Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by bikn4fn
This was our first time on a river cruise. We were with a group of 14. We really didn't know what to expect. I can honestly say we were not disappointed. The ship (Emerald Dawn) was brand new. Only on its 5th voyage. We really liked the intimate setting. About 120 passengers were on this cruise. We got to know just about everybody. The ship is small. Only three levels and about 440 feet long. The dining room, lounge and pubic areas are in the front (bow) of the ship. Pool and exercise area in the back (stern). Yes, there are only three public bathrooms (as mentioned by a previous poster), but they are right next to the dining room and lounge. You might have to walk back to your room, but I've had to walk further to go to the bathroom at a baseball stadium. Come on, it's only a couple hundred feet in one direction or another. ;)
Breakfast and lunch was served buffet style and seating was open. We (and most others) still ended up seated with the same group at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner was served at 7:00 pm and served by the waiters. There was no "open seating" (A complaint made by a previous poster. Come on, really. There are only 120 - 160 people on the entire ship. It's not like you have 2000 people to feed.) The food was fresh and very good. At each port, fresh food, produce and beverages were brought on board. Watching them load the ship was interesting. They formed a "bucket brigade" and passed all the boxes down the gang plank. The garbage was taken off the ship using the same method, as was the luggage on and off the ship.
The trips and tours were optional but included. Some were half a day, some a full day inclusive of lunch and one was the opportunity to be entertained by a local talent.
The gym was very small. Two stationary bikes and one rowing machine. There is jogging track on the top level and plenty of deck chairs (no need to save one with a towel).
bikn4fn’s Full Rating Summary
The rooms are very comfortable. You can store your bags under the bed. Two very large drawers to store items and a closet to hang other items. The only improvements: they could locate the door to the bathroom elsewhere. It is right next to the bed. They could have placed it next to the door as you walk in (like on the ocean ships). Also the panoramic window sill is positioned such that if you sit in one of the chairs, the sill is right at eye level. Move the sill down just a tad.
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