Scenic Amber Cruise Review by Highfler
We planned this trip as a Wedding Anniversary and chose Scenic after going to an information session. We were originally supposed to be on the Pearl but changed to Amber a few days before departure. We spent 2 extra days in Budapest, were met at the airport and transported to the Marriott very efficiently. We enjoyed the 'Hop on, hop off' bus to explore this beautiful city. We arrived on the Amber and were warmly greeted by the staff. Our time on the Amber was 5 star + +. Rooms, staff, food, and entertainment were exceptional. Thank you Giovanni, (our butler who I nicknamed 'the flash'), and all the Amber staff. They really made us feel like we were home. Then we had to change to the Jade. Yikes, the staff were Ok, but not nearly as friendly, with the exception of the bar staff, who were cold, verging on rude. I get it, you work really hard on a ship swap day, but don't take it out on the guests. The beds were hard, and I had a sore back for 2 days. I find it difficult to understand why such a reputable company would allow such different standards in customer service between ships. Thankfully we switched to the Ruby for our final days, and we were back to almost 5 star. Beds were more comfortable and staff was, although not quite up to 'Amber' caliber, very good. Entertainment on all 3 ships was excellent, and we enjoyed many nights in party mode after dinner, with all the great guests we met on board. Tours and guides (Eva and Jacop stand out to me), were amazing, in particular, the concert in Vienna, the Sound of Music dinner and the Medieval dinner theater. While I understand the need to swap ship when the river is low, this is not something new, and the process seemed needlessly cumbersome, for example our luggage truck got 'lost' on one swap, really? It seems like the river might be overcrowded and dock space, (and perhaps luggage trucks?), are hard to come by. We went by bus to the Medieval dinner and back, but passed other cruise line ships going up river, and some docked where we were going. Scenic is providing a small refund for the inconvenience which we appreciate. All in all, we loved it and would do it again if we could do it all on the Amber!
Highfler’s Full Rating Summary
Cabins on all 3 boat were fine, but please get new beds on the Jade!
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