5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise, we chose it after seeing a advert and sending for a brochure. We flew to Budapest and were met at the airport and transferred to the ship where we were given a welcome drink and a light lunch was available. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we chose it after seeing a advert and sending for a brochure. We flew to Budapest and were met at the airport and transferred to the ship where we were given a welcome drink and a light lunch was available. Our cabin was really nice and comfortable, very clean. The ship was spotless and everything looked so nice. We met our cruise director Jana who filled us in on activities for the next day. We had time on the first morning to have a tour round Budapest. The food on board was excellent a really lovely selection. The entertainment on board was good, the best evening was the staff show, very entertaining. The service was excellent, nothing too much trouble, such happy and charming staff. The walking tours were really good and the guides very knowledgable and it was nice to have some free time to explore as well. Our highlight was the concert in Vienna, such a lovely setting and talented musicians. Disembarkation went very smoothly so well organised and no trouble.. A very enjoyable trip Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Worth staying in Budapest before sailing as so much to see.Great welcome when we arrived on board and it was good to chat to some of the outgoing passengers. The ship is only a year old, very modern and impressive.The cabins are just as ... Read More
Worth staying in Budapest before sailing as so much to see.Great welcome when we arrived on board and it was good to chat to some of the outgoing passengers. The ship is only a year old, very modern and impressive.The cabins are just as described in the brochure and very well planned. Shower etc worked very well.The window system makes the indoor sitting are double up as a balcony.it was the newness of the ship which was one of the attractions for us. The food was fantastic at every meal, only complaint is that we both put on half a stone! The entertainment was varied and good.The excursions were well organised and used excellent guides.There was also some optional tours with the concert in Vienna being the highlight for us.The service from the crew was excellent .Our Cruise Director was full of enthusiasm and was an excellent communicator.The age ratio of the passengers was at the mature end and it was adults only. A good mix of Brits,Americans, Canadians and Australians. We would go again definitely with Emerald but on a different river such as the Douro in Portugal .It is such a great way of seeing places without the packing and unpacking. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Danube Delight was an excellent river cruise! All the transfers were timely and covered in the cost, and were handled smoothly, expeditiously, and seamlessly. The ship was lovely, new, modern. The staff were very competent, attentive, ... Read More
Danube Delight was an excellent river cruise! All the transfers were timely and covered in the cost, and were handled smoothly, expeditiously, and seamlessly. The ship was lovely, new, modern. The staff were very competent, attentive, pleasant, and efficient. The food was plentiful, generally very well prepared, themed to fit regions of the cruise, and served in a lovely formal dining room. Leisure space in the lounge and on the sun deck was well appointed, spacious, comfortably, and nicely served by accommodating bar staff.The cabins were large enough, well decorated, and regularly, actively cleaned, and the half window/balcony concept is clever and provides quite an enjoyable way to enjoy the river and the ports. Entertainment ranged from fun local musicians (German and Slovakian) to the crew (whose talent was sometimes rather thin). Shore time offered just enough guided direction and information with free time for independent exploring or hiking or biking with available bicycles). One always wants more time in Regensburg, Vienna, and Budapest, but the cruise effectively balanced shore time and schedule and information. Local guides were all very knowledgeable and articulate. Extra cost excursions were tempting and diverse. The cruise director was an excellent part of the experience; she was knowledgeable, articulate, fun, engaging, and informative, and totally organized. The fact that all transfers from arrival to departure and all tips were included meant that we could truly sit back and let the cruise happen to us--even though plenty of planned activities gave us great opportunities to burn calories from all the fine food. Frankly we loved just about everything on the cruise and were ready to go again at its end! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise and it was wonderful. Emerald took care of transport from the airport to our hotel then picked us up the next day for transfer to the ship. Once on board everything was perfect. Our cabin was modern, clean and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was wonderful. Emerald took care of transport from the airport to our hotel then picked us up the next day for transfer to the ship. Once on board everything was perfect. Our cabin was modern, clean and had everything we needed. The staff was polite and respectful. They saw to our every need. The food on the ship was extraordinary and quite plentiful. All tours were great and the guides were very informative. Unfortunately, because the water levels were low in the Danube, we had to switch ships. The staff made the transition as painless as possible and we were on our way. We would definitely go on another Emerald Cruise in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
None of my party has ever been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We loved it! It was a perfect vacation for my mom as her ability to walk long distances or on hard terrain is limited. My sister and I enjoyed it just ... Read More
None of my party has ever been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We loved it! It was a perfect vacation for my mom as her ability to walk long distances or on hard terrain is limited. My sister and I enjoyed it just as much as she did although we did take the opportunity to take longer and faster walks when we could. The ship is new, having been brought on-line just this year. The amenities were all very nice although the pool was a little smaller than I expected. However, they do have an "endless pool-type" feature that creates a current if you want to swim. The weather when we sailed was cool and rainy for most of the days so I don't know if the retractable roof was opened much during the cruise. The lounge area is nice and has a lot of seating although if all cabins had been filled I think it might have been a little more crowded than I wold have liked. We found the cabins to be more spacious than we expected, and very comfortable. The ability to open the window as we sailed helped with the temperature control and brought in fresh air. We had full size floor to ceiling windows with two chairs we could use to watch as we sailed.The window was very large allowing us to stick our heads out to look around if we wished. We were on the middle floor which was perfect. We heard from others that it was noisier on the top floor but we heard very little noise in our cabins. We returned from dinner each night to find chocolate on our pillows and the schedule for the next day. (One day we forgot to turn off our do no disturb light so when they came in to put the chocolates on the beds they cleaned our cabin which we really appreciated but didn't expect.) The length of the walking tours were just right and we were allowed free time in just about every city we stopped in. For passengers who needed more time or fewer obstacles, there was always a "gentle walkers group which was perfect for our mom. For the most part the tour guides were very personable and knowledgeable about the area being toured. The guides were local at each port. The absolutely BEST part of the cruise was the staff. As "the Texan" says in a previous review, the staff on the Emerald Sun made us feel welcome the minute we set stepped out of our cab and grabbed our suitcases. We were on the same cruise as the Texan and agree with everything he said. The cruise director (Ray) worked very hard to provide all of the passengers with a good experience. He took our mother under his wing and called her "mum" which she really enjoyed. When she wasn't feeling well he knew (don't ask me how) and asked after her. He checked in with her when she would move around the ship which we really appreciated. I can't imagine a better cruise director. The wait staff, chefs, front desk staff, and housekeeping staff (and all of the other staff we met on board) were also wonderful. Their humor and their ability to remember our personal preferences was amazing. From the first day, they knew our likes and dislikes. My mom couldn't decide between desserts one evening so they brought her both. (She has never eaten so much and so well in her life....) The staff were always smiling, always polite, and always made sure we were having the best time possible. Some people felt the food became somewhat monotonous but we enjoyed it. The only thing I would have liked to see is fewer 5-course dinners as I am typically a more casual diner. The breakfast and lunch buffets were always good. the dinner were also good but lengthy. Possibly more spicy foods on occasion would be nice. I would love to cruise with this staff again at some time and would not hesitate to recommend the cruise line, the ship, and the staff to anyone. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I must point out that we are not reviewing this trip as experienced conventional cruise travellers. A conventional sea cruise on a large ship with "entertainment", long periods at sea, crowds etc is the nearest thing to hell on ... Read More
I must point out that we are not reviewing this trip as experienced conventional cruise travellers. A conventional sea cruise on a large ship with "entertainment", long periods at sea, crowds etc is the nearest thing to hell on holiday that we could imagine. We booked this first cruise because we wanted to spend sample time at the advertised destinations, and with that objective in mind Emerald came out a clear winner on price and facilities, in particular the contemporary design of the ships which we saw as a refreshing alternative to the very conventional and crusty looking competition. We hoped that the service offered matched the design i.e. was highly competent, stylish and customer oriented, without being fawning. Our holiday tastes are luxury without pretension, with first rate service and good value. Our cruise was the Amsterdam to Budapest "Splendours of Europe" cruise over 15 nights. I won't cover the itinerary - it is on the Emerald web site in full detail. Suffice to say there were interesting off-ship opportunities every day, sometimes several, all included in the price. On some days there were additional longer trips for an extra charge. We took several of these, and they were excellent and good value for money. The accommodation was, to a confirmed 4/5 star hotel traveller (accommodation/service based, not pretention/frilly curtains based), quite simply excellent. Contemporary, stylish, very comfortable, very well designed, and in perfect condition. We were lucky enough to be able to afford one of the 4 top-level suites, but all that gave us was extra space and some extra inclusive services - the facilities were the same in every room that we saw. Our ship was the Emerald Sun, on its second cruise (new carpet smell!), but all four ships appear to be the same. I won't list the excellent facilities - again they are on the Emerald web site. Maintenance was excellent - we could observe constant maintenance, and contrasted the results several times with the competitors' ships which we saw, some at very close quarters. But the highest point was the staff. Quite simply exceptionally good. Highly professional, excellently trained, cheerful and friendly at all times, always there to help but never intrusive, and efficient to a high degree. You can see from my other reviews that I am critical of anything less that the highest service levels (again, based on service and not pretention), but this group were a cut above the best I have seen anywhere - congratulations to the Emerald trainers and managers. River cruising seems to be expensive compared to sea cruising, due mainly I guess to scale. Looking after 160 customers with just under 50 staff is not cheap, and use of the Rhine and Danube facilities cannot be cheap either. But if you want a truly memorable blow-out holiday in Europe, Emerald seems to us to be the way to go. We are hoping to do another Emerald cruise soon. Read Less
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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