2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a new experience for us..we had done Alaskan and Caribbean cruises previously. Also several of our friends were coming on the same cruise! We had only travelled before on large ships and I have to say that I iiked this ship so much more! The size meant ease of getting around and the smaller number of passengers meant much more concentrated attention to us passengers! We got to know the staff. They were all pleasant and very friendly. Meals were delightful, well served and delicious, We enjoyed trivia night, the violin player and also the music by the three classical performers was excellent! We also enjoyed the piano player! We enjoyed the tours and appreciated the fact that they were all well run with good guides and buses that were always punctual. I never worried that I would be lost!! Thank you for an outstanding trip!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is the first time we have travelled with Emerald. The organisation, trips, boat and staff could not have been better. Everything was well planned and the staff on the boat could not have been more friendly and efficient. The choice of ... Read More
This is the first time we have travelled with Emerald. The organisation, trips, boat and staff could not have been better. Everything was well planned and the staff on the boat could not have been more friendly and efficient. The choice of food (and wine) on the boat was fine, the entertainment was good and everything was clean and tidy. The trips were exactly what we wanted and we had plenty of free time to do what we wanted and explore other places. The cruise Director Patricia could not have been more helpful and planned every detail of the holiday to make sure nothing was left to chance. Our 3 days in Prague could not have gone better. The hotel location was excellent and rooms were modern and clean. We visited many places that we had read about before and finished off with a nice evening meal overlooking the city. Overall it was a great holiday and one which we will remember for all the right reasons! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this river cruise over other companies because of the off ship activities it offered - guided cycling and walking. This was our first river cruise I was impressed with the well thought design of the ship - the swimming pool ... Read More
We choose this river cruise over other companies because of the off ship activities it offered - guided cycling and walking. This was our first river cruise I was impressed with the well thought design of the ship - the swimming pool that becomes a cinema most nights, the seating area that could give you benefits of being outside on the balcony or inside in the room at the touch of the button. So a balcony without losing space in the room an excellent idea! I was a little concerned that having last been on a sea cruise as teenage a nice ship like this would be very stuffy. To my relief this this was not the case, the crew were friendly, one big happy family and content to make us part of their live for the fortnight. The cruise director Patricia was excellent. It was particularly good to see that she could switch easily from helping with folks with a range of abilities that used wheel chairs on a part time basis to those to whom a 10 mile walk or 20 mile bike ride. The program was varied We were surprised that there were so few clashes in the included programs. I clearly remember one day were took the guided tour of Melk came back for lunch then rode a bike the 20+ miles through the Wachau Valley to Durnstein. Arriving at Durnstein just in time to quickly change and walk up to the top of castle where Richard the Lion heart was held for a while and back to the ship before dinner - wonderful. Being in a mid cabin was handy because it was the same level as the restaurant. Food was excellent. Some days we wondered what our room would like when got back - what sort of towel folded animal would be joining us -excellent work - good fun! Plenty of variety and good found at breakfast and lunch. Dinner was excellent just what you you would expect from a modern continental restaurant. Tea and evening snacks were things we had not expected - no reason to go hungry - the chief was only to happy to please those who were vegan or who had special diets. The locals that can on board of an evening to entertain us were good and varied. The on board pianist has an extensive play list. Having pop corn in the cinema whilst going back wards was different Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we ... Read More
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we would know our total costs up front and not have to worry about surprises. We enjoyed an included guided tour at each stop along the way between Passau and Budapest with local experienced guides. The common areas on the ship like the lounge, dining room, pool and sun deck were comfortable and well maintained - many a luxurious hour was spent watching the exquisite countryside glide past. At one point as we were all on the sun deck enjoying a description of the vineyards we were passing the serving crew appeared carrying trays of the wine being described - very classy. We had been told that the approach to Budapest was especially impressive and given the approximate arrival time early the next morning - sitting on the deck, sipping a cappuccino while classical music played and the river sights appeared ahead of us is something we'll never forget...also the night cruise under the lighted bridges of Budapest was unforgettable too and the crew once again offering trays of 'Blue Danube cocktails' added a lovely touch. We enjoyed all the generous meals offered with local dishes thrown in to highlight our ports of call. While there were daily specials offered there was also a menu you could order from if you preferred. The wine offerings always reflected the area we were passing through. Especially outstanding was the accommodation of food allergies - no fuss about the fact that I hadn't mentioned my preference for gluten free prior to the trip, it was easily accommodated. We were delighted with our cabin - tight quarters given the ship's size but perfectly fitted and the panoramic windows were a big hit with us. The service was second to none with everyone from the cabin crew to the servers to the reception staff always cheerful, accommodating and professional - they were always available and enthusiastic. The fact that the cruise director, manager and captain were always easily accessible impressed us a great deal - any inquiry, concern or question was always taken seriously and responded to promptly. Our fellow passengers were all of a similar age and temperament - some rare younger couples stood out but seemed perfectly at home. If there were any partiers aboard then we weren't aware of it as we retired fairly early. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I have a lot to say, but I will try and keep it short! I did this cruise as a FAM trip for selling quite a bit of Emerald as a Travel agent with Flight Centre, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I traveled to ... Read More
I have a lot to say, but I will try and keep it short! I did this cruise as a FAM trip for selling quite a bit of Emerald as a Travel agent with Flight Centre, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I traveled to Budapest with my mother for this River cruise and did the 8 day Danube Delights. Small notes: With needing to be out of the rooms at 8:00 am for check out (on the cruise end) an earlier check in would have been nice if a few rooms are ready instead of waiting for all rooms to be ready. We were only able to fly in that same day and we were tired and gross from the long flight. We missed the day of exploring Budapest by waiting for the room to freshen up prior to going out. This would be the only thing for check-in, otherwise all was fine. The drink packages available on board for service outside of the included beverages are extremely reasonable! These can be added on at any time once on board the ship. Food on the ship was amazing, with a wide selection for all meals. The evening snacks after the entertainment could have been a bit more substantial especially for those that decide to carry on with a few drinks. The option between a light breakfast/lunch or a larger buffet is a great alternative for most people. Excursions offered by Emerald will have you active the entire time. The options for a slower based tour vs. an option active tour such as a heavy hike, a 32km bike ride, or a fast passed walking tour was great to have! There was never a day where you had to think of something to do which I quite enjoyed. Alternatively, if you wished to just relax and enjoy the sights, you are always welcome to stay on board the ship. Optional excursions are also available on board or prior to arrival with booking through your agent for an additional cost. We did 2 optional excursions, The private Vienna Orchestra and the day trip to Salzburg. Both were worth every penny, and I would highly recommend spending a little bit more to do any of the additional excursions. Entertainment was a bit on the slack end other than the people the would bring on board at certain ports. More little activities for the in-between times like a fun game of bingo or a better put together game of trivia after dinner would be fun. Our cruise director Patricia is amazing at what she does. The organization she kept throughout the staff and all passengers was incredible and her knowledge of the product and destinations was a great touch. When you were awake at 7:00 am, she was awake, and would be the last person you would see once you were off to bed after the evening entertainment. A big kudos to her for an amazing job. I would definitely recommend sailing with Emerald if you are looking for a high end cruise that give you the opportunity to let your hair down and not worry about being dressed to the nines every evening. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea ... Read More
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea and sickness which carried on for 34 hrs. It was reported to the cruise director next morning whose only concern was my wife was missing the trip. When I recovered I went to see the cruise director who denied he had been told and said no crew or other passengers were ill but after confrontation admitted 9 other cabins had got it then my wife got it the buffet was closed to self service until no new cases but only lasted for 1 day and people still becoming ill until end of cruise including crew as we were told by our cabin steward.cabins were poorly designed. The food was mediocre tasteless and usually cold bit like Wetherspoons, seems like all sourced from central kitchen. Cruise director unhelpful staff self praised without justification. This is one company we will never travel with again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the ... Read More
This was a more interesting way of getting to Budapest than flying for Birmingham at 5am.lt. Dining. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. First aid box needed more bandages (I sprained an ankle). since there is no where else to comment to the food. More fruit would have been nice. Meat portions generous, reasonable flavour but usually tough. Ice creams excellent - but the Baked Alaska at the farewell dinner was a travesty. It had not been baked, the ice cream used was in appropriate, the meringue uncooked, and the sponge beneath too shallow for it to have been baked anyway. , Some commentaries on buses difficult to follow: Speakers often pitched in, without alerting us that they were going to speak, so if one was thinking of something else, or concentrating on the scenery, it was possible to miss the start, and then to catch up. Also older people cannot take in the spoken word as quickly as youngsters, so speakers need to speak slowly and clearly. . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I toured with Emerald River Cruises on the Emerald Star ship, Budapest to Prague, 11 days, September 28th to October 8th, 2017. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much especially the itinerary and staff interaction. A ... Read More
My husband and I toured with Emerald River Cruises on the Emerald Star ship, Budapest to Prague, 11 days, September 28th to October 8th, 2017. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much especially the itinerary and staff interaction. A special thanks to Vladimir, Vladvarmina, Milos and Olga in the restaurant. Their jovial interaction made our trip most enjoyable. Our Cruise Director, Balazs, was the most efficient, helpful, individual we have ever encountered on a River Cruise. The only downside to our cruise was the cabin and food. The cabin was very, very small. We stayed on the 2nd main floor where the restaurant and front desk were located. Its location was perfect. The room itself was very modernly appointed, kept very clean (thank you Anton) but way too small for two people. The window of this Panoramic Balcony Suite was poorly designed and does not allow for easy viewing of the scenery outside. The automatic window slides down but the main frame where you sit blocks your viewing quality. Secondly, the food was mediocre and never warm except at the a la carte sittings for dinner. In this modern day and age, there must be a way to keep the food hot. Many of the passengers were first time cruisers and a younger crowd. On our cruise there was an even distribution of Canadians, U.S. and the rest were British, Australian and a family from Malaysia. The interaction with other guests was easy and we had a lot of fun with them. As I said before, we had a wonderful time but have been spoiled by our voyages with Uniworld and Avalon River Cruises, who have larger cabins and outstanding food, always hot, even at the buffet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first river cruise; after some research I booked via Iglu as they recommended Emerald for first timers. There were issues with the booking process - the invoices kept showing the wrong return flight and I had great difficulty ... Read More
This was our first river cruise; after some research I booked via Iglu as they recommended Emerald for first timers. There were issues with the booking process - the invoices kept showing the wrong return flight and I had great difficulty getting a resolution....being told it'll be OK on the day does not inspire confidence. When the data pack arrived, the flight out did not have an e-ticket; on arrival at LHR T5 BA sent us to the wrong terminal so we nearly missed our flight. Arrival at Budapest was chaotic as there was a full coach and the driver was overwhelmed trying to load all the luggage on two sides - we ended up helping him out. The ship is very clean (almost clinical) and our cabin was compact but fine for the purpose (we are both slim). The lounge & dining room are both excellent, as is the upper deck and seating area at the stern. The cruise director was superb; excellent English and a real understanding of the different guest nationalities. Most of the staff genuinely wanted the guests to have a good time; after only a day they remembered that my wife could not tolerate cow's milk and wine. The other guests were from the USA, Canada, Australia & UK. We made some good friends very quickly; it was interesting to note that only those from the USA did not mix and stayed in their group, apart from on the excursions when they had no choice. The food choice was disappointing - it reminded us of the many corporate meals we had had during our business days. Meat dishes were OK but the fish disappointing - bland and lifeless. The exception was the 'Bavarian themed meal'; that was excellent. We discovered that HQ plan the menus - the Exec. Chef was obviously talented.....why not let him plan as well as execute (basic business sense to us)? A couple of the staff needed training - the Deputy Maitre-de was very abrupt to the point of rudeness to my wife and another lady. When it was reported to him via other staff he became sycophantic to the point of sarcasm. Some of his 'jokes' were offensive to Western Europeans. One of the bar staff had a heavy cough; after coughing into her hand she then handled glasses etc without washing. Needless to say by the end of the week a number of us were going down with sore throats...in my case I am on antibiotics + a week off to clear a resulting chest infection. My first illness for 20+ years. We stuck with the included excursions - though most were very good, by the end of the week we were 'excursioned-out'. The highlight was the visit to a Slovak family for a tour of their garden plus tea & cakes. The highlight of the tour was sat up front, cruising the Wachau Valley, on a sunny day with convivial company. The Crew Show was very funny and the Umpah Band memorable. Dis-embarkation was extremely well organised and we arrived at Munich Airport in plenty of time for our flight. BA were less well organised and failed to get their crew to the plane until well after the scheduled departure time so we arrived one & half hours late. Their information system wasn't updated so our limo' driver got nearly to T5 before delays were shown and these were much lower than actual even though they must have known an hour before. I Overall it was a great experience but there are systemic issues that need addressing so we won't be using Emerald again. Read Less
Emerald Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.5 4.2
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.2

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