We wanted to be on a river that we haven't sailed on, to visit new places & see castles. The Majestic Rhine cruise fit the bill. We had this trip booked for August 2018, but as we all know now, the water level of the Rhine River was too low then, & as such, Emerald Waterways cancelled our trip.
We, however, still wanted to fulfill the aforementioned & rebooked for August 2019. We were cautiously optimistic as this trip came to fruition & it did not disappoint.
We are frequent ocean cruisers & have been on 3 Avalon river cruises & 1 other Emerald river cruise on the "Mekong Navigator" from Vietnam to Cambodia. So this is our 1st time sailing on an "Emerald" ship.
We found the Emerald Sun to be a very clean & comfortable. It appears to me, more modern & brighter than the Avalon ships, perhaps because of their use of mirrors throughout the ship. Other than Emerald's indoor swimming pool, which morphs into a movie theatre, its lay out is quite similar to that of the Avalon ships.
The crew & staff on Emerald Sun are second to none. There were all very friendly, courteous & helpful. The food on the Sun was very good, albeit the selection was understandably a bit limited. However, in my opinion, the fish served on the Sun was probably the best I’d ever had on any of the cruises we’ve been on. It was freshly cooked & moist to perfection. We also had a great cruise director, the animated “Wes”. On our 8 day cruise, we had 2 evenings with guest performers, one day with opera singers & the other day with a violinist. We also had 2 days of great singing by “Sarah”, our activity manager. On the other days, Sarah hosted trivia games & the like. There was also 4 movie nights with pop corn in the theatre. We did not partake in any of the available activities, except for Sarah's singing performances.
The included excursions, although subjective, but for me, they were very good, with lots of photo ops of old, well kept colourful buildings & churches. Then on the 7th day of our 8 day cruise, we'd left Koblenz at approximately 7 AM enroute to Rudesheim & sailed through the Middle Rhine Gorge, where castles sat proudly on hilltops.
All in all, a very satisfying trip. We are ready to set sail again with Emerald.
We were in cabin 302 on the Horizon deck, with the sun deck above us. Passengers were advised that no jogging on the sun deck before 8 AM & after 9 or 10 PM(I can't recall). Our cabin was more than spacious for the 2 of us with lots of storage. You can store your suitcases under the bed or in an area (kind of hidden away) next to the floor to ceiling windows. The cabin has the standard affairs of a safe, flat screen TV & mini bar. A nice touch in our cabin was a Nespresso machine. There are 2 electrical outs for varied adaptor configuration & 1 outlet for the European 2 prong plug. There is also an outlet in the bathroom for a shaver. You don’t need a converter as long as your electrical devices have input ratings between 100 – 240 V.
Our room was kept very clean & tidy by our steward, who also replenished 2 bottles of water daily. The bed was very comfortable & there is even a “menu” for you to choose the type of pillow you want to use. The bathroom was compact, but was OK for us. The pathway between the bed & wall of the bathroom may be a challenge for folks with a cane, let alone a walker. I surmised that Emerald would reconfigure that area if need be. The “balcony”, not akin to the traditional type on an ocean going vessel, has a full floor to ceiling type window, where at a push of a button, the top half of the window slides half way down. Approximately 3 feet from the floor to ceiling window, there is a folding sliding door, if & when you close it, gives you the traditional “balcony” feeling.
A caveat, just above our cabin, there is a crane, which is used to lift/move the gangplank, if required to do so. As such, you could get a rude awakening early in the morning. Also, cabin 302 is directly above the gangway/entrance of the ship, so you’re in full view, front & centre, if your curtains are not drawn.