We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We could have gone ashore, but had spent 2 and a half days in Amsterdam so stayed on board.
All meals were included and were excellent. I like having a buffet for breakfast and lunch. At lunch you did have the option to order from the menu as well. Dinner was served, 3 choices, meat, fish and vegetarian as well as steak, salmon and chicken daily. Each dinner included a choice of two appetizers, soup, and 4 desserts. The cheese on ship was amazing! The chef did a great job!
The included tours were excellent. Extremely knowledgeable guides who spoke amazing English. The only negative was our docking. We did not have the best docking sites. But Emerald had busses that took us into town if necessary.
We purchased four extra tours. The Dragonburg Castle was ok, there was filming that day which made part of the gardens out of bounds. The WW II tour was very interesting and explained how Hitler was able to rise to power. The Vienna concert was a highlight of the tour. The members of the Symphony Orchestra played Vienna classics and the soloists were good. The Jewish Quarter tour in Budapest was heart breaking. The Nazis' massacre of the Jews unbelievable. Our tour guide was new to Emerald and took us all over Budapest, showing us hidden food trucks, synagogues, and rebuilt areas.
The on board entertainment, glass blower, zither player, violinist, Ompa Band and Hungarian dancers, were all of good quality. I found the zither player especially interesting as I knew very little about how it is played. Very difficult!
Louis, from Portugal, is a very organized cruise director. His dry sense of humour was very appreciated and he made our cruise memorable. He was patient with all the questions and always seemed to have time for each guest.
Ben, the activities director, was new to this job and tried to provide lots of different activities from yoga, to trivia, to bike tours, as well as cabarets and karoke. Well done, Ben
All in all a memorable river cruise and would definitely cruise with Emerald again!
Our cabin was very clean and tastefully appointed. There were two large drawers, a small closet a vanity and 2 shelves. The bathroom had 2 shelves and a hidden cabinet behind the mirror over the toilet.
My bed was very comfortable and Irvan kept our room squeaky clean.
The "balcony" was part of the room which was convenient as the weather was chilly at times during the cruise, you could sit and watch the scenery or put down the window to let in fresh air.