This was our first river cruise and the standard of accommodation, food and service on the Emerald Star was hard to fault. The staff made everything - even passing through the deepest lock on our journey - a cause for celebration and a glass of bubbly. They were constantly friendly, cheerful and hardworking.
We were a little younger than most passengers who were 60+ and that meant we found some of the trips a bit slow but you could always leave the organised tour and explore on your own. The vast majority of the other guests were Australian which made for a great atmosphere with loads of people who were ready to chat and a lot of fun.
We loved the clever design of the boat and were amazed at the amount of space and storage in our cabin. The pool is tiny but was underused so it was possible to get a proper swim, albeit with a lot of turns! Would also say that I can be seasick on a 20 minute ferry crossing but the boat was so stable I was absolutely fine.
We travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam and found the stops in Bavaria especially beautiful - for a shorter cruise we'd say do the Danube and Main rather than the Rhine, but that was just our taste. We'll definitely be cruising with Emerald again.
Spacious and with good facilities. Couldn't always use the indoor/outdoor balcony when in port because there is a large amount of shipping and we were often moored against another boat. Next time would go for the Panorama Balcony Suite which has fewer extras but was better value for money overall. The sound proofing in the cabins is particularly impressive - no noise from the bar or adjacent cabins at all.