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Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second cruise with Scenic, chosen because it was one of the least expensive options to be honest. It also appealed that we could travel there by train, which seemed like a very civilised way to start a holiday! When the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Scenic, chosen because it was one of the least expensive options to be honest. It also appealed that we could travel there by train, which seemed like a very civilised way to start a holiday! When the train times came through from the agent, I queried them, as we had to cross Paris from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse in about an hour - which seemed tight. She assured me that other passengers were doing the same, but I am very glad that I insisted on an earlier Eurostar, as I know that the other passengers only just made it! That first evening, I met with the chef and restaurant manager to talk about dietary requirements (I'm vegetarian) - although I needn't have done as there were always plenty of vegetarian options. However they delivered the menu to me each evening for the next day, saying that if I didn't fancy the veggie option, I could ask for something else - which was a lovely touch. They also both kept checking in on me throughout the cruise to see if I was happy with the food. Can't fault it! We were booked into the L'Amour restaurant that first night (it was my husband's birthday), and they made an appropriate fuss of him, with birthday cake and champagne to finish the meal. Great food and good company too (you are given the option of a table for 2 or to be sociable, and we were always sociable - except at breakfast as I am a grumpy morning person!). The food and wine throughout the cruise was great (I put on nearly half a stone in a week!), and the service was incredible - those people work so hard! I wasn't keen on the mocktails (too sweet), so I just drank champagne instead - the hardship! Great selection of drinks available, but if you are a gin-drinker, be aware that although they have some decent gins, they don't have premium tonics to go with them. The excursions were mostly excellent too. Despite booking on a cruise in Bordeaux, we have limited knowledge of wine, and so mostly chose non-wine-tasting excursions, and a couple were a touch disappointing (Libourne, nice enough, but not much to it, Cadillac was lovely, but an hour's coach trip away). Others places visited were really lovely though - I would definitely visit Bordeaux itself again, loved Blaye, and even went to visit the medieval festival in Bourg. Oh, I nearly forgot - Gregg Wallace and Steve Groves (MasterChef) were also there for some of it - which was interesting, but not the reason for choosing the cruise! The cooking experience with the chef was probably more interesting (though I was surprised at how limited the places were on this, I would have though everyone would have got to participate), and this was more demonstration than cookery class, but very enjoyable. One word of caution, if you want a river cruise that actually travels much, don't do this one. I had looked carefully at the itinerary before we booked, and was happy that we weren't going far, and (unlike other river cruises) we weren't visiting many big cultural cities, but I know others on the cruise seemed disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Good points - Savoir Bed great, cabin small but good standard overall, boat clean and outside areas very comfortable and plenty of shade, small hot top, trips ok, guides very good, drinks included, extra trips were the best ones - trip to ... Read More
Good points - Savoir Bed great, cabin small but good standard overall, boat clean and outside areas very comfortable and plenty of shade, small hot top, trips ok, guides very good, drinks included, extra trips were the best ones - trip to Remy Martin really good. included trip to St Emillion not to be missed. Bad points - at airport we had to wait an hour for another couple who never arrived - we were the last couple to arrive on the ship just in time for the safety drill - could hardly get unpacked - could not get a seat in the lounge and generally could not hear the drill or speech by the Captain - felt very rushed. breakfast - described as sumptuous by Uniworld - think this is a misnomer - just a buffet and no chance of fresh cooked eggs - one chef with two electric rings to cook for over one hundred guests - think this is really poor as this is an expensive cruise and the egg station situation in my view was pathetic. Breakfast ended every day at 9am in the main dining room and on day at 8.30am with no explanation as to why early. Time of daily trips - all started at 9am - too early - even 9.30am would have given you the feel of being on holiday -most trips were only for a couple of hours and not that far away. this made breakfast rushed and not enjoyable start to the day - this is a holiday after all!! Daily updates - there was a talk by the excursion manager at about 6pm every night. If you did not attend you did not know what was going on. We did not attend as couldn't get a seat and couldn't hear on our first night - thought it would all be repeated in a daily newsletter or on the tv - no mistaken - so we missed out on a trip to a wine tasting which happened after a walking tour to a mediocre local market -no idea it was on!!! Again we are on holiday - who wants to be dressed for dinner by 6pm and listen to a talk for an hour and then go straight down to dinner at 7pm? All a bit regimented for us and a bit early. Food/drink/ service The food in my view is just ok - had far better on Cunard. The wine served was mediocre. The waiting staff were ok - one overstepped the mark with us at breakfast by making quite a political comment about our home town - I was shocked - never have had this on a cruise - quite upset - didn't want to cause issues on the cruise - but still really annoyed. Not good to be insulted first thing in the morning on a cruise! We stayed on the ship one day instead of the daily excursion - the food/drink service then is very patchy - they really want you all to get off. Port visits - Just ok - apart from Bordeaux and Libourne there is literally nothing there to get off and look at unless you go on the organised excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Returning travellers with loyalty to Scenic due to excellent past experiences. This was the 2nd leg of our two cruises having come straight off the Scenic Gem on the Sceine. This cruise in Bordeaux was a concentration on the French wine ... Read More
Returning travellers with loyalty to Scenic due to excellent past experiences. This was the 2nd leg of our two cruises having come straight off the Scenic Gem on the Sceine. This cruise in Bordeaux was a concentration on the French wine a food experiences. The uniform specification and layout of the ship makes you immediately feel at home. The consistently high level of attention from all the staff - butlers, room staff, bar staff and wait staff the dining areas - meant that the overall experience was the same as any previous Scenic cruise. The experience was enhanced by the excellent local guides for all the off ship excursions. Scenic offered a range of excursions that were always to a high quality location. We travelled out and back from the buitiful city of Bordeaux which really was a highlight of our visit to France. We will certainly be returning to Scenic in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a lovely ship with room for 138 passengers. Ship is well appointed, very comfortable and impeccably clean. Staff extremely helpful. Ama has added a free drink happy hour which is much appreciated. They serve a light lunch in the lounge if one does not want to lunch in the formal dining room. There also is a light breakfast in the lounge for early risers. There also are mid afternoon refreshments for tea time. Ama offers bike excursions in addition to walking excursions. Bikes and helmets are provided. There also is a Gentle Walkers option for those who prefer less activity. Our cruise manager was Natalija, and she was fantastic. Our local guides were knowledgeable and personable. We also did both the pre and post cruise extensions, and are very happy we did so. We learned a lot about the Basque countryside and history. Evening entertainment was excellent, and ncluded Peter on the piano, as well as guest artists doing Motown, older rock and classical music on different nights. We also had an Illumination cruise in Bordeaux, which was beautiful. We happened on Ama five years ago, when a better known river cruise line was all booked for the time we wanted to cruise. A friend who is a travel agent suggested we might like Ama. We booked with Ama and absolutely loved our cruise. We've done 3 river cruises with Ama, and hope to do another in 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically ... Read More
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically the biking excursion alternative. Cabin and services were good, finding more room than I anticipated. Also appreciated that our window fully opened to watch as we traveled the rivers. Food was divine for lunch and dinner - 3 and 4 courses for each of these meals. Their ability to adapt and provide alternatives to dislikes was immediate! We got to really know almost all the servers! Breakfast croissants and pain au chocolat were deadly good! French eggs and bacon would be considered uncooked, but asked them for "well done". Biking excursions with Dig N Go was the only way to see this region. We were biking through quintessential French country roads and in between vineyards!!! Bikes accommodated us short people, which was a worry. Started out too fast-paced for what we expected, but the group pace slowed down significantly toward the end, accommodating our desire for photos of everything. Our guides Martin, Sam and Philippe were very helpful and knowledgeable about where we were. Highlight for us - St. Emilion and Arcachon/Cap Ferrat rides! Everything was included! Apero as we waited for dinner to start! Wine and oyster tasting - all included. I absolutely loved that fact! Would pick a CroisiEurope trip again! I can't find enough superlatives! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had friends who shared our interest in local wines. Both couples wanted to expand our knowledge of wines in France. This cruise was everything we dreamed of and more. When we booked our room we chose the french balcony - I just ... Read More
We had friends who shared our interest in local wines. Both couples wanted to expand our knowledge of wines in France. This cruise was everything we dreamed of and more. When we booked our room we chose the french balcony - I just had to have an opening to the outside world. I was a bit concerned by the small square footage. We were advised that we would often been busy outside the room, and we were encouraged to book and spend the money has we felt would benefit us personally vs feeling pressured to upgrade. Well, the space was plenty - storage was ample, and as predicted, we just didn't spend a lot of time in our room. We often enjoyed the upper deck during time on the ship. We never felt that there wasn't someplace comfortable to enjoy on the ship. Many hours were spend off the ship enjoying our destination. Dinning was excellent. We did opt for the spirits package and liked the "chef's recommendations" of wine with dinner. We did see that the menu of local wines offered did vary a couple of times on the ship. What decided the spirits package for us, was the simple option of enjoying wine or drink anytime of day at the bar, not just at meals. We were not big drinkers - but I think the package price was fair, and we probably would have either spent more, or denied ourselves trying something great if we had not purchased it. The included tours were excellent. I would say there is no reason to feel you must upgrade to an optional tour. However, if the optional tour appeals to your interests - it will be worth every penny. We did two optional tours and they both exceeded expectations. I honestly was concerned, because one of them (The one where we saw the coopers make wine barrels and tasted at wineries in Medoc cost $250/person. - However, it was worth every penny. The tours, the tastings and the lunch were all outstanding and our tour guide, Sarah, was fantastic. So if the tour is of interest - take it! Just don't feel like the included tours are less than - because you are treated like a valued person and friend regardless of which route you take. Our pre port briefings were handled by Mimi and she was absolutely magical, She was moving to the Paris to Normandy cruise after our trip. I am tempted to take that cruise just be with her again! Some people find a dinning attendant and stick to the same tables to enjoy the connection they made. We were more flexible and sat in different areas of the dinning area - really at any meal - just making the choice ad lib. We felt confident doing so, because every attendant was outstanding. Every person even the young woman who joined our cruise on her first real day - was delightful, attentive, and made us feel valued. They take every care to attend to your needs. We are not yet retired, but we cannot wait to be - where we can perhaps take advantage of last minute deals. It was a fabulous vacation. Please pay for the Viking AIr package - where you can work with their travel agents - that money was well spent! Every moment, from start to finish was handled by viking and we had a true vacation, because we did not have a care in the world - all the details were managed meticulously by Viking. I notice I need to rate Fitness - you walk on your tours. But they do not have facilities - you won't need them. Nancy (A community college teacher of nursing) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have been on multiple ocean cruises and wanted try to a river cruise. I have to say this was the best in terms of total relaxation. To glide along the river on the amply seated top deck with you beverage of choice is an immediate stress ... Read More
We have been on multiple ocean cruises and wanted try to a river cruise. I have to say this was the best in terms of total relaxation. To glide along the river on the amply seated top deck with you beverage of choice is an immediate stress reliever. The ship is beautifully decorated in shades of blue and green. Staff is attentive. Dining is buffet style for breakfast and lunch. Sit down meal at dinner. The relaxed vibe continues at dinner with no formal dress up required. Resort casual for men and women with men occasionally in a suit jacket at dinner. The pre-dinner talk by the cruise director regarding the next days excursions and the sommeliers description of the wines to be served at dinner was very informative and entertaining. Food was good, wonderfully prepared and presented. Big eaters beware portions are small at dinner. I felt the excursions had enough variety. Wine tastings were plentiful as were other other alternatives such as an excursion to learn about barrel making. Being able to dock close to town and the extended length of time spent in ports allow for easy on and off to explore the towns on your own. Many of the people we met were 3+ travelers on Uniworld which speaks volumes about the cruise lines commitment to the quality of service that brings people back again and again. Overall this was a great experience with the following exceptions. The French Balcony cabin is extremely small. One needs to develop a system for two people to navigate around the room without one having to crawl over the bed. I would not book this cabin again on this ship. Beautifully appointed bathroom but again small. I would not recommend the chefs specialty dinner with wine paring. The experience did not support the additional charge compared to others we have been to. While this is the most all inclusive of all the river cruises there are still some charges for premium liquors. Ask before you order. I highly recommend cruising on a river and would certainly highly endorse Uniworld as a first choice Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to ... Read More
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to relax or be active, AMA accommodates. We road bikes in several ports with a guide along with wine tasting. On the last day we went on our own riding excursion with other guests and had a wonderful day exploring on our own. We like flexibility and AMA did not disappoint. The only thing you need to be sure you are on time for is dinner. If you arrive too late, you may miss some of the available appetizers. Food was delicious! My husband set up golf in a few of the ports and I participated in the available AMA excursions. Most of which I loved. There was one bus excursion with wine tasting that was good, but the bus ride was too long. We drove around and just looked out the window at sites. After wine tasting, we were all tired, so it was tough. All in all, the boat was great! Easy to get around and facilities were really accommodating. Would suggest doing the Chef's Dinner one night. It is an overall tasting menu paired with wine. There is a fitness instructor on board and workouts were really good. We would definitely recommend the AMADolce Bordeaux cruise to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I'm a solo traveler, and would definitely take this tour again. It's my favorite Viking cruise to date! The Bordeaux region is fabulous - I'd recommend it whether or not you love wine! I'd highly recommend the ... Read More
I'm a solo traveler, and would definitely take this tour again. It's my favorite Viking cruise to date! The Bordeaux region is fabulous - I'd recommend it whether or not you love wine! I'd highly recommend the pre-cruise tour of the Loire Valley. All of the towns and villages throughout the cruise were so enjoyable - picking up a baguette from the local boulangerie and fresh cheeses at the fromagerie, picking out treats at the master chocolatiers, buying tulips for my room at the farmers market, and, of course, visiting wineries and top notch wine shops with a full range of France's finest beverage. That's not to diminish the cognac tour! Blending our own cognac was delightful. Also made some new friends who I've enjoyed connecting with since returning home. Also: * Embarking and disembarking was a breeze. * The ship's updated cabin was comfortable and efficient. * The crew was exceptionally energetic and fun! * The food did not disappoint - good variety and options, as usual! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Love of France Wine New area Try out Viking We were pleased by all aspects of our hopes for discovery and adventure. Loved this part of France with history, culture, and cuisine. Made new friends on the boat. We ... Read More
Love of France Wine New area Try out Viking We were pleased by all aspects of our hopes for discovery and adventure. Loved this part of France with history, culture, and cuisine. Made new friends on the boat. We decided we wanted to go on more Viking cruises as a result. We liked the opportunity to choose from a variety of excursions each day...even creating some of our own...with the assistance of Viking staff. Food was great. Planning help for pre cruise was good All made for a fun and happy time for us. We traveled to Bordeaux several days prior to our cruise and explored on our own. When we arrived at the airport to drop off our car, Viking hosts greeted us and provided transportation to our ship. The daily excursions were informative, interesting, and often included wine and food. The cuisine on board the ship reflected the French culture. On departure day, the Viking staff was superb in guiding us through the airport and to our plane. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Loved the boat and got to experience Paris for 4 days post cruise. Visiting the different wineries was awesome. We came as a group of 3 couples. We were all celebrating anniversaries. The staff was not only great, but made us feel we had ... Read More
Loved the boat and got to experience Paris for 4 days post cruise. Visiting the different wineries was awesome. We came as a group of 3 couples. We were all celebrating anniversaries. The staff was not only great, but made us feel we had become friends by the end of our week. The drink package was a nice addition to our enjoyment. We liked the fact that our French balcony was just above river level. Slept with window open to here the water going by. We were alway offered water when going on shore. The excursions were always interesting and lead by professional and knowledgeable tour guides. We enjoyed all excursions and our time in Bordeaux on our own. The cruise director was a great addition to our already great time. Our dinner table was always perfect and we met another couple that made for great conversations. Keep up the high quality of Viking cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my first Viking Cruise, as well as my first river cruise. Prior to this cruise, I have only been on 2 other cruises. I was traveling with 3 others, that have been on previous Viking river cruises. I will say, if I had been ... Read More
This was my first Viking Cruise, as well as my first river cruise. Prior to this cruise, I have only been on 2 other cruises. I was traveling with 3 others, that have been on previous Viking river cruises. I will say, if I had been choosing the itinerary, this particular itinerary probably wouldn't have been something I would have chosen. However, I thoroughly enjoy it. We also did the pre-cruise Loire Valley tour. Once we got through the horrific mob of people trying to get through customs at CDG (it took over 2 hours to clear customs, not Viking's fault), and found our Viking rep, we were escorted to our vehicle right away. The driver was just about to exit the airport grounds, when he was called by dispatch to swing back around and pick up to more people. Much to our dismay, after being in a mob of people so long. We just wanted to get to our hotel. Unfortunately, the driver had an issue finding the 2 other passengers, so that was an added 15-20 minutes. Once he found them, we were on our way to the hotel. Thankfully. Check in at the hotel was smooth. Our Viking rep told us everything we needed to know for the next day. We went to our rooms, freshened up and headed out on the streets of Paris. The hotel was in a good location. There was a subway station nearby and plenty of options for lunch. The next morning, we hopped on the bus with our tour guide Carmen and off we went to the Loire Valley. Carmen was an excellent tour guide and the places we visited were wonderful. As was the hotel for our 2nd and 3rd night. On Saturday, we arrived in Bordeaux around 4:00 pm and were greeted by many of the staff, when coming aboard. Including the captain. I can't say enough good things about the staff on the Viking Forseti. Everyone was friendly, helpful, funny, kind, hard working, etc, etc. I was in room 208, with a French Balcony (basically a sliding glass door, so you can stick your head out). The room was super clean, but it is small. Very little room to walk around. Granted, your not in your room much, but tripping over each other, while getting ready in the morning is no fun. However, despite it's small size, we felt there was plenty of storage and closet space for our things. The food was wonderful, except one meal, I felt like the veal was overcooked, but that might just be me. I tend to like my beef med-rare. The wine was free flowing at lunch and dinner. It is a wine cruise, after all. The tours were great and very informative. I learned a lot about French history and French wine making during our trip. No complaints with any of the tour guides. The water level was low, so we did have to take a bus to Cadillac. Viking can't control water levels, so they do the next best thing, by busing us there. It's truly some of the little added things, that are really appreciated. Like water. I drink a lot of water and it was nice not to have to continually buy bottled water. They hand out water each day, when you're headed out on a tour. They provide bottled water in your room. There's water available at the coffee station. And you can also get it from your waiter or bartender. Thank you Viking for keeping me supplied in water. Oh, and then there was the day we came back from a morning tour and the chef was at the door greeting us with little pastries. OMG, the best pastry I had all week. I asked our lunch waiter if he could see if there were any left over (I had just seen the chef headed back to the kitchen) and our waiter came back with a plate full for me. He was my new best friend. Viking truly takes care of everything from the time you get off the plane, until the time you have to get back on the plane. At the Bordeaux airport, they had 2 reps helping us get our boarding passes. My only other minor complaint, is that on some of the tours, I wish we had a little more free time. But, I guess if we were given more free time, then we would be learning less. So, it's a trade off. I can't recommend this cruise enough. Especially, if you're a wine lover. Oh, and initially at looking at the itinerary, I thought that there was going to be too much time spent in Bordeaux. I was wrong. I could have easily spent more time there. It's a beautiful city. I actually like Bordeaux more then Paris. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was taken with the intent of visiting wineries. If someone is interested in "cruising", then this is not their cruise. There was a little too much emphasis on the city of Bordeaux, a total of 2 1/2 days were spent ... Read More
This cruise was taken with the intent of visiting wineries. If someone is interested in "cruising", then this is not their cruise. There was a little too much emphasis on the city of Bordeaux, a total of 2 1/2 days were spent there, partially because of low river flow and the ship could not travel to one of the destinations. The dining was great: lots of fabulous choices at breakfasts and dinners. Servers were charming and accomodating. Food portions were large and plentiful. The singer & pianist in the lounge who performed before & after dinner were really good--the singer had a fabulous voice. The tour guides varied from excellent to poor' We were lucky that we had the excellent one for three of our tours and the poor one for only one tour. I expected a guide to be able to answer basic questions and the poor guide could not, and she was a French native. The excellent guide had booklets with pictures and sketches showing how people dressed during the times she was talking about. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall the ship and cruise was wonderful, especially the dinner at the chateu that the crew set up. Places that we visited were very nice. The guides that took on the shore trips really know what they were talking about. If possible get ... Read More
Overall the ship and cruise was wonderful, especially the dinner at the chateu that the crew set up. Places that we visited were very nice. The guides that took on the shore trips really know what they were talking about. If possible get into the smallest groups you can, we found that the smaller the group the more interaction there was with the guide and locals and this made the trip more personal and interesting. The wait staff on the ship was great. We really enjoyed the staff to passenger ratio--it was like we had our very own waiter for the entire cruise. Some of the dinner choices were not what was expected--the scallop dinner consisted of what was one scallop cut into thrids. Very small portion and when asked about additional portions we were told that the kitchen was out--poor planning to run out of food. The room cleaning crew left a little to be disired--the rugs in the room looked like they were not vacuumed and the bed side tables were not wiped down for 3 days. When we arrive at the airport to depart France we were told someone from Viking would meet us there--stood in line for 1/2 hour to get boarding pass and never saw anyone from Viking. We were at the airport at 6 AM so maybe they don't get up that early. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
i called ama 3x to book a back to back cruise w/ Normandy and Bordeau. at no time was i told this was a wine themed cruise nor that it was also a cooking cruise. Joann who has a show on PBS invited 40 0f her customers so instead of ... Read More
i called ama 3x to book a back to back cruise w/ Normandy and Bordeau. at no time was i told this was a wine themed cruise nor that it was also a cooking cruise. Joann who has a show on PBS invited 40 0f her customers so instead of enrichment lectures we had cooking demos. boring. i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld, therefore, i am used to exceptional service, but since i had just come from Amalyra (see my review) where i was pleasantly surprised w/ outstanding service and 5 star dining. i had clear expectations of amawaterways. The ship's public rooms and my cabin were identical. the coffee machine set up in the bar served great coffee on both ships. postcards were provided, stamped and mailed, free. if u buy your own postcard they charge for a stamp, but still mail. my grandchildren luv getting postcards. even better they arrived. Uniworld and Viking mail postcards, but they do not always arrive. i was warmed by the 2 postcards i received when i got home (one from ea. ship) thanking me for cruising w/ them. I also appreciate the stretch and yoga classes. on ocean cruises yoga is extra. i am baffled by the inconsistencies in service between Amalyra and Amadolce. My room stewardess from Amalyra was outstanding, therefore, the poor service provided by my steward on this cruise was glaring. he didn't clean my room while i was at breakfast so i would have to go to the bar to wait while he finished. he constantly forgot to replenish my bottled water and toiletries. i kept going to the front desk to meet my needs. when i asked him to dispose of my dying rose, he refused saying he would remove it tomorrow. i threw it out. Dining was a nightmare. I am diabetic and need an evening snack. on Lyra i received a plate (sans melon at my request) of pineapple, blueberries, bananas, apples, orange slices, kiwi. on Dolce the chef provided only pineapple. i am at a loss ... breakfast on both ships was fruit abundant. On Lyra, at dinner, they let me order double veggies or i could choose fish from one entree and vegtables from another. on Dolce i requested they hold the risotto and i was told by the water i had to have the meal set out on the menu. i left the risotto which was ok as long as i took what was printed on the menu. no extra veggies let alone combining meals. i had to order 2 entrees and combine myself i recycle religiously and wasting food appalls me. so i ate the menu item. I do not understand the rigid, inflexible kitchen and wait staff. most of the shore excursions ended in wine tasting. I sought out Dragan, the cruise coordinator (yes, that is his real name) who steered me towards a guide who, like myself, had a degree in art history. Dragan had charisma and exceptional customer relation skills. He also led the post-cruise into the Loire valley. Wheniwhmpered that iwas anold lady and not used to 40 degree celsius weather, he shortened the walking tour. he also arranged for a trolley to take usto the next chateau. my gratitude knows no bounds. the tour of the chateaus in the Loire Valley made the cruise all worthwhile for me. The cruise itself sucked. the postcruise was outstanding. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. Nothing could be ... Read More
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. Nothing could be further from the truth. The food was mediocre. If they think the food they serve is a culinary experience, then they have absolutely no idea what they are doing. I get better wine at my local supermarket. Almost everyone I spoke to on the cruise was dissapointed. The service is shocking. They have “self service” coffee stations with the worst coffee in the world. There is no service on the deck, even though Uniworld promise that you can “snap” your fingers and someone will service you. I had to ask for service at the reception more than once. The staff spend more time at the smokers corner, looking at their phones, than servicing guests. On a number of occasions, we would have wine and coffee on the deck and then we would find our empty glasses and coffee cups at the same table the next day. Shocking. The captain saw all of this happen in front of him but not once did he reprimand his staff. Nie day I took all the empty glasses from the table that has been there for a whole day and night, and deposited it on the table where the staff where smoking and chatting and told them that they can take the dishes back considering that we are paying their salaries. They glared at me. Bad management. That s all it is. But it’s also more than that. It’s unethical to sell something and create these expectations and then to fail so miserably. This cruise is mediocre and most certainly not worth the money. And it’s not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. I told the cruise director that the coffee if really terrible. She said that she thinks the coffee is good. I told her that I am her customer and I know the coffee is bad. Unbelievable. Denial. Incompetence. I know that Bea Tollman would probably have a heart attack if she knew that her legacy is being disrespected like this. This is not the Red Carnation way. I expected so much more. We won’t go on another cruise with Uniworld, even if they gave it away for free. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We have always wanted to take a Viking cruise and this cruise was even more than we expected. The boat and the entire staff were exemplary. The tour directors were well versed on the areas we visited. A wonderful learning experience at ... Read More
We have always wanted to take a Viking cruise and this cruise was even more than we expected. The boat and the entire staff were exemplary. The tour directors were well versed on the areas we visited. A wonderful learning experience at every stop. The food and wine -this was a rivers and wine cruise after all—were a real experience!! Viking gets everything right!! Bravo!! We were with Viking from beginning to end. This is the way to travel. There was nothing left to chance as were picked up at the airport and delivered to the boat. At the end of our cruise we put our bags outside our cabin door and they were loaded for us and we were delivered to the airport. We are in our early 70s and we felt so cared for in our “Viking bubble”. We are already booked for another Viking cruise in October 2019. For my husband and I this is the way we want to travel. Thank you Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Viking because of their excellent reputation. Cruise representatives were waiting for us at the airport and were expeditious in helping us get to the buses for transport to the beautiful ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we chose Viking because of their excellent reputation. Cruise representatives were waiting for us at the airport and were expeditious in helping us get to the buses for transport to the beautiful Viking Forseti. The moment we stepped on board, the crew was waiting with beautiful smiles to receive us. The ship and our cabin were immaculate. I'm extremely particular about cleanliness and Viking is up to my high standards! The meals and service were divine. . .spectacular! We had our favorite waiter, who quickly learned our names and remembered our favorite beverages at each meal. We enjoyed the onboard entertainment and the excursions, each planned to the detail! Service was outstanding from each and every crew member. The ports of call were a delight - we were on the Chateaux, Rivers and Wine cruise. We would definitely travel on another Viking Cruise! For a first river cruise, this could not have been more wonderful! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t ... Read More
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t working well, but in Scenic’s defence there was a record heat wave booing on. Aron went and got us a small fan for our room which made all the difference. Also, my husband has celiacs which comes with a strict gluten free diet. The boat was great with this, gave us the best bread ever. Would like to see a few higher sipping rums on board but they had a great wine selection. Karol and Razan in the restaurant were so much fun, but honestly they were all extremely good. Cristian the bar supervisor was also great. He has awesome staff. Excursions were a ton of fun. Lots to choose from. Would have enjoyed free time in Cognac, but the tour was great. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped ... Read More
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped for "Haut Cusines" and luxury experience. Regrettably: • Food provided was very average, nothing special although I daresay it was adequate. • Meal times were restrictive. In particular breakfast started / finished in line with tours. No tea (scones / cakes) was on offer. • Wines were on the cheap end and not representative of fine wines available in the Bordeaux region. We were gratified that we were able to purchase our own wines offshore and drink them over dinner without a corkage charge. • Only 4 of the 6 full days included wine tours, one of which was very poor. No on-board wine lectures were included. Given the nature of the cruise there were not enough wine experiences!!! • Cooking class which cost €119 which was very poor and decidedly not as advertised. A view shared by all 6 participants. On complaining no remedy was offered. • Entertainment offered on board was very limited. Singer was somewhat tedious and no broadcast of the world cup final was available. • Infuriatingly one night (captain’s birthday) there was a party on deck above our cabin with noisy music until 2.00 am. • I got the impression that the boat’s management did not react well to criticism. Specifically when I commented on one of the wine tours and my wife on the cooking class. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We love wine and wanted to learn more about the Bordeaux wine region, so this cruise was perfect. Even wine enthusiasts on our cruise admitted that they learned quite a bit from the included excursions. The tour guides were excellent at ... Read More
We love wine and wanted to learn more about the Bordeaux wine region, so this cruise was perfect. Even wine enthusiasts on our cruise admitted that they learned quite a bit from the included excursions. The tour guides were excellent at keeping the tours interesting but also relaxing. We loved Jaime’s knowledge and sense of humor. The entire Viking team did a remarkable job of anticipating — and meeting — our every need. We felt like royalty! The food, whether it was casual fare in the Aquavit or fine dining in the main dining room, was always delicious and plentiful. The selected wines were, of course, local and perfect for the meal. And the service was always supreme. They knew our names within a day or two of arriving on board. From the captain to the concierge to the housekeeping staff, every single crew member was gracious, friendly, and truly seemed to appreciate us as guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I always wanted to go to Bordeaux since I have French cousins who live there. My husband is a wine lover, so the trip appealed to both of us. Having been on two previous Viking cruises, I knew that the services, staff, and facilities ... Read More
I always wanted to go to Bordeaux since I have French cousins who live there. My husband is a wine lover, so the trip appealed to both of us. Having been on two previous Viking cruises, I knew that the services, staff, and facilities would be excellent. While the sightseeing was not as exciting as the Rhine river cruises, it was very relaxing and enjoyable. I felt that I was on a real vacation and not just a tour. We enjoyed the small towns and wineries that we visited and absolutely loved Bordeaux. We came two days before the cruise so that we could enjoy more time there. I wish Viking did not charge extra for arriving early when they book the airfare. The food was very good, especially the pastries and soups. The wait staff was very accommodating. We did not attend many evening activities since we enjoyed taking a walk if we were docked in a town. We also enjoyed sitting leisurely at our table and chatting with our new friends. One afternoon there was a terrible wind and rain storm during one our shore tours. The crew, including the captain, worked very hard mopping up the entry/reception area of the boat and handing out towels. Everyone was soaked -- travelers, crew, and captain. Our tour director, Jorges was very good. He gave a very amusing French lesson. Even though I spent years studding French, I enjoyed it very much. My husband's leather belt became so wet during the storm that it was unwearable. He did not think to pack a spare. He asked Jorges if he could somehow find a belt for him to borrow for a few days. Jorges wound up lending my husband his own extra belt. That's real service! The visit to the food market with the chief was very enjoyable. It think it should have been an included tour and not an optional since there was no other included tour that day. The post-trip to Paris was also very nice. We had been there several times previously, but we really enjoyed the included sightseeing bus tour. It was a nice review of all the major sights that we had previously explored on our own when we were much younger. We were grateful that a Viking rep met us at the train station in Paris to lead us to the transport to the hotel. The same person also met us at CDG, got us to the correct terminal and made sure we were always in the correct line. We have already signed up for two more Viking cruises. I think that says everything. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We liked the fewer number of passengers compared to a thousand "herd" on a larger ship. It is easier to make new friends and compare notes. The cabins, while small, are well appointed and make use of every inch. Food was ... Read More
We liked the fewer number of passengers compared to a thousand "herd" on a larger ship. It is easier to make new friends and compare notes. The cabins, while small, are well appointed and make use of every inch. Food was excellent with outstanding service. Best of all was our cruise director who was extremely personable and aware of everyone's needs and quick to respond to requests. Shore trips were delightful as people were divided into groups depending on ones ability to walk quickly or slower for those who needed a bit more time to navigate the walk. The staff all seemed "happy" and so willing to help. Always greeted you with a cheery hello or good morning. I believe they contributed to our cruise rating of outstanding. Would love to clone our tour director and have him on all cruises. The entire experience was so great that after returning home we booked another within a week Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything ... Read More
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything you could need. Cannot speak highly enough about the team on board - butler service was amazing, the teams in the restaurant and bars were great and Mandy the Cruise Director is perfect for her job. The excursions are well organised and with the exception of one rather boring medieval village, well put together if a little on the slow side which is understandable as the average age on our cruise was probably 75! Do not expect exciting entertainment, again probably catering to the age group but in a lot of the ports there is the opportunity to stroll ashore rather than listen to 'Lady in Red' from the on board entertainer again!! Our only issue with the cruise was the food which lets down the whole 'luxury' offering. Breakfast was 4 star hotel style, basic hot and cold buffet with oddments to order from the kitchen, bacon was either almost raw or burned and who eats aubergine for breakfast ?? The buffet style lunch was also OK, not exciting but generally a decent choice of hot and cold dishes and 2 soups which were always watery and generally tasteless. Dinners were a huge disappointment - we are in a part of France famed for its food and the dinners were unremarkable to say the least. The watery soup made a comeback on each menu, portions were extremely small and a fish serving usually consisted of one very small fillet which was usually dry. A number of guests were returning food to the kitchens, inedible steak, black vegetables and complaints were made to the Chef who did not seem to understand the problem. 4 basic cheeses each night, no local specialities, no fresh local seafood, just poor quality food which was badly cooked. I hate having to say this as we had a great time on the cruise but this is an expensive holiday and all the efforts of the team on board should not be let down by this one department. A lot of effort had obviously gone into the wine offering as the choices each everning were interesting, local wines and all enjoyable. Would I cruise with Scenic again? Only if I could be sure the food had improved - spend less time trying to make everything look fancy and serve good, well cooked, tasty dishes with a local flavour, quality ingredients and a little more flair!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. ... Read More
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. There is a lack of constant background music and endless PA announcements which we found refreshing given the constant noise other cruise lines see fit to subject you to. When Scenic say all inclusive that's what you get, no covert "up selling" good quality drinks package and tours. Could do better, The organisation of travel pre and post tour doesn't take account of customers needs as well as it could, poor connection times, arbitrary flight choices were frequently mentioned by other guests as well as being the case for us. The food was variable in its quality- some was very good, some not so good. Be aware the cabins are small. Read Less

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