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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because ... Read More
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because no ship could reach Budapest. We were able to finally board the Jewel on Oct 28 in Regensburg. The ship was comfortable and it was smooth sailing, we had a good crew. The cabin was small but clean and comfortable, the little balcony was nice when we could open our curtains. Our butler wasn’t the most attentive as we hardly saw him, when we did he was a bit argumentative although reasonably nice. The food and drink selections were great, the service in the dining room/lounge etc was superb. The onboard entertainment was very nice and we enjoyed it. The ports and shore excursions were also very nice. The only thing negative to say about those is related to the drought complications and the fact that to go to Salzburg we had to do another 31/2 hours each way by bus, so way too much time spend in the bus and our visit in Salzburg was very short and felt rushed. We made used of the ebikes once, and it wasn’t a good experience because my husband fell and we were forced to return to the ship. When back there I asked if they had a first aid kit. Unfortunately even though they had one it was quite lacking in supplies such as peroxide to clean wounds and antiseptic cream for example. They could really improve in the stocking of their first aid supplies. We were given assurance that there would be compensation for the days we missed on the boat. We were told that we would get a letter within 7days of our return providing the final amount we are able to claim. We have been back now 9 days and are still waiting for a sign of the letter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was ... Read More
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was well done and options for excursions was varied. Staff and crew were exceptional. Nightly entertainment was very poor with the exception of staff night. They were entertaining. Could have had some interactive activities that entertained and included the guests. Other guests who have sailed with this line said it was the worst they had ever been on. Sadly it’s the one we picked so nothing to compare too besides the 4 major ocean cruises we’ve experienced. This very expensive trip of a lifetime did not compare to those. Because of low water levels on the Rhine we could not complete our cruise as expected. Unfortunately we were stuck in an industrial port for most of a day and overnight. Thought some sort of excursion could have been arranged. We were a 20 minute ride from a major town and those that choose to go we’re out of pocket for the cost of cabs. Overall the sites we saw and the people we met made this a trip to talk about. We would unfortunately be very leery of trying this again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was ... Read More
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was super.....spacious enough, quiet, and kept spotless by our room attendant. Both arrival and departure from the ship were extremely well organized. Daily briefings by the cruise director were clear and informative. Multiple onshore activities from which to choose.....all included in the "all inclusive" price of the cruise. No surprises there. Now the not so great news. First, I should note that this was our first river cruise, so some of these obversations may be applicable to all such trips and not specifically applicable to this one alone. The overall impression is that the business model here involves cramming the maximum number of paying customers onboard while providing the minimum number of staff possible to attend to their needs. The "personal butlers", for instance, were more often serving as waitstaff in the dining room than as butlers. Ours was more than willing to deal with our (infrequent) requests, but was clearly relieved whenever I handled whatever task was at hand rather than intruding on his other duties. Again....this MY impression, and not a reflection on his thoroughly professional demeanor. The brochure gave the inaccurate impression that there are there are three separate "restaurants" on board. NOT true. In reality, there is ONE. The "river cafe" is in fact a small salad and dessert station and two chafing pans setup in a corner of the bar. Tiny selection of pre-cooked and often mediocre fare. The "portobello" venue is actually a few tables set up to the front of the bar and used as seating for the aforementioned "River cafe" during the daytime. In the evening those same tables host a small number of invited guests for a dining event which is indeed superior to the otherwise unremarkable fare served in the ship's only real dining room, the "Crystal". Though there is open seating, meals are actually served at a single seating time, with little leeway given. Indeed, when we entered the dining room 30 minutes into the 90 minute "window" listed as the dinner period we were informed that we must be seated at once, or miss dinner, as the "first course had already been served.". The real problem is that all of the passengers, wherever seated, are eating food prepared in a kitchen woefully too small and understaffed for the job. Having owned several restaurants, my wife and I identified the problem immediately. All staff were doing their level best to deal with unrealistic workloads. With the exception of a few "alternative choices" available at dinner, virtually nothing is cooked to order on the ship. Breakfast and lunch are served as buffets with nearly identical setups daily. Dinner offers a choice of three main courses. In general, this feels like an assembly line operation. Overall, the food on board was uneven in quality and a real disappointment given the cost of the trip. Adding to the feeling of "mass production" is the fact that the dining room is over-crowded with tables sitting much too near each other. The scenery ashore was a major disappointment for much of the trip. Other than a few hours one day in the Rhine Gorge (where all of the brochure pics must come from) we might as well been anywhere in the midwest U.S. The shore excursions often involved coach rides of varying lengths with guides of varying quality. Strasbourg and Heidelberg were lovely. Some of the others not so much. Anyway, Good luck! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The cruise deconstructed....Our cabin (Deluxe Balcony Suite) was great. The bedding excellent, the space roomy, plenty of closet storage, comfortable balcony chairs (we loved that the large window rolled down to open), and the roomy ... Read More
The cruise deconstructed....Our cabin (Deluxe Balcony Suite) was great. The bedding excellent, the space roomy, plenty of closet storage, comfortable balcony chairs (we loved that the large window rolled down to open), and the roomy shower made the bathroom feel larger. The public space lounge area was also nice with large viewing windows and lots of comfortable chairs and couches. The staff was incredibly hard working and cheerful. I don't know when any of them get time off as they all seemed to double up (our butler was also a dinner waitperson, ditto for the lounge cocktail waitress, etc.). Our cabin person cleaned our room in the morning (it was always done when we returned from breakfast - better service than many high-end hotels offer) and refreshed it in the afternoon. The cruise director was totally on top of all aspects of the cruise and excursions. Plus the arrival and departure from the ship was impressively organized. So, why only three stars? Two reasons. When you look at the description and photos describing the trip, you might reasonably think that the scenery will be beautiful and idyllic all the way. Uh, uh, not even close - in fact, talking with other passengers, this was the biggest disappointment of the cruise. We had one day of traveling through the Rhine Gorge that was beautiful and truly reflected the cruise description. Aside from that, the rest of the cruise was primarily trees, a few towns, and some almost industrial areas. If this is an aspect of the trip that is important to you, you will be disappointed. Second reason - the food. As one table mate said, the best meal he had was at a restaurant in one of the towns we stopped at. Another table mate (our fabulous new friends M and T) said during one good dinner, "this meal let's you know they can make a good meal". The meals were hugely inconsistent. Our first night dinner at the invitation only Portobellos was very good and we had another couple of dinners that were good also. But, the breakfast and lunch buffets and other dinners were very disappointing. Having spent many years in the restaurant business and being slightly foodie snobby, we felt that there were really two problems. First, too many of the ingredients were not quality. Secondly, they are trying to do way too much in too little space. The food just doesn't reflect what is supposed to be a high-quality experience. That is partially what we paid for, yes? So, the week was relaxing, the other passengers friendly, and we loved spending time with our new friends, but I wouldn't plunk down the money for another river cruise anytime soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to experience that part of Europe. I need somewhere to express our shambolic arrival at Bucharest airport. No direction, no staff, we had to find our coaches. Then there is the truly appalling first hours in the Bucharest ... Read More
We wanted to experience that part of Europe. I need somewhere to express our shambolic arrival at Bucharest airport. No direction, no staff, we had to find our coaches. Then there is the truly appalling first hours in the Bucharest Hilton. It was a beautiful hotel and we had a lovely room. BUT, No welcoming drink, no staff to produce water, drinks and food. Several appeals to the so called “Tour Director” achieved no action. She continued sitting chatting to her mates from HQ Manchester. Probably the worst meal we have ever had in a hotel - a sentiment shared by most if not ALL your clients. Yes, it was basically a hotel failure, but “TDs” are presumably there to look after YOUR clients. This one needs retraining at the very least. And there were other shortcomings but I’ll leave that to others. The Adie, Bell, Simpson combo was a great success. The ship staff/crew were delightful, the food etc was splendid. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We went because it was a Correspondents Cruise and they were excellent. But trips were long and not much time was given at destinations which was disappointing. The most upsetting thing was having to change boats and losing a valuable half ... Read More
We went because it was a Correspondents Cruise and they were excellent. But trips were long and not much time was given at destinations which was disappointing. The most upsetting thing was having to change boats and losing a valuable half day of a 7 day holiday for which there was no apologies or anything done to make recompense for this. The Cruise Director needed to have lessons on diplomacy. There was also an issue of having to wait at the end of tours for the boat to arrive to pick us up which was most unprofessional. We have rated entertainment as average but this excludes the correspondents which were fantastic, especially Kate Adie. She made the holiday for us. Food was not the deluxe we expected but wine selection good. A lot of wasted time on tours which could have been better organised. We will not be booking another cruise with you as we have had better holidays with other companies. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
booked 16 months before with Scenic who gave us the worst room on the boat over the engine room which rattles so much the doors would open on their own and had to pad out the safe as it rattled all the time. The cupboard in the bathroom ... Read More
booked 16 months before with Scenic who gave us the worst room on the boat over the engine room which rattles so much the doors would open on their own and had to pad out the safe as it rattled all the time. The cupboard in the bathroom was falling off (which they fixed) but not the bathroom door which kept on coming open. My wife found it difficult to sleep. Asked Patric the director for another room, but said none was available The staff were kind and helpful The food was 4 star not five, and queueing up for breakfast was not what we paid for. They brought out the chef to praise him every night, but that does not make it 5 star If you want five star, try Silversea or Regent. You really do get five star The butler was pleasant but had to serve 22 rooms on two floors plus other jobs The trips out were mainly walking tours, with a few highlights thrown in the quality of drinks were fine on ship entertainment was in the main a honky tonk piano player embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly Wrote to HO, and have eventually had a reply. Sorry to report the management are clueless, and don't car a jot! Have been to Australia and New Zealand with Scenic, and they came up trumps, but they have lost the plot with river boat cruises. I do not recommend. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our 1st river cruise and we chose Scenic because of their "reputation". This having been said,since they are all inclusive, so was the lofty cost. During the 1st week, for 4 days in a row, everyone in the Crystal ... Read More
This was our 1st river cruise and we chose Scenic because of their "reputation". This having been said,since they are all inclusive, so was the lofty cost. During the 1st week, for 4 days in a row, everyone in the Crystal dining room waived away flies at all 3 meals. You would think that after 1 day this would be remedied by the crew who witnessed this. However,only after I talked to the restaurant manager on the 5th day, did it improve. The public rooms (dining and lounge) were never cool during the entire trip. The weather was only very hot 1 day out of 14. The food lacked flavor. Meals on the ocean cruises we have been on were so much better. The service, crew, and cabin were 6 stars out of 5 but.... More than 1/2 the passengers on board were ill during the trip. Scenic had a cavalier approach to this and should have been extremely more proactive. Plan on spending a great deal of time riding buses once you dock at a city. 1 day it was a total of 7 hours to and from. Finally, I did write Scenic before I chose to post this review. Their response did not address my concerns at all in a genuine, sincere manner-another disappointment of a company that I feel does not warrant the reputation they have 1 bit Read Less
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
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: 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
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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