162 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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
Sail Date August 2017
We cruised the Danube with Emerald in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves so much we booked the Jewels of the Rhine cruise for 2017. We were not disappointed, the Emerald Sun was the standard we would expect, the staff friendly and helpful and the ... Read More
We cruised the Danube with Emerald in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves so much we booked the Jewels of the Rhine cruise for 2017. We were not disappointed, the Emerald Sun was the standard we would expect, the staff friendly and helpful and the excursions well organised. My only comment would be at the beginning of the cruise I can only describe the standard of the food as variable. There may have been a problem in the kitchen as after the first couple of days, the standard stabilised and equalled that of our previous cruise. The cabin was clean and well maintained as were all the public areas. There is limited entertainment in the evenings with a musician and dancing every night but this is just a relatively small river cruise. Some nights there were quizzes or an additional musician and of course there was the Crew Show. We were certainly not bored. Would certainly cruiese with Emerald again Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My mothers friend suggested it! We went mother daughter trip, had an amazing time! Upon arrival in Iceland someone from Emerald was there to greet us and make transition to bus and to boat inAmsterdam so smooth! sailing the Rhine river ... Read More
My mothers friend suggested it! We went mother daughter trip, had an amazing time! Upon arrival in Iceland someone from Emerald was there to greet us and make transition to bus and to boat inAmsterdam so smooth! sailing the Rhine river was so enjoyable with so many sights to see! The excursions were catered to several levels of fitness so even those who had difficulty could enjoy the touring spots! Breakfast and lunch...so many choices available. Dinner was always delicious although smll for my appetite! The wait staff absolutely phenomenal!, couldn't say enough about our usually like Zulkipili, Padli and Dragana, as I'm sure all of the staff were so helpful and personable! Each and every staff from the dishwashers to the captIn were all so pleasant and receptive! The tour guides except for 1 were all amazing, well informed and attentive to all the people in the group! the ship was beautiful, except those darn silver shiny strips on the stairs, oh my when the sun shines they can blind you! Yes the ship was always kept clean, saw Eva and many others constantly cleaning and polishing and removing Anything dirty! The music was well done, thank you Benny! Iwould suggest some local music playing in the background, maybe on the bow seating area or topside! I can't say enough about the excursions, Emerald got you there and back with no problems and made everything so interesting and easy!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Great experience. The staff was exceptionally friendly and professional. The cabin steward Maya was efficient. The dining staff was cordial and made our eating experience fun. The function rooms were always well kept. The excursions were ... Read More
Great experience. The staff was exceptionally friendly and professional. The cabin steward Maya was efficient. The dining staff was cordial and made our eating experience fun. The function rooms were always well kept. The excursions were interesting and the tour guides were local and knowledgeable. The buses used for shore excursions were comfortable and equipped with seat belts. Checking in and out was quick, easy and efficient. The cruise was relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable and we are looking forward to repeating this experience in the future. Our only complaint was in the departure guide who took us to the airport. We were a small group of 11. We were dropped off at the entrance with absolutely no information on location of gates. The guide told us she had never been to that airport and was new. It would have been so helpful to know which level of this multilevel airport had our airline desk. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Decided to try river cruising after many ocean trips. Interesting itinerary on the Main and Rhine rivers, with quaint medieval towns and lots of castles. Excellent guides on the walking tours. Unable to use sun deck for first few days ... Read More
Decided to try river cruising after many ocean trips. Interesting itinerary on the Main and Rhine rivers, with quaint medieval towns and lots of castles. Excellent guides on the walking tours. Unable to use sun deck for first few days because of low bridges on the Main, so outside space very limited. Pool area small but pleasant to sit in, gym extremely small! Evening entertainment was very limited - pianist or occasional film. Cabin and public areas were well maintained. Coffee machine in the lounge was well used produced better coffee than the dining room. Food was mostly a triumph of style over substance - nicely presented but disappointing food, bland and lacking in both quality and quantity. Included wines were of much better standard than the food. For a holiday costing as much as a high end ocean cruise, this is unacceptable. Will probably stick to the high seas in future! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It's been my first river cruise and definitely not the last one. The ship was wonderful with professional crew members. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was clean and spacious with a very comfortable bed. Food ... Read More
It's been my first river cruise and definitely not the last one. The ship was wonderful with professional crew members. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was clean and spacious with a very comfortable bed. Food delicious and well presented with the staff always very attentive and helpful. Benny the pianist had us entertained every day. The shore excursions was up to standard and very enjoyable and interesting. A very well enjoyed River cruise and definitely going again with Emerald Waterways. I would recommend this company to whoever is thinking of carrying out a River cruise. I have done four ocean cruises before and it's completely different to a River cruise it's more relax with only 182 persons onboard. The ships on Emerald Waterways have an indoor headed pool which converts into a cinema in the evenings so you can relax watching a movie. The price you pay includes, cruise, excursións and drinks ( wine, beer & soft drinks ) during lunch and dinner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Oh dear, we hoped for so much more. We were promised it would be OK, but it wasn't. We know vegetarians are often forgotten, but airlines have got the hang of it, why not Emerald? Why put ham in the soup? Pollute the lentils with ... Read More
Oh dear, we hoped for so much more. We were promised it would be OK, but it wasn't. We know vegetarians are often forgotten, but airlines have got the hang of it, why not Emerald? Why put ham in the soup? Pollute the lentils with bacon or tuna. Why? It truly spoiled our trip. Every day we hoped the next day would be better. I wasn't. All the rest was fine. I have complained, so we will see where it goes. Come on Emerald. Get a grip. It's easy - no meat. Use standard veggie stuff, Linda MacCartney, Quorn. Make it easy on yourself. It's a wheel that does not need re inventing. The ship was as good as it could be given it is a river boat so ceilings are low, so noise levels are high. Crew were good, cruise director was great. Scenery good. Trips OK. Just the food ----- We are booked with a sister company and really worried the Group just have no clue. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Wonderful cruise! I met the 8 day Danube River cruise, in Nurenberg. The port was easy to find, and my taxi was met with a greeter from the ship. Embarkation was easy, as it’s a small ship (regular river boat size), with a small ... Read More
Wonderful cruise! I met the 8 day Danube River cruise, in Nurenberg. The port was easy to find, and my taxi was met with a greeter from the ship. Embarkation was easy, as it’s a small ship (regular river boat size), with a small amount of passengers, so no one ever had to wait in line etc. The ship was pretty and clean. I got there early, so was invited to relax in the lounge, and enjoy a light buffet meal, until my cabin was ready. I had chose one of the two single cabins, as I went alone, and while it was narrow and small, it had a small window up high, and was comfortable, modern, and well equipped. The food was very good all the time, while not being over the top gourmet, and wine was complimentary at both lunch and dinner - a very nice addition. My fellow passengers were mostly middle aged, or older, British, Australian, Canadian and American, mostly, and very nice. The older people were really quite amazing - as you’d see them drinking, playing games, laughing, and chatting, until the wee hours of the morning, then, they’d be up first thing, bursting with energy, to get on the complimentary tours! One, thing, most tours started early - 9 ish, usually, which, for a Yank, with jet lag, and time change - (9 AM for me, was 2 AM), it was almost impossible to waken in time. Not sure why they were so early? As on vacation, one generally loves sleeping in a bit - perhaps to try and avoid the afternoon heat in August? Not sure. But my suggestion, is to try and arrive in Europe several days early, to give your body a chance to adjust to the time change. The ship was very comfortable and pretty. My favorite thing was the complimentary Cappuccino machines - available in the lounge and by the pool - fabulous - for coffee lovers! Also, the small, “eternity” pool, is wonderful for those of us who are swim addicts. The ship also offered bicycles, to ride near where we stopped, or even ride to our next stop, as two couples did. The rooftop deck was fabulous at night, to walk after dinner, stare at the passing sights, (particularly amazing in Budapest), or have a drink and enjoy the company of new friends. The employees were all just wonderful, and really made the experience, with the their smiles, laughter, helpfulness and friendliness. The entertainment was a bit homespun, which is expected on a small ship, with no actual theater, and a small number of passengers and crew - but this is not why people cruise the Danube, and I thought they did a smashing job, with games, and their crew performance - charming and funny. The tours were good as well - though there’s a LOT to see, so site exhausting. All in all - a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I would go again, with this lovely company, in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for ... Read More
My mum-in-law asked for this trip & what fun we 3 had- We were river rat virgins & look forward to the next one! The ship & cabins were stunning & pristine, dining delicious & imaginative. The entertainment was fun for all ages (21 to 81!) & the crew show not to be missed! We loved that we got to know the staff & they made efforts to get to know us & our preferences. My husband's birthday surprise was really well done. We did as many shore excursions as possible & loved the humorous history. The bike trip was very active & thank you for giving us speed choice in walking tours. We made lots of new friends & hope to visit with again. (Please start A loyalty program!) We appreciated minimal broadcasted announcements. Embarkation & disembarkation was super easy. We should have gone a day early to enjoy a Budapest thermal bath but did explore Nuremberg city center & War Memorial the last day of cruise & take a train to see/ sleep Munich & fly home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this ship due to our travel agent with Vacations to go it was a great deal and was going to places we wanted to see .We will travel on this cruise line again .Ship was so nice and staff were very friendly they took of everything ... Read More
We choose this ship due to our travel agent with Vacations to go it was a great deal and was going to places we wanted to see .We will travel on this cruise line again .Ship was so nice and staff were very friendly they took of everything including going to airport & helping us get boarding passes. Our cabin was very nice & with lots of room .Dining was great wonderful food & GREAT staff to wait on us . Shore tours were well taken care of including going out of their way to send new devices to replace low battery ones . The tour guides were very wonderful they knew the area well & didn't hurry us through & gave time for everyone to get pictures .They lady in Budapest was a little hard to understand but good we saw lots of beautiful building & sites enjoyed all Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our 3rd river cruise. We chose EW over the leading River Cruise line in the U.S. market because we wanted a different experience all around and EW did NOT dissapoint! For starters, if you are not part of their pre-cruise ... Read More
This was our 3rd river cruise. We chose EW over the leading River Cruise line in the U.S. market because we wanted a different experience all around and EW did NOT dissapoint! For starters, if you are not part of their pre-cruise excursion, do not count on any communication from EW to find where you would find the ship on the Danube . If one did not use Emerald for airport transfer and were in Budapest prior to cruise, GOOD LUCK!! You're on your own. EW makes it "your" responsibility to call the ship and find out the port location! - The port location was the furthest from the city center and absolutely nothing to look at. Remember with this cruise one spends a full afternoon, evening, overnight, breakfast and lunch aboard the ship sitting on the Danube. - THIS WAS THE MOST ANNOYING aspect of our cruise: We always stay on the bottom floor because we spend very little time in the room just as when we are in a hotel and there is so much to see and explore outside of the room (in this case the ship)! If you are on the first floor there is a horrendous noise every time "anyone" on the ship flushes the toilet in their room. It's a loud pop and accompanied by a loud "waterfall" like noise. No kidding. Totally unacceptable!! How can EW market rooms in a floor that has this type of constant noise disturbance!? - Buffet food was mediocre at best and reminded me of the dorm cafeteria food in my college days. The only bright spot was the salad variety. On the dinner selections, there was not one main course item that I would ever remember as tasty or flavorful. Nothing had any flavor! Every dish was bland. - Very noisy dining lounge due to poor acoustic design. Another blunder by design engineers!! - Big crowds and not enough stations for the breakfast and lunch buffets. High passenger to host/waiter ratios. Only 6 or 7 hosts/waiters for about 180 passengers. I felt bad for all the staff on the dining room. THE ONLY BRIGHT SPOT: The staff in every department. From the Air dept. in Boston to the housekeeping crew to the captain. They do the absolute best they can and work very hard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise because we have been wanting to take a "refresher tour" of some of the stops our ship made. The remainder of the cities we visited were new to us. We especially wanted to tour Budapest, ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we have been wanting to take a "refresher tour" of some of the stops our ship made. The remainder of the cities we visited were new to us. We especially wanted to tour Budapest, Hungry. For personal reasons we weren't interested in taking a large, crowded, and hectic cruise ship for this trip. The pace is slower on the river cruise. The smaller number of passengers on board allowed us to meet many interesting people rather than just those at our dinner table. The tours of the cities were through enough for us to become familiar with the territory, and explore it on our own. The cabins are as comfortable as a large cruise ship cabin with the usual cabin services available. There was always a wide variety of food to choose from at every meal. I would not recommend a river cruise for children in that the tours and activities are better suited for adults. There is a small pool but not much else for children. Entertainment was planned with adults in mind. Our embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We had a wonderful cruise director. Were there any negatives? Well, it rained which limited time on the sun deck. Some of the city maps given to us (especially for Vienna) were not great resources for finding streets. Yes, we would take another river cruise as long as the stops on the trip are of interest to us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because of the value and description of experiences. All which came true. The service on board was wonderful...like being in a luxury hotel while cruising the river. All the stewards and crew were high service and hig ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the value and description of experiences. All which came true. The service on board was wonderful...like being in a luxury hotel while cruising the river. All the stewards and crew were high service and hig quality oriented. The food was devine. The excursions and tours were filled with tons of information, the guides all had personalities, and hit on the key highlights. Also, a perfect amount of time for site seeing on your own. The extra activities were phenomenal and worth it. The accommodations on board were wonderful and comfortable. We loved the automatic window balcony for an open air experience when we wanted. This was our first cruise and we definitely made the right choice on the river as it was an experience that we could not have dreamed. I highly recommend as the overall experience is something I would do again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Emerald sets high expectations but then fails to deliver. On an 8 day cruise, the top deck was closed for four days. The food is satisfactory, but the service needs a lot of improvement. There was only one night of "local" ... Read More
Emerald sets high expectations but then fails to deliver. On an 8 day cruise, the top deck was closed for four days. The food is satisfactory, but the service needs a lot of improvement. There was only one night of "local" entertainment. We traveled through Germany, but only one lunch contained any local cuisine. A lot of minor issues detracted from the overall enjoyment of our cruise. The shore excursions were very good. Most of the tour guides were knowledgeable and very entertaining. During lunch and dinner, complimentary wine and beer are served liberally. If you are drinking something other than that, getting a first glass or even a refill is painfully slow. I contacted Emerald customer service and informed them of some shortcomings. Response time was very slow and did not rally address my concerns. The European river cruise is much better than ocean cruising, but overall I was not satisfied with Emerald. I Would be hesitant to book another cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
It offered the best value for the money and this proved to be true. My group loved the ship and the cruise! The staff was extraordinary especially the cruise director, Darren, and all the front desk staff but also the wait staff was ... Read More
It offered the best value for the money and this proved to be true. My group loved the ship and the cruise! The staff was extraordinary especially the cruise director, Darren, and all the front desk staff but also the wait staff was great, everyone so nice and friendly and pleasant, including the cabin stewards and just every employee made you feel special. The pianist Benny was amazingly talented and versatile and my group loved him! The ship is beautiful, the cabins spacious and light, it is all top notch! The food wonderful and especially enjoyed the fact that they included regional specialties at the meals! The two on board performances they had were so enjoyable too. The ports we visited were lovely and we all especially enjoyed the tea with the local family in Braislava. I really highly recommend the Emerald Sun to anyone wanting to river cruise in Europe! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The crew handled the embarkation and disembarkation expertly. The only glitch was that my husband's baggage was set aside to the new passenger side at the end instead of the leaving passenger's. Not sure how this happened as they ... Read More
The crew handled the embarkation and disembarkation expertly. The only glitch was that my husband's baggage was set aside to the new passenger side at the end instead of the leaving passenger's. Not sure how this happened as they were together outside our door. The ship feels new and is organized very well. Unfortunately, it was cool and rainy so we didn't get to use the space at the top of the ship which would have been nice. The ship was always very clean as was the cabin. The cabin has a lovely full-length window that pulls down half way allowing for a balcony feel. The cabin is small as I imagine most are on cruises (this was our first cruise) but very well appointed and we felt very comfortable relaxing there when that's what we wanted to do. As I have food intolerances, there was a detailed menu sent to my room daily with the foods I could not have highlighted. This I considered above and beyond. However, the food was not always substituted - sometimes the offending item was just left out (ex. a salad with no dressing) and one night I was given a meal with dairy and gluten having been told it had none. Other nights, the meals had good substitutions. The lunch and breakfast always had lots of options so I never felt deprived at all. The shore excursions were excellent and we treated ourselves to the Viennese concert which was well worth the money spent. The service was exemplary and the crew always friendly and eager to please. The entertainment was spotty but we really didn't expect much in terms of that anyway. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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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