72 Emerald Waterways Emerald Radiance Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because it is part of the Scenic Cruise Line which has a strong positive reputation. We were also interested in a trip to Portugal and this cruise offered that opportunity to see several towns along the river as well as the topography and use of land. In this manner, we did not have to schlep baggage and worry about where to go, where to eat, and where to stay. The ease of a River Cruise is most appealing and the staff of the Emerald Radiance, as well as the moderness of the ship provided a smooth, interesting and exceptional experience. The food and food choices are superb for any diet. The beds and pillows are very comfortable. The staff are attentive, friendly and professional. The common rooms are very spacious and comfortable. The tours are well organized with tour guides sharing such well-rounded historical and current information. We did not want for anything during our trip. An outstanding experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The ... Read More
We are coming to the end of our week on the Radiance and it has been fantastic. Only 112 passengers in a very modern boat. Rooms are lovely, even on the lower level, when the windows are large rectangles letting in loads of light. The staff from the general manager down are committed to making your stay enjoyable. The staff are super friendly and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble. The boat is immaculate and there are hand sanitisers for use when you return. Excursions were excellent and there were very good energetic options including kayaking on the river. Lovely visit to Salamanca with plenty of time to explore the city. Porto is a real treat. Food was first rate as was the wine. For those whose transfer to the airport was after lunch Emerald put on a lovely light buffet in the lounge, wine included. We would highly recommend this trip Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The cruise was to celebrate our Diamond Wedding Anniversary and it was a great success. We found Emerald Waterways and excellent company and they and their staff went the extra mile to make the trip enjoyable. We liked the small ship which ... Read More
The cruise was to celebrate our Diamond Wedding Anniversary and it was a great success. We found Emerald Waterways and excellent company and they and their staff went the extra mile to make the trip enjoyable. We liked the small ship which meant we got to know the fellow passengers and met and made some lovely friends. The crew and staff were very effecient and friendly, the food and dinning room service were excellent. The cabin (303),although small, was comfortable and always turned out immaculately by the cabin staff. The trip along the Douro was lovely and the shore excursions well organised and successful.There are probably lower cost river cruises but you get what you pay for. The no cost, free flowing drinks were a bonus. Thank you Emerald Waterways for make our trip memorable. The fact that we were celebrating a very special event was remembered and made even more special by the members of the crew and, of course, the good friends we made. We thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. Having never been to Portugal or never been on a river cruise, we feel we started at the top. Staff was very good and attentive. Food was exceptional. Land based activities well thought out. Fairly new ship and they have really taken care of it. With 36 staff and 112 people there is bound to be something you like. Remember this is the Douro river, drinking fine wine and port will be involved. Seeing lots of barren and agricultural land will be involved. There is no industry on the Douro so the scenery is awesome. The cabin is a little small but everything is well done and laid out. The one night to the the Pacheca Winery dinner was a flop. No one said a nice word about the wine dinner. If you did not want to do an off ship activity, staff was able to take care of you. Love the little towns and big cities. Captain you are a brave sailor through those locks and canyons. I would do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Previous experience with Emerald waterways. We found the cruise lived up to expectations. Following the loss of our luggage the crew were wonderful , and went out of there way to help, in tracing our luggage . Giving us toothbrushes and ... Read More
Previous experience with Emerald waterways. We found the cruise lived up to expectations. Following the loss of our luggage the crew were wonderful , and went out of there way to help, in tracing our luggage . Giving us toothbrushes and toothpaste ,sun lotion. And laundering our clothes so we had clean clothes until our luggage arrived. Following the breakdown of the air conditioner we were transferred to a new cabin . All the crew were friendly , and very soon they new who we were . The dinning room was clean and the waiter staff were exceptional . We had the same waiter and very soon he got to no our likes and dislikes. What can I say about the food , it was superb plenty off choice and there was always three alternatives The entertainment was suitable for us . We did not attend all the activities that were on offer, All the trips were timed perfectly the guides excellent and knowledgable. The food was exceptional and the waiters attentive and nothing was to much trouble . We stayed in the stateroom on the lower deck , this was comfortable and clean with all towels and bathroom toiletries changed daily. Overall we found the ship friendly . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this river cruise because it was highly recommended by our travel agent and other collegues who have gone on other river cruises. (The Douro river valley is very picturesque with its vineyards and old vineyard buildings dominating ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because it was highly recommended by our travel agent and other collegues who have gone on other river cruises. (The Douro river valley is very picturesque with its vineyards and old vineyard buildings dominating the landscape). We had a 3 day stay in Lisbon before our departure. Hotel Jupiter Lisboa was excellent. The included bus tour of the city was very good. but we thought the excursion to Sintra the second day should have been included in our price. The trip to Porto from Lisbon was somewhat long....we spent too much time in the resort town of Navarre where there was little too do but shop for trinkets. The ship was very attractive and clean, but tended too be a bit too small. Cabin was tight even though we had a Panorama view suite. Bed was very comfortable, and steward service was excellent. We were somewhat disappointed in the size of the ship...only one dining room and lounge area..tended to be too intimate and small. The sundeck's walking track was too crowded and there was no putting green. The entertainment on the ship after supper was barely there...no piano music on the grand piano...trivia game with the activity director. Embarkation of the ship went fairly smoothly, but we were very disappoointed in the evening sunset cruise that was suppose to happen in Porto. There was no announcement and the ship did a sail while still light, no where near sunset and everyone was just getting settled and ready for dinner. Ports and included excursions were very good and enjoyable. Most tour directors knew their information. Service was very good and friendly. However, communication was somewhat difficult. Employees could speak English but some appeared to have a hard time understanding questions. On board activiites like bracelet making and tile painting were good ideas but instructors tended to take over and do the project for you. Meals on the Radiance were good. Breakfasts and lunches were very good but the supper dining experiences were somewhat disappointing. Soups tended to be bland and some of the entrees lacked taste. Presentation was excellent. We are not big drinkers, but I thought the included beer and wine, at no cost, was a nice gesture. We have no intention on going on another river cruise because we found it too relaxing, and ( I hate to say it but somewhat boring' especially on the sea days). We heard such wonderful things about river cruises, and it was good, but maybe our expectations were too high. On one last note, having all gratuities included up front, made it much easier. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my second Emerald River cruise. I had already been on the Emerald Radiance the year before and had an excellent time so was slightly worried that it could not be as good again. I was wrong, it was just as excellent and we had the ... Read More
This was my second Emerald River cruise. I had already been on the Emerald Radiance the year before and had an excellent time so was slightly worried that it could not be as good again. I was wrong, it was just as excellent and we had the extra bonus of the delightful friendly Mary Berry sailing with us for part of the trip. This time I was traveling with my 23-year-old daughter. I had given her the option of a week away anywhere she fancied and Portugal on the Emerald Radiance was what she picked. I had told her that she would likely be the only one of her age on board but she was happy to be amongst a mixed age group. She had a ball and her only compliant was having to leave the fabulous crew and the delicious food served at the end of the week! The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the cruise director, Maria Elena, the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team all genuinely seem to support each other and work well together. The ship is modern and spacious enough that it doesn't feel crowded and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers but there are also plenty of tables for two if you prefer. On our last evening on board the crew kindly pushed together tables to accommodate 14 of us who wanted to dine together. We really enjoyed the quizzes that took place after dinner, they were really good fun and well organised. The food was superb, beautifully presented and the wines were excellent. The trips are informative and interesting. We took the optional excursion to the Mateus Palace which was one of my highlights this time The onboard activities were excellent including making Pasteis de Nata, port wine cocktails, bracelets and tile painting. They were all very popular and you came away with a nice little memento. I will definitely be back with Emerald in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Good ship and service. Friendly crew. The Duro River is winding and beautiful. The tours are good but the stops have limited appeal. The wine and port is very good. Need more ship board entertainment and physical activities. Overall ... Read More
Good ship and service. Friendly crew. The Duro River is winding and beautiful. The tours are good but the stops have limited appeal. The wine and port is very good. Need more ship board entertainment and physical activities. Overall relaxing and enjoyable. The food and wine were excellent. The wait staff was very good. The crew was friendly and helpful. We had good weather that made the cruise very enjoyable. The three night stop was good and the old city is interesting. Porto is a great city with many hills and small winding streets. Salamanca is a beautiful city in Spain with an interesting history including its focus on educate. The dinner at the Pacheco winery was awesome in the wine cellar. The tours we took required us to get on buses. The streets of the towns are quite narrow and winding; the bus drivers did incredible jobs navigating us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any ... Read More
Been wanting to see the Douro for sometime and our travel against recommended Emerald. What a Find! Brilliant modern ship, superbly comfortable, and the Portugese crew were the most smiley and helpful people we have ever come across in any holiday destination. Add to this the beauty of Europe’s most unspoilt and beautiful river and you have all the ingredients of a holiday made in heaven. Go for it! The shore excursions were well chosen and uncrowded, with guides who treated us like adults and kept us entertained as well as informed. The onboard cruise manager, Marie Helena was so friendly, helpful , knowledgeable and unfazed, I suggested she join the queue to be Prime Minister of England. Dining room served excellent local and beautifully presented dinners with waiting staff who were unfailingly friendly and helpful Look no further - if you want to cruise the magical Douro, this has to be the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Never having been to North Portugal, we thought this cruise on the Douro would cross a lot of boxes which it certainly did. A most comfortable ship though, splitting hairs, the Emerald Destiny which we sailed in last year on the Danube, ... Read More
Never having been to North Portugal, we thought this cruise on the Douro would cross a lot of boxes which it certainly did. A most comfortable ship though, splitting hairs, the Emerald Destiny which we sailed in last year on the Danube, was better as it had a small covered swimming pool not an open air jacuzzi! The ship was very clean, the crew were caring and efficient - nothing seemed too much trouble - and the excursions were well managed and interesting. One problem though was that an excursion we wanted to go on, despite being advertised, was not possible since it was scheduled at the same time as another very interesting excursion. Our cabin (NOT a stateroom) was slightly compact though its design was efficient. Arguably it had a little too much glass. The laundry we had done was very well handled with the clean and dry clothes returned within the day. Unfortunately there was a virus making hay within the ship - probably half the passengers were suffering from bad cough and colds, some having to spend at least a day in bed. It has to be noted that medical assistance was poor - where was the medicine cabinet and where was the paracetamol needed to help reduce bodily aches and pains? Generally this was a very enjoyable week, seeing new sights, visiting interesting locations and meeting new friends, despite having to return home with heavy colds and coughs which took a little gilt off the gingerbread. We certainly are looking forward to our next Emerald cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had previously cruised with Emerald (15-Day Splendours of Europe in 2017) so we felt familiar with the Emerald tours. As expected, the ship was very clean everywhere, rooms, restaurants, common areas. Portugal did not disappoint but ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Emerald (15-Day Splendours of Europe in 2017) so we felt familiar with the Emerald tours. As expected, the ship was very clean everywhere, rooms, restaurants, common areas. Portugal did not disappoint but even though the staff on the ship tried very hard to be welcoming and accommodating, there was one major irritant. Communications, especially by staff whose jobs it was to communicate with passengers. The reception staff were excellent, however. On our previous cruise we had enjoyed the announcements which gave simple instructions like which busses were going where & at what time, what's next on the schedule, reminders for when to turn in our extra excursion requests etc. On this cruise, there were no such announcements. They would have been extra useful on this cruise because the English language proficiency of some of the crew was low. For example, the first night's Sunset Cruise was missed by many of us because it wasn't clearly indicated that we would sail in Porto harbour before (or during) dinner. Subsequently many of us simply went to dinner. On our previous cruise, the evening sail in Budapest was a highlight, commentated by the cruise director and clearly communicated beforehand. Hint: Cruise first, then dinner OR dinner first, followed by cruise of Harbour. One of the on-board activities was tile painting but it was not clearly indicated when or where we could pick up our finished tiles. Our bus to Lisbon was delayed because some of the passengers were told to wait on the ship while the rest of us had already embarked on the bus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
WE chose this cruise over Viking because of the great deal. Our fare included the Premium Liquor package, r/t airfare for $295, an upgraded room, and one extra excursion. Viking's fare was almost $2000 more for all of that. (Note: ... Read More
WE chose this cruise over Viking because of the great deal. Our fare included the Premium Liquor package, r/t airfare for $295, an upgraded room, and one extra excursion. Viking's fare was almost $2000 more for all of that. (Note: Viking's trip includes 10 days vs. our 7 and also 3 days in Lisbon, which we did on our own for probably less.) Not having sailed with Emerald before we kept our expectations low. But we were pleasantly surprised. The ship was relatively new, full of chrome and glass with comfortable seating in the lounge. The staff were friendly, very accommodating, and helpful. Our room, albeit small like most river cruise cabins, was still comfortable with great beds. Given that it was November and the weather was not that good, it was nice to have the full window and a little extra space in the cabin to view the passing landscape vs. a regular balcony....much more comfortable. The food was very good - probably not up to the par of Viking (which I have taken 4 trips on), but still good....and the Portuguese wines were excellent...and they were not stingy with the pours. We did have to cope with cloudy and rainy days, but for the most part, our excursions were fine. One comment....on the first day the cruise director decided to give the full itinerary in much too much detail. You could see passengers just nodding off - and of course not listening. She then reported every night on the next day. Most cruise directors just give a short overview on the first night and then give more specifics daily. Suggest she do the same. The other comment, it would have been nice to have had a little more free time to wander the towns we visited...but we were told the ship had a tight schedule with the locks....I am sure the summer tours are better about this. Our disembarkation was one of the smoothest I have experienced. The cruise directors ordered a taxi and then personally escorted us to the car and helped with the luggage. Nice touch. Big kudos to the staff manning the concierge desk, the bar staff, the waiters and waitresses, and the cabin attendants. And the captain was very accessible. They all made the trip that much more special. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we have had excellent holidays with Emerald before and we had not done this cruise. The ship was quite new and was kept in immaculate condition. We were in an Owner's Suite which was very spacious ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have had excellent holidays with Emerald before and we had not done this cruise. The ship was quite new and was kept in immaculate condition. We were in an Owner's Suite which was very spacious and equipped with everything you would want. The meals were superb, enhanced by the included wine and beer, and the service exceptionally friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment of quizzes was good and the musical entertainment particularly enjoyable. The tile painting and cork bracelet making were unusual and entertaining. There were also demonstrations of cooking custard tarts and mixing cocktails based on Port, both of which allowed passengers to partake in the action. The shore excursions were well organised and interesting. The ship's Captain was more than a phantom figure but was around a lot of the time and particularly welcomed everyone back on board when returning from an excursion. We enjoyed this cruise enormously and are looking for more for next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent ... Read More
It covered the Douro River with optional excursions. The best part was that you weren't locked into any activity that you didn't want to participate in. A good overview of Spain and Portugal. The on board dining was excellent and gave us a taste of the local cuisine. The concierge Manuel was an exemplary organizer with a good command of the English language. He commanded the staff appropriately and effectively. He was always available and ready to help. He has a vast knowledge of the history and local culture. Without his direction the cruise would not have run as smoothly .I would recommend Manuel as concierge on any cruise. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing time and still be overseas enjoying the scenery the company the hospitality of this crew. It caters for all ages and tastes with numerous possibilities to organize your own holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as part of an overland Spain/Portugal tour. Everything about the cruise as a part of EverGreen tours was well organised and professional.The rooms were well decorated and appointed. Everything was exceptionally clean. The quality of the food prepared by a chef and his team was exceptional . Food provided for breakfast and lunch was also wonderful with a large variety and choice available. Wine was overflowing and good quality. The tours that were an included part of our larger tour were extremely good value showing the particular features of Portuguese life ( eg Port wine, cork ) There were only 107 people on board and getting on and off the boat was easy. There was lots of free time to do our own exploring and guests were able to choose to stay on board if they wished. Staff were amazing Their approach was friendly, engaging & helpful at all times. They were extremely professional in every role that they filled. They were also a lot of fun. activities provided on board were engaging, interesting and informative. We would absolutely recommend Emerald Waterways form our experience of the River Duoro Cruise on Emerals Radiance Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It exceeded our expectations. The Duoro river and river valley were beautiful. Never knew there were so many grapes grown in this region. Our ship was in excellent condition and our standard cabin was what I expected. All the meals were great and the wine never ending. We also purchased the premium beverage package which was not a bad value. The ship staff really made this trip memorable. Some of the people that did an exceptional job were: Maria, cruise director; Manuel, hotel director; Cornell, restaurant director; Claudia, guest services; Miguel and Tiago, bar service; and not but least, our housekeeper, Vanessa. Each of them worked tirelessly to make this cruise one of our best. We enjoyed the shore excursions included and opted to purchase two others that were worthwhile. Did a dinner one night at a working vineyard that was a lot of fun. Did you know that many wineries in the Duoro Valley actually stomp grapes with their feet for the premium wines? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours ... Read More
My Mum, in her eighties, had the River Duoro on her wishlist, and I, in my early 50s was very lucky to be her travel companion! The Emerald Radiance and it's staff were superb; the food, the wines, the views:sublime; the tours interesting and well organised. We felt like VIPs - lush views from the Horizon lounge at breakfast, personal attention from the cruise director, Maria Elena, the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel made us feel really valued, while knowing that they lavished such attention on every other guest on board. All the staff were polite, friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team are the epitome of pleasant professionalism, a close working team who all genuinely seem to support each other and get on, which comes across well and makes the guests feel welcome and personally looked after. The ship is spacious enough that one doesn't feel crowded, yet is conducive to a friendly atmosphere, and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers and interesting conversations. Manuel and the cruise directors are knowledgeable about the Douro, and able to answer questions or chat amicably about anything - dinner cuisine and dinner conversation a very pleasurable mix. There was lively entertainment if we wanted to participate or listen, but if we preferred to retire to our cabin and our comfy beds, we couldn't hear anything. The food was superb, a good choice and generous portions, beautifully presented. The wines were excellent, and I've been converted from Spanish reds to Douro whites! The level of service and attention was such that by our second dinner, Cornell was ready and approaching with our preferred soft drink - wow! We didn't join the yoga on the top deck, preferring a leisurely lie in before breakfast, but the trips provided opportunity to walk or be more energetic - we took the less energetic options, strolling rather than climbing steps, or going kayaking - the choice is always the guests. The trips are informative and interesting without being like a school lesson, and there's always some free time, you don't have to be in a line behind the guides! A bit more time at the port tasting would have been welcome, but as a group we did ask the guide a lot of questions! The onboard activities were fun, the tile painting something quite different, and a unique memento; and the blind tasting was hilarious, but ultimately successful - I never even knew there were these varieties of port! All in all...Flawless! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included ... Read More
This cruise is sold as Evergreen in Australia and is the "budget" line for Scenic. Not quite so plush and not all-inclusive. However it is a good choice for those who may not want to do all the tours (walking tours were included as was a night at a winery) and a real highlight was Salamanca. The food is just as good as on any river cruise. I particularly enjoyed sampling the Portuguese choices on the menu and the Vino Verde. The entertainment (if you want this) is low key - mainly just a pianist though on one night there was a delightful duo playing music from around the world and I even got up to dance. The only negatives for me were: firstly all the mirrors on the ship (it is a house of mirrors) which were initially very disorientating and secondly we decided to take a cabin on the lower deck (104) because we thought it might be too chilly to use a balcony. (In fact it was VERY hot in Portugal!) The cabin was comfortable (as was the bed) and fitted out very well but had a smell of damp that was unpleasant. If you are going on this cruise you also need to be aware that you need to get in early to book anything popular such as the tile painting, visit to the Mateuse Palace etc and alternative activities for onboard activities aren't available which is disappointing. Maria, our cruise director was delightful, as were all the Portuguese crew. They were perhaps the most friendly crew we have encountered and were wonderful ambassadors for Portugal. They were also very well organised. I loved the Douro, and would advise one of the upper decks with a balcony is worth the extra money. Just as an aside, we found the average age on the cruise somewhat older than we expected - more late 70s than the 50s to 60s that we were expecting but a nice mix of nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was part of a 21 day Lisbon to Nice Package put together by Emerald / Evergreen as it’s known in Australia.. So this will be a trip report and review on the boat itself.. We arrived in Lisbon a day early, which I ... Read More
This cruise was part of a 21 day Lisbon to Nice Package put together by Emerald / Evergreen as it’s known in Australia.. So this will be a trip report and review on the boat itself.. We arrived in Lisbon a day early, which I recommend..Evergreen ( E) still picked us up from the airport ...there were three couples doing that... so when we got out through customs we found the Emerald sign very easily, no Driver just the sign. So the six of us just waited until he had a cigarette or whatever it was he was doing, he showed up after about 10 minutes and drive us to the Jupiter Lisboa Hotel . the other two couples, of course had a room ready for them but not us.Anyway we just went for a walk and enjoyed ourselves ,and after an hour or so, we got our room and it was worth the wait because it sounds like we got a better room than they did. Our room was a very good size with a French balcony that opened slightly to let the fresh Air in, and in the days, following allowed our clothes to dry . The next day I had pre-booked a Viator Day trip to sintra and cascais... this cost about $78 Australian each for a 8 to 9 hour trip that went so many places and saw so much . Far more extensive than the evergreen 3 1/2 hour trip to Sintra that was available the following day. . When we arrived back to the hotel after our day trip ,the foyer was full of Evergreen people having drinks and making their way into have dinner. This was very nice and it was then that we found out that most of these people had been on a land content trip with Evergreen prior to this and this was the last part of their trip . I did hear some grumblings from these people that they felt like they were being forgotten or left out because Evergreen was concentrating on the new customers now but I did not see any evidence of that . The dinner at the Jupiter hotel was very nice it was a buffet and gave everybody a chance to meet each other have a drink and retire for the night. So the next few days were spent on a half day trip around Lisbon that was included ,which was really good and just walking around ourselves enjoying things . Hotel it self was not particularly that close to the waterfront but there is so much to see around and easy to get to the waterfront that it’s not a problem, but it’s a beautiful hotel . So on Saturday, 8 September we all have to pack to leave ,some going home and some going on a bus to Porto to meet this boat. We stopped at a place for a comfort stop and snack and then later on at lunch at a place called Nazare.. I did hear the usual whingeing from people about why aren’t we getting to the boat quicker but it’s a reasonable drive and obviously the people in Porto want to clean and turn over the boat ready for us and so would prefer us to be a little later . So later in the afternoon we drove through the streets and down to the river and we could see the boat which looked really nice and staff waiting for us at the front. We got off and were excourted to our allocated rooms, then we had a briefing and a buffet dinner . the buffet dinner was excellent, , and we got to meet the other people that were already on the boat that were just doing the seven days on the Porto or joining the boat from other tours . So back to our room and we had room 216 in the middle deck. As I am a person that does their research, I knew exactly what the room would look like and the size so there was no surprises, probably that it was slightly bigger than I had expected. I did expect that it is a narrow walkway between the bed to get into the bathroom ,but that’s okay not a problem for us ,but the balcony area was slightly bigger than I had expected. I did notice that some people said that they were disappointed that it wasn’t a true balcony and when I asked them if they had bothered to look at the brochures or even do any research, the answer was no ,so I just thought they were stupid to be honest. As the brochure says, it is a drop-down window, that you can lean out and have a look if you like, get plenty of fresh air and if you hang your clothes in front of the window like I did they were dry in a day. There is plenty of hanging space, it doesn’t look much, but there was enough for us ...enormous amount of drawers for your clothes, plenty of bench space and the walls are metal, so I took magnetic hooks and clips and hang things up from the walls above the TV ,to free up the bench space.. The rooms are minimalist and very comfortable, the bed is very comfortable too ,so together with the small but functional bathroom that had shelves built into the walls ,we were very happy.It had a mini bar, which I filled with some wine that I had bought at Lisbon but didn’t drink.. I enjoyed it sitting in my room watching the world go by. The ship it self is like the rooms, very minimalist and lots of mirrors everywhere so it looks extremely clean, tidy and spacious. .I did notice that the glass doors that went to the restaurant or the bar area, were always kept open so there was no accidents of people walking into them. The bar area, where all the port talks and entertainment were, has the bar in the middle and people complained in previous reviews about not being able to see anything, but I did not find that to be the case, as there were TVs that broadcast all the talks around the rooms, so it was very easy to see what was going on. On the Top deck there was the pool and lots and lots of chairs and tables for people to sit , which was lovely. The pool is not deep, if you sit in the water it will lap at your chest and it’s just beautiful to sit there in the afternoon and watch the Vineyards and beautiful Quintas float past. The first night in Porto, just before the sun set, we did a cruise by the Porto area under some bridges and back and watched all the lights turn on in the city which was lovely and also the start of the sunset which was beautiful.. In the mornings there was stretching classes but the only stretching I did was stretching my arm out to the breakfast buffet ,which I enjoyed at the front of the ship in the bar area ,where a light breakfast was put out every morning for those up Early or just wanting a simple breakfast. There was a coffee machine in this area and also a coffee machine at the other end of the bar set up with beautiful teas, coffees, hot chocolate’s, biscuits etc..Next to this area is a small alcove that houses some games, some books, magazines ,daily printouts of news from different countries and also somewhere where you can put your excursion listening device and hear a running commentary about what we’re passing on the river. We had an early introduction to all the staff, they all look very nice, they are all Portuguese and seem to get on well together . Our tour director was Elizabeth who was quite funny and very good and the hotel manager was Manuel, also a very friendly man although I found him a little hard to understand sometimes . I have done and Amsterdam to Bucharest River cruise and really did not expect much from the Portugal one. I just thought it would be relaxing but not as picturesque but I was wrong ,both my husband and I really enjoyed the Portugal scenery ,it’s different but just really nice and it’s a shame that the river is so short because I would’ve loved to have spent longer on there.. we only did the excursions that were provided by Evergreen, did not bother with any extra ,as we were quite happy with the ones that we got. we enjoyed the museums that we saw which quite frankly I thought would be boring but again I was wrong, we enjoyed going to Salamanca in Spain and the two hour bus trip getting there and back was not a problem. I can’t understand people complaining about this because there was so much to see on the road and we had some stops and I would say 90% of the people had a snooze on the bus coming back Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at ... Read More
It was our Emerald wedding anniversary so wanted to go on the Emerald Radiance to celebrate on the day. We were presented with Champagne, chocolates and a bouquet of flowers from the company which was a pleasant surprise. We were met at the airport and transported to the dock at Porto with relevant ease and escorted to our cabin after being greeted on board by Manuel. All the staff were very friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. The Radiance was a beautiful ship and a pleasure to be on. Cabin was a little noisy when starting the engines and the shower was a little small to get in and out for a large person but very clean. Excursions were very informative and not too long. Entertainment was varied and mainly good especially the Quiz nights and we were luckyto win both of them. I would definitely travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was on my Mum’s bucket list of cruises she wanted to do. I had seen the itinerary and liked it but when we booked we were unfamiliar with Emerald Waterways. We were not disappointed in any way. Mum who had cruised with Viking ... Read More
It was on my Mum’s bucket list of cruises she wanted to do. I had seen the itinerary and liked it but when we booked we were unfamiliar with Emerald Waterways. We were not disappointed in any way. Mum who had cruised with Viking before said she actually preferred Emerald because it was less formal but 5* quality. We felt relaxed, and comfortable on board and the crew went out of their way to make sure that we had everything we could possibly desire. The restaurant was superb and the food exquisite. Everything was beautifully presented and having unlimited Portuguese wines that were carefully selected every evening meant we could sample everything. The barbecue lunch on deck was fantastic with all the crew joining in (I even danced with the head chef Nuno and Manuel the Hotel Manager) The bar staff were all lovely and took time to chat and get to know you. We all learned a little about each other which made us feel like part of their family. The cruise director Luis kept us well informed daily on what was happening on and off the ship, so we didn’t miss any of the things we wanted to do. The gala night and farewell dinners were gorgeous and gave us the opportunity to have a chat with the captain and show our appreciation for all the crew (all 38 of them) We loved the cruise. Portugal itself was lovely but it was the ship and crew that made the holiday special. I would definitely recommend Emerald Waterways and hope to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and ... Read More
wanted to cruise the douro. The service and food were excellent,better than 5 star! Nothing too much trouble for us,all staff very friendly and efficient.Manuel and Cornel exceptional! We have cruised with many companies both ocean and river,emerald is the best by far ! The scandinavian company should look out! Food by the executive chef and his team was wonderful,again the chef came to tables to ask our opinions,never had this before ! Excursions were amazing with good guides ,so helpful and interesting. We like salamanca the best ,a wonderful old city,so colourful and vibrant.The bar and restaurant staff could not be more helpful on board the ship,service with a smile,you do not always get this on other ships. Cabin compact but functional and again very friendly and efficient service ,nothing too much trouble .Manuel and Cornel spent so much time to make sure that everything was just right but never intrusive . We will be back with emerald again next year without doubt,emerald is the best in the fleet! Howard and Christine Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first Emerald River cruise. The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and ... Read More
This was my first Emerald River cruise. The captain and crew made you feel so very special with personal attention from the hotel manager, Manuel and the Maitre D, Cornel. All the staff were polite, very friendly, helpful and approachable. Manuel and his team all genuinely seem to support each other and work well together. The ship is modern and spacious enough that one doesn't feel crowded and the open dining allows for meeting fellow passengers but there are also plenty of tables for two if you prefer. . The entertainment after dinner was well organised and good fun but you could just sit and chat if you preferred at the other end of the lounge.. The food was superb, beautifully presented and the wines were excellent. The trips are informative and interesting. The highlights for me were the trip to Salamanca and the rustic dinner in the vineyard. The onboard activities were fun, the tile painting, bracelet making were all very popular and you came away with a nice little memento. I will definitely be back with Emerald in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Emerald Radiance Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 3.5 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family N/A 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.5 4.1
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.4

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