162 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made into animals certainly made us smile. Every member of the crew were lovely and all work incredibly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and you were always met with a smile. The food was amazing and plentiful. The chateaubriand for the farewell dinner was wonderful. The wines served with the meals were all lovely. A big thumbs up to the chefs, waiting staff and dishwashers to supply so many meals to so many people. Mostly sailing through night it was lovely to wake up to new places to explore each day. We made some lovely friends on the ship and the whole experience was fabulous and I hope to join another emerald cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony ... Read More
Wanted to see some of Europe. This was an excellent choice. Value for cost is terrific. We stayed in lower level rooms and they were very comfortable with quite adequate room. I wouldn't bother paying extra to get a small balcony (in my opinion). Food is top notch, but we have no food allergies and are meat eaters. But there are vegetarian options if necessary. The staff is very considerate and helpful. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style while dinner is set. There's a choice of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees and 4 desserts. They also have the "Chefs Favourites" listed which is what the Chef recommends of the previously mentioned options. I went with the Chefs Favourites for all dinners and was not disappointed. They tried to pair the wine with area being travelled through, which was quite nice as well. There was an included excursion at each port and 2 where you had an option. On one of these the cost was extra, but we thought it was well worth it. It was the drive to Chochem. We did recommend on our survey of this excursion that we would have liked another 1/2 to hour of free time. Each stop has its unique features. The ship on/off procedure is well organized. All local tour guides were excellent and all spoke very good English as does the ship staff. The room steward did a a great job cleaning our room daily. Sarah, the entertainment director had evening entertainment of some sort planned but it's your choice to partake or not. The drink package selection could have more options but this isn't a big deal for us. As noted above, we had a great time and highly recommend this cruise. We will sail Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, ... Read More
I was interested in visiting the Rhine. Looked for a company and ship which had more activities whilst sailing. Emerald sun not only had a pool, cinema, gym, massage treatment but had an entertainment manager who organised yoga, pilates, zumba and other game shows to include all who wanted to join in. She also sang brilliantly and arranged disco nights. A couple of nights we were entertained by outside performers. A very varied and well organised entertainment plan. The restaurant was well run with very varied menu including all diets. They were very obliging whenever there was any type of foods you couldn't or didn't want to eat. They'd always find an alternative. Very attentive ensuring you always had a drink. Everyone served each course together and no hanging around between courses. Our rooms were very comfortable and clean. A laundry service was available at a reasonable cost. All the staff very friendly and efficient and always ready to make us laugh. I would definitely recommend emerald waterways Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was really disappointed with Emerald. They advertised their food as being high-end cuisine. It was really average. I had their lunch in the dining room on the first two days of our 14 day cruise, and never returned. There is a lot of ... Read More
I was really disappointed with Emerald. They advertised their food as being high-end cuisine. It was really average. I had their lunch in the dining room on the first two days of our 14 day cruise, and never returned. There is a lot of food, but it was all of mediocre quality. No complaints about breakfast, there was a lot of variety and it was excellent. Their dinners were not high-end cuisine. Again most were adequate, but nothing spectacular. The service on board was outstanding. The wait staff were all excellent, five stars to everyone. The administrative staff all performed their assignments adequately, but nothing out of the ordinary. No complaints about the staterooms at all. There again very high-quality and the stewards who were responsible for maintaining them did an outstanding job. The excursions were disappointing. They were adequate, but nothing more. About half of their local guides were the bottom of the barrel for sure. This was a 14 Day Danube- Main- Rhine River Cruise in July, 2019. The cruise itself is spectacular and I would recommend it to anyone. I booked with Emerald instead of with Viking, and I think I made a mistake. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to be on a river that we haven't sailed on, to visit new places & see castles. The Majestic Rhine cruise fit the bill. We had this trip booked for August 2018, but as we all know now, the water level of the Rhine River ... Read More
We wanted to be on a river that we haven't sailed on, to visit new places & see castles. The Majestic Rhine cruise fit the bill. We had this trip booked for August 2018, but as we all know now, the water level of the Rhine River was too low then, & as such, Emerald Waterways cancelled our trip. We, however, still wanted to fulfill the aforementioned & rebooked for August 2019. We were cautiously optimistic as this trip came to fruition & it did not disappoint. We are frequent ocean cruisers & have been on 3 Avalon river cruises & 1 other Emerald river cruise on the "Mekong Navigator" from Vietnam to Cambodia. So this is our 1st time sailing on an "Emerald" ship. We found the Emerald Sun to be a very clean & comfortable. It appears to me, more modern & brighter than the Avalon ships, perhaps because of their use of mirrors throughout the ship. Other than Emerald's indoor swimming pool, which morphs into a movie theatre, its lay out is quite similar to that of the Avalon ships. The crew & staff on Emerald Sun are second to none. There were all very friendly, courteous & helpful. The food on the Sun was very good, albeit the selection was understandably a bit limited. However, in my opinion, the fish served on the Sun was probably the best I’d ever had on any of the cruises we’ve been on. It was freshly cooked & moist to perfection. We also had a great cruise director, the animated “Wes”. On our 8 day cruise, we had 2 evenings with guest performers, one day with opera singers & the other day with a violinist. We also had 2 days of great singing by “Sarah”, our activity manager. On the other days, Sarah hosted trivia games & the like. There was also 4 movie nights with pop corn in the theatre. We did not partake in any of the available activities, except for Sarah's singing performances. The included excursions, although subjective, but for me, they were very good, with lots of photo ops of old, well kept colourful buildings & churches. Then on the 7th day of our 8 day cruise, we'd left Koblenz at approximately 7 AM enroute to Rudesheim & sailed through the Middle Rhine Gorge, where castles sat proudly on hilltops. All in all, a very satisfying trip. We are ready to set sail again with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. ... Read More
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. The staff is extremely polite, and nice at the reception, in the restaurant, in the bar etc.. The pool has a relaxing atmosphere. The city tours have been well organized with professional guides, comfortable couches. We had great opportunity to visit the most important places, monuments, castles and churches. During our free time we have been good advised to explore the cities in an independent way. Every evening we had various entertaining programs with a lot of fun and laughing moments. The whole crew made our trip enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. We enjoyed our breakfast buffet every morning and 4 courses dinner each evening as well as our lunch combining buffet and menu. Additionally we had joyful teatime and late night snack. All food was fresh and well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My sister and I travel each year and decided to do our first river cruise. We always do research before deciding. Emerald was the best value for the money and good reviews. We chose the 8 day Danube Delights with extended 3 days in ... Read More
My sister and I travel each year and decided to do our first river cruise. We always do research before deciding. Emerald was the best value for the money and good reviews. We chose the 8 day Danube Delights with extended 3 days in Prague. Booking was a breeze (a year in advance) and as we had questions during the year they were answered promptly. We made our own travel arrangements, but the transfer from the airport to the ship was made by Emerald and went smoothly. We do wish we had arrived a day or two early to have had more time in Budapest. The ship is very modern and kept clean and sparkling (lots of mirrors). The staff were extremely helpful and always greated you with a smile. Our cabin was great (not that we stayed in it other than to sleep) and kept clean and organized by our stewart. I was suprised how quite it was in the cabin. Jamie was the cruise entertainment director and did a great job with a variety of events for all ages and interests. With great weather, we did enjoy the sun deck daily. Emerald has open seating for meals and it gave us an opportunity to eat and converse with many of the other cruisers. We thoroughly enjoyed learing from the veteran river cruisers. Some had been on 8 river cruises in several continents. The food was plentiful and if you didn't like your first choice they would bring you another. Beer and wine are included for lunch and dinner and our glasses were never empty. There were beverages packages as a option or just pay by the drink at the bar (prices were below most bars in the states) if you wanted a before or after dinner drink. Darren, our tour director, did a great job in keeping us up-to-date on weather conditions for each day and the local customs for the next port. He would teach us the local language for greetings and other words that would be helpful, although most everyone spoke english very well. At each port there was a tour included in the cost of the cruise and were done very well by local guides. Due to departure times, we did not have a lot of time to explore (shop) on our own, so we skipped a few of the included tours and explored (shopped) on our own. We have discussed going back to the region and traveling on our own or maybe a bus tour to see more of the area. Overall, the trip and experiences were great. The ships crew, fellow travelers from all over the world and local guides provided us with wonderful memories. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his wife, the host of this cruise. We had not seen him perform live in 35 years and he was still amazing! The company sponsoring the cruise was Mayflower Tours and they did an excellent job. We received all our boarding documents before leaving home, including a nice backpack for the excursions. We received free airfare from Montana to Prague and then Budapest back to Montana. We upgraded our seats to Comfort Plus (about one thousand dollars each and worth every penny), just behind the first class section of the aircraft. We also added three days extra in Prague and Budapest to check out the cities on our own. We stayed at the Hotel Grandium in Prague, about a block from Wenceslas Square and within walking distance of almost everything. Outstanding hotel, with a breakfast to die for! In Budapest, we stayed at the InterContinental, right on the river by the Chain Bridge. I had stayed there 40 years ago, still a beautiful hotel. Our room was on the ninth floor, facing the river and the views were amazing, especially at night. Now to the ship. The Emerald Sun was beautifully maintained, spotless everywhere you went. The entire crew was exceptional and made you feel right at home. Initially, we booked a room on deck 1 (room 117) just below waterline and were more than happy with it. Just for the heck of it my wife inquired about an upgrade to deck 2 or 3 and for an extra $400.00 we moved up to deck 2 (room 214). The room was excellent. We loved having the window that lowered electrically half way open, turning the room into a big balcony. The bed was comfy, plenty of room for all our stuff and the bathroom plenty big enough. Our cabin attendant kept the room spotless. I can't say enough about the quality of the dining. Up to this point, nobody could compare to Celebrity, but these guys could and DID! All the meals were spectacular, we hated to get of that ship. The entertainment was beyond wonderful. To start with there were about 17 of us that signed up just because of Seamus Kennedy. He held trivial pursuit nights in the lounge and spur of the moment 1 or 2 hour mini-concerts at the pool for us. Not mention sing-a-longs during our bus rides. An absolute joy to travel with. The ship had various entertainers come aboard depending on what city we docked at, not to mention an amazing on-board piano player in the lounge almost every night. At every city we had ship sponsored walking tours with guides, very well organized. Also, there were many special excursions folks signed up for at an additional cost. We had lived just south of Munich for three years in the late 80's, so we skipped the extra excursions to Salzburg and Vienna. We absolutely loved Prague and Budapest and would recommend those two cities for a visit. Of note, we did most of our Danube River cruising at night while we slept. I do remember going thru many, many locks and that was interesting. We would definitely do a river cruise again. Oh BTW, we loved the Infinity Pool and used it almost daily, usually all to ourselves! My wife loved the exercise room and I loved watching her use it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise and we had just begun to explore river cruise options when we learned our friends, who were seasoned travelers, had completed the research and had already booked this cruise. While we had never been on a cruise ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had just begun to explore river cruise options when we learned our friends, who were seasoned travelers, had completed the research and had already booked this cruise. While we had never been on a cruise so we had nothing direct to compare it to, we have lived in Europe - Germany & Belgium, in the Middle East and we have traveled extensively. Without question, river cruising with Emerald is a uniquely pleasant and enriching experience. However, first, we want to complement the crew. Without exception, we felt every member of the crew treated us likefamily that really cared about our experience. Black (sp) and Harry kept us entertained and well informed. We looked forward to their daily updates and the enriching events they had planned. Every member of the crew seemed to sincerely want to ensure all of our needs were met with enthusiasm. From Edi, who cleaned up our room and managed our laundry, to the servers - I wish I could remember all of their names, but Dragana, Alan, several others were standouts, serving us with pleasure. The lady at the front desk answered our questions with a smile and provided helpful suggestions. The food was outstanding! My complements to the chef - Alexander I believe, and his entire staff. We were never hungry, always had outstanding options and the food was so good, it was difficult to follow my quantity plan of only eating part of everything. Our room surprised me at how large it was and how much space was provided. We were on the 3rd floor and had a balcony. The only disappointment was when another ship would berth next to us. Nothing like waking up to find the entire dining room of another ship next to you. Several of the excursions gave us an unique look into the lives of other cultures, which we really enjoyed. Thank you Emerald Waterways. Next time we want to take a cruise, you will be our first choice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from ... Read More
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from Budapest to Bucharest. The average passenger was British, 75 years old, had difficulty walking, and complained about everything. I was prevented from taking a morning walk on the sun deck walking track because my footsteps (at 3.6 mph) disturbed someone on the deck below. I would have been happy to use a treadmill, but alas, the “gym” didn’t have one, just three never-used recumbent bicycles. We could never get the in-cabin movies to work until the final day of the cruise, despite being in an owner’s suite. We barely saw our butler (a glorified cabin maid), and although we purchased the inclusive alcohol package, it apparently did not include premium wine. The offerings were horrible local wines. Food choices were limited. Beef was usually tough and overcooked, the chicken was dry, and desserts were uninspiring. It is really too bad that the ship, which is quite beautiful, is staffed by a crew that still needs to learn a lot about service and accommodation. Maybe they should rename it Emerald Walker-ways. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We ... Read More
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We could have gone ashore, but had spent 2 and a half days in Amsterdam so stayed on board. All meals were included and were excellent. I like having a buffet for breakfast and lunch. At lunch you did have the option to order from the menu as well. Dinner was served, 3 choices, meat, fish and vegetarian as well as steak, salmon and chicken daily. Each dinner included a choice of two appetizers, soup, and 4 desserts. The cheese on ship was amazing! The chef did a great job! The included tours were excellent. Extremely knowledgeable guides who spoke amazing English. The only negative was our docking. We did not have the best docking sites. But Emerald had busses that took us into town if necessary. We purchased four extra tours. The Dragonburg Castle was ok, there was filming that day which made part of the gardens out of bounds. The WW II tour was very interesting and explained how Hitler was able to rise to power. The Vienna concert was a highlight of the tour. The members of the Symphony Orchestra played Vienna classics and the soloists were good. The Jewish Quarter tour in Budapest was heart breaking. The Nazis' massacre of the Jews unbelievable. Our tour guide was new to Emerald and took us all over Budapest, showing us hidden food trucks, synagogues, and rebuilt areas. The on board entertainment, glass blower, zither player, violinist, Ompa Band and Hungarian dancers, were all of good quality. I found the zither player especially interesting as I knew very little about how it is played. Very difficult! Louis, from Portugal, is a very organized cruise director. His dry sense of humour was very appreciated and he made our cruise memorable. He was patient with all the questions and always seemed to have time for each guest. Ben, the activities director, was new to this job and tried to provide lots of different activities from yoga, to trivia, to bike tours, as well as cabarets and karoke. Well done, Ben All in all a memorable river cruise and would definitely cruise with Emerald again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted. We were in a Balcony Suite which was was just lovely, we could lower our window down to half way and just sit and enjoy the view. The staff were friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. Even when there was an emergency they were willing to send emails for passengers to loved ones who had no way of contacting them. Louis the Cruise Director was so helpful and friendly. The towns that we stopped at were so beautiful. The food was great and we got to try a lot of the local foods. We also went to a Concert in Vienna which was fantastic. Thanks for the memories Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse ... Read More
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse group. The cabins were well equipped, the food plentiful and varied and excursions diversified. Where I found it lacking was in the entertainment and excursion/tour areas. A violin player one night and an opera trio another night were the sole “real” entertainment. The other nights had either a movie option (attended by 3 guests) or really lame karaoke or “game” shows. The guided tours were scheduled early and lasted less than 2 hours. Most took us to tourist areas, encouraged shopping, and only “free” time scheduled for the long afternoons. Weather was unseasonably cold and rainy so we couldn’t use the lovely sun deck except for one day. Emphasis was placed on the meals which were delightful and exquisite. I guess I depended on the cruise line and should have done more research into the visited cities. We also encountered 2 holidays during our week which added to larger crowds and less business openings. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our ... Read More
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our cruise director, was organized, enthusiastic, engaging and well spoken. The tour guides on the local excursions were excellent as well! We loved touring the Christmas Markets and Balocz would share interesting information each night about the next day's city. The rooms on the Emerald Sun were very clean and well appointed. As it was December and the sun set at 4:30 p.m., we didn't spend very much time on the top deck but it looked like a great place to enjoy the sun in the spring, summer or fall. We started our trip in Budapest and enjoyed two days there before our cruise. We wished we had had a couple extra days as there were so many sights to visit. The cruise stopped in Bratislava, Milk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, Regensberg and finally, Nurenberg. We took the day excursion to Salzburg on the day we arrived in Passau. The trip to Salzburg was magical as it had snowed the night before. We will definitely book another cruise through Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time to explore. Local guides spoke good English & were easily understood. The cabins have a poor layout & poor sound insulation. The wall which has your headboard has the neighbouring cabin's TV on the other side. It would be better if dividing walls had BOTH TVs on it. Also the bathroom door is a sliding one which is only 18inches from the bed. Every time our neighbours used the bathroom we could hear the door opening and closing. The bed is comfortable but it is 2 single beds pushed together & more floor space could've been made by having a standard double bed. Not shown how to convert the room into a balcony; certainly wasn't obvious. Didn't like sailing at night as we missed many scenic views along the way. Minimal daytime sailing which was a great shame. Also going through locks at 3am wakes you up! Please Emerald STOP SAILING AT NIGHT!! The food on board was excellent; except the one time buffet which was lukewarm and with a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not Neuremberg but we missed none of the tours, being bussed to Regensburg. We were upgraded to a better grade cabin and were very happy with the facilities in the cabin. The food was always of a high standard and there was plenty on offer at all meals. The cruise director Simona was enthusiastic and arranged our tours etc brilliantly. The tours were always interesting and the ports of call were varied. Melk Abbey and Bratislava were highlights. A visit to a Slovakian family was a lovely addition to the experience. We have another cruise booked for next year and we are looking forward to another amazing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we ... Read More
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we could not find the meeting staff for Emerald - no signs - no notices at the cafe proposed for the meeting. We were then approached by a lady with no identification telling us that our transport had left and we would not get transport until 14.30 - flippantly told just to have some lunch!! We were taken to the car and left the airport at 2.30pm. When nearing Passau the driver informed us that we still had one hour to drive. He then proceeded south and obviously had no idea where he was going, we went through fields and farmyards but no sign of a river. The driver would not stop to find out where we were - my husband called Emerald Dawn and asked where they were berthed - he told us near the central station in Amsterdam! After a further 4 calls where the driver would not communicate with the ship - we asked for his papers which stated we were going to Emerald Sun. We finally arrived at the ship at 6.20pm - no apology for lack of information or inconvenience, in fact quite the opposite. We wrote a letter to the CEO of Emerald and handed a copy to the cruise director - he did not even acknowledge it. They then told us we would be going back up the river to Regensburg the following day by coach - 2.5 hours each way - this was not what we expected and could not face another long bus trip. By the next day we had somewhat calmed down and the remainder of the cruise was good. On leaving the ship on 15th Sept. we were taken to Budapest Airport for the flight to Amsterdam and on to Edinburgh, the flight arrived late - the air bridge would not work the steward announced we would still catch our flight to Edinburgh. We RAN to the gate to find out the Edinburgh flight was gone -we are 74 years old and did not feel good after this rush. KLM were very helpful put us on the next flight where we found that 2 of our fellow ship passengers going to Edinburgh were booked and had not had the rush to a flight that was gone. The inefficiencies of the transfers were appalling, but the most disappointing was the attitude of the management of the ship, they were just not interested. this experience would not entice us to book Emerald again, in fact we could not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of friends who had sailed a different itinerary in Europe. We were suppose to sail out of Amsterdam on the Emerald Dawn on Aug 18. We were informed a week early that we would now be on the Star. A few ... Read More
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of friends who had sailed a different itinerary in Europe. We were suppose to sail out of Amsterdam on the Emerald Dawn on Aug 18. We were informed a week early that we would now be on the Star. A few days before sailing and a day before we were flying to Amsterdam, we were informed that Emerald had NO boats on the Rhine. We were told we'd be put up in a hotel, but we had to e-mail everyone to find out which hotel. We got that information from our travel agent eventually, but NOT anything from Emerald. They had failed to ensure having boats on the Rhine even when it was apparent the river levels were dropping. Really negligent after knowing for weeks of potential problems. Friends who were sailing with Viking only had a small inconvenient bus portage, but we were put up in an airport hotel in Amsterdam for two nights followed by a flight to Vienna and then bused up to Melk missing the entire Dutch countryside and the entire Rhine River valley, etc and basically wasting three days with the exception of a evening canal cruise in Amsterdam. In fairness, Emerald did offer full refund or credit for our cruise, but at a much too late date and we had pre-booked hotel, transportations and events in Amsterdam, Budapest and London as had many others who did sail. The boat was exactly half full at 91 passengers. I cannot imagine how full the public areas would have been if half had not cancelled. The staff and crew were amazing as were all the free tours we took. It did seem odd that the Captain did not attend his farewell dinner though. We had the 'premium drink package' which was quite overpriced, but convenient. Now for the food. In a word, it was lousy. Everything was oversalted and tough. The breakfast was ok. I've had better omelets at any restaurant. Lunch was boringly the same most days and items off the menu again, salty. Unlike every cruise and all inclusive we're ever been on, dinner menu was dreadful. Small, overcooked, over salted items. I've never seen more food returned anywhere. (Note- we started from Melk on the Star, but even then had to pack and ended up on the Sun and both kitchens produced the worst food.) When boarding the Sun and being introduced to the chef, we thought things may improve. It did not. Common areas including bar, pool, fitness were great, albeit we were half full. Lastly, when what seemed like half the passengers were coughing after the second day aboard the Sun, we found the A/C vents were covered in mold. Only after reporting, taking photos and insisting on action the next day did anyone deal with this issue. Interestingly, they then dealt with all the cabins. To sum things up, the boat and crew were amazing, but communications by Emerald management AND the food was dreadful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and ... Read More
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and shuttles were provided by the cruise line. Meals were excellent, cordon bleu level, provided by the executive chef and pastry chef on board. Dinners a leisurely affair from 7-9pm. Beer and wine complimentary at lunch and dinner. Buses to, and walking tours of cities all included with knowledgeable guides Entertainment included an electric violin concert and an operatic duet performance. The passengers were from Australia, Canada, USA and UK and it was very easy to mingle and get to know a lot of them. We would highly recommend Emerald Waterways to anybody wanting to take a river cruise. Despite being only 5 years old, this company knows how to do everything right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are ... Read More
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are cruise would Br be leaving for another day as the ship could. Not sail into Budapest. A shock hearing this from the hotel and not the cruise line. So we were bused to our next stop Bratislava. We got on the boat a day later. Nice cabins lower deck level 1. Boat full. My wife and I are 54 years old. Average age on boat 70 plus. Even though we attended a emerald cruise event in our city after booked and specifically aske the age range and was informed that lots of 40 and 50 year olds were in these cruises. Crew were excellent in every way. Sailed for 4 days back and forth the last days in and out of Austria only to find when we got back from a really poor and expensive excursion on the Thursday that the ship could not go on. We had a few choices. Stay with the program and BUS around nd in and out of hotels. Meaning lots of unpacking. Hotel meals etc. Or they would fly us home. We had already extended our flight to accommodate extra days with friends at the end of the cruise so that was out. They would only compensate for seven days of lost travel. Web in fact we lost 10 nights. Saw an interesting note on this site in June emerald having water issues but did not bother informing passengers ahead of time. As well you can tell me the ship did not realize they’ve ever not traveling on a river past 5 days. Food was not 5 star. 3.5 at best. Lots of same old for breakfast and lunch. Don’t stay in the lunch or dinner room past the allotted hours or they would flash the light for you to get out. Having them boost about unlimited beer and wine for lunch and dinner is a joke. Draft beeer , one brand. A few glasses maybe but you only have a just over an hour and get out of the room. Fitness rom hold maybe two people. Emerald failed. Expensive excursions that are not included are a rip off. We are still in Europe after paying a lot of money to see things the cruise line failed to provide . Did not expect have to play travel agent for 10 days , truly is a crime. If you plan a summer cruise and don’t get to do it. don’t do it book with another company later on in the year if you go. Not with Emerald as they do not care about their customers just the booking. Poor planning all around. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. ... Read More
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. There were a few minor problems: -air conditioning was sometimes poor, most notably in busy restaurant at dinner -WIFI was intermittent, we lost WIFI for 3-4 days along the Danube- most frustrating ! -The map for Ruese, Bulgaria was incorrect; the ship was berthed off map; our walking tour was most interesting though and worthy of our efforts. People most helpful & friendly. The itinerary included many interesting locations, with much history to see & enjoy. The guides were excellent. -The wine tasting near Vidin was excellent. -more time could be spent in Bucharest & Budapest on our itinerary, Overall, an excellent itinerary and an excellent ship, the Emerald Sun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel ... Read More
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel pre-cruise but did the Emerald add-on with the hotel and transfer at the end of the cruise which was well worth the price. My wife and I left mid-June and spent five nights in Munich before taking a train to Zurich for four nights. Using trains and trams was a new experience for us and while we were a little intimidated at first, we quickly adapted. We decided to visit the Zurich airport the day before pickup to make sure that it was easy to find the pickup spot. Pickup and transfer to the ship was easy and on time. Passengers were primarily from England, USA, Canda, but also included Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, Average age would be early 60s. We are early 50s and were on the younger side. We did see two families with teenagers. I think pricing for River Cruises, in general, makes this situation. For the price of a River Cruise, we could have done about three Caribbean cruises. The ship was easy to navigate compared to large Caribbean ships only have three floors with one main dining area and one lounge. The trip from Basel to Amsterdam was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Each day we had city tours, sometimes we would have to take a bus but not all the time. All the tours were excellent and were done by local guides with the exception of Cologne which was just OK. The guides on this tour were much younger and a little inexperienced IMHO. But the tours were only two hours so we had plenty of time to do our own sightseeing if we wanted. We had French Balcony cabin 220 which was probably the nicest cabin we ever stayed in. This was a standard balcony cabin which we paid a premium for the view and the window that slid down. However, if we do another river cruise we would opt for the lowest level and use the money saved for upgraded airfare. Other than sleeping, we really didn't spend much time in the cabin. Food Breakfast had a light offering of food in the lounge area and a standard buffet with omelette station in the main dining room. Lunch in the main dining room was buffet style as well and didn't change much from day to day. You could order off the menu which was the same items that were on the buffet which really didn't make sense with the exception of a few Classic items: steak and chicken breast and Cesar salad. The dinner menu changed nightly with meat, fish, and vegetarian options with the Classic items also available. Food was good but many felt that the portion sizes were too small with the exception of the Captains Farewell dinner. Same issue with dessert. We noticed the salad dressings, especially at lunch, looked and tasted watered down. I have never seen such thin blue cheese dressing, but then I am from Buffalo and we are used to thick Blue Cheese! The late night snack at 10:30 was disappointing. It mainly consisted of leftover desserts or appetizers from earlier in the day and the portions again were small. We stayed off ship one evening for dinner in port. Emerald includes beer and wine at lunch and dinner. Most of them were very good and the servers made sure your glass was filled. I had a wine/beer drink package for 10 Euros/day which was a great deal compared to Caribbean cruises. There was another package for around 22 Euro for spirits as well. Drinks prices are reasonable and depending upon your drinking habits, it may not be beneficial. Bar service was fair to good with the exception of Svetlana who was the best. We usually tried to sit in her area as we knew she did a great job! Emerald should let passengers know that there are drink packages available at check-in. While I was asked by a server if I had a drink package when I ordered my first glass of wine, a couple we met didn't know there were packages available until the last night! The packages are listed in the lounge menu book but most people usually know what they want when they walk into a bar and therefore didn't pick them up. We didn't use the complimentary bikes or go to movie night in the pool area. The pool was nice though! This was a great cruise and absolutely loved it. We met a lot of nice people from all over the world! While there is room for improvement, we would consider Emerald again for a future cruise. Their all-inclusive package and payment structure is the main reason why we chose them. Another company wanted full payment almost 11 months in advance which we felt wasn't reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all ... Read More
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all areas except the food quality. Being all-inclusive was important to us, no worries about calculating gratuities, port fees, etc.. We loved the Swissôtel Basel that Emerald booked for us pre-cruise. All the airport to hotel / to ship transfers went smoothly and on time. We had fun exploring the city on our own for a day (and recovering from jet lag), before embarking on Emerald Sun. Lunch the first day was not included but they prepared a light buffet for us new passengers in the lounge, a thoughtful touch. We cruised from Basel to Amsterdam over 8 days under sunny skies. Our cabin was spacious, well-designed, and like the ship itself, absolutely immaculate. The bed was the most comfortable 'hotel' bed I've ever slept in (I usually suffer bad sleep during vacations) and the attentive cabin steward saw to our every need. Top marks. The fleet is quite new, our ship was 3 years old, and are of a modern and sleek design. It featured a beautiful infinity pool at the stern, small gym, hairdresser, cinema (pool transforms for film night), huge sundeck with shade canopies and mini-putt, bicycles for excursions, large main dining room, and a bar & lounge for relaxing or to enjoy a light breakfast or lunch. The shore excursions were included, except for one optional tour to Moselle and Cochem--which I highly recommend, it was fantastic!. We enjoyed all of the guided tours, either walking or by coach. The local guides really knew their stuff and the sites selected were interesting (and not only churches). The 'QuietVox' system let us meander about and still hear our guide. Of course one could always opt out of a tour and explore individually, or stay and relax on ship. With all that was wonderful, the very ordinary food was a disappointment. I don't know if the wait staff was new, but they lacked polish and some never smiled at the guests. The service varied greatly and the food quality & preparation was . . . okay. Not the high standard I was expecting of Emerald. We had to return a fish dish, it was hard, dry and tasteless. A fellow diner returned some veal that was all gristle. We were only told on day 3 that we could order from a menu at lunch, as well as partake of the buffet. This would have helped. Everyone we met complained of the small portions served at the evening meal—2 or 3 bites of the meat or fish, a couple of tablespoons of rice or potatoes, and a few vegetable bits. Very artsy but not enough to fill 5 year old child. One meal featured mashed potatoes dyed Smurf blue??? The white and red wines offered with the meals were rarely from the regions we were travelling through, but mainly Austrian or Slovakian. Mediocre quality, and the white served at room temperature. On the last day I discovered there were other wines one could have, despite me asking a waiter earlier in the week if they had a German Riesling since we were in the Rhine Valley. The wait staff did not seem to all have the same information. Training? However, the salads were good and varied, and they offered wonderful cheeses and bread. I ate a lot of bread. The 2 soups I tried were extremely salty so I had to give them a pass. The desserts were commercial, not much better than supermarket quality. Food aside, the trip was wonderful and we enjoyed the sights along the scenic Rhine. The crew was courteous and professional and the ship elegant and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's menu being rather boring after the first few days. The soups were a mild variance of the consomme of the previous day.Rooms were small but adequate but the lack of a dance floor and entertainment made you want for the calm of your room! Main complaints: no onboard credit for Canadians. Welearnt later that the UK guests were provided 100 pounds each. All guests arrived with Emerald backpacks , not a prioity but principle All communication with thiscompany and through the travel agent has been UNANSWERED for nigh on 6 months! When you pay thei kind of money you expect a certain degree of service. Just wanted an apology but since none was received Never using them again Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each ... Read More
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each deck! Breakfasts and lunches were very good, however evening dinners left a lot to be desired. Portion sizes on some meals were very small, ice cream desserts were often served melted, fresh cream was not used at all always spray cream. Fresh fruit salad only contained one fruit generally melon. One guest had ordered perch as a main course, I have seen larger goldfish in a bowl! Another guest ordered chicken breast but was served chicken with a bone in whilst others only had two thin strips of the chicken.Entertainment was limited to a pianist each evening he was very good. A violinist on one evening was excellent but only for half an hour. Two opera singers one afternoon for three quarters of an hour they were very good but it would have been better in an evening when everyone was on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.5 4.3

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