This was our first cruise and we had just begun to explore river cruise options when we learned our friends, who were seasoned travelers, had completed the research and had already booked this cruise.
While we had never been on a cruise so we had nothing direct to compare it to, we have lived in Europe - Germany & Belgium, in the Middle East and we have traveled extensively. Without question, river cruising with Emerald is a uniquely pleasant and enriching experience.
However, first, we want to complement the crew. Without exception, we felt every member of the crew treated us likefamily that really cared about our experience. Black (sp) and Harry kept us entertained and well informed. We looked forward to their daily updates and the enriching events they had planned. Every member of the crew seemed to sincerely want to ensure all of our needs were met with enthusiasm. From Edi, who cleaned up our room and managed our laundry, to the servers - I wish I could remember all of their names, but Dragana, Alan, several others were standouts, serving us with pleasure. The lady at the front desk answered our questions with a smile and provided helpful suggestions.
The food was outstanding! My complements to the chef - Alexander I believe, and his entire staff. We were never hungry, always had outstanding options and the food was so good, it was difficult to follow my quantity plan of only eating part of everything.
Our room surprised me at how large it was and how much space was provided. We were on the 3rd floor and had a balcony. The only disappointment was when another ship would berth next to us. Nothing like waking up to find the entire dining room of another ship next to you.
Several of the excursions gave us an unique look into the lives of other cultures, which we really enjoyed.
Thank you Emerald Waterways. Next time we want to take a cruise, you will be our first choice.
In most ways, it had everything we could want and more. I would suggest the following:
1) More shelves in the vanity mirror, much of the space went unused.
2) A place to put clean clothes = suggest a drop down table in the bathroom over the trashcan.
2) Different system in the shower for holding shampoo, soap etc. We use bar soap and it kept slipping between the wires. The mini shampoos kept falling over and it was a little too small.