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AFter 4 river cruises, I figured that the companies were all great and did not matter too much. But, I was wrong. My first time on Emerald and I was dissatisfied with the service. Things did not start out too well for me when my airport transportation from Emerad did not show up, and despite there being someone there from the sister company Scenic, this representative told me she never heard of Emerald and would not help me. The driver was contacted by a random stranger and he apologized, but I got no apology from the cruise line or cruise director for the over 1 hour wait. The only other part I personally was affected by was when I inquired about an optional excursion, the cruise director basically talked me out of it and said it would not be that great, but everyone who went on the trip said it was really amazing. I think the cruise directors inexperience really showed in instances like this, and forgetting to tell us to bring our passports on certain excursions. I found my balcony cabin very nice, and roomy for 1 person, but I heard from others that for 2 people it was too cozy. I found that the cabin and the rest of the ship was very modern and stylish, though some of the chairs were too much on style and not enough on comfort (particularly difficult to get out of...). I personally loved that the balcony was just a window that dropped down, I loved sitting there, and loved the extra space that it affords. The food and wine was very good, I really enjoyed the quiet and smaller breakfast and lunch in the lounge. As a solo traveler, I enjoy eating with others but spending over an hour each meal for food and chatting gets tedious. I thought that the guides and excursions were excellent, and seeing Eastern Europe this was was less intimidating (because of language and alphabet barriers). I don't think it is a good intro to Eruope for beginners, and if you are going the whole distance, I would recommend starting East and going west- especially if you go further west than Budapst where the scenery is prettier. The local entertainment brought onboard was excellent, but the lounge was just too small to fit everyone comfortably. One word of caution for those with reduced abilities. There is an elevator on board, but you have to climb stairs to get on and off the ship (and muster). There were a few on the trip in scooters but this part of the world is not ready for this, I saw them always tailing behind and getting stuck with staircase. And, even though there is a slow walkers group, the amount of walking in some ports was a lot, and getting up and down in coaches is also tiring, so make sure your fitness is up before you attempt it.

Bucharest to Budapest. Great culture, mediocre cruise director

Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by TravelDreamer75

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
AFter 4 river cruises, I figured that the companies were all great and did not matter too much. But, I was wrong. My first time on Emerald and I was dissatisfied with the service. Things did not start out too well for me when my airport transportation from Emerad did not show up, and despite there being someone there from the sister company Scenic, this representative told me she never heard of Emerald and would not help me. The driver was contacted by a random stranger and he apologized, but I got no apology from the cruise line or cruise director for the over 1 hour wait. The only other part I personally was affected by was when I inquired about an optional excursion, the cruise director basically talked me out of it and said it would not be that great, but everyone who went on the trip said it was really amazing. I think the cruise directors inexperience really showed in instances like this, and forgetting to tell us to bring our passports on certain excursions.

I found my balcony cabin very nice, and roomy for 1 person, but I heard from others that for 2 people it was too cozy. I found that the cabin and the rest of the ship was very modern and stylish, though some of the chairs were too much on style and not enough on comfort (particularly difficult to get out of...). I personally loved that the balcony was just a window that dropped down, I loved sitting there, and loved the extra space that it affords. The food and wine was very good, I really enjoyed the quiet and smaller breakfast and lunch in the lounge. As a solo traveler, I enjoy eating with others but spending over an hour each meal for food and chatting gets tedious.

I thought that the guides and excursions were excellent, and seeing Eastern Europe this was was less intimidating (because of language and alphabet barriers). I don't think it is a good intro to Eruope for beginners, and if you are going the whole distance, I would recommend starting East and going west- especially if you go further west than Budapst where the scenery is prettier.

The local entertainment brought onboard was excellent, but the lounge was just too small to fit everyone comfortably.

One word of caution for those with reduced abilities. There is an elevator on board, but you have to climb stairs to get on and off the ship (and muster). There were a few on the trip in scooters but this part of the world is not ready for this, I saw them always tailing behind and getting stuck with staircase. And, even though there is a slow walkers group, the amount of walking in some ports was a lot, and getting up and down in coaches is also tiring, so make sure your fitness is up before you attempt it.
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