26 Emerald Waterways Emerald Sun Cruise Reviews

We wanted to be on a river that we haven't sailed on, to visit new places & see castles. The Majestic Rhine cruise fit the bill. We had this trip booked for August 2018, but as we all know now, the water level of the Rhine River ... Read More
We wanted to be on a river that we haven't sailed on, to visit new places & see castles. The Majestic Rhine cruise fit the bill. We had this trip booked for August 2018, but as we all know now, the water level of the Rhine River was too low then, & as such, Emerald Waterways cancelled our trip. We, however, still wanted to fulfill the aforementioned & rebooked for August 2019. We were cautiously optimistic as this trip came to fruition & it did not disappoint. We are frequent ocean cruisers & have been on 3 Avalon river cruises & 1 other Emerald river cruise on the "Mekong Navigator" from Vietnam to Cambodia. So this is our 1st time sailing on an "Emerald" ship. We found the Emerald Sun to be a very clean & comfortable. It appears to me, more modern & brighter than the Avalon ships, perhaps because of their use of mirrors throughout the ship. Other than Emerald's indoor swimming pool, which morphs into a movie theatre, its lay out is quite similar to that of the Avalon ships. The crew & staff on Emerald Sun are second to none. There were all very friendly, courteous & helpful. The food on the Sun was very good, albeit the selection was understandably a bit limited. However, in my opinion, the fish served on the Sun was probably the best I’d ever had on any of the cruises we’ve been on. It was freshly cooked & moist to perfection. We also had a great cruise director, the animated “Wes”. On our 8 day cruise, we had 2 evenings with guest performers, one day with opera singers & the other day with a violinist. We also had 2 days of great singing by “Sarah”, our activity manager. On the other days, Sarah hosted trivia games & the like. There was also 4 movie nights with pop corn in the theatre. We did not partake in any of the available activities, except for Sarah's singing performances. The included excursions, although subjective, but for me, they were very good, with lots of photo ops of old, well kept colourful buildings & churches. Then on the 7th day of our 8 day cruise, we'd left Koblenz at approximately 7 AM enroute to Rudesheim & sailed through the Middle Rhine Gorge, where castles sat proudly on hilltops. All in all, a very satisfying trip. We are ready to set sail again with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse ... Read More
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse group. The cabins were well equipped, the food plentiful and varied and excursions diversified. Where I found it lacking was in the entertainment and excursion/tour areas. A violin player one night and an opera trio another night were the sole “real” entertainment. The other nights had either a movie option (attended by 3 guests) or really lame karaoke or “game” shows. The guided tours were scheduled early and lasted less than 2 hours. Most took us to tourist areas, encouraged shopping, and only “free” time scheduled for the long afternoons. Weather was unseasonably cold and rainy so we couldn’t use the lovely sun deck except for one day. Emphasis was placed on the meals which were delightful and exquisite. I guess I depended on the cruise line and should have done more research into the visited cities. We also encountered 2 holidays during our week which added to larger crowds and less business openings. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time to explore. Local guides spoke good English & were easily understood. The cabins have a poor layout & poor sound insulation. The wall which has your headboard has the neighbouring cabin's TV on the other side. It would be better if dividing walls had BOTH TVs on it. Also the bathroom door is a sliding one which is only 18inches from the bed. Every time our neighbours used the bathroom we could hear the door opening and closing. The bed is comfortable but it is 2 single beds pushed together & more floor space could've been made by having a standard double bed. Not shown how to convert the room into a balcony; certainly wasn't obvious. Didn't like sailing at night as we missed many scenic views along the way. Minimal daytime sailing which was a great shame. Also going through locks at 3am wakes you up! Please Emerald STOP SAILING AT NIGHT!! The food on board was excellent; except the one time buffet which was lukewarm and with a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. ... Read More
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. There were a few minor problems: -air conditioning was sometimes poor, most notably in busy restaurant at dinner -WIFI was intermittent, we lost WIFI for 3-4 days along the Danube- most frustrating ! -The map for Ruese, Bulgaria was incorrect; the ship was berthed off map; our walking tour was most interesting though and worthy of our efforts. People most helpful & friendly. The itinerary included many interesting locations, with much history to see & enjoy. The guides were excellent. -The wine tasting near Vidin was excellent. -more time could be spent in Bucharest & Budapest on our itinerary, Overall, an excellent itinerary and an excellent ship, the Emerald Sun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel ... Read More
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel pre-cruise but did the Emerald add-on with the hotel and transfer at the end of the cruise which was well worth the price. My wife and I left mid-June and spent five nights in Munich before taking a train to Zurich for four nights. Using trains and trams was a new experience for us and while we were a little intimidated at first, we quickly adapted. We decided to visit the Zurich airport the day before pickup to make sure that it was easy to find the pickup spot. Pickup and transfer to the ship was easy and on time. Passengers were primarily from England, USA, Canda, but also included Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, Average age would be early 60s. We are early 50s and were on the younger side. We did see two families with teenagers. I think pricing for River Cruises, in general, makes this situation. For the price of a River Cruise, we could have done about three Caribbean cruises. The ship was easy to navigate compared to large Caribbean ships only have three floors with one main dining area and one lounge. The trip from Basel to Amsterdam was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Each day we had city tours, sometimes we would have to take a bus but not all the time. All the tours were excellent and were done by local guides with the exception of Cologne which was just OK. The guides on this tour were much younger and a little inexperienced IMHO. But the tours were only two hours so we had plenty of time to do our own sightseeing if we wanted. We had French Balcony cabin 220 which was probably the nicest cabin we ever stayed in. This was a standard balcony cabin which we paid a premium for the view and the window that slid down. However, if we do another river cruise we would opt for the lowest level and use the money saved for upgraded airfare. Other than sleeping, we really didn't spend much time in the cabin. Food Breakfast had a light offering of food in the lounge area and a standard buffet with omelette station in the main dining room. Lunch in the main dining room was buffet style as well and didn't change much from day to day. You could order off the menu which was the same items that were on the buffet which really didn't make sense with the exception of a few Classic items: steak and chicken breast and Cesar salad. The dinner menu changed nightly with meat, fish, and vegetarian options with the Classic items also available. Food was good but many felt that the portion sizes were too small with the exception of the Captains Farewell dinner. Same issue with dessert. We noticed the salad dressings, especially at lunch, looked and tasted watered down. I have never seen such thin blue cheese dressing, but then I am from Buffalo and we are used to thick Blue Cheese! The late night snack at 10:30 was disappointing. It mainly consisted of leftover desserts or appetizers from earlier in the day and the portions again were small. We stayed off ship one evening for dinner in port. Emerald includes beer and wine at lunch and dinner. Most of them were very good and the servers made sure your glass was filled. I had a wine/beer drink package for 10 Euros/day which was a great deal compared to Caribbean cruises. There was another package for around 22 Euro for spirits as well. Drinks prices are reasonable and depending upon your drinking habits, it may not be beneficial. Bar service was fair to good with the exception of Svetlana who was the best. We usually tried to sit in her area as we knew she did a great job! Emerald should let passengers know that there are drink packages available at check-in. While I was asked by a server if I had a drink package when I ordered my first glass of wine, a couple we met didn't know there were packages available until the last night! The packages are listed in the lounge menu book but most people usually know what they want when they walk into a bar and therefore didn't pick them up. We didn't use the complimentary bikes or go to movie night in the pool area. The pool was nice though! This was a great cruise and absolutely loved it. We met a lot of nice people from all over the world! While there is room for improvement, we would consider Emerald again for a future cruise. Their all-inclusive package and payment structure is the main reason why we chose them. Another company wanted full payment almost 11 months in advance which we felt wasn't reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all ... Read More
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all areas except the food quality. Being all-inclusive was important to us, no worries about calculating gratuities, port fees, etc.. We loved the Swissôtel Basel that Emerald booked for us pre-cruise. All the airport to hotel / to ship transfers went smoothly and on time. We had fun exploring the city on our own for a day (and recovering from jet lag), before embarking on Emerald Sun. Lunch the first day was not included but they prepared a light buffet for us new passengers in the lounge, a thoughtful touch. We cruised from Basel to Amsterdam over 8 days under sunny skies. Our cabin was spacious, well-designed, and like the ship itself, absolutely immaculate. The bed was the most comfortable 'hotel' bed I've ever slept in (I usually suffer bad sleep during vacations) and the attentive cabin steward saw to our every need. Top marks. The fleet is quite new, our ship was 3 years old, and are of a modern and sleek design. It featured a beautiful infinity pool at the stern, small gym, hairdresser, cinema (pool transforms for film night), huge sundeck with shade canopies and mini-putt, bicycles for excursions, large main dining room, and a bar & lounge for relaxing or to enjoy a light breakfast or lunch. The shore excursions were included, except for one optional tour to Moselle and Cochem--which I highly recommend, it was fantastic!. We enjoyed all of the guided tours, either walking or by coach. The local guides really knew their stuff and the sites selected were interesting (and not only churches). The 'QuietVox' system let us meander about and still hear our guide. Of course one could always opt out of a tour and explore individually, or stay and relax on ship. With all that was wonderful, the very ordinary food was a disappointment. I don't know if the wait staff was new, but they lacked polish and some never smiled at the guests. The service varied greatly and the food quality & preparation was . . . okay. Not the high standard I was expecting of Emerald. We had to return a fish dish, it was hard, dry and tasteless. A fellow diner returned some veal that was all gristle. We were only told on day 3 that we could order from a menu at lunch, as well as partake of the buffet. This would have helped. Everyone we met complained of the small portions served at the evening meal—2 or 3 bites of the meat or fish, a couple of tablespoons of rice or potatoes, and a few vegetable bits. Very artsy but not enough to fill 5 year old child. One meal featured mashed potatoes dyed Smurf blue??? The white and red wines offered with the meals were rarely from the regions we were travelling through, but mainly Austrian or Slovakian. Mediocre quality, and the white served at room temperature. On the last day I discovered there were other wines one could have, despite me asking a waiter earlier in the week if they had a German Riesling since we were in the Rhine Valley. The wait staff did not seem to all have the same information. Training? However, the salads were good and varied, and they offered wonderful cheeses and bread. I ate a lot of bread. The 2 soups I tried were extremely salty so I had to give them a pass. The desserts were commercial, not much better than supermarket quality. Food aside, the trip was wonderful and we enjoyed the sights along the scenic Rhine. The crew was courteous and professional and the ship elegant and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each ... Read More
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each deck! Breakfasts and lunches were very good, however evening dinners left a lot to be desired. Portion sizes on some meals were very small, ice cream desserts were often served melted, fresh cream was not used at all always spray cream. Fresh fruit salad only contained one fruit generally melon. One guest had ordered perch as a main course, I have seen larger goldfish in a bowl! Another guest ordered chicken breast but was served chicken with a bone in whilst others only had two thin strips of the chicken.Entertainment was limited to a pianist each evening he was very good. A violinist on one evening was excellent but only for half an hour. Two opera singers one afternoon for three quarters of an hour they were very good but it would have been better in an evening when everyone was on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off ... Read More
Please note the Emerald Sun was swapped for the Emerald Sky. It was identical in all respects other than the name and was a year older. The crew was from the Sky. They were very friendly , keen to talk, provide a good service and show off their ship in the best light. It was modern with glass, chrome and plenty of light. We walked through a V....g ship which looked a little dowdy in comparison. What better way to see 3 Capital Cities and four more Bavarian towns in 8 days on board a smooth sailing efficiently run River Cruise. Aiming to go in early Autumn when it was a little cheaper, not so hot and the Danube was pretty empty, we enjoyed great moorings without stacking and clear runs of the rivers and locks. Yes, there are a lot of locks especially once leaving the river for the canal. Autumn colours were stunning, Castles evocative and the river with its reflections and light magical. It was Blue too for a day. Excursions were well organised with good guides and a Quiet Vox system so that you could hear when away from the range of their speaking voice. The guides were informative and you could leave at will. Lots of little surprises like maps and itinerary for everyday in the cabin, demonstration by executive chef (looked easy), visit to the galley (tiny), wifi never missed beat, nothing too much trouble even when phone lost overboard taking a picture of Bratislave by night with a full moon (as you do) Guest complement was mixture of Americans, Aussies, Brits and Brazillians. Crew were all English speakers and very multinational. This created an interesting set of cultures to explore. One difficulty was the noise levels in the Dining Room which rose during the evenings so that even those with good hearing were struggling. Food was plenteous of good quality and reflected the region of the day. This was a special trip for our 40th wedding anniversary and so was a one off but not to be forgotten Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was ... Read More
Been before on Danube, Budapest to Amsterdam in 2014 when all was excellent. This time, September 2017, the quality of the food was not up to 2014 standard. The ship, crew, amenities, cabins and trips were all excellent but the food was very average indeed. Since part of cruising involves good meals we, and our friends, were very disappointed. It would appear that we were not alone - there were quite a few grumbled fro previous Emerald cruisers and all were disappointed with the standard of food offered. This would appear to be a fault of central buying, set recipes and standardisation of meals. Please make some changes or we will stay away in future. What a shame since everything else on the ship was perfect, crew, excursions, guides, coaches and general experiences. Cabins and cabin staff excellent. Cannot speak too highly of the overall standard of the ship. Sort the food out! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We cruised the Danube with Emerald in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves so much we booked the Jewels of the Rhine cruise for 2017. We were not disappointed, the Emerald Sun was the standard we would expect, the staff friendly and helpful and the ... Read More
We cruised the Danube with Emerald in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves so much we booked the Jewels of the Rhine cruise for 2017. We were not disappointed, the Emerald Sun was the standard we would expect, the staff friendly and helpful and the excursions well organised. My only comment would be at the beginning of the cruise I can only describe the standard of the food as variable. There may have been a problem in the kitchen as after the first couple of days, the standard stabilised and equalled that of our previous cruise. The cabin was clean and well maintained as were all the public areas. There is limited entertainment in the evenings with a musician and dancing every night but this is just a relatively small river cruise. Some nights there were quizzes or an additional musician and of course there was the Crew Show. We were certainly not bored. Would certainly cruiese with Emerald again Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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
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
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
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
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
The river cruise was part of an Italy to UK holiday. From the time we arrived in Budapest from Rome we were assisted in everyway and transported on to our ship in a very well organised manner. Once on board the perfect organisation took ... Read More
The river cruise was part of an Italy to UK holiday. From the time we arrived in Budapest from Rome we were assisted in everyway and transported on to our ship in a very well organised manner. Once on board the perfect organisation took over. Great cabin, most meals, entertainment and shore excursions all went like clockwork without being rushed. Fourteen days of wonderful May/June weather, great places to see through Hungary, Slovakia, Bavaria and Holland and a delightful, happy group of passengers who all made the most of what was on offer. Food was well supplied and catering excellently organised by well trained and friendly staff working to a faultless and precise system. The one downside was the evening dinner which to many of our group was too fussy and decorative - not really very tasty food that most passengers had been used to and sometimes a little over the top and of questionable quantity. Breakfast and lunch were more traditional and certainly sufficient so not many complaints for these two. So, an excellent and memorable cruise and we would do again give half a chance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Very good itinerary, visiting some fabulous places which were enriched by the guided tours at each location. The ship was very well appointed and very comfortable. The modern feel to the design and furnishings was appreciated. ... Read More
Very good itinerary, visiting some fabulous places which were enriched by the guided tours at each location. The ship was very well appointed and very comfortable. The modern feel to the design and furnishings was appreciated. Excellent service on board and on the excursions. A particular note of appreciation must go to Wes, the cruise director, who was very visible throughout and was informative and had a humorous and light touch to his organisational role. The bike ride was a welcome addition to the cruise itinerary, offering the opportunity to cycle through some beautiful countryside and get a bit of exercise as well. My only criticism would be about the food on board. It was "OK" but really not up to the standard that I'd expect on a cruise of this quality. The staff were all great but I'd not recommend our cruise if you're look for fine dining or anything approaching that. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As regular ocean cruisers we decided to try something different. We were not disappointed - this Danube, Mainz, Rhine cruise ticked all the boxes for a small ship. Great food, interesting mix of people and very efficient crew. One of ... Read More
As regular ocean cruisers we decided to try something different. We were not disappointed - this Danube, Mainz, Rhine cruise ticked all the boxes for a small ship. Great food, interesting mix of people and very efficient crew. One of the highlights was a tour of the galley which was something of an eye-opener. How five crew members worked in such a confined space producing such excellent food was a miracle! All the tours were efficiently organised and the innovative communication system recently introduced worked extremely well - all the guides raved about it! Destinations were all well worth the visit with usually sufficient free time to explore. The 'extra' tours/trips which included a visit to the Schonbrun Palace and a private concert in Vienna were excellent. Richard Grey the Tour Director was the best we had ever encountered on any of our previous ocean cruises. The only downside to the whole trip was the mayhem at Heathrow which would probably put us off from doing a similar holiday again unless Eurostar was an option. Otherwise, a most enjoyable two weeks which probably surpassed our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Danube travelling towards the Black Sea included many countries we had not visited, but the real reason was the inclusion of war correspondents lecturing and so adding to the experience . Of the3, Martin Bell (who travelled with us) ... Read More
The Danube travelling towards the Black Sea included many countries we had not visited, but the real reason was the inclusion of war correspondents lecturing and so adding to the experience . Of the3, Martin Bell (who travelled with us) was superb: 4 lectures of appropriate length and content, delivered with video clips to make the whole thing 'come alive' as we travelled the troubled regions of the former Yugoslavia. His last talk was very light-hearted: Politics and Poetry. Sadly, the lectures from the other 2 reporters were not up to the same standard. The boat was new, so rooms seemed even smaller. Service was excellent, although the food was inconsistent and a little too novel cuisine at times. Tours were generally very good, although a great deal depended on which local guide you ended up with - standards of English and input both variable. More activities on board would have been welcomed during the sailing day. The disappointment was no time in Budapest, and the 2 days in Bucharest. After a well organised cruise, things just weren't of the same standard (although the hotel was fine) Visits and catering outside of the hotel both left much to be desired. The overall experience was very good - not least due to the cruise director, Jana. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. Administration was efficient and our cruise director always kept us well briefed. The onshore activities at the various stops were all interesting, if not always riveting because of limited choice of things to do around eastern Danube ports. The buses used were all comfortable and the local guides were knowledgeable. The material provided by the correspondents added much context. The onboard entertainment was enjoyable and provided local colour. Our cabins were well appointed and comfortable and the food and wine were first rate. The hotels used in Budapest and Bucharest were adequate, rather than good but that didn't really detract from our enjoyment. This was our first river cruise; it won't be our last. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I have just returned from a week's cruise on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest. This is my second river cruise. The first being on The Nile, 9 years ago. The ship was lovely. Well appointed and spotlessly clean. Our cabin ... Read More
I have just returned from a week's cruise on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest. This is my second river cruise. The first being on The Nile, 9 years ago. The ship was lovely. Well appointed and spotlessly clean. Our cabin was luxurious and comfortable and we received a free upgrade. Many people we met had also been upgraded which leads me to believe that this is Emerald policy if they have empty rooms - and a good one! My only criticism about the accommodation is that the lounge and dining room were not big enough for the number of people on the ship and it was difficult to fit everyone in. You were often left looking around for a table at meal times and we had to get to the restaurant early and queue to ensure that we got a table that accommodated 6 people. We chose to eat in the lounge area for lunch because it was more relaxing. Had the weather been better, I expect that the top, outdoor deck would have been utilised more relieving pressure on the other rooms but this wouldn't make any difference at dinner time and in the evenings. Food was plentiful and of very good quality but the wines on offer could have been better. We did, eventually, find a wine that suited us but always had to ask for it specifically and often wait for it to be found. It was nice to have the option to eat in the dining room or the lounge. Several members of our party chose the 20 euros per day drinks package. This was excellent value for money but, sadly, didn't include sparkling wine. Entertainment was low key. There were two external and two in-house shows. All were very good. It would have been nice to have a show of some sort after dinner each evening, too. The pianist in the evenings was excellent but little variation. Service across the board was excellent. The staff work as a team and are an asset to the company. We were invited to dine with the Captain one evening, which was a wonderful experience, and my brother-in-law, who celebrated his birthday on the same day, was made to feel special leading to a great evening. Shore excursions were good. All of the guides were helpful and spoke very good English. However, the walks were very short. Our group had an average age of 63 but found them too easy. It seemed that they were geared for older people (the average age on the ship must have been about 70). Overall, we had a great time. We saw lots and had many laughs. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't always kind to us but that's how it goes. If I were to go on a river cruise again, I would certainly choose Emerald as I know that they would give me a quality experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date June 2016
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
Sail Date November 2015
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.5 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.5 4.3

Find an Emerald Sun Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click