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We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money. Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, and take one of the longer cruises (15 days) and added the extra extension to Prague. When we came out of the airport in Amsterdam an Emerald representative was waiting to take us to the ship. A crew member came to take charge of our suitcase. Signing in to register onto the ship went very smooth, we were then escorted to our cabin and shown around and what was where and how it all worked. We were told that refreshments were available in the lounge whenever we were ready after freshening up a bit. From there we thought we were in heaven. Service in the Lounge and Dining Room was superb. The food was first class and varied and I was afraid I'd gain weight in those two weeks. All meals provided a choice of wines and/or beer. We had been provided a personalized itinerary outlining what we had singed up for when we booked the tour, so there were no real surprises. Our tour director (Michael) was absolute tops. He was a pleasure to deal with and never too busy to provide answers to questions which might arise. All of the tour guides were local and knew the local history and provided that little extra information that cannot be gleaned from reading a guide book. Obviously some were better than others. The only criticism I can level is the fact that neither my wife nor I were aware how long the bus trip from Budapest to Prague would be (8 hours on the bus). That makes for a long day. One slightly negative item was that one excursion we had signed up for and prepaid was cancelled for lack of participants. We were advised this happens occasionally and a refund will be sent to us automatically. The other unfortunate event was the fact that the water in the Danube was too low for the Emerald Dawn to go all the way to Budapest and we had to be bused around the low water area to meet the sister ship to finish the trip. This is out of the control of Emerald and fortunately they had the other ship available to allow us to continue. This unfortunately required packing up our belongings and then unpacking on the Emerald Star. We found the service on the Star to be one step lower than on the Emerald Dawn, and this feeling was echoed by a number of other guests as well. We had heard about some other river cruise lines that did not have the extra ship available and their guests were given the choice of flying home or continuing the entire tour by bus. I would highly recommend this tour and would do it again, except for the Prague extension. I would however be interested in visiting Prague as a separate trip for two weeks or so - it is a fascinating city.

Trip of a lifetime

Emerald Dawn Cruise Review by GKRT

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We researched numerous cruise lines and trips by length of trip and price. We found the Emerald Waterways trips to be the best value for money.

Since we were flying in from Western Canada, we decided to make the travel time worthwhile, and take one of the longer cruises (15 days) and added the extra extension to Prague.

When we came out of the airport in Amsterdam an Emerald representative was waiting to take us to the ship. A crew member came to take charge of our suitcase. Signing in to register onto the ship went very smooth, we were then escorted to our cabin and shown around and what was where and how it all worked. We were told that refreshments were available in the lounge whenever we were ready after freshening up a bit.

From there we thought we were in heaven. Service in the Lounge and Dining Room was superb. The food was first class and varied and I was afraid I'd gain weight in those two weeks.

All meals provided a choice of wines and/or beer.

We had been provided a personalized itinerary outlining what we had singed up for when we booked the tour, so there were no real surprises.

Our tour director (Michael) was absolute tops. He was a pleasure to deal with and never too busy to provide answers to questions which might arise.

All of the tour guides were local and knew the local history and provided that little extra information that cannot be gleaned from reading a guide book. Obviously some were better than others.

The only criticism I can level is the fact that neither my wife nor I were aware how long the bus trip from Budapest to Prague would be (8 hours on the bus). That makes for a long day.

One slightly negative item was that one excursion we had signed up for and prepaid was cancelled for lack of participants. We were advised this happens occasionally and a refund will be sent to us automatically.

The other unfortunate event was the fact that the water in the Danube was too low for the Emerald Dawn to go all the way to Budapest and we had to be bused around the low water area to meet the sister ship to finish the trip. This is out of the control of Emerald and fortunately they had the other ship available to allow us to continue. This unfortunately required packing up our belongings and then unpacking on the Emerald Star. We found the service on the Star to be one step lower than on the Emerald Dawn, and this feeling was echoed by a number of other guests as well.

We had heard about some other river cruise lines that did not have the extra ship available and their guests were given the choice of flying home or continuing the entire tour by bus.

I would highly recommend this tour and would do it again, except for the Prague extension. I would however be interested in visiting Prague as a separate trip for two weeks or so - it is a fascinating city.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 208
On the Dawn it was excellent and a lot of thought had gone into the design. The Star had tons of drawer space but the fridge and safe took up too much room in the hanging wardrobe.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews