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10 Scenic Lyon Cruise Reviews

From the moment you board, everything is provided - Service ( the crew are first class ) - Dining - ( the food is excellent ) entertainment ( very good ) Excursions and guides ( all well organised and very interesting ) the ship/cabins ... Read More
From the moment you board, everything is provided - Service ( the crew are first class ) - Dining - ( the food is excellent ) entertainment ( very good ) Excursions and guides ( all well organised and very interesting ) the ship/cabins were spotless, The whole cruise ran like clockwork . No complaints whatsoever. From start to finish we did not really need to open our wallets. Our Cruise Director organised all the excursions personally . All the ports of call were extremely interesting and very enjoyable. Whilst the River Rhone is not the most beautiful of rivers, we all enjoyed the variety of towns visited. Lyon, Avignon, Tarriscon, just to mention three. The evening in Avignon was spent in the Popes Palace where we attended a concert given by a classical music trio ( harpist, flautist celloist ) this was absolutely brilliant, We are now considering where to go on our next Scenic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
To experience various historical sites we were not disappointed. The food was plentiful and varied each day. The two special dinners were also a highlight. The chefs were extremely talented loved their specials. The massages were also ... Read More
To experience various historical sites we were not disappointed. The food was plentiful and varied each day. The two special dinners were also a highlight. The chefs were extremely talented loved their specials. The massages were also extremely helpful after swollen feet and ankles. Thank you to Dragon the specialist. Nicholas our tour director went above all expectations. What a character. He was very special and treated all passengers equal. Thank you Nick. We will definitely travel with a Scenic again. Each day there were about three off shore experiences to chose from, very hard to decide. We were glad we chose the truffle experience, the planes, trucks and cars museum and historical Chateau. The under the big top night circus another highlight. The Popes Palace dinner at night not to be missed, what an experience. We loved everything about this cruise. The embarkation went smoothly and the help of all the staff, including the Captains. Thank you for the memories. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our cruise was on the Soene and Rhone rivers through the south of France. Scenic is an Australian based company, so more than half the passengers were Aussies..they are so much fun. It was an all inclusive cruise including gratuities. We ... Read More
Our cruise was on the Soene and Rhone rivers through the south of France. Scenic is an Australian based company, so more than half the passengers were Aussies..they are so much fun. It was an all inclusive cruise including gratuities. We were on the 2nd deck, the cabin was more spacious than I anticipated. The excursions were well organized and plentiful. There was never pressure to go on an excursion, if you wanted to stay on the boat, no problem. Our cruise director Sylvie, was very good, knowledgeable and was everywhere! There were a few hiccups since it was the 1st sailing of the season, but overall we would definitely do it again. The only question I have for Scenic is why the captain and co-captain were switched out midway through the cruise. We were told it was a scheduling thing, but it was weird because the passengers had just developed a relationship with that crew and then they leave before the cruise is over. Scenic needs to rethink this policy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Really wanted to try "Eastern Europe", but timing sent us to Southern France. Being a "skipper" when 3 or 4 passengers is more than enough really wanted to try river cruising - love the ocean but 3000 pax is about 2999 ... Read More
Really wanted to try "Eastern Europe", but timing sent us to Southern France. Being a "skipper" when 3 or 4 passengers is more than enough really wanted to try river cruising - love the ocean but 3000 pax is about 2999 too many. The whole experience was way beyond what I was expecting; I was able to say G'day to almost everyone on board (passengers and crew) and with around 200 people on board even got to know most of the names. Organising excursions must be a nightmare for the Cruise Director; we started out thinking that all was set in stone only to find out that many last minute changes were accommodated without a second thought. If the most recent cruise is the measure then I will certainly consider another Scenic cruise. (As an aside, we dined with a couple who had a similar background and has already completed over 15 cruises with Scenic; don't think I will be around long enough to meet that 'frequent cruiser' level, but it it a good recommendation.) Yes, reckon we will go on another Scenic Cruise (Antarctica beckons but need a couple more pennies in the bank). Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Previous experience with Scenic cruises had shown us the quality of their ships and service so we were confident this one would be as good. We were not disappointed in anything apart from the weather which, at the start of the cruise, was ... Read More
Previous experience with Scenic cruises had shown us the quality of their ships and service so we were confident this one would be as good. We were not disappointed in anything apart from the weather which, at the start of the cruise, was cooler than expected. It warmed up as we travelled further south. The tour director was informative and friendly with an excellent sense of humour and was approachable at all times. The places visited on shore e.g. Cluny, Lyon, Vienne, Avignon, were all interesting and the quality of the visiting guides was good. The portable device which enabled us to hear the guide was particularly useful. The food and drink were of an excellent standard with tea and coffee available whenever required via a machine in the lounge area. The standard of waiter service was impeccable. The staff were, without exception, friendly, helpful and efficient so we could not have asked for more. Bring on the next cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Cruise to the South of France-Our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. Everything was taken care-you could do as much as you wished or nothing at all except relax. The Sapphire had recently been refurbished and was in great ... Read More
Cruise to the South of France-Our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. Everything was taken care-you could do as much as you wished or nothing at all except relax. The Sapphire had recently been refurbished and was in great condition. Our cabin 206 was on the second level near the the front, was spacious and had a reasonably sized bathroom with a shower (a blessing for us-hate showers in baths). The weather was warm to hot which made it awesome if you wished to sit on the top deck and watch the world go by. The dining overall was excellent, the size of some of the meals in the main dining area were a bit small for us (we are big eaters) but the quality was not an issue. Entertainment was a musician/singer who was great with the occasional solo artist/group-this is suited us and we were thoroughly entertained for the whole trip. The overall service was efficient, friendly and nothing seem to be too much trouble. We cannot praise all the staff highly enough from the Captain down to our lovely lady who made up our room -the cruise director Nicholas was wonderful, knowledgeable & witty. Plenty of shore excursions which with interesting & informative. A great trip. Two minor complaints-there was no snacks provided for people who danced the night away or wanted to stay up a little later. Also the hand sanitisers for the main dinning room are in an awkward position as you walk down the steps-the need to be placed where there is less chance of someone falling down the stairs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We travelled on Scenic’s 13 day South of France cruise on the Scenic Sapphire, departing on 29th April 2017. We stayed in a private balcony suite, on the diamond (top) deck. We had previously been on Jewels of Europe cruise with Scenic ... Read More
We travelled on Scenic’s 13 day South of France cruise on the Scenic Sapphire, departing on 29th April 2017. We stayed in a private balcony suite, on the diamond (top) deck. We had previously been on Jewels of Europe cruise with Scenic in 2015, and we loved it, telling all our family and friends how good it was. Before that we had travelled with Scenic to Australia in 2011, and that was also fantastic. So we set off on this latest trip with Scenic with high expectations. Sadly, in some ways we ended up being disappointed. For those of you who cannot be bothered to read the entire review, you should take note of the following points if you are thinking of booking a river cruise with Scenic: • Do not book the first cruise of the season: the crew have not yet got their act together. • When it comes to picking a cabin, as with other things, size matters. • Daily itineraries can be changed between the time you book and the time you travel, and even after you arrive on board. What was good: • The staff, (with one or two exceptions – see later), were very pleasant, friendly, and helpful. • Staff (normally the more senior ones) who had been with Scenic on previous cruises were good at their jobs. The butler service was excellent. • Bar service in the lounge was consistently good. • Excursions were impeccably organised, with excellent, knowledgeable, local guides. The coaches were modern, clean and comfortable. A nice touch was that they always took the scenic (!) routes to destinations. The excursions were well chosen: we visited chateaux, quaint medieval towns and roman ruins. In some cases, the timing of the trips was made to ensure that we got there before the hordes. Walking over the Pont du Gard roman aqueduct, and being the only party there, was wonderful. • The Scenic Enrich experiences (particularly the private dinner at the Pope’s palace in Avignon) were genuinely memorable. • The food was generally (but not always) to a high standard. We had a couple of meals that were truly excellent. There was always a wide choice available at every meal. • With one exception (see later), our room was always cleaned to a high standard. • The all-inclusive package means that Scenic’s claim that you can leave your wallet at home is true – the only additional costs we incurred were in buying souvenirs. • As an early booking incentive we were provided with a car to take us to and from the airport in the UK, saving us about £150. But I have to point out that this was what we had expected, and had paid for! What was bad: • There were huge problems in the dining room, particularly at dinner. The waiters were inexperienced and poorly trained. Some had very poor command of English, and so could not understand what customers wanted. One waiter, if he could not understand, would go to another part of the dining room and not return to our table. For the first couple of nights, the sense of panic amongst the serving staff was palpable. Cutlery was often not matched to the food being served. (Have you ever tried to eat something served in a cocktail glass with a soup spoon?). • The chef apparently had the most wonderful system for managing food orders: no food left the kitchen until every single guest had sat down and placed their order. For the first few days, early arrivers were kept waiting for up to an hour between ordering and being served their first course. On day four we complained to the restaurant manager, who was highly apologetic, and acknowledged the problems. He told us that he had informed Scenic head office about the chaos in the dining room, and had not received any practical help. He also said that he had started to over-rule the chef’s serving system. He sent an excellent bottle of wine to our cabin that evening by way of apology. To be fair, things did improve steadily after that, but even by the second week it was still not up to Scenic’s normal standard. In that second week, a breakfast was made memorable when it took four requests, to two different waiters, over a 10 minute period to obtain a pot of tea. When it eventually came, it had been made with cold water! • On several occasions, I found dirty plates amongst the clean ones at the breakfast buffet. Twice we were served drinks in chipped glasses. • On a cruise in France, I had expected that the wines being served with dinner would be excellent. In fact, they were generally fairly average. We did discover that better wines were available if you asked. • Again in the first week, one particular day’s excursions started earlier than normal, but the time of breakfast in the main dining room was kept the same, making breakfast a real rush. Some of us tried to go into breakfast 15 minutes early but were shooed out by the staff, who then locked the doors to prevent anyone else trying to get in early! Of course, we could have gone for an “Earlybird” breakfast in the lounge if all we wanted was a croissant (but no butter or jam) and a coffee. After complaints, by the second week the timing of breakfast was brought forward if there were early excursions. • So, as far as the dining room was concerned, it certainly was not a five star operation. • At each of the two entrances to the dining room a hand sanitiser was placed. They were badly sited at the side of the staircase, so you had to pause on the stairs and lean to the side to use them. We witnessed two people who fell down the last steps when trying to use the sanitisers. For four days, one of the two sanitisers was not working, and on at least one day, neither was working. This was despite reporting it to reception each time. • When we travelled on the Rhine with Scenic, we had a deluxe balcony suite of 225 square feet. This class of cabin is not available on the Scenic Sapphire in France, so we had a balcony suite of 205 square feet. It was only 10% smaller, but the difference was very noticeable, particularly in the reduced wardrobe space and the cramped bathroom. When sitting on the toilet, the toilet roll holder dug into your arm, and you needed to be a contortionist to wash your feet in the shower. • The Scenic Sapphire was built in 2008, and is now getting a bit old. Its’ sister ship the Emerald was sold off at the end of last season because we were told it was too expensive to refurbish. The Sapphire had been “refreshed” for this 2017 season, though this did not seem to have included our cabin. The bathroom was “tired”: not all the shower functions worked and the shower door leaked; the chrome was coming off the sink waste cover, and the silvering was beginning to disappear off the bottom edge of the mirror. • Sometime before we travelled, we were notified by Scenic that one of the Freechoice excursions on one particular day would not be available. We were not unduly bothered about this. Then, when we received our travel documents about a week before travelling, they included a little pamphlet giving the tour itinerary. We glanced at it but did not really read it in detail. That was a mistake. When we subsequently compared it to the itinerary in the brochure at the time we booked in 2016, we found a number of significant changes. Several Freechoice options had been deleted on different days. On some days where the brochure listed an excursion in the morning followed by a Freechoice activity later in the day, the morning’s excursion had been lumped in with the other Freechoice activities so that you could only do one. On day six, all the activities listed in the brochure had been deleted, so the day was spent cruising on the boat. To be fair, some other additional activities had been added in, but overall the choice was reduced. We feel strongly that Scenic should have pointed out the changes to us in advance, rather than via a pamphlet sent with the travel documents. Even when we were on the cruise, further changes were made. • On our second day we found a dirty plate under our bed. We had not had food in our room. This was the first cruise of the season, so obviously the room preparation was not as thorough as it ought to have been. Thereafter, we had no reason to complain about the housekeeping. • A final aggravation was being told on the last day that we had to complete Scenic’s customer satisfaction questionnaire before we left the ship, and it had to be done online. We were told it would take no more than 30 to 40 minutes – in fact it took everyone we spoke to about an hour and a half, which is a big chunk of your last afternoon. Amazingly, the computer system in the cabin would not link to the Scenic website, so the survey had to be completed on a tablet or smartphone, which made writing comments slow and tedious. Also you could not stop part way through and save what you had done. I tried it and lost what I had already done. So, overall, we could only rate this cruise as 6 out of 10. We knew that Scenic are one of the more expensive river cruise operators, but our previous experience was that we got what we paid for. This time it was not the case – we do not feel that we received full value for the not inconsiderable sum of money the cruise cost. A month ago, if we had been asked if we would travel with Scenic again, the answer would have been an emphatic yes. Now the answer would be “perhaps”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of recommendations from passengers on a previous cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience apart from having to hang about Marseille airport for 8 hours. We had been told that there would be a safe place ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of recommendations from passengers on a previous cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience apart from having to hang about Marseille airport for 8 hours. We had been told that there would be a safe place to leave our luggage but this turned out not to be true so we were unable to leave the airport - very frustrating and not a good end to our wonderful holiday. The welcome on embarkation was second to none and all the admin for that went extremely smoothly. Our cabin steward and butler were extremely pleasant and helpful. I had some small issues with the dining at the beginning of the cruise but as we went on it improved ending up with the most delicious Chateau Briande I have ever tasted. Our waiters were exemplary and full of fun. Entertainment was good and not too over the top. The pianist was excellent,. Shore excursions were well informed and very enjoyable. I would not think that this cruise would be suitable for children. Yes we would definitely go again in fact we are planning one for 2018 to celebrate out Golden Wedding!! All in all a thoroughly good holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise to coincide with our 50th wedding anniversary and I requested at the time of booking that flowers and champagne be provided on our anniversary date. I also confirmed this with the cruise director on embarkation. It ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with our 50th wedding anniversary and I requested at the time of booking that flowers and champagne be provided on our anniversary date. I also confirmed this with the cruise director on embarkation. It did not start well as Air France lost our luggage and we spent an hour filling in forms at the airport. Fortunately the taxi transfer waited our arrival but then we were taken on a tour of the industrial heart of Lyon to the ship. I explained to the driver that we were to pick up the ship in Chalon but he said "non Lyon". We then spent 20 minutes while the driver rattled gates, blew his horn and drove up and down the road before two cruise staff came walking through a small park to accompany us to the ship which was the scenic sapphire and not the emerald as we had been informed. The cruise director then explained that the ship had been changed due to high river levels making it impossible for the cruise to start in Chalon due to low bridges upstream. He took charge of chasing up our luggage but we had to miss the tour on the first day as we had to shop for essentials. Fortunately the luggage arrived that evening but again we missed the following days excursion with unpacking and sorting out creased clothing. Cruising was delayed due to a lock keepers strike which meant a noisy overnight sail and missing the programmed "sundowners" excursion. The food on board was best described as average, do not expect Fine Dining as on one evening we, together with others on our table, returned a main course which was inedible. The cabins are well appointed and comfortable however beware of catching toes on the shower door and scraping arms on the sharp toilet roll holders! Our butler, Bogdan, was extremely helpful and attentive as were all the staff on board. Our anniversary arrived but the champagne and flowers did not. I mentioned this to the cruise director on disembarking, he apologised saying that he knew of an anniversary but did not know the name of the guest!! I have emailed scenic on our return and received an automated email saying they deal with these matters in chronological order and it could take up to 28 days for a reply - maybe an indication of the number of complaints, however I have now received a response to my observations with apologies and some flowers and champagne for my wife. Scenic managed to make our golden wedding anniversary a memorable experience but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone ... Read More
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone resemble classical French dishes. Bouillibaise, French Onion soup, mussels, crepes suzettes, coq au vin etc where did they get the recipes from? The cabin was small in comparison with cruise ships. The waiters understood little English. One night we asked to see the Maitre D and got a pot of tea. We complained to the hotel manager about the food and was told that we cater mainly for Australians. Is that an insult to Australians or is it an insult to Brits, Canadians and Americans who were on the ship. As like the poor review we paid in excess on £11000 for what is classed as a luxury cruise and by far this is the worst cruise we have been on. This was our 15 cruise but our first river cruise. The company advertisers itself as top market. I would have thought that being if France the food would be as advertised in brochure, no where near. The chefs hands are tied by a moron in head office. The housekeeping and reception were excellent along with literally one or two waiters/butlers. Would I recommend Scenic, never in a month of Sundays Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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