3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
The brand new SUN is a nice ship. The beds are comfy, the opening windows are a nice touch and the food is pretty good. The staff were also very good. As this was the maiden voyage, there were some teething issues; hair dryers turned up ... Read More
The brand new SUN is a nice ship. The beds are comfy, the opening windows are a nice touch and the food is pretty good. The staff were also very good. As this was the maiden voyage, there were some teething issues; hair dryers turned up late, the pool wasn't in action until about day 4 and then it was very cold. Our bar fridge did not work for the entire trip and the light above our sink liked to blink off occasionally. For the most part, food was pretty good but often the cooked food (in the warming plates) were warm-ish. Also, I'm gluten free and it seemed like the waiters weren't well educated about what that meant and it wasn't always easy to get GF food. However, once I started speaking directly with the Maitre D or the chef, things were better. So don't be shy! My main gripe, as someone who is not yet retired, was the early timing of breakfast. Cooked breakfast was offered between 7 and 9. I don't usually get out of bed before 9 on holidays! So if I wanted a fried egg, I had to set the alarm. Setting the alarm is not really my idea of a holiday! Also, because of the early starts, we tended to do our own thing and only took advantage of 2 included tours. The first one was a bit dry but the 2nd guide was really funny and made the tour more enjoyable. If you have walking issues and/or you don't mind getting up early EVERY DAY, then you'll be fine. They did offer us a lunch when we embarked. Earlier reviews about starving until dinner on the embarkation day is no longer true. The self-serve coffee/tea is really good but a queue would often form since there is only one machine. All in all, I don't think I'd do this type of cruise again, but it was an interesting experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the ... Read More
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the advertised library and shop? Don't bother, they don't exist! The gym has only one working machine "the rest have never worked". We have done several river trips with 3 other cruise companies and thoroughly enjoyed them, awarding 8 to 10 out of 10. Emerald offers no talks on local history etc and their evening entertainment is truly awful. Three quiz nights, for example. Why not be done with it and have three bingo nights as well! The side trips were not that enjoyable, but perhaps this reflects the dearth of suitable venues. The supposed highlight of the cruise, the gorge, was mostly done in the dark for some reason. The Bucharest hotel was no more than 2 star and reminiscent of the communist era. An experience not to be repeated; surprisingly parent company is Scenic Tours. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We had an amazing experience on Emerald Sun! Our cruise director Yana was absolutely wonderful, so attentive and knowledgeable! We really enjoyed her port talks and lectures, she truly works very hard to meet everyone's needs. Our ... Read More
We had an amazing experience on Emerald Sun! Our cruise director Yana was absolutely wonderful, so attentive and knowledgeable! We really enjoyed her port talks and lectures, she truly works very hard to meet everyone's needs. Our panorama balcony suite was quite functional, lots of storage space, comfy beds and high quality bedding. Very nice shower, great water pressure and temperature. The rooms are cleaned twice daily, and our housekeeper Mariana always did a great job. My only complaint would be not having enough TV channels, however free on demand movies were a nice touch. We used the pool quite a few times, it had an "endless swimming pool" feature which can be turned on/off if needed. We didn't use the exercise area but I did get a massage and it was exceptional. Food on board was excellent, great variety and flavours. They try to match lunch buffet's theme to a particular port you happen to visit that day, which is very thoughtful. A la carte dinners were always superb, included wines were also high quality. Restaurant staff is simply outstanding, by the end of your cruise you really start to feel like you're surrounded by family because everyone is trying very hard to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Embarkation/Disembarkation were very well organized, and there was a light lunch served on the embarkation day while people were waiting for their cabins to be prepared, in case you arrived too early. The reception staff is very friendly and always ready to help. Unlike the previous reviewer I actually found the ship to be very stylish, and loved the modern furniture and lighting, it had a very European feel to it. I also found the entertainment to be sufficient - besides the live piano tunes, there were two local bands invited on two separate occasions, a glass blowing presentation and a presentation on apricot processing in Austrian wine country, which I enjoyed a lot (and everyone got a free jar of jam!) and movies, of course. One night the crew also put on a talent show which was very cute. The included tours with local guides were exceptional. The only optional tour we went on was the viennese concert which in my opinion is an absolute must, it was incredible. We enjoyed all the ports except perhaps Rudesheim which felt a bit like a tourist trap, but this is where people usually start the Rhine Gorge cruise so I can see why they'd choose to stop there. We cruised the Gorge on a beautiful sunny afternoon so it was great to see the sights and all the castles, accompanied by Yana's commentaries. All in all, I would most definitely recommend this cruise and this particular ship to anyone, and would gladly take another Emerald cruise in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I must point out that we are not reviewing this trip as experienced conventional cruise travellers. A conventional sea cruise on a large ship with "entertainment", long periods at sea, crowds etc is the nearest thing to hell on ... Read More
I must point out that we are not reviewing this trip as experienced conventional cruise travellers. A conventional sea cruise on a large ship with "entertainment", long periods at sea, crowds etc is the nearest thing to hell on holiday that we could imagine. We booked this first cruise because we wanted to spend sample time at the advertised destinations, and with that objective in mind Emerald came out a clear winner on price and facilities, in particular the contemporary design of the ships which we saw as a refreshing alternative to the very conventional and crusty looking competition. We hoped that the service offered matched the design i.e. was highly competent, stylish and customer oriented, without being fawning. Our holiday tastes are luxury without pretension, with first rate service and good value. Our cruise was the Amsterdam to Budapest "Splendours of Europe" cruise over 15 nights. I won't cover the itinerary - it is on the Emerald web site in full detail. Suffice to say there were interesting off-ship opportunities every day, sometimes several, all included in the price. On some days there were additional longer trips for an extra charge. We took several of these, and they were excellent and good value for money. The accommodation was, to a confirmed 4/5 star hotel traveller (accommodation/service based, not pretention/frilly curtains based), quite simply excellent. Contemporary, stylish, very comfortable, very well designed, and in perfect condition. We were lucky enough to be able to afford one of the 4 top-level suites, but all that gave us was extra space and some extra inclusive services - the facilities were the same in every room that we saw. Our ship was the Emerald Sun, on its second cruise (new carpet smell!), but all four ships appear to be the same. I won't list the excellent facilities - again they are on the Emerald web site. Maintenance was excellent - we could observe constant maintenance, and contrasted the results several times with the competitors' ships which we saw, some at very close quarters. But the highest point was the staff. Quite simply exceptionally good. Highly professional, excellently trained, cheerful and friendly at all times, always there to help but never intrusive, and efficient to a high degree. You can see from my other reviews that I am critical of anything less that the highest service levels (again, based on service and not pretention), but this group were a cut above the best I have seen anywhere - congratulations to the Emerald trainers and managers. River cruising seems to be expensive compared to sea cruising, due mainly I guess to scale. Looking after 160 customers with just under 50 staff is not cheap, and use of the Rhine and Danube facilities cannot be cheap either. But if you want a truly memorable blow-out holiday in Europe, Emerald seems to us to be the way to go. We are hoping to do another Emerald cruise soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We had only one previous river cruise some years ago so were interested to see how things had changed. They certainly have! The Sun is a fantastic and very modern ship, and despite some peoples thoughts we felt the cabins were everything ... Read More
We had only one previous river cruise some years ago so were interested to see how things had changed. They certainly have! The Sun is a fantastic and very modern ship, and despite some peoples thoughts we felt the cabins were everything we required. The cruise director Simeona was outstanding, very knowledgible, entertaining and friendly. The only downside was the day we went through the Rhine gorge the weather was cold and wet (but I don't think we can blame Emerald for that!!) What was a bit disappointing was that due to low bridges on the canal the sun deck was closed and I think that Emerald should mention that in their literature. Overall this cruise was most enjoyable helped by the fantastic crew and brilliant chefs. We will certainly be looking forward to our next river cruise hopefully with Emerald. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
If you have any hesitations about booking this new cruise line...don't have them! This was such a fantastic experience in every way. This was only our 2nd river cruise (we did an Oberoi Nile tour a few years ago) but we have done ... Read More
If you have any hesitations about booking this new cruise line...don't have them! This was such a fantastic experience in every way. This was only our 2nd river cruise (we did an Oberoi Nile tour a few years ago) but we have done many luxury ocean cruises. Wow, after this, we may not go back to ocean-liners. First, this ship is brand new. Everything was sleek, clean and perfect....and I am picky. We had an "Owner's Suite," and initially I was worried about how small it was. But honestly, we got used to it. And now after the 14 days, I see why the rooms and so forth need to be small. These ships efficiently use every bit of space, because the boats cannot be any bigger, or they will not fit into the locks. We were very lucky to have good weather. We had no problems at all. The ship does an amazing job of coordinating activities and providing plenty to do. There are a variety of extra activities you can sign up for. One that I did was a 30k bike ride in Austria. OMG this goes down as one of the TOP five things I have ever done! The whole experience was very educational. They gave us a guidebook and river map at the start, and our amazing, terrific, outstanding cruise director--Simona--gave us daily reviews of what we saw and what was coming up. They did a perfect job of giving us a sampling of regional foods, regional entertainment, great tours, option for smaller tours, help with any request, and just simply more than enough to keep busy, yet relaxed. I am a very light sleeper. I rarely heard or felt anything at night while the boat was moving. I would open my patio everyday to hear and smell the black forest's nature, see the swans and ducks, and was in amazement with what could be seen off the Rhine and Danube Rivers. Castles, medieval villages, beautiful landscapes and great historical sites. While off the boat, throughout Germany, the people could not have been better. We had no negative experiences. We were in a different port everyday. In terms of the ship: plenty of charging stations in the room (priority for us!), decent free wifi, coffee maker, frig stocked with goodies at no charge, super clean, tiny exercise room (you won't have much time for that though), GREAT pool area that transforms into an evening cinema and free beach cruiser bikes to use everyday while in port. LOVED the swim in place device in the pool. Liked the laundry service. Notice that depends on your room-level, but at one point they offered to clean a bag of clothes I think for about 25 Euros. There is no real dress code for the dining room, so simple clothes are all you need. Now, this is not a big cruise ship, but that to me is what made this nice. The simplicity was great. None of our group of four gained weight, because there was a lot of activity and walking (they also provided "easy" walking groups for people who could not walk as well) and portion sizes were not huge. Meals were elegant and everything I ate was good. I particularly liked the light meals served in the lounge everyday for breakfast and lunch. Loved the local wines at each meal. In terms of service: our room hostess, Tiromira was AMAZING and so friendly but not obtrusive. The food and service were excellent. Nothing negative to say here. At the end of the cruise I felt like I was leaving my new family. All the wait staff became our friends and they tried so hard to meet everybody's needs. We will book another without hesitation. The only thing is, I don't think they could top this one! The other thing I have come to realize is the ship has no control over weather, river water levels and other factors that could delay, postpone or cancel a tour. I am not sure what they would do, but it would be good to find that out in advance. Not sure if there is insurance that would cover this, and then you could just go somewhere else in Europe yourself? But, we had NO problems at all. Sunny and warm everyday and going through the 64 locks was very educational. Austria and Bavaria were unbelievable. We did not think we would like Germany, but were we ever surprised! We plan to return to Vienna (loved the private concert in the castle that we attended). Felt that stop needed 3+ days to see it all. We spent five days in Budapest, which is about right to see the highlights. And again, I am a picky, savvy traveler, having been on many, many luxury-type tours. I do not see how you can say anything bad about this line...at least on the tour we did. Just loved every minute of it in every way. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Setting off from Amsterdam we were informed that the sun deck was to be closed for the following 4 days due to low bridges. We had not been informed beforehand and it went against what the brochure and itinerary said about enjoying the sun ... Read More
Setting off from Amsterdam we were informed that the sun deck was to be closed for the following 4 days due to low bridges. We had not been informed beforehand and it went against what the brochure and itinerary said about enjoying the sun deck. The only outside space was at the front of the ship where maybe 30 or so people could huddle together. The cabin was only just adequate and this was despite upgrading to a grand Balcony Suite (the second largest room aboard) The ship was modern and reasonably comfortable. The air con worked well as did the WiFi. Evening entertainment was limited and mainly consisted of a piano player. The food was good although became repetitive after 14 nights. I think the Chicken Buillon was on the menu every night, and the same food was often in many courses, for example pears appeared in a starter, main course and sweet for two consecutive days, which is a problem if like my wife you don't like pears. Half way through the cruise we had to swap ships when at Passau due to low water levels. This was sprung on us two days beforehand with an ultimatum letter from the company stating "accept the transfer we offer you with no compensation or go home". The replacement vessel had smaller toms, no balconies and we were sited on a lower deck that we had booked for. Two weeks after the cruise I'm still awaiting a response from Emerald Waterways about my complaint. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Trip of a lifetime for 2 ladies in late 60s. We had researched well and decided on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Modern boats with excellent food , wifi, brilliant tv system great cabins with balconies. The first week was ... Read More
Trip of a lifetime for 2 ladies in late 60s. We had researched well and decided on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Modern boats with excellent food , wifi, brilliant tv system great cabins with balconies. The first week was superb and exceeded our expectations.the low water level on the Danube then made it impossible for our boat to continue. We were offered a flight home or transfer to an equivalent boat. We chose the latter. Well the staff and food transferred with us - excellent- but the Boat was by no means equal- virtually no wifi ( imperative as my companions husband was in Peru on business), no English TV, poor cabins with sofa beds and stained carpet, poor plumbing. We complained on board as did many other guests and were assured we would be contacted upon our return home- total silence! Several letters were exchanged and we were offered 5% off our next cruise by very arrogant customer service personnel - totally unexceptable- this cruise was £3.800 each! Family bereavement unabled us to continue our dialogue and take the matter further but future travellers beware. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our first river cruise, but having done 4 big ship cruises in recent years and with an ever increasing bucket list of European cities we want to visit, a cruise down the Rhine seemed an ideal way to spend a week. We had a great ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but having done 4 big ship cruises in recent years and with an ever increasing bucket list of European cities we want to visit, a cruise down the Rhine seemed an ideal way to spend a week. We had a great week on the Emerald Sun; the crew were wonderful, attentive and friendly in all departments, but not intrusive; the food was very good with a great choice on the menu for each dinner; really liked having a different red or white wine being served with dinner each night. The ship was very comfortable, the large main lounge is the centre for evening entertainment and seemed large enough to accommodate all guests without feeling crowded. There is a (small) cinema onboard but we never went to it so cannot comment on this feature. Our cabin was light and airy, but the bathroom was somewhat cramped; that said the extra inches in the main part of the cabin is more use over the course of the holiday. Our only complaint was not being aware that sun deck would not be open whilst on the Main because of so many low bridges. All the Guides in the ports we visited were excellent, and the split between guided element and free time was just about right. Each night the cruise Director gave a short briefing before dinner regarding the next day's ports and explained the various options. A local map with points of interest and local information was available from reception at each port, which made it easy to find your own way around after the guided tours. All in all a highly enjoyable week and we will certainly be looking at another cruise with Emerald in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Danube Delights Cruise on the Emerald Sun with Emerald Waterways. Excellent! Our first river cruise but certainly not our last. The ship was brand new; it was christened during our trip along with its sister ship the Emerald Dawn. ... Read More
Danube Delights Cruise on the Emerald Sun with Emerald Waterways. Excellent! Our first river cruise but certainly not our last. The ship was brand new; it was christened during our trip along with its sister ship the Emerald Dawn. The ship was immaculately clean and beautifully designed. We had booked a Panoramic Balcony Stateroom which was comfortable, roomy and attractively appointed. The stateroom was cleaned twice a day! The food on the ship was varied, often containing dishes relevant to the area which we had visited that day and without exception delicious. Entertainment on most evenings was provided by George the pianist together with taped music for those passengers who wanted to party, party! On two occasions the entertainment was provided by local groups; an oompah duo - very entertaining and on another occasion a typical music and folk dancing group who were superb. There was a small gym on the ship, a small swimming pool and a cinema, none of which we used. Every member of the staff was friendly, courteous, helpful and hard working. Nothing was too much trouble. My partner was rather disappointed to find that an Apple Strudel had not been included on the menu. On his busiest day of the cruise the chef took time out to prepare one for him especially! The Cruise Director on our trip - Ray - was without a doubt a major contributor to our enjoyment of the cruise. He was extremely knowledgeable about every port of call, always available to the guests and a delight to spend time with. All in all we can't wait for our next trip with Emerald. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
From the moment we boarded the 'Emerald Sun' we were made to feel welcome, due to a traffic jam on the way from Munich to the ship we arrived too late for lunch. However the chef provided me with a delicious curry. The ' ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the 'Emerald Sun' we were made to feel welcome, due to a traffic jam on the way from Munich to the ship we arrived too late for lunch. However the chef provided me with a delicious curry. The ' Cruise Director' - Ray - was first class and gave great presentations on the forthcoming visits. We found him most knowledgeable and very approachable. I think the staff on this ship are the best I have ever encountered during my decades of travelling. To give an example I said to the head chef that Apple Strudel would be nice at one meal, he told me that he would try to fit it in the menu. By the final evening of the cruise I had resigned myself to the fact that the Strudel was not going to appear. Imagine my surprise and delight when the head chef popped his head out of the galley to say that my Strudel was ready. This was made on the day the ship was christened and the galley crew were very busy - now that's service. The Texan Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
None of my party has ever been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We loved it! It was a perfect vacation for my mom as her ability to walk long distances or on hard terrain is limited. My sister and I enjoyed it just ... Read More
None of my party has ever been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We loved it! It was a perfect vacation for my mom as her ability to walk long distances or on hard terrain is limited. My sister and I enjoyed it just as much as she did although we did take the opportunity to take longer and faster walks when we could. The ship is new, having been brought on-line just this year. The amenities were all very nice although the pool was a little smaller than I expected. However, they do have an "endless pool-type" feature that creates a current if you want to swim. The weather when we sailed was cool and rainy for most of the days so I don't know if the retractable roof was opened much during the cruise. The lounge area is nice and has a lot of seating although if all cabins had been filled I think it might have been a little more crowded than I wold have liked. We found the cabins to be more spacious than we expected, and very comfortable. The ability to open the window as we sailed helped with the temperature control and brought in fresh air. We had full size floor to ceiling windows with two chairs we could use to watch as we sailed.The window was very large allowing us to stick our heads out to look around if we wished. We were on the middle floor which was perfect. We heard from others that it was noisier on the top floor but we heard very little noise in our cabins. We returned from dinner each night to find chocolate on our pillows and the schedule for the next day. (One day we forgot to turn off our do no disturb light so when they came in to put the chocolates on the beds they cleaned our cabin which we really appreciated but didn't expect.) The length of the walking tours were just right and we were allowed free time in just about every city we stopped in. For passengers who needed more time or fewer obstacles, there was always a "gentle walkers group which was perfect for our mom. For the most part the tour guides were very personable and knowledgeable about the area being toured. The guides were local at each port. The absolutely BEST part of the cruise was the staff. As "the Texan" says in a previous review, the staff on the Emerald Sun made us feel welcome the minute we set stepped out of our cab and grabbed our suitcases. We were on the same cruise as the Texan and agree with everything he said. The cruise director (Ray) worked very hard to provide all of the passengers with a good experience. He took our mother under his wing and called her "mum" which she really enjoyed. When she wasn't feeling well he knew (don't ask me how) and asked after her. He checked in with her when she would move around the ship which we really appreciated. I can't imagine a better cruise director. The wait staff, chefs, front desk staff, and housekeeping staff (and all of the other staff we met on board) were also wonderful. Their humor and their ability to remember our personal preferences was amazing. From the first day, they knew our likes and dislikes. My mom couldn't decide between desserts one evening so they brought her both. (She has never eaten so much and so well in her life....) The staff were always smiling, always polite, and always made sure we were having the best time possible. Some people felt the food became somewhat monotonous but we enjoyed it. The only thing I would have liked to see is fewer 5-course dinners as I am typically a more casual diner. The breakfast and lunch buffets were always good. the dinner were also good but lengthy. Possibly more spicy foods on occasion would be nice. I would love to cruise with this staff again at some time and would not hesitate to recommend the cruise line, the ship, and the staff to anyone. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise and it was wonderful. Emerald took care of transport from the airport to our hotel then picked us up the next day for transfer to the ship. Once on board everything was perfect. Our cabin was modern, clean and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was wonderful. Emerald took care of transport from the airport to our hotel then picked us up the next day for transfer to the ship. Once on board everything was perfect. Our cabin was modern, clean and had everything we needed. The staff was polite and respectful. They saw to our every need. The food on the ship was extraordinary and quite plentiful. All tours were great and the guides were very informative. Unfortunately, because the water levels were low in the Danube, we had to switch ships. The staff made the transition as painless as possible and we were on our way. We would definitely go on another Emerald Cruise in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Just back form a 7 night Danube cruise from Nurenburg to beautiful Budapest on Emerals Sun, what a fantastic week, each and everyone of the crew were brilliant from Georgina our cabin stewardess to Robert our waiter in the dining room and ... Read More
Just back form a 7 night Danube cruise from Nurenburg to beautiful Budapest on Emerals Sun, what a fantastic week, each and everyone of the crew were brilliant from Georgina our cabin stewardess to Robert our waiter in the dining room and Olga in the lounge bar though every crew member made sure we wanted for nothing. Simona the Cruise Director made sure that all the excursions ran smoothly and pick ups and drop offs were exactly as planned, a hard job logistically. What a beautiful ship with fantastic food. The excursions were great with very frinedly, knowledgeable tour guides, especially Eva who was our guide for the Slazburg tour, she had us all singing the songs from Sound of Music, not everyones cup of tea but it just seemed appropriate when we were in he locations were it was filmed. I will definately be back on an Emerald river cruise and would highly recommend them to all my family and friends, if you haven't tried it then I would say you are missing out on a wonderful cruise. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The Emerald Sun is a modern River vessel launched in August 2015. We started from Nuremberg flying into Munich unfortunately no time to explore area before departing. The Emerald Sun is laid out over 4 decks - 3 accessible by lift. (-1 ... Read More
The Emerald Sun is a modern River vessel launched in August 2015. We started from Nuremberg flying into Munich unfortunately no time to explore area before departing. The Emerald Sun is laid out over 4 decks - 3 accessible by lift. (-1 0 1) Sundeck only accessible by stairs. After boarding transfer at Munich we didn't have to handle luggage until unpacking in cabin. The Cabin My cabin was a Panoramic Balcony room which meant a full glass window that opens often called a French Balcony, The room was a bit tight of space when set up as a twin rather than a double with a gap of about 18" between bed and bathroom door. As a double about 28" meaning if you have a mobility issue may be tight. The bathroom door is opposite main window so you need to think when coming out of shower, they do provide a robe (one size fits all. lol) so you need to make sure heavy blind down if you have a 200 number cabin as you are at ground level and can be overlooked. The mattress was a memory foam type and pillows very soft looked thick but compressed very quickly (Either fibre or foam crumb type) so you may need to use that extra one. Duvet was feather filled which may affect some guests. The wardrobe is a decent size 20 hangers and 2 large drawers. A mini-safe, hair drier and a chargeable minibar. The balcony area has two chairs and a table. No kettle in room however bottles of water are provided to drink. A large flat screen LG Tv with movies and info centre to help guests. The Emerald Sun do not have any cabins for Less Mobile. Instead of do not disturb signs the ship has a switch which turns on a Red light to advise do not disturb, however our cabin stewardess didn't take any notice of this. The cabin are very clean and uncluttered with very neutral colours, it would have been nice to have had a bit more colour. The Restaurant The restaurant is on the Ground Floor with a large mix of table from 2 to 12 with an open seating policy. Most meals are served here accept light meals, mid morning, afternoon tea and late night snacks which are served in bar. Breakfasts are buffet style with a selection of fruits, yoghurts, cereals, juices, cold meats and cheeses, pastries, salad and cold fish cuts, hot items including thin sausages, bacon streaky, beans, potato cakes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, and an omelette bar which also cooks fried and poached eggs. Tea and coffee brought to table by waiters. Lunch is again buffet style offering starter, soup, salad, entree and dessert normally a selection of regional dishes included. Wine/beer or soft drinks included. Dinner is normally waiter serviced except on embarkation night and on concert nights etc, and is normally starter / soup / entree / dessert / tea or coffee. Wine/beer or soft drinks included. Extra course on Captains and Gala dinners. The menu changes daily. Always available for lunch dinner as back up - Rump Steak, Grilled chicken or salmon. Bar The bar offers a wide selection of both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks with waiter/waitress service accept for tea and coffee where a self service machine is found at the back of the lounge bar (you can get drinks here 24/7) - Hot chocolate and herbal teas also available as no tea/coffee facilities in cabins - some guests arrived in nightwear / robe . Bar closes when last person goes to bed. George plays piano and acts as DJ. Team are very friendly managed by Dragonara. Lectures and entertainment also put on here. Only other area is pool / night cinema . Small pool during day and gym with running track on sun deck Excursions Many of the excursions are walking so please make sure in correct pace as I found as cruise not so busy some where to fast with timings not adequate for older guests or those with some mobility issues. Cruise Director / Reception / Staff in General All main staff very helpful and friendly and speak English although room attendant had limited knowledge of English. Cruise director very good. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Wow ! - Having done several ocean cruises including the Panama Canal - this gave us the idea of a river cruise, Bavaria, Austria & Hungary were places on our list to visit, so this cruise ticked all the boxes! The ship is fairly ... Read More
Wow ! - Having done several ocean cruises including the Panama Canal - this gave us the idea of a river cruise, Bavaria, Austria & Hungary were places on our list to visit, so this cruise ticked all the boxes! The ship is fairly new (2015) and our crew had only been together a few weeks, but Captain Boris, Cruise Director Jana, Hotel Director Robert - and all the crew were exceptional - helpful friendly and efficient- nothing was too much trouble - many thanks to all ! The UK flight and transfer from Munich to the ship was well organised and effortless, like wise the return flight from Budapest to Munich and transfer to UK flight although a very short transfer window went like clockwork - and all luggage arrived back with us in the UK - well done Lufthansa! Note though - only one suitcase per person and must meet Emeralds dimension guidelines (length,width & depth these are added together and must not exceed a set limit) weight 20 kgs - less than the airline 23kg limits - we had to buy new cases as existing ones were too large! Before the Cruise Emerald had sent us a rucksack each as the only allowable hand luggage - worked well and useful for all the day trips. All the stops/ tours were exceptional - Passau, Melk, Linz, Dürnstein Wien & Budapest the organised mixed walking/ coach guided tours were well organised and informative (rechargeable radios with headsets are available in all cabins for these trips) and used local guides with local knowledge and very good English! - also there was always one group available for those who's walking was slower and less challenging. A private evening concert in Vienna was a definite highlight. Captain Boris organised an evening Budapest river Cruise - although a bit chilly was fantastic and we were well fortified by glasses of ''Blue Danube Cocktail'' . Freetime during the organised tours was also available and in the main achieved a good balance Most of the distance cruising was done at night so you awake to a new town or city, though some short & scenic parts of the river (Wachau Valley etc) were by day and included a commentary which was most informative - with some spectacular scenery ! Bicycles were on the ship and available though advanced booking advised. Crew present to make adjustments to suit - cycle tracks along the river were good and flat! Having read horror story's of rivers with no water or floods we chose late April as a reasonable chance of having neither ! - our weather was generally good only one bad day of rain, layers and umbrellas (available on board) recommended though ! Food and Wine (both local where appropriate) were excellent - we did not have a menu that failed to inspire us (there were always other options available - steak, fish etc) and the lunchtime buffet had plenty of variation hot cold etc. Tea and several types off Coffee freely available from a machine in the lounge, mini bar in cabin but we did not need to use it - bottled water still and carbonated in the cabin and replaced as required foc. The included wine was often ''local'' and not to every ones taste (mostly on the swsweet or dry) - on request a different wine was served - no problems ! As far as I could tell the lift only travelled on the internal floors and not up to the sundeck, this could be a problem to any one with challenged mobility ..... but I am sure the crew will have a solution ! Entertainment - do not expect ocean cruise stage type performances, there is neither space or facility's, excellent Pianist in the lounge - small dance floor, an excellent Hungarian country band & dancers one evening in Budapest , port talks most evenings and other general interest talks local at times. Also probably one of the best/ funniest crew shows we have ever seen ! - well done all. The ''infinity'' pool was excellent and became a cinema in the evening with up to date movies or musical shows running in the evening. Highlights :- Swimming in the infinity pool with views of the river whilst cruising, the evening cruise in Budapest, the private concert in Vienna - the staff and attention to detail ! Also I would just add that all the places visited were clean, tidy, things worked, the roads/footpaths were excellent and people friendly (English spoken by most local people) generally plenty of public convenience's - but 50c coin needed. This sort of cruise will not suit anyone who is after '' big ship entertainment and facilities'' but for luxury /cultural travel with 5 star food and accommodation with like minded guests it will take some beating - well done Emerald ! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
From start to finish it was well organised, all transfers were well executed. .Apart from the actual airport, all luggage was handled by staff and put straight to cabin. Disembarking was good with time zones arranged and all luggage taken ... Read More
From start to finish it was well organised, all transfers were well executed. .Apart from the actual airport, all luggage was handled by staff and put straight to cabin. Disembarking was good with time zones arranged and all luggage taken to the coach by staff. The cabin was good with two single beds together, storage under bed for cases meant you weren't bumping in to them, storage was more than adequate. Also a coffee table and two armchairs. The shower was powerful and good although the ensuite wasn't massive it was more than adequate. The cleaning was good with chocolate on pillow and bottled water replenished when required. All the staff were really friendly and helpful with no shirkers, nothing was too much trouble and more than attentive in the dinning room, refilling glasses as required, and serving the the Horizon lounge. The food was brilliant with a wide range of choice but if you couldn't find anything you liked, there was always steak, salmon or chicken available by request. The cruise director Jana was so friendly and enthusiastic as were all the various officers. It just felt like a family and a really nice one at that. There were lots of little "extras " which added to the value. On the final night at Budapest ,there was an evening sailing which was spectacular. Walking and bus tours were included in the cost and all were very imformative and interesting with plenty of freetime left to do what you wanted. I will definitely cruise with this Line again they have only been going since 2014 but they are great we have done sea cruising many times but this was our first river cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We just got back from the May 26 Danube Delights cruise on the Emerald Sun, from Budapest to Nuremburg -- or almost to Nuremburg. Here are a few comments. 1. Overall, the cruise was very, very good. 2. The Emerald Sun is a very nice ... Read More
We just got back from the May 26 Danube Delights cruise on the Emerald Sun, from Budapest to Nuremburg -- or almost to Nuremburg. Here are a few comments. 1. Overall, the cruise was very, very good. 2. The Emerald Sun is a very nice state-of-the-river-cruising-art ship, only one year old, with lovely, well-designed common areas and comfortable cabins. Of course the cabins aren't large but are well laid out, with plenty of storage space. The small but adequate bathroom space is utilized efficiently, and the shower water pressure and temperature (one of my pet peeves) were quite good. The "indoor balcony" with the window that comes half-way down is a clever idea. The coffee/cappucino/latte/etc. machine in the Horizons Lounge was a big hit. The pool/movie theater did not seem to be highly utilized during our cruise. 3. The crew was excellent -- hard working, friendly, always smiling, and providing great service. They were amazingly efficient and the housekeeping staff kept everything sparkling clean. Special mention must be made of Cruise Director Patricia, who was truly outstanding -- friendly, knowledgeable, charming, stylish, humorous, always upbeat and available, and she kept us very well informed. 4. The food (except for the very good soups at each meal) was just OK, the only thing about the cruise that didn't excite us. It was beautifully presented, but perhaps it was "toned down" for general palates and so not especially flavorful. The selection was good, especially at the bountiful buffet breakfasts and lunches. Dinner was seated, with a few choices for each of the four courses, and served by the efficient wait staff, who happily filled our glasses with the complimentary beverages. 5. The passengers (probably about 40% American, 40% British, 10% Canadian, and 10% other) were almost universally personable (Why wouldn't we be? We were on a wonderful vacation.), and the open seating with close tables at meals allowed conversation and making new friends easy. Ages generally ran from 45-ish to 75-ish, with the average being maybe around the early 60's. 6. We thought the ports-of-call were all good, but you can decide that for yourself based on the brochures and further research. Our local guides for the walking tours at each stop were also quite good. Emerald's new individual audio devices are great, allowing the 15-30 people with each guide to hear the commentary easily from as much as 25 meters away. All of the buses they put us on for various tours were very nice, clean and new. We took only one of the "extra" excursions, to Schonbruun Castle in Vienna, and it was fine. Those who did the Vienna concert liked it a lot. Some of the other "extra" tours were cancelled because not enough people signed up for them. 7. The evening entertainment on the ship was simple but pleasant, and quite a few passengers stayed up for much of it. Dining Room waiter Patrick is quite a character and a talented singer. 8. You have no doubt heard about the recent heavy rains in northern Europe, and although we had generally nice weather it ultimately did affect our cruise. The forecast for Days 3-5 called for showers, but few if any materialized. Then the next day (when we were headed for Regensburg) the forecast was good, but it rained, although not too hard where we were. However, the rain upstream had been severe and the Danube's water level rose significantly. Our captain decided it was not wise to go further upstream where there are some low bridges crossing the Danube, so we docked at Vilshofen, about a hundred meters downstream of a bridge. We saw some other similar boats going under that bridge, mostly going downstream, but the Emerald Sun stayed put for the last two nights of the cruise. Patricia explained our captain's decision, which made sense, and she also said that the continuing rising water level would likely cause more difficulties in the coming days. She said some ships might even get "trapped" between low bridges on certain sections of the Danube. On Day 6 Emerald sent us on buses for the Regensburg tour -- not a bad ride, about 1-1/2 hours each way from Vilshofen, actually a nice drive through pretty countryside. Emerald supplied large umbrellas, and we soldiered on for the Regensburg walking through some mild rain. 9. Regarding the end of the trip -- on the final morning they bused us from where we had docked at Vilshofen to our various departure locations -- Nuremburg airport (that's where we went, about 2-3/4 hours), train station, and bus station; Munich airport (farther); and maybe some other locations, perhaps even a bus ride to Prague for the optional extension. We were among the first small group (10 of us on a full-size bus) to leave the ship, at 6:00 a.m. for an early flight, so I didn't pay much attention to all those other places. 10. Specifically re the bike ride that some have asked about, about 30 signed up but only 15 did the ride, perhaps because of a bad weather forecast. The weather turned out fine, overcast but no rain. I did not do the ride but those who did said they enjoyed it, and that it was not taxing -- about 3-1/2 mostly flat hours, stopping a few times -- and spandex was not required. That day's cruise along the Danube was also nice, but not really much different than on other stretches of the river. 11. Overall, we highly recommend this cruise. Of course future weather conditions can't really be anticipated, and unfortunately those currently on the Danube Delights, as well as many other European river cruises, may be experiencing some logistical and enjoyment issues due to the weather. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had two days in Budapest on our own.Met at the airport and transported to the hotel by a smart representative. The Marriott Courtyard was in a great position and near to the hop on and hop off stop.On the day of embarkation we were met ... Read More
We had two days in Budapest on our own.Met at the airport and transported to the hotel by a smart representative. The Marriott Courtyard was in a great position and near to the hop on and hop off stop.On the day of embarkation we were met at the hotel with other guests and taken to the boat. All our luggage was handled for us and put onto the boat and later into our cabins. We had a light lunch provided and then taken to our cabins. The cabins were compact but very comfortable. The whole trip was really well organised and the daily tours were by good local reps. For the people who didn't walk so fast, there was a group for easy walkers. This was gently paced but you still saw everything the other groups saw. The dining was excellent and the service really good. The tea/coffee machine broke down but the staff simply got you anything you wanted from the kitchen. The machine was quickly repaired the next day. We went on to Prague. The rep accompanied as to Prague and the hotel was in a good position near Wenceslas Square from where everything was walkable. The stay included a walking tour of the city which we abandoned half way through as the pace was too fast for my husband. A mini bus was available for those that chose to leave and it took us back to the hotel, from where we went out on our own at our own pace. We really enjoyed the holiday but were pleased we took the extra days at the beginning in Budapest and at the end in Prague. Both were wonderful cities and very easy to explore on your own. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise, we chose it after seeing a advert and sending for a brochure. We flew to Budapest and were met at the airport and transferred to the ship where we were given a welcome drink and a light lunch was available. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we chose it after seeing a advert and sending for a brochure. We flew to Budapest and were met at the airport and transferred to the ship where we were given a welcome drink and a light lunch was available. Our cabin was really nice and comfortable, very clean. The ship was spotless and everything looked so nice. We met our cruise director Jana who filled us in on activities for the next day. We had time on the first morning to have a tour round Budapest. The food on board was excellent a really lovely selection. The entertainment on board was good, the best evening was the staff show, very entertaining. The service was excellent, nothing too much trouble, such happy and charming staff. The walking tours were really good and the guides very knowledgable and it was nice to have some free time to explore as well. Our highlight was the concert in Vienna, such a lovely setting and talented musicians. Disembarkation went very smoothly so well organised and no trouble.. A very enjoyable trip Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Worth staying in Budapest before sailing as so much to see.Great welcome when we arrived on board and it was good to chat to some of the outgoing passengers. The ship is only a year old, very modern and impressive.The cabins are just as ... Read More
Worth staying in Budapest before sailing as so much to see.Great welcome when we arrived on board and it was good to chat to some of the outgoing passengers. The ship is only a year old, very modern and impressive.The cabins are just as described in the brochure and very well planned. Shower etc worked very well.The window system makes the indoor sitting are double up as a balcony.it was the newness of the ship which was one of the attractions for us. The food was fantastic at every meal, only complaint is that we both put on half a stone! The entertainment was varied and good.The excursions were well organised and used excellent guides.There was also some optional tours with the concert in Vienna being the highlight for us.The service from the crew was excellent .Our Cruise Director was full of enthusiasm and was an excellent communicator.The age ratio of the passengers was at the mature end and it was adults only. A good mix of Brits,Americans, Canadians and Australians. We would go again definitely with Emerald but on a different river such as the Douro in Portugal .It is such a great way of seeing places without the packing and unpacking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Honestly, we chose this cruise line because it was less expensive than some of the other luxury river cruise lines and because it had very good reviews overall. We were not disappointed all all and are very glad we chose Emerald Cruises ... Read More
Honestly, we chose this cruise line because it was less expensive than some of the other luxury river cruise lines and because it had very good reviews overall. We were not disappointed all all and are very glad we chose Emerald Cruises and the Emerald Sun. The cruise was a great value and we didn't feel like we missed out on anything by paying a lower rate. The facilities and public rooms aboard the Emerald Sun a very nice and have an elegant look and feel. Our cabin was great...no complaints at all. They manage to squeeze a lot of room and amenities into a small space and still give us plenty of storage for our things. We really liked the cabin-wide picture window that lowered half-way down to let the outside in. We didn't miss a balcony at all and think this is a much better way to maximize space. The crew worked very hard to give us a good experience and almost all of them were very friendly. The food was basic, but was well presented. One thing to note...if you're looking for the typical big cruise line food extravaganza with midnight buffets and unlimited food all day, this may not be for you. Food was available only during breakfast, lunch and dinner, which was fine with us, but may not be for everyone. Of course there were bar, coffee, and soft drink services available throughout the day. Ports of call on this cruise were quite lovely. I love the walking tour concept...it's a great way to get a feel for a location. The headsets they have for the walking tours are great also, allowing you to hear the tour guide even if there's a lot of noise in the area. The only stop on our cruise I didn't care for was Bratislava, which feels like a place that wants to be a tourist destination, but doesn't know how to do it yet. I also enjoyed going through the locks, I think there were more than 20 of them on the portion of the Danube we travelled...very interesting thing to experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Danube Delight was an excellent river cruise! All the transfers were timely and covered in the cost, and were handled smoothly, expeditiously, and seamlessly. The ship was lovely, new, modern. The staff were very competent, attentive, ... Read More
Danube Delight was an excellent river cruise! All the transfers were timely and covered in the cost, and were handled smoothly, expeditiously, and seamlessly. The ship was lovely, new, modern. The staff were very competent, attentive, pleasant, and efficient. The food was plentiful, generally very well prepared, themed to fit regions of the cruise, and served in a lovely formal dining room. Leisure space in the lounge and on the sun deck was well appointed, spacious, comfortably, and nicely served by accommodating bar staff.The cabins were large enough, well decorated, and regularly, actively cleaned, and the half window/balcony concept is clever and provides quite an enjoyable way to enjoy the river and the ports. Entertainment ranged from fun local musicians (German and Slovakian) to the crew (whose talent was sometimes rather thin). Shore time offered just enough guided direction and information with free time for independent exploring or hiking or biking with available bicycles). One always wants more time in Regensburg, Vienna, and Budapest, but the cruise effectively balanced shore time and schedule and information. Local guides were all very knowledgeable and articulate. Extra cost excursions were tempting and diverse. The cruise director was an excellent part of the experience; she was knowledgeable, articulate, fun, engaging, and informative, and totally organized. The fact that all transfers from arrival to departure and all tips were included meant that we could truly sit back and let the cruise happen to us--even though plenty of planned activities gave us great opportunities to burn calories from all the fine food. Frankly we loved just about everything on the cruise and were ready to go again at its end! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first river cruise and decided on the 7 night versus the longer one to Amsterdam. We were thoroughly impressed. From the moment we got off our flight till we disembarked Emerald had us covered all the way. The on-board ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and decided on the 7 night versus the longer one to Amsterdam. We were thoroughly impressed. From the moment we got off our flight till we disembarked Emerald had us covered all the way. The on-board experience was further enhanced by the ever-present staff. Dgeordge at the Desk, Dragana in the bar, Lanka in the dining room and Patric the entertainer all performed exceptionally, We also met some very nice people and the smaller more intimate setting and less formality made the experience so much better than larger ocean liner cruises. Port activities were well organized, if you wanted to enjoy the sites and history of those places we stopped off at. Chef kept us wanting for more with the variety of meals offered and served. Wine selection in the bar could have been a bit better as it wasn't the same wine as served at meals. At the end our disembarkation went smoothly and it was nice to see Jana and Robert bid us all farewell. While we can knock this off our bucket list, we won't as we'll be back again for sure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had been asked by a group of friends to go on a river cruise. We had traveled around Germany prior to the cruise and spent the prior two nights in Nuremberg before joining the group on the Emerald Sun. Did have trouble contacting the ... Read More
We had been asked by a group of friends to go on a river cruise. We had traveled around Germany prior to the cruise and spent the prior two nights in Nuremberg before joining the group on the Emerald Sun. Did have trouble contacting the ship for docking location and instructions but finally reached them by e-mail. We had looked into the cruise and found it to be a new cruise company with new boats. The Cabin was average and had a window in the cabin. Unfortunately, the cabin had no view as it was right at the water line.The staff was remarkable. Very well presented with even the captain coming out of hiding and being around the decks at times. Staff answered many questions that I had regarding what there was to do in the ports. There wasn't much in the way of entertainment compared to ocean going cruises which we have been on many times. The boat is only so big to wander around. They had a band come onboard a couple of nights to play and a piano player playing on other nights. They had a couple of game night activities that involved the entire ship. Very few used the pool that we saw and even fewer availed themselves to the high tech theatre. Dining was one issue that was definitely different. Breakfasts and lunches were buffet style as were two dinners while onboard. The other five dinners featured local favorites. I didn't much care for their selections so thank goodness they had their anytime options and I had grilled chicken. Presentation of meals was very good with splashes of color that added a flare to the plate but portion sizes were very small. Also, we had to ask for additional rolls as they brought only enough just for the table and water glasses were also hard to get filled. A couple of times I had to get up and fill my own. Meals lacked any spice and seemed rather bland to me. When we got home I had to go to Taco Bell to get some spice as my taste buds were in need. Services were good on the cruise. Port and shore excursions in the brochure sounded like they would be longer with them actually ranging from one to one and a half hours with the exception of four hours in Budapest. Guides were local and spoke good English. The best excursion was a cultural exchange with a person from Slovakia for a couple of hours. Learning about their country and getting a feel for their culture was a good experience. The bike ride between cities was also a welcome break from the ship and gave a different view of the country traveled. We didn't go on any of their Plus tours but did manage to get to the sights using public transport and found them interesting. Disembarkation was good with shuttle service to the airport on time for flights. I would probably not go on another river cruise but it was a good experience. Read Less
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.6
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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