Emerald Destiny Cruise Review by JDRevell
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Europe
As with any such excursion, there are bound to be an occasional glitch to the schedule, but the crew was able to improvise and all was good. For example:
We were scheduled to sail on the Emerald Destiny from Nuremberg to Budapest, however an issue with the locks downstream of Nuremberg necessitated us being transported directly to Regensburg where we embarked on the Emerald Star. We missed Nuremberg, but had a full day and a half in Regensburg. From what I've been told, we didn't miss much in Nuremberg and had a wonderful time exploring Regensburg.
We took in the extra side-trip to Salzburg and enjoyed wandering the streets there after our guided tour. My wife is a huge Sound of Music fan and lover of Mozart, so that was very special for her. My only criticism of the trip was how our tour guides on the bus from the ship to Salzburg would point out things they could see out of the front of the bus. Unfortunately, unless you're sitting in the first couple of rows, you really can't see what they are talking about.
Vienna unfortunately was essentially closed for the day for a national religious holiday (Corpus Christi Day). None-the-less, it was fascinating to see and walk around the old town area. We attended the evening concert while in Vienna. If there was a part of the trip that I didn't feel we got our money's worth, this was it. It was only a small 8-piece chamber orchestra with two vocalists in a small performance hall. (flat floor, folding chairs, no A/C) The music was wonderful, but the added excursion was way overpriced. I'm sure we could have found an alternate performance elsewhere that evening in the city at half the cost. I just hope the musicians were well paid, but I doubt they were.
One of the highlights of the trip was the home visit that was arranged in Bratislava. We were divided into small groups and escorted to visit with a local family. It was a perfectly delightful way to spend an afternoon.
A moonlight cruise up and down the Danube in Budapest was also listed, but in light of the recent disaster involving a Viking river cruise ship and another harbour cruise ship, all such trips have been cancelled until further notice. The crew planned a party on the upper deck instead, but a thunderstorm rolled in and forced the party indoors. So don't expect any night cruises in Budapest for the foreseeable future.
Overall, I would highly recommend the trip to anyone who asks. There would be nothing stopping us from doing another river cruise with Emerald, but we have so many other destinations in the world that it is very unlikely we'll do it again.
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