Our embarkation day with Emerald Waterways Danube Delights river cruise, after an amazing three days in Prague began with the fifty or so people who were on the tour with us piling on a bus and taking a three hour ride to Nuremberg to meet the rest of the passengers. Sadly, we saw almost nothing of Nuremberg itself but went straight to where our ship, the Emerald Sky, was docked.
The Emerald Sky is a 135 metre ship which hosts up to 182 guests in 92 cabins. There are 47 crew on board to take care of everyone, and they certainly do it well.
As we entered the ship in the reception area, we were directed to the desk to claim our key fobs and scanner tags. The key fobs are for your cabin door and the scanner tags are for when you enter and exit the ship from going on shore. In this manner, they can tell if everyone is back on board before casting off for the next town. Check in was smooth.
We turned aft (towards the stern) on the same floor as reception to get to our cabin, second last on the starboard (right) side. Our luggage arrived moments after we did.
When you step into the cabin the first thing you see is the amazing full-wall window across from you and the very comfy looking bed. Our room was designated a Panorama Balcony; the balcony is incorporated into the room itself, which is a pretty clever idea because balconies take space away from the actual cabin in most cases.
The window drops down halfway at the press of a button which allows the fresh river breeze into your room and the air conditioning turns off automatically when the window opens. The window has a privacy screen and a black out screen. Two chairs and a table on the wood “decking” make for a very nice spot for your morning coffee.
On the right side of the balcony area was a closet with plenty of hangers, a mini bar, and a safe. The bed had plenty of space underneath to fit all our empty luggage. Across from the bed were a large dresser with six large drawers holding the television, two large bottles of water (still and sparkling), a charging area, and the “Vox Boxes” for when you go on walking tours. This the area I used as my charging station. I plugged my iMuto 50W/10A 6-Port USB Charger into my BESTEK 4-Port USB Power Converter and my charging needs were taken care of.
The bathroom was unsurprisingly compact but well laid out. I liked that the shower door was a proper door and not a curtain. Later that night I learned there was a tiny blue nightlight in the ceiling which is nice if you don’t want to blast your partner’s eyes out by turning on the light switch (which is on the outside of the bathroom door). That and the fact that there was not a lot of room between the bed and the bathroom were the only drawbacks of the cabin that I could see.
Our room steward, Martin, introduced himself right away. He tidied our cabin twice a day, replaced water, toiletries, and linens as needed. He was awesome. A little button beside the door lit a tiny light near the floor outside the cabin if you wanted a “do not disturb”.
Once unpacked it was time to explore the rest of the ship. If we turned left out our door and went past one more cabin there was a little exercise room. I’m sure it was great as I saw people using it. I got tons of exercise each day on our walking tours and on our own time. Between 6 and 12 kilometres a day.
Right past this there was a little spiral staircase up to the next floor where through a glass door was the wonderful swimming pool. A really innovative design idea, it’s a pool by day, and at night the floor rises up, a screen drops down, and it’s a cinema!
There’s also a little bar by the pool and one of the wonderful coffee machines that we could use anytime.
Exit the pool and up another spiral staircase and you’re at the back of the sundeck by the putting green. Several hard-fought, make up the rules as you go, games were played here.
The rest of the sundeck was a walking track, loungers, tables, chairs, and sunscreens.
At the bow (front) of the ship and down one deck was the Horizon Bar and Lounge. Studded with comfy couches, chairs, and tables, it really was the heart of the ship. All gatherings and info sessions were held here. It was a great place to meet people or just have a quiet sit and a read. Directly in front of the lounge was the Terrace, a really great place to watch the scenery go by.
One flight down from the lounge was the Reflections Restaurant. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style, dinners were (mostly) an a la carte menu. There were two evenings where dinner was buffet style. The meals were all excellent; many choices catering to all types.
The common areas were kept spotless at all times. The crew were friendly, helpful, and really quite funny.
As we were in the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and not on the river proper yet, there were many locks to go through. That first evening provided the best photo op as the sun was hitting the lock just perfectly.
The rest of the evening was spent dining and then chatting and having a few drinks in the lounge listening to the onboard pianist. After that, we found that the bed was just as comfortable as it looked.
Why not check out what happened next? Emerald Waterways Danube Delights Day Two – Regensburg, Germany
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