We sailed from Budapest on August 12, 2013 aboard the Scenic Crystal. From the moment we stepped aboard everything was perfect. Greeted with a rose and a drink, we were ushered to the lounge. Our butler then came to collect us and show us to our cabin. We were in Balcony Suite 329 on the Danube Deck. Our luggage was waiting for us in our room. I was surprised by the amount of space, especially storage and hanging space.
Every aspect of the trip was first class from food, drinks, entertainment, excursions and staff.
Due to low water in the locks, meaning our ship couldn't pass through, we were transferred to the Scenic Jewel in Nuremburg. This was done very smoothly and with a minimum of fuss. We had some misgivings as we had developed relationships with the staff and were concerned that the other ship might not be so good but it was! The staff on the this ship were friendly, cheerful and helpful too. The Jewel and Crystal are identical in layout and the few differences were positives, e.g. Better pressure in Jewel's showers and folding doors on the balcony rather than sliding (this meant they could be fully opened).
Some personal highlights were the excursion to Cesky Krumlov, a visit to a family run winery, Durnstein in Austria, concert at Litchenstein Palace in Vienna, sailing through the Wauchau Valley and the Rhine Gorge.
We completed our cruise at Amsterdam on August 26.
I could give a blow by blow description of the whole trip but that would take the shine off your experience.
This is a holiday that can be as busy or as relaxed as you want it to be - you choose the pace of your days and select what you want to do or not do.
As it is ALL INCLUSIVE, we did not spend a cent whilst on board (except to get some washing done).
The greatest attraction of this style of holiday for me, is that we unpacked and were transported from place to place, often as we slept.
If you are considering a European River Cruise, my advice is "Do it!" and in my opinion Scenic are the company to do it with.