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JRice

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    93
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About JRice

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Coppell, Tx
  • Interests
    Travel, cooking, dining, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Carribbean

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  1. JRice

    Emerald.

    We found the Liberte to be very comfortable. It was a little shorter than the Dawn and held about 40 fewer passengers. The decor was very similar to the Dawn. Even though you can bring you own beer or wine it is not necessary because both are included with lunch and dinner. You can buy both by the drink or purchase an all you can drink beer and wine package for about 11 Euro per day. Included wines change almost daily - the included beer is Bitburger draft. Dress is casual ... nice jeans or casual slacks and collared shirt or V-neck sweater will be appropriate for dinner. As others have mentioned, layering clothes is optimal with a light jacket being the heaviest outerwear needed. Enjoy your trip.
  2. JRice

    Emerald.

    Amanda Answers to some of your questions 1. Red and white wine and draft beer are served while seated during lunch and dinner. You can take a glass with you when you leave the dining room. 2. No problem bringing your own on board. 3. We stayed at the Prestige Hotel in Budapest after our cruise - it is close to many walkable tourist spots. I highly recommend pre-purchasing tickets to visit the Hungarian Parliament building which is within walking distance of the Prestige. It is an amazing building - it gives the Vatican a run for its money. 4. Emerald does not provide transfers unless you use their hotels. But, taxi's and car services are not expensive. Tips- 1. Emerald has on board laundry wash, dry, fold services. I forgot what we paid, about 15 Euro per bag. Bags were the standard size found in hotels. 2. The only paid tour we took was to Chesky Krumlov - it was well worth it. 3. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Following is a copy of the review I wrote when we returned in 2017. We liked the cruise so much we took the Rhone River Arles to Lyon cruise in May. Also awesome. Have fun. This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises because we wanted to visit central Europe and to experience the difference of a river cruise. The cruise was 14 nights from Amsterdam to Budapest. We flew to Amsterdam to tour for 2 days prior to the cruise and I would recommend others to arrive at the embarkation city a few days in advance to adjust to jet lag as well as to enjoy the city. We chose Emerald because of their full itinerary. The embarkation process was as easy as could be, it took no more then 3 minutes to get our room keys. We choose Emerald because their ships are at most 2 years old, they visited all the towns we wanted to see, their pricing was significantly less than their competitors, they had an included excursion at every port, all staff gratuities were included as well as airport or hotel transfers. The ship's interior was very contemporary, lots of glass and chrome decor and wrap around windows in the lounge and dining room making it easy to have an uninterrupted view of the scenery. Our cabin was well designed with plenty of storage in the cabin and bathroom. The exterior wall was all glass to maximize viewing whereby you could lower the top half of the glass wall when weather permitted. Dining: Breakfast was always a large, varied buffet accompanied with made to order eggs and omelets. There was every sort of cereal, yogurt, deli meats and cheeses, breakfast meats and baked goods. Everything was of high quality and tasty. Lunch was also always a large, varied buffet and once again everything was of high quality and very tasty. Many lunch items were regionally oriented. Dinner was sit down served by waiters with a different menu every day and comprised of a choice of appetizers, a delicious soup of the day, choice of 3 entrees and 2 desserts. Overall the dinners were more creative than found on ocean cruise ships and it was plated with an artist's eye for color and flair. Included daily excursions were conducted by professional local guides that spoke perfect English, were well worth the time and were informative. On board extra activities included local talent and demonstrations - ie. a glass blower, an Ompha band, zither player, dancers, etc. Our cruise director Jana was a GEM! She was as pleasant as could be and arranged for a MD to come aboard to treat a few of us for colds. She even went to the pharmacy in port to pick up the prescriptions the MD ordered. NOW, that is service! The rest of the staff did their best to please the passengers. We can strongly recommend Emerald to anyone who want to experience a river cruise. Jerome Giambalvo jerrygiam@verizon.net
  3. I alway bring an outlet multiplier with me - just plug it into the adapter and you have extra outlets. Safe travels
  4. We into Marseille for an Emerald River cruise tour that began in Arles. We stayed at the Best Western Marseille Airport for 2 nights prior to the cruise. It is no more than 1 mile from the terminals and they have a free shuttle to and from the airport. Price was reasonable, staff was friendly and their dining room was perfect - we had breakfast 2 mornings, 1 lunch and two dinners. Limited menu but food was good and also reasonably priced. Rooms were on the smaller size, but well decorated. You can't go wrong. Have a great trip.
  5. There is also a European one next to the bed on both the Emerald Dawn and the Liberte.
  6. That book and map were awesome. I looked high and low on Amazon before our trip in 2017 and could not find anything near what Emerald supplied. I have found that Emerald does a poor job promoting themselves. Their web site for booked passengers is very weak. Nothing like a major Ocean cruise line. I even suggested to our cruise director that Emerald should sell them through Amazon . I am sure there are plenty of other travelers like myself who want to know where I am going before i get there and to track where I am once I get there. Jerry
  7. Yes. They have 3 levels. I don't recall the names but The easiest is perfect for those with any limiting abilities such as canes, walkers, aches, short of breath. The middle group is not at all stressful and was too slow for us. The Active group was a moderate pace which anyone in decent health in our 60'ish age bracket can handle. The slower groups obviously do not get to see as much because they do not cover the same distance. As a courtesy to fellow walkers guests were encouraged not to over estimate their abilities because the group can only go at the speed of the slowest walker. There are always many shops, cafes and restaurants and safe places available as a waiting place in the event that one must let the group go ahead. Just notify the guide of any issues and they will be glad to help. If a pace is too slow you may be able to join the faster group - if not select the faster group the next tour. Havr a good trip. Jerry
  8. Keokukjoe - 2017 Emerald cruise was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises. It was a very different but very enjoyable experience - ie. no casino, no Broadway type shows, not 3500 passengers, only a few steps from cabin to dining room, etc. We and the couple that joined us on the cruise have booked another one with Emerald this May on the Rhone River in France. Following is a copy of the review that I wrote and posted regarding the cruise. Enjoy yourself. If you would like to contact me directly my email is jerrygiam@verizon.net. This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises because we wanted to visit central Europe and to experience the difference of a river cruise. The cruise was 14 nights from Amsterdam to Budapest. We flew to Amsterdam to tour for 2 days prior to the cruise and I would recommend others to arrive at the embarkation city a few days in advance to adjust to jet lag as well as to enjoy the city. We chose Emerald because of their full itinerary. The embarkation process was as easy as could be, it took no more then 3 minutes to get our room keys. We choose Emerald because their ships are at most 2 years old, they visited all the towns we wanted to see, their pricing was significantly less than their competitors, they had an included excursion at every port, all staff gratuities were included as well as airport or hotel transfers. The ship's interior was very contemporary, lots of glass and chrome decor and wrap around windows in the lounge and dining room making it easy to have an uninterrupted view of the scenery. Our cabin was well designed with plenty of storage in the cabin and bathroom. The exterior wall was all glass to maximize viewing whereby you could lower the top half of the glass wall when weather permitted. Dining: Breakfast was always a large, varied buffet accompanied with made to order eggs and omelets. There was every sort of cereal, yogurt, deli meats and cheeses, breakfast meats and baked goods. Everything was of high quality and tasty. Lunch was also always a large, varied buffet and once again everything was of high quality and very tasty. Many lunch items were regionally oriented. Dinner was sit down served by waiters with a different menu every day and comprised of a choice of appetizers, a delicious soup of the day, choice of 3 entrees and 2 desserts. Overall the dinners were more creative than found on ocean cruise ships and it was plated with an artist's eye for color and flair. Included daily excursions were conducted by professional local guides that spoke perfect English, were well worth the time and were informative. On board extra activities included local talent and demonstrations - ie. a glass blower, an Ompha band, zither player, dancers, etc. Our cruise director Jana was a GEM! She was as pleasant as could be and arranged for a MD to come aboard to treat a few of us for colds. She even went to the pharmacy in port to pick up the prescriptions the MD ordered. NOW, that is service! The rest of the staff did their best to please the passengers. We can strongly recommend Emerald to anyone who want to experience a river cruise. Jerome Giambalvo jerrygiam@verizon.net
  9. Afloat - good decision to stay in Prague and Budapest prior to and after the cruise. We visited both cities after a cruise and took the train between them (you will not have to do that). Not being the most adventurous traveler we knew we wanted some assistance in both cities. The cruise lines pre and post programs are usually way over priced. I used GoRealEurope.com. They are easy to work with - go to their web site, give them your preferences regarding what you would like to see, the * ratings on the hotel you would like etc, and they will design a custom, idiot proof itinerary for you. They give you literally step-by-step instructions on how to get from your hotel to point A to point B to point C and back to your hotel. They even pre purchase public transportation tickets for delivery to your hotel and give you instructions on what bus, tram, etc. to take. They will also pre book you with local certified tour guides. They make their money on commissions from hotels, etc. so you can't book your own. We were VERY satisfied with their services. IMPORTANT - be sure to pre-book timed reserved entry tickets to the Parliament in Budapest - it is an amazing building. Tour tickets can not be guaranteed if you just walk up. Also, for a fun day or 1/2 day, go to one of the baths in Budapest - GoRealEurope can get you there too. We also used them for our hotel, our tour guides, etc. in Prague. Another gorgeous city.
  10. We cruised with Emerald in 2017 on the same itinerary that you will be on. I can't help with question #1 because we did not use the airport to ship transfer - we were in Amsterdam for 3 nights prior to the cruise and paid for a car service to our hotel. However - I do have a suggestion. The cruise leaves from very near the train station. There is a Hilton Double Tree right there and you can see the ship from the hotel. There is PLENTY to do within walking distance of the hotel ... check some of the travel sites for things to do in Amsterdam ... Take a car service from the airport to the Double Tree and enjoy the rest of your day and part of the next. We were allowed to board about noon - you can then walk back across the street into the tourist area. Emerald provided an excursion in AMS - 1 hour canal boat ride and one hour walking tour the morning after we boarded. Check the details on your itinerary. Have fun. I think a hop on hop off bus stops near the ship.
  11. JRice

    Emerald.

    Lene - we did the Emerald Amsterdam to Budapest trip in 2017 and will do their Rhone River cruise this year. I agree that their web site is lacking but they made up for it when we boarded the ship. They gave us a thick, 200-250 page paperback with detailed info on each town and village on the route. They also provided a lengthy pull out map too. I was happy to receive it because similar maps were not available in US bookstores or Amazon. Don't worry about booking the extra excursions .... you can do so on board. We only took the one to Chesky Krumlov .... it was well worth the cost. Each evening the Cruise Director gave us a great overview of the next day's port(s). Have a good trip. Jerry
  12. Wangy26 - Regarding your question on aTango show/dinner. Conde Nast Traveler had an article in May of this year that gave 10 suggestions for all types of tango club, show, lesson options. You can Google it. My wife and I liked the descriptions of a few of them and will probably choose Cafe de los Angelitos when we are in BA in Dec. Have fun and safe travels.
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