This itinerary was at the top of my Bucket List. I looked as several different lines and was impressed at the cost savings with Emerald. We chose to spend two nights in Budapest before boarding the boat. This gave us time to recover from the overnight flight and to explore the Jewish Quarter on foot which was not part of Emerald's tour of the city. Never having traveled to Europe before, I was surprised how easy it was to explore without knowing the language.
Emerald includes transfers from the airport to ship and ship to airport. Since we chose to stay at their preferred hotel in Budapest, we were told that we would have free transfer from the airport on our arrival date. There was no one there to pick us up. We were told later that the person was somewhere else waiting for us even though we followed the instructions we were given as to where we were to meet out driver. The line did reimburse our taxi fare once we supplied a receipt.
On embarkation day, we followed the Emerald representative from the hotel to the bus and embarked on our journey. Once we handed our luggage over to the bus driver, we did not see it again until we were able to access our cabin where is it was waiting for us. When we arrived at the boat, we were directed to the Lounge because the cabins were not ready. A light lunch was served there and cabins were available at about 13:30. If you are unfamiliar with the 24 hour clock and you plan to use this line, you best learn. All times were given in this manner.
The cabin (CAT C 234) was adequate size and exactly as pictured in their brochure. The indoor balcony is comfortable if the air conditioning is not on. If it is, the chair closer to the vent is in an uncomfortable draft. It was too warm to turn off the air. What you do not see in the brochure picture is that there is very little room between the bed and the wall where the entrance to the bathroom is located. The bathroom door slides and the opening is at the head of the bed which means the door must be closed at bedtime or the night light in the bathroom bothers the person sleeping in that bed. This narrow passage also makes it difficult at times when two people are trying to get dressed and need to get in and out of the bathroom. One good feature of the bathroom is the storage. There are shelves next to the sink and a cabinet behind the mirror over the toilet. In addition, there is a deep drawer under the sink. For clothes, there are two fairly long and deep drawers and a narrow closet with many hangers. Also there are two shallow shelves below the safe.
There is a shelf above the television which we found was a good place for hats and purses. Suitcases fit comfortably under the bed.