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778 Emerald Waterways Europe - River Cruise Reviews

I chose Emerald as i always wanted to visit Portugal and heard great things about Emerald Waterways. This cruise did not disappoint. The ship was beautiful, the staff was incredible and the cruise was sensational..I enjoyed my time ... Read More
I chose Emerald as i always wanted to visit Portugal and heard great things about Emerald Waterways. This cruise did not disappoint. The ship was beautiful, the staff was incredible and the cruise was sensational..I enjoyed my time sailing. The room was amazing and the food was great, I loved the excursions. We met the nicest people on board as well. THe food on the ship was so good and the coffee machine which is opened 24 hours was unbelievable. I loved the service especially Cornel who is the Food and Beverage director. He really made the trip very enjoyable. The ports of call were great, although we wish we had more time in each city to walk around. We did have some time, but I think I would have enjoyed more. The cruise was a mix of old and young and we were on the younger side, but it didn't bother us as the people we met were so gracious and welcomed us into their groups.What a fantastic cruse. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because it was what we could afford. But we got so much more than what we paid for. The cruise director Patricia looked out for all of us, making sure whatever we needed was taken care of. Not just us, everyone. There ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was what we could afford. But we got so much more than what we paid for. The cruise director Patricia looked out for all of us, making sure whatever we needed was taken care of. Not just us, everyone. There were people with special challenges, other normal (like me) and very active people who all had their needs met. The activities director Charlotte is a fun person to be around and very talented. The staff was always around taking care the ship was clean and ship shape. it is a well run ship. We never expected the food to be of the quality and quantity that was shared with us. It is exceptional. The care the chef and his staff to give us something special that they were proud of was very, very evident. Each meal was as much, or as little (not me) as you could choose. As special surprise was the chateaubriand captains dinner. The wines were varied throughout the trip and no glass was left empty by exemplary servers such as Milomar and Dragona. Special people make for special trips and these are special people. We learned more than we could absorb about European history. But we learned a lot. The Danube starting in Budapest, up to the Main and down the Rhine to Amsterdam. Little villages to large cities, it was like a buffet of European sights and culture. Like to food, it never stopped. It was the trip of a lifetime and a dream come true for my wife and I. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was chosen as it was a special offer. What an incredible choice, the cabin was very good even though it was the cheapest available, the cabin was always clean. The food was very good, the buffets had a wide choice of food available ... Read More
This was chosen as it was a special offer. What an incredible choice, the cabin was very good even though it was the cheapest available, the cabin was always clean. The food was very good, the buffets had a wide choice of food available and the evening menus always had a variety that could satisfy anybody. the tours at each stop were provided with local guides who spoke good English and the personal audio gadgets meant that you could hear all that was being said. The pace of the tours was not rushed meaning that you did not miss things. All in all a very good tour. Harry the entertainment organiser impressed everyone with his singing of Neil Diamond and the Rat Pack. The ship looked very well maintained compared to some of the other cruise vessels we saw on the river the reflections theme of mirrors added to a feeling of space and lightness. The only minor disconcerting thing was that the cinema is in the pool arte with the pool floored over but you could hear the sound of water bubbling away beneath your feet ( it would be a good idea to turn it off for the duration of the film) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were a party of eight and wanted to try a river cruse to celebrate our various milestone birthdays as well as anniversaries. we made a very good choice as the experience was great from beginning to end. Starting with the welcome on ... Read More
We were a party of eight and wanted to try a river cruse to celebrate our various milestone birthdays as well as anniversaries. we made a very good choice as the experience was great from beginning to end. Starting with the welcome on board as well the attentiveness of all the staff who worked well as a team. The catering was very good with a wide selection of hot and cold foods. The cabins were clean and functional and well maintained. The beverage station was open all day for with a selection of tea and bean to cup quality coffee at any time. Our advise is to purchase a drinks package as it works out more cost effective to purchase a drinks package as a three or four individual drinks work out more than the drinks package price. We will defiantly book up again as one of the best holiday we have had Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have been on a number of sea cruises previously and this was our 3rd river cruise that we chose for the destinations. We had not been on Emerald before so this was a new experience for us. We were met at the airport and transferred ... Read More
We have been on a number of sea cruises previously and this was our 3rd river cruise that we chose for the destinations. We had not been on Emerald before so this was a new experience for us. We were met at the airport and transferred to the ship without any problem and greeted by the crew who were very helpful. Our luggage arrived at the cabin safely that we found that the cabin facilities were clean and well prepared as was the rest of the ship. Our first lunch was a little disappointing as there was not a great deal of choice but this improved at dinner where there were more choices available - the main criticisms that we had at dinner was that it did take a long while to be served and we found that the noise level in the dining room was so loud that it was difficult to hold conversations and this was evident at all dinners except where there was a split dinner. We were not alone in these criticisms as other guests made the same comments. The other main criticism was the noise in our cabin from the vacuum toilet system and again other guests made the same comments in adjacent cabins. The excursions were very well organised and some of the guides were very good. The disembarkation went well although we were left at the airport with no support from Emerald and had to queue for over 30 minutes at check in. Some passengers were unsure about where to check in and as there was no representative available felt a little disappointed. Apart from the noise issue it was a good cruise but this would put me off using Emerald again as this was not a problem on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Enjoyed the very experience guides at each stop. The guides helped you understand the history and customs of each stop. Many of the guides shared personal asides about their lives and their families. Great having some free time to explore ... Read More
Enjoyed the very experience guides at each stop. The guides helped you understand the history and customs of each stop. Many of the guides shared personal asides about their lives and their families. Great having some free time to explore an shop on our own. Dining area very noisy due to low ceiling. Better sound proofing would help. The onboard entertainment was of excellent quality. The wait staff was very efficient and personable. Our cabin was of a good size, not cramped. We greatly enjoyed sitting by the panoramic window viewing the landscape as we cruised past. We found the food to be varied and of excellent quality. We especially enjoyed the chefs recommendation menu which usually featured dishes from the local area where we were moored. Our cruise director, Micheal was exceptional. He kept us well informed as to the daily activities. Would definitely cruise with EMERALD WATERWAYS again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to finish was first class all the way. We chose a standard cabin with the small full width window this being as a result of reviews commenting on the large floor to ceiling windows allowing full vision into the cabin when parked alongside other river cruise boats , which did occur on 4 port stops . We figured a full large window was not required as we would be out of the cabin most of the time on the sun deck or in the lounge which we were !! All of the staff on board were excellent this made the cruise a 5 star floating hotel . The food was outstanding , with the menu reflecting the ports of call . All the excursions were included in the price which were accompanied by a qualified tour guide. The high light for us was the Vienna Orchestral music evening located at the Vienna school of music , absolutely beautiful evening with two opera singers during the event , a “must” excursion don’t miss it ! . Last port of call was Budapest , the tour being split via coach and walking a beautiful city , the boat moored opposite there Houses of Parliament, illuminated at night directly across the river, amazing photo opportunity puts the UK houses of parliament to shame . A truly great river cruise on the river Danube with a great cruise company, well done Emerald waterways we will be back . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great friendly staff starting with the people who met us at the airport. Getting to the ship was seamless and easy. Everyone from the cabin steward to meal servers to the activity director was friendly and helpful. We were kept well ... Read More
Great friendly staff starting with the people who met us at the airport. Getting to the ship was seamless and easy. Everyone from the cabin steward to meal servers to the activity director was friendly and helpful. We were kept well informed every day of scheduled dockings and events. The good food seemed endless with many options to cover almost every taste and serving times that worked for every schedule. Every port had included and optional tours with guides that were friendly, knowledgeable, and patient. There were even ‘gentle walker’ options for those who were tired or unable to keep a good pace on the tours. Every effort was made to allow guests to choose relaxing, invigorating, or very active options. Seating arrangements in lounge and dining room encouraged interaction with other guests without forcing it. Really good value for the cost. A friend recommended Emerald, and I will do the same. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was arranged through Vermont Biking Tours VBT. The cabin were similar to Avalon, Viking, and Uniworld quality. The staff was excellent speaking English very well and very professional. However, the dining experience is much ... Read More
This cruise was arranged through Vermont Biking Tours VBT. The cabin were similar to Avalon, Viking, and Uniworld quality. The staff was excellent speaking English very well and very professional. However, the dining experience is much to be desired. Breakfast and lunch were adequate. Dinner was another matter. The dining room was noisy and it was very difficult to converse. The main course offerings were way und the offerings by Emerald’s competition. One of our party was a vegetarian. Main courses were unappetizing and probably 70 calories. Standard offerings were substantially below the competition. We have been on Viking on the Danube river before with a much better culinary experience. They appeared understaffed, with dinners taking over 2 hours to complete. The staff were working hard, so we would blame corporate Incompetence. Tours had good guides, but there seemed fewer offerings than Viking. Bicycle tours were a pleasant surprise. Excellent ship with a poor dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. ... Read More
We choose because of going with VBT bike tours. We were treated well by the cruise staff and VBT leaders. Layout of cabin perfect. Beautiful room and panoramic picture window. Great location new to us. Weather surprisingly perfect. Coffee excellent. Appreciate free water bottles in room and on leaving ship. Spacious storage of cabin. Best layout of a cabin on a cruise we have ever had. Good food. 24 locks on the Danube and the canal were interesting. The Vienna special excursion to the music museum to see the group of seven musicians was excellent and entertaining as well as a beautiful location. The VBT trips each day were under 22 miles. Good bikes. The bike trips were rated as easy and basically were. Recommend being used to a bike before you get on. Hotel room for the pre- in Prague and the post trip in Budapest were excellent. Recommend highly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted a short break and always enjoy river cruising. We kept our fingers crossed that we’d see this area along the Danube in beautiful autumn colours, and we did! Right from the start there was someone to help us on our way. As ... Read More
We wanted a short break and always enjoy river cruising. We kept our fingers crossed that we’d see this area along the Danube in beautiful autumn colours, and we did! Right from the start there was someone to help us on our way. As soon as we had our bags at Budapest airport we were met and put onto our buses. From then on there was always help at hand. The entertainment on board started on our first evening with a taste of local traditions and then during the week there was either music, quizzes or competitions. Some of the little towns were lovely and the city tours were to the pace of the passengers. If you wanted to hike up a hill to a castle or take a gentle stroll all were catered for. And the accommodation was just great - clean cabins, attentive service and lovely food. What more do you want on a relaxing break away! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the ... Read More
We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the Concert were all outstanding, we visited the wonderful city of Budapest with its great culture. Then Vienna a lively and lovely city, where we watched an excellent concert. After we visited Durnstein and sampled the taste of the local Brandy and Wine. Next was Melk and a trip to the 900 year old Abby which was awesome. Following this was Linz where we visited the castle with it’s amazing views. The cruise down the Danube with the views and wonderful scenery were often watched while dining making it even more special. But what made the whole experience special was the outstanding staff. The facilities and food were all brilliant. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were first time cruisers and picked this line based on itinerary, ratings, and prices. It was a Danuberiver cruise in mid to late October (luckily the weather was very warm for that time of the year with almost no rain). We were not ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and picked this line based on itinerary, ratings, and prices. It was a Danuberiver cruise in mid to late October (luckily the weather was very warm for that time of the year with almost no rain). We were not disappointed. The Embarkation process was efficient with hotel manager personally showing us to the room and explaining everything was great. Great selection of foods at all meals with regional themes and wine selection varied everyday with good quality local wines. Waitstaff was very friendly and attentive. Room service was great and the cruise director and activity director were excellent. Pool was perfect and movies were shown at night. Internet access was reasonable and daily information/schedule was very well done. Good itinerary with plenty of time at each stop and tour escorts were good quality. We recommend this cruise line without reservation and will use them our next time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Waited a long time for this cruise, got family and friends to join us and all reported a great cruise. Only one thing is the walking...that is for asthmatic passengers it a little grind. Cruise and ship personnel were the best could not of ... Read More
Waited a long time for this cruise, got family and friends to join us and all reported a great cruise. Only one thing is the walking...that is for asthmatic passengers it a little grind. Cruise and ship personnel were the best could not of been more pleasant to deal with. All that they say is included is and then some more. I would say that this cruise line is as good as if not better that all the rest. The rooms are serviced twice a day. There is plenty of food 3 times a day. More storage than what it looks like, but when you find all the hiding spaces you can but all your clothes and luggage away. The ports are great. But watching this captain but this ship ina lock with only 18 inches to spare...9 on each side. We will travel with Emerald Waterways soon, maybe Amsterdam or another location. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time with this company but highly satisfied. No hard sell for the few additional excursions. Staff were excellent, very efficient, professional and above all friendly. All excursions were well organized and interesting and catered ... Read More
First time with this company but highly satisfied. No hard sell for the few additional excursions. Staff were excellent, very efficient, professional and above all friendly. All excursions were well organized and interesting and catered for levels of fitness with additional activities such as bicycle trips. Drinks were included during meals and waiters constantly kept glasses topped up! Food was very good with several choices at each meal. Every lunch had a sample of local dish which was a nice touch. Above all the food was always piping hot especially the soup! Being a small ship there is not a lot of entertainment as such but some activities available such as quizzes, putting competition, film shows, Pilates, meditation etc Plenty of seating available inside in a lounge and on the sun deck. By far the highlight of cruising with Emerald was the Staff. Nothing was too much trouble, the staff were young enthusiastic and very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it I had good comment on the company and also because there were a great opera singer on board (Marc Hervieux!) We had an even better time then we tought we would. I would return anytime! Service was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it I had good comment on the company and also because there were a great opera singer on board (Marc Hervieux!) We had an even better time then we tought we would. I would return anytime! Service was exceptionnal, The 2 captains were very professionnal and close to passengers. The excursions were well suited for everyone since there were different group for everyone fit. Entertainement was a delight for ears. The company should do more cruises with great artist like that. We had the chance to have a french cruise since 85% of the ship's passengers were from Quebec and we really appriciateted all the french part since we were in France. Going in France and having an English time would not have been so immersive within the French culture. I really hope Emerald (Scenic will take that into consideration in future cruises!) Thanks all the staff! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
Several of our friends had booked the tour and it was an area of the world we would not otherwise see. River cruising appeals to us as there are fewer passengers and you normally arrive in the town - no tendering, etc. wine and ... Read More
Several of our friends had booked the tour and it was an area of the world we would not otherwise see. River cruising appeals to us as there are fewer passengers and you normally arrive in the town - no tendering, etc. wine and beer are included with all meals and the staff was generous with refilling glasses. Meals had a nice variety and I was never disappointed in the quality. Most of our excursion guides were easy to understand and very knowledgeable. As in any cruise some were better than others but I would give them all a good rating. Having bikes on board for use in ports is a bonus for us. It is a relaxing holiday that combines visiting new places, good food and time to sit back while cruising down the river. Good weather on this cruise made it just that much better! Every crew member from the captain and tour director to our cabin steward and waiters were friendly and approachable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went ... Read More
Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went off on a bus tour and when we arrived at the Skye boat to find our luggage in the same room number we had vacated. We were greeted warmly with a glass of champagne and a whole new crew except for Patricia, the cruise organizer and Brett the entertainment person. Both boats provided great friendly service and food. Entertainment was quite good. Every need was looked after. Excursions were very good and the hired tour guides were excellent. We didn't feel over stimulated and had enough time to relax and enjoy time on board. The views from the boat were phenomenal and we took a lot of great photos. If money is not an issue we would assuredly go again. It was our trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made into animals certainly made us smile. Every member of the crew were lovely and all work incredibly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and you were always met with a smile. The food was amazing and plentiful. The chateaubriand for the farewell dinner was wonderful. The wines served with the meals were all lovely. A big thumbs up to the chefs, waiting staff and dishwashers to supply so many meals to so many people. Mostly sailing through night it was lovely to wake up to new places to explore each day. We made some lovely friends on the ship and the whole experience was fabulous and I hope to join another emerald cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff ... Read More
We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff were excellent. The food was much better and more varied than we had imagined it would be, and the choice of wines were very good. The only downside was that the low levels of the Danube meant that halfway through our cruise, we had to pack up and be bussed upstream from the Emerald Sky to the Emerald Dawn, but it was handled with the minimum of fuss and we didn't miss a day's sightseeing. The Dawn was a more recent boat, and the cabins in the Sky not quite so well designed, but at least we were able to continue our cruise by transferring. The highlight of our trip was visiting Vienna and attending a concert there in the evening. The music was wonderful. It lead us to wonder why the same music (Strauss, Mozart etc) was never played on the boat itself while cruising down the Danube! Our only real complaint would be that in the evening, the music was often too modern and too loud and there was nowhere else to go to sit and talk to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as well as the topography and use of land. In this manner, we did not have to schlep baggage and worry about where to go, where to eat, and where to stay. The ease of a River Cruise is most appealing and the staff of the Emerald Radiance, as well as the moderness of the ship provided a smooth, interesting and exceptional experience. The food and food choices are superb for any diet. The beds and pillows are very comfortable. The staff are attentive, friendly and professional. The common rooms are very spacious and comfortable. The tours are well organized with tour guides sharing such well-rounded historical and current information. We did not want for anything during our trip. An outstanding experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a bit of a hick up at first with our transfers after notification by Emerald that we were not going to be able to board our ship in Bernkastel and were afraid we had made a bad choice. Once we were on board, it couldn't have ... Read More
We had a bit of a hick up at first with our transfers after notification by Emerald that we were not going to be able to board our ship in Bernkastel and were afraid we had made a bad choice. Once we were on board, it couldn't have been better. Our cruise director was very personable and pleasant to deal with. I had a bit of a medical issue from a wasp sting and was afraid I would need to go to the hospital if it didn't start to improve, so had inquired with him right away about hospitals nearby. Fortunately, things improved so I didn't need to go, and he checked on me every day until things improved. Our room was better set up than any of the rooms we have had on the bigger ships, far more storage and very functional and clean looking. Our cabin steward kept it spotless. Entertainment on board was enjoyable and all the staff were amazing and attentive. All our arranged tours were wonderful. A delight to have a pool on board as well with the heat we were having. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would ... Read More
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would be like. Well we were not disappointed! In fact it may be harder to pick the larger cruising vessels again! I highly recommend this itinerary, each day was amazing and soon it seemed unimaginable that the next day could be better. We enjoyed Emerald Sky very much. The staff, crew were very friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward was fantastic. The Activity Director was quite the entertainer. We found that the breakfast and lunch meals were very good for the whole trip. The first few evening entrees were not the best but that quickly changed. There were six of us in our group and we all commented how the food just got better and better. We noticed that our ship had very good docking locations in the towns which made touring quite easy and enjoyable. Already looking forward to booking our next river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise surpassed our expectations. The ship was beautiful. Spacious well equipped cabins, great public spaces and staff who went out of their way to be friendly, efficient and welcoming. The cruise director and entertainment manager ... Read More
This cruise surpassed our expectations. The ship was beautiful. Spacious well equipped cabins, great public spaces and staff who went out of their way to be friendly, efficient and welcoming. The cruise director and entertainment manager in particular did a great job of keeping us informed and organised! The food was plentiful and varied bringing in the traditions of the ports we were visiting. The shore excursions were very well organised and the guides very knowledgeable about their home towns giving us a wide historical overview and plenty of free time to explore independently. They catered well for those who wanted to be more active and also for those with more limited mobility. The evening entertainment varied between quizzes musical entertainment from our very talented entertainment manager and local groups brought in for the evening eg Hungarian folk dancers and an oompah band! Other activities were also available during sailing times. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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