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Sail Date: June 2019
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The ... Read More
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The crew of the Gem are brilliant, and there is honestly nothing bad that can be said about them, they are attentive, dedicated staff who will do anything for you. Lots of great wine and cheese to be tasted. Watch your waistline on this cruise, as France is famous for it food, and the Gem's chefs are brilliant, and produce some absolutely great meals, and of course if you don't like what's on the menus they will make you anything. Once your on-board put your wallet and CC's in the safe, you will not need them. Everything on this cruise was included, including alcoholic drinks, and by the way there is a massive range of cocktails, which can be skippered or slurped on the upper deck in a light breeze as you sail down the river. Scenic Gem can get into harbours other cruise ships can not visit, so you are alone sometimes whilst docked, brilliant! Try this you will not be disappointed, but you will be spoilt. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I thought this was an easy way to experience Europe without a lot of pressure on us and we were right. From the start Scenic was fantastic. Pick up at airport in Budapest was the one thing we were nervous about but a Scenic ... Read More
My wife and I thought this was an easy way to experience Europe without a lot of pressure on us and we were right. From the start Scenic was fantastic. Pick up at airport in Budapest was the one thing we were nervous about but a Scenic employee was waiting for us in the arrival hall. A light lunch was being prepared for us when we reached Scenic Amber, which we were pleasantly surprised about, after being up for 30 hours. The ship was very clean and we were welcomed by Mauricio the hotel manager. The entire crew was awesome. From JJ the cruise director to the lounge and wait staff. We loved this group of people. It didn't take them long to know what our drink order was or "Egg benedict?" for breakfast. This group was truly fantastic. Food was great!! I have read some negative reviews about food and they make no sense to me. My wife is a picky eater and she was so proud of herself for all the unique and new foods she ate. Chef Istvan is very proud of his work and he should be. They make the bread on board and I had to have some every day. Great choices of fish or different meats that tied into the area we were traveling. Well done! We were on the Jewel Deck in a small cabin but it was fine. We liked the extra storage on the "shelf" next to the picture window...ran the whole length of the cabin. Very helpful in a tight room. Room was just a place to flop. Great shower though! The excursions were great. I loved having time, other than Budapest, to be able to go off on our own for at least 90 minutes. Plenty of shopping and sightseeing was done. The concert in Vienna was awesome as was Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, Melk Abbey, and the trip to Salzburg. Regensburg was so much better than expected. Entertainment seemed fine. We watched a little of it. People seemed to be enjoying it. My wife and I liked hanging out in the evening air on the top deck and watching the river and lights. Again, the service by this crew couldn't have been better. We wanted to take a few of them home with us. I love friendly banter and this crew is allowed to be themselves so hats off to Mauricio and JJ for that. The crew was very attentive and made sure your glasses were full if you wanted them to be. We definitely hope to go on a Scenic cruise again...maybe the Rhine next time...after we get the two kids out of college! Well done Scenic Amber!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Had been on Ama (wonderful), Uniworld (good) and wanted to try Scenic. Also wanted Danube cruise that went to Salzburg. The service was excellent, room kept very clean, and excursions good. Wine far better than we were expecting but ... Read More
Had been on Ama (wonderful), Uniworld (good) and wanted to try Scenic. Also wanted Danube cruise that went to Salzburg. The service was excellent, room kept very clean, and excursions good. Wine far better than we were expecting but food was a disappointment. Beate, the cruise director went out of her way to help everyone but she was leaving at the end of our cruise for a private job opportunity. Some of the excursions groups were too big and they should have hired another guide or 2 to keep the groups smaller. The new system for the headset didn’t work well all the time, but that was due to too large groups. The biggest disappointment was the food. Breakfast was a 10 but lunch and dinner fell short. Sometimes the food was lukewarm. The veal schnitzel was almost inedible. There were no wow factors. The salmon and tenderloin that you could always order were under seasoned. The gala night had Canadian lobster tail and beef Wellington and it was very good. Then the closing night was turkey. The turkey was good but it doesn’t seem like a luxury dinner on the last night of a luxury cruise. They could Improve by doing a grill on deck with bratwurst and cheeseburgers! Soups were generally pretty good. Desserts were average except for ice cream. We are excellent home cooks so food is very important to us. I will stick with Ama for future cruises. Or try Crystal. But Scenic and Uniworld are out. If you are a foodie, go with Ama. I’ve attached pictures of menus and wine lists and daily plans. I wish I could have received this information in advance so hope it helps others. Mark, the musician, was excellent. The dancers were ok. The concert in Vienna was very nice. Portobellos had excellent appetizers and desserts but mediocre entree. Have to submit photos separately because they don’t attach from an iPad. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We were invited by some friends to join a group that was planning to cruise the Rhine River from Zurich to Amsterdam, so we decided to go. Our travel agent booked us on the Scenic Jasper with the rest of the group. From the moment we ... Read More
We were invited by some friends to join a group that was planning to cruise the Rhine River from Zurich to Amsterdam, so we decided to go. Our travel agent booked us on the Scenic Jasper with the rest of the group. From the moment we stepped on board on 5/8 until we got off the ship, it was a truly wonderful time. Our cabin was spacious and well designed, and it was kept spotlessly clean and supplied by the housekeeping staff. The ship itself was in immaculate condition, and the lounges and dining areas were extremely clean and comfortable. The staff, starting with the tour director, Tadej, and our assigned butler, Marko, all the way through the wait staff, bartenders, chef and kitchen crew. maintenance staff, and every other staff member, were all extremely personable and attentive to the needs of the guests. We were made to feel most welcome on board and valued as customers. The activities that were planned were interesting and informative, and were well planned and organized. There were several evening during which local entertainment was brought on board, and those occasions were thoroughly enjoyed. One night we were bussed to a concert hall at which we were entertained by two highly talented opera singers and a classically trained pianist. It was a very moving experience. The food and beverages on board were simply outstanding. Each night before dinner was served, Chef Bogdan came out and addressed the passengers with a preview of the meal; the wine steward described for us the wine and food pairings; and Cruise Director Tadej informed us of the next day's ship movements, available activities and individual options. The staff's attentiveness to the wants and needs of the passengers was impressive. My wife and I completely and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and we are already planning to take another cruise with Scenic. And we are going to recruit another circle of friends and relatives to join us. When we left the ship for the last time, it was a difficult moment because we had been embraced so well by the staff and now we had to leave them. We will be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
It seemed like it had the most to offer. The enclosed balconies with a sliding window worked out great with the cooler weather. The accommodations were excellent and the staff went above and beyond to satisfy their clients. Having all ... Read More
It seemed like it had the most to offer. The enclosed balconies with a sliding window worked out great with the cooler weather. The accommodations were excellent and the staff went above and beyond to satisfy their clients. Having all the gratuities included was so convenient. Our butler Marco attended promptly to our every need, always so courteous and with a smile. The bar staff, Young Marco and Sandy were exceptionally pleasant and a joy to see at our Happy Hour. The food servers, Goran and Percho were efficient and friendly and accommodating. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of our cabin maid, but she was also excellent. she went through the cabin at least twice a day, changing towels, cleaning the bathroom and tidying up, and leaving the yummy chocolates on our pillows every night. And the most important person on our cruise was our cruise director, Yvonne. She was so energetic, professional, and knowledgeable, and left no question unanswered. She went above and beyond to satisfy everyone. Although we have mentioned specific people, we want to emphasize that all of the staff and crew were excellent. Everyone gave us the opinion that they thoroughly enjoyed their job. The only part that could be improved upon, if possible, is being able to disembark closer to an excursion, in order to give us more time in the village etc. On two occasions, we had to travel an hour to one and a half hours by bus to get to our tour of a town or village. This left very little time to actually explore on one's own. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
After spending 3 days exploring Siem Reap, the second larges city in Cambodia, we joint the Scenic Spirit for what I can only describe as a wonderful experience. Our first time on a river cruise did not disappoint. The choice of ... Read More
After spending 3 days exploring Siem Reap, the second larges city in Cambodia, we joint the Scenic Spirit for what I can only describe as a wonderful experience. Our first time on a river cruise did not disappoint. The choice of excursions was wide and there was one to suit everyone. As we sailed down the Mekong river from Cambodia to Vietnam we experience 5-star service on the ship. The food was excellent, you had your own private butler who looked after you every need. We met wonderful new friends and the ship was truly luxurious. The trip finished with 2 days in Saigon, Vietnam, again with many excursion options. The highlight for was was the Vespa foodie ride through the mad streets of Saigon as well as a Gala Dinner at a beautiful temple ruins in Cambodia. We recommend anyone who is looking for adventure combined with luxury to take this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating ... Read More
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating hotel for our 11 day cruise - with excellent managing staff and tours run by an exceptional Cruise Director. A very well organised and paced tour with a good variety of attractive destinations: not always wineries. Scenic offer a complete tour experience with cultural and artistic events interspersed with in-depth guided tours of many beautiful villages and towns. Highlights were: String Quartet Classical concert at Chateau d'Agassac; St Emilion, with its underground cathedral; Bergerac's lovely streetscapes and its pioneering 19th century hydroelectric facility; Bordeaux's Cite du Vin wine museum; cycling through the vineyards; and, the Remy Martin tour in Cognac. The ship-board entertainment lead by our highly entertaining Cruise Director Sonja was excellent, as was the extensive menu and the hotel service. Local wines were featured, but could have been more mature, with more higher quality regional alternatives offered. A thoroughly enjoyable discovery tour of the Bordeaux region from Scenic who, once again, provided an exceptional river cruise experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. ... Read More
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. This failure was complete at times (leaving cabin toilets full of waste and no working toilets at all for an ENTIRE DAY). Sometimes the blockage was partial, however as our week went on, the smell of human waste increased in the hallway and was unsanitary and distressing. Our cruise director promised the entire ship would receive compensation - however for Scenic, this only amounted to an offer of 20% off everyone’s next cruise. The Scenic promise is a disappointment. We chose Scenic because of their reputation for excellence - and the cruise was excellent - however when an issue as large and disruptive as this happens - the customer should be compensated AND offered a discount on their next Scenic Cruise. The cruises are very expensive and with such poor customer service it is too risky to invest that amount of money again. It is a shame and we are very disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Recommended by friends this cruise did not disappoint. Great activities, who could not be impressed by Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.Scenic pay particular attention to the finer detail, arranging trips not experienced by ... Read More
Recommended by friends this cruise did not disappoint. Great activities, who could not be impressed by Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.Scenic pay particular attention to the finer detail, arranging trips not experienced by other cruises in particular the themed gala dinner at an Angkor temple where we were entertained by Apsara dancers, and Wat Hanchey where we had the opportunity to talk to a novice monk. Their enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides ensure you are informed in terms of the history but also relate personal and family experiences that really give everything a context. The ships facilities are superb, cabins offering plenty of space, light and storage, food that challenges the senses, with wine/beer constantly on tap. The onboard staff are the icing on the cake they are attentive, and display genuine enjoyment at ensuring you are having a good time. All of this is packaged with a social consciousness that you do not often experience. It was great to feel that some of the money from this cruise was going directly to local communities. This was not gifted but earned which ensured that there was respect between all parties. Not cheap but bearing in mind everything is included, I would highly recommended it Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For the first time ever, we actually got separation anxiety about disembarking the beautiful ship and it’s amazing crew. The cabin, 304, was spacious and extremely comfortable. Most excellent beds and facilities. Service with finesse ... Read More
For the first time ever, we actually got separation anxiety about disembarking the beautiful ship and it’s amazing crew. The cabin, 304, was spacious and extremely comfortable. Most excellent beds and facilities. Service with finesse and an ever present smile. Dietary requirements were no problem. Each detail of the cruise was managed with finesse. Our Tour Manager was brilliant in his knowledge, humor and understanding. Thank you Huy. Thanks to Tobias, Cruise Director for being ever present and always available to handle requests of all kinds. The food and beverage product was of a high standard and extremely varied. Did not encounter any disgruntled guests during our stay. Would have happily stayed on board to be looked after by our most excellent Butler, Vibol. Ports showed us real life on the Mekong and excursions provided enabled choices that helped to inform and entertain. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled seamlessly. The whole experience was one to be treasured. Note that the journey from disembarkation to Siem Reap is a long one. Do not recall seeing that mentioned anywhere in the brochure. However as with all other Scenic managed activities, it was managed very well. Praise to Scenic’s product on the Mekong. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Was under the impression care free travelling. Everything paid for eg museums. Disappointed not notified of low water levels until the day. We were to be on the boat. Came as a shock to us we’d be staying in hotel two extra days. ... Read More
Was under the impression care free travelling. Everything paid for eg museums. Disappointed not notified of low water levels until the day. We were to be on the boat. Came as a shock to us we’d be staying in hotel two extra days. Dinner and drinks were not covered as they would be on boat. We were on the buses far too long and too many hrs. We packed and unpacked at least four time. Was promised care free travelling. Unpack once be done with it. Did not see everything promised on this cruise. This was our once in a lifetime adventure. Very disappointed. I can say the food was excellent and the staff and service was great. For the $19,000 we paid for trip was not worth the money. We could of done several bus trips since we were on buses anyway and packing a lot of the time. I can say it would of been a great trip if we had not had to transfer and been on the river full time Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in ... Read More
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in Basel ( met at Airport) and were bussed to Worms as river was too low to allow ship to go to Basel. We took a BUS to Worms. We were in Worms two days being bussed to some of itinerary and many changes to itienerary. We asked Cruise director about status of cruise at airport first day—she told us this event happened within last week and accommodations would be made to itinerary. This trip had multiple deviations to schedules and we missed over half of Rhine river. Being bussed was difficult for many. Our cruise -turned into a BRUISE ( Bus/Bruise). We had to be be bussed to Cologne to do a ship swap—had to pack and unpack and get into a new room. This crew was beat up on new chip ( Scenic AMber) and we all sensed their frustration and tension. Many things went wrong with this cruise. We went to Frankfort and docked ( not on itinerary). My wife and I finally couldn’t take the daily mistruths and changes to itinerary and we disembarked in cologne and took train to Amsterdam to salvage a few days of this vacation. I understand the cruise line has no control over river water levels—but they do have control over information and to be deceptive ( and not tell us the truth up front about this cruise changes; nor give us an option to cancel before starting in Basel and potentially taking another trip in future) was wrong. In light of this, we met a new group leaving Amsterdam on this ship to go to Basel—-No information given to them. How information that is bad is handled is just as important as the information. They were terribly deceptive and not forthcoming. Buyer be aware. I will never cruise Scenic again nor recommend them to anyone I know. This is our 3rd river cruise( first on Scenic); One other cruise had a problem ( Viking) and it was handled so well—we went and did another cruise with them. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one ... Read More
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one involved no nighttime cruising, and was a little slower paced in the afternoons for the most part, which appealed to us NEGATIVES: The things that could have been better are few and far between, but there's always room for better. Scenic did our flight arrangements, and we found out a month or two before leaving (after setting it up well in advance), that our flight out of Nice was too early and could not get to the airport in time. To their credit, they did fix it, but it was a little disconcerting to be up in the air (so to speak) for a while. We arrived in Paris, and the next morning took a bus to the train station, and then the high speed train to the Sapphire. It's a little nicer on other cruises to arrive in the embarkation city and be on the ship right away. Can't be helped in this case since there's no large airport in Chalon-sur-Saone where it starts. A couple of the excursions had tour guides who were very slow at finding the English word for explanations, which was a slight hassle. The ship has been redecorated well, but the toilet roll holders are attached with one screw and are all coming loose or tearing from the wall. (Nit picky, I know.) Beer selection is fair, although I kind of fell in love with a french beer, so it really didn't matter. Be prepared to moor with other ships and people walking through your lobby. To be honest, this was minimal, and I could have cared less; just that a lot of people mention that. They all do it. POSITIVES: So the rest of the cruise is great. I'll try to give a feel for what my wife and I experienced. In Paris Scenic put us up at the very posh Westin, in a perfect location. Loved it. The welcoming person was so very nice, and did a very nice informational meeting. The ship is beautiful. All very sleek greys, black, white and silver, with small splashes of color. Sort of an urban chic. Always spotless. Staff members are constantly cleaning and polishing. Sanitizer dispensers are strategically placed, and they asked that everyone use them when entering and leaving the main areas - we like that. There are germs from all over the world on any ship, and that helps a lot. We had one of the "royal" suites, which involves a few extra perks, although any level has perks. No tipping, which is wonderful. You absolutely feel no pressure to tip - wow! Every excursion you choose is included, no extra fees ever. Beer, wine and alcohol are all day and night at no charge. You can relax in the afternoon with a glass of wine without waiting for dinner. We both thought the meals were wonderful. I know some people get huffy over the fact that lunch is a buffet. With only 153 passengers, I don't find that a big deal at all, and there are still menu items at both breakfast and lunch if you don't wish to stand in line for 30 seconds. My wife has some dietary restrictions, and once they caught on, it was wonderful how they catered to her. No gluten or dairy - and the chef even made her three separate desserts for her birthday following those restrictions. That was above and beyond to us. If you don't care for the menu options, at all the meals you could simply order a chicken breast, salmon, rib eye, and a couple others. I had the rib eye one night and my wife had the chicken breast - both were delicious. Service was timely, the wine flowed freely, and the dining room was lovely. The host discussed the wines for the night each evening, so you could choose knowing what you were getting. They weren't the very expensive wines, but excellent medium range wines. If you don't like one, tell the waiter and try another. Can't ask for more than that. Breakfasts were great too, large buffet, and a omelet station. I had the eggs benedict 5 or 6 times it was so good. Fresh fruit always. And the desserts were works of art. Kudos to the staff and chef for the service and quality. Special dinners each night were explained at length by the chef himself, which is a nice touch. I'd like to mention the staff. The butler, Edita, who showed us our suite was so welcoming and efficient. I can't say enough about her service throughout the cruise. Also, our two male butlers than helped us, Dominik and Vladi were practically begging us to give them tasks. And we did, from laundry to ironing to breakfast in the room, etc. All done quickly and so nicely. I had two massages from a young man named Dragan, who also led exercise programs each morning (which we didn't do). He was professional and also fascinating to talk to. Such a nice human being we had great discussions while he worked his wonders on my muscles. Best massage ever, really. The Eastern European people are so genuine, hard working, smart, and family oriented. A breath of fresh air. A young lade, named Sevit, at the front desk went out of her way to help, and give recommendations for visits to towns and shopping. She is also to be congratulated for her wonderful demeanor and knowledge. The cruise director, Eric, was everywhere, putting out fires, making sure things went well on the excursions, etc. Well done. I guess to summarize the staff, superb. I'm running out of superlatives here! Loved the bar staff, and the bartender was great. We did tip some of these staff, although there's no need, but how could we not? The daily life and excursions and entertainment were memorable, filled with culture and history. I'll mention some of the ones we did just to impart a flavor of what they're about: All afternoon and evening the lounge has a very competent piano player named Paolo, which adds a nice touch to the feel. He could play most anything. We went to the town of Beaune and Hospice Hotel Dieu, which was a lesson in history along with a perfectly preserved hospital from the 1400's. The architecture was fabulous, with a colored-tiled roof that is simpy not to be missed. E-bikes were available almost every day, on your own or organized rides. We didn't use them, but friends we made did and thought they were very easy to use and fun. One of my favorite excursions was to a truffle farm, where a family farmer and his dog, Chinook, took us into his truffle trees to hunt. He loved telling us all about the truffles, how they are grown, the dog, everything. This is something special, as opposed to just looking at churches and castles (which also is interesting). His wife then took us into their 16th century farm house and served us truffle butter she made, with wine and bread. This was a gem outing......don't miss it. We ate at the special L'Amour Restaurant on night. Really nicely done with impeccable wait staff. Also ate at the Captain's table, and he was personable and interesting. We didn't do the Table La Rive because we were busy, but heard it was also good. Had a band one night, Krystal Live Band, fun music. Al little schmaltzy, but talented. Went to Cluny where the great Abbey once stood. A part is still there, and the museum with models and explanations helps you understand the grandeur and importance of the place: Largest church in the world until St. Peters was built. Another favorite and highly recommended "Scenic Freechoice" was Medieval Perouges. A walled city very intact, and there's not a corner or nook that isn't ripe for an amazing pose or picture. The tour guide was so very good, and some free time and fun shops. That day we had a silkpainting demo on board in the afternoon. Very interesting. One evening went to the Scenic Rouge Circus Performance for a show and dessert. Lots of young talent and acrobatics. Had a French Paradox Talk, which was fun too. In Tournon we had evening aperatifs after dinner on the terrace of a castle with a panoramic view that was killer. Along with some live music, it was relaxed and delicious. Later was a music quiz that was lively and fun. They really try to keep you entertained if you desire. We picked a trip to Tain L'Hermitage and the Valrhona Chocolate factory one day, which was imformative and who doesn't like taste testing chocolate. Spent a little money there I'm afraid. The chocolatier who gave us the talk was a little long-winded, but the museum there taught me a lot. Two dancers one night" Pierre and Faustine" were so good they almost put dancing with the stars to shame. A delight. The Ardeche Park and Lavender museum was very nice - again, we learned about something we knew little of, and also saw some splendid natural beauty. That night we had a fench female singer who did Edith Pilaf among others, and she had a great sound. We Did the Chateauneuf-du-Pape vinyeard/village tour with wine-tasting. The history was superb, I loved this one, and the wine was so good we ordered some to be shipped home. We didn' do a lot of wine-tasting excursions, but this one was a gem. We toured the Pope's palace in Avignon later that same day. Just look at a couple of their pictures and you'll know it's deserving of it's UNESCO world heritage designation. A different favorite of mine was Pont du Gard and Uzes. If you're at all considering this excursion, look at some pictures of the 2,000 year old aqueduct, and you'll be hooked. The museum there was outstanding also, and the tour guide gave us plenty of time there, per the recommendation of Eric, our tour director. A special evening was dinner at the Pope's Palace. The room was so "important", can't think of the right word, because 5 papal enclaves were held right there in the 1300's. So much history. The food was fancy, but not my favorite, except for the really good pear dessert. They had a string quartet that was as good as any I've ever heard....wow. We went to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, with a fascinating church, right on the Mediterranean coast. Lots of interesting little shops. Also went to the bird Park, but it started raining and most elected not to go in (including us). That evening was a gypsy show, and they were so much better than I expected. A real treat. Another excursion I would highly recommend was Les Baux-de-Provence and Olive Oil Farm. Baux was a very cool little walled city, picturesque and fun, with lots of fun shops amidst the cobblestoned streets. And the olive farm, once again, was something I knew little about. It is a family business, and has been for many generations, even with their own 14th century private chapel. The process of making the olive oil was so well done, as was the intriguing tasting we did with one of the owner's daughters. Do it. I will say we loved the Scenic Tailormade devices. On one of ours the battery was bad, and they quickly replaced that. The sound was usually very good, except in a very windy situation. You can also take them out on your own when roaming around, and they have a built in GPS that will give you pertinent info on anything you're near. Also, take them around the ship and set to cruise mode, and they alert you to interesting things you're passing on the shore with a history. Once again, I highly recommend Scenic. It's not at all like a huge cruise ship where there are so many stores, restaurants, venues, pools, etc. But that's the charm of a small boat; almost like a temporary community expertly formed and guided by the staff. We met so many fun people. Don't get me wrong, everyone doesn't become friends, but it was easy to make some, and it made the cruise so much better. I'm 63 and there were some a fair amoung younger and quite a few a little older (retired), and a few elderly. I think all ages can enjoy this type of cruise. Of course, motion sickness is no issue here. I have read negative reviews of Scenic. Everyone isn't pleased with the same things, but I feel like with the amazing service and the multitude of choices in entertainment, food and excursions, I can't imagine not having the best of vacations on the Scenic Sapphire. Thank you Scenic for your concept and execution. You are worth the little extra money that one pays as compared to some other river cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise ... Read More
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise director Andreea was amazing. The swaps were handled very well and pretty painlessly for us, with the exception we had to pack up twice but all luggage was handl d by the crew and in our rooms when we reached the new ship. Weather for October was well above normal so we were able to st on the top deck as we crises te rivers. Rm 234 at te back of the ship was very noisy on the Pearl but not so on the newer Opal ad Amber. Etertanmet rought on board was ver good. String quartet delightful. Would have enjiyed ports more had we been able to dock closer to town centres but low water levels found us needing to shuttle into centre of towns. Would definitely travel wt Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Based on our Travel Coordinator's advice we selected the Scenic Luxury Cruises for our first cruise. The entire crew was superb. They were very attentive to our requests. As an example, while on shore I asked our Cruise Director, ... Read More
Based on our Travel Coordinator's advice we selected the Scenic Luxury Cruises for our first cruise. The entire crew was superb. They were very attentive to our requests. As an example, while on shore I asked our Cruise Director, Cathy, if she could point me to a pharmacy to purchase some throat lozenges. She said she would take care of it and when the group got together a little later, Cathy had purchased them and did not make a big deal out of it. River cruising will always be impacted by the amount of water in the river. The Rhine River was sufficiently low that we had to disembark the Ruby and take a more shallow day cruise through the Rhine River gorges. While the guests were on the day cruiser, the crew disembarked our luggage and drove to the other end of the gorges where the Crystal was waiting when we arrived. Scenic and their crews did an excellent job of keeping the passengers informed and then doing the ship switch professionally. By the way, the unplanned day cruise ship was filled with tourists and locals and ended up being a pleasant experience. The on shore tours and events were excellent. In addition to the crew, we enjoyed meeting fellow passengers and sharing stories. In summary, Scenic was a great experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Gems of the Danube river cruise (my husband and I were actual paying cruisers on the Jasper just 11 days ago. We were not compensated in any way to write this review) We did online research of several cruise lines. We were ... Read More
Gems of the Danube river cruise (my husband and I were actual paying cruisers on the Jasper just 11 days ago. We were not compensated in any way to write this review) We did online research of several cruise lines. We were particularly looking at the excursions offered on various cruise lines. We felt Scenic offered a good variety of choices. Some active choices and some less active choices depending on how you're feeling. As expected the excursions were well thought out and executed. When traveling to a particular location we were aboard Volvo coaches. Very nice. Everything on the ship was done on time! Including embarkment and disembarkment, excursions, meals, entertainment, etc. Very nice. I can't say enough about the ship staff/crew. Super friendly! Every time we passed a staff member or had an encounter with one they smiled and greeted us. They genuinely seemed happy to be doing their job. We met some very interesting crew members. Funny and entertaining. Our cruise director was Richard from Yorkshire and he was so funny. He never got flustered either. Each room has a butler. The name of our butler was Graykor and he was very attentive. If you called him with a need he was at your door in a mater of minutes. The Hotel Manager on our ship was Marco and he assured that everything ran smoothly. And let us not forget the bartender. His name was Mikol (pronounced Me-Hi) and he was so funny. We loved getting to know him. I elected to have an optional massage during out first day of cruising to work out the knots from our traveling. The massage therapist did not disappoint. He gave an excellent deep tissue massage. Ahhhhh And the fee was no more then I would have paid here at home. The food! Oh the food. I miss it already. Excellent regional food. Buffet (excellent buffet food) or menu ordering for breakfast and lunch. And a fabulous menu of choices every night. The food and wine were paired as well. Twice during the cruise we received an invitation to a special dinner: Portobellos with restaurant manager Predrag Acimovic, and Table La Rive (for Diamond Deck cruisers) with Executive Chef Antonio Jones. An amazing dining experience with multiple courses. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment too. Hungarian folk dancers, Viennese Waltz Dancers, Decades Disco with Enzo, Schuplattler Dancers, Trivia Challenge night, Music and dancing every evening throughout the cruise with Enzo at the piano. Last but not lease we made some wonderful friends and exchanged contact information. You know it's a wonderful vacation when you come home with new friends! I highly recommended Scenic Cruise Lines. It met and exceeded our expectations. I realize I used a lot of adjectives & exclamation points - but I'm still enjoying the wonderful memories we made on such a fun cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I booked an 11-day Scenic Gems of the Danube cruise as a 20th anniversary present to ourselves. It was recommended by my travel agent. This was also a trip that was on our bucket list. Just a few days before leaving for our ... Read More
My wife and I booked an 11-day Scenic Gems of the Danube cruise as a 20th anniversary present to ourselves. It was recommended by my travel agent. This was also a trip that was on our bucket list. Just a few days before leaving for our trip, I was advised by my travel agent that the rivers in Europe were experiencing low water levels due to the hot, dry summer. We were scheduled to be on the Scenic Amber; however, we were told we would likely have to "swap" ships. After arriving in Prague, we were told that we would be on the Scenic Jasper as the Amber was stuck down river due to the low water levels. The ship was to travel down the Danube and stop along the way at cities such as Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Vienna and Budapest. Unfortunately, the low water levels prevented the ship from progressing past Regensburg. None of the river tour companies can control Mother Nature, but how they respond is key. There should have been a contingency plan to swap ships as standard operating procedure, and this did not happen. As a result of the ship remaining in Regensburg, the stops in Passau (including Salzburg), Melk, and Vienna were cancelled and even after the water level rose again, the ship only arrived in Budapest on the very last day when all passengers had to disembark. The company did offer coach rides to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov. Since we originally had planned to visit Salzburg, we chose the coach ride there, which took hours to get to. As a result, the tour was rushed as we had to be back on the coach for the ride back. The coach rides to Vienna and Budapest were also very long and resulted in tours in which we felt very rushed. We were not able to visit Schonbrunn Palace as we had planned, and the tour guide in Budapest remarked that our tour was the fastest she had ever given. Some passengers were so disappointed at not having had a river cruise that they left the ship early and went home. We decided to stay on the ship and visit as many cities as possible, but it still wasn't the cruise we had hoped for. Each day, the cruise director called us into the lounge to announce the latest decision on what they would offer. This constant state of not knowing added to the stress of our vacation. As the cruise director stated, it was no longer a cruise, but an adventure. The ship itself was fine, although I don't think calling their ships "Spaceships" is justified as our cabin was much smaller than expected, based on the company's description. The service on the ship was fine, although one drink server was very unfriendly from the first day. The food was good, although the breakfast buffet didn't change. All beverages were included, which is nice as this is not the case on most ocean cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This is actually a review of the Jasper which was subbed for this itinerary, the ships are identical. We chose Scenic based on reviews, the itinerary, their cruise guarantee (which really paid off) and the all inclusive price. Our ... Read More
This is actually a review of the Jasper which was subbed for this itinerary, the ships are identical. We chose Scenic based on reviews, the itinerary, their cruise guarantee (which really paid off) and the all inclusive price. Our interruption started on Day 3 in to 4 when instead sailing to Passau we stayed in Regensburg due to low water levels. We toured Salzberg on Day4 from Regensburg, a minor inconvenience with a slightly longer bus ride. That night we were informed that we would not be moving. We had the choice of staying on the boat and taking our chances, leaving the cruise for good and getting a refund or taking a bus to Melk and the Abbey the next day and staying in a hotel. We chose that option. About 20 people left for good and another 30 or so stayed on the boat. The next day was the biggest inconvenience, with a long bus ride to Melk and a night in a hotel. Fortunately that night we were informed that after a bus tour to Vienna the next day (and a wonderful concert at the Lichtenstein Palace that night) we would be meeting the ship again as they did a dam release and the ship was under way. We rejoined the boat that night to an enthusiastic "welcome back" and sailed to Bratislava the next day. When we disembarked, the ship took off to make up time and rejoined it that night by bus. The final day we sailed in to Budapest and they let us tour Budapest in the morning and come back to ship for lunch. Given the circumstances beyond their control, Scenic could not have handled things better. Our wonderful Cruise Director worked tirelessly to keep the itinerary going and the staff went out of their way to keep us in good spirits. We received a refund of several hundred dollars a day for the four days we were inconvenienced. Overall the ship and the staff were wonderful. Service was excellent. The cabin was spacious, modern and comfortable. Food was consistently good to excellent. Evenings in the lounge were a lot of fun. Our fellow passengers were great travelling companions, especially after the few complainers left the cruise after the fourth night! Tours were well organized with wonderful guides. I would highly recommend Scenic as a cruise line. They are pricey, but once on board you truly never have to touch your wallet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We had a wonderful cruise on the Scenic Sapphire on the Rhone River from Chalon-sur-Saone to Tarascon. We first flew to Paris on our own. We took the train to Lyon where we connected to a local train to Chalon-sur-Saone. The ship was great ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Scenic Sapphire on the Rhone River from Chalon-sur-Saone to Tarascon. We first flew to Paris on our own. We took the train to Lyon where we connected to a local train to Chalon-sur-Saone. The ship was great with a sizable fitness center, massages, a beauty salon. Our cabin was on the #2 deck. Most of the cabins have an outside balcony with a window that lowers to waist height. While other cruise lines have the "French balcony" with the window that lowers, Scenic is unique with an outdoor deck with chairs.The food onboard was very good. As opposed to other river cruises where you had to arrive at dinner at 7:00pm, Scenic makes a point of telling you they will serve you anytime between a range of hours. There were cooking classes onboard every day at 4:00pm. There were ample excursions to meet every desire. The service onboard was superb. Everyone was kind, outgoing and helpful. I will take Scenic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much ... Read More
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much time doing nothing… How wrong I was… Scenic Cruises have once again exceeded my expectations, as has the countryside and places we visited throughout Normandy on this very leisurely ‘must do’ river cruise. Full credit to Scenic for making this a 10-day cruise and not a 7 day, as most other river cruise operators do. Those extra few days turn a short getaway into a genuine relaxing holiday, one that will be remembered for many years to come. The itinerary is very well thought out with a mix of culture, cruising, experiences and diversity that I wouldn’t have thought possible in just the one ‘department’ (state, county) of France. Normandy has so much to see and do. From quaint inland villages to coastal seaside towns. Rolling hills to tidal flats and chalk cliffs. There is something for everyone on this cruise. As always Scenic do it in style. That’s why they are the leaders in River Cruising, all others simply copy. It’s the staff that make your holiday a truly great experience, with attentive care, attention to detail and a smile whatever the time, day or night (do they ever sleep I wonder?). I came on with an old pair of shoes and left with what looked like a new pair – a tribute to the butler service. Some travellers are initially put off by the price but believe me it works out better value than many of the competitors when you take into account all the inclusions. You could give the moths in your wallet a well-earned holiday as everything is included, from meals, drinks, tips, to choices of excursions you could easily go the full ten days without opening your wallet nor spend a single Euro. I was particularly impressed with Scenic’s attention to detail. Their ship ‘The Scenic Gem’ is purpose built for this river, made slightly shorter, with less cabins solely so it can dock in Honfleur instead of Le Havre as many of the other companies are forced to do being as their vessels are too long. Honfleur was a highlight of the cruise and being able to moor up in the quaint historic coastal town centre was a plus. (Le Havre is a major industrial port, no comparison!). The evening concert at the Chateau was also a great experience not to be missed, so unique, something not possible anywhere else in the world. This was my forth Scenic River Cruise and it did not disappoint. I came away feeling totally relaxed and satisfied that I had tasted all Normandy had to offer – and done it in style. Note: If you are under 60 years you will enjoy the cruise but do not expect to meet too many new friends of your age group. It primarily attracts an older crowd, perhaps due to the excellent excursions to WW1 & WW2 battle fields (Somme & Normandy Landing) which catered to not only Australians, but Canadian and American history buffs. But don’t despair, as with all Scenic Cruises there is always a choice of day tours so if these did not rock your boat then you could go explore the spectacular Chalk cliff coast line and its delightful seaside towns, or perhaps a Castle or a culinary experience. The onboard meals are of the highest standard, all made from local produce complimented by a range of fine French wines. The fresh seafood from Honfleur was up there in the ‘yum’ stakes, as were the scrumptious desserts. This raises the question: ‘Has any Scenic passenger ever got off the ship lighter than when they boarded?’ I seriously doubt it. If you did you were a temptation diehard freak with the world’s greatest will power to resist the local French delicacies and pastries on offer every day. This cruise comes highly recommended and would be an ideal add on to any European tour, a great way to end any visit to the continent. Don’t forget to book a couple of extra nights at the beginning or end of your cruise so you can do Paris justice, there is so much to experience in this captivating city. Where to go next on Scenic? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Scenic because our friends sailed with this company and everything was included. We attended a seminar and we were impressed with the information. The high water situation was discussed and so we booked in September to avoid the ... Read More
We chose Scenic because our friends sailed with this company and everything was included. We attended a seminar and we were impressed with the information. The high water situation was discussed and so we booked in September to avoid the spring rain falls. Before we left on the cruise, we heard rumours of low water levels and scoured the internet for information about cruise interruptions but could not find any. 2 days before we left Canada, we received an email from Scenic saying our ship had been changed to the Amber and further in the email a paragraph "The upper Danube river between Passau and Regensburg is experiencing low water levels and our Cruise Director will keep guests informed of the changing river situation and required cruising amendments." My travel agent called Scenic and was told they knew of no issues with the ships sailing the route. Once we got there, we learned not 1 ship made it all the way along the route since June! We had cancellation insurance and could have rescheduled everything at that point. Scenic would have had their money and we would have had ours. If we had known we were to pack up and change ships twice and spend hours on a bus, we never would have gone on this cruise! Misrepresentation and lies is all we got. As well, on the Rhine gorge portion, you know, where you are supposed to be having a glass of wine and gazing at castles, they put us on a noisy, stinky public ferry. Adding insult to injury, as the ferry ground along, we looked over and a Scenic ship went by. They make it seem like they are doing you a big favour by moving your luggage for you and rearranging the schedule to get as much in as they promised but it is a huge inconvenience to be jumping up early and packing and unpacking to be shuttled on a bus where there are a bunch of people coughing. We both got sick from being cooped up on busses for hours. Don't be fooled by the advertising. More than 1/2 the time we were docked beside another ship, staring into someone else's cabin. The top of the ship is closed a lot as well, to get under the bridges. This route is packed with ships, way too busy. Having said all this, I must add that the facilities on the ships, the food, service and tours were amazing! I only regret I was not offered an opportunity to go at a time I could have enjoyed it to the max. I have been offered an insulting refund amount according to their "cruise guarantee" which I am disputing. They have acknowledged receipt of my letter but have not responded. It's been more than 2 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle ... Read More
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle where we hoped to arrived in a relaxed manner - and we certainly did. It was a wonderful way to begin a journey. Everything on the Scenic Jewel was way beyond expectations from the welcome on board, luggage handling, cabin service, tours, entertainment, food and drink, cleanliness and departure. ALL staff without exception were efficient, helpful, thoughtful, courteous and very good humoured. We met some delightful people with whom we had many laughs and many drinks and many wonderful meals. The land excursions were excellent though the listening devices could be improved. The ear pieces tended to fall out of your ear and the sound was often faint and/or broke up. It is difficult to say what the most memorable part of the trip was - it was all so different and interesting. Going through the locks was amazing; the scenery was charming in fact in many ways it often felt as though one were moving gently through a postcard. It was always delightful to go on shore and walk around such interesting and charming places which prior to the trip were essentially names in atlases or novels. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Cruise director and crew did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. Disappointed that we were not able to sail on the more expensive and newer Jade do to problems with low water levels in the Danube. Sailed on an older boat the ... Read More
Cruise director and crew did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. Disappointed that we were not able to sail on the more expensive and newer Jade do to problems with low water levels in the Danube. Sailed on an older boat the Pearl and halfway through the trip bused to a second vessel further up river. Not a big issue as this was the day we were already taking a day-long trip to Salzberg. Just meant we had to pack and unpack again, missed a section of the river and the bus trip was a bit longer. I heard that others on other cruises at this time were cancelled or people ended up busing instead, so I counted ourselves lucky. The cabins were small but comfortable. Enjoyed the local folk entertainment on board. There was a reasonable variety for dinner although the breakfast and lunch offerings somewhat repetitive. The shore excursions were included and typically a couple of different options. All the guides were extremely knowledgeable Loved the using their e-bikes and our stops at smaller communities along the way. Would have been nice to have yoga or other onboard fitness activities. Added on a pre-cruise stay in Prague and post-cruise stay in Budapest. The accommodations and guided walk organized by Scenic were great. Would recommend having this full experience. So yes there were very big problems due to water levels in the river but I believe Scenic worked hard to make to work. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise du to the fact that it was all inclusive and the write-ups. Due to river levels we did not get to sail on the ship we paid for. This we found out the day before we boarded the ship (Scenic Amber) hence we were on an ... Read More
We chose this cruise du to the fact that it was all inclusive and the write-ups. Due to river levels we did not get to sail on the ship we paid for. This we found out the day before we boarded the ship (Scenic Amber) hence we were on an older vessel lacking amenities we paid for. At the time of booking this cruise (may 2017) we book adjacent rooms with close friends as both couples were celebrating 40th anniversary, and this trip was to commemorate this event. Upon boarding the ship found us separated substantially on the same deck. When we approached the cruise director he informed that the ships were different configuration and there was nothing he could do. We would have to take it up with Scenic at a later date. Needless to say the cruise started off totally with a crash. The change to the second ship ended up consuming almost 2 days with an evening packing, 6 hours on a bus for a 2 hour tour and an evening for unpacking into tighter quarters on "Scenic Pearl". Dining on board was average at best but should be rated at 2.5, other than the Table La Riv. Compared to other cruises I have been where dining would be 4 to 5. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had never done a cruise before; ocean or river and decided it would be a terrific way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. While scheduled to go on the Scenic Amber our ship in Nuremberg was the Scenic Jade due to low water levels and ... Read More
We had never done a cruise before; ocean or river and decided it would be a terrific way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. While scheduled to go on the Scenic Amber our ship in Nuremberg was the Scenic Jade due to low water levels and Amber's inability to travel the Danube. Our Scenic travel arrangements were seamless. We were met at the airport, taken to our hotel that we were staying at the night before our cruise date, and then met in the hotel lobby then next day for transport to our cruise. All we dealt with were lovely, professional, courteous, and friendly pointing out interesting places en route. When we arrived at the ship it was prior to 3 pm but we were welcomed aboard enthusiastically. Our cabin was a bit roomier than we expected it to be and our butler Igor was charming. We were welcomed with a lovely card and a bottle of bubbly for our anniversary. A wonderful touch. The cruise director Richard was helpful, informative and upbeat. He had a bit of a job as we had been warned that we would likely change ships midway through the tour due to water levels and unfortunately had to do a bit of a dance until it was confirmed. He handled it all well from our point of view; difficult role to play being the messenger. We enjoyed the varied dinner menus with multiple options, riverside cafe, our special dinner invitations to Portobellos and Le Rive,the people we met, the well-organized tours, the tour guides, the ability to opt out if we wanted to explore on our own and the myriad of additional touches we experienced along route. We did change ships to the Scenic Pearl (apt as Pearl is the marker for 30th anniversary) midway through, missing Passau and our only wish was we had done this the other way around starting our voyage on the Pearl, as the Pearl cabin felt a bit smaller than the Jade but the staff were super. We were so impressed with everyone's attention to detail and the farewell night song to the travellers was hilarious. We are definitely fans of river cruising now and already investigating where else we want to explore. Kudos to all onboard Jade and Pearl. You helped create the most fabulous and brilliant wedding anniversary memories we will treasure always. Read Less
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