1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Emerald Dawn
We chose this company over its competitors because of good CC and word-of-mouth reviews; and this cruise because of its romantic Christmas nature. Some aspects were excellent: small but comfortable and well-appointed cabins with great views; the small but superb swimming pool facility; the top quality guides, who spoke perfect English and were informative, interesting and, in a couple of cases, superbly droll. We had lots of snow and a particularly memorable blizzard experience at Rothenberg. We also had an absolutely top quality cruise director. So why no five stars? Two reasons. Firstly, rank incompetence in arrangements for arrival/welcome at Munich airport, a situation which left our driver, when we finally found him, driving us at top speed the 170 kilometres from Munich to Nuremburg (was there really no airport closer?) to ensure we arrived at time for departure. This meant we did not begin our holiday in a relaxed frame of mind and we would urge all customers of Emerald to double-check instructions for reception after flight to Munich rather than taking at face value the instructions in their booklet regarding meeting in a certain cafe. Even more disappointing was the poor quality of food on this cruise. Buffet breakfast and lunch began average and seemed to improve as the cruise continued. But served dinners were lacklustre throughout. Menus were uninspiring and unimaginative, especially - though not exclusively - for vegetarians like me; portions were small which would have been fine had quality been good, but it rarely rose above average and a couple of times was below that. Twice, we chose to eat off-ship. This problem may have been a blip; generally Emerald's food seems to be well reviewed. However, it was a severe disappointment to us and to quite a few fellow cruisers we talked to. The dinners just felt cheaply sourced and put together; and inadequate. Since quality cuisine is a very important part of the cruise experience It has left us feeling that we did not get our money's worth and that we don't want to travel with Emerald again. None of this is to intended to impugn the excellence of the committed restaurant and bar staff who did their very best - though at times waits were lengthy and they appeared short-staffed....Generally, the entertainment was poor - quizzes, a zither player and some execrable movies - though the glassblower was interesting.

Such a shame!

Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by feljen

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this company over its competitors because of good CC and word-of-mouth reviews; and this cruise because of its romantic Christmas nature. Some aspects were excellent: small but comfortable and well-appointed cabins with great views; the small but superb swimming pool facility; the top quality guides, who spoke perfect English and were informative, interesting and, in a couple of cases, superbly droll. We had lots of snow and a particularly memorable blizzard experience at Rothenberg. We also had an absolutely top quality cruise director.

So why no five stars? Two reasons. Firstly, rank incompetence in arrangements for arrival/welcome at Munich airport, a situation which left our driver, when we finally found him, driving us at top speed the 170 kilometres from Munich to Nuremburg (was there really no airport closer?) to ensure we arrived at time for departure. This meant we did not begin our holiday in a relaxed frame of mind and we would urge all customers of Emerald to double-check instructions for reception after flight to Munich rather than taking at face value the instructions in their booklet regarding meeting in a certain cafe.

Even more disappointing was the poor quality of food on this cruise. Buffet breakfast and lunch began average and seemed to improve as the cruise continued. But served dinners were lacklustre throughout. Menus were uninspiring and unimaginative, especially - though not exclusively - for vegetarians like me; portions were small which would have been fine had quality been good, but it rarely rose above average and a couple of times was below that. Twice, we chose to eat off-ship. This problem may have been a blip; generally Emerald's food seems to be well reviewed. However, it was a severe disappointment to us and to quite a few fellow cruisers we talked to. The dinners just felt cheaply sourced and put together; and inadequate. Since quality cuisine is a very important part of the cruise experience It has left us feeling that we did not get our money's worth and that we don't want to travel with Emerald again.

None of this is to intended to impugn the excellence of the committed restaurant and bar staff who did their very best - though at times waits were lengthy and they appeared short-staffed....Generally, the entertainment was poor - quizzes, a zither player and some execrable movies - though the glassblower was interesting.
feljen’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Emerald Dawn price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 212
small but lots of storage space. Good bed. Brilliant views. Good shower and bathroom. Stewards were good but seemed stretched to cover their quota.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    One of the best tours I've ever taken with probably be best, more interesting and wittiest guide ever (Markus). the weather was atrocious but we couldn't bear to desert him and seek shelter. Result: my partner got a chill which led to a cold but we both fell in love with Cologne - and of course with Markus.
    View All 113 City Tour Reviews