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
1 Helpful Vote
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 royalty ... 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, ... Read More
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, and take one of the longer cruises (15 days) and added the extra extension to Prague. When we came out of the airport in Amsterdam an Emerald representative was waiting to take us to the ship. A crew member came to take charge of our suitcase. Signing in to register onto the ship went very smooth, we were then escorted to our cabin and shown around and what was where and how it all worked. We were told that refreshments were available in the lounge whenever we were ready after freshening up a bit. From there we thought we were in heaven. Service in the Lounge and Dining Room was superb. The food was first class and varied and I was afraid I'd gain weight in those two weeks. All meals provided a choice of wines and/or beer. We had been provided a personalized itinerary outlining what we had singed up for when we booked the tour, so there were no real surprises. Our tour director (Michael) was absolute tops. He was a pleasure to deal with and never too busy to provide answers to questions which might arise. All of the tour guides were local and knew the local history and provided that little extra information that cannot be gleaned from reading a guide book. Obviously some were better than others. The only criticism I can level is the fact that neither my wife nor I were aware how long the bus trip from Budapest to Prague would be (8 hours on the bus). That makes for a long day. One slightly negative item was that one excursion we had signed up for and prepaid was cancelled for lack of participants. We were advised this happens occasionally and a refund will be sent to us automatically. The other unfortunate event was the fact that the water in the Danube was too low for the Emerald Dawn to go all the way to Budapest and we had to be bused around the low water area to meet the sister ship to finish the trip. This is out of the control of Emerald and fortunately they had the other ship available to allow us to continue. This unfortunately required packing up our belongings and then unpacking on the Emerald Star. We found the service on the Star to be one step lower than on the Emerald Dawn, and this feeling was echoed by a number of other guests as well. We had heard about some other river cruise lines that did not have the extra ship available and their guests were given the choice of flying home or continuing the entire tour by bus. I would highly recommend this tour and would do it again, except for the Prague extension. I would however be interested in visiting Prague as a separate trip for two weeks or so - it is a fascinating city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We researched a few companies offering Europe river cruises and decided on Emerald. We upgraded to a panoramic balcony suite. The room was great with floor to ceiling windows and the top portion slid down. The staff were always welcoming ... Read More
We researched a few companies offering Europe river cruises and decided on Emerald. We upgraded to a panoramic balcony suite. The room was great with floor to ceiling windows and the top portion slid down. The staff were always welcoming and polite. We had a couple of issues with our bathroom but they were dealt with efficiently and we had no further issues. The food offered was so good and served efficiently. There was always a decent selection to decide from and including local delicacies was fun. The service at supper was amazing. The wines offered with the meals were excellent. My only concern was that they were sometimes removed from the service too early. Also loved the coffee machine in the lounge. Afternoon teas were nice too but evening snack was a disappointment. The port stops on the trip were well planned and very interesting. Sometimes they dragged on a bit as I would have preferred extra time to explore or shop. But the sights and history were amazing. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly. We were able to check in early and leave a bit later. Because we had arrived in Holland a week earlier and stayed in Switzerland a week longer we did not qualify for any transfers. That was a bit disappointing at the end as we could have used the transport to the airport to pick up our car rental. Instead we paid a ridiculous amount for a cab ride. I would most definitely recommend Emerald Waterways for river cruising and would consider going again to a different destination with them. Read Less
Emerald Dawn Ratings
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