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Sail Date: July 2018
We had been on other river cruises but this was the first time on an Emerald ship. The ship was lovely- clean and well planned. our cabin was one of the cheaper ones and lower down with only a small high window but it was perfectly fine ... Read More
We had been on other river cruises but this was the first time on an Emerald ship. The ship was lovely- clean and well planned. our cabin was one of the cheaper ones and lower down with only a small high window but it was perfectly fine with plenty of room. The staff were the highlight of the cruise, especially Jana, the cruise director. She was friendly, unflappable and very good at her job. All the staff seemed to gel together well and this made for a nice atmosphere on board. The food was amazing and you never went hungry. The waiting staff and the bar staff were charming. We visited many places and the included walking tours were generally informative. There was a good choice of extra trips if you wanted to explore further. The swimming pool on board was great and, although small, was big enough to swim a few strokes in. The only criticism is that much of the sailing was done at night. It would have been nice to have seen a bit more of the scenery. I would certainly go on an Emerald cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this cruise because Tim Wonnacott was going to take passengers around @Flee Markets' which he did and he was very entertaining. From the outside 'Liberte' looks very new and sleek, but inside furnishings in both the ... Read More
Chose this cruise because Tim Wonnacott was going to take passengers around @Flee Markets' which he did and he was very entertaining. From the outside 'Liberte' looks very new and sleek, but inside furnishings in both the Main lounge and Dining room have been done on the cheep with the quality of a lower end furniture store.. Cabins to say the least are cramped even in the upper grades which we were on the top deck. Crew were all very good as were the 2 Captains but there appeared to be a lack of waiting staff in the dining room at dinner, and getting your wine glass filled which was the smallest measure I have ever had on a River cruise could be a bit of a wait, but what was served was very acceptable. Breakfast was excellent with the standard Buffet Fare. Lunch and dinner was OK but I have eaten far better in lower end French Restaurants in my Home town of Edinburgh. Maybe we a spoilt in Edinburgh because we have many French restaurants with chefs who have been trained in Lyon and Rhone area. Escargot was bland and Mules Marinade half the mussels had not opened [NOT GOOD] The usual piano player provided entertainment and one night we had a female French singer who was OK, but one night we had a great local band who made the boat 'Rock' and everyone including all the crew including both Captains all joined in and we had a fantastic night. Included excursions were in general OK, but first River Cruise I have ever been on where walking ability was not taken into account when dividing groups resulting in a very slow pace for all and those who were slow walkers often dropping out on the tours. We never used the Bikes because the Captain rightly decided the winds were to strong for safe cycling. Overall thow we met a lot of lovely other passengers some of whom we have already contacted since returning home to meet up in the future, we all agree that Emerald is doing this on the 'Cheap', both on the size of Cabins, food quality and number of guides [who were all very good] on executions we will not be sailing with then again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
we saw this as an opportunity to see French towns and that did not disappoint. however the staff are fed up and unhappy. If management went undercover they'd gauge their staff as they are easy to talk to you and slag off the company. ... Read More
we saw this as an opportunity to see French towns and that did not disappoint. however the staff are fed up and unhappy. If management went undercover they'd gauge their staff as they are easy to talk to you and slag off the company. this is not good as it filters to passengers. the food is basic and certainly not top notch. complimentary drink or people on the full package do not get their glasses refilled often and it's clear the staff are under orders not to re-fill often. I mean there was a long wait between drinks. their are not enough waiters in the bar and they deliberately wander around trying not to make eye contact, again a sign on not serving too many drinks and top deck on sun lounge no staff were ever seen - shocking. shore excursions - extra trips are over priced and not value for money. other companies are certainly better. overall rating average. entertainment is poor and the pianist is clearly depressed. you could save money and put on a CD. they are now not bothered if staff or especially passengers sanitise on leaving and entering ship and not bothered if passengers sanitise going into restaurant. again, shocking as a lot of old people and infection control is paramount. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
SENSENTIONS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE - EMERALD LIBERTE My wife and I decided to take our first river cruise with Emerald Waterways after some favourable reviews. We chose the above vessel with the departure from Arles to Lyon on the ... Read More
SENSENTIONS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE - EMERALD LIBERTE My wife and I decided to take our first river cruise with Emerald Waterways after some favourable reviews. We chose the above vessel with the departure from Arles to Lyon on the River Rhone on 1 July. I trusted Emerald to organised the flights, transfers and the cruise and paid a supplement to fly from Bristol to Marseille via Amsterdam. with KLM. Our flight from Bristol was 30/40 minutes late taking off due to air traffic control and weight transfer of some passengers & luggage from rear to front of the plane on advice of KLM Central Headquarters. Everyone knows planes generally do not take off on time apart from Ryanair! Consequently, we missed our connecting flight in Amsterdam and were then routed with Air France to Paris Charles de Gaulle mainly due to the very short transfer time of 50 minutes ( the gate closed 30 minutes before take off ) The Paris airport was extremely busy and just before we were due to board the aircraft, an airport emergency was called where everybody inc people already on board planes were told to exit the airport! Police and army units were racing through the terminals with machine guns and riot gear. After 2 hours, we were allowed to re-enter the airport but no announcements were forthcoming to advise passengers what to do and where to go. At this time we noticed our flight to Marseille was cancelled along with many others. After finding an Air France official, we were advised to join a queue along with 3500 others to rebook our flights the following day. This was 6pm and it was NOT until 2.30am the following day did we reach the check-in desk. My wife and I took hourly turns to queue before sitting down again whilst airport staff handed out bottled water. Total 8.5 hours queueing! At this time, I booked an airport hotel Citizen M and had to use a taxi as the shuttle train between terminals had already stopped. At the check-in desk we managed to secure flights for 8.25am on the Sunday but we were advised that as there were 5000 pieces of luggage in transit, there would be no guarantee that our hold luggage would be with us! I spoke to Emerald Waterways in Switzerland on their emergency telephone number and was advised what to do as well as them contacting the Emerald Liberte to let them know we would be a day late arriving. Thank goodness the boat was not leaving Arles until 6 pm on the Sunday. After only 3 hours sleep we journeyed again to the Terminal 3 airport to check-in for our flight. As there were no transfers available on Sunday, we took a taxi from Marseille Airport to Arles at a cost of E200 which was paid thankfully by the Cruise Director on the ship. We were pleased to be advised that our French balcony cabin had be upgraded to a Grand Balcony Suite and given a premium drinks package. The sting in the tail is the lack of customer care from Emerald Waterways on our return. It was very difficult to speak to anyone in that department and after a complaint for reimbursement of hotel, taxi etc - I spoke to Darren Fricker at customer care who was as "obnoxious " in his telephone manner as the tone of his email! Emerald stated by email:- "EmeraldWaterways  have no liability to make any payment to you in relation to the Denied Boarding Regulations or in respect of any flight cancellation or delay, downgrading of any flight ticket or denial of any boarding as the full amount of your entitlement to any compensation or other payment (as dealt with above) is covered by the airline’s obligations under the Denied Boarding Regulations". "In light of the above, I feel sure you will appreciate, your request for compensation and out of pocket expenses cannot be met". In other words they have chosen to say " go away" - their duty of care to their customers does NOT exist. I have lodged a delay claim with Air France and hope they will pay out. The ship which was only 3 months old was excellent along with the service from the Cruise Director, Darren and his staff. Food quality was very good. Entertainment was quite basic mainly a pianist playing after dinner. Port and Excursions were well organisied and varied. We would consider another river cruise - maybe NOT with Emerald Waterways due to their UK operation in Manchester Read Less
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