Emerald's 128 cabins are located on Decks 2 to 5, and they are all outside cabins with balconies and sliding-glass doors. They are divided into four categories with two Explorer Suites, 14 suites, four junior suites and 108 verandah cabins. There are no designated single cabins.
Verandah cabins, on Decks 2 to 4, are 250 square feet, and the junior suites on Decks 3 and 4 are 260 square feet and located next to the stairwell and elevators. Suites, situated aft on Deck 5 are 301 square feet, and the two Explorer Suites, on the bow on Deck 3, are 603 square feet.
Cabins have the option of double or twin-bed configuration, and all have roomy wardrobes and storage areas, including space under the beds for suitcases. Cabins also feature air-conditioning, safes, telephones, kettles, bottled water replenished daily, proper plug-in hair dryers and flat-screen TV's with 10 English-speaking channels, films and the ship's Web cam. Two chairs and a small table are available on each balcony. Visitors to China are advised not to drink tap water, and a special filtered water tap in all the bathrooms is a really useful amenity for cleaning teeth. Although the brochure states robes and slippers are available on request, they had been placed in all the cabins on our "Imperial Jewels of China" cruise.
Moving up the cabin grades, extra perks include a refrigerator, plus wine and fruit on arrival. All cabins are decorated in tasteful, muted tones with oriental touches featured in the artwork and large, colorful floral decorations. Electrical sockets are both 220V and 110V.
Bathrooms in all categories are well lit with large mirrors and good-sized shower cubicles with sliding, glass doors. L'Occitane soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion are supplied and replenished as needed.
We were impressed with our suite, which was kept spotlessly clean by the room steward, who seemed to develop a sixth sense for whenever we were out and imperceptibly went in to do the morning clean and nightly turn-down, which included novelties like chopsticks and delicate Chinese paper art on the pillow -- an innovative change from the predictable chocolates. The wardrobe had plenty of hangers, and we appreciated extra touches that included an umbrella, shoe horn and clothes brush. If you miss daily briefings, the Viking News is left on the bed each night with detailed information on the following day's schedule.
The top category Explorer Suites, with separate bedroom and lounge areas, occupy a prime spot in a quiet position on the ship. Our only disappointment was the lack of privacy between the adjoining wraparound balconies.
There is a very efficient onboard laundry; items are picked up from the cabin and delivered the next day, with the option of a more expensive express service.