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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I couldn't have hoped for more fun on a cruise period the crew was absolutely amazing from the cabin stewards to the captain. Everyone was very attentive and helpful they always had a smile. But, aside from having a lot of fun ... Read More
I couldn't have hoped for more fun on a cruise period the crew was absolutely amazing from the cabin stewards to the captain. Everyone was very attentive and helpful they always had a smile. But, aside from having a lot of fun they're also very professional. Balazs, our cruise director, made us feel just like family. The dining room staff was always there to help. The food was amazing. I don't know how they do it in such a small galley. Kristijan was incredible. He works so hard. Igor always helped and greeted us with a smile. Jela should get paid by the mile because she runs herself ragged. The others like Patrik and Viktor were always so polite and ready to help. I could never say enough kind things. The Captain is a busy many but, even he made us feel like friends. The ports were excellent and the sights were numerous and beautiful. I have never seen anything like it. There was really too much to list and the details are numerous. Budapest is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The sights, the sounds and laughter will always stay with me. Thank you Emerald Star, you're amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
What a great experience we had sailing from Budapest to Nuremberg on the Emerald Dawn. It was our first cruise of any kind. We went with another couple and also made some friends along the way. What did I like so much? - We arrived in ... Read More
What a great experience we had sailing from Budapest to Nuremberg on the Emerald Dawn. It was our first cruise of any kind. We went with another couple and also made some friends along the way. What did I like so much? - We arrived in Budapest a day early. We called to see if we could drop our bags early on the day of embarking, so we could enjoy the whole day in Budapest until dinner. They were accommodating and welcomed us so warmly when we arrived. FYI - the docking spot is close to a subway stop! Recommend the Szechenyi Baths. As the boat stayed in Budapest overnight, we walked up Buda Hill behind the boat (20 min walk uphill) for stunning views of Budepest at night! - Choices/options each day for activities. We like to be active and adventurous and we appreciated the option to go on a hike or bike, or do our own thing at each stop. The guided tours we did do were also well worth the time! Favourite days? Bratsilava and bike trip from Dürnstein to Melk! - Very comfortable rooms, that are well appointed and organized. We were on the bottom floor. Although it would have been nice to be able to open the window for fresh air, we never missed out on views. I was worried about noise, but other than the unavoidable noises like going into locks, we heard little from our room and slept very well on the very comfortable bed! - Many lovely spots to enjoy the boat - large sun deck, lovely patio on the bow near the bar, beautiful restaurant with views from every table, and a very comfortable lounge! And you could always get lovely coffee drinks, tea and cold water. - Favorite spot? The pool with views at the stern, with coffee/tea machine. Great morning spot! - Crew was exceptional! Captain inspired confidence in his ability to navigate the waterways, the room was always well cleaned at respectful times, the dining room staff was attentive, professional and fun! - The food was excellent! And so well planned...loved the flexibility of breakfast (early and late breakfast option), buffet lunch, and the evening meal was always beautiful! Tea time was nice if you missed lunch staying longer in town! - And what made the trip run so smoothly was Nina, our amazing cruise director! She was very kind, enthusiastic, organized, kept things on time, and was so responsive to everyone’s different wishes! Much gratitude for a wonderful trip Emerald Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first cruise of any type - ocean cruises have never appealed to me - but this trip ticked all the boxes for places I wanted to visit, with the added bonus of a private performance in Vienna by Strictly stars Anton Du Beke and Erin ... Read More
Our first cruise of any type - ocean cruises have never appealed to me - but this trip ticked all the boxes for places I wanted to visit, with the added bonus of a private performance in Vienna by Strictly stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag, and a dance masterclass/Q&As on board with them the next day. Ship facilities top notch and staff/service an absolute joy. All thoroughly professional yet relaxed and friendly. We particularly loved the glass and mirrors decor which made the ship feel so light and airy. An apparent improvement this year was the introduction of an events manager, so that aside from the two nights where excellent local musicians came aboard to perform, there was always some evening enterainment provided, such as "Battleships/scategories","Family Fortunes," 70s/80s disco night, etc. He also provided an excellent cabaret as a singer himself one night. There was the occasional film night and aquarobics in the pool. Special mention to our Tour Manager, Nina who was a delight - efficient, and very open and friendly. Food: Evening meals were a 4 course nouvelle cuisine menu with a meat/fish/vegetarian option, or you could chose from 3 set menu options each night (steak, chichen breast etc). These were all very tasty, albeit low on the potato side of things! and on the 2 Captain's welcome/farewell nights there was also a palette cleanser sorbet course. Breakfast was a sumptuous spread of everything you could possibly want, with a chef cooking eggs/omelettes live to order. Lunch usually consisted of 2 "hot" dishes, sometimes cooked live, 2 soups, salads, etc, cheeseboard, cakes/desserts. You could also order a main course from the daily menu. Would have to say the hot dishes didn't stay very hot in the warmers, but it would have helped if the plates were warmed as well! Would have appreciated soup spoons as the one-size dessert spoons I felt were too big for the deep sided bowls. Wine, draught beer and soft drinks all included at lunch and evening meal. But bottled cider and beer were charged for. Loved the Vienna concert and performance by Anton and Erin. Our only slight disappointment was that the Active PLUS cycle ride option the next day, which we really wanted to do actually coincided with the Masterclass onboard so we had a tough choice to make. Would have liked to have been able to do both! Port and shore excusions were well organized and very enjoyable, with "gentle" options for those less mobile. Would have to say that if you want to see more of the embarkation location (in our case, Budapest) it would be best to arrive a day earlier. We boarded at 2pm the day we arrived and only got one morning to see the city before the ship sailed at 1pm for Bratislava. At the other end of the trip, Nuremburg, we were fortunate in that our transfer to Munich was not until 2pm so we were able to make our own way into the city for the morning (by taxi) and spend a few hours there before returning to the ship for lunch. Other passengers had morning transfers so saw nothing of the final destination as the ship docks some 15-20 mins drive from the city! The only other nuisance was that we were transferred to Munich airport 6 hourse before our flight, and were therefore lumbered with our luggage for 4 hours before the bag-drop opened. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Had high expectations for Danube cruise. Paid nearly £5000 for two for 1 week. Turned out to be very poor value for money. Not very much to say that is positive apart from visiting the beautiful cities of Budapest and Vienna. Food was not ... Read More
Had high expectations for Danube cruise. Paid nearly £5000 for two for 1 week. Turned out to be very poor value for money. Not very much to say that is positive apart from visiting the beautiful cities of Budapest and Vienna. Food was not very good, not a lot of choice and found the staff did not always replenish quickly. Drinks were included with lunch and dinner but only one choice of red, white so if you didn’t like what was on offer you had to pay for an alternative. Not much on offer entertainment wise apart from Anton and Erin being on board for one night which was excellent. You sometimes had to ask to get another drink as not enough staff. Most of the staff were very nice although a few were rude. If we ever do another river cruise it definitely will not be on an emerald boat. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was all about Anton and Erin joining our cruise in Vienna, and what a show they put on. The whole cruise has been great but the show and next day masterclass were definitely what most people on board came to see. Never having been ... Read More
This was all about Anton and Erin joining our cruise in Vienna, and what a show they put on. The whole cruise has been great but the show and next day masterclass were definitely what most people on board came to see. Never having been river cruising before I will definitely be back. Such a relaxing atmosphere as opposed to the big cruise liners. Very friendly staff and with only 150 guests on board you meet and speak to many more people than on the large ships. The infinity resistance pool was an absolute bonus. The food was great and the trips well thought out and executed. There were both leisurely and active programmed and you could sign up for these or nothing at all. The crew were there to make sure you had everything you needed. The cabin assistant was lovely and looked after us superbly. I loved everything about this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my third trip using Evergreen (Australia), known as Emerald in Europe. My first 14day river trip. From the moment of embarkation to our disembarking, I could not fault this trip. All crew members were , at all times friendly, ... Read More
This was my third trip using Evergreen (Australia), known as Emerald in Europe. My first 14day river trip. From the moment of embarkation to our disembarking, I could not fault this trip. All crew members were , at all times friendly, happy and 100% professional. The onshore trips were most enjoyable and local guides knowledgeable, and pleasant. The meals on board were excellent, with lots of choices. A very big thank you, must go to our Tour Director , Luis His organizational skills were first class, and the whole trip went very smoothly. At all times, the ultimate professional, but also interacted well with the passengers. He had a great sense of humour, and a very happy disposition. (thanks for the dancing and the karaoke !!!!!) I was also fortunate to do the Paris and Prague extensions which also were well organised and enjoyable. One should not forget to mention Adam, the cabaret singer, and entertainment director. A pleasant young man, who also interacted well with the guests. I cannot speak highly enough of Evergreen tours, and I sincerely hope to be able to enjoy more travels with them. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose Emerald because of the help staff at time of booking and we are glad we did. The planned our entire trip including our flights and everything went very smooth. The entire staff was friendly and made sure we had whatever we needed. ... Read More
We chose Emerald because of the help staff at time of booking and we are glad we did. The planned our entire trip including our flights and everything went very smooth. The entire staff was friendly and made sure we had whatever we needed. Our cruise director Luka was fantastic and extremely organized and knowledgeable of the towns and culture. He also was a great musician and tour guide along the river. The food was very good and gave us a taste of the different areas we were going through. The activities were well planned out and fun, everything was done on time and the guides did a good job. The cabins are nice and the balcony window that you can lower is great! Our room was always kept clean and the beds were comfortable. I highly recommend EMERALD CRUISES to anyone interested in a luxury trip on the river Rhine. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I recently turned 60 and were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We found it and couldn't be happier. From the moment we arrived we were kept very busy, well fed, and wonderfully entertained. The trip more ... Read More
My wife and I recently turned 60 and were looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We found it and couldn't be happier. From the moment we arrived we were kept very busy, well fed, and wonderfully entertained. The trip more than matched our expectations. 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. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was ... Read More
The service was spectacular; the staff were so attentive and friendly. They really seemed to like their jobs. We loved the swimming pool--a perfect place to spend the day when cruising down the Danube. Very well organized. The wine was excellent--particularly when a glass was served to us in the pool area when we were cruising in the area where the wine was produced. Nice touch! The food was very good but not spectacular. The meat was often over-cooked. The chef needs a commercial souvide. We were very impressed with the housekeeping staff who tided/cleaned our cabin twice a day. The serving staff were amazingly attentive. We did a pre-cruise stay in Prague and loved our tour director--I can't remember her name but her nickname was "Foxy". We paid extra for the concert in Vienna and thought it was over-priced for an hour of music. We will definitely consider Emerald for another cruise in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise we will repeat. We chose Emerald because Senic included drinks all day and we do not drink as much. We were told that Emerauld's quality was outstanding for less as Wine and beer and soft drinks meals only. We did have a few drinks between meals but mostly at the beginning of the cruise and used our credits on board to pay. The care with our Cruise director Darren was outstanding so was the whole crew .Each night we get explanations on the next day activities and countries what excursions to choose. There is lots of free time if we choose to do nothing. They truly care. Darren went out of his way to accommodate us during the heat wave to make us comfortable during excursions. The Captain is the only one who risked going through the low water levels we stayed informed all the way. Precautions were taken and we felt secure. The comfort on the ship is outstanding. Air conditioning on-going. Sheets and bed all is top quality. Embarkation and disembarkation are easy pizzy! No hassle, no climbing stairs, waiting for contents to be checked, many entrances to come in or out from, good monitoring of passengers entering or exiting ship even when anchored with other ships. Activities with music and dancers from different countries were awesome and had us all participating (no obligation). Loved that the tips were included no extra to pay ever!!! We loved Vienna. The after thought is spend less time in little countries such as Lynz and Durnstein and more in bigger countries like 2 days in Vienna as it was in Budapest. Vienna is wonderful the history, the buildings, the sites...we would like to return to spend one week in Vienna only. Concert in Vienna is a must. Family visit in Bratislava is high on our list of likes. The Budapest part is something to remember for the rest of your life. We took the option to stay in Budapest and regretted it simply because Emerald excursions did such a good job at showing us the country plus the night cruise was breathtaking, 2 days more cost us over $1000. (we had to pay for our excursions, food and all) and not worth it because we had covered so much with our guides for free and great explanations. First 3 days in Prague were very well organized, our tour guide was perfectly bilingual, helpful and knowledgeable. She told us so much on on each one of our tours we really enjoyed those 3 days. The bus to Nuremberg on the 4th day made us wonder why we left Prague so late. We were under the impression that there was an organized tour in Nuremberg before boarding the ship. We left Prague at 1h30pm it took us 5 hours to get from Prague to Nuremberg. The meal stop (at our expense) was in a mcDonalds on the side of the road. Could have had a lunch packed for us from the hotel before leaving or go to a local restaurant? Anyhow, this stop is not representative of the ship standards and was very disappointing in terms of a short visit in Nuremberg and food but we should of understood at that moment that the food standards of Emerald are far from ours... Speaking of food... If you like veggies and soup (soups were very good but very salty) bread and cold cuts and desserts you are in for a treat also, there were many fruit and nuts to choose from.I have travelled more than my share business and pleasure, sea cruises, organized or not trips, it is the first time I come back having lost weight because nothing on the menu turned our crank! Nothing refined...I can appreciate we ate local...goulash, sausages, sauerkraut, shneizell we had the impression that nothing was freshly made more like warmed up cafeteria and fat. There was an option choice for those who did not like the day menu, steak, salmon or chicken breast. Steak was not the best quality and lots of pulling to cut, if you like your steak medium rare by the time they come up the stairs and serve it continues to cook and turns out to be well done; the chicken is more like an overcooked thin cutlets=dry like cardboard, salmon very dry and small portion. Captain's night Chateaubriand and fish the portions were so small 3 bites later and it was gone, night of the Celebration supper Beef cheeks tasted like plastic (could not eat it had a salad with cheese) . Lunch is a buffet pretty much always the same. I hate to post such a bad review for food because all the rest was soooooo over the top excellent.But for our group food kicks the experience up a notch! We would like an explanation of why the quality was so poor it will help us choose our next cruise. I do recommend this cruise and if food is important for you then ask more questions before you book. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The staff were very attentive and very friendly it was obvious they were having fun and this was infectious creating lots of fun for us. The itinerary was well organized with many excellent day trips to a wide variety of places. Each one ... Read More
The staff were very attentive and very friendly it was obvious they were having fun and this was infectious creating lots of fun for us. The itinerary was well organized with many excellent day trips to a wide variety of places. Each one provided uswith well informed guides who were very easy to listen to and who helped us to see and understand the history and culture of their destination. The food was very well prepared with buffet style breakfasts and lunches. Dinner allowed much variety and was aka cart. Foods of the region were featured as well as steak salmon or vegetarian meals. The cabins were perfectly laid out and provided us with just enough space and all the necessary amenities. There were numerous extras with regards to local entertainers and added programs that enhanced our trip. There were no hidden fees everything was included. Our cruise director Darren ensured everyone enjoyed as much or as little as they wanted. We would book another cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The itinerary featured several cities that we were keen to visit as well as the Danube experience. The daily activity options were varied which met the needs of the very active as well as those who wanted a more gentle approach to the ... Read More
The itinerary featured several cities that we were keen to visit as well as the Danube experience. The daily activity options were varied which met the needs of the very active as well as those who wanted a more gentle approach to the trip. We wanted to make the most of the day time cruising experience which worked well. If the ship was cruising at night it was vert restful looking out of the cabin window seeing the water passing by. The food was very good as was the wine and other beverages. The wine changed daily as did the menu to feature the local cuisine and wine region One very impressive aspect was the excellent team spirit demonstrated by the ships team Without exception they were all very customer focused and attentive. The cruise director was extremely good and all tours were well organised. Great thought has gone into ensuring a great customer experience by Emerald/. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and ... Read More
We booked the cruise a year in advance so we got a good deal. We wanted to add an additional day on at the beginning, so that we could visit relatives and this was arranged by Emerald without any problems. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly indeed. The ship was extremely clean and tidy and all of the staff were very friendly, polite and helpful. The cabin was always clean and very tidy and the swan that the lady made out of two towels one day was brilliant! The waiting staff and others laughed and joked with us and the other passengers!! The food was extremely good and you could eat as much as you wanted at the buffet breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The service overall was superb. The entertainment on board was great and the various groups that came on board were very good. The resident singer/keyboard player was extremely talented. The guided tours were very informative and the guides' English was always very good. The only problem was that the guide in Budapest, didn't wait for everyone to get off the bus, before moving off, which meant that a group of us lost him a couple of times. The trip in Bratislava to visit a lady in her home, was the highlight of the whole trip for us. It was extremely interesting to be able to talk to her and to find out her opinions about life during Communism and life afterwards.Our interpreter, who was a 16-year old lad called Oliver had superb English and I was very impressed with his language skills for someone so young!!! The cake and drink that she gave us was delicious. Something on the boat that we felt was not good at all, was a step that a man fell over in the restaurant on the ship. I also nearly fell over on it, although I had been told that it was there. It was a step at the far end of the restaurant (at the front of the ship) and it was only about 3 inches or so high. However one dark carpet finished before it and the actual step was covered by another dark carpet, so that it was not very visible at all. I think that there needs to be some obvious tape or some form of marking it out to people, so that they can see it much more easily... All of the staff onboard were brilliant, but Darren the Cruise Director was a star, as he not only ensured that we were fully aware of what was happening, where and when, but he also produced our luggage tags for us before disembarkation and was on and off the boat on disembarkation day with every group of passengers, checking that our luggage was there and saying goodbye to us. He was also a very funny entertainer during the daily Port Talks and the little readings that he did just before we went to dinner were hilarious. He's very good with accents too!!!! Unfortunately, me and my Mum got tummy bugs a few days after the end of the cruise, but at least it was much better that getting them during the cruise. An extremely enjoyable and informative cruise and I wouldn't hesitate in using Emerald again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled ... Read More
We are regular ocean cruisers, but were hesitant about river cruise, wondering what it was like, whether it would be too small etc. This review will cover the excellent and maybe some other aspects you may wish to consider. We traveled on the Danube, joining the Destiny at Budapest and finishing at Passau. We had a lower cabin with restricted view. We flew back via Munich. So arrival and embarkation was fine. Emerald arrange everyone to collect from various planes so we had about 30 mins wait before going on the bus to the ship. Getting on was very straight forward. The river water was low and someone tripped and the slope was quite steep, however the low water meant that not all ships following us got through. So whilst good weather is often an advantage I will be looking to see if there are exceptionally low water conditions as part of my planning - This was chosen at the last minute. We don't normally do trip but short trips were included in the price, these help orientate us in whatever town or village we were in and were great. We also had some really great entertainment, for example, in Vienna, we went to the Arsenal (a war museum) one evening, for bubbly and in this venue we were entertained by a Strauss music concert and lieder, then a Q&A and dance routines by Vincent and Flavia (ex-Strictly Come Dancing fame), ex-world champion Argentine Tango dancers. They gave us a dance lesson the next day and were very funny and charming. Other on-board entertainment was local and maybe not to everyone's taste. There is no real room for dancing (a postage stamp of a dance floor), it's not really that type of trip. The food was excellent, with local delicacies on offer each evening. There is only one set time for dinner, however no fixed seating, so if you end up sitting with someone you don't like, you can avoid them the second time. the average cruiser appeared to be older active person (there's often quite a bit of walking in the orientation trips). The Austrian and Bavarian villages often have old uneven pavements and can be on hills. They also offer free bike excursions (or you can simply borrow a bike). The weather was exceptionally hot and many destinations don't have air-conditioning, so if going at a hot time of year bring a fan! The ship, however, is just right, neither too hot nor cold. We first thought of buying an upgrade to a balcony, but this was rather expensive. We are glad we didn't as often those with windows couldn't see out as on canals and rivers, other ships have a habit of tying up against you at night, so it would be only of benefit when cruising during the day. The horizon lounge offered great views and some people spent the cruising time on the top deck. It did not feel crowded, even at lunch time and no long queues or aimlessly trying to find a seat as we have done in ocean going vessels. The food was surprisingly good with options of Hungarian, Austrian and Bavarian dishes on offer as you went through those countries. Wine and beer included at lunch and dinner. The cabin was fine, and as I didn't need to bring formal wear, there was plenty of storage space. Ladies did dress up slightly on some evenings, but not as formal as on larger ships. It was too hot to wear a jacket, so smart/casual trousers and shirt was fine for evening. There was a slight whoosh, from the toilets as they flushed (powerful flush!) and sometimes you would hear this in the mornings, but no-one else seemed to notice. Shower was excellent. The only slight niggle was disembarkation and being at the airport four hours before our flight (which ended up being delayed by 1.3 hours, missing our connection, necessitating a 12 hour overall door-to-door journey- not Emerald's fault but we will add on some days at the end on our next cruise.) The destinations were interesting, beautiful and allowed for enough cruising/visiting time. Almost wanted to do a back-to-back as every destination was worthy of more time spent in it. Service was exceptional in all departments. It was our first river cruise and won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and ... Read More
Been with Emerald Waterways before, we were very pleased with them and wanted to do a different part of the Danube. This was a new ship in 2017 and everything was sparkling as usual with Emerald. The staff are very friendly courteous and efficient. The service could not be faulted. The weather was good but the water levels very low which required the captain to alter the schedule a little to get past the restriction which he did successfully, when other boats were stranded. He had to empty the swimming pool briefly to reduce weight and gain sufficient clearance(3 cm). Something to think about when taking river cruises in the Summer months. The on- board spending allowance(200 euros/ cabin) was very helpful in buying gifts. The menu choices were extensive and the food delicious, and with the generous wines at meals, we felt it was unnecessary to buy the drinks package. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My partner is decidedly uncomfortable on the open seas, so we thought this might be a less challenging way of experiencing a cruise - we were not disappointed! We take the view that in most cases you get what you pay for. On paper ... Read More
My partner is decidedly uncomfortable on the open seas, so we thought this might be a less challenging way of experiencing a cruise - we were not disappointed! We take the view that in most cases you get what you pay for. On paper Emerald were more expensive than some of their competitors, but given our experience this premium was well worth paying. We chose the Nuremberg - Budapest direction of travel and this provided a slowly developing crescendo of stops culminating in Budapest - which was a totally unexpected delight! I have a linguistic problem with what was described a 'Panoramic Balcony Suite' - it was technically none of these things but there is no deceit here - there are some very informative videos on Emerald's website so you can see what you're going to get. The ship was pristine and the service throughout was excellent - you quite quickly slip in to the relaxed pace of life. Shore excursions were well organised and the guides suitably informative - particularly interesting were glimpses of life behind the iron curtain. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
1.Ship is new. All the facilities are high tech,Opening and closing of the windows and curtains,digital newspaper,and so on 2.The ship does not shake( pitching and rolling ) like an ocean cruise 3.Hospitality is wonderful. Crew ... Read More
1.Ship is new. All the facilities are high tech,Opening and closing of the windows and curtains,digital newspaper,and so on 2.The ship does not shake( pitching and rolling ) like an ocean cruise 3.Hospitality is wonderful. Crew members were all good smiles and good hospitality Especially, the person in the Cabin Stewart was kind 4.Convenient site where The ship was moored. In Budapest, it was in front of the Diet. Please imagine. There are the beauty of the night view spreading in front of you In Vienna, When I woke up, I saw from the room that the Millennium Tower in Vienna was shining in the morning sun. It was incredibly spectacular sight 5.Delicious food and alcohol Although it tastes good to say, it looks beautiful I took many photos of beautiful dishes I will write about this pretty experience in my blog Finally I would like to thank all the crew members p.s. Claws unlimited laundry service/Per bag?, 26€, are very Convenient I used it twice Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We embarked on our first class cruise to a lovely welcome by staff and were quickly ushered to our beautiful room. Our cabin steard, Jalena, explained the details of the room and continuously assisted us throughout the week with advice, ... Read More
We embarked on our first class cruise to a lovely welcome by staff and were quickly ushered to our beautiful room. Our cabin steard, Jalena, explained the details of the room and continuously assisted us throughout the week with advice, kind words and an ever present smile. The food on the journey was wonderful. We had no complaints with any meals. Each of the ports were extremely interesting and tours were provided highlighting each city. Especially satisfying was the visit to a family's home outside Bratislava where we enjoyed an afternoon with the locals. What a nice touch! Embarking and Debarking were flaeless due to the efforts of Darren, the Cruise Director. The man never stops trying to ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the week. He even arranged transportation to the airport for us two days after we left the ship! We would not hesitate to sail with Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Typically, we have chosen a more independent style of travel, but with everyone raving about river cruising we thought we would give it a try. Overall, this seemed to be a good company to cruise with. It is mostly all inclusive unless ... Read More
Typically, we have chosen a more independent style of travel, but with everyone raving about river cruising we thought we would give it a try. Overall, this seemed to be a good company to cruise with. It is mostly all inclusive unless you want to drink all day long. Wine and beer are available at meals and there is no limit. Included activities are mostly walking tours, however you can also bike if desired. The tours are educational, but because the guides have to adjust to all health and walking levels they tended to be less vigorous than what I would want. This is not a fault of the company, and they did try to gently organize groups into like fitness levels. Overall, I did like this company to cruise with, but I came away with the feeling that river cruising was not for me. It is far too structured for my liking and there were days that I felt herded like cattle to get the walking tour over with, back onthe boat and eat again! My LEAST favourite part is the line up to get into the dining room at dinner. They want everyone there at the same time as their food service is very structured. I understand why this has to occur, but it makes for a very un-relaxed feel at dinner. The buffet at breakfast and lunch is average quality....nothing outstanding but always good. The layout for traffic flow needs to be improved. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. The flight was good to Munich but then after waiting over an hour we finally got on the coach. We were then told we would be taken to a hotel in Nuremberg to wait while the ship was ready. So a ... Read More
Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. The flight was good to Munich but then after waiting over an hour we finally got on the coach. We were then told we would be taken to a hotel in Nuremberg to wait while the ship was ready. So a two and half hour bus ride. We then had to sit in a hotel restaurant for an hour or so before getting the bus to the ship. Sandwiches and cakes were provided but it was a bit boring waiting around. Back on the coach and it was another half hour before arriving at the Ship. This was very disappointing. After arriving at the ship the check in was slick - and I mean really slick. A full coach load into check in was dealt with amazing efficiency. We were told to drop the cases and a crew member showed us to our cabin and explained everything about it. A few minutes later the cases arrived at our cabin. There were plenty of draws in the cabin and a place was found for all our stuff. The cabin itself was compact but very good. The beds were extremely comfortable. We went for a drink on the front deck and a waiter explained that there were several drinks packages that could be bought. This was not a pressure sell like on most ships. It was just an explanation. We happened to be sat with a Canadian couple who were also going to order. Me and the other guy looked at each other. I said well that’s us with the premium drink package (which entitles you to all drinks except champagne and the real top end wines for €22 per day). He replied “that’s us too”. We both went to reception and bought them. Drinks in all the bars are waiter service. The wine is excellent quality and is changed daily to reflect where you are. The dining experience is wonderful. The dinner is a la cart. Four courses every evening and five on captains special nights. Everyone on our cruise dressed up smart casual for every evening meal. This was great as we like to dress up in smart attire. The food itself was very very good. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. I know some reviews have said the portions are small at dinner but that is what you expect with high end dinning and four courses we never ever felt let down. The dinners tasted superb and we went mostly with the chefs specials. The wine served at lunch and dinner every day was good quality and reflected the region you were in. This was served all through the meals with no restrictions and it seemed difficult to empty your glass before it being refilled. Evening entertainment was mainly with Gianni the pianist. With a few local special treats added like Umpa Band and Hungarian dancers etc. It was very entertaining and not too loud so you talk with other people without having to shout. I must mention the crew and the onboard guests. I think about 55 crew. All who were very pleasant not pushy and seemed genuinely pleased to be looking after their guests. The captain and his officers were outstanding and very friendly. The captain was very approachable and hardworking. On the last day at disembarkation we saw him shifting suitcases across the gangway along with other crew and also other officers. The guests on board about 150 were very friendly. Mostly British and Canadian with some Aussies and just a few other nationalities. We made many friends (especially with the Canadian couple we first met on board). It made the whole atmosphere of the cruise seem like one happy family. Every evening before dinner the cruise director “Wes” gave a run through of the next day’s itinerary which was very informative. The chef explained how they cooked the today’s special menu. The captain sometimes gave a bit of a talk too. This was not boring and an excellent way of letting guests know about their area being visited and what to expect on the tours. A free self serve coffee machine was open 24 hours. The coffee from it was with fresh ground beans in the machine. The coffee, cappuccino, latte etc was hot and very good. The trips were mostly inclusive. The guides at each port were very knowledgeable and sometimes very funny. Very well organised with a small radio device with earphone. You could hear the guide all the time. Each day you could choose which speed to walk at so no one was left out. Some excursions like the bike tour and a couple of hikes were explained what fitness level you should be. This was excellent. The guests that went on the extra paid for tours all said it was well worth the money. We went on the Vienna concert tour. The music was outstanding. Our only complaint was the seats were not very comfortable. The most exceptional night was at Budapest. The captain took the ship along the Danube. In the dark for over an hour with all the buildings lit-up along the waterfront was just spectacular. All the guests were oohing and aarring at the sights. Free special drinks were served by the waiting staff and soft music like the Bolero etc was being played through the speaker system. Everyone was on the top outside deck taking photos. This was an excellent end to a fantastic cruise. Disembarkation was as slick as coming on board. We were told what time to put our cases outside the cabin in the morning. A list had been given to all guests with coloured case tags for different times. We were told to vacate the cabins by 8:30am and wait in the lounge with free coffee until the coach arrived. The cases were lined up outside the coach and all you had to do was point out your case and it was put on the bus. And guess who loaded our case - well it was the captain himself mucking in as usual. Anyone who is wondering whether they would have a good holiday with the Emerald Sky should just book it. I would certainly go on another cruise with Emerald. It was superb value for money and an unforgettable experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Smooth pick-up at Munich airport and transfer to hotel in Nuremburg as we couldn't board until around 5pm. We received a warm welcome and we were delighted with our cabin - Panoramic Balcony Suite - comfortable, plenty of storage ... Read More
Smooth pick-up at Munich airport and transfer to hotel in Nuremburg as we couldn't board until around 5pm. We received a warm welcome and we were delighted with our cabin - Panoramic Balcony Suite - comfortable, plenty of storage spaces - compact but up to the standard of a 4 star hotel The food was excellent - from the great range of breakfast choices through to the 4 course dinner menus. Always plenty of choices and found the "Chef's Favourites" for dinner was usually a good choice. Whether you wanted a continental style breakfast, or hot breakfast, there was a great deal of choice and self-service was easy. Lunch had a variety of choices which changed every day, usually including speciality dishes from the region. Best to do a complete circuit of the lunch table first to see all the offerings, before deciding what to choose. The four course dinners always had plenty of choices and the seating of 2, 4 or 6 meant that you could choose how many to sit with and offered a great opportunity to meet other people and strike up new friendships. The shore excursions were always well organised and the local guides and the "Quiet Voice" units meant that you could really see and understand all the interesting parts of the tours. Also a good balance between guided tours and free-time meant that you can also explore on your own. The service was excellent, everybody, including the Cruise Director (Wes), Head Chef, waiters, bar staff, cabin stewards were polite, helpful and professional. I liked the well-organised aspect of the cruise - at all times, we could relax and enjoy the cruise as all the staff worked hard to keep everything running smoothly and ensuring that you had an enjoyable time. This was our first river cruise and we will definitely be booking again with Emerald Waterways (just can't decide where to go next!) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose Emerald for a variety of reasons, one of them being that all prices were in Canadian dollars so we knew exactly what it would cost. Also, included in this cruise price was a pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a walking city, ... Read More
We chose Emerald for a variety of reasons, one of them being that all prices were in Canadian dollars so we knew exactly what it would cost. Also, included in this cruise price was a pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a walking city, and we spent three days walking everyone. On the first day in Prague, we had a tour of Prague Castle then on the last night in Prague we were fortunate to have dinner in Prague Castle. These two things were all part of our cruise tour package. We went to the Jewish Quarter which was extremely interesting with a lot of history. Our hotel was located very close to Wenceslas Square, Prague, which was a hub of activity all the time. From there we could walk to Old Town Square where the famout Prague Astronomical Clock hands of the wall of the Old City Hall. In the square there are a lot of restaurants (a little over priced, due to it being a large tourist attraction) and also a wonder store where you can purchase good quality Czech crystal. The name of the store is Erpet, which is located kitty corner to the astronomical clock. On Ma 25th, we were taken to Nuremberg to board the Emerald Sky. Our room was wonderful, with a window which you could open half way, and gave you the feeling of being on a french balcony. What impressed us most in this room, were the large dresser drawers, six in total, deep and big. You never get this much storage of most cruise ships. The next day arrived in Regensberg, Germany, which again is a walking town. Purchased great mustard there. The next day we travelled to Passau, but we did not really see this little town, as we opted to take the Emerald More, tour to Salzburg for the day. (extra cost for this) Here we saw where the Sound of Music had some scenes shot, as well as a lot of the history of Mozart. We then went to Durstein in Austria. Again a very picturesic town, where they make a lot of their own alcohol, one of which is a very tasty Apricot Liqueur. In Vienna, after the tour with Emerald we set off on our own to Schonbrunn Castle which is a must see if in Vienna. Beautiful castle, and lovely garden. In Bratislava, we were fortunate enough to visit the home of one of the local people who used to have their own vineyards, years ago. This sweet lady had baked some beautiful squares for our tour bus of about 18 people, and also had jugs of white wine had been produced from the vines in the vineyards she still owned. Budapest our last stop. We stayed there for an extra 3 days, and again this is also a walking town, like a lot of European towns and cities are. We went for the Great Hall, which is a large indoor market. To get here you walk down this pedestrian street, with shops, restaurants, and vendors on both sides. We really enjoyed the food and entertainment in Budapest. Sorry, about this long review, but it was great cruise. The only negative, if you really feel this is a negative, was the buffet lunch every day. They did change the choices, but not enough to make it a different experience daily. Breakfast was also a buffet, but they had a station where you could get your eggs made to order. Dinner was always wonderful, having local dishes from the different places we visited. There was very little entertainment at night, only a piano player in the beautiful bar, but we found we were so tired at night after full 8 hour days of touring, we did not really miss this, as we were usually up and about by 7:30 in the morning. Most of the tours are included in your cruise price on Emerald, and the transfers as well. Service was excellent on this cruise, and the staff very attentive at all times. They were always anxious to try and please you, and it was emphasized that tips were included in the cruise price and not to tip at all. We did tip when we took the Salzburg tour, and maybe one or two other tours, but not at the end of the cruise. Very different from the large ocean cruises, which have taken about 16, the latest one last year from Rome. On a river cruise you dock right in town so it is extremely easy to embark and disembark from the cruise ship. On the large ships, it is more difficult and takes longer. Our ship only had 184 passengers, compared to 2,000 or more on the larger ships. There are pros and cons to both a river cruise and an ocean cruise. If you like more choices of meals and restaurants, more glamorous dining and bars, and evening entertainment, and more things to do, the maybe a river cruise is not for you. We really feel everybody should experience a river cruise if you can. A great way to cruise, would recommend it to everyone, young and old. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. ... Read More
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. Well done will definitely recommend this type of holiday. In closing would like to say our hotel bookings and pick ups were all arranged and the arranged transport turned up on time. Food was lovely met good people and mad friends for live. Staff all around was very helpful and willing to share information. The tours were very inter active and pleasant, had a lot of walking, took the 35 km bike tour not very strenuous, tour guide looked after groupe well. Loved every town / City we visited. I as amaz d at th staffs concern regard to the passengers well being and safety during the cruise may it be on the ship or a land tours. Thank you Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Always wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise. Should have stayed in Frankfurt or Nuremburg, where we were for two days each prior to embark'. Food: 2 star at best. Breakfast OK. No Eggs Benny offered, only poached, scrambled etc ... Read More
Always wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise. Should have stayed in Frankfurt or Nuremburg, where we were for two days each prior to embark'. Food: 2 star at best. Breakfast OK. No Eggs Benny offered, only poached, scrambled etc eggs. The so called english bacon was'nt. Sliced something. Very ordinary. Mostly tinned fruit. Lunch menu unacceptable. Pasta dishes never included meat or seafood - only tomato sauce type thing. Just cheap food. Frozen or from cans. Some salad. Dinner - tragic. Night 1 menu said "lamb chops". There was one lamb chop. What restaurant have you ever been to where lamb chops became one lamb chop - very small to boot, and that was the best meal ! Eggplant five days in a row - unacceptable - and we like eggplant. After three days ate off the ship wherever we were parked - like the other people that we saw ashore. The ship was to be in dock over the winter - we suspect the cupboards and freezers were being emptied. Our cost analysis for the food we ate per day was about $10-15 each. Cabin. Arrived to find earplugs on the bed - hmmm. Our neighbours must have kept trying to watch Skyfall before falling asleep. We kept being woken up thinking we were being bombed. Bathroom small but OK - not as nice as AMA or Uniworld but OK although a heated floor would have been nice. Entertainment. Some guy on an electric organ or trivial pursuit. Bad. Excursions. Good tour guides but included trips were all walking tours. Took a cab back to the ship a couple of times rather than wait around in the cold weather. This is not about this particular cruise but there were not many hours in port compared to cruises with a shorter travel distance. Nurnberg to Amsterdam is about 650 kms. Think about booking shorter cruises for a longer port experience - especially in Summer. Overall - Will never go with Emerald ever again. Paid the same price as Uniworld or AMA - no comparison whatsoever. Emerald - 2 star at best. AMA or Uniworld 5 star in comparison. The pool is nice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was a wonderful Christmas Market cruise on the Main and Rhine Rivers visiting Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Miltenberg, Rudesheim am Rhein, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. This was a Christmas Market cruise. Bring bubble wrap, ... Read More
This was a wonderful Christmas Market cruise on the Main and Rhine Rivers visiting Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Miltenberg, Rudesheim am Rhein, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. This was a Christmas Market cruise. Bring bubble wrap, packing tape and scissors. If you are not interested in visiting the markets, this is not the cruise for you. The Emerald Dawn's food was good but not haute cuisine. If you want an epicurean experience, this is not the cruise for you. This is a winter cruise, there was snow, rain and, in Amsterdam, icy sidewalks. There are cobbled streets and stairs on the included walking tours. If you have mobility issues this is not the cruise for you. We booked this cruise after receiving a very attractive offer from Emerald which included airfare. There were no problems with booking the exact flights we wanted to Munich. Since we were the only passengers arriving early in Munich, a private driver met us at the Munich airport. The ship wasn't due to arrive in Nuremberg for several hours, so the driver took us to the Christmas Market, dropped us off for a few hours of shopping before taking us to the ship. The ship was sailing from Budapest to Amersterdam. About 45 passengers disembarked at Nuremberg and another 45, including ourselves, boarded. When we arrived, the Nuremberg city tour was just leaving. We dropped our luggage and boarded the coach for an over view of the city and another stop at the Christmas Market. This time we found our way to the charming Kinderweihnacht (Children's Market). Be certain to try the Nuremberg bratwurst. Three small sausages on a bread roll. Shopping tip: Nuremberg is famous for its gingerbread which is sold all over the market. For less expensive German goodies visit the Norma grocery store near the McDonald's on the square where the Christmas Market is held. Great Christmas cookies and candy at modest prices. Bamberg is a wonderfully charming city. A coach took us the short distance into the city. The walking tour included a visit to the cathedral. Shopping tip: Moheen-Haus, Obere Brucke 14, Bamberg, This is a lovely shop housed in the old building. It specializes in coffee, tea and spices but also has gift and household items and leather goods. Free gift wrapping. A coach took us from the town of Kitzingen for a short transfer to Wurzburg. The Main River is narrow, has a lot of bends and locks. While the bus ride to Wurzburg took 30 minutes, the river trip took 4 hours. The tour here included a visit to the Residenz with its marvelous Baroque interior. Shopping tip: Salamander is a great shoe store with a good selection. I was interested in Haflinger felt and cork clogs and the store has a wonderful selection. Salamander is right across the street from Galeria Kauthof, a very nice, large department store. Next up was a stop at Miltenberg a small town with great shops along its main street. After the walking tour, we climbed the hill above the town for a fanastic view and still had plenty of time to shop. Shopping tip: Look for Franconian regional wine in its distinctive flasks called Bockbeutel. Next stop: Rudesheim am Rhein. Here a mini-train took us the few blocks from the ship to Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum which is a delight. The town was the most decorated we visited with cut pine trees on the streets, large Santa statues and Christmas music. The town is crammed with market stalls selling some handmade items but also a lot of tacky items. We couldn't resist buying cookies from a stall where children were raising money for their school. The ship arrived late in the afternoon in Koblenz. The markets we found there seemed to be focused on food, were small and scattered though several squares. Cologne has several markets and we visited the one near the cathedral and the Gnome Market a few blocks away. These were the best markets we visited with the most unique and best quality items. The Gnome Market has distinctive stalls and is wonderfully decorated. Having previously visited Amsterdam we visited a couple of museums we had not visited before and shopped at the Albert Heijn grocery in the central train station near the ship's dock. Shopping tip: Buy your cheese at Albert Heijn or a grocery in Amsterdam. Don't wait until the airport. The Euro 19 cheese we bought at Albert Heijn was Euro 28 at the airport. Disembarkation was easy with a guide on the coach. The guide walked us into the terminal and put us in line for our flight home. Emerald's airport transfers are excellent. Service was very good and the cruise director, Balazs was outstanding. Read Less
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