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Emerald Sky Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
172 Reviews

Trip of a lifetime

Emerald Sky Cruise Review by seashell27

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2018
  • Destination: Europe River

After much research, we chose Emerald for our first cruise as we were looking for a river cruise on a beautiful, modern ship with opportunities to be active (cycling, hiking) and chance to see as much as possible in two weeks. This experience far exceeded our expectations! The ship and the staff were extraordinary. The itinerary was a perfect blend of cities and small villages, active and quiet moments.

The staff were friendly, professional and totally committed to creating an experience of relaxation and joy. Constantin, Dragana, Stefan and Edy were some we got to know by name, but so many others we felt we knew just as well.

A happy, casual vibe abounded and we had a blast getting to know the crew and other passengers. Never been treated with such care at any restaurant as in the Emerald Sky's dining room for each and every meal. The daily menu was fantastic, with delicious offerings and variety, and those with food allergies can rest at ease as everything is carefully described and the crew are most willing and able to make sure your needs are met. Made to order eggs and omelettes in the morning plus full buffet and delicious salads at lunch, along with inventive entrees at both lunch and dinner, and grilled salmon at lunch or dinner if you want something lighter. The 4 course dinner was perfect, not too much food and plenty of choice for vegetarians. We found it so easy to eat healthily. We also enjoyed the bar/lounge as well, which had equally caring and attentive service, with a nice afternoon tea time snack or late night snacks.

Nina, the cruise director, was phenomenal at building community and creating enthusiasm for all the activities on and off the ship and took special interest and care in all the guests. Her disco night, German and Dutch culture nights were off the chart fun and the special guests she brought on board (German band, glass blower, violinist) were fantastic. Her Rhine Gorge narration and music as we cruised on a blustery day were most memorable, like a fairy tale come to life. Lots of fun little touches, like traditional foods and wines accompanied these events, which were truly delightful.

The captain was so approachable and friendly, happy to answer questions about the locks or whatever we wanted to know. The ship was modern, spotlessly clean, bright, and spacious, with lovely decor. We never felt claustrophobic or that there wasn't somewhere to spend some alone time even in a public space.

The pool was one of my favorite places to hang out early in the morning, where one can make their own coffee or tea and watch the world go by. Upper deck and lounge areas were beautiful and uncrowded. Heaters and blankets in the outdoor lounge by the bar were wonderful.

The other guests were a wonderful mix of people from around the globe, and of various ages. We made many friends and had ample opportunity for easy mingling, sharing meals, meeting up for tea or a drink or on the dance floor. The positivity of the guests was a highlight. All seemed to be in a 'celebrating life' mode.

We took out the ship's bikes a few times, which was great fun, and biked the Wachau Valley (highly recommended). We did a number of add-on tours that we loved (Czechy Krumlov, Drachenfels, Rothenburg) and the Slovakian home visit. We often broke away from the tour guides and did our own exploration, which worked very well, that was absolutely okay and easy to meet up again with the group to go back to the ship. Also loved the included walking and bus tours, and our own side trips to museums in Vienna and Amsterdam,

The crew surprised us one night with birthday cake, song and fireworks candle, which was totally unexpected and truly delightful, and also invited us to the captain's table to dine at the final celebration dinner.

We felt like honored guests from start to finish with the Emerald Sky and highly recommend this ship and cruise line to anyone considering a river cruise! Cruising along the Danube and Rhine is unforgettable; absolutely stunning. The many towns, villages, castles and cities we saw we would never have managed to organize on our own. And, we felt we were in the safest and most professional and caring hands possible. Thank you Emerald Sky, one and all!

seashell27's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Panoramic Balcony Suite 222

We loved the modern decor of the room and ship, and huge panoramic wall of windows in the cabin. Absolutely beautiful. The twice daily cleaning of our cabin and laundry specials made things so easy and comfortable for us. The bed was very comfortable and the storage ample. The room was extremely quiet, and views as we cruised, so beautiful.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Our guide was fantastic, and we loved seeing the beautiful city and surrounding area of Budapest.

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Superb bike tour of Vienna in the morning, then our own tour of the Kunsthistoriches Museum and a local bouldering gym.


An incredible opportunity to ride our bikes along the Danube through little villages and vineyards in the Wachau Valley. A must do if you at all like cycling and scenery! Wonderful tour guides.

A gorgeous medieval walled city.

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I believe we went to Rothenburg on the Wurzburg day, which was a fantastic side trip to a walled city.


I believe we did a vineyard walking tour here, which was lovely.


The Nazi history of the area was hard to take in, but important.

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