Sail Date: October 2018
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met ... Read More
We have travelled with Uniworld on other cruises and had found them very good. The Douro Valley was on our 'must do' list. Both the cruise and the ship exceeded expectations. Although the usual things ( mentioned below) met expectations it was the attitude of the staff on board and on arranged tours that made the trip very special. The staff were more than just friendly and helpful - they were an integral part of the experience. Their humour alone was worth the trip. Shore excursions were effortless and enjoyable, the scenery along the way was magnificant. Were held a professional conference on board for 80 delegates and although the ship was not designed for conferencing the ships crew did everything necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our conference including the rearranging of furniture and the set up of conference facilities daily, rescheduling tours, meals and events to accommodate conference sessions. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We had gone back and forth on this itinerary for years before finally deciding to try it and chose a wine theme cruise on AMA for our first trip to Portugal. We knew many of the differences going in: Smaller ship, fewer passengers, lots ... Read More
We had gone back and forth on this itinerary for years before finally deciding to try it and chose a wine theme cruise on AMA for our first trip to Portugal. We knew many of the differences going in: Smaller ship, fewer passengers, lots of bus rides due to terrain, no night sailing. Upon embarkation we immediately noticed how much smaller the boat was; however, this was something we quickly grew used to. Our cabin, which had an outside balcony, was well appointed in typical AMA style. There was a ton of storage, beds were comfy, and it was definitely the quietest cabin we have ever had on a river boat, which we very much appreciated! Our CM was Marianna, whom we had met on a cruise a few years ago when she was aboard spending the new year with her husband, who is also an AMA CM. Marianna did a fantastic job and was warm, delightful and highly engaged with the passengers. She is definitely of the best we have ever had on AMA or any line. The entire crew was welcoming and warm and they knew our names by the second day. To a person, we enjoyed interacting with each and every one. The staff was much smaller than what we were used to, based on the smaller scale of the ship, but the service in the restaurant and bar was outstanding! The scenery on the Douro was magnificent and definitely the most beautiful of any we have experienced on the river. The river was very narrow in many areas and we understood right away why this river was not navigable at night. The winery hosting our trip was Wilson Creek and we totally enjoyed meeting the owners and their wine club members. Days when we were sailing there was always a tasting in the lounge and Mick Wilson made them fun and interactive. We have done 4 wine cruises with AMA so far and this was another winner. This is a cruise for wine lovers and those that enjoy lots of sailing time more than museums and exploring the local area. Most nights we were not docked anywhere close to a town where we could get out and about. We did miss that as we enjoy maximizing our time in port as much as possible. The fitness center was compact but did the job. I was there every morning and never saw another person. There was also a massage room and therapist available. Internet worked much of the time and the in cabin infotainment system had the usual selection. Many of the excursions did involve longer bus rides. The longest was to Salamanca, and we very much enjoyed that day and exploring this city. The other excursions often included a winery lunch and tasting and there was also a dinner off the boat one evening, which also involved a one hour ride in each direction. Porto was lively with people and we enjoyed walking the back streets and exploring this pretty port town. Food was good to very good aboard AmaVida. Breakfast and lunch had lots of choices, and dinner always offered several entree choices as well as their always available menu. Fish was always fresh and delicious, with the meat dishes being a bit less successful. We did miss the Chef's Table which we have enjoyed on all of our other AMA cruises. Wines poured were very good with a nice variety. Entertainment included flamenco, fado and the in house piano player had a huge personality and was the best we have ever had on a river cruise. Disco night was a hoot as was a version of Name that Tune that Marianna and Ricardo hosted one evening. The passengers had a great time! All in all, we were impressed with the AmaVida, the stunning scenery we enjoyed around every turn of the river and the excellent staff and crew aboard. We are glad we decided to experience the Douro and very pleased with the experience AMA provided. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Due to river conditions caused by heavy rain, the Hemming did not move. Corporate knew this when we were bussed to the boat and tried to complete the scheduled itinerary via busses. Hours each day on buses. A woman onboard was ill ... Read More
Due to river conditions caused by heavy rain, the Hemming did not move. Corporate knew this when we were bussed to the boat and tried to complete the scheduled itinerary via busses. Hours each day on buses. A woman onboard was ill and in the closed environment of the bus excursions many others including my wife became ill. We should have stayed in Lisbon and Viking could have conducted interesting local tours. One tour involved almost 8 hours on a bus to and from Salamanca Spain, for a 3 hour excursion. Instead we were placed on the Hemming in a remote, rural area and bussed everywhere. Then halfway thru the trip moved us to Porto, to a nice hotel but not in an interesting locale; again busing everyone to and from tours. This was our third River Cruise, and the 2nd where the ship never moved. First one was in 2013, Paris to Avignon. Neither a pleasant experience. Viking has to develop a Plan B. When there is a question that a ship may not cruise, the passengers should not be moved to the ship; 1. Until there is certainty that it will move; OR 2. if the ship is at least positioned in a city environment so walking to shops and attractions is possible during limited free time. Again this was our 3rd Viking Cruise. It's the 2nd where we never sailed. Poor logistics and very poor Corporate direction. Staff was great but they played the hand they were dealt. I cannot recommend Viking to anyone, especially with what we were offered in the form of compensation and the time limit to use it. One poor couple on our trip was given a free river cruise as compensation for their Viking Ocean ship recently breaking down. They chose this Portugal trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
I loved everything about this cruise. The food, people, sites. I felt very well taken care of. I generously felt that the crew was there for our enjoyment and anything they could do to make our trip wonderful was done. Christina was an ... Read More
I loved everything about this cruise. The food, people, sites. I felt very well taken care of. I generously felt that the crew was there for our enjoyment and anything they could do to make our trip wonderful was done. Christina was an amazing tour director. We enjoyed this trip so much we got home and immediately scheduled another one next fall. Thank you. My one ( and only one) suggestion is to shorten the dinner times. 1 1/2 -2 hours gets to be long after the first couple of days. But the food was excellent, and the staff hustled all the time. Lisbon is a city with a most special treat There are many cork items for your head to your feet. Purses and belts, earrings and shoes Many euros were spent, but then that's old news. We traveled to Sintra, what a site we did see Like buses, ferries, trains, how excited were we. When we got to the end of the line we were told We took the wrong train, we were back on the road. We dined at a monastery. What a dinner was cooked. The monks were delightful, with equally good looks as the guest staff we had on the vessel, you'll agree? They must have been twins, what else could it be? We saw cathedrals and churches, palaces and locks Miles of vineyards and roadways of rocks. Students in black capes that had stories to tell And guides like Christina who treated us so well. During the last day PeeWee Herman we did meet. He let us stomp grapes in our bare feet. The winery was built in 1832 For $1000 euros a liter he has just the wine for you. As we remember our time on the Douro we all say A big Thank You to Viking, now if we may A new motto for Viking, I'm sure you'll agree "We know where the wine is...follow me!" Read Less

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