This was our first ever cruise and thanks to Riviera it won’t be our last.
The ship was like a plush floating hotel with very friendly and helpful staff throughout.
We loved the relaxed pace, great food, lovely Christmas markets and we made some lovely new friends. Fantastic!
Review by: Andy Tudor on 09/12/2019
It was an amazing holiday, I can't believe how spectacular the five days were. It was enjoyable to be walking around the markets and touring the beautiful rhine river. It's so worth it to go and the staff on board the ship are amazing, they treat you so well, they were outstanding! Lindsey and Chloe are lovely and friendly people, the whole crew in fact, and very professional. I will definitely be booking again and highly recommend it, especially if you are looking to relax, eat excellent food, and walk around exploring at your own pace; this is the place for you trust me. :-)
Review by: Stacey Jessop on 03/12/2019
Exceptional service from the outset. Support staff as well as EVERY member on board ship, applied themselves with professionalism seldom seen nowadays. From the beautifully appointed cabins to the dining and lounge areas, we felt treated as special and valued guests on board the Charles Dickens. We are already planning our second river cruise and have recommended your cruises based upon our experience, to our circle of family and friends. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019.
Review by: Steven Wortrich and Sue Norgate on 18/12/2018
We’ve just returned from our first ever cruise on the Charles Dickens ship and can’t fault the experience. Daniel and Veronica were lovely hosts , the ship was very comfortable, very clean, very organised. The food was plentiful with great variety especially for breakfast. The staff were all exceptionally friendly and helpful...and I mean ‘all’ the staff! Housekeeping did a wonderful and very discreet job at maintaining our cabin (not entirely convinced they weren’t elves!), they made us laugh with their towel creations, thank you for that! it was clear Gerry ,the hotel manager looked after his staff while maintaining very high standards.. Jerry one of the waiters we had the most made us laugh, thank you for keeping the coffee coming! The front desk guys were always smiling and it just seemed a really happy crew. The captain even gave me a wave whilst I was outside taking pictures (the only one mad enough at the time as it was freezing outside). We’re really happy to have chosen Riviera and want the Charles Dickens ship crew to know we appreciated everyone and everything. Merry Christmas!
Review by: Colin & Chrissie on 10/12/2018
I travelled with my sister and two friends and we cannot fault this cruise on the Emily Bronte. We had a fabulous time on board and also on the trips to the Christmas markets. The ship is so comfortable, clean and warm. All of the staff on board were pleasant and friendly and so accommodating. We had Leslie and Anette to welcome us, and also to bid us goodbye on the last day, and to give us all the information we needed for the trips out. They were superb.
The farewell dinner on the last night was truly amazing, where all the staff paraded through the dining room to different types of music. The meal was wonderful and a good time was had by us all.
I had arranged a cake to be given to my sister as it was her birthday on the day we left, so on the farewell dinner night about five staff came along to present her and sang Happy Birthday with the music playing and sparklers lighting up the cake. The house manager, Sophia, also presented her with a lovely little teddy bear with the name of Emily Bronte emblazoned on its chest. My sister, needless to say, was thrilled to bits with everything and it ended a spectacular Christmas Markets cruise with an everlasting memory of a wonderful time.
Thank you all.
Review by: Anne Brooks on 03/12/2018
I would just like to say how not good but brilliant our river rhine and Yultide markets cruise was. The service by all staff was superb and we will be booking another cruise quite soon .Thank you Riviera travel for looking after us so well.
Review by: mark jones on 06/12/2017
I would like to thank Riviera Travel for delivering the best river cruise we have ever had. From start to finish the whole experience was first class a five star holiday. The staff and crew on the ship could not do enough for you. The tour managers were first class and very knowledgeable with there local knowledge of the areas visited. When docking we were never more than 15 mins away from the Christmas markets. This cruise is well worth its money
Review by: Margaret Harris on 13/12/2017
This was our first river cruise and the first Christmas Markets Rhine cruise that Riviera had put on. We flew hassle free although there was an hour delay from Stansted to Cologne where we were met by our rep and shown on to our coach for the 25 minute run to meet the ship MS Emily Bronte.
We had booked a suite on the Diamond Deck ( 303 ). The ship was stunning and the crew welcoming and after freshening up we went to the dining room for what can only be described as 5 star cuisine. This first meal set the tone for the whole cruise and I can honestly say we have never been so well fed. We went up to our suite to find our luggage had been delivered for which there was plenty of storage room.
The ship glided silently through the night for the first stop in Rudesheim. We enjoyed 4 Christmas market stops throughout the cruise all of which were wonderful. We found this an ideal way to get a taster of what Germany has to offer and Leslie and Tim our cruise hosts worked tirelessly throughout to ensure it was a cruise to remember.
When cruising there is a lack of onboard entertainment which is our only negative comment but we did have one fantastic quiz night when the whole boat ( 164 passengers I think ) got involved which was a real highlight. We would recommend this cruise to anyone of any age ( we are just in our 50s ) who loves Christmas although someone with mobility issues may struggle with some of the walking.
Thanks to all the crew who were magnificent.
Review by: simon & lesley gibb on 01/12/2017
Another Wonderful Riviera Holiday, this was our 5th and we have already booked our 6th.
The Thomas Hardy is the newest river cruiser in the Riviera Fleet as it only entered service in 2017. In every respect this is a 5 Star ship with wonderful cabins, lounge, dining room and bistro; there is also a gym, hairdresser, miniature putting green and Jacuzzi on the sun deck although in December not many guest used the outdoor facilities.
All the staff including Riviera's Tour Manager Andras and Cruise Director Cassie were outstanding, but special thanks must good to David our Cabin Steward together with his colleagues in the housekeeping team who maintained our accommodation and all public areas to an outstanding standard and spotted maintenance problems before guests. While the kitchen staff turned out gastronomic delights throughout the cruise, however the Captains Gala Dinner was as good as many and better than most served on Ocean Cruises and all produced in a tiny kitchen. Congratulation and thank you to all the kitchen and restaurant staff for outstanding meals and service.
The German Christmas Markets were Wonderful, we particularly enjoyed the Rhine Gorge and Rudesheim. However the full day in Frankfurt with included City Tour was disappointing, and it would have been better visiting anotherb Rhine Village such as Mainz or Wiesbaden or having more time in Cologne than in Mainhattan ( Frankfurt ). The included walking tour in Koblenz was excellent but did not leave us much time to enjoy its attractive Christmas Market, before departing for Cologne.
Cologne is possibly the Christmas Market Capital of Germany with 6 separate Christmas Markets locations, so it would have been nice to have had more time here than in Frankfurt. However I must emphasis this not a complaint but only a suggestion on how this wonderful holiday which we intend to do again in a couple of years could be made even more special.
Thanks to everyone for a Fantastic Holiday.
Review by: Harold Spencer on 06/12/2017
Wonderful in every way
We could not fault a single thing, we even had snow which made it magical.
Will be booking again for next year,
Review by: Nova Brookes on 09/12/2017
We have just returned from your Rhine Yuletide Markets rive cruise.What can I say other than Magical. We have never been on a river cruise, and would definitely do another one with yourselves.We were in cabin 213 Ruby Deck, the cabin was like a 5 star hotel absolutely amazing. We arrived on the ship to be greeted by a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree, with upmarket Christmas decoration adorning the stairs. All the crew were amazing,and the Riviera Travel cruise team Leslie and Tim were just great, hope you don't loose them to any rivals.All in all a most wonderful experience
Review by: evlena saltan on 05/12/2017
We had a lovely time exploring the Christmas markets and cruising along the Rhine. The ship, The Thomas Hardy, had a great crew helped by the fabulous guides, Mike and Cassie. One thing could improve the holiday and that would be more time in Koblenz at the expense of Frankfurt.
Review by: Thelma Davidge on 02/12/2017
Have just retured from a five day Rhine christmas market cruise, it was so much more than we expected, absolutely fantastic, the trip, the ship, the staff, the accomadation, the food everything, cannot fault anything, Tim and Leslie the Riviera reps on board were most helpful and fun. We enjoyed the whole experience so much that we have just booked today for another christmas cruise in 2018 from Bucharest. Thoroughly recommend.
Review by: Cecilia Finch on 01/12/2017
Wow! What a holiday. From the moment Tim met us at the airport to the moment we flew off we were treated like VIPs. The attention to detail, comfort, thoughtfulness and happy crew made the whole experience magical. Leslie and Tim are the secret ingredients that took this cruise to the next level. We are now busy studying the brochure to book up for next year. Riviera Travel deserve their awards - an outstanding company with a personal touch.
Review by: Carolyn trevivian on 05/12/2017
What an amazing time we had! Our first ever Riviera Travel holiday, our first ever river cruise... and the bar has been set exceedingly high! MS Emily Bronte has been well designed, thought out and the staff are exceedingly hard working and delight to interact with. Lesley and Tim our tour guides were superbly knowledgeable and kept us well informed the whole time.
We were lucky enough to have a small team from Riviera Travel on our cruise, and great to be able to talk to Vanessa about any tweeks that could be done, and we were hard pressed to find anything! They are a credit to your company, and joined in with everything being put on... from the tours, to the baking demonstrations to joining in the evenings entertainment.
We spent four delightful days traveling along the Rhine visiting places, having guided tours, visting christmas markets. At all times, the guides were keen to make sure nobody was left out and that it was OUR holiday, and if at any time we wanted to go do our own thing, that was not a problem.
There was some serious ‘ship envy’ going on ... and not by us! The quality of the ship really shows up the other tour operators.
And thanks to Vanessa... has managed to sell us going on the next one next year!
Riviera Travel looked after us from the initial enquiry right through to delivering us back to the airport at the end. Thank you for such a great level of service.
Review by: Caroline Williams on 05/12/2017