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2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We have travelled with Scenic previously and had a wonderful time. This cruise was from Belgrade to Bucharest, a stretch of the Danube which was new to us. Scenic lived up to our expectations and we can’t fault a thing. Everything was ... Read More
We have travelled with Scenic previously and had a wonderful time. This cruise was from Belgrade to Bucharest, a stretch of the Danube which was new to us. Scenic lived up to our expectations and we can’t fault a thing. Everything was perfect. The initial cost may seem a lot but it is worth every penny. A new ship with well appointed cabins, a very comfortable lounge and bar and a great sun deck with plenty of places to relax. Food was five star with efficient friendly service which was attentive without being intrusive. There was a good choice of excursions. The highlight for me was a visit to a school in Bulgaria where after a tour of the classrooms and meeting very excited pupils some of the children sang to us in English and invited us to join in with their dancing. Can’t wait till our next Scenic cruise!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
First river cruise, in new area coupled with excellent speakers. Very high quality overall on the ship with excellent service. Two speakers who travelled with us, Kate Adie and Martin Bell, were very friendly, open and certainly ... Read More
First river cruise, in new area coupled with excellent speakers. Very high quality overall on the ship with excellent service. Two speakers who travelled with us, Kate Adie and Martin Bell, were very friendly, open and certainly knowledgeable. Their presence made the holiday due to their vast experiences in the area. The shore visits were well managed with very good local tour leaders who besides being knowledgeable were characters in there own right. The ship travelled very smoothly with the captain taking a hands on approach eg going through the locks.. Daily program notices kept us fully informed of the activities of the ship.. Local buses were on the whole comfortable but some had seen better days Airport transfers were well arranged both on arrivals and departure. The ships manageress was very good controlling all the activities. And finally the fellow passengers were very friendly making the holiday such a memorable one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise as a 50th birthday treat for my wife. We could not have chosen better. The ship, the crew and the staff made our holiday such an amazing experience. The presence of the correspondents John Simpson, Martin Bell and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a 50th birthday treat for my wife. We could not have chosen better. The ship, the crew and the staff made our holiday such an amazing experience. The presence of the correspondents John Simpson, Martin Bell and Kate Adie added a new dimension to a holiday giving us memories of their Balkans experiences in the 1990's. The food was 5-star with extensive choices at buffet meals and the evening A La Carte menu was always superb. The wines were quality and plentiful as far as dining was concerned. It was nothing less than lavish. If you want to leave your wallet at home, go with Scenic. We were sceptical about their claims prior to going but we really did NOT spend any money at all, either on board or during the excursions. We could not believe that all the cash we took with us went back into the bank when we got home ready for a similar trip next year. The Cruise Director, Sylvia, was excellent. If we had to give advice to other first-timers as we were, then we would point out the size of the Standard Suites. They are quite small but superbly appointed. However it didn't detract from our holiday as we were only in the cabin to sleep. We will however, upgrade next time. The only other grievance would be the terrible meal at the Hilton Hotel in Bucharest. This is not what to expect in a Hilton Hotel. This however was not Scenic's fault but they have to address this as they are ultimately responsible. Well done Scenic. We shall return! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The list of lecturers first attracted us to this cruise and also the destinations as we had been to Eastern Europe before but not to Bulgaria or Rumania or Serbia and not to the parts of Croatia included in the tour. We had to change ... Read More
The list of lecturers first attracted us to this cruise and also the destinations as we had been to Eastern Europe before but not to Bulgaria or Rumania or Serbia and not to the parts of Croatia included in the tour. We had to change ships after four days but that was very well managed although our cabin seemed slightly smaller on Pearl. We would criticise the first evening's arrangements--there seemed insufficient Scenic staff presence at the hotel and the main course at dinner was not good. On board we once or twice found the timings of events rather hectic, ie arriving back from an excursion and having a briefing meeting almost immediately afterwards. I realise this could be due to traffic problems and beyond the staff's control and once the timing of the meeting was altered. The Cruise Director Szylvia was really excellent: although at times facing ( unfair!) criticism from passengers she remained cheerful and calm. She was very helpful when I asked about future Scenic cruises although that was not her particular sphere. We had been on one other river cruise before when the company made a great point of advertising future ones, with discounts, and although I appreciated the fact that Scenic didn't do that I should have liked a little more information, especially about when Kate Adie would next be lecturing for you as she was absolutely outstanding as both a speaker and a fellow guest. John Simpson's lecture was good though I regretted that he was so briefly available on the cruise and Martin Bell was a pleasure to meet and to listen to--I just wished one of his talks wasn't so early in the morning! All the guides we had were very good and had interesting personal experiences of their countries and the meal in a Croatian home was the highlight of the cruise for me. The low water level in the Danube did make some gangways very difficult for less mobile people to go up and down--perhaps cruise information should give a warning about this. NB In the ratings below I'm assuming "Enrichment activities" means the talks and lectures. As I said, that was why we chose your cruise and they lived up to expectations. My rating for food may seem grudging as some meals were excellent but others not--especially the Hungarian goulash! Final point--we very much appreciated the fact that excursions, drinks etc. were all included in the price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We cruised along the Danube towards the Black Sea having previously sailed in the opposite direction from Vienna to Nuremberg. We were fortunate to encounter wall to wall sunshine in early to mid-October. Scenic Jewel is well up to the job ... Read More
We cruised along the Danube towards the Black Sea having previously sailed in the opposite direction from Vienna to Nuremberg. We were fortunate to encounter wall to wall sunshine in early to mid-October. Scenic Jewel is well up to the job of cruising with visibility from all aspects and dining second to none. The crew were superb and our tour manager, Nikola, was an accomplished host from start to finish. Our cabin was comfortable bearing in mind travelling along the river. And the panoramic views from our balcony were beautiful; we could also lower the window whenever the occasion arose. A butler service was available if you required.. All drinks and excursions were inclusive and this made socialising in the evening after a hard day's sightseeing a great pleasure. A little note about the excursions. These were enjoyable and informative although perhaps a bit of a shock when discovering the Balkan countries. Twice, however, in Serbia and Bulgaria were were served food that was cold. Perhaps I'm being unkind to the east Europeans but we in the west found it a bit disconcerting. However, we received nothing but kindness and consideration from the locals. I can thoroughly recommend this tour.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise because the price I paid was all I paid (no staff tipping, alcohol was "free", trips were all included) and because I liked the itinerary. Every single aspect worked perfectly from the pick up from our house ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the price I paid was all I paid (no staff tipping, alcohol was "free", trips were all included) and because I liked the itinerary. Every single aspect worked perfectly from the pick up from our house to the airport, the flight left on time (RyanAir), the pick up from Budapest to the ship, the welcome, the trips, etc etc. I cannot fault a single aspect of this unbelievable experience. The professional but very friendly staff, the delicious but healthy food, the accommodation on the ship. Nothing was too much trouble. We enjoyed the 2 special meals that were included in the price and we made a number of new friends. The weather was delightful for the middle of October. We made use of the walking track daily as we cruised along. The hotel afterwards in Bucharest was probably too posh for us but the room was huge and the staff helpful.x Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This cruise was booked via the Telegraph and we had with us Kate Adie and Martin Bell.They helped make what was a very pleasurable,interesting and informative cruise.All the staff were excellent but I must pay tribute in particular to ... Read More
This cruise was booked via the Telegraph and we had with us Kate Adie and Martin Bell.They helped make what was a very pleasurable,interesting and informative cruise.All the staff were excellent but I must pay tribute in particular to Sylvia our cruise director.She remained helpful,pleasant and totally unflapable in all circumstances.The shore excursions were interesting and we would definately go again.Our cabin was very comfortable and the public spaces on the ship were also very good.We had some decent wather and were able to make the most of the sun deck. We enjoyed all the excursions but my most memorable was Belgrade in Serbia,visiting the fort and seeing the amazing views over the River .The other one was a home meal with a local family.One of the family spoke excellent English and we got some real insights into what happened to people during the war.The same could be said of our Serbian guide in Belgrade who came to Serbia as a refugee fom Croatia. Kate got us all very interested in the English women who came to Serbia prior to the first world war to assist the Serbian people in a war.They are forgotten by the British but still remembered and honoured by the Serbian people. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to experience that part of Europe. I need somewhere to express our shambolic arrival at Bucharest airport. No direction, no staff, we had to find our coaches. Then there is the truly appalling first hours in the Bucharest ... Read More
We wanted to experience that part of Europe. I need somewhere to express our shambolic arrival at Bucharest airport. No direction, no staff, we had to find our coaches. Then there is the truly appalling first hours in the Bucharest Hilton. It was a beautiful hotel and we had a lovely room. BUT, No welcoming drink, no staff to produce water, drinks and food. Several appeals to the so called “Tour Director” achieved no action. She continued sitting chatting to her mates from HQ Manchester. Probably the worst meal we have ever had in a hotel - a sentiment shared by most if not ALL your clients. Yes, it was basically a hotel failure, but “TDs” are presumably there to look after YOUR clients. This one needs retraining at the very least. And there were other shortcomings but I’ll leave that to others. The Adie, Bell, Simpson combo was a great success. The ship staff/crew were delightful, the food etc was splendid. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The stay in Budapest before we sailed was very good; that Marriott was excellent and very professionally run. Embarkation was smooth. The ship was pretty well all that we expected it to be, except for the so-called library which was a ... Read More
The stay in Budapest before we sailed was very good; that Marriott was excellent and very professionally run. Embarkation was smooth. The ship was pretty well all that we expected it to be, except for the so-called library which was a joke. The cabin was all that was required, well designed, fitted and maintained. We do not like buffets for dinner (as distinct from breakfast) but the first night was good for a buffet. All other dinners were good to very good, though the portions were no larger than needed and we thought that the choice of either pudding or cheese rather than pudding and cheese was odd - particularly in Portobello's. The wine was far less good than the food. That on the first night was poor, on other nights it was acceptable - apart from the Friday, when it was undrinkable. Service was generally good - better in the bar than in the restaurant. Of the entertainment, the regional dance troop were very good, the second dance night, which involved audience participation, was off-putting. We declined the other entertainments on offer for classic films that we had somehow never seen. Nicola, the tour manager, was excellent and incredibly helpful; top marks. The following criticism in not of him but of what was not provided. There was no historian/ geographer/ cultural expert to bring the experience of the tour and the relationship between the places that we passed or visited together. This was the significant weakness of the tour. The excursions that we took were of a good standard, and our guide in Belgrade deserves particular mention as outstanding. In our view, the visit to Varna was unbalanced. The Museum is quite simply outstanding and justifies a minimum of an hour for even the most superficial visit. We opted out of the visit to the town centre and spent twice that long in the museum and left much undone. As an aside, the lunch in the fake ship was not that great. The best lunch on a visit was in Bucharest; light, simple and cooked perfectly. The Hilton in Bucharest was not a patch on the Marriott in Budapest. The room was basically very good, but maintenance - especially in the bathroom - was poor. The dinner, an early, very mediocre buffet in a too small, noisy room was a low point. Whoever was responsible had no understanding of the space and layout required for a buffet for the number of people to be fed. The staff were totally untrained and mainly uninterested. Breakfast was OK. We had lunch in the outside restaurant associated with the Hilton and we can report that the serving staff in that restaurant were very professional (we obviously had the C or D team the previous evening), but that the kitchen repeated the mediocre performance of the previous evening. We have organised tours ourselves and know how difficult it is to get good hotels for large parties - so the Hilton may have been the best available - but keep on looking. We are not sure whether we should go again with Scenic. I think that if we took another river cruise we should try another company's offering first. In case you note the apparent inconsistency, our other cruises have been ocean rather than river cruises. Paul and Birte Kelly Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The overall experience was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble. The crew were always happy to help with questions etc and were very efficient through out. The whole experience was really help together by the tour director/manager a guy ... Read More
The overall experience was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble. The crew were always happy to help with questions etc and were very efficient through out. The whole experience was really help together by the tour director/manager a guy called Nicola. He was superb . The organisation was top drawer, most days three excursions were offered which catered for most tastes the transport arrangements, the food arrangements during the tours, the guides on those tours were all excellent. English was spoken throughout by all crew, guides. The tour was made up of Australians, Canadians, Americans and Brits and all interacted throughout. We never sat at meal times with the same people twice which led to some very interesting and enjoyable conversations. The food throughout could not be faulted and was always well prepared and served by an excellent team of waiters. Liquid refreshments were available 24/7 as were small snacks along with tea and coffee. The mini bars in every cabin were replenished everyday and the piece de resistance was having a butler assigned to you. They made life that much easier and were there to help in any way what so ever. Tea/coffee in bed every morning served by them was a very enjoyable experience. The ship overall was spotlessly clean, very comfortable and we all had plenty of room to do our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We went because it was a Correspondents Cruise and they were excellent. But trips were long and not much time was given at destinations which was disappointing. The most upsetting thing was having to change boats and losing a valuable half ... Read More
We went because it was a Correspondents Cruise and they were excellent. But trips were long and not much time was given at destinations which was disappointing. The most upsetting thing was having to change boats and losing a valuable half day of a 7 day holiday for which there was no apologies or anything done to make recompense for this. The Cruise Director needed to have lessons on diplomacy. There was also an issue of having to wait at the end of tours for the boat to arrive to pick us up which was most unprofessional. We have rated entertainment as average but this excludes the correspondents which were fantastic, especially Kate Adie. She made the holiday for us. Food was not the deluxe we expected but wine selection good. A lot of wasted time on tours which could have been better organised. We will not be booking another cruise with you as we have had better holidays with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary seamlessly. The food was very good, with a varied selection of appetizers, soups, mains, and desserts. The wait staff were friendly and professional. Our cabin was very well designed so we had plenty of space to put everything. Our cabin was also spotless. I would say that I found the itinerary a bit rushed - that being said however, I also chose to not stay on the boat, which I could have. Perhaps the same itinerary could be completed in ten days, allowing a bit more time in some cities. Unfortunately on our second last day we ended being off the ship for almost 11 hours. Our tour of Regensburg was to last 4 hours. There was a problem with water levels being too low and the boat being unable to make it to our next destination. That is understandable - cannot control Mother Nature! I'm not totally convinced that there was not a way to get us on the boat earlier. So, the memory of my last excursion was a long, wet, cold day in a small city with nothing to do. When we boarded the boat everything was rushed. The next morning we had to wake up very early to be bussed to our last port of call. Unfortunately these events coloured my overall experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose this trip on the basis of recommendation from a friend and through the travel agent. The company had a good rating and no major complaints from anyone that the travel agent had booked on a cruise with them. Liked the all-inclusive ... Read More
Chose this trip on the basis of recommendation from a friend and through the travel agent. The company had a good rating and no major complaints from anyone that the travel agent had booked on a cruise with them. Liked the all-inclusive package. And the fact that excursionsfterand no extra charges. Dining seemed to be varied and options to dine without a crowd of 160 around is a benefit. Scenic does a strong marketing job in Canada and there were many Canadians on board--in fact the largest group. The Aussies were the next highest representation so that made for a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The cruise director, Alex, had the organization down pat and a terrific personality to be in this position. Bar staff and room staff were exceptional. Rooms were kept neat and tidy and the rooms are spacious (we had opted for the Junior Balcony Suite which is perfect location on Sapphire deck--right at the end opening up to central foyer so getting to dining, lounge or upstairs sun deck was easy). One man was in a wheelchair and he was accommodated on most tours without any fuss. This was not easy for bus driver or tour guide. All drivers and guides were fantastic and knowledgeable. Great ambassadors for their country! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
booked 16 months before with Scenic who gave us the worst room on the boat over the engine room which rattles so much the doors would open on their own and had to pad out the safe as it rattled all the time. The cupboard in the bathroom ... Read More
booked 16 months before with Scenic who gave us the worst room on the boat over the engine room which rattles so much the doors would open on their own and had to pad out the safe as it rattled all the time. The cupboard in the bathroom was falling off (which they fixed) but not the bathroom door which kept on coming open. My wife found it difficult to sleep. Asked Patric the director for another room, but said none was available The staff were kind and helpful The food was 4 star not five, and queueing up for breakfast was not what we paid for. They brought out the chef to praise him every night, but that does not make it 5 star If you want five star, try Silversea or Regent. You really do get five star The butler was pleasant but had to serve 22 rooms on two floors plus other jobs The trips out were mainly walking tours, with a few highlights thrown in the quality of drinks were fine on ship entertainment was in the main a honky tonk piano player embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly Wrote to HO, and have eventually had a reply. Sorry to report the management are clueless, and don't car a jot! Have been to Australia and New Zealand with Scenic, and they came up trumps, but they have lost the plot with river boat cruises. I do not recommend. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Our travel agent had been on this cruise and rated it the best. Knowing that the one off payment covered everything once on board ship took out any stress about off shore excursions, tipping and different exchange rates. Only needed small ... Read More
Our travel agent had been on this cruise and rated it the best. Knowing that the one off payment covered everything once on board ship took out any stress about off shore excursions, tipping and different exchange rates. Only needed small amount of change for toilets in town. Free toilets were always available at organised tour events. The offshore excursions arranged by Scenic were varied and provided wonderful musical experiences from the different areas we visited. The Octoberfest and Sound of music lunch and show are exclusive to Scenic tours. Each outing was accompanied by an experienced guide giving extremely detailed information about the place we were visiting and the history going back to Roman times. Alexander our very experienced cruise director was always patient, cheerful, interesting and extremely well organised , Some of the crew expressed their multi talents by providing us with musical entertainment on our last night which was a real treat. Food, what can I say!' The meals were superb, fresh produce beautifully prepared, a culinary delight at each meal. Providing a shuttle bus in some cities was an unexpected bonus. I could not have asked for more. A wonderful, memorable experience Thank you Scenic. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We picked Scenic because friends of ours have already made multiple trips with this company. I was uncertain about it because I've done very little travelling and was not keen on such a lengthy trip. My partner was uncertain about ... Read More
We picked Scenic because friends of ours have already made multiple trips with this company. I was uncertain about it because I've done very little travelling and was not keen on such a lengthy trip. My partner was uncertain about it because of (1) the cost and (2) the multitude of things that can go wrong on a trip of this magnitude. Now that it over, we'd both happily travel with Scenic again. Arriving at the airport in Amsterdam was a dream. Scenic provided a driver who took us to the hotel, and a shuttle to take us to the boat on the cruise starting date. On the boat, the cabin was wonderful (we were mid-ship and mid-deck – Diamond Level). The food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch was normally buffet style. The exception was the first day, when they provided a served lunch. Dinner was always a served meal. On land, the food never really compared in quality to what we got on the boad. I had told them in advance that I was vegetarian. On the boat, the restaurant manager made a point of finding me to let me know there would be no problem with my request. Every day I received a lunch/dinner menu in the morning, letting me know the choices available for lunch and dinner, and there was always at least one vegetarian choice for each course. (Dinner was always a 4-course meal.) Every day, there was a choice of off-shore excursions, all included in the cost of the cruise. The cruise director (Alex) was very diligent in making all transportation arrangements and getting tickets for performances at the various venues. Sometimes the passengers made it difficult. For example, if 10 people say they want tickets to attend a certain show, but then 20 people turn up, that can be challenging to handle. But Alex always managed. And he was a joy to have on board with us. Funny, entertaining, really all you can ask for in a cruise director. In addition to the entertainment that Alex provlded, there was a variety of professional entertainment (musicians, dancers) that came on board. There was also a resident entertainer who provided piano music in the afternoon, then came back in the evening to play AND sing. One day, the ship’s chef taught us how to make German mustard soup. Those off-shore excursions included guided tours, abbeys, museums, castles, performances. In Vienna, we went to the Spanish Riding School. The stallions were on holiday, which disappointed some people. I didn't really care. We watched the mares and their foals perform instead. In Hungary we had a performance by an award winning musician (sorry, I don't recall his name). Many of these performances were arranged just for the Scenic guests (such as Octoberfest, in August). In some cases, where there were simultaneous excursions planned, decisions needed to be made in advance. Alex made sure to provide information about 3 days prior to the trips so that each of us could decide which trips we wanted. This allowed him to organize buses and tickets where needed. The cabin was always spotlessly clean. Housekeeping service was flawless. Butler service was available to us though we didn't really need it. WiFi, and an entertainment console was also available at no additional cost in the cabins. I think WiFi was available anywhere on the boat though we didn't use it because we don't carry phones. (We must be the only people in Canada who do not carry cell phones). Did anything go wrong? In Hungary, one of the bus drivers didn’t seem to understand the concept of a designated pickup/dropoff point for passengers. This didn’t cause us a big problem, though it could have if the boat had been preparing to leave. The handheld travel guide devices were wonderful, when they worked. There were usually extra devices available, but so many of us were having problems getting them to work that I think Scenic needs to be more diligent in replacing the batteries. Everything went wrong on the flight home, but we certainly can’t blame Scenic for problems with Air France. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. As my first cruise, and my first trip to Europe, I was really, really pleased, and I’d have no hesitation in travelling with Scenic again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and ... Read More
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and delivered first-class service with a smile, many learning passenger names once the badges were left off. The answer was never “no” but always “of course.” When other river ships had to stop due to low water, our captain and crew made the entire route happen. A talented group of men and women all around. -Sailing with people from Australia, Canada and the UK we saw as a real plus; nice conversations with “worldly” clientele. -Most guides in the ports were very knowledgable and we learned a lot from them. The “Enrich” events were hit and miss. For example, the trip to Marksburg Castle and orchestra/piano concerts were quite nice while the “Oktoberfest” and “Sound of Music” events were a bit too “cheesy” for us. -E-bikes were really fun. We used them on three occasions. The GPS devices are nice too, though we found ourselves using them less and less and just enjoying the scenery. Negatives -Food was above average but never exceptional, which was disappointing. The Portobello experience was a step above, but there was never a “WOW” meal moment. The breakfast and lunch buffets always had great variety and seemed to be very fresh, but by the 15th day, we were tired of the same breakfast buffet and wished that lunch could be served table-side. -Too many bus transfers for us. I realize that the ship doesn’t magically dock in the city center and we just stroll off into town, but that is kind of what the river cruise companies lead you to believe in their brochures and commercials. However, they do a good job of getting 160+ passengers where they need to be when they need to be there--we just wish there were fewer bus rides involved. A couple of days we skipped the bus excursions and stayed on-board for the nice river cruising. -From day one we encountered at least one very sick person on the ship.....and then more and more got sick until there was a real epidemic. Some people went to the hospital while others saw a doctor and still others went to the pharmacy to get meds. It’s hard to say how many were sick, but we would guess more than half by cruise end. We managed to stay healthy until the last two days when it got us too. Upon landing after our final flight, we went straight to the emergency room to find out that it was influenza. We are now recovering at home. Not a great end to the trip but at least we were able to enjoy most of it---some people spent a large part of their trip flat on their backs--and paid $18K to do so. In our opinion, Scenic did not seem to have good enough protocols to handle this situation. While we saw them trying to clean the lobby of the ship, there were many areas (menus, chairs, buffet utensils, railings etc.) that we did not see them sanitize. Though there were hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance to the ship and dining rooms, they did not insist that everyone use them or supervise guests entering/exiting those spaces as they did with the electronic badge check-in/out system. In an attempt not to lose travel days, many people who were quite ill got on the buses each day and proceeded to infect the others. Not a great situation. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our 1st river cruise and we chose Scenic because of their "reputation". This having been said,since they are all inclusive, so was the lofty cost. During the 1st week, for 4 days in a row, everyone in the Crystal ... Read More
This was our 1st river cruise and we chose Scenic because of their "reputation". This having been said,since they are all inclusive, so was the lofty cost. During the 1st week, for 4 days in a row, everyone in the Crystal dining room waived away flies at all 3 meals. You would think that after 1 day this would be remedied by the crew who witnessed this. However,only after I talked to the restaurant manager on the 5th day, did it improve. The public rooms (dining and lounge) were never cool during the entire trip. The weather was only very hot 1 day out of 14. The food lacked flavor. Meals on the ocean cruises we have been on were so much better. The service, crew, and cabin were 6 stars out of 5 but.... More than 1/2 the passengers on board were ill during the trip. Scenic had a cavalier approach to this and should have been extremely more proactive. Plan on spending a great deal of time riding buses once you dock at a city. 1 day it was a total of 7 hours to and from. Finally, I did write Scenic before I chose to post this review. Their response did not address my concerns at all in a genuine, sincere manner-another disappointment of a company that I feel does not warrant the reputation they have 1 bit Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We selected this cruise as we had excellent experience of Scenic before, and the itinerary matched our ideal places to see and the Scenic Enrich activities looked superb. We were not disappointed! Everything was well organised, ... Read More
We selected this cruise as we had excellent experience of Scenic before, and the itinerary matched our ideal places to see and the Scenic Enrich activities looked superb. We were not disappointed! Everything was well organised, embarkation, transfers, communication and service all spot on. The Scenic Enrich activities were the highlights, with a visit to a medieval castle and entertainment, the Sound of Music excursion to Salzburg, and the Palais Lichtenstein concert in Vienna absolutely outstanding. The food on board was excellent, with the special menus at Table La Rive and Portobellos truly outstanding. Minor issues like bar service during busy times wee quickly forgotten. Special mentions for Cruise Director Andreea, bar waiter Ana, and restaurant waiter Iwan, who all worked hard and multi-tasked enthusiastically. Andreea in particular led the cruise with enthusiasm and experise, communicated very well despite English not being her first language, and looked after the passengers who had health problems during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted a true all-inclusive. All tips included, which means you didn't even need to tip the tour guide of the land excursions, nor was there an envelope waiting on your bed the last night with a plea for an extra tip for the ship ... Read More
We wanted a true all-inclusive. All tips included, which means you didn't even need to tip the tour guide of the land excursions, nor was there an envelope waiting on your bed the last night with a plea for an extra tip for the ship staff. All excursions included, which means you didn't have to rush for the "best" shore excursion nor shop for best deals. It was all taken care of AND they also had extra, special excursions in the evening such as a meal in a medieval castle! All drinks included, which means not just wine and beer, but also all liquors, standard and top shelf. The staff was amazing! I cannot overstate how professional, yet friendly the staff was. They bent over backwards to meet your every desire. You really felt like they were there to serve you! And of course the route was beautiful and interesting. But you can take it on another cruise line and get the same view, but not the service! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Scenic reputation, range of cruises and the many friends recommendations who had travelled with Scenic before. This cruise covered areas we had not seen before and covered an expansive range of tours ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Scenic reputation, range of cruises and the many friends recommendations who had travelled with Scenic before. This cruise covered areas we had not seen before and covered an expansive range of tours which we felt would suit the requirements of my wife and I. All of the places we visited were very picturesque with excellent guides to show us around and impart interesting information. Some of these places we will definitely return to revisit for a bit longer as really this cruise just gives a taste. We also took up the option of a pre cruise stay in Paris and post cruise stay in Budapest, which was an added bonus for us. Just about everything you needed or wanted was covered in the cruise cost with no need to worry about extra money outlay. The whole crew on the Scenic Jewel from Captain and Cruise Director right through the full range are a credit to Scenic with nothing being too much trouble. All crew we engaged with were pleasant, knowledgeable, helpful and generally all had a great sense of humour. The food and drink choices and quality were superb with good on board entertainment making this a really enjoyable way to travel. We will most definitely be recommending this cruise and Scenic to anyone that will listen. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have been in several ocean cruises, but had heard good reports of river cruising and because we were celebrating special birthdays, thought we would try a cruise down the Rhine. We were met at Zurich Airport and bussed to Basel to ... Read More
We have been in several ocean cruises, but had heard good reports of river cruising and because we were celebrating special birthdays, thought we would try a cruise down the Rhine. We were met at Zurich Airport and bussed to Basel to board the boat. Both embarkation and disembarkation were very good. Our luggage was taken care of by the crew. Our cabin was on the lower deck, the same as the gym and the crew quarters. It had a high window which enabled you to look out to see where you were, but it was not suitable for watching for long! The bathroom is tiny. Adequate but tiny. The bed is very comfortable and the cabin has everything you could want, from a small fridge, restocked daily with spirits, wine and soft drink. There is adequate storage, good lighting, a wall-mounted tv on which you can access the internet as well as the latest news, movies etc. The bathroom is stocked with lovely toiletries, which will be replenished as required. A bar of soap is not quite so readily available. A butler is allocated to each cabin, but it was some days before we knew who our butler was, and then we didn't know what we could ask for, or indeed how to ask! That was probably our fault as we didn't ask, but we felt information should have been provided. Returning passengers (of whom there appeared to be quite a few) would know what to do. There were a few empty cabins on our deck. The boat was very clean. The decor was modern and quite bland. First impression was that it was quite stark, but later, having to walk through another vessel to go ashore, we realised that our decor was preferable to the chandeliers and faux French furnishings of one of Scenic's rivals! The lounge area was very comfortable, the sundeck was large and well set out. The dining room had a mix of tables from tables for two to larger ones. The staff were really excellent. They came from many countries including Indonesia, Romania and Bosnia. They work extremely hard, are unfailingly helpful and polite. There were a few hiccups, wrong drinks, requests that were never met, water glasses that weren't filled during meal times but I think that could be put down to pressure of work. Scenic promotes its included drinks policy and cruisers certainly seem to take advantage of it. There is a wine list at meal time, but most people take the proffered red or white wine. French champagne is included in the "free" alcohol, and Moet is available every breakfast. Unfortunately, people about to undertake a busy day on shore generally don't want to start the day with a glass of champagne and so the bottles are put away until the following morning. If you want champagne at any other time, you must have the only other one the bar has, and it's pretty horrible. In the lounge area is a snack area where you can have a light lunch or snack. You can order "anything" from the kitchen. We didn't test it, but I wonder if "anything" includes lobster! The food was somewhat disappointing. Whilst a good variety was offered for breakfast, if you wanted poached eggs, pancakes or waffles, an order had to be sent to the kitchen. At lunch, two dishes were obtainable from the kitchen, and the waiter was meant to give you details. This didn't always happen. We were disappointed that more seasonal produce didn't appear - asparagus, strawberries, cherries, all in peak season at the time of our trip. Salads were always the same, lettuce, peppers, wedges of tomato, carrot sticks, radish. We felt there was a limited choice at dinner, but we did enjoy some superb meat dishes. A fruit platter for dessert was astounding in its five small bits of fruit. Two shore excursions had to be chosen before leaving home. The description of the options was minimal and we found the same as the trip started. The audio guides worked very well although some people had units that refused to charge properly, so they had to stick close to the guide. Walking tours sometimes ended with free time. As we had warm to hot weather, it meant the days on shore could be long and tiring. The local guides were generally very good. The real "jewel" in this journey was the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We had never been on a river cruise and chose Scenic after much research. The first couple of days were not so interesting but Heidlberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam were all very lovely. Our cabin was small but very well designed and ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise and chose Scenic after much research. The first couple of days were not so interesting but Heidlberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam were all very lovely. Our cabin was small but very well designed and we had all we needed and more. The food and beverage service was excellent and all gratuities were included. The shore excursions were well organized and again no extra charge. All of the guides we had were friendly, spoke English and were very knowledgeable. The cruise director Andreea was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were our favourite meals as there was lots of choice and quality of food was excellent. Dinner was average most nights. Service staff was always excellent. The rooftop BBQ lunch was really enjoyable and of course we lucked out with fabulous weather. The cruise director Andreea was wonderful. She is a valuable member of the Scenic cruise group and her dedication and interpersonal skills did not go unnoticed! We would definitely recommend this cruise line and would likely be return customers. Thankyou! Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 3.3

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