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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
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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers ... Read More
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers which to me was like a cruise line with 4000 plus passengers! Having said that the organisation of the cruise was outstanding and our every wish was accommodated! It was hard to understand why do few cruises go through to the Black Sea as the further north we went the demands of more and more tours became apparent and quality deteriorated! And we travelled in April! The staff in our ship were equivalent to the outstanding crew we had experienced in Myanmar and The Mekong! Our butler service by ATI and Stat made the journey so much more enjoyable and they are to be commended similarly the joviality of the senior butler Chris was appreciated by all! The Cruise Director was happy to meet our needs as because of a disability I cannot walk far and we had all our requests accommodated! The cruise on the Danube was relaxing and enjoyable the countries visited were historically interesting and we enjoyed the experience! I would not want to further up and suffer the issues of overwhelming Numbers! Each passenger has their own expectations we had ours met by the splendour of the Riger and countries the absolute attention to detail by our Bali butler ATI and the help of our support butler from Serbia Stat who was a source of great local information to us! Thank you staff we enjoyed The first night at The Marriot in Bucharest is best forgotten and the company should look for a better venue! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who ... Read More
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who was wonderful and very personable but he seemed to have other duties which kept him busy. We did get the "special dinner" which was excellent and fun to try different wines and food. It was part of the dining room but in the back. The food was good. My favorite was the German lunch!! The excursions were fine but wish we had more time in some cities. They do give you a GPS device. Now, let me tell you these when they work they are great. We only had one in our room, so we had to ask for another one which did not charge. Then we had to get another one as the sound did not work. We suggested that maybe it would a good idea to give the tour guides extra ones but I think these could be expensive. Now the river ... it was low. The lowest in years. The captain was awesome and I was amazed that we got as far as we did. Also, he was there to greet us on and off the ship at every port. Very friendly and helpful. As I stated the river was low and we did make it to Worms. We were not able to go to the castle for our concert, so they brought it to us. We couldn't make it to our last two stops but they did bus us to Strasbourg and provided lunch. We were able to see the town but being Sunday many places were closed. We were then bused to Zurich where we stayed at a lovely Marriott, They provided us with a lovely dinner with wine and beer. The next day, we had breakfast and transported to the airport. All provided by Scenic. We did not make it to Basel. Our social director, Sylvia really did a fantastic job. I wasn't sure about her first because she was like other social directors that I have had on other ships but let me tell you did a phenomenal job. The only concerned was that those who were on their own after the cruise should have been given a choice of going to Basel or Zurich with us instead of being left on the ship and transferred the next day. One more thing, when they say that everything included they mean everything!! We did not have to pay anything extra. I would definitely take another cruise on Scenic. It was not their fault that the river was low. For future travels maybe I would go in the spring!! Their care department will take care of any issues. They did go out of their way considering the problems to make it a fun cruise. Look what we have to talk about with our friends!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt making it a stress-free experience. Our hotel room was ready upon arrival which we were very happy about. We wished we would have arrived one day earlier in Zurich to tour the countryside as we only had time to walk the city centre, The next day, the Scenic bus was there to pick up Scenic guests from the Park Hyatt and drive us to Basel. The embarkation went excellent as well. Our room and bathroom were very clean and spacious enough (store suitcases under the bed once unpacked). We were on the Diamond Deck, however, our cabin was at the back of the ship and even with earplugs, it was very loud with engine noise and vibrations, especially when arriving at or leaving ports or going through locks; as well as the stairway noise from the top sundeck. We had several sleepless nights (we also found the bed very hard). I would strongly recommend you do not choose a cabin at the back of the ship. With all the excitement of exploring the ship, I would suggest you take the time to read the information in the book in your cabin as well as meet with your butler the very first day so you are aware of everything from the get-go. The dining at dinner was absolutely fabulous... every dinner, but especially the Table la Rive dinner for Diamond Deck cabins and the Portobello's dinner... the food, wine and the service was amazing! We felt after a few days there wasn't much selection for hot meals at the buffet in the dining room at breakfast (although the scrambled eggs and bacon were very good) and especially for lunch so I would be sure to check out the menus on the tables for both breakfast (the porridge was very good) and lunch (be sure to leave yourself enough time to order breakfast before leaving for the excursions). Dress code was casual for breakfast and lunch and varied at dinner (some jackets and very few ties for the men, ladies varied between smart casual and more formal). The excursions were extremely well organized (but don't be late) and most of the guides were great (especially Niles for the Heidelberg tour), as well as the GPS hand-held devices... be sure to take the devices with you on your free time self-guided tours or while going through the Rhine gorge on the ship. Travel on the ship through the Gorge was absolutely breathtaking. I was surprised however that there was very little sight-seeing from the ship the first few days on the river. The first few locks were interesting and the swans were indeed beautiful. Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Cochem and especially Volendam and Edam were amazing tours. We thoroughly enjoyed the Enrich concert at the palace; however not so much the onboard entertainment (the violinist was fabulous). The drinks and bar service was good however there should be more bar staff, especially serving the outside front and top of the ship or when everyone is together, ie port talks before dinner, right after dinner, etc. All of the staff were very friendly and efficient. The snacks and min-bar in the cabin were replenished daily. Be sure to have your laundry done prior to the second last day on the ship before it is too late (it is only a small laundry bag)... and utilize the daily pressings for those on the Diamond Deck. Internet was intermittent. It was busy and very scheduled (which we weren't use to since this is our first cruise). Mobility with all the cobblestones and walking (and bicycles in Amsterdam) may be difficult for some. Overall everything was extremely well organized, the tours and food were great... we enjoyed our cruise. We met many other great Canadians on the cruise, as well as very friendly British, Australian, American, etc. people. We did spend two more nights in Amsterdam on our own after the cruise but wish we had one more day to visit a few museums. I would suggest the 24 or 48 hour Hop On Hop Off tours, especially via the canal boats. Also if you would like to see Anne Frank's house, order the tickets several months in advance online (you cannot purchase them there). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The list of lecturers first attracted us to this cruise and also the destinations as we had been to Eastern Europe before but not to Bulgaria or Rumania or Serbia and not to the parts of Croatia included in the tour. We had to change ... Read More
The list of lecturers first attracted us to this cruise and also the destinations as we had been to Eastern Europe before but not to Bulgaria or Rumania or Serbia and not to the parts of Croatia included in the tour. We had to change ships after four days but that was very well managed although our cabin seemed slightly smaller on Pearl. We would criticise the first evening's arrangements--there seemed insufficient Scenic staff presence at the hotel and the main course at dinner was not good. On board we once or twice found the timings of events rather hectic, ie arriving back from an excursion and having a briefing meeting almost immediately afterwards. I realise this could be due to traffic problems and beyond the staff's control and once the timing of the meeting was altered. The Cruise Director Szylvia was really excellent: although at times facing ( unfair!) criticism from passengers she remained cheerful and calm. She was very helpful when I asked about future Scenic cruises although that was not her particular sphere. We had been on one other river cruise before when the company made a great point of advertising future ones, with discounts, and although I appreciated the fact that Scenic didn't do that I should have liked a little more information, especially about when Kate Adie would next be lecturing for you as she was absolutely outstanding as both a speaker and a fellow guest. John Simpson's lecture was good though I regretted that he was so briefly available on the cruise and Martin Bell was a pleasure to meet and to listen to--I just wished one of his talks wasn't so early in the morning! All the guides we had were very good and had interesting personal experiences of their countries and the meal in a Croatian home was the highlight of the cruise for me. The low water level in the Danube did make some gangways very difficult for less mobile people to go up and down--perhaps cruise information should give a warning about this. NB In the ratings below I'm assuming "Enrichment activities" means the talks and lectures. As I said, that was why we chose your cruise and they lived up to expectations. My rating for food may seem grudging as some meals were excellent but others not--especially the Hungarian goulash! Final point--we very much appreciated the fact that excursions, drinks etc. were all included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The stay in Budapest before we sailed was very good; that Marriott was excellent and very professionally run. Embarkation was smooth. The ship was pretty well all that we expected it to be, except for the so-called library which was a ... Read More
The stay in Budapest before we sailed was very good; that Marriott was excellent and very professionally run. Embarkation was smooth. The ship was pretty well all that we expected it to be, except for the so-called library which was a joke. The cabin was all that was required, well designed, fitted and maintained. We do not like buffets for dinner (as distinct from breakfast) but the first night was good for a buffet. All other dinners were good to very good, though the portions were no larger than needed and we thought that the choice of either pudding or cheese rather than pudding and cheese was odd - particularly in Portobello's. The wine was far less good than the food. That on the first night was poor, on other nights it was acceptable - apart from the Friday, when it was undrinkable. Service was generally good - better in the bar than in the restaurant. Of the entertainment, the regional dance troop were very good, the second dance night, which involved audience participation, was off-putting. We declined the other entertainments on offer for classic films that we had somehow never seen. Nicola, the tour manager, was excellent and incredibly helpful; top marks. The following criticism in not of him but of what was not provided. There was no historian/ geographer/ cultural expert to bring the experience of the tour and the relationship between the places that we passed or visited together. This was the significant weakness of the tour. The excursions that we took were of a good standard, and our guide in Belgrade deserves particular mention as outstanding. In our view, the visit to Varna was unbalanced. The Museum is quite simply outstanding and justifies a minimum of an hour for even the most superficial visit. We opted out of the visit to the town centre and spent twice that long in the museum and left much undone. As an aside, the lunch in the fake ship was not that great. The best lunch on a visit was in Bucharest; light, simple and cooked perfectly. The Hilton in Bucharest was not a patch on the Marriott in Budapest. The room was basically very good, but maintenance - especially in the bathroom - was poor. The dinner, an early, very mediocre buffet in a too small, noisy room was a low point. Whoever was responsible had no understanding of the space and layout required for a buffet for the number of people to be fed. The staff were totally untrained and mainly uninterested. Breakfast was OK. We had lunch in the outside restaurant associated with the Hilton and we can report that the serving staff in that restaurant were very professional (we obviously had the C or D team the previous evening), but that the kitchen repeated the mediocre performance of the previous evening. We have organised tours ourselves and know how difficult it is to get good hotels for large parties - so the Hilton may have been the best available - but keep on looking. We are not sure whether we should go again with Scenic. I think that if we took another river cruise we should try another company's offering first. In case you note the apparent inconsistency, our other cruises have been ocean rather than river cruises. Paul and Birte Kelly Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary seamlessly. The food was very good, with a varied selection of appetizers, soups, mains, and desserts. The wait staff were friendly and professional. Our cabin was very well designed so we had plenty of space to put everything. Our cabin was also spotless. I would say that I found the itinerary a bit rushed - that being said however, I also chose to not stay on the boat, which I could have. Perhaps the same itinerary could be completed in ten days, allowing a bit more time in some cities. Unfortunately on our second last day we ended being off the ship for almost 11 hours. Our tour of Regensburg was to last 4 hours. There was a problem with water levels being too low and the boat being unable to make it to our next destination. That is understandable - cannot control Mother Nature! I'm not totally convinced that there was not a way to get us on the boat earlier. So, the memory of my last excursion was a long, wet, cold day in a small city with nothing to do. When we boarded the boat everything was rushed. The next morning we had to wake up very early to be bussed to our last port of call. Unfortunately these events coloured my overall experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose this trip on the basis of recommendation from a friend and through the travel agent. The company had a good rating and no major complaints from anyone that the travel agent had booked on a cruise with them. Liked the all-inclusive ... Read More
Chose this trip on the basis of recommendation from a friend and through the travel agent. The company had a good rating and no major complaints from anyone that the travel agent had booked on a cruise with them. Liked the all-inclusive package. And the fact that excursionsfterand no extra charges. Dining seemed to be varied and options to dine without a crowd of 160 around is a benefit. Scenic does a strong marketing job in Canada and there were many Canadians on board--in fact the largest group. The Aussies were the next highest representation so that made for a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The cruise director, Alex, had the organization down pat and a terrific personality to be in this position. Bar staff and room staff were exceptional. Rooms were kept neat and tidy and the rooms are spacious (we had opted for the Junior Balcony Suite which is perfect location on Sapphire deck--right at the end opening up to central foyer so getting to dining, lounge or upstairs sun deck was easy). One man was in a wheelchair and he was accommodated on most tours without any fuss. This was not easy for bus driver or tour guide. All drivers and guides were fantastic and knowledgeable. Great ambassadors for their country! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and ... Read More
Positives -Scenic Jewel is beautiful, well-appointed and our individual room (205) was ingeniously laid-out and comfortable. -Butler service was a nice touch. -Staff and crew were first-rate. The staff was most professional and delivered first-class service with a smile, many learning passenger names once the badges were left off. The answer was never “no” but always “of course.” When other river ships had to stop due to low water, our captain and crew made the entire route happen. A talented group of men and women all around. -Sailing with people from Australia, Canada and the UK we saw as a real plus; nice conversations with “worldly” clientele. -Most guides in the ports were very knowledgable and we learned a lot from them. The “Enrich” events were hit and miss. For example, the trip to Marksburg Castle and orchestra/piano concerts were quite nice while the “Oktoberfest” and “Sound of Music” events were a bit too “cheesy” for us. -E-bikes were really fun. We used them on three occasions. The GPS devices are nice too, though we found ourselves using them less and less and just enjoying the scenery. Negatives -Food was above average but never exceptional, which was disappointing. The Portobello experience was a step above, but there was never a “WOW” meal moment. The breakfast and lunch buffets always had great variety and seemed to be very fresh, but by the 15th day, we were tired of the same breakfast buffet and wished that lunch could be served table-side. -Too many bus transfers for us. I realize that the ship doesn’t magically dock in the city center and we just stroll off into town, but that is kind of what the river cruise companies lead you to believe in their brochures and commercials. However, they do a good job of getting 160+ passengers where they need to be when they need to be there--we just wish there were fewer bus rides involved. A couple of days we skipped the bus excursions and stayed on-board for the nice river cruising. -From day one we encountered at least one very sick person on the ship.....and then more and more got sick until there was a real epidemic. Some people went to the hospital while others saw a doctor and still others went to the pharmacy to get meds. It’s hard to say how many were sick, but we would guess more than half by cruise end. We managed to stay healthy until the last two days when it got us too. Upon landing after our final flight, we went straight to the emergency room to find out that it was influenza. We are now recovering at home. Not a great end to the trip but at least we were able to enjoy most of it---some people spent a large part of their trip flat on their backs--and paid $18K to do so. In our opinion, Scenic did not seem to have good enough protocols to handle this situation. While we saw them trying to clean the lobby of the ship, there were many areas (menus, chairs, buffet utensils, railings etc.) that we did not see them sanitize. Though there were hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance to the ship and dining rooms, they did not insist that everyone use them or supervise guests entering/exiting those spaces as they did with the electronic badge check-in/out system. In an attempt not to lose travel days, many people who were quite ill got on the buses each day and proceeded to infect the others. Not a great situation. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have been in several ocean cruises, but had heard good reports of river cruising and because we were celebrating special birthdays, thought we would try a cruise down the Rhine. We were met at Zurich Airport and bussed to Basel to ... Read More
We have been in several ocean cruises, but had heard good reports of river cruising and because we were celebrating special birthdays, thought we would try a cruise down the Rhine. We were met at Zurich Airport and bussed to Basel to board the boat. Both embarkation and disembarkation were very good. Our luggage was taken care of by the crew. Our cabin was on the lower deck, the same as the gym and the crew quarters. It had a high window which enabled you to look out to see where you were, but it was not suitable for watching for long! The bathroom is tiny. Adequate but tiny. The bed is very comfortable and the cabin has everything you could want, from a small fridge, restocked daily with spirits, wine and soft drink. There is adequate storage, good lighting, a wall-mounted tv on which you can access the internet as well as the latest news, movies etc. The bathroom is stocked with lovely toiletries, which will be replenished as required. A bar of soap is not quite so readily available. A butler is allocated to each cabin, but it was some days before we knew who our butler was, and then we didn't know what we could ask for, or indeed how to ask! That was probably our fault as we didn't ask, but we felt information should have been provided. Returning passengers (of whom there appeared to be quite a few) would know what to do. There were a few empty cabins on our deck. The boat was very clean. The decor was modern and quite bland. First impression was that it was quite stark, but later, having to walk through another vessel to go ashore, we realised that our decor was preferable to the chandeliers and faux French furnishings of one of Scenic's rivals! The lounge area was very comfortable, the sundeck was large and well set out. The dining room had a mix of tables from tables for two to larger ones. The staff were really excellent. They came from many countries including Indonesia, Romania and Bosnia. They work extremely hard, are unfailingly helpful and polite. There were a few hiccups, wrong drinks, requests that were never met, water glasses that weren't filled during meal times but I think that could be put down to pressure of work. Scenic promotes its included drinks policy and cruisers certainly seem to take advantage of it. There is a wine list at meal time, but most people take the proffered red or white wine. French champagne is included in the "free" alcohol, and Moet is available every breakfast. Unfortunately, people about to undertake a busy day on shore generally don't want to start the day with a glass of champagne and so the bottles are put away until the following morning. If you want champagne at any other time, you must have the only other one the bar has, and it's pretty horrible. In the lounge area is a snack area where you can have a light lunch or snack. You can order "anything" from the kitchen. We didn't test it, but I wonder if "anything" includes lobster! The food was somewhat disappointing. Whilst a good variety was offered for breakfast, if you wanted poached eggs, pancakes or waffles, an order had to be sent to the kitchen. At lunch, two dishes were obtainable from the kitchen, and the waiter was meant to give you details. This didn't always happen. We were disappointed that more seasonal produce didn't appear - asparagus, strawberries, cherries, all in peak season at the time of our trip. Salads were always the same, lettuce, peppers, wedges of tomato, carrot sticks, radish. We felt there was a limited choice at dinner, but we did enjoy some superb meat dishes. A fruit platter for dessert was astounding in its five small bits of fruit. Two shore excursions had to be chosen before leaving home. The description of the options was minimal and we found the same as the trip started. The audio guides worked very well although some people had units that refused to charge properly, so they had to stick close to the guide. Walking tours sometimes ended with free time. As we had warm to hot weather, it meant the days on shore could be long and tiring. The local guides were generally very good. The real "jewel" in this journey was the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We had never been on a river cruise and chose Scenic after much research. The first couple of days were not so interesting but Heidlberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam were all very lovely. Our cabin was small but very well designed and ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise and chose Scenic after much research. The first couple of days were not so interesting but Heidlberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam were all very lovely. Our cabin was small but very well designed and we had all we needed and more. The food and beverage service was excellent and all gratuities were included. The shore excursions were well organized and again no extra charge. All of the guides we had were friendly, spoke English and were very knowledgeable. The cruise director Andreea was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were our favourite meals as there was lots of choice and quality of food was excellent. Dinner was average most nights. Service staff was always excellent. The rooftop BBQ lunch was really enjoyable and of course we lucked out with fabulous weather. The cruise director Andreea was wonderful. She is a valuable member of the Scenic cruise group and her dedication and interpersonal skills did not go unnoticed! We would definitely recommend this cruise line and would likely be return customers. Thankyou! Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 3.3

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