Wowee! What a magical experience. I cruised on the Scenic Jasper from Budapest to Amsterdam leaving 31 July and was blown away by this trip. The combination of friendly relaxed passengers, fun and professional crew, the experience of ... Read More
Wowee! What a magical experience. I cruised on the Scenic Jasper from Budapest to Amsterdam leaving 31 July and was blown away by this trip. The combination of friendly relaxed passengers, fun and professional crew, the experience of gliding down the river, the places we visited, the food, the entertainment – everything made it just fabulous. I was taken aback by how difficult it was to leave on our last day. Everything is included in the fare so you don’t have to worry about anything – what a luxury.
All the passengers interacted in an open and fun way and I think Scenic are very good at choosing the perfect crew to make the cruise extra special. DJordje (Hotel Manager) is an excellent leader and worked with the passengers, the leadership team and the crew to create a warm and fun vibe. Thankyou Yevgeny (Captain) - who got us through some very shallow water, DJordje, Szilvia (Cruise Director), Istvan (Head Chef) and the entire crew. I wish I was cruising, cruising, cruising!
I was asked by a friend to join her on a river cruise with Scenic cruises. This was my first river cruise and we joined the Scenic Jasper at Budapest for a Jewels of Europe 15 day 14 night trip to Amsterdam. We were originally scheduled to be on the Scenic Crystal but were informed a week prior that that we were assigned the Scenic Japser. We arrived from Australia a day prior to our departure and stayed in the Budapest Marriott - the recommended Scenic hotel. The hotel is in a great location on the Pest side and within walking distance of many sights. The hotel room was spacious and had everything you need. A bonus was the fabulous view of the Danube and the sights on the Buda side. The window took up almost the entire wall of the room.
Our cabin was a balcony suite on the Sapphire deck. As we were friends travelling we had a twin bed configuration and had more than enough space. The Scenic ships have the advantage of giving extra room in the cabin – with the flick of switch you have a balcony and sun lounge or extra room in an enclosed cabin This part of the cabin had two chairs and table and there is a black out curtain that comes across to separate this area from the main cabin. I was amazed at how much storage space there was - your case is stored under your bed and there was enough room to have had a side of the wardrobe each plus shelving and drawers. The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom had the best shower. A full length mirror, plus mirrors on the dressing table were enough for us. There is a TV with news channels, current movies and TV programs. We used it primarily to track our progress on the rivers, check Wi-Fi coverage, the daily schedule and to see view from the camera on the front of the ship. There is a mini bar which is refilled every day. I loved our cabin though I didn’t spend much time in it! It was serviced every day by our wonderful crew – thankyou Hari and Agus. The cabin was located toward the back of the ship about 200 steps from the reception area. If you have mobility issues it may be useful to book a cabin closer to the reception area. It was fine for me – it did get my steps up.
We had a butler assigned to our cabin who was there to help us with anything! – a luxury. Thank you Marco. We came into contact with the other butlers also so thank you – Katy, Milos and Vlad.
I viewed the single cabin which was across from ours and it looks perfectly formed. Half the size of ours but with all the amenities – plenty of room for a single traveller. Friends stayed in a standard suite on the jewel deck. They reported that it was cosy but that this was not a problem as the majority of their time was spent in the public areas and exploring at the various stops.
Dining was first class –plentiful, many choices with a few different restaurant/café areas in which to eat. Before dinner the Chef Istvan spoke about the meal and our choices and Darko (RM) took us through the wines that would complement the food. Service in the dining rooms was always excellent – thank you Rade, Carmen, Made, Luka, Laur, Kevin, Costi.
During the day and after dinner we gathered in the lounge and bar to chat, dance and view entertainment. Coffee, tea and biscuits were available all day in the lounge as well as sandwiches, sweets and gelato from the café. The bar crew worked tirelessly and nothing was too much trouble for them – thank you Nikolay, Janko, Alin, Nemanja, Wayan.
Entertainment – there is a musician on board – thank you Enzo - who provided music in the afternoons and evenings. This was supplemented by other performers coming on board for short concerts. All were excellent from the Zither master, folk dancers, ballet dancers, violinist, duo and more. We had music quiz and a disco night on board – much hilarity ensued. The concert in Vienna was of a very high standard, the show in Salzburg was great and the feast at Marksburg castle was entertaining.
Excursions – Szilvia was our Cruise Director - she was funny, approachable, clear in her briefings, organised and this was reflected in the on-shore excursions – from my point of view they ran like clockwork. In many of the places we visited you had a choice of three activities.
On two occasions we chose to do our own thing. In Vienna, the ship was moored near the underground station so we travelled in to the centre of Vienna and back. We were also moored next to the underground station in Budapest and chose to use that option. I know of some other passengers hired a car to visit a particular museum in the country side and some others used the e bikes to explore. It is worth thinking about what you want to see in an area because not every excursion may appeal. Scenic supply you with maps and you can use their app to do your own guided tour. Thank you Dalma and Marina for assisting us here.
Before our excursion we were given water to take with us and upon our arrival back given a cool towel and cold drink. Thank you Nenad and crew.
Highlights: I loved Dürnstein, Bamberg, Vienna, Budapest, Nuremberg, Cologne and Rudesheim the most. I have wonderful memories of sailing through Bratislava, being on the top deck to glide through Frankfurt at 1am on a Sunday morning and waking up to views of palaces and castles. I loved sitting on my favourite couch in the lounge with my coffee or gin and tonic, reviewing the photographs I had taken that day and watching the world glide by. Meeting all of the wonderful people on board was also a highlight.
Disembarkation: We got instructions the night before regarding disembarkation. We had breakfast, put our bags out at 8.30am, our taxi arrived at 9am and we were gone – all too soon. Read Less