1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Scenic
  4. Scenic Jewel Review
  5. Scenic Jewel Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: June 2019
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our ... Read More
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our experiences on the Pearl were NOT as good. The crew and staff on the Jewel were very friendly, communicative, accomodating and fun to be with. They handled a passenger emergency in a very professional manner and all worked out in the end. The Captain was very visible and friendly. The excursions were good and informative. We wish that there was more free time at some of the stops. Entertainment was very enjoyable. Our cruise director, Jeff, was very helpful and informative. This was our second river cruise with Scenic. We have recommended Scenic cruises to family and friends. We enjoyed ourselves very much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Suggested by my travel agent. I also liked the fact once you paid your final payment that it covered everything! Excursions, alcoholic beverages and gratuities! The staff of the Jewel were absolutely phenomenal. Food was awesome as ... Read More
Suggested by my travel agent. I also liked the fact once you paid your final payment that it covered everything! Excursions, alcoholic beverages and gratuities! The staff of the Jewel were absolutely phenomenal. Food was awesome as there were so many choices from fine dining to a la carte to buffet. Ship was nice and clean. Nightly local entertainment in the Lounge was the perfect finale to that particular port and a great way to enjoy a cocktail and wind down. Shore excursions were informative. There were some issues with my tech device to hear the commentary from our guides. Guides were local to the area so they could add a lot more flavour to the commentary and answer questions. You could hear their passion! Prague was a great "tack on" to the cruise. Well worth the little bit extra. Lots of walking. For fit bit enthusiasts, around 15000 to 20000 steps per day in Prague. Wear comfy shoes, cobblestones can be tricky. If I was going across the "pond" again, I would upgrade to first class air. 8 to 9 hours is a long time so you want comfort. Direct flights are undoubtedly your best bet. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Lovely ship, clean and comfortable. All Staff helpful, attentive, polite. Extremely smart. Butlers charming, could not do enough for us, Their grey suits exceptional. Very comprehensive tours with excellent guides. However one ... Read More
Lovely ship, clean and comfortable. All Staff helpful, attentive, polite. Extremely smart. Butlers charming, could not do enough for us, Their grey suits exceptional. Very comprehensive tours with excellent guides. However one criticism is that their walking pace was a little to fast for me age group they were leading. The app on the smart phone had several technical difficulties. The two external musical events in Budapest and Vienna were superb and very professional. Venues exceptional. The whole experience reflected the culture of the countries. On board entertainment was equally memorable. Food of a very high standard, good choices. journey arrangements good excepting at Budapest some confusion on arrival at Budapest airport as no one there to meet us. I rang the help number given only to receive a recorded message in what I presumed to be Hungarian!! Overall a most enjoyable and memorable holiday. Thank you o very much to everyone involved. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We joined this cruise to see a snapshot of Eastern Europe. WOW what a wonderful experience. The ship was beautifully equipped and staffed by very hard working staff. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they never stopped working. ... Read More
We joined this cruise to see a snapshot of Eastern Europe. WOW what a wonderful experience. The ship was beautifully equipped and staffed by very hard working staff. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they never stopped working. The cabin was a delight and the balcony, a great sanctuary. The food throughout was delicious. The excursions were excellent particularly the concert in Bratislava which was a brilliant experience. The variety of excursions on each day meant there was something for everyone. The Cruise Director Hunar was tireless with a wonderful sense of humour. The crew were a credit to the ship. The Pianist Martin was excellent. The Butler service was superb and always given with a smile. We suggest that making them partners/ shareholders in the business would reward their efforts. The Captain can be rightly proud of his crew. We look forward to our next cruise with Scenic. Trish and Terry Turner Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers ... Read More
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers which to me was like a cruise line with 4000 plus passengers! Having said that the organisation of the cruise was outstanding and our every wish was accommodated! It was hard to understand why do few cruises go through to the Black Sea as the further north we went the demands of more and more tours became apparent and quality deteriorated! And we travelled in April! The staff in our ship were equivalent to the outstanding crew we had experienced in Myanmar and The Mekong! Our butler service by ATI and Stat made the journey so much more enjoyable and they are to be commended similarly the joviality of the senior butler Chris was appreciated by all! The Cruise Director was happy to meet our needs as because of a disability I cannot walk far and we had all our requests accommodated! The cruise on the Danube was relaxing and enjoyable the countries visited were historically interesting and we enjoyed the experience! I would not want to further up and suffer the issues of overwhelming Numbers! Each passenger has their own expectations we had ours met by the splendour of the Riger and countries the absolute attention to detail by our Bali butler ATI and the help of our support butler from Serbia Stat who was a source of great local information to us! Thank you staff we enjoyed The first night at The Marriot in Bucharest is best forgotten and the company should look for a better venue! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because ... Read More
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because no ship could reach Budapest. We were able to finally board the Jewel on Oct 28 in Regensburg. The ship was comfortable and it was smooth sailing, we had a good crew. The cabin was small but clean and comfortable, the little balcony was nice when we could open our curtains. Our butler wasn’t the most attentive as we hardly saw him, when we did he was a bit argumentative although reasonably nice. The food and drink selections were great, the service in the dining room/lounge etc was superb. The onboard entertainment was very nice and we enjoyed it. The ports and shore excursions were also very nice. The only thing negative to say about those is related to the drought complications and the fact that to go to Salzburg we had to do another 31/2 hours each way by bus, so way too much time spend in the bus and our visit in Salzburg was very short and felt rushed. We made used of the ebikes once, and it wasn’t a good experience because my husband fell and we were forced to return to the ship. When back there I asked if they had a first aid kit. Unfortunately even though they had one it was quite lacking in supplies such as peroxide to clean wounds and antiseptic cream for example. They could really improve in the stocking of their first aid supplies. We were given assurance that there would be compensation for the days we missed on the boat. We were told that we would get a letter within 7days of our return providing the final amount we are able to claim. We have been back now 9 days and are still waiting for a sign of the letter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in ... Read More
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in Basel ( met at Airport) and were bussed to Worms as river was too low to allow ship to go to Basel. We took a BUS to Worms. We were in Worms two days being bussed to some of itinerary and many changes to itienerary. We asked Cruise director about status of cruise at airport first day—she told us this event happened within last week and accommodations would be made to itinerary. This trip had multiple deviations to schedules and we missed over half of Rhine river. Being bussed was difficult for many. Our cruise -turned into a BRUISE ( Bus/Bruise). We had to be be bussed to Cologne to do a ship swap—had to pack and unpack and get into a new room. This crew was beat up on new chip ( Scenic AMber) and we all sensed their frustration and tension. Many things went wrong with this cruise. We went to Frankfort and docked ( not on itinerary). My wife and I finally couldn’t take the daily mistruths and changes to itinerary and we disembarked in cologne and took train to Amsterdam to salvage a few days of this vacation. I understand the cruise line has no control over river water levels—but they do have control over information and to be deceptive ( and not tell us the truth up front about this cruise changes; nor give us an option to cancel before starting in Basel and potentially taking another trip in future) was wrong. In light of this, we met a new group leaving Amsterdam on this ship to go to Basel—-No information given to them. How information that is bad is handled is just as important as the information. They were terribly deceptive and not forthcoming. Buyer be aware. I will never cruise Scenic again nor recommend them to anyone I know. This is our 3rd river cruise( first on Scenic); One other cruise had a problem ( Viking) and it was handled so well—we went and did another cruise with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who ... Read More
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who was wonderful and very personable but he seemed to have other duties which kept him busy. We did get the "special dinner" which was excellent and fun to try different wines and food. It was part of the dining room but in the back. The food was good. My favorite was the German lunch!! The excursions were fine but wish we had more time in some cities. They do give you a GPS device. Now, let me tell you these when they work they are great. We only had one in our room, so we had to ask for another one which did not charge. Then we had to get another one as the sound did not work. We suggested that maybe it would a good idea to give the tour guides extra ones but I think these could be expensive. Now the river ... it was low. The lowest in years. The captain was awesome and I was amazed that we got as far as we did. Also, he was there to greet us on and off the ship at every port. Very friendly and helpful. As I stated the river was low and we did make it to Worms. We were not able to go to the castle for our concert, so they brought it to us. We couldn't make it to our last two stops but they did bus us to Strasbourg and provided lunch. We were able to see the town but being Sunday many places were closed. We were then bused to Zurich where we stayed at a lovely Marriott, They provided us with a lovely dinner with wine and beer. The next day, we had breakfast and transported to the airport. All provided by Scenic. We did not make it to Basel. Our social director, Sylvia really did a fantastic job. I wasn't sure about her first because she was like other social directors that I have had on other ships but let me tell you did a phenomenal job. The only concerned was that those who were on their own after the cruise should have been given a choice of going to Basel or Zurich with us instead of being left on the ship and transferred the next day. One more thing, when they say that everything included they mean everything!! We did not have to pay anything extra. I would definitely take another cruise on Scenic. It was not their fault that the river was low. For future travels maybe I would go in the spring!! Their care department will take care of any issues. They did go out of their way considering the problems to make it a fun cruise. Look what we have to talk about with our friends!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. ... Read More
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. Next stop was Veere, and we were quite impressed with the excursion to the Delta Works. We were treated to a "Dixie-land Band" after our Delta Works tour. In Arnhem, we found the Open Air Museum informative. In Maastricht we did a walking tour, then cruised the Maas River in the afternoon. When docked in Emmerich, the excursion to the Roman ruins of Xanten was awe-inspiring. Our next port was Koblenz, where we did a city tour. Then we headed down the Moselle River and delighted in the steep hills covered with vineyards and small towns along the way. First port on that river was Cochem, where we visited the fully-furnished Reichsburg Castle. We next briefly stopped at Traben-Trarbach to let the Electric-Bikers off the ship, as they were biking 15 miles to meet the ship in Bernkastel. While docked in Bernkastel, we took the excursion to Trier for an impressive city tour. We then headed back to the Rhine as quickly as possible as water levels were dropping. The ship diverted to Andernach until water levels rose enough we could enter the Rhine Gorge. The Rhine Gorge was dotted with hillside castles, impressive cathedrals, and riverfront towns. Gorgeous! Due to the delay from the low water, we had to skip our scheduled stop in Rudesheim. In Mannheim, we toured Heidelberg castle and the old town. The ship then docked in Rastatt, where guests toured Rastatt Palace and were entertained by a classical music concert. We docked next in Kehl, and took a city tour of Strasbourg and spent time in Le Petite France area. Next was Breisach, where we took coaches to the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it was windy that day, so we were unable to take the cable car gondolas to the top of the mountains. During our hike in the hills, we toured a farmhouse museum and sampled Black Forest cake. We disembarked in Basel. In addition to daytime excursions, we had 5 evenings where local musical entertainers came onboard. Overall, the excursion guides were top-notch, and Scenic arranged so only about 25 people were with each guide. We wore "Tailormade" devices, which were headsets to hear the guides. But these devices also serve as GPS locators, if you want to self-tour with the city maps they provided for each location. The food on the Jewel was excellent, with a wide variety of choices at each meal. All types of alcohol are included in Scenic's price, and with the well-stocked bar, drinks flowed generously. Regional red and while wines were offered at each meal. Service was prompt. The staff was always pleasant and welcoming. The electric-assist bikes make treks along the shore enjoyable. Also, while cruising, the "Tailormade" device clicks on to describe points of interest along the shore. Scenic also provided complimentary maps and a tour book of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. The map showed landmarks and bridges, so it was easy to follow the ship's progress. The tour book detailed pertinent information about towns along the river. We had a butler to attend to our every need. Room service was complimentary. We were on the Sapphire deck, so included was one small bag of laundry per cabin. Those on the Diamond deck also had complimentary pressing services. We felt Scenic filled this 14 day trip with a satisfying blend of sightseeing and entertainment. There were 169 passengers onboard (majority being Australian & Canadian), and demographic was 60+. We met many lovely, outgoing, well-traveled people. Overall, Scenic really looked after their guests. I would not hesitate to cruise with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. ... Read More
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. It was not just the food, service and entertainment aboard the ship but also the tours. We had read other reviews about the food quality and variety complaints before taking this cruise, but felt they were just whiners. To our surprise found that their observations were acurate. When entering the restaurant, we could not get the waiters attention to bring us a menu, so our table ended up just grabbing one as we entered the restaurant each day. The food portions were so small, we started taking pictures. Instead of providing a bread basket for the table, the waiter would cut off a small piece of from a bread roll. It was so small, you just put the whole piece into your mouth. Not all the meals were substandard though, as they did serve a great leg of lamb one night and the chateau briand and salmon were great. The fruit selection was mainly water melon and other melon fruits. There were only 2 waiters in the lounge for the talks, so we just went to the bar and got our own drinks. There was a large group of Thomas Cook people that left part way through the cruise and we really noticed a big improvement in service when they left as the crew had more time to look after everyone. Only had 2 occasions where the waiter forgot the order. Most of the tours were just a walk around a local village or town and other than some cobblestone streets, there was not much to see. The trip to the Delta Works in the Netherlands was a must see. The day of cruising on the Moselle provided spectacular scenery. Scenic have what they call Tailormades and they are fanstasic. We had these with us most of the day. They tell you what you are looking at as you cruse along or as you walk around. They are also great for listening to your guides which were very good. Scenic also has e-bikes which we found were really enjoyable for touring around the country side. They should have mirrors though. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle ... Read More
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle where we hoped to arrived in a relaxed manner - and we certainly did. It was a wonderful way to begin a journey. Everything on the Scenic Jewel was way beyond expectations from the welcome on board, luggage handling, cabin service, tours, entertainment, food and drink, cleanliness and departure. ALL staff without exception were efficient, helpful, thoughtful, courteous and very good humoured. We met some delightful people with whom we had many laughs and many drinks and many wonderful meals. The land excursions were excellent though the listening devices could be improved. The ear pieces tended to fall out of your ear and the sound was often faint and/or broke up. It is difficult to say what the most memorable part of the trip was - it was all so different and interesting. Going through the locks was amazing; the scenery was charming in fact in many ways it often felt as though one were moving gently through a postcard. It was always delightful to go on shore and walk around such interesting and charming places which prior to the trip were essentially names in atlases or novels. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel ... Read More
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel Captain and Crew. While other river boats were unable to sail their itinerary because of low water levels in the Rhine, we did not miss one of our ports of call. The food, wine, entertainment, tours were all exceptional. I would highly recommend the Scenic family of cruises, and we will definitely call upon Scenic for our next cruise. The tours were exceptional with clean coaches, the scenery was beautiful, the transfers to and from the airport were seamless. Everything ran so smoothly. We enjoyed the bicycle tours, although found that there wasn't enough bikes on board for all the passengers that wanted to participate. This would be their only downfall. I would suggest signing up for the bike tours early to avoid disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were ... Read More
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were given the Royal treatment. The excursions are of top quality, from glass boat tours through the canals of Amsterdam to Castles, cathedrals and even a Baroque Concert. The food was excellent!! They do not skimp on anything, the wine and drinks are all of excellent quality and the selection of meals, cheese and desserts were fantastic! We were lucky enough to enjoy an 8 course meal with wine parings for each course! A true 6 star event!! The staff (on the Jewel) is the best we have ever experienced on any of our travels. They were fun, courteous, professional and never left you wanting for a thing! Special mention of Goran (butler), Sandy,(bartender) Nickola (cruise director) for making our holiday even better than we could have expected! The beds were so comfortable, the rooms were kept incredibly clean, with room care and full bar service twice a day! If you want a holiday that you don't need to worry about a thing and want to be treated like kings and queens, then Scenic is the only way to go! You won't regret it. Now to decide where our next Scenic River cruise will take us! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was ... Read More
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was well done and options for excursions was varied. Staff and crew were exceptional. Nightly entertainment was very poor with the exception of staff night. They were entertaining. Could have had some interactive activities that entertained and included the guests. Other guests who have sailed with this line said it was the worst they had ever been on. Sadly it’s the one we picked so nothing to compare too besides the 4 major ocean cruises we’ve experienced. This very expensive trip of a lifetime did not compare to those. Because of low water levels on the Rhine we could not complete our cruise as expected. Unfortunately we were stuck in an industrial port for most of a day and overnight. Thought some sort of excursion could have been arranged. We were a 20 minute ride from a major town and those that choose to go we’re out of pocket for the cost of cabs. Overall the sites we saw and the people we met made this a trip to talk about. We would unfortunately be very leery of trying this again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was ... Read More
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was super.....spacious enough, quiet, and kept spotless by our room attendant. Both arrival and departure from the ship were extremely well organized. Daily briefings by the cruise director were clear and informative. Multiple onshore activities from which to choose.....all included in the "all inclusive" price of the cruise. No surprises there. Now the not so great news. First, I should note that this was our first river cruise, so some of these obversations may be applicable to all such trips and not specifically applicable to this one alone. The overall impression is that the business model here involves cramming the maximum number of paying customers onboard while providing the minimum number of staff possible to attend to their needs. The "personal butlers", for instance, were more often serving as waitstaff in the dining room than as butlers. Ours was more than willing to deal with our (infrequent) requests, but was clearly relieved whenever I handled whatever task was at hand rather than intruding on his other duties. Again....this MY impression, and not a reflection on his thoroughly professional demeanor. The brochure gave the inaccurate impression that there are there are three separate "restaurants" on board. NOT true. In reality, there is ONE. The "river cafe" is in fact a small salad and dessert station and two chafing pans setup in a corner of the bar. Tiny selection of pre-cooked and often mediocre fare. The "portobello" venue is actually a few tables set up to the front of the bar and used as seating for the aforementioned "River cafe" during the daytime. In the evening those same tables host a small number of invited guests for a dining event which is indeed superior to the otherwise unremarkable fare served in the ship's only real dining room, the "Crystal". Though there is open seating, meals are actually served at a single seating time, with little leeway given. Indeed, when we entered the dining room 30 minutes into the 90 minute "window" listed as the dinner period we were informed that we must be seated at once, or miss dinner, as the "first course had already been served.". The real problem is that all of the passengers, wherever seated, are eating food prepared in a kitchen woefully too small and understaffed for the job. Having owned several restaurants, my wife and I identified the problem immediately. All staff were doing their level best to deal with unrealistic workloads. With the exception of a few "alternative choices" available at dinner, virtually nothing is cooked to order on the ship. Breakfast and lunch are served as buffets with nearly identical setups daily. Dinner offers a choice of three main courses. In general, this feels like an assembly line operation. Overall, the food on board was uneven in quality and a real disappointment given the cost of the trip. Adding to the feeling of "mass production" is the fact that the dining room is over-crowded with tables sitting much too near each other. The scenery ashore was a major disappointment for much of the trip. Other than a few hours one day in the Rhine Gorge (where all of the brochure pics must come from) we might as well been anywhere in the midwest U.S. The shore excursions often involved coach rides of varying lengths with guides of varying quality. Strasbourg and Heidelberg were lovely. Some of the others not so much. Anyway, Good luck! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The cruise deconstructed....Our cabin (Deluxe Balcony Suite) was great. The bedding excellent, the space roomy, plenty of closet storage, comfortable balcony chairs (we loved that the large window rolled down to open), and the roomy ... Read More
The cruise deconstructed....Our cabin (Deluxe Balcony Suite) was great. The bedding excellent, the space roomy, plenty of closet storage, comfortable balcony chairs (we loved that the large window rolled down to open), and the roomy shower made the bathroom feel larger. The public space lounge area was also nice with large viewing windows and lots of comfortable chairs and couches. The staff was incredibly hard working and cheerful. I don't know when any of them get time off as they all seemed to double up (our butler was also a dinner waitperson, ditto for the lounge cocktail waitress, etc.). Our cabin person cleaned our room in the morning (it was always done when we returned from breakfast - better service than many high-end hotels offer) and refreshed it in the afternoon. The cruise director was totally on top of all aspects of the cruise and excursions. Plus the arrival and departure from the ship was impressively organized. So, why only three stars? Two reasons. When you look at the description and photos describing the trip, you might reasonably think that the scenery will be beautiful and idyllic all the way. Uh, uh, not even close - in fact, talking with other passengers, this was the biggest disappointment of the cruise. We had one day of traveling through the Rhine Gorge that was beautiful and truly reflected the cruise description. Aside from that, the rest of the cruise was primarily trees, a few towns, and some almost industrial areas. If this is an aspect of the trip that is important to you, you will be disappointed. Second reason - the food. As one table mate said, the best meal he had was at a restaurant in one of the towns we stopped at. Another table mate (our fabulous new friends M and T) said during one good dinner, "this meal let's you know they can make a good meal". The meals were hugely inconsistent. Our first night dinner at the invitation only Portobellos was very good and we had another couple of dinners that were good also. But, the breakfast and lunch buffets and other dinners were very disappointing. Having spent many years in the restaurant business and being slightly foodie snobby, we felt that there were really two problems. First, too many of the ingredients were not quality. Secondly, they are trying to do way too much in too little space. The food just doesn't reflect what is supposed to be a high-quality experience. That is partially what we paid for, yes? So, the week was relaxing, the other passengers friendly, and we loved spending time with our new friends, but I wouldn't plunk down the money for another river cruise anytime soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because I was intrigued by the idea of a cruise that really was all-inclusive - all excursions, drinks, entertainment, tipping were included, and nothing was to be paid while on board. And that's exactly how it ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was intrigued by the idea of a cruise that really was all-inclusive - all excursions, drinks, entertainment, tipping were included, and nothing was to be paid while on board. And that's exactly how it was! I was picked up at the airport and driven to my hotel, then the next day taken from the hotel to the boat (there were lock delays, so our embarkation location was changed from Basel, Switzerland to Breisach, Germany). Disembarkation was also very smooth - a number of us were taken by bus to the airport in Amsterdam with plenty of time - which we needed, due to rush-hour traffic, and a rather crowded airport. Entertainment on the ship was great - approximately every other night entertainers were brought on the ship. This ranged from cowbell music, to a classical trio, to electric violin (my favourite!), to a klezmer band, and local styles of music. Once we also were taken to Schloss Rastatt for a concert - beautiful location for beautiful music! At the Delta Works in the Netherlands, we also had a Dixieland concert band to listen to. The local guides were always very interesting and informative to listen to, as they took you around their towns. But you didn't have to go on these tours - there were enough people who generally just went their own way, or even stayed on the boat if they wanted. The meals were always delicious - breakfast and lunch were both buffets, with breakfast being the same every day, and lunch having different options (two different soups each day, four different kinds of salads each day, plus local specialities to try out, and different dessert and ice cream every day!). Dinner was formal, with 4 courses each night - appetizer, soup, entrée, and dessert. Portions were tiny, but incredible tasting. Wine and cocktails flowed freely, so much so that my liver had to work overtime in comparison to usual. I had an incredible experience, and would easily choose to go again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which ... Read More
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which gave us the opportunity to see some of the countryside including a windmill. Beautiful ship, very modern suites. The most comfie bed and pillows I've ever had, except at home! Being able to open the balcony window was a great perk to enjoy some fresh air. More than enough space for 2 people and their suitcases. The process to board and disembark was so well organized and fast, no endless waiting in line. The food was great, nice variety. Drinks were awesome, especially the local beers and wine. Very attentive staff. They seemed like they were actually enjoying the trip. Excursions were also well organized and well chosen, very interesting choices, it made it difficult to decide which to take. I only wish we had more time at each stop but then it wouldn't have been an eight day cruise! The special concert at Ratstatt Palace was absolutely amazing. If I do another river cruise I would definitely choose Scenic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Scenic (at least in Australia) actively market the Scenic experience as a five star world quality product. In reality our cruise was really mass tourism and more focused on drinking. The bad: The food is woefully bad. It is ... Read More
Scenic (at least in Australia) actively market the Scenic experience as a five star world quality product. In reality our cruise was really mass tourism and more focused on drinking. The bad: The food is woefully bad. It is not hard to realise that the braised beef one night is the Swedish style meat balls the next lunch. Whilst the Italian concept and French table were actually quite good the main restaurant was nothing more than a salad based cafeteria. Compared to other cruises the food and available selections was bad. The river side café was liked for the ice cream and cakes they served but the beef burgers and pasta were not eaten. Scenic markets up to 5 dining choices, so the Italian section (Invite only and French Table invite only) are again part of the main dining room but are considered 3 dining destinations. The river café is really more coffee and cake and lastly room service from a small menu is the 5th. The menus every day were wrong. The bar staff could not keep up with the amount of passengers and this is more reflective on management rather than the staff who really tried. The nightly entertainment (Ian) was good when he simply tinkled on the piano but the singing was not his best effort. On the last night he was eager to encourage everybody to have a great time. But the comments “I know I sing flat but I am still going to sing” saw many of us leave for better locations or even your room. Those in the back of the boat complained about the noise and constant vibration and these were the best suites. The rooms whilst neat had a problem with the hot water that would change from hot too cold to hold. We were told that every cabin had the same problem with the changing temperatures. Our cruise (Amsterdam to Basel) did not make it to Basel due to river congestion and you have to expect this on congested rivers. The issue being that Scenic simply printed a list of alternative arrangements and left it on the reception counter. So whilst we were warned we had no details. The tours whilst expertly organised do suffer with some bad guides. Two notable excursions the tour guide gave us a detailed analysis for 40 minutes on why people from Cologne do not get on with people from Dusseldorf. The second being a bible lesson after visiting the castle in Heidelberg for 30 minutes. The reception staff were dismissive about any queries or problems. The good: The crew and butlers are excellent. Our cabin was spotless and nothing was any trouble be it food or drinks or anything. It could so easily be a great product and time but on this particular cruise it was more a 2 or 3 star cruise that didn’t deliver on most fronts. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt making it a stress-free experience. Our hotel room was ready upon arrival which we were very happy about. We wished we would have arrived one day earlier in Zurich to tour the countryside as we only had time to walk the city centre, The next day, the Scenic bus was there to pick up Scenic guests from the Park Hyatt and drive us to Basel. The embarkation went excellent as well. Our room and bathroom were very clean and spacious enough (store suitcases under the bed once unpacked). We were on the Diamond Deck, however, our cabin was at the back of the ship and even with earplugs, it was very loud with engine noise and vibrations, especially when arriving at or leaving ports or going through locks; as well as the stairway noise from the top sundeck. We had several sleepless nights (we also found the bed very hard). I would strongly recommend you do not choose a cabin at the back of the ship. With all the excitement of exploring the ship, I would suggest you take the time to read the information in the book in your cabin as well as meet with your butler the very first day so you are aware of everything from the get-go. The dining at dinner was absolutely fabulous... every dinner, but especially the Table la Rive dinner for Diamond Deck cabins and the Portobello's dinner... the food, wine and the service was amazing! We felt after a few days there wasn't much selection for hot meals at the buffet in the dining room at breakfast (although the scrambled eggs and bacon were very good) and especially for lunch so I would be sure to check out the menus on the tables for both breakfast (the porridge was very good) and lunch (be sure to leave yourself enough time to order breakfast before leaving for the excursions). Dress code was casual for breakfast and lunch and varied at dinner (some jackets and very few ties for the men, ladies varied between smart casual and more formal). The excursions were extremely well organized (but don't be late) and most of the guides were great (especially Niles for the Heidelberg tour), as well as the GPS hand-held devices... be sure to take the devices with you on your free time self-guided tours or while going through the Rhine gorge on the ship. Travel on the ship through the Gorge was absolutely breathtaking. I was surprised however that there was very little sight-seeing from the ship the first few days on the river. The first few locks were interesting and the swans were indeed beautiful. Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Cochem and especially Volendam and Edam were amazing tours. We thoroughly enjoyed the Enrich concert at the palace; however not so much the onboard entertainment (the violinist was fabulous). The drinks and bar service was good however there should be more bar staff, especially serving the outside front and top of the ship or when everyone is together, ie port talks before dinner, right after dinner, etc. All of the staff were very friendly and efficient. The snacks and min-bar in the cabin were replenished daily. Be sure to have your laundry done prior to the second last day on the ship before it is too late (it is only a small laundry bag)... and utilize the daily pressings for those on the Diamond Deck. Internet was intermittent. It was busy and very scheduled (which we weren't use to since this is our first cruise). Mobility with all the cobblestones and walking (and bicycles in Amsterdam) may be difficult for some. Overall everything was extremely well organized, the tours and food were great... we enjoyed our cruise. We met many other great Canadians on the cruise, as well as very friendly British, Australian, American, etc. people. We did spend two more nights in Amsterdam on our own after the cruise but wish we had one more day to visit a few museums. I would suggest the 24 or 48 hour Hop On Hop Off tours, especially via the canal boats. Also if you would like to see Anne Frank's house, order the tickets several months in advance online (you cannot purchase them there). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Scenic appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary and all-inclusive approach to travel and we had travelled with Seniic before. They delivered on all levels. Our Balcony Suite was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - ... Read More
Scenic appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary and all-inclusive approach to travel and we had travelled with Seniic before. They delivered on all levels. Our Balcony Suite was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but really well designed so there was plenty of room in wardrobes and bathrooms and the bed was huge and really comfortable. This theme continued throughout the ship. The common areas were excellent and the staff were consistently superb - friendly, attentive, helpful and all with a good sense of humour especially Nenad, Milan KJ, and Goran. House keeping staff worked so tirelessly keeping our rooms well serviced. Gally staff worked very hard pumping out fabulous food with restaurant and front of house staff ( too many names to mention) delivering wonderful meals and service. Bar staff Sandy, Lobo an Milika were fantastic with what ever e wanted to drink. Front desk Vjeko, Milica & Martine friendly faces there to help. Trips ashore provided excellent variety and range of choice and all the excursions were excellent. A major highlight was the quality of the food and wine for every meal. Plenty of choice and a great size allowing you to easily taste four or five courses without feeling stuffed but some of us did over indulge. Entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. Laundry service was great and cheap compared to hotel stays and items returned most times same day. Out Cruise Director Taree was superb worked round the clock making sure our every need was met thank you to you and all the staff. Last bit not least the Captain and his crew for a safe and smooth sailing thank you. Trip paid in advanced and felt like a free holiday. Wow!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Really regimented agenda so didn't allow for much "downtime". For example, no time to sit up top and have a cocktail at the end of the day, as the excursions returned at 5 or later, and port talk was at 6 and dinner at 7. ... Read More
Really regimented agenda so didn't allow for much "downtime". For example, no time to sit up top and have a cocktail at the end of the day, as the excursions returned at 5 or later, and port talk was at 6 and dinner at 7. Hard to shower, dress for dinner and have some downtime in the space of an hour. Food was ok, not great. Worst part was that the Danube is so busy that 5 nights out of 7 we were tied up at the dock right beside another boat -- sometimes there were 3 or 4 across. Couldn't use the balcony as a result (for which you pay extra) and had to keep the drapes closed. Cooking vent from next door boat would spew grease fumes into our room. Lounge and dining room were nicely decorated, beds were comfy, staff was very good. Just not for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the ... Read More
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the other ship. So, no view. One night, we were apparently near the exhaust vent of another ship and so for days after, our room and all others on this side smelled of cooking grease. Food is average to poor, you have to eat at 7pm regardless if ypu’d like to eat later, so no opportunity to have a leisurely cocktail hour, most of the towns in between are largely unremarkable, just a means to provide some diversion between the two main cities of interest (in our case, Budapest and Prague). No one on the ship other than the cruise director knows anything about the itinerary, landmarks, upcoming events, so if you can’t find the cruise director, you’re in the dark. There’s about 20 of us in our mid`50s and all have did “never again”. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We were told Scenic was top of the range with excellent food. Not true. Food was poor to mediocre - dry chicken, leathery veal, limited fruit selection, uninspiring lunch buffets, watery wines. Also evening meals took 2 to 2.5 hours ... Read More
We were told Scenic was top of the range with excellent food. Not true. Food was poor to mediocre - dry chicken, leathery veal, limited fruit selection, uninspiring lunch buffets, watery wines. Also evening meals took 2 to 2.5 hours as everyone had to be served at the same pace. The crew were as helpful as they could be, given they had to serve 165 people with drinks and food simultaneously. Shore excursions were fine. Head office admin was very poor. Asked where tickets were and was told they'd been sent. Another set would be sent immediately. They never arrived. At least three different people seemed to be involved with each not knowing what the other had said. Eventually the tickets and cruise information arrived with a week to go. As for the air transfers, the cheapest economy tickets were bought by Scenic - think last row at the back of the plane next to galleys and lavatories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We choose Scenic for the all-inclusive option, where tips and alcoholic beverages outside of meals are included in the price. We also chose them because of their 5-star rating, as most in the group were seasoned travellers with ... Read More
We choose Scenic for the all-inclusive option, where tips and alcoholic beverages outside of meals are included in the price. We also chose them because of their 5-star rating, as most in the group were seasoned travellers with discriminating tastes. Scenic met our expectations in all respects, with only a few exceptions. The design of the Jewel (not sure about their other ships) is flawed in the sense that the two most expensive suites, the Royal Panoramic Suites at the stern, are located above the engines. A member of our group staying here. The vibration and noise is quite disturbing for guests sleeping in these quarters when the ship is cruising at night which is fairly frequent. The suites are beautiful, with full length windows on two sides. This turns the suite into a sauna on a sunny day and unfortunately the air-conditioning only functioned in the entry way of the suite, not the whole suite. The windows can be opened but while in port, the suite filled up quickly with flies. Scenic should indicate on their ship maps where the engines are located so guests can be warned in advance of where the noise will most likely occur. Our cabin was midship and so quiet you didn't even know the ship was moving. There is no motion at all on river cruise ships, making it an extremely comfortable cruise. Wait staff and butlers go above and beyond, as do the cleaning staff, kitchen and our cruise director, Tadei. They can't do enough for you. In spite of the design shortcomings in the Royal Panoramic Suite, we still gave it full marks, as it would be impossible to surpass every other aspect of this trip. Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 2.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Scenic Jewel Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise