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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in ... Read More
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in Basel ( met at Airport) and were bussed to Worms as river was too low to allow ship to go to Basel. We took a BUS to Worms. We were in Worms two days being bussed to some of itinerary and many changes to itienerary. We asked Cruise director about status of cruise at airport first day—she told us this event happened within last week and accommodations would be made to itinerary. This trip had multiple deviations to schedules and we missed over half of Rhine river. Being bussed was difficult for many. Our cruise -turned into a BRUISE ( Bus/Bruise). We had to be be bussed to Cologne to do a ship swap—had to pack and unpack and get into a new room. This crew was beat up on new chip ( Scenic AMber) and we all sensed their frustration and tension. Many things went wrong with this cruise. We went to Frankfort and docked ( not on itinerary). My wife and I finally couldn’t take the daily mistruths and changes to itinerary and we disembarked in cologne and took train to Amsterdam to salvage a few days of this vacation. I understand the cruise line has no control over river water levels—but they do have control over information and to be deceptive ( and not tell us the truth up front about this cruise changes; nor give us an option to cancel before starting in Basel and potentially taking another trip in future) was wrong. In light of this, we met a new group leaving Amsterdam on this ship to go to Basel—-No information given to them. How information that is bad is handled is just as important as the information. They were terribly deceptive and not forthcoming. Buyer be aware. I will never cruise Scenic again nor recommend them to anyone I know. This is our 3rd river cruise( first on Scenic); One other cruise had a problem ( Viking) and it was handled so well—we went and did another cruise with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. ... Read More
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. It was not just the food, service and entertainment aboard the ship but also the tours. We had read other reviews about the food quality and variety complaints before taking this cruise, but felt they were just whiners. To our surprise found that their observations were acurate. When entering the restaurant, we could not get the waiters attention to bring us a menu, so our table ended up just grabbing one as we entered the restaurant each day. The food portions were so small, we started taking pictures. Instead of providing a bread basket for the table, the waiter would cut off a small piece of from a bread roll. It was so small, you just put the whole piece into your mouth. Not all the meals were substandard though, as they did serve a great leg of lamb one night and the chateau briand and salmon were great. The fruit selection was mainly water melon and other melon fruits. There were only 2 waiters in the lounge for the talks, so we just went to the bar and got our own drinks. There was a large group of Thomas Cook people that left part way through the cruise and we really noticed a big improvement in service when they left as the crew had more time to look after everyone. Only had 2 occasions where the waiter forgot the order. Most of the tours were just a walk around a local village or town and other than some cobblestone streets, there was not much to see. The trip to the Delta Works in the Netherlands was a must see. The day of cruising on the Moselle provided spectacular scenery. Scenic have what they call Tailormades and they are fanstasic. We had these with us most of the day. They tell you what you are looking at as you cruse along or as you walk around. They are also great for listening to your guides which were very good. Scenic also has e-bikes which we found were really enjoyable for touring around the country side. They should have mirrors though. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Scenic (at least in Australia) actively market the Scenic experience as a five star world quality product. In reality our cruise was really mass tourism and more focused on drinking. The bad: The food is woefully bad. It is ... Read More
Scenic (at least in Australia) actively market the Scenic experience as a five star world quality product. In reality our cruise was really mass tourism and more focused on drinking. The bad: The food is woefully bad. It is not hard to realise that the braised beef one night is the Swedish style meat balls the next lunch. Whilst the Italian concept and French table were actually quite good the main restaurant was nothing more than a salad based cafeteria. Compared to other cruises the food and available selections was bad. The river side café was liked for the ice cream and cakes they served but the beef burgers and pasta were not eaten. Scenic markets up to 5 dining choices, so the Italian section (Invite only and French Table invite only) are again part of the main dining room but are considered 3 dining destinations. The river café is really more coffee and cake and lastly room service from a small menu is the 5th. The menus every day were wrong. The bar staff could not keep up with the amount of passengers and this is more reflective on management rather than the staff who really tried. The nightly entertainment (Ian) was good when he simply tinkled on the piano but the singing was not his best effort. On the last night he was eager to encourage everybody to have a great time. But the comments “I know I sing flat but I am still going to sing” saw many of us leave for better locations or even your room. Those in the back of the boat complained about the noise and constant vibration and these were the best suites. The rooms whilst neat had a problem with the hot water that would change from hot too cold to hold. We were told that every cabin had the same problem with the changing temperatures. Our cruise (Amsterdam to Basel) did not make it to Basel due to river congestion and you have to expect this on congested rivers. The issue being that Scenic simply printed a list of alternative arrangements and left it on the reception counter. So whilst we were warned we had no details. The tours whilst expertly organised do suffer with some bad guides. Two notable excursions the tour guide gave us a detailed analysis for 40 minutes on why people from Cologne do not get on with people from Dusseldorf. The second being a bible lesson after visiting the castle in Heidelberg for 30 minutes. The reception staff were dismissive about any queries or problems. The good: The crew and butlers are excellent. Our cabin was spotless and nothing was any trouble be it food or drinks or anything. It could so easily be a great product and time but on this particular cruise it was more a 2 or 3 star cruise that didn’t deliver on most fronts. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Really regimented agenda so didn't allow for much "downtime". For example, no time to sit up top and have a cocktail at the end of the day, as the excursions returned at 5 or later, and port talk was at 6 and dinner at 7. ... Read More
Really regimented agenda so didn't allow for much "downtime". For example, no time to sit up top and have a cocktail at the end of the day, as the excursions returned at 5 or later, and port talk was at 6 and dinner at 7. Hard to shower, dress for dinner and have some downtime in the space of an hour. Food was ok, not great. Worst part was that the Danube is so busy that 5 nights out of 7 we were tied up at the dock right beside another boat -- sometimes there were 3 or 4 across. Couldn't use the balcony as a result (for which you pay extra) and had to keep the drapes closed. Cooking vent from next door boat would spew grease fumes into our room. Lounge and dining room were nicely decorated, beds were comfy, staff was very good. Just not for us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the ... Read More
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the other ship. So, no view. One night, we were apparently near the exhaust vent of another ship and so for days after, our room and all others on this side smelled of cooking grease. Food is average to poor, you have to eat at 7pm regardless if ypu’d like to eat later, so no opportunity to have a leisurely cocktail hour, most of the towns in between are largely unremarkable, just a means to provide some diversion between the two main cities of interest (in our case, Budapest and Prague). No one on the ship other than the cruise director knows anything about the itinerary, landmarks, upcoming events, so if you can’t find the cruise director, you’re in the dark. There’s about 20 of us in our mid`50s and all have did “never again”. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were told Scenic was top of the range with excellent food. Not true. Food was poor to mediocre - dry chicken, leathery veal, limited fruit selection, uninspiring lunch buffets, watery wines. Also evening meals took 2 to 2.5 hours ... Read More
We were told Scenic was top of the range with excellent food. Not true. Food was poor to mediocre - dry chicken, leathery veal, limited fruit selection, uninspiring lunch buffets, watery wines. Also evening meals took 2 to 2.5 hours as everyone had to be served at the same pace. The crew were as helpful as they could be, given they had to serve 165 people with drinks and food simultaneously. Shore excursions were fine. Head office admin was very poor. Asked where tickets were and was told they'd been sent. Another set would be sent immediately. They never arrived. At least three different people seemed to be involved with each not knowing what the other had said. Eventually the tickets and cruise information arrived with a week to go. As for the air transfers, the cheapest economy tickets were bought by Scenic - think last row at the back of the plane next to galleys and lavatories. Read Less
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
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
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
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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