“To be faced by the Emerald Sun was inspiring, but to be greeted by a lined-up crew blew my mind. I thought this was a thing reserved for films.
The ship was grander than either of us hoped, a palace where luxury was commonplace, and service second to none. Detail mattered: constantly changed towels, turned-down sheets, chocolates on the pillows, a bedside clock, slippers, robes, umbrellas in the event of rain, piano music in the lounge, and of course, constant attention from the caring staff. The maid must have been to the cabin two or three times each day, each time we returned there was further evidence of her attention.
At the flick of a switch, the amazing panoramic windows turned our cabin into an open balcony, and we became part of the great outdoors. With the extraordinary Parliament building of Budapest facing our dock, the experience was magical.
Once onshore, I hardly knew where to turn first, the cruise now an exciting adventure delving into the living history of Europe.
Abbeys here, palaces there, the exuberant splendour of Imperial Vienna, the fortress of Dürnstein, what to concentrate on next? In all, there were too many memories to share, except that the Emerald Waterways experience is a memory I’ll cherish for a long time.”