51 Budapest Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. ... Read More
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. The staff is extremely polite, and nice at the reception, in the restaurant, in the bar etc.. The pool has a relaxing atmosphere. The city tours have been well organized with professional guides, comfortable couches. We had great opportunity to visit the most important places, monuments, castles and churches. During our free time we have been good advised to explore the cities in an independent way. Every evening we had various entertaining programs with a lot of fun and laughing moments. The whole crew made our trip enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. We enjoyed our breakfast buffet every morning and 4 courses dinner each evening as well as our lunch combining buffet and menu. Additionally we had joyful teatime and late night snack. All food was fresh and well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My sister and I travel each year and decided to do our first river cruise. We always do research before deciding. Emerald was the best value for the money and good reviews. We chose the 8 day Danube Delights with extended 3 days in ... Read More
My sister and I travel each year and decided to do our first river cruise. We always do research before deciding. Emerald was the best value for the money and good reviews. We chose the 8 day Danube Delights with extended 3 days in Prague. Booking was a breeze (a year in advance) and as we had questions during the year they were answered promptly. We made our own travel arrangements, but the transfer from the airport to the ship was made by Emerald and went smoothly. We do wish we had arrived a day or two early to have had more time in Budapest. The ship is very modern and kept clean and sparkling (lots of mirrors). The staff were extremely helpful and always greated you with a smile. Our cabin was great (not that we stayed in it other than to sleep) and kept clean and organized by our stewart. I was suprised how quite it was in the cabin. Jamie was the cruise entertainment director and did a great job with a variety of events for all ages and interests. With great weather, we did enjoy the sun deck daily. Emerald has open seating for meals and it gave us an opportunity to eat and converse with many of the other cruisers. We thoroughly enjoyed learing from the veteran river cruisers. Some had been on 8 river cruises in several continents. The food was plentiful and if you didn't like your first choice they would bring you another. Beer and wine are included for lunch and dinner and our glasses were never empty. There were beverages packages as a option or just pay by the drink at the bar (prices were below most bars in the states) if you wanted a before or after dinner drink. Darren, our tour director, did a great job in keeping us up-to-date on weather conditions for each day and the local customs for the next port. He would teach us the local language for greetings and other words that would be helpful, although most everyone spoke english very well. At each port there was a tour included in the cost of the cruise and were done very well by local guides. Due to departure times, we did not have a lot of time to explore (shop) on our own, so we skipped a few of the included tours and explored (shopped) on our own. We have discussed going back to the region and traveling on our own or maybe a bus tour to see more of the area. Overall, the trip and experiences were great. The ships crew, fellow travelers from all over the world and local guides provided us with wonderful memories. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his wife, the host of this cruise. We had not seen him perform live in 35 years and he was still amazing! The company sponsoring the cruise was Mayflower Tours and they did an excellent job. We received all our boarding documents before leaving home, including a nice backpack for the excursions. We received free airfare from Montana to Prague and then Budapest back to Montana. We upgraded our seats to Comfort Plus (about one thousand dollars each and worth every penny), just behind the first class section of the aircraft. We also added three days extra in Prague and Budapest to check out the cities on our own. We stayed at the Hotel Grandium in Prague, about a block from Wenceslas Square and within walking distance of almost everything. Outstanding hotel, with a breakfast to die for! In Budapest, we stayed at the InterContinental, right on the river by the Chain Bridge. I had stayed there 40 years ago, still a beautiful hotel. Our room was on the ninth floor, facing the river and the views were amazing, especially at night. Now to the ship. The Emerald Sun was beautifully maintained, spotless everywhere you went. The entire crew was exceptional and made you feel right at home. Initially, we booked a room on deck 1 (room 117) just below waterline and were more than happy with it. Just for the heck of it my wife inquired about an upgrade to deck 2 or 3 and for an extra $400.00 we moved up to deck 2 (room 214). The room was excellent. We loved having the window that lowered electrically half way open, turning the room into a big balcony. The bed was comfy, plenty of room for all our stuff and the bathroom plenty big enough. Our cabin attendant kept the room spotless. I can't say enough about the quality of the dining. Up to this point, nobody could compare to Celebrity, but these guys could and DID! All the meals were spectacular, we hated to get of that ship. The entertainment was beyond wonderful. To start with there were about 17 of us that signed up just because of Seamus Kennedy. He held trivial pursuit nights in the lounge and spur of the moment 1 or 2 hour mini-concerts at the pool for us. Not mention sing-a-longs during our bus rides. An absolute joy to travel with. The ship had various entertainers come aboard depending on what city we docked at, not to mention an amazing on-board piano player in the lounge almost every night. At every city we had ship sponsored walking tours with guides, very well organized. Also, there were many special excursions folks signed up for at an additional cost. We had lived just south of Munich for three years in the late 80's, so we skipped the extra excursions to Salzburg and Vienna. We absolutely loved Prague and Budapest and would recommend those two cities for a visit. Of note, we did most of our Danube River cruising at night while we slept. I do remember going thru many, many locks and that was interesting. We would definitely do a river cruise again. Oh BTW, we loved the Infinity Pool and used it almost daily, usually all to ourselves! My wife loved the exercise room and I loved watching her use it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from ... Read More
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from Budapest to Bucharest. The average passenger was British, 75 years old, had difficulty walking, and complained about everything. I was prevented from taking a morning walk on the sun deck walking track because my footsteps (at 3.6 mph) disturbed someone on the deck below. I would have been happy to use a treadmill, but alas, the “gym” didn’t have one, just three never-used recumbent bicycles. We could never get the in-cabin movies to work until the final day of the cruise, despite being in an owner’s suite. We barely saw our butler (a glorified cabin maid), and although we purchased the inclusive alcohol package, it apparently did not include premium wine. The offerings were horrible local wines. Food choices were limited. Beef was usually tough and overcooked, the chicken was dry, and desserts were uninspiring. It is really too bad that the ship, which is quite beautiful, is staffed by a crew that still needs to learn a lot about service and accommodation. Maybe they should rename it Emerald Walker-ways. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our ... Read More
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our cruise director, was organized, enthusiastic, engaging and well spoken. The tour guides on the local excursions were excellent as well! We loved touring the Christmas Markets and Balocz would share interesting information each night about the next day's city. The rooms on the Emerald Sun were very clean and well appointed. As it was December and the sun set at 4:30 p.m., we didn't spend very much time on the top deck but it looked like a great place to enjoy the sun in the spring, summer or fall. We started our trip in Budapest and enjoyed two days there before our cruise. We wished we had had a couple extra days as there were so many sights to visit. The cruise stopped in Bratislava, Milk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, Regensberg and finally, Nurenberg. We took the day excursion to Salzburg on the day we arrived in Passau. The trip to Salzburg was magical as it had snowed the night before. We will definitely book another cruise through Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we ... Read More
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we could not find the meeting staff for Emerald - no signs - no notices at the cafe proposed for the meeting. We were then approached by a lady with no identification telling us that our transport had left and we would not get transport until 14.30 - flippantly told just to have some lunch!! We were taken to the car and left the airport at 2.30pm. When nearing Passau the driver informed us that we still had one hour to drive. He then proceeded south and obviously had no idea where he was going, we went through fields and farmyards but no sign of a river. The driver would not stop to find out where we were - my husband called Emerald Dawn and asked where they were berthed - he told us near the central station in Amsterdam! After a further 4 calls where the driver would not communicate with the ship - we asked for his papers which stated we were going to Emerald Sun. We finally arrived at the ship at 6.20pm - no apology for lack of information or inconvenience, in fact quite the opposite. We wrote a letter to the CEO of Emerald and handed a copy to the cruise director - he did not even acknowledge it. They then told us we would be going back up the river to Regensburg the following day by coach - 2.5 hours each way - this was not what we expected and could not face another long bus trip. By the next day we had somewhat calmed down and the remainder of the cruise was good. On leaving the ship on 15th Sept. we were taken to Budapest Airport for the flight to Amsterdam and on to Edinburgh, the flight arrived late - the air bridge would not work the steward announced we would still catch our flight to Edinburgh. We RAN to the gate to find out the Edinburgh flight was gone -we are 74 years old and did not feel good after this rush. KLM were very helpful put us on the next flight where we found that 2 of our fellow ship passengers going to Edinburgh were booked and had not had the rush to a flight that was gone. The inefficiencies of the transfers were appalling, but the most disappointing was the attitude of the management of the ship, they were just not interested. this experience would not entice us to book Emerald again, in fact we could not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are ... Read More
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are cruise would Br be leaving for another day as the ship could. Not sail into Budapest. A shock hearing this from the hotel and not the cruise line. So we were bused to our next stop Bratislava. We got on the boat a day later. Nice cabins lower deck level 1. Boat full. My wife and I are 54 years old. Average age on boat 70 plus. Even though we attended a emerald cruise event in our city after booked and specifically aske the age range and was informed that lots of 40 and 50 year olds were in these cruises. Crew were excellent in every way. Sailed for 4 days back and forth the last days in and out of Austria only to find when we got back from a really poor and expensive excursion on the Thursday that the ship could not go on. We had a few choices. Stay with the program and BUS around nd in and out of hotels. Meaning lots of unpacking. Hotel meals etc. Or they would fly us home. We had already extended our flight to accommodate extra days with friends at the end of the cruise so that was out. They would only compensate for seven days of lost travel. Web in fact we lost 10 nights. Saw an interesting note on this site in June emerald having water issues but did not bother informing passengers ahead of time. As well you can tell me the ship did not realize they’ve ever not traveling on a river past 5 days. Food was not 5 star. 3.5 at best. Lots of same old for breakfast and lunch. Don’t stay in the lunch or dinner room past the allotted hours or they would flash the light for you to get out. Having them boost about unlimited beer and wine for lunch and dinner is a joke. Draft beeer , one brand. A few glasses maybe but you only have a just over an hour and get out of the room. Fitness rom hold maybe two people. Emerald failed. Expensive excursions that are not included are a rip off. We are still in Europe after paying a lot of money to see things the cruise line failed to provide . Did not expect have to play travel agent for 10 days , truly is a crime. If you plan a summer cruise and don’t get to do it. don’t do it book with another company later on in the year if you go. Not with Emerald as they do not care about their customers just the booking. Poor planning all around. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we chose this cruise because it was two weeks and ended in amsterdam. I will start with the food i like my food and expect it to be of good quality and sufficient meat fish and vegetables. It was none of the above the fish and meat ... Read More
we chose this cruise because it was two weeks and ended in amsterdam. I will start with the food i like my food and expect it to be of good quality and sufficient meat fish and vegetables. It was none of the above the fish and meat were meager portions with miniscule vegetables which were often just a squeezed paste on the plate, and the sauce was just three or four dots on the plate and gravy when mentioned was brown scrape on the plate. Desserts were always with cream cakes etc if you like cream you will enjoy and squirty cream every where Breakfast ok lunch and dinner as above. One thing i will say here is that in the uk emerald are offering unlimited drinks package . That is rubbish it is only spirits and cocktails and the wine that is produced at the lunch and dinner which is included in the ordinary package and is free, it is marketing scam, Entertainment was piano player which was good and a couple of nights extra guests performed. What they do not tell you is that the lovely top deck is out of bound for three quarters of the cruise due to low bridges Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
There is nothing negative I could say about the Emerald Cruise line. The ship was beautiful! Our cabin was so comfortable and had everything we needed. My husband and I were so impressed with the staff on the ship from the top which was ... Read More
There is nothing negative I could say about the Emerald Cruise line. The ship was beautiful! Our cabin was so comfortable and had everything we needed. My husband and I were so impressed with the staff on the ship from the top which was Igor and Nina to the steward Succi and all in between. The servers in the lounge and dinning room became family soon after we set sail. The Chef was magnificent! The daily tours were so organized and every tour had just the right amount time. Entertainment was so much fun. We had trivia nights, glass blower, an electric violinist and a disco night that was out of this world. Everyone had such a great time. When I am asked about our trip I find it very hard to put into words just what an amazing trip it was. Thank you to all the staff on the Emerald Sun for making this cruise just amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off ... Read More
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off their ship in the best light. It was modern with glass, chrome and plenty of light. We walked through a V....g ship which looked a little dowdy in comparison. What better way to see 3 Capital Cities and four more Bavarian towns in 8 days on board a smooth sailing efficiently run River Cruise. Aiming to go in early Autumn when it was a little cheaper, not so hot and the Danube was pretty empty, we enjoyed great moorings without stacking and clear runs of the rivers and locks. Yes, there are a lot of locks especially once leaving the river for the canal. Autumn colours were stunning, Castles evocative and the river with its reflections and light magical. It was Blue too for a day. Excursions were well organised with good guides and a Quiet Vox system so that you could hear when away from the range of their speaking voice. The guides were informative and you could leave at will. Lots of little surprises like maps and itinerary for everyday in the cabin, demonstration by executive chef (looked easy), visit to the galley (tiny), wifi never missed beat, nothing too much trouble even when phone lost overboard taking a picture of Bratislave by night with a full moon (as you do) Guest complement was mixture of Americans, Aussies, Brits and Brazillians. Crew were all English speakers and very multinational. This created an interesting set of cultures to explore. One difficulty was the noise levels in the Dining Room which rose during the evenings so that even those with good hearing were struggling. Food was plenteous of good quality and reflected the region of the day. This was a special trip for our 40th wedding anniversary and so was a one off but not to be forgotten Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent Tour manager, local tour guides and a super itinerary. The ship is really well appointed, and the cabin layout well designed. The daily programmes interesting. The organisation of the ship is well managed apart from the wine service which calls for a dedicated wine waiter. Too often their Job was hampered by having to break off to serve wine. Some tables lucky and others not so. Food onboard well presented but the quality at times could be better ( Steaks need to be trimmed of a lot of fat). Breakfast service excellent and dishes replenished quickly. Lunch choice limited, but Dinner even more so. Reception team helpful and efficient, as were all the staff. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself ... Read More
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself had to carry our own bags onto pontoon next to ship upon arrival prior to being taken care of by attendant. Rushed on-board welcome although we were ahead of time. -Dining and wine experience is below average compared with what I have received on prior cruises with other companies and hygiene practices require improvements. Repetitive limited daily buffets where passengers were touching food with their hands and about 40%++ of passengers were sick during cruise. -Service below what to be expected, if you did not ask repetitively, you did not get. -Cabin was very clean. -Upper deck on ship was closed for about half of trip duration. -Disembarkation activity at end of trip was well organized. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was ... Read More
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was very average indeed. Since part of cruising involves good meals we, and our friends, were very disappointed. It would appear that we were not alone - there were quite a few grumbled fro previous Emerald cruisers and all were disappointed with the standard of food offered. This would appear to be a fault of central buying, set recipes and standardisation of meals. Please make some changes or we will stay away in future. What a shame since everything else on the ship was perfect, crew, excursions, guides, coaches and general experiences. Cabins and cabin staff excellent. Cannot speak too highly of the overall standard of the ship. Sort the food out! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for ... Read More
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for all ages (21 to 81!) & the crew show not to be missed! We loved that we got to know the staff & they made efforts to get to know us & our preferences. My husband's birthday surprise was really well done. We did as many shore excursions as possible & loved the humorous history. The bike trip was very active & thank you for giving us speed choice in walking tours. We made lots of new friends & hope to visit with again. (Please start A loyalty program!) We appreciated minimal broadcasted announcements. Embarkation & disembarkation was super easy. We should have gone a day early to enjoy a Budapest thermal bath but did explore Nuremberg city center & War Memorial the last day of cruise & take a train to see/ sleep Munich & fly home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this ship due to our travel agent with Vacations to go it was a great deal and was going to places we wanted to see .We will travel on this cruise line again .Ship was so nice and staff were very friendly they took of everything ... Read More
We choose this ship due to our travel agent with Vacations to go it was a great deal and was going to places we wanted to see .We will travel on this cruise line again .Ship was so nice and staff were very friendly they took of everything including going to airport & helping us get boarding passes. Our cabin was very nice & with lots of room .Dining was great wonderful food & GREAT staff to wait on us . Shore tours were well taken care of including going out of their way to send new devices to replace low battery ones . The tour guides were very wonderful they knew the area well & didn't hurry us through & gave time for everyone to get pictures .They lady in Budapest was a little hard to understand but good we saw lots of beautiful building & sites enjoyed all Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our 3rd river cruise. We chose EW over the leading River Cruise line in the U.S. market because we wanted a different experience all around and EW did NOT dissapoint! For starters, if you are not part of their pre-cruise ... Read More
This was our 3rd river cruise. We chose EW over the leading River Cruise line in the U.S. market because we wanted a different experience all around and EW did NOT dissapoint! For starters, if you are not part of their pre-cruise excursion, do not count on any communication from EW to find where you would find the ship on the Danube . If one did not use Emerald for airport transfer and were in Budapest prior to cruise, GOOD LUCK!! You're on your own. EW makes it "your" responsibility to call the ship and find out the port location! - The port location was the furthest from the city center and absolutely nothing to look at. Remember with this cruise one spends a full afternoon, evening, overnight, breakfast and lunch aboard the ship sitting on the Danube. - THIS WAS THE MOST ANNOYING aspect of our cruise: We always stay on the bottom floor because we spend very little time in the room just as when we are in a hotel and there is so much to see and explore outside of the room (in this case the ship)! If you are on the first floor there is a horrendous noise every time "anyone" on the ship flushes the toilet in their room. It's a loud pop and accompanied by a loud "waterfall" like noise. No kidding. Totally unacceptable!! How can EW market rooms in a floor that has this type of constant noise disturbance!? - Buffet food was mediocre at best and reminded me of the dorm cafeteria food in my college days. The only bright spot was the salad variety. On the dinner selections, there was not one main course item that I would ever remember as tasty or flavorful. Nothing had any flavor! Every dish was bland. - Very noisy dining lounge due to poor acoustic design. Another blunder by design engineers!! - Big crowds and not enough stations for the breakfast and lunch buffets. High passenger to host/waiter ratios. Only 6 or 7 hosts/waiters for about 180 passengers. I felt bad for all the staff on the dining room. THE ONLY BRIGHT SPOT: The staff in every department. From the Air dept. in Boston to the housekeeping crew to the captain. They do the absolute best they can and work very hard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because of the value and description of experiences. All which came true. The service on board was wonderful...like being in a luxury hotel while cruising the river. All the stewards and crew were high service and hig ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the value and description of experiences. All which came true. The service on board was wonderful...like being in a luxury hotel while cruising the river. All the stewards and crew were high service and hig quality oriented. The food was devine. The excursions and tours were filled with tons of information, the guides all had personalities, and hit on the key highlights. Also, a perfect amount of time for site seeing on your own. The extra activities were phenomenal and worth it. The accommodations on board were wonderful and comfortable. We loved the automatic window balcony for an open air experience when we wanted. This was our first cruise and we definitely made the right choice on the river as it was an experience that we could not have dreamed. I highly recommend as the overall experience is something I would do again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this river cruise to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. We tend to go on ocean cruise liners but thought we would try something different for his celebration. CABIN - GOOD POINTS Great cabin, we had booked a Balcony ... Read More
We chose this river cruise to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. We tend to go on ocean cruise liners but thought we would try something different for his celebration. CABIN - GOOD POINTS Great cabin, we had booked a Balcony suite on the 3rd floor and were upgraded to Grand Balcony Suite. Having spoken to others in the original suite we had booked, the only extras seemed to be a Nespresso coffee machine (very nice) and 2 items of laundry a day free of charge. We also had robe and slippers, not sure if other cabins did? The cabin was well thought out, we really liked the opening window that gave the feeling of a balcony. Be aware that when you are deep down in a lock, you will be looking at a concrete wall! CABIN - NOT SO GOOD POINTS Every morning at 6am someone was running on the sundeck - thump thump thump, over and over, 6am EVERY morning without fail. This only stopped when they closed the sundeck for 5 days due to low bridges. So no early morning sleep ins for us, which you would expect on holiday, they did not happen thanks to the runner upstairs. Along with the runner, you then start getting announcements in your cabin - "your coach for your day trip will leave at 8.30am" - "Your coach will leave in the next 5 mins". We couldn't find any off switch for this (as you get on an ocean liner) to every day, we were put through far too many announcements in the cabin. Our next door neighbour was obviously hard of hearing - TWICE we had to call them to ask them to turn the TV down - they were watching a wartime film, endless gunfire, bombs, fighter jets. One time we called them at 1.15am and then another day we had to call them at 5.30am. These times are not acceptable for having your TV blaring out! Prepare yourself for a very small wardrobe! It simply wasn't big enough for the two of us for a fortnights cruise - we took a case each and expected space for our clothes but it wasnt to be. There was 2 deep pull out drawers which were ok, but we had to keep some of our clothes in the suitcase because of lack of storage. STAFF The bar staff were fantastic - always there to serve (although when sat on the front of the ship it would have been nice to have had a waiter offering drinks). They were friendly and outgoing. A special mention of Antonio and Buzz, both brilliant bar men. The restaurant staff work hard and were always on hand. The wine waiter would sometimes need a nudge to fill the wine glass up which was surprising having read on here that they are quick to top you up. The reception staff were helpful when needed. Our Cruise Director was Wes. For the first few days of the cruise we got the feeling that Wes wasn't enjoying being on the boat. He seemed really down and sometimes disinterested. We heard from another guest that he had been saying how much he missed his baby, so maybe that was it. It made it difficult to approach him sometimes which is a shame. He lightened up a bit towards the end of the cruise. Our Cabin steward Wincy did a great job in keeping our cabin clean and tidy. We didn't once get a swan made out of towels during the fortnight, some guests did. It didn't bother us, but it would have been a nice touch. FOOD - GOOD POINTS The food was always hot when it arrived at the table. The lunchtime buffet was reasonable. We had continental breakfast in the cabin every morning, this was a little hit and miss. Some days bread, other days no bread, some days pastries, other days no pastries, some days fruit, other days no fruit. All a bit odd really. FOOD - BAD POINTS God forbid you go onto this ship being a vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs! Although we notified the restaurant manager on day one, it was hit and miss every single evening with my meal. The main menu consists of 2 starters and 3 mains - you were lucky if any of these were vegetarian and containing no egg. I had to reiterate every single evening that I was vegetarian, it got tiresome. On one occasion I was given a bowl of shredded lettuce with a chopped strawberry on top. No dressing, no nothing else, just a bowl of lettuce and a strawberry. Not acceptable for a holiday that cost just short of £10K! I said to the waiter he must be joking when he placed it in front of me, but alas, he was not. The food was a real let down. The lunchtime buffet was marginally better, at least I could have a mixed salad, cheese and bread most days, although after 14 days it got rather boring. I don't rate the choice of food for vegetarians/vegans at all. Food is a huge part of your holiday and when no interest or imagination is used by the chefs, its a real let down. BAR/LOUNGE A big space with various seats and settees with a coffee machine that sometimes broke down. This is where the entertainment takes place. PLEASE NOTE- There is only ONE toilet on this floor next to the bar/lounge which is used by both men and women. There was constantly a queue outside the one toilet. Ridiculous! Without going into too much detail, it was not always pleasant to use the toilet after a gentleman had come out. ENTERTAINMENT - GOOD POINTS None to make unfortunately. There was an Oompah band which added a bit of something, another singing/dancing group one other night. ENTERTAINMENT - BAD POINTS Mundane and repetitive. The same keyboard player, day in, day out playing the same songs every night. Apart from the 2 efforts of an oompah and another local dancing group, there was a zipher player on another night. It was like pulling teeth. We left after half an hour with another group and thankfully the ship was in dock that night so we found solace in a very nice bar away from the ship. We found the entertainment staid, boring, mundane and repetitive. No imagination whatsoever. The staff put on a show on the last night which was ok, sometimes cringeworthy, especially when they did a "funny" sketch about a woman being blind. Not that funny really. A handful of times they made the pool area into a cinema by dragging the pools chairs into 2 or 3 rows. There as no booking system for a seat (about15-20 seats) so it is first come first served. We managed to get some seats on the back row whilst we watched the whole of the front row play on their phones and ipads all night, not watching the film at all (and I'm not talking about young people people here, but the elderly, clearly with no thought for anyone else by illuminating our view with ipads and phones). PORTS OF CALL/DISEMBARKATION It was nice to be able to walk of the ship without having to queue with lots of people. Security was a bit of a surprise, or should I say lack of. Some people scanned themselves back in and some forgot or couldnt be bothered. Again, on a cruise liner, your room card is taken from you by a steward, scanned and handed back to you. Your bags are also checked or x-rayed. Just seemed a bit free and easy on Emerald. We had some wonderful ports of call, with great photo opportunities. We particularly enjoyed the classical concert in Vienna. FACILITIES There is a very small pool at the back which people tended to just stand in to cool off. We found out on the last day from a fellow guest there is a small button hidden somewhere in the pool that turns it into a resistance pool. There are no signs whatsoever about that, so it was mainly used as a cooling off/communal bath from what we saw. There are a lack of toilets and I don't like sharing toilets with men. I wasn't aware of any exercise classes or yoga or anything like that? OVERALL VIEW After 5 days on the boat we had to change boats due to some problem with the depth of the river. The transition was ok - a 1.5 hour bus journey from one boat to another. Of course, the inconvenience was having to pack our suitcases yet again and then unpack on the new boat yet again. Wes told us all on the bus that we were lucky to have another Emerald boat 1.5 hours away that we could swap to as usually, when this happens with the river depth etc, the holiday ends up being a coach trip for the duration of the holiday. You are taken from hotel to hotel night after night on a coach, without a boat in sight. You are not able to claim any insurance or money back for this. Now THAT is enough to put me off river cruising again. Can you imagine paying near on £10K and ended up on a two week coach tour of Germany? Wes thought it was amusing when telling us that this happens frequently. We couldn't see the funny side to be fair. AND FINALLY..... We enjoyed having the wonderful views for my husband's 50th and the great ports of call. We didn't enjoy the 6am runner above our heads, the noisy neighbour with the loud TV, the lack of entertainment, mediocre food, a disinterested cruise director and the thought that at anytime this could become an extremely expensive coaching holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on other river cruises and wanted to experience the River Danube. The itinerary appealed to us, and we sailed north from Budapest. Budapest by night was a magical evening, and we found both Budapest and Bratislava two vey ... Read More
We have been on other river cruises and wanted to experience the River Danube. The itinerary appealed to us, and we sailed north from Budapest. Budapest by night was a magical evening, and we found both Budapest and Bratislava two vey clean cities full of attractive buildings, and lots of history. Vienna with its musical history as well as being part of the Holy Roman Empire was also most interesting. The live concert in Vienna was a bonus and a joy. Der stein was real picture post card Bavarian riverside village with an amazing abbey. The Wachau Valley was heavenly. River cruising at its best. Beautiful scenery, warm sunshine, and just drifting along, with just birdsong . What more could we want. Regensburg with its beautiful stained glass windows in its cathedral, and the old stone bridge were further pieces of history to enjoy. Despite low water preventing us from sailing as far as Nurenburg we had a wonderful experience of river cruising on the Danube. The friendly welcome as we boarded the boat was very wel come after an early start leaving England at 06.15 and a 4 hour wait between connecting flights at Frankfurt. All the staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. We chose to stay on the boat rather than go on a long day trip by coach to Salzberg. We go on river cruises to be on the river, and visit the nearby places of interest. The food was displayed attractively and satisfied our needs. The quality of the food was of a high standard. The staff who looked after the trips, and entertainment were very good, and everything was extremely well organised, even down to the way we disembarked at the end of a lovely holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wished to travel on the Danube and particularly to visit Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.. The ship itself was all that we expected with a very attentive and friendly staff. Food A1 . Cabin immaculate. Liked it that everything was paid ... Read More
We wished to travel on the Danube and particularly to visit Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.. The ship itself was all that we expected with a very attentive and friendly staff. Food A1 . Cabin immaculate. Liked it that everything was paid for upfront unless you wished to do of the special trips on offer. However apart from choosing one extra - the concert in Vienna, we were very happy with what was on offer. All the excursion guides were excellent.The evening entertainment not always to our taste but the musical evenings were exceptional. Unfortunately towards the end of the cruise the Danube ran out of water which meant we didn't reach our final destination. It didn't matter as we would have been sailing there in the night before our departure for home. The Emerald staff dealt with the situation admirably so there were no hitches for our transfer back to Munich airport. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Cruising for years only ever done far eastern river cruises and many sea cruises so thought would try European for a bit of luxury. Boat was very nice. Lift goes to bar and dining floors but not sun deck. Cabin on lower floor was very ... Read More
Cruising for years only ever done far eastern river cruises and many sea cruises so thought would try European for a bit of luxury. Boat was very nice. Lift goes to bar and dining floors but not sun deck. Cabin on lower floor was very nice. Well laid out, very good beds and pillows. Big t.v.poor hairdryer (bring your own) plenty of space, good shower. All cabins on boat at all grades were identical except for extra space at windows or balconies. (apart from owners suite and maybe one other) Let down by the range and quality of food. The buffets instead of diner were awful. It did improve a bit after lots of complaints. It took 2 hours to eat dinner. This was not the excellent staffs fault. They needed more staff, and to attempt to serve 173 people at the same time from a small galley was impossible. All tours were fine. All staff friendly and efficient (sometimes in the face of adversity) Very hot weather which caused problems with water level on the Danube so the last two days itinerary had to be changed. These things happen but it was extremely badly handled we were kept in the dark about what was happening and when we tried to find out we were either given a small amount of incorrect information or nothing at all. Would have given it 4 stars if food and info had been better. Tried to fill in Emeralds own survey but the (third) e survey address I was given did not work. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I wanted to see the European Cities and decided to use Emerald Waterways to cruise the Danube. The cruise was perfect in every way: Cabin: lacked nothing except a Kettle! Engine noise: soothing Lounge facilities ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to see the European Cities and decided to use Emerald Waterways to cruise the Danube. The cruise was perfect in every way: Cabin: lacked nothing except a Kettle! Engine noise: soothing Lounge facilities excellent. Dining Room excellent except buffet bun fight. The latter needs better organisation. Food: First Class sometimes even higher. Sun Deck: 'Spacious' doesn't get near it! Crew: Nina: Brilliant organiser, managed the few drought and lock problems with aplomb and made our holiday perfect. The Captain, crew, stewards, chefs, waiters, room maids were all genuinely friendly, helpful and efficient. The group tours of the various cities, towns and villages were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and gave us a real insight into the history of each country. Their command of the English language was superb. We did go on one of the extra excursions. This was to a concert in Vienna and was the highlight of the cruise for us. Overall an amazing holiday, we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having previously cruised the Rhine 2 years ago with a different cruise line, we decided to try The Danube on Emerald Sun. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient and we were greeted by cheerful and smiling crew. We had a problem with ... Read More
Having previously cruised the Rhine 2 years ago with a different cruise line, we decided to try The Danube on Emerald Sun. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient and we were greeted by cheerful and smiling crew. We had a problem with luggage as, due to disruption at Heathrow airport, our bags could not be loaded onto the flight before we left London. Credit to BA -they flew the bags out on the next flight and they were delivered to the ship at about 11:45pm. The ship is very modern and spacious with excellent public areas. Having been built in 2015, everything is bright and fairly new. Panoramic floor to ceiling windows are everywhere, making the views spectacular from almost anywhere on the ship. We had a panoramic balcony cabin which was very spacious, light and airy. The meals were good, although choice was somewhat limited at breakfast and dinner. The buffet meal layout was a little illogical, meaning it was difficult to negotiate and often resulted in frustrating queues. Wine accompanying the meal was good quality local wine. The entertainment was good-two evenings with local entertainers-a Bavarian Oompah band and a Hungarian folk dancing group, an on board schnapps and jam tasting; quizzes some evenings, a disco evening and excellent onboard musician. We enjoyed the putting course on the sun deck and the cinema converted from the swimming pool on some evenings. The service from all the crew was excellent and always with a cheerful smile. The cruise director Nina was superb, even when having to cope with the adversity of low river levels leading to disruption and reorganisation of scheduled tours. Ports, walking tours and tour guides were excellent. I would highly recommend this ship. The main criticism is that the food could be improved, however the excellent facilities and crew made this less important in the overall scheme of things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chosen for the River Danube experience, we were not disappointed but being less active than some some, coach shore tours - even if not into the ancient places would have been appreciated for a taste of new places. Staff were excellent ... Read More
Chosen for the River Danube experience, we were not disappointed but being less active than some some, coach shore tours - even if not into the ancient places would have been appreciated for a taste of new places. Staff were excellent throughout being helpful, informative and ever cheerful and calm. There were shades of ;Happy Camper' in the mien of communal notices but most went along with that. On the last night we were praised for being a great crowd.... the next morning we we not so welcome with bed linen changed whilst we were at early breakfast and before 7.40 am and when we had to have bags out by 8.30am. This was not so good and upset many. Travel bag labels would have been useful since BA had to deliver 49 or more after an airport failure - no fault of the cruise people - many hours later and having t give bag description at Budapest to get them. He quality cruise back packs - a choice of a bag might have been better for many....... not all of us a back pack people! Read Less
Sail Date June 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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