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56 Scenic Bordeaux Cruise Reviews

Our first river cruise and headed into it blindly. One can research cabin sizes, services, costs as much as they like but in the end how did our complete package do? Rather well indeed. At 54 and 65 we were close to being the youngest ... Read More
Our first river cruise and headed into it blindly. One can research cabin sizes, services, costs as much as they like but in the end how did our complete package do? Rather well indeed. At 54 and 65 we were close to being the youngest people on board. This was a shock initially and more so as over 85+ year olds slowly started to come aboard using wheelchairs and crutches and walkers. But the Scenic staff greeted each and every person with care and provided aid where required. Everyone's luggage was stored in a protected and guarded tent and was placed in our rooms before we were even granted access to the rooms. Many of the older clients were doing back-to-back cruises having finished one and flying in for this one. One couple were doing a world tour shortly after our Bordeaux cruise. No lack of interested clients for sure! After a short greeting and and sign in process, we were all escorted individually to our cabins and given a short tour of the rooms facilities. The available butler service was a nice touch and laundry service was superb. During the cruise I realized how comfortable the beds were and how silent the rooms were. By Day 2 the dinners were a jockeying to sit with other couples for great discussions of past vacations, the varying countries we each came from. Friendships were ignited quickly and 4 days into the cruise, the nightly social event in the upper cafe area became a roaring dance floor with live musicians and staff gently inviting people to the floor for a dance. Lovely. And do the drinks flow! Each day multiple outings (bus, bike or walking tours) are offered and some require registration before you leave, but most can be altered at the front desk. My really only shortfall of the cruise were the periods of time it took to reach a vineyard or castle by bus and then rush through the tours because lunch would be ready. Packed lunches and organized areas to sit down and eat would eliminate this daily rushing. Naturally some day trips were better than others. We were offered free time in Blaye which ended up being our favourite outing as it as market day and their market is outstanding. Food quality was superb throughout and one can avoid the captain's table or invitation only cafe as the main dinners offered are so good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Scenic was going to a place we wanted to go at a time we wanted to holiday and we got a good offer from ROL. The cruise was good overall, but the senior chef was inconsistent. He didn’t understand French cheeses and how they should be ... Read More
Scenic was going to a place we wanted to go at a time we wanted to holiday and we got a good offer from ROL. The cruise was good overall, but the senior chef was inconsistent. He didn’t understand French cheeses and how they should be stored and served. All consommé soups were very poor. We talked to the chef about it and he said it was because he wasn’t encouraged to use salt! Later a ‘tarte au citron” was served. It was patisserie creme flavoured with lemon essence and topped the raw meringue and was unpleasant. Both meat and fish dishes were often very good, but sometimes a disappointing raw product was no more than adequately cooked. The outstanding feature of this river cruise was the Cruise Director. Sonja was excellent in every respect. A good organiser, an outstanding communicator, eye for detail and a model of hospitality. Most of the waiting staff in restaurant and bar were skilled, efficient and amiable. One or two were outstanding. Reception staff were always patient and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
We chose this cruise because we enjoyed our previous Scenic cruise in 2018 from Budapest to Amsterdam, and because we wanted to visit the Bordeaux area and then take advantage of the cruise extension to Madrid. It was a very memorable ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we enjoyed our previous Scenic cruise in 2018 from Budapest to Amsterdam, and because we wanted to visit the Bordeaux area and then take advantage of the cruise extension to Madrid. It was a very memorable experience: the food was excellent, the service outstanding and the excursions were very interesting and efficiently run. All the crew were friendly and welcoming and the cruise director was very efficient and amusing company. In Madrid our Scenic cruise director was very pleasant and went above and beyond to make everyone feel comfortable. The hotel was very central and the two excursions (a city tour and a visit to the Prado art museum) were very well organized. We also had a very enjoyable dinner with the whole group which consisted of guests from the Porto cruise as well as ten of us from the Bordeaux cruise. Overall, our holiday was a great success and we would recommend Scenic to anyone looking for a stress free enriching experience. 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
What an experience! Customer service levels off the Richter scale!! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The Chef, Steve Groves was charming and so modest! Greg Wallace was a bundle of energy and made time for everyone, we learnt so ... Read More
What an experience! Customer service levels off the Richter scale!! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The Chef, Steve Groves was charming and so modest! Greg Wallace was a bundle of energy and made time for everyone, we learnt so much about his life, such an interesting man. The oyster schuking was memorable and even those not keen were happy to listen and learn. The Head Chef Mattias was a lively character who gave entertaining demonstrations. The whole cruise was geared around food snd wine, taking us to some of the mist stunning vinyards in the Bordeaux region. It was action packed with talks and wine tasting in some of the most beautiful chateaus. The music extravaganza bresthtaking set in the fairy tale Chateau d'Agassac. A beautiful ship visiting the best of the region, stunning scenery and top class local guides, full of personality and information. The Cruise Director Andreea, was full of energy and never flagged, always happy to help and make you feel valued. My favourite wine tasting was at the beautiful Chateau de la Riviere! Such a fabulous setting. The Gala dinner was an event where all the crew came and danced with us, along with Gregg Wallace and Steve Groves. This was a stunning and memorable cruise and worth every one of its five stars!! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Where could you possibly start to tell people how AMAZING!!!!! The crew of the Scenic Diamond are!!!! From the beautiful Pat, Ros, Nick & Hôtel Manager Cristian at the front desk, along with the fabulous Krasimira, Zina, Crusise ... Read More
Where could you possibly start to tell people how AMAZING!!!!! The crew of the Scenic Diamond are!!!! From the beautiful Pat, Ros, Nick & Hôtel Manager Cristian at the front desk, along with the fabulous Krasimira, Zina, Crusise director Sonja!!!! Chef Matthias, Chef Jones & omelette superstar Robert we’ll keep you well fed along with ALL the amazing kitchen crew (FYI- bring ya fat pants with you ya gonna need them!!!) The truly sensational Cabin staff (lead by Angela) the fabulous Amanda, and the super wonderful beautiful Ionela (who was our cabin attendant) The AWESOME staff in the bar of Stoyan, Petrica, Daniel (aka Babycakes my favourite) you guys are the best!!!! brilliant conversationalists, super fun and are amazing dancers!!! The absolutely BRILLIANT wait staff led by Pavel, Daniel (the one) Tedour, Andri, Bachelor (who is also one!!!) The beautiful Alex, Vas, Costi etc!!!! All the ships crew and of course; Captain Sebastian & his first Mate, who is also his Father Co. captain Gary!!!! If you do not love this cruise, the food & the amazing people who make up the crew on this ship- YOU ARE the problem, not the tours, not france and not the ship!!! 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
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time ... Read More
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time travelling to a region of France we have not seen before and wanted to learn more about. On board attentive staff, great food , friendly fellow passengers made the ten days most enjoyable and we learned a lot about wine, the grape varieties and wine making. Starting and finishing in Bordeaux which we found to be a delightful city and had adequate time for exploring. Other ports of call included Libourne, Pauilliac, Fort Medoc, Cadillac, Bourg sur Garrone and Blaye, we also took a side excursion to Cognac, a lovely town and of course we just had to see how its namesake spirit is made and tasted at Remy Martin. Recommend to anyone not just wine enthusiasts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the third time we had travelled on a Scenic cruise. We like the fact that although initially it seems expensive when all inclusive items are taken into account it is very good value. One can have as many or as few drinks as one ... Read More
This was the third time we had travelled on a Scenic cruise. We like the fact that although initially it seems expensive when all inclusive items are taken into account it is very good value. One can have as many or as few drinks as one wishes, all gratuities and excursions are included and the food is excellent. One could travel without any "foreign " currency in fact. Our one criticism this time was that the tour director was not sufficiently sympathetic to the mobility problems of one of us. A little more thought there would have made the difference beteen us being able to join an excursion and not being able to join. The ship is very well appointed and extremely clean. An added bonus was butler service which meant we had our clothes laundered or pressed and could call on help to adjust our television or mend a squeak in a door! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise to celebrate a significant birthday. I wanted Luxury and I wanted to see a bit of France without me driving there. A river cruise was the obvious choice and Scenic because I had cruised with them ... Read More
I chose this cruise to celebrate a significant birthday. I wanted Luxury and I wanted to see a bit of France without me driving there. A river cruise was the obvious choice and Scenic because I had cruised with them before and knew I would get the level of service and luxury I expected. I booked the holiday direct with Scenic It is very easy call them pick a date and an airport and they will organise everything A driver picked us up at home took us to the airport , we flew out on time . A driver in Bordeaux was waiting to take us to the ship where a cool glass of champagne was waiting. It was a very relaxing way to start the cruise. The cabin was very nice compact. Plenty storage/cupboard space . We had a young lady Marietta who looked after our room and was very pleasant. The food; the self service breakfast and lunch was very good. Different selection every day and plenty to eat. Dinner was table service and was usually several small courses allowing you to sample many types of food. There were two other tables where you were invited to dine.at least once during your stay. They were of the same standard just a slightly different menu and wine pairing. Dress code; it shoes as relaxed although they did have to evenings of cocktails with the captain. A few people did dress in evening suit and bow ties. Most were smart casual in shirts with or without a tie and flannels. Ladies were smart casual. Entertainment; was provided most nights and varied from a disco to a classical quartet. Bar staff were all lovely and we could ask them to prepare our drinks to suit our personal tastes. Measures were in 40cl which I found a bit strong. Excursions; We visited several chateaus which are wine growers and not always a castle We also visited some small towns and a citadel at Braye this was my favourite place. The guide was very good and brought the place to life for me with his explanations. St Emilion was my favourite town with it's monolithic church. Most of the excursion were accompanied by an excellent guide Barbara . She was very enthusiastic about the region it's wines and history. We tried to make sure we were on her coach as she made the trip fun. This is an adult only holiday and to be fair geared for older adults as there is nothing child or teenage friendly on board except the grannies on holiday. It suited me as I fall into the older adult category . Disembarkation; We had to vacate out rooms by 8.30am and breakfast was served from 6.00 to 8.30. We then had a long wait in the lounge as our flights were at 17.00 and the airport was 40min drive. We were given a light buffet lunch at midday and we could have tea,coffee wine ect while we were on board. With this in mind I would rather have had a silly time in the morning flight rather than hanging about. We arrived at the airport in plenty time and again hanging about with your luggage till the gate opened. It was not a nice airport to fly from but it was the best option for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Scenic can always be relied on to provide excellence in all areas. The crew were friendly and knowledgeable, their service was great throughout. Our cabin (205) was comfortable, clean and well looked after and the balcony was an asset. The ... Read More
Scenic can always be relied on to provide excellence in all areas. The crew were friendly and knowledgeable, their service was great throughout. Our cabin (205) was comfortable, clean and well looked after and the balcony was an asset. The itinerary was based around Bordeaux and we cruised the Garonne, Gironde and Dordoigne visiting many chateaux and tasting many wines. The guides were fantastic especially Marie who really knows her history. All the crew were good but some deserve a special mention; Tamara, Marina and Daisy kept us well supplied with food and drink and the two Daniels and Ricardo and Teodor made sure no glass or plate was left empty. Marieta our cabin steward kept us clean and tidy and our butler Armin although not overworked was there when we needed him. The food was well cooked and presented and Tania the Cruise Director was everywhere making sure that all the guests knew what was happening, where and when. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating ... Read More
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating hotel for our 11 day cruise - with excellent managing staff and tours run by an exceptional Cruise Director. A very well organised and paced tour with a good variety of attractive destinations: not always wineries. Scenic offer a complete tour experience with cultural and artistic events interspersed with in-depth guided tours of many beautiful villages and towns. Highlights were: String Quartet Classical concert at Chateau d'Agassac; St Emilion, with its underground cathedral; Bergerac's lovely streetscapes and its pioneering 19th century hydroelectric facility; Bordeaux's Cite du Vin wine museum; cycling through the vineyards; and, the Remy Martin tour in Cognac. The ship-board entertainment lead by our highly entertaining Cruise Director Sonja was excellent, as was the extensive menu and the hotel service. Local wines were featured, but could have been more mature, with more higher quality regional alternatives offered. A thoroughly enjoyable discovery tour of the Bordeaux region from Scenic who, once again, provided an exceptional river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first river cruise having done many sea cruises with Seabourn and Silversea. We were initially pleased with the overall experience, although the suites were a little tired. All of the staff were extremely polite and helpful ... Read More
This was our first river cruise having done many sea cruises with Seabourn and Silversea. We were initially pleased with the overall experience, although the suites were a little tired. All of the staff were extremely polite and helpful and we listed many individuals in our on board review.The food, service and excursions were excellent. The on board entertainment was average. Apart from one guest entertainer, we had the same pianist/vocalist for the entire cruise. The problems started for us after a couple of days when our toilet stopped flushing. On reporting the problem, we were informed that there was a major issue as a plastic bottle had been flushed into the system. There was an unsuccessful attempt by staff to solve the problem and this resulted in 170 guests and all staff having to use 2 toilets on another ship alongside.The use of this other ship continued for 2 days but the problem remained for the whole of our cruise. We were assured by the staff that there would be some compensation for the inconvenience caused. In fact some guests chose to leave the ship part way through their holiday. Having submitted a complaint to Scenic we were initially offered 20% discount on a future cruise.This is hardly compensation for what we had suffered and in fact has no value unless we book again with Scenic. We contacted Scenic to express our disappointment and it took a further 3 weeks to be told that we would not be getting any further compensation other than the discount. We feel that this is extremely poor service when we were led to believe there would be some financial compensation against the considerable expense we laid out for this holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. ... Read More
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. This failure was complete at times (leaving cabin toilets full of waste and no working toilets at all for an ENTIRE DAY). Sometimes the blockage was partial, however as our week went on, the smell of human waste increased in the hallway and was unsanitary and distressing. Our cruise director promised the entire ship would receive compensation - however for Scenic, this only amounted to an offer of 20% off everyone’s next cruise. The Scenic promise is a disappointment. We chose Scenic because of their reputation for excellence - and the cruise was excellent - however when an issue as large and disruptive as this happens - the customer should be compensated AND offered a discount on their next Scenic Cruise. The cruises are very expensive and with such poor customer service it is too risky to invest that amount of money again. It is a shame and we are very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything ... Read More
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything you could need. Cannot speak highly enough about the team on board - butler service was amazing, the teams in the restaurant and bars were great and Mandy the Cruise Director is perfect for her job. The excursions are well organised and with the exception of one rather boring medieval village, well put together if a little on the slow side which is understandable as the average age on our cruise was probably 75! Do not expect exciting entertainment, again probably catering to the age group but in a lot of the ports there is the opportunity to stroll ashore rather than listen to 'Lady in Red' from the on board entertainer again!! Our only issue with the cruise was the food which lets down the whole 'luxury' offering. Breakfast was 4 star hotel style, basic hot and cold buffet with oddments to order from the kitchen, bacon was either almost raw or burned and who eats aubergine for breakfast ?? The buffet style lunch was also OK, not exciting but generally a decent choice of hot and cold dishes and 2 soups which were always watery and generally tasteless. Dinners were a huge disappointment - we are in a part of France famed for its food and the dinners were unremarkable to say the least. The watery soup made a comeback on each menu, portions were extremely small and a fish serving usually consisted of one very small fillet which was usually dry. A number of guests were returning food to the kitchens, inedible steak, black vegetables and complaints were made to the Chef who did not seem to understand the problem. 4 basic cheeses each night, no local specialities, no fresh local seafood, just poor quality food which was badly cooked. I hate having to say this as we had a great time on the cruise but this is an expensive holiday and all the efforts of the team on board should not be let down by this one department. A lot of effort had obviously gone into the wine offering as the choices each everning were interesting, local wines and all enjoyable. Would I cruise with Scenic again? Only if I could be sure the food had improved - spend less time trying to make everything look fancy and serve good, well cooked, tasty dishes with a local flavour, quality ingredients and a little more flair!! Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an ... Read More
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an excellent deal as it included all transportation and full breakfast. The Scenic Diamond was moored about a thirty minute walk from the hotel. We ventured over there for a look where we met Mauricio, the hotel manager. He welcomed us to board early and have lunch on-board. As we booked the Royal Owner Suite, we felt we received amazing service from all of the staff, especially Aron, our butler. Our newly renovated two room suite was beautifully, appointed including an amazing outdoor balcony and two person bathroom. The meals prepared by our executive French chef were all nicely varied, hot and very tasteful.We opted for a combination of the breakfast buffet and a la carte entree service (eggs Benedict was excellent). We usually enjoyed the light lunch, served in the restaurant, beside the main bar. Dinners were excellent and varied, although some of the daily special entrees were usually overdone. Most of the wines offered were from the Bordeaux region, good but not exceptional. However, the bar selection left nothing to be desired and included top shelf liquor and after dinner drinks. Ship amenties included a small gym, a relaxing salt room, a spa and a hot tub (on the upper deck). The circular track allows guests to burn off some of the calories consumed on board. One of the best features of Scenic is leave your wallet at home as drinks, excursions and tipping, are all included. This makes for a very relaxing vacation. On board service was quick, effecient and genuine. Everyone makes you feel special. On shore tours were interesting and led be excellent guides who were the same for the entire cruise. They were very knowledgeable, informative and spoke English very well. The ship's cruises were the weak point. Travelling up and down the rivers around Bordeaux was not as exciting as was our previous river cruise, along the Danube. We were unable to cruise to ports south of Bordeaux, due to low bridges and high water. hat made for longer bus rides to and from the well planned excursions. 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
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