48 Amsterdam Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made into animals certainly made us smile. Every member of the crew were lovely and all work incredibly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and you were always met with a smile. The food was amazing and plentiful. The chateaubriand for the farewell dinner was wonderful. The wines served with the meals were all lovely. A big thumbs up to the chefs, waiting staff and dishwashers to supply so many meals to so many people. Mostly sailing through night it was lovely to wake up to new places to explore each day. We made some lovely friends on the ship and the whole experience was fabulous and I hope to join another emerald cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony ... Read More
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony (in my opinion). Food is top notch, but we have no food allergies and are meat eaters. But there are vegetarian options if necessary. The staff is very considerate and helpful. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style while dinner is set. There's a choice of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees and 4 desserts. They also have the "Chefs Favourites" listed which is what the Chef recommends of the previously mentioned options. I went with the Chefs Favourites for all dinners and was not disappointed. They tried to pair the wine with area being travelled through, which was quite nice as well. There was an included excursion at each port and 2 where you had an option. On one of these the cost was extra, but we thought it was well worth it. It was the drive to Chochem. We did recommend on our survey of this excursion that we would have liked another 1/2 to hour of free time. Each stop has its unique features. The ship on/off procedure is well organized. All local tour guides were excellent and all spoke very good English as does the ship staff. The room steward did a a great job cleaning our room daily. Sarah, the entertainment director had evening entertainment of some sort planned but it's your choice to partake or not. The drink package selection could have more options but this isn't a big deal for us. As noted above, we had a great time and highly recommend this cruise. We will sail Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, ... Read More
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, zumba and other game shows to include all who wanted to join in. She also sang brilliantly and arranged disco nights. A couple of nights we were entertained by outside performers. A very varied and well organised entertainment plan. The restaurant was well run with very varied menu including all diets. They were very obliging whenever there was any type of foods you couldn't or didn't want to eat. They'd always find an alternative. Very attentive ensuring you always had a drink. Everyone served each course together and no hanging around between courses. Our rooms were very comfortable and clean. A laundry service was available at a reasonable cost. All the staff very friendly and efficient and always ready to make us laugh. I would definitely recommend emerald waterways Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We ... Read More
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We could have gone ashore, but had spent 2 and a half days in Amsterdam so stayed on board. All meals were included and were excellent. I like having a buffet for breakfast and lunch. At lunch you did have the option to order from the menu as well. Dinner was served, 3 choices, meat, fish and vegetarian as well as steak, salmon and chicken daily. Each dinner included a choice of two appetizers, soup, and 4 desserts. The cheese on ship was amazing! The chef did a great job! The included tours were excellent. Extremely knowledgeable guides who spoke amazing English. The only negative was our docking. We did not have the best docking sites. But Emerald had busses that took us into town if necessary. We purchased four extra tours. The Dragonburg Castle was ok, there was filming that day which made part of the gardens out of bounds. The WW II tour was very interesting and explained how Hitler was able to rise to power. The Vienna concert was a highlight of the tour. The members of the Symphony Orchestra played Vienna classics and the soloists were good. The Jewish Quarter tour in Budapest was heart breaking. The Nazis' massacre of the Jews unbelievable. Our tour guide was new to Emerald and took us all over Budapest, showing us hidden food trucks, synagogues, and rebuilt areas. The on board entertainment, glass blower, zither player, violinist, Ompa Band and Hungarian dancers, were all of good quality. I found the zither player especially interesting as I knew very little about how it is played. Very difficult! Louis, from Portugal, is a very organized cruise director. His dry sense of humour was very appreciated and he made our cruise memorable. He was patient with all the questions and always seemed to have time for each guest. Ben, the activities director, was new to this job and tried to provide lots of different activities from yoga, to trivia, to bike tours, as well as cabarets and karoke. Well done, Ben All in all a memorable river cruise and would definitely cruise with Emerald again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted. We were in a Balcony Suite which was was just lovely, we could lower our window down to half way and just sit and enjoy the view. The staff were friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. Even when there was an emergency they were willing to send emails for passengers to loved ones who had no way of contacting them. Louis the Cruise Director was so helpful and friendly. The towns that we stopped at were so beautiful. The food was great and we got to try a lot of the local foods. We also went to a Concert in Vienna which was fantastic. Thanks for the memories Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and ... Read More
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and shuttles were provided by the cruise line. Meals were excellent, cordon bleu level, provided by the executive chef and pastry chef on board. Dinners a leisurely affair from 7-9pm. Beer and wine complimentary at lunch and dinner. Buses to, and walking tours of cities all included with knowledgeable guides Entertainment included an electric violin concert and an operatic duet performance. The passengers were from Australia, Canada, USA and UK and it was very easy to mingle and get to know a lot of them. We would highly recommend Emerald Waterways to anybody wanting to take a river cruise. Despite being only 5 years old, this company knows how to do everything right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's menu being rather boring after the first few days. The soups were a mild variance of the consomme of the previous day.Rooms were small but adequate but the lack of a dance floor and entertainment made you want for the calm of your room! Main complaints: no onboard credit for Canadians. Welearnt later that the UK guests were provided 100 pounds each. All guests arrived with Emerald backpacks , not a prioity but principle All communication with thiscompany and through the travel agent has been UNANSWERED for nigh on 6 months! When you pay thei kind of money you expect a certain degree of service. Just wanted an apology but since none was received Never using them again Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each ... Read More
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each deck! Breakfasts and lunches were very good, however evening dinners left a lot to be desired. Portion sizes on some meals were very small, ice cream desserts were often served melted, fresh cream was not used at all always spray cream. Fresh fruit salad only contained one fruit generally melon. One guest had ordered perch as a main course, I have seen larger goldfish in a bowl! Another guest ordered chicken breast but was served chicken with a bone in whilst others only had two thin strips of the chicken.Entertainment was limited to a pianist each evening he was very good. A violinist on one evening was excellent but only for half an hour. Two opera singers one afternoon for three quarters of an hour they were very good but it would have been better in an evening when everyone was on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first river cruise and it was our honeymoon, so we decided to splash out and book the best. Emerald included everything, meals, wine, tours, tips and this was a perfect way to get a feel of river cruising. We chose our cabin, ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it was our honeymoon, so we decided to splash out and book the best. Emerald included everything, meals, wine, tours, tips and this was a perfect way to get a feel of river cruising. We chose our cabin, mid boat and on the top deck with panoramic balcony. This was perfect, roomy, comfortable, clean and with great facilities such as WiFi and free movies. Lovely touch of turn down each night, towel animals which made us smile and chocolate on the pillow. The staff looking after the rooms were friendly and helpful, they couldn’t be faulted. The boat was beautiful and easy to navigate. The reception staff were helpful and friendly, always willing to answer questions and the cruise director worked hard and spoke well at the evening meetings. There were however a couple of issues which did lead us to think we would try an alternative cruise line if we went again. The breakfast and lunches were great, lots of choice and lovely food but the food at dinner was well below par. Portion sizes were small and the quality was lacking, definitely not worth the money. The serving staff were friendly but there were some language issues and there appeared to be issues with the kitchen staff, mainly the head chef. There were lots of complaints which was a shame. The other thing we didn’t enjoy was the way the tours were set up. We often only had 30 mins to an hour to have coffee and look round and then had to rush back to the boat for lunch. Packed lunches weren’t an option for some reason. The best trip was the day we had in Strasbourg, we opted to miss lunch and stay in town. If we did a river cruise again we would check the tours out first. We felt like sheep being herded most of the time rather than valued travellers. Not sure if this is a common issue on river tours? If we had thought ahead we would also have booked a couple of nights in Switzerland at the end of the cruise as no time to see otherwise. Entertainment on board was limited, a good evening violinist and not so good singers on one afternoon. There was a keyboard player in the bar each evening who was good but not a lot of atmosphere. The welcome and farewell dinners weren’t outstanding. Lots of clapping the staff but as the farewell dinner was on the Thursday rather than the actual last night it all felt a bit strange. The best entertainment was a guest who had brought along a harmonica! Great American blues. Overall the cruise was a lovely relaxing holiday, we would just choose to try an alternative cruise line in future to see if they offer a more individual service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Embarkation & disembarkation were very well organized all staff extremely helpful and courteous. The entire ship was spotless the crew were constantly keeping everything fresh, clean and well organized. The pool area was ... Read More
Embarkation & disembarkation were very well organized all staff extremely helpful and courteous. The entire ship was spotless the crew were constantly keeping everything fresh, clean and well organized. The pool area was excellent, very well designed and the decor was up to date and very comfortable to relax in lounge chairs. Hot and cold drinks were available at all times. The evening meals had quite a variety of local and traditional choices, the breakfast & lunch buffet had an ample selection of hot and cold foods & numerous salad selections. The serving staff very efficient, courteous and friendly and would constantly serve wine, beer and soft drinks, which were included with lunch & dinner. The entertainment was quite good, there were some fun evening activities and the shore excursions were mostly very good - some excellent! All were very well organized even providing bottled water to all guests when leaving the ship for each excursion. The coaches were comfortable and clean, guides were very pleasant and knowledgeable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Emerald organisation was faultless from initial booking,speedy boarding with EasyJet through airport collection, transfer to the ship and welcome aboard, the cruise itself and return to our homeward airport. Emerald Sun is a lovely, ... Read More
Emerald organisation was faultless from initial booking,speedy boarding with EasyJet through airport collection, transfer to the ship and welcome aboard, the cruise itself and return to our homeward airport. Emerald Sun is a lovely, comfortable, relaxing ship with excellent facilities for river cruising including a swimming pool and cinema. Our en-suite cabin with full depth opening picture window was very comfortable, clean and well serviced by our great cabin steward. The crew were, without exception, tremendously friendly, efficient and attentive, the food was good with a good varied selection at breakfast, lunch and dinner with beer or wine included in the price at lunch and dinner. Daily tours off the ship, also included in the price, were excellent with knowledgeable English-speaking guides, several with an excellent sense of humour. On-board entertainment by a resident pianist / singer was good and he was joined by additional entertainers at a couple of stops en-route, who also were brilliant.All in all a brilliant cruise in every sense. Without doubt we shall use Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Have done several ocean cruises but always wanted to do a river cruise through Germany. My husband booked this for my 50th birthday and it more than lived up to our hopes and expectations. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful ship, the crew are ... Read More
Have done several ocean cruises but always wanted to do a river cruise through Germany. My husband booked this for my 50th birthday and it more than lived up to our hopes and expectations. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful ship, the crew are so genuinely welcoming and friendly, and completely professional. They looked happy in their work and the camaraderie between the regular crew and their bosses was just right. The atmosphere on board with crew and passengers was perfect and we felt totally at ease. The food and drinks were perfect and the facilities on board were first class and everything was spotless. The excursions were very well planned with walks for all levels. The tour guides were experts on their town or city and were so enthusiastic and helpful. All excursions were included which was great, you knew what you were doing each day and it was all planned. Though if you wanted to do your own thing that was fine, and we often did, either before or after the main tour. My favourite was the tour to the Black Forest which should not be missed. Lovely bar/lounge and restaurant, plenty of opportunity to sit as a couple or with others. Couldn’t fault it and can’t wait to book again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second ... Read More
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second option for breakfast and lunch if needed in a quieter environment. The main dining room in the evening with over 180 passengers was impossibly noisy and it was difficult to hear the conversation at our own table. Could 'any time' dining be introduced which may lessen the large number of passengers who all arrived in the dining room at the same time? The Cruise Director and all Staff were very helpful and efficient - always had a smile and never tired of helping passengers where necessary. They were very polite at all times, which made it a pleasure to sail with this particular ship, as you really felt you mattered. The cabin was well maintained clean and tidy at all times and attention to detail by Maya our cabin steward was much admired. Her service was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I saw a really good deal and wanted to cruise the Rhine, so we booked the 7 night, 8 day cruise to Basel. From the excellent welcome onboard to the end, we were very well looked after. The meals were good and so were the shore excursions. ... Read More
I saw a really good deal and wanted to cruise the Rhine, so we booked the 7 night, 8 day cruise to Basel. From the excellent welcome onboard to the end, we were very well looked after. The meals were good and so were the shore excursions. There were a couple of opportunities for my husband to go on an organized walk, there were bikes onboard. The staff were excellent, we were lucky enough to get the total drinks package, not just wine and beer at meals. We could have any drink on the menu. The waiters were not limiting any drinks, and we were very spoilt. We had the basic cabin but it was fine, it had a larger than a basic ocean cruise cabin, and the bathroom was more luxuriously decorated. The beds were very comfortable. We had rain in Amsterdam, but after a day or so we had good weather, and temperatures of 22C or so. I would thoroughly recommend Emerald Waterways and would not hesitate to go with them again. They are very good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey ... Read More
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey being positive and memorable. The Tour Director Jana was exceptional in her local knowledge and advice and charming and engaging in talking to the full complement of guests. The waiting staff in the restaurant were all happy, friendly and willing to help in any way requested. The quality of the food was always outstanding with variety and flavours that were equal to any high quality restaurant. Wines served were excellent and one reisling was the best I had ever tasted anywhere! Our cabin on the lowest deck was still roomy, comfortable and had more than enough hanging and storage space. The room was always well prepared each day. The cruise line makes its ambition to ensure all travellers are fully satisfied, even to the point of providing exceptional alternatives when our boat was unable to sail for 2 days due to flooding in the Danube. The compensation was more than one would expect and contributed to a sense that this line is remarkable in placing passengers before profit. An outstanding effort. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We choose this cruise for the dates, itinerary and value. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. One of the first evenings we asked the bartender for limoncello and he did not have any. The next day the food and beverage ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the dates, itinerary and value. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. One of the first evenings we asked the bartender for limoncello and he did not have any. The next day the food and beverage manager asked if there was anything we needed and we said that we were disappointed by the not having limoncello on board. We told him we had 12 people who would order it for the next 12 days if he had it. When we arrived in Cologne Germany he went and bought 4 bottles for the rest of the cruise. What service! The shore excursions were very informative. The first couple of tours we took the Emerald Active group and found that we saw more but had a hard time taking photos and keeping up with the rest of the group. The middle group was the best for us. We were taken off the ship for two days because of high water and Emerald bused us to Vienna for two nights and three days. What a wonderful experience. We will travel with Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid out spaces and designed to encourage interaction between guests. The space at the front of the ship was an awesome place to watch the world go by. Our Cruise Director, Jana, was cheerful, personable and extremely professional. She is the best Cruise Director we have ever seen. Activities were well planned and the tour guides used by Emerald were well-trained and very knowledgeable. The only thing that could be improved was some small details in both the lounge and the dining room. The bar staff were at times slow to notice that guests need a drink. The piano player in the lounge at times played too loud for comfortable conversation to happen. The dining room staff occasionally reached across another person to set a plate down, even if there was room to go behind and serve the plate properly. These are small complaints and could be easily corrected with better training. The trip interruption due to high water levels was handled with awesome efficiency and attention to detail. We stayed two nights in Vienna at the 5-star Bristol Hotel, located in the center of Vienna. We were within walking distance of so many historic sites we couldn't believe our good luck. None of our originally planned activities were compromised by this unexpected change in our itinerary. Our trip couldn't have gone better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise because it was an itinerary that covered a lot of ground and I chose Emerald Waterways because it was more economical than others I looked at and the ships are new. We spent three days in Amsterdam before the cruise, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was an itinerary that covered a lot of ground and I chose Emerald Waterways because it was more economical than others I looked at and the ships are new. We spent three days in Amsterdam before the cruise, staying in a wonderful VRBO apartment in the central canal area. We did a fun bike and brewery tour with Rodrigo and an interesting photo walk of Zaanse Schans with Roelof from With Locals, bought tickets ahead of time for Anne Frank House, Rikjsmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. Everything was wonderful except the Van Gogh museum, which we found to be too crowded and difficult to find our way around. We located the ship with no problem and embarkation was a piece of cake. Our cabin #232 was not as tiny as I expected, clean, super comfy, with lots of storage in lots of nooks and crannies. The shower was surprisingly spacious (compared to many European hotels we've stayed in). The window that opens into a panoramic balcony was very nice, but in truth, we didn't spend much time in our room, so never really just sat there watching the scenery. The hallway was quiet at night, but there were often surprising noises when negotiating the locks, so I recommend ear plugs. The passengers were mainly Australians and Canadians, with a smaller representation from U.S. And U.K. And one couple from New Zealand I think! Everyone we met were happy to be there and very friendly. I think the average age was 70 to 75, but we met a few that were older than us and put us to shame for being active, healthy and fun-loving!! The staff and crew was, without fail, smiling and friendly, and seemed happy to be there. We found a couple of tables in the dining room where the service at dinner was not quick and efficient, but overall, we could not have asked for better service. Jana was our Cruise Director and I can't say enough good about her. She was friendly, efficient, personable, organized, etc, etc! We celebrated our 30th anniversary while on the cruise and she made it very special. The food was always very good; sometimes a bit bland, but there were many choices. - Breakfast could be a quick choice from the lounge or a more involved buffet in the dining room. There was one station for omelets, so could be very slow, but the buffet line had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash brown patties, yogurt, toast, pastries, fruit, etc, etc. - Lunch in the lounge had a couple of selections that sounded good, but we always went to the dining room. It was buffet style again with a full range of selections. Sometimes the line could be long, but it moved surprisingly quickly. - Dinner was one seating and a free-for-all as far as finding a chair goes. Sometimes we sat with our new friends and sometimes we made new friends! A menu was provided with several choices. Sometimes the options were unusual, but always tasty. The portions were on the small side, so we didn't leave the table feeling stuffed. There were so many opportunities to eat something, that we were never hungry (for very long)! We had onboard credit so used some of it for a beer and wine package. Wine and beer was included (and freely provided) with our meals and through our purchase of the package, it was included other times as well. We thought that having two more glasses of beer or wine during the day or evening paid for the package. We spent a lot of wonderful time on the top deck the first few days, and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery on the Rhine River. On the Main river, the top deck was closed due to low bridges and we really did miss being out there! The crew opened the deck when possible, but it was not open every day. So my advice is to get up there when you can! We also spent a fair amount of free time at the pool. On a nice day, the roof was open and after a hot tour through town, a refreshing dip was very welcome. At night sometimes the pool area would be converted to a theatre, but we never stayed for a movie. Our trip was interrupted by high water on the Danube. We were given options and chose to take a motor coach trip to Cesky Krumlov, followed by two nights at a fantastic hotel in Vienna. While we would rather that our trip had not been interrupted, Jana (and Emerald) dealt with the situation wonderfully. The river level was beyond anyone's control, but we were very happy with how it was handled. It was a very busy itinerary but also a nice mix between early morning calls and more relaxed starts. We had a walking tour in almost every port which covered the highlights of the location. We often had free time, but found that the tour had covered most points of interest, so just relaxed with a beer and/or snack. The best experiences were when the ship was docked within easy walking distance of the central town. In Nurmeberg and Vienna, the ship was a bus ride away, which was okay, but just not as convenient. Disembarkation in Budapest was handled very smoothly and specific to each cabin's request. We spent three additional days in that beautiful city at an AirBnB on Akadémia street. I highly recommend Emerald Waterways and this itinerary, but be prepared to be busy if you want to see everything! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first river cruise. We boarded after 3 days in Amsterdam, which is a great city, by the way. It was well worth the extra time. We had a little trouble finding the ship as the one we were to board had been replaced by a sister ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We boarded after 3 days in Amsterdam, which is a great city, by the way. It was well worth the extra time. We had a little trouble finding the ship as the one we were to board had been replaced by a sister ship. It was a twin, however, and offered a very similar venue and service. We were greeted with a nice drink, lunch and an easy check-in. The next couple hours were for unpacking and exploring the amenities. All was as advertised. The Emerald Sun is only about two years old, quite beautiful and offers all the modern amenities. My wife enjoyed the pool and exercise room, while I enjoyed the running track on the top deck and the sun chairs on sunny days. Over the next 15 days we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, especially Yana who was the coordinator for all things touristy. I don't think Yana slept and was exceptional in a minor crisis when we were not able to pass under a bridge. She organized our stay in Vienna in a 5 Plus star hotel and arranged transfers, tours, meals, etc. without incident. She was exceptional to the very end.... of our trip....not us. Robert, the ship coordinator, was also very organized and always there to wave goodbye upon our departures and greet us upon our return. All of the staff were exceptional. The food was very good in my estimation. There were smorgasbord style meals for breakfast and lunch, and a gourmet meal in the evening. The staff moved meal times to accommodate our various activities and were always generous with the wine that was regional with our approximate location. The tables were placed so that those who wished to socialize could do so, and the more isolated types could isolate. There was also a more limited meal in another area for breakfast and lunch that offered peace and quiet, albeit a limited selection. I, personally, enjoyed the peace and quiet. My one complaint about the meals would be that the gourmet dinner took about two hours. I enjoy such a meal about once a week, but every night is a bit much for me. The food was of very high quality throughout. Our cabins were bright and clean with our trusty cabin keeper, Widodo, always available at any hour with a ready smile and chocolates on our pillow before bed time. I don't think any of the staff slept. The full wall of windows in our room provided a great view of the world as it flowed by, and the open air feature was wonderful on warm and sunny days. Sometime we were just happy to sit in our room and view Europe pass by, as if we were watching a travelogue. There were tours almost daily and extra tours if you wanted to pay a bit more. These were well organized and interesting with knowledgable leaders in each port. One could also opt out of an organized tour and create your own. As I do not always play well with others, on a couple of occasions I used the provided bicycles and toured villages along the route by myself, stopping for a nice coffee or local brew, feeling like one of the locals. The bikes were probably expensive but not a style I would have chosen. They did do the job however. Yana was very knowledgeable about almost everything and provided lectures on various subjects such as: coffee, facts and history about certain regions, and her end of the evening jokes weren't too bad either. Several times local entertainment was brought in to give us a taste of the local culture, such as Hungarian dancers in Budapest and an amazing violinist in Vienna. Although there were many highlights of the trip, the two that remain most outstanding in our minds was the private evening concert in Vienna in a room where Beethoven had once conducted a symphony, and the visit to a Slovakian village and the home of a Slovakian family. I came away realizing that we are all part of a world family no matter where we live. Good people are everywhere. In summary, this was an excellent experience. I would chose Emerald anytime, and would promote Yana to CEO. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of the travel agent. We had given her a preferred time window and wanted balcony room. Room was fine, plenty of storage bathroom adequate, clothesline in shower came in handy. Staff were all friendly ... Read More
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of the travel agent. We had given her a preferred time window and wanted balcony room. Room was fine, plenty of storage bathroom adequate, clothesline in shower came in handy. Staff were all friendly and helpful. Jana a great cruise director. We were happy with how things were going and then the announcement of high water causing a issue. We were given the option of getting off and go in home or staying on the ship during the delay or following a modified itinerary and staying at a hotel in Vienna, all expenses covered by Emerald. We went with the itinerary and hotel in Vienna. The result was bus transport to our excursion, a two night stay at the 5 star Hotel Bristol with all meals included. The cruise line arranged all this for 160 passengers and an extra cruise director came to assist. I think almost everyone was as pleased with the resulting arrangement. When we returned to the ship after two days, we were told we will get a refund for the two days our itinerary was altered. That's going above and beyond. Entertainment onboard was offered by local artists on three occasions besides the piano musician and the campy but fun crew show. Optional excursions were available but we did the standard tours except Salzburg and a concert of Vienese music one evening. The passengers were a combination of Australian, Canadian US and Brits. A very enjoyable group. Would refer others in a minute Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
After doing much on-line research we chose Emerald for our first river cruise and it was the best decision. Our trip from Amsterdam to Budapest was fantastic. The ship was new, modern and kept very clean. We went with a below deck cabin ... Read More
After doing much on-line research we chose Emerald for our first river cruise and it was the best decision. Our trip from Amsterdam to Budapest was fantastic. The ship was new, modern and kept very clean. We went with a below deck cabin which was very spacious and comfortable. All of the crew were friendly and helpful, especially the Cruise Director. All of the ports, excursions, and sights along the river as we cruised lived up to our expectations and then some. The guides for the tours were all locals and were excellent. The food was very good and included local dishes from each port. We were especially impressed with the way Emerald handled the need to deal with two days of high water which caused a delay in allowing the ship to proceed. They provided coaches to take us to the scheduled tours, included an extra excursion at no cost, and put us up in a 5-star hotel in Vienna for two nights until the ship was able to catch up with us. They couldn't have been more accommodating and we were then even more pleasantly surprised when we received a refund for the two days we were not able to cruise. We met travelers from other cruise lines on our way home and they did not have the same positive experience. We will definitely go with Emerald again and highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have just returned from the Emerald cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We spent 14 nights aboard the Emerald Sun. Cabin 220. The boat was clean, stylish, and had enough space to accommodate all our luggage etc. The balcony room was very ... Read More
We have just returned from the Emerald cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We spent 14 nights aboard the Emerald Sun. Cabin 220. The boat was clean, stylish, and had enough space to accommodate all our luggage etc. The balcony room was very clean, bright, and comfortable. The sun deck on top was large and comfortable, as was the lounge and dining area. We never had trouble getting seats. We sailed with mostly Canadians and Aussies, with several Americans as well, it was a great crowd. We made great friends. The on board entertainment was fun! Thanks Benny, for your talent singing and being a DJ. There was also a trivia night, disco night , and a crew talent show. All very fun. Janna was the cruise director and she was amazing. Always cheerful, treated you like you were her only concern when she talked to you. The excursions were all extremely well organized, busses and people were always in place. Tour guides were personable and knowledgable. I personally would skip Drachenburg Castle, although it's views of the Rhine were stunning. The concert in Vienna was amazing. I don't even like classical but it was really something to experience. The night cruise in Budapest was gorgeous, as was the Amsterdam canal cruise. At one point we could not continue sailing dues to high waters. Janna, along with Ray, another Emerald manager, had everyone transferred to Vienna for two nights. It ended up being fabulous. They made it seamless, there was no inconvenience at all! Then we got the river cruise gaurantee, which I didn't know I had, and are getting a refund for the two days we couldn't cruise. This was very impressive! My only only only first world complaint is that I didn't think all the dinners were 5*. I would highly recommend Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My mothers friend suggested it! We went mother daughter trip, had an amazing time! Upon arrival in Iceland someone from Emerald was there to greet us and make transition to bus and to boat inAmsterdam so smooth! sailing the Rhine river ... Read More
My mothers friend suggested it! We went mother daughter trip, had an amazing time! Upon arrival in Iceland someone from Emerald was there to greet us and make transition to bus and to boat inAmsterdam so smooth! sailing the Rhine river was so enjoyable with so many sights to see! The excursions were catered to several levels of fitness so even those who had difficulty could enjoy the touring spots! Breakfast and lunch...so many choices available. Dinner was always delicious although smll for my appetite! The wait staff absolutely phenomenal!, couldn't say enough about our usually like Zulkipili, Padli and Dragana, as I'm sure all of the staff were so helpful and personable! Each and every staff from the dishwashers to the captIn were all so pleasant and receptive! The tour guides except for 1 were all amazing, well informed and attentive to all the people in the group! the ship was beautiful, except those darn silver shiny strips on the stairs, oh my when the sun shines they can blind you! Yes the ship was always kept clean, saw Eva and many others constantly cleaning and polishing and removing Anything dirty! The music was well done, thank you Benny! Iwould suggest some local music playing in the background, maybe on the bow seating area or topside! I can't say enough about the excursions, Emerald got you there and back with no problems and made everything so interesting and easy!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Great experience. The staff was exceptionally friendly and professional. The cabin steward Maya was efficient. The dining staff was cordial and made our eating experience fun. The function rooms were always well kept. The excursions were ... Read More
Great experience. The staff was exceptionally friendly and professional. The cabin steward Maya was efficient. The dining staff was cordial and made our eating experience fun. The function rooms were always well kept. The excursions were interesting and the tour guides were local and knowledgeable. The buses used for shore excursions were comfortable and equipped with seat belts. Checking in and out was quick, easy and efficient. The cruise was relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable and we are looking forward to repeating this experience in the future. Our only complaint was in the departure guide who took us to the airport. We were a small group of 11. We were dropped off at the entrance with absolutely no information on location of gates. The guide told us she had never been to that airport and was new. It would have been so helpful to know which level of this multilevel airport had our airline desk. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Emerald sets high expectations but then fails to deliver. On an 8 day cruise, the top deck was closed for four days. The food is satisfactory, but the service needs a lot of improvement. There was only one night of "local" ... Read More
Emerald sets high expectations but then fails to deliver. On an 8 day cruise, the top deck was closed for four days. The food is satisfactory, but the service needs a lot of improvement. There was only one night of "local" entertainment. We traveled through Germany, but only one lunch contained any local cuisine. A lot of minor issues detracted from the overall enjoyment of our cruise. The shore excursions were very good. Most of the tour guides were knowledgeable and very entertaining. During lunch and dinner, complimentary wine and beer are served liberally. If you are drinking something other than that, getting a first glass or even a refill is painfully slow. I contacted Emerald customer service and informed them of some shortcomings. Response time was very slow and did not rally address my concerns. The European river cruise is much better than ocean cruising, but overall I was not satisfied with Emerald. I Would be hesitant to book another cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.5 4.3

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