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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle ... Read More
Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle of wine £5-6 uk over £40 on the ship plus 15 percent. Cost to us well over £350. The food is adequate at best the fish clearly cooked in a toaster. The speciality restaurant - we ordered fruits de mer not frozen de mer. Tasteless and watery. Their disembarkation procedure is manic. Whatever time it states you can get off is irrelevant. Ours was priority one as they allow the corridors to get chock a block with people and do not control it. Very dangerous. When going through security they do not even check the time you are supposed to get off. A free for all. We shall never go with this so called British company again . There is another American cruise company who do it better. Humbly disillusioned. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't know what to expect. I never expected some of the things I saw. Red Square at night was like a light show. The building were outlined with white lights, St. Basil's Cathedral was just magnificent with the spotlights on it. It is also beautiful in the daytime. I was surprised at the number of churches that I saw. I know that for many years that people could not worship openly. I never expected to see churches that were breathtakingly beautiful inside. Every inch was covered with gold, paintings. mosaics and more. Spectacular. This was the third Viking River cruise for me. I really didn't know what to expect on the first one but I learned quickly that the staff on Viking ships are friendly and helpful. They are respectful to the guests. The cabin was always made up when I returned from an excursion. Housekeeping was quick to send anything that I needed. The menu was varied each night. I especially liked the dishes that were native to the region where we were. The Russian menus were great. There were selections with which I was familiar because they were made in my family. It was fun to eat them on the ship. The service was excellent. I looked forward to the excursions every day because I didn't know what to expect. One excursion was to Khizi island where 60 people live. It was educational. We saw an church that was being restored. Everything was done with wood. The guides in Russia were well informed and answered any questions. I recommend the Russia cruise. You will know a lot more than before you visited. I am already scheduled for cruises 4 and 5 this year - Viking Ocean Cruise - Venice to Athens and Viking River Cruise - Portugal-The River of Gold. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had seen ads and decided to check out a Scenic presentation. We discovered a hidden gem in the sea of river cruise options. We knew we had stumbled on to something when we discovered that booking went quickly 18 months before departure. ... Read More
We had seen ads and decided to check out a Scenic presentation. We discovered a hidden gem in the sea of river cruise options. We knew we had stumbled on to something when we discovered that booking went quickly 18 months before departure. Scenic has thought of everything, and I mean everything. Everything is included. Drinks top shelve, meals gourmet that's all meals, professional and friendly staff made this fabulous trip even better. The excursions were all incredible. One in particular was the performance at Palais Leichtenstein, a beautiful palace complete with renaissance art. We sipped champagne and listen to an orchestra in a beautiful room. It was like going back in time. Can't say enough positive things about the rooms, sumptuous and well designed, the food, delicious and varied as was the great wine, the hardworking staff, particularly our tour director, and the excellent entertainment both on board and off as well as the beautiful picture perfect stops along the cruise This was a dream vacation and we are so happy we had a chance to experience Scenic. My wife and I are already thinking about our next river cruise with Scenic! Thanks for such an enriching experience which we will not forget Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Our scenic adventure started with a driver waiting for us at Budapest airport who dropped us at Marriott. Great hotel good location. Two pre cruise days in Budapest. So much much to see and all of it walkable. Scenic picked up our ... Read More
Our scenic adventure started with a driver waiting for us at Budapest airport who dropped us at Marriott. Great hotel good location. Two pre cruise days in Budapest. So much much to see and all of it walkable. Scenic picked up our luggage first then later transferred us to Scenic Ruby. Very efficient and quick process. We had a royal balcony suite on the ruby. Spacious, comfortable bed, large bathroom, plenty of storage for clothing, and separate lounges area w/small couch and two chairs. We were very happy with the size of the suite for our 15 day journey. Daily laundry service was an unexpected bonus. Put out your bag of clothes in the morning, and they are returned clean, folded and pressed in the afternoon. Though we did not use the butler service much, they were quick to respond when we called. Due to low water levels we had to change ships once after Melk. The staff on both Ruby and Jade made it so seamless, it was no issues what so ever. The daily choice of activites were excellent. We did bike rides, city tours, and more. Scenic really caters to all activity levels. Our tour guides in Salzburg and in Cologne were boring, so we set out on our own to explore. Wished we had more time to explore some of the Salzburg. The staff on both Ruby and Jade were quite honestly outstanding. From housekeeping who kept our suite spotless, to the wait staff in the dining room, all top notch. Food in the dining room was really quite good. My husband especially enjoyed the fresh cookie selection available all day every day next to that great coffee machine in the lounge. Alex our crises director was entertaining and informative, and we looked forward to the port talks each night, as well as his insightful presentations on the history and culture of the areas we cruised through. Each day he steered us to the right buses, or activities, and was always on hand to answer any questions we had for him. I really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to plan anything...we just had to choose what our activity was for the following day. We very much enjoyed the wonderful fellow cruisers on the boat. We are in our late 50’s early 60’s, so we were part of the younger crowd. But what a great mix of people. We also had on board two folks from National Geographic. Susan was the photographer who was there to share technique’s and help hone skills. Mark was there to share with us the history, culture and politics of the regions we were sailing through. Both were such a great addition to the cruise. We ended the cruise in Amsterdam, and spent two days exploring that lovely city. I would suggest that Scenic select another hotel option other than the Double tree. While it was a great location, it was was run down and our room was dirty. I would pay more for a nicer hotel. This was our first river cruise and our first Scenic adventure. Our first Nat Geo adventure. It is not often that often that reality exceeds expectations, but Scenic hit it out of the ball park on this trip. When Scenic says it’s all inclusive, they not kidding. From food to cocktails to all your excursions, it’s all included. If you are looking for outstanding service, spacious and lovely accommodations, varied excursions for all activity levels (we were the high activity level), a great mix of passengers, and a trip you won’t soon forget - Scenic is the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low ... Read More
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low water level until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave. Itineray changed to all but a couple of ports in the Netherlands. The highlights of the trip were to be the areas where the ship didn't travel. To make matters worse, tour director was disorganized, ship Captain did not speak English, ship docked so far from destination ports it was ridiculous. Other ships were providing buses to take passengers to destination. Not our ship. The few tours offered were primarily ones of walking around the town plazas, etc. And the majority of passengers were over 65! I understand the couple of buses they had were shuttled back and forth between the Danube groups and the Rhine. They seemed to always be with the Danube folks. We were not offered bus/hotel choices to make up for all the ports we did not see. That is standard with other river cruise lines. Passenger complaints to the officers and tour director fell on deaf ears and it was clear the disorganization and confusion came down from the top. The service staff tried their best; but they were understaffed. The spa was good but very limited; the food good except there was a problem keeping the buffet dishes hot. The rooms were way too small for the large beds. We booked 2 rooms for a family of 4 at last minute and top dollar and I never felt like we had spent so much money on something so disappointing. Our trip was in August and now in January we are still waiting for any compensation from Crystal. We all had out of pocket expenses because we had to change return flights from Basel Switzerland (which we never got to see) to Frankfurt. Additional transportation, hotel etc. all added up to more than they promised to reimburse. And there was no compensation even promised for the missed excursions and ports. My advice is to avoid this line at all costs. We are seasoned cruisers on several small luxury lines and have never had an experience like this! How could such an esteemed company as Crystal allow this group to be a part of their company??? We want to go back to take a Rhine cruise; but it sure won't be with Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been on many river cruises with Viking and knew without a doubt this would be another quality trip, enhanced by outstanding, caring staff. As always, the crew outdid themselves with their friendly, courteous, expert services. ... Read More
We have been on many river cruises with Viking and knew without a doubt this would be another quality trip, enhanced by outstanding, caring staff. As always, the crew outdid themselves with their friendly, courteous, expert services. The food was fabulous..and having choices of where to eat was a bonus. Scrumptious dinners of lobster and crab were a treat! The array of food was healthy and beautifully presented. Bar facilities and spa were soothing and well planned. It never felt like there were so many people on board because there were private little alcoves to be alone, meet with friends, or sip a drink upon leaving port. Musicians enriched the entire experience. We are always impressed with Viking's efficient organization and attention to detail. It is the perfect balance of a "trip" to learn new things, and an "R &R" to enjoy each other. We have already booked our next cruise! Thanks to all who made this trip such a joy! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from ... Read More
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Every place we stopped was over crowded with tourists. At several stops we had to stand in long lines to see the attraction. It was extremely hot most of the week (this was our fault for choosing mid July). On one tour, after walking around the city we were taken the top of a very high site, by a tram, that overlooked the city and river which was very interesting, but it started raining at the top of the hill. The tram took us about 1/3 of the way back to the boat and dumped us off in pouring rain. Only 1 couple had an umbrella so everybody got 'soaked to the bone' walking back to the boat. On our next cruise we will go either early or late in the season, but definitely on Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to ... Read More
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to Prague was delayed because some passengers were late. The area is small, hot, no explanations, no offer to move us to an air-conditioned motor coach, no offer of bottled water - nothing. My husband inquired of a cab and our inquiry was ignored. We finally got transportation to Prague and arrived at the hotel. The accommodations in Prague are nice, The Imperial, typical European style hotel. We were there for 3 nights. The first night there was a welcome meeting with a class of wine and a walking tour of the area. The other Scenic sponsored tour while in Prague was again, a walking tour. No worries we hired a car and had a wonderful tour of Prague. There were signs early on that something was amiss. The Scenic staff were all a bit vague regarding details. Our guide said he needed to leave ahead of the group to meet other travelers and passed us off to another woman working for Scenic. She rode the coach with us and informed us that morning that we would not be going to Nuremberg and we would not be on the Jasper. She assured us that the only difference between the Jasper and our newly assigned ship would be the name, Jade. The water levels were low and we would not go to Nuremberg, but to Regensburg. None of the travelers seemed concerned, until guide and driver got lost looking for the ship. When we finally arrived we had to walk about 300 yards along an unpaved path to reach the Jade, which was not exactly in Regensburg, but we could glimpse the skyline if we tried. We went to the lounge area and experienced the most cursory greeting from the hotel manager, captain, and cruise director. It's clear to us all now that the company was well aware that we would not be on the ship long and they were all noticeably nervous and in the instance of the Cruise Director, very short tempered. Those on the Diamond Deck are invited to dine at Table La Rive, that is if you are on the ship long enough to enjoy such an invitation. The sundeck was only opened for use on the evening that we were told we would be enjoying the rest of the trip from a bus! Check out my pics of the sundeck. Good Timing. The idea of a butler for every cabin, forget it. These folks are far too busy with the duties of being waiters and bartenders to actually assist in your cabin. Those Scenic spaceship balcony, not! It's a tiny window and when you open it the air-conditioning immediately shuts off and you swelter. If you are looking for group meals, long lines, buffets style dining, long bus rides and cruise companies that prefer to keep you in the dark, then this is your company. We rode on a bus for nearly 8 hours on our way from Vienna to Budapest, we passed our hotel 3 times so we could see the sights from a bus window. The group lunch was at a Hungarian park that our city guide described as his children's favorite playground. he asked if we noticed the wooden fort and castle on the playground, his children love it. No thank you for me and my group. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Seasoned Lux Cruiser, We are sorry to hear that your journey with us experienced some changes. Due to the current very hot and dry weather conditions in Europe, this has meant that the water levels in sections of the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers are low and impacting all vessels. This has meant that there have been some ship swaps to ensure the continuation of guest’s itinerary and buses where necessary. We have contacted all guests and travel agents if their river cruise is impacted. I have passed your feedback on to our team to investigate the service levels you mentioned. Best regards, The Scenic Team

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