Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Luxury Deals Luxury Ship Reviews Luxury Itineraries Luxury Features Luxury Cruise Forum

Scenic Sapphire Review

Home > Cruise Ship Reviews > Scenic Tours > Scenic Sapphire Review
67% of cruisers loved it
Why Go?
  • Scenic is one of river cruising's most inclusive lines
  • Many cabins have innovative sunrooms that convert to balconies
  • All-day dining and in-cabin service unusual in river cruising

Scenic Sapphire Overview

(4.5) 4.5 out of 5+ star rating
Scenic Sapphire, launched in 2008, is one of Scenic Cruises' (Scenic Tours in the U.K. and Australia) popular “space ships.” If you're an American, you might wonder why you've never heard of this luxury river line. It's because its Australian parent company has not marketed to Americans until recently. European menu (items like fish and muesli at breakfast and a wide selection of cheese offered at every meal, for example).

Now a staple of Scenic's stable, the “space ship” class nods to a design that offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry. Standout features include the "Sun Lounge" balconies, which simultaneously make cabins feel large and airy and make the balcony space usable in fair and inclement weather; multiple dining options teased out of just two main public areas (the restaurant and the lounge); and a spa and fitness center -- small but certainly not standard on all river ships.

And the luxurious amenities can't be overlooked: Scenic is one of the most all-inclusive river lines. All meals, all drinks (minus the highest-end liquors and French Champagne), excursions, Internet and butler service in all cabins are included in the fare.

No detail is too small to be carefully considered, from a gorgeous selection of loose-leaf teas in the lounge to combination television-Mac computers with Internet in every cabin. The glassed-in showers might be the largest we've ever had in a standard balcony cabin, and you can lather up in L'Occitane shampoos and lotions before drying off in fluffy bathrobes. Even the included excursions go beyond the river cruise staples with your choice of walking, biking or museum tours in every port. Plus Scenic's exclusive GPS devices allow for independent exploration with a virtual guide and map, as well as narration during scenic cruising portions of the trip.

If there's a lot about Scenic that pleases, one downside on our trip was the quality of service. We were surprised at how many glitches there were. Our butler never introduced herself while the butler for the cabin across the hall was checking in on my neighbor daily. The waitstaff couldn't handle simple requests (no prosciutto on my antipasto or an off-the-menu request for morning oatmeal); The ship's state-of-the-art electrically assisted bicycles kept getting flat tires or running out of battery power; and we never managed to get the TV or Internet working in our cabin.

Because Scenic Sapphire is not an American ship; you'll find lengthy itineraries (15-day sailings can be common) catering to Australian travel styles, European and Australian power points, and a more European menu (items like fish and muesli at breakfast and a wide selection of cheese offered at every meal, for example). But if you're looking for an upscale, all-inclusive river experience, Scenic Sapphire is definitely worth checking out.
Scenic Sapphire Fellow Passengers
Scenic historically has attracted Australians and Brits, but a growing number of Americans, Canadians and Germans are coming aboard. Passengers are typically aged 50 to 80, well traveled and financially comfortable. Passengers also tend to be fairly active; while Scenic Sapphire does have an elevator, the focus on walking tours along cobblestoned streets in European towns means the tours aren't so suitable for wheelchair-bound or travelers with significant mobility issues.
Scenic Sapphire Dress Code
Dress is casual during the day (bring sturdy, comfortable shoes for all the walking tours) and smart casual at night. Ladies would wear dressy pants outfits, skirts or dresses, while men donned nice slacks and button-down shirts (jackets optional). People dolled up a bit more for the Captain's Welcome and Farewell dinners or for dining at specialty venues Portobellos and Table La Rive.
Scenic Sapphire Gratuity
The onboard currency is the euro. Gratuities are included in your fare for onboard staff and tour guides. Additional tipping is not expected.
Print the entire ship review


Scenic Sapphire Member Reviews 3 Reviews
   Scenic Sapphire from Budapest to Bucharest
June 2014

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 ...continue


   horribe experince on Scenic
October 2013

We were promised exceptional service and food, but believe me, what we got was not even average! The menu was never explained, so many people never knew you could order special items for breakfast.

Food was cold, and looked pre-cooked. ...continue


   Eight lovely days aboard the Scenic Sapphire
September 2013

Just home from eight great days touring with Scenic Tours along the Rhine River. As a seasoned ocean cruiser I was looking forward to seeing what river cruising had to offer and I was not disappoiinted. After reading some less than stellar ...continue


1 - 3 of 3 Reviews


Overview   Cabins   Dining   Activities   Family   More Reviews  
Sponsored Listings:
red arrow
red arrow
Scenic Sapphire Ratings
Member Rating
Dining
4.0
3.3
Public Rooms
5.0
5.2
Cabins
5.0
5.2
Entertainment
2.0
3.3
Spa & Fitness
3.0
0.0
Family & Children
1.0
0.0
Shore Excursions
4.0
5.3
Enrichment
2.0
NA
Service
4.0
3.7
Value-for-Money
4.0
3.7
Rates
5.0
0.0

Explore This Ship
Ship Stats
Crew: 50
Launched: 2008
Decks: 4
Tonnage: 2,721
Passengers: 167
Registry: Malta
CDC Score: Not yet inspected
 
Community
Join the Forums
Get answers from real cruisers on the forums

Join the Roll Call
Make friends, share tours
About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.