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Sail Date: July 2019
Had high expectations for Danube cruise. Paid nearly £5000 for two for 1 week. Turned out to be very poor value for money. Not very much to say that is positive apart from visiting the beautiful cities of Budapest and Vienna. Food was not ... Read More
Had high expectations for Danube cruise. Paid nearly £5000 for two for 1 week. Turned out to be very poor value for money. Not very much to say that is positive apart from visiting the beautiful cities of Budapest and Vienna. Food was not very good, not a lot of choice and found the staff did not always replenish quickly. Drinks were included with lunch and dinner but only one choice of red, white so if you didn’t like what was on offer you had to pay for an alternative. Not much on offer entertainment wise apart from Anton and Erin being on board for one night which was excellent. You sometimes had to ask to get another drink as not enough staff. Most of the staff were very nice although a few were rude. If we ever do another river cruise it definitely will not be on an emerald boat. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and ... Read More
Although the Emerald Ship was beautiful and the staff and food excellent, the water system is very noisy. It sounded like a bowling ball was rolling across the ceiling of my suite every 15-20 seconds. I spoke with the hotel director and she was aware of the noise issue and told me she had reported it to the company, but nothing ever changes. So if you want a peaceful cruise, don't chose Emerald Waterways. Sleeping beneath a bowling alley was not my idea of a relaxing way to spend my nights on what is billed as a luxury cruise. I will not cruise with Emerald Water ways again. Everything else met my expectations. The ship was clean and well appointed and the staff was friendly and helpful. The shore excursions were well-planned and executed. My main concern is the quality of the sleeping experience, a rather important part of any cruise. September was a great time to travel and I would encourage others to cruise the Rhine during this time of the year. My advice is to find another cruise line first. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are ... Read More
First time cruising on a ship. Saved a lot of money for this. Looked like a good deal free air fare 150 E credit. We arrived a day earlier than the cruise to allow for jet lag to wear off a bit only to be informed by the hotel that are cruise would Br be leaving for another day as the ship could. Not sail into Budapest. A shock hearing this from the hotel and not the cruise line. So we were bused to our next stop Bratislava. We got on the boat a day later. Nice cabins lower deck level 1. Boat full. My wife and I are 54 years old. Average age on boat 70 plus. Even though we attended a emerald cruise event in our city after booked and specifically aske the age range and was informed that lots of 40 and 50 year olds were in these cruises. Crew were excellent in every way. Sailed for 4 days back and forth the last days in and out of Austria only to find when we got back from a really poor and expensive excursion on the Thursday that the ship could not go on. We had a few choices. Stay with the program and BUS around nd in and out of hotels. Meaning lots of unpacking. Hotel meals etc. Or they would fly us home. We had already extended our flight to accommodate extra days with friends at the end of the cruise so that was out. They would only compensate for seven days of lost travel. Web in fact we lost 10 nights. Saw an interesting note on this site in June emerald having water issues but did not bother informing passengers ahead of time. As well you can tell me the ship did not realize they’ve ever not traveling on a river past 5 days. Food was not 5 star. 3.5 at best. Lots of same old for breakfast and lunch. Don’t stay in the lunch or dinner room past the allotted hours or they would flash the light for you to get out. Having them boost about unlimited beer and wine for lunch and dinner is a joke. Draft beeer , one brand. A few glasses maybe but you only have a just over an hour and get out of the room. Fitness rom hold maybe two people. Emerald failed. Expensive excursions that are not included are a rip off. We are still in Europe after paying a lot of money to see things the cruise line failed to provide . Did not expect have to play travel agent for 10 days , truly is a crime. If you plan a summer cruise and don’t get to do it. don’t do it book with another company later on in the year if you go. Not with Emerald as they do not care about their customers just the booking. Poor planning all around. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
we chose this cruise because it was two weeks and ended in amsterdam. I will start with the food i like my food and expect it to be of good quality and sufficient meat fish and vegetables. It was none of the above the fish and meat ... Read More
we chose this cruise because it was two weeks and ended in amsterdam. I will start with the food i like my food and expect it to be of good quality and sufficient meat fish and vegetables. It was none of the above the fish and meat were meager portions with miniscule vegetables which were often just a squeezed paste on the plate, and the sauce was just three or four dots on the plate and gravy when mentioned was brown scrape on the plate. Desserts were always with cream cakes etc if you like cream you will enjoy and squirty cream every where Breakfast ok lunch and dinner as above. One thing i will say here is that in the uk emerald are offering unlimited drinks package . That is rubbish it is only spirits and cocktails and the wine that is produced at the lunch and dinner which is included in the ordinary package and is free, it is marketing scam, Entertainment was piano player which was good and a couple of nights extra guests performed. What they do not tell you is that the lovely top deck is out of bound for three quarters of the cruise due to low bridges Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Always wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise. Should have stayed in Frankfurt or Nuremburg, where we were for two days each prior to embark'. Food: 2 star at best. Breakfast OK. No Eggs Benny offered, only poached, scrambled etc ... Read More
Always wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise. Should have stayed in Frankfurt or Nuremburg, where we were for two days each prior to embark'. Food: 2 star at best. Breakfast OK. No Eggs Benny offered, only poached, scrambled etc eggs. The so called english bacon was'nt. Sliced something. Very ordinary. Mostly tinned fruit. Lunch menu unacceptable. Pasta dishes never included meat or seafood - only tomato sauce type thing. Just cheap food. Frozen or from cans. Some salad. Dinner - tragic. Night 1 menu said "lamb chops". There was one lamb chop. What restaurant have you ever been to where lamb chops became one lamb chop - very small to boot, and that was the best meal ! Eggplant five days in a row - unacceptable - and we like eggplant. After three days ate off the ship wherever we were parked - like the other people that we saw ashore. The ship was to be in dock over the winter - we suspect the cupboards and freezers were being emptied. Our cost analysis for the food we ate per day was about $10-15 each. Cabin. Arrived to find earplugs on the bed - hmmm. Our neighbours must have kept trying to watch Skyfall before falling asleep. We kept being woken up thinking we were being bombed. Bathroom small but OK - not as nice as AMA or Uniworld but OK although a heated floor would have been nice. Entertainment. Some guy on an electric organ or trivial pursuit. Bad. Excursions. Good tour guides but included trips were all walking tours. Took a cab back to the ship a couple of times rather than wait around in the cold weather. This is not about this particular cruise but there were not many hours in port compared to cruises with a shorter travel distance. Nurnberg to Amsterdam is about 650 kms. Think about booking shorter cruises for a longer port experience - especially in Summer. Overall - Will never go with Emerald ever again. Paid the same price as Uniworld or AMA - no comparison whatsoever. Emerald - 2 star at best. AMA or Uniworld 5 star in comparison. The pool is nice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea ... Read More
Done 15 lovely cruises without complaint but this one was the worst. On boarding we were concerned there were no sanitisers and this carried on throughout the cruise. On the second evening after the Captains dinner had violent diarrhoea and sickness which carried on for 34 hrs. It was reported to the cruise director next morning whose only concern was my wife was missing the trip. When I recovered I went to see the cruise director who denied he had been told and said no crew or other passengers were ill but after confrontation admitted 9 other cabins had got it then my wife got it the buffet was closed to self service until no new cases but only lasted for 1 day and people still becoming ill until end of cruise including crew as we were told by our cabin steward.cabins were poorly designed. The food was mediocre tasteless and usually cold bit like Wetherspoons, seems like all sourced from central kitchen. Cruise director unhelpful staff self praised without justification. This is one company we will never travel with again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself ... Read More
-Little information available prior to departure for the whole trip. Inappropriate boarding information made available to us -Change of ship received by e-mail on day of departure when I requested location to board. -Spouse and myself had to carry our own bags onto pontoon next to ship upon arrival prior to being taken care of by attendant. Rushed on-board welcome although we were ahead of time. -Dining and wine experience is below average compared with what I have received on prior cruises with other companies and hygiene practices require improvements. Repetitive limited daily buffets where passengers were touching food with their hands and about 40%++ of passengers were sick during cruise. -Service below what to be expected, if you did not ask repetitively, you did not get. -Cabin was very clean. -Upper deck on ship was closed for about half of trip duration. -Disembarkation activity at end of trip was well organized. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky ... Read More
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky but it was changed to Sun, which was no problem as the ships are identical. The ship itself was spotless, every one of the crew was helpful and polite. The shiny surfaces, glass and mirrored surfaces did take a bit of getting used to, and could be a bit of a problem especially the stairs where we saw a few near accidents. The balcony suite was fine, always kept immaculately clean by Darko. Plenty of hanging storage as the safe has now been moved. The dining experience however was nothing like as advertised. The dining room itself is extremely noisy, and the only way to converse with fellow passengers is to shout, making it an uncomfortable experience. The food was to say the least disappointing and not at all as represented in the brochure. I have to say however, a fellow traveller who had recently been on Sky said the meals on there were excellent. Portions were extremely small, bland and unappetising. Several guests felt they had to order double to be satisfied. A starter of meatballs should not only consist of one meatball, neither should the cheese board consist of three tiny cubes of cheese with a similar thumbnail size of chutney and no crackers. We flew KLM Manchester via Schiphol threw Emerald. When we arrived in Bucharest our luggage along with quite a few other couples failed to arrive. We duly filled in the claim form, went out into arrivals to find all the transport had gone. Ourselves with one other couple after landing at 1.20pm had to wait until 5.20pm for transport, despite the Emerald rep telling us first of all it would only be 10mins. She then asked us to wait for the London flight promising us to be first on the transport. We were then totally ignored when the transport arrived but managed to tag on at the end. When we got to the hotel our cruise director Yana took details of our lost luggage, but after that showed no interest in it unless we asked her. We were not informed the night after when it arrived and the following morning it had disappeared again, thankfully found on another floor!! As a result of this we went from Wednesday morning till Saturday afternoon in the clothes we stood up in. Yana did say on the Friday, again after asking what we should do, that we had €100 each for necessities. This experience soured what should have been a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
A river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was an ideal destination. However it was spoilt by an overcrowded restaurant that became so noisey by guests trying to hold conversations. It became necessary to shout to make your self heard ... Read More
A river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was an ideal destination. However it was spoilt by an overcrowded restaurant that became so noisey by guests trying to hold conversations. It became necessary to shout to make your self heard and Management took no action to try to control those guests that were competing on how much free wine and beer that they could consume. Service was so slow it took 75 minutes before the soup was served. Similar delays to the main course resulted in cold food. My complaint to the hotel manager resulted in our meals brought to our cabin where we had to ear it from our lap. Hardly a 5 star service as claimed. The owners cabin was both large and comfortable which was serviced by a cheerful steward. The cruise director was the best we have encountered after many cruises. Emerald promised to supply a back pack that never arrived. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
A first ever boat cruise after a dozen sea cruises. Of course the facilities had to be fewer even though I have usually sailed on relatively small ships, 600-800 passengers. A bar pianist was really it or a movie in your cabin on the well ... Read More
A first ever boat cruise after a dozen sea cruises. Of course the facilities had to be fewer even though I have usually sailed on relatively small ships, 600-800 passengers. A bar pianist was really it or a movie in your cabin on the well sized tv. Two of 7 nights we had buffet dinner bun fights for the main meal. Never ever had cafeteria food on a cruise before. Of the remaining 5 nights the two gala dinners were almost OK, the others poor. Wine was street cafe quality certainly not fine dining but in that sense it matched the food. Cabin concierge was excellent keeping the small cabin clean and tidy. The route was interesting, apart from the final 1 and a bit days along a canal with so many locks and low bridges, the consequence of which was a schedule that slipped by so many hours special disembarkation points had to be arranged. The bridges meant the top sun deck was out of bounds. Transfers to and from the airport worked smoothly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Chose because we thought it was more upmarket than others and paid over £4000 for 2. Cruise director and waiters tried hard but were let down by company procedures on food and visits. Chef found it hard to deviate from the company ... Read More
Chose because we thought it was more upmarket than others and paid over £4000 for 2. Cruise director and waiters tried hard but were let down by company procedures on food and visits. Chef found it hard to deviate from the company pictures of plates of food that they showed us when we complained. Chef found it hard to understand that spice and gluten were not to be included in our diet. 3 conversations later we started to make some headway. However, their interpretation of gluten free items particularly cakes and bread left very much to be desired. Suggest you take your own! There were too many days moored alongside other river boats. When you have one either side, why do you need a panoramic balcony stateroom? The cabin goes into semi darkness and you just as well be below water line! What is a balcony? Be careful if you think it is where you can sit outside (cabin side) and watch the river flow-it is not. It is a large window and 2 chairs and a table inside your cabin. The highlight was going to be kerkenhof gardens. We were allowed 2 1/2 hours there only! The captains gala dinner was a non event..no different from any other dinner, except, you were presented with a splash of some fizzy wine that just wetted the bottom of the glass-same both dinners-pathetic. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise as we had not done a river cruise before and the Delights of the Danube for seven nights seemed to be just what we were looking for. However, we were very disappointed by the poor quality food and lack of choice, fine ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had not done a river cruise before and the Delights of the Danube for seven nights seemed to be just what we were looking for. However, we were very disappointed by the poor quality food and lack of choice, fine dining it was not and on a cruise you expect the food to be memorable, this was for all the wrong reasons. The dress code of smart casual for dinner was not adhered to with many passengers wearing shorts, t shirts and flip flops in the dining room. Such attire is fine in the day, but not in the evening and is not acceptable. The food, poor entertainment and dress code are areas that need to be improved in order to get returning customers. I am afraid that we will not return to cruise with Emerald and from speaking to many of the British passengers it seems that many share my views. An expensive cruise that offers very poor value for money Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this as we had done the Mosel on a previous cruise (with another company) and wanted to include this on a variant itinerary, this tima ccompanied by friends. Our worst River cruise to date - with Emerald Waterways!!! (This ... Read More
We chose this as we had done the Mosel on a previous cruise (with another company) and wanted to include this on a variant itinerary, this tima ccompanied by friends. Our worst River cruise to date - with Emerald Waterways!!! (This was our 8th river cruise - so we know standards can be great) NEGATIVES: Bad cabin layout and lack of facilities (top deck level – in a so-called Grand Balcony Suite) Shortcomings included no mirror at all in the bedroom, tiny bathroom with no counter top, just a small hand basin; we had to walk sideways, crablike, between one side of the bed to get to the bathroom, despite acres of room between the window and balcony. Scarcely any long hanging space in the (very tiny) wardrobe, due to being occupied by an over-large bar fridge AND the safe. APPALLING DOCKING LOCATIONS - well outside of towns and the LAST WAS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, amid recycling centres with stagnant pools and consequent swarms of flies on board - on us and the food! Emerald is part of the Scenic Group ... but scenic it most certainly was NOT. Heaven knows what the next arrival group starting their cruise here will think! We have been to this town (TRIER) within a previous cruise company’s itinerary and we were then berthed at a most pleasant location within 10-15 minutes walking distance from the centre. The final insult was having to climb a very long gangplank, at about 30 degrees uphill, to reach our coach transport to the airport. Not only awful for us with hand luggage, but for the crew having to drag up our main cases. MENUS - very ‘average’ – apparently dictated by the parent company, leaving the head chef very little room for initiative, or to show personal flair. Also applies to the ‘entertainment’ such as it was, including a dreadful keyboard guy (who had no idea of what music would encourage those who wanted onto the dancefloor). Whilst most local guides were good there was one notable exception, who literally never stopped for a breath, just rattled on with a non-stop verbal barrage – I am sure that some of his information was of value, but was lost in the interminable lecture and anecdotes of his own experiences including family members. Many just lost all interest and several either drifted away from our group or switched off. Also he was supposed to be leading a gentle walking group, but started off on about 15 minutes continuous uphill route-march with no break or rest for those who needed it. POSITIVES: All the STAFF on the ship were excellent - THEY WERE GREAT - attentive and most helpful at all times ... just a shame that they were working for Emerald. Also the room keys (a new button-type) worked very well – best we have had so far. Several good LOCAL GUIDES. Good quality COACH transfers. Please see photos! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Following a previous very successful cruise on the Rhine and Mosel with Riviera, my friends and I, aged 70, decided to repeat the experience. After 2 nights at the Sheraton, Bucharest, we embarked on the Emerald Sun at Silistra to sail ... Read More
Following a previous very successful cruise on the Rhine and Mosel with Riviera, my friends and I, aged 70, decided to repeat the experience. After 2 nights at the Sheraton, Bucharest, we embarked on the Emerald Sun at Silistra to sail up the Danube to Budapest. When I booked our holiday, there were the only 2 cabins left on the Vista Deck, 237 and 238. I was concerned about the possible noise from the engine because two of us have real problems with sleeping, so I asked a member of staff very specific questions about this. I was reassured that this should not be a problem as she said there was very little night sailing on this cruise. I informed my friends and, on the basis of this information, we booked those cabins the next day. The cruise was expensive but we were celebrating our coming of age so willing to splash out a bit. On our first night on the River, we cruised for most of the night and not only the engine noise and vibration (particularly when docking) but also the loud hum from the generator disturbed our sleep. We spoke to the rep on board, who informed us that we would be cruising most nights for most of the night, owing to the long distances to be travelled. We explained what we had been told by the Emerald lady and she said that this was not uncommon and had happened several times before, passengers had been given incorrect information over the phone. Although we found the ship and its staff to be of an extremely high standard, none of us had a particularly successful holiday because of the cabin noise at night, and this was increased by the fact that, had we been given accurate information about the cabins and the night sailing, we would never have booked the holiday. I complained on return and received a totally inadequate response. No mention was made of the specific complaint about misinformation so I phoned the Company to request this. Having said that they could not discuss complaints on the phone, they told me that they had no written record of the information I was given so nothing could be done. On the ship I was told they recorded phone calls and would look up the information, today I was told they don't. What happened to the customer being right? I know what I was told, and that was responsible for our not enjoying our holiday as we should have. I would strongly encourage potential passengers to try to get accurate information about cabins before you book, some cabins are extremely noisy. Another couple in 217 said the noise from the ventilation shaft and stairs, not shown on the deck plans in the brochure, was also unbearable. Customer Services were very poor in responding to our complaint, information given to us pre-cruise totally inaccurate, obviously given by someone who had little knowledge of that particular cruise, clearly getting bookings is more important than facts. My friends and I certainly will not use Emerald again, I would suggest that you go for Riviera. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The boat is very modern & clean. Some of the other boats we saw looked like floating old people's homes but Emerald Star is shiny chrome & glass. Cabin was well appointed. The swimming pool area is great and a dinky but ... Read More
The boat is very modern & clean. Some of the other boats we saw looked like floating old people's homes but Emerald Star is shiny chrome & glass. Cabin was well appointed. The swimming pool area is great and a dinky but adequate gym. Overworked staff do their best but when you've paid a lot of money for a week''s holiday you don't need to spend it feeling sorry for them. We were constantly reminded how the chef had to produce our food in a tiny kitchen. Sorry, but I too have worked hard to pay for this cruise so it's not my problem. A lot of Americans on our cruise which made the buffet breakfasts & lunches an uncivilised scrum. Americans don't queue nicely. No reserved seating for evening meals so no guarantee of sitting together if you are in a party. Having paid a premium for good cabins we found ourselves most of the time, when docked, directly alongside another river boat looking into each other's cabins. Also some bilge type odours wafting up as there was nowhere for it to escape. Some issues getting on and off the boat in these circumstances as you had to climb up and over up to 3 vessels - not good for anyone with mobility issues although the crew do try their best. We were looking forward to the cinema at night but it only happened twice. Such a shame as it's a great feature. I was disappointed that we did most of the travelling at night so we never got to relax and enjoy the view as the TV adverts show. We were of course too busy on shore excursions during the day so you can't have it all. Entertainment was a joke. A couple of poor quizzes. Drinks package very poor value as they are so understaffed you wait ages to get served. Excursions were good and pretty well organised. Our cruise director was the reason I would never do an Emerald cruise again. She was a perfect storm of loud, patronising & bossy. Shouty Sheryl the Peril. Very rude & dismissive to some passengers with what I thought to be reasonable requests/complaints. If she'd had a cattle prod I suspect she would have used it with her perma smile still on her face. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We were booked on emerald sun. We were told that they had informed us of the change of ship by email. I did not get that email. The ships are the same however because we spent two days in Budapest prior to boarding it presented a problem ... Read More
We were booked on emerald sun. We were told that they had informed us of the change of ship by email. I did not get that email. The ships are the same however because we spent two days in Budapest prior to boarding it presented a problem because we could not easily contact the ship to see where it was. When I phoned the sun ship I realised something was wrong because they said it was in Amsterdam.two more phone calls and it was sorted. However for a time we were concerned we would not find the ship. The ship is beautiful and we were made to feel very welcome when we boarded . Very few other passengers had arrived at that time. There was no problem boarding early and a "light lunch" was served. It was a very light lunch. I would have cooked more if my family were coming to my house for lunch. There was very little variety. However since they called it a light lunch we were not unduly perturbed at that time. The cabin was very nice and we were taken to it and shown around by a member of staff which was lovely. Only complaint about the cabin was no shelf near the basin for stuff and the bed was very close to the sliding door for the bathroom which made it awkward.however the shower was lovely and there were cabinets for toiletries. There was plenty of storage in the room. So far we were happy. However part of the enjoyment of a cruise is the food and this really let them down. There was little choice, extremely small portions especially of meat and due to not enough staff on in the dining room the service was also poor. The "so called" appetisers were a joke.very little ingredients used and mostly tasteless . I took a photo of my "smoked salmon" terrine. There were two scraps of smoked salmon in it and the rest was a very tasteless creamy moussy thing which was horrible. The desserts were no better. Every night it was a mousse of a different colour as one option and a small piece of cake as another option. There was ice cream and cheese and biscuits every night also. Good if you like ice cream I suppose. However the cheese board consisted of three very thinly sliced small pieces of cheese some of which were hard round the edges and three crackers. Mostly the soup was consommé I.e. Hot flavoured water and very cheap to make. The main course menu consisted of one "meat"dish one fish dish and one vegetarian dish. The meat dish was always very light on meat. One evening my husband ordered the 'alternative' rump steak to be cooked well done. He does not like undercooked meat. It came very rare and also the steak was placed on top of cooked 'frozen' chips and the blood from the steak ran into these chips making them soggy and inedible . By the time they came to ask if everything was ok it was much too late, everyone else had finished so he had no main course that evening. One other evening I decided to try the rump steak. I like mine cooked'medium to rare'.I also asked for the chips to be on the side so no blood could run over them. My steak came completely raw inside. When I sent it back it was presented to me again in around just over a minute, obviously having been microwaved and sitting on top of the chips. I refused it and was then brought a new steak . No apologies were made. To put it succinctly the food was terrible as was the service . True there was the odd nice meal but then the portions were measly. This was not a cheap cruise and we expected decent food. The cruise director was great. Her name was Simone and she work very hard and was very efficient . However the tours organised by the ship were hit and miss. The afternoon with the Slovakian family was great for example. However we had been on a Danube cruise last year and thought those tours were on the whole much better than these were.But I guess that is a bit subjective. We met great people on the ship,and had a good time but it was marred by the penny pinching policy of the catering and I definitely would not sail on emerald again for that reason. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We booked on this cruise because the previous year our Rhine cruise had been so good. The food, service and accommodation on the ship were excellent for this year as well as in the previous year. The staff who work on the ship are ... Read More
We booked on this cruise because the previous year our Rhine cruise had been so good. The food, service and accommodation on the ship were excellent for this year as well as in the previous year. The staff who work on the ship are excellent in every department, sadly let down by their headquarters. However this year there were problems with water levels between Passau and Regensburg. The company handled the situation very badly form beginning to end. The quality of a company can be judged by how they handle the problems. In this respect Emerald are in a class of their own and it is the bottom class. Because on the previous cruise the company had ordered the boat to travel upstream from Passau against the Captain’s wishes, it could not get back to Passau because of low water levels. So the boat stayed in Regensburg next to a building site (with pneumatic drills operating 2 metres from our cabin). On day 3 we were told that we could go home or take the tour by coach. So we packed our cases and waited and waited for flights back to UK. Eventually we were told that the ship could travel an option we took, because the alternative we were offered was a flight to the wrong airport with a 12 hour wait in Munich Airport (no contest). Because of this late departure from Regensburg, two shore excursions were missed (Melk and Vienna). If all had gone well, this would have been an excellent holiday. However what we got was poor value for money because there was only a token compensation. Unlike many retail transactions, the customer takes the risk not the service provider with Emerald River Cruises. I recommend avoiding cruises that include the Regensburg to Passau stretch of the Danube (there are now many that start at Passau and go downstream). There are plenty of river cruises, so I will not be using Emerald again. Although river levels are not their fault, how they handled the situation during the cruise and afterwards is their fault. A shame because I would have given the previous year's trip on the Rhine an excellent across the board. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Trip of a lifetime for 2 ladies in late 60s. We had researched well and decided on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Modern boats with excellent food , wifi, brilliant tv system great cabins with balconies. The first week was ... Read More
Trip of a lifetime for 2 ladies in late 60s. We had researched well and decided on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Modern boats with excellent food , wifi, brilliant tv system great cabins with balconies. The first week was superb and exceeded our expectations.the low water level on the Danube then made it impossible for our boat to continue. We were offered a flight home or transfer to an equivalent boat. We chose the latter. Well the staff and food transferred with us - excellent- but the Boat was by no means equal- virtually no wifi ( imperative as my companions husband was in Peru on business), no English TV, poor cabins with sofa beds and stained carpet, poor plumbing. We complained on board as did many other guests and were assured we would be contacted upon our return home- total silence! Several letters were exchanged and we were offered 5% off our next cruise by very arrogant customer service personnel - totally unexceptable- this cruise was £3.800 each! Family bereavement unabled us to continue our dialogue and take the matter further but future travellers beware. Read Less
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