We were booked on the Emerald Dawn but the ship was changed to the Emerald Sun. The central problem was noise from above at all hours of the night. The toilets on the ship were of an airline design. We were on the second level, and had to endure the explosive sound of the toilet from the cabin above throughout the night. We were awakened many times during the night, even when using earplugs. I was tired in the daytime and could not enjoy activities as much as if I had been able to sleep normally. Toward the end of the cruise, I could not wait to get off the ship. There was nothing the staff could do about the noise.
We sailed from Budapest to Passau, and then had three days in Prague. We had a good tour of Budapest before we started our cruise. We opted for the excursions that were part of the cruise package as we had not travelled in Eastern Europe before. These excursions were very satisfactory and the guides were excellent.
Embarkation, disembarkation and transfers were very smooth, well organized and on time. Outside of our cabin, the ship was fine. Sailing along the river on the upper deck was very enjoyable. Service was good. Our tour director (Alex) was very informative and a good entertainer.
The food, for the most part, was satisfactory, except for some of the dinner entrees, which were overcooked. Portions were small. We had schnitzel one night that was unrecognizable as such.
This was our first river cruise, and I came away from it with mixed feelings. I really enjoyed seeing the European capitals (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague) that we had never seen before. The tours were good and the guides were excellent. Sailing on the river was very enjoyable. However, the lack of sleep due to cabin noise was a serious drawback and is the primary reason for giving the cruise an overall rating of poor and a cabin rating of terrible. I will never sail with Emerald again. If I had known about the noise issue, I would have booked a cabin on the top deck for the cruise.
Other than the noise problem noted above, the cabin was fine. Beds were comfortable, and the layout was functional.
Bus tour of the city centre. Very informative. Wonderful views of the city and the river from the castle.
Charming city centre. Very knowledgeable guide.
Just a taste of this great city, but very interesting. Wonderful architecture.
We walked extensively around the old town. Quaint little town.
We loved Passau. Had a city tour with a well-informed guide. Went to an organ recital at the main cathedral that was very impressive. Bought an authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock. Had a second day of walking around in this charming town with a good lunch in town.