Scenic Tour's new ship, the Crystal, was a gem. The cabins were so well laid out, that you had ample room for all your clothes, shoes and treasures that were purchased along the way. We were gliding so smoothly on the rivers and through the many locks, stopping in so many cute hamlets, towns and cities. The balcony, with the window that would go up to enclose it, to become a "sunroom" was magnificent. I was sitting out there at 5:30 am with a coffee. What a life!
The cabin stewards were polite, funny, helpful all the time and certainly worked hard to make sure your room was clean, the bathroom sparkly with all the chrome fixtures just shining. There were 2 housecoats and slippers in every room. Lovely L'Occitane toiletries and soaps and nail file. The beds were really comfortable. There was a selection of pillows available. A chocolate was always on the pillows every evening after they finished the "turn down" service which included touching up the bathroom again. They also delivered the itinerary for the next day, so you always knew what was happening.
Our butler always put the "Canadian Mini-newspaper" under our door at 5:00 am. every morning (Scenic compiled four pages of Canadian, U.S., Australian, British news etc. from the day before).
With only 170 passengers, the waiters and waitresses got to know you really fast and were most helpful and funny.... a caring bunch for sure. They came back OFTEN and always kept your glass of wine full at lunch and supper.
Breakfast and lunch were buffets with hot and cold dishes. There was an "egg man" at breakfast cooking whatever you wanted. The supper was decadent and presented so nicely on the plate. There was always a choice of appetizer, soup, entree and dessert. We never had a bad meal.
Touring was made easy. All the tours were included in the price. They had coaches waiting once we were off the ship to take us to castles, concerts or just to get us into town, if it was too far to walk. We were able to walk from the ship to the Great Market Hall in Budapest which I would suggest you do. That is truly something to see, with sausages hanging, chicken, beef, vegetables, souvenirs, jewellery, linens, you name it, they have it. It is a HUGE building, two levels.
Scenic had entertainment from the various countries we were in, that played in the evening for us. There was a glass blowing show, that we could watch and see how it was done. The gentlemen had some great items to purchase and I got one of his Galileo thermometers.
After a long day of touring, they would "welcome us back home" with trays of drinks and a hot refreshing towel. We always felt safe walking in every town we were in, even when we were on our own.
We loved the BBQ lunch we had one day on the Sun Deck as we were passing castles and small towns and waving to everyone on the shore. Our "music man", Martin, was always entertaining every evening and for the BBQ playing a variety of instruments and singing.
We loved starting in Budapest and 15 days later, three rivers later, a myriad of little towns later, we arrived in Amsterdam. It was a trip we will never forget. We got to know so many nice people from Australia and other countries.
We would love to do another river cruise. We can't imagine going with anyone other than Scenic.
Noreen.............. and I Luv2Travelalso