This was my first cruise on Scenic River cruises,and won t be my last.Have already booked another for next May.The ship,food,staff,cabins,etc.all great,would rate 4 to 4 1/2 stars.I m just picky about some details,so not 5 star(very subjective,I know) .The itinerary would not be one for newbies,as not as scenic as others I ve been on.Budapest was great,lots to see,hotel(Marriott)nice and good location.Only really great cruise section was Iron Gorge area(lots of tall rock formations),but rest sort of dull and industry based.I Bucharest had some lovely sections but not a city I d want to go back to. I wanted to see the whole Danube and did it in 3 different sections.
Really glad I upgraded to jr.balcony suite.The tub,room service,butler,extra space all worth it.That s one of the reasons picked Scenic in first place.Also loved the airport transfer,tips for everyone(bus and guide) and left ship owing nothing.Every port had city tour and then choice for free tour(not extra charge as with some).
The food,in general,was above average(for a river cruise).Breakfast with room service was usually warm,but not hot.Had to eat of tray on balcony(not trolley cart).The table la rive(special dinner for Danube Deck and suites)was the best one.Then Portobellos was second.Dining room could be very loud,and service generally quite good,but long.,,usually 2 hrs.Did have tables for 2,4,6 and could sit where you wanted.
Entertainment was 2 folk bands and dancers,crew show,and piano player.It started at 9 15 pm.Lasted 45 min.or so.Fun to watch,but not like ocean liners.Many newbies thought it was "amateur hour",but I liked it.Have been on 10 other river cruises and knew what to expect.
Staff was helpful,esp.nice to have a Butler.Very prompt with granting requests,from pillow selection to explanation of cabin,TV,and all details.Room service and 2 treats a day delivered on time,But they also had to serve as waiters too.\
In conclusion, if you want a great ship,food,service,and all inclusive you ll be very happy with Scenic.Just know what to expect so your experience will be what you really want.Not an ocean liner,ships on river are smaller,entertainment is low key.