Scenic Jade Entertainment & Activities
As is typical with river cruises, entertainment onboard is limited, with few "extras" like a theater, casino or art auctions. There's a single musician onboard who sings and plays the keyboard and trumpet before and after dinner. Occasionally local groups are brought on to perform regional music, dances or both, and one evening the crew held a variety show. One afternoon, a professor came onboard for a 40-minute presentation on the European Union, and there was also a towel animal-folding demonstration. Scenic Cruises does offer exclusive entertainment during some of its shore excursions. For example, on the Jewels of the Danube itinerary, passengers were bused from Vienna to the glorious Liechtenstein Garden Palace, where they were treated to an hourlong concert featuring an 11-piece contingent of the Vienna Imperial Orchestra, a soprano and a baritone, and two members of the Vienna Ballet Company.
Scenic Cruises also relies on Tailormade, an innovative GPS-initiated touring device. Smaller than a paperback book and equipped with a nicely padded neckstrap and personal earpiece, the Tailormade serves not only as the receiver for the tour guide's on-the-spot comments during walkabouts, but it can also be used if you choose to walk or bike on your own. Each of the 38 tours in the itinerary's 18 cities has its own map, with sights numbered. A GPS locator within the Tailormade triggers the short and entertaining narratives, which are recited in your earpiece as you follow the themed route. Beyond the Tailormade, Scenic has put together 600 more brief commentaries that are triggered as the vessel cruises its route. These descriptions appear as text on the in-cabin TVs; Scenic expects to also present them as audio by the 2015 season. Local tour guides are all English-speaking, and they easily entertain questions. They're careful to repeat time and location to return to the tour buses.