Room Question

We are thinking of booking a cabin on the lowest level (Cat 1) on the Tauck Emerald River Cruise.. it requires us to take the stairs (13 steps). We are in our 70's but in good shape. Has anyone stayed in those rooms and felt they were unacceptable or were the rooms ok.?
I would appreciate any & all opinions about those rooms and the Category 4,5 rooms.
Thank you


  • Which cruise are you taking? I believe the forum you've posted in is/was a French land tour.

    However, will try to answer as best I can. Tauck ships have elevators that go between interior floors (not the sun deck) but not all go down to the Emerald deck. Cat 1 is a small room but ok for a short cruise (it's the size we had on our 1st cruise) but the windows are small so if you're at all claustrophobic you might not like.

    I've also had a Cat 4 and the room itself is great for the price. More room to move around, 2 chairs to sit in when needed and a bigger bathroom than the Cat 1. It's close to the action on the ship which also means you get a bit more noise. If you're not bothered by noise it would be a better choice than the lower level cabins.

  • We stayed in Cat 1 cabin on our Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise because no other cabin available when we made reservation. I personally would not recommend this cabin level. It is fine for maybe one person but not two. Very tiiny bathroom and shower. Stairs down to this level were a little steep but doable.

  • edited April 17

    I have taken 3 river cruises thus far. On the Sapphire and Treasures I booked a Cat 1 room. I believe these ships are similar to The Emerald. I was by myself on these two cruises, so it is actually a perfect room for one person. I am thinking it might be a bit crowded with 2 people but totally doable. You don't spend that much time in your room so if you are looking for a cheaper option, Cat 1 is perfect. I would say the only downside would be the windows, as Claudia mentioned. The room is basically below the water level and the bottom of the window, when looking out, is just above the water level. It just depends on your preference and how much time you plan on spending in your room, other than sleeping. It could present an issue if you are prone to claustrophobia. The Cat 1 room is designed very efficiently, a place and nook for everything and very comfortable. I remember taking my first cruise aboard the sapphire in Cat 1 down the Seine and I didn't realize we were going thru so many locks and I had not experienced that before. I had just gone to bed and I heard a bit of noise and when I looked out the windows, I saw that the boat was descending in the lock and all I could see were the sides of the lock with the water dripping off of it. It was a bit unsettling only because I had no prior experience with locks. The other cruise I went on was down the Danube on the Inspire with their Cat 3 Loft design. I was sharing the room with my boyfriend and really loved the design of the room. The room is basically on the same level as a Cat 1, however, you have a few steps up to the 2nd level with huge windows and a small table and 2 chairs. The windows opened on the top to let in fresh air. Unfortunately, this design is not available on the Seine cruises. I have never tried a cat 4 or 5, so I can't speak to that.


    I think you are referring to the Savoring France cruise along the Rhone. I can't provide any help on the category 1 and 4 rooms, but I was able to see the category 5 room and it appeared to be quite comfortable. The bed is on an angle which had the effect of making the room look larger. If you haven't done so already, you can see pictures and a listing of the amenities for all room categories by going to the Deck Plans section of this tour's itinerary.

    This was the last Tauck tour we experienced before the outbreak of the pandemic. It was a great trip packed full of wonderful experiences. And the food! We hope to retake this same trip in a few years.

  • We have taken 2 river cruises and stayed in category 1 rooms, Amsterdam to Budapest and Lyon to Arles. It's kind of like staying in a cruise ship room with a porthole, small window not much of a view. Unless you plan on spending lots of time in your room, the cost saving is well worth it. Tauck kept us so busy we were only in the room for sleeping, showering, and a rare nap. Quite often the rooms with the French balconies have their view blocked when you are parked alongside another boat. Yes there are stairs you have to navigate, but after eating all the wonderful food, we needed the exercise! When we ocean cruise we always book a large cabin with a balcony since there is lot's more leisure time. We are re-booked on the Rhine/Moselle that was cancelled last year, and since all the cat.1 rooms were taken, they are giving us a cat.2 at no extra charge. We are using the savings for business class flights for the trip. Keeping our fingers crossed that we aren't cancelled again. (Cruise is in September). Enjoy your journey!!

  • Price and cabin size/category is a balancing act but we've found the length of the cruise influences it for us. Our first (which essentially was the Savoring France) was short and there was little opportunity to spend time in the room except sleeping or dressing so the 150 sqft cabin was fine. Back when we took it most of the Ruby deck was that size cabin. They were redesigned into larger cabins since.

    Longer cruises have more time on board including daylight cruising where you might want to spend time there vs public spaces. The price delta's can really add up. Our last 2 cruises we had Cat 6 cabins which we felt were worth it but on the Douro next year we opted for a Cat 2 since its a short cruise and the ship has loads of nice public spaces. It's a different design than other Tauck ships. We'll spend the savings on time in Barcelona.

  • Hey Gail, My husband & I took a 4 week river cruise (2018)from Amsterdam to Bucharest & had a Category 1. It wasn't on the Emerald but the boats we were on were kind of set up the same way. Cat 1 cabins are small but we knew that. We spent a lot of time on deck on days when cruising down the river. We thought it strange that more passengers weren't up there. Other comments above are true about Cat. 1. You had mentioned about the steps. Our one boat had steps that go straight down (like in a house)that was nice. The other one, the steps kind of like have a curve (spiral steps). Check out the ship's deck plan & you can see what I mean. This was our first river cruise & loved it. Rescheduled our 2 wk river cruise from last year to this year. Couldn't get the Cat.1 so we booked the Cat.2. If you want the extra room check out the room information on the Emerald's deck plan. Hopefully Europe will open up & everyone can get back to traveling again. Have a great cruise & enjoy.

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