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901 Emerald Waterways Cruise Reviews

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
We actually started in Prague, then overland to Budapest where we boarded the Emerald Destiny. However due to low water levels we had to leave the Destiny around Rudesheim, travel by bus and board and continue the cruise on the Emerald Sky ... Read More
We actually started in Prague, then overland to Budapest where we boarded the Emerald Destiny. However due to low water levels we had to leave the Destiny around Rudesheim, travel by bus and board and continue the cruise on the Emerald Sky to Amsterdam. The whole transfer was managed superbly without any hassles. In fact the ~200km bus trip gave us a different scenery . Patricia , the Tour Director, did an excellent job. Each day her briefing was interesting, witty and clear. She made everyone so welcome. She was clearly fully in control and nothing fazed her. Our wonderful experience was predominantly due to her being in charge. The Emerald Destiny, being a newer ship than the Sky had a better cabin layout. E.G. the fridge and safe in the Sky drastically reduced wardrobe space. As beverages are so freely available does anybody still need a fridge?? Waste of space! Instead of more drawers (Sky), the desk space (Destiny) was great for writing and ladies make up. 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
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef ... Read More
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef who cooked an amazing regional menu. We visited some beautiful places including Arles, Avignon, , Tournon, Lyon and Beaune, the highlight of these being Avignon. The local guides were all very knowledgable and interesting, keeping us entertained as we walked around the beautiful places. On board there was always plenty to do, with quizzes, game shows, golf and Boules. There were also local presentations on wine, silk scarves and cheese, which were very interesting. There was a lovely mix of people to meet on board with several nationalities represented including Australian,Canadian, American, South African and British. I would highly recommend this trip and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Have just returned from our first river cruise, The Douro in Portugal with Emerald Waterways. What an absolutely wonderful experience from start to finish from the Initial booking procedure and the administration behind it to the cruise ... Read More
Have just returned from our first river cruise, The Douro in Portugal with Emerald Waterways. What an absolutely wonderful experience from start to finish from the Initial booking procedure and the administration behind it to the cruise itself. Everything you could think of was taken care of. A couple of weeks before we left and quite unexpectedly, two good quality haversacks with logo arrived with a similar design document holder. Even at full capacity there were only 112 passengers so you could easily get to know everybody on board. The cruise itself passed through wonderful countryside and 5 awe inspiring locks, two of which are the two deepest in Europe. Captain Alfonso steered the ship confidently into and out of the locks with precision and when you consider there is less than 1 foot either side this takes some considerable skill. The first dinner and all breakfasts and lunches were buffet. For all the other dinners we had waiter service and our waiter Joao was splendid. As soon as your wine glass was empty it was filled again. The varied excellent food choices incorporated many Portuguese specialties. Midweek there was a superb barbecue on the sun deck. One of our party was celebrating his 65th birthday and the crew presented him with a birthday cake, sang happy birthday (in Portuguese) before starting a huge conga around the deck. There were plenty of tours off ship which included trips to vineyards for wine and port tastings, guided visits to Pinhao, Lamego and Porto plus Salamanca in Spain. On most of our trips our guide was Maria who was a fountain of knowledge and none of it scripted. You also had your own time to explore these places. The Coa Museum of Rock Art was also visited. There was also on-board activities such as tile painting, a talk about cork and making a keyring or bracelet, various quizzes, yoga, Zumba, cards etc. The whole experience was taken at a leisurely pace and there was no compulsion to join in any trip or activity if you did not want to. In fact you could, if you wished, stay on the ship all the time but that would have defeated the object of immersing yourself in Portuguese culture. A book and map on the Douro was provided with plenty of other information sheets and maps plus daily programme notes about the following day’s activities and schedule. Whilst onshore the ‘bedroom elves’ kept our cabin spotless with changes of towels and flannels almost every day. In the evening whilst having dinner the elves were back turning down the beds and pulling the blinds down. A special thank you to our elf, Francienne. The whole experience was brilliant and we cannot wait to book another in a few years’ time. Well done all the staff on the Emerald Radiance. 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
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We ... Read More
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We celebrated a birthday while on board and we were treated very special and met our request. The food was excellent with good choices daily. There was more alcohol than I could ever manage and the wines especially the rose was superb. On the evening of my friend’s birthday a local Michelin star chef prepared the dinner, which made it very special for her. It was a perfect evening. The tours were well planned and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. I had a shared cabin and there was enough space for both of our stuff. The cabin was very well appointed. It was also very nice when the staff participated in the evenings activities - it made us feel special. 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
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of ... Read More
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of friendliness without being invasive. The staff on board Emerald Dawn were excellent. They provided us with a wonderful experience. The organised programme was exciting, and very well planned and we were guided through the most interesting sights of all the cities and villages we were able access. Many of the activities required overseeing at a very high level and the Emerald Dawn staff and guides achieved this level unhesitatingly. The tour guides had extensive knowledge of their area and this was noticed by the passengers. Overall our time onboard the Emerald Dawn was amazing and we would seriously like the staff to be praised for the excellent presentation of the river trip onboard the Emerald Dawn Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only ... Read More
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only big enough for 10 people and luggage and we were about 35 people. Then 2and 1/2 drive with no bathroom break. Not sure who was a fault but certainty a disconnect. Staff on board were excellent and could not do enough for us. Chef and head Maitre De worked together to develope gluten free diet for my husband. We thought entertainment was only so/so. We did not have oompa band. But social director sang 2 nights one would have been ok. All sightseeing tours were free and were excellent. We enjoyed wine tastings and beer tasting free on tours. We enjoyed sitting up going through locks. The uptop BBQ was great.We would choose Emerald again. Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The dates met our needs, the itinerary was what we wanted and the value was ideal. we loved the included morning excursions and liked the fact that they had easy walking tours along with the regular paced ones. the extra not included ... Read More
The dates met our needs, the itinerary was what we wanted and the value was ideal. we loved the included morning excursions and liked the fact that they had easy walking tours along with the regular paced ones. the extra not included tours were excellent France. i thought the food at dinner was superb. the portions were just right. for lunch i felt the extra main courses were a bit large since we usually had salads and soups. we did not partake in many of the after dinner entertainment offerings. the new on and off the ship scanners seemed to work well. having the head phones and channel cards in the room made it easy to get started on all excursions. the disembarkation process was the best i have experienced. very well organized and went off without a hitch. the guides were very good and spoke excellent English. one of the best river cruises we have been on (our fourth) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The ... Read More
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The staff from the general manager down are committed to making your stay enjoyable. The staff are super friendly and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble. The boat is immaculate and there are hand sanitisers for use when you return. Excursions were excellent and there were very good energetic options including kayaking on the river. Lovely visit to Salamanca with plenty of time to explore the city. Porto is a real treat. Food was first rate as was the wine. For those whose transfer to the airport was after lunch Emerald put on a lovely light buffet in the lounge, wine included. We would highly recommend this trip Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Fantastic cruise and the crew made it! Three rivers visited with the Moselle the prettiest. Crew were magnificent and helpful at all times. Everything ran like clockwork and nothing was too much trouble. Cruise director and Entertainment ... Read More
Fantastic cruise and the crew made it! Three rivers visited with the Moselle the prettiest. Crew were magnificent and helpful at all times. Everything ran like clockwork and nothing was too much trouble. Cruise director and Entertainment director plus all the hospitality support were brilliant. Children are not allowed on ship, which is brilliant. Excursions well organised. Sometimes you need more free time to look around. Dining - lots to eat and many options. The premier drinks package is well recommended. Entertainment must be difficult to provide across all the age groups. However we found the music to be a bit dated, but this was brought forward a bit after a request! Emerald Marketing needs to reach out to a wider age group as this cruise suits all ages but the perception is that it is for the older age group only. Only downsides were the airport pickup and drop offs which seemed disorganised. Frankfurt airport is awful and there were huge queues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Six of us chose this cruise based on travel agent recommendation and the final day/night would be in Bernkastel during the wine festival. So a bit disappointed that we moored 40 miles away instead. Bus was arranged for us so not total ... Read More
Six of us chose this cruise based on travel agent recommendation and the final day/night would be in Bernkastel during the wine festival. So a bit disappointed that we moored 40 miles away instead. Bus was arranged for us so not total disaster and well managed by Emerald. We have done a few river cruises and this was the best. Accommodation was very good and clever balcony / window in cabin gave a lot of space. Food was same standard as other river cruises inc Viking and Riviera although they did seem to avoid strong flavours. Included wine with dinner was very good and enough of it! Dining room a bit noisy. The swimming pool was a surprise hit! I expected a large bath, but it was vastly better and more useful than that, especially with the roof open and sun shining in the 30deg heat. Bicycles were very handy too. Entertainment was lively enough, but during the day sadly constant muzak was playing in the lounge which I thought had disappeared in the 70's. No quiet area. Excursions were very good with wine tastings and visits well organised. Cruise director and activity manager worked very well together. Lots of fun organised (and us a bit disorganised!). As mentioned earlier only bad bit was Frankfurt airport transfers. The airport was crowded, disorganised, couldn't sit together on plane and we sat down in security on the floor as the delay was so long. One to avoid! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My first river cruise....and it could not have been more perfect. The boat and our accommodations were wonderful. The food was superb! Service and staff were top notch. There were plenty of activities if you wanted to be involved, as ... Read More
My first river cruise....and it could not have been more perfect. The boat and our accommodations were wonderful. The food was superb! Service and staff were top notch. There were plenty of activities if you wanted to be involved, as well as a nice variety. Our shore excursions were fabulous, and each and every guide was better than the last one! The bathroom could use more hooks, and another place for hanging a towel, but other than that, everything was better than we anticipated! Highly recommend Emerald for your next cruise! Our flight from the USA arrived mid-morning. Even though we were so early, we were greeted at the airport and immediately taken to the boat. The cruise director, Michael, welcomed us, and invited us to relax in the lounge. Lunch and drinks were not expected, but very welcome after a very long travel. We were treated like royalty from start to finish. Note: We were scheduled to be on the Emerald Dawn, but the boat was changed to Emerald Star. It is my understanding the boats are nearly identical. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having retired in 2018, my wife and I were looking for a quality river cruise experience with an established river cruise line. We conducted extensive research and spoke to friends about their experience. We eventually settled on Emerald ... Read More
Having retired in 2018, my wife and I were looking for a quality river cruise experience with an established river cruise line. We conducted extensive research and spoke to friends about their experience. We eventually settled on Emerald and booked with them in January 2018 on the Danube Delights cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. We spent 5 days in Nuremberg prior to the cruise and so, we were responsible for arranging our own transportation to the ship docking site which we understood. We understood that but encountered some difficulty in contacting Emerald and getting the necessary information. When we initially called Emerald at the number they provided on the first morning of the cruise (Saturday, August 24), the young lady we spoke with informed us the cruise did not depart until the following day. Our itinerary clearly indicated the cruise started on Saturday. I implored her to verify that and call us back. After a half hour without a callback, I called again and the young lady confirmed that the cruise started on Saturday, as we had thought, gave me the ship phone number, and the docking location (Europakai 10) located about 5.4 miles from the hotel. The taxi ride to the ship cost about 20 Euros which was quite reasonable. Upon arrival, we were promptly greeted by a friendly staff member who insisted on getting our luggage from the taxi, advised us he would assure it was delivered to our room, and directed us to the lounge where we could relax and have a drink. My cousin who lives in Nuremberg planned to see us off on the cruise and I asked the activity director if she and her boyfriend could join us in the lounge. He responded that was certainly not a problem but they would need to disembark at least 30 minutes before we set sail. The entire boarding process was easy and effortless and the crew we encountered all made us feel welcomed. The entire cruise was absolutely splendid with great accommodations, outstanding food, interesting tours, awesome staff and wonderful cultural events provided on board. The staff were friendly, professional, efficient and hard working. Our cabin was attended to twice a day and always in perfect order. The food either met or exceeded our expectations and we tend to be discerning diners who are accustomed to occasional dining at top-Zagat rated restaurants. The only complaint was that on two evenings, our main course arrived at our table after 9:00 pm and at 9:30 pm, much too late. I brought this to the attention of the restaurant manager and advised him we had no problem being served last, but the main course needed to be on the table before 8:00 pm. The tour guides were energetic, knowledgeable, and provided outstanding tours of the towns and historic sites we visited. Their English speaking skills were impeccable and they gladly answered any and all questions. On the last morning of the cruise, we were effortlessly and efficiently transported to Budapest International for our Lufthansa flight back to Los Angeles. Because of the lengthy flight time between Los Angeles and Munich (arrival)/Budapest (departure), we opted to pay an additional $2,200 ($1,100 per person) to upgrade to Business Class. It was well worth the money and we arrived in Munich well-rested and eager to begin our travels. Lufthansa business class seats recline to a completely horizontal position allowing one to nap/sleep. Overall, our experience traveling with Emerald Waterways was absolutely delightful and we look forward to future trips exploring France, the Netherlands, and Germany again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony ... Read More
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony (in my opinion). Food is top notch, but we have no food allergies and are meat eaters. But there are vegetarian options if necessary. The staff is very considerate and helpful. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style while dinner is set. There's a choice of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees and 4 desserts. They also have the "Chefs Favourites" listed which is what the Chef recommends of the previously mentioned options. I went with the Chefs Favourites for all dinners and was not disappointed. They tried to pair the wine with area being travelled through, which was quite nice as well. There was an included excursion at each port and 2 where you had an option. On one of these the cost was extra, but we thought it was well worth it. It was the drive to Chochem. We did recommend on our survey of this excursion that we would have liked another 1/2 to hour of free time. Each stop has its unique features. The ship on/off procedure is well organized. All local tour guides were excellent and all spoke very good English as does the ship staff. The room steward did a a great job cleaning our room daily. Sarah, the entertainment director had evening entertainment of some sort planned but it's your choice to partake or not. The drink package selection could have more options but this isn't a big deal for us. As noted above, we had a great time and highly recommend this cruise. We will sail Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, ... Read More
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, zumba and other game shows to include all who wanted to join in. She also sang brilliantly and arranged disco nights. A couple of nights we were entertained by outside performers. A very varied and well organised entertainment plan. The restaurant was well run with very varied menu including all diets. They were very obliging whenever there was any type of foods you couldn't or didn't want to eat. They'd always find an alternative. Very attentive ensuring you always had a drink. Everyone served each course together and no hanging around between courses. Our rooms were very comfortable and clean. A laundry service was available at a reasonable cost. All the staff very friendly and efficient and always ready to make us laugh. I would definitely recommend emerald waterways Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the excellent experience we had with Emerald on the Douro earlier this year. The company were very helpful with choosing flights and sorting out embarkation and disembarkation.The ship was very clean and staff were helpful and the Cruise Director was exceptional - thanks Darren! Having a larger pool was a bonus, as were the acuarobics. Entertainment was up to the usual Emerald standard, and the shore excursions and activities each day were interesting and good value. Food was generally very imaginative and we had the services of a famous French chef one evening, who produced a really splendid dinner. It was a very hot week, and the air conditioning throughout the ship was welcome. This meant that outside activities were restricted. I would have preferred a more relaxed dining option like we had on the Douro - i.e. dinner from 7.30 - 9.00 p.m. rather than the set time of 7 with a 15 minute window. Too early for us, but I understand that the Americans like to dine at that time. The ship mainly sailed through the night, and that meant we didn't enjoy much of the wonderful countryside and the excitement of going through the 12 locks - the nicest days were the last two, leaving at 3.15p.m. for the journey. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous ... Read More
Having been in the travel business for over 49 years, I wanted to try this cruise line and also take a river cruise, which we had never done. We paid full fare. With some small exceptions, it was a perfect vacation. They provided fabulous backpacks and ticket wallet pre-cruise. They met our plane, and transferred us to the hotel, even though we arrived two days early to get acclimated to the new time zone. Ship was beautiful, spotless, and cabin space very well planned, with plenty of storage space for our two huge bags of luggage, as we traveled pre and post cruise. We would have liked more hooks. They provided bathrobes and velour slippers, Each room had a flat screen TV with huge number of channels, with movies, TV series, travel videos. Umbrellas, walking canes, earplugs, Moulton Brown toiletries, and WASHCLOTHS---a rarity in France. Shower space was fabulous compared to our last cruise on a regular cruise ship in March. Just wonderful. The only negative was the chairs in our in-room balcony were too big for the space and really, really uncomfortable. Included tours were excellent, the guides on almost every tour were delightful, charming, humorous, knowledgeable and spoke perfect English, which we followed on our Emerald padded headsets, which you re-charge every day. We booked 3 extra tours for the afternoons, and they were worth every penny, as these were spectacular points of interest visually, and you also got to see the countryside on the way to the destination. I don't think you could take a bad picture at any of the places we visited---we took over 75--- and every single one could be a postcard. Tournon was our least favorite stop, as there is not a tremendous amount there---maybe a cooking class could have been offered? Evening entertainment for us was mostly movies in the room, but we did go to the movie trivia night--where I won the bottle of wine! It was lots of fun, though we wished the evening events started just a bit earlier, as 9:15PM was late when you had to get up early in the morning for the tours. We are not morning people, but we adjusted. Our cruise director Darren, and the activities director Didi (I'm sorry if I have misspelled their names) were very entertaining, helpful, and efficient. Loved these guys! My husband took one of the bike tours, and enjoyed it immensely. Never used the pool, gym, hairdresser, masseuse, or did yoga, so can't comment on those activities. Breakfast had 3 times; early, regular, and quick bite so you could make the tours. Buffet of selections for every taste, but darned near impossible to get a cup of coffee right when you sat down. Don't know why they don't have coffee machines in the dining room, as I ended up getting mine at the machine in the bar and walking it downstairs---not good--- or safe. Lunch buffet was also very good, lots of selections, with choice of two kinds of ice creams with toppings, and sauces--- every day. Always a line for that. Again, getting a non-wine beverage here was also a problem, and I ended up bringing my iced tea down from the bar. However, if you are a wine drinker, you're in great shape on this cruise, as they never stop pouring...….ever. Dinner was our least favorite meal. We advised in advance that we don't eat pork products, veal, and I'm allergic to shellfish. The first night there was nothing on the menu I could eat, so I spoke to the maître d. She advised there was always a choice of a steak, salmon fillet, or chicken breast and Caesar salad. So, we ordered the steak the first night. The Caesar salad came with BACON sprinkled on it (!!!) and the steak was very tough, so we stuck with salmon most nights--though I don't love it, it was tastier than a plain chicken breast. The celebrity chef night was absolutely the best meal of the cruise, and we could have had his menu and bread every night and would have been very, very happy. The dining staff needed more training, as they could not accommodate any special requests, i.e. dressing on the side for the Caesar salad. In fact one night I was told that the Caesar was an entrée! They cannot deviate, and don't understand what you are trying to say. Also, they forgot two special meals at two other tables around us, and one passenger was furious. Dinner is one sitting at 7PM, so I understand the difficulty of serving over 130 people all at once. Maybe a smaller buffet in the bar area would help--- like they do for breakfast. I actually prefer buffets, as I can choose what and how much I eat. Dining portions were very small, but OK for us. Miguel the dining manager was very charming, always cheerful---but he has his hands full training this dining staff. Also, they need to try to smile more, as they always seemed stressed---which they were, I'm sure. If you have never taken a river cruise before, please be aware there is lots and lots of walking, sometimes you have to climb up and down stairs as you cross over other boats you are tied up to. Because you are tied up to them on some days, you cannot raise the shades in your cabin---so the "balcony" becomes unusable. But you are off early and don't spend much time in the cabin on most days. Also, this cruise is not suitable for children, as there are no activities for them. Most of the cruisers, I would guess, were over 60. All in all, an almost perfect vacation. Wish they did a Normandy River Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary in August, 2019. Taking a look at our bucket list in 2018 it was decided to take a River Cruise and booked Emerald, mainly due to comments from reviews and chatting to others that ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary in August, 2019. Taking a look at our bucket list in 2018 it was decided to take a River Cruise and booked Emerald, mainly due to comments from reviews and chatting to others that have taken this type of a cruise. We absolutely loved it. Check in was incredibly stress free. We arrived several hours before departure, absolutely not a problem, checked in, our room was ready, went to the lounge area where they had food and beverages available. As other guests arrived, you felt really comfortable chatting and getting to know each other as we were going to be together for 7 days. The staff on our cruise we’re amazing. Always a hello, can I help you with something. Chatted with you for a few moments. If there was anything you required you just had to ask and they did there best to make you happy. The meals were delicious. Buffet for breakfast and lunch. Different choices everyday. Dinner, generally several options to choose from. If the items of the day were not something you desired, there were more choices on the menu to choose from. My husband and I received an awesome anniversary cake. Our room was beautiful. #307. Quiet, comfortable bed, lots of storage area to remove your clothes from the suitcase. We had a lovely balcony. Everyday there was a different excursion possibly two. Very well organized. Mostly mid morning. The river was very calm and quiet. Stunning views, castles, small towns. Michael, the cruise director, explained everything thoroughly the day before. We were so fortunate, no water level issues. Absolutely loved going through all the Locke’s. Thank you to the staff on the Emerald Sky for such a wonderful experience. It was sad to leave on the last day as you meet so many wonderful people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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