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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Embarked on a cruise with my amazing wife. Started in Prague to Budapest, set sail on the river and went all the way through to Bratislava, Austria, Bavaria, Nuremberg, Cologne to Amsterdam. Everything was great start to finish. Great and ... Read More
Embarked on a cruise with my amazing wife. Started in Prague to Budapest, set sail on the river and went all the way through to Bratislava, Austria, Bavaria, Nuremberg, Cologne to Amsterdam. Everything was great start to finish. Great and happy cabin crew, great service, with delicious food, great beverage selection, music and dance on the boat was fantastic. Met great people, organisation of the cruise and excursions impeccable. Amazing sights to see and very informative. Would definitely recommend to friends and family if they wish to set sail on a cruise throughout Europe like we did and experience an adventurou=s, well organised and wonderful sightseeing holiday experience and to get away and relax for a few weeks away with family or a loved one. Cant wait to experience another cruise hopefully in the near future and get away with my beautiful wife again take her on another cruise and travel experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
An amazing 2 weeks. We did a 3 day 'add on' to our cruise and travelled from Prague to Budapest - a great way to meet a group of fellow travellers prior to the cruise starting. Loved our balcony cabin on Scenic Jewel. It was ... Read More
An amazing 2 weeks. We did a 3 day 'add on' to our cruise and travelled from Prague to Budapest - a great way to meet a group of fellow travellers prior to the cruise starting. Loved our balcony cabin on Scenic Jewel. It was great to be able to be open the window and actually sit out on a balcony - not just open a window and sit looking out as seemed to be the case on many ships we saw on the river. Staff were amazing - so friendly and obliging, nothing was any trouble. Shore excursions from the ship were all excellent - information provided beforehand was very informative. Afternoon/nightly entertainment was varied and excellent quality. Food in the main dining room was first class - great variety. We also enjoyed a visit to two other dining areas on the ship (open to all passengers) and the food in those was very impressive. Loved the 'cocktail of the day' in the dining room, the early morning cup of tea, the daily crosswords and suduko, newspapers, the 'raffles' and competitions and so on. This was our first cruise with Scenic - it will not be our last. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I chose to go with Scenic because it was recommended by a friend. Otherwise, we never would have heard of it. It's an Australian-based company and they don't marked much in the USA. We flew into Amsterdam a ... Read More
My husband and I chose to go with Scenic because it was recommended by a friend. Otherwise, we never would have heard of it. It's an Australian-based company and they don't marked much in the USA. We flew into Amsterdam a couple days early so we could explore the city. We rented an apartment through VRBO, which I highly recommend. Once we embarked onto the ship, we unpacked ONCE for two weeks of fun. The ship was spotlessly clean at all times and the service was always wonderful. The food...oh brother, so good and way too much of it. I recommend that you lose an additional 10 pounds so you can eat your way back to normal. There were most Aussies on the boat, which was great because they're loads of fun. The boat only held 169 passengers so it was very intimate. We got to know the bartenders right away and everyone knew what our preferred drink was by the second day. Scenic is great because EVERYTHING is included: booze, tipping, shore excursions, work out room (not that I used it), electric bikes, and even 2.2 kg of laundry after about 5 days. (Tip, don't do laundry before that because that does cost money. Just bring enough clothes.) Hair and massage are extra, but that's it. The rest is included. The cabins were cleaned every morning and the sheets were changed twice a week. All staff was GREAT! Most were from Serbia, Croatia, and that area. Our cruise director, Kurt, was phenomenal. He was hyper organized and funny. This guy knew his stuff. I would have liked a little more free time in some of the shore excursions, but you got enough of a taste of everything and it's hard to make everyone perfectly happy, though they did a pretty good job!! They also have these things called TaylorMade, which are GPS/listening devices so when you go on a guided tour, and there are MANY, you don't have any trouble hearing the guides tell you all of the interesting facts about all of the places you get to see. It also has another nice feature in which it will BING at you if you come across a point of interest while sailing down the river. You can't throw a rock down some portions of the Rhine without hitting a castle, so it's nice to know a little history about each one of them. My husband and I are planning to take another Scenic cruise in the next couple of year. They're not cheap, so save your money. Not to bash any other cruise lines, but I learned something interesting while on this cruise. Viking has 60 river cruise ships on those rivers. They can't train captains fast enough so they're promoting people from first mate to captain before they've really had enough experience to drive one of these beasts. There were TWO Viking "crashes" in the two weeks we were sailing. Scenic has fewer boats and captains with more experience. I don't know anything about other ship lines, but I would say to read up on them so you are SAFE. Also USE THE ANITBACTERIAL GOO provided before every meal. There a lot of people and a lot of germs. There were NO kids on this boat. I think I was the second youngest, at 52. It's a chill atmosphere, not a party cruise to Mexico. I can highly recommend this cruise with Scenic. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The cruise was spectacular. Every aspect exceeded our expectations and the entire crew made the time spent on board personal and memorable. The ship was comfortable and the cabins spacious and in particular we were happy with the size of ... Read More
The cruise was spectacular. Every aspect exceeded our expectations and the entire crew made the time spent on board personal and memorable. The ship was comfortable and the cabins spacious and in particular we were happy with the size of the cabin and bathroom. The food was top notch and all the excursions were well organised and time managed well. We loved being able to choose between different excursion options. The added enrich experiences were fantastic and always included and catered for different peoples tastes and ability. We were so impressed with the bike ride when there was many more people opting for this than usual instead of disappointing anyone the team organised to hire more bicycles so ensure everyone could go. Hunor our cruise director was fabulous and always made the port talk interesting and amusing and nothing was too much effort. Thanks to everyone on board the Scenic Jewel for a memorable holiday!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
You could not fault the staff from the friendly involved Captain to the housemaids. All were exceptionally friendly and it gave the atmosphere of one big happy family - all committed to making our cruise perfect. The food was ... Read More
You could not fault the staff from the friendly involved Captain to the housemaids. All were exceptionally friendly and it gave the atmosphere of one big happy family - all committed to making our cruise perfect. The food was unbelievable and I can't believe other reports that talked about pork fillets and schnitzels. the a la carte menu at dinner catered to most tastes and they offered other options if it didn't suit. The food was cooked to perfection and 160 dinners were delivered promptly and with great attitude from the staff.Nothing was too much trouble and the wine flowed as did any other drink that you requested. Coffee and tea were also brought to the table on request. Breakfast was buffet or cooked as you waited and there were several options for lunch. The space of the deluxe suites was quite good for a river boat and the our director Kurt was organised, talented and super obliging. The night time entertainment was there for all to enjoy. Disappointed only in the fact that most moorings were not in a town and most excursions had to be accessed by a bus trip with several early starts. Scenic needs to make guests aware of this before booking. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
after many, many Sundays spent cruising with Scenic all over the World from our lounge chairs, we finally made the decision to go on a real Scenic cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I have to admit there are no words to express ... Read More
after many, many Sundays spent cruising with Scenic all over the World from our lounge chairs, we finally made the decision to go on a real Scenic cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and I have to admit there are no words to express how TRULY AWESOME it was. It far out weighed our expectations in every area, and believe me they were high.The Captain, crew and Staff were incredible and made us feel so special, The scenery was spectacular, the day tours were fantastic and catered for people in various stages of their lives. I never thought I would be going on a Scenic cruise and having so much FUN, but that's exactly what we had, we laughed, made lots of awesome new friends from around the World, Sometimes at breakfast it took us 10 mins to get to our seat saying good morning to the new friends we had made along the way. If the opportunity was available we would not hesitate to go around the World with Scenic. The age group was another concern of ours before going on the cruise, as we are both in our early 50's, but we found there was a really nice mix of ages from mid 40's up. Would I recommend a Scenic Cruise, without hesitation it was definitely the best holiday experience of our lives to date. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose Scenic because some friends had recommended them and following some visits to Travel Expos, we didn't see any reason to change our mind. Everything we wanted seemed to be all included and it was Everything from boarding ... Read More
We chose Scenic because some friends had recommended them and following some visits to Travel Expos, we didn't see any reason to change our mind. Everything we wanted seemed to be all included and it was Everything from boarding the ship in Amsterdam and leaving in Budapest all went like clockwork. It was all very well organized. The crew were all very helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble for them. Kurt, the cruise director was excellent; very good at what he did. On most occasions when we left the ship for shore excursions and upon our return the Captain and/or the Hotel Manager were always there to wish us a good day and welcome us back on board. The ship was very comfortable and met all our needs. There was a wide range of food available to suit our dining needs. We didn't have the opportunity to attend all of the onboard entertainment as the return time from the shore excursions often didn't allow enough time to attend before preparing for the port talk and dinner. The shore excursions were great and very well planned and we usually had enough free time at most destinations. I would have no hesitation in travelling with Scenic again and would thoroughly recommend them to any prospective traveler. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Overall we were a tad disappointed by this Scenic cruise for the following reasons: 1. The quality of evening meals weren't up to what we expected given previous reports. Overcooked pork fillets and wiener schnitzel. 2. Despite ... Read More
Overall we were a tad disappointed by this Scenic cruise for the following reasons: 1. The quality of evening meals weren't up to what we expected given previous reports. Overcooked pork fillets and wiener schnitzel. 2. Despite some very good waiter service, the poor 25% let them down e,g. a) request for coffee 1st night at end of evening meal - "yes, the coffee machine is upstairs" b) re-fills of white wine simply poured on top without asking, problem was it was a different wine. Happened at least 6 times 3. Many people including ourselves caught the flu or a stomach bug, Highlights: 1. Very good cruise itinerary, all inclusive tours & 80% of guides were very good. 2. Our housemaid was a gem and the Captain was the most pleasant captain I have ever met. 3. Many people valued the all inclusive drinks service, We enjoy a drink at meals so not such a big issue for us and we had a Royal Suite Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had been on a Scenic one week river cruise down the Rhine 2 years ago and loved it. We decided to take a two week cruise even though the first few days were down the same part of the Rhine River. The nice part was that Scenic offers ... Read More
We had been on a Scenic one week river cruise down the Rhine 2 years ago and loved it. We decided to take a two week cruise even though the first few days were down the same part of the Rhine River. The nice part was that Scenic offers different options for your tours (all included in the cruise pricing and you can make your choice the night before) at the stops that they make, so we were able to see completely different places in the areas of the River we had been through the last time. After the first few days, we turned onto a different River and all the scenery was different. During the cruise, everyone from the Captain on down was always eager to make sure you had everything you wanted and knew that you only had to ask anyone if you needed something or if something wasn't right. At one point, we were on the top viewing deck when the sky just started pouring rain down on us. My wife uses a cane, and we were moving a little slow to get below deck when all of a sudden an umbrella appeared over my wife's head. The Captain had seen us from the bridge and had come running across the deck with the umbrella to cover my wife while we made our way down! Meals were always fantastic, from the buffet breakfast and lunch choices, to the evening dinners. For dinners, you always had a choice 3 main entrees (including a Vegetarian option) and 2 or 3 appetizers and soups/salads and deserts. If you didn't like any of the variable main entrees, there was always a choice of having the always available standbys of Rib Eye Steak, Chicken, Hamburger, or a Veggie item. Plus there was always the River Cafe on the middle deck which was always open with tons of different pastries and light food options such as fish and chips. (My wife and I only gained about 5 lbs, what with all the tour walks) Shore excursions were always well coordinated and the tour guides were always excellent. They usually had a group on each tour which was dedicated to slower walkers. We were well taken care of from the time we were met at the airport till the time we were taken to the airport to leave and walked through the check in procedures to make sure there were no issues. Both of our cruises with Scenic have been fantastic and we would highly recommend them to anyone wanting a wonderful cruise on any of there cruises! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I did the 24 Day Eastern Europe Explorer & Jewels of Europe River Cruise and it was one of the best trips we have ever done. We couldn't speak too highly of Scenic .... the Company was just fantastic. The first ... Read More
My husband and I did the 24 Day Eastern Europe Explorer & Jewels of Europe River Cruise and it was one of the best trips we have ever done. We couldn't speak too highly of Scenic .... the Company was just fantastic. The first part of our trip covered Eastern Europe by land and the tour content, hotels, tour guide etc. were excellent. Upon reaching Budapest, we emarked on the Scenic Jewel late afternoon where we were greeted with champagne by the crew before going to our cabin. The cabin was reasonably spacious considering it is just that "a cabin", with plenty of storage, comfortable bed, excellent aircon and bathroom facilities, complete with make up mirror (a must for us ladies)! The balcony was small but adequate. Our butler was very professional and nothing was too much trouble. Food on the ship was excellent and varied. Every drink imaginable (wine, beer, cocktails of all descriptions) were available 24 hours per day and all inclusive. The little "cultural extras" Scenic does for its guests, goes above and beyond what anyone would expect. Tours were well managed and all the ports we visited were fantastic (with the exception of Nuremberg) which was a little disappointing. We had a situation on our trip where there was flooding in Europe and at one stage our ship was unable to sail under the bridge and so we were bussed to the next port, had our tour and were to board the ship again once the water level had dropped (as was expected that particular day). When we arrived to board the ship it still had not arrived. So, instead of letting us sit on the bus, our Tour Director (Kurt) organised to take us all to a restaurant where he ordered food and drinks for all of us until we were able to board the ship about an hour later. Fantastic service! I could go on and on but to sum it all up ..... Scenic are very professional, genuinely care for the guests and have fabulous itineraries. Book with Scenic and you won't regret it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I chose to repeat an Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise, but this time on a Scenic boat, because they offered different stops/excursions than the previously used company. I wish we had chosen Scenic the first time--this ... Read More
My husband and I chose to repeat an Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise, but this time on a Scenic boat, because they offered different stops/excursions than the previously used company. I wish we had chosen Scenic the first time--this cruise was absolutely fabulous! I find it hard to identify anything negative about the company, the boat, the service; nothing at all was disappointing. First impression upon boarding the boat was unexpected--here's the Captain handing me a gorgeous long-stemmed rose and a warm welcome. Everyone working this boat, from Capt Igor; Capt Dan the Hotel Manager, Kurt the Cruise Director, Lt Michai the Restaurant Manager, Valerie our Butler, Milana our Steward, and all the others who worked to make our cruise memorable, were doing just that--working. On this boat the officers did not stand by and oversee--they were involved. Their commitment to service was observed every day; in their routines and in their responses to requests (and even response to an idle wish that was overheard). The excursions were great, and there were no short-cuts taken--guides were knowledgeable and tours often included tastings or entertainment. Our cabin was kept spotless, and Milana popped in several times a day to see if anything was wanted/needed. George, the chef, must have worked 24/7 because we've never seen so much food--it all was presented and tasted superbly--no reason for hunger on this boat! Another factor we liked was the price included everything: excursions, tips, beverages, everything. We highly recommend a Scenic river cruise; I'm doing some shopping now to find another one for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. ... Read More
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. Everything went like clock work in every aspect of the tour. The crew and staff were very friendly and helpful,And made the the cruise even better. History was the main focus of our trip,but as we are farmers a bit more of what the local areas grow would have been very interesting. The entertainment was second to none,a taste of all the different cultures. Also the fellow passengers were in our age group and very likeminded in their outlook. May was a great time to travel,not too hot,not too many queues and the rivers were still passable as the snow and rains had not effected them at that time.The buses that took us on the land part of our trip were very comfortable,drivers very helpful and good at there jobs.Sometimes the places they had to take the buses were unbelievable. We thoroughly recommend this tour. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as ... Read More
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as with all river cruise lines was small with very little hanging space and one has to be a great packer to put everything away. However it was The bathroom that made us choose this suite as its larger and has a bath. The bathroom has plenty of room with a separate shower lots of space. Plus I had a hot bath at the end of almost evry day. There are lots of lovely bath salts and gels it was lovely. The Scenic Jewel is like a floating 5 star hotel, the decor, modern, simple and stylish. Everything is very clean and attention to detail sublime. The food is wonderful with plenty of choices, so much food. All drinks are served pretty much all day and are included in the tariff. If you wanted you could eat and drink all day long. There is a huge upper deck with ample deck & longe chairs. It was very cold during our trip but sunny not many clients braved the upper deck but we did and the views with all the castles were divine. All staff were first class and a credit to Scenic, in particular Raddo our barman who was very attentive to the point of when I got ill he made me a hot brandy lemon drink without prompting for my husband to bring to me in our cabin. Everyone on our cruise pretty much got sick, this was of NO fault of Scenic who went to great lenghts to explain to the guests why they needed to use hand sanatation but so many ignored this advise and those few morons infected us all. The day trips were plentiful with many great choices our only upset was we couldnt dock in Vienna (something about a bridge being fixed) this meant we had to moor 90 minutes away from Vienna and commute backwards and forwards. In a 18 hour space we spent a total of 7 hours on a bus meaning less time in Vienna. I was very disappointed with this as Vienna was the main reason we did this trip, however this was not Scenics fault so I cant blame them. The onboard entertainment is so bad its good. The entertainment brought on board at various cities excellent. The hairdresser and masseur were not as good as I usually have but they were certainly okay. If you want to get a wonderful overview of Europe in a 5 star floating hotel, with awesome staff, excellent food and unpack only once then I would suggest you take a river cruise, this one was our third (first with Scenic) and matched our expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This review is being written in 2 parts as the ship we were to board, the Scenic Crystal, got stuck in the Danube due to low water levels and we were to take the Scenic Jewel for the first half of the cruise and then transfer to the ... Read More
This review is being written in 2 parts as the ship we were to board, the Scenic Crystal, got stuck in the Danube due to low water levels and we were to take the Scenic Jewel for the first half of the cruise and then transfer to the Crystal. We were welcomed aboard the Jewel by a very great crew. Service was first rate and the food was excellent. The crew were very friendly and many, including the butler and hotel manager even remembered our names. In this first week we got to enjoy some fine dining in Portobellos and the Table La Rive. In both cases the food and wine were excellent. The tours that we took were also great and we really enjoyed the visit to Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum in Rudesheim. The one tour that stood out was the visit to the Johannes Deppisch Winery where we tasted some great wines, had a BBQ dinner and then were entertained with great music and singing. The one tour that was a little scary was the evening visit to the Marksburg Castle. The medieval banquet provided was great but the tour of the castle was rather dangerous. the pathways had very uneven stones, the lighting was poor and the stones were slippery in parts due to rain. I will end by saying that we had a great Cruise Director, Hunor, who was to continue with us on the second part of the cruise on the Scenic Crystal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We have resently arrived home after our europe river cruise aboard the scenic jewel and what a holiday we have nothing but praise ,the cabin (royal suite) was superb ,the butler Voltan was exceptional in every way ,Eugen Anton the ... Read More
We have resently arrived home after our europe river cruise aboard the scenic jewel and what a holiday we have nothing but praise ,the cabin (royal suite) was superb ,the butler Voltan was exceptional in every way ,Eugen Anton the resturant manager was by far better than any that I have come across through our travels,Marin the cruise director -well he just speaks for himself a true professional.We where privilaged to be invited to dine with the captain twice a most memorable occasion.The free choice excursions where sometimes required some walking but in all very informative .The food at the crysal and lounge areas was outstanding along with the bar service.All in all from start to finish I would be surprised if I ever heard 1 complaint,this holiday will be the start of some fantastic holidays with scenic tours for us.thankyou Wendy and Glen Tancred Queensland Australia. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Traveling with Australians is a whole lot more fun than 140 other Americans. The Aussies's attitudes toward life in general is refreshing - they know how to have fun. The Jewel was in excellent shape, the crew very attentive, and ... Read More
Traveling with Australians is a whole lot more fun than 140 other Americans. The Aussies's attitudes toward life in general is refreshing - they know how to have fun. The Jewel was in excellent shape, the crew very attentive, and the shore excursions well chosen. Scenic is "all inclusive" never need to reach for a wallet or credit card. Scenic even provided us with a private limo for our transfer to our Amsterdam hotel at journey's end. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
The make up of the passengers on Scenic Jewel for our cruise was 2 English (we are not Brits), 16 Canadians, 140 Aussies and only 6 of us from the US. Great fun, the Aussie take on life and humor was the icing on the cake of a wonderful ... Read More
The make up of the passengers on Scenic Jewel for our cruise was 2 English (we are not Brits), 16 Canadians, 140 Aussies and only 6 of us from the US. Great fun, the Aussie take on life and humor was the icing on the cake of a wonderful cruise experience. After reading other reviews and the professional review, I can assure folks that the Jewel had cured any staff training problems. They multitasked and worked hard and long hour very cheerfully. The ship's captain not only greeted us almost every time we returned from a shore excursion, but was seen helping the deck hands in setting the bicycles on shore before the ride. Patrick, the tour director was excellent, the best we have seen in over 30 cruises. The ship itself was clean and well maintained. The balcony with the roll up windows is an excellent feature, Scenic cruises should be proud of the amenity. The breakfast buffet was excellent, including all the fixings for lox, bagels and cream cheese, except no bagels. The omelet cook was great made up for the lack of bagels. The soups were exquisite. The only real failure was the kitchen's attempt at weiner schnitzel, based on my 4 1/2 years of living in Germany, this wasn't close. Everything else was very good to excellent. The speciality restaurant Porto Bello was a real treat. The cruise was truly all inclusive, no charge for tours, drinks or tips. Nothing was added to what we had paid in advance. If you are American or Canadian and enjoy irreverent sense of Aussie humor Scenic is for you.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
15 days of being looked after 24 hours a day. A1 cabins - there was nothing that Scenic hadn't thought of for our comfort. Brilliant crew; tasty food; enjoyable entertainment; interesting day trips; friendly passengers. Plenty of ... Read More
15 days of being looked after 24 hours a day. A1 cabins - there was nothing that Scenic hadn't thought of for our comfort. Brilliant crew; tasty food; enjoyable entertainment; interesting day trips; friendly passengers. Plenty of activities but also plenty of relaxation. It was our first Scenic holiday but definitely won't be our last. Can thoroughly recommend a Scenic river cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I recently took a European River Cruise on the Scenic Jewel from September 15 through 29, 2014. This cruise started in Budapest, Hungary, followed the Danube through Austria and southern Germany, then took the Danube-Main Canal ... Read More
My wife and I recently took a European River Cruise on the Scenic Jewel from September 15 through 29, 2014. This cruise started in Budapest, Hungary, followed the Danube through Austria and southern Germany, then took the Danube-Main Canal to the Main River, and finally ended up on the Rhine, with the cruise ending in Amsterdam, a total distance of about 1800 km. Through good fortune, there was hardly any rain for the duration of our trip, with temperatures above 20 Celsius nearly every day. We are experienced ocean cruisers, but this is the first time we have taken a river cruise. We also arranged air transportation through Scenic, and the transfers between the airport and the ship were quick and flawless. The Jewel is a new ship, completed last year expressly for these waterways. It holds about 160 passengers on three decks, the top two having balconies with sliding windows that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. The cabins are spacious with every amenity and we found the beds very comfortable. All rooms featured an entertainment system with which you could access television, music, shipboard information and the Internet though we found with all the activities we hardly used that. The ship features the ‘Crystal’ dining room which featured buffets at lunch and usually sitdown dinners. The food was uniformly good and they were very careful to point out dishes that might trigger my nut allergy. There is also an Italian restaurant called the Portobello that all passengers can try. The ship has a lounge which also functions as an entertainment venue and bar/café. The entertainment was low key, consisting of folk artists, lectures and demonstrations. For those used to the splashy shows on ocean cruises, it will seem pretty small scale. Finally there is a sun deck where you can watch the world go by, for every day on a river cruise there is something to see. On the Danube Main canal, access to the sundeck was restricted because of low bridges. All excursions were included in the price we paid. The biggest problem we had was trying to choose one of the two or three options sometimes on offer. Scenic attempts to create experiences for their passengers so that in addition to the usual city tours, you can also do things like attend musical performances, wine tastings, “medieval feasts” and so on. There are power assisted bikes for those that like to explore on their own, and audio players that may be used for self tours. We were kept very busy with all the activities. The local guides were uniformly superior and in keeping with the all inclusive nature of the trip would not accept tips. In every respect, this cruise exceeded our expectations. The service from the 50 staff members was uniformly friendly and attentive, and when this cruise company says that their cruise was “all inclusive” they really meant it, right down to the mini bar in the room and the free Wi-Fi. The only extra cost we incurred was laundry. There’s no doubt that all inclusive river cruising in Europe is expensive, but in this case you get what you pay for. Another good thing about river cruising is that with only 160 passengers you soon get to know your fellow travellers, unlike a large cruise ship where you hardly ever see the same person twice. We would unreservedly recommend Scenic to anyone considering a European river cruise and will use them again ourselves.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
From the time we arrived at Budapest Airport to the time we left Amsterdam Airport our river cruise on the Scenic Jewel can only be described as First Class. We were welcomed by our butler and the Captain with a glass of champagne, which ... Read More
From the time we arrived at Budapest Airport to the time we left Amsterdam Airport our river cruise on the Scenic Jewel can only be described as First Class. We were welcomed by our butler and the Captain with a glass of champagne, which set the tone for the whole trip. The Scenic Jewel was impeccable, sparkling throughout, as was the crew and service. This was due to the Captain and Cruise Director running a happy ship. The cuisine was wonderful and when Scenic say "all inclusive" it certainly was. Nothing was too much trouble. The tours were first class and enhanced by the provision of personal GPS units which had details of all points of interest programmed in. There were also Scenic Enrichment concerts, a banquet at Marksburg Castle, what a fun night, and not forgetting the Schnapps tasting!! The passengers were mainly Australian with a sprinkling of British, Canadian and New Zealanders, a great mixture, the whole ship gelled really well and we now have new friends in Australia and Canada. In all it was the best cruise we have been on, have not stopped talking about it since our return. We have now booked a Canadian Tour with Scenic for July 2015. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
We joined the Crystal in Budapest for the first seven days of the cruise. The ship was excellent, the crew pleasant, and the captain appeared to run a tight but happy ship. Our cruise director Marin who was with us the whole journey on ... Read More
We joined the Crystal in Budapest for the first seven days of the cruise. The ship was excellent, the crew pleasant, and the captain appeared to run a tight but happy ship. Our cruise director Marin who was with us the whole journey on both ships was well informed, efficient, and dealt with everyone with courtesy and never lost his sense of humour. The transfer to the Jewel at Nuremburg was done well, they even arranged for rooms to be cleaned first for a couple of passengers who were ill. The side trips were well organised and there was plenty of choice. There was no need to spend anything once onboard unless you required laundry. We did not feel that the crew on the Jewel were as happy, the Captain did not appear very much at all and the Hotel Manager seemed to run the ship. Some of the Crew were very surly and did not engage with the passengers much. Our room was spacious and clean. The coffee/chocolate machine in the lounge was excellent. So far all good. However, and this was a big disappointment for us, the food! Too many buffet's with hot food being served on cold plates..even at breakfast, eggs and bacon on cold plates. Often the food in the evening was also served lukewarm. The menu was pretentious and you needed an interpreter. Many evenings we resorted to the everyday available chicken breast or steak, and we requested steamed vegetables as there was not much in the way of vegetables. We were even served tinned carrots and soup with globules of fat floating on top. Don't expect fine china either.....   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
We sailed from Budapest on August 12, 2013 aboard the Scenic Crystal. From the moment we stepped aboard everything was perfect. Greeted with a rose and a drink, we were ushered to the lounge. Our butler then came to collect us and show us ... Read More
We sailed from Budapest on August 12, 2013 aboard the Scenic Crystal. From the moment we stepped aboard everything was perfect. Greeted with a rose and a drink, we were ushered to the lounge. Our butler then came to collect us and show us to our cabin. We were in Balcony Suite 329 on the Danube Deck. Our luggage was waiting for us in our room. I was surprised by the amount of space, especially storage and hanging space. Every aspect of the trip was first class from food, drinks, entertainment, excursions and staff. Due to low water in the locks, meaning our ship couldn't pass through, we were transferred to the Scenic Jewel in Nuremburg. This was done very smoothly and with a minimum of fuss. We had some misgivings as we had developed relationships with the staff and were concerned that the other ship might not be so good but it was! The staff on the this ship were friendly, cheerful and helpful too. The Jewel and Crystal are identical in layout and the few differences were positives, e.g. Better pressure in Jewel's showers and folding doors on the balcony rather than sliding (this meant they could be fully opened). Some personal highlights were the excursion to Cesky Krumlov, a visit to a family run winery, Durnstein in Austria, concert at Litchenstein Palace in Vienna, sailing through the Wauchau Valley and the Rhine Gorge. We completed our cruise at Amsterdam on August 26. I could give a blow by blow description of the whole trip but that would take the shine off your experience. This is a holiday that can be as busy or as relaxed as you want it to be - you choose the pace of your days and select what you want to do or not do. As it is ALL INCLUSIVE, we did not spend a cent whilst on board (except to get some washing done). The greatest attraction of this style of holiday for me, is that we unpacked and were transported from place to place, often as we slept. If you are considering a European River Cruise, my advice is "Do it!" and in my opinion Scenic are the company to do it with. Happy sailing!   Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river ... Read More
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river cruising. Our experience has been mostly with the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity product. I considered Tauck, Uniworld and a few other lines when booking this trip last October. I chose Scenic based on the inclusions(tips, alcohol, all excursions, butler, internet), greater population of Australians, and appeared to have more "active" inclusions such as a gym and use of bicycles as well as "tailor made" self touring. As many of CC members, I researched and read reviews and had a good idea of what river cruising was about -- or so I thought. We booked the Jewel - the newest ship of the Scenic fleet-- based upon itinerary, and the fact that it included a gym (we love to eat). We arranged our own air/hotel stays which included 10 days in Europe prior to our July 1st Scenic cruise. Budapest is just as wonderful as all of the reviews. We stayed in a lovely B&B (Kapital Inn) for 3 nights. Our first disappointment came 2 days prior to the cruise in a forwarded email from our TA. We would not be cruising on the Jewel in Budapest, but instead would be on the Diamond for 3 nights, then we would be bussed to the Jewel which was upriver and unable to make it to Budapest due to a lock being closed up the Danube. We took a taxi to the Marriott to drop our luggage and take transportation to the ship. Quite a few people had not received word that we would not be on the Jewel. Most of us had been aware of the flooding, and although there was a little grumbling about not being told in advance, it wasn't a huge problem. Our cruise director Marin was the only staff that stayed with our group during our very challenging cruise. He did an amazing job considering the problems he faced. I'd like to mention the other ships we stayed on, as we found huge differences that impacted our trip. We ended up having to change ships again due to lock strikes in Germany after being docked in a commercial area in Bamburg for 3 nights and long bus trips for excursions. We started on the Diamond, moved to the Jewel and ended up on the Pearl. Our vision of unpacking once and enjoying the river from our balcony ended up being not so ideal. We spent much more time being on big bus tours than we thought. Did the interruptions impact our cruise enjoyment? Probably. We never did experience the "afternoons enjoying the villages on our own" The only village we stayed at required a 10 Euro one way taxi ride. I thought there would be smaller than the 40-50 groups were regularly on and the long bus rides to our destinations.Diamond: Some wear and tear obvious on the ship. It didn't matter to most of us, as we knew we would be meeting the Jewel in a few days. Some negative comments "we didn't get what we paid for", some people ended up in different cabins due to the ships not being identical. The staff however was lovely. We were greeted with cool towels, glass of champagne and a rose for the ladies. Passengers waited in the lounge. We were escorted to our standard balcony cabin after a very brief and orderly check in process. The room was explained by the very friendly stewardess. The balcony was a great feature, space for two chairs and a small table. It was somewhat annoying that the railing was just at eye level when sitting. The ability to move the window up and down was what i guess is Scenic's "signature" feature. To get the A/C to work, the sliding door to the balcony needed to be closed. Our butler "Zoltan" came to introduce himself. He was a favorite on the ship. Most wished we could take him with us. The bed was two two twins (full size twins) pushed together to make a king. L'Occitane bath products, and shower had a complicated spray system, gave it a somewhat higher end feeling. There was a "meet and greet" before dinner, where officers made some comments and the CD explained the river situation, assuring all that we wouldn't notice the ship change, that all would be seamless. Buffet first dinner, somewhat chaotic. The dining room was noisy, most were tables of 6 with a table for 2 right next to it. We found fun tablemates the first night and ate with them frequently during our trip. The wait staff was friendly and seemed very busy and hardworking. We were treated to a night sailing on the Danube to see the lights of BUdapest. We enjoyed the Diamond. DIdn't enjoy packing up three days into our trip. The plan was to take the scheduled tours with being bussed to the ship which was ahead of us. Jewel: We were to have a BBQ lunch on the top deck. Kinda sounds like fun, but it wasn't. The lines were long around the buffet, there weren't too many near tables. Drink service was odd, with waiters asking what we wanted, then never bringing it. No reception when entering the new ship. Not much in the way of greeting. Given our room keys. We find the new cabin to be much nicer -- a better use of space, no sliding door to the balcony, but a nifty folding door that we just left open. The bathroom had a huge shower!! no more complicated shower system. The public rooms were somewhat the same, it was just obvious that overall the physical layout of the Jewel was much better. You would think that this would make happy campers, right? Well, there was a HUGE difference in staff across the board on the Jewel. The ship captain was a substitute and the hotel director appeared to be on vacation. I wish this was an exaggeration. While we saw the hotel director working alongside his people, and checking on dining room status, the hotel director was never seen. People were scratching their heads, how can waiters and bar staff seem to look so "busy" all the time, but people couldn't get any service. Overall, it impacted our experience. We heard there were many verbal and written complaints. We didn't put ours in writing, because at the time I wasn't sure what was going on. THe wait staff didn't appear to be trained on how to do their job, so rather than say it was the problem with the staff, I place the blame on the uninterested hotel director. I did notice that we seemed to "warm" up the staff, mainly because I think we had a very tolerant, fun loving group of passengers. Pearl: like the DIamond, great, hardworking staff. It's hard to believe the difference. I had low expectations for food quality, and high expectations of service, but the reverse actually happened. For example, there were only two menus placed on each table of 6-8. Never did a waiter point out there were alternate selections each night. We were offered a "red" or "white" wine, and it took a few days to figure out they stock more than one choice. You had to be on guard as the waiters often would just pour what was in hand, not noticing you perhaps were drinking a Chianti that night. There was no coffee served dinner. Dining choices on the menu were limited, the food was well presented. I was pleased with my meals. Dining by buffet is difficult when all passengers eat at the same time. I never stayed in the long line for the carved meat or breakfast selections.Scenic promises much more than they are able to deliver. If you enjoy large organized bus tours, or walking tours where you are herded from one location to another Scenic can give you that experience. Our best days happened to be those which we decided to take a pass on the bus tour, and stayed on the boat while it was moving to the next port. The best experience was meeting new friends. 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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