Sail Date: August 2019
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would ... Read More
We had a dream of travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam one day. After some research we chose Emerald Waterways, and Emerald Sky as our river ship. I consider myself a seasoned ocean cruiser and was anxious to see what river cruising would be like. Well we were not disappointed! In fact it may be harder to pick the larger cruising vessels again! I highly recommend this itinerary, each day was amazing and soon it seemed unimaginable that the next day could be better. We enjoyed Emerald Sky very much. The staff, crew were very friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward was fantastic. The Activity Director was quite the entertainer. We found that the breakfast and lunch meals were very good for the whole trip. The first few evening entrees were not the best but that quickly changed. There were six of us in our group and we all commented how the food just got better and better. We noticed that our ship had very good docking locations in the towns which made touring quite easy and enjoyable. Already looking forward to booking our next river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to ... Read More
The atmosphere onboard was great the ships inhabitants came together to enjoy each others company as well as the staff who made everyone feel very comfortable. The activities and entertainment were very nice and well thought out to interest every passenger at one time or another. The excursions were carefully planned into the cities we visited and had excellent guides that gave the tour group the history and insight into the historic cities and great reviews on the existing life and culture.I also liked the fact that you also had an opportunity to visit ports of call during the evening so you had a chance to see the city lights at night. I really enjoyed one stop to visit see and interact with a local family well done Emerald. The food was prepared by an excellent master chef who's creations were as eye appealing as they were to eat. We can't wait to go again to set sail with Emerald they are an excellent cruise line offering lots of travel destinations and places we want to see and visit. Thanks again to the crew of Emerald Sky.... See you again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted a river cruise for a 70th birthday celebration. Saw this one advertised in daily mail and it covered the area we wanted to cruise to. We started at Budapest and travelled to Bratislava , Durnstein, Melk and Vienna. We were ... Read More
We wanted a river cruise for a 70th birthday celebration. Saw this one advertised in daily mail and it covered the area we wanted to cruise to. We started at Budapest and travelled to Bratislava , Durnstein, Melk and Vienna. We were unable to cruise last day due to river level.. however, the choice was there to travel by coach or stay on ship. Everything was well organised and passengers were kept up to date with any changes. It was a fantastic choice. Everything was run very smoothly from the time we were met at the airport until we ended the cruise. The service in horizon bar and main restaurant was quick friendly and fun when other passengers were celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. Yes From the cruise director, reception staff, waiters etc and cabin attendants , all were friendly helpful and welcoming. The evening entertainment was run by Neil after the evening meal. The juke box jury night was fun and it was great to see the staff join in. From cabin attendant to waiters. Neil also arranged golf tournament and aqua aerobics. The guided tours were very well organised with plenty of knowledgeable guides. You could choose the pace of the walking tours to suit your needs and if you wanted a more strenuous tour this was available.bottled water was available each day to take ashore . On previous ocean cruises this was an extra. Each evening Michael the cruise director detailed the next days events and choices. The choice of meals was wide ranging, very tasty with different options if you did not want local dishes. There was also a large choice for breakfasts. The service was also first.class. We had been on ocean cruises before but this was a special experience. We will definitely choose emerald again Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Maybe we have high expectations? I just don't understand how so many people can say "Fantastic, Wonderful, Amazing" In my experience there is always room to improve. On our cruise we had "lock" problems so were ... Read More
Maybe we have high expectations? I just don't understand how so many people can say "Fantastic, Wonderful, Amazing" In my experience there is always room to improve. On our cruise we had "lock" problems so were unable to reach our last port of call and were transferred via bus. Made for a very long and uncomfortable day. In general the ports we visited were nice, but I wouldn't be interested in returning for extended stays, other then Budapest and Prague. The food on board was OK, but only 40% of it seemed to change daily, they kept serving the same items over and over again. I was also surprised to find we were forced to join other people at meal time. I understand many people enjoy this, but me and my husband like to enjoy a quite dinner after a long day of touring share our thoughts of the day. The idea of a peaceful relaxing dinner with each other, a glass of wine, is just what we are looking for. However, being pushed into making small talk with strangers each night was not what we were expecting. After all is said and done, we will go on another river boat cruise, but more prepared with the pluses and minus. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Being a Single traveller and never being on a River Cruise I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly my room was upgraded WoooT! First thing to check out was the beds... super comfy! Then on to check out the pool, the dining and the roof ... Read More
Being a Single traveller and never being on a River Cruise I wasn't sure what to expect. Firstly my room was upgraded WoooT! First thing to check out was the beds... super comfy! Then on to check out the pool, the dining and the roof top. Overall I was impressed with everything, the staff were always asking if everything was okay and if I wanted anything. After setting sail and seeing many other cruise boats, I found this one to be the best. After looking at APT and Scenic cruises I wasn't impressed with their ship layout. particularly at front. Emerald ships decks seem to be higher and it was really nice to sit out on the front deck. There was endless amount of entertainment and shore excursions. The shore excursions were great, they catered for all levels of fitness and it was great to see entertainment director join in on some of the tours. Whilst all the staff were lovely and super awesome, (my extra deserts.. Stefan your the best!) I believe they work way too hard, you would see them first thing in the morning and still be working till the early hours of the next morning (they deserve a pay rise!) All in all I wouldn't do the same cruise again, I would chose a different route but with the same company as I really liked the ship's design. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We were on the special Tulip Season cruise recently. From April 17 - 24, 2019. We thought the ship was larger than expected. The lounge area was roomy enough for everyone (as noted every evening when all were in attendance for the Port ... Read More
We were on the special Tulip Season cruise recently. From April 17 - 24, 2019. We thought the ship was larger than expected. The lounge area was roomy enough for everyone (as noted every evening when all were in attendance for the Port talk by Nina. (Cruise Director). From the moment we stepped on the ship, we were pampered and catered to. Our cabin was okay in size. I had researched beforehand so I knew what to expect. I got really tired of the small sink in the bathroom. But, there is a good amount of hidden storage behind the mirrors. It was nice to have a mini refrigerator. Our cabin steward was Arditt and I couldn't have been happier with him. I asked for ice to be delivered daily; and he did not let me down. He kept the room very clean for us. Also broght me a few extra towels each day. I very much appreciated him. The Captain was nice and made himself seen and available to the guests. Robert was always cordial. Nina did an excellent job, as did Julia, the activity director. My husband and I are on the active side; so had it not been for Julia, I might have been disappointed on the options and level of activity for us. My one big complaint is that this cruise line adveritses the movie nights in the pool area. But, those were not mentioned or arranged any of the days we were on board. I feel like someone should have told us why this wasn't done. This amenity was a selling point to me choosing this particular ship and cruise line. As noted by several guests, the dining experience is great. But, the level of noise makes it very difficult to carry on much of a conversation. Might just be how it is, since there's only one seating for dinner. But, I thought I'd mention it because several of the Veteran River Cruise guests said they experienced a little bit better noise level on another cruise line. Wine and beer as advertised for lunch and dinner. I was surprised at how much they will allow you to have. It was really nice. I guess I assumed beforehand that they'd be a little "stingy" with it; but that was not the case at all. Nemitt was our waiter for many of the nights and I found that we missed him when he wasn't working our area. Hope this review helps you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for the visit to the tulip gardens. The vessel itself was good as were the trips and the crew. The guides and the equipment to hear the guides were good. We particularly liked the lady guide when we went to ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the visit to the tulip gardens. The vessel itself was good as were the trips and the crew. The guides and the equipment to hear the guides were good. We particularly liked the lady guide when we went to Delft, and the gentleman when we went to Arnhem (he was 8yrs old during the battle for Arnhem and was able to relate to it and the Dutch views about it). The on board entertainment was poor. The musician/pianist employed on board has gone and been replaced by an entertainments/activities officer. The evening entertainment was poor and it drove most of the passengers out of the lounge in the evening. There are only so many quizzes anyone can tolerate ! Notably on the last night a duo played on board, admittedly only for 35 minutes, but the lounge was full for this. Surely Emerald would benefit from having better entertainment for which they may have to pay, but it would be more than recompensed in bar sales. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald ... Read More
We booked an elegant river cruise and got a mediocre bus tour. My wife and I boarded the Emerald Sky in Amsterdam on September 29 on a scheduled 15 Day “Splendours of Europe” river cruise. This ship was a replacement for the Emerald Sun that was unable to complete it’s previous cruise due to low water levels on the Danube. We were most disappointed with the latter portion of our “cruise”. We had anticipated that we might need to be bussed from one ship to another past a shallow part of the river. We did not suspect that the last 5 days of the trip would be done by coach. This resulted in: • Missing some of the main attractions and events that we were looking forward to. • Mediocre mass meals, rushed and served in overwhelmed restaurants • Long bus rides • The use of highway rest stops with long lines for toilet facilities • Lengthy walks a brisk pace to get to hotels and restaurants • Guided walks where we were unable to hear the guides due to the absence of the personal sound systems that had been left on the ship • Considerable time spent in lines or waiting for something to happen • Much jostling with other passengers at venues • On the plus side, we were put up in 3 lovely Hotels Apparently we are to be offered some financial compensation as part of a “cruise guarantee”. Both my wife and I feel that it will not make up for our disappointment at the way the cruise ended. In my opinion, the fact that the organization and execution of these last 5 days was placed on the shoulders of the ship’s cruise director, resulted in a less than satisfactory experience. Although she was excellent whilst on the ship, running a coach tour, especially one for 138 passengers, requires a different set of skills and specific expertise. I do not fault her, as she worked her heart out and was obviously stressed. I put the blame on the company that placed her in that position. Again, in my opinion, Emerald should have anticipated that the ship would not be able to navigate the whole river and deployed replacement vessels as needed. If they could not provide the cruise as advertised, they should have cancelled it and offered us other options. Low water on the rivers had been an issue all summer. I feel that decisions about this cruise were not made with customer service as a priority. As a result, we were left with a very poor opinion of Emerald/Scenic. We enjoyed the first few days on the Sky. We had several excursions where the leaders were exceptional and injected their talks on history and architecture with humour and personal antidotes. Other guides seemed to be intent on providing the group with as much information that they could fit into an hour- long march through the centre of town. I really enjoyed my bicycle excursion through the Dutch countryside on the first day of the cruse and was looking forward to several more as the trip progressed. Dining Meals are provided in the aptly named “Reflections Restaurant”. A light breakfast and lunch is available in the upper floor lounge. Dinner is table service while breakfast and lunch are buffet style. We found that the service staff were attentive and friendly. The food was well prepared and there were a variety of menu choices, Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner in unlimited quantities. Some of us found that the wines offered were only of average quality. We found one major fault with the dining room. It was incredibly noisy. We found our selves almost shouting to be heard by our dinner companions – it was apparent that others were in the same situation, which added to the din. The previously mentioned hard glossy surfaces that adorned the room seemed to reflect every sound. Tables were set up so that conversations and laughter carried the length of the room. The bright, high key lighting did nothing to mute the voices of those who tended to be loud. The atmosphere was more akin to a dining hall than “fine dining” The “Reflections” dining room needs some serious work on acoustics the next time this ship is in refit.  Other The other public areas were well laid out and there was a nice outdoor area at the front of the ship. The pool area at the stern was a nice quiet spot to read. I enjoyed the beverage machines that were available all day with a variety of coffees and teas. Having bicycles available for shore excursions was a nice touch. The captain was very personable and was seen interacting with passengers on many occasions. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the price, the itinerary, and age of the ship. Since this was my 4th river cruise I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, but I was. The ship was beautiful and the staff was better than amazing. Nina, the cruise director, was the best I have experienced. She was warm, caring, and always thinking of ways to aid passengers who had difficulty with mobility. The food was outstanding and the chef was so friendly. I mentioned that I loved one soup and the next day it was under my door! The last night most of the crew came and danced with the passengers. Such fun. I have sailed on Gate1, Amawaterways, Viking, and Emerald and Emerald provided the best experience. I would not hesitate to sail with them again and am already searching for a 2019 trip. Give Emerald a try. You will not regret it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every ... Read More
We have done a couple of river cruises but this one exceeded our expectations. The service was excellent, the variety of food at all times was great although the portions sometimes were small but it didn't bother us, enjoyed every meal. The only negative comment would be that the restaurant and lounge area were very noisy. The included shore excursions were well organised, we liked the freedom of not having to give our names in advance, just turn up if you want to go, so if you change your mind at the last minute that was no problem. There was not much entertainment, unlike the ocean cruises but if you want the glitz and glamour then a river cruise is not for you. The ship was absolutely spotless, the same with the cabin. The crew were very friendly and efficient, always smiling and seeing them all at the Captain's Gala Dinner was lovely, haven't had that on other river cruises. Would recommend Emerald without hesitation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water ... Read More
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water levels. We were told that many other cruise ships had to bus their guests around the low areas but our very experienced captain was able to sail us through although we had to bypass a stop at one town because of low water. Improvements could be made in food services, particularly for vegetarians. The veggie menu showed little imagination; very heavily potato based, not enough protein based veggies. Accessibility on the shore excursions for persons with limited mobility could be improved by making sure the shore drop off and pickup points were the same place. Often there was a considerable walking distance between these points. Also, more information could be made available on how to access tour trams (cho-cho trains) for those who cannot walk around the towns. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions ... Read More
My husband and I had a marvellous time, in every way. The crew and all other staff were great, as was the entertainment. We met lots of great people, particularly two groups of Canadians who were great to be with.The food and excursions were superb - cannot be faulted. The bedroom was all we had expected, clean and very comfortable, with lots of coat-hangers, which was a very pleasant surprise, not the norm! ( I had taken a few, just in case!) Toiletries were good and stocked up everyday and the room was attended to twice daily.. As we had booked a balcony suite, that is what we expected, not two chairs and a table inside the cabin. This would be our only complaint of the ship but it didn't spoil an otherwise truly memorable holiday. We have travelled with other cruise companies but this is definitely the best so far. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went ... Read More
Having completed a river cruise 3 years ago on the Danube with another river cruise line we were looking again to another great cruise. This time it was with Emerald and we weren’t disappointed. Our pickup at Zurich airport went flawlessly and we were soon on the Emerals Sky. Originally we were supposed to be on the Emerald Destiny but due to low water levels we were changed to the Sky. This didn’t present any problems however as the crew of Sky, excuse the pun, went overboard to make us feel so welcome. Arriving way before our expected arrival time our cabins were soon made ready and we were able to settle in and relax a little from a long flight and have a light lunch. Even Captain Stamen Dimitrov and Cruise Dorector Balazs were there to greet us on our arrival. Certainly a sign of things to come as we could not say more about the great service we received from all of the crew throughout the cruise. The Rhine cruise likely many in Europe is a trip through history and the tours and the guides we were fortunate to have were first class. All were well organized and having an “active” tour was a great option. The only bike option was in Amsterdam however so another on the cruise would likely go over well. Our dining experience was pretty much 4 star and the service was excellent although a little bit of extra help at the omelet station in the morning might have sped things along. Entertainment was fairly low key as things tend to be on a river boat cruise, just a pianist, but we should comment that the electronic violinist who came aboard one evening was excellent. In closing we would like to make special mention of our Captain Stamen Dimitrov who was so personalable, and skilled in navigating our ship safely through low water levels to reach our destinations. Also our Cruise Director Balazs who worked so hard to organize all the tours and events and made them go so well. Thank you. Still waiting for the photo Balazs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home from our Rhine Cruise on the Emerald Sky. Due to a ship swap due to low water levels, we sailed on the Emerald Sky instead of the Emerald Destiny as we were originally due to be on. All I can say is a huge "Thank you" to all the hard working Emerald Sky's crew/staff and the Emerald Cruise hospitality team onboard the Sky for making our trip memorable. All of the tours went seamlessly and were well thought out and very informative, all the tour guides knowlegable and able to answer all questions about our visits to the various places etc. The food was 1st class (Andraz the chef we had met before on the Emerald Sun in 2016) from the Buffet Breakfast and Lunch, to the Wonderful Dinners each evening, served extremely well by the extremely hard working waiters and waitresses. Widodo our cabin Steward worked very hard and kept our Panorama Balcony Suite well stocked with water and consumables. Many thanks to Balasz our Cruise Director who also worked very hard organising everything in port and the entertainment on board the Emerald Sky. Also keeping all the tour port talks interesting and happening ontime. This was our 3rd cruise with Emerald waterways and we are looking forward to joining them again in April 2019 in Amsterdam for our trip around Holland and Belgium. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet ... Read More
The ship is smart and clean and is kept clean by a great team of staff. The cabins are well equipped and kept clean and restocked daily. Dining is 1st class with plenty to choose from. Lunch has a selection of starters and sweets on buffet style and your mains are on a menu and cooked fresh. There are wines and beers throughout lunch (as much as you want) supplied by a great team of waiters. Dinner is alacarte with a good selection on the menu every night, again with plenty of wines supplied throughout the meal. The service on board is 1st class and you need for nothing from getting on board to leaving at the end of the cruise. There is light entertainment every night usually a piano player so don’t expect shows every night. The lounge area is very relaxing and you will also find the bar there. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Emerald had been very well recommended. Attended cruise show in Birmingham and got a good impression. Have done many European cruises and this cruise was to one of the few places we have not visited. The Holiday was generally very ... Read More
Emerald had been very well recommended. Attended cruise show in Birmingham and got a good impression. Have done many European cruises and this cruise was to one of the few places we have not visited. The Holiday was generally very good, staff and fellow passengers very nice. The weather was extremely hot, 33C on some days and we found the excursions a little bit rushed. Would have preferred more time and less places. Food was excellent and drinks plentiful. We would like to recommend the attention given us by Restaurant Manager, Slobodan & David. Also Magarita (think name correct, beautiful blonde) always smiling in bar and restaurant. Found restaurant rather noisy as all coming to dine around the same time. The staff worked extremely hard and were always obliging. The Captain & Nina Cruise Director always visible and willing to offer support and answer questions. Nina very knowledgeable and energetic! Would have liked more written information in Cabin re emergency procedures as due to Captain's foreign accent did not hear some of what was being said. The odd general thing like Church Service times for Sundays in towns visited on that day, in information folder in reception would be most helpful (this is frequently difficult to find on cruise boats and ships). Thanks to Bernadette in reception for her remarkable patience when very busy. Visiting Arnhem, the graves and war museum an opportunity to be taken and Maastricht if you are a follower of Andre Rieu. Antwerp RC Cathedral best we have seen. Impressed by guide Hendrick (Amsterdam) and Edward (Arnhem). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
we enjoy river cruises and have found emerald offer far superior service to others.the cabins are spacious kept pristine clean with regular changes of towels and linen.The ship is welcoming as are all the staff.embarkation is smooth and ... Read More
we enjoy river cruises and have found emerald offer far superior service to others.the cabins are spacious kept pristine clean with regular changes of towels and linen.The ship is welcoming as are all the staff.embarkation is smooth and well organised as is disembarkation. Dining is a pleasurable experience with all needs catered for any request for variation to the menu is given with no problems.Shore excursions are not the best thing as too little free time given and certain guides feeling they need to talk all the time!!! To be swamped with too much information is not helpful!!The staff could not be improved on always smiling helpful and obliging.the entertainment special acts was at the time when we had returned from trip and needed to shower and change for dinner.We would have liked to be informed of activities going on in places visited but were told after returning from trip which was too late.We have already booked another river cruise with this company which shows how good we think they are!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
After much research, we chose Emerald for our first cruise as we were looking for a river cruise on a beautiful, modern ship with opportunities to be active (cycling, hiking) and chance to see as much as possible in two weeks. This ... Read More
After much research, we chose Emerald for our first cruise as we were looking for a river cruise on a beautiful, modern ship with opportunities to be active (cycling, hiking) and chance to see as much as possible in two weeks. This experience far exceeded our expectations! The ship and the staff were extraordinary. The itinerary was a perfect blend of cities and small villages, active and quiet moments. The staff were friendly, professional and totally committed to creating an experience of relaxation and joy. Constantin, Dragana, Stefan and Edy were some we got to know by name, but so many others we felt we knew just as well. A happy, casual vibe abounded and we had a blast getting to know the crew and other passengers. Never been treated with such care at any restaurant as in the Emerald Sky's dining room for each and every meal. The daily menu was fantastic, with delicious offerings and variety, and those with food allergies can rest at ease as everything is carefully described and the crew are most willing and able to make sure your needs are met. Made to order eggs and omelettes in the morning plus full buffet and delicious salads at lunch, along with inventive entrees at both lunch and dinner, and grilled salmon at lunch or dinner if you want something lighter. The 4 course dinner was perfect, not too much food and plenty of choice for vegetarians. We found it so easy to eat healthily. We also enjoyed the bar/lounge as well, which had equally caring and attentive service, with a nice afternoon tea time snack or late night snacks. Nina, the cruise director, was phenomenal at building community and creating enthusiasm for all the activities on and off the ship and took special interest and care in all the guests. Her disco night, German and Dutch culture nights were off the chart fun and the special guests she brought on board (German band, glass blower, violinist) were fantastic. Her Rhine Gorge narration and music as we cruised on a blustery day were most memorable, like a fairy tale come to life. Lots of fun little touches, like traditional foods and wines accompanied these events, which were truly delightful. The captain was so approachable and friendly, happy to answer questions about the locks or whatever we wanted to know. The ship was modern, spotlessly clean, bright, and spacious, with lovely decor. We never felt claustrophobic or that there wasn't somewhere to spend some alone time even in a public space. The pool was one of my favorite places to hang out early in the morning, where one can make their own coffee or tea and watch the world go by. Upper deck and lounge areas were beautiful and uncrowded. Heaters and blankets in the outdoor lounge by the bar were wonderful. The other guests were a wonderful mix of people from around the globe, and of various ages. We made many friends and had ample opportunity for easy mingling, sharing meals, meeting up for tea or a drink or on the dance floor. The positivity of the guests was a highlight. All seemed to be in a 'celebrating life' mode. We took out the ship's bikes a few times, which was great fun, and biked the Wachau Valley (highly recommended). We did a number of add-on tours that we loved (Czechy Krumlov, Drachenfels, Rothenburg) and the Slovakian home visit. We often broke away from the tour guides and did our own exploration, which worked very well, that was absolutely okay and easy to meet up again with the group to go back to the ship. Also loved the included walking and bus tours, and our own side trips to museums in Vienna and Amsterdam, The crew surprised us one night with birthday cake, song and fireworks candle, which was totally unexpected and truly delightful, and also invited us to the captain's table to dine at the final celebration dinner. We felt like honored guests from start to finish with the Emerald Sky and highly recommend this ship and cruise line to anyone considering a river cruise! Cruising along the Danube and Rhine is unforgettable; absolutely stunning. The many towns, villages, castles and cities we saw we would never have managed to organize on our own. And, we felt we were in the safest and most professional and caring hands possible. Thank you Emerald Sky, one and all! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise aboard Emerald Sky, Budapest to Amsterdam was beyond our wildest expectations. We'd certainly consider taking this cruise again. The organization had to overcome some exceptional circumstances, which they did ... Read More
This cruise aboard Emerald Sky, Budapest to Amsterdam was beyond our wildest expectations. We'd certainly consider taking this cruise again. The organization had to overcome some exceptional circumstances, which they did magnificently. The crew were friendly, courteous and professional, non more so thenwhen dining or wining.Shore excursions were well planned with excellent guides, also allowing some free time. The Emerald Sky itself could not be faulted. We'd suggest allowing yourself a few days in Budapest before embarkation to allow exploration of this wonderful city. A friendly greeting (or farewell) was afforded by the duty crew each time we entered or left the Emerald Sky, who at all times had their 'guests' welfare as their major concern. The tour director also did a magnificent job keeping us right up to date and informing us of the highlights that we could expect in each port visited.We'd recommend Emerald's 'Splendours of Europe' cruise to anyone and have done so to friends and relatives. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we are past passengers of Evergreen tours and we liked the idea of the indoor pool. We found all the crew to be fantastic. They were all very efficient at their particular jobs and were happy to help with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we are past passengers of Evergreen tours and we liked the idea of the indoor pool. We found all the crew to be fantastic. They were all very efficient at their particular jobs and were happy to help with anything extra. Cruise director Nina did a brilliant job and dealt with the change of plans at the start very calmly. The Grand Balcony cabin was comfortable enough with the main problem being bad design of drawers and wardrobe with huge drawers and the bar fridge and safe taking up half the limited hanging space. The activities planned for each day were many and varied as were the extra on board activities. The menu was not extensive but it was no trouble to customise a dish. We enjoyed using the pool as well as the different public lounge areas. We would consider this company again for a different itinery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to ... Read More
We always wanted to do a river cruise and this appealed to us. We chose the river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Everything was great, food, tours, rooms, etc We were not disappointed in a thing except for the fact we had to spend night one in a hotel. The river was blocked by a cargo ship but this beyond control of the Emerald Sky. The staff is outstanding and did everything in their power to make the journey enjoyable. Nina, our cruise director was so sweet and very organized to name a few of her assets. There are 68 locks between Budapest and Amsterdam. Something for Prairie Canadians to see! You always see the beauty of the shores as you sail. Many vineyards etc All inclusive, except for alcohol but there was plenty of wine or beer with your meals. Lots of selection at the meals food wise. We took 6.00 adaptors for the plug ins. Would we go again?? In a heartbeat. May have to win the lottery to be able to afford another Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
A modern ship quite well designed, although single staircase from deck 2 to deck 3 caused congestion at times. Also, limited public toilet facilities meant trips back to cabin needed. Overall, the trip was very well organised, with ... Read More
A modern ship quite well designed, although single staircase from deck 2 to deck 3 caused congestion at times. Also, limited public toilet facilities meant trips back to cabin needed. Overall, the trip was very well organised, with good crisis management when things didn't quite go to plan. The stops and excursions were all extremely worthwhile with a very high standard of local tour guides and different options available depending upon fitness levels. The staff were generally very friendly and helpful. Main disappointment was with the dining, specifically at dinner. Breakfast and lunch buffets were fine, but the dinner menu options were not always inspiring (or local as claimed). Portions were also often very small (we are not big eaters and I wonder what some of the Americans on board thought), This applied particularly to fish and vegetarian options which we often chose as we didn't fancy the meat option. Also, service was a bit slow - the 4 course meal could take up to 2 hours - we think the problem was in the kitchen, We felt that if they were less ambitious with presentation and made more use of self service for some courses this would improve things. It should be stressed that there were no problems with the quality of the food provided and there was a late night snack option available, which we unexpectedly used on occasion. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose Emerald for a variety of reasons, one of them being that all prices were in Canadian dollars so we knew exactly what it would cost. Also, included in this cruise price was a pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a walking city, ... Read More
We chose Emerald for a variety of reasons, one of them being that all prices were in Canadian dollars so we knew exactly what it would cost. Also, included in this cruise price was a pre-cruise stay in Prague. Prague is a walking city, and we spent three days walking everyone. On the first day in Prague, we had a tour of Prague Castle then on the last night in Prague we were fortunate to have dinner in Prague Castle. These two things were all part of our cruise tour package. We went to the Jewish Quarter which was extremely interesting with a lot of history. Our hotel was located very close to Wenceslas Square, Prague, which was a hub of activity all the time. From there we could walk to Old Town Square where the famout Prague Astronomical Clock hands of the wall of the Old City Hall. In the square there are a lot of restaurants (a little over priced, due to it being a large tourist attraction) and also a wonder store where you can purchase good quality Czech crystal. The name of the store is Erpet, which is located kitty corner to the astronomical clock. On Ma 25th, we were taken to Nuremberg to board the Emerald Sky. Our room was wonderful, with a window which you could open half way, and gave you the feeling of being on a french balcony. What impressed us most in this room, were the large dresser drawers, six in total, deep and big. You never get this much storage of most cruise ships. The next day arrived in Regensberg, Germany, which again is a walking town. Purchased great mustard there. The next day we travelled to Passau, but we did not really see this little town, as we opted to take the Emerald More, tour to Salzburg for the day. (extra cost for this) Here we saw where the Sound of Music had some scenes shot, as well as a lot of the history of Mozart. We then went to Durstein in Austria. Again a very picturesic town, where they make a lot of their own alcohol, one of which is a very tasty Apricot Liqueur. In Vienna, after the tour with Emerald we set off on our own to Schonbrunn Castle which is a must see if in Vienna. Beautiful castle, and lovely garden. In Bratislava, we were fortunate enough to visit the home of one of the local people who used to have their own vineyards, years ago. This sweet lady had baked some beautiful squares for our tour bus of about 18 people, and also had jugs of white wine had been produced from the vines in the vineyards she still owned. Budapest our last stop. We stayed there for an extra 3 days, and again this is also a walking town, like a lot of European towns and cities are. We went for the Great Hall, which is a large indoor market. To get here you walk down this pedestrian street, with shops, restaurants, and vendors on both sides. We really enjoyed the food and entertainment in Budapest. Sorry, about this long review, but it was great cruise. The only negative, if you really feel this is a negative, was the buffet lunch every day. They did change the choices, but not enough to make it a different experience daily. Breakfast was also a buffet, but they had a station where you could get your eggs made to order. Dinner was always wonderful, having local dishes from the different places we visited. There was very little entertainment at night, only a piano player in the beautiful bar, but we found we were so tired at night after full 8 hour days of touring, we did not really miss this, as we were usually up and about by 7:30 in the morning. Most of the tours are included in your cruise price on Emerald, and the transfers as well. Service was excellent on this cruise, and the staff very attentive at all times. They were always anxious to try and please you, and it was emphasized that tips were included in the cruise price and not to tip at all. We did tip when we took the Salzburg tour, and maybe one or two other tours, but not at the end of the cruise. Very different from the large ocean cruises, which have taken about 16, the latest one last year from Rome. On a river cruise you dock right in town so it is extremely easy to embark and disembark from the cruise ship. On the large ships, it is more difficult and takes longer. Our ship only had 184 passengers, compared to 2,000 or more on the larger ships. There are pros and cons to both a river cruise and an ocean cruise. If you like more choices of meals and restaurants, more glamorous dining and bars, and evening entertainment, and more things to do, the maybe a river cruise is not for you. We really feel everybody should experience a river cruise if you can. A great way to cruise, would recommend it to everyone, young and old. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. ... Read More
It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the cabin was great. The ship was clean the Captain was great and willing to interact with the passengers. The tours were well organised and on time, tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. Well done will definitely recommend this type of holiday. In closing would like to say our hotel bookings and pick ups were all arranged and the arranged transport turned up on time. Food was lovely met good people and mad friends for live. Staff all around was very helpful and willing to share information. The tours were very inter active and pleasant, had a lot of walking, took the 35 km bike tour not very strenuous, tour guide looked after groupe well. Loved every town / City we visited. I as amaz d at th staffs concern regard to the passengers well being and safety during the cruise may it be on the ship or a land tours. Thank you Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our only previous cruise with Emerald Waterways was from Budapest down the Danube to Bucharest, and we were impressed by the ship and the staff. This time, we chose the April departure from Amsterdam hoping to see the tulips, and went ... Read More
Our only previous cruise with Emerald Waterways was from Budapest down the Danube to Bucharest, and we were impressed by the ship and the staff. This time, we chose the April departure from Amsterdam hoping to see the tulips, and went there the day before. Unfortunately, we arrived with insufficient time to visit the tulip fields. We did explore the old town and found it fascinating. The cruise would be greatly improved by an extra day in Amsterdam, including a tulip excursion (in season). We stayed overnight in the Ibis hotel close to the central station, and so were able to walk to the ship for embarkation, where the friendly staff welcomed us. The Panorama Balcony cabin was well designed, with plenty of storage space and comfortable beds and chairs, excellent shower, and efficient but very quiet air conditioning. We liked the ability to open the generously sized window. At all meals there was a very good choice of well-prepared and well-presented dishes. The stewards were attentive, keeping every table immaculate at all times, and quick to spot a wine-glass that needed topping up. Entertainment was inevitably rather basic, given the size of the ship and the short stay in each port of call. The plunge pool was a pleasant amenity. The shore excursions were all interesting, with knowledgeable guides helped by QuietVox wireless audio devices. If and when we go on another river cruise we shall almost certainly choose Emerald. Read Less
Emerald Sky Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 1.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 3.0 4.1
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 5.0 N/A

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