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The Good. The entire crew were excellent throughout the cruise and unable to be faulted. Always a ready smile, happy to chat and would go out of their way to ensure we and other passengers were going to get the most enjoyment out of this cruise. Embarkation in Amsterdam and disembarkation in Budapest went smoothly and seemlessly. Our cabin on the lower deck was cosy and just a small window to let light in, but unable to look out off unless one was over 2 metres tall. But this is what we booked and expected. The cabin was kept clean every day, bed comfortable and chocolates every night on our pillows. The information chanel on the televison was normally a day or two behind with details of activities and it became necessary to go to reception to get this changed. In the end we just didnt bother and relied on the daily printed newsletter. Tours and guides. Most were good, some not so good, and a couple just downright boring. Some guides must have been paid by the words they spoke, never shutting up and constantly filling our heads with nondiscript facts that went in and out at the same time. The Bad As allude above, a few guides suffered from verbal overload. Yes most of us were interested in facts and figures about the tour we were on, but our brains do have a limited capacity to absorb hundreds of years of information in a short period of time. The good guides kept the information to the basics, what is it, where is it, why etc, others felt it important to tell not only their life stories, but the entire life story of what it was we were looking at. These long winded guides were the topic of conversation around the dinner table, and not in a complimentary manner either. The Ugly Yes river cruise ships have limited space and this shows in the dining room. Breakfast isn't so bad, it's staggered and people come to eat in a timely manner that doesn't overcrowd the buffet serving area. Lunch (buffet) was a nightmare, the dining rooms doors usually opened at noon, on the dot and the crowds rush in, firstly to get the right table and then to be first in line to get to the food. It would be 30 minutes before the lines settled down and others who didn't wants to push and shove were able to get their food. And who's idea was it to have one nights dinner buffet style. Same situation as lunch. Dinner wasn't that much better, though it was waiter service, with people lining up outside the dining room up to 20 minutes before opening time to get their favourite table. The after dinner entertainment left much to be desired. We had just three evenings of entertainment which was greatly enjoyed by passengers and well attended. The first a trivia night, the second a dance night, the third a liar night. All three were fun and gratefully appreciated by all in attendance which was most of the ship, The after dinner entertainment for the rest of the cruise was taken up by the single musician on his piano, and whilst very good, could not attract a crowd and hence the room was mostly empty after 9pm The food thoughout was fair to good, some days excellent, some days not so. On days when food was left on plates waiters made the enquiry as to why and eager to satisfy with replacement food. Whist breakfast and lunch buffets were plentyful, it was on days quite bland. Dinner was from menu selection and the best meal of the day with several choices. (To be fair, whilst lunch was buffet style, passengers were offered a menu at lunch times and could order items from the kitchen. We did this perhaps half the time when we found something to our liking) The outside upper deck was closed from around day 3 or 4 and wasnt available for use by passengers until around day10 or 11, so for half the cruise this area was out of bounds due to low bridges over the rivers and canals. Passengers during this time could not avail themselves of the fine weather to sunbathe or exercise. Have cruised before on ocean liners, first time on a river cruise and not sure we would do another river cruise.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by wizwiz1944

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The Good.

The entire crew were excellent throughout the cruise and unable to be faulted.

Always a ready smile, happy to chat and would go out of their way to ensure we and other passengers were going to get the most enjoyment out of this cruise.

Embarkation in Amsterdam and disembarkation in Budapest went smoothly and seemlessly.

Our cabin on the lower deck was cosy and just a small window to let light in, but unable to look out off unless one was over 2 metres tall. But this is what we booked and expected. The cabin was kept clean every day, bed comfortable and chocolates every night on our pillows. The information chanel on the televison was normally a day or two behind with details of activities and it became necessary to go to reception to get this changed. In the end we just didnt bother and relied on the daily printed newsletter.

Tours and guides. Most were good, some not so good, and a couple just downright boring. Some guides must have been paid by the words they spoke, never shutting up and constantly filling our heads with nondiscript facts that went in and out at the same time.

The Bad

As allude above, a few guides suffered from verbal overload. Yes most of us were interested in facts and figures about the tour we were on, but our brains do have a limited capacity to absorb hundreds of years of information in a short period of time. The good guides kept the information to the basics, what is it, where is it, why etc, others felt it important to tell not only their life stories, but the entire life story of what it was we were looking at. These long winded guides were the topic of conversation around the dinner table, and not in a complimentary manner either.

The Ugly

Yes river cruise ships have limited space and this shows in the dining room.

Breakfast isn't so bad, it's staggered and people come to eat in a timely manner that doesn't overcrowd the buffet serving area.

Lunch (buffet) was a nightmare, the dining rooms doors usually opened at noon, on the dot and the crowds rush in, firstly to get the right table and then to be first in line to get to the food. It would be 30 minutes before the lines settled down and others who didn't wants to push and shove were able to get their food.

And who's idea was it to have one nights dinner buffet style. Same situation as lunch.

Dinner wasn't that much better, though it was waiter service, with people lining up outside the dining room up to 20 minutes before opening time to get their favourite table.

The after dinner entertainment left much to be desired. We had just three evenings of entertainment which was greatly enjoyed by passengers and well attended. The first a trivia night, the second a dance night, the third a liar night. All three were fun and gratefully appreciated by all in attendance which was most of the ship, The after dinner entertainment for the rest of the cruise was taken up by the single musician on his piano, and whilst very good, could not attract a crowd and hence the room was mostly empty after 9pm

The food thoughout was fair to good, some days excellent, some days not so. On days when food was left on plates waiters made the enquiry as to why and eager to satisfy with replacement food. Whist breakfast and lunch buffets were plentyful, it was on days quite bland. Dinner was from menu selection and the best meal of the day with several choices.

(To be fair, whilst lunch was buffet style, passengers were offered a menu at lunch times and could order items from the kitchen. We did this perhaps half the time when we found something to our liking)

The outside upper deck was closed from around day 3 or 4 and wasnt available for use by passengers until around day10 or 11, so for half the cruise this area was out of bounds due to low bridges over the rivers and canals. Passengers during this time could not avail themselves of the fine weather to sunbathe or exercise.

Have cruised before on ocean liners, first time on a river cruise and not sure we would do another river cruise.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Lower Deck, small window, clean and comfortable