164 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

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
I had a group of 23 who wanted to do a river cruise of the Danube. Emerald offered the best value for the money. This proved to be absolutely true and my group all enjoyed it very much. The staff was absolutely great! The cruise ... Read More
I had a group of 23 who wanted to do a river cruise of the Danube. Emerald offered the best value for the money. This proved to be absolutely true and my group all enjoyed it very much. The staff was absolutely great! The cruise director, Darren was especially great for me to work with since I had a group to look after but everyone on the ship was so lovely esp the folks at the reception desk and all the restaurant staff and the biggest plus was also the wonderful pianist, Benny! talk about a terrific entertainer! he was great too! The two on board shows we had were so enjoyable. The food was lovely and had a lot of regional specialties which we all really liked. The ship is very lovely and my cabin very spacious. The ports were so nice especially loved the tea with local family in Bratislava and also we all loved Budapest. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Have never been to Europe or on a river cruise. This trip was a dream come true, esp the 3 days prior to cruising in Prague. Pauline in Prague was just a sweetie and a fabulous tour guide. However was disappointed we were able to do our ... Read More
Have never been to Europe or on a river cruise. This trip was a dream come true, esp the 3 days prior to cruising in Prague. Pauline in Prague was just a sweetie and a fabulous tour guide. However was disappointed we were able to do our excursion of the Blanca Castle in Prague due to the lack of interest. Awaiting my refund for this excursion The staff/tour guides for Emerald Sun were excellent. The cabin was perfect for my roommate & me. Always clean, clean linens, extra touch of chocolate each night, great having our itinerary furnished daily, so through. Entertainment and activities were so much fun, staff joined right in. Service was excellent, furnished bottled water each time we disembarked. The food was delicious and I enjoyed the flexible hrs for breakfast. Met so many wonderful new friends from several countries. Enjoyed the walking tours as I saw so much more of Europe, the castles, churches, architecture and food. Enjoyed our Tea with a local family and their lifestyle. Darren was great informing us of Day to day events, so informative, The Commander, Captain & crew ensured we were safe and on schedule. Our ship was a perfect size. Was very impressed with how smooth our embarkation and disembarkation went. I didn't travel with children. My roommate has travel abroad on serval trips which help me tremendously. Again it was a dream of a little lifetime for me and I would definitely go again especially with this size ship and travelers. Thanks again Emerald Waterways for making this the best 70th Birthday present ever! You're the best!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Had a great week with Emerald Sun- Our ship was changed right at the last minute from the the Emerald Sky, because of water levels in the Danube being low. After looking at Emeralds website the ships are the same ?? We were a group of ... Read More
Had a great week with Emerald Sun- Our ship was changed right at the last minute from the the Emerald Sky, because of water levels in the Danube being low. After looking at Emeralds website the ships are the same ?? We were a group of six my mum and dad, who are in their 80's and not great on their pins, and dad is partially sighted. We hired two wheelchairs so they could be part of the holiday, otherwise they had intended to stay on board while my brother and his wife, and myself and my husband went of the excursions The boat is lovely lots of glass and mirrors and decorated throughout to a very high standard. The rooms are also lovely, with a great shower, comfy beds. Big picture windows that are floor to ceiling make the room feel spacious. The food is good, breakfast had the usual- hot, cold, cheese, cold meat, cereals, juice, porridge, pastries, bread and lots more. Lunch was buffet- always a joint/meat carved for you, selection of veg or salad, and desserts. Evening meal was waiter service- four course 5/6 on gala nights, not huge portions but is very beautifully served and if you want more just ask. It not like the sea cruises where its pile it high food. Would have been nice to have a small buffer in the late evening, just cheese and biscuits sort of thing. Evening entertainment is limited- The piano guy was very good, just a tad loud to hold a conversation in the lounge, but unfortunately there is no where else to go, other then the pool area, which has seating in the evening,, but is silent. Could do with an alternative lounge, or keep the piano down a bit until its later and dance time. The excursions where all good-and they accommodated the wheelchairs and always had a slower walking group. Lovely German Villages. Amsterdam was a treat, Cologne very interesting, and the villages full of cuckoo clock houses, some dating back to 1200's. My one disappointed was that after we had left Cologne, we had no sun deck, an area on the top of the boat with deck chairs etc. Such a shame, no where on the paper work does it say that this has to happen because of the low bridges on the Main river, it made the out side space very limited. And if you stayed on the boat you had to fight for an out side seat, or seat in your room, or by the pool. Sitting in the pool area was nice as it has glass on 3 sides so good panoramic views, but when its warm, out side would be better. They should tell you this is the case. The pool itself was a lovely little feature, small but with a jet to swim against if you wanted it, nice loungers, coffee machine, very pleasant after walking around on a hot day. Service was excellent- everyone was very attentive, nothing was to much trouble anywhere on the boat. We had a drinks package which was great, a coke otherwise is 3.40 euro's. I think Emerald are offering packages now as standard. We had assistance booked at both airports going out and back because of Mum and Dad, going out was very good, but very busy, having our own wheelchairs was a god send , otherwise we would have had to wait up to an hour for assistance! Coming home Munich Airport- no assistance was forthcoming as they said they had no record of it, but we could wait, again anything up to an hour and a half, .which time the flight should have been boarding, as we where stuck in a bit of traffic We went through using our wheelchairs instead but we were the very last people to check in, so we ended up seating all over the plan - not a big deal for four of us but my parents need help- any way as the BA flight only take card and my dad had them- we had made sure mum had cash to get a drink on the flight- but she didn't have a drink or anything- they are both diabetic- this is not a good thing. Any way they where fine just thirsty. All in all a great holiday with just a few niggles. Emerald cruise line is very good. I am 50 and felt it was for slightly older people, but never the less very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We are not frequent cruisers and this is the first European cruise we have been on. My wife has had recent foot surgery and we were looking for an undemanding holiday. In all respects the Emerald sun met our expectations, with the ... Read More
We are not frequent cruisers and this is the first European cruise we have been on. My wife has had recent foot surgery and we were looking for an undemanding holiday. In all respects the Emerald sun met our expectations, with the exception of the dining. This was OK for breakfast and lunch but for dinner the chef had opted for style over substance, with smeared sauces on the plates and careful placement of food but the dishes were uninspiring. We also thought that as we were travelling through Germany that there should have been some German food on the menu. The cruise however was well organised with easy embarkation and excellent service from all the crew. Cabins were very comfortable and clean. The bar staff very friendly and the all inclusive drinks package included several single malt whiskies and other quality brands. Excursions were well run and included in the cruise price, this included a tour of Amsterdam canals on our arrival. There was a small swimming pool which was quite secluded and very pleasant, this doubled as a cinema in the evenings when the pool was covered. The evening entertainment was varied with a particularly good violinist one evening, the resident pianist was good but could have done with turning his amplifier down as conversation was sometimes difficult. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Recommended by friends, have been on many ocean cruises and thought this would be a good change. Cabin, staff and route excellent except unable to use top deck on last three days due to number of locks and bridges to be negotiated. ... Read More
Recommended by friends, have been on many ocean cruises and thought this would be a good change. Cabin, staff and route excellent except unable to use top deck on last three days due to number of locks and bridges to be negotiated. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and well presented and adequate. Dinner however can only be described as disappointing as it verges on nouvelle couisine. A real shock to the system in comparison to ocean going ships, especially considering the considerable extra cost of river via a visa ocean cruises. The daily trips were well organised and the guides of high standards Cabins were of similar size to ocean ships and owing to the newness of this ship, were very well designed and of high standard. Staff weee friendly and the cruise director was ever available and did his job in a very efficient and polite manner. Enjoyed all of cruise apart from evening dinner, afraid the seas and oceans will be getting my trade in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Evergreen Emerald Sun cruise as we wanted a 7 night cruise ending in Switzerland. We could not fault this cruise. The staff were extremely professional, very friendly and helpful. The cruise ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Evergreen Emerald Sun cruise as we wanted a 7 night cruise ending in Switzerland. We could not fault this cruise. The staff were extremely professional, very friendly and helpful. The cruise director was brilliant. She worked extremely hard day and night, and ensured everything ran smoothly both on the ship, day excursions, and nighttime entertainment. The cities we visited were great, with comfortable coaches and knowledgeable guides waiting for us at every stop. We did city walking tours, usually around the old towns, and also had free time to explore the cities on our own. If you want to rest, then day excursions are quite tiring, so some people stay on board the ship to relax. Some sailings are over night, so we often woke to find ourselves moored further along the river. The ship is very smooth, with very little movement felt, even at night while sleeping. A wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our first river cruise to mark a special birthday. Everything went well and exceeded all expectations. All went very smoothly from the moment we landed at the airport for the transfer to the ship. The check in was smooth and the ... Read More
Our first river cruise to mark a special birthday. Everything went well and exceeded all expectations. All went very smoothly from the moment we landed at the airport for the transfer to the ship. The check in was smooth and the staff very friendly and helpful. The cabin was well designed, very clean and had plenty of storage space. The food on board was excellent and there was a good variety at each meal. The cruise director was very approachable, informative on the places visited and good fun, which in turn led to a friendly and relaxed atmosphere on board. All the evening entertainment was first class, the resident pianist was excellent as were the visiting acts on the ship. All of the tours were well organised and the guides knowledge was extensive and they presented it in an extremely interesting way made easier with the use of the electronic device. Overall the trip was good value for money and I would recommend Emerald Cruises without hesitation and will be considering future trips with them. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our main requirement was the dates, which Emerald were able to offer us. The places we visited were very interesting but sometimes we were given too much information to take in. We would have liked more time to explore on our own. ... Read More
Our main requirement was the dates, which Emerald were able to offer us. The places we visited were very interesting but sometimes we were given too much information to take in. We would have liked more time to explore on our own. The lady who took us to Heidelburg castle was very verbose and overwhelmed us with information. The best guide was the one in Strasburg. We thought the en-suit bathroom was very cramped and we were directly under the gangplank which was very noisy. The entertainment in general was very good except for the quiz. The staff were always welcoming and helpful. Breakfasts were excellent, lunch not so good (too much pasta and the gnocchi inedible), and the salad bar was not big enough for the number of people. Dinner was very good except that the soup tasted the same each day although it was supposed to be different flavours! Desserts were very creamy and too sweet. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
this was our first cruise as my wife does not like the water. All the staff on the boat were very helpful and could not do enough for you they all seemed to enjoy their work. The boat was very modern. the food was excellent and a good ... Read More
this was our first cruise as my wife does not like the water. All the staff on the boat were very helpful and could not do enough for you they all seemed to enjoy their work. The boat was very modern. the food was excellent and a good selection. The day trips and the guides were very good and explained everything. The met us at the ship and gave commentary as we travelled along. On board there is a pool with a system to make the water flow so even though the pool is small you can swim into the flow without getting to the other end of the pool. there is hot drinks from the machines 24 hours a day and are included in the price. I would recommend the premium drinks package as it covers all drinks all day except champagne. I highly recommend this ship and all the staff. Had a great holiday. All tips are included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Recommended by friends, would definitely go with Emerald again. First class service all through and very professional. Could not have wished for more.t The Cruise Director was outstanding and worked exceptionally hard. The staff were ... Read More
Recommended by friends, would definitely go with Emerald again. First class service all through and very professional. Could not have wished for more.t The Cruise Director was outstanding and worked exceptionally hard. The staff were always polite and nothing was too much trouble. The choice of food was great though a little cuisine nouveau for dinner but after 4 courses you had enough. Good choice of wines to represent the area we were in. Look forward to going again. A different entertainment in the evening and found that everyone on the boat was very friendly. The facilities were excellent and everywhere was kept spotless. Looked after having arrived early and again when we had a late departure. The dress code was very casual but smart so jacket and tie was not needed so that helps cut down on the packing. We will definitely be looking to travel with aEmerald in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
All cabin staff & waiters fantastic. Food at breakfast & Lunch were substantial and plentiful but dinner was not fine dining as would be expected! The international cheese selection was very poor and of meagre proportions. It was ... Read More
All cabin staff & waiters fantastic. Food at breakfast & Lunch were substantial and plentiful but dinner was not fine dining as would be expected! The international cheese selection was very poor and of meagre proportions. It was served with nuts, 2 cashews only and fruit, half a dried apricot. Biscuits for cheese were limited to 2 and even these ran out after 2 days! The chef put more into decorative presentation than substance. Perhaps he practised on a small plate. I never saw a main dinner meal that looked anything like those in the promotions. We were on the Emerald Sun at short notice as the Emerald Shy was caught up in low water on its previous cruise. I wonder if the catering on Sky would have been better. All in all it wouldn't stop me from cruising with Emerald again, but I will take a few biscuits in my luggage. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because I wanted to see Heidelberg again and we chose Emerald because it had been recommended to us. This was our first cruise of any kind. The cruise started on a Saturday and we were leaving home on the Wednesday, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I wanted to see Heidelberg again and we chose Emerald because it had been recommended to us. This was our first cruise of any kind. The cruise started on a Saturday and we were leaving home on the Wednesday, three nights earlier, to have one night nearer our airport and two nights in our embarkation city (as part of oour booking). Two days before leaving I emailed Emerald as I had not received any documentation. I receive back a confirmation that my documentation had been dispatched by courier, with a delivery by 20.00 hours on the Wednesday. I had to suggest the documentation be emailed to me, then we delayed our departure until after the package arrived at 16.00 hours. After that hiccup the organisation couldn't be faulted. Transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to ship worked perfectly. We had a wait in the ship's lounge until our cabin was ready but that gave us an opportunity to meet and talk with some of our fellow passengers. In the main breakfast and lunch were buffet style and waiter served at dinner. Wine and beer were complimentary at lunch and dinner and we had the drinks package for other drinks. This meant carrying a package ticket but after a couple of evenings the bar staff knew we had tickets and didn't ask to see them again. Service was outstanding in both the restaurant and the lounge bar. Entertainment in the evening was a good mix with not everything being to everyone's liking, but something for everyone. In the main the ports and excursions were good. In hindsight we wouldn't have gone on the Alsace Wine Tasting Tour as we didn't think it was value for money and would have preferred spending more time in Strasbourg. The visit to the open air museum of 16th century life and demonstration of Black Forest Cake making was interesting, but a long drive. Would we go on another river cruise - yes. With Emerald - absolutely Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this river cruise to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. We tend to go on ocean cruise liners but thought we would try something different for his celebration. CABIN - GOOD POINTS Great cabin, we had booked a Balcony ... Read More
We chose this river cruise to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. We tend to go on ocean cruise liners but thought we would try something different for his celebration. CABIN - GOOD POINTS Great cabin, we had booked a Balcony suite on the 3rd floor and were upgraded to Grand Balcony Suite. Having spoken to others in the original suite we had booked, the only extras seemed to be a Nespresso coffee machine (very nice) and 2 items of laundry a day free of charge. We also had robe and slippers, not sure if other cabins did? The cabin was well thought out, we really liked the opening window that gave the feeling of a balcony. Be aware that when you are deep down in a lock, you will be looking at a concrete wall! CABIN - NOT SO GOOD POINTS Every morning at 6am someone was running on the sundeck - thump thump thump, over and over, 6am EVERY morning without fail. This only stopped when they closed the sundeck for 5 days due to low bridges. So no early morning sleep ins for us, which you would expect on holiday, they did not happen thanks to the runner upstairs. Along with the runner, you then start getting announcements in your cabin - "your coach for your day trip will leave at 8.30am" - "Your coach will leave in the next 5 mins". We couldn't find any off switch for this (as you get on an ocean liner) to every day, we were put through far too many announcements in the cabin. Our next door neighbour was obviously hard of hearing - TWICE we had to call them to ask them to turn the TV down - they were watching a wartime film, endless gunfire, bombs, fighter jets. One time we called them at 1.15am and then another day we had to call them at 5.30am. These times are not acceptable for having your TV blaring out! Prepare yourself for a very small wardrobe! It simply wasn't big enough for the two of us for a fortnights cruise - we took a case each and expected space for our clothes but it wasnt to be. There was 2 deep pull out drawers which were ok, but we had to keep some of our clothes in the suitcase because of lack of storage. STAFF The bar staff were fantastic - always there to serve (although when sat on the front of the ship it would have been nice to have had a waiter offering drinks). They were friendly and outgoing. A special mention of Antonio and Buzz, both brilliant bar men. The restaurant staff work hard and were always on hand. The wine waiter would sometimes need a nudge to fill the wine glass up which was surprising having read on here that they are quick to top you up. The reception staff were helpful when needed. Our Cruise Director was Wes. For the first few days of the cruise we got the feeling that Wes wasn't enjoying being on the boat. He seemed really down and sometimes disinterested. We heard from another guest that he had been saying how much he missed his baby, so maybe that was it. It made it difficult to approach him sometimes which is a shame. He lightened up a bit towards the end of the cruise. Our Cabin steward Wincy did a great job in keeping our cabin clean and tidy. We didn't once get a swan made out of towels during the fortnight, some guests did. It didn't bother us, but it would have been a nice touch. FOOD - GOOD POINTS The food was always hot when it arrived at the table. The lunchtime buffet was reasonable. We had continental breakfast in the cabin every morning, this was a little hit and miss. Some days bread, other days no bread, some days pastries, other days no pastries, some days fruit, other days no fruit. All a bit odd really. FOOD - BAD POINTS God forbid you go onto this ship being a vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs! Although we notified the restaurant manager on day one, it was hit and miss every single evening with my meal. The main menu consists of 2 starters and 3 mains - you were lucky if any of these were vegetarian and containing no egg. I had to reiterate every single evening that I was vegetarian, it got tiresome. On one occasion I was given a bowl of shredded lettuce with a chopped strawberry on top. No dressing, no nothing else, just a bowl of lettuce and a strawberry. Not acceptable for a holiday that cost just short of £10K! I said to the waiter he must be joking when he placed it in front of me, but alas, he was not. The food was a real let down. The lunchtime buffet was marginally better, at least I could have a mixed salad, cheese and bread most days, although after 14 days it got rather boring. I don't rate the choice of food for vegetarians/vegans at all. Food is a huge part of your holiday and when no interest or imagination is used by the chefs, its a real let down. BAR/LOUNGE A big space with various seats and settees with a coffee machine that sometimes broke down. This is where the entertainment takes place. PLEASE NOTE- There is only ONE toilet on this floor next to the bar/lounge which is used by both men and women. There was constantly a queue outside the one toilet. Ridiculous! Without going into too much detail, it was not always pleasant to use the toilet after a gentleman had come out. ENTERTAINMENT - GOOD POINTS None to make unfortunately. There was an Oompah band which added a bit of something, another singing/dancing group one other night. ENTERTAINMENT - BAD POINTS Mundane and repetitive. The same keyboard player, day in, day out playing the same songs every night. Apart from the 2 efforts of an oompah and another local dancing group, there was a zipher player on another night. It was like pulling teeth. We left after half an hour with another group and thankfully the ship was in dock that night so we found solace in a very nice bar away from the ship. We found the entertainment staid, boring, mundane and repetitive. No imagination whatsoever. The staff put on a show on the last night which was ok, sometimes cringeworthy, especially when they did a "funny" sketch about a woman being blind. Not that funny really. A handful of times they made the pool area into a cinema by dragging the pools chairs into 2 or 3 rows. There as no booking system for a seat (about15-20 seats) so it is first come first served. We managed to get some seats on the back row whilst we watched the whole of the front row play on their phones and ipads all night, not watching the film at all (and I'm not talking about young people people here, but the elderly, clearly with no thought for anyone else by illuminating our view with ipads and phones). PORTS OF CALL/DISEMBARKATION It was nice to be able to walk of the ship without having to queue with lots of people. Security was a bit of a surprise, or should I say lack of. Some people scanned themselves back in and some forgot or couldnt be bothered. Again, on a cruise liner, your room card is taken from you by a steward, scanned and handed back to you. Your bags are also checked or x-rayed. Just seemed a bit free and easy on Emerald. We had some wonderful ports of call, with great photo opportunities. We particularly enjoyed the classical concert in Vienna. FACILITIES There is a very small pool at the back which people tended to just stand in to cool off. We found out on the last day from a fellow guest there is a small button hidden somewhere in the pool that turns it into a resistance pool. There are no signs whatsoever about that, so it was mainly used as a cooling off/communal bath from what we saw. There are a lack of toilets and I don't like sharing toilets with men. I wasn't aware of any exercise classes or yoga or anything like that? OVERALL VIEW After 5 days on the boat we had to change boats due to some problem with the depth of the river. The transition was ok - a 1.5 hour bus journey from one boat to another. Of course, the inconvenience was having to pack our suitcases yet again and then unpack on the new boat yet again. Wes told us all on the bus that we were lucky to have another Emerald boat 1.5 hours away that we could swap to as usually, when this happens with the river depth etc, the holiday ends up being a coach trip for the duration of the holiday. You are taken from hotel to hotel night after night on a coach, without a boat in sight. You are not able to claim any insurance or money back for this. Now THAT is enough to put me off river cruising again. Can you imagine paying near on £10K and ended up on a two week coach tour of Germany? Wes thought it was amusing when telling us that this happens frequently. We couldn't see the funny side to be fair. AND FINALLY..... We enjoyed having the wonderful views for my husband's 50th and the great ports of call. We didn't enjoy the 6am runner above our heads, the noisy neighbour with the loud TV, the lack of entertainment, mediocre food, a disinterested cruise director and the thought that at anytime this could become an extremely expensive coaching holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on other river cruises and wanted to experience the River Danube. The itinerary appealed to us, and we sailed north from Budapest. Budapest by night was a magical evening, and we found both Budapest and Bratislava two vey ... Read More
We have been on other river cruises and wanted to experience the River Danube. The itinerary appealed to us, and we sailed north from Budapest. Budapest by night was a magical evening, and we found both Budapest and Bratislava two vey clean cities full of attractive buildings, and lots of history. Vienna with its musical history as well as being part of the Holy Roman Empire was also most interesting. The live concert in Vienna was a bonus and a joy. Der stein was real picture post card Bavarian riverside village with an amazing abbey. The Wachau Valley was heavenly. River cruising at its best. Beautiful scenery, warm sunshine, and just drifting along, with just birdsong . What more could we want. Regensburg with its beautiful stained glass windows in its cathedral, and the old stone bridge were further pieces of history to enjoy. Despite low water preventing us from sailing as far as Nurenburg we had a wonderful experience of river cruising on the Danube. The friendly welcome as we boarded the boat was very wel come after an early start leaving England at 06.15 and a 4 hour wait between connecting flights at Frankfurt. All the staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. We chose to stay on the boat rather than go on a long day trip by coach to Salzberg. We go on river cruises to be on the river, and visit the nearby places of interest. The food was displayed attractively and satisfied our needs. The quality of the food was of a high standard. The staff who looked after the trips, and entertainment were very good, and everything was extremely well organised, even down to the way we disembarked at the end of a lovely holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wished to travel on the Danube and particularly to visit Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.. The ship itself was all that we expected with a very attentive and friendly staff. Food A1 . Cabin immaculate. Liked it that everything was paid ... Read More
We wished to travel on the Danube and particularly to visit Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.. The ship itself was all that we expected with a very attentive and friendly staff. Food A1 . Cabin immaculate. Liked it that everything was paid for upfront unless you wished to do of the special trips on offer. However apart from choosing one extra - the concert in Vienna, we were very happy with what was on offer. All the excursion guides were excellent.The evening entertainment not always to our taste but the musical evenings were exceptional. Unfortunately towards the end of the cruise the Danube ran out of water which meant we didn't reach our final destination. It didn't matter as we would have been sailing there in the night before our departure for home. The Emerald staff dealt with the situation admirably so there were no hitches for our transfer back to Munich airport. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Cruising for years only ever done far eastern river cruises and many sea cruises so thought would try European for a bit of luxury. Boat was very nice. Lift goes to bar and dining floors but not sun deck. Cabin on lower floor was very ... Read More
Cruising for years only ever done far eastern river cruises and many sea cruises so thought would try European for a bit of luxury. Boat was very nice. Lift goes to bar and dining floors but not sun deck. Cabin on lower floor was very nice. Well laid out, very good beds and pillows. Big t.v.poor hairdryer (bring your own) plenty of space, good shower. All cabins on boat at all grades were identical except for extra space at windows or balconies. (apart from owners suite and maybe one other) Let down by the range and quality of food. The buffets instead of diner were awful. It did improve a bit after lots of complaints. It took 2 hours to eat dinner. This was not the excellent staffs fault. They needed more staff, and to attempt to serve 173 people at the same time from a small galley was impossible. All tours were fine. All staff friendly and efficient (sometimes in the face of adversity) Very hot weather which caused problems with water level on the Danube so the last two days itinerary had to be changed. These things happen but it was extremely badly handled we were kept in the dark about what was happening and when we tried to find out we were either given a small amount of incorrect information or nothing at all. Would have given it 4 stars if food and info had been better. Tried to fill in Emeralds own survey but the (third) e survey address I was given did not work. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I wanted to see the European Cities and decided to use Emerald Waterways to cruise the Danube. The cruise was perfect in every way: Cabin: lacked nothing except a Kettle! Engine noise: soothing Lounge facilities ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to see the European Cities and decided to use Emerald Waterways to cruise the Danube. The cruise was perfect in every way: Cabin: lacked nothing except a Kettle! Engine noise: soothing Lounge facilities excellent. Dining Room excellent except buffet bun fight. The latter needs better organisation. Food: First Class sometimes even higher. Sun Deck: 'Spacious' doesn't get near it! Crew: Nina: Brilliant organiser, managed the few drought and lock problems with aplomb and made our holiday perfect. The Captain, crew, stewards, chefs, waiters, room maids were all genuinely friendly, helpful and efficient. The group tours of the various cities, towns and villages were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and gave us a real insight into the history of each country. Their command of the English language was superb. We did go on one of the extra excursions. This was to a concert in Vienna and was the highlight of the cruise for us. Overall an amazing holiday, we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having previously cruised the Rhine 2 years ago with a different cruise line, we decided to try The Danube on Emerald Sun. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient and we were greeted by cheerful and smiling crew. We had a problem with ... Read More
Having previously cruised the Rhine 2 years ago with a different cruise line, we decided to try The Danube on Emerald Sun. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient and we were greeted by cheerful and smiling crew. We had a problem with luggage as, due to disruption at Heathrow airport, our bags could not be loaded onto the flight before we left London. Credit to BA -they flew the bags out on the next flight and they were delivered to the ship at about 11:45pm. The ship is very modern and spacious with excellent public areas. Having been built in 2015, everything is bright and fairly new. Panoramic floor to ceiling windows are everywhere, making the views spectacular from almost anywhere on the ship. We had a panoramic balcony cabin which was very spacious, light and airy. The meals were good, although choice was somewhat limited at breakfast and dinner. The buffet meal layout was a little illogical, meaning it was difficult to negotiate and often resulted in frustrating queues. Wine accompanying the meal was good quality local wine. The entertainment was good-two evenings with local entertainers-a Bavarian Oompah band and a Hungarian folk dancing group, an on board schnapps and jam tasting; quizzes some evenings, a disco evening and excellent onboard musician. We enjoyed the putting course on the sun deck and the cinema converted from the swimming pool on some evenings. The service from all the crew was excellent and always with a cheerful smile. The cruise director Nina was superb, even when having to cope with the adversity of low river levels leading to disruption and reorganisation of scheduled tours. Ports, walking tours and tour guides were excellent. I would highly recommend this ship. The main criticism is that the food could be improved, however the excellent facilities and crew made this less important in the overall scheme of things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chosen for the River Danube experience, we were not disappointed but being less active than some some, coach shore tours - even if not into the ancient places would have been appreciated for a taste of new places. Staff were excellent ... Read More
Chosen for the River Danube experience, we were not disappointed but being less active than some some, coach shore tours - even if not into the ancient places would have been appreciated for a taste of new places. Staff were excellent throughout being helpful, informative and ever cheerful and calm. There were shades of ;Happy Camper' in the mien of communal notices but most went along with that. On the last night we were praised for being a great crowd.... the next morning we we not so welcome with bed linen changed whilst we were at early breakfast and before 7.40 am and when we had to have bags out by 8.30am. This was not so good and upset many. Travel bag labels would have been useful since BA had to deliver 49 or more after an airport failure - no fault of the cruise people - many hours later and having t give bag description at Budapest to get them. He quality cruise back packs - a choice of a bag might have been better for many....... not all of us a back pack people! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We took the cruise on Jun 2017, downstream the Main Canal from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. We fly into Munich and was transferred to the boat using Emerald's transfer service, which was included in the cruise price. ... Read More
We took the cruise on Jun 2017, downstream the Main Canal from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. We fly into Munich and was transferred to the boat using Emerald's transfer service, which was included in the cruise price. Their agent staff meet as at the arrival hall, help us with our luggage and took as to the transfer vehicle, which is spacious, clean and very comfortable. Our chauffeur did not speak English, but he understand the language well, or perhaps I should say we didn't understand German. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the boat's cruise Director, and we were service a nice cool drink to refresh ourselves. Staff took care of our luggage, and when we went on to our stateroom, our luggage were there waiting for us. Since we arrive a bit early, we were encourage to take a shuttle bus (included) to the town and look around. We walk around, do a bit of sight seeing, using the map Emerald cruise provided, and then get back on the shuttle bus and back to the boat again. The departure time was about 5pm, as a few other passengers arrived after us. First evening, we were invited to a meeting, introducing us to all the facilities on board, as well as whereabout the life jackets were, then follow by the port talk. Afterwards, we went to dinner. Every evening there was the port talk before dinner or after dinner, and we ate at the main dinning room. Other choices are in their lounge. They offer 3 courses, appetizer,entrée, desert, coffee & tea. Food was not great, mostly Australian cooking. However, we found that the kitchen staff didn't cook the steak the way it was ordered, mostly it was overcooked and dry. The Chef seemed to be from India, and liked to use curry. Emerald Sun, the cruise boat, built in 2015, looked great (almost brand new to my eyes) has a great design on its balcony, with the windows open it is a balcony and close it is a floor to ceiling window (we have the panorama balcony suite). Viewing the river scene from the stateroom was excellent, nothing to block your view. We love to open the window for the morning fresh air, sit in the deck area to enjoy the scene. If weather is cold, with a touch of botton, we closed the windows. The room design was great, as you don't feel that the room is less than 200 sq ft. Plenty of closet space, spacious bathroom, and amenities included bathrobes, hiking sticks, bottle water, guide book etc. Every day, we can get to a port, and local guided tour was included. Some days, we can go hiking with the help of the hiking sticks (I wish they put two pairs in each stateroom). Some active bikers can borrow the bike from the boat and do biking tours. However, the bikes are not electric-assisted ones like Emerald's parent company Scenic, Uniworld etc. Another one is the bathroom usuage fee in Europe. I have heard that some other ultra luxury cruise company, like Taulk tour, has that included. Didn't know how it work, but they did. We disembark in Budapest, and we can only book Courtyard Marriot via Emerald Cruise as post cruise staying hotel. That was further in town, not close to the river, like Marriot Hotel or Four Seasons. However, one advantage of Courtyard Marriot is Emerald cruise included all transfer to and from boat and from Courtyard Marriott to airport. Another advantage is that the Courtyard Marriott is close to the New York Café, the most elegant and beautiful cafe in the world , located inside the Boscolo Hotel, was just 5 minutes walk around the street. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise line because of the itinerary, but also because everything was included in the price. We departed from Amsterdam and disembarked in Nuremberg. Ship is very modern and clean, sleek. Crew was fantastic and one ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because of the itinerary, but also because everything was included in the price. We departed from Amsterdam and disembarked in Nuremberg. Ship is very modern and clean, sleek. Crew was fantastic and one of the highlights of the week! Such fun young people! I felt our room was roomy and loved the drop down picture window! Brought so much fresh air into the room! Food was good (not great). Wine and beer included with lunch & dinner was a very nice touch and wine was delicious! Cruise included tours in each port, normally walking tours. This was nice, but you can only get around as fast as your slowest walker! this we found to be an issue! By end of week they were designating "slower" walking groups, which helped ! I think they should have done that from the start. Group for the older or impaired walkers at every port. Could have used more entertainment in the evenings. The disco night and Name that Tune game was fun...but should have had something every night. Not expecting "shows" like large cruise lines, but a bit of entertainment each night would have been better. Negative: I'm assuming because of high water levels they had to close the upper deck about day 2 for the balance of the cruise. This was very disappointing and I think Emerald ought to warn of this possibility in their write ups a bit more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The travel agency recommended us to take this cruise. It is hard to say where the cruise can improve this experience, but I think that the fitness area is too small and limited. In terms of food, there are no alternatives between meals, ... Read More
The travel agency recommended us to take this cruise. It is hard to say where the cruise can improve this experience, but I think that the fitness area is too small and limited. In terms of food, there are no alternatives between meals, something could be done at this respect. The service was outstanding, there is little you can do, since all the personal is worried about you confort. Tours where excellent, along with great tourist guide, I learned a lot about second world war, even I have read many books about it. Bike travel between one city and other was also an excellent experience, maybe you can do more of this bike travel. Maybe the ship could have stopped in cities like Dusseldorf and Frankfort, both big and relevant cities in Germany instead of some small towns that we visited and I can not remember the names of them. Finally, the tea with Slovakian family was a tremendous experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The Emerald Sun itself was lovely, and the staff went out of their way on every level. We were a party of six and sat at the same table every night and became friends with our three wait staff people ... they were exceptional and we had a ... Read More
The Emerald Sun itself was lovely, and the staff went out of their way on every level. We were a party of six and sat at the same table every night and became friends with our three wait staff people ... they were exceptional and we had a lot of fun. The negatives on this cruise were there was virtually nothing to do after dinner most nights. There were two evenings with group participation - Name that Tune and Disco Night and they were fun. On the optional cruise review the last day we mentioned they needed more of this type of thing. Movies were second run and although pool sans theater could probably seat more, it was never set up for more then 10 - 12. One disappointment was due to the number of low bridges we would be going under from Amsterdam to Nuremberg, the sun deck was only available the first two days. They explained that everything needed to be removed from the top (perimeter railings, shade canopies, all deck chairs even the bridge (which was hydraulically lowered), but we weren't expecting it to be pretty mjuch the entire cruise. Nothing is mentioned about this in the cruise write-up. We had expected to take a drink up top in the evening and watch all the small communities go by ... but that couldn't happen. While the breakfast and lunch buffets always had something for everyone, the evenings meals were not as great as we thought they would be, or maybe we are just used to ocean cruising. The chef always announced his recommendation at the port review for the next day, but the alternative selection was basically the same every night. Also could have used more chocolate desserts, however the ice cream that was available every night was very, very good. Some very unusual entrée offerings, but Emerald is an Australian company and very possibly they were catering to Aussie taste-buds, not U.S. I would guess 75% of the cruisers were Australian, lots of really nice people we truly enjoyed meeting. There were two extra excursion offerings, but the one didn't have enough people sign up so it was cancelled. It was a nice surprise that they offered laundry service one day, that was really appreciated. This was our first river cruise and rather doubt we'd do another one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.8
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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