75 Emerald Waterways Emerald Destiny Cruise Reviews

My brother and his wife had cruised with Emerald Waterways a few years ago, and they were highly impressed. So on their recommendations, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. All gratuities were included. Bicycles were on board to ... Read More
My brother and his wife had cruised with Emerald Waterways a few years ago, and they were highly impressed. So on their recommendations, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. All gratuities were included. Bicycles were on board to be signed out and used at port. Swimming pool on board. Nightly entertainment. Delicious, artistically presented dinners with excellent vegetarian selections. In Basel we boarded about 1100, and rested in the lounge with other early passengers while rooms were being prepared. We were given a wonderful buffet lunch, and then taken to our rooms. The excursions were well directed and interesting. Free time usually in the afternoons to pursue other interests or rest on top deck. At the end of the tour, because we were not being transferred to the Amsterdam Airport, but rather staying in Amsterdam for three more days, we waited in the lounge until our taxi arrived to take us to the Airbnb. I would like the coordinator of Emerald Destiny to know that the taxi charged us 35 EU to travel about 15-20 min from our boat to the airbnb. We didn't notice that he hadn't put the meter on, and were too naive to know what the usual fare should be for this short distance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and ... Read More
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and informative. Our cruise director was very genuine and knowledgeable, and always made an effort to talk to everyone. The ship is beautiful. There is a lovely pool and in the evening the floor goes over it and it is turned into a cinema! Our rooms were always kept neat and it was truly refreshing coming back to the room after a full day of activities! After dinner, it was always a joy coming back to a pillow chocolate! We even had adorable towel bunnies which were quite impressive! The activities were great for people of all ages, children to the elderly, and I could rave about the service forever, but I am about to go sit atop the lovely sun deck on the ship!:) (We are on the Emerald Star traveling from Bucharest to Budapest. It wouldn’t allow me to properly click which destination or date! We boarded 07/13/19 and disembark 07/21/19! We are on the Danube additionally not the Rhine, this website wouldn’t allow me to properly click my cruise but I just had to fill this out because my experience was unforgettable.) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Emerald because of the help staff at time of booking and we are glad we did. The planned our entire trip including our flights and everything went very smooth. The entire staff was friendly and made sure we had whatever we needed. ... Read More
We chose Emerald because of the help staff at time of booking and we are glad we did. The planned our entire trip including our flights and everything went very smooth. The entire staff was friendly and made sure we had whatever we needed. Our cruise director Luka was fantastic and extremely organized and knowledgeable of the towns and culture. He also was a great musician and tour guide along the river. The food was very good and gave us a taste of the different areas we were going through. The activities were well planned out and fun, everything was done on time and the guides did a good job. The cabins are nice and the balcony window that you can lower is great! Our room was always kept clean and the beds were comfortable. I highly recommend EMERALD CRUISES to anyone interested in a luxury trip on the river Rhine. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked on short notice. This one was available for the cruise location we were looking for, and had some spots available. First thing we looked for was "tipping included" and pretty much everything else was also included. ... Read More
We booked on short notice. This one was available for the cruise location we were looking for, and had some spots available. First thing we looked for was "tipping included" and pretty much everything else was also included. Due to a lock door incident weeks prior, we were actually on the Emerald Destiny and not the Emerald Star -- a new ship in the fleet -- and it was amazing. Clean, fresh and new. The staff and crew were incredible -- always going above and beyond. Helpful, friendly and always smiling. The excursions were perfect. Just the right number. There was something new to do every day. Food was great. Lots of choice and the farewell dinner was unbelievably awesome. We knew ahead of time that there would be a large American group on board -- their group was SO FRIENDLY and it really added to the cohesiveness of the trip. Thank you, Parrot Heads! I have absolutely no criticisms of this trip or the crew or the touring company. Well done, Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, with some of the ports being new to us. We have travelled on Emerald Waterways several times before, so had a high expectation and our expectations were all met and exceeded by this ship, its crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary, with some of the ports being new to us. We have travelled on Emerald Waterways several times before, so had a high expectation and our expectations were all met and exceeded by this ship, its crew and the itinerary. Emerald have high standards, and this continues on this ship. The crew are very hard working and friendly, and make every effort to respond to whatever requests passengers make. As with every Emerald ship we have been on, the food is to a very high standard. The crew prepare the dining room perfectly, so that it is almost a shame for the passengers to come in and spoil the beautifully laid tables. Cabins on river ships have to be fairly small, but they are well thought out with adequate storage space, and very good quality amenities. The Quietvox system which is provided free for shore excursions, is really good. Entertainment is always good on these ships, but on this cruise there were two US singer/songwriters plus a large group of their followers, all of whom added to the normal entertainment. The singers gave three concerts during the week, which were fun and enjoyable. There were also local artistes who came on board, and they were also good. If we have one less positive point about Emerald it is that we have done almost all of their itineraries and need them to add more so that we can make more bookings. We love sailing with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I was chosen to perform with a friend on board Brent Burns and 88 Parrot Head fans who went with us. My wife and I have done cruises on bigger ships, this was the first time on a river cruise. From the moment we hit the Amsterdam airport ... Read More
I was chosen to perform with a friend on board Brent Burns and 88 Parrot Head fans who went with us. My wife and I have done cruises on bigger ships, this was the first time on a river cruise. From the moment we hit the Amsterdam airport to the time we departed from Zurich we just had a great time. The ship in one I would choose again and again. The staff were helpful, friendly and seem to always have a smile on their faces as if they enjoyed what they did...a rarity. From our director to the young lady who tended to our cabin, to the front desk, the food staff...all were just outstanding. Our onshore tours were well organized and our tour guides were informative and friendly. We truly enjoyed the mix of being able to relax and yet still see a lot all at the same time. And certainly we enjoyed not having to pack and repack numerous times during this week journey. I would recommend this trip and this ship highly to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife and I recently turned 60 and were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We found it and couldn't be happier. From the moment we arrived we were kept very busy, well fed, and wonderfully entertained. The trip more ... Read More
My wife and I recently turned 60 and were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We found it and couldn't be happier. From the moment we arrived we were kept very busy, well fed, and wonderfully entertained. The trip more than matched our expectations. As with any such excursion, there are bound to be an occasional glitch to the schedule, but the crew was able to improvise and all was good. For example: We were scheduled to sail on the Emerald Destiny from Nuremberg to Budapest, however an issue with the locks downstream of Nuremberg necessitated us being transported directly to Regensburg where we embarked on the Emerald Star. We missed Nuremberg, but had a full day and a half in Regensburg. From what I've been told, we didn't miss much in Nuremberg and had a wonderful time exploring Regensburg. We took in the extra side-trip to Salzburg and enjoyed wandering the streets there after our guided tour. My wife is a huge Sound of Music fan and lover of Mozart, so that was very special for her. My only criticism of the trip was how our tour guides on the bus from the ship to Salzburg would point out things they could see out of the front of the bus. Unfortunately, unless you're sitting in the first couple of rows, you really can't see what they are talking about. Vienna unfortunately was essentially closed for the day for a national religious holiday (Corpus Christi Day). None-the-less, it was fascinating to see and walk around the old town area. We attended the evening concert while in Vienna. If there was a part of the trip that I didn't feel we got our money's worth, this was it. It was only a small 8-piece chamber orchestra with two vocalists in a small performance hall. (flat floor, folding chairs, no A/C) The music was wonderful, but the added excursion was way overpriced. I'm sure we could have found an alternate performance elsewhere that evening in the city at half the cost. I just hope the musicians were well paid, but I doubt they were. One of the highlights of the trip was the home visit that was arranged in Bratislava. We were divided into small groups and escorted to visit with a local family. It was a perfectly delightful way to spend an afternoon. A moonlight cruise up and down the Danube in Budapest was also listed, but in light of the recent disaster involving a Viking river cruise ship and another harbour cruise ship, all such trips have been cancelled until further notice. The crew planned a party on the upper deck instead, but a thunderstorm rolled in and forced the party indoors. So don't expect any night cruises in Budapest for the foreseeable future. Overall, I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who asks. There would be nothing stopping us from doing another river cruise with Emerald, but we have so many other destinations in the world that it is very unlikely we'll do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Emerald made us an offer we couldnt refuse when there was nothing suitable for our original choice of Amsterdam to Basel. They suggested Nuremberg to Frankfurt at a very reasonable price. Having already experienced our first river ... Read More
Emerald made us an offer we couldnt refuse when there was nothing suitable for our original choice of Amsterdam to Basel. They suggested Nuremberg to Frankfurt at a very reasonable price. Having already experienced our first river cruise on Avalon Nuremberg to Budepest, we questioned whether Emerald could be anywhere as good - we shoudnt have worried Their Destiny is brand new and in tip top shape with the added bonus of an onboard swimming pool that was lovely to use. Our welcome package mailed to us included two large good quality backpacks. Something we didnt need or use for the cruise but certainly an item of value. Frankly I would have been just as pleased with a good set of luggage labels - we still use the ones supplied by Avalon Our cabins were excellent slightly smaller than Avalon and bathrooms not as big or as good. Also Avalon score with superb L'occitane shampoos and soaps, and we preferred that the Avalon French Balcony slides open floor to ceiling versus Emerald drop down half window. But this really is nitpicking and both cabins are very very good Food and selection was excellent. Also Emerald have really got their act together on the "on and off" boat procedure. A simple named tag records each person leaving and returning to the boat. Plus the rechargeable head set system supplied with each cabin works like a dream when joining excursions, all of which were of the highest standard. Avalon were nowhere as good in this respect Another welcome addition is no end of cruise tipping - a saving of hundreds of dollars over Avalon So what were the negatives - Avalon win hands down on entertainment. Their evening shows were excellent, not so Emerald who relied on their own inhouse person to offer a variety of ways to amuse guests. this did not appeal at all and preferred to have a quiet coffee and swim in the pool room. And finally the itinerary stopping everyday in another small German Town was a complete delight and we loved every excursion To sum up and whilst I would rate Avalon at 98%, Emerald probably 95%. But would not hesitate to sail again with either. Both excellent and Emerald certainly offered better value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall, a pleasant week-long cruise from Nuremberg to Bernkastel on a clean modern ship. We saw some beautiful countryside and historic places in the company of people we got on well with, but - due to a few niggles - we would rate this ... Read More
Overall, a pleasant week-long cruise from Nuremberg to Bernkastel on a clean modern ship. We saw some beautiful countryside and historic places in the company of people we got on well with, but - due to a few niggles - we would rate this cruise only 3½ stars and might try a different company next time. Excursions: Sightseeing was our main reason for taking this holiday and Emerald’s included excursions were interesting with knowledgeable guides. Typically they were walking tours of old towns and castles, with an informative and humorous wine-tasting at the Residenz palace in Würzburg. Most allowed about half an hour’s free time, but in Bamberg the 1½ hours’ wait for the bus back to the ship was excessive. We took an optional excursion (€52 pp) to Trier, which unfortunately we found over-rated, though there were some stunning views on the return to the ship. Food & drink: At dinner (single sitting around 7 pm) tables were mostly for four, with some for two that filled up straight away. Food was fine but nothing special, eg steak might not be cooked as you liked. Service was friendly but rather inflexible, as anyone who didn’t want a starter had to wait for others to catch up, and at 9 pm the lights were turned on in an unsubtle way to get people to leave. Apart from a local red wine, included wines were indifferent, and reds and whites were all served at the same temperature. Breakfast tables weren’t re-laid so it could be hard to find somewhere to sit. We usually had a light lunch and afternoon snacks from the bar. Public areas: Low-backed chairs in the lounge were uncomfortable. Entertainment wasn’t to everyone’s taste and there’s nowhere else to go indoors except the humid pool area when a film isn’t showing. So we probably didn’t get our money’s worth from the premium drinks package (€23 pppd to us). The sun deck was closed for much of our cruise, due to height restrictions. Airport transfers: Arriving at Munich, we followed Emerald’s written instructions to meet at a café in Terminal 1, only to be rebuked as a rep had been waiting for us in Terminal 2. On departure, a 1¾ hour transfer to Frankfurt turned into 3 hours, with a rest break, an unplanned stop at a different terminal, and an unpleasant 15 minute walk (with luggage) from the coach to check-in. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose Emerald from a friend's recommendation and were not disappointed. We made our own flight arrangements and flew into Budapest 3 days prior to our departure to meet up with our friends and explore the city. What a ... Read More
We chose Emerald from a friend's recommendation and were not disappointed. We made our own flight arrangements and flew into Budapest 3 days prior to our departure to meet up with our friends and explore the city. What a fabulous destination; steeped in history with fantastic shopping and food. We checked into Emerald on departure day and were warmly greeted. All our luggage showed up in our spacious room and cocktails were served. Awesome start. The food was fresh, innovative, hearty and always personalized with amazing service from every single staff member....without exception The Emerald team made EVERYONE feel they were the most important customer. Take advantage of every excursion and active adventure that Emerald offers. Great tour guides (fluent English), incredible history, scenery and sights in all ports of call. The Emerald Active selections were a lot of fun and helped keep some of the inevitable weight gain at bay. We highly recommend Emerald and the Danube Delights agenda...we would do it all over again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband and I booked ‘The Enchantment of Eastern Europe’ cruise for May 2019. This was our first river cruise in Europe. The whole holiday package was booked with Emerald and we certainly could not fault the organisation from ... Read More
My husband and I booked ‘The Enchantment of Eastern Europe’ cruise for May 2019. This was our first river cruise in Europe. The whole holiday package was booked with Emerald and we certainly could not fault the organisation from arriving in Budapest to being dropped back off at the airport on Bucharest and all the hotels/transfers/excursions in between. First impressions of the ship was great. Very sleek with modern, comfortable furnishings. If you are used to ocean cruising though the rooms are very small. We had a balcony room which turned out to be useless. We were frequently docked beside other boats rendering the balcony unusable. When you did open the window you ended up with mosquitos and bugs flying into the room. The only problem in the room was the noise from flushing toilets – it was so loud. I have never experienced this level of noise from the toilets on a ship before. If you were standing near the door the noise made you jump it was so loud. On the first evening we had an evening cruise along the Danube and this was a highlight. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. For the first 3 days the scenery was boring and monotonous – speaking to other cruisers they recommended sailing up The Danube as it is much more interesting and picturesque. The cruise director was excellent. She briefed us each night before dinner with details of the following day and its activities. She was extremely knowledgeable and approachable. The food was a disappointment. It was very salty, (especially the soup) lots of garlic and mustard. On one evening both appetisers contained feta cheese. Food was never served hot it was always lukewarm. I expected wine to be served from the countries we were travelling through but it was mostly German and Austrian. The service in the restaurant seemed to vary depending on where you were sitting. There is only one restaurant and dinner was served every night at 7pm. We like to eat alone and the layout of the restaurant accommodated this. In fact most of the tables for 2 were beside the window. You had to be there when the restaurant opened to guarantee getting the table size you wanted. We tended to skip breakfast and have the lighter lunch in the lounge. This suited us as it was too busy in the dining room. There was a coffee machine in the lounge which had a good choice of different coffees and even hot chocolate. The drinks were always warm - never hot We didn’t do all the trips on offer preferring sometimes to do our own thing. The excursions we did go on were well-planned and the guides knowledgeable. The excursions tagged as ‘Emerald Active’ were anything but. The one we went on to the rock church was more of a stroll. All the trips were at a very slow pace which I found frustrating. The evening entertainment was virtually non-existent but this didn’t really matter to us. Emerald now have an activity manager on the ship who did a few pieces of entertainment in the evening after dinner e.g. Name that Tune, Neil Diamond songs, The Rat Pack. It was all very boring. We always tend to book through a travel agent and on this occasion we were pleased we did as on the return journey we had to fly from Bucharest to Frankfurt then on to Manchester. The flight to Manchester was cancelled (along with many other flights due to thunderstorms). I managed to contact our agent and he rebooked us on a flight early the following morning. We had to stand in a queue in Frankfurt airport for 3.5 hours to be allocated accommodation for the evening. All in all I found the European river cruising experience sedate and boring. Even though we paid a similar price to what we would pay for an ocean cruise of the same length this experience was far inferior. If I were to try it again in the future I would choose a different river and probably a different cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and ... Read More
I can certainly agree with some of the previous reviews of this ship and this particular itinerary. We arrived on our own by train from Vienna. The instructions we received said we could not embark before 3 pm. We took a chance and went directly to the ship at around 1 PM thinking we could at least check our bags until the room was ready and do some walking on our own. When we got to the ship we were pleasantly surprised to find that lunch was being served until 3 pm. There was also an escorted walk by the Activities Director after lunch. This was appreciated but it would have been nice to have been told this in advance of our arrival. We were also not aware in advance that we were going to receive a tour of Bucharest on our departure day. They kept us busy until 3 pm when the hotel rooms were available. Again we were not informed of this until the day before and fortunately we had not arranged any tours for that day on our own. Yes the room is noisy. We had a room on the lowest deck without a “balcony”. You know there is a noise issue when you find they have provided ear plugs. The flushing of toilets does sound like a bowling ball. Hopefully your neighbors do not flush often in the middle of the night! On the other side of the room, you can hear the scrapping of chairs above you whenever the furniture is rearranged. The problem is that the balcony portion of the room has a wood floor so anytime a chair is moved, you can hear it. Too bad they didn’t extend the carpeting over the whole room or put some tennis balls on the bottom of the chairs to prevent this. If your neighbors watch TV or talk you can also hear them. My personal solution to the noise problem is to play a white noise app on my iPhone and/or iPad. It masked out some of the noise but its hard to avoid the loud toilets. The room came with a large umbrella and some good quality walking sticks. Storage is tight in the room but we made do with the various shelves (two in the bathroom next to the sink were kind of hidden). It would have been nice to have a place next to the door to store your room keys to avoid leaving without them. There was no instructions for the thermostat so I had to ask at reception as I wasn’t sure what all the buttons and colors meant. There was a strange large black tumbler in the bathroom. It did not look clean. I had to ask and was told it was for toothbrushes which seemed strange. I stored it out of sight. Emerald advertises that you will receive a backpack and wallet. We did not receive ours before departure but did get a notice that they were delayed from the supplier. It is now two weeks after our cruise and we still have not received them. We were glad to not have spent the extra money for a balcony as on this cruise it would have been almost useless. Most of the daytime cruising is not particularly scenic and can be viewed just as well from the lounge areas. When in port you are probably going to be next to the dock or another ship so there is not anything to see. However, one morning I opened the curtain and got a view of a naked lady on the ship next to us, not more than 10 feet away. She was my age, so it was not a pleasant site. If you do get a balcony, most of the time we were docked port side to the piers so the starboard side seemed to be preferable, at least for this cruise. The port talks were not broadcast in our room. I asked the cruise director and she told me that the audio was broken and therefore they could not do it. This was an incontinence as the lounge does get fairly crowded with some people standing. Meal service at dinner varied depending on where you sat. Some evenings it was efficient but on others it was extremely slow and drawn out. Guests at other tables were having dessert while we were still waiting for our entrees. We were almost never asked if we wanted coffee at the end of the meal. We did learn the best areas to sit if we wanted better service. The soups were salty and thin, mostly broths. The food was never hot and perhaps this is because they do not cover the plates. I did enjoy the appetizers, entrees and desserts for the most part and appreciated the smaller sizes. I had steak one night (which is available every night) and it was excellent. Lunch in the dining room was disappointing. If you arrived at the middle of the lunch period it was difficult to find a clean, set table. If you asked a server to reset a table, it was a major undertaking that took a long time. It was also difficult to find a server to take your drink order if you did not arrive at the start of the meal time. The buffet itself was not replenished or even minimally maintained during the meal period. One day we saw nearly empty trays that were left untouched for 45 minutes. I took a picture of this and sent it to Emerald but did not get a reply. The picture is attached to this review. I mentioned this to a server and he only shrugged his shoulders. When they reset the tables, they did not replace or clean the table mats in any way. They looked dirty and unsanitary. The tables for two were convenient but the curtains could not be easily pulled back and sometimes blocked the view. An easy fix would be to install some curtain ties. Another easy fix would be for the ID scanner that you need to use when departing and returning to the ship. The ID’s our worn on a neck lanyard but the scanner is on a pedestal that is about 4 ft tall. This means everyone has to lean over at an uncomfortable angle to scan their ID. The pedestal needs to be raised a few feet, perhaps placed on a base so that it would be easier to do the scan. We chose Emerald particularly because of the advertised on board bikes. The Cruise Director announced that of the 20 bikes on board, 5 were broken. When we tried to sign up for the guided bike tour of Belgrade (the only one offered during the week long cruise) we could only be waitlisted as 15 passengers had already signed up. It was unclear when the list was made available and we tried to sign up just after the excursion talk finished. We talked to the Cruise Director and to her credit she was able to arrange for more bikes so that we were able to go on the excursion which was enjoyable. However, this should not have been an issue as the bike tour is heavily promoted by Emerald and I could not find any mention in the fine print that it was subject to availability. It would also be helpful if information could have been provided about bike paths/lanes that could be used on our own in the various ports. It was difficult to research this info on our own as we were not sure where we would be docked ahead of time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our very first river cruise, and it's hard to believe we'll ever have a more enjoyable, rewarding cruise experience. My wife and I usually go on more adventurous, independent holidays, and were nervous that we might feel a ... Read More
Our very first river cruise, and it's hard to believe we'll ever have a more enjoyable, rewarding cruise experience. My wife and I usually go on more adventurous, independent holidays, and were nervous that we might feel a little claustrophobic and restricted. How wrong we were.... From the moment we climbed on board to be checked in to the final sumptuous breakfast before disembarking, everything was perfect. On board the Emerald Destiny, our cabin was outstanding, the food was high quality and with sensible proportions, the entertainment was spot on and the entire staff and crew professional and friendly. We enjoyed the flexibility of meals, in the lounge or in the dining room, and loved the opportunity to meet interesting new people at each meal taken in the dining room, rather than being allocated the same table with the same people every day. Phew. Away from the ship, the shore excursions were interesting and led by expert local guides who really helped to give us a deep insight into Balkan history, culture, food and wine. The undoubted highlight for me was a trip to a local Elementary school in Osijek, Croatia, followed by a lovely authentic lunch hosted by a Croatian lady in her humble home. Our first river cruise, but hopefully not our last.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I ... Read More
I had many great things about Emerald waterways and their ships. Once i realized that they were owned by The Scenic group, i knew I had to check their ship out. Danube Delights was the first river cruise that i have ever been on. I wanted to do this one as I was told that it is a great cruise for beginners and most people can trace some family heritage to that area. I was not disappointed with my choice. Not know what to expect, I was really surprised at how much detail and organization the cruise director had. He had us well prepared for what we were going to do the next day and where to be when it was time to go. Between the cruise director and the activities director, you had a ton of choices for things to do to fill your morning, day and evening. The food and the restaurant were amazing. The staff absolutely made sure you had more than enough to east and drink. If you somehow left hungry, it is your own fault. I was amazed at how many of the staff members knew the guests by name and what they drank. The front of the house/hotel staff has embrocation and disembarkation down to a science. It only took a few minutes each day to unload the entire ship The cabin was awesome. Plenty of room for everything. It is like a nice hotel room in the states... a little bit smaller but very nice. Very sleek modern design with A/C great for American travelers. The bathroom/shower is a little small, but i am a big guy and I was still able to use it without much effort. Even thought he shore excursions are very planned outwith guides, you have plenty of free time to take care of all of your shopping needs or go see something that might not be on the tour. They are also extremely flexible if you do not want to go on the tour or if you wan to break off at any point The nightly entertainment was great. The entire ship was engaged and having a blast. I would absolutely use Emerald again for a river cruise and recommend to anyone Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first ever river cruise and will be back for another. Service from the time we were picked up at the airport until final departure from Prague was excellent. The ship was clean, spacious and an absolute dream to be on. The ... Read More
This was our first ever river cruise and will be back for another. Service from the time we were picked up at the airport until final departure from Prague was excellent. The ship was clean, spacious and an absolute dream to be on. The choice of foods and dining experiences was excellent. The one thing that stood out was the food services personnel. I would rate them at 150%. We joked, we laughed and we all had a good time. An experience to remember. Every port had an excursion. The guides (local) that were provided were very knowledgeable of their town and the surrounds. Their historical knowledge was far above anything that I had ever heard. Entertainment that was provided was adequate and very specific to the location at the appropriate time. The entertainers were professional and very good at what they did. Would I do it again. Without a moments hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It went where we wanted to go and offered good value. From booking experience direct with Emerald and attention to detail the delivery of the .whole package exceeded our expectations. Flight check-in, boarding cards, increased luggage ... Read More
It went where we wanted to go and offered good value. From booking experience direct with Emerald and attention to detail the delivery of the .whole package exceeded our expectations. Flight check-in, boarding cards, increased luggage allowance and seat allocation were all taken care of by Emerald. We were met at each stage of our journey by very efficient reps who managed each part of our travel to the ship. We did not handle our luggage after meeting the reps until we returned to our departure airport. We were ushered aboard the ship and offered a buffet lunch while the crew put our luggage in our cabins. Cabins were well appointed and spotlessly clean with large and very comfortable beds. Food throughout the cruise was excellent with many options available. The tour manager was extremely knowledgeable and all staff could not be faulted. It was an extremely happy and efficient crew. All tours were lead by very experienced guides and the sound system supplied to each passenger worked very well. Entertainment provided on the ship was of a very high standard. Food included on the tours, Budapest and Prague was very good and even catered for vegetarians. Our tour manager and the Prague tour manager were superb. The hotel in Prague was also very good and ideally located. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary and because we wanted to explore Central Europe and in particular, to spend a couple of days in Vienna. The whole organisation of the cruise was impeccable from start to finish ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary and because we wanted to explore Central Europe and in particular, to spend a couple of days in Vienna. The whole organisation of the cruise was impeccable from start to finish and we were very impressed with the standard of the accommodation and the dining facilities. Any comments regarding improvements would be so minor as to hardly warrant mentioning eg. water for the tea machine was never hot enough - but where can you get a decent cup of tea outside the UK anyway? The onboard entertainment was restrained and understated which was fine for us but may not have suited those looking for something more lively. Seating for meals was not predetermined so you could sit wherever you wanted, alone or with friends as you wished. There were choices as to the difficulty of walks and excursions so those who wanted to stride out could do so and those with mobility issues were also catered for. Our Cruise Director was exceptional and always ready to help at any time of day. Given that complimentary drinks were available at lunch and dinner, we found that everything was included other than the gifts we bought whilst ashore. A cabin allowance of 250 euros meant that we could take up at least one of the additional excursions without any extra expenditure. We booked two further days stay in Budapest after the cruise had finished and it was not until we had left the ship that we actually began to spend any money! Altogether we thought it represented excellent value and it would be hard to imagine how it could be bettered. Well done Emerald! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Highly recommended for value & service. We did all excursions and found the value to be great. Food on board was exceptional. They provided special evenings of local culture & food. A real highlight of the tour. Ship was the ... Read More
Highly recommended for value & service. We did all excursions and found the value to be great. Food on board was exceptional. They provided special evenings of local culture & food. A real highlight of the tour. Ship was the newest in the fleet and in great shape. The port locations provided a great exposure for each destination. This was our first cruise and would definitely go again. The level of training by the staff was great. Our cabin was always cleaned well and timely. Boarding the boat on the beginning was seamless. They also had the disembarkation well coordinated. Our bags were handled and we did not worry about them. The ship provided a great variety of activities to pass the time but you were more likely to be top deck to watch the beautiful scenery pass by. I would highly recommend this cruise line and this particular trip to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I am an airline employee and received information from ID 90 and they shared a special that looked like something we wanted to try. It turned out to be really great and we loved the crew and ship! Would definitely do it again. We took ... Read More
I am an airline employee and received information from ID 90 and they shared a special that looked like something we wanted to try. It turned out to be really great and we loved the crew and ship! Would definitely do it again. We took another couple and they agreed it was a great time! The ship was one of the newest, very pretty and our cabin was very nice. Dining was great and even had Hungarian goulash available when we came back late from our private concert while in Vienna.~ Loved the greeting with the hot towels and our cabin was always made up and cleaned when we returned from being out and about! Would we do it again, YES!!! We were invited to sit the last evening at the captain's table. We found Jasper to be quite experienced and would hope to have him lead the ship again should we have the opportunity to be so lucky to have him. Also shout out to Maria, the head of the cabins and we also thought that Balegio was superb at leading all of us on announcements and directions. Loved it!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first river cruise but it will not be our last. When we arrived we were greeted by our cruise director Balazs Varga and processed quickly. Staff was friendly and answered all our questions. We were told this was the first ... Read More
This was our first river cruise but it will not be our last. When we arrived we were greeted by our cruise director Balazs Varga and processed quickly. Staff was friendly and answered all our questions. We were told this was the first cruise of the season, A tour of the boat was given by our cabin Stuart and then were brought to the dinning area. During the entire trip the food was excellent and there was a great variety, you will not starve. There was always a chef's recommendation with wine pairing. Service was excellent. The tours and activities provided by Emerald were very good. One was never bored. Again I would like to say thank you to Balazs he did a great job. He is very knowledge and always trying to help to make your cruise enjoyable. Once the boat was docked it was nice to be able to walk to so many places. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Note: We were supposed to sail on the Emerald Destiny, but because of low water levels, passengers cruised on the Emerald Sun instead. Our Christmas Market cruise with Emerald Waterways was everything we had hoped it would be. We ... Read More
Note: We were supposed to sail on the Emerald Destiny, but because of low water levels, passengers cruised on the Emerald Sun instead. Our Christmas Market cruise with Emerald Waterways was everything we had hoped it would be. We started in Budapest and travelled along the Danube until we reached Nuremberg where we proceeded by motor coach for the three-day extension in Prague. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end, thanks to the cruise director and staff who attended to every detail. This was our first river cruise and we were impressed with the personal attention that the staff provided to each of its passengers such as arranging transfers to and from the airport, assisting in planning activities, providing free use of an iPad on board, etc. There were many items included in the cruise package including tipping, complimentary beverages with lunch and dinner (including wine and beer), as well as many walking tours with experienced guides. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our port stops. The ship was docked as close as possible to the towns and cities we were visiting which made it convenient for touring. We were especially charmed by the Christmas markets in Budapest and Prague which offered a variety of local foods and numerous hand-made crafts. The Christmas lights and decorations added a magical touch to the overall atmosphere. The smaller places we stopped at were also delightful. One excursion offered the opportunity of meeting with a Slovakian couple in their private home to enjoy coffee and cake with them. Dürnstein is a lovely town with lots of atmosphere, plenty of shopping opportunities, and you can even explore the castle ruins. Other interesting excursions that were available included a trip to the enchanting city of Salzburg. Prague is a captivating city with its stunning architecture and lovely cultural atmosphere. The three-day extension included the coach transfer from Nuremberg to Prague, accommodation, daily breakfast, and a local dinner with entertainment, as well as the services of a tour guide. We were pleased with our accommodation in Prague at the Grandium Hotel which was only a short walk from Old Town Square. The excellent complimentary buffet breakfast was offered in a spacious dining area, and it included a generous assortment of selections. On this portion of the trip, we were accompanied by a most professional, knowledgeable, personable, and experienced tour guide. He provided a very interesting city tour which included various highlights such as Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and a visit to the Old Town Square. I would highly recommend this guide if you are ever in Prague (Petr, pzamostny@bdiscovery.org). We wish to extend a sincere thanks to all the staff and tour guides of Emerald Waterways for a wonderful trip! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother ... Read More
I went on this cruise unexpectedly. My mother and sister had gone on several river cruises but I had not - they always struck me as an over-controlled experience with more focus on the ship than on the places visited. But when my mother set up this trip for her 80th birthday I got a chance to see what the fuss was about. Wow. WOW. First off, you do get to see PLENTY! And one of the wonderful things about Emerald Waterways is that they do all of the planning for you: passes, passport review (Enchantment of Eastern Europe goes through 5 countries in 9 days, so this is a LOT of paperwork off my plate), tour buses, guides, the works. Given I'm over burdened with logistics in my day-to-day life, this all-inclusive experience takes a lot of the stress out of planning a vacation. Emerald also coordinates experiences that going it alone can't, most notably an in-home visit for a homemade lunch with a Croatian family. The guides on all off-ship excursions are excellent. If you're a history buff (like me!) you get a lot of history and context for what you're seeing, from someone who lives there and has lived that history. Given how little I knew about eastern Europe in general this was a huge plus for me. I didn't know about the long shadows both the Roman and Ottoman empires cast over this part of the world, nor the varied and nuanced experiences of the Cold War and communism in the Balkans. I went back to the ship each night with a dozen notes for follow up at the library when I got home. The ship itself was exceptional. Service was incredibly attentive - within two days the waiters knew me and my coffee preferences on sight. The cruise director briefed us each night, so we'd know what to expect in terms of activities, local currencies and time changes, menu (more on that later), and was incredibly approachable and knowledgable. One thing that always daunted me about the idea of a cruise was getting lost on a huge boat of hundreds of people. I appreciated the fairly small ship and crew/crowd size (I think plus crew it was less than 200 people). I think this allowed both for better service and easier interactions between fellow vacationers at dinners and on excursions. The food was fantastic. They never overfed you, but I can honestly say my stomach never growled once the entire time I was on board. Dinner was previewed each night with a handout and chef recommendations, the latter of which almost never set a foot wrong. The food was excellent, in small enough portions to not feel overstuffed by appetizer, soup, main course and dessert. "One" glass of wine is provided with dinner, but that glass is constantly refilled by the attentive wait staff. Breakfast and lunch buffets were equally good. All meals included vegetarian options, and the staff even accommodated dietary restrictions on the family lunch visits. My only reservations: I'd have preferred a bit more "quiet space". Even during in the quietest times in the public areas there was music running, when I would have just preferred to hear the lull of the water against the ship's hull. I would have welcomed more opportunities to exchange cash/go to ATMs. While most of the countries on this trip (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary) take euros some of the time, each country has its own currency and not all vendors take credit/debit cards. It was quite easy to wind up with a handful of currency on Wednesday that you couldn't use Thursday and couldn't exchange easily. I would also have liked the opportunity to visit a post office to send souvenirs home, but this may be out of an unrealistic desire to avoid overweight bag charges. The short version: would I do again? You bet! You get to see a lot with very little logistics on your part and you only have to unpack once. The food is phenomenal and all of it is included, including tips. The staff can help you with just about anything where you might get stuck, and you go home with unique memories and even more curiosity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Emerald. We have also cruised with Uniworld and Viking. We chose this trip from Budapest to Amsterdam on Emerald because our previous trips with Emerald were wonderful. Unfortunately that was not quite the case. I have written about our cabin below so I won't go into that any further. The ship was very nice and comfortable and the staff was great. Michael the Cruise Director was outstanding. The food was plentiful and you would never go hungry but my husband said it was nothing special. The soups were weak and salty; not much taste. The dinners were somewhat unusual too; beef cheeks and lots of lamb!!!! At dinner we expected men to wear long pants but instead we had several that had on sport shorts and flip flops. Emerald does have a dress policy but doesn't enforce it. We talked with the Hotel manager and the head of the dining room who admitted they had a dress code but they didn't ask the gentlemen to please put on pants for dinner. Very disappointing. The tours and guides were excellent. Most were college students who were very entertaining and knowledgeable. Because of the low river levels we only missed two stops in Passau and Koblenz and were very, very fortunate to be able to sail all the way to Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and ... Read More
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and she was aware of the noise issue and told me she had reported it to the company, but nothing ever changes. So if you want a peaceful cruise, don't chose Emerald Waterways. Sleeping beneath a bowling alley was not my idea of a relaxing way to spend my nights on what is billed as a luxury cruise. I will not cruise with Emerald Water ways again. Everything else met my expectations. The ship was clean and well appointed and the staff was friendly and helpful. The shore excursions were well-planned and executed. My main concern is the quality of the sleeping experience, a rather important part of any cruise. September was a great time to travel and I would encourage others to cruise the Rhine during this time of the year. My advice is to find another cruise line first. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were ... Read More
It was all inclusive the cruise staff were friendly and excellent. The cabin was very good the bed was very comfortable.On suite was great shower was great always plenty of hot water.All of the trips were good and the local guides were friendly and very knowledgeable.One of the highlights was the Concert in Vienna superb! The balcony suite cabin was great apart from the cigarette smoke drifted in when we had our window open shame the ship wasn’t no smoking. Apart from that everything was very good. We thought the meals were first class from breakfast to the five course evening meal. The all inclusive drinks package and the tips all included was brilliant. The whole package was very well organised and from the cruise director to our cabin cleaner were second to none. Most enjoyable five star service and ship was very good. Cruising down the Danube was very magnificent. Thank you again to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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