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Mrs Clooney

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Just back from a double emerald river cruise. Radiance then Liberte-  happy for any questions. 

Loved the ships/ itineraries and staff

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On 10/21/2018 at 7:26 AM, Mrs Clooney said:

Just back from a double emerald river cruise. Radiance then Liberte-  happy for any questions. 

Loved the ships/ itineraries and staff

Hi, did you sail the Douro on Emerald Radiance, if so, can you say what you enjoyed most and least.  We are doing this cruise in July.

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Probably  Best to read my ships review on both of the ships. But I suppose the highlight points would be ,one the ship is beautiful with very clean minimalistic lines, very nice food that I didn’t have to cook, plenty of wine will be served with lunch and dinner, really lovely Portuguese  staff who are very friendly.

I have to say though that I thought the actual views from the boat would be a little boring but we were totally wrong. It was as good as ,if not slightly better than, the Danube traditional Budapest to Amsterdam cruise .  We enjoyed visiting the wineries even the museum that I thought would be boring and the day trip out to Salamanca. Plus we met some other guests from different countries that were just brilliant and made the trip so wonderful.

 The little pool on top of radiance was a shallow pool ,but perfect for just sitting in and watching Portugal and it’s beautiful wineries and homes and villages slip by..

Plus there was plenty of activities provided on the boat during the day ,some  being quite hilarious.

Enjoy your cruise I’m sure you will

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On 1/4/2019 at 10:36 PM, Mrs Clooney said:

Probably  Best to read my ships review on both of the ships. But I suppose the highlight points would be ,one the ship is beautiful with very clean minimalistic lines, very nice food that I didn’t have to cook, plenty of wine will be served with lunch and dinner, really lovely Portuguese  staff who are very friendly.

I have to say though that I thought the actual views from the boat would be a little boring but we were totally wrong. It was as good as ,if not slightly better than, the Danube traditional Budapest to Amsterdam cruise .  We enjoyed visiting the wineries even the museum that I thought would be boring and the day trip out to Salamanca. Plus we met some other guests from different countries that were just brilliant and made the trip so wonderful.

 The little pool on top of radiance was a shallow pool ,but perfect for just sitting in and watching Portugal and it’s beautiful wineries and homes and villages slip by..

Plus there was plenty of activities provided on the boat during the day ,some  being quite hilarious.

Enjoy your cruise I’m sure you will

Many thanks for replying, we are both looking forward to our Douro cruise.  We have heard lots of good things about the Douro.

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I have a cruise with Emerald, coming in 3 months.  It's our first river cruise, although we've cruised ocean cruises quite a lot.  One of the things that's so very different for me is the scant information available on the website.  There's a reference to pre-sailing documentation being sent to us.  About how far in advance would we receive it?  Also, for an ocean cruise we have access to online pre-booking of excursions.  Will we have any access to excursions online?  Will all that information arrive with the documentation?  

 

I do have a TA, but she's not getting the information quickly enough to suit me (gee, aren't I the only customer she has?  LOL).  I appreciate your willingness to answer questions!

 

Lene

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Hi Lene,

 from memory I think we got all of our paperwork and wonderful back packs from our travel agent about a month or three weeks out before the trip. I am pretty sure that I was able to look up the excursions on my  itinerary .  you know of course that the excursions are included but there are sometimes one or two extra that you can do and pay for. We never paid for any ,we just went on the ones that were provided and were extremely happy with those, and were very happy just to walk around the villages and towns ourselves after each excursion .

There must be somewhere online that you can look this up because I remember sending lots of messages to Emerald or Evergreen on their Facebook or messenger page. I too had lots of questions and basically harranged  these people to get all information,  and I have to say that they were very quick and kind in their response considering that I was bombarding them all the time. And I’m glad that I did because I got lots of extra information that I wanted and was amazed that so many of the people that I travelled with had no idea of where they were going, where we were staying  and what to expect. And even what the room looked like .

 ... so I think I said that we did the Portugal and the south of France trip in October, and if you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask me. I’m not sure which trip you are doing but if it’s the same as ours happy to give you any information that you want .

 

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Mrs. Clooney, you've given me just what I need!!  I hadn't thought of the FB angle!  No, our cruise itinerary is totally different from yours, so unfortunately I can't take advantage of your experience.  You're the best!  Thanks.

 

Lene

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Have done Amsterdam to Budapest, Budapest to Bucharest two years ago... but with Uniworld...

that too was excellent, luckily found a two for one deal!! They are very expensive but fully inclusive. 

Emerald was also except drinks only with meals. But just about everyday there was some activity and the often handed the wine around then. ( sometimes too much 😂😂

Honestly, the BEST holidays we’ve ever had!!! 

And if you have great people on board with you - makes all the difference... we have new lifelong friends now that we are traveling with again next year. 

Hope yours is wonderful 

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Did Amsterdam to Budapest last season.  As I recall you were able to book the extra cost excursions online but you had to look around a bit to find the spot.  I only booked one in advance but it ended up being less expensive on the ship.  The online booking was in US dollars and the ship booked in Euros.  The exchange rate made it cheaper on the ship and the cruise director arranged a refund for me.  They are very good at adding capacity from the ship if the need arises.  

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Hello- we did Budapest to Amsterdam in Sept 2018. With regard to the extra excursions, we were able to book on board at the

Cruise Directors Desk, just outside main dining room. Usually he had scheduled hours that he was there to help

Also, port maps available for the day, ship contact number cards available at the "Hotel" front desk, also spa bookings etc.

Documents and backpacks arrived about 3 weeks prior to trip.

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On ‎1‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 1:53 PM, lenetere said:

I have a cruise with Emerald, coming in 3 months.  It's our first river cruise, although we've cruised ocean cruises quite a lot.  One of the things that's so very different for me is the scant information available on the website.  There's a reference to pre-sailing documentation being sent to us.  About how far in advance would we receive it?  Also, for an ocean cruise we have access to online pre-booking of excursions.  Will we have any access to excursions online?  Will all that information arrive with the documentation?  

 

I do have a TA, but she's not getting the information quickly enough to suit me (gee, aren't I the only customer she has?  LOL).  I appreciate your willingness to answer questions!

 

Lene

Your info will arrive a few weeks in advance of your departure date.  Check the zippers, etc. on your backpack.  If they don't work, call for another one to be sent.  If you booked with a TA you documents  may go directly to them. 

 You already should have chosen the first couple of tours on the Emerald website.  Go to the Trip Personalizer section and input your booking number and fill in the information.

The first river cruise we went on, the TA did not do this for us and we only found out about when I called her and asked about booking tours.  Since then, we've directly booked our three other river cruises.   We got a great bargain on our 2019 Christmas market cruise with Emerald.  Given the nature of river cruising, we don't find that booking with a TA really added any value.

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Into sure if I’m in right area. I’m desperate for some feedback on a Emerald/Evergreen river cruise  Budapest to Bucharest

i have travelled 3 times with this company and we are looking to do the motorised yacht through the Dalmatian Coast then picking up the Eastern Europe tour.

i can’t find much info on people’s thoughts at all 

Thanks in advance 

sharon 😀

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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

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Hi Everyone

 

We are from Australia and just booked our first river cruise on Emerald Destiny Budapest to Amsterdam on 24 May 2020.

 

We're very excited and really keen for any tips re Emerald in general and pre and post cruise hotels.

 

Keen to know did anyone book the hotels through Emerald or did you find your own? If you do your own thing, are transfers included with Emerald?

 

Also re drinks onboard, after dinner can you take drinks from the dining table to the lounge area; are they strict with the cut off time for the free drinks with dinner? And can you bring your own duty free alcohol or wine from a port and drink it on the deck?

 

Thanks everyone for your help. Would love ideas for hotels too!

 

Cheers

 

Amanda

 

 

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Moo_cruiser, we are also doing our first river cruise in October, from Amsterdam to Basel with Scenic then doing our own thing by train and spending a further two weeks in Vienna and Budapest.

 

I obviously cannot give you any tips as we haven't been yet, but after a year of research it seems that most lines allow you to bring on your own wine and so on.  I think Emerald is Scenic's little brother.

 

As far as hotels go, we have been to Amsterdam before and loved it.  You will find that hotels are very, very expensive so you should book a cancellable rate asap.  We stayed at Banks Mansion last time and loved it, so much so that we have booked it again for three nights before our cruise.  Their rate includes breakfast and a free bar with wine, spirits and so on, so we really get our money's worth.

 

Generally you will get a cheaper deal booking things yourself, but you need to work out what Emerald are offering.  With Scenic, if we don't take their precruise, which is didn't, we don't get transfers.  Cabs are fairly cheap from Amsterdam airport to town though so that isn't a problem.  You can also get the train.

 

We haven't been to Budapest before but we are currently booked into the Budapest Marriott with a club lounge room which have stunning views.  We also have a reservation at the Sofitel Budapest, but I will cancel that and stick with the Marriott.

 

If you follow these forums, as well as others on Trip Advisor and so on you will get lots of information.

 

Have fun planning.

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:28 AM, Moo_Cruiser said:

Hi Everyone

 

We are from Australia and just booked our first river cruise on Emerald Destiny Budapest to Amsterdam on 24 May 2020.

 

We're very excited and really keen for any tips re Emerald in general and pre and post cruise hotels.

 

Keen to know did anyone book the hotels through Emerald or did you find your own? If you do your own thing, are transfers included with Emerald?

 

Also re drinks onboard, after dinner can you take drinks from the dining table to the lounge area; are they strict with the cut off time for the free drinks with dinner? And can you bring your own duty free alcohol or wine from a port and drink it on the deck?

 

Thanks everyone for your help. Would love ideas for hotels too!

 

Cheers

 

Amanda

 

 

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

 

 

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Hello,

We are on the mid-October Liberte sailing from Arles to Lyon. When I booked Emerald they were so new that there were few reviews. I am very happy with what I have read so far. Thank you for being willing to answer questions.

 

I was pleased to read that it is permissible to bring your our beer or wine onboard from the ports. Where there glasses in the cabin in order to drink any purchases?

 

My BIL was wondering how dressed he would need to be for dinner. Would decent jeans be considered acceptable? 

 

The weather is generally predicted to be in the upper 50's. Did you find the need for more than a light jacket? Were there umbrellas onboard in case on rain?

Maureen

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Hello Maureen

Such a beautiful cruise that Im sure you will love,yes nice and neat dressing is more than acceptable,my husband did not take any business type pants just neat pants and jeans,a nice top or shirt and your ready to party..

umbrellas are in your wardrobe but hopefully you won’t need them, even though I went in July and it was very warm I did take a lightweight jacket for the cooler nights when sitting on the deck.

next year I have booked 2 more river cruises with this company ,this will take me to Number 5 😂

 

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10 hours ago, mringenoldus said:

Hello,

We are on the mid-October Liberte sailing from Arles to Lyon.

 

The weather is generally predicted to be in the upper 50's. Did you find the need for more than a light jacket? Were there umbrellas onboard in case on rain?

Maureen

I would think that in the latter half of October you might find just a light jacket insufficient. You will likely need some sort of sweater or fleece with it. Layers are your friends. (If you were really asking about bringing a heavy jacket, I would say no, because of its lack of versatility.)

 

Remember that any temperature you see is likely a high, you also need to look at the lows. 

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14 hours ago, mringenoldus said:

Hello,

We are on the mid-October Liberte sailing from Arles to Lyon. When I booked Emerald they were so new that there were few reviews. I am very happy with what I have read so far. Thank you for being willing to answer questions.

 

I was pleased to read that it is permissible to bring your our beer or wine onboard from the ports. Where there glasses in the cabin in order to drink any purchases?

 

My BIL was wondering how dressed he would need to be for dinner. Would decent jeans be considered acceptable? 

 

The weather is generally predicted to be in the upper 50's. Did you find the need for more than a light jacket? Were there umbrellas onboard in case on rain?

Maureen

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. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 4:53 AM, JRice said:

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

 

 

Thanks Jerome, really helpful information 👍

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8 hours ago, JRice said:

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. 

Thank you very much!!

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12 hours ago, gnome12 said:

I would think that in the latter half of October you might find just a light jacket insufficient. You will likely need some sort of sweater or fleece with it. Layers are your friends. (If you were really asking about bringing a heavy jacket, I would say no, because of its lack of versatility.)

 

Remember that any temperature you see is likely a high, you also need to look at the lows. 

I appreciate your help!

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Posted (edited)

We are tossing around the idea of the Douro with Emerald. We have previously only been on Avalon boats. I have noticed that the room sizes are quite a bit smaller. How would they compare? Thankyou

Edited by Shipswap
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We have been on Viking and Avalon. I would agree that Avalon cabins are a bit larger and these are about the size of Viking. While we liked the cabin layout on Avalon, we felt the trip was significantly spoiled be the cruise director and a poorly planned itinerary which often brought us to port at times when the city was not yet open or about to close.

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