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150 Scenic Opal Cruise Reviews

We have done previous Scenic River Cruises and loved them. We wanted to immerse ourselves in all things European Christmas with the luxury of scenic. However Scenic didn’t provide anything Christmas on this cruise. Lacking Christmas ... Read More
We have done previous Scenic River Cruises and loved them. We wanted to immerse ourselves in all things European Christmas with the luxury of scenic. However Scenic didn’t provide anything Christmas on this cruise. Lacking Christmas decoration, no special Christmas Eve dinner and no special Christmas Day festival. Very disappointing. This cruise was at the end of the season and Scenic Crystal was changed to the Scenic opal but they could have been better prepared. The linens, towels and pillows were worn out but it was the last cruise of the year. Then some of the staff had to leave before the end of the cruise due to visa issues but they were not replaced, so the last couple of days service was disrupted making waiting to be served at dinner unacceptably long but the staff did their best. The ship and staff were lovely but Mr and Mrs Scenic stole Christmas. Dining is ok. Not much variation but of a good standard and any dietary requirements are met if you request them Onboard activities for this cruise was limited unlike the peak season river cruise. Just remember at Christmas most of the shore towns are closed so there are a lot of sailing days I would still recommend a Scenic river cruise just not one at ChristmAs Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first Scenic river cruise, which was advertised as a “Christmas Wonderland”. There wasn’t any Christmas wonderment about it. The only decorations were a tree in the entrance, one in the lounge and 2 foam snowflakes on ... Read More
This was our first Scenic river cruise, which was advertised as a “Christmas Wonderland”. There wasn’t any Christmas wonderment about it. The only decorations were a tree in the entrance, one in the lounge and 2 foam snowflakes on the windows in the lounge. In the dining room a small table decoration per table. That was it, no lights etc. We parked next to a few ships who were beautifully decorated, lights, Santa’s etc. When questioned staff replied that Scenic wanted christmas minimalist! Passengers went out and bought their own decorations including us to decorate their cabin and some made a point of taking them down to the table for lunch and dinner on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day the only Christmas food was a turkey at lunch as the meat option, all other food was as usual. It was the last trip of the season and the crew certainly let people know they didn’t want to be there. Some were rude, surly and forgot how to smile. The daily topping up the mini bar also slackened off towards the end with notes being left for staff requesting specific items. The food got boring, steak, fish and vegetarian every night. Not much imagination and they did start running out of stuff towards the end. But the worst was yet to come somebody began coughing in the lounge that spread like wildfire. By the weekend after Christmas half the boat was sick. By the time we got to Budapest a doctor was called to 3 people with one going off to hospital by ambulance. At no time did we hear an announcement regarding respiratory hygiene or to remind people to clean their hands. They did put extra hand sanitizer stations into the lounge but no accompanying notice. We would not recommend Scenic to anybody and will not be travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Having done two previous cruises with Scenic and a Christmas market cruise with their sister company Emerald, I was really looking forward to this cruise. What a disappointment!! While I would consider another cruise with Scenic, I do ... Read More
Having done two previous cruises with Scenic and a Christmas market cruise with their sister company Emerald, I was really looking forward to this cruise. What a disappointment!! While I would consider another cruise with Scenic, I do not recommend their Rhine Christmas Market cruise. 1. No on-board Christmas/holiday ambiance. Meager decorations that included a couple of decorated trees and a few snowflake cutouts on the windows. No lights, no special food, no holiday music, special afternoon Christmas tea. 2. Poor entertainment. During the entire cruise during the day there were only two poorly presented talks by the cruise director. After the first long afternoon onboard with no activities or entertainment, I asked the cruise director about this lack. She seemed baffled by the question. I listed the daytimes activities on the Emerald Christmas Market cruise and she informed me that Scenic is a higher end cruise and they don't have activities or entertainment during the day so that "guests can enjoy the ship". There is a small gym and a salt room with three loungers. Other than that I guess you entertain yourself with chatting with other guests, looking out the window, napping, reading, using the internet or taking advantage of the open bar. Quoting the Daily Program, the evening entertainment consisted of: Two nights there was only "Live music with our on-board musician Enzo" (keyboard); Three nights of classical music One night "Norman and his guitar"; and a "Disco night". 3. Poor docking locations. While the docking locations may be determined by the harbor master, the locations can negatively impact the trip. Docking for Basel, Strasbourg and Heidelberg was in industrial areas where it was impossible to get off the ship to do anything on your own. Docking for Baden Baden was in a rural area with only a few houses nearby. Docking for Rudesheim was about 3/4 of mile from the town in a more rural area and we docked after dark. We walked past a couple of empty berths on our way into town where we made a loop through the small town. My Fitbit showed that the walk from the ship and back was 5,500 steps. Depending on your tour choice, there are bus rides of over an hour each way to get to the sights and Christmas markets. 4. There seemed to be a quite a few people on the cruise with mobility issues, and, at times, some people had difficulty with the amount of walking on the tours. For example, in Strasbourg, the walk back to the buses after the tour and free time, was about 1/2 mile. By the time the ship arrived in Heidelberg, better descriptions were given of the amount of walking required and the terrain. A "gentle walkers" group was added. 5. More time could have been spent in some towns. For morning visits, we were taken back to the ship by 13:00. In some places, it would have been nice to have the option for a later bus back to the ship even if we did miss lunch onboard. On the positive side: 1. Our lower level cabin was fine with comfortable beds, robes, nice toiletries, a stocked mini bar, nightly turn down with chocolates. Our cabin attendant was friendly and kept the cabin spotless. We made requests to the butler for the complimentary laundry service and to get a pair of shoes cleaned. These requests were promptly taken care of. 2. The food was good. 3. The local guides in the towns and cities we visited were all good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise due to the Switzerland extension before hand and the great reviews of Scenic. The extension was amazing. We eventually got on the Scenic Opal in Basal and began our cruise down the Rhine. The ship was perfect. Very ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the Switzerland extension before hand and the great reviews of Scenic. The extension was amazing. We eventually got on the Scenic Opal in Basal and began our cruise down the Rhine. The ship was perfect. Very clean, modern, and welcoming. The cruise director (Andreea) was waiting to welcome us aboard and was always available to answer any question or solve any problem. We were escorted to our cabin by Milanka (Mila) the ship masseuse and fitness coach. The Hotel manager (Georgi) was very friendly and always checking to see if we were happy. The Captain of the ship was very approachable and always happy to answer any questions. He allowed any passenger to visit his wheelhouse at any time to see how the ship was operated. Our butler (Ratko) made sure we were always happy and cared for. The young lady that did our housekeeping (Timea) was outstanding. Our room was always perfectly clean and inviting. We had the Royal Panoramic Suite. It was fit for royalty. The size of the suite was very nice and the wrap around windows and large balcony was perfect to viewing the sites as we made our way down river. We slept like babies on the large king size bed and the large walk in shower was perfect for us. All the meals were exceptional. The thing that made the cruise stand out for us was the crew. From the Captain to the Hotel Manage, to the cruise director, to the lowest sailor on deck we never passed a crew member that did not say hello and ask if we were happy and could they do anything for us. We really hated for the cruise to end. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Very disappointed in this Christmas river cruise. Very disappointed in the ship. 2 Christmas trees and small table ornaments on the tables does not make a themed Christmas cruise. We saw other companies ships that had Christmas lights and ... Read More
Very disappointed in this Christmas river cruise. Very disappointed in the ship. 2 Christmas trees and small table ornaments on the tables does not make a themed Christmas cruise. We saw other companies ships that had Christmas lights and decorated balconies on the top decks that looked amazing. Some of the markets we stopped at were only average and the one village and market that was amazing (from previous experience) we got in too late to see it. Maybe we could have had a Christmas dinner towards the end of "the Christmas cruise". Just a thought. The food onboard was very average and the breakfast buffet was usually cold. Didn't compare even to Evergreen which is the cheaper sister company. Scenic also seems to have forgotten their roots and appear to cater to a particular group instead of everyone equally. Having travelled on the rivers before with different companys this one was found to be lacking. Wouldn't travel with Scenic again. Save your money and go Evergreen or APT for luxury. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
For the most part, I have good words and praise for the actual cruise ship staff. They could not fix or be held accountable for things beyond their control, chiefly the marketing of what this cruise was supposed to deliver. The ... Read More
For the most part, I have good words and praise for the actual cruise ship staff. They could not fix or be held accountable for things beyond their control, chiefly the marketing of what this cruise was supposed to deliver. The cruise is billed as a Christmas market tour. But let’s put this promise to test. Day 2 involved a departure from AMS at 13.00, so what do you really see of Amsterdam Christmas markets? Essentially nothing. The main Christmas market does not yet open until mid December, plus the ship leaves mid day so you barely have time to either do the bus ride, spend maybe an hour and half “discovering” Volendam/ Edam, or take a one hour canal ride so you can be back on the ship in time for departure. Day 3. We didn’t arrive to Cologne until 13.00 but can’t disembark until well after 15.00. We are a good distance, at least 45 min walk, to the first Christmas markets by the cathedral. And these markets are not nearly the better ones truly worth seeing. The time is limited because of the need to get back on before 22.00 departure, but I will be generous and say that this opportunity represents the only decent opportunity to see a Christmas market without needing to strap on skates. By the way, cruising through the Rhine during the section loaded with castles sounds lovely until you understand that you will miss most of them due to the “surprise” that the sunset is about 16.00 hours. Must not be a well- known fact, that it gets dark, for the Scenic schedulers. So this part of the trip was not very interesting. Day 4 Kolblenz/ Cochem. I did not go to the Kolbenz, preferring not to spend the majority of my day on bus. I left the boat at Cochem, after the ship arrived, and had barely an hour and a half before needing to be back on the boat. So much for seeing anything. Day 5 Heidelberg – We probably had about 2 hours, by the time you subtract bus travel time, to see anything in this town. When we arrived, the Christmas markets did not open for at least another half hour. Plus, it is Sunday and if anyone in your company knows anything about Germany, then they will know that pretty much EVERYTHING is closed on a Sunday. So, we got to see a lot of closed stores. By the way, we were in the “slow walk” group and our tour guide just motors along at a speed not suitable for a slow walk group. Day 6: Skipped this one because again, it was not worth it. Didn’t fly half way around the world just to get stuffed in a tour bus and see nothing. The time allocated for Baden-Baden was very small, especially compared to the bus time. Day 7. Ironically, and by accident, I managed to get about 4 hours in Strasbourg. To the cruise director Alex’s credit, did organize 2 outbound shuttles and 2 return shuttles to a tour bus area within a 20 minute walk to the city center and the Christmas markets on the night between day 6 and 7. It was a very nice evening, even if organized on the fly, with many people from the ship taking advantage of the opportunity. What happened next was yet another failure by Scenic. This was supposed to be the official day in Strasbourg, the home of Christmas markets for Europe. Cruise director Alex explained that because traffic can be bad on the Rhine and some locks can cause delays up to 8 hours, the ship was going to relocate the night between day 6 and day 7. Last I checked, Scenic should know this and not be “surprised” by traffic on the Rhine. So, the results were brutal. By moving the ship, we got on the bus on day 7, spent just over an hour and a half being driven back to Strasbourg. During the drive, the guide said, “Oh, and if we get there before 11, we can go inside the Cathedral.” What time did we arrive? Just after 10. But where we were parked was a good 45 minute walk, if you are fit, to get to the cathedral, which is the center of the markets. The group my wife and I were walking with was chosen specifically as the “slow group” due to the age and mobility of many of the guests. Despite this designation, the guide kept walking too fast, leaving many of the group far behind. At one point, I hustled two blocks to find her, passing many people in our group. I caught up with her and said in French, English, and Spanish that she was going way, way too fast for her group. She said she will slow down, but by the time I got back to me wife, the guide was a ghost. We were to told to meet back at the clock in front of the post office in the center square, opposite of the cathedral at 12.10 exactly or risk missing the bus back to the ship. By the time most people arrived at the cathedral, it was essentially 11 am….so is 1 hour and 10 minutes what you can realistically call a Christmas market visit for Strasbourg? The pickup point for the bus back to the ship was slightly closer and took just over a half hour to walk to in order to board the buses back to the ship. So, we spent 3 hours in bus time, maybe an hour and a half to “see” Strasbourg Christmas market before getting back on the boat. In short, what Scenic advertises as possible for a Christmas market cruise does not reflect reality. The amount of time spent in these markets is a pittance compared to the sales pitch of your cruise. It’s an exercise in misrepresentation. Lastly, and I know I write this from US perspective, Scenic does not advise clients about a reasonable level of physical fitness / agility that will be required in order to enjoy their touring opportunities. The crew tried to make some accommodations but they clearly can’t fix what is on shore. Scenic Cruises has a duty to advise people about mobility issues they might face in order to make an informed purchase decision. The so called day in Strasbourg brought this issue into the sharpest of focus, although the other days were failures too. And even without mobility issues, the possible time to spend in these cities in markets were negligible compared to the way Scenic markets these tours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I first want to mention some statistics about our cruise: There were about 160 people on the ship: 10 people from Canada, 10 people from the US, about 30 people from New Zealand, and the rest were from Australia. The cruise director is ... Read More
I first want to mention some statistics about our cruise: There were about 160 people on the ship: 10 people from Canada, 10 people from the US, about 30 people from New Zealand, and the rest were from Australia. The cruise director is from Austria, one waitress is from Poland, and most of the staff is from Serbia. So you'll definitely meet interesting people from around the world! There were *no* kids at all on the cruise- the youngest people were a group of ladies in their late 20's. I'm pretty sure this is by design and is just the way Scenic markets the cruises. We went on the Christmas Market cruise from November to December and usually water levels aren't an issue, but this time, the water was too low north of Passau, which disrupted our schedule. We were stuck in a port for 2 days and when we were finally able to go, we had to wait behind a slow cargo ship and then wait behind ships coming downstream. This meant we didn't get into Regensberg until almost 9:00 at night. Then it would be a 1/2 hour drive into the city, then the Christmas market closes at 10:00. The ship continued on to the next port, which meant people who went into town had to stay out until the ship docked at 12:30 am. Only 8 people did this, so we probably could have skipped this stop and kept going to make up the time. We didn't go, so we missed out on seeing the town. This also meant we didn't get into Nuremberg until late in the day. We also got stuck in traffic while driving into the city, which meant the bus didn't drop us off until 4:30... and it was already dark. This meant we didn't get any good pictures. A similar thing happened in Rudesheim: we left the ship at 3:10 pm, then a 1 hour drive on the bus, then a short train ride into town... which meant it was too dark to see much of anything! This meant we didn't get ANY daytime photos! But according to the cruise director, he'd rather stop in a port and give people a chance to see things, rather than continue on. But this amounts to little more than a tease! To be fair, Scenic offered us alternative options and we could have chosen to continue by bus, but we stayed with the ship. Would I take another European river cruise? I don't know, especially since the low water levels are supposed to happen in the summer, not winter. Would I take another cruise on Scenic? Yes. Dining: Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style, though you can also order from a menu. The omelette station was very good and by the end of the cruise, the chef was practically asking me if I wanted my usual. The breakfast buffet is the standard breakfast fare: scrambled eggs, bacon, cereals, bagels and bread, and juices. Most of the time, a majority of the passengers eat at the same time because of the timing of the excursions. There were a few days when there was a line for the omelettes, but you can get scrambled eggs or something else instead. The dinners in the main dining area approximate a 5-star dining experience: - You're served three courses: appetizer, main, and dessert. - The waiters/ waitresses put the napkin on your lap and take away silverware as it's not needed. - The pacing of the dinner usually takes around 1 1/2 hours, because everyone is in the dining area at the same time and because it's just paced slower. However, the menu options seem a little limited to me: Every night, there's an option for meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb) and an option for fish. I don't eat most fish and some fish give me an allergic reaction. I'm not a big meat eater so I really don't care for beef every night. I'm not sure why they don't have a main course choice of chicken or pasta. They serve pasta for lunch, so they have it on the ship. Plus, pasta with vegetables would be a good vegetarian option. We when ate at Portobello's, the Italian restaurant, the choices were beef tenderloin and fish. Yes, more beef. I was expecting some pasta choices, since it's supposed to be an Italian restaurant, but again, there was no pasta! Also, as a hint: I had read that people needed to make a reservation at Portobello's when they boarded the ship. When we boarded, we were told that the reservation was already made for us and we'd receive an invitation the night before. But they didn't tell us *which* night... though a few days later, I asked and they told me. Tours: We took the guided tour in almost every city and they were mostly very good. Scenic hires local guides who talk about the history and joke around a little. But our time was very limited due to the schedule change because of the low water level. For many stops, we would take a bus for about 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours to the city, then take a 1 hour guided tour, then get 2-3 hours of free time, then a 1 hour drive back to the ship. I was expecting a cruise where the ship arrived in the morning, then we do an excursion in the morning, then go back to the ship for lunch, and then go out on our own after lunch. But our actual schedule turned out to be: cruise most of the day, get into a port after lunch, spend the afternoon in the town, then come back in time for dinner and continue cruising. Needless to say, this didn't leave enough time to visit the Christmas markets and explore the town. Entertainment: There was a Hungarian folk dance on our first night, which was very good. The ship brought in a violinist and zither player on different night and both were excellent. The highlight was a German speaking class hosted by a "Dr Prof Prof" and held at exactly 10:33. Spoiler: it was the cruise director dressed in a traditional German outfit with glasses and a mustache. He was hilarious and we even learned a little German! Staff: Alex, the cruise director, was excellent, especially when it came to rescheduling everything because of the disruption caused by the low water level. Dinner service seemed a little slow at first, but that changed when we mentioned we'd prefer a quicker dinner. By the end of the cruise, our waitress, Ruzica, had our usual drinks waiting for us at our table for breakfast and lunch, which was excellent service! More: The pool wasn't open when we took our cruise. Though I don't think I would have used it since the weather was too cold. We didn't use the spa, massage, or gym. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our second cruise with Scenic. Our first was on Scenic Jewel for 8 days, and we had a blast, so we went with Scenic once again. I had been to Christmas markets before but my wife had not, so I told her our next cruise would be the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Scenic. Our first was on Scenic Jewel for 8 days, and we had a blast, so we went with Scenic once again. I had been to Christmas markets before but my wife had not, so I told her our next cruise would be the Christmas market cruise. We started out with the Prague extension first, and the hotel, The Art Deco Imperial Hotel, was outstanding. I had never been in a hotel room that offered 1 1/2 baths with heated flooring. We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative and transferred to the hotel within 15 minutes of getting through customs. Our tour guide, Tomas, was very helpful and very knowledgeable. One of the best I have ever seen. We went by coach from Prague to Budapest and boarded the Scenic Opal. The rest of the cruise was what I expected from Scenic, which was nothing short of outstanding. The only hiccup we had was when there was some low water concerns at one of the locks upstream. We ended up docked at Vilshofen for a little over a day. Every one on board was offered 3 choices, to stay on board the ship, to discontinue the trip and fly home, or to board motor coaches and continue by land. Each was offered with a monetary benefit. Not one person decided to opt to leave the ship. The captain worked his magic and we were able to continue up river. The man was simply amazing. The cruise director, Alex, kept everyone informed and spirits on board high. The rest of the cruise went on without too many more problems, other then a barge who decided to poke along and slow us up for a while. My only complaint about anything is that they serve a five star meal at dinner. I am and always have been the type of person who doesn't see a good meal unless the plate is covered with food. Also I like good German wines, and there were not enough of them on board. One of biggest benefits of Scenic, is that once you are on board, you do not put your hand in to your pocket for anything unless you buy something from the gift shop. All the drinks are free on board. They do not have "sprit packages" that you need to buy. Alex briefed us on debarkation the day before we were to leave the ship. We were told when we were to have our bags out and when we were scheduled to leave the ship. This made everything go smoothly the next day. We had a chance to say good bye to Alex and to thank the Captain for everything before we were put in a car and transported to the airport. Getting off both of our Scenic cruises have been hard. We were treated well both times. My wife is wondering where we will go on our next vacation, but she did not have to ask which cruise line we would use. It will be Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We did not stay in Amsterdam before boarding the Ship. We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative which gave us an opportunity to meet and introduce ourselves to other guests. Our cabin was great with enough storage to store ... Read More
We did not stay in Amsterdam before boarding the Ship. We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative which gave us an opportunity to meet and introduce ourselves to other guests. Our cabin was great with enough storage to store away all of our belongings, although our cabin was mainly used for sleeping. Our cruise director, Alex and our hotel manager, Djordje could not do enough for us. The whole crew from bar staff to cabin staff were very professional, friendly and all had a great sense of humour. All of our excursions were amazing, well organised and made easy. We decided to change one scheduled excursion, and even this late change was made easy. Nothing was too much trouble for any staff member. The Salzburg tour and lunch and special concert at Zistelalm was memorable. Thank you for the snow! A special mention to Milan, the wellbeing coach. On the days where an early start was not called for he led a yoga/stretching class which was very welcomed (not only for the bike riders) The gym onboard was available at all times and the salt room was a very welcomed spot on many occasions. The choice of excursions/tours available were very varied and the local tour guides we had were knowledgeable and depending on the tour, made it fun. We were apprehensive at first, being first time cruisers, but we could not have chosen a better trip as our 'first' (not sure how other cruises in the future can measure up to this one) A special thank you to the Hello World representative who organised the cruise for us, the cabin choice was great. We are very happy we chose Scenic and we recommend it to everyone. Great value for money! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our first cruise with Scenic was more than I imagined it would be. Friends had travelled and spoken very highly of their experience with Scenic but nothing anyone says can prepare you for the reality. From the second we stepped on-board ... Read More
Our first cruise with Scenic was more than I imagined it would be. Friends had travelled and spoken very highly of their experience with Scenic but nothing anyone says can prepare you for the reality. From the second we stepped on-board Scenic Opal we knew we were in for a very special 15 days. Every single detail had been taken care of - there was nothing we had to do except choose our drinks and meals, and occasionally choose which excursion we'd like to do.  This was just the holiday we needed. I cannot speak more highly of the staff - they were amazing. Every staff member on board was professional from start to finish, and always courteous and friendly. Our Cruise Director, Alex, was an absolute hoot! He is the perfect person for this important role.  We loved our cabin, everything we needed was provided for us, down to the space under the bed to stow all our bags!  We unpacked and shoved the bags away for two weeks. Bliss! The joy of cruising so close to stunning landscapes, gorgeous villages, and a misty morning spent gliding gently past a little village - these are priceless memories for me. I could go on and on .. and on, but go do it for yourselves, it really is a most fantastic experience. We are already planning our next Scenic trip Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative that got us shuttled to the spaceship and from that point on, we were very well looked after by all of the Scenic staff. All of the staff were wonderful. Our cabin and its amenities ... Read More
We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative that got us shuttled to the spaceship and from that point on, we were very well looked after by all of the Scenic staff. All of the staff were wonderful. Our cabin and its amenities was great. We loved how the balcony became part of the room by folding back the glass partitions and lowering the top glass on the balcony rail. It was a wonderful addition to the room on the sunny days were were travelling in November! Alex, our Cruise Director was the best. He was attentive to all of the passengers, he was innovative with his talks, he was very organized, he was able to deal with all of the different passengers with ease and he made our trip fun! All of our excursions were amazing! It was great that we could choose how we wanted to travel ie. coach with guide, walking with guide or without or biking. A mix for all! The enriched excursions for everyone were a "once in a lifetime" experience like the Viennese Orchestral concert and the Salsburg dinner and musical. Wonderful!!!! The itinerary was very good. We loved travelling and seeing 5 different countries. We have often heard how wonderful river cruises are and now that we have experienced one, we would absolutely encourage anyone to go on it and we are very happy that we chose Scenic! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first river cruise and 6th cruise overall. We were so looking forward to the Holiday Markets trip since our Danube trip was cancelled last year due to water levels. Unfortunately we were greatly disappointed. We ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and 6th cruise overall. We were so looking forward to the Holiday Markets trip since our Danube trip was cancelled last year due to water levels. Unfortunately we were greatly disappointed. We expected the ship to be 'decorated' for the holidays. There were 2 small Christmas trees and a tiny vase of greens on some of the tables. No lights, no holiday music, nothing. Then we anticipated being in port to see all the lights Scenic advertises with. but never were. We boarded buses at 9AM and were taken to the nearest village and sometimes had to walk a mile into town. It was 37* and windy one day...this was hard for some folks but fortunately we had prepared for this and layered well with waterproof jackets and boots as it rained several days. Once in the village, there was a 90 minute or less tour and then the free time was less than 90 minutes as they wanted us back on the boat before lunch hour was finished. Some cities had 5 or more markets which we could never see in that short of time. We were always cold when returning to the boat hoping to be greeted with hot cider or chocolate, etc...no, we were handed a warm wet towel. One day we opted for a trip to a castle and the holiday market. It was an hour on a bus. When we got there, nothing was open in the village as it was Sunday. There were just a few market stalls. And the castle had been closed for weeks. Wouldn't you have thought the cruise director would have known this? In the afternoon there was absolutely nothing to do after lunch. It got dark early and many folks just sat and drank or went to the room to watch movies. No games, no music, no historical or food presentations...nothing. We were originally to be on the Crystal but at the last minute we were on the Opal. Nobody ever said why. The staff was just not happy...possibly overworked. Dining room always seemed short staffed. Used the butler services once only for laundry. The food was excellent at times and average at others. They advertise an early riser's breakfast which consisted of croissants next to the coffee machine. Dessert was the same every night...2 ice creams, a votive cup of mousse and a 2" piece of cake. Nothing more. We were shocked with this since this is the time of year that these countries go all out with pastries, chocolates, and cheeses. We had a German meal one night on board. Entertainment was a piano player who did not interact with the guests at all..he was background music. Underwhelmed was the word often used by guests we spoke to about this trip and many we met had been on alot of other river cruises. At first we thought perhaps it was just us who was disappointed but definitely not the case. On a very positive note, all the tours and guides were very good. I could go on and on, but you get my message. There was so little time given to us in the villages this was more like a boat trip. Needless to say we will not be traveling with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Choose Scenic as previous experience was great & were celebrating a special anniversary.The entire experience from airport pickup, embarkation, tours, meals, entertainment to disembarkation, was well organized & looked after in a ... Read More
Choose Scenic as previous experience was great & were celebrating a special anniversary.The entire experience from airport pickup, embarkation, tours, meals, entertainment to disembarkation, was well organized & looked after in a top quality fashion. The all-inclusive nature of the cruise makes it far easier to enjoy all amenities without worrying about extra costs. The ship was immaculate, the cabin kept clean, the food was wonderful with lots of choices. The crew were very professional but friendly and set a high standard of service in all areas. The tours were well organized, very knowledgeable guides & took us to locations we wouldn't have gone on our our, but enjoyed. The buses used were top quality & departed & returned as scheduled. We make specific mention of our Cruise Director, Richard Gray. He worked tirelessly to make sure all details were covered off, was entertaining in his own right. We would highly recommend Scenic to all & will be traveling & river cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The most beautiful lifetime expirience! First time on a river cruiser and we had a lovely time on board and on excursions. Everything went perfect from beginning till the end, we have met wonderful people for all over the world. Very ... Read More
The most beautiful lifetime expirience! First time on a river cruiser and we had a lovely time on board and on excursions. Everything went perfect from beginning till the end, we have met wonderful people for all over the world. Very pleasent and friendly crew, always with a smile on their faces. Excursions were organised perfectly and everything went smooth. We enjoyed every single guided tour, specially e-bike tour Durnstein - Melk, highly recomended. Cruise director Richard was just amazing and helpful for every question that was asked, the man really knows his job! Mario the Hotel manager was amazing and really we felt like home. Our batler Ratko was so lovely and he has been there for everything that we requested. Restoran waitress Ruzica put a lot of magic in her service, so professional and just perfect! We are very thankful to all the crew, great service, wonderful and tasty food and most important to mention THANK YOU SCENIC - WE'LL BE BACK! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great service from housekeeping to the cruise director and captain. Waiters were top-notch and worked extremely hard. Food was very good as were all the drinks. Scenic also hosted a private concert for the passengers at a palace in ... Read More
Great service from housekeeping to the cruise director and captain. Waiters were top-notch and worked extremely hard. Food was very good as were all the drinks. Scenic also hosted a private concert for the passengers at a palace in Rastaat. The Tailormade App made sailing really interesting, particularly down the Rhine Gorge. We sat on top, enjoying the sun and the incredible scenery while the app told us details about the castles and towns we passed. Waiters went up and down the stairs bringing drinks and you barely had time to finish one before they were asking if you needed another. We used the laundry service, placing our bag of laundry on the bed before leaving for a morning excursion. We got the laundry back expertly folded before dinner that night. If I had one complaint it is that the ship seemed to dock a long way from wherever the excursions were resulting in bus rides. This shortened our stays on shore. All in all, I recommend Scenic 100%. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Scenic booking agents were attentive. We arrived in Amsterdam two days prior to boarding the Scenic Opal. We would recommend doing this as Amsterdam is a beautiful city with much to offer. We chose Scenic because it was all inclusive. ... Read More
Scenic booking agents were attentive. We arrived in Amsterdam two days prior to boarding the Scenic Opal. We would recommend doing this as Amsterdam is a beautiful city with much to offer. We chose Scenic because it was all inclusive. The vessel was clean. The staff were very attentive. The food good. The free choice shore excursions, almost three a day to choose from, were well planned and organized. Tour groups were broken down into groups of no more than 20 people. The Scenic travel app on our cell phones were tethered to our guides speaker system, so we could hear what they had to say without straining. If we could change anything about the tours, perhaps a little more free time in each town would have been nice. On board the vessel, as it cruised down the Rhine, we could also use the Scenic app to inform us what towns, villages and castles we were passing. I recommend Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Scenic based on a recommendation from someone who had reviewed all cruise lines. This was above and beyond any of our expectations. Crew was professional but fun to be around and there was great demographics for all passengers. ... Read More
We chose Scenic based on a recommendation from someone who had reviewed all cruise lines. This was above and beyond any of our expectations. Crew was professional but fun to be around and there was great demographics for all passengers. The excursions that were available provided something for everyone and there was enough flexibility to allow for last minute changes. And there was opportunities for self-guided touring if you chose to have a day that was not so structured.. Meals were good and tailored to represent the country we sailed through. portions were adequate. Also nice to have choices of venues and times for meals. daily updates ensured that you knew what was going on everyday. On-line application allowed you to be in touch with points of interest both on the river and withing the towns visited along the route. Some of these features could have been better explained early in the cruise, however to ensure maximum enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, ... Read More
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, even on the airport transfers from/to home. Scenic bills itself as 5 star all-inclusive so we were disappointed to read in the information booklet that “if we received exceptional service” we were free to add a gratuity. Sorry, for what we paid, exceptional service was expected! 68 locks, 803 bridges so it’s definitely a worry about low/high water levels. We were very fortunate as a few days after we passed Passau ship swaps happened. Cabin 206 was perfectly situated, bed was very comfortable, roomy shower with rain head and hand held shower wands. Ample storage; everything was soft close (cupboards, drawers, cabinets, toilet seat). Very impressed with the number of outlets. Great lighting and mirrors make the cabin seem very spacious. We had a couple of minor things that needed attention and, within a half hour, the issues were resolved. Excellent service. The individual blankets had not been washed prior to our arrival so we made sure not to put them back in their zippered pouch so that our cabin steward was aware they had been used and needed cleaning. Our cabin steward was excellent – the best we’ve ever had. They make a big deal about your “butler” but, other than introducing herself the first day, we had no interaction with her at all. That being said, we didn’t have any need for the included services or they were provided by other individuals. Toiletries were great. Hair dryer, Nordic walking sticks, large umbrella, ear plugs, even a long handled shoe horn were provided. Undecided if the sun lounge was worth the additional cost; rafting and/or facing public areas often left us unable to enjoy it but it does make for a larger cabin. Breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent; lots of variety and the breads at lunch were awesome. The pastry chef was outstanding; apple turnovers, croissants and other breakfast pastries were light and flaky. I absolutely loved the butter machine which provided a fresh portion of butter at the touch of a button; definitely a hit with all guests. There are fresh made options available for both breakfast and lunch. Smoothies were tasteless as was the “flavoured” water served at the Late Riser Breakfast in the River Café. We had lunch served in River Café when we opted out of the excursion to Salzburg and, while the selection was fine, the food was lukewarm. The same situation with the Sun Deck BBQ. The warming trays just don’t do the job. They do not serve “fresh” milk and we normally drink milk at lunch and dinner. Opted not to visit Portobellos as we didn't like the menu (beef cheeks!) and we don't drink alcohol so the wine pairing wasn't of interest. Very small portions for dinner. Even by Canada Food Guide recommendations Scenic portions fall far below the minimum requirements. Vegetables and starch are almost non existent! My husband has a small appetite and TWICE he woke up hungry during the night; NEVER happened before in his 72 years! There are limited selections; two cold appetizer options, two hot appetizer options, one soup, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. Fortunately they have “always available” options. Soups were “made with love” but would definitely benefit from being made with cream. They were watery despite being called “cream of”. My husband said the soup spoons were more like shovels and would come in handy digging in the garden. Meal descriptions left much to be desired and were often not an accurate depiction of what the meal really was. We only ordered room service once and the meal was delivered promptly and the food was piping hot. I have menus and pictures of the meals at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/22259946@N08/Fi6264 With the exception of one employee who twice refused to take an order for coffee in two different venues on two different days to two different people (he just pointed and said “self-serve”) everyone was friendly, efficient and eager to please. There was wonderful interaction between staff members and a very warm environment. Some great moves were witnessed on disco night! Our cruise director Richard (distant relation of Richard the Lionheart) was entertaining, knowledgeable and energetic. Miljenko, Restaurant Manager, was charming and always willing to assist with food concerns. Mario Alberto, Hotel Manager, was an absolute delight and ran the operations with a warm smile and a firm commitment to guest satisfaction. The reception staff were wonderful; always a ready smile and can do attitude. There were 148 guests; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.K., a few Americans and one couple from Curacao. It was a great group with everyone having an enjoyable time without any drunken behaviour in spite of the included alcohol. Unfortunately a few guests didn’t make use of the hand sanitizer, complimentary water, shampoo and shower gel and preferred “au naturale” to using deodorant. Opal Lounge had ample, comfortable seating but the very low black tables were a hazard at night as both a tripping issue and trying to find the surface to place your glass. I loved the glass straws! Being non-alcohol drinkers we would have appreciated frozen mocktails. Hot chocolate, teas and coffee available 24/7 in the Opal Lounge was excellent. We were pleased with the offered entertainment. We enjoyed listening to David; a talented musician. The excursions were well organized and stress free. We especially enjoyed the Palais Liechtenstein concert and we have NO interest in classical music. It was definitely an experience not to be missed as was the visit and feast at Marksburg Castle. The banquet is for everyone, the Castle Tour is definitely NOT for anyone with mobility issues or a fear of falling. We really enjoyed the high lock experience, it was so well done with dramatic music added! The highlight for us was sitting on the Sun Deck soaking in the passing scenery between Koblenz and Rudesheim. Life just doesn’t get any better than this. The Scenic Taylormade app was hit and miss on excursions but the City Guides and River View options were excellent. We would rate our experience a 10 but, value for money, 7-8. We’re glad we ticked this experience off our bucket list but with the high cost and the anxiety over water levels it’s not something we’ll do again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact ... Read More
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact that once you paid the fare everything was included, no surprises at the end of the cruise. Highly recommend Scenic Cruises! Embarkation and disembarkation was very organized and went smoothly. The ports of call and shore excursions were well organized and very interesting. I would have liked to have more than 1 day in Budapest and maybe 1 less day in Vienna. The entertainment was very good with a good variety and many special things only for Scenic like the classical music concert at Palais Liechtenstein, and the Salzburg Sound of Music Show. Our cruise director, Richard Grey, did an excellent job of organizing local talents to come on board to entertain us. Al in all I would highly recommend Scenic Tours and I plan to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have friends who told us the river cruises were a great way to see an area. So we decided Europe. Our travel agent recommended Scenic as a choice for an all inclusive trip for the price. From the time Scenic picked us up in Amsterdam to ... Read More
We have friends who told us the river cruises were a great way to see an area. So we decided Europe. Our travel agent recommended Scenic as a choice for an all inclusive trip for the price. From the time Scenic picked us up in Amsterdam to the time they shuttled us to the airport in Budapest everything was first class. In fact they even let us upgrade our airline tickets to business class (highly recommended for international travel) for a very reasonable fee. The trip was so well organized all the stress was removed which travel often brings. The service was exemplary. Food excellent at every venue. Cabin was spacious with all the comforts. Our cruise director, Richard, worked tirelessly to insure all aspects of our tours and free time went smoothly. Never a dull moment but somehow with time to just relax and "vacation". This was my first introduction to Europe and Scenic did it well. I told our "new friends" we met on the cruise, I have never been so far from home but never felt so much at home. Still trying to process all we've seen and experienced. I will definitely recommend Scenic. Thank you Scenic for a memorable trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise for a birthday celebration, and it was fabulous. We did stay before the cruise and Scenic still provided transportation to the ship. The rivers were at a good level and we did not have to transfer ships as some have ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a birthday celebration, and it was fabulous. We did stay before the cruise and Scenic still provided transportation to the ship. The rivers were at a good level and we did not have to transfer ships as some have had to. All the excursions were well thought out, with at least 3 options to choose from. The cruise director had daily port talks explaining what would happen the next day and announce any additional entertainment. We had Hungarian dancers, Viennese dancers, violinists, zitar player, and the lounge singer/piano player. There were more but I cant recall all of them. The chef would give his menu recommendations and the food was very good. The restaurant manager/sommelier introduced the wine pairings. The service was first rate from the bus boys to the bartenders everyone was upbeat, and positive. The housekeepers were constantly cleaning nothing ever got dirty. Another plus was the free laundry, once during the cruise. Everything was just amazing. Sad to leave the ship, saying good bye to some incredible people. Scenic transferred our luggage to our hotel free of charge as we were staying a few extra days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As two female friends travelling together for the first time we initially chose this cruise because it was all inclusive and therefore we didn't have the stress or worries about excursion choices, costs and tipping but the clincher ... Read More
As two female friends travelling together for the first time we initially chose this cruise because it was all inclusive and therefore we didn't have the stress or worries about excursion choices, costs and tipping but the clincher was French Champagne available whenever the need arose!! We chose this particular cruise ship because of the plunge pool, which was excellent. How lovely to be able to refresh after a day's sightseeing. We arrived in Budapest one day before departure and stayed at the Marriott that Scenic use and we were very pleased with our room and the lovely views of the Chain Bridge and the lights along the Danube. Before boarding the Scenic Opal we walked to the Gallert Baths and enjoyed a relaxing swim before later returning to explore the Food Markets. We had no problems with touching base with the Scenic Rep in the Marriott and all went smoothly with organising our luggage to be transferred to the ship. The staff on the Scenic Opal were very welcoming and we were personally shown to our cabin on the Diamond deck - which had everything we could possibly need. We loved that we could put the window on the Sundeck down and enjoy the fresh air. It was a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast and Salvatore's special pancakes with Moet. Our cruise director Alex was amazing, creative, funny, organised and a great disco dancer (Australian Sense of Humour!!). We appreciated how he made our trip run so smoothly plus the extreme sacrifice he made to take us shopping for disco outfits in Cologne! The crew were exceptional - the bar team Robert, Stevan, Alex and Monika were entertaining and attentive. Our butler Putro was delightful and we so appreciated his great dance moves. The food and service was 10 star - every request was catered for. So if you are looking for a cruise that offers great sightseeing, beautiful cruising scenery and a fun on-board experience then the Scenic Opal - Jewels of Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam is for you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The staff made an dream experience for us both and memories to cherish. All events and activities were well organized leaving no worries. Professional and friendly the entire trip. The cruise director was very knowledgeable and thorough ... Read More
The staff made an dream experience for us both and memories to cherish. All events and activities were well organized leaving no worries. Professional and friendly the entire trip. The cruise director was very knowledgeable and thorough with all planning details. The reception staff were patient and accommodating to all requests. The host, servers, provide a carefree environment during relaxation times. From the start to the end of the trip nothing was left out and nothing was left wanting. The enrich and cultural events were detailed and educational. The free time to self explore at each stop allowed an opportunity to shop or explore in greater depth. A good pair of walking shoes are mandatory. By the end of the cruise it was difficult to say goodby to staff and new friends. The food and the chef were exemplary allowing for an incredible culinary experience from all counties travelled during the cruise. Thank you Scenic Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise had been on our bucket list for quite a while so we were finally going to experience it. After spending 3 fabulous days in Paris, we chose to add this extension along with a 3 day extension at the end of the cruise to Prague, ... Read More
This cruise had been on our bucket list for quite a while so we were finally going to experience it. After spending 3 fabulous days in Paris, we chose to add this extension along with a 3 day extension at the end of the cruise to Prague, we got on the "fast" train which was to take us to Amsterdam to board our ship. The train broke down & we were given numerous different excuses as to why & even our tour guide from Scenic couldn't get a straight answer. What a great start to a cruise down the river. As a result we were 3hrs late arriving to the ship which put our plans for exploring Amsterdam out the window. Our ship Cruise Director did make us feel very welcome though when we did eventually arrive. We were on the Scenic Opal ship. Our cabin was very spacious & had all the amenities that we needed. We had a balcony suite. Very, very limited entertainment on board. Aprox 1hr maybe every 3 days. Only one dinning room every evening to go to & you had to dress appropriately. Nil activities to do whilst sailing down the river. As the ship had to pass under some low bridges during the trip the sun deck was unavailable for 5 days for the passengers. This meant we were stuck inside all this time when the ship was sailing. This was never mentioned to us that this was going to occur when we booked the trip. When we eventually reached a port there was very limited time on shore. Aprox 3-4 hrs for shore excursions. Not enough time at all. Too much time is spent sailing down the river with nothing to do on the ship. On a couple of our elective tours we were not informed until we were at that particular palace/church etc that we couldn't take photos inside. This was not mentioned to us when we booked the cruise or by the Tour Director on the ship. If it had we may have made a different choice beforehand. The service on the ship was terrific. The bar, cabin, stewards & butlers were all fantastic. The ship was clean at all times. We had room service a couple of times & it was very prompt, nicely presented & tasted delicious. There needs to be another option if you don't wish to go to the dining room for the evening meal though & there isn't one on this ship. We would not do another river cruise again due to the slowness of the cruise down the river, lack of entertainment/activities on board, lack of dining facilities, shortness of time at ports & too much time spent on the ship doing nothing, unavailability of using the sun deck. What we saw when we finally got on land was amazing & definitely needed more time to see more. For the amount of money we spent on this cruise we would have been better off using it for an ocean cruise & got more value for money. Very disappointed with the cruise in general but very happy with the things we actually got to see. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was advertised as a luxury, all inclusive cruise. It was a stunning ship. The cabin was a great size with lots of storage areas. Really enjoyed the balcony when there wasn't another ship parked along side of us. This happened a ... Read More
This was advertised as a luxury, all inclusive cruise. It was a stunning ship. The cabin was a great size with lots of storage areas. Really enjoyed the balcony when there wasn't another ship parked along side of us. This happened a couple of times and it prevented us from using the balcony because of the lack of privacy. It certainly curtailed your view. The staff worked very hard and treated you royally. The excursions were the highlight of the cruise. We saw so many interesting things at each stop. They were organized well. Kudos to the Cruise Director, Alex. The dinner dining experience was disappointing. We expected more considering it was a luxury cruise and the price we paid. The servers work very hard but they need more of them. As soon as a passenger sits down he/she should be acknowledged and served. Sometimes we had to wait for a while for the server to give us water/menu/wine, etc. We shouldn't have to wait and certainly not ask for anything. The food variety was disappointing for a luxury cruise. The portions were small as well. The server would ask if you wanted bread and you would be given a small piece from a basket. The bread basket should be put on the table when you arrive. This would alleviate some extra work for the server as well. Are they rationing the bread? Lunch and breakfast were generally buffet style with a good variety of food items. There should be more interactive activities in the evening for the passengers who wish to participate. On the second last night of the cruise we had a music trivia game along with a Disco night, all on the same evening. I personally think people were starved from the lack of entertaining activities. River cruising is becoming popular with a variety of age groups. It's not just tor the 50+. Scenic should modify their evening entertainment programs. We will not travel Scenic again. But saying that I did enjoy the trip as it was a different experience for us. However, it didn't meet our expectations. I hope Scenic looks seriously at these reviews because many people are giving the same suggestions for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Scenic Opal Ratings
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