We have just returned from a wonderful trip aboard the Scenic Diamond. We have travelled a fair bit and felt that this trip was one of the best so far. Scenic offered us the ability to enjoy travelling to different ports while comfortable aboard the ship every night. The amenities of fine linen, delicious food and drinks served by a staff that was intent on making your trip as enjoyable as possible, made this trip outstanding for us. We loved the all inclusive feature that allowed us to never have to reach for our wallets. As promised by Scenic, every tour, admission, drink, meal, transfers and gratuity was included. At the end of our stay the bill was a big fat 0. Much different than when we were on other cruises where every time you did anything they were charging you. We felt we had excellent value for money spent and the added bonus of not worrying about the cost provided us a stress free vacation. At the end of our stay we had absolutely NOTHING we would have changed. Katharina our cruise director worked day and night to organize everyone and meticulously planned each day. We were well informed about each port and watched her scramble to make amends when issues out of her control demanded changes. She was outstanding. The staff always greeted everyone with smile and were always willing to make our stay as pleasant as possible.
We found the wait staff offered us superb service, always remembering our order and drinks and often anticipating our needs before we even asked. We enjoyed every meal and found there was adequate variety. The portions were small at times but our waiter was quick to provide us with a double order if requested. Personally I loved the small portions as it allowed me to taste a variety of different courses without becoming to full. There were only 25 staff on board so everyone was always seen doing many different tasks. They appeared to work well as a team and everyone was willing to jump in and fill whatever role was needed. Our personal butler was always seen in the main bar area. While he always had a smile on his face and asked if he could help you, we were hesitant to ask him for anything as he was obviously already so overworked. In no way did this affect our cruise as all as we were quite able to walk the few steps to the lobby to pick up our newspaper or get a plate of munchies from La Rive Cafe.
The port excursions were all fabulous and we really liked using the Scenic taylor made devices. The choices of excursions as well as the GPS system on the devices allowed us to design whatever kind of tour we wanted to take. The earplugs on these devices allowed us to hear our guide while walking through the towns. BTW the guides were all very knowledgeable, delivered their tour in clear English in an informal relaxed way. We found they expertly provided us with all the history, statistics and details in each port. The tours are all done aboard Scenic's own busses which are clean, modern and comfortable. The same drivers followed us along the river so we were familiar with them. This was far superior than boarding different busses rented in every port, never knowing if the driver was any good or the conditions of the bus. Again, a plus for Scenic because they ran bus tours before they ran river cruise tours.
Before booking our cruise we did extensive research and comparisons with other river cruise companies. They were all very similar. What stood out to us was the Scenic Sun lounge on our balcony and the all inclusive feature. We feel we made a very good choice with Scenic and we would recommend this cruise to everyone and hope to be able to travel with them again.