1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise and we had just begun to explore river cruise options when we learned our friends, who were seasoned travelers, had completed the research and had already booked this cruise. While we had never been on a cruise ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had just begun to explore river cruise options when we learned our friends, who were seasoned travelers, had completed the research and had already booked this cruise. While we had never been on a cruise so we had nothing direct to compare it to, we have lived in Europe - Germany & Belgium, in the Middle East and we have traveled extensively. Without question, river cruising with Emerald is a uniquely pleasant and enriching experience. However, first, we want to complement the crew. Without exception, we felt every member of the crew treated us likefamily that really cared about our experience. Black (sp) and Harry kept us entertained and well informed. We looked forward to their daily updates and the enriching events they had planned. Every member of the crew seemed to sincerely want to ensure all of our needs were met with enthusiasm. From Edi, who cleaned up our room and managed our laundry, to the servers - I wish I could remember all of their names, but Dragana, Alan, several others were standouts, serving us with pleasure. The lady at the front desk answered our questions with a smile and provided helpful suggestions. The food was outstanding! My complements to the chef - Alexander I believe, and his entire staff. We were never hungry, always had outstanding options and the food was so good, it was difficult to follow my quantity plan of only eating part of everything. Our room surprised me at how large it was and how much space was provided. We were on the 3rd floor and had a balcony. The only disappointment was when another ship would berth next to us. Nothing like waking up to find the entire dining room of another ship next to you. Several of the excursions gave us an unique look into the lives of other cultures, which we really enjoyed. Thank you Emerald Waterways. Next time we want to take a cruise, you will be our first choice. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from ... Read More
Review Are you under 70? Do you like an active lifestyle? Do you enjoy great food and wine? Do you like to socialize with well educated and cultured travelers? If so, DO NOT CRUISE WITH EMERALD WATERWAYS. We did the Danube River from Budapest to Bucharest. The average passenger was British, 75 years old, had difficulty walking, and complained about everything. I was prevented from taking a morning walk on the sun deck walking track because my footsteps (at 3.6 mph) disturbed someone on the deck below. I would have been happy to use a treadmill, but alas, the “gym” didn’t have one, just three never-used recumbent bicycles. We could never get the in-cabin movies to work until the final day of the cruise, despite being in an owner’s suite. We barely saw our butler (a glorified cabin maid), and although we purchased the inclusive alcohol package, it apparently did not include premium wine. The offerings were horrible local wines. Food choices were limited. Beef was usually tough and overcooked, the chicken was dry, and desserts were uninspiring. It is really too bad that the ship, which is quite beautiful, is staffed by a crew that still needs to learn a lot about service and accommodation. Maybe they should rename it Emerald Walker-ways. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We ... Read More
We were picked up at 2:00 and transferred to the Emerald Sun where a member of the cruise staff showed us to our room. Our room was great, crisp white lines, mirrors and a floor to ceiling window. After unpacking we explored the ship. We could have gone ashore, but had spent 2 and a half days in Amsterdam so stayed on board. All meals were included and were excellent. I like having a buffet for breakfast and lunch. At lunch you did have the option to order from the menu as well. Dinner was served, 3 choices, meat, fish and vegetarian as well as steak, salmon and chicken daily. Each dinner included a choice of two appetizers, soup, and 4 desserts. The cheese on ship was amazing! The chef did a great job! The included tours were excellent. Extremely knowledgeable guides who spoke amazing English. The only negative was our docking. We did not have the best docking sites. But Emerald had busses that took us into town if necessary. We purchased four extra tours. The Dragonburg Castle was ok, there was filming that day which made part of the gardens out of bounds. The WW II tour was very interesting and explained how Hitler was able to rise to power. The Vienna concert was a highlight of the tour. The members of the Symphony Orchestra played Vienna classics and the soloists were good. The Jewish Quarter tour in Budapest was heart breaking. The Nazis' massacre of the Jews unbelievable. Our tour guide was new to Emerald and took us all over Budapest, showing us hidden food trucks, synagogues, and rebuilt areas. The on board entertainment, glass blower, zither player, violinist, Ompa Band and Hungarian dancers, were all of good quality. I found the zither player especially interesting as I knew very little about how it is played. Very difficult! Louis, from Portugal, is a very organized cruise director. His dry sense of humour was very appreciated and he made our cruise memorable. He was patient with all the questions and always seemed to have time for each guest. Ben, the activities director, was new to this job and tried to provide lots of different activities from yoga, to trivia, to bike tours, as well as cabarets and karoke. Well done, Ben All in all a memorable river cruise and would definitely cruise with Emerald again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. ... Read More
We had an amazing time on this cruise. Everything thing runs like clockwork. We were picked up from the airport and then from that minute onwards everything was taken care of, from embarkation to disembarkation. We had to think of nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted. We were in a Balcony Suite which was was just lovely, we could lower our window down to half way and just sit and enjoy the view. The staff were friendly and helpful nothing was too much trouble. Even when there was an emergency they were willing to send emails for passengers to loved ones who had no way of contacting them. Louis the Cruise Director was so helpful and friendly. The towns that we stopped at were so beautiful. The food was great and we got to try a lot of the local foods. We also went to a Concert in Vienna which was fantastic. Thanks for the memories Emerald Waterways. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse ... Read More
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse group. The cabins were well equipped, the food plentiful and varied and excursions diversified. Where I found it lacking was in the entertainment and excursion/tour areas. A violin player one night and an opera trio another night were the sole “real” entertainment. The other nights had either a movie option (attended by 3 guests) or really lame karaoke or “game” shows. The guided tours were scheduled early and lasted less than 2 hours. Most took us to tourist areas, encouraged shopping, and only “free” time scheduled for the long afternoons. Weather was unseasonably cold and rainy so we couldn’t use the lovely sun deck except for one day. Emphasis was placed on the meals which were delightful and exquisite. I guess I depended on the cruise line and should have done more research into the visited cities. We also encountered 2 holidays during our week which added to larger crowds and less business openings. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our ... Read More
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our cruise director, was organized, enthusiastic, engaging and well spoken. The tour guides on the local excursions were excellent as well! We loved touring the Christmas Markets and Balocz would share interesting information each night about the next day's city. The rooms on the Emerald Sun were very clean and well appointed. As it was December and the sun set at 4:30 p.m., we didn't spend very much time on the top deck but it looked like a great place to enjoy the sun in the spring, summer or fall. We started our trip in Budapest and enjoyed two days there before our cruise. We wished we had had a couple extra days as there were so many sights to visit. The cruise stopped in Bratislava, Milk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, Regensberg and finally, Nurenberg. We took the day excursion to Salzburg on the day we arrived in Passau. The trip to Salzburg was magical as it had snowed the night before. We will definitely book another cruise through Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time to explore. Local guides spoke good English & were easily understood. The cabins have a poor layout & poor sound insulation. The wall which has your headboard has the neighbouring cabin's TV on the other side. It would be better if dividing walls had BOTH TVs on it. Also the bathroom door is a sliding one which is only 18inches from the bed. Every time our neighbours used the bathroom we could hear the door opening and closing. The bed is comfortable but it is 2 single beds pushed together & more floor space could've been made by having a standard double bed. Not shown how to convert the room into a balcony; certainly wasn't obvious. Didn't like sailing at night as we missed many scenic views along the way. Minimal daytime sailing which was a great shame. Also going through locks at 3am wakes you up! Please Emerald STOP SAILING AT NIGHT!! The food on board was excellent; except the one time buffet which was lukewarm and with a good choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not Neuremberg but we missed none of the tours, being bussed to Regensburg. We were upgraded to a better grade cabin and were very happy with the facilities in the cabin. The food was always of a high standard and there was plenty on offer at all meals. The cruise director Simona was enthusiastic and arranged our tours etc brilliantly. The tours were always interesting and the ports of call were varied. Melk Abbey and Bratislava were highlights. A visit to a Slovakian family was a lovely addition to the experience. We have another cruise booked for next year and we are looking forward to another amazing holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we ... Read More
We liked the itinerary of this cruise however, the river was low and we were informed at 6pm the previous evening could only board at Passau not Nuremberg. We arrived in Munich Airport at 11am - our baggage did not arrive until 12.15, we could not find the meeting staff for Emerald - no signs - no notices at the cafe proposed for the meeting. We were then approached by a lady with no identification telling us that our transport had left and we would not get transport until 14.30 - flippantly told just to have some lunch!! We were taken to the car and left the airport at 2.30pm. When nearing Passau the driver informed us that we still had one hour to drive. He then proceeded south and obviously had no idea where he was going, we went through fields and farmyards but no sign of a river. The driver would not stop to find out where we were - my husband called Emerald Dawn and asked where they were berthed - he told us near the central station in Amsterdam! After a further 4 calls where the driver would not communicate with the ship - we asked for his papers which stated we were going to Emerald Sun. We finally arrived at the ship at 6.20pm - no apology for lack of information or inconvenience, in fact quite the opposite. We wrote a letter to the CEO of Emerald and handed a copy to the cruise director - he did not even acknowledge it. They then told us we would be going back up the river to Regensburg the following day by coach - 2.5 hours each way - this was not what we expected and could not face another long bus trip. By the next day we had somewhat calmed down and the remainder of the cruise was good. On leaving the ship on 15th Sept. we were taken to Budapest Airport for the flight to Amsterdam and on to Edinburgh, the flight arrived late - the air bridge would not work the steward announced we would still catch our flight to Edinburgh. We RAN to the gate to find out the Edinburgh flight was gone -we are 74 years old and did not feel good after this rush. KLM were very helpful put us on the next flight where we found that 2 of our fellow ship passengers going to Edinburgh were booked and had not had the rush to a flight that was gone. The inefficiencies of the transfers were appalling, but the most disappointing was the attitude of the management of the ship, they were just not interested. this experience would not entice us to book Emerald again, in fact we could not recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of friends who had sailed a different itinerary in Europe. We were suppose to sail out of Amsterdam on the Emerald Dawn on Aug 18. We were informed a week early that we would now be on the Star. A few ... Read More
We chose Emerald at the suggestion of friends who had sailed a different itinerary in Europe. We were suppose to sail out of Amsterdam on the Emerald Dawn on Aug 18. We were informed a week early that we would now be on the Star. A few days before sailing and a day before we were flying to Amsterdam, we were informed that Emerald had NO boats on the Rhine. We were told we'd be put up in a hotel, but we had to e-mail everyone to find out which hotel. We got that information from our travel agent eventually, but NOT anything from Emerald. They had failed to ensure having boats on the Rhine even when it was apparent the river levels were dropping. Really negligent after knowing for weeks of potential problems. Friends who were sailing with Viking only had a small inconvenient bus portage, but we were put up in an airport hotel in Amsterdam for two nights followed by a flight to Vienna and then bused up to Melk missing the entire Dutch countryside and the entire Rhine River valley, etc and basically wasting three days with the exception of a evening canal cruise in Amsterdam. In fairness, Emerald did offer full refund or credit for our cruise, but at a much too late date and we had pre-booked hotel, transportations and events in Amsterdam, Budapest and London as had many others who did sail. The boat was exactly half full at 91 passengers. I cannot imagine how full the public areas would have been if half had not cancelled. The staff and crew were amazing as were all the free tours we took. It did seem odd that the Captain did not attend his farewell dinner though. We had the 'premium drink package' which was quite overpriced, but convenient. Now for the food. In a word, it was lousy. Everything was oversalted and tough. The breakfast was ok. I've had better omelets at any restaurant. Lunch was boringly the same most days and items off the menu again, salty. Unlike every cruise and all inclusive we're ever been on, dinner menu was dreadful. Small, overcooked, over salted items. I've never seen more food returned anywhere. (Note- we started from Melk on the Star, but even then had to pack and ended up on the Sun and both kitchens produced the worst food.) When boarding the Sun and being introduced to the chef, we thought things may improve. It did not. Common areas including bar, pool, fitness were great, albeit we were half full. Lastly, when what seemed like half the passengers were coughing after the second day aboard the Sun, we found the A/C vents were covered in mold. Only after reporting, taking photos and insisting on action the next day did anyone deal with this issue. Interestingly, they then dealt with all the cabins. To sum things up, the boat and crew were amazing, but communications by Emerald management AND the food was dreadful. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and ... Read More
Ship was changed to Emerald Dawn due to low river levels This was our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew were all very friendly and helpful and everything was on time. We stayed 2 days in Amsterdam before the cruise and shuttles were provided by the cruise line. Meals were excellent, cordon bleu level, provided by the executive chef and pastry chef on board. Dinners a leisurely affair from 7-9pm. Beer and wine complimentary at lunch and dinner. Buses to, and walking tours of cities all included with knowledgeable guides Entertainment included an electric violin concert and an operatic duet performance. The passengers were from Australia, Canada, USA and UK and it was very easy to mingle and get to know a lot of them. We would highly recommend Emerald Waterways to anybody wanting to take a river cruise. Despite being only 5 years old, this company knows how to do everything right. Read Less
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: July 2018
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. ... Read More
Friends picked this cruise for us ! Overall, our trip from Bucharest to Budapest was excellent. The ship had great staff with excellent food & wine, both notably with local origins. Our cabin was just 20 steps from the pool. There were a few minor problems: -air conditioning was sometimes poor, most notably in busy restaurant at dinner -WIFI was intermittent, we lost WIFI for 3-4 days along the Danube- most frustrating ! -The map for Ruese, Bulgaria was incorrect; the ship was berthed off map; our walking tour was most interesting though and worthy of our efforts. People most helpful & friendly. The itinerary included many interesting locations, with much history to see & enjoy. The guides were excellent. -The wine tasting near Vidin was excellent. -more time could be spent in Bucharest & Budapest on our itinerary, Overall, an excellent itinerary and an excellent ship, the Emerald Sun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel ... Read More
After much research for our first river cruise, we decided to book with Emerald. While, I usually book my own vacations, I did go through a travel agent this time as I have never been to Europe. I did book my own airfare and hotel pre-cruise but did the Emerald add-on with the hotel and transfer at the end of the cruise which was well worth the price. My wife and I left mid-June and spent five nights in Munich before taking a train to Zurich for four nights. Using trains and trams was a new experience for us and while we were a little intimidated at first, we quickly adapted. We decided to visit the Zurich airport the day before pickup to make sure that it was easy to find the pickup spot. Pickup and transfer to the ship was easy and on time. Passengers were primarily from England, USA, Canda, but also included Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, Average age would be early 60s. We are early 50s and were on the younger side. We did see two families with teenagers. I think pricing for River Cruises, in general, makes this situation. For the price of a River Cruise, we could have done about three Caribbean cruises. The ship was easy to navigate compared to large Caribbean ships only have three floors with one main dining area and one lounge. The trip from Basel to Amsterdam was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Each day we had city tours, sometimes we would have to take a bus but not all the time. All the tours were excellent and were done by local guides with the exception of Cologne which was just OK. The guides on this tour were much younger and a little inexperienced IMHO. But the tours were only two hours so we had plenty of time to do our own sightseeing if we wanted. We had French Balcony cabin 220 which was probably the nicest cabin we ever stayed in. This was a standard balcony cabin which we paid a premium for the view and the window that slid down. However, if we do another river cruise we would opt for the lowest level and use the money saved for upgraded airfare. Other than sleeping, we really didn't spend much time in the cabin. Food Breakfast had a light offering of food in the lounge area and a standard buffet with omelette station in the main dining room. Lunch in the main dining room was buffet style as well and didn't change much from day to day. You could order off the menu which was the same items that were on the buffet which really didn't make sense with the exception of a few Classic items: steak and chicken breast and Cesar salad. The dinner menu changed nightly with meat, fish, and vegetarian options with the Classic items also available. Food was good but many felt that the portion sizes were too small with the exception of the Captains Farewell dinner. Same issue with dessert. We noticed the salad dressings, especially at lunch, looked and tasted watered down. I have never seen such thin blue cheese dressing, but then I am from Buffalo and we are used to thick Blue Cheese! The late night snack at 10:30 was disappointing. It mainly consisted of leftover desserts or appetizers from earlier in the day and the portions again were small. We stayed off ship one evening for dinner in port. Emerald includes beer and wine at lunch and dinner. Most of them were very good and the servers made sure your glass was filled. I had a wine/beer drink package for 10 Euros/day which was a great deal compared to Caribbean cruises. There was another package for around 22 Euro for spirits as well. Drinks prices are reasonable and depending upon your drinking habits, it may not be beneficial. Bar service was fair to good with the exception of Svetlana who was the best. We usually tried to sit in her area as we knew she did a great job! Emerald should let passengers know that there are drink packages available at check-in. While I was asked by a server if I had a drink package when I ordered my first glass of wine, a couple we met didn't know there were packages available until the last night! The packages are listed in the lounge menu book but most people usually know what they want when they walk into a bar and therefore didn't pick them up. We didn't use the complimentary bikes or go to movie night in the pool area. The pool was nice though! This was a great cruise and absolutely loved it. We met a lot of nice people from all over the world! While there is room for improvement, we would consider Emerald again for a future cruise. Their all-inclusive package and payment structure is the main reason why we chose them. Another company wanted full payment almost 11 months in advance which we felt wasn't reasonable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all ... Read More
We chose Emerald Waterways after researching 6 popular cruise lines that sailed the Rhine river, and can say that our 1st ever cruise experience was overall fantastic. The cruise lived up to our expectations, and exceeded some, in all areas except the food quality. Being all-inclusive was important to us, no worries about calculating gratuities, port fees, etc.. We loved the Swissôtel Basel that Emerald booked for us pre-cruise. All the airport to hotel / to ship transfers went smoothly and on time. We had fun exploring the city on our own for a day (and recovering from jet lag), before embarking on Emerald Sun. Lunch the first day was not included but they prepared a light buffet for us new passengers in the lounge, a thoughtful touch. We cruised from Basel to Amsterdam over 8 days under sunny skies. Our cabin was spacious, well-designed, and like the ship itself, absolutely immaculate. The bed was the most comfortable 'hotel' bed I've ever slept in (I usually suffer bad sleep during vacations) and the attentive cabin steward saw to our every need. Top marks. The fleet is quite new, our ship was 3 years old, and are of a modern and sleek design. It featured a beautiful infinity pool at the stern, small gym, hairdresser, cinema (pool transforms for film night), huge sundeck with shade canopies and mini-putt, bicycles for excursions, large main dining room, and a bar & lounge for relaxing or to enjoy a light breakfast or lunch. The shore excursions were included, except for one optional tour to Moselle and Cochem--which I highly recommend, it was fantastic!. We enjoyed all of the guided tours, either walking or by coach. The local guides really knew their stuff and the sites selected were interesting (and not only churches). The 'QuietVox' system let us meander about and still hear our guide. Of course one could always opt out of a tour and explore individually, or stay and relax on ship. With all that was wonderful, the very ordinary food was a disappointment. I don't know if the wait staff was new, but they lacked polish and some never smiled at the guests. The service varied greatly and the food quality & preparation was . . . okay. Not the high standard I was expecting of Emerald. We had to return a fish dish, it was hard, dry and tasteless. A fellow diner returned some veal that was all gristle. We were only told on day 3 that we could order from a menu at lunch, as well as partake of the buffet. This would have helped. Everyone we met complained of the small portions served at the evening meal—2 or 3 bites of the meat or fish, a couple of tablespoons of rice or potatoes, and a few vegetable bits. Very artsy but not enough to fill 5 year old child. One meal featured mashed potatoes dyed Smurf blue??? The white and red wines offered with the meals were rarely from the regions we were travelling through, but mainly Austrian or Slovakian. Mediocre quality, and the white served at room temperature. On the last day I discovered there were other wines one could have, despite me asking a waiter earlier in the week if they had a German Riesling since we were in the Rhine Valley. The wait staff did not seem to all have the same information. Training? However, the salads were good and varied, and they offered wonderful cheeses and bread. I ate a lot of bread. The 2 soups I tried were extremely salty so I had to give them a pass. The desserts were commercial, not much better than supermarket quality. Food aside, the trip was wonderful and we enjoyed the sights along the scenic Rhine. The crew was courteous and professional and the ship elegant and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate a special event. Staff was accomodating though even with room being çleaned' twice a day, the vacuum obviously didn't work well.Tours were basic and food was disappointing with the chef's menu being rather boring after the first few days. The soups were a mild variance of the consomme of the previous day.Rooms were small but adequate but the lack of a dance floor and entertainment made you want for the calm of your room! Main complaints: no onboard credit for Canadians. Welearnt later that the UK guests were provided 100 pounds each. All guests arrived with Emerald backpacks , not a prioity but principle All communication with thiscompany and through the travel agent has been UNANSWERED for nigh on 6 months! When you pay thei kind of money you expect a certain degree of service. Just wanted an apology but since none was received Never using them again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each ... Read More
Having done several ocean cruises we wanted to do a river cruise to compare. Cabin staff were excellent room kept very clean and in good order, our cabin steward Gabriel was exceptional. Public toilets were insufficient only one on each deck! Breakfasts and lunches were very good, however evening dinners left a lot to be desired. Portion sizes on some meals were very small, ice cream desserts were often served melted, fresh cream was not used at all always spray cream. Fresh fruit salad only contained one fruit generally melon. One guest had ordered perch as a main course, I have seen larger goldfish in a bowl! Another guest ordered chicken breast but was served chicken with a bone in whilst others only had two thin strips of the chicken.Entertainment was limited to a pianist each evening he was very good. A violinist on one evening was excellent but only for half an hour. Two opera singers one afternoon for three quarters of an hour they were very good but it would have been better in an evening when everyone was on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first river cruise and it was our honeymoon, so we decided to splash out and book the best. Emerald included everything, meals, wine, tours, tips and this was a perfect way to get a feel of river cruising. We chose our cabin, ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and it was our honeymoon, so we decided to splash out and book the best. Emerald included everything, meals, wine, tours, tips and this was a perfect way to get a feel of river cruising. We chose our cabin, mid boat and on the top deck with panoramic balcony. This was perfect, roomy, comfortable, clean and with great facilities such as WiFi and free movies. Lovely touch of turn down each night, towel animals which made us smile and chocolate on the pillow. The staff looking after the rooms were friendly and helpful, they couldn’t be faulted. The boat was beautiful and easy to navigate. The reception staff were helpful and friendly, always willing to answer questions and the cruise director worked hard and spoke well at the evening meetings. There were however a couple of issues which did lead us to think we would try an alternative cruise line if we went again. The breakfast and lunches were great, lots of choice and lovely food but the food at dinner was well below par. Portion sizes were small and the quality was lacking, definitely not worth the money. The serving staff were friendly but there were some language issues and there appeared to be issues with the kitchen staff, mainly the head chef. There were lots of complaints which was a shame. The other thing we didn’t enjoy was the way the tours were set up. We often only had 30 mins to an hour to have coffee and look round and then had to rush back to the boat for lunch. Packed lunches weren’t an option for some reason. The best trip was the day we had in Strasbourg, we opted to miss lunch and stay in town. If we did a river cruise again we would check the tours out first. We felt like sheep being herded most of the time rather than valued travellers. Not sure if this is a common issue on river tours? If we had thought ahead we would also have booked a couple of nights in Switzerland at the end of the cruise as no time to see otherwise. Entertainment on board was limited, a good evening violinist and not so good singers on one afternoon. There was a keyboard player in the bar each evening who was good but not a lot of atmosphere. The welcome and farewell dinners weren’t outstanding. Lots of clapping the staff but as the farewell dinner was on the Thursday rather than the actual last night it all felt a bit strange. The best entertainment was a guest who had brought along a harmonica! Great American blues. Overall the cruise was a lovely relaxing holiday, we would just choose to try an alternative cruise line in future to see if they offer a more individual service. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
There is nothing negative I could say about the Emerald Cruise line. The ship was beautiful! Our cabin was so comfortable and had everything we needed. My husband and I were so impressed with the staff on the ship from the top which was ... Read More
There is nothing negative I could say about the Emerald Cruise line. The ship was beautiful! Our cabin was so comfortable and had everything we needed. My husband and I were so impressed with the staff on the ship from the top which was Igor and Nina to the steward Succi and all in between. The servers in the lounge and dinning room became family soon after we set sail. The Chef was magnificent! The daily tours were so organized and every tour had just the right amount time. Entertainment was so much fun. We had trivia nights, glass blower, an electric violinist and a disco night that was out of this world. Everyone had such a great time. When I am asked about our trip I find it very hard to put into words just what an amazing trip it was. Thank you to all the staff on the Emerald Sun for making this cruise just amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Embarkation & disembarkation were very well organized all staff extremely helpful and courteous. The entire ship was spotless the crew were constantly keeping everything fresh, clean and well organized. The pool area was ... Read More
Embarkation & disembarkation were very well organized all staff extremely helpful and courteous. The entire ship was spotless the crew were constantly keeping everything fresh, clean and well organized. The pool area was excellent, very well designed and the decor was up to date and very comfortable to relax in lounge chairs. Hot and cold drinks were available at all times. The evening meals had quite a variety of local and traditional choices, the breakfast & lunch buffet had an ample selection of hot and cold foods & numerous salad selections. The serving staff very efficient, courteous and friendly and would constantly serve wine, beer and soft drinks, which were included with lunch & dinner. The entertainment was quite good, there were some fun evening activities and the shore excursions were mostly very good - some excellent! All were very well organized even providing bottled water to all guests when leaving the ship for each excursion. The coaches were comfortable and clean, guides were very pleasant and knowledgeable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
After reading many reviews we chose Emerald Waterways for the value, amenities, and itinerary. They did not disappoint. We were picked up at the airport and had seamless transfers for each leg of the trip. We added the pre-cruise package ... Read More
After reading many reviews we chose Emerald Waterways for the value, amenities, and itinerary. They did not disappoint. We were picked up at the airport and had seamless transfers for each leg of the trip. We added the pre-cruise package in Zurich and Lucerne. Stayed in great hotels and had a fabulous guide accompany us throughout. Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and painless. The Emerald Sun is a beautiful, modern river ship that is well maintained and exceptionally clean. All of the staff were friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. 182 guests to 46 staff- not a bad ratio! Our room was very comfortable, with a surprising amount of storage room. Great shower. Great bed. In addition to the usual items, we found robes, slippers, an umbrella, and even walking sticks in our room. The ship includes an indoor, heated swimming pool (with optional current) at the stern that looks out to the river through a floor to ceiling window. The floor of the pool comes up to created a movie theater on some evenings. Emerald brings bicycles along for passenger who wish to use them in port. There was a nice variety on the menu and all of the food was beautifully presented. Some dishes could have used a bit more flavor, but that was our only complaint. Wine and beer were complimentary with lunch and dinner. Each port included an excursion and we found each of our guides well informed as well as entertaining. We loved that fact that our entire trip was included in their pricing-even the tips! We felt we got a wonderful value as well as a memorable trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We had never sailed on the Rhine and wished to see Strasbourg. We had sailed with Scenic before and Emerald are a part of the same group, so we had reasonable expectations of a similar high standard. The food and service were excellent. ... Read More
We had never sailed on the Rhine and wished to see Strasbourg. We had sailed with Scenic before and Emerald are a part of the same group, so we had reasonable expectations of a similar high standard. The food and service were excellent. All the crew whom we interfaced with throughout the cruise were cheerful, helpful and could not be faulted. This includes Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Reception, waiters, wine-waiters, seamen, cabin housekeeper and catering staff. The resident pianist/singer was excellent. The ports and excursions were fine, but there could have been more and more varied en-board entertainment. We had an inclusive drinks package which worked well, but not all the table wines were first class. In particular the Austrian Merlot was very thin and had little flavour. All the food was excellent except for one starter of salmon mousse which had no salmon taste and a beetroot soup which was very pale and tasted of nothing at all. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I did this cruise with my sister, mother and aunt. As I am unable to walk a lot due to continuous cancer issues. We were served like royalty from day one. All trips were well organised and arranged. All staff were extremely friendly. ... Read More
I did this cruise with my sister, mother and aunt. As I am unable to walk a lot due to continuous cancer issues. We were served like royalty from day one. All trips were well organised and arranged. All staff were extremely friendly. This is a very professional River Cruise and I hope to return soon, for another experience. We were not met at the airport in Zurich by waterways, but by Scenic (we didn't know who would fetch us). We knew which port we would start at, just the time seemed confusing. The dining experience was phenomenal. So much choice and efficient and friendly waiters. Quiz nights, music night and Nina our entertainment director kept us updated all the time. Just was disappointed that whilst cruising past the Loreley, we could not hear Nina on the microphone below deck (please check out systems) as it was a beautiful day to be outside. Galley excursion was very interesting too. Ships Captain did a great job as did all his crew, whilst sailing and docking, etc. We made lots of friends. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We found this cruise to be very well organized. The communication with guests was excellent. The transitions from port to port was smooth as were the disembarkations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and efficient! Food was good and ... Read More
We found this cruise to be very well organized. The communication with guests was excellent. The transitions from port to port was smooth as were the disembarkations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and efficient! Food was good and service was excellent. Staff went out of their way to accommodate any needs. Most of the tours were well done. Strasbourg tour guide was a bit of a disappointment but all others were very knowledgeable and fun. The facilities were surprising considering riverboats are not very big. They were comfortable and covered every need. The cabins are efficiently designed and the beds are comfortable. We are seniors and appreciated that tours came with a gentle option for older guests but also had more active options for the more active traveler. The cruise director was helpful and fun, she quickly arranged for tickets to museums and was on hand for any assistance needed. Next year we hope to do the Danube with this company. Read Less
Emerald Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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