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This was our first river cruise after a number of ocean cruises (mainly with Seabourn) and we were hugely disappointed. Notwithstanding the outstanding quality of the service from every single member of staff (with just one exception), the ship is very cramped. The cabin (it is entirely misleading to call it a suite) is very small, and while the design makes the best use of the space, and the walk-in-shower is excellent, it is very difficult to move around the cabin without bumping into each other and even the bed was uncomfortable with mattresses that sloped away from the centre. There is just one lounge and when everyone was on board this became very crowded - on the penultimate day the weather was good enough to sit on the sun deck which relieved the congestion. What really shocked us, however, was the food - with the honourable exception of breakfast, the quality was really poor - sometimes almost inedible. We discussed it with the chef who explained that with the very small kitchen it really is difficult to do better - given that we paid slightly more for this 7 day cruise than we did for our most recent 7 day Seabourn cruise, the woeful quality of the food makes it hugely over-priced. As far as the cruise itself was concerned, the Danube is now really crowded, with the result that we often had to queue for the (very many) locks that you encounter between Nuremberg and Budapest. Talking to other passengers who had done this same trip 4 years earlier, the congestion has clearly grown exponentially over that time - indeed if it continues like this it is difficult to see how the river will cope. All this was made much worse for us because our cabin was at the very back of the ship right over the engines, and this meant that during every visit to a lock at night (and this happened almost every night) the noise was such that we were woken every time. The trips we took were well-organised with some excellent guides although we opted out of both trips on one day (where each trip involved coach journeys of over 4 hours) and we spent a very pleasant day on the ship with just 20 other passengers, sailing through some particularly attractive parts of the river. Scenic makes much of its enrichment activities which on this occasion took the form of a concert of Mozart and Strauss in an elegant Viennese setting. For anyone who knows anything at all about classical music, the snippets of music that were presented were more frustrating than anything else, made worse by a very strange acoustic, which may have been exaggerated by some form of electronic amplification, even though no microphones were visible. In conclusion, this cruise represents extremely poor value for money. The outstanding staff did everything they could to mitigate this, but the fundamental shortcomings in the design of this very modern ship (too many too small cabins, too little space to cook decent meals, too few public areas) undermined their very best efforts.

Very disappointing

Scenic Amber Cruise Review by Nicholasreeves

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Europe
This was our first river cruise after a number of ocean cruises (mainly with Seabourn) and we were hugely disappointed. Notwithstanding the outstanding quality of the service from every single member of staff (with just one exception), the ship is very cramped. The cabin (it is entirely misleading to call it a suite) is very small, and while the design makes the best use of the space, and the walk-in-shower is excellent, it is very difficult to move around the cabin without bumping into each other and even the bed was uncomfortable with mattresses that sloped away from the centre. There is just one lounge and when everyone was on board this became very crowded - on the penultimate day the weather was good enough to sit on the sun deck which relieved the congestion. What really shocked us, however, was the food - with the honourable exception of breakfast, the quality was really poor - sometimes almost inedible. We discussed it with the chef who explained that with the very small kitchen it really is difficult to do better - given that we paid slightly more for this 7 day cruise than we did for our most recent 7 day Seabourn cruise, the woeful quality of the food makes it hugely over-priced.

As far as the cruise itself was concerned, the Danube is now really crowded, with the result that we often had to queue for the (very many) locks that you encounter between Nuremberg and Budapest. Talking to other passengers who had done this same trip 4 years earlier, the congestion has clearly grown exponentially over that time - indeed if it continues like this it is difficult to see how the river will cope. All this was made much worse for us because our cabin was at the very back of the ship right over the engines, and this meant that during every visit to a lock at night (and this happened almost every night) the noise was such that we were woken every time.

The trips we took were well-organised with some excellent guides although we opted out of both trips on one day (where each trip involved coach journeys of over 4 hours) and we spent a very pleasant day on the ship with just 20 other passengers, sailing through some particularly attractive parts of the river. Scenic makes much of its enrichment activities which on this occasion took the form of a concert of Mozart and Strauss in an elegant Viennese setting. For anyone who knows anything at all about classical music, the snippets of music that were presented were more frustrating than anything else, made worse by a very strange acoustic, which may have been exaggerated by some form of electronic amplification, even though no microphones were visible.

In conclusion, this cruise represents extremely poor value for money. The outstanding staff did everything they could to mitigate this, but the fundamental shortcomings in the design of this very modern ship (too many too small cabins, too little space to cook decent meals, too few public areas) undermined their very best efforts.
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