Scenic Jewel Cruise Review by D-A-P
- Sail Date: June 2017
- Destination: Europe River
-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.
-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.
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