We have just returned from the Emerald cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. We spent 14 nights aboard the Emerald Sun. Cabin 220. The boat was clean, stylish, and had enough space to accommodate all our luggage etc. The balcony room was very clean, bright, and comfortable.
The sun deck on top was large and comfortable, as was the lounge and dining area. We never had trouble getting seats.
We sailed with mostly Canadians and Aussies, with several Americans as well, it was a great crowd. We made great friends.
The on board entertainment was fun! Thanks Benny, for your talent singing and being a DJ. There was also a trivia night, disco night , and a crew talent show. All very fun.
Janna was the cruise director and she was amazing. Always cheerful, treated you like you were her only concern when she talked to you.
The excursions were all extremely well organized, busses and people were always in place. Tour guides were personable and knowledgable.
I personally would skip Drachenburg Castle, although it's views of the Rhine were stunning.
The concert in Vienna was amazing. I don't even like classical but it was really something to experience. The night cruise in Budapest was gorgeous, as was the Amsterdam canal cruise.
At one point we could not continue sailing dues to high waters. Janna, along with Ray, another Emerald manager, had everyone transferred to Vienna for two nights. It ended up being fabulous. They made it seamless, there was no inconvenience at all! Then we got the river cruise gaurantee, which I didn't know I had, and are getting a refund for the two days we couldn't cruise. This was very impressive!
My only only only first world complaint is that I didn't think all the dinners were 5*.
I would highly recommend Emerald.