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Sail Date: October 2016
First cruise of any kind. Could not fault any aspect. Food and wine excellent and very good service from exceedingly nice staff. The cruise director Ray was the success of the whole week with his ceaseless attention to service and ... Read More
First cruise of any kind. Could not fault any aspect. Food and wine excellent and very good service from exceedingly nice staff. The cruise director Ray was the success of the whole week with his ceaseless attention to service and detail and a very nice chap with it. We were recommended to Emerald by friends and I would certainly recommend it to anyone else - would not want another company. The daily organised visits to Rhineland cities and towns although not mandatory were not to be missed - the four hour tour into the Black Forest in particular. Very pleased and surprised that the ship was so quiet when travelling at night. The indoor small swimming pool is a great idea.119 Perhaps only criticism, though perhaps not the fault of Emerald, was the two flight back Basle / Amsterdam / Birmingham which would have been much better and faster as a non stop flight. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise specifically because it was advertised at Jukebox Saturday Night with Ken Sparks. The disappointing part of the trip was that we did not get to spend time with him as he was not well and stayed within a small group for ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it was advertised at Jukebox Saturday Night with Ken Sparks. The disappointing part of the trip was that we did not get to spend time with him as he was not well and stayed within a small group for the first week, then he had a heart attack and consequently died. The cruise itself was magnificent, the food, great, the entertainment that was provided by an on board entertainer,great, the tours each day were magnificent, the tour director, magnificent, the staff were fantastic. The tours were a lttle tiring for the people in their seventies, as I am in my fifties and definitely was worn out by the end. The cabin was excellent as we had a balcony and all the trimmings. Overall the cruise was magnificent and I would recommend anyone to go on a cruise with Scenic and I am sure when we can afford the next one we will be going again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
UWe cruised River Danube with Scenic last year, and were attracted by the Rhone one. It didn't disappoint. We couldn't fault anything about our cruise. The staff were first class - every one of them - and they did it all with ... Read More
UWe cruised River Danube with Scenic last year, and were attracted by the Rhone one. It didn't disappoint. We couldn't fault anything about our cruise. The staff were first class - every one of them - and they did it all with a smile! The food was excellent, in quality, quantity and choice. The Captain and crew were friendly and approachable. The Cruise Director worked very hard to ensure that we all had a great time. The choice of trips was well thought out, there was always something for everyone, and the local guides were excellent. Our balcony cabin was kept very clean, and was well planned, with plenty of storage space. The entertainment was varied, and again offered something for everyone. We particularly enjoyed the concert in the Pope's Palace in Avignon. The only weak links were the guides who met us, and took us back to the Airports at Lyon and Marseille. Neither was very attentive to those who were less able, leaving the fitter passengers to help them. The man at Lyon pointed out the toilets, but didn't wait to see if anyone wanted to use them. He certainly wasn't a good first point of contact for Scenic. The girl who escorted us on the coach to the airport at Marseille, said nothing to us for the length of the journey, except to tell us we were approaching the airport - which we all knew anyway! She left us all, with no explanation, went into the terminal building, and was so long that some people decided to do it for themselves. She couldn't answer any of the questions she was asked. A waste of space! We wonder if these two were free- lancers, as they were of a very inferior calibre to all the other staff we saw in action during our cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we liked the places to be visited, we had cruised with Scenic before and knew their high standards. The ship was modern, spotless, excellently maintained and professionally crewed. The welcome aboard was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the places to be visited, we had cruised with Scenic before and knew their high standards. The ship was modern, spotless, excellently maintained and professionally crewed. The welcome aboard was warm, friendly and very slick. The cabin was well appointed with a balcony containing table and chairs, The en-suite was larger than some I have seen in hotels with bath and walk-in shower and had plenty of towel rails and shelf space for toiletries. There was a wide choice of food at each meal with vegetarian options, though the food wasn't quite so good as on the previous Danube/Rhine cruise. The exception to this comment was the special Table La Rive dinner, a multi-course tasting menu, which was virtually faultless. The presentation of food was of fine dining quality throughout. The excursions were well chosen and the guides were almost all very good or excellent. Most of the evening entertainment was not to our taste, in particular the last evening when many retired early due to the volume of disco music, despite several polite requests to tone it down. There was one very good evening, a French Chanteuse - Veronique - who was of high quality. The staff were almost all very good, efficient, helpful, polite, pleasant and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Travelling as a mature couple we loved the cruise - right down the middle of France. The pace was ideal - our previous Danube cruise with Scenic was a little frenetic! We picked excursions a bit different to the usual churches, ... Read More
Travelling as a mature couple we loved the cruise - right down the middle of France. The pace was ideal - our previous Danube cruise with Scenic was a little frenetic! We picked excursions a bit different to the usual churches, castles & grand houses -- learning to cook, olive oil, chocolate & lavender factories. Our first day we were torn between all 3 trips, wine tasting in Beaune, visiting a mustard factory or a museum of old Fiat Arbarth cars, warplanes and so much more. Wine tasting was almost obligatory, but we were shown what to look for, how to view it & smell it - but I never managed to master the 'spitting out' bit! I never realised that there could be so many vinyards & wineries, they stretched as far as the eye could see. But with names like, Beaune, Chateau neuf du Pape, Macon etc who is complaint. A very enjoyable cruise - except for the temperature on the boat - far too cold even in July! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Scenic is very attentive in every way. From the butler service to the crew, each and everyone is professional, friendly and willing to please. They want to make your holiday the most memorable in every way. The cabins are clean and fresh ... Read More
Scenic is very attentive in every way. From the butler service to the crew, each and everyone is professional, friendly and willing to please. They want to make your holiday the most memorable in every way. The cabins are clean and fresh and adequate for your needs. The very best cruise in my opinion is the Amsterdam to Budapest, it has many scenic highlights along the way while visiting meant different countries and cultures. The South of France cruise while very enjoyable, didn't cover as many different activities, however the staff on board where exceptional in there dedication to service and making sure that we were happy at all times. The only thing that could make the ship better would be a pool area, especially during the summer peak holiday period. The tour director was also exceptional in her dedication to making sure we were happy at all times. The only down side was the fact it was busy and at times we were berthed 2-3 deep and therefore had no use of our cabin balcony! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We love to cruise the Rhone/Saone because of the beautiful ancient Roman towns and the Chateauneuf, Beaune, Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone vinyards. Sadly this was a cruise that never happened as the rivers were flooded and the cruise ship ... Read More
We love to cruise the Rhone/Saone because of the beautiful ancient Roman towns and the Chateauneuf, Beaune, Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone vinyards. Sadly this was a cruise that never happened as the rivers were flooded and the cruise ship remained largely moored at Macon. The company did their very best in trying circumstances and finally transferred us by coach from Scenic Emerald to Sapphire moored in Avignon after one night in a hotel. The crew and service were superb (mainly eastern European), the vessel excellent, the shore trips good, the food excellent and the unlimited wine and spirits satisfactory. Sadly, for a deluxe cabin, we found it rather cramped but very well appointed. Sadly we were booked to fly cattle class with EasyJet - never again! We all felt for Yvonne the cruise director who ran herself off her feet to keep us all entertained and never once lost her brilliant smile and sense of humour. Would we travel with Scenic again - well we shall see. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
2 years ago we did a Scenic cruise Jewel of the Danube with the additional 3 days each end in Paris and Prague which was wonderful so this time we chose the Saone/Rhone River cruise through to the South of France. There was not the WOW ... Read More
2 years ago we did a Scenic cruise Jewel of the Danube with the additional 3 days each end in Paris and Prague which was wonderful so this time we chose the Saone/Rhone River cruise through to the South of France. There was not the WOW factor of numerous castles as we sailed along the river but all the options we choose from out tour were as exciting and so well worth the visit. The range of daily options to choose from was wider this time - more than just castles cathedrals basilicas etc though we still visited plenty of amazingly beautiful churches cathedrals and chateau. There were numerous highlights including the visit to the 2 Chateau - one set up as a museum for Abarth cars, planes, fire engines and tractors which was fascinating. The other chateau was a lived in house but retained all the furnishings from centuries ago and it is wonderful to see it being retained in its yesteryear glory. We visited lovely natural wonders also like the villages of Les Baux, Chateauneuf de Pape, Saints Marie de lar Mer - all so lovely and natural and generally in their original condition and nice to see them kept and maintained that way. The staff on the ship were under a bit of pressure with the high water causing a few sailing issues but everything flowed amazingly well, lead by a superb Tour Director Luc. The lounge staff were very friendly and it was so lovely to be greeted like long time friends but in a professional manner each time we entered the lounge or dining room. We had lots of fun with them and it was sad to depart the cruise. The daily activities of the cruise required a reasonable level of fitness as there was a lot of walking on each of our selected options each day, as did getting onto and off the bus which some of our fellow less able cruise participants struggled with. The option of being able to simply sail along the river on a beautiful sunny day sitting on the top deck was not to be turned down either - so peaceful and enjoyable. Overall the cruise was fantastic with no downsides - one that I would highly recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
The itinerary down the Saone and Rhone from Chalon to Tarascon was great, and the crew were also excellent, although they had to spend much of their time trying to overcome problems with the ship. We had the most expensive type of ... Read More
The itinerary down the Saone and Rhone from Chalon to Tarascon was great, and the crew were also excellent, although they had to spend much of their time trying to overcome problems with the ship. We had the most expensive type of non-suite cabin on the ship, on the top deck, and problems included: • a bad smell from the drain of the shower that continued throughout the cruise, for which all the crew could do was keep covering the drain with a towel soaked in some kind of disinfectant • inadequate air conditioning (with a “thermostat” that doesn’t work like a normal one) that meant the temperature in the cabin stayed above 25 degrees C round the clock on several days • at one point there was no hot water in the shower at all, and throughout it was difficult to get anything more than warm water • a power cut affecting the cabin power sockets • on return to Marseille airport, we were not taken to the terminal entrance, but dumped in the coach park some distance away, pointed in vaguely the right direction and left to find our own way. On board, we were offered a different, inferior cabin which we were told might be cooler but because of its position, decided against this overall. On our return I complained to Scenic. I heard nothing for 4 weeks, then had a reply that basically said “these things happen and the crew tried to overcome them”. No apology was offered except for the airport experience. Further, the reply quoted the Scenic booking conditions that say there may be odours on river cruises - I had assumed this meant from the river, not the ship! We have sailed several times with Viking and decided to try Scenic, but will not do so again. No matter how good the crew and service, the problems with the ship outweighed this. We did have problems on a Viking ship once, but their customer support response was also strikingly better than Scenic’s - a reply within days that apologised and offered compensation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise largely based on the advertising. It is promoted heavily as a 'couples' environment ... lots of shots of couple dining alone, cycling alone, in their cabin with their butler. This is not really the case. ... Read More
We chose this cruise largely based on the advertising. It is promoted heavily as a 'couples' environment ... lots of shots of couple dining alone, cycling alone, in their cabin with their butler. This is not really the case. There are 160 other souls onboard and it is very hard to enjoy quiet time without a crowd. Although they only photograph couples dining on a table for two, these are actually very rare, and placed so close to the next table of four that it is uncomfortable to not join in with the others. That's not always a problem, but it soon gets tiring repeating/shouting the same conversation ... where are you from? where are you going? how many tours have you been on? The dining room is closed when not in use and there is only one other interior main room so once again you have some crowds, unless you go outside or to your cabin. They do play less than ordinary music though throughout the ship, even outside, so you will not find solice in any public area. They really need a quiet room, which could easily be done if they partitioned off part of the one main room. The so called 'all day cafe' was very poor, with soggy bain-marie fish and chips and a few cakes. It's not restocked as it goes, but no-one seems to use it anyway. Food was very average, a mostly unchanging buffet for breakfast/lunch (powdered eggs) and strange 1990's 5 course a la carte. If you don't want the two entrees, be aware you will wait to get your main, until all entrees are served. Very old fashioned desserts with piped cream and mousses. Kinda funny at first but soon gets tiring. You do get the feeling after awhile that you are being manipulated. They want you all fed and off the boat by 9.00am ... no sleeping in. Then you must be back at one for lunch. Dinner is at seven, don't be late. There is not much movement in that, unless you take food back to your cabin. There is also not much movement in the tours. We did spend 1 1/2 hrs driving to a great little town in the Camargue called St Marie sur la mer. We were only allowed an hour there and although 90% of the folk just wanted to hand around and get some lunch by the beach, we were all bundled back on the bus to get back to the boat for lunch at one. These may all seem like small complaints, but this is a very expensive tour, approx $1000 a day for 2, and it is marketed as a couples environment, with many 'personal options'. We did as much as we could, used the bicycles 5 times, walked into town ourselves etc, but all those options are up to you to organise as they seemed not to have any experience of these stops beforehand. I did ask a few times for local knowledge at the front desk, good walk, good cafe, good market etc, but was told just to ask the captain. He did not speak english however. We stopped in small villages, with little or no nightlife other than a souvlaki for 1 1/2 days (Chalon sur Saone/Tournos) and then at something larger, Avignon or Lyon, we only had an overnight. Lyon dock was about a 2 hour walk to town, which no-one was told of. Many did not make it and turned back. No buses were supplied. Scenic did apologise, but it seems they have been there many times before? All in all it was OK, but it is not a trip for a couple who don't want to be part of a larger group. Some people have asked why I went on this if I did not want to get group involved .. I went to see the south of France (as advertised) and be with my partner in semi-luxurious accommodation with lots of 'partner time' and our own choices of dining and excursions (as advertised). We did get to see some great places, some not so great. The accommodation was semi-luxurious. The dining and excursions though leave a lot to improve upon. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
We previously completed the Amsterdam to Prague cruise which was fantastic rating 10/10. This cruise Paris to Nice was just average. The Service was good without being outstanding. On two occaciasions we had cold showers as there was no ... Read More
We previously completed the Amsterdam to Prague cruise which was fantastic rating 10/10. This cruise Paris to Nice was just average. The Service was good without being outstanding. On two occaciasions we had cold showers as there was no hot water coming to our cabin. (Unacceptable when paying top dollar) The shower door did not shut properly and gave up after two complaints and no response. The overall package was not interesting as our previous experience. Have written three email to Scenic(customer service) without reply. The entertainment on ship was second class comared to previous trip. The musician was a complete waste of time in the choice of music and the very small amount of time he performed. The trip was advertised as 14 days , however the first and last day were wasted travelling to and from the ship. Our embarkation was due for 2.00pm , however did not happen until 5.30 pm. Wated two hours a some village that had no interest whatsoever. Dissapointed that Scenic has not resonded to enails as their advertising is totally customer focused.. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our first river cruise after being on many luxury ocean cruises was a bit of a disappointment. This cruise was advertised as an all inclusive luxury cruise. Unfortunately it started badly. We had stayed one night before the start of the ... Read More
Our first river cruise after being on many luxury ocean cruises was a bit of a disappointment. This cruise was advertised as an all inclusive luxury cruise. Unfortunately it started badly. We had stayed one night before the start of the cruise at the Scenic sponsored hotel in Nice, and were given a bottom room. The day of the cruise we were supposed to be picked up at our hotel for transfer to Tarascan to join the cruise. The car never showed and we were not contacted by any local agent of the cruise line. I had to call an emergency number in Switzerland and was told that a car would be there in five minutes. They called back to tell us to take a cab to the Nice airport to join a bus carrying other passengers to the cruise. Not only were we inconvenienced but the entire busload of passengers was kept waiting at the airport for our arrival. The ship accommodations proved better than I might expect for such a small ship. The dining room was unfortunately poorly air conditioned and uncomfortable for dining. It appeared that the ship had no engineer aboard to fix the problem so this persisted for the entire cruise. I was also put off by the poor response of the company to our problems and their complete failure to respond to our last e-mail. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
The cruise Having done six sea cruises in various parts of the world, this was our first river cruise. We cruised on the ‘Scenic Emerald’ for 13 nights, on the Soane and the Rhone from Chalon sur Soane, throughTornus, Mâcon, Lyon, ... Read More
The cruise Having done six sea cruises in various parts of the world, this was our first river cruise. We cruised on the ‘Scenic Emerald’ for 13 nights, on the Soane and the Rhone from Chalon sur Soane, throughTornus, Mâcon, Lyon, Tournon, Viviers, Château Neuf du Pape, Avignon, to Tarascon. Weather was sunny most of the time, but a cold Mistral blowing ruled out the upper deck for sun bathing. There were 50 crew members aboard and around 130 guests - 80% Australians, the rest equally British and North American. Facilities Predictably on a river boat, the rooms are small, but very well appointed, with a shower room, and a balcony. The in-room entertainment system provided UK TV news, films, and on-board information. On the down side – the Rhone has become so popular that there are now far more cruise boats than there are berths. Consequently boats moor alongside each other: so you suddenly find yourself looking into another bedroom two feet away (closer than tenements in Hong Kong), which makes the balcony useless. Food Breakfast and lunch were self-service from a buffet with a wide range of dishes. There was champagne for breakfast for those who wanted it. But the problem with buffet service was the crowds and, sometimes, their behaviour. At a special fish buffet one guest walked away with a soup bowl piled high with at least 30 oysters, meaning that I had neither oysters nor scallops- and by the time I reached the salmon it was a smashed heap of bones. But overall the food was imaginative, varied, and good. The regional fare produced each day was a high-light. Dinner was waiter service from a varied and well planned menu. The service was varied, a particular difficulty was encouraging waiters to top up wine glasses. On the final night the entire serving staff paraded through the restaurant, plates held high, to serve the captain and the guests at his table. There were complaints that, consequently, the other guests had to wait. What a farce – the pilot of a river boat being treated as though he was the captain of the Queen Mary. The tasting menu in the tiny specialist restaurant was excellent. All drinks on-board were free, with a mini bar in the cabin, stocked by your own butler according to your wishes -although spirits only came in miniatures. Excursions There were choices of excursions each day, often involving a coach trip. Enjoyable visits included a wine cellars, a truffle farm, the Château de Cormatin, a Beaujolais wine tasting, the Castle of Touron, and the Pope’s palace at Avignon. Less exciting was a trip on a toy train around some salt flats. We cruised slowly past the ruins of the Pons d’ Avignon and moored nearby. Entertainment On board entertainment was provided each evening, sometimes with a visiting artist from the location Travel Travel was by Eurostar from London to Lyon. But we were not picked up at Lyon, as the itinerary promised, but had to take the local train to Chalon, where a van was waiting outside; that meant we had to lug all our baggage down stairs from the platform and up again to the van. Not quite the five star treatment we had expected. We returned to London from Avignon, though were surprised when the company refused to pay for the taxi (Euro70) from the boat to Avignon station. Eurostar from London to Lyon was fine, but the return Avignon to London involved getting off the train at Lille with all our suit-cases and standing in a queue for nearly an hour for a security check and passport control: there has to be a better way to manage this border crossing. Conclusions We paid £8,500 for two for the travel and cruise, which included all onboard food, wine, and tips. In the final debriefing, however, it was made clear that tips were in order ‘for exceptional service’. Our overall impression was that this was a good but not great experience. Undoubtedly many of the guests had a great time. We shall stick to sea cruises in future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Scenic Emerald – South of France July 14th 2014 Cruise Review We arrived in Paris after a long delay in Singapore so were pretty ratty and ready for a rest. Thankfully, our luggage wasn’t lost, we passed through immigration without a ... Read More
Scenic Emerald – South of France July 14th 2014 Cruise Review We arrived in Paris after a long delay in Singapore so were pretty ratty and ready for a rest. Thankfully, our luggage wasn’t lost, we passed through immigration without a hitch and met up with our Scenic transfer driver in the arrivals hall. All good so far The Marriot Ambassador is ok for a major chain hotel. Expensive bar, ordinary breakfast buffet and small room but then I think that’s pretty standard for Europe hotels. We met our fellow cruisers on the Sunday night (the night before Bastille Day) subsequently everything was closed, even the hotel restaurant ! We were left there all wondering what we were supposed to do for dinner. Hubby and I decided the pasta we had for lunch was laying pretty heavy so decided to skip dinner and headed to bed early. The morning of the ‘cruise’ package started with everyone clambering for breakfast which apparently caught the hotel out as they ran out of juice glasses, coffee cups etc. I don’t think this was their first rodeo so was a bit surprised but we were looking forward to our cruise of a lifetime and nothing was raining on this parade ! We had been instructed to put our luggage outside our rooms the night before as this was to be transported to the ship by truck to save us all having to drag it onto the TGV. Great idea ! The transfer to the TGV was smooth and without incident and we were on our way. After a very smooth 2 or so hours we arrived at Dijon where we disembarked the TGV and were loaded onto luxury coaches. A quick lunch stop in Dijon was delicious with some local fois gras with toast. Yum. Back on the coaches and finally on to Chalon-sur-Saone where the shiny lovely Scenic Emerald awaited us. We felt like royalty boarding with all the staff on deck with their dress black uniforms on and welcoming us aboard. When inside the foyer we were allocated a hospitality crew person who escorted us to our cabin balcony suite 207. We highly recommend this suite. Just far enough away from the noise but really close to all facilities. The room was sparkling clean and bright. The bathroom ensuite was very reasonably spacey with a great selection of shampoos, soap etc. At 5.30pm we all had to assemble on the top deck for a safety discussion and instructions on how to put on life jackets etc. With all accounted for we went back down to the Emerald lounge for a well-earned champers. I cannot understate how hard the crew work on the ship. The bar boys are just phenomenal with their energy and funny antics. They really make the day bright when you see their smiling faces and they have a bit of a joke with you once they get to know you a little. They remember names and what your ‘usual’ is too ! Amazing ! Day one we visited the Patriarche Cellars for a wine tasting. The wines we tasted were ‘green’ and acidic and we were really surprised that they gave us such young undrinkable wines to taste as there was no way we were going to part with any Euros in their showroom upstairs ! pity because the cellar and underground tasting rooms were a lovely experience. Back to our home on the river and treated to a magnificent dinner. I could rave about each night’s dinner and lunch but to be honest just be assured the food is aplenty and of 5 star standard. A special night was our dinner date with some new friends we made in the ‘La Mour’ restaurant. Everyone gets to book one dinner there where the service is only to cater for about 30 people (instead of the usual whole ship in the main dining room seating about 140ish people each sitting). The LaMour restaurant is a very special experience indeed. 6 courses of absolutely deliciousness. One comment on the main dining room would be the NOISE ! I don’t know if everyone had their hearing aids turned down but god it was noisy !! I think Scenic need to consider some foam tiles on the ceiling or something because often it was so bad we couldn’t have a conversation across a table. (one of my very few complaints !). With regard to shore tours, we were predominantly interested in wine tasting as this was one of the main interests for choosing this cruise. The wine tastings varied from undrinkable to yum I’ll buy a bottle. It’s all very subjective and I would still encourage anyone interested in the local wines to do the tastings as it is still really interesting to get a different slant on wines and not just our one sided Aussie pallets. One tour that was one of the highlights of our tour was the visit to the Paul Bocuse Culinary Institute in Lyon. What a fantastic experience. If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘foodie’ then this is the trip for you. We were treated to a masterclass with one of the Executive chefs. He cooked a delicious red mullet dish that was to die for. We got the recipe and full instructions so we could make notes etc too. He was so lovely and helpful and happily signed our recipes at the end of the class. Another highlight among our tours was the villages of Luberon region Gordes and Fontaine de Vaucluse. Beautiful villages with lovely medieval cobbled streets with little shops and delicious cafes. However, the absolute highlight of the cruise for us was our visit to Avignon. This place is definitely on our must do again list ! It is perfectly preserved walled city which includes the Palais-des-Papes (palace of the Popes). We were lucky enough to be there when the annual performing arts festival was on so every street and corner had a different act ranging from soccer ball tossing acrobats to a didgeridoo playing Aussie to a whole troupe of bagpipe playing artists. Just phenomenal and a real experience. The video camera got a real workout that day! If there was one tour I would not recommend it was the ornithological park. To be honest it was quite hot and there was little shade. The birdlife wasn’t that interesting to us and we were happy to get back on the air conditioned bus. It came as part of the full day touring that everyone did so I guess we were pretty much locked in to going but given a choice I’d rather stay on the boat and sail on to the next port to meet the coaches. Kurt our cruise director was absolute gold. He was professional, friendly, funny, very careful, extremely competent and caring. He worked so hard to make sure everyone was having the best time. If we do another Scenic cruise I certainly hope he is on it ! All the crew were terrific. Our personal butler Ica and lovely housekeeping lady Simonetta were always looking after us. Nothing was too much trouble and we felt very special. Hubby had a ‘slept on the pillow chocolate’ incident ! Simonetta took it in her stride saying that he wasn’t the first person to do it and she definitely knew the difference between chocolate and any other um stuff you might find in a bed. All in all she made an embarrassing situation funny and let him off with a small wag of her finger hahaha ! The mini-bar was refreshed at least twice per day with chocolates, pringles and white wine. We loved to sit on the balcony before the daily cruise report by Kurt at about 6.30 before dinner. We loved the balcony and having that private area where we could retreat for an hour or so to gather you thoughts before we went into the next activities of eating and frivolity! The night time entertainment was mixed with the onboard pianist (who put up with our karaoke !) and a mixture of ‘Gypsy Kings’ type band, a fabulous piano acordian player and a local gypsy dancing group. All in all we were happy just to catch up with new friends for a few drinks (which were always kept topped up !) in the Emerald lounge. There is also a great area at the front of the dining room where you can sit open air for light lunches and was also great for when we were casting off and setting sail for a new port. Also great for going through the numerous lochs. That was an interesting experience too. One of the lochs was a 23 metre drop ! It was so funny on the way down they played the theme from Titanic ! When were down to the required level and the exit doors opened the theme changed to the Love Boat ! crazy musical director haha ! We would highly recommend this cruise. We found that we were of the ‘younger’ age group being in our early 50s. I would guess the average age somewhere up around mid to late 70s. Most were still pretty able but there were a few that were quite physically challenged needing walking sticks etc. However, they were all there for a fun time and we didn’t feel that the age of the clientele was any problem. Everyone mixed with most people and with no fixed seating in the dining room you could either sit with your regular new friends or seek out new ones if you moved tables. Scenic have got a great strategy for their river cruises and are to be congratulated for tailoring these holidays for the Aussie market. There were a few Canadians, a few British and a few NZ but 98% Aussies. We will definitely consider doing the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise as many on this cruise had done it before and highly recommended it also. Thankyou to Scenic and your crew for making this a cruise of a lifetime and a holiday we will remember very fondly in many years to come. Five star and all inclusive all the way !   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
We travelled from Ebbsfleet to Dijon by Eurostar and TGV in five and a half hours with Scenic waiting to collect us at Dijon station. Embarkation was completed very quickly as the majority of the passengers (mainly Australian) had stayed ... Read More
We travelled from Ebbsfleet to Dijon by Eurostar and TGV in five and a half hours with Scenic waiting to collect us at Dijon station. Embarkation was completed very quickly as the majority of the passengers (mainly Australian) had stayed in Paris the night before and had already completed their embarkation. Drink on arrival, warm towels and welcome talk. The food was stunningly good, not only tasty but beautifully presented and served by staff who all looked as though they really enjoyed their jobs. If you didn't fancy any of the three choices offered each evening you could always order one of the five alternative options, which included a very tasty fillet steak. The five course menu and accompanying wines served at the invitational La Rive table was of Michelin star standard. The tours were outstanding and included a banquet and recital at the Popes Palace in Avignon; demonstration at the Paul Bocuse Cookery School; wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du Pape. The cruise director managed to combine being informative and helpful with a sense of fun. Some of the entertainment included on board cookery demos; a tour of the galley (v. small - don't know how they managed to produce such fantastic food!); a tasting of local French products; local musicians and a folk dancing troupe. The ship was immaculate, the staff were all very friendly, the service outstanding. This all inclusive tour really did include everything and with some style. Disembarkation was a masterpiece of planning. It took us 6 hours to travel from Avignon station to home. We arrived stress free, having enjoyed a fantastic time, but missing our personal butler! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
This was our second scenic cruise, the first being the Budapest to Amsterdam. Once again Scenic was fantastic, but a word of advice. If you are going on the South of France cruise do not expect a lot of cruising with scenic views as you ... Read More
This was our second scenic cruise, the first being the Budapest to Amsterdam. Once again Scenic was fantastic, but a word of advice. If you are going on the South of France cruise do not expect a lot of cruising with scenic views as you sail along. We probably had half a day of such cruising. The area along the banks of the Saone and the Rhone is not very scenic, unless you are entering major cities such as Lyon and Avignon. However, the tours from our berthing ports were fantastic. They were all well organised and we travelled in comfort. On this cruise we choose not to have a balcony cabin and I think it was a wise choice as I do not think you would get much use from it. Highlights of the tour include very informative wine tastings and instruction, a dinner at the home of a host family, a visit to an olive farm and olive oil tasting, a visit to a truffle farm and watching chinook the truffle hunting dog at work, the roman aqueduct in Pont Du Gard, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, free time to wander in the towns and villages, etc. and I cant leave out our cruise director Yvonne who was a delight. Scenic advertise as all inclusive and it was. You might expect that alcohol may be slow in coming and slow on refills, but that was far from the case. The staff were attentive and the bar staff generous in the pourings. I am sure if you wanted to you could find something to complain about, but hey your are on holidays in another country relax and enjoy the ride. We certainly did! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
As background, this was our 3rd river cruise having done Prague to Paris with AMA and Amsterdam to Budapest with Scenic. While Scenic prices are on the higher end when first viewed, we wanted a totally all inclusive, we don't have to ... Read More
As background, this was our 3rd river cruise having done Prague to Paris with AMA and Amsterdam to Budapest with Scenic. While Scenic prices are on the higher end when first viewed, we wanted a totally all inclusive, we don't have to worry about anything, type of cruise. Scenic met the bill and surpassed our expectations for the most part. We let Scenic book everything including air and we did the pre and post packages. Pre cruise stay for 3 nights in Paris at the Marriott Ambassador Opera hotel. Very central location, close to everything. We walked most of the time to or from attractions but did take the easy to use Metro to and from The Marais area on a rainy Sunday. we had a direct Air France flight from Toronto that landed 30 minutes early and the Scenic rep was waiting for us in the very crowded Arrivals hall. very pleasant. She walked us to the waiting mini van that had just picked up 4 other people who had arrived at the other terminal so no waiting at all. Hotel room was ready on arrival at 8:15 am, luggage was sent up. Room very large by European standards, courtyard (I.e not so pretty) view but quiet. Lots of moving around and storage space. Only issue I had with this room was that the toilet was separate from the bath on the other side of the room and there was no sink in the toilet room. Good powerful shower. Very quiet at night and a good sleep. Lobby area could be crowded when multiple tours getting organized (Uniworld was staying here as well). bar prices a little steep but what isn't in Paris. Our Tour Director Nicholas was fantastic and would make a great Cruise Director. He was on a 6 month contract and generally works in the Scenic offices in Vancouver. He really did a wonderful job. We did the tour of the Louvre with Karyn which was great and we did the Lido dinner where the food was much better than expected. Bags were out the night before we left and were transported by truck to Chalon sur Saone. We went by coach to the Gare Lyon and then by TGV to Dijon. we had a few hours of free time in Dijon before catching the coach to Chalon to board the ship. Nicholas accompanied us to the ship. We had been on the Emerald before so knew how compact the Aquarium class rooms are but great storage, good shower with glass door. No complaints about the room, the room Stewart, the butler (whose services we did not use). All the staff, without exception, were very friendly, helpful and seemed to care that you were happy. The CD Sylvie was very efficient and dealt with any issues that arose. The free WiFi was excellent all the time in the room or in the lounge except maybe when in a lock. the food exceeded expectations. I would rate as 5 star. Wines were very good and always free flowing. All inclusive drinks never an issue, never charged for special drinks. I do wish that they would stock Clamato juice so decent Caesars could be made! All the included tours were excellent in my opinion. While the days could be very busy, you also had the option to forego the tours and relax on board. The highlight dinner at the Palais de Papes in Avignon was fantastic in my opinion and our home visit in the Beaujolais area was also an excellent experience. Lots of very interesting sights and well organized excursions. We did the Paul Boucuse cooking school experience in Lyon and rate it as a highly enjoyable experience. The entertainment was the least enjoyable. There was an in house pianist Indre who was fantastic, did a great job, had lots of skills at various music styles. There was only one outside group who came on board to do some local dancing. They were ok but nothing special. There could have been more outside entertainment. This was my only negative with he cruise. When the cruise was over after 12 days, the bus to Barcelona met us in Avignon. We stopped after a few hours to tour the Dali theatre and museum and get a snack for lunch before the ongoing trip, arriving in Barcelona at 4. We stayed at Hotel 1898 on La Rambla, rooms were very large with a quiet courtyard view. Unfortunately we had a room with only the hand held shower so unless you sat in the bath, it was very awkward to use. There was a city tour that started at 5 so by this time we were quite tired of buses but went anyways. It was raining by this time so we did not see all of the Park Guell as it was very muddy. We had a 6:45 entrance to the Sagrada Familia and this was awesome. So glad we did the tour. Next day we did the Spanish Village which we enjoyed and then the Tapas tour at night. Too much food at one of the stops but a very interesting experience. Lots of walking on that tour. On our own on the last day walking and shopping. To summarize, a very enjoyable experience, 5 star for the most part, good value for money (could have been better value if I drank more). Service was excellent most nights, staff a pleasure. There were 6 Canadians and I think 6 Brits and the rest from Australia or New Zealand. We love to travel with those from 'down under'. This experience with Scenic was better than last year's and the food much better. 2 thumbs up. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
Scenic provided all travel to and from Sydney to Paris and return from Nice to Sydney via London. Arrived at CDG Airport and met by the scenic rep to be transported to the Marriott Hotel, where our very comfortable rooms were ready for us ... Read More
Scenic provided all travel to and from Sydney to Paris and return from Nice to Sydney via London. Arrived at CDG Airport and met by the scenic rep to be transported to the Marriott Hotel, where our very comfortable rooms were ready for us at 0830 a real surprise! This was one of the few places we have stayed at where the hot buffet was HOT. Interesting three days wandering round Paris and then we were off to the Gare de Lyon for our TGV trip to Dijon. The logistics of getting 150 passengers from several hotels to the station and on to the train are quite daunting, but no one was lost. I was eagerly looking forward to this as I enjoy train travel, but was really disappointed by the lack of sensation of speed when going at 300 kph. Coach to Chalon sur Soane and then we were finally on our Spaceship with a champagne welcome. Our luggage was waiting for us in our cabin Because of our very late booking we were in what we termed "Aquarium Class" ie on the bottom deck without a balcony but with extensive views of the water. Surprisingly comfortable. After all we only used tha cabin for sleeping and showering!! Food - Breakfast was buffet with an egg bar and some a la carte selections. Lunch was again a buffet with some a la carte selections, there was also what was called a light lunch available. A light afternoon tea was served about 1600 each day. Dinner was a 3 or 4 course affair, Table d'hôte with once again some a la carte selections including salmon and the best steaks I have had in years. All drinks were included, including some better than average spirits and wines - the bar was open all day and the mini bar in the cabin re-plenished every day. Bottled water was always available. Entertainment was somewhat limited to what turned out to be a very accomplished pianist and card and board games. Generally there was a choice of three excursions available each day ranging from easy (disabled friendly) to quite energetic. All extremely well organised by our Cruise Director, Sylvie, with all leaving on time and returning on time. Nothing was too much trouble for the crew. All the other passengers were friendly and made this a memorable celebration for our 80th birthdays When Scenic says "All Inclusive" they mean it!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
July 14, 2013 Saone and Rhone River cruise with Scenic Tours, 14 days We were not familiar with Scenic Tours but booked their Rhone river cruise because of the itinerary. It seemed very expensive, but it is an all-inclusive, so tips, ... Read More
July 14, 2013 Saone and Rhone River cruise with Scenic Tours, 14 days We were not familiar with Scenic Tours but booked their Rhone river cruise because of the itinerary. It seemed very expensive, but it is an all-inclusive, so tips, alcohol and all of the tours were included in the price. We had a fabulous 2 week holiday on the Scenic Emerald and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys smooth sailing, the ability to walk directly into small towns along the river, and who loves food and wine. Accommodations: Our cabin was comfortable and had plenty of closet space. We had a balcony large enough for 2 chairs and a table, which we would sit on in the morning and have our coffee and in the evening with a glass of wine and thento feed the swans that kept swimming by! Our bathroom had a Villeroy and Bosch sink, a large shower with great water pressure, and LOccitane products. Our stewardess cleaned the room twice a day, and refilled our bar with juice, pop and alcohol.We had a butler who would bring us food, drink or press our clothes, all included in the price. Food and drink: Breakfast and lunch were both buffet and order from the kitchen. Supper was full service and there was a small restaurant called Portobellos that you could reserve seats Tables were arranged as 4, 6 and 8 tops and you could sit where you pleased. Champagne, wine and beer were available and servings were generous. The wine was from the Rhone area, some Italian whites. There was a table for specialties of the region and one memorable lunch it was oysters and champagne! The bar was always open and again, pours were generous. Tours: We so enjoyed the creative and interesting tours. We went to wineries in Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Rhone, met the owners and sampled their wines. We went to a truffle farm where the wife slathered baguette with truffle butter and served us white wine from the region, then her husband and their trusty truffle sniffer, Chinook the dog, showed us how they find the truffles. We went to Paul Bocuse Culinary School for a cooking lesson in Lyon, and visited an olive oil farm in Provence. The rose flamingos at the Camargue Wetlands refuge were amazing. We had lunch at a bull farm and one night, you could sign up for supper at a local familys home! I have done many tours in Europe and felt that this tour group really provided something more interesting and creative than seeing the local cathedral.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
My husband and I booked our once in a lifetime cruise which ended up an extremely disappointing and expensive bus trip. The rivers were high on the Rhone and we couldn't sail underneath the bridges. The previous two trips had been ... Read More
My husband and I booked our once in a lifetime cruise which ended up an extremely disappointing and expensive bus trip. The rivers were high on the Rhone and we couldn't sail underneath the bridges. The previous two trips had been cancelled but ours went ahead. We were docked in Macon for five nights and went out daily on coach trips which got longer and longer. We couldn't get back for lunch so were given 20 euros each which was not equivalent to an on board lunch. We missed out on promised entertainment at night. We were taken off the ship and bussed to two different hotels (more packing and unpacking). These hotels were not equivalent to the 5 star ship (food was poor and the rooms inadequate). Passengers were sick with coughs and colds and because we were confined to long trips germs were quickly spread. The ship itself was terrific and the staff excellent. We enjoyed ship board life and were very disappointed we did not get the opportunity to fully appreciate the facilities offered. Some passengers only looked at a dock for 5 days! We ended up sailing for only about 2-3 hours in total. Scenic Tours have only offered $1000 off another trip!! This does not compensate in any way for loss of enjoyment and we are disgusted at the lack of communication. Other companies such as Viking and Avalon have offered their customers 50% refund and in some cases 50% of another trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
My husband & I are avid cruises, and have been on many cruises prior to the Scenic Rhine & Rhone river cruise, and we believe that if you are told to expect 5 Star and pay a lot of money for 5 Star that is what you should receive. ... Read More
My husband & I are avid cruises, and have been on many cruises prior to the Scenic Rhine & Rhone river cruise, and we believe that if you are told to expect 5 Star and pay a lot of money for 5 Star that is what you should receive. We have never once had a complaint with a cruise liner before, but we are so disappointed with this last cruise that we felt that others should be aware of our experience with Scenic cruises. My husband and I have just returned from a Scenic 14 day Rhine and Rhone river cruise with 3 days in Paris beforehand on the Scenic Spaceships Sapphire and Emerald. If you have ever picked up a Scenic brochure or indeed seen one of their ads on TV, you will hear and see that these trips are supposed to be 5 Star all the way. This was to be the trip of a lifetime 3 days in Paris followed by 14 days cruising the rivers in 5 Star luxury. At least that was what we were led to believe. Balcony rooms, unlimited alcohol, 5 Star dining all for the price of $22,500. Unfortunately the reality was between 3 and 4 star at a maximum. Our supposed spectacular dinner at the Eiffel Tower was more like a 3 star, get what you are given dinner on the first level. No spectacular view at all and a very definite time limit on how long you could sit and enjoy the "scenery". Very big disappointment, especially as there is a much better restaurant, Jules Verne one floor up, but of course more expensive. My husband and I had much nicer meals just in local cafes than this 5 Star Scenic experience. We began our 14 day, 2 river cruise on the Scenic Sapphire. We were very happy with the look and feel of this ship, and the staff were in fact exceptional, especially Miguel and Kurt. The food was mostly 4 Star, however the evening entertainment certainly left a lot to be desired. They seem to get one piano player on the ship for a whole week and that is all the entertainment provided. If you don't want to listen to the same music night after night the only choice is to spend the evening in your cabin as there is nowhere else to go on-board. If you like buffets you will enjoy the food on these 5 Star spaceships if not, you need to be prepared to be very disappointed. I expected table service for every meal; however the only meal that received this was at dinner. It was very unfortunate that so many people ended up with dreadful colds which of course spread like a wild fire through both ships when buffets are the only source of food and people who are sick are handling all the serving utensils. The 2nd week we moved over to the Scenic Emerald. This spaceship is definitely a lot older than the Sapphire and it showed. Our cabin was so disappointing not only was the TV falling off the wall but it didn't work for 4.5 days out of the 7 we were on board. The quilts on the bed had no stuffing left in them, in fact if you picked them up towards the light they were totally see-through. The food on this ship was inedible a lot of the time. If my husband and I were off the ship we in fact preferred to eat at the local restaurants than go back to the ship to eat. We had raw rabbit the first night on board the Emerald and the second night was no better with veal that could not be cut up it was so tough. I won't even begin to describe the dessert of Crepe Suzette that consisted of a piece of crepe roughly the size of my little finger that was an absolute disgrace and that everyone just looked at with absolute bewilderment. Half way through our 2nd leg of the River Cruise I did in fact email Scenic Cruises directly and let them know of our disappointment in regards to the food, entertainment and the quality of the ship. I received a reply from the Customer Liaison Manager, which was appreciated. She informed me that she was disappointed in our feedback and apologised that the meals were not to our tastes and that all of the things I mentioned in my email would be bought to the attention of the new Cruise Operations Manager. She also advised me that she had passed our comments onto the Cruise Director on board the Emerald. The Cruise Director did in fact come to talk to my husband and I later on the same afternoon. She listened to what we had to say, apologised profusely, but of course there was not a lot she could do. She did in fact agree that what we were receiving was not 5 Star and that it should not be advertised as such. If I was advised that Scenic offered 4 Star food and accommodation and we actually paid for 4 Star service, then I would have been happy with what we received. But we were promised 5 Star and certainly did not receive it. I have informed by travel agent of the problems we had and she of course was very upset as she recommended this trip in the first place. We are very frequent travelers, but will never be using 3 Star Scenic ever again.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2012
Pre Cruise: We flew KLM to Amsterdam and stayed 3 extra nights at the Hilton by Doubletree, booked on our own not through the cruise line. KLM was by far the best economy carrier we have used to Europe from Toronto. We took the train ... Read More
Pre Cruise: We flew KLM to Amsterdam and stayed 3 extra nights at the Hilton by Doubletree, booked on our own not through the cruise line. KLM was by far the best economy carrier we have used to Europe from Toronto. We took the train from Schipol Plaza to Central Station and walked next door to the hotel, 7 or 8 minutes with the luggage. We had a room facing the water and therefore the rail tracks and the trains are very frequent. I would suggest an upgrade to the city view for a more restful sleep. Beds were comfortable, room well appointed and clean. Food in the dining room was excellent both at breakfast and we had one dinner there. Staff were all very friendly, helpful and accommodating. There is a Starbucks at one end of the lobby closest to the train station. I would certainly stay there again. Amsterdam was a wonderful city to walk around and we did a tremendous amount of walking. Book tickets online in advance for the Anne Frank house. Cruise: Amsterdam to Budapest, 14 nights along the Rhine Canal, Rhine, Main, Main Danube Canal and Danube Rivers. Embarkation Day: Scenic Tours has a day room(s) at the hotel on embarkation day from about 9 in the morning. There is coffee and snacks and they will store your luggage. These rooms are used by those embarking and those disembarking. Buses take the luggage to the ship around 1 and then the passengers around 2:30. The ship is only a 5 minute walk from the hotel and if I did it again, I would not wait around at the hotel, I would just go directly to the ship mid day. Embarkation was quick and efficient. The Captain greeted us as we embarked the Scenic Emerald and he was always there to welcome you back on board at all the ports. The most visible and personable Captain I have ever had on any ocean or river cruise. Ship Comments: Lounge areas are spacious and open although there was never enough seating for the port talks or entertainment times. I hope that when they add the River Cafe for next year, that they don't take away any seating. We were on the lowest deck and the room, while small, was very compact and efficient with plenty of storage. Suitcases do go under the bed. Bathroom nicely appointed, great shower but bring your own shampoo. The L'Occitaine shampoo provided was not very good, at least in my opinion. The beds were of the European style, that is long and narrow but very comfortable. We asked for top sheets as I find the comforter too warm at night. There was a great deal of bumping and grinding going through the locks during the night. Some nights it woke you up but not all the time. I had previously travelled on an AMA Waterways ship and did not experience this same noise level so not sure if it was because we were on the lowest deck this time or whether the Scenic ship is a bit wider. The dining room was also very open and airy but very noisy at dinner times. (no different than any of these river cruise ships) Tables of 2 to 10, open seating. It doesn't matter where you sit you have a view of the both sides of the river (unless docked of course) except perhaps if you are in the tables in the corner. We love the lounge at the front of the ship that turns into Portobellos at night as well as the outside lounge at the front, although quite chilly on our cruise to sit out. Dinner is fixed time generally at 7pm. Some days earlier/later depending upon the tour schedule. As with all river cruises, the open deck on top has to be closed for about 5 days due to the low bridges, however, there is still an outside sitting area available. Take advantage of the upper deck during the first several days after you leave Amsterdam before they close it. It opens up again on the Danube. Food and Entertainment: Although the food was for the most part very good, the menu items were quite different to the N. American palate. Some strange choices I must say. However, there was always enough food and you could rely on the standard fare of Chicken, Steak, Salmon or Hamburgers if the other menu items did not appeal. Lunches were better than dinners in my opinion with always something being carved. The special Hungarian night I found to be excellent and the German night was pretty good as well. I found the French night menu a bit strange. Dinner at Portobellos was excellent as well although not items one would expect on a typical Italian menu. Wine and beer was free flowing at lunch and dinner and the white wines were quite good for the most part (didn't try the red wines). The desert selection was not the best, the cakes were a bit dry but the ice cream seemed to always be a hit. The strangest thing perhaps was the lack of coffee/tea being served at dinner. It was almost an imposition to ask for coffee after the meal. There was a piano player onboard who played every day and night in the lounge and he varied his music to suit the crowd. 70% of the guests were Australian and they love to party and dance. Outside entertainment was brought in on several occasions; a zither player, Oom Pah Pah band, Hungarian dancers, there was a glass blowing demonstration, crew show etc. Everything was very good. We were very fortunate that there was a professional piano player onboard as a guest and he did a concert one night for the rest of the guests and quite often played while the regular piano player was taking a break. Staff: The Cruise Director Werney was very enthusiastic, tried to get everyone in an upbeat and positive mood all the time. He was well organized and did a fantastic job. The staff, for the most part, were very pleasant, friendly, accommodating and efficient. The Captain was always around, personable, visible and seemed to care that his guests were being taken care of. Many of the staff have to handle different tasks on a regular basis. Everyone hauls luggage including the piano player. Most of the staff take out the trash on a regular basis. The bus drivers (Scenic had four buses on the second half of the cruise that were dedicated to our ship) were excellent and all the local tour guides in each of the towns/cities did an outstanding job. They were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their towns. Tours/Excursions: Every day was jam packed with activity from 8 in the morning until bedtime. If you like structure, this is for you. If you like to do things on your own with lots of down time, river cruising may not be for you. Everything was well organized and there were no issues that I was aware of. Sometimes we were docked right in the town where you could just walk off the ship, other times we had to be bused to the city center. We were however, expecting this no not an issue. The city tours were excellent, the walking tours also good. We did Salzburg (2.5 hrs. Each way on a bus) and worth every minute, as well as Bratislava, Slovakia (1 hrs. By bus each way). The only disappointment perhaps was that we were in Bamberg on a Sunday when absolutely nothing but the odd coffee shop was open for business and we had quite a bit of free time. All the Optional tours were already included in the price so no extra cost. The concert in Vienna was outstanding, very enjoyable location and professional performance. The Village Life excursion was terrific. We chose the winery tour and the owner was so passionate about his family business, he loved to talk about all the details and the BBQ and entertainment that evening was wonderful. A fantastic night. Also loved the night sail up and down the river in Budapest. Disembarkation: Again, very efficiently handled. The day before everyone is given colour coded luggage tags, the bags are to be out by 7am and they are placed in colour grouping depending on where you are going: i.e. to the Marriot Hotel, to the airport directly, on the post cruise excursion to Prague, independent transfers etc. Everyone had to be off the ship by 9:30. If you had a later flight, you could go to the Marriott and have the use of the luggage storage and use of the day room until time to go to the airport. Post Cruise: We stayed one extra night in Budapest at the Starlight Suiten hotel situated near St. Stephens Basilica, close to the river, Vaci St. And Andrassy Ave. Two room suite with large rooms and bathroom with tub and shower. Microwave and fridge in the sitting area, two televisions. Highly recommend. Staff at the hotel were great. Taxi to the hotel organized by the Scenic reception desk, hotel organized the taxi to the airport. Lots of walking done again in Budapest. Would recommend at least 2 extra nights. Again, flights home via KLM were great although not impressed with the" free for all" boarding of the aircraft rather than boarding by row number. Overall Impression: Wonderful way to see central Europe, very hectic schedule. Scenic Tours lived up to our expectations for the most part although we were somewhat disappointed in the food. We are not big drinkers so did not fully partake of the free flowing wine and beer. The excursions were excellent and well organized. We would travel again with Scenic and would recommend to others. 70% Australian, 20% Canadian, 10% other. Average age 65-70 (a guess). Age range 40 to 85. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
My friend and I left Perth Western Australia, Flying Singapore Airlines Via Singapore. From there we flew to Frankfurt, long flight!!! from Frankfurt we boarded another Plane to Budapest, here we were met by the Scenic tours Rep. With ... Read More
My friend and I left Perth Western Australia, Flying Singapore Airlines Via Singapore. From there we flew to Frankfurt, long flight!!! from Frankfurt we boarded another Plane to Budapest, here we were met by the Scenic tours Rep. With other people we boarded a bus for a leisurely drive to the Hotel we were to stay at until our ship was ready to board. Here we were ushered into the day room and given food and drinks,We needed the drinks as the outside temperature was a blistering 40 deg. our attempt to go for a walk was very short lived. WE had a glimpse of our surroundings, and decided to retreat back into the hotel. Soon we were ushered back onto the bus for our trip to our ship. Here we were met by the Captain and reception staff whom very efficiently presented us with our Key cards and told where we were to go etc. Down 4 steps and a long walk down to the end of the passage. the passage walls were adorned with some very nice paintings. . our cabin which at first looked very small, we did have a balcony (bliss)after a short time the room we were staying was more than adequate with plenty of draw and wardrobe space for us two ladies. the ship we found to be very spacois with onboard hairdresser and massage lady. downstairs was the breakfast/dinner room,up stairs from our deck was the lounge/bar. with lots of windows,we could get our teaand coffeee here free.lots of different types of both. Meals were outstanding sevive was great, the staff were very diverse in there nationalities all were very obliging, nothing too much for them to do there were of course one or two who were more attentive to peoples needs thn others but all were great really. We visied 14 Ports in all, and had a choice of which shore excurtion we wanted to partake in out of any three,at all ports. I had a problem with my legs on the 4th or fifth day of our cruise. I mentioned this to the captain,in no time at all I was put in a Taxi and sent to the local hospital, being in Germany I was quite concerned as I have no idea how I was going to get them to understand what the problem was. but no fear they had ben forwarned that I only understood English.They found someone who I could talk to.I was back on board about 3Hrs later. I had a script to fill,and again they were quick to order another taxi for the young lady to go and pick up my scrip. how WONDERFULLcan't praise them enough. There were entertainers brought onboard at 3 different places. The highlite was of course the crew show never laughed so much and for so long in ages. congratulations to them all. I can't pick out any particular place of interest to give as being special as they all were. This trip has been more than I had imagined it could be, I was very sad for it to come to an end. Our arrival in Amsterdam was filled with a feeling of WOW!!! I want to go on another cruise with this company it's so good. Disembarking was very well organised again we were taken to another hotel to stay in a day room and wait for our cases. My friend and I had a short walk from here to the train station were we travelled further into Holland. THANK YOU SCENIC Trudlz Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This was our 2nd river cruise. I chose Scenic because I wanted to sit out on the balcony & the staterooms were spacious at 205 sq ft. They describe themselves as All-Inclusive 5* Luxury cruising. We flew from Vancouver to ... Read More
This was our 2nd river cruise. I chose Scenic because I wanted to sit out on the balcony & the staterooms were spacious at 205 sq ft. They describe themselves as All-Inclusive 5* Luxury cruising. We flew from Vancouver to Amsterdam direct on KLM. The plane configuration was 2,4,2. They have seatback entertainment. Meals are good. They offer water and juice frequently. KLM is an innovative airline. Read all about it on their website or their in-flight magazine. We stayed 1 nt PRE at the Radisson Amsterdam which is a 10 mins walk from Centraal Station. Other hotels nearby are the Victoria Hotel, Bellvue Hotel and the Ibis Amsterdam. Hotels near the cruise terminal are the Doubletree (formerly the Mint ) and the Movenpick. We got to the hotel about 2 pm, our room was ready, we dropped our bags & explored Amsterdam. We bought 1 one day transit ticket for about 7 euros. We visited Oosterpark ( lots of birds here ), Vondelpark, visited several street markets, had dinner in Chinatown. When looking for a restaurant, choose the one that's busy. That means the food is good. The local supermarket AlbertHein is also good for snacks etc. When you use transit, you have to scan the chipcard both when you enter & exit the vehicle. We saw more bicycles in Amsterdam than when we were in China. It was quite cold in Amsterdam, only 8-9*C and the tulips were only 30% bloomed at Keukenhof. Maybe mid-April would've been better. The cruise terminal is a very long 20 mins walk from Centraal Station. Better to take a taxi. We boarded the ship the next day at 5 pm. Embarkation dinner was a buffet from 5 to 7 pm. All aboard at 10 pm. The ship is modern looking. They also have a self-serve coffee/tea station in the lounge where you can dispense your own latte, espressos etc. However, the beverage is already at drinkable temperature. I thought it could be hotter. I was disappointed in the Scenic product. Other than the L'Occitane toiletries, it didn't feel luxurious. We didn't dine on fine china, meals were not attractively presented, the stateroom steward neither introduced himself nor greeted us by name. When booking a balcony on a river cruise, don't choose the lowest deck, otherwise you'll be watching garbage floating by. Don't book staterooms ending in 20 or higher. There is a lot of vibration and noise in the aft of the ship. When I returned home, I researched 4 other river cruise lines: AMA, Avalon, Viking and Uniworld. These companies offered 2 or more tours in each port, easy or energetic tours and the pictures of the meals were way more gorgeous than ours. I met one man who had cruised with Uniworld. He said the meals were superlative. The tours by Scenic were mostly walking tours to free attractions. The only paid attractions that were included were the Keukenhof Gardens and the Amsterdam scenic boat tour. The passengers were mostly Brits, Aussies, Canadians and a small number of Americans. Many were 1st time river cruisers. I met one couple from Australia that only travel with Scenic Tours because the gratuities are included. On the return flight, you go through security screening at the gate. First they call families with children and all the Elite members. Then they call all economy passengers. They board the plane 45 mins prior to departure. This time the seat configuration was 3,3,3. The flight attendants were more friendly and meals were even better. Strange thing was that the plane started taxiing before the flight attendants told people to sit down & buckle up. They even served ice-cream as a snack ! Read Less
Scenic Emerald Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 2.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.3

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