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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Retirement celebration trip of a 1st time one week Rhine cruise and we treated ourselves to a top price suite on the Emerald deck. It had a full size bathroom with bath and separate shower. To be honest we didn't really get our ... Read More
Retirement celebration trip of a 1st time one week Rhine cruise and we treated ourselves to a top price suite on the Emerald deck. It had a full size bathroom with bath and separate shower. To be honest we didn't really get our money's worth as we didn't take advantage of the butler service, being reasonably fit and healthy, and didn't spend a lot of time in our room, but that was our choice. We did enjoy the welcome bottle of champagne and daily fruit plate, were glad of the pillow menu for something firmer to support my neck and I did manage to watch 3/4 of the newest James Bond film on the multi functional Apple widescreen TV. We also had a couple of invitation only special dinners, one of which was to eat at the captain's table. The service was excellent; all the staff were very personable, worked extremely hard and seemed to pull together as a team. Most were from Eastern Europe, with some Indonesian and other nationalities in the kitchen; all spoke excellent English. The captain and our butler were both delightful and charming. The range and quality of food and drink was excellent, with a good selection of healthier options and something was always available. it would be very easy to over-indulge on both food and alcohol, but portions were small and light enough that you could have a taste, and not overdo things, given sufficient willpower. Fellow passengers included British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand couples, a couple from Chile and some larger groups from the USA. The age range was mainly late 50s upwards; there were a few people with walking difficulties, but somehow they managed to get on and off the boat, which was tricky on the couple of occasions that we had to go through another boat and there were a lot of levels to negotiate. they tended to spend more time in their cabins. We enjoyed the scenery and the excursions. Best was Heidelberg- very pleasant to walk around, not too touristy. Rudesheim's mechanical museum was well-worth visiting, but the town itself was very crowded with tour groups and it was good to escape via the cable car to see the view from the Niederwald Monument (very "Prussian" and intimidating to those with an interest in subsequent history!) Koblenz was also interesting to walk around and find pleasant corners and I enjoyed exploring the castle and its varied exhibitions, accessed by cable car a short walk from the boat.My husband found it all too hot walking through the stone fortifications in temperature of top 20s C and the heat bouncing off the walls, so I was left to wander and use my imagination. There was an interesting collections of bicycles and a number of people were able to try out some old-fashioned ones and weird ones eg penny-farthing, various historical displays and an atmospheric son & lumiere in the castle basement explaining how people used it to hide from wartime bombing. We were glad to start in Basel as the 1st stretch was the least interesting and it's worth noting that the 1st 2 locations are industrial areas and not scenic. Best to think of it as an opportunity to relax, watch the lock process and get to know the boat. Really the Rhine gorge/castles bit is just a half day and I was underwhelmed by the Lorelei! Didn't spot any sirens of the maiden variety!!. We did the Alsace wine trip, which was excellent (the owner was a star performer!), but missed Strasbourg which was the other option, (in my innocence I thought we would cruise past Strasbourg and perhaps be able to pop in on our own, but we weren't that near or on that bit of the river so couldn't). The best mooring locations were at Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam as it was very easy to stroll back to the boat after the organised trip. It seemed to take longer to get us all in the coaches to get to the sightseeing point than to walk back afterwards, but I suppose it was easier to get us altogether at the start. I was impressed by the walking/cycling routes, cafes and parks alongside the river for much of its length. The quality of the concert at the Mannheim palace, both the palace and the 3 artistes (soprano, baritone & pianist) was excellent - the repertoire was well-chosen to appeal to people, whether they were familiar with opera or not, and the performers were lively and engaging. Finally, an interesting orientation tour of Amsterdam, inc. a canal trip. Was able to see the old and the impressive new Amsterdam, finishing in a cheese shop- recommend the old matured cheese from cow, sheep or goat milk. I would have liked to explore more, but unfortunately we had both came down with really nasty colds, and felt quite ill and the weather was suddenly unseasonably hot, even on the canals. A sad end to an enjoyable trip, but shouldn't put others off. One final observation, I found the information device really hard to use as I have small ears and the earpiece would not stay on (I obviously need to get my own earpiece)- but it was a mine of info and did mean you could hear the guide whilst still looking around some distance away. Would I go again? Possibly, on another river. It was a good compromise between my husband's and my tastes in holidays and we both enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise based on the information provided by Scenic in their info booklet. Our travel specialist assured us that what was written was what we could expect. She was right on. We selected this particular cruise itinerary ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the information provided by Scenic in their info booklet. Our travel specialist assured us that what was written was what we could expect. She was right on. We selected this particular cruise itinerary because it allowed us to visit 4 European countries in the 7 days we were on board. Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The ship was lovely and spotless, the food was excellent, the staff outdid themselves to ensure your comfort and satisfaction and the daily itinerary was extremely well organized. The balcony is an excellent added feature. Because the weather was so pleasant we had coffee delivered to our room each morning @ 7:00 and enjoyed it on the balcony. It was also a great way to finish off a busy day touring. One very important feature with Scenic that we failed to appreciate until the end of the tour is the all inclusiveness of the tour price. When Scenic says you can leave your wallet in your room "they really mean it". What a wonderful feature. It is too bad that other companies don't follow suit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an ... Read More
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an expensive venture in the first instance, because it is an " all in " package , it proved to be very good value for money. EVERYTHING is included. Crew are ultra friendly and helpful , drinks are always " on tap" , whether it be alcoholic or merely a cup of tea or coffee, advice on venues for the tours is always available and they are generally good value. I personally thought the Drachenburg Castle was largely a waste of time but other tours ( all inclusive ) were good. The visit to the vineyard was particularly good , not for the obvious reasons , but for the interesting explanations from Albert who is a 14th generation wine producer and knows his stuff ! Rudesheim is a gem to walk around but unfortunately " Captain Sunshine" did not work a miracle and it poured down the day we visited. The menu aboard is very varied and can be a simple salad or a full blown meal for lunch with almost endless courses in the evening. Th early part of the week the standard was superb but, for some unknown reason , the standard was not maintained towards the end of the week. A number of us thought that Head office should allow local purchasing by the chef where possible, asparagus was absent from the menu until several clients asked why. The answer from the galley was that Manchester dictated the menus !! Austin & Pat Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is ... Read More
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is litereally all inclusive. We chose SCENIC based on the luxury ratings and great reviews, but mostly for it's all-inclusiveness. The ammenities included our own GPS units with informational guides as well as walking sticks and umbrellas in each room. You could reserve the electric bikes they have onboard and go out on your own anytime. We were able to convince family members to come along as well. We traveled from Amersterdam to Basel, Switzerland. For the most part we had a fabulous time on the SCENIC Jewel. Most of the staff were attentive and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the lounge staff, especially Ana and our butler Bogdan. They took very good care of us. We also enjoyed being able to be on the top deck especially when we traveled through the river gorge with the beautiful scenery and all those castles! The food was usually good. Breakfast & lunch were open seating with eating anytime between certain hours. Dinners were set at a certain time. Some of our party arrived late for dinner the first evening. The wait staff started serving as soon as you are seated, but we asked to wait until our entire group were seated. The waiter was unsure of what to do so he involved the maitre'd. This maitre'd scolded us for being late as the staff are to start serving right away despite whether your entire group has arrived. (It wasn't like there was another seating coming in later). The Jewel maitre'd certainly could have been more cordial in his explanation, but we decided to let it go based on his non-communication skills. The next unfortunate encounter with the Jewel maitre'd came a few nights later. Two of our party were served cold food. The wait staff were great and immediately took the food back and served new plates a few minutes later. These too were only lukewarm. By then we just wanted to eat so we were dealing with it. The wait staff called over the maitre'd again to get involved and he said the food was hot as it had just come off the grill. We were obviously wrong. It was about winning the argument for him. It was not pleasant. We took these incidents to the Concierge manager. He told us he would look into this and get some resolution for us. This never happened. A simple apology from the SCENIC JEWEL maitre'd would have been welcomed. When we disembarked we were asked to use our name fobs to enter a review on a website Scenic provided. Several in our party attempted to write a review but were denied access. I emailed Scenic about this issue and was told there was a glitch in the system and they were working to resolve. I contacted them AGAIN but still no resolvement to this problem.I gave up trying which I am assuming SCENIC was hoping we would do. Due to this memory of the trip we will certainly consider using another cruise line for future river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
The whole trip was excellent the crew were great. The food was lovely but my only criticism was about the length of time it took to serve dinner. There were occasions when we had to wait 30 - 45 minutes for our main course. We felt ... Read More
The whole trip was excellent the crew were great. The food was lovely but my only criticism was about the length of time it took to serve dinner. There were occasions when we had to wait 30 - 45 minutes for our main course. We felt you should have had say two staggered sittings. The entertainment was great but we some time wished we had more time in one or two of the stop offs I can't think of anything else to say so to meet you criteria I'll say it again The whole trip was excellent the crew were great. The food was lovely but my only criticism was about the length of time it took to serve dinner. There were occasions when we had to wait 30 - 45 minutes for our main course. We felt you should have had say two staggered sittings. The entertainment was great but we some time wished we had more time in one or two of the stop offs Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
First time going on a river cruise and the Scenic Jewel Rhine Highlights exceeded our expectations. It was an experience of a lifetime and well worth the price. We selected a balcony room and found it was more than adequate for the time we ... Read More
First time going on a river cruise and the Scenic Jewel Rhine Highlights exceeded our expectations. It was an experience of a lifetime and well worth the price. We selected a balcony room and found it was more than adequate for the time we planned to spend in it. We were near the back of the ship but not close enough to engine room to affect us. However one couple on the 2nd level asked to be moved because room located over engine area and very loud there. The average age on this specific cruise was 60+...since our first one cannot say if this is normal but likely so. Based on the excursions offered and on ship activities, it definitely is not geared to young families/children. If you have mobility issues this type of cruise could still work for you. Their excursions are rated by mobility and recommend you do additional research if mobility is severe. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
For our first river cruise, we wanted to explore the scenic (castle) stretch of the Rhine. After researching several cruise companies we chose Scenic, partly because it was fully inclusive of all tours (generally with a choice of 2 or 3 ... Read More
For our first river cruise, we wanted to explore the scenic (castle) stretch of the Rhine. After researching several cruise companies we chose Scenic, partly because it was fully inclusive of all tours (generally with a choice of 2 or 3 at each port), tips and drinks. We travel on a budget and did not want to be hit by unexpected costs. We were lucky enough to have a cabin upgrade, which meant we had a balcony, which was lovely. The restaurant and lounge were very nice, as was the deck space, with a section under cover. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and excursions and wonderful staff who, without exception, were very friendly and welcoming. The captain even went out of his way to welcome passengers back from trips. The food standard was a bit variable - lovely breakfasts and lunches but occasionally the evening meals disappointed. This is the only minor negative I have on the cruise itself. We stayed independently in Amsterdam for a couple of nights after the cruise finished and Scenic were very flexible with flight bookings and even provided us with a pick-up from Heathrow Airport at the end of the cruise, which was very welcome! However, there was a problem receiving our documentation, which was supposed to arrive 2 weeks before the cruise date. After numerous calls chasing this we finally had it delivered by recorded delivery on Saturday - our holiday was due to start on Monday. This caused a lot of anxiety and many wasted minutes waiting in vain in line for the "previous bookings" section to answer my calls. These waits (sometimes as long as 20 minutes) were made more irritating because the same Scenic advertising messages were constantly repeated. I finally by-passed this and requested "new bookings", which, was answered very swiftly! Once we had received the documentation, my contact in the "new bookings" section rang to check all was well and this was a nice touch of courtesy. However, I think Scenic UK need to look at their staffing levels in documentation so they don't work so close to the wire in future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We were delighted with our cruise ship. The Captain and crew were the best. Our social director Andreea was lovely and very organized. Our butler Alex and cabin attendant Heri were attentive and did an excellent job. The cruise ship was ... Read More
We were delighted with our cruise ship. The Captain and crew were the best. Our social director Andreea was lovely and very organized. Our butler Alex and cabin attendant Heri were attentive and did an excellent job. The cruise ship was perfectly maintained by the crew. The desk staff were very efficient. The meals were delicious, very nicely presented and a great variety at each meal. The tours were well organized and professionally presented. We enjoyed meeting so many lovely people from various Countries. We would have enjoyed a few more activities due to extra cruising time aboard the ship. Miquel was an excellent Pianist who played for us every evening. I enjoyed shopping for jewellery at the store. We loved the cleanliness of the ship and the friendly staff. We loved the cruise and will go again with Scenic Cruises!!!!! Thanks to the Captain and crew for the cruise of a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
what a good cruise company as everything was very well done . the ship was excellent and the staff were excellent especially rositsa, martina in the bar/lounge and milosh in the restaurant, well done. everything was good. lovely cabins and ... Read More
what a good cruise company as everything was very well done . the ship was excellent and the staff were excellent especially rositsa, martina in the bar/lounge and milosh in the restaurant, well done. everything was good. lovely cabins and the spotless ship. the captain was always around at events. the only thing is how they choose those for the captains table, a mystery to us!!! scenic is a good company and we would recommend then to all. well done scenic and a big thank you and especially to the mostly excellent staff who help make the trip xxx we had fabulous entertainment and a good pianist, we danced the evening away several times and thoroughly enjoyed it. the drinks were included and we had good wines and premium spirits. this should have been en emerald cruise but was on a scenic ship because of a ship out of commision Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first ever cruise and it exceeded our expectations with great value for money all inclusive of food, drink, and tours etc. The crew were absolutely fantastic and bent over backwards to help you out with whatever problem or ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and it exceeded our expectations with great value for money all inclusive of food, drink, and tours etc. The crew were absolutely fantastic and bent over backwards to help you out with whatever problem or question you had. The food was plentiful with variety of choices cooked by the best chef on the river, Georg ! The intertainment on board was a real treat, the talent supberb and the tours off shore were fantastic assisted by very knowledgable tour guides with unexpected surprises occurring on each tour with tastes of the local delicacies. The captain was very hands on which was very unexpected and was always at the gangplank to wish everyone a great day when off on tours and always there to welcome everyone back on board. Couldn't fault the cruise we had a wonderful group of people on board which made it very memorable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We are just back from the amazing experience of our lives to sail from Amsterdam to Budapest. Although the weather was overcast and cool it didn't take away from the experience. Our cabin was excellant and provided the comfort ... Read More
We are just back from the amazing experience of our lives to sail from Amsterdam to Budapest. Although the weather was overcast and cool it didn't take away from the experience. Our cabin was excellant and provided the comfort that we were expecting. The staff who took care of our room was so pleasant, always with a smile and a warm welcome. She couldn't do enought to make sure our needs were met. Dinning was alway kept to their high standards and staff more than willing to make sure our dinning experience was to our liking. The soups, salads were excellant and were the other choices of buffet. It was so great to experience foods from the regions we were in, quality was excellant! Beautiful array of wines to also be enjoyed with our meals. The Lounge and Bar, what amazing staff. No matter how busy they were, they always had a smile and wasted no time bring us our drink choices. They always maintain a clean enviorment. The entertainment was great . He had a nice voice and a good range of songs plus music to get us up and dance the night away! The cruise director was the BEST making sure the tours met everyone's needs. He was VERY knowledgable. We can't THANK Scenic Jewel cruise ship and staff enough for making our dream cruise more than we could ever imagine. Hope to see you again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do a Rhine cruise and the dates coincided with our Ruby wedding anniversary and our friends 60th Birhtday ( We are from The UK our friends from Australia ) We arrived at the ship in Nuremburg to a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do a Rhine cruise and the dates coincided with our Ruby wedding anniversary and our friends 60th Birhtday ( We are from The UK our friends from Australia ) We arrived at the ship in Nuremburg to a warm welcome and glass of champagne. Most passengers had already boarded at Budapest a week earlier and so we were one of only six couples to board. We were given a welcome briefing which was brief, practical and on the whole useful. Our cabin was comfortable and reasonably spacious - the innovative balcony windows are a great idea. The bed was very comfortable as were the pillows. The cabin staff were helpful and nothing was too much trouble - the same can be said for all the staff aboard the ship. I personally found the meals to be disappointing as I a a Vegetarian and found there was very limited chice. Lunchtime was particularly disappointing - often of the two soups available one was rarely vegetarian and if it was it was often a cold soup ( yuk ! ) The lunchtime Bar- B-Q was also a disappointment - vegetarian options were lettuce, mini corn on the cob and jacket potatoes. There was a wide selection of meat and fish dishes but where were the vegetable kebabs, vegetarian sausages etc ? On another occasion there was a meat lasagna - wherre was the vegetable lasagna ...? ! ! Evening meals offered only one vegetarian option per course - I guess you coud call that adaquate but how many non vegetarian passengers would settle for ony one option per course ? Acceptable on a basic cruise but not in my opnion on a cruise advertised as five star. ( And yes we have been on 5 star cruises ! ) The bar and dining room staff work very hard ( Bar staff double up as waiters in the dining room in the evenings ) But due to the fact that everyone is expected in the dining room at the same time; it can be a long wait before you are served your meal and an even longer wait for wine ( There is no wine waiter ) We often had to ask busy staff for wine and also to be topped up. There is a longe with a bar in which some entertainment is provided most nights. The lounge is very crowded and it was often difficult to find a seat. This however was not the main problem. On our first evening we noticed a great many passengers were coughing and anticipated the worst. Unfortunatly it was not just a cought but a flu like virus and sadly both ourselves and one of our friends caught the virus. Not surprising given the close proximity of passengers in the lounge. I would estimate that at least 80% of passengers were take ill. In fairness to Scenic it was not thier fault that someone brought the virus aboard the ship and there is an emphasis on using the hand gel dispensers located at the entrance to public areas and at the entrance of the ship. But sadly our experience was spoilt and our wedding anniversary celebrations non existant. The same can be said of our friends 60th Birthday celebrations. On balance I would say the cruise was enjoyable - there are some good excursions, the staff are excellent and the cabins very comfortable. But if you are a Vegetarian think again about booking and don't book a river cruise end of September onwards - the possibility of catching a virus would be very high. It only needs one person to bring a virus aboard the ship and sadly it can spoil the entire experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We liked that the cruise was all inclusive - no extra charges for excursions, tips, drinks. There was an ample number of choices for the excursions, or you could stay on the ship, or take an e-bike out and tour the town at your leisure. ... Read More
We liked that the cruise was all inclusive - no extra charges for excursions, tips, drinks. There was an ample number of choices for the excursions, or you could stay on the ship, or take an e-bike out and tour the town at your leisure. They'd even pack a lunch for you if you were going to be gone through the lunch hour. The service on board was excellent, the staff friendly and well informed about all aspects of the trip. The cabin was very well maintained, exceptionally clean as were all the public areas. The food was out of this world, and the presentation was creative. The portions were appropriate. Scenic had explored various entertainment options, offering us everything from an exquisite concert in a formal atmosphere to an Oktoberfest party, as well as some performers and speakers brought on board to entertain, amuse and educate us. It was all great. At the end of the tour, we had no outstanding expenses with the tour company. Our only out-of -pocket costs were for souvenirs for those we left behind at home. Embarkation and disembarkation went without a hiccup. Their systems have been well tested by time and experience. Things could not have gone more smoothly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, my birthday and our recent retirement. We wanted to do something special and we were not disappointed. From start to finish, the cruise was excellent. The ship was modern and ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, my birthday and our recent retirement. We wanted to do something special and we were not disappointed. From start to finish, the cruise was excellent. The ship was modern and spacious, the rooms very comfortable and the staff could not have been more welcoming, service oriented and professional. The attention to detail was what struck me. They thought of everything all the time. The captain and other staff would see us off and wish us a good excursion day and were always there to welcome us back and inquire about our day. Issues with water levels were encountered and they never missed a beat. We were offered alternatives when original plans had to be changed for reasons beyond their control and they bent over backwards to meet everyone's needs. I can't say enough about the staff. They were all so very pleasant no matter what their role on the ship, so much so that it felt like we were leaving friends and family at the end of the cruise. The food was phenomenal, from light snacks to gourmet meals. I would highly recommend Scenic to anyone looking for luxury all inclusive cruising. We would never cruise with anyone else. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Scenic cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest aboard the Scenic Jewel. Would rate this with 6 stars if possible. The staff was amazing--always accommodating and wanting to make your experience outstanding. Our Cruise Director Kurt could not ... Read More
Scenic cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest aboard the Scenic Jewel. Would rate this with 6 stars if possible. The staff was amazing--always accommodating and wanting to make your experience outstanding. Our Cruise Director Kurt could not have been better handling all the small details (like doctor visits, etc), keeping everyone informed with his port talk (which were not only informative but done with humor). The selection of on board entertainment was terrific, the food outstanding. Cannot say enough about how wonderful the staff was. At the end of the cruise they almost felt like family. On many stops we would have a selection of options from city tours, Scenic Free Choice, walking around by ourselves. The Taylor Devices would enable us to explore and the GPS would guide us to local attractions. The city tour guides were excellent, the off ship lunches and dinners were outstanding. We would definitely take another Scenic tour again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had decided on a luxury river cruise after going on ocean cruises. We picked Scenic tours after travelling with then on two previous tours. This cruise was truly a luxury cruise. All inclusive means just that!! Every thing was ... Read More
We had decided on a luxury river cruise after going on ocean cruises. We picked Scenic tours after travelling with then on two previous tours. This cruise was truly a luxury cruise. All inclusive means just that!! Every thing was included , even the butler. Private concerts, tours, excursions along with excellent food and drink . We felt there was a perfect balance of excursions, events, and free time. Our tour director was excellent, along with the housekeeping staff. Attention to detail with everything. The food service aboard was the best we have ever had on any cruise. There was a huge variety of entrees with everything presented perfect. We had very good local guides on excursions, small groups, with plenty of time for questions. We were met at the airport with luggage taken care of and upon leaving the same. the transitions were seamless. This cruise was a lovely experience and we would highlyrecommend this river cruise and tour company Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are just back from our Amsterdam to Budapest cruise. It was awesome. I read here about the food choices were limited....well I beg to differ. The choices were fine. Usually 3 main choices as well as another standard 3 main choices. ... Read More
We are just back from our Amsterdam to Budapest cruise. It was awesome. I read here about the food choices were limited....well I beg to differ. The choices were fine. Usually 3 main choices as well as another standard 3 main choices. There were also choices with the appertisers, soups and deserts and the quality was excellent. The cabin was a good size for a ship of its size. We were in a Royal suite but I didn't hear anyone complaining about any of their rooms. As has been stated before you dont tent to spend much time in your rooms anyway. The demographic was as expected. Most were aged in their sixties and the ages ranged from late 40's to late 70's but age didn't seem to be a problem when it came time to party. The were a mix of nationalities. Still mostly Australian ( about 45%) with the Canadians close behind with the rest made up of Americans, Brits, Kiwis and a couple from Barbados The daily tours were many and varied or you could go out on your own. The staff were excellent they always knew what drink you wanted and were very attentive We felt special from the airport pickup till the airport drop off. I'm glad I chose Scenic and we do another tour with them in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our first ever cruise - we normally "do our own thing" - so spending so much money was difficult to come to terms with. We had been travelling for 2 weeks prior and arrived in Amsterdam the same day as we embarked the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise - we normally "do our own thing" - so spending so much money was difficult to come to terms with. We had been travelling for 2 weeks prior and arrived in Amsterdam the same day as we embarked the cruise, thus it was great to unpack knowing we didn't have to see our cases again for 15 days. There are many areas one could sit comfortably - whether on deck in the sun or in a lounge area. Staff were always on hand to provide drinks but were never over bearing. From the outset it was clear this is a well oiled machine - professional from the top down - and yet always friendly and helpful. Kurt as the tour director had a 24/7 job and yet always showed enthusiasm and great humour. I'm sure our experience would have been lesser without his skill. The food was plentiful and catered for every taste; the wait staff although busy always had a smile and a chat. Onboard entertainment was varied; Guieseppie played piano and sang (although not always on key), local musicians and dances, informative talks and demonstrations. Excursions on shore were well organised with choices well documented in advance and great without exception. My personal highlight was the concert in the Arsenal in Vienna - exceptional venue with professional musicians and singers - wonderful. Of course I could rave about the beauty of the Rhine Valley, the amazing canal linking the Rhine to The Danube, Melk Abbey and the fun in Durnstein - but the icing on the cake was waking up in Budapest, drawing the curtains and seeing the sun rise behind the magnificent Parliament building. We may be converts to cruising after all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
Everything about this cruise was just fabulous,from the food to the entertainment.You could do as little or as much depending how you felt.The food was beautiful & the soups were to die for.The bar service was first class with the most ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was just fabulous,from the food to the entertainment.You could do as little or as much depending how you felt.The food was beautiful & the soups were to die for.The bar service was first class with the most cheerful bar staff you could wish for,with special thanks to Eddie,Martina & Rosita.All the staff from the the Captain all the way down were just fantastic.A special mention for Kurt who worked so tirelessly from morning till night to make sure that everyone had a holiday to remember.At night there was entertainment with the resident pianist who played and sang every night plus there was local singers and dancers from some of the countries that we stopped off at.We went through some of the most breathtaking country scenes on the Rhine and the Danube with stops at some of the most beautiful cities and towns,Melk being one of my favorite places.With so many people staying in such a small place,it only takes one person to be ill and it goes through the ship.This happened while we were on board.just like any transport that has air conditioning,it goes from cabin to cabin.That is the only complaint that i could find with this holiday,they need to improve on the quality of air being circulated from room to room.This is not just a scenic problem but every company that uses recycled air.All in all,with being sick on board,it turned a absolutely fantastic holiday into a fantastic holiday.Would not stop me from going again.From myself and my wife,we would like to thank every single member of staff that catered for our every need. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit to Scenic and you were made to feel welcome at all times. The cabin had a balcony which increased the floor space and gave great views of the passing scenery. As we frequently travelled overnight and our cabin was located near the rear of the ship, engine noise was noticeable but did not affect sleeping - in fact you were more aware of it when the engines stopped and the quietness hit you! Our cabin steward was excellent and kept everything neat and tidy all day and constantly amused us with her 'towel sculptures'. The main dining room is very pleasant although sometimes a bit too busy in the evenings. The breakfast buffet gave a good choice and also provided a chef for the cooking of eggs and omelettes. Unfortunately the plate warmers were never turned on at this time and your food got cold too quickly. However you were able to order pancakes, eggs benedict, etc from the kitchen which came out on hot plates! A buffet lunch was available in the main dining room or from Cafe Rive in the main lounge - always a good choice of food. Evening meals were always a la carte with a good choice of courses. Overall dining was a good experience. Entertainment was provided - some acts were better than others! The shore excursions were well organised and enjoyable, with a good range of places to go and see. Some of the highlights for us were the windmills in Amsterdam, the chair lift in Rudesheim and a visit to the walled medievil city of Rothenburg where our guide was exceptional. All the trips were good. Overall this is a holiday we thoroughly enjoyed and we would consider another river cruise but for a shorter period of time. Also this cruise did involve going through 67 locks and lots of low bridges which means the sun deck is not always available for the use of passengers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruiseline based on others reviews. It was a great choice. Although the cost was considerably higher this is a once in a lifetime cruise for us so we chose to spend the extra. There were other choices but I still feel we made ... Read More
We chose this cruiseline based on others reviews. It was a great choice. Although the cost was considerably higher this is a once in a lifetime cruise for us so we chose to spend the extra. There were other choices but I still feel we made the right decision. The service was outstanding with a crew that exceeded all expectations. The captain was always at the gangway ready to greet passengers fro the day of embarkation and every day as we returned from excursions. On embarkations every woman was handed a rose and we were greeted by the captain, cool towels for refreshing, and champagne. A butler escorted us to our cabin. The first evening dinner was a buffet but then we set sail on the river for a beautiful evening cruise around Budapest which is a gorgeous evening sight! At the end of the little evening cruise we re-docked across from Parliament which is one of the most beautiful building in Budapest. The next day, after out excursion, we walked into the shopping district of Budapest. It is a lengthy walk from the ship across Budapest's Chain Bridge, but well worth the walk. All breakfast buffets were outstanding! Lunch in the dining room was always an excellent buffet but for lighter choices the lounge and bar area had a wonderful selection of lighter lunches, pizza, soups, salads, burgers, and my favorite which was fish and chips. Dining in the dining room was always wonderful with excellent food choices, outstanding service, and great company. The Budapest excursion we chose was good It seems like every river cruise had the same excursion which created some extremely crowded conditions at some of the sights. It would be nice if the cruise ship companies coordinated their excursions so some were in the morning and some in the afternoon to alleviate some of the crowds. Every ship seemed to have groups at the same sights at the same time. The Viking River cruise ships had a much better docking area nearer to the sops and activities in Budapest - but Scenic had a nice quiet, very scenic docking area. The evening cruises through the locks would sometimes create much bumping and noises in the lower deck but that was expected. Sometimes it woke me but I never seemed to have a problem if we were just cruising. After having experienced many ocean cruises where the cruise director was always outgoing and energetic I was a little surprised by the dry, humorless cruise director onboard. He often sat by himself. He always seemed to be available for questions but did not have a very outgoing personality. He got a little better at the end of the second week. Don't get me wrong, he was very accommodating but you had to seek him out and expect to only get a minimal answer to your question. The bartender, waiters, bar staff, service staff, room attendants, butlers , everyone was just outstanding! They worked tirelessly to make sure every need was met. There is not a huge staff and they worked for hours to attend to your needs. One of the things I did not like was that with so few staff, there was very limited service if you were on the sundeck. It seemed like they would come around once in a while but if you decide to stay on the sundeck you should expect to go get your own refreshments I cannot blame the staff. When you are cruising there are many passengers, 1 or sometimes two bartenders, and most often 2 bar service staff. In Vienna the Schonburg Palace - the early excursion was good since it seemed to get more crowded as the day wore on. My suggestion ... the tour was approximately 1 hour but then you had 2 hours of free time which was way too much a=for just at the Palace. If the excursion included more passes to more of the museums then 2 hours would be good but this tour only included a tour in the main Palace and then you were on your own. The bus took you back to the ship or dropped off in town. Unfortunately the ship docks fairly far from the town and the drop off in town was too far from the place I wanted to go. My suggestion is that if you would like to see the Market then do the tour "Shop with the Chef" for that shopping opportunity. Much of the evening entertainment was too short. There were many good, interesting evening entertainment opportunities but there were all fairly short. There was not a lot to do onboard I the evening once the entertainment ended. Almost every tour (other than Schonburg Palace) did not have enough free time. I always felt very rushed and wanted a bit more time. The excursions were good but then there was never enough time to do that bit of shopping or to go back and see something that really interested you. The Best of the Sound of Music excursion was just "OK". It could have been that we had the one rainy day of out 15 day cruise that day so the show was inside a restaurant that was just "ok". The food was mediocre, the room was overly crowded. The show was ok but since it was highly rated I was disappointed. If the sun had been shining the scenery may have made up for the lackluster show and lunch - but it poured. Here we were in the mountains and hills of Austria and the fog and rain was so thick you could not see! Just the luck of the day - not any fault of the cruise line. For shopping - save it until the final days. The best shopping port was Cologne. There was plenty of time for shopping any many shops. I have to state that every excursion was very good. I always wanted more time but the content, organization, and areas were well chosen and excellently planned. Would I go again? YES!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Paid for ultra luxury, got a nice 3 star experience. On the plus side, clean ship, pleasant hardworking staff, plenty to eat and drink. On the negative side, not enough staff to offer a 5 star cruise, food tried to present as ... Read More
Paid for ultra luxury, got a nice 3 star experience. On the plus side, clean ship, pleasant hardworking staff, plenty to eat and drink. On the negative side, not enough staff to offer a 5 star cruise, food tried to present as ostentatious but failed, wines local and uninspiring. Enhanced experiences very nice, but other trips disappointing. Onboard entertainment less than one would expect for the price and claimed luxury standards. Cruise Director comes in for critism as a poor communicator, inefficient and with a sense of humour that could be interpreted as irritating by many. Showed no interest or follow up in those who had been taken unwell. My wife was taken unwell on an outing and he just pointed us to get ourselves back to the ship, with no follow up her wellbeing. We do not feel that we got the ultra luxury experience that we paid for. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
After looking at several river cruise companies, we chose Scenic because everything was included- drinks, mini bar, excursions, tips. The spaceship was beautiful and well maintained. Our balcony suite was very good. The clever window that ... Read More
After looking at several river cruise companies, we chose Scenic because everything was included- drinks, mini bar, excursions, tips. The spaceship was beautiful and well maintained. Our balcony suite was very good. The clever window that could be raised and lowered meant full use could be made of the balcony whatever the weather. We liked the spacious bathroom with walk in shower, luxurious toiletries and soft bathrobes. The journey was straightforward. The journey by Eurostar and Thalys was straightforward. Meals were offered at each stage and we were met at the station and driven to the ship in a private taxi. The meals were first-class with plenty of choice. The food and wines were tailored to the area we were travelling through. The executive chef came to the port talk each evening to talk about dinner. The waiting staff could not have been more helpful. This was true of all the staff. One thing we particularly noticed was that all the staff from the captain downwards were willing to help each other out when needed. The on board entertainment was varied and of a high standard. The views were stunning. The offer of a glass of local wine as we sailed through the Rhine Gorge was most welcome. The ports were interesting and the guides were very knowledgeable. One aspect several of us thought could be improved was the Sundowner at the Alter Kloster. It would have been much better to have had this event on the sun deck. We did not realise that Scenic was an Australian company and were surprised that most of the guests were Australian. This did not detract from the cruise in any way because they were very friendly, if reluctant to follow the dress code. We would certainly consider using Scenic again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Having been on several ocean cruises this was our first river cruise and it outstripped other cruising by a mile. Every single aspect was superb. The staff were amazing, every single person seem absolutely determined that we should have ... Read More
Having been on several ocean cruises this was our first river cruise and it outstripped other cruising by a mile. Every single aspect was superb. The staff were amazing, every single person seem absolutely determined that we should have the perfect experience, the service was the best I've experienced. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled with great efficiency and comfort, excellent taxi services arranged to take us to our next destination. The food was to die for, and I loved the way the executive chef (George), would come out every night before dinner and give us a synopsis of what we were about to eat. Great the way he would go to the local markets every day to ensure the produce was the freshest and best. Fabulous the way everything was inclusive, especially having all the shore excursions paid for. We had some wonderful 'whole of ship' experiences; being taken to Marksberg castle for a medieval dinner was a high point, as was a private concert at the Lichtenstein Palace in Vienna. A special mention of the cruise director Hunor Nagy, for whom nothing was too much trouble. He went to the trouble of organising a special excursion to the Spanish Riding School for a small group of us who were disappointed to find we were not there on a day when there was a performance. There were several occasions when local entertainers were brought on board, and they were of an extremely high calibre, my favourite being the Hungarian dancers in Budapest. We were lucky to have perfect weather, too! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Enticed by the images of castles, green pastures, churches and villages of Europe, it was time to book a comfortable more leisurely exploration of this part of the world. Scenic's blitz of advertising in print and TV was timely, the ... Read More
Enticed by the images of castles, green pastures, churches and villages of Europe, it was time to book a comfortable more leisurely exploration of this part of the world. Scenic's blitz of advertising in print and TV was timely, the information day at Sofitel, Melbourne helped consolidate my decision being an Australian organisation. Budapest to Amsterdam - Jewels of Europe River Cruise Not having to embark till mid afternoon meant there was enough time to explore Budapest for a few hours. We were offered afternoon tea and cakes at Budapest Marriott with the opportunity to meet fellow travellers. On boarding Scenic Jewel we were greeted by crew and Captain with flowers, drinks and a refreshing face towel, much appreciated as it's summer. By the time we found our 'home' for the next fortnight, our luggage was awaiting to be unpacked!! Not being an ocean liner I prefer the cosier feel of a smaller vessel, yet large enough for smooth and stable travel. Our cabin was compact, with more than adequate storage, mini bar (fully stocked) and security safe. Ensuite was well stocked with French toiletries and diligently restocked daily and cleaned/tidied twice/day. Buffet breakfast (with option for continental breakfast for early risers) and lunch with dinner being a la carte there's an Italian Dining Option as well in the Reserved Restaurant area. It was near impossible to not overeat and portioned sized evening meals was most welcomed. Given the vessel has a small kitchen it was amazing the range and variation of mainly European delectables that were consistently created, the meals would arrive hot and freshly cooked. The fresh fruit sorbets were out of this world!! Difficult diners (with multiple allergies) were not a problem and nothing was an issue. As it was an open bar offering; including cocktails and wines from local regions were the norm. Being an almost non drinker - an odd sip is all I can tolerate - I enjoyed the occasional mocktail. It is my understanding many other shipping companies offer only beers and wines!! (shared by fellow travellers). Entertainment at the end of each evening was well sourced, varied and interesting - allowed us a further appreciation of the region's culture. Because we had to traverse through 69 locks with each one taking on average 30 mins the sundeck was invariable quarantined from being used as deck equipment and canopies had to be constantly flattened then re-erected - this meant less space for those of us trying to burn off the calories - thank goodness for the small gym, but there's nothing like fresh air, majestic views and vit D. Take drip dry clothing - a complimentary 1kg laundry/cabin was most appreciated otherwise laundry service can add up. It is obvious the crew enjoy working on smaller vessels and with Scenic, as many have worked on ocean liners (small cities) previously. As each day passed we were like one big extended family of 140+ plus crew. Small surprises like venturing back to our cabins to find a different towel sculpture awaiting our return........this is not a dream!! Service overall was consistent, professional, obliging and "can do attitude" is commendable. Understandably some ports were not worth viewing as nothing was opened (on weekends), whereas other ports needed further exploration but there was not enough time although too small to make another trip to see these little gems. Not sure what's the best solution as I understand we have a schedule to keep to arrive at our final destination. Some places warranted at least 1 - 2 nights like Vienna, that is why these cruises are viewed as teasers or samplers of a region for further exploration without constant packing and unpacking one's luggage. The Shore excursions were well planned with supporting transport for those unable to walk steep inclines, though would have appreciated viewing some artisans, craftworks (like in Amsterdam), cottage industry rather than just more eating and drinking (a thought), although half a day excursions restricts how much one can achieve. Very impressed with Scenic buses along the way. Overall, really had a memorable magical 15 days with Scenic, enjoyed travelling with largely Australian travellers, felt very at home, so glad gratuities were included and it was up to us if we wanted to reward individually. Will share this experience with my travel agent, will continue to explore future regions with Scenic, although unsure how to balance travelling and spending say 1 - 2 days in some larger city locations without having to come back to that region with another travel organisational group. Thank you Scenic for some lovely memories. 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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