Having completed an excellent Norwegian Northern Lights cruise we received an offer via Iglu Cruises for this cruise which included some good perks like the Premium Drinks package and an M&S voucher for both of us.
Having looked into Emerald Waterways they got good reviews and the ships are all quite new and looked lovely.
We have cruised on the sea before, but never on a river and we thought the Rhine would be interesting. We were not disappointed!
We didn't get to explore Basel before we sailed as we were tired although there was a couple of hours which was available and some did.
The airport transfer and embarkation all went smoothly and we were made very welcome on arrival at the ship. The cabins were ready ahead of the scheduled time which was nice.
We had a Panorama Balcony stateroom which was a good size and very nicely furnished and fitted. The shower room was particularly generously sized for a ship. There was very little noise when the ship was sailing and it was exceptionally smooth. The only time we heard anything was when berthing at the ports but it was minimal.
Dining was excellent with a good choice of dishes and much use of local produce. The hotel staff were very helpful and did their best to accommodate any special requests.
The number and choice of ports was just about right and the price included guided tours at each stop. Other more active excursions were available at extra cost, but we didn't use these. Most of the tours were good although a couple of the guides were not really on top of their game.
The bar/lounge was very comfortable and well staffed with a selection of books and games available to borrow. As we had the Premium Drinks package we could order anything from the bar at anytime without charge. All guests get complimentary wine, beer or soft drink with lunch and dinner.
The ship was able to accommodate all guests at one open sitting for dinner.
As mentioned above all the staff were very friendly and helpful and Michael our Cruise Director kept us all fully informed about the daily schedule and timings. This was delivered to each cabin the night before.
If there was any area which was a bit disappointing it was the evening entertainment. We had a group of opera singers who were no doubt very good but not to our taste. On another evening we had a lovely violinist who played a wide variety of music and was excellent. A karaoke night was less successful and we felt not really a good choice for the type of passengers on board. There were also a couple of film nights, but we didn't go to these.
Yes we would certainly go again having enjoyed it immensely.
Really nice cabin with good quality furniture and a great shower room. The upper part of the window could be lowered and raised electircally to create our own personal balcony.
The bed was very comfortable and we got chocolates on our pillows every night.