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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We liked that the cruise was all inclusive - no extra charges for excursions, tips, drinks. There was an ample number of choices for the excursions, or you could stay on the ship, or take an e-bike out and tour the town at your leisure. ... Read More
We liked that the cruise was all inclusive - no extra charges for excursions, tips, drinks. There was an ample number of choices for the excursions, or you could stay on the ship, or take an e-bike out and tour the town at your leisure. They'd even pack a lunch for you if you were going to be gone through the lunch hour. The service on board was excellent, the staff friendly and well informed about all aspects of the trip. The cabin was very well maintained, exceptionally clean as were all the public areas. The food was out of this world, and the presentation was creative. The portions were appropriate. Scenic had explored various entertainment options, offering us everything from an exquisite concert in a formal atmosphere to an Oktoberfest party, as well as some performers and speakers brought on board to entertain, amuse and educate us. It was all great. At the end of the tour, we had no outstanding expenses with the tour company. Our only out-of -pocket costs were for souvenirs for those we left behind at home. Embarkation and disembarkation went without a hiccup. Their systems have been well tested by time and experience. Things could not have gone more smoothly. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Enticed by the images of castles, green pastures, churches and villages of Europe, it was time to book a comfortable more leisurely exploration of this part of the world. Scenic's blitz of advertising in print and TV was timely, the ... Read More
Enticed by the images of castles, green pastures, churches and villages of Europe, it was time to book a comfortable more leisurely exploration of this part of the world. Scenic's blitz of advertising in print and TV was timely, the information day at Sofitel, Melbourne helped consolidate my decision being an Australian organisation. Budapest to Amsterdam - Jewels of Europe River Cruise Not having to embark till mid afternoon meant there was enough time to explore Budapest for a few hours. We were offered afternoon tea and cakes at Budapest Marriott with the opportunity to meet fellow travellers. On boarding Scenic Jewel we were greeted by crew and Captain with flowers, drinks and a refreshing face towel, much appreciated as it's summer. By the time we found our 'home' for the next fortnight, our luggage was awaiting to be unpacked!! Not being an ocean liner I prefer the cosier feel of a smaller vessel, yet large enough for smooth and stable travel. Our cabin was compact, with more than adequate storage, mini bar (fully stocked) and security safe. Ensuite was well stocked with French toiletries and diligently restocked daily and cleaned/tidied twice/day. Buffet breakfast (with option for continental breakfast for early risers) and lunch with dinner being a la carte there's an Italian Dining Option as well in the Reserved Restaurant area. It was near impossible to not overeat and portioned sized evening meals was most welcomed. Given the vessel has a small kitchen it was amazing the range and variation of mainly European delectables that were consistently created, the meals would arrive hot and freshly cooked. The fresh fruit sorbets were out of this world!! Difficult diners (with multiple allergies) were not a problem and nothing was an issue. As it was an open bar offering; including cocktails and wines from local regions were the norm. Being an almost non drinker - an odd sip is all I can tolerate - I enjoyed the occasional mocktail. It is my understanding many other shipping companies offer only beers and wines!! (shared by fellow travellers). Entertainment at the end of each evening was well sourced, varied and interesting - allowed us a further appreciation of the region's culture. Because we had to traverse through 69 locks with each one taking on average 30 mins the sundeck was invariable quarantined from being used as deck equipment and canopies had to be constantly flattened then re-erected - this meant less space for those of us trying to burn off the calories - thank goodness for the small gym, but there's nothing like fresh air, majestic views and vit D. Take drip dry clothing - a complimentary 1kg laundry/cabin was most appreciated otherwise laundry service can add up. It is obvious the crew enjoy working on smaller vessels and with Scenic, as many have worked on ocean liners (small cities) previously. As each day passed we were like one big extended family of 140+ plus crew. Small surprises like venturing back to our cabins to find a different towel sculpture awaiting our return........this is not a dream!! Service overall was consistent, professional, obliging and "can do attitude" is commendable. Understandably some ports were not worth viewing as nothing was opened (on weekends), whereas other ports needed further exploration but there was not enough time although too small to make another trip to see these little gems. Not sure what's the best solution as I understand we have a schedule to keep to arrive at our final destination. Some places warranted at least 1 - 2 nights like Vienna, that is why these cruises are viewed as teasers or samplers of a region for further exploration without constant packing and unpacking one's luggage. The Shore excursions were well planned with supporting transport for those unable to walk steep inclines, though would have appreciated viewing some artisans, craftworks (like in Amsterdam), cottage industry rather than just more eating and drinking (a thought), although half a day excursions restricts how much one can achieve. Very impressed with Scenic buses along the way. Overall, really had a memorable magical 15 days with Scenic, enjoyed travelling with largely Australian travellers, felt very at home, so glad gratuities were included and it was up to us if we wanted to reward individually. Will share this experience with my travel agent, will continue to explore future regions with Scenic, although unsure how to balance travelling and spending say 1 - 2 days in some larger city locations without having to come back to that region with another travel organisational group. Thank you Scenic for some lovely memories. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
You could not fault the staff from the friendly involved Captain to the housemaids. All were exceptionally friendly and it gave the atmosphere of one big happy family - all committed to making our cruise perfect. The food was ... Read More
You could not fault the staff from the friendly involved Captain to the housemaids. All were exceptionally friendly and it gave the atmosphere of one big happy family - all committed to making our cruise perfect. The food was unbelievable and I can't believe other reports that talked about pork fillets and schnitzels. the a la carte menu at dinner catered to most tastes and they offered other options if it didn't suit. The food was cooked to perfection and 160 dinners were delivered promptly and with great attitude from the staff.Nothing was too much trouble and the wine flowed as did any other drink that you requested. Coffee and tea were also brought to the table on request. Breakfast was buffet or cooked as you waited and there were several options for lunch. The space of the deluxe suites was quite good for a river boat and the our director Kurt was organised, talented and super obliging. The night time entertainment was there for all to enjoy. Disappointed only in the fact that most moorings were not in a town and most excursions had to be accessed by a bus trip with several early starts. Scenic needs to make guests aware of this before booking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I chose to repeat an Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise, but this time on a Scenic boat, because they offered different stops/excursions than the previously used company. I wish we had chosen Scenic the first time--this ... Read More
My husband and I chose to repeat an Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise, but this time on a Scenic boat, because they offered different stops/excursions than the previously used company. I wish we had chosen Scenic the first time--this cruise was absolutely fabulous! I find it hard to identify anything negative about the company, the boat, the service; nothing at all was disappointing. First impression upon boarding the boat was unexpected--here's the Captain handing me a gorgeous long-stemmed rose and a warm welcome. Everyone working this boat, from Capt Igor; Capt Dan the Hotel Manager, Kurt the Cruise Director, Lt Michai the Restaurant Manager, Valerie our Butler, Milana our Steward, and all the others who worked to make our cruise memorable, were doing just that--working. On this boat the officers did not stand by and oversee--they were involved. Their commitment to service was observed every day; in their routines and in their responses to requests (and even response to an idle wish that was overheard). The excursions were great, and there were no short-cuts taken--guides were knowledgeable and tours often included tastings or entertainment. Our cabin was kept spotless, and Milana popped in several times a day to see if anything was wanted/needed. George, the chef, must have worked 24/7 because we've never seen so much food--it all was presented and tasted superbly--no reason for hunger on this boat! Another factor we liked was the price included everything: excursions, tips, beverages, everything. We highly recommend a Scenic river cruise; I'm doing some shopping now to find another one for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We have resently arrived home after our europe river cruise aboard the scenic jewel and what a holiday we have nothing but praise ,the cabin (royal suite) was superb ,the butler Voltan was exceptional in every way ,Eugen Anton the ... Read More
We have resently arrived home after our europe river cruise aboard the scenic jewel and what a holiday we have nothing but praise ,the cabin (royal suite) was superb ,the butler Voltan was exceptional in every way ,Eugen Anton the resturant manager was by far better than any that I have come across through our travels,Marin the cruise director -well he just speaks for himself a true professional.We where privilaged to be invited to dine with the captain twice a most memorable occasion.The free choice excursions where sometimes required some walking but in all very informative .The food at the crysal and lounge areas was outstanding along with the bar service.All in all from start to finish I would be surprised if I ever heard 1 complaint,this holiday will be the start of some fantastic holidays with scenic tours for us.thankyou Wendy and Glen Tancred Queensland Australia. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I recently took a European River Cruise on the Scenic Jewel from September 15 through 29, 2014. This cruise started in Budapest, Hungary, followed the Danube through Austria and southern Germany, then took the Danube-Main Canal ... Read More
My wife and I recently took a European River Cruise on the Scenic Jewel from September 15 through 29, 2014. This cruise started in Budapest, Hungary, followed the Danube through Austria and southern Germany, then took the Danube-Main Canal to the Main River, and finally ended up on the Rhine, with the cruise ending in Amsterdam, a total distance of about 1800 km. Through good fortune, there was hardly any rain for the duration of our trip, with temperatures above 20 Celsius nearly every day. We are experienced ocean cruisers, but this is the first time we have taken a river cruise. We also arranged air transportation through Scenic, and the transfers between the airport and the ship were quick and flawless. The Jewel is a new ship, completed last year expressly for these waterways. It holds about 160 passengers on three decks, the top two having balconies with sliding windows that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. The cabins are spacious with every amenity and we found the beds very comfortable. All rooms featured an entertainment system with which you could access television, music, shipboard information and the Internet though we found with all the activities we hardly used that. The ship features the ‘Crystal’ dining room which featured buffets at lunch and usually sitdown dinners. The food was uniformly good and they were very careful to point out dishes that might trigger my nut allergy. There is also an Italian restaurant called the Portobello that all passengers can try. The ship has a lounge which also functions as an entertainment venue and bar/café. The entertainment was low key, consisting of folk artists, lectures and demonstrations. For those used to the splashy shows on ocean cruises, it will seem pretty small scale. Finally there is a sun deck where you can watch the world go by, for every day on a river cruise there is something to see. On the Danube Main canal, access to the sundeck was restricted because of low bridges. All excursions were included in the price we paid. The biggest problem we had was trying to choose one of the two or three options sometimes on offer. Scenic attempts to create experiences for their passengers so that in addition to the usual city tours, you can also do things like attend musical performances, wine tastings, “medieval feasts” and so on. There are power assisted bikes for those that like to explore on their own, and audio players that may be used for self tours. We were kept very busy with all the activities. The local guides were uniformly superior and in keeping with the all inclusive nature of the trip would not accept tips. In every respect, this cruise exceeded our expectations. The service from the 50 staff members was uniformly friendly and attentive, and when this cruise company says that their cruise was “all inclusive” they really meant it, right down to the mini bar in the room and the free Wi-Fi. The only extra cost we incurred was laundry. There’s no doubt that all inclusive river cruising in Europe is expensive, but in this case you get what you pay for. Another good thing about river cruising is that with only 160 passengers you soon get to know your fellow travellers, unlike a large cruise ship where you hardly ever see the same person twice. We would unreservedly recommend Scenic to anyone considering a European river cruise and will use them again ourselves.   Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 3.3

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