1 Helpful Vote
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: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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: July 2018
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet ... Read More
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet style and your mains are on a menu and cooked fresh. There are wines and beers throughout lunch (as much as you want) supplied by a great team of waiters. Dinner is alacarte with a good selection on the menu every night, again with plenty of wines supplied throughout the meal. The service on board is 1st class and you need for nothing from getting on board to leaving at the end of the cruise. There is light entertainment every night usually a piano player so don’t expect shows every night. The lounge area is very relaxing and you will also find the bar there. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Emerald had been very well recommended. Attended cruise show in Birmingham and got a good impression. Have done many European cruises and this cruise was to one of the few places we have not visited. The Holiday was generally very ... Read More
Emerald had been very well recommended. Attended cruise show in Birmingham and got a good impression. Have done many European cruises and this cruise was to one of the few places we have not visited. The Holiday was generally very good, staff and fellow passengers very nice. The weather was extremely hot, 33C on some days and we found the excursions a little bit rushed. Would have preferred more time and less places. Food was excellent and drinks plentiful. We would like to recommend the attention given us by Restaurant Manager, Slobodan & David. Also Magarita (think name correct, beautiful blonde) always smiling in bar and restaurant. Found restaurant rather noisy as all coming to dine around the same time. The staff worked extremely hard and were always obliging. The Captain & Nina Cruise Director always visible and willing to offer support and answer questions. Nina very knowledgeable and energetic! Would have liked more written information in Cabin re emergency procedures as due to Captain's foreign accent did not hear some of what was being said. The odd general thing like Church Service times for Sundays in towns visited on that day, in information folder in reception would be most helpful (this is frequently difficult to find on cruise boats and ships). Thanks to Bernadette in reception for her remarkable patience when very busy. Visiting Arnhem, the graves and war museum an opportunity to be taken and Maastricht if you are a follower of Andre Rieu. Antwerp RC Cathedral best we have seen. Impressed by guide Hendrick (Amsterdam) and Edward (Arnhem). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
we enjoy river cruises and have found emerald offer far superior service to others.the cabins are spacious kept pristine clean with regular changes of towels and linen.The ship is welcoming as are all the staff.embarkation is smooth and ... Read More
we enjoy river cruises and have found emerald offer far superior service to others.the cabins are spacious kept pristine clean with regular changes of towels and linen.The ship is welcoming as are all the staff.embarkation is smooth and well organised as is disembarkation. Dining is a pleasurable experience with all needs catered for any request for variation to the menu is given with no problems.Shore excursions are not the best thing as too little free time given and certain guides feeling they need to talk all the time!!! To be swamped with too much information is not helpful!!The staff could not be improved on always smiling helpful and obliging.the entertainment special acts was at the time when we had returned from trip and needed to shower and change for dinner.We would have liked to be informed of activities going on in places visited but were told after returning from trip which was too late.We have already booked another river cruise with this company which shows how good we think they are!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
After much research, we chose Emerald for our first cruise as we were looking for a river cruise on a beautiful, modern ship with opportunities to be active (cycling, hiking) and chance to see as much as possible in two weeks. This ... Read More
After much research, we chose Emerald for our first cruise as we were looking for a river cruise on a beautiful, modern ship with opportunities to be active (cycling, hiking) and chance to see as much as possible in two weeks. This experience far exceeded our expectations! The ship and the staff were extraordinary. The itinerary was a perfect blend of cities and small villages, active and quiet moments. The staff were friendly, professional and totally committed to creating an experience of relaxation and joy. Constantin, Dragana, Stefan and Edy were some we got to know by name, but so many others we felt we knew just as well. A happy, casual vibe abounded and we had a blast getting to know the crew and other passengers. Never been treated with such care at any restaurant as in the Emerald Sky's dining room for each and every meal. The daily menu was fantastic, with delicious offerings and variety, and those with food allergies can rest at ease as everything is carefully described and the crew are most willing and able to make sure your needs are met. Made to order eggs and omelettes in the morning plus full buffet and delicious salads at lunch, along with inventive entrees at both lunch and dinner, and grilled salmon at lunch or dinner if you want something lighter. The 4 course dinner was perfect, not too much food and plenty of choice for vegetarians. We found it so easy to eat healthily. We also enjoyed the bar/lounge as well, which had equally caring and attentive service, with a nice afternoon tea time snack or late night snacks. Nina, the cruise director, was phenomenal at building community and creating enthusiasm for all the activities on and off the ship and took special interest and care in all the guests. Her disco night, German and Dutch culture nights were off the chart fun and the special guests she brought on board (German band, glass blower, violinist) were fantastic. Her Rhine Gorge narration and music as we cruised on a blustery day were most memorable, like a fairy tale come to life. Lots of fun little touches, like traditional foods and wines accompanied these events, which were truly delightful. The captain was so approachable and friendly, happy to answer questions about the locks or whatever we wanted to know. The ship was modern, spotlessly clean, bright, and spacious, with lovely decor. We never felt claustrophobic or that there wasn't somewhere to spend some alone time even in a public space. The pool was one of my favorite places to hang out early in the morning, where one can make their own coffee or tea and watch the world go by. Upper deck and lounge areas were beautiful and uncrowded. Heaters and blankets in the outdoor lounge by the bar were wonderful. The other guests were a wonderful mix of people from around the globe, and of various ages. We made many friends and had ample opportunity for easy mingling, sharing meals, meeting up for tea or a drink or on the dance floor. The positivity of the guests was a highlight. All seemed to be in a 'celebrating life' mode. We took out the ship's bikes a few times, which was great fun, and biked the Wachau Valley (highly recommended). We did a number of add-on tours that we loved (Czechy Krumlov, Drachenfels, Rothenburg) and the Slovakian home visit. We often broke away from the tour guides and did our own exploration, which worked very well, that was absolutely okay and easy to meet up again with the group to go back to the ship. Also loved the included walking and bus tours, and our own side trips to museums in Vienna and Amsterdam, The crew surprised us one night with birthday cake, song and fireworks candle, which was totally unexpected and truly delightful, and also invited us to the captain's table to dine at the final celebration dinner. We felt like honored guests from start to finish with the Emerald Sky and highly recommend this ship and cruise line to anyone considering a river cruise! Cruising along the Danube and Rhine is unforgettable; absolutely stunning. The many towns, villages, castles and cities we saw we would never have managed to organize on our own. And, we felt we were in the safest and most professional and caring hands possible. Thank you Emerald Sky, one and all! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise aboard Emerald Sky, Budapest to Amsterdam was beyond our wildest expectations. We'd certainly consider taking this cruise again. The organization had to overcome some exceptional circumstances, which they did ... Read More
This cruise aboard Emerald Sky, Budapest to Amsterdam was beyond our wildest expectations. We'd certainly consider taking this cruise again. The organization had to overcome some exceptional circumstances, which they did magnificently. The crew were friendly, courteous and professional, non more so thenwhen dining or wining.Shore excursions were well planned with excellent guides, also allowing some free time. The Emerald Sky itself could not be faulted. We'd suggest allowing yourself a few days in Budapest before embarkation to allow exploration of this wonderful city. A friendly greeting (or farewell) was afforded by the duty crew each time we entered or left the Emerald Sky, who at all times had their 'guests' welfare as their major concern. The tour director also did a magnificent job keeping us right up to date and informing us of the highlights that we could expect in each port visited.We'd recommend Emerald's 'Splendours of Europe' cruise to anyone and have done so to friends and relatives. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we are past passengers of Evergreen tours and we liked the idea of the indoor pool. We found all the crew to be fantastic. They were all very efficient at their particular jobs and were happy to help with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we are past passengers of Evergreen tours and we liked the idea of the indoor pool. We found all the crew to be fantastic. They were all very efficient at their particular jobs and were happy to help with anything extra. Cruise director Nina did a brilliant job and dealt with the change of plans at the start very calmly. The Grand Balcony cabin was comfortable enough with the main problem being bad design of drawers and wardrobe with huge drawers and the bar fridge and safe taking up half the limited hanging space. The activities planned for each day were many and varied as were the extra on board activities. The menu was not extensive but it was no trouble to customise a dish. We enjoyed using the pool as well as the different public lounge areas. We would consider this company again for a different itinery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to ... Read More
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to spend night one in a hotel. The river was blocked by a cargo ship but this beyond control of the Emerald Sky. The staff is outstanding and did everything in their power to make the journey enjoyable. Nina, our cruise director was so sweet and very organized to name a few of her assets. There are 68 locks between Budapest and Amsterdam. Something for Prairie Canadians to see! You always see the beauty of the shores as you sail. Many vineyards etc All inclusive, except for alcohol but there was plenty of wine or beer with your meals. Lots of selection at the meals food wise. We took 6.00 adaptors for the plug ins. Would we go again?? In a heartbeat. May have to win the lottery to be able to afford another Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of two of the destinations but we were blown away by the Cities we had not even heard of. What a fabulous surprise. We loved Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Passat and Regensburg. The architecture in every City ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of two of the destinations but we were blown away by the Cities we had not even heard of. What a fabulous surprise. We loved Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Passat and Regensburg. The architecture in every City was astounding. Vienna was beautiful, very very grand but a bit too big and busy, having said that the buildings were breath taking. The staff about the Emerald Sky were wonderful. All of them were so friendly and there appeared to be a very good atmosphere between all staff. The food on the ship in my opinion was the best we have had on a cruise ship. This is our first River Cruise but will not be out last. Much better than an Ocean Cruise where most of the time you are looking at the sea. The itinerary was hectic but there was so much to see we didn't mind this at all. If you are not up to a lot of walking this isn't the type of holiday for you. We would like to try a different river but we are a bit concerned that the next one may not live up to the Danube. We are happy to be proved wrong though. As far as Emerald are concerned we could not fault them. Our very best wishes to all the staff. Thank you for a wonderful experience. Hope to see you all again soon. Read Less
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 4.1
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 5.0 N/A

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