Sail Date: July 2019
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: December 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine ... Read More
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine flowed well! Cruise Director very helpful and always smiling and knowledgeable who put a great package together with lots of added touches to make the days very special Tours were given by brilliant knowledgeable local guides catering for all abilities. Cabins are a bit small but loved the balcony view. Cabin service was excellent, Jolene was very efficient and pleasant Embarkation great, greeted well and cabins ready when we arrived Disembarkation was smooth and very organised and buses arrived on time and put our cases on the bus. We had a wonderful time and would certainly book again. it wasn't the cheapest cruise but you mainly get what you pay for! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that Vienna would be closed on our free day there, I.e. Sunday. However, this was more than compensated by the alternative excursion to Bratislava. Following our experience on a previous cruise, We also chose to book the cruise via a travel agent, rather than directly with the cruise operator. This turned out to be very wise. The travel agent dealt with all the flight issues, and everything went according to plan. The cruise company's representatives to and from the airports were really obliging. On board, all the staff were first class and really engaged with the guests without being fawning or overbearing. We particularly liked the option of a lighter lunch and breakfast, together with a light tea, a service not offered by our previous cruise operator, and this reduced the tendency to over indulge. In addition, the layout of the dining room accommodated those couples who wanted to be on their own, those who wished to dine with newly made friends, and those who had gone in a party and wished to dine as a party. We were also able to observe the readiness with which the chef was able to accommodate those guests who had specific dietary requirements. There was a varied range of excursions and for these, there were really nice touches such as umbrellas and walking poles in the cabins. The evening entertainment was not really relevant to ourselves but that which was offered seemed to be in keeping with the demographic attracted to river cruising as opposed to ocean cruising. Just about everything about the cruise more than met our expectations, and we have no hesitation in recommending Emerald to prospective river cruisers. Indeed, we are already looking to book our next river cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this ... Read More
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this amazingly beautiful river boat, the program of visits along the Danube, its incredible staff and their professionalism. Value for money? without any doubt - a golden thread of goodwill linked each day. Bravo, Emerald Waterways! We'll be booking again! If there were any issues these were related to arrival at Munich airport where the instructions and information as well as the Tour operator were poorly represented. Likewise at departure from Budapest airport there were long delays due to another baggage handling breakdown and complete lack of customer information. Highlight of the cruise was in fact the Farewell Party with the Captain when he and all the crew and staff were represented. All passengers gave them a standing ovation and it was an extraordinary but full deserved recognition of the success of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the big draw for us was that we would have a special show at the Venice Arsenal from dancers from the British TV show "Strictly Come Dancing": Vincent Simone and Flavia Caccace. We were extremely impressed with the high standards on board the ship. The cabins were luxurious and stylishly decorated with wonderfully comfortable beds. Food was good and plentiful. All of the staff on board the ship were helpful, polite and good natured and did a fantastic job. Whilst we were cruising, the Danube waters became very low and some ships could not continue with their cruise as expected. However, our Captain got us through the expected itinerary with just a few hold ups due to having to sail more slowly than usual. Top marks to all the Emerald Destiny staff in all departments. There were lots of activities to entertain us on board and off. There were energetic bike rides on offer as well as additional trips to cities away from the river if you wanted to spread your wings a bit. In the evenings there was music and dancing available and sometimes local folk musicians giving us a taste of the local culture. The absolute highlight of our trip though was the music recital and dance performance in Vienna. Vincent and Flavia danced sublimely and then were happy to meet us, their fans, having pictures taken and a chat. There were very few downsides to the cruise, but we were very disappointed that our stop in Linz was on a Sunday when everything was closed. There were some really interesting vintage and artisan shops there, so not being able to go in was frustrating. Another slight disappointment was that during the on-board dancing masterclass with Vincent and Flavia the day after their performance, there was not enough room for everyone who wanted to take part. More thought was needed about how furniture could be moved and space created. Overall though, this was a fabulous experience and one that I am happy to recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted a holiday travelling to an area we hadn't been to before although our friends we travelled with had experienced cruising before. It was a special double birthday and wedding anniversary holiday so we chose Emerald Cruises ... Read More
We wanted a holiday travelling to an area we hadn't been to before although our friends we travelled with had experienced cruising before. It was a special double birthday and wedding anniversary holiday so we chose Emerald Cruises because of their high standard. Our friends had travelled with Scenic Waterways 5 years ago and they stated that this holiday was of the same standard. The crew were very friendly as were the staff who cleaned our rooms. I must also mention the Reception staff were very helpful. I had a missing suitcase from the airline and the Cruise director Patricia was extremely helpful and went out of her way to try to track the case down. The guided tours were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the Bratislava tour with Monica. The evening cruise along the Danube on our last evening aboard was also excellent and enjoyed by all. The is one not to be missed. To sum up we would certainly holiday with Emerald again and would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled ... Read More
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled on the Danube, joining the Destiny at Budapest and finishing at Passau. We had a lower cabin with restricted view. We flew back via Munich. So arrival and embarkation was fine. Emerald arrange everyone to collect from various planes so we had about 30 mins wait before going on the bus to the ship. Getting on was very straight forward. The river water was low and someone tripped and the slope was quite steep, however the low water meant that not all ships following us got through. So whilst good weather is often an advantage I will be looking to see if there are exceptionally low water conditions as part of my planning - This was chosen at the last minute. We don't normally do trip but short trips were included in the price, these help orientate us in whatever town or village we were in and were great. We also had some really great entertainment, for example, in Vienna, we went to the Arsenal (a war museum) one evening, for bubbly and in this venue we were entertained by a Strauss music concert and lieder, then a Q&A and dance routines by Vincent and Flavia (ex-Strictly Come Dancing fame), ex-world champion Argentine Tango dancers. They gave us a dance lesson the next day and were very funny and charming. Other on-board entertainment was local and maybe not to everyone's taste. There is no real room for dancing (a postage stamp of a dance floor), it's not really that type of trip. The food was excellent, with local delicacies on offer each evening. There is only one set time for dinner, however no fixed seating, so if you end up sitting with someone you don't like, you can avoid them the second time. the average cruiser appeared to be older active person (there's often quite a bit of walking in the orientation trips). The Austrian and Bavarian villages often have old uneven pavements and can be on hills. They also offer free bike excursions (or you can simply borrow a bike). The weather was exceptionally hot and many destinations don't have air-conditioning, so if going at a hot time of year bring a fan! The ship, however, is just right, neither too hot nor cold. We first thought of buying an upgrade to a balcony, but this was rather expensive. We are glad we didn't as often those with windows couldn't see out as on canals and rivers, other ships have a habit of tying up against you at night, so it would be only of benefit when cruising during the day. The horizon lounge offered great views and some people spent the cruising time on the top deck. It did not feel crowded, even at lunch time and no long queues or aimlessly trying to find a seat as we have done in ocean going vessels. The food was surprisingly good with options of Hungarian, Austrian and Bavarian dishes on offer as you went through those countries. Wine and beer included at lunch and dinner. The cabin was fine, and as I didn't need to bring formal wear, there was plenty of storage space. Ladies did dress up slightly on some evenings, but not as formal as on larger ships. It was too hot to wear a jacket, so smart/casual trousers and shirt was fine for evening. There was a slight whoosh, from the toilets as they flushed (powerful flush!) and sometimes you would hear this in the mornings, but no-one else seemed to notice. Shower was excellent. The only slight niggle was disembarkation and being at the airport four hours before our flight (which ended up being delayed by 1.3 hours, missing our connection, necessitating a 12 hour overall door-to-door journey- not Emerald's fault but we will add on some days at the end on our next cruise.) The destinations were interesting, beautiful and allowed for enough cruising/visiting time. Almost wanted to do a back-to-back as every destination was worthy of more time spent in it. Service was exceptional in all departments. It was our first river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and ... Read More
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and efficient. The service could not be faulted. The weather was good but the water levels very low which required the captain to alter the schedule a little to get past the restriction which he did successfully, when other boats were stranded. He had to empty the swimming pool briefly to reduce weight and gain sufficient clearance(3 cm). Something to think about when taking river cruises in the Summer months. The on- board spending allowance(200 euros/ cabin) was very helpful in buying gifts. The menu choices were extensive and the food delicious, and with the generous wines at meals, we felt it was unnecessary to buy the drinks package. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and ... Read More
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly indeed. The ship was extremely clean and tidy and all of the staff were very friendly, polite and helpful. The cabin was always clean and very tidy and the swan that the lady made out of two towels one day was brilliant! The waiting staff and others laughed and joked with us and the other passengers!! The food was extremely good and you could eat as much as you wanted at the buffet breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The service overall was superb. The entertainment on board was great and the various groups that came on board were very good. The resident singer/keyboard player was extremely talented. The guided tours were very informative and the guides' English was always very good. The only problem was that the guide in Budapest, didn't wait for everyone to get off the bus, before moving off, which meant that a group of us lost him a couple of times. The trip in Bratislava to visit a lady in her home, was the highlight of the whole trip for us. It was extremely interesting to be able to talk to her and to find out her opinions about life during Communism and life afterwards.Our interpreter, who was a 16-year old lad called Oliver had superb English and I was very impressed with his language skills for someone so young!!! The cake and drink that she gave us was delicious. Something on the boat that we felt was not good at all, was a step that a man fell over in the restaurant on the ship. I also nearly fell over on it, although I had been told that it was there. It was a step at the far end of the restaurant (at the front of the ship) and it was only about 3 inches or so high. However one dark carpet finished before it and the actual step was covered by another dark carpet, so that it was not very visible at all. I think that there needs to be some obvious tape or some form of marking it out to people, so that they can see it much more easily... All of the staff onboard were brilliant, but Darren the Cruise Director was a star, as he not only ensured that we were fully aware of what was happening, where and when, but he also produced our luggage tags for us before disembarkation and was on and off the boat on disembarkation day with every group of passengers, checking that our luggage was there and saying goodbye to us. He was also a very funny entertainer during the daily Port Talks and the little readings that he did just before we went to dinner were hilarious. He's very good with accents too!!!! Unfortunately, me and my Mum got tummy bugs a few days after the end of the cruise, but at least it was much better that getting them during the cruise. An extremely enjoyable and informative cruise and I wouldn't hesitate in using Emerald again. Read Less
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