A lot of it simply was too spicy or strange for me. When not on an excursion there was virtually nothing to do on board the boat. The lounge was too small to accommodate everyone, the pool was a joke and the library consisted of a handful of books. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I was celebrating my 60th birthday and booked some 19 months in advance on a favourable deal which was subsequently upgraded to an All Inclusive package.. We were amazingly fortunate with the weather which was 10 degrees Centigrade over ... Read More
I was celebrating my 60th birthday and booked some 19 months in advance on a favourable deal which was subsequently upgraded to an All Inclusive package.. We were amazingly fortunate with the weather which was 10 degrees Centigrade over the seasonal average. Everyone both staff and guests were friendly and the occasion had a lovely positive feel about it. All on board were polite and the open dining allowed my wife and l to make new acquaintances each evening and form friendships. The food was generally of a good standard without being exceptional and I thought the buffet style warm breakfast could have been more varied. The ship itself was of a high standard whilst our budget cabin was more than adequate.was celebrating my 60th birthday and booked some 19 months in advance on a favourable deal which was subsequently upgraded to an All Inclusive package.. We were amazingly fortunate with the weather which was 10 degrees Centigrade over the seasonal average. Everyone both staff and guests were friendly and the occasion had a lovely positive feel about it. All on board were polite and the open dining allowed my wife and l to make new acquaintances each evening and form friendships. The food was generally of a good standard without being exceptional and I thought the buffet style warm breakfast could have been more varied. The ship itself was of a high standard whilst our budget cabin was more than adequate. The on board entertainment was ok though I thought the disco playlist could have been more extensive. The excursions were all entertaining with each and every guide remarkably knowledgeable. Of the cities we visited I liked Bratislava the best, Vienna was very busy and Budapest absolutely beautiful. My only criticism would be around bar service - Emerald need to set a policy on queuing -either allow customers to form an orderly queue or insist on waiter service only as the haphazard mix n match policy left some guests feeling disgruntled at times. Overall a wonderful experience terrific value for money and I would definitely cruise with Emerald again but not for a few years as I have now ticked that box. The on board entertainment was ok though I thought the disco playlist could have been more extensive. The excursions were all entertaining with each and every guide remarkably knowledgeable. Of the cities we visited I liked Bratislava the best, Vienna was very busy and Budapest absolutely beautiful. My only criticism would be around bar service - Emerald need to set a policy on queuing -either allow customers to form an orderly queue or insist on waiter service only as the haphazard mix n match policy left some guests feeling disgruntled at times. Overall a wonderful experience terrific value for money and I would definitely cruise with Emerald again but not for a few years as I have now ticked that box. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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