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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an ... Read More
To celebrate / commiserate for my wife's 80th birthday and for mine to come shortly ! Our first experience of river cruising , though we had been well looked after by Fred Olsen in the past. Though one might feel that it is an expensive venture in the first instance, because it is an " all in " package , it proved to be very good value for money. EVERYTHING is included. Crew are ultra friendly and helpful , drinks are always " on tap" , whether it be alcoholic or merely a cup of tea or coffee, advice on venues for the tours is always available and they are generally good value. I personally thought the Drachenburg Castle was largely a waste of time but other tours ( all inclusive ) were good. The visit to the vineyard was particularly good , not for the obvious reasons , but for the interesting explanations from Albert who is a 14th generation wine producer and knows his stuff ! Rudesheim is a gem to walk around but unfortunately " Captain Sunshine" did not work a miracle and it poured down the day we visited. The menu aboard is very varied and can be a simple salad or a full blown meal for lunch with almost endless courses in the evening. Th early part of the week the standard was superb but, for some unknown reason , the standard was not maintained towards the end of the week. A number of us thought that Head office should allow local purchasing by the chef where possible, asparagus was absent from the menu until several clients asked why. The answer from the galley was that Manchester dictated the menus !! Austin & Pat Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is ... Read More
When searching cruise lines most stated they were all inclusive but when I would talk to some of the cruise lines when researching I would find limitation the choices for excursions, limited on beverages, and free time. SCENIC is litereally all inclusive. We chose SCENIC based on the luxury ratings and great reviews, but mostly for it's all-inclusiveness. The ammenities included our own GPS units with informational guides as well as walking sticks and umbrellas in each room. You could reserve the electric bikes they have onboard and go out on your own anytime. We were able to convince family members to come along as well. We traveled from Amersterdam to Basel, Switzerland. For the most part we had a fabulous time on the SCENIC Jewel. Most of the staff were attentive and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the lounge staff, especially Ana and our butler Bogdan. They took very good care of us. We also enjoyed being able to be on the top deck especially when we traveled through the river gorge with the beautiful scenery and all those castles! The food was usually good. Breakfast & lunch were open seating with eating anytime between certain hours. Dinners were set at a certain time. Some of our party arrived late for dinner the first evening. The wait staff started serving as soon as you are seated, but we asked to wait until our entire group were seated. The waiter was unsure of what to do so he involved the maitre'd. This maitre'd scolded us for being late as the staff are to start serving right away despite whether your entire group has arrived. (It wasn't like there was another seating coming in later). The Jewel maitre'd certainly could have been more cordial in his explanation, but we decided to let it go based on his non-communication skills. The next unfortunate encounter with the Jewel maitre'd came a few nights later. Two of our party were served cold food. The wait staff were great and immediately took the food back and served new plates a few minutes later. These too were only lukewarm. By then we just wanted to eat so we were dealing with it. The wait staff called over the maitre'd again to get involved and he said the food was hot as it had just come off the grill. We were obviously wrong. It was about winning the argument for him. It was not pleasant. We took these incidents to the Concierge manager. He told us he would look into this and get some resolution for us. This never happened. A simple apology from the SCENIC JEWEL maitre'd would have been welcomed. When we disembarked we were asked to use our name fobs to enter a review on a website Scenic provided. Several in our party attempted to write a review but were denied access. I emailed Scenic about this issue and was told there was a glitch in the system and they were working to resolve. I contacted them AGAIN but still no resolvement to this problem.I gave up trying which I am assuming SCENIC was hoping we would do. Due to this memory of the trip we will certainly consider using another cruise line for future river cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is modern and well appointed and was kept spotlessly clean. The entire crew is a credit to Scenic and you were made to feel welcome at all times. The cabin had a balcony which increased the floor space and gave great views of the passing scenery. As we frequently travelled overnight and our cabin was located near the rear of the ship, engine noise was noticeable but did not affect sleeping - in fact you were more aware of it when the engines stopped and the quietness hit you! Our cabin steward was excellent and kept everything neat and tidy all day and constantly amused us with her 'towel sculptures'. The main dining room is very pleasant although sometimes a bit too busy in the evenings. The breakfast buffet gave a good choice and also provided a chef for the cooking of eggs and omelettes. Unfortunately the plate warmers were never turned on at this time and your food got cold too quickly. However you were able to order pancakes, eggs benedict, etc from the kitchen which came out on hot plates! A buffet lunch was available in the main dining room or from Cafe Rive in the main lounge - always a good choice of food. Evening meals were always a la carte with a good choice of courses. Overall dining was a good experience. Entertainment was provided - some acts were better than others! The shore excursions were well organised and enjoyable, with a good range of places to go and see. Some of the highlights for us were the windmills in Amsterdam, the chair lift in Rudesheim and a visit to the walled medievil city of Rothenburg where our guide was exceptional. All the trips were good. Overall this is a holiday we thoroughly enjoyed and we would consider another river cruise but for a shorter period of time. Also this cruise did involve going through 67 locks and lots of low bridges which means the sun deck is not always available for the use of passengers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. ... Read More
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. Everything went like clock work in every aspect of the tour. The crew and staff were very friendly and helpful,And made the the cruise even better. History was the main focus of our trip,but as we are farmers a bit more of what the local areas grow would have been very interesting. The entertainment was second to none,a taste of all the different cultures. Also the fellow passengers were in our age group and very likeminded in their outlook. May was a great time to travel,not too hot,not too many queues and the rivers were still passable as the snow and rains had not effected them at that time.The buses that took us on the land part of our trip were very comfortable,drivers very helpful and good at there jobs.Sometimes the places they had to take the buses were unbelievable. We thoroughly recommend this tour. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as ... Read More
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as with all river cruise lines was small with very little hanging space and one has to be a great packer to put everything away. However it was The bathroom that made us choose this suite as its larger and has a bath. The bathroom has plenty of room with a separate shower lots of space. Plus I had a hot bath at the end of almost evry day. There are lots of lovely bath salts and gels it was lovely. The Scenic Jewel is like a floating 5 star hotel, the decor, modern, simple and stylish. Everything is very clean and attention to detail sublime. The food is wonderful with plenty of choices, so much food. All drinks are served pretty much all day and are included in the tariff. If you wanted you could eat and drink all day long. There is a huge upper deck with ample deck & longe chairs. It was very cold during our trip but sunny not many clients braved the upper deck but we did and the views with all the castles were divine. All staff were first class and a credit to Scenic, in particular Raddo our barman who was very attentive to the point of when I got ill he made me a hot brandy lemon drink without prompting for my husband to bring to me in our cabin. Everyone on our cruise pretty much got sick, this was of NO fault of Scenic who went to great lenghts to explain to the guests why they needed to use hand sanatation but so many ignored this advise and those few morons infected us all. The day trips were plentiful with many great choices our only upset was we couldnt dock in Vienna (something about a bridge being fixed) this meant we had to moor 90 minutes away from Vienna and commute backwards and forwards. In a 18 hour space we spent a total of 7 hours on a bus meaning less time in Vienna. I was very disappointed with this as Vienna was the main reason we did this trip, however this was not Scenics fault so I cant blame them. The onboard entertainment is so bad its good. The entertainment brought on board at various cities excellent. The hairdresser and masseur were not as good as I usually have but they were certainly okay. If you want to get a wonderful overview of Europe in a 5 star floating hotel, with awesome staff, excellent food and unpack only once then I would suggest you take a river cruise, this one was our third (first with Scenic) and matched our expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
We joined the Crystal in Budapest for the first seven days of the cruise. The ship was excellent, the crew pleasant, and the captain appeared to run a tight but happy ship. Our cruise director Marin who was with us the whole journey on ... Read More
We joined the Crystal in Budapest for the first seven days of the cruise. The ship was excellent, the crew pleasant, and the captain appeared to run a tight but happy ship. Our cruise director Marin who was with us the whole journey on both ships was well informed, efficient, and dealt with everyone with courtesy and never lost his sense of humour. The transfer to the Jewel at Nuremburg was done well, they even arranged for rooms to be cleaned first for a couple of passengers who were ill. The side trips were well organised and there was plenty of choice. There was no need to spend anything once onboard unless you required laundry. We did not feel that the crew on the Jewel were as happy, the Captain did not appear very much at all and the Hotel Manager seemed to run the ship. Some of the Crew were very surly and did not engage with the passengers much. Our room was spacious and clean. The coffee/chocolate machine in the lounge was excellent. So far all good. However, and this was a big disappointment for us, the food! Too many buffet's with hot food being served on cold plates..even at breakfast, eggs and bacon on cold plates. Often the food in the evening was also served lukewarm. The menu was pretentious and you needed an interpreter. Many evenings we resorted to the everyday available chicken breast or steak, and we requested steamed vegetables as there was not much in the way of vegetables. We were even served tinned carrots and soup with globules of fat floating on top. Don't expect fine china either.....   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked our river cruise with Scenic Tours travelling from Amsterdam to Budapest from the beginning of June 2013. We had booked in the middle of 2012 so we were really looking forward to the whole experience. As reasonably seasoned ocean ... Read More
We booked our river cruise with Scenic Tours travelling from Amsterdam to Budapest from the beginning of June 2013. We had booked in the middle of 2012 so we were really looking forward to the whole experience. As reasonably seasoned ocean cruisers we knew that river cruising would be different but we expected from the Scenic Tours advertising that a high standard of life on board would be expected, and that the smaller sizes of ship would lead to smaller groups. The day before we left home we got an email saying that although we were booked on the Scenic Jewel it would no longer be possible to board this ship and we would be transferred to the Scenic Ruby in the same cabin number. However, as the Ruby was different to the Jewel we would be given a small refund. We landed in Schipol airport and were supposed to be met by a Scenic Tours rep. We couldn't find him and eventually the airport information office ran him to ground. It turned out that he was attempting to pacify another passenger who hadn't been told about the ship change. When we got on board the Ruby the welcome was warm and the offer of a cold drink and a snack accepted with alacrity. The Tour Director was helpful and knowledgeable but explained that as the waters on the Rhine and Danube were in flood we were unable to get under some of the bridges. This might have an adverse effect on parts of our cruise but that he was told that the situation would be rectified in a few days. We stayed overnight in Amsterdam and began cruising on that evening. By day 3 we were in Dusseldorf and were coached to Cologne, about two hours away. After a day's sight-seeing we re-joined the ship and travelled as far as Bonn where we docked. In that evening's briefing by the Tour Director we were told that due to the delay from flooding we could not now walk to the mediaeval castle where dinner was arranged, but would instead be bussed there - a total of four hours there and back. The next day we were supposed to travel to Rudesheim but the river was too dangerous and the ship's captain turned back and moored at Koblenz. by this stage we realised that the cruise was not going to take place even remotely as planned, but the Tour Director still kept insisting that we would visit the places as agreed, not on the ship but would do so by coach. Most of our fellow passengers accepted the situation but as we saw what was happening elsewhere on the river a few became quite upset. It was clear from the reaction of the other river cruise companies that we were one of the few cruise ships still trying to complete their voyage. At one stage we were tied up five abreast with four empty river cruise ships alongside. Their passengers had had their cruise cancelled and given refunds. Scenic Tours did not make this offer. In the event, we got increasingly longer bus trips to see villages and towns for shorter periods of time. Then we changed ships to the Scenic Jewel and tied up in an industrial basin for four days before being bussed on an epic eight hour journey to Scenic Pearl moored in Vienna. The only cruising on this stretch of the river was from Vienna to Budapest. This was not a cruise trip but an extended coach holiday. As a result of all the ship changing we did get to experience the different levels of service on board three of the Company's vessels. Most of the time the service and helpfulness of the staff were exemplary but on one of the ships the vessel hadn't moved for ten days and the staff were beginning to get fractious - and it showed! Some evening dining was waiter service but for breakfast, lunch, and most evenings the service was mostly on a buffet style, with a somewhat limited choice. However, the specialist dining room, Portobello's, was very good with fine food and wines and excellent service. The cruise was advertised as all-inclusive and while wine was from a selected list I understand that there was a charge made if a different wine was ordered. However, I never experienced that as I thought that the wines available were fair enough. Most of the passengers were Australian (as befits an Australian Tour operator)and many of them did not like the European wines on offer. The Tour Director stayed with the passengers throughout the various moves and attempted to control the situation as far as he could. He talked to us daily, sometimes twice daily, but was unable to get any information from his Head Office about the future of the cruise. Their attitude seemed to be to keep doing the same thing (putting the passengers on buses) and maybe the flooding situation will improve. In the event we missed out on huge parts of the Rhine and the Danube including some iconic areas like the Rhine Gorge, and Rudesheim, but Scenic Tours just shrugged their metaphorical shoulders and herded the passengers around on buses. We had been on the Rhine before so knew most of the sights so we enjoyed the on-board service and sitting in the sun. Consequently we only took the bus option when either we had to, say when changing ships, or if we really wanted to see an attraction. I can't say why Scenic Tours decided to press on with a doomed river cruise when the other cruise companies had cancelled. Maybe because the majority of the passengers were Australian and the cost of sending them home would have been too high? If it hadn't been for the buses and the three ship changes we would have had a good holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
This will be a mixed review of our experience with Scenic Tours and the new Spaceship -Jewel, starting from when we first booked about 18 months ago. Booking: We chose Scenic Tours because we were told it was an Australian company and ... Read More
This will be a mixed review of our experience with Scenic Tours and the new Spaceship -Jewel, starting from when we first booked about 18 months ago. Booking: We chose Scenic Tours because we were told it was an Australian company and really didn’t look too closely into the alternatives. We chose the tour “Prague to Amsterdam”, which had a land-based component before boarding one of the new Scenic ships which was to be the Crystal or the newly launched Jewel. We took advantage of the early bird special of cheap airfares to Europe, but some months after booking Scenic canceled the land based, pre cruise part of the trip so we decided to do Prague on our own and meet the ship in Budapest. Then we are in formed by Scenic that because we still wanted to fly into Prague we now had to pay extra for our flights. We never understood there reasoning but we sucked it up and moved on. With our so call early bird special came a free stop over and we decided to have a night in Singapore on the way over. We were given a selection on 4 hotels to choose in order of preference, which we did after researching the locations of each. Two weeks before we leave we get our paperwork and listed for Singapore is a hotel we had never heard of and was very disappointing in every way, being very much a businessman’s hotel, far away for all Singapore attractions – a complete waist of time, in our opinion. Also we have no choice of airline and found that we had a luggage restriction of 20kg which proved a challenge seeing we would be away a month. The lesson we learned is not to be enticed by early bird specials – they are not all they make them out to be. Scenic Jewel: We did thoroughly enjoyed or self organized time in the in Prague, trained to Budapest and taxied to the Scenic Meeting point at the Marriot Hotel. Scenic had a lovely meeting area set up in the foyer from early morning with coffee, tea juices and biscuits, cakes and pastries which was fabulous as people were arriving at all different times had a great base to wait and meet fellow passengers. Embarkation was easy and efficient and our luggage was waiting for us in our cabins The jewel is a very comfortable vessel. It's decor, being unpretentious compared to others, it is modern, contemporary style which we found very pleasing and well suited to smart, casual lifestyle on board. Our PP cabin 318 was surprisingly very adequate. The all weather balcony was fantastic and we used it daily - mostly with the balcony up so we could enjoy the suns warmth and the view with out the chilly wind. The bathroom worked well and the shower was a lot bigger than expected. People on the lower deck did complain about the size of their showers and described them as being a lot smaller than ours so it does pay to do your research. We were please with the sound proofing of the ship. We never heard any noise from the sun deck above us or from adjacent rooms. There was not creaking or noises you might expect when under sail. Food: The main Dining room served "nice" food but I wouldn’t call it 5 star. Breakfast being a basic buffet of mostly the same variety each day. Lunch and dinner was varied daily with something to please every one but it always fell well short of the "Wow" factor. e.g..I loved the fillet steak, cooked to your choice of perfection - but was never offered any sauce you night expect in most restaurants. I was hoping for a béarnaise, mushroom of pepper sauce at best - even mustard and when asked they could only offer a rather flavorless brown sauce. We enjoyed the cafe for light meals and snacks and looked forward to their filled pretzels, which were delicious. We had one booking in Portobello's and that was lovely and met our expectations in every way. Entertainment: Martin - out entertainer was OK and suited the age group on board. The guest entertainers were very average if you like audience participation. Tours These were of a very high standard - in my opinion. We also used to carry our Scenic head sets which gave us an interesting commentary when ever we past a point of interest - be it land or water. With the weather and high water against us we found ourselves stuck in Bamberg 3 nights and had to bus long distances to meet our tour itinerary. Scenic did an amazing job in dealing with this dilemma but it was not the easy boat cruise we had hoped for and long bus tours were not what we were looking for when choosing a river cruise. But I again emphasize that Scenic made every effort and can not praise them enough for that. Staff: We found the most staff to be pleasant and accommodating. Our cruise director, Patrick and Hotel Manage, Egor, were lots of fun, informative and always helpful. The lounge area at peak times felt understaffed and it would take a long time to get our drink orders. We found out very quickly that approaching the bar was a no-no and even though there were barstools up against it we were always instructed to sit in the lounge area and wait for the stewardess – a little frustrating sometimes. I challenged myself to make a barman (we nicknamed smilie) smile by the end of the trip - but failed. Unfortunately, being stuck due to high water and eventually having to pack up and change ships to the Ruby further down stream does change the vibe on board. Some people where very upset and it was evident they had not done their research and were not aware that this can happen even though is clearly stated in the terms and conditions on cruise forums. Moving to the Ruby: First impressions were – it is almost the same as the Jewel because it had just been refurbished. We had the same cabin number but it was not the same and because we had the Jewel to compare with the little things became very annoying for the 3 days we were onboard – like the loud creaking in our cabin that forced us to wear ear plugs to sleep, - the slight smell of waste from time to time and the very much smaller shower that often flooded into the small bathroom area. We were unfortunate with the weather and the floods but we believe Scenic did all they could to keep our itinerary on track and they did a great job under the circumstances. In conclusion: I have to agree with another Scenic reviewer – in my experience this is not the 5 star product it proclaims itself to be. Scenic does a great job in looking after its passengers but it does fall short of the mark in most areas. This trip had highs and lows and we didn’t return home thinking, “Wow – we must do another river cruise”, but we haven’t completely ruled it out sometime in the distant future and if we do, we will be looking at all options.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Once again Scenic provided an exceptional holiday with every detail taken care of.The captain and crew were attentive to our every need and the full program could not be faulted.The food quality freshness and variety were brilliant.The ... Read More
Once again Scenic provided an exceptional holiday with every detail taken care of.The captain and crew were attentive to our every need and the full program could not be faulted.The food quality freshness and variety were brilliant.The wine selection extensive.Entertainment on board and shore excursions varied and informative. the cabins are varied and cater for a variety of budgets and even have special prices discounts and offers for those who book early. Rooms spacious and amenities provided in the cabins such as gowns ,pillow menus and toiletries of high standard. Room service very efficient and the mini bar complimentary being restocked daily or on request.The fact that Everything is included makes a wonderful difference.Even tipping is taken care of for the passengers. Contary to some people’s perception Scenic does cater for ALL ages. For those who like a little luxury Scenic would be my first preference for River cruising..Well done and thank you for a wonderful holiday...LH Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully ... Read More
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully presented and a wonderful variety at all meal times. I would strongly recommend it. The facilities & food are brilliant. Most of the tours were enjoyable and gave us a good glimpse of important attractions and local cultures. Nikola our cruise director was very professional and enthusiastic and always ensured all passengers were well informed of upcoming events, times and places to meet which resulted in smooth transition from ship to tour & back to the ship again... The water levels in the rivers were apparently problematic, but the captain & crew moved the ship along when needed to make sure we could get through ok which we are very thankful for. This cruise really was value for money and definitely will look at travelling with Scenic again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our ... Read More
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our experiences on the Pearl were NOT as good. The crew and staff on the Jewel were very friendly, communicative, accomodating and fun to be with. They handled a passenger emergency in a very professional manner and all worked out in the end. The Captain was very visible and friendly. The excursions were good and informative. We wish that there was more free time at some of the stops. Entertainment was very enjoyable. Our cruise director, Jeff, was very helpful and informative. This was our second river cruise with Scenic. We have recommended Scenic cruises to family and friends. We enjoyed ourselves very much. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Suggested by my travel agent. I also liked the fact once you paid your final payment that it covered everything! Excursions, alcoholic beverages and gratuities! The staff of the Jewel were absolutely phenomenal. Food was awesome as ... Read More
Suggested by my travel agent. I also liked the fact once you paid your final payment that it covered everything! Excursions, alcoholic beverages and gratuities! The staff of the Jewel were absolutely phenomenal. Food was awesome as there were so many choices from fine dining to a la carte to buffet. Ship was nice and clean. Nightly local entertainment in the Lounge was the perfect finale to that particular port and a great way to enjoy a cocktail and wind down. Shore excursions were informative. There were some issues with my tech device to hear the commentary from our guides. Guides were local to the area so they could add a lot more flavour to the commentary and answer questions. You could hear their passion! Prague was a great "tack on" to the cruise. Well worth the little bit extra. Lots of walking. For fit bit enthusiasts, around 15000 to 20000 steps per day in Prague. Wear comfy shoes, cobblestones can be tricky. If I was going across the "pond" again, I would upgrade to first class air. 8 to 9 hours is a long time so you want comfort. Direct flights are undoubtedly your best bet. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Lovely ship, clean and comfortable. All Staff helpful, attentive, polite. Extremely smart. Butlers charming, could not do enough for us, Their grey suits exceptional. Very comprehensive tours with excellent guides. However one ... Read More
Lovely ship, clean and comfortable. All Staff helpful, attentive, polite. Extremely smart. Butlers charming, could not do enough for us, Their grey suits exceptional. Very comprehensive tours with excellent guides. However one criticism is that their walking pace was a little to fast for me age group they were leading. The app on the smart phone had several technical difficulties. The two external musical events in Budapest and Vienna were superb and very professional. Venues exceptional. The whole experience reflected the culture of the countries. On board entertainment was equally memorable. Food of a very high standard, good choices. journey arrangements good excepting at Budapest some confusion on arrival at Budapest airport as no one there to meet us. I rang the help number given only to receive a recorded message in what I presumed to be Hungarian!! Overall a most enjoyable and memorable holiday. Thank you o very much to everyone involved. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We joined this cruise to see a snapshot of Eastern Europe. WOW what a wonderful experience. The ship was beautifully equipped and staffed by very hard working staff. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they never stopped working. ... Read More
We joined this cruise to see a snapshot of Eastern Europe. WOW what a wonderful experience. The ship was beautifully equipped and staffed by very hard working staff. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they never stopped working. The cabin was a delight and the balcony, a great sanctuary. The food throughout was delicious. The excursions were excellent particularly the concert in Bratislava which was a brilliant experience. The variety of excursions on each day meant there was something for everyone. The Cruise Director Hunar was tireless with a wonderful sense of humour. The crew were a credit to the ship. The Pianist Martin was excellent. The Butler service was superb and always given with a smile. We suggest that making them partners/ shareholders in the business would reward their efforts. The Captain can be rightly proud of his crew. We look forward to our next cruise with Scenic. Trish and Terry Turner Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. ... Read More
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. Next stop was Veere, and we were quite impressed with the excursion to the Delta Works. We were treated to a "Dixie-land Band" after our Delta Works tour. In Arnhem, we found the Open Air Museum informative. In Maastricht we did a walking tour, then cruised the Maas River in the afternoon. When docked in Emmerich, the excursion to the Roman ruins of Xanten was awe-inspiring. Our next port was Koblenz, where we did a city tour. Then we headed down the Moselle River and delighted in the steep hills covered with vineyards and small towns along the way. First port on that river was Cochem, where we visited the fully-furnished Reichsburg Castle. We next briefly stopped at Traben-Trarbach to let the Electric-Bikers off the ship, as they were biking 15 miles to meet the ship in Bernkastel. While docked in Bernkastel, we took the excursion to Trier for an impressive city tour. We then headed back to the Rhine as quickly as possible as water levels were dropping. The ship diverted to Andernach until water levels rose enough we could enter the Rhine Gorge. The Rhine Gorge was dotted with hillside castles, impressive cathedrals, and riverfront towns. Gorgeous! Due to the delay from the low water, we had to skip our scheduled stop in Rudesheim. In Mannheim, we toured Heidelberg castle and the old town. The ship then docked in Rastatt, where guests toured Rastatt Palace and were entertained by a classical music concert. We docked next in Kehl, and took a city tour of Strasbourg and spent time in Le Petite France area. Next was Breisach, where we took coaches to the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it was windy that day, so we were unable to take the cable car gondolas to the top of the mountains. During our hike in the hills, we toured a farmhouse museum and sampled Black Forest cake. We disembarked in Basel. In addition to daytime excursions, we had 5 evenings where local musical entertainers came onboard. Overall, the excursion guides were top-notch, and Scenic arranged so only about 25 people were with each guide. We wore "Tailormade" devices, which were headsets to hear the guides. But these devices also serve as GPS locators, if you want to self-tour with the city maps they provided for each location. The food on the Jewel was excellent, with a wide variety of choices at each meal. All types of alcohol are included in Scenic's price, and with the well-stocked bar, drinks flowed generously. Regional red and while wines were offered at each meal. Service was prompt. The staff was always pleasant and welcoming. The electric-assist bikes make treks along the shore enjoyable. Also, while cruising, the "Tailormade" device clicks on to describe points of interest along the shore. Scenic also provided complimentary maps and a tour book of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. The map showed landmarks and bridges, so it was easy to follow the ship's progress. The tour book detailed pertinent information about towns along the river. We had a butler to attend to our every need. Room service was complimentary. We were on the Sapphire deck, so included was one small bag of laundry per cabin. Those on the Diamond deck also had complimentary pressing services. We felt Scenic filled this 14 day trip with a satisfying blend of sightseeing and entertainment. There were 169 passengers onboard (majority being Australian & Canadian), and demographic was 60+. We met many lovely, outgoing, well-traveled people. Overall, Scenic really looked after their guests. I would not hesitate to cruise with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle ... Read More
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle where we hoped to arrived in a relaxed manner - and we certainly did. It was a wonderful way to begin a journey. Everything on the Scenic Jewel was way beyond expectations from the welcome on board, luggage handling, cabin service, tours, entertainment, food and drink, cleanliness and departure. ALL staff without exception were efficient, helpful, thoughtful, courteous and very good humoured. We met some delightful people with whom we had many laughs and many drinks and many wonderful meals. The land excursions were excellent though the listening devices could be improved. The ear pieces tended to fall out of your ear and the sound was often faint and/or broke up. It is difficult to say what the most memorable part of the trip was - it was all so different and interesting. Going through the locks was amazing; the scenery was charming in fact in many ways it often felt as though one were moving gently through a postcard. It was always delightful to go on shore and walk around such interesting and charming places which prior to the trip were essentially names in atlases or novels. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel ... Read More
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel Captain and Crew. While other river boats were unable to sail their itinerary because of low water levels in the Rhine, we did not miss one of our ports of call. The food, wine, entertainment, tours were all exceptional. I would highly recommend the Scenic family of cruises, and we will definitely call upon Scenic for our next cruise. The tours were exceptional with clean coaches, the scenery was beautiful, the transfers to and from the airport were seamless. Everything ran so smoothly. We enjoyed the bicycle tours, although found that there wasn't enough bikes on board for all the passengers that wanted to participate. This would be their only downfall. I would suggest signing up for the bike tours early to avoid disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were ... Read More
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were given the Royal treatment. The excursions are of top quality, from glass boat tours through the canals of Amsterdam to Castles, cathedrals and even a Baroque Concert. The food was excellent!! They do not skimp on anything, the wine and drinks are all of excellent quality and the selection of meals, cheese and desserts were fantastic! We were lucky enough to enjoy an 8 course meal with wine parings for each course! A true 6 star event!! The staff (on the Jewel) is the best we have ever experienced on any of our travels. They were fun, courteous, professional and never left you wanting for a thing! Special mention of Goran (butler), Sandy,(bartender) Nickola (cruise director) for making our holiday even better than we could have expected! The beds were so comfortable, the rooms were kept incredibly clean, with room care and full bar service twice a day! If you want a holiday that you don't need to worry about a thing and want to be treated like kings and queens, then Scenic is the only way to go! You won't regret it. Now to decide where our next Scenic River cruise will take us! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because I was intrigued by the idea of a cruise that really was all-inclusive - all excursions, drinks, entertainment, tipping were included, and nothing was to be paid while on board. And that's exactly how it ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was intrigued by the idea of a cruise that really was all-inclusive - all excursions, drinks, entertainment, tipping were included, and nothing was to be paid while on board. And that's exactly how it was! I was picked up at the airport and driven to my hotel, then the next day taken from the hotel to the boat (there were lock delays, so our embarkation location was changed from Basel, Switzerland to Breisach, Germany). Disembarkation was also very smooth - a number of us were taken by bus to the airport in Amsterdam with plenty of time - which we needed, due to rush-hour traffic, and a rather crowded airport. Entertainment on the ship was great - approximately every other night entertainers were brought on the ship. This ranged from cowbell music, to a classical trio, to electric violin (my favourite!), to a klezmer band, and local styles of music. Once we also were taken to Schloss Rastatt for a concert - beautiful location for beautiful music! At the Delta Works in the Netherlands, we also had a Dixieland concert band to listen to. The local guides were always very interesting and informative to listen to, as they took you around their towns. But you didn't have to go on these tours - there were enough people who generally just went their own way, or even stayed on the boat if they wanted. The meals were always delicious - breakfast and lunch were both buffets, with breakfast being the same every day, and lunch having different options (two different soups each day, four different kinds of salads each day, plus local specialities to try out, and different dessert and ice cream every day!). Dinner was formal, with 4 courses each night - appetizer, soup, entrée, and dessert. Portions were tiny, but incredible tasting. Wine and cocktails flowed freely, so much so that my liver had to work overtime in comparison to usual. I had an incredible experience, and would easily choose to go again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which ... Read More
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which gave us the opportunity to see some of the countryside including a windmill. Beautiful ship, very modern suites. The most comfie bed and pillows I've ever had, except at home! Being able to open the balcony window was a great perk to enjoy some fresh air. More than enough space for 2 people and their suitcases. The process to board and disembark was so well organized and fast, no endless waiting in line. The food was great, nice variety. Drinks were awesome, especially the local beers and wine. Very attentive staff. They seemed like they were actually enjoying the trip. Excursions were also well organized and well chosen, very interesting choices, it made it difficult to decide which to take. I only wish we had more time at each stop but then it wouldn't have been an eight day cruise! The special concert at Ratstatt Palace was absolutely amazing. If I do another river cruise I would definitely choose Scenic again. 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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