When is a cruise not a cruise? : Scenic Jewel Cruise Review by Kernelman
Overall Member Rating
When is a cruise not a cruise?
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
As a result of all the ship changing we did get to experience the different levels of service on board three of the Company's vessels. Most of the time the service and helpfulness of the staff were exemplary but on one of the ships the vessel hadn't moved for ten days and the staff were beginning to get fractious - and it showed! Some evening dining was waiter service but for breakfast, lunch, and most evenings the service was mostly on a buffet style, with a somewhat limited choice. However, the specialist dining room, Portobello's, was very good with fine food and wines and excellent service. The cruise was advertised as all-inclusive and while wine was from a selected list I understand that there was a charge made if a different wine was ordered. However, I never experienced that as I thought that the wines available were fair enough. Most of the passengers were Australian (as befits an Australian Tour operator)and many of them did not like the European wines on offer.
The Tour Director stayed with the passengers throughout the various moves and attempted to control the situation as far as he could. He talked to us daily, sometimes twice daily, but was unable to get any information from his Head Office about the future of the cruise. Their attitude seemed to be to keep doing the same thing (putting the passengers on buses) and maybe the flooding situation will improve. In the event we missed out on huge parts of the Rhine and the Danube including some iconic areas like the Rhine Gorge, and Rudesheim, but Scenic Tours just shrugged their metaphorical shoulders and herded the passengers around on buses. We had been on the Rhine before so knew most of the sights so we enjoyed the on-board service and sitting in the sun. Consequently we only took the bus option when either we had to, say when changing ships, or if we really wanted to see an attraction.
I can't say why Scenic Tours decided to press on with a doomed river cruise when the other cruise companies had cancelled. Maybe because the majority of the passengers were Australian and the cost of sending them home would have been too high? If it hadn't been for the buses and the three ship changes we would have had a good holiday. Less
Cabin review: PD307
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