1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Emerald Star
Our “Splendours of Europe” cruise on Emerald Star (Emerald Waterways’ ship, new in 2014) was extremely disappointing and did not live up to the advertised standard. Our expectations were not unrealistic, based on previous experience - this was our fifth river cruise – but we felt very badly let down: • Our flights from the UK were arranged by Emerald Waterways – at an extra of £129 each to the cruise cost, for the ‘regional connection’ from Newcastle via Amsterdam. The connection time in Amsterdam proved inadequate as our slightly delayed departure from Newcastle resulted in our missing the connecting flight and having a 7½ hour wait for the next flight. Arriving on board ship after midnight after a day like that was not a good start and no apology was forthcoming. • We had been given to understand that the cruise started in Budapest, but the majority of passengers had boarded in Prague a week earlier and had coalesced into large, friendly, impenetrable and noisy groups before we joined. There were no quiet areas in the public rooms. • Most of the passengers were Australians who had been sold the cruise as an “Evergreen Retirement Cruise”, for Australians only. They were surprised to find British people joining them and there was bias and preferential treatment to them. This should have been notified to ‘others’ before booking. • The brochure clearly states that a jacket and tie/smart casual dress code would be applied for evening dining, with shorts and thongs unacceptable. This was completely disregarded by most passengers, with no enforcement by the staff. • Our cabin was advertised as having a large picture window, but turned out to have had a design change so that there was only a small, high level window through which a view could be gained only by standing on tip-toe. • Our letter of complaint to Emerald Waterways elicited no useful response. They will have to do better at those prices!!  

Emerald Star let down 5 star price for 2 star trip

Emerald Star Cruise Review by Cousin Sandra

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our “Splendours of Europe” cruise on Emerald Star (Emerald Waterways’ ship, new in 2014) was extremely disappointing and did not live up to the advertised standard. Our expectations were not unrealistic, based on previous experience - this was our fifth river cruise – but we felt very badly let down:
• Our flights from the UK were arranged by Emerald Waterways – at an extra of £129 each to the cruise cost, for the ‘regional connection’ from Newcastle via Amsterdam. The connection time in Amsterdam proved inadequate as our slightly delayed departure from Newcastle resulted in our missing the connecting flight and having a 7½ hour wait for the next flight. Arriving on board ship after midnight after a day like that was not a good start and no apology was forthcoming.
• We had been given to understand that the cruise started in Budapest, but the majority of passengers had boarded in Prague a week earlier and had coalesced into large, friendly, impenetrable and noisy groups before we joined. There were no quiet areas in the public rooms.
• Most of the passengers were Australians who had been sold the cruise as an “Evergreen Retirement Cruise”, for Australians only. They were surprised to find British people joining them and there was bias and preferential treatment to them. This should have been notified to ‘others’ before booking.
• The brochure clearly states that a jacket and tie/smart casual dress code would be applied for evening dining, with shorts and thongs unacceptable. This was completely disregarded by most passengers, with no enforcement by the staff.
• Our cabin was advertised as having a large picture window, but turned out to have had a design change so that there was only a small, high level window through which a view could be gained only by standing on tip-toe.
• Our letter of complaint to Emerald Waterways elicited no useful response.
They will have to do better at those prices!!
 
Cousin Sandra’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Emerald Star price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email