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Sail Date: August 2019
Disaster from from the start. Low water levels meant we couldn’t start at Nuremberg, which I know is beyond their control, went to Passau and stayed there for 3 days which was a long way from Passau it’s self, had to look at a brick ... Read More
Disaster from from the start. Low water levels meant we couldn’t start at Nuremberg, which I know is beyond their control, went to Passau and stayed there for 3 days which was a long way from Passau it’s self, had to look at a brick wall for3 days. Too far to walk anywhere so never saw Passau. Had to endure hours on coaches to get anywhere. No food for us when we eventually arrived at the ship being told the embarkation lunch finished at 3.00. By now it was late afternoon and hadn’t eaten since early morning when we had breakfast at the airport,and dinner that night wasn’t until 7.30. Surely theyknew a coach load of passengers were arriving late! On a few occasions when we arrived back for lunch, they were already clearing the food away so it was rush rush to get anything. We were travelling with a group of friends who were all totally disappointed with this trip. This was the first time they had been on a river cruise and we recommend it ,as we had had an excellent cruise on the Rhine 2 years ago with a different company. We only had 4 days cruising which was lovely when we got going. I don’t know why there were no contingency plans for this situation it didn’t just happen overnight It was a very rushed and stressful holiday and Scenic being a premium cruise company was a great disappointment to us as well as being a very expensive holiday, we were totally fed up. On the bright side though, the ship and cabins were spotlessly clean and our butler was excellent. Also Darinka, the cruise manager, was doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best ... Read More
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best to keep us happy!! We were bused to Passau and there we docked for 3 nights. To see the tours we had scheduled we had to be bused anywhere from 2-3 hours which was tiring - decisions to skip out on tours were made so as not to get overtired. The sights were astounding and the guides knowledgeable. The audio system was inconsistent and needs to be streamlined. I especially enjoyed cruising on the Danube. The Pearl was beautifully maintained. Clean, modern. Meals were delicious. Lots of options. Well displayed. I thought perhaps there could have been an earlier seating for those who didn’t do tours - at times it was a long wait for dinner as late as 7:30 to wait for the buses to return. All staff I found professional and attentive. Vienna was astounding and I would only ask that the cruise stay an extra day there! Our cruise director was terrific! 5 star service! She explained everything well. Always available for questions. This won’t be my last river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was ... Read More
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was the biggest lie ever. After that experience we were very reluctant to do another river cruise again. I had voiced my concerns with friends in Perth Australia, they said try Scenic, they had tried it and loved it. So here we were ready to get on board, nervous, a little weary and very anxious Getting picked up at the airport in a private transfer was excellent. No waiting, no fuss. The driver was friendly and helpful. Arriving at the ship, well, let;s just say we gave a sigh of relief. They actually had security, the other ship did not. We were greeted at the desk like we were old friends. The desk staff, kind courteous and efficient.. The tour director, Darinka, she is awesome, I would cruise with scenic just to have her on board again! We were told go have a snack and a drink and they will collect us and bring us to our cabin shortly. Indeed shortly was correct! Our cabin #316, was excellent, loads of storage space, huge adjustable bed, sofa, chairs, a full bathroom with a bathtub and a balcony. A chilled bottle of Champagne awaiting our arrival, fresh fruit and a wonderful butler. Our butler gave us a run down of everything in the room, how to lower the window... The cabin,clean, a mini bar well stocked and we could order room service anytime. Every day there was a daily briefing on the next port of call, dinner, drinks and any info you needed. The dining was excellent, as professionals that we are we always like to dine alone since we see so many people in everyday , here we could. It was so nice to be able to do that. The food was excellent, great choices for vegetarians, great quality, great wine choices. Every evening there was some entertainment, we danced the night away a few evenings. The excursions well planned and executed, the welcome back home with a cool towel is always welcoming. Overall, we were very happy with Scenic, we will book another cruise for 2021 with them without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The ... Read More
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The Cruise Director, Andreea was a real trooper handling everything that came up with grace and excellence. The stops were very nice, and the guides were very good, except one. The complementary drinks and mini bar and excursions were a definite plus. Andreea spent a little time each afternoon explaining how it would all work the next day. The only drawback for us was the dinners. The choices were just not appealing to us. They did have chicken, steak, and salmon for alternatives, though. Breakfast was fine with a large buffet around the center serving area. One could also order special things like pancakes and french toast from a menu. Lunch was good, but difficult to maneuver the center buffet. There was no beginning or end, so one had to just jump in front of someone else. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise on the Scenic Pearl far exceeded our expectations! We loved gliding along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and gazing at the picturesque scenery along the way from our balcony, the dining room, lounge and top deck, there was ... Read More
This cruise on the Scenic Pearl far exceeded our expectations! We loved gliding along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and gazing at the picturesque scenery along the way from our balcony, the dining room, lounge and top deck, there was always something amazing to see. Our cruise director was outstanding and all the staff were friendly and attentive and worked hard to make sure we had the best experience. The gourmet food was delicious, plentiful and well presented. The excursions and enrichment activities were very well organized and we also enjoyed the free time to explore on our own. Some of the highlights for us: The beautiful scenery, Amsterdam from the canals, Melk Abbey, Nuremberg, Saltzburg with some Sound of Music sights, the wonders of Vienna and the beautiful Opera performed just for us, ancient villages, castles and ruins and the surprise Budapest light show on our very last evening was truly spectacular. We can’t rave enough about this cruise...it really was a dream vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Both myself and my wife were on the pearl this past 2 weeks. I would like to say that this experience was top notch! Everything from the shore excursions to the food, and overall service was excellent The experience was varied and in ... Read More
Both myself and my wife were on the pearl this past 2 weeks. I would like to say that this experience was top notch! Everything from the shore excursions to the food, and overall service was excellent The experience was varied and in depth and was pulled off without a hitch. My special thanks go to all the people on the ship and a well deserved special honorable mention to Darinka , our cruise director, who, in addition to being a top flight professional, is curtious, kind, funny, and tireless at her job, taking care of everything from on shore excursions to handling luggage transfers to and from the ship. The experience was executed to perfection. In addition, what a perfect way to get to know many new friends as the ship had around 150 passengers. This enables things to happen quickly and efficiently. Everyday can be either busy or relaxing. You choose............. The food was extremely varied with the chef tailoring the meals to the various ports of call. What was extremely worth while was their use of software via an app that worked very well . The app interfaces with your iPhone or your iPad etc enabled you to get valuable information from all sites we visited whether it was from an excursion or while cruising. Because of the GPS used, the app would recognize where you were and prompt you for more information on the site you are seeing or visiting. In addition, scenic has certain venues that are exclusive to scenic only. We were able to have a concert to ourselves in Vienna. My compliments to the Scenic Pearl and all the staff...... An all inclusive that truly was "ALL Inclusive"""" Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this trip as some of our family had already booked, and it was something we thought we would like to do It was an amazing experience, and we all had a fabulous time. We would definitely recommend this to anyone First class ... Read More
We chose this trip as some of our family had already booked, and it was something we thought we would like to do It was an amazing experience, and we all had a fabulous time. We would definitely recommend this to anyone First class accommodation and meals, with an excellent itinerary with first class activities and outings included We hope to cruise with Scenic again in the future. It was so well organised and easy for passengers. The staff were wonderful and very friendly and accommodating All of the onshore activities were value for money, interesting and informative as well as a lot of fun. We felt very pampered and well looked after and couldn’t totally relax and enjoy our cruise holiday knowing everything was taken care of. The food and drink menu and waiters were amazing, and really made life on the ship so special, as did our cruise director, who made sure everyone had a fabulous time. Thankyou Scenic, for a truly memorable holiday Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam ... Read More
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam to Budapest from July 1 to 15th. The basis: I had never been on any cruise of any kind in the past, and also never on any guided trip (other than a weekend bus trip last summer). I plan and organize my own holidays according to my interests and have travelled mostly in Canada and the USA with limited international travel to Iceland, Scotland, Germany and Ukraine. The attraction of a river cruise was a hotel room that came along with you as you got to see a bunch of sites throughout central Europe. We chose Scenic for their all inclusive pricing and that was definitely the right decision. Anything we wanted was included (aside some very pricy champagne), but all beverages, any time, snacks, mini-bar, butler services, tour guides, travel out, all excursions, nothing extra – no having to keep coins handy for tips – aside from personal shopping and buying drinks or snacks out on the town, you really didn't need to carry money or your CC with you. Service was excellent, meals were superb and aside from one dish with octopus or squid which felt like you were chewing on a garden hose and their inability to actually FREEZE ice cream, I can't think of anything that was less than excellent. The tour director was amazing and worked 18 hour days I'm sure, to meet all our needs and get us organized and coming and going on time. All staff were friendly, willing to assist and aside from a couple likely language issues (we got the wrong food on room service and the wrong pillows from the pillow menu), you couldn't have asked for better service. Probably not necessary to make up the rooms twice a day – you come in from a day out and toss your shopping, clothes etc on the bed and go for a drink – come back and it's all somewhere else because they have straightened the bad and left your chocolate – but sheesh, should that really be a complaint? While it was nice to be travelling with your hotel room, I didn't realize just how MUCH time was going to be spent on the boat – some days we only got out for 4-6 hours, occasionally a whole day or overnight in port and once not at all for 36 hours. 64 locks resulted in about 25 to 30 hours of time going up and down..... Time off the boat came to about 73 hours by my diary – in 14 days – which averages around 5 hours a day. That includes all the bus travel time as well which for the Salzburg trip was almost 5 hours alone. I'm saying there was much less time for actual exploration and sightseeing than I expected. Most of the time off board was taken up with a guided tour downtown (which I started skipping), and then an hour or so of free time. It was never enough – there's so much to experience and all you are doing is clock watching to be sure you get back in time. I never felt relaxed – it was regimented the whole time – get up, eat breakfast, get on the bus, follow the guide, look here, see that, listen to this, your own time for a few minutes, get on the bus, get on the boat, eat, sleep, repeat. I appreciate you can't have 150 people doing their own thing – you would never get anywhere, but I sure wish there had been much more free time – or I should have just used the bus to get to a destination and left to do my own interests. And this is strictly a “bricks and mortar” tour – forget smelling the roses or walking in a park with grass beneath your feet, or scrambling along a brook or river and listening to the birds and enjoying the breezes, no botanical gardens, no animals or zoos, or gardens. I'm sure some of these countries have these things, but no options for anything nature was in the tour at all. I DID smell the roses though at an amazing Volksgarten in Vienna and had I known there was a zoo at the Schonbrunn Palace, I most assuredly would have skipped the palace tour (AFP by that time!), and took the train out to the zoo – with pandas no less! But by the time we realized there was something else to do, it was too late and the bus was leaving and there was no time again. On board entertainment was good – a couple were excellent, but I missed at least a couple. It's really awkward when you get into port, have 90 minutes free time to explore, come back to the boat for a 45 minute concert and then have 90 minutes free time to go explore again. Just couldn't be bothered to rush back to the boat when you're out in town having fun. Why plan it that way? Entertainment while sailing makes sense – entertainment on board when you are in port and could be out, did not. Have to comment on the Scenic App which guided you along as you were exploring. The GPS feature to keep you grounded as to where you were and how to get back to the bus was excellent. BUT – it's a really big power pig and even using their devices, I could not actually listen to the commentaries for a full day without it going dead – and at the end you just use it for the GPS and nothing else. The last day in Budapest - we had planned to take the Hop on Hop off bus for a bit of more detailed exploration - but we didn't get off the boat til 10, to the hotel by 11, then a long checking, and it was noon before we got going at all. And we only had one day - half wasted - again we probably should have just done our own thing and taken a taxi to the hotel early and not waited for all the planned exits. Time in Budapest but nothing seen....sigh..... In conclusion, I'm glad I went on the trip – but I would not want to go again on one like this – it would need a lot more port time, a lot more free time and I would be much better organized to go and do what would interest me. If a guided tour is your thing, then I would highly recommend Scenic for their excellent service and all inclusive policy. But if you are normally independent and not a good follower or team player, perhaps not. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Pros: professional staff, very clean ship, liked our cabin BJ202, local entertainment onboard very good, city tours were our favourite, good selection of ports and excursions. Cons: Cabin - no butler in our balcony junior suite as ... Read More
Pros: professional staff, very clean ship, liked our cabin BJ202, local entertainment onboard very good, city tours were our favourite, good selection of ports and excursions. Cons: Cabin - no butler in our balcony junior suite as advertised. Julius, our butler, had other employment commitments on the boat. Almost every time I called him and asked for something he said to call reception. Not answering his cell when I called sometimes and often we had different people (butlers?). Our room steward often forgot to replenish kleenex, qtips, face cloths and bath salt. Air conditioning worked poorly at night and it was very warm in our cabin. Excursions - The Luxembourg excursion was a waste of time. Long bus ride and only about 1 hour to spend touring this city which is undergoing major renovations. The Roman Park: total chaos. Three buses from our ship visited this place and when we arrived, our tour guide was confused and trying to help other tour guides. Wasted approximately 40 minutes standing around and did not see much of the wonderful sites in this park. Strasbourg: homeless people on the streets and questionable characters. Our tour guide gave us a brisque tour of Strasbourg and would rather have had more of a guided tour. Sat down for a snack in the square and people would approach us trying to sell belts. Food: could have had more of a selection rather than repetitive chicken wings for lunch. TIP: Order wine off the menu rather than drinking the local wines the servers constantly offer. Overall, the cruise was wonderful but there needs to be some modifications made. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise visited very interesting places. The ship was great. The staff were second to none. The cruise director was very good. The captain was very approachable and certainly did not hide away. The weather was not good, but that ... Read More
The cruise visited very interesting places. The ship was great. The staff were second to none. The cruise director was very good. The captain was very approachable and certainly did not hide away. The weather was not good, but that was not Scenic's fault. The surrounding scenery was somewhat boring. If the weather had been better, it would have been nice to spend more time cruising the rivers, albeit that there was little to see. The cabins are great, although the wardrobe doors can be an impediment - they would be more convenient if they were sliding doors. The food was excellent, and the wine with lunch and dinner was ok ( I did find I particularly liked one and the wine waiter looked after me from then on). The majority of the guides on the excursions were good, and the cruise director was receptive to assessments of each guide. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our ... Read More
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our problem was the fact the cruise we chose to see the tulips in Holland was on tidal rivers and at times it was really rough .Tge ship sailed every night and as it was very noisy we hardly slept for a week. We also had a terrible smell in our bathroom .Cabin 103 on the jewel deck.Weather wasn’t good and it was very cold therefore could not spend time on upper sun deck .Nothing to entertain us in the afternoons so was a bit boring .Would not have taken this cruise if we had known the North Sea comes into the rivers in that area Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Was under the impression care free travelling. Everything paid for eg museums. Disappointed not notified of low water levels until the day. We were to be on the boat. Came as a shock to us we’d be staying in hotel two extra days. ... Read More
Was under the impression care free travelling. Everything paid for eg museums. Disappointed not notified of low water levels until the day. We were to be on the boat. Came as a shock to us we’d be staying in hotel two extra days. Dinner and drinks were not covered as they would be on boat. We were on the buses far too long and too many hrs. We packed and unpacked at least four time. Was promised care free travelling. Unpack once be done with it. Did not see everything promised on this cruise. This was our once in a lifetime adventure. Very disappointed. I can say the food was excellent and the staff and service was great. For the $19,000 we paid for trip was not worth the money. We could of done several bus trips since we were on buses anyway and packing a lot of the time. I can say it would of been a great trip if we had not had to transfer and been on the river full time Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the Scenic line thru a recommondation from our travel agent and also friends. There were low river issues before we left, but there was no talk of postponing or cancelling. We started off our holiday with a 10 day bus tour of ... Read More
We chose the Scenic line thru a recommondation from our travel agent and also friends. There were low river issues before we left, but there was no talk of postponing or cancelling. We started off our holiday with a 10 day bus tour of Poland. We chose to pick up the river cruise in Budapest to have a relaxing 2 weeks after busing for 10 days. We were on the Pearl for 4-5 days, switched to the Opal for a few days, then bused to a location, missing a major portion of the cruise we where looking forward to. Then switched ships to the Amber. It was not relaxing after the first 4 days, Constantly packing up, unpacking and meeting new crews. The Positives: Each ship was a little nicer each time The Crew was wonderful and accommodating The Amber crew was really taxed with cleaning up after the guests switching to the Opal and preparing to accommodate the Opal guests. We all needed a holiday after that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise ... Read More
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise director Andreea was amazing. The swaps were handled very well and pretty painlessly for us, with the exception we had to pack up twice but all luggage was handl d by the crew and in our rooms when we reached the new ship. Weather for October was well above normal so we were able to st on the top deck as we crises te rivers. Rm 234 at te back of the ship was very noisy on the Pearl but not so on the newer Opal ad Amber. Etertanmet rought on board was ver good. String quartet delightful. Would have enjiyed ports more had we been able to dock closer to town centres but low water levels found us needing to shuttle into centre of towns. Would definitely travel wt Scenic again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose this cruise because we had done the Rhine and this looked like a decent alternative for our next cruise. The day trips on this cruise required more bus time then the Rhine cruise which made for long long days. The low water level ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had done the Rhine and this looked like a decent alternative for our next cruise. The day trips on this cruise required more bus time then the Rhine cruise which made for long long days. The low water level caused us to have to change ships too days prior to the end of the cruise this made for hectic travel time of packing and unpacking. The kitchen and bar staff were great however the butler service was a lacking compared to the service we received two years prior on the Scenic Crystal. For example all the products in the min fridge were not to our liking so www asked the butler to change the items in the mini fridge i.e. more beer less wine and on this trip he stated that the mini fridge has a fixed set up and can not be changed however on the Crystal the butler was only too happy to make the changes. This is why we rated to trip in some ares mediocre. However the money we paid of the trip was top dollar. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful ... Read More
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful crew. The crew on the 2nd ship seemed to find us an inconvenience. This is understandable since it was inconvenient for us as well. We were required to change ships for one night due to the low water levels in the Danube. I can't imagine all the extra work that means for the crew. The cruise director (Richard) was great. The worst thing about moving the ship was leaving the hearing devices on board. So we were without those fantastic devices for a full day. The guide we had that day (Regensburg?) was great, but very soft spoken. I would have had a more interesting time if I could have heard her. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise and Scenic was recommended to us by several friends and our travel agent. We took this cruise with 2 other couples as we all celebrated our 50th anniversary. We were certainly not disappointed!! ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and Scenic was recommended to us by several friends and our travel agent. We took this cruise with 2 other couples as we all celebrated our 50th anniversary. We were certainly not disappointed!! Everything about Scenic is first class, especially the dining, service, cruise director's attention to detail, punctuality and Richard was just plain FUN! We had to change ships in Germany because of low water and the transition to the Jasper was seamless. All the excursions were thorough, but never rushed. Always on time, local guides were excellent. The Pearl was extremely well outfitted; we were very pleasantly surprised with the bathroom size, closet space and the cleanliness was second to none. We cannot say enough about the Pearl staff; they were attentive without being overly intrusive; and above all so much fun!! We loved the whole River Cruise experience as we did not have to pack each day; just enjoy the excursions and then return to a wonderful balcony suite and prepare for dinner. We would highly recommend Scenic for river cruise travel. Also, all the info we received from Scenic prior to our departure was first class and very informative. We also called Scenic directly a few times before departure and our questions were also answered immediately and courteously. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an ... Read More
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an industrial area next to the garbage bins. We had paid for a balcony cabin, but since we were docked next to other ships for most of the trip, this was impossible to use. The drapes remained closed and the balcony was waste space. Only half of the guides were informative, the food was convention quality, the wine was plonk and the service was average relative to the cruise industry. Most of the passengers were over 65 and likely were on statins, but most of the menu was high in cholesterol and waiters could not suggest appropriate dishes. Would it be a real problem to provide skim milk for cereal? Scenic has no control over river depths, but they do have control over other aspects and the quality was limited. Two days out of eight matched expectations. Only redeming quality was the opportunity to interact with terrific fellow passengers who made the journey memorable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our ... Read More
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our usual travel experiences. Walking tours did not provide options for people with limited mobility. There were only two days out of the eight that matched expectations. The food compares with adequate convention food; very difficult to select low cholesterol options which was surprizing given the average age: most of us probably were on statins. Cabin was very tight and the private balcony could not be used because of the adjacent ships so the premium was not of any value; we had to keep the drapes closed for privacy otherwise you would be able to see and touch cabins on the next ship. All inclusive did not result in good value for experienced travellers; this is meant for people who prefer to assign details to a "tour operator". Scenic can not control the river levels but could improve some service and excursions. Excellent travel companions helped make the best of the trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a gift for 20th service at my work! The different excursions were fantastic and well organized. The bike ride was magic and with the electric assistance, it was a great discovery. The cabin is really nice and gives a ... Read More
This was a gift for 20th service at my work! The different excursions were fantastic and well organized. The bike ride was magic and with the electric assistance, it was a great discovery. The cabin is really nice and gives a beautiful view we could enjoy with an opening window on the Danube! The cabin is always clean because of the efficency of the cleaning staff. The Chef is incredibly good, always surprising us with different tastes and presentations. The cruise was from Budapest to Nuremberg but because of the low water level, we were not able to go till Nuremberg with the ship. The weather is something we cannot control but we were lucky enough to have the sailing almost till the end. The only thing I would do a remark on is the time between some excursions is tight with the next one. Not much time to exercice and I was sad because no pool on the ship. But for me, it was an incredible experience and I would definitively say, Go for it!! Thanks to all the Fantastic Crew :) Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose Scenic based on online reviews etc. Considered it to be one of the top river cruise companies. We were very disappointed at service levels and food. Breakfast and lunch were major disappointments with minimal options and ... Read More
Chose Scenic based on online reviews etc. Considered it to be one of the top river cruise companies. We were very disappointed at service levels and food. Breakfast and lunch were major disappointments with minimal options and “cafeteria-feel” in the restaurant area. Our first lunch on the ship offered salads and the only hot food option : “liver balls”! For the money paid to take the trip, definitely disappointing. The water levels on the Danube were low and so bus travel dominated the first few days of our trip. Overall, Scenic tours include excursions with bus rides that are too long, example : trip to Salzburg. Also quality of docking areas are very poor : ours were generally in industrial areas or areas not near downtown or old core areas of the cities we were visiting. Tour guides were ok but duration of tours were either too short or too long. We felt that some tours included visiting a few spots that were just tossed in to make up some time. Also, most guides didn’t use their microphones properly so we were unable to hear them very well. Visit to Budapest was disappointing. Sailed into the city in the morning and really only had an afternoon to visit “Budapest in depth”, as Scenic called it. They brought us to a piano recital (which was good), but upon leaving our bus broke down and we were forced to wait in a hot bus for over 1/2 hour. Needless to say, the remaining tour consisted of a quick visit to one other site and then back to the ship. Communication among company, employees and customers was very poor. Even though the company knew water levels were low, they provided few details as to how this would impact our trip. They basically only told us that our ship was changing from the Amber to the Pearl (an older ship). This included a room downgrade in our case and it was only when I pointed this out to the tour director did they consider offering some form of compensation. We didn’t understand why they would set up an early breakfast in one location of the ship, then change it to the formal dining area and then back to the early breakfast location for late risers. Doesn’t make sense and annoys travelers. Overall, tour was not worth the money and we were totally disappointed with the company, service and tour quality. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We are reasonably experienced cruisers (Silversea, Regent, Oceania, Princess) but this was our first river cruise. We chose Scenic based on their all inclusive 5 star claim and the advice of friends who had sailed with Scenic before. The ... Read More
We are reasonably experienced cruisers (Silversea, Regent, Oceania, Princess) but this was our first river cruise. We chose Scenic based on their all inclusive 5 star claim and the advice of friends who had sailed with Scenic before. The Danube itinerary suited our interest in visiting both Budapest and Prague and the Scenic Amber was reported to have the kind of amenities we were looking for. We were quite looking forward to this cruise but unfortunately Scenic seemed intent on failing to meet even the most basic expectations. First the Ship. Sadly we never got to experience the Amber. A couple of days before our departure for Budapest we were advised by Scenic that we would be traveling on the Pearl not the Amber. No explanation or apology offered. Had the Pearl been the same class of ship as the Amber it would have been a non issue but as the Pearl does not have a pool, which my wife was looking forward to using for daily exercise it was a major disappointment. We understand the vagaries of river travel but this switch did not seem to be justified other than as a scheduling error by Scenic as the Amber was in the same stretch of the Danube as we were and indeed we actually met her heading for Budapest on our way to Vienna. As we had no prior experience with Scenic or river cruises we were not aware of some of the other amenity losses; including no separate dining room for the Table Rive and (hearsay) some people were very upset that the class of cabin they had booked on the Amber was not available on the Pearl. The lack of prior notification of the change did not leave them an opportunity to change plans. Cabin: We were booked on the Diamond deck with butler service and while small the room was more or less as expected. The Pearl is designed with a "separate" balcony area with a window that can be lowered if you wish the outdoor experience or raised in inclement weather. It provided me with an opportunity to get out of my wife's way but being separated from the rest of the cabin reduced the flexibility that the additional space could have afforded. We noticed that some of the other lines incorporated the balcony area into the cabin proper allowing some space for sitting. Service; We cannot fault the staff aboard. Hotel staff worked their butts off trying to keep up but the Pearl is so grossly understaffed (Pax/crew ratio 3.3) that is impossible for the staff to meet the advertised 5 star standard. Our butler was doing double duty as a dining room waiter (on call it would seem). It may seem like a small thing to some but the bean counters at Scenic seem to require the servers to limit a pour of wine to no more than 3 ounces (champagne 1 oz). This would be ok if you could find a waiter to top up your glass but they were usually too busy. At a table of four where we were all drinking the same wine they refused to leave the bottle implying this was against policy. Food: It is hard to find words. First impressions are important and for our first dinner I ordered the Sea Bass. When it arrived, it looked like a sardine on the plate. I have never seen such a small portion. I'm not a big eater and don't tell me I could have ordered more, I know! But as this is a five star ship I shouldn’t have to order two meals to get one! The quality of food was poor to average. Anyone who wishes a balanced meal is out of luck. I ordered extra vegetables every meal. My specific request resulted in a second broccoli floret being added to my dinner. Given the huge amount of wonderful vegetables available in the local markets the lack of vegetables was very disappointing. My wife has an allergy to asparagus and this was made known to the manager. In one instance she wished to order a wrap and asked if there was any asparagus in it. The waiter acknowledged the request but brought the wrap anyway without comment. a close call! Interestingly the quality of the food improved a bit a few days into the cruise after a re-provisioning. Makes one wonder why they didn't start that way. Again, the staffing issue was a problem. Dinners were rushed events, more typical of chain restaurants than a five star dining experience. Due to river level issues were not able to sail to Nuremberg as planned but had to turn around at Regensburg and return to Passau. The extension visit to Prague was a highlight. Great hotel, tour director that was the best ever. All in all we were quite disappointed both with Scenic, the Pearl and river cruising in general. River cruising has too many uncertainties if our experience is typical. I've seen it written that river cruising is like a package bus tour without the unpacking. this is certainly true so if that style of travel is not your preference stay away. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after ... Read More
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after disembarking the ship. We were never offered this option. Thus, we had arranged 3 days in Munich on our own at the end of the cruise. In the end, this was fine as we loved Minuch. The Danube was at at all time low and our original boat, the Amber, never made it to Budapest. The Pearl was fine and the staff did an awesome job of dealing with low water levels and making the best of plans that had to change. We didn’t get to spend any downtime in Reggensburg and never made it to Nuremburg. Breakfast and lunch was boring and not that good. One guy making omlettes for 160 passengers just doesn’t cut it. Dinner was mediocre and a couple of times my entrees were not good. Dining is definitely the weak link on the Pearl. All-in-all, we had a great time and met some super people. The reviews that say you don’t need to dress for dinner are wrong. Women should bring 1 dress, some dressy shoes, gitzy jewelry, etc. I was always under-dressed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Cruise director and crew did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. Disappointed that we were not able to sail on the more expensive and newer Jade do to problems with low water levels in the Danube. Sailed on an older boat the ... Read More
Cruise director and crew did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. Disappointed that we were not able to sail on the more expensive and newer Jade do to problems with low water levels in the Danube. Sailed on an older boat the Pearl and halfway through the trip bused to a second vessel further up river. Not a big issue as this was the day we were already taking a day-long trip to Salzberg. Just meant we had to pack and unpack again, missed a section of the river and the bus trip was a bit longer. I heard that others on other cruises at this time were cancelled or people ended up busing instead, so I counted ourselves lucky. The cabins were small but comfortable. Enjoyed the local folk entertainment on board. There was a reasonable variety for dinner although the breakfast and lunch offerings somewhat repetitive. The shore excursions were included and typically a couple of different options. All the guides were extremely knowledgeable Loved the using their e-bikes and our stops at smaller communities along the way. Would have been nice to have yoga or other onboard fitness activities. Added on a pre-cruise stay in Prague and post-cruise stay in Budapest. The accommodations and guided walk organized by Scenic were great. Would recommend having this full experience. So yes there were very big problems due to water levels in the river but I believe Scenic worked hard to make to work. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are ... Read More
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are typical of the river cruise experience and not unique to Scenic. First the good points 1 The staff were excellent and tried very hard. However due to the multi tasking required several promised facilities did not live up to the promise. How can your ‘butler’ be in attendance when she is waiting on tables. If the service cannot be efficiently delivered why offer? 2. The boat was very clean and tidy all the time 3. Our suite was fabulous. However looking in others they seemed small. I appreciate that small cabins are typical of most river cruise boats, not exclusive to Scenic 4. The excursions were very well organised. However on some occasions, such as in Vienna they started at 8.00am when they could very easily have started 1.00-1.50 hours later as we were in port to late evening. Consequently breakfast was served 6.30-8.00 which was not necessarily desired by those guests not participating in the tours. 5. The free laundry service is very useful 6. The unlimited drinks at any time is a generous facility and the quality of wine,spirits and champagne offered was good. 7. Good modern easily useable technology in the cabin and ample power points 8. Relaxed dress code. 9. Due to difficulties with low water levels making parts of the Danube unnavigable the cruise schedule had to be amended on several occasions. This was seamlessly managed by Scenic Downsides 1. Some aspects of the service did not live up to promises. For example whilst the mini bar was refreshed daily occasions the replacement champagne was left on the table not placed in the fridge. Dirty glasses were left on the desk for several days and half finished bottles of water were not refreshed. Three empty ice buckets accumulated on the small coffee table before being removed. In view of the excellent and hard working staff is this perhaps a reflection of poor management or being over worked? 2. Due to the size of the public areas at full occupancy they were not capable of accommodating all the passengers 3. The dinner is at a fixed time of 7.00 pm, which personally is to early for us on vacation. Whilst ‘open seating’ is advertised there are very limited tables for two. Whilst we are happy to dine with others we feel this should be at our discretion, not forced upon due to lack of alternative seating 4. Our particular boat (Scenic Pearl) could perhaps benefit from some additional bed chairs and deckchairs on deck. Observing other Scenic boats they appear to have more which are needed during sunny days. 5. Whilst understanding the need to dock boats side by side this is one feature in particular which will deter us from returning to river boats. If your boat is in the middle or your side abuts another boat it makes the cabin and common areas very dark as blinds and curtains are drawn for privacy. Not sure if multiple docking is essential or an economic benefit as I noted that in several locations boats were not multiply docked. 6. Being something of a foodie the food was perhaps the biggest disappointment. The buffet selections at breakfast and lunch were limited and fell well below 5 star standards. In the heart of the summer we would at least expect strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. The menu selection for dinner was also limited and only of average standard. Recognising the 5 star boast if a limited selection is offered it has to be of excellent quality which unfortunately it was not. At ‘Late Breakfast’ in Portobello one morning I was served my fruit and yogurt after cold poached eggs. Not acceptable. 7. The restaurant times seemed to be arranged at the convenience of the staff not the guests. In addition if a sitting ended at say 9.00am the food was cleared away by 9.05. Not very client friendly or conducive to guests who arrive at 8.55 Due to the downsides identified above we have concluded that river cruises are not for us. Potentially Scenic has a great product which on our cruise was let down by attention to detail and generally disappointing food. Read Less
Scenic Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 2.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 5.0 N/A

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