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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.

A wonderful cruise let down by poor food.

Emerald Sky Cruise Review by jollyjoyce

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
jollyjoyce’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 325
Clean, modern, much larger than we expected. Everything worked.