57 Bordeaux Luxury Cruise Reviews

We are wine lovers and had heard about this from friends. Scenic puts the L in Luxury! Every detail is taken care of and and every request is met as part of the service. Staff are amazing, the ship is beautiful, and the activities are ... Read More
We are wine lovers and had heard about this from friends. Scenic puts the L in Luxury! Every detail is taken care of and and every request is met as part of the service. Staff are amazing, the ship is beautiful, and the activities are top notch! The dining is 5 star, with excellent wine pairings to accompany the meal selections. It really is all inclusive — you would be hard pressed to include additional charges, unless at the spa, massage therapy or hair salon. The tour guides that accompany the excursions are extremely knowledgeable and personable. The variety of excursions is diverse enough to meet the interests of all travellers, and allow for accommodation for passengers with mobility issues. For example, the bike tours offered always offer a friends of cyclists bus option. The cabins are very well appointed, the beds are heavenly, the pillow menu ensures all have a great sleep. We will definitely be repeat clients. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We’d never been to France and a wine cruise sounded like it would be fun. We were traveling with friends and met new ones. The staff is outstanding! Wonderful attention to even the smallest details. We would especially like to ... Read More
We’d never been to France and a wine cruise sounded like it would be fun. We were traveling with friends and met new ones. The staff is outstanding! Wonderful attention to even the smallest details. We would especially like to thank our butler Armin(and Victor). Bart in the dining room and Martina and Patrice in the lounge were always smiling and very attentive. We had lovely massages as well. On the down side, excursions were early in the AM. Wine or foie gras at 10 or so in the AM were tough. Our last cruise we had different entertainment every night. Although our piano player was nice, it was all the same until the last 2 nights when they brought in people from Bordeaux. We didn’t enjoy the L’Amore dinner. The duck was very chewy. The way Scenic words the culinary class, it looks like you can do one every day, not that we could only do 1...if you signed up in time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is a lovely boat with very friendly staff. We enjoyed the trip and especially loved Bordeaux. We were involved in a bus accident that was very upsetting. No one was badly injured but all were very emotionally upset. The accident ... Read More
This is a lovely boat with very friendly staff. We enjoyed the trip and especially loved Bordeaux. We were involved in a bus accident that was very upsetting. No one was badly injured but all were very emotionally upset. The accident was not caused by Scenic but I felt there should have been some kind of counselling made available to the group of us involved in the accident. Speaking to others that were involved many felt the same way. It was said to be “unfortunate “ by the director but was then business as usual. Some post trauma talking was needed. The food was very good and the staff always generous with their wine pouring. They were quick to respond to any needs and the ship was always being cleaned. The main dining hall is large and there was no issue with getting a table ever. Large groups sat together. On the whole a good trip but thankful to be alive!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time on a Scenic Cruise. We chose this cruise (Breathtaking Bordeaux) because it had many wine-related excursions and destinations. Scenic was recommended by travel agent, even though she had never sent a client on ... Read More
This was our first time on a Scenic Cruise. We chose this cruise (Breathtaking Bordeaux) because it had many wine-related excursions and destinations. Scenic was recommended by travel agent, even though she had never sent a client on Scenic previously. The Scenic Diamond ship was lovely and the cruise did not disappoint! We loved the staff and crew. Cruise director was excellent. Nice mix of free time and excursions. Food and wine were very good. (And plentiful!) Bus drivers and guides all very skilled and knowledgeable. Service was excellent and excursions were great. We booked a balcony suite and it was nice to have the extra bit of space, and a place to relax with the view. Cabin was kept absolutely spotless. Scenic’s all-inclusive model is fantastic. Even tipping is included, which is great. Highly recommend and would definitely travel with Scenic again. They have some wonderful itineraries to choose from. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise with Scenic, chosen because it was one of the least expensive options to be honest. It also appealed that we could travel there by train, which seemed like a very civilised way to start a holiday! When the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Scenic, chosen because it was one of the least expensive options to be honest. It also appealed that we could travel there by train, which seemed like a very civilised way to start a holiday! When the train times came through from the agent, I queried them, as we had to cross Paris from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse in about an hour - which seemed tight. She assured me that other passengers were doing the same, but I am very glad that I insisted on an earlier Eurostar, as I know that the other passengers only just made it! That first evening, I met with the chef and restaurant manager to talk about dietary requirements (I'm vegetarian) - although I needn't have done as there were always plenty of vegetarian options. However they delivered the menu to me each evening for the next day, saying that if I didn't fancy the veggie option, I could ask for something else - which was a lovely touch. They also both kept checking in on me throughout the cruise to see if I was happy with the food. Can't fault it! We were booked into the L'Amour restaurant that first night (it was my husband's birthday), and they made an appropriate fuss of him, with birthday cake and champagne to finish the meal. Great food and good company too (you are given the option of a table for 2 or to be sociable, and we were always sociable - except at breakfast as I am a grumpy morning person!). The food and wine throughout the cruise was great (I put on nearly half a stone in a week!), and the service was incredible - those people work so hard! I wasn't keen on the mocktails (too sweet), so I just drank champagne instead - the hardship! Great selection of drinks available, but if you are a gin-drinker, be aware that although they have some decent gins, they don't have premium tonics to go with them. The excursions were mostly excellent too. Despite booking on a cruise in Bordeaux, we have limited knowledge of wine, and so mostly chose non-wine-tasting excursions, and a couple were a touch disappointing (Libourne, nice enough, but not much to it, Cadillac was lovely, but an hour's coach trip away). Others places visited were really lovely though - I would definitely visit Bordeaux itself again, loved Blaye, and even went to visit the medieval festival in Bourg. Oh, I nearly forgot - Gregg Wallace and Steve Groves (MasterChef) were also there for some of it - which was interesting, but not the reason for choosing the cruise! The cooking experience with the chef was probably more interesting (though I was surprised at how limited the places were on this, I would have though everyone would have got to participate), and this was more demonstration than cookery class, but very enjoyable. One word of caution, if you want a river cruise that actually travels much, don't do this one. I had looked carefully at the itinerary before we booked, and was happy that we weren't going far, and (unlike other river cruises) we weren't visiting many big cultural cities, but I know others on the cruise seemed disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Good points - Savoir Bed great, cabin small but good standard overall, boat clean and outside areas very comfortable and plenty of shade, small hot top, trips ok, guides very good, drinks included, extra trips were the best ones - trip to ... Read More
Good points - Savoir Bed great, cabin small but good standard overall, boat clean and outside areas very comfortable and plenty of shade, small hot top, trips ok, guides very good, drinks included, extra trips were the best ones - trip to Remy Martin really good. included trip to St Emillion not to be missed. Bad points - at airport we had to wait an hour for another couple who never arrived - we were the last couple to arrive on the ship just in time for the safety drill - could hardly get unpacked - could not get a seat in the lounge and generally could not hear the drill or speech by the Captain - felt very rushed. breakfast - described as sumptuous by Uniworld - think this is a misnomer - just a buffet and no chance of fresh cooked eggs - one chef with two electric rings to cook for over one hundred guests - think this is really poor as this is an expensive cruise and the egg station situation in my view was pathetic. Breakfast ended every day at 9am in the main dining room and on day at 8.30am with no explanation as to why early. Time of daily trips - all started at 9am - too early - even 9.30am would have given you the feel of being on holiday -most trips were only for a couple of hours and not that far away. this made breakfast rushed and not enjoyable start to the day - this is a holiday after all!! Daily updates - there was a talk by the excursion manager at about 6pm every night. If you did not attend you did not know what was going on. We did not attend as couldn't get a seat and couldn't hear on our first night - thought it would all be repeated in a daily newsletter or on the tv - no mistaken - so we missed out on a trip to a wine tasting which happened after a walking tour to a mediocre local market -no idea it was on!!! Again we are on holiday - who wants to be dressed for dinner by 6pm and listen to a talk for an hour and then go straight down to dinner at 7pm? All a bit regimented for us and a bit early. Food/drink/ service The food in my view is just ok - had far better on Cunard. The wine served was mediocre. The waiting staff were ok - one overstepped the mark with us at breakfast by making quite a political comment about our home town - I was shocked - never have had this on a cruise - quite upset - didn't want to cause issues on the cruise - but still really annoyed. Not good to be insulted first thing in the morning on a cruise! We stayed on the ship one day instead of the daily excursion - the food/drink service then is very patchy - they really want you all to get off. Port visits - Just ok - apart from Bordeaux and Libourne there is literally nothing there to get off and look at unless you go on the organised excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Returning travellers with loyalty to Scenic due to excellent past experiences. This was the 2nd leg of our two cruises having come straight off the Scenic Gem on the Sceine. This cruise in Bordeaux was a concentration on the French wine ... Read More
Returning travellers with loyalty to Scenic due to excellent past experiences. This was the 2nd leg of our two cruises having come straight off the Scenic Gem on the Sceine. This cruise in Bordeaux was a concentration on the French wine a food experiences. The uniform specification and layout of the ship makes you immediately feel at home. The consistently high level of attention from all the staff - butlers, room staff, bar staff and wait staff the dining areas - meant that the overall experience was the same as any previous Scenic cruise. The experience was enhanced by the excellent local guides for all the off ship excursions. Scenic offered a range of excursions that were always to a high quality location. We travelled out and back from the buitiful city of Bordeaux which really was a highlight of our visit to France. We will certainly be returning to Scenic in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. Nothing could be ... Read More
The River Royale sails the rivers in Bordeaux, France. It is touted as a “culinary” and “wine” experience. We chose this cruise as it s supposed to be upmarket and sophisticated. The focus is on food and wine. Nothing could be further from the truth. The food was mediocre. If they think the food they serve is a culinary experience, then they have absolutely no idea what they are doing. I get better wine at my local supermarket. Almost everyone I spoke to on the cruise was dissapointed. The service is shocking. They have “self service” coffee stations with the worst coffee in the world. There is no service on the deck, even though Uniworld promise that you can “snap” your fingers and someone will service you. I had to ask for service at the reception more than once. The staff spend more time at the smokers corner, looking at their phones, than servicing guests. On a number of occasions, we would have wine and coffee on the deck and then we would find our empty glasses and coffee cups at the same table the next day. Shocking. The captain saw all of this happen in front of him but not once did he reprimand his staff. Nie day I took all the empty glasses from the table that has been there for a whole day and night, and deposited it on the table where the staff where smoking and chatting and told them that they can take the dishes back considering that we are paying their salaries. They glared at me. Bad management. That s all it is. But it’s also more than that. It’s unethical to sell something and create these expectations and then to fail so miserably. This cruise is mediocre and most certainly not worth the money. And it’s not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. I told the cruise director that the coffee if really terrible. She said that she thinks the coffee is good. I told her that I am her customer and I know the coffee is bad. Unbelievable. Denial. Incompetence. I know that Bea Tollman would probably have a heart attack if she knew that her legacy is being disrespected like this. This is not the Red Carnation way. I expected so much more. We won’t go on another cruise with Uniworld, even if they gave it away for free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t ... Read More
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t working well, but in Scenic’s defence there was a record heat wave booing on. Aron went and got us a small fan for our room which made all the difference. Also, my husband has celiacs which comes with a strict gluten free diet. The boat was great with this, gave us the best bread ever. Would like to see a few higher sipping rums on board but they had a great wine selection. Karol and Razan in the restaurant were so much fun, but honestly they were all extremely good. Cristian the bar supervisor was also great. He has awesome staff. Excursions were a ton of fun. Lots to choose from. Would have enjoyed free time in Cognac, but the tour was great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped ... Read More
We were looking forward to a "wine cruise" in the Bordeaux area; Medoc, St Emilion and Sauternes. We expected to visit Chateaux that we otherwise could not, with expert tour guides nd maybe some lectures. We had also hoped for "Haut Cusines" and luxury experience. Regrettably: • Food provided was very average, nothing special although I daresay it was adequate. • Meal times were restrictive. In particular breakfast started / finished in line with tours. No tea (scones / cakes) was on offer. • Wines were on the cheap end and not representative of fine wines available in the Bordeaux region. We were gratified that we were able to purchase our own wines offshore and drink them over dinner without a corkage charge. • Only 4 of the 6 full days included wine tours, one of which was very poor. No on-board wine lectures were included. Given the nature of the cruise there were not enough wine experiences!!! • Cooking class which cost €119 which was very poor and decidedly not as advertised. A view shared by all 6 participants. On complaining no remedy was offered. • Entertainment offered on board was very limited. Singer was somewhat tedious and no broadcast of the world cup final was available. • Infuriatingly one night (captain’s birthday) there was a party on deck above our cabin with noisy music until 2.00 am. • I got the impression that the boat’s management did not react well to criticism. Specifically when I commented on one of the wine tours and my wife on the cooking class. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. ... Read More
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. There is a lack of constant background music and endless PA announcements which we found refreshing given the constant noise other cruise lines see fit to subject you to. When Scenic say all inclusive that's what you get, no covert "up selling" good quality drinks package and tours. Could do better, The organisation of travel pre and post tour doesn't take account of customers needs as well as it could, poor connection times, arbitrary flight choices were frequently mentioned by other guests as well as being the case for us. The food was variable in its quality- some was very good, some not so good. Be aware the cabins are small. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
the Bordeaux area is wonderful to cruise and tour. Scenic did a great job of arranging tours through the area both by bus, bicycle and walking. The food and wine that was served on the ship was excellent. The Captain and the entire ... Read More
the Bordeaux area is wonderful to cruise and tour. Scenic did a great job of arranging tours through the area both by bus, bicycle and walking. The food and wine that was served on the ship was excellent. The Captain and the entire crew were very pleasant and the Cruise Director Mandy did an excellent job of organizing everyone's day and did a recap for us at the end of the day. The entertainment on board was good. A great way to relax after dinner if you are not out for a walk in port. This is our second Scenic River cruise. Last year we were on the Rhine, which was also great. It was much different n that we sailed almost every night and woke up in a different port everyday. All of the arrival and departure details were handled by Scenic and went like clockwork. Taxi buses were on time and we got to the Airport with time to spare. Overall it was a great cruise and we will definitely do another one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Fabulous cruise with delicious local fresh food and very well presented. Plenty of variation to choose from each day. The red and white French wines were great however when we asked for French Champagne on arrival we were only offered ... Read More
Fabulous cruise with delicious local fresh food and very well presented. Plenty of variation to choose from each day. The red and white French wines were great however when we asked for French Champagne on arrival we were only offered sparkling wine. It wasn't until we enquired further that the sommelier then offered us French Jacquart Champagne. I would have expected French champagne to be offered as a staple when travelling in France on a 4/5 star all inclusive luxury cruise. The entertainment was very disappointing. The singer who sat at the piano singing voiceovers and occasionally playing a couple of notes would finish well before patrons had left the bar/lounge area each evening. We had expected lively entertainment that encouraged people to get up on the dancefloor and dance. The speaker sound system in the lounge/bar didn't work properly as we had to resort to playing music from our iphones once the entertainment had left for the night. Overall the staff were very friendly and helpful on board, particularly our sommelier and dining room manager, Plaman who arranged a special evening for us on the top deck with our selection of vintage French Champagne and canapes. Our tour manager, Adrian (AJ) was outstanding. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the tours. The Chateaux owners were very passionate about their wine making and incredibly generous with sharing their knowledge with us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but ... Read More
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but really well designed so there was plenty of room in wardrobes and bathrooms and the bed was huge and really comfortable. This theme continued throughout the ship. The common areas were excellent and the staff were consistently superb - friendly, attentive, helpful and all with a good sense of humour. Trips ashore provided excellent variety and range of choice and all the vineyard visits were excellent. A major highlight was the quality of the food and wine for every meal. Plenty of choice and a great size allowing you to easily taste four or five courses without feeling stuffed. Entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. Best of all was not ever worrying about how big the onboard account was growing - everything was included. Wow!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first river cruise, though I've spent plenty of nights on ocean cruises. Thus, there may be items I raise here that are simply typical of river cruises, and I just don't know that yet. There was much to like on ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, though I've spent plenty of nights on ocean cruises. Thus, there may be items I raise here that are simply typical of river cruises, and I just don't know that yet. There was much to like on this one-week Bordeaux cruise on the Scenic Diamond. The atmosphere is laid-back, and the passengers a nice mix of (primarily English-speaking) nationalities. Apparently, this was the first time that the majority of passengers were from the U.S. Usually it is majority Australian, with a good number of Canadians and Brits thrown in. There was a large pre-formed group on our cruise from the U.S., so that may account for that peculiar demographic. Fortunately, they were not insular, so we did not have the issues that often come from a charter group being aboard. EXCURSIONS Scenic is a largely all-inclusive line, so one never had to worry about chits for drinks or excursions. This is consistent with its positioning of itself to the luxury market. Where it is several notches above the luxury ocean cruise lines is that it has truly taken ownership of its excursions. It is clear that they have selected, and know, the guides, and can help direct you to the one that will most meet your wishes for the particular experience. There is none of the sense of indifference that comes with contracting with ground tour companies--Scenic knows its guides and its guides know (and meet) Scenic's expectations. The downside on the excursions is that there is so little choice. In many ports, the only choices were whether to go to the designated destination by coach or by bicycle. While they arranged the tours so that not all the coaches and bikes arrived at the same place at the same time, the wine tours/tastings and town tours tended to be rather overcrowded for the spaces involved (38 seemed the standard number per coach, and 25 per guided bike tour). But the contents of the tours were outstanding, with personable and informative guides and interesting destinations. BTW, Scenic's bikes are e-bikes, which means they offered a battery assist. When in a group, one could not set the pace too high, but many found the assist helpful and the bikes easy to handle. Instead of doing an excursion, one could always go off on one's own. And this is another plus on Scenic. It offers a "tailor-made" product--a GPS system that offers commentary and directions for setting out on your own. They also are used by the guides to narrate the tours, so that you didn't have to stand around in a tight pack to hear your guide. But it was great for exploring the city of Bordeaux, where the thought of another coach tour was just too much, and where bicycling did not seem the best idea. I was not feeling well that day, so did not explore as much as I'd have liked, but I did find the assist from the tailor-made system to be terrific. It also provided excellent narrative along the rivers. PUBLIC SPACES Brochures and ships' diagrams notwithstanding, there really are only three spaces for meeting, mingling, partying and dining. One is the Crystal Dining Room on the lower deck. This really is the only dedicated dining space. It generally is open for 90 minutes for breakfast, 90 minutes for lunch, and 2 hours for dinner. Second is the Lounge on the second deck, just past the reception desk. Just inside the entrance are self-service coffee and tea stations, and then an expanse of sofas and chairs. The room has a dance floor, and then the bar, with tables and chairs to the side. I believe that this area is what is referred to as River Cafe, but it is not really differentiated from the rest of the lounge. There is a partially partitioned area in the back, which doubles as the alternative restaurant L'Amour on some evenings. During the day, a few food items are put out here for an hour after breakfast and again an hour after lunch for those who missed the main meal in the dining room. The third space is the Sun Deck, a long expanse of seating on the top deck where one can enjoy good weather and watch the towns and chateau go by. The bikes are tied up here, and a hot tub also can be found here. There is no bar up here, so (with the exception of a couple of specific events, discussed below), if you want a beverage or a snack, you must head down to the lounge to get it. FOOD Breakfast is a buffet, with a reasonable array of largely well-prepared choices, and including an omelet station. There is a menu from which other fare can be ordered, but you have to know about it and specifically request it--it won't be offered. For another hour after the regular breakfast, a smaller selection of fare can be had in the back of the lounge upstairs. Lunch also is a buffet. Fare here is hit-or-miss, and unfortunately too often a miss. There are salad fixings, but they are interspersed here and there along the rectangular service area, at which there often are crowds, making the assembly of a lunch salad something of an ordeal. Some hot dishes are offered, including at least one pasta, but these were usually re-renderings of some previous night's dinner and ranged from mediocre to inedible. One or two soups also would be on offer. These were either excellent or indifferent. There were rumors that menu service was available up in the River Cafe portion of the lounge, but I never personally witnessed this. They certainly weren't visible on the tables. Most days, there were a few dishes from downstairs available up in this area in the hour after regular lunch service ended. Dinner was generally decent to good, with an occasional excellent. Four courses were offered--you didn't have to take them all--and portions were reasonable. For heartier appetites, people could order extra. There was a very good set list of wines available with dinner--really, the best included wines I've seen on any type of cruise. One would hope for good wines in the Bordeaux region, and ones hopes would be fulfilled here. One night per cruise, you could sign up for a dinner at L'Amour, that little area in the back of the lounge. This is where Scenic dining was at its best. Each course was superb, and service was impeccable. It was truly special. Also, one evening dinner was off-ship, at a Chateau that was about a 30-minute coach ride away. On an evening of perfect weather, we arrived at a lovely garden of a chateau that is no longer lived-in, and were able to stroll around the house and grounds while sipping a pleasant wine. We were then called to dinner in the "farmhouse," an event space on the chateau grounds. Faced with the challenges of feeding 140 people, the dinner was surprisingly good, though hardly Michelin material. It was nevertheless a special evening, and one to enjoy. Those in the more expensive cabins also were invited to a special degustation dinner at a long table at the back of the dining room. I was not among this group, so cannot speak to it, but heard it was quite good. ENTERTAINMENT AND EVENTS Daytime was either sailing, or port-focused, so no other entertainment ensued. The one exception was offered by nature: the mascaret, or tidal bore. Required by law not to be tied up when the tidal bore came, the ship maneuvered out to the middle of the river at its expected time. And, sure enough, as you looked up the river, here came a wave much like an ocean wave making its way down the river. And, sure enough, there were people surfing this wave. It was quite the entertainment. The first time it happened, most of us gathered up top to watch and take pictures. And this was one of only two times that bar staff was serving up top, so it was quite the party. This natural phenomenon happened twice more during the cruise, but most of us were off on excursions at those times. One thing to know: this ship never sails at night, only at day. And only a couple of hours at a time. Really, when you get right down to it, it barely went anywhere. I think I should have figured this out from the maps, but I had not. I have to say that this was a bit of a disappointment but now I know to look for it. Most evenings, the entertainment was provided by a talented young woman, Margaret, who used recorded music to back up her singing and guitar or clarinet playing. Or sometimes she'd just play recorded music and help gin up the dancing, of which there was a good bit. Other evenings, guest performers would play. Most were quite good, and played a set or two before departing and leaving the stage back to Margaret, who would play until the wee hours if people wanted. The evening of our first full day was off-ship, with sundowners at a local chateau. We tasted, and some might say over-tasted, some nice wines in a beautiful setting. A truly lovely evening. SERVICE This was the last cruise of the season, and I think we saw some fraying around the edges because of this. Much of the staff seemed tired and overworked. I had the sense that the ship was perhaps understaffed. The room attendant for my area was stellar, and could not do enough for you. Unfortunately, the butler performs multiple functions--he could be seen serving drinks in the evening, setting up the meals in the River Cafe, and doing odd jobs around the ship. He tended to be testy and forgetful, snapping at passengers on more than one occasion. At least one other butler also seemed to be pretty disengaged when performing her alternative duties. They just seemed to be overextended. The dining and bar wait staffs were great to outstanding, always warm, welcoming, and attentive. And always ready to have a bit of fun themselves, which helped to make a happy atmosphere. A note about the "free" load of laundry: don't rely on this for your clothing soiled during a pre-cruise stay. Only one bag is included, and that bag is comically tiny. When I first saw it, I thought it was the shoe shine bag. To the butler's credit, he did give me pointers on how to jam it full by rolling your clothes up into tight balls, so I managed to get 4 socks, 3 tops and a pair of slacks into that little bag. CABIN I was in the one single cabin on the ship. I am doing a separate review on that. I will just say here one word on it: don't. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size ... Read More
We had a family event in Europe and I wanted to add a river cruise to our trip. We booked just three months before departure, and my only regret is that I am still not on the ship ! I was very attracted to Uniworld's small size (there were 119 passengers on our cruise) and all inclusive price, and it was wonderful not to have to think about tipping all the service people and guides, paying for shore excursions or paying for a pre-dinner cocktail or my beloved Diet Coke in the salon or on the sundeck. I think this encouraged people to mingle more before, and after dinner. Lovely dining salon and lounge, with a grand piano and comfortable tables and sofas. The ship was immaculately clean. We were blessed with great weather and enjoyed some cruising topside on the sun deck on very comfortable padded lounge chairs. There are also tables available. The waiters were quick to take drink orders and keep them coming if you desired, along with little silver bowls of salty snacks. My husband enjoyed trying a variety of different beers and scotches. There was a small hot tub we never used on this deck. There was also a small work out room with a nice view at the front of the ship, and morning exercise classes were offered. The food was outstanding. I was told they would be featuring 43 different kinds of cheeses during the cruise. I love cheese, and they did not disappoint. Breakfast and lunch buffets with made to order omelettes and other goodies. Dinner was multi course table service with at least three choices for all courses. If you did not care for what was being offered, there were other choices that were always available including steak, salmon and a vegetarian dish as well as different starters and salads. I am allergic to mussels, and they went out of their way to make sure I had a satisfactory substitution when these were offered. The desserts were incredible, and the sweet pastry chef was standing by to describe each one and encourage you to try several. You could also book a dinner in The Blue Fox which was an intimate room for 12 serving the same menu as the regular dining room or a glass enclosed room for about 20 on top of the ship which served the same set menu the whole trip. This was very pleasant on a beautiful fall evening while cruising and watching the beautiful sunset. We did both and enjoyed them. I would recommend signing up for these on the first day, before the general announcement. They fill up quickly. Casual dining was also available on the sun deck with a limited menu of items. We did not try this. The service was top notch in every way. A nice touch was the stewards standing by when you came in from an excursion to hand you a cool cloth with silver tongs to refresh yourself, and another with a tray of fresh squeezed juice or iced tea. Sharon, our cruise director was wonderful, as was the hotel manager Sebastion. The dining room servers and housekeepers could not do enough for you. I think they have been trained to never say no. If you want something, they will make find it, or make it happen. Since this was a Vineyards and Chateaux cruise, there was a lot of focus on wines. We explored several wine making regions. I never knew such different wines were produced so close together. I enjoyed the winemakers lunch we had in a Chateaux where we were greeted by the owner and had a three course lunch with three different wines to complement each course. This was the only the only excursion we all went to together, the others were broken up into smaller groups.The guides were very good. I particularly enjoyed Sarah, an Irish girl married to a French national and raising a family in Bordeaux. The tours never felt crowded and the buses to transport us were very comfortable. There were three different days where there was an option to do a bike tour, which my husband loved. Bikes were available at all ports to explore on your own if you did not wish to do the excursions. He enjoyed the Bordeaux by bike tour, while I went on the walking tour. This is not a tour for children or teens, and there were none on the ship. Ages ranged from mid 30's to upwards of 80, I would have to guess. There were two guests with walkers, there is an elevator on board and they do have "gentle walking" excursions. The guest were primarily Americans, with Canadians, English, Australians, Brazilians and Spanish in the mix. We enjoyed most of the passengers and became friends with a couple who we hope to meet up with again. Would I go again ? IN A HEARTBEAT ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship is lovely, the staff and crew are brilliant, and work so hard to cater for your every need. The Bordeaux region is lovely and you have a selection of quaint towns ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship is lovely, the staff and crew are brilliant, and work so hard to cater for your every need. The Bordeaux region is lovely and you have a selection of quaint towns with lots of history, and of course the vineyards. Also the beautiful Bordeaux city to visit, plus a trip to the coast and the Atlantic Ocean. I've seen some reviews complaining about the 'brown' colour of the rivers, but it is explained that as they are tidal, the salt water keeps the sand in suspension, so they just appear to be muddy. The locals call the colour milk chocolate! The food is excellent with so much choice to suit everyone. The tours were well organised and the guides excellent. We made some lovely friends and laughed a lot. Nobody likes the end of their holiday, but the disembarkation is so well organised and with door to door transfers it's so easy. We would definitely book with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most ... Read More
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most respects our decision was vindicated. The all-inclusive nature from airport check-in at our local airport to return 11 days later was exceptionally well organised. Our flights with Air France went almost to schedule. The meet-and-greet at Bordeaux by a very smart young driver with a black Mercedes minibus for us and two others was spot on and we were on-board in about 30 minutes of baggage reclaim. The recommendation from the Scenic agent in Manchester, to take the earliest flight of the day so that we could 'start eating and drinking' sooner, really did pay off. There was a light lunch in the River Café waiting for early arrivals. At the end of the cruise, we were escorted by bus to Bordeaux airport and taken to the correct terminal for check-in: an exercise of almost military precision. We had a balcony suite on Diamond Deck. It might best be described as small but perfectly formed. It was a tight squeeze around the king size bed for more than one to be near the wardrobe, to pack and unpack, or by the desk. But all the details were catered for: plenty of hangers and hanging space, shelves and drawers, TV/computer, bottled water replenished as used, minibar (which we barely touched since there was so many other opportunities to consume on and off the ship). And the bathroom had plenty of cupboard space for wash bags and the like, constant hot water, plenty of Occitan bath amenities, towels, robes and slippers. We did not have many opportunities to use the balcony/sun lounge, because we were either sailing or (unfortunately) tied up facing the quay or another cruise ship. We enjoyed the lounge/bar with its large floor to ceiling windows, sufficient seating, and multiplicity of uses - lectures about shore excursions, music, River Café for light lunches and afternoon tea, and l'Amour tasting menu. The only gripe from my arthritic wife was the lack of higher backed and higher seated chairs, which would have been more comfortable than the low sofas and easy chairs. Likewise, the large dining room was also well lit with day light (unless we were parked alongside another cruise ship, when the blinds and drapes were pulled), comfortable and offered a surprising amount of space between tables. What about dining? Being on the Diamond Deck, we had our evening in L'Amour with its five course tasting menu and La Table Rive, with its six course menu. These were culinary highlights of the cruise, with their dedicated wait staff, descriptions of each course and, in the case of Rive, a new wine to go with each course. The website blurb implies that l'Amour also has wine pairings, but on our night, there was one red and one white, after a small glass of champagne to start. Also, whereas the website implies that invitations come automatically for these nights, we were advised by our butler on her welcome chat to go to reception and ask for an invitation! Breakfasts were excellent, with a wide menu of juices, cereals and fruits, yoghurts, cold cuts, hot dishes, and omelettes, fried and poached eggs, eggs benedict, steaks and lamb cutlets cooked to order. Think Hilton or Crowne Plaza then add a notch or two. Lunches, too, had a reasonable selection of salads, soups, hot and cold food, deserts and cheese, but gradually over the ten days, there was a degree of repetition. It was the dinners that disappointed us. Scenic use words like 'sumptuous food' and 'gourmet cuisine'. I know these epithets are subjective, but barely were we offered dishes that fit words like 'sumptuous' or 'gourmet'. We were in France, near some of best sea food and cheeses in the world. So where were the fruit de mer? We had an oyster evening when an oyster merchant came before dinner from Arcachon with more than enough oysters. We had mussels twice, once when they were almost under-cooked because of demand and once when they were over-cooked. We had prawn cocktails with a very modest sprinkling of frozen prawns on a bed of lettuce. And the inevitable lobster tail on the Captain's farewell menu. Where were the langoustines, the fresh prawns and shrimps, the bulots, and the rest? When it came to cheeses, there were probably less than ten out of which three were permed for each meal: how often did we need brie, bleu d'Auvergne and Compte, when there are so many other cheeses available. And where we the distinctly French dishes, such as a proper bouillabaisse (the one we had was basically a thin fish stock), boeuf bourgignon, sautéed foi gras, cassoulet, and the rest? Sadly, there seem to be three answers to some of these questions. One is that the menus were at the unexciting end of the spectrum to cater for the masses (whether the masses really wanted such safe food or not). They were not a patch on menus on some of the small luxury cruise liners. The other is that almost all the food on board is trundled in chilled trucks all the way across Europe from a central point in Germany, so that as the ten days went one, some items reduced in selection. And the third is no doubt the bean counters fetish for central control on menus, as happens also on many cruise lines and hotel chains. We chose one day to forego lunch on-board and treated ourselves to an assiette de fruit de mer at a waterside café in Bordeaux to get a true taste of French cuisine. Enough of the gripes. The chef and his staff worked wonders in the small space they are required to call a galley, and the wait staff were friendly, professional and wonderfully knowledgeable about the wines they were serving - and these were generally very good wines. We didn't indulge much in the entertainment, except the three piece jazz band that came on-board on evening: magical. The ports on this cruise were generally neat little French local towns close to vineyards and historical UNESCO sites. The excursions were exceptionally well organised and the guides better than most we have met anywhere in the world. The number of wine tastings (why else would one go on this cruise?) must have done nothing for our livers for a day or two! Most were easy even for wheel-chair users, with one or two towns, such as St Emillion having cobbled streets and hills to negotiate. Overall, yes, we had an excellent time and the cruise had many very good features. But please, Scenic, either prove you can meet some of the hyperbole about the dining experience, or alter the epithets you use to be less misleading. And, on reflection, we would probably use Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The reason why we booked was a special offer of 10 nights for the price of 7. We had heard Scenic tours were a very good travel company although rather expensive. We had previously done European river cruises with Uniworld which suits us. ... Read More
The reason why we booked was a special offer of 10 nights for the price of 7. We had heard Scenic tours were a very good travel company although rather expensive. We had previously done European river cruises with Uniworld which suits us. Looking at your brochure we were hoping Scenic were going to offer us much more. But other than the balcony with a window that goes up and down, it did not. Uniworld always took us to and from the airport but Scenic did not. The evening special entertainment was poor, however, the resident entertainer, Margaret, was excellent. Our butler service was the worst part of the trip. She was very disappointing and quite rude! The drinks were very good, but the food was not as good as I had hoped. No potatoes available for a lot of meals. L'Amour restaurant very disappointing. The highlight of our cruise was being invited on to the Captain's table for the gala dinner. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our third Uniworld cruise and like the others, it was very nice and good fun. We traveled with three other couples for a group of eight and were accommodated well with a table at each meal. This cruise had a younger crowd than ... Read More
This was our third Uniworld cruise and like the others, it was very nice and good fun. We traveled with three other couples for a group of eight and were accommodated well with a table at each meal. This cruise had a younger crowd than the others and the dance floor was swinging most nights. The food was well prepared and two of the dinners were outstanding. Staff was super attentive and friendly. The River Royale was in top shape and except for a bit of trouble with the door lock everything worked perfectly. The on board entertainment was ok, but the local entertainment was very good. That said, the entertainment we have had our=out Tauck cruises has been superior to that on Uniworld. The daily excusions were well run and the guides well informed, interesting and easy to understand. The chateaux we visited were lovely. The city tours were causal and easy to walk. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on ... Read More
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on call at all times, the balcony is unique to Scenic with the electric opening and closing windows that allow for you to sit out there regardless of the weather. The dining as usual was first class from the light lunches to the speciality table restaurants on board and being remembered by the crew for drinks and other services was especially great. As for the activities as we have come to expect from Scenic they were all great and well timed to not be totally exhausting but very informative and a wonderful experience each time. And we will always recommend Scenic for those who want luxury and an exceptional adventure that is value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to cover the area around Bordeaux to celebrate our Golden Wedding, and having travelled with other tour operators we decided to try a Scenic cruise as it seemed to offer something special. We travelled with friends and had a ... Read More
We wanted to cover the area around Bordeaux to celebrate our Golden Wedding, and having travelled with other tour operators we decided to try a Scenic cruise as it seemed to offer something special. We travelled with friends and had a great time. The tours were excellent, especially Chateau Roquetaillade, though I got a bit tired of the sight of vines, and there was one disappointment, which I will come to later. The "sundowner" we all thought was very good and really enjoyable. The food on board was excellent, and being able to have a free drink, at any time, was a bonus! As indeed was not having to worry about tipping guides and drivers etc. We did give some of the staff, who were all excellent, a little extra thank you, but that was our choice. Now the disappointment-- the dinner at Chateau Giscours! The menu was ill thought out, majoring on Goat's cheese, which normally I love, and aubergine, which I can live without. Having said that the presentation was lacking and the food itself was pretty awful. We wished we had stayed on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise because of Hilton, the location of Bordeaux, of course wine and the activities/excursions offered which sounded very active. We had the owners suite which was amazing with the windows opening entirely in ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of Hilton, the location of Bordeaux, of course wine and the activities/excursions offered which sounded very active. We had the owners suite which was amazing with the windows opening entirely in both the bedroom and the balcony. The walk in closet was great as was the tub which is a must for me. Enjoyed our sitting room and had guests almost nightly visit us. The food was okay with moments of very good and others that were just average but I guess in this setting you try to appeal to all. I tend to prefer a little more spice and temperature to my food which isn't always appealing to everyone. The excursions were great. We especially loved the bikes which we used every day and signed up for all but 1 of the excursions offered where biking was concerned. Wine?! Enjoyed the excursion that involved wine. My husband and I have been to Bordeaux many times by land because of the wine but generally spent the majority of the time outside of the city. It was interesting to explore the city to some degree. I agreed to the cruise so long as there was a gym. There was a gym but very limited with no weights and only 3 pieces of cardio equipment. Fortunately for me, few of the other passengers were interested in this so I did not have to wait. I also took advantage of the top of the ship and ran, did lunges etc around the ship. Overall, I would recommend this ship and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I was invited by a friend to go on this river cruise and was a bit nervous as I suffer from motion sickness. The good news.......no motion sickness and it was an amazing experience. I would have to say the highlights were the Cruise ... Read More
I was invited by a friend to go on this river cruise and was a bit nervous as I suffer from motion sickness. The good news.......no motion sickness and it was an amazing experience. I would have to say the highlights were the Cruise Managers (Adrian) planned excursions which included cooking classes, bike rides through the vineyards and wine tastings. My favorite........St. Emilion, I could have spent a week there just strolling the ancient cobblestone streets and exploring all of the amazing little wine shops. The staff and crew were outstanding, I couldn't have asked for better service and they went out of there way to accommodate all of us. The food could have been a bit more "exciting", I'm a bit of a foodie and I feel that that's one area that they could improve. The wine selection was good, the pastry chef was outstanding. I would definitely sail with Uniworld again, they go above and beyond to make your vacation memorable and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, reputation for luxury, food and wine, and the date of sailing. Ship: The ship's decor was okay but definitely could be updated in my opinion. There was a nice area upstairs that was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, reputation for luxury, food and wine, and the date of sailing. Ship: The ship's decor was okay but definitely could be updated in my opinion. There was a nice area upstairs that was used for alternate dining (the Blue Fox). It would be nice if this was an upper level bar, at least for part of the day. Cabin: The room, for a luxury cruise, was tiny, as was the bathroom. My husband and I are small people and we had to wait for the other to pass before moving about the cabin. The bed and linens were very comfortable though. Dining: The food was usually excellent, and if something occasionally was disappointing there were always other choices. We were however, very disappointed with the "fine" wine included with our cruise and the cost for premium wines was steep. Entertainment and Activities: There was an oyster tasting event on board which was excellent and a cooking demo on Caneles. It was nice to have a piano player in the lounge but the music was pretty much the same every night with the exception of a couple of nights of scheduled singers. The cruise manager did a great job of scheduling activities of varying levels, optional filler events, and downtime. Service: Our cruise manager was fabulous, she even assisted us in scheduling an excursion of our own. The staff was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. Ports and Shore Excursions: Excellent! It was nice that there were choices for different ability levels. The groups were divided into very manageable, comfortable sizes. The ports and shore excursions were very interesting and Uniworld hired excellent guides. I would definitely consider a Uniworld Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click