2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We decided to do this cruise as a change from our normal sea cruises and not having been in the area before it proved to be a perfect choice. The Emerald Sky has a really happy atmosphere and we enjoyed every moment of the trip from ... Read More
We decided to do this cruise as a change from our normal sea cruises and not having been in the area before it proved to be a perfect choice. The Emerald Sky has a really happy atmosphere and we enjoyed every moment of the trip from Amsterdam to Basel The cruise director Darren made every effort to explain the following days itinerary and always made everyone laugh by telling one of his jokes or poems before we went to dinner. . He did a fabulous job as did everyone else onboard. The Captain was always there to wish you a good trip and again to welcome you back onboard which we thought was a nice touch. The tour guides were all very knowledgeable and gave you all the relevant facts without bombarding you with too many dates etc. There were a couple of special guest entertainers and the violinist who came onboard as we sailed down the middle Rhine area was fantastic. Normal entertainment was provided by a pianist who also proved to be a great DJ putting on a couple of lively disco nights. All in all a great cruise when we met lovely people who all added to the enjoyment of the holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. ... Read More
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. Housekeeping is generally good with clean cabins and bathrooms. The trips were very well organised and interesting. If I could change anything about the itinerary I would have dropped the Volendam/Edam trip and replaced it with a full day in Amsterdam. We had only one half day in Amsterdam which is not really an adequate time for exploring and visiting the Rijksmuseum, for instance. Also the trip to the cheese factory, the day before, was a wasted morning. Most British passengers are not interested in watching cheese being made. We do make our own cheeses in Britain. Compared with our previous Eastern European cruise the food on this trip was not truthfully as good. The portions were tiny, not that I want huge portions. The fish for the main courses was pre-frozen and then cooked for dinner, and should really have been returned to the kitchen. The final dinner, the Chateau-Briand, was however, excellent as were the lunch time salads - superb. Timings and organisation to and from the airport were excellent. The Tour Director was informative and competent. The spoken English of a couple of the guides was difficult to understand. It was a nice touch when the Captain came to each bus on departure to say "Good bye" and to shake hands with all of us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our second trip with Emerald - we enjoyed the Danube cruise last year, oddly on the same ship, captain and some of the crew! I can't recommend Emerald enough! Immaculately clean, comfortable accommodation. The staff were very ... Read More
Our second trip with Emerald - we enjoyed the Danube cruise last year, oddly on the same ship, captain and some of the crew! I can't recommend Emerald enough! Immaculately clean, comfortable accommodation. The staff were very friendly, helpful and attentive. The food was excellent - we even had a tour of the galley! Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with an amazing range of dishes available. The evening meal has table service and a menu with a choice of about 3 starters, soups, 3 main courses (although steak, salmon etc also available) then 3 desserts. Each day there is a Chef's Choice menu which we tended to pick each day. Excursions were very good with excellent, amusing well informed guides. My only slight negative is one I should have realised! The ship had a long distance to cover and so there did seem to be a lot of time to enjoy the scenery from a comfortable chair or the sun deck where I would have preferred to be a bit more active. We unreservedly recommend Emerald Waterways. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked ... Read More
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked magnificent,so easy to get on Sky,refreshing drink and towel was presented,nice touch.We were in our cabin within 15 minutes and luggage almost behind us,that's impressive. Unpacked ,plenty of space for all the clothes and shoes do look in the bathroom there's 2 hidden cupboards behind the mirror smart.Then it was time to explore what we saw was a clean tidy ship,staff very very friendly always asking if every thing was ok or order a drink.We opted for the premium drinks package very nice.The only real big let down was the food ,I'm not a fussy eater at breakfast bacon burnt ,a fairly good selection,but boring,lunch some food tepid again boring.dinner ,what planet did that chef come from.some weird and wonderful mixtures he produced.The entertainment was ok,nothing to write home about.excursions superb there was 2 types fast pace or meander speed,we did both meander was perfect,a nice steady pace ,saw a lot of things,really good.Would we go again,yes,I think next time Portugal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 3rd river cruise but our 1st with Emerald. The ship was changed pretty much last minute but it was identical to the 1 we were originally on so no negative impact. We flew into Budapest, got to the luggage carousel to be ... Read More
This was our 3rd river cruise but our 1st with Emerald. The ship was changed pretty much last minute but it was identical to the 1 we were originally on so no negative impact. We flew into Budapest, got to the luggage carousel to be greeted by 3 Emerald representatives. They were very well organised and had us on the bus in minutes...an excellent start. On arrival at the ship we given a warm welcome, checked in quickly and escorted to our cabin and given a quick tour of it. We were on the upper deck and had a panorama balcony....which meant the top half of the window retracted, a very good idea and we used it quite a lot over the week. The cabin was lovely and much larger than we were expecting. We had the bed configured as a double and it might have been a bit tighter as twins. Modern, clean, great shower, plenty of toiletries, 6 large,deep drawers. Not a lot of hanging space due to the safe and minibar but there was enough for us. We liked the bathrobes and slippers too. 1 major plus for me was the hairdryer....it was actually a fully functioning, fit for purpose hairdryer....and after years of traveling worldwide a usable hairdryer is rare ...10 out of 10! We went along to the dining room for the light lunch. Food was the only thing on the whole cruise that disappointed us. It was served lukewarm most of the time. Breakfast was fine but lunch and dinner were pretty awful. The lack of choice when it came to meat dishes was a problem most days. We think we are very easily pleased with food but this cruise proved that perhaps we aren't. Service at dinner was slow and the whole dining system seemed very disorganised and badly managed. Help yourself tea and coffee all day was of a good quality. The tours at every place we stopped were all good with good guides and just the right length of time. Our tour for tea with a local family from Bratislava was wonderful.....they made wine and were happy to share it We only did 1 optional tour which was the classical concert in Vienna...that was wonderful too...excellent quality. All the staff we found to be helpful, friendly and tried to make the cruise a good experience. Very little evening entertainment....a dance troupe in Budapest was nice as was the Ummpah Band in Regensberg. 2 other nights Simona arranged some fun competitions which most folks entered into. The other nights we had a dour pianist. The most amazing person was our cruise director Simona...she was absolutely brilliant. We never saw her without a smile on her face and everything was organised, buses arrived on time and got back on time...she was just wonderful. The other guests were mainly from the UK, a few USA and Canadians. This was the first cruise on the Danube of the season so perhaps the food issues we had will be ironed out. On departure everything went as smoothly as our arrival. Would we cruise Emerald again? If someone assured us that the food would be superior to what we experienced on this cruise then Yes....as everything else exceeded expectation. It was a shame that something so easily rectified marred our experience. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
What happens if your cruise never starts due to flooding or low water? Did you read the small print in your contract BEFORE you paid up? Are the crew actually employees of Emerald with decision making powers, or are they contracted ... Read More
What happens if your cruise never starts due to flooding or low water? Did you read the small print in your contract BEFORE you paid up? Are the crew actually employees of Emerald with decision making powers, or are they contracted staff "who need to wait for the office to open." If you are elderly or disabled how will you cope with an 800 km bus trip instead? And No, your travel insurance will NOT cover you if you "fail to sail"! The BBC's World Weather forecast on Thursday 30 April 2015, two days prior to our cruise, warned of further, very heavy rain for Switzerland on that Thursday/Friday night, a slight respite on Saturday followed by another very heavy belt of rain along with rising temperatures causing faster snow melt. They also forecast "a real risk of flooding." In fact roads were closed, some villages isolated and the police were out with loudhailers. Basel docking for cruise boats was underwater. That was before our non cruise started! And the forecasters were right! The water level in Basel rose from 550 cms on Thursday to 830 cms by Monday 4th May. Importantly, our boat had not managed to complete its previous leg and could not even get under the bridge into Basel. The day before our cruise was due to commence the Emerald Sky was moored up - NOT ON THE RHINE - but on the Grand Canal d'Alsace where it remained stuck for 6 days. Unwarned and unprepared for what lay ahead, we arrived in Basel and were bussed to a section of the canal in the middle of nowhere. During the night the Emerald Sky moved a short distance down the Canal to Breisach from where we could see the Viking boats parallel to us but on the Rhine until they managed to sail on! For the next 3 days a bus programme was instigated and a tantalising possibility was held before our noses that the Sky "might sail in which case the bus will take you to the new mooring!" Obviously, this was tosh. The rainwater had to drain somewhere and that 'somewhere' was the Rhine whose force was too great to open the Canal lock gates. Plainly, after going nowhere for 4 days, it would be impossible for the Emerald Sky to catch up on its schedule, let alone reach Amsterdam without going full pelt and non stop. Suddenly, after dinner at 9 pm on Tuesday evening we were told to 1) to pay all our bar bills immediately 2) to pack our suitcases and leave them outside our cabins by 6 am and 3) to vacate the boat by 7 am to begin days of long bus journeys and packing/unpacking each day. Not one person from the Emerald Office in Switzerland, even though one was promised and we were only 30 miles away, came to speak to the passengers or help the poor beleaguered cruise director (on a short term contract) to organise help for people in wheelchairs or flights for those who couldn't face hours of lengthy bus trips etc. So my point is this. If bad weather strikes AFTER the cruise begins, well it's "force majeure" and certainly not the cruise company's fault, although you should expect upfront honesty. However, in this case, the cards were well and truly stacked against the cruise even starting. The demographic of a river cruise will often contain a small number of immobile passengers who want to enjoy the company of their family and friends and are prepared to remain on board and enjoy the views and facilities while the others go on trips. Emerald should have warned us on that first day that they were moored on a canal, might be stuck there for several days (for goodness sake, the Rhine is a major waterway with plenty of technical forecasting) and if unlucky, they may have to turn the cruise into a bus tour. They should have given the passengers options of a refund or another cruise on that first day. In similar circumstances Tauck offer a total refund, Viking on the other hand offered a total refund or a 50% voucher for those who were prepared to take their chances (google lemons into lemonade Viking Rhone.) Emerald offered a measly £500 of vouchers to use on a future cruise with them one month after our return. No thanks. How good will your cruise company be if things go wrong? The ship, the crew, the food, the cabins were all fine. The backroom people let them down. It could have been great. 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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