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oceans52

Emerald- Legends of the Moselle and Rhine

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5 hours ago, oceans52 said:

Thanks old buddy- you seem to be missing the whole reason of this thread. I'm not moaning about river levels bridges or locks.

Emerald knew that they were going to close down the sundeck for half the duration of the cruise. They should have informed the passengers. They didn't. Why because they wouldn't have sold there cabins. I don't think sitting in lounge for 3.5 days is cruising. On what cruise were you when the sundeck closed for days. Please. just out of curiosity. Thanks for your comments 

 

I'm a little confused. How much time during those days were you actually sailing? Weren't you spending time in ports, and wasn't much of the sailing at night, or during meals? Which part of your holiday was more important to you--sitting on the ship, or touring a port? Although I understand you were greatly disappointed by closure of the sundeck, did it really ruin your whole holiday? Would you have considered the holiday to be ruined if it rained? I just don't agree that Emerald wouldn't have sold their cabins if people knew the sundeck would be closed; I think most passengers are more interested in the ports and general ambience of river cruising, rather than pinning their expectations on the sundeck.

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DougK- The whole point of this thread is not being told by Emerald that the deck was being closed for half the cruise. 

They knew which stops we had and that was on the itinerary. Which was seen by all.  They also knew about them closing the sundeck. That, they didn't tell anyone.

Most stops when sundeck was closed, started after lunch and lasted about 2 hours. Apart from one.

My first river cruise was with Ama, Vilshofen to Budapest. And we loved it. And was amazed the first time we sailed under a low bridge. They did close down the sundeck once.

Has anyone had a 7 day cruise with sundeck closed?

Would anyone book a cruise with sundeck closed for for that amount of time.

 

 

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4 hours ago, oceans52 said:

Has anyone had a 7 day cruise with sundeck closed?

On the majority of my 25 river cruises the sun deck has been closed at least briefly. But I don’t think that is what you are trying to ask. 

On none of my river cruises has the sun deck been closed for 7 days straight - not precisely what you said, but what I feel you were trying to imply happened to you - which we both know was not true.

I have sailed the navigable length of the Main twice, balancing out sun deck closures with some very nice port stops (Miltenberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg). And the amount of cruising during daylight is a relatively small percentage, and generally some of that is during meals. 

I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or that advertising will inform me of every downside of the product. I agree that Emerald could have been more explicit in informing about sun deck closures, and they are guilty of omission of negative details (no more, no less than any other travel company). I do not feel that they made intentionally misleading statements. I’m not sure the same can be said for the quote above. 

Any trip will have things that go wrong. You can choose to make lemonade or choose to be miserable. I choose to make lemonade. 

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9 hours ago, oceans52 said:

The whole point of this thread is not being told by Emerald that the deck was being closed for half the cruise. 

 

 

I think we all agree that it would be good if Emerald gave more explanation in advance that the sundeck would be closed. We just differ in how important it is. First off, there's no reason to believe that Emerald is any different from any other river cruise company. As has been discussed, the vast majority of companies that sail the Main close the sundeck on that river, and I don't think any of them do a better job of disclosure than Emerald. But more importantly, to me, is that this is just one of many things that river cruise companies don't disclose, and to me, many of the others are far more important than the closure of the sundeck for a few days. Some examples:

 

1) Rafting. This is barely noted by cruise companies, but may have a significant effect on enjoyment, especially enjoyment of balcony cabins.

2) Frequency of itinerary changes, whether due to river conditions (high/low water), accidents, or infrastructure (e.g., lock damage). Other than anecdotally, I have yet to see any publication of statistics on the percentage of cruises affected, and how it differs by season, route, and cruise company.

3) How itinerary changes are handled. As we saw last summer/fall, virtually all cruise companies are extremely tight lipped about this, barely notifying existing passengers, and saying almost nothing to the public.

4) Expected port times. While this does change due to river conditions, cruise companies do have some idea of how long they expect to be in each port (e.g., for a full day, or just long enough for tours), but they generally don't communicate this to passengers until the night before the stop. This makes it very difficult to make independent plans, rather than using the company's tours (which may be included in the fare, but may not match what a particular passenger wants to see in that location).

5) Length of bus rides to destinations. This is somewhat related to the previous one, as there's little information about which ports are docked at vs. being a "drive-by" (where the ship drops off passengers at one location, they're bused to the destination for tours, and then bused back to the ship at yet a third location). Most river cruises involve a fair amount of time spent on buses, but you'd be hard pressed to learn that from looking at marketing materials.

6) How much sailing occur during daylight hours. This is also somewhat related to the two previous ones, as there's an obvious correlation between port time and river time.

7) Dining arrangements. Most companies claim "open seating," but the definition of that varies greatly from company to company (e.g., pick your own table at a defined time vs. pick your own time within a window). Similarly, some companies have almost all large-ish tables, so most people end up sharing tables with strangers, but that may not be mentioned in marketing.

8) Crew smoking policies. While companies may mention passenger smoking areas, they're silent on crew smoking areas, which might be right next to passenger areas and have significant smoke drift.

 

I'm sure there are many other things that aren't disclosed; those just sprang to the top of my head. What's important is that we all attach our own importance to each of these. From reading this board, it seems like many passengers are primarily interested in the ports and everything else is secondary. For others, the onboard experience is most important, but still varies. For me, for example, I couldn't care less about the sundeck, but use of my balcony matters a lot. The bottom line, however, is that river cruise companies are far less transparent than ocean cruise companies, and passengers need to do a lot more research themselves into the things that are important to them. This board is a great place, and maybe a good travel agent can help as well. And, most importantly, I've learned that if one wants to enjoy a river cruise, one needs to learn to roll with the punches--there are going to be unexpected issues no matter how much research is done in advance.

 

 

 

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Dougk- my reply to your last but one post should have read.

Has anybody had a 7 day cruise with the sundeck closed for half the duration of the cruise.

It would be good to hear if it has happened to anyone.

Would anyone book a cruise with sundeck closed  for half the duration of the cruise. If they were told prior to booking.

 

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4 hours ago, oceans52 said:

Dougk- my reply to your last but one post should have read.

Has anybody had a 7 day cruise with the sundeck closed for half the duration of the cruise.

It would be good to hear if it has happened to anyone.

Would anyone book a cruise with sundeck closed  for half the duration of the cruise. If they were told prior to booking.

As I stated in a previous post

13 hours ago, TravelerThom said:

I have sailed the navigable length of the Main twice, balancing out sun deck closures with some very nice port stops (Miltenberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg)....

Clearly I knew that the sun deck would be closed for an extended time and did indeed book the cruise a second time knowing what I knew. I choose to focus on the positive aspects of the trip, and not work at making myself miserable focusing on the less than perfect aspects. 

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I wouldn't make a major purchase from anyone without doing some independent research first.  I consult Consumer Reports before buying an auto, and Cruise Critic and other sites before booking a cruise.  I knew before booking my first river cruise that the sun deck would be closed on the Main as well as a number of other issues that DougK mentioned.  I would never rely on any company to disclose all of the potentially negative points of a purchase.  That would be a sure way to drive business to the competitor who may very well have the same negatives.  

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Thanks for replies, it just seems that we can't trust cruise companies, not just Emerald.

Lots of posters have mentioned having the sundeck closed. No one has said how long for, were you notified before you booked and what company it was. 

You will make it easier for people to find out about it in the future.

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On 6/20/2019 at 3:23 AM, oceans52 said:

Thanks for replies, it just seems that we can't trust cruise companies, not just Emerald.

Lots of posters have mentioned having the sundeck closed. No one has said how long for, were you notified before you booked and what company it was. 

You will make it easier for people to find out about it in the future.

oceans52, after reading your comments I can certainly understand your disappointment. As a first time river cruiser I did not realize how many factors come into play when choosing a cruise line or itinerary. Having you share your situation is very helpful to others. Should I ever consider a cruise on the Main I will remember to consider boat style and access for river viewing from a sun deck. Thank you for sharing your experience. Deborah

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Thanks debrouillarde. Extremely disappointed, even now. It was our third  cruise and river levels were my big concern. I was amazed on our first cruise  being sat at a table on sundeck  with AMA going under some low bridges. I quite often show the picture to people when talking turns to river cruising. 

I've looked since coming home and still can't find any mention of sundecks being closed for the length of time we had it closed for. And for anyone  in the future thinking of doing this itinerary with Emerald they will come across this post and gain more honest information about the cruise.

From what i can see since I've been home, Emerald will be doing 4 weeks cruising this itinerary this year. We were on the second week of the first 2 cruises 9th June-16th June. Then they don't do it again apart for 2 weeks, last week Aug and first week Sept. In 2020 I think they only do a 2 week cruise of this itinerary.

My honest opinion is Emerald should not be using this ship on this route. Thanks for reply again. And sorry for my rant. 

 

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I have just finished reading a review of a Tauck cruise on this forum, and in the pictures provided of the daily newspapers, it mentions that the sun deck will be closed for the next few days.  I think that was on the Main too, so it seems normal.

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I'm reading it too. I'm wondering if it's 3 full decks of cabins or not. If we are reading the same post there are less than 70 guests on board. And every thing they have eaten has been given a 10. Time for my cornflakes

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I have just arrived home from Germany where I have been travelling for six weeks. My wife and I were on this ship at the same time as the OP and experienced the same conditions as he did. I had a completely different experience as my expectations were tempered by my research into the conditions we would encounter while the Main canal. Numerous articles and posts mentioned the frequent locks and low bridges on that waterway. When I am spending a large part of my children's inheritances on an extended European holiday  I spend months researching the various details of the places I am planning to visit and then make my decision with as much knowledge beforehand.as possible. However having visited over 100 countries we have learned to expect the unexpected and never let disappointments ruin our overall experience. Emerald's cruise director Bartosz made an announcement  the first day that the upper deck  be closed for the last 2 1/2 days and that is exactly what happened. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other aspects of the cruise including the other guests, food, tours, entertainment etc. I am sorry that for the OP this was overshadowed by what he perceives to be Emerald's failure to notify him of all possible negative aspect of the itinerary. I believe that he should acknowledge that he shares blame with Emerald for not doing his own research on the problems faced by all Main canal cruisers.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, CHUCKIE50 said:

I have just arrived home from Germany where I have been travelling for six weeks. My wife and I were on this ship at the same time as the OP and experienced the same conditions as he did. I had a completely different experience as my expectations were tempered by my research into the conditions we would encounter while the Main canal. Numerous articles and posts mentioned the frequent locks and low bridges on that waterway. When I am spending a large part of my children's inheritances on an extended European holiday  I spend months researching the various details of the places I am planning to visit and then make my decision with as much knowledge beforehand.as possible. However having visited over 100 countries we have learned to expect the unexpected and never let disappointments ruin our overall experience. Emerald's cruise director Bartosz made an announcement  the first day that the upper deck  be closed for the last 2 1/2 days and that is exactly what happened. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other aspects of the cruise including the other guests, food, tours, entertainment etc. I am sorry that for the OP this was overshadowed by what he perceives to be Emerald's failure to notify him of all possible negative aspect of the itinerary. I believe that he should acknowledge that he shares blame with Emerald for not doing his own research on the problems faced by all Main canal cruisers.

chuckie, yes I also love doing the research for the PLACES I am visiting but as a first time river cruise I never realized how much information is not easily discovered about so many aspects of a river cruise. DougK had some excellent points river cruises may be well aware can happen but it seems each river has it's own uniqueness and digging out that information isn't as easy or plentiful as checking TA or Rick Steves for location information. What a disappointment to need to tell someone looking forward to a pricey cruise to lower your expectations because they probably will not be met for one reason or another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by debrouillarde
dont want to post

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6 minutes ago, debrouillarde said:

chuckie, that is not exactly what I wanted to write.  🙁  I'm wondering if the crew of Emerald ship made enough of an effort to make the sun deck available when you weren't going under bridges.  For that reason Oceans 52 could be disappointed in the company she selected for her cruise and I appreciate her bringing to attention something that I wouldn't know to research. So much to be learned is after you have paid for your cruise. Deborah. 

 

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Deborah

The crew made no attempt to make the top deck available once we entered the Main. I've spent so much time touring since that cruise that my memory may not be exactly clear on the events but I think there were locks at least every 90 minutes or so to be traversed and some waiting due to slower moving traffic ahead. I had a "cheap" waterline level cabin and could not see much from my window as to the bridges. I stayed mostly in the lounge while not touring having a great time with the other really nice travelers (mostly Brits and Americans with just a few Aussies). We had a glass blowing demo, wine tastings, dancing to a dj and generally just to much  fun chatting and drinking  to notice our surroundings. On the next to last night while on the Main the crew and passengers had a dance party that was very well attended. I noticed several other ships on the canal with most cabin lights off while we partied well past midnight.

 

 

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Hi CHUCKIE50.

We arrived at ship early Sunday morning. The ship never sailed till Monday evening. My memory was never very good at the best of times, but the sundeck closed about 4pm on Wednesday. 

What views did you have from Wednesday on. None apart from looking around the lounge or cabin. And as you know the ship was having to make up time the whole of the trip. So a lot of the stops times were cut short.

I don't know if the locks were a reason to shut the sundeck? 

As far as doing the research before hand. I've looked and I can't find anything about the sundeck being closed for over half of our sailing time anywhere. That is not river cruising. I could have saved a lot of money and stayed in a hotel for all that could be seen from the lounge.

Why dont Emerald put it clear in their description that for half the cruise the sundeck will be closed. Because they wouldn't sell 1 cabin. 

Like I said in a earlier post. They are doing 4 weeks this year sailing this itinerary. And 2 weeks next year. And I honestly hope that anyone thats thinking of doing this cruise with Emerald Destiny read this before booking, and do whatever research they can. 

I did ring Emerald up the day after I got home, which would have been Monday 17th June. Only contact number readily available was sales. So spoke to sales rep about sundeck closures, he told me the ships are specifically made for the rivers they sail on. He was surprised with what I said about the sundeck. He did give a name and email address that I sent email to. I sent email on the 17th June. Still not had any reply whatsoever. 

I know from most of the replies to my post that people think I am making a fuss over nothing. 

There is a post on cruise critic from a lady sailing with her mother on Tauck. And they are sailing down the canal now. But from what I can see of the ship they are on, there is a forward space a little lower than the sundeck that can be used the whole length of the canal.

Emerald Destiny is not fit for purpose on the canal section of this itinerary.

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This is the only cruise forum use. So i dont know how big this forum is compared to other forums. So i have put my cruise itinerary with the sundeck closure on here so others can look at it as part of their research.

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Since I am the only other passenger who sailed on this cruise I want to point out that Emerald made it very clear when we embarked that many passengers were delayed arriving to Frankfurt airport. Bartosz told us  that our touring would be delayed but that no ports or tours would be missed. This is exactly what happened. Some port stays were then shortened to allow us to get back on schedule. The last place our upper deck was open was when we passed the Rhine Gorge and the Lorelei and that was extremely lovely.

The OP will never be satisfied that Emerald was not deficient in their failing to inform him of the announced upper deck closure before the cruise. As many other more experienced cruiser than myself have repeatedly pointed out this is the standard practice in the river cruise industry. The OP will never be satisfied by this explanation  so I am giving up. I never heard any other passengers on this cruise complaining about this situation.

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Completely agree with you about late arrivals. But maybe Emerald could have left a bit earlier the next day. 

Agree with you about Rhine Gorge. It's beautiful to sail down and view from the sundeck. We boarded ship Sunday morning  left our starting port Monday evening. By Wednesday afternoon the the sundeck was closed.

As far as Emerald informing me or anyone on the ship before hand about the deck closure. They didn't. 

Normally the only time every passenger on the ship come together is for the evening meal. Passengers other than that would have the option to go to sundeck, lounge or cabin. We only had the cabin or lounge to go to.

As far as you never hearing any other passengers complaining. I found it the complete opposite. No one I spoke to was aware the sundeck was going to be closed for that long. And none of them would have booked this cruise. 

A retired couple living in Spain said it was there first cruise, and they wouldn't do another one. 

 

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14 hours ago, CHUCKIE50 said:

CHUCKIE50

Emerald's cruise director Bartosz made an announcement  the first day that the upper deck  be closed for the last 2 1/2 days and that is exactly what happened. I thoroughly enjoyed all the other aspects of the cruise including the other guests, food, tours, entertainment etc. I am sorry that for the OP this was overshadowed by what he perceives to be Emerald's failure to notify him of all possible negative aspect of the itinerary. I believe that he should acknowledge that he shares blame with Emerald for not doing his own research on the problems faced by all Main canal cruisers.

This is a quote from your earlier post. Did you know sundeck was going to be closed for 3.5 days before the cruise director told you. It wasn't 2.5 days.

 

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This thread has reached its sell-by date.  OP has had his opportunity to warn others, many people have explained that there was nothing unique about Emerald's handling of this itinerary, and it's just going 'round and 'round at this point – so I'm closing it.

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