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.