7 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Group and Theme 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
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
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
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 speakers - John Simpson, Martin Bell and Nick Thorpe. Most nights we were treated to informative and entertaining talks. The standard of accommodation was excellent. Dining could be described as 4 star - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the speakers - John Simpson, Martin Bell and Nick Thorpe. Most nights we were treated to informative and entertaining talks. The standard of accommodation was excellent. Dining could be described as 4 star - consistently good and well balanced throughout the week. We were very impressed by the meticulous planning of the activities and prompt timekeeping. Regarding the local guides, they were all first rate, knowledgeable and approachable with a good command of English. Most of the on shore visits were of interest but some were weak. However, it must be difficult to find venues at the very end of the season. There was a small swimming pool with current to swim against and bicycles on board to use at each port. We would be happy to recommend Emerald to others and would also consider cruising with them again. We would probably choose a different stretch of river. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Because of the theme of war on the Danube and the calibre of the speakers - Martin Bell particularly, also Nick Thorpe and John Simpson. It was an excellent and fascinating tour from Budapest to Bucharest visiting Hungary, Croatia, ... Read More
Because of the theme of war on the Danube and the calibre of the speakers - Martin Bell particularly, also Nick Thorpe and John Simpson. It was an excellent and fascinating tour from Budapest to Bucharest visiting Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Fascinating talks from Martin Bell and the lectures both onboard and on our land excursions. Great group of fellow travellers, excellent food and we had a very good time. The crew onboard were superb - everything ran like clockwork and our tour manager Jana was excellent in organising all we needed to do and enjoy. We had not done a cruise like this before so did not know what to expect and I think it exceeded our expectations in being both enjoyable and informative. The food was excellent and the chef Andras and all the staff on board kept the boat clean and very comfortable. It was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Emerald Sun is a modern River vessel launched in August 2015. We started from Nuremberg flying into Munich unfortunately no time to explore area before departing. The Emerald Sun is laid out over 4 decks - 3 accessible by lift. (-1 ... Read More
The Emerald Sun is a modern River vessel launched in August 2015. We started from Nuremberg flying into Munich unfortunately no time to explore area before departing. The Emerald Sun is laid out over 4 decks - 3 accessible by lift. (-1 0 1) Sundeck only accessible by stairs. After boarding transfer at Munich we didn't have to handle luggage until unpacking in cabin. The Cabin My cabin was a Panoramic Balcony room which meant a full glass window that opens often called a French Balcony, The room was a bit tight of space when set up as a twin rather than a double with a gap of about 18" between bed and bathroom door. As a double about 28" meaning if you have a mobility issue may be tight. The bathroom door is opposite main window so you need to think when coming out of shower, they do provide a robe (one size fits all. lol) so you need to make sure heavy blind down if you have a 200 number cabin as you are at ground level and can be overlooked. The mattress was a memory foam type and pillows very soft looked thick but compressed very quickly (Either fibre or foam crumb type) so you may need to use that extra one. Duvet was feather filled which may affect some guests. The wardrobe is a decent size 20 hangers and 2 large drawers. A mini-safe, hair drier and a chargeable minibar. The balcony area has two chairs and a table. No kettle in room however bottles of water are provided to drink. A large flat screen LG Tv with movies and info centre to help guests. The Emerald Sun do not have any cabins for Less Mobile. Instead of do not disturb signs the ship has a switch which turns on a Red light to advise do not disturb, however our cabin stewardess didn't take any notice of this. The cabin are very clean and uncluttered with very neutral colours, it would have been nice to have had a bit more colour. The Restaurant The restaurant is on the Ground Floor with a large mix of table from 2 to 12 with an open seating policy. Most meals are served here accept light meals, mid morning, afternoon tea and late night snacks which are served in bar. Breakfasts are buffet style with a selection of fruits, yoghurts, cereals, juices, cold meats and cheeses, pastries, salad and cold fish cuts, hot items including thin sausages, bacon streaky, beans, potato cakes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, and an omelette bar which also cooks fried and poached eggs. Tea and coffee brought to table by waiters. Lunch is again buffet style offering starter, soup, salad, entree and dessert normally a selection of regional dishes included. Wine/beer or soft drinks included. Dinner is normally waiter serviced except on embarkation night and on concert nights etc, and is normally starter / soup / entree / dessert / tea or coffee. Wine/beer or soft drinks included. Extra course on Captains and Gala dinners. The menu changes daily. Always available for lunch dinner as back up - Rump Steak, Grilled chicken or salmon. Bar The bar offers a wide selection of both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks with waiter/waitress service accept for tea and coffee where a self service machine is found at the back of the lounge bar (you can get drinks here 24/7) - Hot chocolate and herbal teas also available as no tea/coffee facilities in cabins - some guests arrived in nightwear / robe . Bar closes when last person goes to bed. George plays piano and acts as DJ. Team are very friendly managed by Dragonara. Lectures and entertainment also put on here. Only other area is pool / night cinema . Small pool during day and gym with running track on sun deck Excursions Many of the excursions are walking so please make sure in correct pace as I found as cruise not so busy some where to fast with timings not adequate for older guests or those with some mobility issues. Cruise Director / Reception / Staff in General All main staff very helpful and friendly and speak English although room attendant had limited knowledge of English. Cruise director very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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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