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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Scenic looked after us very well. They tailored our travel to suit us, arranging connecting flights at the times we requested etc. Our first impression of the ship was one that gave the overall indication that the crew were very happy ... Read More
Scenic looked after us very well. They tailored our travel to suit us, arranging connecting flights at the times we requested etc. Our first impression of the ship was one that gave the overall indication that the crew were very happy and the ship was really well turned out. The crew on the ship were very welcoming and were only too happy to made our stay with them a pleasant experience, they were always in uniform and very well groomed. Food on the ship was always of a high standard and reflected the particular area of Europe that we were travelling through. There was a good selection of wines and other drinks.. The entertainment arranged during the cruise reflected the particular area of Europe we were in and was always interesting. The ports that were visited had very good, knowledgeable guides who tailored the pace of the tours to suit the guests. All the ports had good historical value. Having Scenic buses with the cruise at all times was also good as you got to know the drivers. We would definitely travel with Scenic again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We specifically chose this cruise, as we watch him on PBS, and because this cruise was billed as a hands-on cruise with Burt Wolf, who would be with us in some of the towns and host special events in some towns. However, the itinerary ... Read More
We specifically chose this cruise, as we watch him on PBS, and because this cruise was billed as a hands-on cruise with Burt Wolf, who would be with us in some of the towns and host special events in some towns. However, the itinerary changed after we boarded and although Burt Wolf was there, he only gave short, 15 minute or so talks on his upcoming show plans, before the dinner hour. On three occasions, he provided passengers with with a macaroon, a small glass of Cognac, and some swiss chocolates he and his swiss counterparts had developed - with strong flavanol enhancements - that allegedly help with memory. So all-in-all, we could not recommend this trip with Burt Wolf to anyone. Our traveling companions agree. One of those couples had been on a cruise with him face years ago and said it was "great" and that's why they signed up for this one. They too were very disappointed. Having cruised before, I have to say the upgraded cabin (not a suite, but not a standard room either) was "sufficient" for our needs, tight, but sufficient for our needs. The food was very good, and the towns in which we stopped along the Garonne River were quite nice. And the staff? The staff were excellent - mostly all from Eastern European countries. And the service was very good. Finally - this was billed as a Scenic Luxury Cruise. I would not use the word luxury even though this was a very good cruise. It's why we gave it an average rating. This was the last cruise of the season for the Scenic Diamond as it's now in dry dock being retrofit with a gym and either a pool or hot top. This may improve the experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was the best river cruise ever and we have done several. Every aspect was wonderful from the luxury of the boat, the fabulous meals, the generous excellent quality wines, the amazingly friendly and helpful staff for whom nothing was ... Read More
This was the best river cruise ever and we have done several. Every aspect was wonderful from the luxury of the boat, the fabulous meals, the generous excellent quality wines, the amazingly friendly and helpful staff for whom nothing was too much trouble despite tipping being all inclusive, not to mention the carefully constructed itinerary which allowed for maximum sight seeing with plenty of opportunities for relaxation. We cruised through Normandy which is rich in history and also has some very beautiful scenery. Scenic seems to definitely have the edge, providing their customers with lots of delightful little extras like the very practical rucksacks we received before departure, the high quality, glossy guide book we found in our cabin and the much better than average pair of slippers, all complementary, as indeed was the mini bar, restocked twice a day. What more can I say, apart from that we shall certainly choose Scenic again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I travelled with Scenic for a fortnight from mid-September 2016 between Amsterdam and Budapest. We paid for a balcony suite in the middle of the Sapphire deck (deck 2) and found it to be very comfortable and relatively quiet. ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with Scenic for a fortnight from mid-September 2016 between Amsterdam and Budapest. We paid for a balcony suite in the middle of the Sapphire deck (deck 2) and found it to be very comfortable and relatively quiet. The bed was excellent and a pillow menu was available if required. From time to time we could hear some noise as we moved through locks, but it caused us no concern and was just part of the experience. There was plenty of storage space, including under the bed where we stored our empty baggage. The crew of the Scenic Amber was outstanding, without exception. Their customer service skills are tremendous and they consistently made us feel welcome and assisted where needed. In particular, my wife and I would like to thank our tour director Andreea, together with Radmila, George, Ion, Elod, Sandy, Jelena and Margi for helping to make this the cruise of a lifetime. If we were ever take another river cruise, the ship and its crew will have to be of a very high standard to come close to our experience with the Scenic Amber. The tour guides and bus drivers were also of a high calibre and we very much enjoyed our tour at Wertheim with Marie-Noelle and her delightful sense of humour. The standard of food was very high throughout the cruise and there was something for everybody. We were very lucky with the weather for almost the entire fortnight with sunny and unseasonably warm conditions, plus the water levels in the rivers and canals were sufficient to allow the ship to travel through without any problems. The cabins had wi-fi, but sometimes the service was weak or intermittent or a connection could not be made, especially when we were away from the larger towns or while in locks. You cannot download material such as books, so you need to attend to that before travelling. The ship’s sun deck was lovely, especially when travelling through picturesque regions such as the Middle Rhine and the Wachau Valleys. The sun deck was closed for about five days during the middle of the cruise because of low bridges over the River Main. The rooms have almost everything you need, including hairdryers for the ladies, but there are no irons and none are permitted for safety reasons. That was the only minor criticism, because the only way to have washing and pressing done was by the crew and the costs can add up. Overall though, the entire river cruise was thoroughly enjoyable and we would certainly recommend Scenic and the Scenic Amber to anyone wishing to have a memorable and quite luxurious journey with magnificent scenery and beautiful towns and villages. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
All inclusive cost including transfers, air fare etc. Sound of Music excursion included which was a highlight of the itinerary. Ship in excellent shape cleaned and painted daily when needed. All staff involved as required in upkeep of ... Read More
All inclusive cost including transfers, air fare etc. Sound of Music excursion included which was a highlight of the itinerary. Ship in excellent shape cleaned and painted daily when needed. All staff involved as required in upkeep of vessel. Cabin included window veranda (spacious), beverages filled daily and unwanted items removed. Diet beverage purchased by staff for spouse. Dining varied and excellent, entertainment locally highlighted. Service impeccable including extra staff and butler to do additional laundry initially. No children on ship, lifestyle active as much walking required. Scenic is the epitome of river cruising and if a needed itinerary available, we would go in a minute. Cruise director unmatched in cruising world as outgoing, knowledgeable and very well organized. Each port had daily excursions and service before and after the cruise was well organized by Scenic. All of our needs were anticipated by Scenic both at the company and staff level. It is impossible to try in future to compare Scenic with any of the other cruise lines we have sailed as the bar has been set so high. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was an experience of a lifetime. Some of the reasons: - The ship was immaculate. Clean, functional, comfortable, well laid out and modern. We stayed on the lower deck to save some money so our room was a bit small. But the ... Read More
This was an experience of a lifetime. Some of the reasons: - The ship was immaculate. Clean, functional, comfortable, well laid out and modern. We stayed on the lower deck to save some money so our room was a bit small. But the efficiency of the layout made it easy for us to live comfortably for the week. The bathroom was modern and the shower was luxurious (multiple spray heads). - Staff was better than any cruise we've taken. After the first day, everyone on the staff called us by our first name, including the deck hands that tied up the boat. Wait staff in the dining room remembered what we liked and treated us like family. - Entertainment on the ship was unique. The cruise director hand-picked acts from each town where we stopped and had the perform for us each night. We had a couple of dance groups (not professional, polished acts aimed at tourists...they were locals that danced for fun) and one night, the crew had a talent show. Funny, entertaining and intimate. It was not something we've ever experienced on a tour. - All inclusive. When they say "all inclusive", they mean it. We made our arrangements months in advance and paid before the cruise. From the moment we arrived at the airport near home until the moment we arrived back at the airport, everything was covered. Transfers from the destination airport to the ship. Everything we ate or drank for the whole week. Didn't make a difference if we ordered top shelf liquor, wine or soft drinks...fully covered. Tips. Butler. Laundry service. Tours with guides. Tickets to events on shore. Even meals while we were traveling on tours with our tour guide. Other cruises say they're all inclusive but there are always upcharges for something. Nothing with Scenic. Pick the best tour, it's covered. Order something special from the kitchen...covered. Unbelievable level of service and care. - Food was awesome. I've cruised on the QE2 and the food on the Scenic Amber was comparable. The kitchen made unique and tasty dishes but also served each meal as a work of art. They even made their own ice cream on board which, I must admit, was one of the highlights throughout the trip. It wasn't just vanilla and chocolate. They innovated and made different flavors. It's just an indication of the kind of service they provided from the kitchen. - Cruise director. I have never experienced the kind of service we received from Richard Grey, the cruise director. He did everything in his power to make our cruise the best it could be. He helped us change our tour selections when we decided we wanted to do something different than we had originally planned. He arranged a toast for the whole ship, overlooking a vineyard, in Durnstein. He arranged a private concert for the ship in Vienna where we heard chamber music, opera and ballet. And he took every opportunity to stop and talk with us about our experience and offer to help. He provided a daily review of the next day's destination, mixing in humor and personal experiences to add depth. He was among the best parts of our week. - Value. This was not a "cheap" cruise. But I bet any cruise that offered the same level of care and entertainment (i.e., picking all the expensive options) would cost about the same. We cruised from Nuremberg to Budapest. We would recommend this itinerary given the choice (instead of Budapest to Nuremberg). Nuremberg is a beautiful city but some of the places you're likely to tour are historic and given the WW2 history in Nuremberg, it's a bit more somber. In addition, the canal where the ships dock in Nuremberg is a bit industrial. By going toward Budapest, we experienced a constantly increasing level of awe and beauty. It all ended with a beautiful walk to the top of the Citadel hill in Budapest - overlooking the city. It was both figuratively and literally the high point of our trip. My wife and I couldn't recommend this cruise line any more strongly. If you have any questions about our experience, please don't hesitate to send us a message. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
What was on offer on board and land excursions and the verity of local culture was all included no extra to pay The food was 5 stars as was the service and any amount of drinks were on offer. All of the staff were helpful and friendly and ... Read More
What was on offer on board and land excursions and the verity of local culture was all included no extra to pay The food was 5 stars as was the service and any amount of drinks were on offer. All of the staff were helpful and friendly and all sooo happy. It was a 5 star plus holiday. Will be booking another cruise soon. Everything from leaving home to arriving back home was catered for with little effort and a smile. Sorry it all came to and end. The best time of our lives! Bouquets to Scenic for a lasting memories. When you read that everything is included you always think of what's the catch well Scenic have put together a fantastic array of off shore trips with local tour guides who live and work in the areas and are very helpful and everything is included. Scenic sure have done their homework and do it with ease. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My sister and l wanted to do a scenic cruise for age's.We love the old countries and all their histories.We were not disappointed.Prague was so fascinating. Culture so different to our own.To taste the varieties of food and ... Read More
My sister and l wanted to do a scenic cruise for age's.We love the old countries and all their histories.We were not disappointed.Prague was so fascinating. Culture so different to our own.To taste the varieties of food and drink's.The architecture. The transport.The language. We managed very well. The entertainment on and off the ship was remarkable.The excursions were better than expected. A good time frame as well. No rushing all the time.The ship was only 4 month's old and impeccable. Our cabin on the 2nd floor was superb.The food was out of this world, the variety was so fantastic.We could not have ever wished for any more.Entertainment from crew and local's was fabulous and funny where it was supposed to be.The service was so good . We had a butler" George" . He was great.There wasn't one time that we walked into any of the lounges or dining room without someone ushering you to a table or offering drink's.It was all mind blowing ,can't wait to do it again in another country. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We are a party of two that sailed on the Scenic Sapphire from 27 June to 4 July 2016, our second time taking a European river cruise with Scenic. Starting at Tarascon in southern France, the cruise went up the Rhone to Lyon, then to ... Read More
We are a party of two that sailed on the Scenic Sapphire from 27 June to 4 July 2016, our second time taking a European river cruise with Scenic. Starting at Tarascon in southern France, the cruise went up the Rhone to Lyon, then to Chalon on the river Saone, a distance of about 600 kilometres. We were lucky enough to enjoy good weather throughout, though it did get quite hot in the south of France. We were concerned that recent flooding in france might affect our itinerary, but I guess water levels have receded. There are indeed some very low bridges along the way! We enjoyed every aspect of this cruise; from our cabin (#207) with its “spaceship” balcony, to the food, to the excursions, to the service, and to the onboard activities, led by our enthusiastic tour director Yvonne. This cruise had a decidedly culinary focus. There were wine tastings, cheese tastings, and chocolate tastings on board. Some of the excursions we took visited olive farms, wineries and local markets. Everything was included under Scenic’s all-inclusive pricing structure, a pricing model that even some ocean cruise companies are starting to emulate. Of course one of the benefits of a small vessel is that you really do get to know your fellow passengers, which this time featured a good mix of Australians, Americans, and Canadians, with a smattering of people from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland. With respect to the crew, all were service oriented and friendly, and really did seem to be a happy family. I must in particular single out the captain, who was always around to greet guests as they got on and off the ship, and took a particular interest in the passengers much more than any other cruise ship captain I’d ever seen, and that includes my previous scenic cruise. We unreservedly recommend scenic to anyone considering a European river cruise, and will use them ourselves for our next one without considering alternatives. Yes, the price may be a little more than its competitors but remember you are paying for the best, and the price you do pay covers everything right down to the tips, the wifi, and the items in the minibar in your cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
The reason we chose this cruise was everything was included. We stayed 2 nights in Budapest prior to departure. We were lucky to have booked in to the hotel right opposite the wharf where the ship was moored. As we were so close we ... Read More
The reason we chose this cruise was everything was included. We stayed 2 nights in Budapest prior to departure. We were lucky to have booked in to the hotel right opposite the wharf where the ship was moored. As we were so close we walked to the ship, halfway along our walk the hotel manager Miguel & a staff member came to greet us & take our bags. That was the start of impeccable service. When we disembarked our tour director booked a taxi for us. The disembarkation was very smooth. The staff were amazing, always happy, willing to help they made us all feel like one big happy family. Our tour director, Richard Grey, kept us all entertained & well organised for all our excursions. The service, organisation, food tours were all perfect!!! There was a range of ages including a honeymoon couple but no children as the cruise isn't suitable for them. We loved it so much we didn't want to leave. The main tip is to make sure you have a pocket to put you door card in or when you are on shore your boarding card. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I recently traveled with my husband and in-laws on a Scenic Ruby cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam just this past June and the trip exceeded our entire group's expectations. Some of the reviews posted below are absolutely ridiculous, ... Read More
I recently traveled with my husband and in-laws on a Scenic Ruby cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam just this past June and the trip exceeded our entire group's expectations. Some of the reviews posted below are absolutely ridiculous, as it seems that some people expect that the company can somehow control the weather as well as river water levels. Everything about our trip was excellent - the website makes it clear that if you have mobility issues, they'll do their best to accommodate you - and they definitely do. Yes, the gangways are narrow, but it's a small cruise ship with limited space, what do you expect? There is even a small elevator on board for passengers requiring wheelchairs. The food is excellent and there are always plenty of options for vegetarians, the excursions are well thought-out and the staff are amazing, particularly our butler Tamas, room manager Gerry, and the bar staff (Irina, Marko and Victor) - the cruise director Adrian was incredibly helpful and did his absolute best to make sure everyone was happy and everything ran smoothly. I was really impressed by the amount of storage space in the rooms, and the design of the balconies were fantastic. Some have noted that there is no fitness center on board - given that the Main is incredibly narrow, there is really no room for a fitness center as on some of the slightly larger Scenic ships. Also, I got plenty of exercise walking around all the cities we visited. Overall, I would absolutely recommend this cruise without hesitation. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We’ve taken eight or nine ocean cruises but because this would be our first river cruise I spent quite a bit of time researching cruise lines to find what I thought would be our best choice. I looked at six or seven companies and ... Read More
We’ve taken eight or nine ocean cruises but because this would be our first river cruise I spent quite a bit of time researching cruise lines to find what I thought would be our best choice. I looked at six or seven companies and compared prices & inclusions and decided that while Scenic certainly wasn’t the least expensive it looked like it offered the best value. I checked on their ships as well and decided I liked their newer ships better so I targeted the Opel or the Jasper. In the end I kept asking myself will this trip really be worth the money we’re spending? Yes indeed! We spent two days in Budapest before boarding and enjoyed the services of a wonderful private guide. After that kind of pampering I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about sharing space and services with 160 other guests. Again my worries were unfounded. From the time we boarded the ship until we disembarked in Amsterdam, the entire staff went out of their way to pamper us and fulfill any request we had. I can’t say enough about the great people who took such good care of us. The cabin attendant, our butler, the wait staff, the bartenders, everyone was just wonderful. We had a standard balcony cabin on the middle deck. While not spacious it had more than enough space for us. Storage was ample and the bathroom was very modern and spotless. We knew we would enjoy the Sun Lounge balcony but we discovered many little touches that we hadn’t imagined. Our cabin attendant was never underfoot yet she had everything in order every time we returned. Food on board was very good. Breakfast and lunch buffets offered lots of variety and there were always a few different options from the galley if you wanted something extra. I came to look forward to the wonderful variety of salads on the lunch buffet and rarely ordered anything extra from the galley. In the evening there was a selection of appetizers, salads/soups, entrees and desserts to choose from. Of course there was always an assortment of nice wines at lunch and dinner as well. We especially enjoyed our night at Portobello’s. Be sure you don’t miss that. We were ‘regulars’ at the bar in the lounge and it only took a day or two for the staff to know what we were probably going to order. Scenic’s all included policy was greatly appreciated, especially on those beautiful sailing days when we perched on the top deck with a nice glass of wine in hand and a waiter checking on us. It didn’t take long to know that our decision to sail with Scenic was the right choice. The on-board entertainment was another nice surprise. I wasn’t so sure about a few of the entertainers but they proved me wrong. The dancers, the polka band, the sand artist and the string quartet were probably my favorites but all of the performers were very good. There were lots of entertainment options on the TV/Internet set-up in the cabin too but we never had time for any of that other than a quick look at the CNN each morning before breakfast. Having the Internet connection in the cabin made checking e-mail quick and easy. Shore excursions were another highlight. Prior to departure we selected the ‘Hospital in the Rock’ tour in Budapest. In Vienna we visited Schonbrunn Palace and in Cologne, the walking tour. All the other selections were made once on board after the cruise director explained the various options. We loved the big cities but I think the smaller towns and villages were better. Coming from the US we just don’t have the same sense of history that Europe enjoys. Those little medieval towns really spoke to us. Another fun outing was the bike ride between Durnstein and Melk. It’s about an 18 or 19 mile ride but if you’re not sure about your stamina, the electric assist bikes will do most of the work for you. Along the way here were a few stops including one halfway to Melk for a cold beer or an ice cream. We managed to pedal the entire way while many others reported they used the assist much of the time. Looking at the whole trip we felt there was a good mix of time spent on excursions and time spent on board sailing and sight-seeing on the rivers. Everything considered, we felt Scenic provided an excellent experience. The Jasper is a beautiful ship that feels very luxurious and spacious. The staff on board went out of their way at every turn to provide the best service possible and always with a smile. We could find nothing to complain about and every detail was handled to perfection. I feel you can expect the best if you plan a river cruise with Scenic aboard the Jasper. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This is our 4th River Cruise and have enjoyed everyone. No pressure and staff are great looking after your needs. The meals on board are always great and there is a wonderful variety of foods for all taste. Our Butler always made ... Read More
This is our 4th River Cruise and have enjoyed everyone. No pressure and staff are great looking after your needs. The meals on board are always great and there is a wonderful variety of foods for all taste. Our Butler always made special attention to our requirements and on this cruise like the past we arranged for afternoon tea with friends in our room most days so we could enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Normally we would have 2 other couples with us make 6 which is the right size. Port and Shore excursions met our needs as per the documentation. The tour guides are especially good and imparted their knowledge of the varies tourist sites. Ship - Scenic Diamond is always spotless and the staff look after all on board. The Cruise Directors are interesting people who manage the impossible and seem to exceed your expectations - wonderful managers of the customers, guides and buses etc. We feel very confident in Scenic to deliver and they do. We have already booked 2 river cruises for 2017 and the new Discovery for 2019. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First thing you need to do prior to taking a Scenic cruise, if my first experience is typical and I think it is, try to lose some weight. Failing that and regardless how successful, bring clothes that will adapt to a weight increase. In ... Read More
First thing you need to do prior to taking a Scenic cruise, if my first experience is typical and I think it is, try to lose some weight. Failing that and regardless how successful, bring clothes that will adapt to a weight increase. In the two weeks I spent on Scenic Crystal going from Amsterdam to Budapest 27 April to 11 May 2016 I managed to gain almost a stone (sounds less that way). Even my wife who is much more judicious in her eating and drinking gained. So be forewarned; the food is 24 hours and excellent. The liquor offerings are top shelf or just about anything you would want. A Scenic repeat couple told us they “go into training” prior to a Scenic cruise. When you first board your ‘space ship’ as Scenic likes to call their custom designed boats, you notice how friendly all the staff and crew are to you. They are obviously trained to act this way and it is nice. It lasts the whole time and must get tiring for them, but they keep it up. More about the staff later. Our cabin (port side, diamond deck) was a standard balcony and had a nice and spacious feeling considering the actual space (19sqm/205sqft). A nice amount of storage and room to store your luggage under the queen size bed. Our shower was actually full-sized, not the corner one pictured in the published deck plan. There is one category below this cabin and four above and the advice I got from this thread was accurate; this is the best choice unless you are willing to splurge on one of the Royal Suites. Your only other decision is which deck, as the upper Diamond Deck includes a higher degree of butler services and an invitation to special wine tasting dinner. The uniquely designed ‘Sun Lounge’ balcony with full width window that could be lowered to half height was nice, but we found that we actually didn’t use it too much. That the chairs weren’t too comfortable would be one reason, but the action and fun was going on in the public areas where all the food and drink was flowing. I’ll mention a relatively minor consideration in choosing a cabin; port or starboard side. This has nothing to do with the POSH myth, but how the boat moors along the way. As most daylight moorings are on the right your view is generally less obstructed going south on the port side, the higher the deck, and the farther aft your cabin is located. Although I can’t personally verify, then starboard going north as I would think the same moorings would be used but on the left. Regardless, Scenic rarely moors beside another cruise ship forcing you to look into someone’s cabin. Unlike what we saw Viking doing with multiple Viking ships. The only time we saw another Scenic ship (Jewel) was when it passed going the opposite direction. Our fellow passengers (148) were predominately Australians which was certainly expected with a scattering of UK, Canadian, and US like ourselves. No other nationalities represented (other than by marriage). All were generally friendly and as all meals are open seating, you tend to meet a lot of people. There was one large group of Australians that stuck together, but I assume they knew each other prior to the cruise. We ended up spending a lot of time with a Canadian couple and are thinking of going on another Scenic cruise with them. The median age of Scenic passengers is purported to be about 68 and I would guess based on this trip that is about right. The few “youngsters” were in their forties with quite a few in their eighties. The vast majority were late sixties and seventies. As the information Scenic puts out emphasizes more than once, to take full advantage of the cruise and all the shore excursions, you need to be in fairly good physical shape. Even on board, there are a lot of stairs to climb to and from the various decks. There is one tiny elevator, but really not something you want to depend upon constantly. Too many passengers, in my opinion, didn’t read or pay attention to the physical demands to fully enjoy the trip. Of course, you can just go for the ride, on board entertainment, food and drink. It is like being on a moving five-star hotel. There was one couple in one of the two top Royal Panorama Suites who were making their fifth voyage on the same cruise. I don’t think they went on any of the shore excursions. “Been there, done that” I guess. The wait and housekeeping staff from what we learned was mostly from various Eastern European and former Soviet bloc countries and very attentive and hard working. I don’t think they get a day off the whole cruise season, April to October, as one cruise ends another begins the same day. Giuseppe (hope I spelled it right), our constant live musical entertainment, singing and playing an electronic piano, was from Italy. He was very good and accepting of being ignored in the background. Tough on the ego in my opinion, but goes with the territory. Probably the hardest working person in my view was Adrian, the cruise director. He barely gets time to sleep with juggling staff, tour arrangements, answering questions, handling problems, and herding and trying to keep track of all the passengers. The latter reminded me of my multiple feline household. He also gave a nightly “Port Talk” in the main Crystal Lounge of the next day’s events and tour options. Finally, our chef whose name I am embarrassed to admit I did not record, did a superb job preparing imaginative, location themed and professionally presented meals working from a relatively small kitchen area. Each Port Talk he would bring out his recommended main course for that evening. Below is just one dinner menu for Thursday May 5th 2016 while near Regensburg, Germany: Appetizers: Black Forest Ham, Farmer’s Bread, Mixed Pickles; “Maultaschen” Franconian Pasta Squares filled with Mushrooms, Brown Butter Soups: Herb Essence, Puff Pastry Stick; Old Fashioned Potato Soup, Chanterelles Main Courses: Oven-baked Seabass, Asparagus, Lemon-Cilantro Confit, ginger Risotto; Tender Pork Loin, Herb Farce, Glazed Vanilla Carrots, Palatine Red Wine Butter, Local Potatos; Celery Medallion in Hazelnut Crust, Lentils, Pumpkin Sauce, Herb Potatos Desserts: Bavarian Cream & Elderflower Jelly, Forest Berries, Crispy Basket; Strawberry Ice Cream, Caramelized Walnuts, Whipped Cream; German Apple Pie; Fresh Fruit Platter Daily Cheese Selection: Bresse Bleu Cheese, Porcini, Smoked Cheese, Water Crackers For breakfast and lunch there were also standard menu options you could order custom. For a couple lunches I ordered a petite filet, rare with fries and it was delivered perfectly cooked in about 5 minutes. If anyone went hungry on the cruise it was because they were sick and couldn’t eat. I won’t go into a description of all the shore excursions other than to say the ones we chose based on recommendations on this thread were all excellent with knowledgeable local guides. Scenic uses this electronic device that charges in your cabin called Tailormade® which you take and hang around your neck and connect with earbuds. Your tour guide has a master unit which you can then easily hear the running commentary. As it seems with all electronics, some passengers had trouble keeping their Tailormade® charged and a couple times the guide’s master unit refused to operate. Generally, the system worked fine though and could also be listened to while on-board with a running commentary of what the ship was passing. Really the only problem I had was with my email. My email uses IMAP/STMP protocol rather than the older POP to send and the Crystal’s server didn’t recognize it. My wife had no problem as she still uses POP for both sending and receiving. Minor issue really. It was kind of nice being email free really. The trip had only one logistical issue with one of the bow thruster props needing replacement requiring an emergency trip to the nearest dry dock. River/canal regs are that no ship can travel without functioning propulsion systems to limit banging into the sides of the locks. Adrian rearranged one day’s activities to allow for the repair and it had little impact (especially in comparison to the terrible river and canal flooding impacts just a few weeks later). My final recommendation is to take advantage of staying an extra day or two in your embarkation city to help adjust to the time shift. Also use Scenic to book your accommodations since it will be the hotel that they use to gather all the passengers. They also provide someone to meet you at the airport and transport you to the hotel. All pre-paid like everything with Scenic. Have a great trip…we sure did. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We choose scenic because it was all inclusive, ie. tips, tours, alcoholic beverages. The food, service, staterooms and overall attentiveness was unparalleled. We had a balcony suite and it was perfect. Loved the glass windows that ... Read More
We choose scenic because it was all inclusive, ie. tips, tours, alcoholic beverages. The food, service, staterooms and overall attentiveness was unparalleled. We had a balcony suite and it was perfect. Loved the glass windows that moved up and down. Variety of food was first class. Never boring. Absolutely anything you wanted at any time. I've never had a more pleasant and attentive staff wherever I've traveled. Only slightly negative aspect was that I would have preferred more 'cruise time' instead of some of the tours. All were good and interesting but some took too much time. Of course we had the option of just staying on the boat. All senior staff on boat were very accommodating and open with their time. Variety of menu choices was outstanding. Being invited to the two exclusive restaurants on board was a treat. Cleanliness of facilities and friendliness of staff was outstanding. I would definitely use Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
We explored Budapest for a few days before boarding and would highly recommend as it is an amazing City. The ship was always spotlessly clean. The Junior Suite exceeded our expectations. The Dining was superb with varied styles and Menus ... Read More
We explored Budapest for a few days before boarding and would highly recommend as it is an amazing City. The ship was always spotlessly clean. The Junior Suite exceeded our expectations. The Dining was superb with varied styles and Menus with the added bonus of Portobello's and the Chef's dining experience. Entertainment, activities and Port and Shore excursions were well thought out and culturally informative and enriching. On board Service was 5 star all the way as promised. It was a cruise for more mature and active passengers which was what we were looking for. We will certainly be doing another Scenic Holiday. Some of the highlights included a Classical evening at the Palace of Liechtenstein and the guided tour of Bratislava was amazing and the side cruise to the Weltenburg Abbey which houses the Oldest Brewery in the World. Following the romantic road to Rothenburg and dinner at the Marksburg Castle for a Medieval Feast was breath taking. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Not up to the standards set by Viking or Uniworld! A cruise of contrasts:- The crew were mostly excellent but the waiters at the Farewell Dinner lacked organisation and enthusiasm. Access to the ship was difficult for many ... Read More
Not up to the standards set by Viking or Uniworld! A cruise of contrasts:- The crew were mostly excellent but the waiters at the Farewell Dinner lacked organisation and enthusiasm. Access to the ship was difficult for many passengers as it usually involved a steep and inadequate gangway plus a climb or two via the ship's upper deck and sometimes that of double or treble moored vessels alongside. The cabins were well designed but the air conditioning did not either heat or cool the cabin adequately - and yes, we had the windows closed as instructed. The "free" drinks on board were thought to be of poor value for those not drinking or drinking little. Similarly the trips were all included but not wanted by all. The quality of food and drinks was very good (occasionally first class!) but vegetables were sparse in number and quantity for some. Our t transfers from and to the ship were well organised but the need to spend nearly six our in a very "tired" Hilton in Amsterdam on the way home very questionable. Earlier flights to Leeds were available ,- and we did book a year in advance! The excursions should have been much easier with the option of a slower walking group as we have been offered in the past. The coaches were a long way from the ship, and insufficient information was given in advance as to how much additional walking was involved. We think by having optional tours at a cost the quality of these experiences could be much improve - we thought Scenic was "penny-pinching"! The introduction of the whole crew on the last night wsas farcical and, if done at all, should have been done at the onset. In conclusion a quite enjoyable experience but, at the price, should and could have been much, much, better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I chose a European River Cruise. Because it was something I had always wanted to do. I looked at several different companies, and settled on Scenic, because they seemed to fee value for money; and I was not disappointed. From the ... Read More
I chose a European River Cruise. Because it was something I had always wanted to do. I looked at several different companies, and settled on Scenic, because they seemed to fee value for money; and I was not disappointed. From the moment we flew into Amsterdam until the day we were delivered by taxi to Budapest Railway Station, the service care and attention to detail was exemplary. The Ship was clean and comfortable as was the cabin, with everything we needed including high quality bathroom products. The house keeping staff, butlers and other crew, left nothing to chance, every necessity and detail was catered for. My only issue was, being a 'larger' person the shower cubicle was a bit of a challenge. (My problem, not theirs!) The food was delightful, plenty of choice, freshly prepared and often reflective of the region we were in at the time, including the wines provided with lunch and dinner. The bar and its staff, couldn't have been more helpful, beer, wine, spirits and delicious cocktails, (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), softer options, along with bottomless tea, coffee and hot chocolate were free flowing and well patronised. The entertainment was terrific, most fun was had during the crews special review night, it was great to see them let their hair down. Speaking of the crew everyone from the Captain all the way down to the Laundry workers were fabulous. Always greeting you by name, smiling and helpful despite their extremely long days. The shore excursions were well planned and executed, and were often able to cater for the less mobile people on the cruise. Many of our options were unique to Scenic which made them all the more special. I was one of the youngest on the ship at age 50, so it is definitely not a cruise for young people, however this being the case even the people in there late 70's and older were great to travel with and very interesting to chat with. I enjoyed the company of a variety of people and made quite a few wonderful friends. I would definitely do it again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We were on the Scenic Diamond ship that travelled on the Garonne, Gironde, and Dordogne Rivers for 10 days starting April 16. It was the trip of a lifetime! The Scenic ship and staff were terrific. The ship accommodates up to 150 guests ... Read More
We were on the Scenic Diamond ship that travelled on the Garonne, Gironde, and Dordogne Rivers for 10 days starting April 16. It was the trip of a lifetime! The Scenic ship and staff were terrific. The ship accommodates up to 150 guests and 50 crew/staff members. We could not have imagined better food, wine, service, or accommodations than what we received. The Scenic trip pricing is a true one cost that includes everything, including airport pickup and drop-off, all drinks, excursions, and tips. The excursion buses were extremely comfortable and we never had to worry about any details. Scenic makes sure that their guests only need to relax and enjoy the trip. The staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional, and did everything possible to make our trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The restaurant and bar manager, Eugen Anton, was very knowledgeable regarding Bordeaux wines and quickly became my best friend on the trip. The food was fantastic thanks to Chef Tivadaar and staff (Arpad made great omelets in the morning!). Eugen had great help with his talented staff of Zsolt, Monika, Ezster, Jose, Daniel, Andras, Kate, and others to make every meal a dining experience. The cruise director, Sylvie, always made sure everyone had a good time and attended to a multitude of details. Milenko was the hotel manager and received excellent support from Andrea, Marius, Daniel, Andrea, Judy, and many others who made our stay very comfortable and enjoyable. Finally, the ship captains, Jeremy and Sebastian, took care of keeping us safe while on the river and dealt with the tides and high waters. If you enjoy fine wine, exceptional food, and are interested in a river cruise, then this is the trip that you should take. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Scenic really does an excellent job of caring for their guests from dining to excursions to personal requests. You expect more for all exclusive vacation and they deliver and go beyond. We started with a day in Paris. We dined at one of ... Read More
Scenic really does an excellent job of caring for their guests from dining to excursions to personal requests. You expect more for all exclusive vacation and they deliver and go beyond. We started with a day in Paris. We dined at one of our bucket list restaurants. The next day Scenic put us on the high speed train in first class to Bordeaux. Once on the ship, you have three choices each day of what to do in each port. On the Bordeaux Cruise, wine and food are superb both onboard and off from visiting Remy Martin to a foie gras tasting at a duck farm. One of the most memorable experiences is the Chateau. The owner of Chateau welcomes us into his home. While classical music plays, we try the Chateau's wines. We visited a castle, escorted by the owner, to a fortress, situated on a strategic point of the river, to several chateaus for more wine tastings. For those who want to explore on their own, Scenic provides commentary individual excursions at your own pace. I definitely consider Scenic the best of the river cruise lines I've travelled. Read Less
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