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After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we would know our total costs up front and not have to worry about surprises. We enjoyed an included guided tour at each stop along the way between Passau and Budapest with local experienced guides. The common areas on the ship like the lounge, dining room, pool and sun deck were comfortable and well maintained - many a luxurious hour was spent watching the exquisite countryside glide past. At one point as we were all on the sun deck enjoying a description of the vineyards we were passing the serving crew appeared carrying trays of the wine being described - very classy. We had been told that the approach to Budapest was especially impressive and given the approximate arrival time early the next morning - sitting on the deck, sipping a cappuccino while classical music played and the river sights appeared ahead of us is something we'll never forget...also the night cruise under the lighted bridges of Budapest was unforgettable too and the crew once again offering trays of 'Blue Danube cocktails' added a lovely touch. We enjoyed all the generous meals offered with local dishes thrown in to highlight our ports of call. While there were daily specials offered there was also a menu you could order from if you preferred. The wine offerings always reflected the area we were passing through. Especially outstanding was the accommodation of food allergies - no fuss about the fact that I hadn't mentioned my preference for gluten free prior to the trip, it was easily accommodated. We were delighted with our cabin - tight quarters given the ship's size but perfectly fitted and the panoramic windows were a big hit with us. The service was second to none with everyone from the cabin crew to the servers to the reception staff always cheerful, accommodating and professional - they were always available and enthusiastic. The fact that the cruise director, manager and captain were always easily accessible impressed us a great deal - any inquiry, concern or question was always taken seriously and responded to promptly. Our fellow passengers were all of a similar age and temperament - some rare younger couples stood out but seemed perfectly at home. If there were any partiers aboard then we weren't aware of it as we retired fairly early.

Every detail looked after beautifully

Emerald Star Cruise Review by CarolandGer

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we would know our total costs up front and not have to worry about surprises. We enjoyed an included guided tour at each stop along the way between Passau and Budapest with local experienced guides.

The common areas on the ship like the lounge, dining room, pool and sun deck were comfortable and well maintained - many a luxurious hour was spent watching the exquisite countryside glide past. At one point as we were all on the sun deck enjoying a description of the vineyards we were passing the serving crew appeared carrying trays of the wine being described - very classy. We had been told that the approach to Budapest was especially impressive and given the approximate arrival time early the next morning - sitting on the deck, sipping a cappuccino while classical music played and the river sights appeared ahead of us is something we'll never forget...also the night cruise under the lighted bridges of Budapest was unforgettable too and the crew once again offering trays of 'Blue Danube cocktails' added a lovely touch.

We enjoyed all the generous meals offered with local dishes thrown in to highlight our ports of call. While there were daily specials offered there was also a menu you could order from if you preferred. The wine offerings always reflected the area we were passing through. Especially outstanding was the accommodation of food allergies - no fuss about the fact that I hadn't mentioned my preference for gluten free prior to the trip, it was easily accommodated.

We were delighted with our cabin - tight quarters given the ship's size but perfectly fitted and the panoramic windows were a big hit with us. The service was second to none with everyone from the cabin crew to the servers to the reception staff always cheerful, accommodating and professional - they were always available and enthusiastic. The fact that the cruise director, manager and captain were always easily accessible impressed us a great deal - any inquiry, concern or question was always taken seriously and responded to promptly. Our fellow passengers were all of a similar age and temperament - some rare younger couples stood out but seemed perfectly at home. If there were any partiers aboard then we weren't aware of it as we retired fairly early.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 315
Generous drawers and closets so everything could be stored. Incredible panoramic window view. High quality bed, bed coverings, towels with housecoat and slippers provided. Great lighting for reading.