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Sail Date: October 2017
On board dining excellent although "The Portbello Experience" was sadly lacking. Not helped by the cruise director walking around the area giving the very lengthy port briefing. No greeting or farewell by the butlers at this ... Read More
On board dining excellent although "The Portbello Experience" was sadly lacking. Not helped by the cruise director walking around the area giving the very lengthy port briefing. No greeting or farewell by the butlers at this event. General dining could not be faulted especially Tiago our waiter who was excellent. Evening drinks served by Sofia and her assistant was excellent again. Thank you Sofia and assistant. Excursions when accompanied by Maria Helena were excellent and she could not be praised enough for her humour and also extensive knowledge. The last full day was a rush as we wanted to go on both the morning and the afternoon tours, which we did. Unfortunately this left us only 40 minutes on return to shower and change for the Taylors meal which has been put back from the previous day. A tiring day not helped by the fact the meal was terrible. There were no choices of menu, the soup was lukewarm in a cold dish, the meat, again on a cold plate and lukewarm was far too rare for us, my wife's meat was raw in the middle and she did not eat it. This was mentioned casually to the cruise director who told my wife to see the maître de. Half of the people on our table did not eat their meat for the same reason. The few vegetables on the plates were also haphazard, different portion size. Finally I would have expected more than a small glass of port when you visited such an establishment although there was ample wine. We were unable to do the online survey as we had no time, receiving late the evening before and having such a busy final day. The transport to and from the airport was excellent. Not the best way to finish what is a luxury holiday and leaves me undecided if I would use Scenic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We previously had a great experience with Scenic when we went to New Zealand 18 months ago. Our expectations of this river cruise were met and exceeded. The ship's specifications and comfort level were very good indeed. The ... Read More
We previously had a great experience with Scenic when we went to New Zealand 18 months ago. Our expectations of this river cruise were met and exceeded. The ship's specifications and comfort level were very good indeed. The customer service was excellent with a can-do attitude, very friendly and professional standards. The food was lovely. All the crew were very friendly and made you think you were their only customers and not that they were repeating this time and again. There was a small problem with the room which was repaired thoroughly and very quickly with no inconvenience to us at all. The meeting and greeting each time we left and boarded the ship was very welcoming and also very reassuring that security was taken responsibly. The pianist played almost continuously and really came into his own during the top deck barbecue one lunch time. This was glorious. Great food, atmosphere, music and sunshine!! Food and drink were lovely at all times - just go on a diet before you start your holiday. We were not left wanting at any time. I found the holiday thoroughly relaxing in every way. I would recommend it 100%. More coaches were provided for our excursions than actually needed to give us more space, rather than filling each seat. The excursions were varied, good choices offered and very well conducted. When an excursion was led by a local guide, the tour staff based on our ship came along too to ensure smooth running. They were the "tail-end Charlies" to ensure no one was left behind but they were discreet in doing this. The only criticism we all had was the poor meal provided by the restaurant in Salamanca, the trip there itself, though, was lovely. Regarding the ship, Wifi is very intermittent but there is a warning about this in the information provided before the trip. The public rooms could also be chilly at times so a jacket / wrap would be useful. We did ask for the temperature to be increased but this wasn't always effective. Regarding Scenic, I would like to suggest that they don't colour code the name badges with the silver, gold and platinum customer status. Sometimes it can lead to a type of attitude amongst some client which we noticed on our New Zealand tour - but not so much on the river cruise. I suggest there is a points system to reward regular clients which doesn't then need to be publicised. I would definitely go again. It was one of my best holidays. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first River cruise. We were interested to see how Scenic compared to Seabourn as we have been on 2 of their cruises & were delighted with every aspect. Gladly, Scenic exceeded our expectations & was on a par with ... Read More
This was our first River cruise. We were interested to see how Scenic compared to Seabourn as we have been on 2 of their cruises & were delighted with every aspect. Gladly, Scenic exceeded our expectations & was on a par with Seabourn. From the food, service, staff, comfort, attention to detail & enjoyment. We were happy that all drinks & alcohol were included as this didn't seem very clear on the paperwork. We like that the tips & food are included also, so that we didn't have to worry about money. We enjoyed staying 2 nights in Poto Sheraton pre cruise. We would like to make a special mention to Maria Helena, Tiago, Sophia, Miguel, Jose, Rodrigues,Fillipe & our Brazilian room assistant. I would only request that there was a fitness class i.e yoga later in the day about 5pm. We enjoyed the excursions but having a toilet on the coaches would be helpful, as the queues in restaurants for the ladies loo were ridiculous. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly ... Read More
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly unspoilt and magnificent destination. The excursions were well organised with entertaining and knowledgeable guides. It of course helped that the weather (October) was neither too hot nor too cold. In summary we would highly recommend - it wasn't cheap but the inclusive nature, alcohol and tours, made it better value for money than it seemed on the ticket price. The flights were via Portuguese airlines, which were both surprisingly pleasant and punctual. The transfers were fine, albeit the traffic from Porto airport to the ship was awful. Overall highly recommended on this our second scenic tour - they have developed a way of employing good staff who seem genuinely to enjoy helping all their passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
It is not common these days for an actual experience to live up to its billing.However,this tripdid and more!In 11 days, we were immersed into the wonderful country of Portugal and itspeople.Portugal and its people are to be be admired.The ... Read More
It is not common these days for an actual experience to live up to its billing.However,this tripdid and more!In 11 days, we were immersed into the wonderful country of Portugal and itspeople.Portugal and its people are to be be admired.The landscape is beautiful and the people are hard-working and friendly. The Scenic Azure is a modern, state of the art, cruiseship.The staff (all Portuguese) are efficient and customer-focused.Our butler was incredible. The cruise director was impressive.The excursions were interesting & relevant.The Sceniccoaches were comfortable and the drivers were amazing.The food & Portuguese wines were first class.The ship captain & crew were highly skilled.The airport transfers & hotelaccommodations were first class.The trip was over too soon! Lastly,we met some wonderful people from Canada,the USA,Australia & elsewhere. The people that you meet working on the ship and the other passengers create lasting memories which cannot be replicated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Scenic used to be a very good River Boat Liner. The reason I always choose Scenic is they are taking good care of their customers, good restaurant service and cabin is always clean. Plus, all excursion & tips are included. Apparently, ... Read More
Scenic used to be a very good River Boat Liner. The reason I always choose Scenic is they are taking good care of their customers, good restaurant service and cabin is always clean. Plus, all excursion & tips are included. Apparently, I am kind of disappointed with Scenic Azure compare with Scenic Diamond & Scenic Sapphire, I have to admit Scenic Azure has to do lots before it can compare with the other two cruise ships The following are my complaints with Scenic Azure: - Restaurants: Drastic cutting cost on foods & waiters. Only 4 waiters serving over 90 customers in the Crystal dining room. Usually there are always waiters or bus boys around us, we never have to wait for our refill of wine, tea or coffee, but not on the Scenic Azure we always have to wait for quite sometime before we have our refill on wine. - Quality of foods on all meals have been drastic cutting costs. All seafood are not fresh and terribly cooked, desserts are terrible as well. Only good thing is steaks are always cooked well. - Cruise Director , Rachell , lack of experience and unknowledgable. I always enjoyed with the tour directors on Scenic, they are all very friendly and well experienced. They always brought good atmosphere on the daily Port talk, but on Azure, every Port talk seems like teacher giving lecture to all kids. Rachell, treated us like kindergarden kids and have no respect. She cancelled all my Excursion Tours, cos she said the way I marked the circle are all wrong. Being as a Canadian, we usually put a check mark or a stroke on the circle, but according to Rachell, these indicate that they are cancelled, we [=have to circle them, perhaps this is the Portugal way of doing multiple choices.She made a big mess on all our excursion tours. making us all frustrated. - railings on Scenic Cruise Lines are always sparkling clean and shiny but not on Azure. All fingerprints can be seen easily on all railings, even spider webs are around on some of the railings too. -Hotel Manager , we can hardly see him around. Only thing I have to give credit on this boat is.....cabin is a bit spacious compare with the other boats and is always clean. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise, after going to Scenic information nights. And had not been to Portugal before. Arriving in Lisbon was not smooth transfer. Had to wait to get into our room, after a very long flight from Canada. Sheraton in ... Read More
We chose this cruise, after going to Scenic information nights. And had not been to Portugal before. Arriving in Lisbon was not smooth transfer. Had to wait to get into our room, after a very long flight from Canada. Sheraton in Lisbon not up to Scenic standards. Leaving Lisbon fine. Transfer to Madrid not good, out of cabin at 9 am, waiting in lounge until 1 pm. Could have taken a bus trip instead? Steps between floors, are not wide enough, and dangerous. Surveys should be given out early in trip, either on line or paper, so we can accurately fill in what we liked or didn't. Trip to Salamanca good, but needed more time in city. Need to be able to add buses and trips, when the first is full. Taste of Coa valley, should have had another bus trip, as it filled up early. The Coa museum, was not good, too detailed and boring, would only rate it 4/10. Raquel Miranda cruise director very knowledgeable, however very young, and needs to loosen up, connect to passengers better. Felt she treated us like young children. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Excellent cabin, ship's amenities, staff and cuisine. The all Portuguese crew were friendly and proud of their country and were always ready to go the extra mile to make everyone on board as comfortable as possible. Scenic Cruises ... Read More
Excellent cabin, ship's amenities, staff and cuisine. The all Portuguese crew were friendly and proud of their country and were always ready to go the extra mile to make everyone on board as comfortable as possible. Scenic Cruises calls their vessels "Space Ships" and the novel design of their "convertible" veranda lives up to the hype. We have always viewed cabins with a veranda as a minimum requirement for any cruise that we have taken as we liked to be able to step out and feel the weather before going ashore. As good as that has always been for us, the Scenic "Space Ship" gave us the option of making that Veranda area part of our interior cabin space (which was wonderful) OR to use it as a traditional outdoor veranda space. Having that choice has spoiled us! The all inclusive nature of a Scenic cruise is wonderful. No nickel or dime additions EVER. In fact they do not even ask to see your credit card when you check into the vessel. A wonderful experience that we will treasure! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Had not been to Portugal before and really enjoyed 1st Secenic trip Amsterdam to Budapest. Cruise director very well organised and supportive. Tour guides, Raquel, Sergio and Maria Helene were very knowledgeable, entertaining and ... Read More
Had not been to Portugal before and really enjoyed 1st Secenic trip Amsterdam to Budapest. Cruise director very well organised and supportive. Tour guides, Raquel, Sergio and Maria Helene were very knowledgeable, entertaining and supportive. All the excursions were fun and informative and gave a great overview of Portugal. However, the day to Salamanca could be reviewed. I loved Salamanca and would have liked free time but was not prepared to be ready at 6.30am. An option for free time would be not to partake in lunch at hacienda with dancers, but to stay in Salamanca and organise own lunch in a cafe or bar and then get picked up about same time as lunch experience had finished. Food excellent - enjoyed all meals. The galley tour was extremely interesting as was the cooking demonstration so thanks to our executive chef, Rodrigues. Met lovely people on cruise and enjoyed getting to know them and hear their stories. Will definitely do another Scenic cruise as the service, food, facilities and everything prepaid all terrific and suits us to do it this way. Travelled with friends from Perth, Western Australia but everyone so friendly on board and socialised with many different couples. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
It was a great way to see some of Portugal that on your own you wouldn't see. Local guides were great, however the timing for the excursion in Salamanca was wrong and by the time the tour was finished and free time started the bulk of ... Read More
It was a great way to see some of Portugal that on your own you wouldn't see. Local guides were great, however the timing for the excursion in Salamanca was wrong and by the time the tour was finished and free time started the bulk of the shops had closed hence only some souvenir shops were still open (Scenic need to rethink Salamanca). The river scenery was pretty impressive and lots of little villages where we had experiences and interactions with the locals included. Butler service and no additional charge for food or any drinks certainly made us feel like we were in the lap of luxury. A couple of occasions where they brought local entertainers on board but mostly the resident pianist/vocalist. He adapted very well to tastes of voyagers, who were predominantly Australians but including Scotts, Irish and Canadians. Communication really easy as all staff had great English language skills. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. ... Read More
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. That being said, the hotel was lovely and our waitress in the hotel lobby knew her wines, and was generous in her information about Portuguese wines. Embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin was on Sapphire deck and was quite comfortable to our needs. Very comfortable bed. Housekeeping always kept the room immaculate and refreshed our little bar daily and gave us extra water. Loved the balcony which I could open and close at leisure. We ate mostly in the Crystal dining room, but often ate a lighter lunch in the sun lounge. We ate once in the Portobellos, the specialty restaurant. Food was delicious on all counts. Our entertainment and activities were light but highly interesting. Tours also were interesting, and there were always washrooms available. I am going to try to make the candied almonds that one person demonstrated on one tour. We especially liked the Fado music both on and off board, the cork demonstration, shopping with Chef and his demonstration, and tours to the wineries and villages. Service was always with a smile and we loved the staff, their hard work and humor. After disembarking at Porto, we flew on to Madrid. The only negative thing I have to say is about Portuguese airlines. Small and not on time. We loved Madrid. Our tour guide was knowledgable, warm and welcoming. She was always more than available and helpful. The streets are pedestrian friendly. We would definitely go there again. And our city tour guide who was also our guide at the Prado Art Gallery was exceptionally knowledgable. In conclusion, we loved Scenic. I love the all inclusive, I loved the wonderful variety of shipmates. I loved that the ship was Portuguese built, and the crew was Portuguese. But never fear - their English is impeccable. We would travel with Scenic again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This cruise was outstanding and one of the main reasons was the staff. This was a cruise of Portugal and every staff member was from Portugal and I think it added that extra something that you can't get by just having a large mix of ... Read More
This cruise was outstanding and one of the main reasons was the staff. This was a cruise of Portugal and every staff member was from Portugal and I think it added that extra something that you can't get by just having a large mix of nationalities. The service was outstanding and you could tell they loved to talk about their own country and loved their country you don't get that on every cruise. The rooms were great very comfortable and the bed was to die for. Lots of room for all your luggage and the food was top notch. The shore excursions were varied and except for the weather which is not up to the company very interesting and covered different types of excursions. For example I did the canoeing which was real fun and a change from churches, museums etc. The everything is included was a real bonus. I don't drink alcohol but my husband enjoyed a great range of different drinks that was excellent. The ship was a good size and not too big. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because the timing suited us, but in future we would always choose to cruise with Scenic, whenever possible. They are a classy, ultra professional outfit. The boat (Scenic Azure) is kept spotlessly clean, the cabins ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the timing suited us, but in future we would always choose to cruise with Scenic, whenever possible. They are a classy, ultra professional outfit. The boat (Scenic Azure) is kept spotlessly clean, the cabins are comfortable and well-appointed, the beds are to dream of (and in!), the food is fantastic and the drinks just keep coming. The service is amazing. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. What we liked particularly about this all-inclusive cruise on the Duoro River in Portugal was that the crew were mainly Portuguese; two (I think) were Brazilian. They were just so friendly and helpful without being obsequious. They are very proud of their country and eager to tell you about its history, produce, scenery. From lowest to highest ranks, they always seemed to have time for a chat, to give advice,or to ask after ones welfare. They spoke very good English, too. Each meal had Portuguese specialities, and Portuguese wines were served with every lunch and dinner, as well as between meals. (Wines from elsewhere were also available.) The quality of the Portuguese wines came as a surprise; we were not aware that Portugal produced so many wines of such high quality. They also served excellent port. The excursions were fun and informative with plenty of free time as well. The tour guides travelled with the ship, so we got to know them quite well. We also had the same three bus drivers throughout the cruise and quickly learned that they could be trusted to drive carefully on the hilly, windy roads. The vineyards lining the hills and dales, interspersed with olive and almond trees, make for spectacular scenery. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Ww had not previously been on a river cruise. Scenic offered the possibility of top quality service and a chance to totally relax, and we chose the Douro cruise because there were only 90 passengers and around forty crew. We chose well. We ... Read More
Ww had not previously been on a river cruise. Scenic offered the possibility of top quality service and a chance to totally relax, and we chose the Douro cruise because there were only 90 passengers and around forty crew. We chose well. We were collected from home by limo which took us to Heathrow. After flights to Lisbon and then Porto we were on board for a late lunch. All the crew were Portuguese and very friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. Being an all inclusive cruise of food, drink and tips it was all paid for before leaving home. The food and drink were first class with excellent choice at every meal. Our cabin had a built in balcony with a sliding window so we could enjoy the weather when suitable and a butler service if needed. A most comfortable bed and plenty of cupboard space. We left from Porto and travelled in daylight hours only. The river banks are covered in vineyards and famous name Quintas (Taylors, Sandeman, Warres etc) along the way.Lovely scenery which varies as you travel along. One thing to say about a river cruise - it's so smooth you don't know you are moving till you look outside! We had various trips out each day, including to Mateus Palace (famous to all of us of a certain age for its Rose wine) and Salamanca in Spain, as well as a coach trip in Porto on the last day. We were always accompanied by very experienced friendly guides, who were crew members we got to know very well. Our cruise was the last of season for Scenic, and as it was their inaugural season we were given a lovely goodbye on the last night. It was also Scenic's 30th Anniversary of the start of the company in Australia. A very happy ending to a great cruising experience. One piece of advice? Just do it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We'd been on a previous Scenic river cruise and enjoyed it very much. This was our first cruise in Portugal and it was very enjoyable - food 9 our of 10, service 10 out of 10, cabin (junior suite) a bit short of space but this was to ... Read More
We'd been on a previous Scenic river cruise and enjoyed it very much. This was our first cruise in Portugal and it was very enjoyable - food 9 our of 10, service 10 out of 10, cabin (junior suite) a bit short of space but this was to be expected, butler service was impeccable The crew were all very helpful and we enjoyed the first night's dinner (Welcome Party) at the Captain's table. It was October and weather was dry but cool so we didn't see much of the Sun Deck. Excursions were well organised and very interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation were trouble-free. Bar service in the lounge in the evening was under-staffed but the bar tender and the two waiters did their very best. The scenery was fantastic. We missed most of the enrichment activities and port information talks as they coincided with our siesta time. We'd certainly use Scenic again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had enjoyed a Scenic cruise before, Amsterdam to Budapest and found it to be excellent in every way. The feature of extending the room by having the balcony window go up and down is a great extension of the room and helps enhance the ... Read More
We had enjoyed a Scenic cruise before, Amsterdam to Budapest and found it to be excellent in every way. The feature of extending the room by having the balcony window go up and down is a great extension of the room and helps enhance the enjoyment of any passing scenery. The food and service are always extraordinary in every possible imaginable way! They do try to think of and anticipate every possible need and usually do. In the unlikely event they do not they are anxious to try to ensure it happens! The ship is exceptionally clean and it is evident it is important to them in so many ways. The waiters get to know you by name and are happy to engage in conversation, likewise if you are having a private conversation they are helpful and not interrupting. The bartender was very helpful and thoughtful and had a great sense of humour we enjoyed as well. They seemed to be constantly thinking up ways to improve on things for example the upper deck barbecue with sangria and authentic Portugese food with sufficient variety to please every palate. The tour guides were very helpful and happy and friendly, in fact all the staff were friendly. The hotel manager clearly is a happy and kind person and it reflects in the attitude of the staff throughout the cruise and at all levels. It would be very difficult to fault any aspect of the Scenic cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
Why Portugal? Because my husband wanted to experience Portugal Was an interesting cruise but very short on cruising. The River Douro is very short, hence we stayed several nights at the same spot. I enjoyed the Scenic Azure but the ... Read More
Why Portugal? Because my husband wanted to experience Portugal Was an interesting cruise but very short on cruising. The River Douro is very short, hence we stayed several nights at the same spot. I enjoyed the Scenic Azure but the Junior Suites were very short on space - I chose a Junior Suite as the Budapest cruise suites were very spacious. Glad of the extra space per favour of the closed in balcony. We choose to sail because of the scenery - not the wines as the crews seem to think. No way would we attend a 'Captain'/ Dinner'! A Scenic bar which, I believe is Australian, cannot make a lemon, lime & bitters - an Australian favourite. Internet was great. No break in service. Ship staff were very obliging and dealt admirably with my husband's requirements for daily injections that had to be kept between 5 & 8C. Australian staff had no idea of assistance with being able to take the needles overseas! Caused many grey hairs which was totally unnecessary! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
We like Scenic. Having done all the Scenic river tours in France, we wanted to visit Europe again and the country in which two famous seafarers were born - Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. This is the first year this cruise was ... Read More
We like Scenic. Having done all the Scenic river tours in France, we wanted to visit Europe again and the country in which two famous seafarers were born - Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. This is the first year this cruise was available, and most of it was excellent. However, what was terrible, was truly terrible. POSITIVES: We were fortunate to have included on our tour a visit to the Cathedral containing the tomb of the Vasco Gama, so we achieved that. Our business class flights from Perth via Singapore to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines were excellent, but .. NEGATIVES: 1. the 2.5 hour flight to Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Lisbon was a nightmare. Definitely choose another airline or route for that leg! The 3 nights in Lisbon were OK at the Sheraton, very nice staff and room, but they had never heard of porridge or Vegemite .. so some education of the chefs to give Australians (38 of us, so worth bothering about) a choice of recognisable food would have improved our stay. 2. An evening dinner at "Tagine" restaurant in Lisbon near water on Saturday 23rd July was terrible. After half an hour on a bus It took an hour for half a cup of lukewarm tomato soup to arrive (by this time I had consumed the 2 small pieces of bread allocated to the four people around me), then there were some reasonable vegetables wrapped up in a piece of fish, then an hour later the dessert (a bright pink concoction which barely covered the base of the same size plate the soup had arrived in, with a strawberry on the top). There was plenty of red and white wine, served copiously. 3. More variety in on-board entertainment essential (not the same guy every night!) FINALLY We liked Portugal, found most of the tours excellent (except the afternoon ones when it was 43 degrees, which we declined) the ship, most Scenic Staff. However third parties (hotels, restaurants) need more careful selection. Onboard the "Scenic Azure" the food and staff was excellent. We needed a rest and once on board were happy to stay put. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We have done other river cruises with Scenic and when the Douro River cruise was introduced we could not wait to experience this and we were not disappointed. The Azure was newly commissioned and very comfortable. We were particularly ... Read More
We have done other river cruises with Scenic and when the Douro River cruise was introduced we could not wait to experience this and we were not disappointed. The Azure was newly commissioned and very comfortable. We were particularly pleased with our balcony cabin from which we could view the scenery going by in complete comfort. The food, drinks and service could not be faulted with friendly staff ready to meet our every needs. One issue was that the lounge area was somewhat small for the number of passengers and during the port talks things got a little cramped. Overall the tours were delightful and very informative, with the exception of the Salamanca Lunch. The food left a lot to be desired, although this was off-set by the Spanish Dancers who were very professional and a joy to watch. The BBQ on the upper deck was a great idea, with excellent food and drinks. The pianist provided superb entertainment playing music that catered for the ages of the majority of the passengers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent cruise with Scenic down the Douro Valley in Portugal. The entire crew were fabulous and went out of their way to ensure every passenger had their needs and wants met. The interaction of the crew was ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent cruise with Scenic down the Douro Valley in Portugal. The entire crew were fabulous and went out of their way to ensure every passenger had their needs and wants met. The interaction of the crew was appreciated by all guests and added to our experience of the people and culture of Portugal. The food and service were world class with something to suit every taste. Activities on and of the shop were well organised and carried out. Cabins were very well thought out and set, with everything we needed. They really had thought of everything. We were also impressed by the service provided by Scenic -a Scenic rep meet us at the airport in Sydney and then at the other end in Porto. We were after from start to, making it a enjoyable experience. It really was a fantastic trip. We will definitely be doing another cruise with Scenic. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The Azure is a magnificent ship with a wonderful crew. The ship launched this year and offers the best in cabin features. Particularly good was the electric blinds making the room almost completely dark when closed. Great for a restful ... Read More
The Azure is a magnificent ship with a wonderful crew. The ship launched this year and offers the best in cabin features. Particularly good was the electric blinds making the room almost completely dark when closed. Great for a restful sleep. As with all Scenic cruises the very highest standards apply to the whole cruise. The food was outstanding and avoiding putting on the kilos is very difficult. My wife has food allergies and Chef Claudio and his staff could not have been more helpful. All the day tours were wonderful with the 3 onboard tour escorts going the extra mile to ensure wonderful trips. Scenic have 3 of their own buses (also brand new) with fantastic drivers who navigate Portugal's narrow streets safely and easily. All the staff have fantastic memories and soon you will be called by name by everyone with all your preferences noted. Rarely did you have to ask for your favourite drink as the bar staff would remember you. Would go again in a heartbeat. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Previous experience during a cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam suggested that there was no point in choosing any other river cruise operator than Scenic. Our experience on the Duoro cruise confirmed that conclusion. There were ... Read More
Previous experience during a cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam suggested that there was no point in choosing any other river cruise operator than Scenic. Our experience on the Duoro cruise confirmed that conclusion. There were differences. The often mountainous Duoro landscape has more in common with the fjords of Norway than the pretty 'castles on the Rhine' but that only adds to the interest of the quite different geography, history and culture of the region. Another important difference was that all the crew were Scenic employees who regarded themselves as part of a Scenic 'family', determined to do well for the company and themselves, by looking after us in every way they could. As on the previous cruise, the egalitarian Australian influence permeated the atmosphere, encouraging friendly interaction between people from many countries, social backgrounds and interests. Readers of this review may think that the writer is too generous with the high ratings recorded below for so many aspects of Scenic's performance. I can only insist that I am by nature, profession and long experience a stern analyst and critic.. However there is one aspect not specifically covered by those ratings. It is the profoundly kind and thoughtful way in which, from the beginning of the booking and travel process to the journey home, the Scenic team ashore and afloat helped my wife and I, both nearer ninety than eighty years old, enjoy the cruise to the maximum possible extent! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose to go on this cruise because of a very pleasant experience with a Rhine/Danube cruise in June 2015 - a first experience with Scenic.Then we had especially liked the food & overall found nothing to criticise. That was not ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise because of a very pleasant experience with a Rhine/Danube cruise in June 2015 - a first experience with Scenic.Then we had especially liked the food & overall found nothing to criticise. That was not the case with this Douro cruise. The food was very ordinary, most was overcooked & it totally lacked subtility & interest. Then one of the so-called enrich events was a tawdry tourist trap. We were especially looking forward to a tapas lunch in Salamanca but found a cheap, barely edible, meal in a charmless, very touristy hotel. In Toulouse, where we live, small restaurants offering tapas abound, & their meals are varied & interesting. The one that Scenic offered bore no resmblance to them. The personnel were friendly to start with, but when I revealed a certain difficulty walking, some of them became very distant, even rude. I am handicapped but I can generally cope, which I have done on many cruises that we have done with Seabourne - a really luxurious environment. The waiters & bar personnel started by being good, but some of them became rather too familiar.by the end. We hardly saw our butler ; a rather unnecessary addition. There was far too much free time after the visits with nothing to do. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The Scenic Azure is a lovely brand new ship, contemporary design with spacious cabins, very comfortable. All the staff are Portuguese, many from Porto where we set sail. The service is very professional but friendly and relaxed. 96 guests and 39 crew. Guests were mainly from Australia and UK with about a dozen Canadians and half as many Americans, mostly couples and mostly active seniors from ages early 60’s on up. There were interesting excursions, many of which required some level of fitness due to the steep hills and cobblestones .... Guests who were not as able could be accommodated by bus tours. Buses were new and very comfortable. The tour guides use communication systems which guests wear so that when they dial in they can hear the commentary without the guides’ having to yell. We sailed during the day so were able to appreciate the scenery --- we docked at interesting places and there are stretches of the river that are not heavily populated. The Duoro is becoming popular but so far not over-run --- we were only rafted a few times and the other ships tended to leave early in the morning in many cases, allowing us to have our coffee on the balcony. There were no noticeable exhaust fumes from the engines. The crew were friendly and professional, and not obtrusive. They all spoke fluent or almost fluent English. We were disappointed with the food. Meals were beautifully presented and professionally served with plenty of choices, but rather bland for the most part, lacking acid balance and seasoning. We were hoping for some more strongly flavored Portuguese specialties. This certainly did not spoil our experience and we recognize that chefs must accommodate many tastes – but other guests stated the same concern, one offering the opinion that the food lacked "zest". This is an all-inclusive cruise, with no added charges and no tipping. We recommend this luxury cruise. Read Less
Scenic Azure Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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