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We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's transfers. The ship is brand new, but everything ran smoothly and most of the initial kinks seem to be ironed out. Our crew and staff were friendly and accomodating; as our cruise director, Michael, gauged how energetic some of us were, he added/modified activities to cater for us. As Emerald is a fairly new line with a small fleet, they don't always have the choice berths in port. In fact we found out that our embarkation berth in Budapest was so far away from the city centre that we stayed based at our mid-town hotel so we could continue exploring the sights right until just before dinner on the Destiny. Our ethos was that the boat is a logistical aide and not the destination itself. Breakfast and lunch were buffet affairs. Although there was a decent spread, I found breakfast became a little monotonous. At least lunch always included some locally inspired dishes to give us variety. Dinners were sit down meals with plated service- selection of starters, soup, mains and dessert. The quality and presentation of dishes was consistently good and professional. Service was a little inconsistent at times if there were any unusual requests, but generally it was friendly and sharp. Service in the lounge was friendly and efficient. Very seldom did anyone have to wait to get a drink in hand. With our cocktail requests the bartenders tended to pour too much liquor in the glass. Our onboard entertainer was a talented singer-pianist with a wide repertoire. Sometimes however, he tried too hard to get the party going, rather than let the natural rhythm of the guests dictate the pacing of the songs. Our guests artists included a zither player, oom-pah band and Hungarian folk musicians. We expected these might be a bit kitsch, but they all turned out to be skillful and quite entertaining. On board exercise facilities included a few ergonomic machines, a small pool, and the rooftop walking track. Unfortunately, due to the height restrictions on the Main canal the rooftop was closed nearly half our trip so we could not fully utilise these facilities. The included tours of all the cities were generally of a very high standard, giving us a lot of information about the city, while still entertaining us and allowing us time to explore (or shop) on our own. We became quite spoilt by this experience and will definitely opt for local guides on any of our future holidays. All-in-all we were very happy with our trip on Emerald. It was great value for money and the experience was definitely one of our bucket list objectives achieved.

An unforgettable trip

Emerald Destiny Cruise Review by JackieCZA

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We booked this trip less than 6 weeks before embarkation, based on many of the helpful discussions on this website. We added a few days in Prague before the cruise and in Belgium after the cruise, so did not utilise Emerald's transfers.

The ship is brand new, but everything ran smoothly and most of the initial kinks seem to be ironed out. Our crew and staff were friendly and accomodating; as our cruise director, Michael, gauged how energetic some of us were, he added/modified activities to cater for us.

As Emerald is a fairly new line with a small fleet, they don't always have the choice berths in port. In fact we found out that our embarkation berth in Budapest was so far away from the city centre that we stayed based at our mid-town hotel so we could continue exploring the sights right until just before dinner on the Destiny. Our ethos was that the boat is a logistical aide and not the destination itself.

Breakfast and lunch were buffet affairs. Although there was a decent spread, I found breakfast became a little monotonous. At least lunch always included some locally inspired dishes to give us variety. Dinners were sit down meals with plated service- selection of starters, soup, mains and dessert. The quality and presentation of dishes was consistently good and professional. Service was a little inconsistent at times if there were any unusual requests, but generally it was friendly and sharp.

Service in the lounge was friendly and efficient. Very seldom did anyone have to wait to get a drink in hand. With our cocktail requests the bartenders tended to pour too much liquor in the glass.

Our onboard entertainer was a talented singer-pianist with a wide repertoire. Sometimes however, he tried too hard to get the party going, rather than let the natural rhythm of the guests dictate the pacing of the songs. Our guests artists included a zither player, oom-pah band and Hungarian folk musicians. We expected these might be a bit kitsch, but they all turned out to be skillful and quite entertaining.

On board exercise facilities included a few ergonomic machines, a small pool, and the rooftop walking track. Unfortunately, due to the height restrictions on the Main canal the rooftop was closed nearly half our trip so we could not fully utilise these facilities.

The included tours of all the cities were generally of a very high standard, giving us a lot of information about the city, while still entertaining us and allowing us time to explore (or shop) on our own. We became quite spoilt by this experience and will definitely opt for local guides on any of our future holidays.

All-in-all we were very happy with our trip on Emerald. It was great value for money and the experience was definitely one of our bucket list objectives achieved.
JackieCZA’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Dining
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Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Cabin 332
We enjoyed our stateroom. Very comfortable bed and adequate space for clothing and personal equipment (provided you don't bring new outfits for every single day). You can send in a full bag of clothes for laundry at a flat rate so it's advisable to bring less and re-use.

The slide down window function is a smart use of limited space. Due to the busy itinerary we were always on the go, so very seldom spent time in the cabin, but would probably use this more if there was more daytime cruising.

Bathroom is compact but efficiently utilises space so you have enough compartments/shelves for toiletries. The inward closing shower door might pose a problem for passengers with a wider girth than average however.

Our cabin steward Branko was excellent, always friendly and kept everything clean and tidy.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews