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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who ... Read More
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who was wonderful and very personable but he seemed to have other duties which kept him busy. We did get the "special dinner" which was excellent and fun to try different wines and food. It was part of the dining room but in the back. The food was good. My favorite was the German lunch!! The excursions were fine but wish we had more time in some cities. They do give you a GPS device. Now, let me tell you these when they work they are great. We only had one in our room, so we had to ask for another one which did not charge. Then we had to get another one as the sound did not work. We suggested that maybe it would a good idea to give the tour guides extra ones but I think these could be expensive. Now the river ... it was low. The lowest in years. The captain was awesome and I was amazed that we got as far as we did. Also, he was there to greet us on and off the ship at every port. Very friendly and helpful. As I stated the river was low and we did make it to Worms. We were not able to go to the castle for our concert, so they brought it to us. We couldn't make it to our last two stops but they did bus us to Strasbourg and provided lunch. We were able to see the town but being Sunday many places were closed. We were then bused to Zurich where we stayed at a lovely Marriott, They provided us with a lovely dinner with wine and beer. The next day, we had breakfast and transported to the airport. All provided by Scenic. We did not make it to Basel. Our social director, Sylvia really did a fantastic job. I wasn't sure about her first because she was like other social directors that I have had on other ships but let me tell you did a phenomenal job. The only concerned was that those who were on their own after the cruise should have been given a choice of going to Basel or Zurich with us instead of being left on the ship and transferred the next day. One more thing, when they say that everything included they mean everything!! We did not have to pay anything extra. I would definitely take another cruise on Scenic. It was not their fault that the river was low. For future travels maybe I would go in the spring!! Their care department will take care of any issues. They did go out of their way considering the problems to make it a fun cruise. Look what we have to talk about with our friends!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and ... Read More
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and delivered first-class service with a smile, many learning passenger names once the badges were left off. The answer was never “no” but always “of course.” When other river ships had to stop due to low water, our captain and crew made the entire route happen. A talented group of men and women all around. -Sailing with people from Australia, Canada and the UK we saw as a real plus; nice conversations with “worldly” clientele. -Most guides in the ports were very knowledgable and we learned a lot from them. The “Enrich” events were hit and miss. For example, the trip to Marksburg Castle and orchestra/piano concerts were quite nice while the “Oktoberfest” and “Sound of Music” events were a bit too “cheesy” for us. -E-bikes were really fun. We used them on three occasions. The GPS devices are nice too, though we found ourselves using them less and less and just enjoying the scenery. Negatives -Food was above average but never exceptional, which was disappointing. The Portobello experience was a step above, but there was never a “WOW” meal moment. The breakfast and lunch buffets always had great variety and seemed to be very fresh, but by the 15th day, we were tired of the same breakfast buffet and wished that lunch could be served table-side. -Too many bus transfers for us. I realize that the ship doesn’t magically dock in the city center and we just stroll off into town, but that is kind of what the river cruise companies lead you to believe in their brochures and commercials. However, they do a good job of getting 160+ passengers where they need to be when they need to be there--we just wish there were fewer bus rides involved. A couple of days we skipped the bus excursions and stayed on-board for the nice river cruising. -From day one we encountered at least one very sick person on the ship.....and then more and more got sick until there was a real epidemic. Some people went to the hospital while others saw a doctor and still others went to the pharmacy to get meds. It’s hard to say how many were sick, but we would guess more than half by cruise end. We managed to stay healthy until the last two days when it got us too. Upon landing after our final flight, we went straight to the emergency room to find out that it was influenza. We are now recovering at home. Not a great end to the trip but at least we were able to enjoy most of it---some people spent a large part of their trip flat on their backs--and paid $18K to do so. In our opinion, Scenic did not seem to have good enough protocols to handle this situation. While we saw them trying to clean the lobby of the ship, there were many areas (menus, chairs, buffet utensils, railings etc.) that we did not see them sanitize. Though there were hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance to the ship and dining rooms, they did not insist that everyone use them or supervise guests entering/exiting those spaces as they did with the electronic badge check-in/out system. In an attempt not to lose travel days, many people who were quite ill got on the buses each day and proceeded to infect the others. Not a great situation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an ... Read More
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an expensive venture in the first instance, because it is an " all in " package , it proved to be very good value for money. EVERYTHING is included. Crew are ultra friendly and helpful , drinks are always " on tap" , whether it be alcoholic or merely a cup of tea or coffee, advice on venues for the tours is always available and they are generally good value. I personally thought the Drachenburg Castle was largely a waste of time but other tours ( all inclusive ) were good. The visit to the vineyard was particularly good , not for the obvious reasons , but for the interesting explanations from Albert who is a 14th generation wine producer and knows his stuff ! Rudesheim is a gem to walk around but unfortunately " Captain Sunshine" did not work a miracle and it poured down the day we visited. The menu aboard is very varied and can be a simple salad or a full blown meal for lunch with almost endless courses in the evening. Th early part of the week the standard was superb but, for some unknown reason , the standard was not maintained towards the end of the week. A number of us thought that Head office should allow local purchasing by the chef where possible, asparagus was absent from the menu until several clients asked why. The answer from the galley was that Manchester dictated the menus !! Austin & Pat Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is ... Read More
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is litereally all inclusive. We chose SCENIC based on the luxury ratings and great reviews, but mostly for it's all-inclusiveness. The ammenities included our own GPS units with informational guides as well as walking sticks and umbrellas in each room. You could reserve the electric bikes they have onboard and go out on your own anytime. We were able to convince family members to come along as well. We traveled from Amersterdam to Basel, Switzerland. For the most part we had a fabulous time on the SCENIC Jewel. Most of the staff were attentive and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the lounge staff, especially Ana and our butler Bogdan. They took very good care of us. We also enjoyed being able to be on the top deck especially when we traveled through the river gorge with the beautiful scenery and all those castles! The food was usually good. Breakfast & lunch were open seating with eating anytime between certain hours. Dinners were set at a certain time. Some of our party arrived late for dinner the first evening. The wait staff started serving as soon as you are seated, but we asked to wait until our entire group were seated. The waiter was unsure of what to do so he involved the maitre'd. This maitre'd scolded us for being late as the staff are to start serving right away despite whether your entire group has arrived. (It wasn't like there was another seating coming in later). The Jewel maitre'd certainly could have been more cordial in his explanation, but we decided to let it go based on his non-communication skills. The next unfortunate encounter with the Jewel maitre'd came a few nights later. Two of our party were served cold food. The wait staff were great and immediately took the food back and served new plates a few minutes later. These too were only lukewarm. By then we just wanted to eat so we were dealing with it. The wait staff called over the maitre'd again to get involved and he said the food was hot as it had just come off the grill. We were obviously wrong. It was about winning the argument for him. It was not pleasant. We took these incidents to the Concierge manager. He told us he would look into this and get some resolution for us. This never happened. A simple apology from the SCENIC JEWEL maitre'd would have been welcomed. When we disembarked we were asked to use our name fobs to enter a review on a website Scenic provided. Several in our party attempted to write a review but were denied access. I emailed Scenic about this issue and was told there was a glitch in the system and they were working to resolve. I contacted them AGAIN but still no resolvement to this problem.I gave up trying which I am assuming SCENIC was hoping we would do. Due to this memory of the trip we will certainly consider using another cruise line for future river cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit to Scenic and you were made to feel welcome at all times. The cabin had a balcony which increased the floor space and gave great views of the passing scenery. As we frequently travelled overnight and our cabin was located near the rear of the ship, engine noise was noticeable but did not affect sleeping - in fact you were more aware of it when the engines stopped and the quietness hit you! Our cabin steward was excellent and kept everything neat and tidy all day and constantly amused us with her 'towel sculptures'. The main dining room is very pleasant although sometimes a bit too busy in the evenings. The breakfast buffet gave a good choice and also provided a chef for the cooking of eggs and omelettes. Unfortunately the plate warmers were never turned on at this time and your food got cold too quickly. However you were able to order pancakes, eggs benedict, etc from the kitchen which came out on hot plates! A buffet lunch was available in the main dining room or from Cafe Rive in the main lounge - always a good choice of food. Evening meals were always a la carte with a good choice of courses. Overall dining was a good experience. Entertainment was provided - some acts were better than others! The shore excursions were well organised and enjoyable, with a good range of places to go and see. Some of the highlights for us were the windmills in Amsterdam, the chair lift in Rudesheim and a visit to the walled medievil city of Rothenburg where our guide was exceptional. All the trips were good. Overall this is a holiday we thoroughly enjoyed and we would consider another river cruise but for a shorter period of time. Also this cruise did involve going through 67 locks and lots of low bridges which means the sun deck is not always available for the use of passengers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. ... Read More
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. Everything went like clock work in every aspect of the tour. The crew and staff were very friendly and helpful,And made the the cruise even better. History was the main focus of our trip,but as we are farmers a bit more of what the local areas grow would have been very interesting. The entertainment was second to none,a taste of all the different cultures. Also the fellow passengers were in our age group and very likeminded in their outlook. May was a great time to travel,not too hot,not too many queues and the rivers were still passable as the snow and rains had not effected them at that time.The buses that took us on the land part of our trip were very comfortable,drivers very helpful and good at there jobs.Sometimes the places they had to take the buses were unbelievable. We thoroughly recommend this tour. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as ... Read More
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as with all river cruise lines was small with very little hanging space and one has to be a great packer to put everything away. However it was The bathroom that made us choose this suite as its larger and has a bath. The bathroom has plenty of room with a separate shower lots of space. Plus I had a hot bath at the end of almost evry day. There are lots of lovely bath salts and gels it was lovely. The Scenic Jewel is like a floating 5 star hotel, the decor, modern, simple and stylish. Everything is very clean and attention to detail sublime. The food is wonderful with plenty of choices, so much food. All drinks are served pretty much all day and are included in the tariff. If you wanted you could eat and drink all day long. There is a huge upper deck with ample deck & longe chairs. It was very cold during our trip but sunny not many clients braved the upper deck but we did and the views with all the castles were divine. All staff were first class and a credit to Scenic, in particular Raddo our barman who was very attentive to the point of when I got ill he made me a hot brandy lemon drink without prompting for my husband to bring to me in our cabin. Everyone on our cruise pretty much got sick, this was of NO fault of Scenic who went to great lenghts to explain to the guests why they needed to use hand sanatation but so many ignored this advise and those few morons infected us all. The day trips were plentiful with many great choices our only upset was we couldnt dock in Vienna (something about a bridge being fixed) this meant we had to moor 90 minutes away from Vienna and commute backwards and forwards. In a 18 hour space we spent a total of 7 hours on a bus meaning less time in Vienna. I was very disappointed with this as Vienna was the main reason we did this trip, however this was not Scenics fault so I cant blame them. The onboard entertainment is so bad its good. The entertainment brought on board at various cities excellent. The hairdresser and masseur were not as good as I usually have but they were certainly okay. If you want to get a wonderful overview of Europe in a 5 star floating hotel, with awesome staff, excellent food and unpack only once then I would suggest you take a river cruise, this one was our third (first with Scenic) and matched our expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked our river cruise with Scenic Tours travelling from Amsterdam to Budapest from the beginning of June 2013. We had booked in the middle of 2012 so we were really looking forward to the whole experience. As reasonably seasoned ocean ... Read More
We booked our river cruise with Scenic Tours travelling from Amsterdam to Budapest from the beginning of June 2013. We had booked in the middle of 2012 so we were really looking forward to the whole experience. As reasonably seasoned ocean cruisers we knew that river cruising would be different but we expected from the Scenic Tours advertising that a high standard of life on board would be expected, and that the smaller sizes of ship would lead to smaller groups. The day before we left home we got an email saying that although we were booked on the Scenic Jewel it would no longer be possible to board this ship and we would be transferred to the Scenic Ruby in the same cabin number. However, as the Ruby was different to the Jewel we would be given a small refund. We landed in Schipol airport and were supposed to be met by a Scenic Tours rep. We couldn't find him and eventually the airport information office ran him to ground. It turned out that he was attempting to pacify another passenger who hadn't been told about the ship change. When we got on board the Ruby the welcome was warm and the offer of a cold drink and a snack accepted with alacrity. The Tour Director was helpful and knowledgeable but explained that as the waters on the Rhine and Danube were in flood we were unable to get under some of the bridges. This might have an adverse effect on parts of our cruise but that he was told that the situation would be rectified in a few days. We stayed overnight in Amsterdam and began cruising on that evening. By day 3 we were in Dusseldorf and were coached to Cologne, about two hours away. After a day's sight-seeing we re-joined the ship and travelled as far as Bonn where we docked. In that evening's briefing by the Tour Director we were told that due to the delay from flooding we could not now walk to the mediaeval castle where dinner was arranged, but would instead be bussed there - a total of four hours there and back. The next day we were supposed to travel to Rudesheim but the river was too dangerous and the ship's captain turned back and moored at Koblenz. by this stage we realised that the cruise was not going to take place even remotely as planned, but the Tour Director still kept insisting that we would visit the places as agreed, not on the ship but would do so by coach. Most of our fellow passengers accepted the situation but as we saw what was happening elsewhere on the river a few became quite upset. It was clear from the reaction of the other river cruise companies that we were one of the few cruise ships still trying to complete their voyage. At one stage we were tied up five abreast with four empty river cruise ships alongside. Their passengers had had their cruise cancelled and given refunds. Scenic Tours did not make this offer. In the event, we got increasingly longer bus trips to see villages and towns for shorter periods of time. Then we changed ships to the Scenic Jewel and tied up in an industrial basin for four days before being bussed on an epic eight hour journey to Scenic Pearl moored in Vienna. The only cruising on this stretch of the river was from Vienna to Budapest. This was not a cruise trip but an extended coach holiday. As a result of all the ship changing we did get to experience the different levels of service on board three of the Company's vessels. Most of the time the service and helpfulness of the staff were exemplary but on one of the ships the vessel hadn't moved for ten days and the staff were beginning to get fractious - and it showed! Some evening dining was waiter service but for breakfast, lunch, and most evenings the service was mostly on a buffet style, with a somewhat limited choice. However, the specialist dining room, Portobello's, was very good with fine food and wines and excellent service. The cruise was advertised as all-inclusive and while wine was from a selected list I understand that there was a charge made if a different wine was ordered. However, I never experienced that as I thought that the wines available were fair enough. Most of the passengers were Australian (as befits an Australian Tour operator)and many of them did not like the European wines on offer. The Tour Director stayed with the passengers throughout the various moves and attempted to control the situation as far as he could. He talked to us daily, sometimes twice daily, but was unable to get any information from his Head Office about the future of the cruise. Their attitude seemed to be to keep doing the same thing (putting the passengers on buses) and maybe the flooding situation will improve. In the event we missed out on huge parts of the Rhine and the Danube including some iconic areas like the Rhine Gorge, and Rudesheim, but Scenic Tours just shrugged their metaphorical shoulders and herded the passengers around on buses. We had been on the Rhine before so knew most of the sights so we enjoyed the on-board service and sitting in the sun. Consequently we only took the bus option when either we had to, say when changing ships, or if we really wanted to see an attraction. I can't say why Scenic Tours decided to press on with a doomed river cruise when the other cruise companies had cancelled. Maybe because the majority of the passengers were Australian and the cost of sending them home would have been too high? If it hadn't been for the buses and the three ship changes we would have had a good holiday. Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 3.3

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