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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation ... Read More
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation went smoothly and swiftly. There were staff to greet us port side before entering the ship. Mandy ,our cruise director was very good and helped us in the off ship experiences. We had a wonderful cabin crew and kept everything clean and refreshed. The Restaurant was always on time with the 3 meals a day served while onboard. One thing that would enhance our stay on board , would be to ask , if there could be an onboard Doctor. Becoming ill on the ship, we asked around the towns for a doctor, but none would take an International visitor. We were very fortunate that Mandy could organise a doctor on such short notice. She took care of everything from Taxi, to the Doctors practice and then Taxi return to the ship. She is a marvel and outstanding, and very much appreciated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The 'personal butler' was hardly seen during the 10 day cruise and the services to be given by that person did not happen. Many people had difficulty with the app for a smart phone that was to be used with one's own personal device when on guuded excursions. It either did not work, or the quality of the sound was poor. There were a very limited supply of devices from Scenic, but one was not available when the app did not work on my phone. It was after 3 requests from 3 different people that the technical problems were largely resolved. The waiting staff were attentive but at times appeared to be more interested in refilling wine glasses than providing other services. As one who does not drink alcoholic beveriges, requests for alternatives at times were not met. As with many enterprises, the plans and intentions were good but some staff did not perform to expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, departure was Sunday and was seamless. The staff went above and beyond to make our trip enjoyable and memorable; to name a few Francoise, Coco, Vita, Danika, Christian, David, Eduardo, Irena and Alexandro! The manager Thomas and Valerie our cruise director were outstanding. Our cabin was room 322. It was a balcony suite and I would highly suggest that. The storage was very cleverly thought out and the bathroom was very ample for a ship this size. Meals were delicious! The ports and shore excursions were first rate as were our tour guides. Our favorite being Monet's Garden and Normandy. The towns we visited (Les Andeleys, Rouen, Honfleur especially) were beautiful and just to walk around was so enjoyable. We stayed at the Westin Hotel before and after our cruise and that too was a great experience. It was in a great location. I cannot give a negative and highly recommend Scenic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru ... Read More
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru to the final disembarkation. The meals were well done with choices at every meal, great service, friendly polite & professional staff. Our cabin was very clean & looked after every day. The tours were as stated, on time, well organized, with very professional & knowledgeable guides. Off ship meals were well done & with no hiccups. The cruise director was on top of everything & kept the passengers updated daily on the next days activities, in addition to printed itineraries delivered each evening with the turn down service. There is entertainment every evening with some being a resident pianist & other nights bringing other groups on board. Scenic seems to aim at the retired market & hits the mark. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our previous experience with Viking was reason enough to go with them again. I had been cautioned by an acquaintance that the food on his Scenic cruise in Bordeaux earlier this year was not very good. I have to agree with that. At best the food was medioce. The best meal was the Rack of Lamb. All other meals were forgetable. On our last evening, we ate at the l’amour restaurant. Our table had the duck confit. The flavour was good, but the meat was extremely dry and tough. Everyone I spoke to (who had the duck) had the same comment. It was a good way to end the cruise. In general, the breakfast and lunch buffets were very good. The food was kept hot, was varied and tasty. In all cases the desserts were excellant. The staff on board were extremely efficient and very friendly. Our cabin was made up promptly. Special kudos to Sophia, Daniel, and the rest of the wait-staff. As well, Benjamin was an excellant cruise director. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak of what they went through. The embarkation went very smooth with well wishes when we came aboard. Offered a complementory cocktail and was directed to the lounge while our room was being prepared for us while we waited. The ship itself is very spacious and having no more than 130 guests, makes the experience that more special. The feeling is very intimate. You get to meet a lot of nice people. Not like on an ocean cruise where the only people you see, on a regular basis, are the ones at your dinner table every night for the ocean ships are so huge. The dining was great. Since this was a river cruise in France, The dining was French cuisine throughout the trip. I really enjoyed the meals and the wine pairing was great. You had a great choice of wines to choose from. Red and white. Whatever you desired. The entertainment was ok. We had a few bands come on board. One band played 60's and 70's music and another band played some ragtime music. We also had a comedienne come on board and we were her first ever audience on the river cruise for she was trying out her material on us to see if she was Scenic material. I thought she was great and I hope she gets the contract with them. The ports and shore excursions were very good. The explanation of the events that happened in each town during the war was very informative and made it even more exciting, for me anyway, to visit the Normady beaches and to pay respect to our fallen at their respective cemetaries ( British, Australian, French, Canadian and U.S.). Would I go again? Yes. I would like to spend more time and explore more of the Normandy beaches and to see the memorial of all 5 landing sites (Juno, Omaha, Sword, Gold & Utah). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to ... Read More
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to track 4G/LTE signals most of the journey. We have been on several river cruises by other lines and this was at the top in dining and service. The cabin was spotless and the cabin bed makeup was more than twice a day and the bathroom seemed to be constantly in order. The breakfast was wonderful; with a very large selection...including both British curly and American crisp style bacon (the only cruise we've been on that offered both). The scrambled eggs were superb and my wife loved the custom omelets. Dinners were more formal, but very good. It was our first cruise that offered frog legs or lobster (although not the Boston variety). Wine and beer were available at no charge throughout the day; both in dining and in the lounge. In general, the excursions were quite good, except for the exceptionally crowded Monet gardens. The radios for the excursions were very big and relatively heavy, with volume that never seemed to be high enough. Sure, the devices had internal maps and pictures, but we didn't find them very useful. Most of the cruises we've been on had lightweight, pocketable excursion radios, with more comfortable earpieces. Other than that nit, we found the ship and the crew among the best river cruises we've been on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much ... Read More
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much time doing nothing… How wrong I was… Scenic Cruises have once again exceeded my expectations, as has the countryside and places we visited throughout Normandy on this very leisurely ‘must do’ river cruise. Full credit to Scenic for making this a 10-day cruise and not a 7 day, as most other river cruise operators do. Those extra few days turn a short getaway into a genuine relaxing holiday, one that will be remembered for many years to come. The itinerary is very well thought out with a mix of culture, cruising, experiences and diversity that I wouldn’t have thought possible in just the one ‘department’ (state, county) of France. Normandy has so much to see and do. From quaint inland villages to coastal seaside towns. Rolling hills to tidal flats and chalk cliffs. There is something for everyone on this cruise. As always Scenic do it in style. That’s why they are the leaders in River Cruising, all others simply copy. It’s the staff that make your holiday a truly great experience, with attentive care, attention to detail and a smile whatever the time, day or night (do they ever sleep I wonder?). I came on with an old pair of shoes and left with what looked like a new pair – a tribute to the butler service. Some travellers are initially put off by the price but believe me it works out better value than many of the competitors when you take into account all the inclusions. You could give the moths in your wallet a well-earned holiday as everything is included, from meals, drinks, tips, to choices of excursions you could easily go the full ten days without opening your wallet nor spend a single Euro. I was particularly impressed with Scenic’s attention to detail. Their ship ‘The Scenic Gem’ is purpose built for this river, made slightly shorter, with less cabins solely so it can dock in Honfleur instead of Le Havre as many of the other companies are forced to do being as their vessels are too long. Honfleur was a highlight of the cruise and being able to moor up in the quaint historic coastal town centre was a plus. (Le Havre is a major industrial port, no comparison!). The evening concert at the Chateau was also a great experience not to be missed, so unique, something not possible anywhere else in the world. This was my forth Scenic River Cruise and it did not disappoint. I came away feeling totally relaxed and satisfied that I had tasted all Normandy had to offer – and done it in style. Note: If you are under 60 years you will enjoy the cruise but do not expect to meet too many new friends of your age group. It primarily attracts an older crowd, perhaps due to the excellent excursions to WW1 & WW2 battle fields (Somme & Normandy Landing) which catered to not only Australians, but Canadian and American history buffs. But don’t despair, as with all Scenic Cruises there is always a choice of day tours so if these did not rock your boat then you could go explore the spectacular Chalk cliff coast line and its delightful seaside towns, or perhaps a Castle or a culinary experience. The onboard meals are of the highest standard, all made from local produce complimented by a range of fine French wines. The fresh seafood from Honfleur was up there in the ‘yum’ stakes, as were the scrumptious desserts. This raises the question: ‘Has any Scenic passenger ever got off the ship lighter than when they boarded?’ I seriously doubt it. If you did you were a temptation diehard freak with the world’s greatest will power to resist the local French delicacies and pastries on offer every day. This cruise comes highly recommended and would be an ideal add on to any European tour, a great way to end any visit to the continent. Don’t forget to book a couple of extra nights at the beginning or end of your cruise so you can do Paris justice, there is so much to experience in this captivating city. Where to go next on Scenic? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we had never heard of Scenic before, we were not sure if we would feel motion sick or if we would like the food or service provided or the cabin size. Well Scenic was "top notch", we would not river ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never heard of Scenic before, we were not sure if we would feel motion sick or if we would like the food or service provided or the cabin size. Well Scenic was "top notch", we would not river cruise with anyone else. They do not nickel and dime you at all, the ship cruising was smooth, the food was out of this world and only the best wines were served with lunch and dinner. The beer was pretty good too. The wait staff were very attentive and the bar staff were great as well, especially when we stayed up until 2:30am drinking fine scotch. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly at the beginning and end of the trip, as well as the daily excursions. The bands that came on board were very entertaining and the on-board musician that played piano during the cruise played requests and made our anniversary special. The are mostly seniors on cruises such as this one and there were no children (yeah!). The excursions on shore at the different cities and towns were very informative and made the cruise even more interesting. Europe is full of history whether it be art or military or music..it was all wonderful....The cabin was just the right size; i.e. Private Balcony Suite [205 sq. feet]. We just had to get used to the raised ledge that we banged into with our feet the first day as we would walk into the washroom...slippers helped...The cabin was serviced twice every day in a professional manner. It was nice up on the sun deck when we cruised to the next destination, it was completely relaxing. The enrichment activity was at a chateau built into a cliff, the music was classical and it was entertaining, the sound carried well within the room in which we sat and listened. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Friends recommended this cruise line. We were not disappointed. Everything was excellent. Their staff were amazing. The food was excellent. The drinks plentiful. We really enjoyed the smaller boat and it was like we were one big ... Read More
Friends recommended this cruise line. We were not disappointed. Everything was excellent. Their staff were amazing. The food was excellent. The drinks plentiful. We really enjoyed the smaller boat and it was like we were one big happy family. Our embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. When returning from an outing, we were always greeted by friendly staff and usually with a 'welcome back' drink.\\ Water was always provided when we were going out on excursions. The nighty entertainment was quite good. The two different groups that were brought in were excellent. It was nice having the cruise director give an overview of the next days activities. The daily program on the TV in your room was also very helpful. I would definitely recomment this cruise line to other people. Everything was included in the price of the cruise - no extra surprises. We even had a 'butler' to assist us in any way. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I have been researching river cruises for a while and Scenic were always high on the list. Essential to us was no children, as that was not the type of holiday required. I had an area in mind that I wanted to visit and found the Scenic ... Read More
I have been researching river cruises for a while and Scenic were always high on the list. Essential to us was no children, as that was not the type of holiday required. I had an area in mind that I wanted to visit and found the Scenic itinerary that covered all these highlights. I did not look any further. The itinerary and reputation of the line were my main consideration. No extras to pay for along the way. The staff are amazing - "you wont hear no on this ship madame" says it all. Food also 5 stars - large variety and top quality. Everything always on time. The airport collection and after cruise transfers are a must. And did I say - the staff are amazing ! I would travel with Senic again without hesitation. Do your research on where you want to visit, and then let Scenic take care of the rest. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food ... Read More
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food excellent ( though im a difficult person to please ..in a plain way) .Off boat excursions varied as we are used to with on & off board entertainment in line with what scenic does. Now: 1. Crew - just a group of can do people from Bagadan our dining room waiter to karlo bar person & Palen our bulter .They couldnt do enough , attended to my many and varied requests coped with my wierd food combos ( toasted ham & cheese with a choco milk shake..on a scenic fine food boat).We had great interaction and even when i wanted to served myself they cut me off .."at the pass" 2.Food- from made to oder breakfasts ..to my specifications to my special H & C lunch of other items from the cafe to fantastic dinners..again mix & matched to my specifications the food offering is always great.Just didnt indulge as much as I have in the past.Came home only 1kg heavier.They also have special regional lunches incorporating local specials each day. 3.Off boat excursions-a real varity which options each day ( though usually similar themes).I came specifically for the Anzac battle fields Villers Bretonneux & the Normandy beaches.VB comprises leg 3 of my Anzac pilgrimage ( Gallipoli & Kokoda PNG being first two)Unfortunately it rained but we did homage to those who went before.Scenic even have a guest poem that is read every cruise . This plus Chateaus , Monets garden a bike ride all completed the offering 4.On/off board entertainment- river ships struggle here and other than a poor WW1 lecture oldie rocker band (on/b) light quizz off/b clasical quartte round out this part which was quite good overall 5.Gym & wellness- the gym is ok for me small 3 machines does the job. What was interesting & different this cruise had a wellness/excercise coach ( doubling up i believe) which we had never experienced before.While only 5 /84 of us took advantage it is an area that scenic should develop . This is not a family crusie ..couples really only just a great 11 days of " wonder" Next......Scenic Eclipse april 2019..stay tuned. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were waiting alloted embarkation time, when we noticed a chap from Scenic on the dock. We enquired about boarding early, and from that time on the crew could not do enough. From taking charge of our luggage to ensuring we were shown to ... Read More
We were waiting alloted embarkation time, when we noticed a chap from Scenic on the dock. We enquired about boarding early, and from that time on the crew could not do enough. From taking charge of our luggage to ensuring we were shown to the check in desk, from there it was pure & simple luxury every day. The cabin, food, wine, tours were all amazing & informative. We would not have seen half the sights on our own. We couldn't fault a thing. All Inclusive means just that, we did not put our hand in our pocket for anything (Spa services excl). The entire crew were amazing, and really made our trip special. We will definitely be recommendig Scenic to our friends and we look forward to our next Scenic adventure. Valerie, the cruise director made everything so easy, with Port Talk each evening, we knew what was planned for the following day. The entire crew work extremely hard, long hours to ensure the passengers have an unforgettable experience. They certainly exceeded our expectations!! Well done. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
As previous Scenic travelers we had no hesitation choosing another Scenic Cruise. Paris was everything we thought it would be. Vibrant, romantic etc. We stayed 1 night prior to embarkation on to the Scenic Gem where we had booked a Scenic ... Read More
As previous Scenic travelers we had no hesitation choosing another Scenic Cruise. Paris was everything we thought it would be. Vibrant, romantic etc. We stayed 1 night prior to embarkation on to the Scenic Gem where we had booked a Scenic Delux Balcony room on level 2. The cabin like the other Scenic ships is spacious & 5 star. All the crew made an effort in introducing themselves & nothing was to much bother. The food & dining facilities are first class. Choices galore with some very special memories ( & additional calories to take home). We chose this particular trip for the excursions & they did not disappoint. We only marked the rating down from 5 to 4 as we did not have any internet in our room for the whole trip (while friends in other cabins did). Scenic tried to fix this but were unable to on our voyage. Also one other comment was that there appears to be a diffenet mini bar selection from level 2 to that of level 3. We asked for scotch in our mini bar which level 3 had, but were informed this was not a selection on level 2. Whilst not a huge issue as we could get one from the lounge bar or order from our butler any time we wanted it would of been nice to make our own in the room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first ever cruise and I so enjoyed it. The ship is amazing and the staff so professional. We only had one little draw-back that held me back from giving it a 5 star rating - dinner. We are simple folks and don’t do the ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and I so enjoyed it. The ship is amazing and the staff so professional. We only had one little draw-back that held me back from giving it a 5 star rating - dinner. We are simple folks and don’t do the starter, soup and entree style of dining and we felt we were almost punished for that. Three nights in a row, while dining with just each other, we were basically ignored by the wait staff. When we dined with others, we were fine. Also, 2 hours for dinner is a little extreme in my mind. The shore excursions were great, but some care should be taken for those who have mobility issues. An example would be Monet’s garden. There were a couple of people with walkers, me being one of them and had I known before hand how tight the pathways were, I would not have gone. I ended up getting through the one garden, found the exit and then just waited for the others to finish. The cruise director, the wait staff, the housekeeping staff - all were amazing. When we requested a change in our mini-bar, it was taken care of same day. The Captain amazed me with the handling of the ship and how tight he got us in port. Other then the two points,- the cruise was amazing and I would highly recommend it to others. Well done Scenic, well done. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
The reason for doing this cruise is that we wanted to explore Australia`s involvement during WW1 and WW2 plus see the French country side from the comfort of a luxury river cruise ship. The ship was generally very comfortable, excellent ... Read More
The reason for doing this cruise is that we wanted to explore Australia`s involvement during WW1 and WW2 plus see the French country side from the comfort of a luxury river cruise ship. The ship was generally very comfortable, excellent staff but failed in the quality of food supplied. The embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly and was well organised. One person in our party is a vegetarian and struggled to find adequate, nutritious vegetarian meals during the cruise. There was only one vegetarian meal listed on the menu each night whereas a non vegetarian had 3 choices on the mains plus the alternative section (which did not contain one vegetarian meal). Where the vegetarian meal was not appealing there was no offer to change or make up an alternate meal. It seemed we had to either like it or lump it. On one occasion the vegetarian received the same meal as the non vegetarian minus the meat. It was a plate with a few boiled vegetables on it and that was it. A very plain, tasteless meal with little thought or imagination. Generally the quality of meals was only average. The bakery was an exception with the breads and rolls being fresh and delicious. Scenic was notified in advance that one of our party was a vegetarian and on previous cruises with this company the chef spoke with the vegetarian and supplied nutritious, tasty meals. This did not occur on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Having never been on a river cruise before, I was not keen but my girlfriend in Australia suggested we meet up in Paris and enjoy the cruise together as a reunion. I was concerned as it was expensive but encouraged by the way it was ... Read More
Having never been on a river cruise before, I was not keen but my girlfriend in Australia suggested we meet up in Paris and enjoy the cruise together as a reunion. I was concerned as it was expensive but encouraged by the way it was organised as all inclusive of trips, meals,drinks and entertainment plus the normal expected service on board. In addition I was given personal transport to the airport from home in an executive car and the use of an airport lounge to relax and have breakfast before the flight to Paris where I was taken to join the ship and meet my friend with her son. Everything worked like clockwork with no worries and friendly service throughout with the meeting on board of the staff and cruise director Valerie. Throughout the cruise all meals were excellent in quality, quantity and service with any drinks included at which ever lounge or restaurant of choice.The bar was virtually always open together with coffee machines and various teas being available always. Each evening we were given the itinerary for the following day and a port talk prior to dinner for information and interesting details. There was always a choice of tours, visits or relaxation together with bicycles avaialable for self or guided tours on land. A small gym on board, health and wellness advisor, hairdresser and shop with a desk where any advice needed was constantly available. All the trips I chose were excellent apart from one unfortunate one when the coach driver left a group of us at the wrong train station and there was incorrect information about our rendezvous time and place.. I had made alternative arrangements at the tourist office to get back to the ship by public transport on Sunday 22 July from Entretat but the guide suddenly found me twenty five minutes later waiting at the bus stop having realised that there was one passenger missing for the homeward journey Valerie was apologetic when I boarded but I was most disappointed by the experience which was not my fault in any way. However everything else was highly commendable and I would not hesitate to recommend the company or even go on another cruise again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and my 56th birthday and so chose to splurge on a river cruise to one of the most iconic cities of love. We'd had a negative experience on our first and last ocean cruise (a ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and my 56th birthday and so chose to splurge on a river cruise to one of the most iconic cities of love. We'd had a negative experience on our first and last ocean cruise (a freestyle format); while the itinerary attracted us - embarkation in Venice visit along the Mediterranean to Istanbul, then disembarkation in Barcelona - the major detractions were that alcohol was an additional cost and when we did bring on board our bottles from the various ports of call, they were confiscated from us and held until the final destination upon which we could collect our purchases. The only alternative was to pay a corkage fee of $15 US, which often exceeded the cost of the bottles we'd purchased. Additionally, the ship was so large that we could never meet or sit with the same guests. The options for dining didn't encourage intimate conversations. We were so discouraged by these restrictions as well as the food wastage as displayed by the other passengers, we swore off cruises of all types. (This decision held true for five years.) Our friends had taken a river cruise on a tourist class/standard line from Amsterdam to Budapest and raved about the demonstrably lower passenger capacity as well as the alcohol-included aspect of the cruise. We, therefore, decided to take the leap of faith and chose to take a Paris/Seine cruise as neither of us had ever visited Paris, and were intrigued by the itinerary of visiting historic sites on the Seine. Our initial interaction with the administrative offices in Vancouver did not bode well for the trip. When we initially booked our cruise, we were residing in Kelowna, and, therefore, were booked to depart YLW. However, life intervenes and a career opportunity presented in Alberta, necessitating a flight change in departure from YLW to YYC. We were obliged to pay a $700 change fee, and the final cruise information package was couriered to our former Kelowna address. When my husband called to inquire why the package wasn't forwarded to our Airdrie address. He was advised that we had neglected to advise the travel department to which he replied we had done so by paying a $700 change fee in order to depart from the closest airport to our new residence. Upon this disclosure, he reminded the agent we had done so by paying the change fee and updating our address concurrently. He was then advised that we had needed to advise reservations, as this information was not automatically updated enterprise wide!! Fortunately for us, the new owners of our previous residence took it upon themselves to re-direct the info package to our new residence at their own cost!! Consequently, our dismay in selecting Scenic was quite palpable. However, once we embarked on the Scenic Gem, all our trepidations were eliminated. It started first when I contacted the Vancouver office to inquire if we could store our baggage before the official embarkation time. Our VRBO required checkout was noon, but the boat didn't officially invited guests to embark until 14:00h. When I learned that we could drop our luggage off as early as noon, I was immensely relieved. When we arrived at the Port of Lower Javel, not only did a crew member take our luggage onto the boat for us, we were invited by Tony, the Cruise Director, to stay for a light lunch which was being served in the lounge. This invitation was unexpected and absolutely appreciated. The commencement of our exceptional cruise experience was already underway, unbeknownst to us. We could not have enjoyed a more stellar experience thanks to the following personnel: Chief Officer of the ship, Captain Bruno, First Officer Patrick, Hotel Manager, Thomas, Assistant Hotel Manager, Vlad, Purser Francina, Concierge Martina, Restaurant Manager, Doru (who went out of his way to ensure the serving staff were aware of my crustacean allergy, and never failed to recommend the tastiest "plat du jour"), our personal butler Francis (whom we met on our last day before disembarkation running an errand for one of our fellow passengers on his free time), our cabin attendant Sofia , cabin attendant Irrina (always greeting me with by the title, "Madame"), Chef Albert, Executive Chef Christophe (from Scenic HQ), Sous Chef Nuno (who made my oatmeal personally adding an egg swirl, like my Mom used to do, and garnishing differently every day with different fruit), Bartender Noemi (mixmaster supreme) Line Cooks extraordinaires Sergio and Coco, Costica and Illya (personal butlers, who also doubled master servers), Eugen (expert server), Bogdan (always a twinkle in his eye), Daniel (unflaggingly dedicated), Savka, Agnieska (both incredibly patient and hard-working), Mihai, (also dedicated and selfless in his serving), and finally Filip. This was his first tour of duty, I believe, in the serving brigade. I noticed Filip looked somewhat wan, and inquired if he was well. He indicated that he hadn't slept much the first night we sailed, and I got the impression he was quite concerned about his performance. Each successive time I saw Filip, he was more confident, and one could see clearly that he was doing his utmost to ensure our dining comfort. By the end of week one, Filip was inquiring how I was feeling as I had trouble sleeping and was fighting a cold. My only critical observation is that I would have appreciated yoga classes offered also in the late afternoons instead only daily at 7:00 a.m.. I'm not an early riser, and would have appreciated a class in lieu of a cocktail hour. As for the excursions, my lament is that we weren't always permitted the opportunity to spend more time at sights. If we were given the option of a drop off and pick up (not having to return to the ship for lunch), we would have gladly accepted a pret a porter lunch in order to exploit our time during the excursion provided. The jazz/Dixieland quartet were excellent; regrettably their contracted performance was too short. We learned post-concert that the castle in which a classical quartet performed also allowed us to explore the wine cellar. We weren't advised of this option nor were we made aware this was available and would have preferred a curtailed beverage service in the inner courtyard in favour of exploring the castle's surroundings. Our first experience on a river cruise with Scenic will not be our last as was the case with our first ocean cruise. I can only encourage any of you wondering if investing in a Scenic cruise is worthwhile. My response is that we've already started saving for our next Scenic adventure. The difficulty will be in the decision of whether it's to be Bordeaux or to the south of France. For us, the nautical crew, the hospitality personnel, and the staff of the Scenic Gem validated our initial decision to pursue a higher calibre of travel. We were not disappointed; they validated our decision. We offer the crew all a heartfelt, "merci beaucoup". Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 4th river cruise with Scenic which we tried after having done a dozen ocean cruises with various cruise lines but mostly holland America. Previous cruises with Scenic were outstanding and we (1) wanted to see this part of ... Read More
This was our 4th river cruise with Scenic which we tried after having done a dozen ocean cruises with various cruise lines but mostly holland America. Previous cruises with Scenic were outstanding and we (1) wanted to see this part of France, and (2) were confident that Scenic would deliver a memorable experience. The meals in the Crystal Dining Room were excellent. Very high end with portions that were just the right size. Food did not go to waste with leftovers, due large portions, thrown away. The chef did a great job on a daily basis of restocking with local lproduce that made each meal memorable. The included excursions were well done. The guides were fluent both in their language and their assigned area of guiding. It was very informative. Perhaps the best tour was the walking tour of Paris. We had previously been to Paris and had taken the hop on - hop off bus tours and thought we knew our away around the highlights. The walking tour took us just a couple of blocks inward from the main roads and exposed a whole better understanding of the offerings and what else was there just off the beaten track. The liquor selection was high end and unlimited. As was the daily wines being offered. And they too came until one quit taking them. And the good news is that no one on the cruise over-imbibed. Everyone indulged responsibly. The only negative, and it is a very minor one, is the location of the smoking area. It is right at the top of the stairs leading to the upper deck. Non-smokers have to navigate their way through the few smokers and their cloud in order to get to the top deck. Do not let this comment sway you from taking a Scenic cruise - it's just a minor annoyance and life is full of minor annoyances. Lengthwise, the cruise is relatively short. But experience wise it is just as enriching as previous cruises with Scenic. For a retired military person, particularly meaningfull was the day long tour of the Somme battlefield and the day long tour of the D-Day landing sites with emphasis on Omaha Beach. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. The previous one a few years ago was good although, to no avail, we objected to the requirement that we had to add on a three day tour at either end of the cruise in order to book and obtain a premium ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. The previous one a few years ago was good although, to no avail, we objected to the requirement that we had to add on a three day tour at either end of the cruise in order to book and obtain a premium cabin on board. Overtones.. My view of Scenic after this cruise on the Gem and after paying nearly $2000 a day is that it is no longer value for money. The ship is spotless, and the crew excellent plus - particularly the bar staff, the Cruise Director and the Bureau and our Butler. Any cock ups were administrative not the fault of the staff. Many of the tour visits were outstanding (a few duds), but the food is indifferent. We had a few examples of awfulness, and a few of credit, but in general, indifferent. I was not Robinson Crusoe in this view. Inexcusable. The cabins are small, the size of the lounge inadequate at choke points, and the long running issue of rafting alongside other craft a pain in the butt. Your view and privacy are gone and getting back on board across two other vessels (Vernon) whose passengers all descend on the one gangway at the same time, is a hard slog. Boot camp. Scenic's collection and delivery services are good but the company remains difficult to deal with. I have heard agent's quoted as saying this. Our Paris hotel, the Weston, was fabulously situated - better than the Scribe. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This cruise line was recommended by our travel agent and it was everything she said it would be and more. Wonderful, attentive and professional staff. Great shore excursions with knowledgeable and friendly guides, superb entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise line was recommended by our travel agent and it was everything she said it would be and more. Wonderful, attentive and professional staff. Great shore excursions with knowledgeable and friendly guides, superb entertainment, fabulous food and great attention to detail. We will certainly travel with Scenic again and will highly recommend travel with Scenic to our friends. The Cruise Director and the Hotel Manager were so helpful in solving any problem that occurred at any time. The rooms were comfortable and again very efficiently designed. The balcony was wonderful except when in port and anchored next to another ship. But I recognize that this could not be helped. This was our first riverboat cruise and it won’t be our last. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and again everyone was so helpful. Our departure and arrival city offered so much to see and experience. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the whole experience was. Thank you Scenic. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Ship was beautiful, cabins were huge very spacious the bathroom was a very generous size with a amazing shower. The dining on board is the best dinning experience i have ever had the waiting staff very polite and knowledgeable ... Read More
Ship was beautiful, cabins were huge very spacious the bathroom was a very generous size with a amazing shower. The dining on board is the best dinning experience i have ever had the waiting staff very polite and knowledgeable regarding wines and dishes being served. The port of call were fantastic great choice with very knowledgeable guides who were happy to answer any questions along the way. Seeing the Eiffel Tower illuminated and sparkling was a great start to our cruise. Service we received from every single staff,crew member was brilliant. The whole experience from start to finish was seamless Entertainment was very low key which was fine, nice music playing in the background each evening. I would 110% recommend a Scenic Cruise to friend and family i can guarantee you will be blown away. Looking forward to planning another one and i know Scenic will be my first choice every time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our third river cruise in Europe - all with Scenic. There is nothing that Scenic does not think of to make your luxury cruise all that you want it to be. The Scenic Gem is a beautiful ship and the crew make everyone feel so ... Read More
This was our third river cruise in Europe - all with Scenic. There is nothing that Scenic does not think of to make your luxury cruise all that you want it to be. The Scenic Gem is a beautiful ship and the crew make everyone feel so welcome and special. As always the food choices and service are excellent. The itinerary and pace was just right. The "invited" dinners are truly special. We had a wonderful mix of Aussies, Canadians, Americans, New Zealanders and Brits. The cruise director, Benjamin is a natural in the role and kept us entertained and on time for all itinerary jaunts. I always say that the crew is what makes Scenic so special. Scenic really means it when they say ALL INCLUSIVE. Scenic uses very knowledgeable local guides who make the excursions educational, entertaining. The trip to the Normandy D Day landing beaches was emotional for many of the passengers. Transfers to and from the ship are seamless. The young man who picked us up at Charles De Gaulle had to wait two hours for us to clear customs - yet there he was waiting patiently. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
First time on a cruise and did not want to be on a huge ship among thousands of people, so this filled the bill extremely well. having a night in Paris before the sail date was a good idea a this lessened the effects of the long flights ... Read More
First time on a cruise and did not want to be on a huge ship among thousands of people, so this filled the bill extremely well. having a night in Paris before the sail date was a good idea a this lessened the effects of the long flights from Australia. it was a bit tricky locating the actual ship and took us a few stops with a local driver having to consult maps et al to find the right pier. Once on board, all went well and continued smoothly for the entire trip. Cabin was well appointed and the addition of a small open balcony was a bonus for just spending time watching the river go by. Dining was well organised if a little regimented as one needed to be mindful of times and locations of meals to avoid being late or in the wrong area. Service was generally very good although my order was overlooked a couple of times by one of the waiters. Activities were diverse and appropriate for the towns included in the trip as key points of interest were included and the tour guides were overall excellent and informative. The sole pianist, while very good became a little less interesting without a break for a different form of entertainment. Cruise director did a wonderful job overall, but I found some of the jokes a bit tired and the activities, games etc to involve travellers were not really my cup of tea, though I know others were happy with what was on offer. All in all I had a great time and would certainly recommend Scenic especially for anyone new to cruising. Read Less
Scenic Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 0.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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