2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many ... Read More
We have just completed the Amsterdam to Budapest Christmas Markets river cruise. It was very good trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We were somewhat worried about the river levels as Europe had a terrible summer and many cruises were impacted with people having to change boats or take long legs on coaches. Thankfully this never happened to us. Whilst, Evergreen have their river guarantee we didn't need to rely on it. About a week before the cruise we were called by Evergreen to tell us the situation and give us a couple of options. We decided to proceed as planned. The ship was excellent and we were in a grand balcony suite, it provided a a little extra room and a few extra comforts. Now for some specifics: Food: The food was a generally pretty good - in terms of quality and quantity it couldn't be faulted. Where there is room for improvement is variety. As someone who doesn't eat fish/seafood I was often left with one choice. They have a couple of standing choices in terms of steaks and chicken but these were not well prepared in my opinion. Alcohol - they offer free beer and wine with meals. If you want anything else outside of meal times you will need to pay for it or arrange for a drinks package. This is what we did. Laundry - depending on your canine choice you may get some pieces of laundry included - a couple of pieces a day. Regardless its not enough and the laundry charges are stupendously high. Tours - You basically stop in a town each day. Usually in the morning, you have breakfast and at about 9am you muster to go exploring. There are local guides and audio devices for each person so you can listen to the guides explanation. This was very good and all of the guides we experienced were professional and most often had a great sense of humour. They are usually residents in the towns you visit. You then get a couple of hours of free time to go shopping or exploring in your own time. Discover More Tours - These tours are offered as additional extras. They go to slightly out of the way places - usually by coach. You pay more for these and they happen while the rest of the passengers are doing the standard tour. We did a couple - to the Dracenfels castle and to Saltzburg. Each of these was about $120 per person. The Salzburg tour was excellent (think town from Sound of Music) the Dracenfels castles was a complete waste of time and money. This was one of the first tours and as such it didn't help us get off to the best start. The castle is basically a large house that has been designed to look like a castle. It was opened up especially for our tour - but that said there were covers over stall/shops that had been set up inside to keep them out the snow. The guide tried hard but could do too much. There were a number of onboard entertainment events - including local performers from Austria and Hungary - excellent events. There were a couple of other entertainment activities such as trivia and dance nights. The cruise director we had on board - Darren, was excellent. He worked tirelessly to make everything happen. A great personality and helped make the trip fun. Cannot recommend him highly enough. I've seen a few other comments about the age of the passengers. My wife and I are both 46 and while we amongst the youngest on the ship (there were a few in there 20s) we didn't feel out of place. There were plenty of fit and able people and most groups walked a good pace. There was typically one group for 'slow' walkers. As I indicated earlier we really enjoyed the trip. We paid for the upgrades to business class flights and the upgraded cabin. The business class flights were a good option when coming from Australia especially if you are over 6ft tall. We arrived a little early - 3 days in Amsterdam and stayed a little later in Budapest (another 3 days). If I had my time again I would reduce the post cruise Budapest stay to an extra day. We will probably take another cruise like this in a couple of years to go and we happily choose Evergreen again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The cruise exceeded our expectations. There was some concern that due to low water level in the rivers we may have to change ships or go by bus for part of the trip but we did go the full trip on the Emerald Dawn. The crew were fantastic, they were so attentive and friendly while being very efficient. The shore excursions all went well with very experienced guides. We did have snow which just made the trip for us. The cabin we had was comfortable enough. The cabin was very clean and well presented. The food for breakfast, lunch and dinner was of a high standard. Our cruise director was seemed to work 20 hours a day as he always seemed to be working away at his desk! Our embarkation went very smoothly. We arranged our own travel after the cruise and our cruise director organised a suitable transport for 5 people for us to the train station. Everything just ran like clockwork. We would definately cruise with Evergreen/Emerald Waterways again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was ... Read More
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was excellent--particularly when a glass was served to us in the pool area when we were cruising in the area where the wine was produced. Nice touch! The food was very good but not spectacular. The meat was often over-cooked. The chef needs a commercial souvide. We were very impressed with the housekeeping staff who tided/cleaned our cabin twice a day. The serving staff were amazingly attentive. We did a pre-cruise stay in Prague and loved our tour director--I can't remember her name but her nickname was "Foxy". We paid extra for the concert in Vienna and thought it was over-priced for an hour of music. We will definitely consider Emerald for another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were booked on the Emerald Dawn but the ship was changed to the Emerald Sun. The central problem was noise from above at all hours of the night. The toilets on the ship were of an airline design. We were on the second level, and had ... Read More
We were booked on the Emerald Dawn but the ship was changed to the Emerald Sun. The central problem was noise from above at all hours of the night. The toilets on the ship were of an airline design. We were on the second level, and had to endure the explosive sound of the toilet from the cabin above throughout the night. We were awakened many times during the night, even when using earplugs. I was tired in the daytime and could not enjoy activities as much as if I had been able to sleep normally. Toward the end of the cruise, I could not wait to get off the ship. There was nothing the staff could do about the noise. We sailed from Budapest to Passau, and then had three days in Prague. We had a good tour of Budapest before we started our cruise. We opted for the excursions that were part of the cruise package as we had not travelled in Eastern Europe before. These excursions were very satisfactory and the guides were excellent. Embarkation, disembarkation and transfers were very smooth, well organized and on time. Outside of our cabin, the ship was fine. Sailing along the river on the upper deck was very enjoyable. Service was good. Our tour director (Alex) was very informative and a good entertainer. The food, for the most part, was satisfactory, except for some of the dinner entrees, which were overcooked. Portions were small. We had schnitzel one night that was unrecognizable as such. This was our first river cruise, and I came away from it with mixed feelings. I really enjoyed seeing the European capitals (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague) that we had never seen before. The tours were good and the guides were excellent. Sailing on the river was very enjoyable. However, the lack of sleep due to cabin noise was a serious drawback and is the primary reason for giving the cruise an overall rating of poor and a cabin rating of terrible. I will never sail with Emerald again. If I had known about the noise issue, I would have booked a cabin on the top deck for the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a river cruise. We were pleasantly surprised by Emerald's ease of embarkation. We were met at the airport and taken to our ship by motor coach. Upon arriving we were treated like royalty with drinks and a light lunch provided. We were then escorted to our rooms, which I must say were spotlessly clean and certainly large enough to accommodate all of our belongings. The staff could not have been more friendlier or helpful. The entertainment was wonderful. Everything from a Master Chef demonstration to Disco night! All the excursions were very well planned and we enjoyed each location and the tours. The food was beyond our expectations! Our wine glasses were never empty! Disembarkation was very well planned and we were taken to airport with plenty of time to spare. I would highly recommend Emerald as there service and care was beyond our expectations! Lovely crew on the Emerald Dawn! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I sold our house which we had lived in for 35 years. We decided to treat ourselves to a vacation. We had received numerous catalogs from numerous cruise companies. We tried to book a Viking cruise.We were unsuccessful and ... Read More
My husband and I sold our house which we had lived in for 35 years. We decided to treat ourselves to a vacation. We had received numerous catalogs from numerous cruise companies. We tried to book a Viking cruise.We were unsuccessful and did not want to wait uintil 2019 to book our vacation. At the last minute we found an excellent deal on an Emerald cruise. I am so happy we chose Emerald. Everything was outstanding and inclusive. We did not have to spend a dime on the boat. The serivce was outstanding. From the front desk to the kitchen. These lovely people worked so very hard to make our experience memorable. The hotel manager was handsome and kind and very funny. The wait staff was amazing. They practically read your mind. The room attendants were wonderful. The chef and his staff put out the most delicious menu. Every meal was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise ... Read More
From airport pick-up to the end drive to the return airport, we were well looked after. All the crew very attentive, efficient, warm and friendly. Cabins and general areas were all spotlessly clean and comfortable. The cruise director very efficient and friendly, and gave us a brief overview every night of what to expect the next day. Excursions every day well organised and never rushed. The Quietvox system worked extremely well and we enjoyed all the visits. Entertainment was low key and unobtrusive, which suited us. The piano player was really good and an accomplished musician who played to his audience whether soft music or music to dance to in the evening. Breakfast and lunch were self service and lighter alternatives offered in another part of the ship. Dinner was superb and beautifully presented with lovely wine. We have no hesitation in recommending Emerald Waterways for European River Cruises as they offer probably the best value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and ... Read More
we actually were on the Emerald Dawn as I guess the Sun got stranded somewhere in low water, but similar ship and looked brand new. The crew and staff were the best! From Nina our cruise director who made sure all activities and excursions ran smoothly, to Alexander and the bar/wait staff who kept our thirsts at bay, to the cooks and restaurant staff who fed us the best food with the best service, and all of the other staff on board. the excursions were so much fun... each port had local tour guides for us and they were all so knowledgeable and knew how to keep us entertained. The free time at each port allowed us to enjoy local beers, restaurants and get some shopping in. Strasbourg was a highlight. but Cologne, Koblenz and the Black Forest areas were all close 2nds. Relaxing before and/or after dinner in the lounge was always a treat; especially when nina brought in an electric violinist 1 night to play for us... that was really cool. the Pool area was nice to take a dip and the sun deck offered the chance to get some tanning done and great sight seeing. We had such a great time and cannot wait to take another cruise from Emerald next year. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise company which is marketed as Evergreen in Australia, because of Cruise Critic ratings and also word of mouth feedback from others who had sailed with Evergreen/Emerald. We spent eight nights on Emerald Dawn and then ... Read More
We chose this cruise company which is marketed as Evergreen in Australia, because of Cruise Critic ratings and also word of mouth feedback from others who had sailed with Evergreen/Emerald. We spent eight nights on Emerald Dawn and then transferred to Emerald Sky for six nights because of low water levels in the Danube River. We only spent one day travelling by bus and we did not miss any scheduled stops. The transfer from one boat to another was very professionally organised, made into a smooth transfer for the passengers. Our cruise director, Michael, stayed with us for the whole cruise and that was very pleasing. Michael is very professional, helpful, informative and certainly impressed us with his ability to know the names of all passengers within a short period of time. Emerald Dawn is apparently one year newer than Emerald Sky and this was only evident in small ways where feedback from previous passengers must have been taken and used to make improvements such as extra storage in the bathroom, a small desk built into the cabin. Both boats were of a very high standard in overall presentation. We did not want to be paying for a cruise with unlimited alcohol available throughout the day because only one of us actually drinks alcohol. The wines supplied with lunch and dinner met our needs. We really enjoyed the fact that passengers came from several countries, eg, Australia, Canada, US, UK, NZ. Dining with passengers from various countries was one of the pleasures of the trip, we found our fellow passengers to be very friendly. Passengers ranged in age from very young adults to quite fit senior citizens. This cruise catered very well for passengers wanting more physically challenging activities such as hikes and bike riding through their Emerald Active Options.We enjoyed a guided bike ride about 20kms out into rural areas.(using bikes from the boat) when the boat was moored in Amsterdam. All the local guides were of a very high standard, all used spoke English very clearly and use of the Quiet Boxes (Whisperers) helped make guided walks very successful. Overall, very good value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The vessel was very new with excellent facilities onboard. Having previously travelled with Scenic we actually preferred the less formal service provided by Evergreen (who are part of the Scenic corporate group). Overall food, ship ... Read More
The vessel was very new with excellent facilities onboard. Having previously travelled with Scenic we actually preferred the less formal service provided by Evergreen (who are part of the Scenic corporate group). Overall food, ship facilities, & the service levels that staff consistently provided were excellent over the full duration of the cruise. Highly recommend this service provided via Evergreen Tours on Emerald Waterways vessel "Emerald Dawn". With return airfares in the total tour cost it is great value for your money. The shore tours were quite informative with tour guides ranging from dry and boring to witty and humorous to keep our attention. We had intended to cycle in 3 different ports as advertised by Evergreen, but were disappointed when we found only 16 bicycles available for 164 passengers. Any reasonable mathematician can quickly see their are going to be some very unhappy guests. After some colourful dialogue to the Cruise Director on behalf of the cyclists who registered but were unable to go cycling along the river paths, the Cruise Director then went the extra yard to hire extra cycles to prevent a social media backlash. In closing we thank the Cruise Director for eventually coming through. However "caveat emptor" let the buyer beware of what is being advertised for your cruise before you pay for it in full. Bon voyage !!! Read Less
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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