173 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sky Cruise Reviews

We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff ... Read More
We chose it because we wanted to see the towns and cities on this particular Danube cruise. We had never done any kind of cruise before, and didn't really know what to expect. We found the cabin comfortable and spacious and the staff were excellent. The food was much better and more varied than we had imagined it would be, and the choice of wines were very good. The only downside was that the low levels of the Danube meant that halfway through our cruise, we had to pack up and be bussed upstream from the Emerald Sky to the Emerald Dawn, but it was handled with the minimum of fuss and we didn't miss a day's sightseeing. The Dawn was a more recent boat, and the cabins in the Sky not quite so well designed, but at least we were able to continue our cruise by transferring. The highlight of our trip was visiting Vienna and attending a concert there in the evening. The music was wonderful. It lead us to wonder why the same music (Strauss, Mozart etc) was never played on the boat itself while cruising down the Danube! Our only real complaint would be that in the evening, the music was often too modern and too loud and there was nowhere else to go to sit and talk to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise surpassed our expectations. The ship was beautiful. Spacious well equipped cabins, great public spaces and staff who went out of their way to be friendly, efficient and welcoming. The cruise director and entertainment manager ... Read More
This cruise surpassed our expectations. The ship was beautiful. Spacious well equipped cabins, great public spaces and staff who went out of their way to be friendly, efficient and welcoming. The cruise director and entertainment manager in particular did a great job of keeping us informed and organised! The food was plentiful and varied bringing in the traditions of the ports we were visiting. The shore excursions were very well organised and the guides very knowledgeable about their home towns giving us a wide historical overview and plenty of free time to explore independently. They catered well for those who wanted to be more active and also for those with more limited mobility. The evening entertainment varied between quizzes musical entertainment from our very talented entertainment manager and local groups brought in for the evening eg Hungarian folk dancers and an oompah band! Other activities were also available during sailing times. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would ... Read More
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would be like. Well we were not disappointed! In fact it may be harder to pick the larger cruising vessels again! I highly recommend this itinerary, each day was amazing and soon it seemed unimaginable that the next day could be better. We enjoyed Emerald Sky very much. The staff, crew were very friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward was fantastic. The Activity Director was quite the entertainer. We found that the breakfast and lunch meals were very good for the whole trip. The first few evening entrees were not the best but that quickly changed. There were six of us in our group and we all commented how the food just got better and better. We noticed that our ship had very good docking locations in the towns which made touring quite easy and enjoyable. Already looking forward to booking our next river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to ... Read More
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to interest every passenger at one time or another. The excursions were carefully planned into the cities we visited and had excellent guides that gave the tour group the history and insight into the historic cities and great reviews on the existing life and culture.I also liked the fact that you also had an opportunity to visit ports of call during the evening so you had a chance to see the city lights at night. I really enjoyed one stop to visit see and interact with a local family well done Emerald. The food was prepared by an excellent master chef who's creations were as eye appealing as they were to eat. We can't wait to go again to set sail with Emerald they are an excellent cruise line offering lots of travel destinations and places we want to see and visit. Thanks again to the crew of Emerald Sky.... See you again soon! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary in August, 2019. Taking a look at our bucket list in 2018 it was decided to take a River Cruise and booked Emerald, mainly due to comments from reviews and chatting to others that ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary in August, 2019. Taking a look at our bucket list in 2018 it was decided to take a River Cruise and booked Emerald, mainly due to comments from reviews and chatting to others that have taken this type of a cruise. We absolutely loved it. Check in was incredibly stress free. We arrived several hours before departure, absolutely not a problem, checked in, our room was ready, went to the lounge area where they had food and beverages available. As other guests arrived, you felt really comfortable chatting and getting to know each other as we were going to be together for 7 days. The staff on our cruise we’re amazing. Always a hello, can I help you with something. Chatted with you for a few moments. If there was anything you required you just had to ask and they did there best to make you happy. The meals were delicious. Buffet for breakfast and lunch. Different choices everyday. Dinner, generally several options to choose from. If the items of the day were not something you desired, there were more choices on the menu to choose from. My husband and I received an awesome anniversary cake. Our room was beautiful. #307. Quiet, comfortable bed, lots of storage area to remove your clothes from the suitcase. We had a lovely balcony. Everyday there was a different excursion possibly two. Very well organized. Mostly mid morning. The river was very calm and quiet. Stunning views, castles, small towns. Michael, the cruise director, explained everything thoroughly the day before. We were so fortunate, no water level issues. Absolutely loved going through all the Locke’s. Thank you to the staff on the Emerald Sky for such a wonderful experience. It was sad to leave on the last day as you meet so many wonderful people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. ... Read More
Suberb,clean,modern,well organized ship.Armin, room steward and Michael cruise director were charming helpful and kind.Great staff, meals and itinerary.ThanksCaptain Stamen for great leadership! The included on shore trips were great. HOWEVER, those with canes, or disabilities don't have equal access to sites which require extensive walking,climbing .However, staff at the sites eg Vienna private show helped with special access to elevators and seating. The music shoe in Viea was outstandin and worth every penny. Loved the Hungarian band and dancers on board the Sky Glad to have all tips included in price.Easy! The buses to and from sites were well organized . Luggage handled by staff boarding and debarking. Weathe was great for the end of August on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest except a bit tpp warm om Aug 30 to Aug 31. I would recommend this trip and itinerary. Just add more otions for those with disabilities and perhaps seat these people first on buses. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We picked this cruise as it was on offer, so we felt we could do an “extra” cruise this year, and we fancied the Danube. The ship was meant to be the Emerald Dawn but it was changed for the Emerald Sky. The trip started well, with ... Read More
We picked this cruise as it was on offer, so we felt we could do an “extra” cruise this year, and we fancied the Danube. The ship was meant to be the Emerald Dawn but it was changed for the Emerald Sky. The trip started well, with good seats on the plane and priority boarding. We were met at the airport, along with 2 other couples and taken to the ship in a large, comfortable Mercedes van. The ship exceeded my expectations and was modern, spacious and spotless. Check in was easy and we were soon in our cabin. We had opted for the cheapest cabin on the lowest deck with a picture window. It was very reasonable and roomy enough. The sliding door to the bathroom right next to the bed was odd but we didn’t mind it too much, as space would be lost if the door position was changed. The staff were wonderful on the whole. Service was always with a smile. Special mention to Simona, Katerina, Violeta and Zainep and our thanks to all. The food was surprisingly good, although the hot food at breakfast was rarely hot. Buffet lunches were excellent and set meals in the evening were very good, showcasing local dishes. You could always substitute main courses for steak, salmon, chicken or Caesar salad. Entertainment was varied - a good pianist, an oompahpah band (with yodelling!), the liars club was hilarious (guessing which staff member was truthfully describing a ridiculous sounding foreign word) What really made this cruise fantastic was the other passengers. What a lovely group of people. Everyone chatted to each other. We had such a good time and made new friends, some of whom I’m certain we shall see We will certainly cruise with Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is my 26th cruise and the first on Emerald Waterways, I did not expect it to be as good as some I have been on, but the whole cruise exceeded my expectations, the ship is beautiful, spotlessly clean with superb staff, I fully ... Read More
This is my 26th cruise and the first on Emerald Waterways, I did not expect it to be as good as some I have been on, but the whole cruise exceeded my expectations, the ship is beautiful, spotlessly clean with superb staff, I fully recommend Emerald Sky as a truly great value for money cruise From the moment we joined the ship in Vienna, we got a great city tour on the Sunday, Monday we went to Budapest, once again a city tour with a great guide gave us an insight to this lovely city, When we were leaving Budapest, we were all on the top deck enjoying drinks and watching the lights as we sailed down the Danube, Our next stop was Mochas in Hungary where we visited the beautiful walled city of Pecs, it has a beautiful Bassilica and Synagog, We then visited Novi Sad in Serbia and on to Vukovar in Croatia where we were treated to lunch in a local house to taste local food, a lovely warm welcome and great hostility. Our final stop wes Belgrade, a lovely city tour with a guide who could make a living as a comedian, In the afternoon, a visit to the opera house, I would never have believed that one could have such access to behind the scenes, made all the more memorable when we had champaigne and two beautiful singers sang four arias from popular operas and stayed and talked to everybody, the display of costumes was fantastic, A trip to remember! Lar Sheeran Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted a river cruise for a 70th birthday celebration. Saw this one advertised in daily mail and it covered the area we wanted to cruise to. We started at Budapest and travelled to Bratislava , Durnstein, Melk and Vienna. We were ... Read More
We wanted a river cruise for a 70th birthday celebration. Saw this one advertised in daily mail and it covered the area we wanted to cruise to. We started at Budapest and travelled to Bratislava , Durnstein, Melk and Vienna. We were unable to cruise last day due to river level.. however, the choice was there to travel by coach or stay on ship. Everything was well organised and passengers were kept up to date with any changes. It was a fantastic choice. Everything was run very smoothly from the time we were met at the airport until we ended the cruise. The service in horizon bar and main restaurant was quick friendly and fun when other passengers were celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. Yes From the cruise director, reception staff, waiters etc and cabin attendants , all were friendly helpful and welcoming. The evening entertainment was run by Neil after the evening meal. The juke box jury night was fun and it was great to see the staff join in. From cabin attendant to waiters. Neil also arranged golf tournament and aqua aerobics. The guided tours were very well organised with plenty of knowledgeable guides. You could choose the pace of the walking tours to suit your needs and if you wanted a more strenuous tour this was available.bottled water was available each day to take ashore . On previous ocean cruises this was an extra. Each evening Michael the cruise director detailed the next days events and choices. The choice of meals was wide ranging, very tasty with different options if you did not want local dishes. There was also a large choice for breakfasts. The service was also first.class. We had been on ocean cruises before but this was a special experience. We will definitely choose emerald again Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Maybe we have high expectations? I just don't understand how so many people can say "Fantastic, Wonderful, Amazing" In my experience there is always room to improve. On our cruise we had "lock" problems so were ... Read More
Maybe we have high expectations? I just don't understand how so many people can say "Fantastic, Wonderful, Amazing" In my experience there is always room to improve. On our cruise we had "lock" problems so were unable to reach our last port of call and were transferred via bus. Made for a very long and uncomfortable day. In general the ports we visited were nice, but I wouldn't be interested in returning for extended stays, other then Budapest and Prague. The food on board was OK, but only 40% of it seemed to change daily, they kept serving the same items over and over again. I was also surprised to find we were forced to join other people at meal time. I understand many people enjoy this, but me and my husband like to enjoy a quite dinner after a long day of touring share our thoughts of the day. The idea of a peaceful relaxing dinner with each other, a glass of wine, is just what we are looking for. However, being pushed into making small talk with strangers each night was not what we were expecting. After all is said and done, we will go on another river boat cruise, but more prepared with the pluses and minus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Being a Single traveller and never being on a River Cruise I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly my room was upgraded WoooT! First thing to check out was the beds... super comfy! Then on to check out the pool, the dining and the roof ... Read More
Being a Single traveller and never being on a River Cruise I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly my room was upgraded WoooT! First thing to check out was the beds... super comfy! Then on to check out the pool, the dining and the roof top. Overall I was impressed with everything, the staff were always asking if everything was okay and if I wanted anything. After setting sail and seeing many other cruise boats, I found this one to be the best. After looking at APT and Scenic cruises I wasn't impressed with their ship layout. particularly at front. Emerald ships decks seem to be higher and it was really nice to sit out on the front deck. There was endless amount of entertainment and shore excursions. The shore excursions were great, they catered for all levels of fitness and it was great to see entertainment director join in on some of the tours. Whilst all the staff were lovely and super awesome, (my extra deserts.. Stefan your the best!) I believe they work way too hard, you would see them first thing in the morning and still be working till the early hours of the next morning (they deserve a pay rise!) All in all I wouldn't do the same cruise again, I would chose a different route but with the same company as I really liked the ship's design. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There were 8 family members in our group from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary from June 7-14, 2019 on the Emerald Sky. We are disappointed in Emerald Waterways in many ways: 1) They did NOT inform us that the river boat locks ... Read More
There were 8 family members in our group from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary from June 7-14, 2019 on the Emerald Sky. We are disappointed in Emerald Waterways in many ways: 1) They did NOT inform us that the river boat locks were broken until the ship LEFT the docks and were changing the itineraries on us. They did NOT give us an opportunity to decide whether we wanted to be on this new itinerary. 2) They told us there would be a refund given to us 7 days after the cruise - we wrote to them an email after 7 days and wrote back saying it will be 14 days after the cruise ended to know what the discount would be. Heard back today saying it will be another 7-14 days because of the 4th of July holiday and things are backed up. We are going on 24 days after the cruise ended AND still no word on a refund. 3) With the changed itinerary and heading north Germany, we were unable to access the top deck - which rendered us trapped on the boat for the first 4 days! The locks were too narrow and too many so they could not open the top up. 4) We didn't get to use the top deck until they took the passengers on a BUS trip from Nuremberg to Melk to aboard the Emerald Dawn. But you started in Nuremberg you say? - that's correct, we left Nuremberg Day 1 to only return back to then get on a BUS to drive people to Melk to get onto another ship with all new staff. 5) Emerald's new itinerary did NOT include Vienna - therefore, we had to leave the boat in Nuremburg (after they took us around Germany for 4 days) to then take a train to Vienna, book an Airbnb, hire a tour guide, hire a van driver - all on our own expense so that we could visit the ONE city that the group wanted to visit. Shame on Emerald for not even putting Vienna on the new changed itinerary! Be aware that Emerald can fully change your 7 day river boat cruise from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Germany to just touring around Germany and end up in Budapest - that's it! You have no say in what cities they promised in the brochures and paying such high dollars for! I did not leave my 2 young children to tour around Germany and then Budapest. I wanted to see all the cities in between, but nope, didn't get to do any of that! We are highly disappointed in the way they tricked us on the boat as the boat left the docks to tell us this new itinerary to let US make our decision if we wanted to stay aboard or not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Recommended by travel Agent. Excellent crew, service, rooms and schedule. Food was exceptional special to visit with Robert at the captain’s dinner. The Hungarian and Bavarian entertainment was wonderful and so much fun. Loved the ... Read More
Recommended by travel Agent. Excellent crew, service, rooms and schedule. Food was exceptional special to visit with Robert at the captain’s dinner. The Hungarian and Bavarian entertainment was wonderful and so much fun. Loved the personal greetings on and off the boat. Nina was everywhere__ always present and available to us. Nice all paid before we began cruise. The walking tours and coaches very nice. I will recommend to my friends. Thanks so much. Svetlana very sweet to us. It is great to have beverages provided at all meals. The coffee machines are so nice to have access to__i am now spoiled. The weather was rainy, but didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. I wish I had seen jewelry earlier. Disappointed I didn’t buy. Impressive that the staff are appreciated and treated well, that is important to me. Robert introduced all staff by name—great work,,Keep up this good reputation of service to all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the Keukenhof Garden tour. We joined the ship seamlessly from Schipol Airport, our transfer was waiting for us, very little waiting at all as everyone was together, from the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this particular cruise because of the Keukenhof Garden tour. We joined the ship seamlessly from Schipol Airport, our transfer was waiting for us, very little waiting at all as everyone was together, from the Manchester flight. We were greeted on board by Robert the Hotel manager aboard "Emerald Sky" (who remembered us from the Danube Cruise we did 2 years ago aboard "Emerald Sun") and Nina the cruise director. Check-in was quick and easy, and we settled quickly into our very well appointed cabin aboard "Emerald Sky" closely followed by our bags ready to unpack. The Balcony cabins are well appointed with a good amount of storage. the shower room is perfectly set out with storage for toiletries behind the mirrors. A very comfortable bed, with storage for empty luggage underneath. Ample sockets for charging 2 European sockets and a UK one (we carry extra adaptors for these for charging phones etc) It was our 4th time travelling with Emerald and the lounge well appointed and very attentive staff. The restaurant was well set out as we remembered from last year aboard the "Sky" and the food excellent as usual. The entertainment was varied with music trivia quizzes ( great fun as we won 2 of them and also shared a prize with a couple who beat us in a tie break, who shared the small bottle of Port with us) we had a bit of live enetertainment as Julia the enetertainment manager also regaled us with a few songs one evening and there were a couple of classical musicians and a guitarist on other evenings. we tried our hand at clog painting one afternoon (a different experience for a very un-artistic person such as I hahaha) they will brighten up our greenhouse now we are back home. The included tours were well organised and went perfectly. The trip to Zanse Schans Windmill park was good fun. Must admit we particularly enjoyed the trip to the Delta Works at Veere (Flood Defences) which were very interesting. A good day had in Delft (this was an extra tour we paid for from our cabin spending allowance) Antwerp was interesting as the "Marathon" was taking part, and our guide took us through the red light district (an eye opener in a lot of the senses of the word). Arnhem and the museum of the "Operation Market Garden" battle towards the end of WW2 was very moving. But the definite highlight was our last day at the Keukenhof Gardens. We were very pleased to find out that one of the 4 coaches was staying on for an extra 2 hours so we could extend our time looking around. Nina the Cruise director had arranged to do this after the 1st cruise as one or two had said a little longer would have been better.... We actually found we still had about 30 euros left on our cabin spend allowance when we went to check out so my Wife was given a rather nice "Swarovski Pen" by the reception manager (a nice touch to end our week aboard the "Sky" Yes we have had yet another great trip with Emerald met some very friendly folk from Canada, The USA, back home (and even a couple from Hong Kong....) Special mentions for Nina (Cruise Director) Julia (Entertainments Director) Robert (the Hotel Manager) Marko (The Head Chef) and Restaurant and Bar staff.and all the cabin staff (especially Ile, who was our cabin steward who looked after us perfectly) Thank-you Emerald Waterways once again for a fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were on the special Tulip Season cruise recently. From April 17 - 24, 2019. We thought the ship was larger than expected. The lounge area was roomy enough for everyone (as noted every evening when all were in attendance for the Port ... Read More
We were on the special Tulip Season cruise recently. From April 17 - 24, 2019. We thought the ship was larger than expected. The lounge area was roomy enough for everyone (as noted every evening when all were in attendance for the Port talk by Nina. (Cruise Director). From the moment we stepped on the ship, we were pampered and catered to. Our cabin was okay in size. I had researched beforehand so I knew what to expect. I got really tired of the small sink in the bathroom. But, there is a good amount of hidden storage behind the mirrors. It was nice to have a mini refrigerator. Our cabin steward was Arditt and I couldn't have been happier with him. I asked for ice to be delivered daily; and he did not let me down. He kept the room very clean for us. Also broght me a few extra towels each day. I very much appreciated him. The Captain was nice and made himself seen and available to the guests. Robert was always cordial. Nina did an excellent job, as did Julia, the activity director. My husband and I are on the active side; so had it not been for Julia, I might have been disappointed on the options and level of activity for us. My one big complaint is that this cruise line adveritses the movie nights in the pool area. But, those were not mentioned or arranged any of the days we were on board. I feel like someone should have told us why this wasn't done. This amenity was a selling point to me choosing this particular ship and cruise line. As noted by several guests, the dining experience is great. But, the level of noise makes it very difficult to carry on much of a conversation. Might just be how it is, since there's only one seating for dinner. But, I thought I'd mention it because several of the Veteran River Cruise guests said they experienced a little bit better noise level on another cruise line. Wine and beer as advertised for lunch and dinner. I was surprised at how much they will allow you to have. It was really nice. I guess I assumed beforehand that they'd be a little "stingy" with it; but that was not the case at all. Nemitt was our waiter for many of the nights and I found that we missed him when he wasn't working our area. Hope this review helps you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for the visit to the tulip gardens. The vessel itself was good as were the trips and the crew. The guides and the equipment to hear the guides were good. We particularly liked the lady guide when we went to ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the visit to the tulip gardens. The vessel itself was good as were the trips and the crew. The guides and the equipment to hear the guides were good. We particularly liked the lady guide when we went to Delft, and the gentleman when we went to Arnhem (he was 8yrs old during the battle for Arnhem and was able to relate to it and the Dutch views about it). The on board entertainment was poor. The musician/pianist employed on board has gone and been replaced by an entertainments/activities officer. The evening entertainment was poor and it drove most of the passengers out of the lounge in the evening. There are only so many quizzes anyone can tolerate ! Notably on the last night a duo played on board, admittedly only for 35 minutes, but the lounge was full for this. Surely Emerald would benefit from having better entertainment for which they may have to pay, but it would be more than recompensed in bar sales. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald ... Read More
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald Sun that was unable to complete it’s previous cruise due to low water levels on the Danube. We were most disappointed with the latter portion of our “cruise”. We had anticipated that we might need to be bussed from one ship to another past a shallow part of the river. We did not suspect that the last 5 days of the trip would be done by coach. This resulted in: • Missing some of the main attractions and events that we were looking forward to. • Mediocre mass meals, rushed and served in overwhelmed restaurants • Long bus rides • The use of highway rest stops with long lines for toilet facilities • Lengthy walks a brisk pace to get to hotels and restaurants • Guided walks where we were unable to hear the guides due to the absence of the personal sound systems that had been left on the ship • Considerable time spent in lines or waiting for something to happen • Much jostling with other passengers at venues • On the plus side, we were put up in 3 lovely Hotels Apparently we are to be offered some financial compensation as part of a “cruise guarantee”. Both my wife and I feel that it will not make up for our disappointment at the way the cruise ended. In my opinion, the fact that the organization and execution of these last 5 days was placed on the shoulders of the ship’s cruise director, resulted in a less than satisfactory experience. Although she was excellent whilst on the ship, running a coach tour, especially one for 138 passengers, requires a different set of skills and specific expertise. I do not fault her, as she worked her heart out and was obviously stressed. I put the blame on the company that placed her in that position. Again, in my opinion, Emerald should have anticipated that the ship would not be able to navigate the whole river and deployed replacement vessels as needed. If they could not provide the cruise as advertised, they should have cancelled it and offered us other options. Low water on the rivers had been an issue all summer. I feel that decisions about this cruise were not made with customer service as a priority. As a result, we were left with a very poor opinion of Emerald/Scenic. We enjoyed the first few days on the Sky. We had several excursions where the leaders were exceptional and injected their talks on history and architecture with humour and personal antidotes. Other guides seemed to be intent on providing the group with as much information that they could fit into an hour- long march through the centre of town. I really enjoyed my bicycle excursion through the Dutch countryside on the first day of the cruse and was looking forward to several more as the trip progressed. Dining Meals are provided in the aptly named “Reflections Restaurant”. A light breakfast and lunch is available in the upper floor lounge. Dinner is table service while breakfast and lunch are buffet style. We found that the service staff were attentive and friendly. The food was well prepared and there were a variety of menu choices, Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner in unlimited quantities. Some of us found that the wines offered were only of average quality. We found one major fault with the dining room. It was incredibly noisy. We found our selves almost shouting to be heard by our dinner companions – it was apparent that others were in the same situation, which added to the din. The previously mentioned hard glossy surfaces that adorned the room seemed to reflect every sound. Tables were set up so that conversations and laughter carried the length of the room. The bright, high key lighting did nothing to mute the voices of those who tended to be loud. The atmosphere was more akin to a dining hall than “fine dining” The “Reflections” dining room needs some serious work on acoustics the next time this ship is in refit.  Other The other public areas were well laid out and there was a nice outdoor area at the front of the ship. The pool area at the stern was a nice quiet spot to read. I enjoyed the beverage machines that were available all day with a variety of coffees and teas. Having bicycles available for shore excursions was a nice touch. The captain was very personable and was seen interacting with passengers on many occasions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise director, was the best I have experienced. She was warm, caring, and always thinking of ways to aid passengers who had difficulty with mobility. The food was outstanding and the chef was so friendly. I mentioned that I loved one soup and the next day it was under my door! The last night most of the crew came and danced with the passengers. Such fun. I have sailed on Gate1, Amawaterways, Viking, and Emerald and Emerald provided the best experience. I would not hesitate to sail with them again and am already searching for a 2019 trip. Give Emerald a try. You will not regret it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every ... Read More
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every meal. The only negative comment would be that the restaurant and lounge area were very noisy. The included shore excursions were well organised, we liked the freedom of not having to give our names in advance, just turn up if you want to go, so if you change your mind at the last minute that was no problem. There was not much entertainment, unlike the ocean cruises but if you want the glitz and glamour then a river cruise is not for you. The ship was absolutely spotless, the same with the cabin. The crew were very friendly and efficient, always smiling and seeing them all at the Captain's Gala Dinner was lovely, haven't had that on other river cruises. Would recommend Emerald without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water ... Read More
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water levels. We were told that many other cruise ships had to bus their guests around the low areas but our very experienced captain was able to sail us through although we had to bypass a stop at one town because of low water. Improvements could be made in food services, particularly for vegetarians. The veggie menu showed little imagination; very heavily potato based, not enough protein based veggies. Accessibility on the shore excursions for persons with limited mobility could be improved by making sure the shore drop off and pickup points were the same place. Often there was a considerable walking distance between these points. Also, more information could be made available on how to access tour trams (cho-cho trains) for those who cannot walk around the towns. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions ... Read More
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions were superb - cannot be faulted. The bedroom was all we had expected, clean and very comfortable, with lots of coat-hangers, which was a very pleasant surprise, not the norm! ( I had taken a few, just in case!) Toiletries were good and stocked up everyday and the room was attended to twice daily.. As we had booked a balcony suite, that is what we expected, not two chairs and a table inside the cabin. This would be our only complaint of the ship but it didn't spoil an otherwise truly memorable holiday. We have travelled with other cruise companies but this is definitely the best so far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went ... Read More
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went flawlessly and we were soon on the Emerals Sky. Originally we were supposed to be on the Emerald Destiny but due to low water levels we were changed to the Sky. This didn’t present any problems however as the crew of Sky, excuse the pun, went overboard to make us feel so welcome. Arriving way before our expected arrival time our cabins were soon made ready and we were able to settle in and relax a little from a long flight and have a light lunch. Even Captain Stamen Dimitrov and Cruise Dorector Balazs were there to greet us on our arrival. Certainly a sign of things to come as we could not say more about the great service we received from all of the crew throughout the cruise. The Rhine cruise likely many in Europe is a trip through history and the tours and the guides we were fortunate to have were first class. All were well organized and having an “active” tour was a great option. The only bike option was in Amsterdam however so another on the cruise would likely go over well. Our dining experience was pretty much 4 star and the service was excellent although a little bit of extra help at the omelet station in the morning might have sped things along. Entertainment was fairly low key as things tend to be on a river boat cruise, just a pianist, but we should comment that the electronic violinist who came aboard one evening was excellent. In closing we would like to make special mention of our Captain Stamen Dimitrov who was so personalable, and skilled in navigating our ship safely through low water levels to reach our destinations. Also our Cruise Director Balazs who worked so hard to organize all the tours and events and made them go so well. Thank you. Still waiting for the photo Balazs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say is a huge "Thank you" to all the hard working Emerald Sky's crew/staff and the Emerald Cruise hospitality team onboard the Sky for making our trip memorable. All of the tours went seamlessly and were well thought out and very informative, all the tour guides knowlegable and able to answer all questions about our visits to the various places etc. The food was 1st class (Andraz the chef we had met before on the Emerald Sun in 2016) from the Buffet Breakfast and Lunch, to the Wonderful Dinners each evening, served extremely well by the extremely hard working waiters and waitresses. Widodo our cabin Steward worked very hard and kept our Panorama Balcony Suite well stocked with water and consumables. Many thanks to Balasz our Cruise Director who also worked very hard organising everything in port and the entertainment on board the Emerald Sky. Also keeping all the tour port talks interesting and happening ontime. This was our 3rd cruise with Emerald waterways and we are looking forward to joining them again in April 2019 in Amsterdam for our trip around Holland and Belgium. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
To explain the title: Due to low water on the Rhine and Danube we had to change ships, from the Emerald Sky to the Emerald Destiny, stopping at the emerald Star for lunch. Towards the end of the cruise we had to change again from the ... Read More
To explain the title: Due to low water on the Rhine and Danube we had to change ships, from the Emerald Sky to the Emerald Destiny, stopping at the emerald Star for lunch. Towards the end of the cruise we had to change again from the Emerald Destiny to the Emerald Sun. Although I would have rather avoided this, it did give me the chance to see four ships covering all three generations of the Emerald fleet. Cabins and Facilities Starting with the Sky (1st generation): The cabin was of adequate size, very clean with good storage (mainly consisting of 6 huge drawers). My only criticisms are: the wardrobe was half filled by a mini bar and safe meaning that they was less than 2 feet of hanging space (this issue has been resolved on 2nd and 3rd generation ships - more later) and Insufficient storage in the bathroom (only two shallow cupboards and no shelves)- my wife had nowhere to put her creams and potions. Other issues on the ship were that there was only one central flight of stairs causing problems at meal times and the layout of the central buffet bar in the dining room (hot food was all at one end, once again causing crowding in one area) A final niggle was that the very popular cook, providing eggs to order only had a single burner and pan leading to long queues around his station (which was also where the toasters were located). It is worth mentioning that the Emerald Star is also 1st generation and has exactly the same issues. On to the Emerald Destiny (3rd generation): The minibar and safe have been move out of the wardrobe, effectively doubling the amount of useful hanging space, but there relocation has led to the removal of two of the six drawers mentioned earlier. This would have been acceptable but for the fact that two more drawers have been removed and replaced with a small dressing table and chair. Further detrimental changes have been made in the bathroom: The two cupboards that were available in the Sky have been removed and replaces with a small shelf and a poorly designed under sink unit with awkward side access. The shower door now opens inward, which results in a user of above average size having to flatten themselves against the wall of the shower so that they can get out. Worse of all there is now a significant step between the bedroom and the bathroom - I lost count of how many times I tripped over it. On the plus side the egg cook on the Destiny now has two burners doubling his egg output! The Emerald Sun (2nd generation) Has the same storage layout as the Destiny, but the bathroom has much better storage and no treacherous step. It also has the improved buffet layout of the Destiny. Overall the 2nd generation ships would be my choice given what i know now. Dining A very similar experience on all of the ships: All of the meals were at fixed times, meaning that the dining room went from empty to full in around 5 minute. Sitting near to the ends of the dining room kept the noise down to a bearable level. The tables are not allocated so you sit where you like at each meal. Some people did not like this, but I enjoyed the chance to sit with different people at each meal. Breakfast was the usual buffet affair offering both hot and cold food. Quantity and quality were both excellent, (including the much mentioned eggs). The afternoon meal offered both hot meals selected from a menu and served by the waiters and a buffet selection. The evening meal was waiter service only and was usually four or five course consisting of three main choices (Meat, Fish and Vegetarian). Its worth noting the the portions were fairly small so five courses was not too much. In addition Steak, Roast Chicken and Grill Salmon were always available if nothing on the menu took your fancy. For those with a larger appetite there was afternoon tea and a late night snack. All of the ships had a Tea / Coffee station situated in the lounge and in the pool area. A second station in the lounge would have been useful as there were often queues for hot drinks. Talking of drinks - soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are served free with lunch and dinner. The waiters were usually very quick to refill any empty glasses. Shore Excursions These pretty much followed a formulae: A guided walk around the town followed by some free time to explore on your own. The guides were all good and used a "Quietvox" system (this mean the guide had a small radio transmitter and the tourists all had a small receiver and earpiece - so no struggling to hear what they were saying). Special mention must be giving to Jim - a Lederhosen wearing Scotsman who was our guide in one of the German towns (I forget which) he was absolutely brilliant and funny as well. One thing that is not immediately obvious from the brochures is that the ship does not always dock within walking distance of the town - a short coach ride was often the order of the day. This review is becoming longer that I intended so to cut things short: The staff on the ships were very friendly, efficient and helpful, although those on the Sky were significantly better that any of the others, always seeming to go "the extra mile" The sun deck was not always available - having to be closed for three days to facilitate passing under low bridges (I was told this was normal, not caused by low water levels) Entertainment was ok, consisting mainly of a resident musician / singer and a library of movies. As dinner usually went on until 2130 - 2200 this level of entertainment was fine And finally I have to mention the slick and speedy way we (and our luggage) were transferred from on ship to the other to get around low water areas. I cannot think how they could have improved on the process - other than the nuisance of having to pack and unpack it was completely painless. I suspect this was due in a large part to the efforts of Wes, our cruise director who stayed with us throughout. Wes was always available, cheerful and helpful working something like a 16 hour day for 14 days solid. He was an absolute superstar. In summary a great cruise with only a few minor niggles - I would definitely do it again Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Group that travels together often. We wanted a sharing experience that also had diversity of experiences. We could see beautiful sites and interact with other passengers from around the world. We had a great Cruise director in Alex. ... Read More
Group that travels together often. We wanted a sharing experience that also had diversity of experiences. We could see beautiful sites and interact with other passengers from around the world. We had a great Cruise director in Alex. He did his research and gave entertaining talks. Dining staff was great. Gilbert and Svet and Bojan were everywhere. Mladin was a good overeseer. Recipes were varied for everyone to find something they enjoyed. It seemed that great care was taken in the preparation of meals. Our cabin was kept immaculate by Widoto. Other staff were very warm and friendly, also. Side tours were varied and fun, especially the bike tour in Amsterdam. Visiting with a previous exchange student was special. I appreciated the beautiful scenery as an amateur photographer. There were many side trips where we could explore on our own time. Organization was well done. The Captain let me see inside the "wheelhouse". Cool! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Emerald Sky Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 1.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 3.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 5.0 N/A

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