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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ... Read More
This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ingredients and wines was well placed. At each daily brief the chef and tour director highlighted that night’s recommended local dish and wines. As always with Scenic there was lots of choice on the menu, but the local dishes were our favourites. We had a little trouble with high water given the heavy rains before we arrived and were required by the Portuguese authorities to dock at unplanned locations. But Scenic did a great job of keeping us informed, arranging for day trips when we were docked unexpectedly, and making sure everyone got to the airport to get on to their next destination. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who likes history, food and wine. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly ... Read More
This was a lovely cruise on a smallish classy boat, with a hugely attentive and friendly local crew, Food and cabin were good, but most important of all the ambiance and feeling on the trip was wonderful with the Douro being a truly unspoilt and magnificent destination. The excursions were well organised with entertaining and knowledgeable guides. It of course helped that the weather (October) was neither too hot nor too cold. In summary we would highly recommend - it wasn't cheap but the inclusive nature, alcohol and tours, made it better value for money than it seemed on the ticket price. The flights were via Portuguese airlines, which were both surprisingly pleasant and punctual. The transfers were fine, albeit the traffic from Porto airport to the ship was awful. Overall highly recommended on this our second scenic tour - they have developed a way of employing good staff who seem genuinely to enjoy helping all their passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. ... Read More
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. That being said, the hotel was lovely and our waitress in the hotel lobby knew her wines, and was generous in her information about Portuguese wines. Embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin was on Sapphire deck and was quite comfortable to our needs. Very comfortable bed. Housekeeping always kept the room immaculate and refreshed our little bar daily and gave us extra water. Loved the balcony which I could open and close at leisure. We ate mostly in the Crystal dining room, but often ate a lighter lunch in the sun lounge. We ate once in the Portobellos, the specialty restaurant. Food was delicious on all counts. Our entertainment and activities were light but highly interesting. Tours also were interesting, and there were always washrooms available. I am going to try to make the candied almonds that one person demonstrated on one tour. We especially liked the Fado music both on and off board, the cork demonstration, shopping with Chef and his demonstration, and tours to the wineries and villages. Service was always with a smile and we loved the staff, their hard work and humor. After disembarking at Porto, we flew on to Madrid. The only negative thing I have to say is about Portuguese airlines. Small and not on time. We loved Madrid. Our tour guide was knowledgable, warm and welcoming. She was always more than available and helpful. The streets are pedestrian friendly. We would definitely go there again. And our city tour guide who was also our guide at the Prado Art Gallery was exceptionally knowledgable. In conclusion, we loved Scenic. I love the all inclusive, I loved the wonderful variety of shipmates. I loved that the ship was Portuguese built, and the crew was Portuguese. But never fear - their English is impeccable. We would travel with Scenic again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The Scenic Azure is a lovely brand new ship, contemporary design with spacious cabins, very comfortable. All the staff are Portuguese, many from Porto where we set sail. The service is very professional but friendly and relaxed. 96 guests and 39 crew. Guests were mainly from Australia and UK with about a dozen Canadians and half as many Americans, mostly couples and mostly active seniors from ages early 60’s on up. There were interesting excursions, many of which required some level of fitness due to the steep hills and cobblestones .... Guests who were not as able could be accommodated by bus tours. Buses were new and very comfortable. The tour guides use communication systems which guests wear so that when they dial in they can hear the commentary without the guides’ having to yell. We sailed during the day so were able to appreciate the scenery --- we docked at interesting places and there are stretches of the river that are not heavily populated. The Duoro is becoming popular but so far not over-run --- we were only rafted a few times and the other ships tended to leave early in the morning in many cases, allowing us to have our coffee on the balcony. There were no noticeable exhaust fumes from the engines. The crew were friendly and professional, and not obtrusive. They all spoke fluent or almost fluent English. We were disappointed with the food. Meals were beautifully presented and professionally served with plenty of choices, but rather bland for the most part, lacking acid balance and seasoning. We were hoping for some more strongly flavored Portuguese specialties. This certainly did not spoil our experience and we recognize that chefs must accommodate many tastes – but other guests stated the same concern, one offering the opinion that the food lacked "zest". This is an all-inclusive cruise, with no added charges and no tipping. We recommend this luxury cruise. Read Less
Scenic Azure Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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