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9 Scenic Opal Cruise Reviews

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
We recently cruised on the SCENIC Opal on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. This was supposed to be a ‘luxury’ cruise. Last year, we had a fantastic experience cruising the Douro River on their Evergreen ship. We couldn't ... Read More
We recently cruised on the SCENIC Opal on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. This was supposed to be a ‘luxury’ cruise. Last year, we had a fantastic experience cruising the Douro River on their Evergreen ship. We couldn't fault anything. All the staff were professional, courteous and friendly. We thought the Scenic Luxury Cruise would be equal or better, but we were wrong. In our opinion, the Evergreen cruise rated 5 star ... the Scenic cruise 4 star. A number of the staff were unprofessional, and were trying too hard to be funny. When I asked if the sandwiches at the bar could be toasted, a straight faced "NO" is not the answer I wanted to hear, followed by "just kidding!" Also, at dinner when I asked if I could have a glass of wine, "No we don't have any" wears thin over time. Staff mucking around with each other in front of customers also wears thin, especially this incident: Female bar worker prodding and annoying a male bar worker who was trying to serve me. Eventually, he got tired of her and said "talk to the hand". She replied with "talk to the finger" (holding up her middle finger!) Not what I expected to see on a so called ‘Luxury Cruise’! Early one morning, I left 4 shirts to be ironed only (no washing). When they hadn't arrived by 6pm I called and they were delivered to my cabin a few minutes later. They must have used a cold iron, because they were still creased! One night, I ran out of orange juice in the bar fridge and asked for more. I was promised a carton instead of a small bottle ... the juice never arrived. One morning I overheard a man asking the tour manager what port we were in. She sarcastically replied "you would have heard that in the Port Talk". He said he wanted a card with the port address because he was going on shore and wanted it in case he couldn't find where we were later that evening ... but she reacted before he finished his question. The barman was adding tap water to tall drinks (Mojitos, Midori Splice etc). When I sent a letter of complaint to SCENIC, I was told they are supposed to top up with sparkling water or lemonade … not tap water. Why aren't the bar staff trained properly? I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... this is supposed to be a luxury cruise! I realise maintenance has to be carried out during a cruise, but first impressions are lasting impressions, so seeing a letter missing from the SCENIC OPAL sign on the side of the ship wasn’t a good look! It was fixed, but a few days later another letter was missing! A number of passengers were rolling their eyes at dinner each night when served half a bread roll. Were we on rations?! Also, the lettuce/tomato/fetta/olives salad served for starters was pitiful and any half decent restaurant or café would be embarrassed to serve it. It doesn't take much effort to come up with a simple, yet tasty salad ... e.g. rocket lettuce/pear/walnuts/pomegranate topped with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan. We paid a lot of money for this cruise, and expected quality ingredients, not limp lettuce. The food in general was good, but the food on the Evergreen Douro cruise was better (and the food on Celebrity ocean cruises is far superior). The cabin was very comfy and roomy, but it would have been nice to find a complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste in the bathroom. When I asked for one, I was told they didn’t have any. To their credit, the bed was fabulous! Also, the shower was great. On the last day, I tried to submit the electronic cruise survey using the screen/keyboard in the cabin, but it wouldn’t allow it. I also tried on my mobile phone, but it quit before I could complete the survey (it closed just after giving comments on Room Service). The same thing happened when I used one of the ship’s iPads (it also closed just after the Room Service question). When I told the woman on the desk, she just shrugged her shoulders … didn’t offer any explanation or solution. Very poor customer service. After speaking to some other people on the cruise, we found we weren’t the only ones with complaints about staff. I am curious to know if anyone else was unable to complete the electronic cruise survey. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise (river/ocean). We wanted the best and were to understand Scenic Tours was the best (all inclusive/luxury). We selected a deluxe suite on the Diamond Deck. The cabin was acceptable, clean compact with great ... Read More
This was our first cruise (river/ocean). We wanted the best and were to understand Scenic Tours was the best (all inclusive/luxury). We selected a deluxe suite on the Diamond Deck. The cabin was acceptable, clean compact with great housekeeping services. The dining aboard was very good with a wide selection of items. The Cruise Director and most of the staff were excellent. The excursions were acceptable - although our hike through the Black Forest was simply a walk up the driveway alongside a vineyard to a farm to have Black Forest cake - no sign of a Black Forest. The Butler service Scenic describes was non-existent. Our 'Butler' never introduced himself, showed us to our cabin or had any interaction with us. After talking to other passengers I learned where the card was to order coffee in the cabin in the morning. The special dinner they describe as: Table La Rive was nothing better than a regular dining room dinner. There was a table assigned at the back of the dining room, we were not even seated at that, since the table was occupied by 10 friends that wanted to sit together. The food not special, the sommelier had taken (?) the basic wine course. The food: I do not need to be told what an 'amuse bouche' is, but they should look up the definition; after being asked how I wanted my beef cooked - I was told it would be med-rare, why ask?; the meat was tough. I think the biggest disappointment was the balconies with the special windows. There was no need for them. The view for most of the trip, except 2 days, was non-existent. We were either facing an industrial park, a dirty brick wall (see photo) or were tied up to another boat (we embarked by walking through a Viking ship) - you could actually touch the windows of the other boat without leaning over the side. The cabin felt like a tomb. It will be a long time before we consider cruising. I will definitely ask more questions, although Scenic does not like to get specific on details (so how can you ensure what you will see out your cabin windows?). Probably will not choose Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
By all means everyone should explore Europe. But the means of transport is a large factor in the day to day life of your journey. I investigated river cruising for a very long time before booking, and found that it was not what I ... Read More
By all means everyone should explore Europe. But the means of transport is a large factor in the day to day life of your journey. I investigated river cruising for a very long time before booking, and found that it was not what I expected, largely due to what information was not supplied prior to embarkation. For example, travelling down the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers nowhere was I told that there was a total of 68 locks, and part of the journey was on man made canals, not the river. It seemed every night at dinner the ship passed through 2 locks, and the view out the window was cement walls. Also, the room was so small that twice I hit my head on the sink, when lowering myself to the toilet. The bed also was a struggle as it was 2 mattresses set on the base, which kept spreading apart, with me finding myself in the crack between the two. The itinerary gave the choices at each port each day, but failed to say that actual time in the port could be as short as 2 to 3 hours. Not really enough time in a port. And lastly, I really did not get a sense of the close quarters in the Crystal dining room or the lounge. There is zero private space when dining, and the table for guests at the next table we’re about 8 inches away from your table, so everyone heard everyone else’s conversations. The lounge was the same, with zero space. I do not know how many times I banged my shins on the little tables, trying to get to, or from my seat. Also, the noise level with so many people in such a confined space was deafening. And finally, I was disappointed with the bar. I am not a big drinker, and my favourite drinks are fruity blender drinks like daiquiris, pina colada etc. I saw a blender in pictures prior to the cruise, so I thought it would be fine, because search as I did, I could not find a bar drink list online before we booked the cruise. Well, there was a blender at the bar, but it was only used 2 times I knew of in our 2 week cruise. Pine Coladas were shaken, not blended. Daiquiris were not available. So I tried to think of every kind of drink I could possibly order, that they might be able to make. I ordered a Harvey Wallbanger, and they googled it, and made one, although not a good one. I asked them to make a drink in the blender, that they usually use the blender to make. They did not understand the request, or maybe there is no drink that is made in the blender. They serve wine, champagne, and any spirit mixed with something else, but as it turned out the blender was purely ornamental. So for 2 weeks there was not a drink I had, that I liked. Also, the entertainment in the lounge was background noise to the talking noise. So, while I enjoyed Europe, and will go back to Europe, I will never again go on a river cruise.n Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Wanted to see the sights of the rhine but were hardly given ant time in each stop. We had no idea of itemiary until the night before despite them knowing exact timings so you could not plan anything. No one sat on the sun decjk as the ... Read More
Wanted to see the sights of the rhine but were hardly given ant time in each stop. We had no idea of itemiary until the night before despite them knowing exact timings so you could not plan anything. No one sat on the sun decjk as the seating was so uncomfortable. Went on crystal last year and they had soft seating all over e sun deck. The staff were amazing but cruise director should have given us 7 day detailed iteniary right from get go. Trips started at 9 am so no hope of a holiday sleep in. They said it was to avoid crowds but the towns were empty even at lunch time. Very badly organised and wouldn't cruise with scenic again. When we arrived no one went through room facilities so had no idea how to operate windows or room service. Butler was good but only knew about him 2 days in. The red wine was not room temperature but stone old so suggest they employ sommelier. Food was excellent though and great variety. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Our travel agt. recommended this cruise as an upscale cruise which was all inclusive. Our cabin was very spacius with plenty of storage. We had a wonderful balcony where we spent a great deal of time. The ship was new andvery comfortable. ... Read More
Our travel agt. recommended this cruise as an upscale cruise which was all inclusive. Our cabin was very spacius with plenty of storage. We had a wonderful balcony where we spent a great deal of time. The ship was new andvery comfortable. The food was ordinary with limited selection. Portions were adequate but were often over cooked. Our cabin steward, Hari, was wonderful and very helpful and responsive. Our butler, Vania, was one of the rudest cruise employee I have ever encountered in all of my cruising. She was surly and found many excuses to not do her job. That is assuming you couuld reach her by phone. Shore excursions were limited to two per stop. Most of the shore excursions were bus tours. The cruise wass very regimented. The cruisse director was knowledgeable. There was no medical care on board and most of the passengers were sick along with the captain. Scenic depended upon local medical people who often did not work on weekends. This cruise was nice but definitely not work the expense. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After seeing this cruise promoted on Getaway TV program we liked the route. Also we thought we were going to be getting food at a level we are used to on Seabourn and Silversea cruises. Unfortunately the food was the major let down. ... Read More
After seeing this cruise promoted on Getaway TV program we liked the route. Also we thought we were going to be getting food at a level we are used to on Seabourn and Silversea cruises. Unfortunately the food was the major let down. warm to cool for whole cruise even though many people complained. Answer was to get the plates hot. Also first nights buffet was worse than you can get in ordinary pubs in Melbourne. Food was all the same taste, slow cooked meat, very insipid. People that had cruised late last year on the sister ship to this were the first to complain as they said it was well below what they had had before.It was only the second cruise the boat had ever done with a new crew and only a week to get it sorted. Staff were nice and tried hard but lack of English did not help. How you translate White Russian cocktail into glass of Champagne on two nights running i don't know. Also if you ordered any variation to the menu i.e. leave something off plate that seemed almost impossible to comprehend. Also the layout of tables in the dinning room was ridiculous. So cramped waiters could not get past without bashing the back of your chair all the time. And in the case of the buffets you got bashed from everyone keeping getting up to get food. This is terrible especially as these cruises are aimed at the aged and on that basis lots of people with reduced mobility. Also the seating in the lounge was much the same, interior designer gone mad. One poor lady did fall on her face trying to manoeuvre through a maze of chairs and tables of all different types. On board entertainer was like a wet fish. Should have just played muisac through the speakers, would have been just as good. Sound system was awful and he obviously had no clue how to work it. Crew entertainment and crew disco night was best fun. They seemed to be able to get the sound right. Also there were quite a few people on board who had had cruise dates cancelled due to late delivery of boat and so were already a bit angry with Scenics response to all their replanning. Think this is possibly a case of a company expanding too fast and not able to keep a handle on their quality. Only river cruise we had ever done was with Avalon and the food quality was far higher than Scenic provided. Cant say i could recommend scenic and won't bother to pay this sort of money again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We travelled from Budapest to Nuremberg!! as 2 couples and chose Scenic because we had been told it was the best. The ship was changed a few days prior to travelling because of the water levels being low on the Danube. Apart from one stop ... Read More
We travelled from Budapest to Nuremberg!! as 2 couples and chose Scenic because we had been told it was the best. The ship was changed a few days prior to travelling because of the water levels being low on the Danube. Apart from one stop our cabins, 212 and 214, looked directly into the cabins of other boats which were docked alongside us. This meant the balcony was completely non functional and also we had no privacy making showering in the evening very difficult. The cabins were in darkness the majority of the time because of this. The food was, to say the least, below average. We dined on fillet steak and chips when we were looking forward to fine dining each evening. The only decent meal we had was on the one night that we were allowed to dine at Portobellos. That was delicious. The tours were very well organised and well orchestrated. We felt that everything was geared towards the Americans and Australians on board. No breakfast after 8.30am and dinner was7.00pm latest. One night it was 5.00 pm. The cabins were excellent, comfortable beds, spotlessly clean and well equipped. The "butler" was conspicuous by his absence. The only public areas were the restaurant and the lounge so there was nowhere to go to get away from the "entertainment " provided. After returning from our tour of Salzburg we were informed that the boat could go no further as the river levels were too low so the excursions were altered accordingly. Overall, we were very disappointed. It is not a cheap holiday and we felt that we did not get value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Scenic Opal Ratings
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