4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Wanted to try and see the difference in this line as compared to others. Cabin size is small and I think it is because of the lay out of the cabin. Could have been better but overall ok. Food and service was very good. The staff works ... Read More
Wanted to try and see the difference in this line as compared to others. Cabin size is small and I think it is because of the lay out of the cabin. Could have been better but overall ok. Food and service was very good. The staff works very hard every day. Cruise Director, Patricia, was outstanding. Pool on back of deck 3 was very nice touch. All in all would do it again. The meet at the airport needs to be improved. No one there when arrived and had to wait quiet awhile for transport which took another 1.5 hours. Disembarking went well. To see the christening of the ship was really a nice treat. Entertainment on board was good as well in fact better than most. The crew entertainment was also quite good. The guest brought on board did an a very good job. Definitely would recommend good value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed it very much. The itinerary was well thought out and well organised. The food was very good and the wines were excellent. The crew were helpful, friendly and charming, although the service in the ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed it very much. The itinerary was well thought out and well organised. The food was very good and the wines were excellent. The crew were helpful, friendly and charming, although the service in the dinning room was a little slow, as there could have been more staff. Our boat was full, and there was a scramble for seats at dinner time. After the evening briefing, there was lemming-like dash downstairs. It would have been better if there had been a more relaxed approach to dinner times, but I'm not sure how this might be achieved. This undignified scramble did not occur at lunchtime, so perhaps something could be worked out. The shower in the pool needed attention, as the water did not drain properly, and there was no hook to hang a robe or towel. I could not use the body lotion provided, as it had a peculiar smell, but I understand this is a personal preference. We enjoyed the excursions and guided tours, as the guides were excellent, and they were well organised. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Every single member of the crew was outstandingly good at their job. You could not find a friendlier, more efficient group of widely international people anywhere, The ship, itself, was well designed in every respect. Given the size ... Read More
Every single member of the crew was outstandingly good at their job. You could not find a friendlier, more efficient group of widely international people anywhere, The ship, itself, was well designed in every respect. Given the size limitations of a Danube river cruise, nothing could have been better. The lounge and restaurant on board were very well run, both in the range of food and the immaculate service of the staff. The whole atmosphere was very amenable at ll times. The off-board excursions were run with great precision, even down to the special guides for the slower, more disabled passengers when walking around in groups. Shuttlebuses in the larger cities were well organised and very useful. Tours around the three big cities were very informative but the outstanding trip of the week was in Slovakia to visit a real family in their home environment and experience their friendly hospitality. Brilliant at his job was Balazs Varga, who was on top of all planning and made everything run smoothly. We cannot praise the whole organisation enough for providing one of the most enjoyable holidays you could possibly have anywhere in the world.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I wanted to experience river cruising to compare with being on a larger ship, and travelling with Emerald far exceeded my expectations. They are amazingly well organized and efficient, and will go out of their way to accommodate every ... Read More
I wanted to experience river cruising to compare with being on a larger ship, and travelling with Emerald far exceeded my expectations. They are amazingly well organized and efficient, and will go out of their way to accommodate every request. The ship is very well laid out, the facilities excellent, and the pool and then the evening films in that venue were charming. The meals were all excellent, and the daily tours very well organized and carried out. Everything ran like clock work while being relaxed at the same time. I cannot praise the company or the staff enough and have only kudos to send to them. The best was the relaxed atmosphere and sense of community which developed from the first night. I also appreciated all of the daily tours and the tour guides who were so well informed. The fact that all gratuities were included was very helpful and helped me in making Emerald my choice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Being our first cruise it did not disappoint it was just perfect. The accommodation was clean and very comfortable with a fantastic river view Food was very varied and first class with the head chef giving his preferred choice of ... Read More
Being our first cruise it did not disappoint it was just perfect. The accommodation was clean and very comfortable with a fantastic river view Food was very varied and first class with the head chef giving his preferred choice of meal every night with a selection to suit all. You could not fault any of the staff, everyone of them went out of their way to make the holiday perfect and the staff performance night was really good The tours were of perfect length with great guide and very well organised and timed to suit lunch everyday The wifi connection was very fast considering it was on a boat. The cruise is very relaxed with smart casual dressing Would recommend this tour by Emerald who wants to try a cruise for the fist time and it will certainly put you in the mood for more. Totally five star in every demartment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Ship was good, crew was good, food was good. Trips were good as were the ports of call with the exception of the black Forrest. We went on a bus trip which took one and a half hours each way so we could have a slice of black Forrest cake. ... Read More
Ship was good, crew was good, food was good. Trips were good as were the ports of call with the exception of the black Forrest. We went on a bus trip which took one and a half hours each way so we could have a slice of black Forrest cake. We thought we were going for a hike that in fact was a 2 K ramble. We would suggest that this particular port be changed to another closer to Basel. There was no recycling on the ship which was strange. Coffee machine was wonderful as was the different coffees it produced. This was our first river cruise and despite the above criticism regarding the hike we would still recommend Emerald and would definitely travel with them again. The crew entertained us after dinner one evening and did a wonderful job. Embarkation and disembarkation was well organized and went very smoothly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Having been on numerous sea cruises we decided to try a river cruise for the first time with friends who have been before and recommended Emerald Waterways. Emerald Waterways delivered a good cruise with only some small changes to the ... Read More
Having been on numerous sea cruises we decided to try a river cruise for the first time with friends who have been before and recommended Emerald Waterways. Emerald Waterways delivered a good cruise with only some small changes to the itinerary, for example we had a buffet dinner the first night instead of a cocktail reception and welcome dinner which we had on the second night. This was actually better bearing in mind people would have been travelling the first day. The food was excellent considering the small kitchen and drinks flowed freely at lunch and dinner. We had a top deck R category cabin which was a tad small and the wardrobe space was not enough, but everything else was excellent. The entertainment could have been geared more to the area we were travelling in, but having said that the artists we saw were good. The crew were excellent giving a friendly service. In this day and age security could have been tighter, always a difficult balance between relaxed atmosphere and good security. One thing that struck us was the fact that smoking was allowed at the front on the top deck which meant when the boat was moving everybody at the back enjoyed the smoke as well!! All in all a good first river cruise, enjoyed the Rhine, super scenery and will book again with Emerald Waterways. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river ... Read More
We have been on over 40 ocean cruises and for a couple of years my husband has talked about wanted to try a river cruise. However, river cruises tend to cost a lot more than an ocean cruise. So we are veteran cruisers but new to river cruising. I know some readers may be thinking, "Yes, but your tours are included and I don't like the ques or the kids or size of ocean ships." I could take issue with all of those statements based on our experience but won't go into it as I'm writing to review one particular ship. I wasn't sure this type of trip would be right for my husband because while he can walk unassisted and usually without a cane, the walking tours, often uneven walking surfaces, sights without accessible features more modern structures tend to have is often mentioned as reasons why people with mobility issues aren't advised to try this type of vacation at times in travel articles, etc. However, these boards were very helpful in my research (reading about "slow walker" tours, which ships had which features, etc.) and our neighbors had done 2 river cruises on Viking in the past 2 years and gave us a lot of info. which helped. River cruises are not for those in a wheelchair. If ramps are not a problem and one can do steps - at least a bit - then it's possible to enjoy a river cruise. Some land activities or tours may have to be skipped for the highly impaired but for moderately impaired walkers, a river tour is doable. I researched the various lines and "personalities" of them, as well as the ships and checked pricing. Our intial plan was to cruise in 2018. I was not happy with the cost and resisted pulling the trigger on a booking. After reading about the various lines, I compared prices and other features of Emerald, Viking and Avalon cruises. Emerald seemed to be the best value and had some extra features on it's ships (like the pools) that we likedwhich other lines lacked. Additionally, a half price sale on all remaining 2017 cabins finally convinced us, and while there were hardly any dates left, we managed to get a cabin for June, which was our desired month to go. The demographics of this cruise: Avg. age was retirement and above, with a decent number of those in their 40's or 50's. There was one family on board with 2 sons. The boys looked about 8 and 10 or 11 in my estimate and conducted themselves very well. I figured they must be bored out their minds, but their father often took them swimming and they certainly seemed to have fun in the pool. There was a very high percentage of people from the UK on board, with a fair number of Australians, a fair number of people of Asian or Indian decent, some from Germany and maybe 15 or so from the U.S. (the best could tell). English was the ship's language and all of the crew seemed able to speak English. This ship is outstanding in both design and cleanliness. There is lots of chrome and glass, kept smudge free almost miraculously. The shower power is good and the linens and bedding of very good quality. We had an "acquarium room", so the windows were positioned just above the water line. This wasn't bad at all! Especially since sometimes the river boats were "stacked" side by side. So anyone with the "balcony" type windows might just be a foot or so from a cabin on another ship, blocking any view. The Emerald ships' drafts are shallow and the wheelhouses can drop down under low bridges to a lower level than many others so they are often able to continue cruising when the rivers are too low for many ships or too high for others that have trouble with low bridges and high water. Dress really was not formal at all on any night. Just a couple of men had on jackets one or two nights. On those nights a very few women dressed up as though for a cocktail party on a couple of nights. but they were definitely exceptions to the rule. Some wore resort casual dresses, most wore pants or capris. Overall the dress was relaxed and not at all formal. I wore capris every night with a top nicer than one I'd have worn for shore side sightseeing. Most people seemed to have dressed down, with clothing one would call resort casual. At the captain's dinner, a fair number of men wore dress shirts (but no ties) .and nice slacks. Other nights most wore polo style shirts and Dockers style slacks or khakis. I even noticed men wearing shorts at dinner in the dining room a couple of times, but not a lot. My favorite part of the cruise was simply the times we were underway on the river and the section of the Rhine with the many castles. Even late in the evening to nightfall there were things to look at - such as the moon, bridges, houses we'd pass, etc. Just cruising along was so relaxing! (I wish there had been more time cruising along.) From talking to others who had sailed on Viking or other lines, it sounded like our tours and things were almost identical to other lines' doing the same itinerary. They usually departed at 9 a.m. Some guides were better than others. Personally, we are not big on official "tours", preferring to do things we especially want to do on our own schedule and in our own way. However, as so many do, we took advantage of the tours "because we paid for them" in our fare. If we get to do another river cruise, we may be more picky about which tours we actually take part in. We usually had a decent amount of time on our own to peruse shops or whatever at the stops we made. My favorite was a trip through the Black Forest region to an historical park with old Bavarian farm houses, etc. There was a demonstration of how Black Forest Cake is made. Everyone was given a piece and it was SOOOO delicious! Many commented that it was the best they'd ever eaten! Entertainment may have been a bit more lively than on some lines as there was actually a couple of nights where people danced to disco and oldies. One afternoon some opera singers performed. Most nights there was a piano player in the lounge. The last night was a very enjoyable crew show and afterwards they did a "YMCA" performance and the dance to get the crowd moving. The effort the staff makes to please the passengers was above and beyond. No matter what, they would go out of their way to please. Especially a couple of the bar waiters who didn't hesitate to insist they could bring our drinks to us no matter where we were hanging out, be it the top deck, the lovely and relaxing pool area or the lounge. Sometimes we initially would go down to the lounge bar planning to get our drink and carry it up with us. However, we were urged to allow the staff to wait on us and they did. The food was always of very good quality and very nicely presented. Although the selections weren't as numerous as on an ocean going cruise, whatever they could provide or do to please your palate, they did. (I am quite picky about steak or beef and want mine very well done, so am usually afraid to order it. Our waiter insisted the meat would be cooked the way I wanted it and it was, even though I knew the cook or chef was going out of his way to make it that way). The included house wines were fine, although somehow (?), to our surprise, we were told upon check in that we had the upgraded beverage package! Though my husband and I are not heavy drinkers, I was very happy to get my favorite, a caparhina (very well and properly made and tasty, with plenty of muddled limes) every day. My only criticism was that at the breakfast and sometimes the lunch buffets, the layout of the food could have been better organized. At times (especially the first day's breakfast buffet) food was laid out in such a manner that people started out on both sides, passing each other in at the far end, with confusion as to whose turn it was to serve themselves and who was going in what direction. Plus there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to which dish - or maybe 2 - and not necessarily an important dish, would duplicated on both sides of the buffet, but most items were not. I can't say enough about the man who made the omelets. Very organized and he worked at a good pace, making tasty individual omelets or eggs to order. Our "Jewels of the Rhine" cruise was initially listed on the Emerald website as being on the Emerald Dawn. Since we booked only barely 2 months out with a T/A who was new to us and operated out of a different state (I booked with them due to a rebate offered through that agency), I was not specifically made aware that our ship was to be the Destiny until we boarded. We had to walk through a Viking ship to reach our ship so we hadn't seen the name on the hull of our's. We learned upon check in due to the "Welcome to the Destiny" offered us by the staff and officers in the lobby. We were quite surprised to be getting on a 5 week old ship! Lucky us! I can highly recommend this ship and this cruise line. I felt we got a very good price, though the undiscounted, full price would still have been somewhat less than a similar cruise on any of the mainstream river cruise lines. So I will agree, it does seem to be the best value cruise line! For the record, if we do another river cruise, well definitely go on Emerald Waterways again. They offer an excellent product and excellent value. We are still confirmed ocean cruisers, though, so this type of cruise won't take the place of those. We just see the 2 types of vacations similar yet very different and enjoy both Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my ... Read More
From embarking to disembarkation the cruise was a delight. The quality throughout the ship was excellent. The common rooms were spacious and well laid out. The food was always of a high quality and the Chef was very accommodating to my fussy choice of meals, thanks Chef! The staff were very efficient and very, naturally, friendly. All the tours were very well organised. We never felt rushed from one place to another, they were kept to a very slow pace to keep the whole experiences very relaxed. The on board entertainment was very relaxed and enjoyable, nice touch to have a cinema available in the pool area. The only downside to a fantastic holiday came at the beginning when we were delayed travelling by train to the embarkation point resulting in a very stressful day until arriving at the ship. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants a high quality, totally relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
While we're not new to ocean cruising, this was our first River Cruise and we have been impressed by Emerald and their staff. The whole package was well-organised and ran smoothly, despite delays in the Main river and the ... Read More
While we're not new to ocean cruising, this was our first River Cruise and we have been impressed by Emerald and their staff. The whole package was well-organised and ran smoothly, despite delays in the Main river and the Main-Danube canal, and we all accommodated the revisions in timetable without any problems. The ship - only two months old when we boarded - was magnificent, and both the crew and hotel/cruise staff seemed proud of her. The food was excellent - although not everybody we spoke to agreed - and we could easily choose from the short menu of dishes offered in the evening and limited selection when we took lunch (we usually skip lunch on cruises!). It reflected the locality and the character of the voyage well. Our cabin, although a little smaller than we have been used to at sea, was well-appointed and more than adequate - we don't spend too long in it, anyway. Most tours, wine with meals and tips are included, so don't be concerned by the "Up front" price. The tours we often simply walking from where we had docked near city centres. The cruse directory had arranged for various entertainers to come on board when we had a late departure, and there was a resident pianist, but don't expect grand cruise ship shows - there are less than 200 passengers! A warning - the Main and the canal have low bridges - the top desk had to be closed for several days, leaving no outside space unless yo had a balconly. Overall? we'll probably go back to Emerald in the future, depending on the itinerary 9and any offers we see)! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
After doing some research, we decided on Emerald as the dates and duration suited us. Also your brochure was very persuasive with lovely photos. We decided on a grand balcony stateroom but were disappointed to find on many occasions ... Read More
After doing some research, we decided on Emerald as the dates and duration suited us. Also your brochure was very persuasive with lovely photos. We decided on a grand balcony stateroom but were disappointed to find on many occasions that other boats were moored along side us. This meant having to keep the blinds closed during the day. The food was very disappointing at first but improved a little towards the end of the week. After dinner we felt rushed out of the dining room as staff were trying to set up for the next day. We would have liked to be able to sit there and have after dinner drinks and carry on a conversation with other guests. The music in the lounge was always so loud it was difficult to hear what others were saying. Our highlights were Regensburg, but we didn't have much time there as we sailed early in the day. The best guide by far was Alex in Passau. He was amusing and had knowledge of not only the history but current and relevant information about his area. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose a cruise along the Danube to appreciate the many historic cities built along this major European trade route. The restaurant and food on the Emerald Destiny was first rate and the staff were always helpful and attentive. ... Read More
We chose a cruise along the Danube to appreciate the many historic cities built along this major European trade route. The restaurant and food on the Emerald Destiny was first rate and the staff were always helpful and attentive. Onboard entertainment was good with a Hungarian band complete with Tymbala at Budapest, an excellent crew show and a German umpah band after Regensberg. There were guided sight seeing tours each day apart from the arrival and departure days. These were short but helpful and there was always additional time to explore places in more detail. The evening concert in Vienna by the Imperial Vienna Orchestra in the former palace of Prince Lobowsky where Beethoven's third symphony was premiered was a highlight. The ship was commissioned in April 2017 and is in beautiful condition with comfortable cabins and spacious public areas. Bar staff were exceptional regularly moving around the ship to provide service to guests. There are bicycles on board for daily personal use which I used only once on an organised ride between Dürnstein and Melk, a trip of 22 miles, a flat route with helpful local guides on off road routes almost throughout. Suitable for people with limited cycling experience.p Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise for a variety of reasons the first being value for money, the second being the route along the Danube visiting cities that I had never seen. I had never taken a river cruise and I did not know what to expect. We arrived ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a variety of reasons the first being value for money, the second being the route along the Danube visiting cities that I had never seen. I had never taken a river cruise and I did not know what to expect. We arrived in Budapest early to really see the city and this is a must! The city is spectacular and the two days we spent was really not enough. We met the boat and immediately encountered a wonderful welcome and met some of the crew who would serve us for the next 7 days. The Emerald Destiny is a sparkling new boat and we were surprised by the large , functional cabin even though I had opted for the lower cabin with a smaller view rather than the panoramic window. Cost was a factor here and I personally didn't think the extra money was worth it especially since most cruising was done at night and daytime views were everywhere in the common areas of the boat. There were only a total of 168 people on board making for a cosy atmosphere. If you like the hullabaloo of the huge cruising ships, this may not be for you. What a great way to meet people from different countries and backgrounds. We made some great friends over the sumptuous dinners and the art of conversation is very much revived in the comfort of the large lounge. The cities visited were spectacular and the daily guided tours were very informative and made especially easy with the new earplug monitors so you can hear the guide at all times. I can't say enough about the attentiveness of the crew. My wife is gluten free and the head waiter searched her out every day to make sure she was happy. We ended our trip in the fairy tale city of Nuremburg which is also worth a night or two the we traveled to the most picturesque city in the world. Prague is truly the jewel of Europe and should not be missed. I live in Montreal Canada but I am Australian. I was proud to hear that Emerald is an Aussie company. Onya guys!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise definitely meets expectations. The food is great, along with the service. The only thing I didn't care for, is that it's not for active people. If you're active or like to workout at all, the gym is basically ... Read More
The cruise definitely meets expectations. The food is great, along with the service. The only thing I didn't care for, is that it's not for active people. If you're active or like to workout at all, the gym is basically useless. It has a rowing machine and a bench, and fits one person comfortably at a time. Not even a basic treadmill. To top it off, you're told that you can't use the top deck to run, as patrons below are disturbed. The top deck is also closed for the last 1-2 days of travel. It's a small ship, which makes it intimate, but has it's limitations for sure. But then again, if you're there to eat and drink away and don't care much on being active, it's a paradise for you. The cabins are decent, the housekeeping staff is great. Alcohol is readily available. It definitely provides good service, the piece missing is good activities for active people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We have cruised on big ocean liners and experienced some pretty stormy weather. This was our first river cruise and it was a wonderful experience. Smooth sailing, fine dining, excellent tours included in the price and exceptionally helpful ... Read More
We have cruised on big ocean liners and experienced some pretty stormy weather. This was our first river cruise and it was a wonderful experience. Smooth sailing, fine dining, excellent tours included in the price and exceptionally helpful and friendly crew. The highlight of the tour for us was the concert in Vienna which was extra but so worth it. The smaller number of passengers made for a really friendly atmosphere and we were entertained at the beginning of the cruise by Hungarian folklore music & dancing and at the end by a Bavarian oompa band. The resident pianist was also a very good singer. Some of the talented crew also entertained us mid week. I have to mention our cruise director. He was so friendly, helpful and organised and was moving on to a different ship for tours out of Amsterdam which he said were beautiful too. We would definitely recommend Emerald Waterway cruises and hope we can take part in another one in the not too distant future. Hopefully we can meet up again with the lovely American couple who became dear friends in the space of 1 week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
The option of the Prague add-on to the Danube cruise made it perfect for us. The whole cruise was outstanding, apart from maybe too much shore walking; I have a trapped nerve in my back (awaiting surgery) and arthritis in one knee, hence ... Read More
The option of the Prague add-on to the Danube cruise made it perfect for us. The whole cruise was outstanding, apart from maybe too much shore walking; I have a trapped nerve in my back (awaiting surgery) and arthritis in one knee, hence I had to limit my on-shore endeavours. The cuisine was excellent. We ate normally in the lounge - breakfast and lunch - and found the array of food there just perfect. The soups were particularly notable. To end in Budapest was just perfect. The evening cruise up and down the Danube was even better than I had expected and I had done it before, albeit 16 years ago! To start with Prague and end with Budapest was ideal from any perspective. While Vienna is undoubtedly a lovely city, we live in London and the similarities are there, whereas that doesn't apply to Prague or Budapest. The daytime cruising was excellent e.g. the Wacchau Valley, as were the stops at small towns such as Durnstein. Overall, an enriching experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise was chosen because of its itinerary and duration. I had not previously visited the cities included and had not experienced a river cruise. Overall the organisation and provision of the whole package was very good. My only ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of its itinerary and duration. I had not previously visited the cities included and had not experienced a river cruise. Overall the organisation and provision of the whole package was very good. My only criticism of the travel arrangements was a 4 hour lay over at Frankfurt airport on our return to the UK. The ship was new so all onboard facilities were up to date and in good order. The dining procedures and quality of food were also very good other than the provision of adequate menu options for my wife in the early part of the cruise. She is vegetarian and this was documented in advance. Following a mix up in internal communication she was left on one occasion with a green salad only. This was subsequently rectified adequately by the restaurant manager and chef. Entertainment was minimal onboard but not unexpected. On this type of cruise I do not feel it is required. Service was very good by all crew members without exception. The excursions were all of great interest with expert and efficient guides. All arrangements were efficiently managed for the comfort of passengers. My wife and I would look to book again on a different itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had received recommendations from some friends that Emerald were good. That was an understatement, as the cruise the Emerald Destiny was excellent. The organisation from the time that the booking was made was superb. Every member of ... Read More
We had received recommendations from some friends that Emerald were good. That was an understatement, as the cruise the Emerald Destiny was excellent. The organisation from the time that the booking was made was superb. Every member of staff we spoke to, whether it was in the company's office, at the airport or on the ship was excellent. The ship itself was very clean and the food extremely tasty. Our bed was very comfortable, the cabin a delight. The shower was wonderful and the air con worked properly! The guides on shore were knowledgeable and extremely pleasant, even in the wilting heat of Budapest. I am a fussy old git, but I could not find fault. The evening cruise on the Danube in this extremely quiet ship was the cream on the cake and will live in our memory for years to come. Well done Emerald, we will be booking another cruise with you shortly! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
New experience. Wanted to see all the places in the itinerary. This is a well appointed ship with quality furnishings. The flexible arrangements for dining are much appreciated by this solo traveller. The food was excellent and there ... Read More
New experience. Wanted to see all the places in the itinerary. This is a well appointed ship with quality furnishings. The flexible arrangements for dining are much appreciated by this solo traveller. The food was excellent and there was good choice. Most dinners are waiter service which is most welcome. The breakfast, lunch and occasional dinner service is buffet style but there is none of the usual scramble and frenzied back-and-forth normally associated with these arrangements. All dining is relaxed. The free flowing drinks at both lunch and dinner contributes to this more relaxed approach. The quality of the wines could be relied upon. The Cruise Director on Destiny was very skilled: he managed to give essential information on arrangements and on ports of call with a sprinkling of good humour. Essentially, he was always available for assistance. The excursions were well organised and well conducted. Passengers could choose the pace at which they were guided around by joining an appropriate group - easy pace to more energetic. I particularly enjoyed the guided bike ride - 21 miles through the scenic Wachau Valley. Moreover, bikes were available for taking ashore at anytime. The bikes, together with the small gym, the small pool, and the running track around the sun-deck afford plenty of opportunity for the more energetic. Service throughout was, without exception, first class. Most enjoyable: I've booked again for 2018. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Wanted to try something different to a big sea cruise and to see lovely scenery whilst cruising. The boarding of the ship, cabin allocation etc. all done very efficiently. All the crew were very friendly and helpful. The cruise ... Read More
Wanted to try something different to a big sea cruise and to see lovely scenery whilst cruising. The boarding of the ship, cabin allocation etc. all done very efficiently. All the crew were very friendly and helpful. The cruise director was excellent. Food wise - very good service and the food for all meals was first class. Our daughter is quite a fussy eater so although the main menu had slightly different items there was alway the option of: 'normal' steak, chicken, fish etc. The whole ship was run very efficiently and kept immaculately clean the whole time. The excursions were very good and included in the price. And quite often there were several shuttle buses available after the main excursions - again included in the price. We only cruised during the day the first few days - which was great to see the lovely scenery. So slightly disappointing that we then cruised a night and missed all the scenery the last half of the cruise. This was obviously done so more time could be spent at the big cities. So this would have been a personal preference to see less of the cities and more of the countryside. Again, a personal preference was the smaller places we stopped at but everybody seemed to enjoy the big cities such as Vienna and Budapest. We went with our daughter & husband and although they are nearly 50 they were probably the youngest on board bar one or two. But never the less really were impressed and enjoyed it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We choose Emerald for its all-inclusive plan and it was ALL-INCLUSIVE. Our trip started with our first flight getting cancelled. Working with Emerald and the airline, we were able to get to Nuremburg some 7 hours later than had been ... Read More
We choose Emerald for its all-inclusive plan and it was ALL-INCLUSIVE. Our trip started with our first flight getting cancelled. Working with Emerald and the airline, we were able to get to Nuremburg some 7 hours later than had been planned. Emerald was there to pick us up howbeit without our luggage. Working tirelessly, Emerald was able to locate our luggage and get on-board 2 days later. With fresh clothing, we began to enjoy our trip. Our ship Destiny was one of their newest ships and it was truly a pleasure to be sailing in such wonderful ship. We had the Grand Balcony room and with its amenities, we could not ask for much more. Enjoying our balcony, we could lower the glass for a real sense of traveling outside. A note about our bed. It was very comfortable, however, we did not need a king bed in our room. Perhaps in the future they can offer queen size as well. Being this was our second river cruise, our meals aboard the Destiny were much better than the meals on our first cruise. What made the difference for us was the quality, selection and service. They served ice cream, 2 flavors a day, each day of our trip. Our first cruise we were never offered ice cream. The entertainment was another plus for Emerald. With live music be played in the lounge after dinner, you could really relax and meet new friends. Emerald provided everything we needed when it came to the shore excursions and ports that we visited. Bikes were offered to anyone wanting to get a little exercise the pedaling way. Would we ride with Emerald again? By all means it would be our pleasure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The initial three days extension in Prague was one of the main reasons. We have never been on a river cruise before and decided to try this with some friends. The Emerald Destiny was brand new for 2017and had all the amenities we ... Read More
The initial three days extension in Prague was one of the main reasons. We have never been on a river cruise before and decided to try this with some friends. The Emerald Destiny was brand new for 2017and had all the amenities we required to enhance our enjoyment of our first cruise; we found the stateroom cabin to be very comfortable,contained everything we need and was of a very high standard. The staff of the Emerald Destiny were brilliant from our cabin girl to all waiters and bar staff. Service was second to none. All meals were excellent the quality of the food and choice for breakfast / lunch was varied; evening meals had something for everybody; the wines were of good quality,normally of the region visited, plentiful at lunch and dinner. The daily organised included excursions were very good with local guides informing us of the areas history and buildings of interest, the use of radio headsets makes the experience more enjoyable as do not miss any of their knowledge. The evening excursion to a Viennese Concert is a must when visiting Vienna. I would recommend Emerald Waterways to anyone wanting to experience a river cruise. We would definitely be interested in taking another river cruise in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's ... Read More
We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's transfers. The ship is brand new, but everything ran smoothly and most of the initial kinks seem to be ironed out. Our crew and staff were friendly and accomodating; as our cruise director, Michael, gauged how energetic some of us were, he added/modified activities to cater for us. As Emerald is a fairly new line with a small fleet, they don't always have the choice berths in port. In fact we found out that our embarkation berth in Budapest was so far away from the city centre that we stayed based at our mid-town hotel so we could continue exploring the sights right until just before dinner on the Destiny. Our ethos was that the boat is a logistical aide and not the destination itself. Breakfast and lunch were buffet affairs. Although there was a decent spread, I found breakfast became a little monotonous. At least lunch always included some locally inspired dishes to give us variety. Dinners were sit down meals with plated service- selection of starters, soup, mains and dessert. The quality and presentation of dishes was consistently good and professional. Service was a little inconsistent at times if there were any unusual requests, but generally it was friendly and sharp. Service in the lounge was friendly and efficient. Very seldom did anyone have to wait to get a drink in hand. With our cocktail requests the bartenders tended to pour too much liquor in the glass. Our onboard entertainer was a talented singer-pianist with a wide repertoire. Sometimes however, he tried too hard to get the party going, rather than let the natural rhythm of the guests dictate the pacing of the songs. Our guests artists included a zither player, oom-pah band and Hungarian folk musicians. We expected these might be a bit kitsch, but they all turned out to be skillful and quite entertaining. On board exercise facilities included a few ergonomic machines, a small pool, and the rooftop walking track. Unfortunately, due to the height restrictions on the Main canal the rooftop was closed nearly half our trip so we could not fully utilise these facilities. The included tours of all the cities were generally of a very high standard, giving us a lot of information about the city, while still entertaining us and allowing us time to explore (or shop) on our own. We became quite spoilt by this experience and will definitely opt for local guides on any of our future holidays. All-in-all we were very happy with our trip on Emerald. It was great value for money and the experience was definitely one of our bucket list objectives achieved. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Family recommendation. First time on a river boat cruise. Will definitely travel this way again. The staff was amazing! Very friendly and accommodating. We have no complaints about the staff and service at all. Boat was clean, common areas ... Read More
Family recommendation. First time on a river boat cruise. Will definitely travel this way again. The staff was amazing! Very friendly and accommodating. We have no complaints about the staff and service at all. Boat was clean, common areas were easily accessible and always well serviced. My wife's and my only complaint would be that the bike tour should have been either explained this is for all levels of riders or they should have tiers like all the other excursions. Most of the bikes were good for 32 km but the smaller bikes are not the right fit for this type of ride. I would highly recommend this trip to my family and friends and we will definitely do this type of cruise again. Michael the cruise director was awesome! Very entertaining. Shout out to all of the crew on the emerald destiny. You are all first rate! Congratulations and keep up the awesome work! We have never seen a more friendly and hard working crew before. Ever! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
First, the ship: Brand spanking new and it showed. Everything was meticulously clean and polished and the size of the ship was perfect. The "verandah" cabin is also perfect with the roll down window. The staff was superb ... Read More
First, the ship: Brand spanking new and it showed. Everything was meticulously clean and polished and the size of the ship was perfect. The "verandah" cabin is also perfect with the roll down window. The staff was superb throughout. Second, fellow passengers: Having only 120 or so on board for 2 weeks meant we were able to get to know many and make some good friends along the way. Third, the rivers (Rhine, Main & Danube): All are gorgeous with boundless curves, hills, castles and cute little towns and a couple of big cities. Fourth, the canal and locks: Absolutely fascinating and an engineering marvel to enjoy. Fifth, the itinerary: It was interesting, but often the stops in some lovely towns were too short to really have time to enjoy on your own time. They do a good job of including daily tours and excellent tour guides. Sixth, the food: Overall the food was OK, More variety from the locales visited would be an excellent addition. Our chef's Goulash was the best ever! Read Less
Emerald Destiny Ratings
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