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617 Nuremberg to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are ... Read More
I went with my parents for Christmas vacation. I will list the pros and cons. Pros: -The ship is well heated -The rooms and showers are clean -They will bend over backwards to accommodate you -Some of the excursions are decent -The staff is cordial and well-vetted -The excursions are planned so that you don't have to do much thinking or organizing -It is handicap accessible with an elevator Cons: -You must eat during their pre-set meal times. -Sometimes dinner isn't until 7 or 730 and my family and I were hungry prior to dinner time -There are no snacks available outside of meal times -The food is mediocre at best -Most of the cruising is done at night, so you don't get to see much of the river -If you book to sail Nov-Apr, please expect many of your excursions to be cancelled. They contract with local guides who don't do tours during the winter, but they will make you think you have a lot of fun things planned until you start getting cancellation emails -Don't bother going to the top deck if it's cold - everything is shut down Neither pros nor cons: -The activity director will announce excursions 15 minutes prior (over the loud speaker, which can wake you up if you are asleep) -They tidy your room twice a day. I personally don't want someone bothering me or in my room 2x a day, but some people might. -You don't feel the boat move much All said and done, I'm glad we did this for the experience but we've agreed we won't go again. We like more flexibility in accessing food, and we can organize a trip like this cheaper on our own with more shore time and exploration. A lot of time is spent cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because 10 family members wanted to travel and this cruise let us bring our 14 and 17 year old family members. We all got to enjoy a river cruise. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and spouses. No one was left ... Read More
We chose this cruise because 10 family members wanted to travel and this cruise let us bring our 14 and 17 year old family members. We all got to enjoy a river cruise. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and spouses. No one was left out. Thank you Scenic Amber! We believe in Family First!! And this river cruise did too!! We also liked the stops along the way. We liked the route it was going on. We enjoyed our travel agent, Michelle! We especially enjoyed the dates. We knew we wanted to go this time of year and experience the Christmas markets. It was a great experience. The food on the cruise was superb and at the destinations just as wonderful. The chef made the dinners according to the country and style. Excellent to say the least. We are beyond pleased with Scenic and all the care and respect they have shown us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was supposed to be the Trip of a Lifetime but it turned sour pretty quickly because of a broken heater in the Monarch Countess Cabin #327. I got sick the first night because it shut off and started blowing cold air in the cabin. I ... Read More
This was supposed to be the Trip of a Lifetime but it turned sour pretty quickly because of a broken heater in the Monarch Countess Cabin #327. I got sick the first night because it shut off and started blowing cold air in the cabin. I subsequently caught a cold and was not at my best for the remainder of the 8 day cruise. The ship was nice, the dining service was EXCELLENT, the cruise director was nice, the cabin service was just adequate. We had to ASK for our sheets to be changed the third day. What was great about the cruise was the AWESOME cruise director, Loren, who helped me get back my cell phone I had left at the hotel in Munich. He worked to get it delivered to me on Day #3. The food was good, very tasty some nights and interesting others. The wait staff was STELLAR, second-to-none, which made for a very enjoyable dining experience every night. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I loved this cruise--Nuremberg to Budapest on the Danube. Natalijia the cruise director and the crew were great. Solo female Traveller here (millennial too) so wasn't sure what it would be like. It's my first river cruise and was ... Read More
I loved this cruise--Nuremberg to Budapest on the Danube. Natalijia the cruise director and the crew were great. Solo female Traveller here (millennial too) so wasn't sure what it would be like. It's my first river cruise and was thoroughly impressed. Excellent excursions and tour guides, time to myself, great food and wine, and the onboard shop was lovely too! Highly recommend. Will do another Christmas market tour in 2020 but on the Rhine next time. The Danube was a bit low so the Captain had to maneuver around slower locks and we did get into Budapest a bit later than anticipated. But the tour guides styaed flexible and we still had plenty of Budapest time in the markets and on our own. Had dinner on the Danube at a great restaurant (Dunbarry restaurant) and got several Krampus dolls. The daily wellness program was great too--Alex was thoughtful and expert with strength training and cardio on board and off. AmaWaterways will be an annual trip for sure!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
From the moment we were met at the Prague airport by an Avalon representative who brought us to the hotel to meet our amazing cruise director, then from the moment we boarded our ship, to when the time came to disembark for our return home ... Read More
From the moment we were met at the Prague airport by an Avalon representative who brought us to the hotel to meet our amazing cruise director, then from the moment we boarded our ship, to when the time came to disembark for our return home (again with representatives escorting us to our departure area), we experienced nothing but First Class Service - all the way - by all of the Avalon employees, tour guides and others. On the ship, the attention to the smallest of details was amazing. The crew members on board were kind and friendly, always smiling, going the extra mile to help you – whether it was answering your questions or accommodating a special request for dinner. The buffet breakfasts and lunches, and dinners from menu choices, were some of the best dining out we've ever had-- worthy of the finest restaurants anywhere-- such choices and diversity, and perfect portion sizes. Our staterooms were very comfortable, we especially found the ‘fire in the fireplace’ feature to be fun and cozy. The lounges were warm and inviting, especially after returning from walking about on some damp, chilly days. It was nice to have a choice of larger lounge with bar (and excellent cocktails including specialty ones) and entertainment, as well as a smaller quiet lounge at the end of the ship for reading or just relaxing too (with snacks and coffee 24/7). There was even a small but nicely equipped fitness room with the basics which, with the tours and all else, we didn't even need. On our tours, our guides knew their stuff and enlightened us with their many insights on their country, culture and custom-- one of the trip highlights for us. What a fantastic trip we had for our first time ever cruise! It was the most relaxing and stress-free vacation we have ever experienced, and we loved the size of the ship--big enough but quite a nice size for such a cruise. We’d choose Avalon and the Imagery II again in a flash. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Had always wanted to see Christmas Markets and seeing them via a cruise sounded idyllic - it was. From the time we boarded to disembarking we were looked after superbly. The Cruise Director (Valentin) was very efficient with a great ... Read More
Had always wanted to see Christmas Markets and seeing them via a cruise sounded idyllic - it was. From the time we boarded to disembarking we were looked after superbly. The Cruise Director (Valentin) was very efficient with a great sense of humor which made everything run very smoothly. All the staff were very friendly and determined to make our trip as enjoyable as possible. The excursions were well planned and the guides spoke excellent English and were most informative. We were fortunate to go on the Wilhering Abbey excursion which was most interesting. The girls who conducted the tour have the makings of great tour guides. The Abbey was spectacular - one of the best we have seen. The markets were interesting, the best being the one in Vienna. The most memorable event was when the guide sang 'Silent Night' in German in Passau when it was snowing. Would we do another Avalon Cruise? In a heartbeat! Would we recommend Avalon Cruises? Without hesitation! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to experience the European Christmas markets. I love the charm and magic of Christmas decorations and the stores and restaurant displays did not disappoint. Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Prague for two days prior to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the European Christmas markets. I love the charm and magic of Christmas decorations and the stores and restaurant displays did not disappoint. Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Prague for two days prior to embarkation to allow us to adjust to the time change/travel fatigue. We stayed at the same hotel as others doing the full three day pre-cruise Prague package. This was helpful for the bus ride to Nuremberg, the port of embarkation. Upon check-in at the hotel I was directed to the table where the cruise director, Kata, greeted us. We did our own thing in Prague and enjoyed our time there. Shore Excursions: The scheduled excursions always include professional tour guides arranged by Amawaterways and all were all very knowledgeable. Each stateroom has two "receivers" for you to hear the tour guides speak on the tours. These receivers were of better quality than those I have used on other European tours. If your itinerary has you visiting Christmas markets on a weekend - be ready for large crowds. We chose several food/drink focused excursion options not associated with Christmas markets and were very pleased. One afternoon I took the gingerbread cookie decorating class. The cookies were baked by the staff and we were provided icing to decorate. One day we opted to stay on the ship while it changed ports, rather than taking a bus ride to a castle. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. Those who opted for the castle tour were also pleased with their selection. We found we enjoyed the smaller cities and markets the most, with Regensberg our favorite. We had snow flurries one day in Melk - which added to the charm and Christmas spirit. Food: The first night's dinner was excellent. Unfortunately, the other meals were not as special. I attribute this to trying to feed 150-160 people at the same time. If you are not interested in the main courses being offered, there is always a beef, chicken and vegetarian option to choose from. You will never go hungry. Entertainment: We are not big on on-board entertainment, but found the violin players to be really enjoyable. We had the option of adding a Chechen-themed dinner and dancing entertainment in Prague but chose not to based on personal preference and prior experiences. Currency: We had three currencies to deal with on the cruise. Prior to the trip we went to a local currency exchange and got Korunas, Euros and Forints in amounts we thought we would spend in those locations. We did have some money left over to exchange upon our return, but found it very convenient to have local currencies at hand. Packing: The on-board laundry service which was around $15 Euros for five shirts, five pairs of underwear, a couple pairs of socks and two pairs of jeans. Next time we will pack less and do laundry more. Security: The Christmas markets in large cities always had a police presence in and around the market. The more crowded the market, the more likely for theft. No one we knew had anything stolen, but one couple felt their backpack being unzipped in Budapest and were able to turn and stop the thief. Also, be aware of bike lanes and don't wander into them. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. I would recommend this cruise and the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had previously been on another river cruise with a different company and wanted to try Avalon Waterways to compare. Avalon far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend using them. We enjoyed the ship, our cabin, the food, ... Read More
I had previously been on another river cruise with a different company and wanted to try Avalon Waterways to compare. Avalon far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend using them. We enjoyed the ship, our cabin, the food, amazing friendly staff (cruise director Valentin was the best, with his extensive knowledge and wicked humor, as was Melinda our cabin person who went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and at home) and the ports and shore excursions. We especially enjoyed all the Christmas markets, but Vienna was my favorite. The charm of the city was right up my alley and the symphony excursion was one to remember forever. We also thoroughly enjoyed the school excursion which, I was told, was a trial for future cruises. I would say YES to keeping this as part of your itinerary! This was my last overseas vacation and definitely one of the best experiences. Thank you, Avalon Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
People were generally friendly and staff was first rate.. service and hospitality! I met many international travelers! Interesting discussions and interactions! Guided tours were exceptional... choices allowed for interests as well ... Read More
People were generally friendly and staff was first rate.. service and hospitality! I met many international travelers! Interesting discussions and interactions! Guided tours were exceptional... choices allowed for interests as well as level of activity. Sometimes exiting and returning to boat were challenging as double parked boats made exiting long; lus sometimes ramps etc were a bit slippery. Just be mindful of what you are doing. Staff is nearby just in case. Dining allowed for various tastes, choices, and drinks for dinner and lunch! Choice of "light lunch" in another area is worthwhile after you get inundated with too much food! The "invited" dinners at Portabello and Table la Rive were very good... especially the wine pairings. But I think one per cruise is ok, Two seemed redundant. Would prefer Table la Rive. Meals seemed too similar. And make sure you get a massage on board! She is fantastic! And anyone with sinus issues... use the Salt Room!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were intrigued by the Christmas Markets and seeing multiple countries. This cruise did not dissapoint. Everything was top notch. The excursions were interesting, the lounges were cozy and provided games to onboard entertainment, food ... Read More
We were intrigued by the Christmas Markets and seeing multiple countries. This cruise did not dissapoint. Everything was top notch. The excursions were interesting, the lounges were cozy and provided games to onboard entertainment, food was good- lots of choices. We were kept informed of all activities on a daily basis. The staff was over the top friendly. The rooms were tidied twice a day. Everything went off without a hitch. We did miss the Christmas market in Nuremberg as it was actually opening the next day, but to make up for it, we were refunded our fee to Salzburg. Our cruise was a mix of ages, from older teens to seniors, and the ship was very accommodating. We would definitely like to do another cruise with Avalon at some point. We had a nice overview of all the cities we stopped in, and will definitely go back to some of the cities to spend more time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four ... Read More
I am willing to pay for a true luxury experience and that is what I thought I would get with Viking River but this is definitely not luxury, maybe 4 star for accommodations and 3.5 for food. Using an analogy to hotels, let's say Four Seasons/Mandarin Oriental/Conrad/Montage, etc. are at a top level 5 (which Viking River most certainly is not), Viking River is akin to a good Hilton. I splurged, I really wanted the luxury experience. So I paid extra for the verandah suite. Accommodations were nice especially for a "cruise". Spacious, clean and modern facilities (including a walk in shower with heated floors, an appreciated touch during the cold German nights). HOWEVER the food and service is definitely not luxury. Breakfast/lunch/dinner items are extremely generic and usually bland (to accommodate the tastes of the elderly who frequent these cruises). I ended up skipping dinner altogether most times and just having a protein drink in my room. For fitness buffs like myself, there is no gym by the way on these small river cruise ships which was a complete bummer. Similarly, the SERVICE was not luxury. The wait-staff are salt of the earth nice people who do a good job, but the level of deference and "invisible" service that you get at true luxury properties are not found here. Instead it seems the staff, particularly in the restaurant, are instructed to be outgoing and garrulous which is tiresome for me on a trip that is supposed to be relaxing. What really pissed me off is that I spent an extra thousand - on top of the premium price - on "optional" excursions which were a COMPLETE RIPOFF. For example, the Optional day trip to Munich, costing me an extra $279 PER PERSON, was just an hour and half drive on the bus, a pit stop at the FREE BMW headquarters, a walk around town (not even going inside to any of the multitude of museums), a pre-set rather cheap meal and then a ride back to the ship. THAT WAS AN EXTRA $300. Complete rip-off, it was literally a $40 car ride with a mediocre guide. All in all, if you love to go on cruises, this is probably one of the better ones but if you want true luxury - which I really really need for my VACATIONS - I will not be going on Viking again. OOOOHHHH how can I forget? The sleep issue. There was a constant clanging in the walls in what I was later told by the engineer as emanating from the hot water pipes. This clanging was LOUD, traveled all around the walls of my suite and CONSTANT. As in every 20 seconds 24/7. The captain came in, acknowledged the problem and offered ear-plugs. He said that this was just a built-in problem with the ship and the rooms...the hot water pipes are behind the walls of the small cruise ship and that when you cruise, you have to expect noises from the ship. I think that is UNACCEPTABLE for an experience labeled as "luxury" by the company. Getting good sleep is fundamental to a vacation and I did not get it here. AT THE VERY LEAST, the company should disclose this issue UP FRONT IN ITS ADVERTISING. Of course it does not. All in all, I am not impressed by the company and its lack of transparency and its cost-cutting measures that really do not make this a true luxury experience (for example, the coffee machines SUCK, do NOT offer decaf and the teas are just teabags that tasted gross...we're in Europe for crying out loud, premium teas are cheap and plentiful. By the way, WIFI is spotty and slow, you cannot stream movies which is UNACCEPTABLE these days especially if you don't offer other things to do on the ship like a gym, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise ... Read More
Background Information: This was my 68 cruise cruising on 13 different cruise lines that include Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney, Costa, Cunard, Viking, MSC, and Celebrity. This was my first cruise on Viking. I am 48 years old. We cruised on Viking Gullveig doing the Romantic Danube Itinerary the beginning of November starting in Nurnberg, Germany and ending in Budapest, Hungary for 7 nights. Air: We booked our air through Viking and paid the extra money to pick our seats. I was glad we did because after we booked our cruise, we moved so we needed to change our airport and Viking allowed us to without penalty because it was before final payment. Hotel Info: We decided to fly to Europe early and spend 3 nights in Prague, Czech Republic. Viking put us up in Corinthia Hotel Prague. If I was to go back again, I would pick their other hotel option that was located in old downtown (even though it was more money) because this area was amazing and I loved walking around. Viking offered free shuttle service to and from downtown from the hotel. Prague: We did the Panoramic Prague tour that was complimentary with Viking and purchased the Privileged Access: Lobkowicz Palace tour. The Palace Tour was similar to touring a museum; however, it also included an amazing private classical concert for our group and a nice lunch in the Palace. Ship Info: The average age on Viking Gullveig was around 70 years old. The ship was extremely clean and the staff was friendly. Our cabin was a French Balcony. Our cabin location was at the very back of the ship, and I found it to be loud when we went through the locks (around 26 locks). I was impressed to find out that our bathroom floors were heated. Viking is a “well-oiled machine” especially when it comes to their excursions. Their tours show you the best of the best with excellent tour guides, and I love how they give you headsets so you can hear the guide. The guests on the cruise were very friendly and about 98% of them were from the US. I found there was less food variety in their dining room vs. a larger cruise line (probably because there are a lot less people). The one thing I really missed not having was a fitness center. You do not need to go through metal detectors when you walk on the ship (like other cruise lines); it is just like walking in and out of a hotel. Tours: I did all the included Viking tours and purchased two other optional tours. We did the Mozart & Strauss Concert in Vienna and the Schonbrunn Palace. I HIGHLY recommend both of those tours. My favorite tour was the Schonbrunn Palace Dress Code: The dress was casual (slacks or jeans). There were no formal nights. Most people dressed business causal during the dinners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because our preferred cruise line, Windstar, doesn’t have river cruises. We also enjoy Tauck, but an AmEx agent convinced me AMA has the best river cruises. We are right now on the last two days of the Rivers and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our preferred cruise line, Windstar, doesn’t have river cruises. We also enjoy Tauck, but an AmEx agent convinced me AMA has the best river cruises. We are right now on the last two days of the Rivers and Castles cruise. The sites have been amazing- I can’t imagine a better itinerary. But a cruise is more than just sites. It is also the means of transportation, the food, the service and the general social aspect of the whole trip. First- I want to tell you not to bother paying an up charge for a balcony. Second and third floors all have large sliding windows. Our room and bath are very small, which is ok but not great. The bed is ok comfortable. The sheets and towels are very nice and the young woman who cares for our room is great. The excursions are great. But, the dining room and food are the pits- not quite as bad as school cafeteria, but almost. The carpet in the dining room is really dirty. The first night the servers were dropping and breaking things constantly. It was a loud, crazy, messy scene. Some of the food is above average, but most of it is NOT good. The servers are in such a hurry they throw food in front of you and start removing things before you have time to eat. They scrape plates and stack dirty dishes in front of guests like a cheap diner. Before dinner is even over they clear food out and start making up tables around you for the next day. It is tea time right now For the third day in a row, the cake that was set out is frozen solid. I broke into a cupcake that was so dry it was inedible. I like the staff, although, because they are mostly Slavic, they are not very friendly or have any sense of humor. Yes, I know they work hard for long hours. I hope management pays well. And we tip generously. But, we PAY for this trip and should receive gracious services. Anyway, my advice is- use ama for a great itinerary, not a magnificent journey. We have been spoiled by getting all the best from Windstar. I have photos but am unable to add them from my phone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Enjoyed the very experience guides at each stop. The guides helped you understand the history and customs of each stop. Many of the guides shared personal asides about their lives and their families. Great having some free time to explore ... Read More
Enjoyed the very experience guides at each stop. The guides helped you understand the history and customs of each stop. Many of the guides shared personal asides about their lives and their families. Great having some free time to explore an shop on our own. Dining area very noisy due to low ceiling. Better sound proofing would help. The onboard entertainment was of excellent quality. The wait staff was very efficient and personable. Our cabin was of a good size, not cramped. We greatly enjoyed sitting by the panoramic window viewing the landscape as we cruised past. We found the food to be varied and of excellent quality. We especially enjoyed the chefs recommendation menu which usually featured dishes from the local area where we were moored. Our cruise director, Micheal was exceptional. He kept us well informed as to the daily activities. Would definitely cruise with EMERALD WATERWAYS again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had really enjoyed our Emerald Duoro cruise and wanted to explore the Danube countries. Although we found that we are less interested in the culture and language of this part of Europe we cannot fault Emerald. The staff all did a ... Read More
We had really enjoyed our Emerald Duoro cruise and wanted to explore the Danube countries. Although we found that we are less interested in the culture and language of this part of Europe we cannot fault Emerald. The staff all did a great job and the whole thing was very well organised and enjoyable. The cabin was spotless and although small was well designed with lots of storage. Comfortable beds. Food was very good and varied. The passengers were mainly American or British, with some Canadians and Ausies. A noisy large party of Brits spoilt the enjoyment of the entertainment as they felt the need to talk very loudly and show each other their 'phones throughout. Perhaps some way of screening off part of the bar area, separating those who want to listen to their own voices rather than the entertainment would be a good idea, with an announcement or sign that made it clear which area was for entertainment. The noise in the bar and dining area was deafening at times and some more soft furnishings or screens would make for a more pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement following 30 years in the London Fire Service. The previous reviews, itinerary and price was the main factor in choosing this particular river cruise.The service we received from start to finish was first class all the way. We chose a standard cabin with the small full width window this being as a result of reviews commenting on the large floor to ceiling windows allowing full vision into the cabin when parked alongside other river cruise boats , which did occur on 4 port stops . We figured a full large window was not required as we would be out of the cabin most of the time on the sun deck or in the lounge which we were !! All of the staff on board were excellent this made the cruise a 5 star floating hotel . The food was outstanding , with the menu reflecting the ports of call . All the excursions were included in the price which were accompanied by a qualified tour guide. The high light for us was the Vienna Orchestral music evening located at the Vienna school of music , absolutely beautiful evening with two opera singers during the event , a “must” excursion don’t miss it ! . Last port of call was Budapest , the tour being split via coach and walking a beautiful city , the boat moored opposite there Houses of Parliament, illuminated at night directly across the river, amazing photo opportunity puts the UK houses of parliament to shame . A truly great river cruise on the river Danube with a great cruise company, well done Emerald waterways we will be back . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck ... Read More
Our friends invited us to join them on this cruise. Cruises are not exactly our style. The cruise ship was well laid out, clean and did not seem to be over crowded. Our favorite part of the cruise was sitting on the upper deck watching the countryside go by. Since we did most of our traveling at night, the day time cruising was not as frequent as we would have liked. The crew and in particular the program director did an amazing job of keeping the events and shore excursions on schedule even though there were a couple delays on the river and in the canals. The shore excursions were what we expected, a bus ride and a group tour around the tourist attraction. It was generally crowed and somewhat rushed. There was usually enough time to go out exploring on our own which was really great. If you like beer, this tour is fantastic as there are many smaller breweries to visit. The food on board was excellent, each meal was arranged around the culture or city that the ship was at. Trying the different cuisines was an experience in itself. We purchased the premium liquor package which was worth it, you get a better selection of wines and top shelf liquor. The only bad part of the trip was the air travel, we got booked on American Airlines and had trouble at just about every section. Luckily we planned on getting to Prague early, we got the three day extension, and planned an extra day for travel going home. We needed it due to all the delays. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went ... Read More
Emerald had a 4.5 rating and lived up to that. Coming and going went without a hitch. We had to switch boats half way through the trip due to water levels being too low and it went very smoothly. We packed our bags for the morning, went off on a bus tour and when we arrived at the Skye boat to find our luggage in the same room number we had vacated. We were greeted warmly with a glass of champagne and a whole new crew except for Patricia, the cruise organizer and Brett the entertainment person. Both boats provided great friendly service and food. Entertainment was quite good. Every need was looked after. Excursions were very good and the hired tour guides were excellent. We didn't feel over stimulated and had enough time to relax and enjoy time on board. The views from the boat were phenomenal and we took a lot of great photos. If money is not an issue we would assuredly go again. It was our trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube ... Read More
The grossly inaccurate advertising. No warning of problems with the water level until it was too late cancel. Overstated quality of rooms and food. Rooms were tiny and food mediocre. Limited selection of both. Busing through the Danube might be a better title for the trip. Changing boats was inconvenient and took time away from seeing the cities we really went to see. The local guides were good and the staff tried their best. I would never recommend the Viking Cruises to anyone. I would not go even if someone else paid. When you look ahead at what you would enjoy doing you should cross this off your list. The cities we did see were well worth visiting. I strongly recommend flying to a starting point and the using the excellent European rail system and work to schedule well placed hotels. Tourism advice from knowledgeable experienced experts will help plan a great trip to the wonderful cities of Europe without the struggle of Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We embarked at Budapest onto the Viking La Var. From the moment we were met at the airport, in Budapest, until we alighted at Nuremberg the Viking crews saw to every fine detail. Accommodation was perfect as was the service on ... Read More
We embarked at Budapest onto the Viking La Var. From the moment we were met at the airport, in Budapest, until we alighted at Nuremberg the Viking crews saw to every fine detail. Accommodation was perfect as was the service on & off board. George, the entertainments & events manager was outstanding, and I am sure the boat could not run without him. All the tours, free and paid for, were arranged down to last detail, with amazing tour guides, who were very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. Food was excellent with a choice of 3 menus for lunch & dinner... a regular, a local & a Chef's menu... we were spoilt for choice. Service at the table was faultless, with attentive, helpful, friendly waiters. All in all a very pleasant, interesting, historic trip Would definitely travel with Viking again and would recommend it to future travellers for a really nice experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Words cannot describe the memorable Danube river cruise we enjoyed last September. The entire Scenic Amber team became our family in short order. We were shocked and delighted when Nemanyia, our cruise director, knew our names within the ... Read More
Words cannot describe the memorable Danube river cruise we enjoyed last September. The entire Scenic Amber team became our family in short order. We were shocked and delighted when Nemanyia, our cruise director, knew our names within the first 24 hours. From day one until our cruise termination in Budapest was an experience we have not stopped raving about. Alex, Alec, Zarko, Octavian, JJ, Maritza, Nemanyia, Captain John, and Salvatore Broccoli; our fantastic and adorable 25 year old master chef, made us feel at home and all contributed to our vacation memories. Excursions were all remarkable, well-organized, timely, and our local guides were simply outstanding. We cannot say enough about the quality, variety, presentation, taste, portion size, of every meal on board. Nightly wine selections were spectacular also. As our cruise drew to a close, my sisters, brothers-in-law, my husband, and I were quite sad that our amazing Scenic adventure was coming to an end. Thank you, thank you, thank you for blessing us with the family trip of a lifetime. We are beginning to plan our next Scenic cruise, so watch out!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Fantastic cruise and the crew made it! Three rivers visited with the Moselle the prettiest. Crew were magnificent and helpful at all times. Everything ran like clockwork and nothing was too much trouble. Cruise director and Entertainment ... Read More
Fantastic cruise and the crew made it! Three rivers visited with the Moselle the prettiest. Crew were magnificent and helpful at all times. Everything ran like clockwork and nothing was too much trouble. Cruise director and Entertainment director plus all the hospitality support were brilliant. Children are not allowed on ship, which is brilliant. Excursions well organised. Sometimes you need more free time to look around. Dining - lots to eat and many options. The premier drinks package is well recommended. Entertainment must be difficult to provide across all the age groups. However we found the music to be a bit dated, but this was brought forward a bit after a request! Emerald Marketing needs to reach out to a wider age group as this cruise suits all ages but the perception is that it is for the older age group only. Only downsides were the airport pickup and drop offs which seemed disorganised. Frankfurt airport is awful and there were huge queues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Six of us chose this cruise based on travel agent recommendation and the final day/night would be in Bernkastel during the wine festival. So a bit disappointed that we moored 40 miles away instead. Bus was arranged for us so not total ... Read More
Six of us chose this cruise based on travel agent recommendation and the final day/night would be in Bernkastel during the wine festival. So a bit disappointed that we moored 40 miles away instead. Bus was arranged for us so not total disaster and well managed by Emerald. We have done a few river cruises and this was the best. Accommodation was very good and clever balcony / window in cabin gave a lot of space. Food was same standard as other river cruises inc Viking and Riviera although they did seem to avoid strong flavours. Included wine with dinner was very good and enough of it! Dining room a bit noisy. The swimming pool was a surprise hit! I expected a large bath, but it was vastly better and more useful than that, especially with the roof open and sun shining in the 30deg heat. Bicycles were very handy too. Entertainment was lively enough, but during the day sadly constant muzak was playing in the lounge which I thought had disappeared in the 70's. No quiet area. Excursions were very good with wine tastings and visits well organised. Cruise director and activity manager worked very well together. Lots of fun organised (and us a bit disorganised!). As mentioned earlier only bad bit was Frankfurt airport transfers. The airport was crowded, disorganised, couldn't sit together on plane and we sat down in security on the floor as the delay was so long. One to avoid! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having retired in 2018, my wife and I were looking for a quality river cruise experience with an established river cruise line. We conducted extensive research and spoke to friends about their experience. We eventually settled on Emerald ... Read More
Having retired in 2018, my wife and I were looking for a quality river cruise experience with an established river cruise line. We conducted extensive research and spoke to friends about their experience. We eventually settled on Emerald and booked with them in January 2018 on the Danube Delights cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. We spent 5 days in Nuremberg prior to the cruise and so, we were responsible for arranging our own transportation to the ship docking site which we understood. We understood that but encountered some difficulty in contacting Emerald and getting the necessary information. When we initially called Emerald at the number they provided on the first morning of the cruise (Saturday, August 24), the young lady we spoke with informed us the cruise did not depart until the following day. Our itinerary clearly indicated the cruise started on Saturday. I implored her to verify that and call us back. After a half hour without a callback, I called again and the young lady confirmed that the cruise started on Saturday, as we had thought, gave me the ship phone number, and the docking location (Europakai 10) located about 5.4 miles from the hotel. The taxi ride to the ship cost about 20 Euros which was quite reasonable. Upon arrival, we were promptly greeted by a friendly staff member who insisted on getting our luggage from the taxi, advised us he would assure it was delivered to our room, and directed us to the lounge where we could relax and have a drink. My cousin who lives in Nuremberg planned to see us off on the cruise and I asked the activity director if she and her boyfriend could join us in the lounge. He responded that was certainly not a problem but they would need to disembark at least 30 minutes before we set sail. The entire boarding process was easy and effortless and the crew we encountered all made us feel welcomed. The entire cruise was absolutely splendid with great accommodations, outstanding food, interesting tours, awesome staff and wonderful cultural events provided on board. The staff were friendly, professional, efficient and hard working. Our cabin was attended to twice a day and always in perfect order. The food either met or exceeded our expectations and we tend to be discerning diners who are accustomed to occasional dining at top-Zagat rated restaurants. The only complaint was that on two evenings, our main course arrived at our table after 9:00 pm and at 9:30 pm, much too late. I brought this to the attention of the restaurant manager and advised him we had no problem being served last, but the main course needed to be on the table before 8:00 pm. The tour guides were energetic, knowledgeable, and provided outstanding tours of the towns and historic sites we visited. Their English speaking skills were impeccable and they gladly answered any and all questions. On the last morning of the cruise, we were effortlessly and efficiently transported to Budapest International for our Lufthansa flight back to Los Angeles. Because of the lengthy flight time between Los Angeles and Munich (arrival)/Budapest (departure), we opted to pay an additional $2,200 ($1,100 per person) to upgrade to Business Class. It was well worth the money and we arrived in Munich well-rested and eager to begin our travels. Lufthansa business class seats recline to a completely horizontal position allowing one to nap/sleep. Overall, our experience traveling with Emerald Waterways was absolutely delightful and we look forward to future trips exploring France, the Netherlands, and Germany again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My first river cruise....and it could not have been more perfect. The boat and our accommodations were wonderful. The food was superb! Service and staff were top notch. There were plenty of activities if you wanted to be involved, as ... Read More
My first river cruise....and it could not have been more perfect. The boat and our accommodations were wonderful. The food was superb! Service and staff were top notch. There were plenty of activities if you wanted to be involved, as well as a nice variety. Our shore excursions were fabulous, and each and every guide was better than the last one! The bathroom could use more hooks, and another place for hanging a towel, but other than that, everything was better than we anticipated! Highly recommend Emerald for your next cruise! Our flight from the USA arrived mid-morning. Even though we were so early, we were greeted at the airport and immediately taken to the boat. The cruise director, Michael, welcomed us, and invited us to relax in the lounge. Lunch and drinks were not expected, but very welcome after a very long travel. We were treated like royalty from start to finish. Note: We were scheduled to be on the Emerald Dawn, but the boat was changed to Emerald Star. It is my understanding the boats are nearly identical. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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