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The route was our primary concern. We had heard a rumor that Emerald was a well run enterprise. Price was important. Would a new boy on the river be likely to be trying harder? So it turned out. Everything on this river cruise was of top quality. The staff worked hard day and night keeping it clean All those panoramic picture windows. some may find the overall decor of the boat is streamlined in the modern sense and even stark. Those who will miss French provincial decorating and other such "frou-frou" might be better looking to another boat. All the staff were of top quality and very well trained. Without exception they were warm and friendly. Much of this because sympathetic and through training by their excellent section managers. The menu chosen for the mix of nationalities aboard on that particular cruise. Local specialties of the country through which we were passing were available in abundance as well as min line food. The staff who did the cooking were of a Swiss based outsourced company and exceptional. The superb dining room staff supported them exceedingly well. An exceptional "Cruise Director" was not only helpful when asked but all the time. In common with all the staff he went out of his way to discover people's needs and preferences. Shore excursion groups were much smaller that those of other boats on the river and all had exceptionally well prepared guides. No doubt at all we would use Emerald again. The staff were very attentive to the needs of the aged, deaf and of limited mobility . But bear in mind no river boat can have the space or facilities of an ocean cruise ship. The disabled especially might like to look closely at both the boat's facilities and help available before signing on. River are often narrow and the boats often have to be moored parallel in pairs. So the only way to get to the boat away from the bank is to climb the steep steps on the outside of the boat(s) nearer to the bank, over its top and down steep stairs again. Not easy with bad joints or other medical problems.

An Exercise in Excellence

Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by davidicus

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The route was our primary concern. We had heard a rumor that Emerald was a well run enterprise. Price was important. Would a new boy on the river be likely to be trying harder? So it turned out. Everything on this river cruise was of top quality. The staff worked hard day and night keeping it clean All those panoramic picture windows. some may find the overall decor of the boat is streamlined in the modern sense and even stark. Those who will miss French provincial decorating and other such "frou-frou" might be better looking to another boat. All the staff were of top quality and very well trained. Without exception they were warm and friendly. Much of this because sympathetic and through training by their excellent section managers.

The menu chosen for the mix of nationalities aboard on that particular cruise. Local specialties of the country through which we were passing were available in abundance as well as min line food. The staff who did the cooking were of a Swiss based outsourced company and exceptional. The superb dining room staff supported them exceedingly well. An exceptional "Cruise Director" was not only helpful when asked but all the time. In common with all the staff he went out of his way to discover people's needs and preferences.

Shore excursion groups were much smaller that those of other boats on the river and all had exceptionally well prepared guides. No doubt at all we would use Emerald again. The staff were very attentive to the needs of the aged, deaf and of limited mobility . But bear in mind no river boat can have the space or facilities of an ocean cruise ship. The disabled especially might like to look closely at both the boat's facilities and help available before signing on. River are often narrow and the boats often have to be moored parallel in pairs. So the only way to get to the boat away from the bank is to climb the steep steps on the outside of the boat(s) nearer to the bank, over its top and down steep stairs again. Not easy with bad joints or other medical problems.
davidicus’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin E117
A very well designed and finished cabin. A surprising amount of available space for a riverboat. Those extra few inches designed in made life so much easier. Plenty of storage space for belongings. Four suitcases could have fitted easily under the very comfortable bed. Shower was spacious with a good water flow. The trench drains would marvelously well. The tiny purple LED light in the bathroom was very effective at night. There was no need to turn on the main lighting. The cabin was kept very clean.