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SHIP REVIEW: EMERALD STAR
Highs: A day and half to explore exciting
Budapest, being moored opposite its fabulous
Parliament building and enjoying a moonlight
cruise downriver to see the city lit up.
Lows: Having to sign up for one of the few
seats – just 20 – to see an evening film
because of the weight restriction on the
flooring that covers the swimming pool.
Best suited to: Couples who want to relax
but who are interested in European history
At night the pool is covered and the room
becomes a small bar and cinema – although
only 20 people can be seated because of
Reflections Restaurant is the dining hub.
A light breakfast and lunch is usually available
in the Horizon Bar to eat inside or out on the
Terrace at the front of the ship. Reflections’
central serving area had a morning buffet of
cereal and fruit, every type of bread, cold cuts,
bacon, sausages and eggs, and waiters brought
tea and coffee to the table.
The lunchtime buffet of salads and hot
food included a regional dish every day such
as liver dumpling soup, which is tastier than
it sounds, and cheese sausages with sauerkraut.
Wine, beer and soft drinks are
complimentary at lunch and dinner, and
the evening meal was usually four courses.
The Gala Dinner included a choice of pink
roasted duck breast with spicy red cabbage
and halibut under a mustard crust, but all the
meals were excellent.
Most cabins are Balcony Suites facing
the river and “balconies” that are inside the
cabin space but take on a sheltered outdoors
feeling when the top half of the full-length
window disappears into the bottom half at
the switch of a button.
Most are 180 sq ft, but there are eight
Grand Balcony Suites of 210 sq ft with more
room between the bed and small, but well-
equipped, shower room. All the bathrooms
have stripped wood-effect tiles on the floor
and wall, a shower cubicle, neat oblong sink,
mirror cupboards and luxury Prija toiletries.
The four Owner’s Suites are 315 sq ft,
with a balcony, walk-in wardrobe and seating
area screened off from the queen-sized bed.
Emerald Star is arranged over three decks
and has a light and airy atrium with floor-to-
ceiling glass windows.
The lower deck has smaller staterooms
measuring 162 sq ft, or 130 sq ft for the two
single staterooms. Like the suites, they have
simple dove-grey and off-white decor, but
only have tiny high windows just above
New itineraries for 2015 are Enchantment
of Eastern Europe, from Budapest to
Bucharest, and Treasures Of The Danube,
from Bucharest to Nuremberg.
Bratislava Castle, Slovakia
Emerald Star Balcony Suite;
(below) the ship’s lobby
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