10 Budapest Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
The river cruise was part of an Italy to UK holiday. From the time we arrived in Budapest from Rome we were assisted in everyway and transported on to our ship in a very well organised manner. Once on board the perfect organisation took ... Read More
The river cruise was part of an Italy to UK holiday. From the time we arrived in Budapest from Rome we were assisted in everyway and transported on to our ship in a very well organised manner. Once on board the perfect organisation took over. Great cabin, most meals, entertainment and shore excursions all went like clockwork without being rushed. Fourteen days of wonderful May/June weather, great places to see through Hungary, Slovakia, Bavaria and Holland and a delightful, happy group of passengers who all made the most of what was on offer. Food was well supplied and catering excellently organised by well trained and friendly staff working to a faultless and precise system. The one downside was the evening dinner which to many of our group was too fussy and decorative - not really very tasty food that most passengers had been used to and sometimes a little over the top and of questionable quantity. Breakfast and lunch were more traditional and certainly sufficient so not many complaints for these two. So, an excellent and memorable cruise and we would do again give half a chance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Very good itinerary, visiting some fabulous places which were enriched by the guided tours at each location. The ship was very well appointed and very comfortable. The modern feel to the design and furnishings was appreciated. ... Read More
Very good itinerary, visiting some fabulous places which were enriched by the guided tours at each location. The ship was very well appointed and very comfortable. The modern feel to the design and furnishings was appreciated. Excellent service on board and on the excursions. A particular note of appreciation must go to Wes, the cruise director, who was very visible throughout and was informative and had a humorous and light touch to his organisational role. The bike ride was a welcome addition to the cruise itinerary, offering the opportunity to cycle through some beautiful countryside and get a bit of exercise as well. My only criticism would be about the food on board. It was "OK" but really not up to the standard that I'd expect on a cruise of this quality. The staff were all great but I'd not recommend our cruise if you're look for fine dining or anything approaching that. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As regular ocean cruisers we decided to try something different. We were not disappointed - this Danube, Mainz, Rhine cruise ticked all the boxes for a small ship. Great food, interesting mix of people and very efficient crew. One of ... Read More
As regular ocean cruisers we decided to try something different. We were not disappointed - this Danube, Mainz, Rhine cruise ticked all the boxes for a small ship. Great food, interesting mix of people and very efficient crew. One of the highlights was a tour of the galley which was something of an eye-opener. How five crew members worked in such a confined space producing such excellent food was a miracle! All the tours were efficiently organised and the innovative communication system recently introduced worked extremely well - all the guides raved about it! Destinations were all well worth the visit with usually sufficient free time to explore. The 'extra' tours/trips which included a visit to the Schonbrun Palace and a private concert in Vienna were excellent. Richard Grey the Tour Director was the best we had ever encountered on any of our previous ocean cruises. The only downside to the whole trip was the mayhem at Heathrow which would probably put us off from doing a similar holiday again unless Eurostar was an option. Otherwise, a most enjoyable two weeks which probably surpassed our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Danube travelling towards the Black Sea included many countries we had not visited, but the real reason was the inclusion of war correspondents lecturing and so adding to the experience . Of the3, Martin Bell (who travelled with us) ... Read More
The Danube travelling towards the Black Sea included many countries we had not visited, but the real reason was the inclusion of war correspondents lecturing and so adding to the experience . Of the3, Martin Bell (who travelled with us) was superb: 4 lectures of appropriate length and content, delivered with video clips to make the whole thing 'come alive' as we travelled the troubled regions of the former Yugoslavia. His last talk was very light-hearted: Politics and Poetry. Sadly, the lectures from the other 2 reporters were not up to the same standard. The boat was new, so rooms seemed even smaller. Service was excellent, although the food was inconsistent and a little too novel cuisine at times. Tours were generally very good, although a great deal depended on which local guide you ended up with - standards of English and input both variable. More activities on board would have been welcomed during the sailing day. The disappointment was no time in Budapest, and the 2 days in Bucharest. After a well organised cruise, things just weren't of the same standard (although the hotel was fine) Visits and catering outside of the hotel both left much to be desired. The overall experience was very good - not least due to the cruise director, Jana. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. Administration was efficient and our cruise director always kept us well briefed. The onshore activities at the various stops were all interesting, if not always riveting because of limited choice of things to do around eastern Danube ports. The buses used were all comfortable and the local guides were knowledgeable. The material provided by the correspondents added much context. The onboard entertainment was enjoyable and provided local colour. Our cabins were well appointed and comfortable and the food and wine were first rate. The hotels used in Budapest and Bucharest were adequate, rather than good but that didn't really detract from our enjoyment. This was our first river cruise; it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first river cruise and decided on the 7 night versus the longer one to Amsterdam. We were thoroughly impressed. From the moment we got off our flight till we disembarked Emerald had us covered all the way. The on-board ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and decided on the 7 night versus the longer one to Amsterdam. We were thoroughly impressed. From the moment we got off our flight till we disembarked Emerald had us covered all the way. The on-board experience was further enhanced by the ever-present staff. Dgeordge at the Desk, Dragana in the bar, Lanka in the dining room and Patric the entertainer all performed exceptionally, We also met some very nice people and the smaller more intimate setting and less formality made the experience so much better than larger ocean liner cruises. Port activities were well organized, if you wanted to enjoy the sites and history of those places we stopped off at. Chef kept us wanting for more with the variety of meals offered and served. Wine selection in the bar could have been a bit better as it wasn't the same wine as served at meals. At the end our disembarkation went smoothly and it was nice to see Jana and Robert bid us all farewell. While we can knock this off our bucket list, we won't as we'll be back again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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