1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Recommended by friends and travel agent. The ship was immaculate. The staff were outstanding, the food was great. The mix of activities, excursions and leisure time suited us perfectly ( mid sixties couple in good health ). Our cabin ... Read More
Recommended by friends and travel agent. The ship was immaculate. The staff were outstanding, the food was great. The mix of activities, excursions and leisure time suited us perfectly ( mid sixties couple in good health ). Our cabin was very nice and was spotless. The bed was very comfortable. We chose the low cost, water level cabin with a small window and were very happy with it , as we spent most of our time on the sundeck or the fore-deck enjoying the beautiful views. The ship is very quiet and vibration free. The only time you could notice the engines was when docking or during maneuvers in port. While docked you could occasionally hear some noise from onshore but this was not under the control of the cruise and was very infrequent and unobtrusive. The meals on board were excellent and there were always lots of excellent alternates available. This is a small ship and not like an ocean cruise with several restaurants of varying type. That being said ; there was always food available and it was always excellent quality. Dining is always informal. There was never any requirement to get "dressed up" for any meal or activity. On board activities were obviously not as varied as on huge ocean liner; but this was fine because we in a new port every day. Exploration and sightseeing were the focus of the cruise. There were small scale ( but very nice ) activities and entertainment in the evenings. This would not be a great cruise for people who spend all their time on the ship. The on-shore excursions were well designed and tailored for the ( mostly over 50 ) passengers. There were fast paced, regular, and "gentle" tours and guides for the varying levels of mobility present. There were also hiking and bicycle tours for those who wanted a higher activity level. The crew and service level were excellent. Their English was great and they were all very friendly and accommodating. I would not recommend this as a cruise for small kids. It is more oriented to a mature adult group. It is a small ship and the ability to entertain kids is limited. We quite enjoyed the quiet , laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. One of the best things about Emerald is their all inclusive service. There is ZERO expectation to have tips or gratuities of any sort for any activity during the cruise either on or off the ship. You could quite literally enjoy the entire cruise ( without limiting activities, excursions etc ) and not spend a penny. We loved the cruise and are planning another with Emerald already. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Emerald organisation was faultless from initial booking,speedy boarding with EasyJet through airport collection, transfer to the ship and welcome aboard, the cruise itself and return to our homeward airport. Emerald Sun is a lovely, ... Read More
Emerald organisation was faultless from initial booking,speedy boarding with EasyJet through airport collection, transfer to the ship and welcome aboard, the cruise itself and return to our homeward airport. Emerald Sun is a lovely, comfortable, relaxing ship with excellent facilities for river cruising including a swimming pool and cinema. Our en-suite cabin with full depth opening picture window was very comfortable, clean and well serviced by our great cabin steward. The crew were, without exception, tremendously friendly, efficient and attentive, the food was good with a good varied selection at breakfast, lunch and dinner with beer or wine included in the price at lunch and dinner. Daily tours off the ship, also included in the price, were excellent with knowledgeable English-speaking guides, several with an excellent sense of humour. On-board entertainment by a resident pianist / singer was good and he was joined by additional entertainers at a couple of stops en-route, who also were brilliant.All in all a brilliant cruise in every sense. Without doubt we shall use Emerald again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Have done several ocean cruises but always wanted to do a river cruise through Germany. My husband booked this for my 50th birthday and it more than lived up to our hopes and expectations. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful ship, the crew are ... Read More
Have done several ocean cruises but always wanted to do a river cruise through Germany. My husband booked this for my 50th birthday and it more than lived up to our hopes and expectations. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful ship, the crew are so genuinely welcoming and friendly, and completely professional. They looked happy in their work and the camaraderie between the regular crew and their bosses was just right. The atmosphere on board with crew and passengers was perfect and we felt totally at ease. The food and drinks were perfect and the facilities on board were first class and everything was spotless. The excursions were very well planned with walks for all levels. The tour guides were experts on their town or city and were so enthusiastic and helpful. All excursions were included which was great, you knew what you were doing each day and it was all planned. Though if you wanted to do your own thing that was fine, and we often did, either before or after the main tour. My favourite was the tour to the Black Forest which should not be missed. Lovely bar/lounge and restaurant, plenty of opportunity to sit as a couple or with others. Couldn’t fault it and can’t wait to book again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise director was excellent and could not be faulted. The ship was very clean and our cabin person looked after us very well. However a major down side of this cruise was the food which was extremely disappointing. I do not eat ... Read More
The cruise director was excellent and could not be faulted. The ship was very clean and our cabin person looked after us very well. However a major down side of this cruise was the food which was extremely disappointing. I do not eat milk, cream or butter so I told reception on the first day. They told me that they would put a menu for me in the room every day. This they did for the first five days, but sadly all they did was to high light the food I could not eat, which was the major part of the menu. No alternative was offered. They offer rump steak and chips to everyone who wants it and I had no choice but to eat this 5 nights out of 7. The steak was extremely small (4oz max) with a few chips on the side and that was it! Not even a slice of tomato or any garnish at all, and no vegetables. I paid thousands of pounds for this cruise and everyone we talked to said that they did not like the evening meals. My husband eats anything , but he said everything just tasted the same. Portions were very small, and at night on our table we all asked for extra bread every night to fill up on. The dining room was the nosiest I have ever experienced, with everyone shouting at each other in order to hear what was being said, maybe the low ceilings had something to do with it. The excursions were good and were included in the price. On board we played the mini golf 3 holes. The entertainment was very good when available, in particular the violin player. All in all the cruise was just average, but the staff did try their best to look after everyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I am not a good sailor on the sea, so my partner persuaded me to try a River Cruise. We are not young, my partner being 86 and I am 2 months short of 80, and this cruise was absolutely right for us. We did not have any complaints, ... Read More
I am not a good sailor on the sea, so my partner persuaded me to try a River Cruise. We are not young, my partner being 86 and I am 2 months short of 80, and this cruise was absolutely right for us. We did not have any complaints, and the staff were really so nice and pleasant. We did go on every morning outing, but on the slow or gentle walking bus or guide, which suited us and we enjoyed what we saw. The entertainment was all to our liking, and the resident pianist, who also sang, was excellent too. I didn't realise there would be a dance floor, or I would have included suitable shoes, but we still managed to have a dance, which we love. I was so happy that I didn't put on any weight (having seen this happen to others on cruises) and this was due to the food that we got - there was no time we were unhappy with anything. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our very first cruise and we booked this cruise (Danube Delights) after reading reviews on the company and I can safely say it was one of the best holidays we have had. So much so that we have booked again for next year on the ... Read More
This was our very first cruise and we booked this cruise (Danube Delights) after reading reviews on the company and I can safely say it was one of the best holidays we have had. So much so that we have booked again for next year on the Jewels of the Rhine cruise. All correspondence with the company from booking to travelling was first class and we were informed about a week before sailing that the ship had been changed for operational reasons. We should have been on the Sun but were moved to The Sky. This did not matter in the least because all of the ships which sail this route are practically identical. Embarkation was really smooth after being picked up from Munich Airport and taken to Nuremburg by coach. We were offered a cocktail on arrival at the reception desk and then taken to our cabin by our Steward (Martin who was extremely polite and smiled all of the time and kept our cabin pristine) who explained everything we needed to know and our cases were brought from the coach for us and left in our cabins for us while we went to the lounge bar for a very welcome light lunch. The cabin was not as small as we were expecting and I can say we have stayed in top grade hotel rooms which were smaller. The cabin was immaculately clean and the bed was really comfortable. The bathroom was small as you would expect but the shower was a good size and the water was always hot. The "inside balcony" with its floor to ceiling window which can be lowered halfway meant that even if we were in the cabin we could sit and watch the stunning scenery go by. There was ample drawer and wardrobe space and the safe and fridge were free to use. The food was fantastic and it was easy to see that the chef used the best quality ingredients. We were also treated to local cuisines depending on where we were at the time. All waiters and bar staff were excellent and worked tirelessly. There was a resident pianist in the bar who was really good and we were treated to a visit by an Oompah Band in Regensberg and a Hungarian Folk Dancing group in Budapest. Other than that there was not much entertainment on board but we had gone for a relaxing holiday and enjoyed talking to other guests in the bar whilst having a drink. The passengers were from USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and UK and all seemed to mix well. The shore excursions were very good and the guides excellent and they gave us enough freetime after the walking tours. The Tour Manager Nina, was excellent and made sure that everything ran smoothly. Disembarkation was smooth and well organised and we were transported back to Budapest Airport in coaches. We are now River Cruise converts. Well done Emerald !!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We got a good deal on a mid-October cruise, so we jumped on it. We had a nice room, small, but quite adequate for the 8 days on the ship. We didn't stay in our room, other than to sleep at night, so we were fine. They planned out the ... Read More
We got a good deal on a mid-October cruise, so we jumped on it. We had a nice room, small, but quite adequate for the 8 days on the ship. We didn't stay in our room, other than to sleep at night, so we were fine. They planned out the room so that everything could be put away without bumping into anything. Suitcases of all sizes fit under the bed, good size closet with plenty of coat hangers and shelves, bathroom had several shelves behind a large mirror and large drawer under the sink. They had walking sticks available, slippers and bathrobes to use. They thought of everything. Although they had a pool and movie theatre serving popcorn, we didn't take advantage of either. Many people did though and we heard enjoyed both. Food was good, but the dining room was a bit loud. Plenty of beer and wine was served. We drink Savigaun Blanc and some nights they had it while others they didn't. Very inconsistent. Otherwise, the meals were varied and delicious. We found out that our week was the last for the season and we felt that they were purposely starting to run out of stuff. Evening entertainment was very good. We cruised the Danube on Viking and the entertainment on the Emerald was far superior. Many fun song and dance contests were going on, which made it lots of fun. We had a very active crowd on rhe ship. Our Cruise Director Barash, was fabulous...much better than the one on our Viking cruise. An excellent CD makes the trip much more enjoyable, which he did. Although the ship grounded during the middle of the night and we lost one propellor, there was open transparency and we were never made to feel that our safety was compromised. Our captain couldn't speak English, which was surprising to us, Barash always translated for us making sure we were informed. After a wonderful cruise on Viking, we were a bit concerned about Emerald. We were pleasantly surprised by the mix of ages and the different countries that people came from. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and would not only recommend Emerald, but we would definitely go on another cruise with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second ... Read More
We wanted to see the cities on the itinerary. We found the easy walking group catered for our needs and the guides were all excellent and very informative. The dining facilities were very good with well balanced meals and a second option for breakfast and lunch if needed in a quieter environment. The main dining room in the evening with over 180 passengers was impossibly noisy and it was difficult to hear the conversation at our own table. Could 'any time' dining be introduced which may lessen the large number of passengers who all arrived in the dining room at the same time? The Cruise Director and all Staff were very helpful and efficient - always had a smile and never tired of helping passengers where necessary. They were very polite at all times, which made it a pleasure to sail with this particular ship, as you really felt you mattered. The cabin was well maintained clean and tidy at all times and attention to detail by Maya our cabin steward was much admired. Her service was exceptional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I saw a really good deal and wanted to cruise the Rhine, so we booked the 7 night, 8 day cruise to Basel. From the excellent welcome onboard to the end, we were very well looked after. The meals were good and so were the shore excursions. ... Read More
I saw a really good deal and wanted to cruise the Rhine, so we booked the 7 night, 8 day cruise to Basel. From the excellent welcome onboard to the end, we were very well looked after. The meals were good and so were the shore excursions. There were a couple of opportunities for my husband to go on an organized walk, there were bikes onboard. The staff were excellent, we were lucky enough to get the total drinks package, not just wine and beer at meals. We could have any drink on the menu. The waiters were not limiting any drinks, and we were very spoilt. We had the basic cabin but it was fine, it had a larger than a basic ocean cruise cabin, and the bathroom was more luxuriously decorated. The beds were very comfortable. We had rain in Amsterdam, but after a day or so we had good weather, and temperatures of 22C or so. I would thoroughly recommend Emerald Waterways and would not hesitate to go with them again. They are very good value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off ... Read More
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off their ship in the best light. It was modern with glass, chrome and plenty of light. We walked through a V....g ship which looked a little dowdy in comparison. What better way to see 3 Capital Cities and four more Bavarian towns in 8 days on board a smooth sailing efficiently run River Cruise. Aiming to go in early Autumn when it was a little cheaper, not so hot and the Danube was pretty empty, we enjoyed great moorings without stacking and clear runs of the rivers and locks. Yes, there are a lot of locks especially once leaving the river for the canal. Autumn colours were stunning, Castles evocative and the river with its reflections and light magical. It was Blue too for a day. Excursions were well organised with good guides and a Quiet Vox system so that you could hear when away from the range of their speaking voice. The guides were informative and you could leave at will. Lots of little surprises like maps and itinerary for everyday in the cabin, demonstration by executive chef (looked easy), visit to the galley (tiny), wifi never missed beat, nothing too much trouble even when phone lost overboard taking a picture of Bratislave by night with a full moon (as you do) Guest complement was mixture of Americans, Aussies, Brits and Brazillians. Crew were all English speakers and very multinational. This created an interesting set of cultures to explore. One difficulty was the noise levels in the Dining Room which rose during the evenings so that even those with good hearing were struggling. Food was plenteous of good quality and reflected the region of the day. This was a special trip for our 40th wedding anniversary and so was a one off but not to be forgotten Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey ... Read More
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey being positive and memorable. The Tour Director Jana was exceptional in her local knowledge and advice and charming and engaging in talking to the full complement of guests. The waiting staff in the restaurant were all happy, friendly and willing to help in any way requested. The quality of the food was always outstanding with variety and flavours that were equal to any high quality restaurant. Wines served were excellent and one reisling was the best I had ever tasted anywhere! Our cabin on the lowest deck was still roomy, comfortable and had more than enough hanging and storage space. The room was always well prepared each day. The cruise line makes its ambition to ensure all travellers are fully satisfied, even to the point of providing exceptional alternatives when our boat was unable to sail for 2 days due to flooding in the Danube. The compensation was more than one would expect and contributed to a sense that this line is remarkable in placing passengers before profit. An outstanding effort. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the part of the Danube we had not seen before. Whilst not as scenic as the upper river, apart from the Iron Gates, it still proved to be worth seeing. The whole trip came to life with the help of an excellent Tour manager, local tour guides and a super itinerary. The ship is really well appointed, and the cabin layout well designed. The daily programmes interesting. The organisation of the ship is well managed apart from the wine service which calls for a dedicated wine waiter. Too often their Job was hampered by having to break off to serve wine. Some tables lucky and others not so. Food onboard well presented but the quality at times could be better ( Steaks need to be trimmed of a lot of fat). Breakfast service excellent and dishes replenished quickly. Lunch choice limited, but Dinner even more so. Reception team helpful and efficient, as were all the staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cruise was preceded with a three day stay in Prague, at the 4* Hotel Grandium. This in itself was an absolute delight, excellent food, room, fellow passengers and our lovely Prague tour guide, Jakob. After our stay there, we were ... Read More
The cruise was preceded with a three day stay in Prague, at the 4* Hotel Grandium. This in itself was an absolute delight, excellent food, room, fellow passengers and our lovely Prague tour guide, Jakob. After our stay there, we were transported in a luxurious coach to embark the Emerald Sun at Regensburg. This was instead of Nuremberg due to the water level for the Danube being lower than usual and the ship didn't have the draft. The ship is very well laid out with spacious restaurant, superb cuisine, included wine and beer and ample opportunity to make new friends if desired. Our cabin, well appointed, a electrically operated full scale window, very comfortable bed, very adequate shower and storage. The entertainment was very good and original using local entertainers and even visiting local families and their homes. The staff from Captain to engine room staff were very courteous and welcoming, all English speaking and extremely helpful. Our entertainments manager, Nina was a pure delight, she was so hardworking, funny, a real beauty and very supportive and kind. The shore excursions were very interesting and well planned. We had a wonderful evening meal in a palace with traditional dancers and music. We also went one evening to a Strauss Chamber music event, again in a palace in Vienna - marvellous! We would certainly use Emerald again and would recommend it to you based on the experience my wife and I had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself ... Read More
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself had to carry our own bags onto pontoon next to ship upon arrival prior to being taken care of by attendant. Rushed on-board welcome although we were ahead of time. -Dining and wine experience is below average compared with what I have received on prior cruises with other companies and hygiene practices require improvements. Repetitive limited daily buffets where passengers were touching food with their hands and about 40%++ of passengers were sick during cruise. -Service below what to be expected, if you did not ask repetitively, you did not get. -Cabin was very clean. -Upper deck on ship was closed for about half of trip duration. -Disembarkation activity at end of trip was well organized. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We had Emerald highly recommended by our Travel Agent, who had sent other clients on your Danube cruises. We were also swayed by the brochure, which promised a most enjoyable cruise. In the main, we did enjoy it, but there were ... Read More
We had Emerald highly recommended by our Travel Agent, who had sent other clients on your Danube cruises. We were also swayed by the brochure, which promised a most enjoyable cruise. In the main, we did enjoy it, but there were aspects that we thought could be significantly improved. Our main disappointment was the cuisine. We did not like the single sitting arrangement for dinner. We thought the food at dinner especially was short on variety, quality and quantity, with too much emphasis on presentation. We were not offered a barbeque, despite the great weather on our first three days. There were only 3 nights when the 'quiet area' was available with nowhere to sit quietly on other nights. We felt that a number of the tours were included just to fill in the timetable. However, the guides throughout were excellent, and we learned a great deal about the history of the 5 countries visited during and post Communism. The visits to the various fortresses and farms were overdone and added little value. The horse show was only average and very muddy!!. The two lunch meals out were disappointing, although we enjoyed the private house lunch. The service and professionalism of the crew was excellent, the ship was very well appointed, and the free use 24/7 of the coffee/tea machine was much appreciated (Suggest you provide a similar machine in the Dining Room as an alternative to the weak coffee served at breakfast). All this went a long way to making the cruise enjoyable, and to mitigating the issues highlighted above.. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky ... Read More
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky but it was changed to Sun, which was no problem as the ships are identical. The ship itself was spotless, every one of the crew was helpful and polite. The shiny surfaces, glass and mirrored surfaces did take a bit of getting used to, and could be a bit of a problem especially the stairs where we saw a few near accidents. The balcony suite was fine, always kept immaculately clean by Darko. Plenty of hanging storage as the safe has now been moved. The dining experience however was nothing like as advertised. The dining room itself is extremely noisy, and the only way to converse with fellow passengers is to shout, making it an uncomfortable experience. The food was to say the least disappointing and not at all as represented in the brochure. I have to say however, a fellow traveller who had recently been on Sky said the meals on there were excellent. Portions were extremely small, bland and unappetising. Several guests felt they had to order double to be satisfied. A starter of meatballs should not only consist of one meatball, neither should the cheese board consist of three tiny cubes of cheese with a similar thumbnail size of chutney and no crackers. We flew KLM Manchester via Schiphol threw Emerald. When we arrived in Bucharest our luggage along with quite a few other couples failed to arrive. We duly filled in the claim form, went out into arrivals to find all the transport had gone. Ourselves with one other couple after landing at 1.20pm had to wait until 5.20pm for transport, despite the Emerald rep telling us first of all it would only be 10mins. She then asked us to wait for the London flight promising us to be first on the transport. We were then totally ignored when the transport arrived but managed to tag on at the end. When we got to the hotel our cruise director Yana took details of our lost luggage, but after that showed no interest in it unless we asked her. We were not informed the night after when it arrived and the following morning it had disappeared again, thankfully found on another floor!! As a result of this we went from Wednesday morning till Saturday afternoon in the clothes we stood up in. Yana did say on the Friday, again after asking what we should do, that we had €100 each for necessities. This experience soured what should have been a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was ... Read More
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was very average indeed. Since part of cruising involves good meals we, and our friends, were very disappointed. It would appear that we were not alone - there were quite a few grumbled fro previous Emerald cruisers and all were disappointed with the standard of food offered. This would appear to be a fault of central buying, set recipes and standardisation of meals. Please make some changes or we will stay away in future. What a shame since everything else on the ship was perfect, crew, excursions, guides, coaches and general experiences. Cabins and cabin staff excellent. Cannot speak too highly of the overall standard of the ship. Sort the food out! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise for the dates, itinerary and value. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. One of the first evenings we asked the bartender for limoncello and he did not have any. The next day the food and beverage ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the dates, itinerary and value. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating. One of the first evenings we asked the bartender for limoncello and he did not have any. The next day the food and beverage manager asked if there was anything we needed and we said that we were disappointed by the not having limoncello on board. We told him we had 12 people who would order it for the next 12 days if he had it. When we arrived in Cologne Germany he went and bought 4 bottles for the rest of the cruise. What service! The shore excursions were very informative. The first couple of tours we took the Emerald Active group and found that we saw more but had a hard time taking photos and keeping up with the rest of the group. The middle group was the best for us. We were taken off the ship for two days because of high water and Emerald bused us to Vienna for two nights and three days. What a wonderful experience. We will travel with Emerald again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid out spaces and designed to encourage interaction between guests. The space at the front of the ship was an awesome place to watch the world go by. Our Cruise Director, Jana, was cheerful, personable and extremely professional. She is the best Cruise Director we have ever seen. Activities were well planned and the tour guides used by Emerald were well-trained and very knowledgeable. The only thing that could be improved was some small details in both the lounge and the dining room. The bar staff were at times slow to notice that guests need a drink. The piano player in the lounge at times played too loud for comfortable conversation to happen. The dining room staff occasionally reached across another person to set a plate down, even if there was room to go behind and serve the plate properly. These are small complaints and could be easily corrected with better training. The trip interruption due to high water levels was handled with awesome efficiency and attention to detail. We stayed two nights in Vienna at the 5-star Bristol Hotel, located in the center of Vienna. We were within walking distance of so many historic sites we couldn't believe our good luck. None of our originally planned activities were compromised by this unexpected change in our itinerary. Our trip couldn't have gone better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise because it was an itinerary that covered a lot of ground and I chose Emerald Waterways because it was more economical than others I looked at and the ships are new. We spent three days in Amsterdam before the cruise, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was an itinerary that covered a lot of ground and I chose Emerald Waterways because it was more economical than others I looked at and the ships are new. We spent three days in Amsterdam before the cruise, staying in a wonderful VRBO apartment in the central canal area. We did a fun bike and brewery tour with Rodrigo and an interesting photo walk of Zaanse Schans with Roelof from With Locals, bought tickets ahead of time for Anne Frank House, Rikjsmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. Everything was wonderful except the Van Gogh museum, which we found to be too crowded and difficult to find our way around. We located the ship with no problem and embarkation was a piece of cake. Our cabin #232 was not as tiny as I expected, clean, super comfy, with lots of storage in lots of nooks and crannies. The shower was surprisingly spacious (compared to many European hotels we've stayed in). The window that opens into a panoramic balcony was very nice, but in truth, we didn't spend much time in our room, so never really just sat there watching the scenery. The hallway was quiet at night, but there were often surprising noises when negotiating the locks, so I recommend ear plugs. The passengers were mainly Australians and Canadians, with a smaller representation from U.S. And U.K. And one couple from New Zealand I think! Everyone we met were happy to be there and very friendly. I think the average age was 70 to 75, but we met a few that were older than us and put us to shame for being active, healthy and fun-loving!! The staff and crew was, without fail, smiling and friendly, and seemed happy to be there. We found a couple of tables in the dining room where the service at dinner was not quick and efficient, but overall, we could not have asked for better service. Jana was our Cruise Director and I can't say enough good about her. She was friendly, efficient, personable, organized, etc, etc! We celebrated our 30th anniversary while on the cruise and she made it very special. The food was always very good; sometimes a bit bland, but there were many choices. - Breakfast could be a quick choice from the lounge or a more involved buffet in the dining room. There was one station for omelets, so could be very slow, but the buffet line had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash brown patties, yogurt, toast, pastries, fruit, etc, etc. - Lunch in the lounge had a couple of selections that sounded good, but we always went to the dining room. It was buffet style again with a full range of selections. Sometimes the line could be long, but it moved surprisingly quickly. - Dinner was one seating and a free-for-all as far as finding a chair goes. Sometimes we sat with our new friends and sometimes we made new friends! A menu was provided with several choices. Sometimes the options were unusual, but always tasty. The portions were on the small side, so we didn't leave the table feeling stuffed. There were so many opportunities to eat something, that we were never hungry (for very long)! We had onboard credit so used some of it for a beer and wine package. Wine and beer was included (and freely provided) with our meals and through our purchase of the package, it was included other times as well. We thought that having two more glasses of beer or wine during the day or evening paid for the package. We spent a lot of wonderful time on the top deck the first few days, and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery on the Rhine River. On the Main river, the top deck was closed due to low bridges and we really did miss being out there! The crew opened the deck when possible, but it was not open every day. So my advice is to get up there when you can! We also spent a fair amount of free time at the pool. On a nice day, the roof was open and after a hot tour through town, a refreshing dip was very welcome. At night sometimes the pool area would be converted to a theatre, but we never stayed for a movie. Our trip was interrupted by high water on the Danube. We were given options and chose to take a motor coach trip to Cesky Krumlov, followed by two nights at a fantastic hotel in Vienna. While we would rather that our trip had not been interrupted, Jana (and Emerald) dealt with the situation wonderfully. The river level was beyond anyone's control, but we were very happy with how it was handled. It was a very busy itinerary but also a nice mix between early morning calls and more relaxed starts. We had a walking tour in almost every port which covered the highlights of the location. We often had free time, but found that the tour had covered most points of interest, so just relaxed with a beer and/or snack. The best experiences were when the ship was docked within easy walking distance of the central town. In Nurmeberg and Vienna, the ship was a bus ride away, which was okay, but just not as convenient. Disembarkation in Budapest was handled very smoothly and specific to each cabin's request. We spent three additional days in that beautiful city at an AirBnB on Akadémia street. I highly recommend Emerald Waterways and this itinerary, but be prepared to be busy if you want to see everything! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first river cruise. We boarded after 3 days in Amsterdam, which is a great city, by the way. It was well worth the extra time. We had a little trouble finding the ship as the one we were to board had been replaced by a sister ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We boarded after 3 days in Amsterdam, which is a great city, by the way. It was well worth the extra time. We had a little trouble finding the ship as the one we were to board had been replaced by a sister ship. It was a twin, however, and offered a very similar venue and service. We were greeted with a nice drink, lunch and an easy check-in. The next couple hours were for unpacking and exploring the amenities. All was as advertised. The Emerald Sun is only about two years old, quite beautiful and offers all the modern amenities. My wife enjoyed the pool and exercise room, while I enjoyed the running track on the top deck and the sun chairs on sunny days. Over the next 15 days we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, especially Yana who was the coordinator for all things touristy. I don't think Yana slept and was exceptional in a minor crisis when we were not able to pass under a bridge. She organized our stay in Vienna in a 5 Plus star hotel and arranged transfers, tours, meals, etc. without incident. She was exceptional to the very end.... of our trip....not us. Robert, the ship coordinator, was also very organized and always there to wave goodbye upon our departures and greet us upon our return. All of the staff were exceptional. The food was very good in my estimation. There were smorgasbord style meals for breakfast and lunch, and a gourmet meal in the evening. The staff moved meal times to accommodate our various activities and were always generous with the wine that was regional with our approximate location. The tables were placed so that those who wished to socialize could do so, and the more isolated types could isolate. There was also a more limited meal in another area for breakfast and lunch that offered peace and quiet, albeit a limited selection. I, personally, enjoyed the peace and quiet. My one complaint about the meals would be that the gourmet dinner took about two hours. I enjoy such a meal about once a week, but every night is a bit much for me. The food was of very high quality throughout. Our cabins were bright and clean with our trusty cabin keeper, Widodo, always available at any hour with a ready smile and chocolates on our pillow before bed time. I don't think any of the staff slept. The full wall of windows in our room provided a great view of the world as it flowed by, and the open air feature was wonderful on warm and sunny days. Sometime we were just happy to sit in our room and view Europe pass by, as if we were watching a travelogue. There were tours almost daily and extra tours if you wanted to pay a bit more. These were well organized and interesting with knowledgable leaders in each port. One could also opt out of an organized tour and create your own. As I do not always play well with others, on a couple of occasions I used the provided bicycles and toured villages along the route by myself, stopping for a nice coffee or local brew, feeling like one of the locals. The bikes were probably expensive but not a style I would have chosen. They did do the job however. Yana was very knowledgeable about almost everything and provided lectures on various subjects such as: coffee, facts and history about certain regions, and her end of the evening jokes weren't too bad either. Several times local entertainment was brought in to give us a taste of the local culture, such as Hungarian dancers in Budapest and an amazing violinist in Vienna. Although there were many highlights of the trip, the two that remain most outstanding in our minds was the private evening concert in Vienna in a room where Beethoven had once conducted a symphony, and the visit to a Slovakian village and the home of a Slovakian family. I came away realizing that we are all part of a world family no matter where we live. Good people are everywhere. In summary, this was an excellent experience. I would chose Emerald anytime, and would promote Yana to CEO. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of the travel agent. We had given her a preferred time window and wanted balcony room. Room was fine, plenty of storage bathroom adequate, clothesline in shower came in handy. Staff were all friendly ... Read More
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of the travel agent. We had given her a preferred time window and wanted balcony room. Room was fine, plenty of storage bathroom adequate, clothesline in shower came in handy. Staff were all friendly and helpful. Jana a great cruise director. We were happy with how things were going and then the announcement of high water causing a issue. We were given the option of getting off and go in home or staying on the ship during the delay or following a modified itinerary and staying at a hotel in Vienna, all expenses covered by Emerald. We went with the itinerary and hotel in Vienna. The result was bus transport to our excursion, a two night stay at the 5 star Hotel Bristol with all meals included. The cruise line arranged all this for 160 passengers and an extra cruise director came to assist. I think almost everyone was as pleased with the resulting arrangement. When we returned to the ship after two days, we were told we will get a refund for the two days our itinerary was altered. That's going above and beyond. Entertainment onboard was offered by local artists on three occasions besides the piano musician and the campy but fun crew show. Optional excursions were available but we did the standard tours except Salzburg and a concert of Vienese music one evening. The passengers were a combination of Australian, Canadian US and Brits. A very enjoyable group. Would refer others in a minute Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
After doing much on-line research we chose Emerald for our first river cruise and it was the best decision. Our trip from Amsterdam to Budapest was fantastic. The ship was new, modern and kept very clean. We went with a below deck cabin ... Read More
After doing much on-line research we chose Emerald for our first river cruise and it was the best decision. Our trip from Amsterdam to Budapest was fantastic. The ship was new, modern and kept very clean. We went with a below deck cabin which was very spacious and comfortable. All of the crew were friendly and helpful, especially the Cruise Director. All of the ports, excursions, and sights along the river as we cruised lived up to our expectations and then some. The guides for the tours were all locals and were excellent. The food was very good and included local dishes from each port. We were especially impressed with the way Emerald handled the need to deal with two days of high water which caused a delay in allowing the ship to proceed. They provided coaches to take us to the scheduled tours, included an extra excursion at no cost, and put us up in a 5-star hotel in Vienna for two nights until the ship was able to catch up with us. They couldn't have been more accommodating and we were then even more pleasantly surprised when we received a refund for the two days we were not able to cruise. We met travelers from other cruise lines on our way home and they did not have the same positive experience. We will definitely go with Emerald again and highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We have just returned from the Emerald cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We spent 14 nights aboard the Emerald Sun. Cabin 220. The boat was clean, stylish, and had enough space to accommodate all our luggage etc. The balcony room was very ... Read More
We have just returned from the Emerald cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We spent 14 nights aboard the Emerald Sun. Cabin 220. The boat was clean, stylish, and had enough space to accommodate all our luggage etc. The balcony room was very clean, bright, and comfortable. The sun deck on top was large and comfortable, as was the lounge and dining area. We never had trouble getting seats. We sailed with mostly Canadians and Aussies, with several Americans as well, it was a great crowd. We made great friends. The on board entertainment was fun! Thanks Benny, for your talent singing and being a DJ. There was also a trivia night, disco night , and a crew talent show. All very fun. Janna was the cruise director and she was amazing. Always cheerful, treated you like you were her only concern when she talked to you. The excursions were all extremely well organized, busses and people were always in place. Tour guides were personable and knowledgable. I personally would skip Drachenburg Castle, although it's views of the Rhine were stunning. The concert in Vienna was amazing. I don't even like classical but it was really something to experience. The night cruise in Budapest was gorgeous, as was the Amsterdam canal cruise. At one point we could not continue sailing dues to high waters. Janna, along with Ray, another Emerald manager, had everyone transferred to Vienna for two nights. It ended up being fabulous. They made it seamless, there was no inconvenience at all! Then we got the river cruise gaurantee, which I didn't know I had, and are getting a refund for the two days we couldn't cruise. This was very impressive! My only only only first world complaint is that I didn't think all the dinners were 5*. I would highly recommend Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
I had been to Germany on several occasions and wanted to show my wife some of the places I had been. We chose Emerald Waterways as it appeared to fit our requirements. Overall it was a pleasant holiday and the crew and staff on the ... Read More
I had been to Germany on several occasions and wanted to show my wife some of the places I had been. We chose Emerald Waterways as it appeared to fit our requirements. Overall it was a pleasant holiday and the crew and staff on the Emerald Sun are excellent. Breakfast and lunch are good with also the option of having a light breakfast and a light lunch.. Dinner was not an enjoyable experience, I fund the dinning restaurant far to noisy and on two occasions I had to send my food back as it was cold. I was told on one occasion when I returned my stak as being cold that if I ask for a medium steak it would not be piping hot this i can accept but the chips that went with the steak should be hot. I think there should be two sittings to give the staff more time and also it would not be so noisy included excursions were overall good but do not buy the optional castle tour or wine tasting as they are a waste of money. So overall not a bad holiday but it could of been better. So sorry Emerald Waterways I do not think I will be going again foe a while. Read Less
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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