1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Scenic
  4. Scenic Opal Review
  5. Scenic Opal Cruise Reviews

136 Scenic Opal Cruise Reviews

Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we ... Read More
Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we had the same food and beverage as others in a different deck Notice of low water was send by email the day of departure after we had inquire 2 weeks before and everything was supposed to be ok Hotel in Budapest was not as we were told. We were supposed to have a Premium Deluxe suite as confirmed by Scenic Under expectation....ordinary wine, no more Maccallen after one day, food was serve too fast, dining room like a cafeteria with bright lights, etc.. Had to change ships 3 times Pearl, Opal and Amber Service was not equal on every boat Did not see the Butler or inadequate On the Amber the waiter was impolite ....throw fork and knife on my table the last night, nearly agressive Guided tours were very limited to a walk in the city and no visit except for Melk and Wurzburg Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
SCENIC, THE WORST EVER Of 21 Cruises, this was by far and away the worst we have ever taken!!! We have cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Crystal, Seabourn and this was definitely the worst. ... Read More
SCENIC, THE WORST EVER Of 21 Cruises, this was by far and away the worst we have ever taken!!! We have cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Crystal, Seabourn and this was definitely the worst. Misrepresentations on services galore, misdirections, and sullen, surly staff started us off. Mediocre to poor food continued the negative impression, and extremely difficult access to decks, docks and tours completed the debacle. It appeared that the Australian owned line had changed its policy on room service between the time we booked in February and the time of our cruise in August. Scenic, when contacted about this, from the email rep, to the operations manager to the staff onboard all said we could not have it. Pointing out the fact that their brochure on page 23 said they had room service did not do the trick. Only after showing them the 3 pages and menu in our cabin 3-ring notebook (proclaiming our services and amenities) which included room service, made somebody at the reception desk and the cruise director agree that we were to get room service. It was a constant battle. And although this was booked as all “inclusive,” we had to beg for iced tea or mineral water with lunch. We finally on the fourth day got a 6 -pack of bottled water for our room. At meals the waiter would arrive with a bottle of cheap wine in each hand (one red and one white) and assume that you would not have anything else. Most people had one glass and shut up. One day I asked for iced tea and waited 15 minutes for it. The bartender in the lounge blew his nose on a cocktail napkin and then continued garnishing drinks! Food portions were minuscule: fish was cut in pieces barely bigger than a silver dollar. Cafeteria containers of over-stewed vegetables accompanied all buffets. Desserts were tasteless and served in what appeared to be liquor glasses. The only 5 star stand out was the dining manager, Gianny, who was beyond professional and helpful. He went out of his way to assist with my husband’s lactose intolerance issues, and even highlighted menus with what he could safely have to eat. He was genuine, and caring and always available. Our “butler” appeared as we unpacked, mostly looked at himself in the mirror and left before we found out how to turn on the shower or find the A/C outlet in the bathroom. We did not see him for 4 days. On one tour we were taken by a kiddie train with no knee room on a rough teeth rattling ride up a hill and told the boat was at dock #19 if we wanted to find our own way back. Attempting to return, we walked approximately a mile to dock #19 to find no ship!! We then walked the approximate mile back the other direction to find the Scenic Opal at dock #4. Upon inquiry, the reception desk just said, “Oh, that train guide told everybody the wrong dock number.” No apology, no concession, nothing. My knees hurt so bad I had to miss the next day’s tour in Heidelberg to recover. All in all it was awful. Supposedly free choice and open seating, we were herded like a bunch of 3rd graders to eat at one seating: an hour or hour and a half for lunch and then wait for 7-9 dinner. And despite the limited options, all were made painfully aware that the “Diamond Deck” passengers were far superior. Have never had such a class conscious experience on any cruise ship!!! And although we did not have the most expensive cabin on the ship we figured our costs at over $1,000 per day would provide much better than we got. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
SCENIC EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE Our cruise was from Amsterdam to Budapest with Paris and Prague extensions. I will start with the positive parts of the trip first Paris was wonderful the hotel and food was great our Tour Guide Joshua ... Read More
SCENIC EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE Our cruise was from Amsterdam to Budapest with Paris and Prague extensions. I will start with the positive parts of the trip first Paris was wonderful the hotel and food was great our Tour Guide Joshua done a fantastic job he was available nearly all the time and very knowledgeable he also took us to our ship in Amsterdam the Scenic Opal. We were greeted on the ship by our Tour Director Tadej everything looked good we chose the Scenic Opal as it was one of their new ships we also paid extra for a balcony suite but in reality it was very small and for us was unusable ( a waste of money ), we seem to travel at night so for someone who likes taking photographs that wasn't any good at all. When we stopped most of the time we were docked up against another ship which meant we had to have our curtains closed nearly all the time, there was only one day and a half that we travelled during the day not what we were expecting on the cruise. Then the bad news was delivered on our third day when Tadej told us we were changing ships because of low water levels this was one big disappointment for everyone so after unpacking we had to pack again and bused to the next ship the Scenic Ruby the following morning after breakfast it was supposed to be an hour trip but after 3 hours we finally got to the next ship which was smaller and a downgrade from the Scenic Opal so we settled in unpacked thinking this was our ship to Budapest some people on board was asking the Tour Director if there would be anymore ship changes but he would not give a straight answer Scenic must have known before we even left Australia that there were water level issues but we were not told anything, this was very frustrating, so along we went for another 3 days low and behold another ship change at that point we could have went home but persevered, the next ship was the Scenic Crystal not much better than the Scenic Ruby so after 3 ships we were on our way to Budapest. We lost a fare bit of time in bus travel, itineraries were tried to be kept but this meant more time on buses which lead to late lunches and dinners. Crews on the three ships were very much under pressure with all the ship changes and that reflected in there service. Breakfast and lunch was a buffet style very repetitive food and not really five star quality, dinner was suppose to be a la carte even that was questionable. On the other positive note Prague was excellent our Tour Guide Petr was by far our best made our stay in Prague memorable he done a great job. In the end Scenic"s customer service made out we were only inconvenienced for 3 day in our eye's that was total rubbish!!!!!!! I can go on and on but would we recommend Scenic River Cruises definitely not and we will not do another Scenic tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I recently took the Scenic Opal on the Danube to Budapest. Although not a fault of Scenic, the river level was very low and limited the ship to only one day and a couple of nights of sailing. We were bused into Budapest from ... Read More
I recently took the Scenic Opal on the Danube to Budapest. Although not a fault of Scenic, the river level was very low and limited the ship to only one day and a couple of nights of sailing. We were bused into Budapest from Komaron. However the reason I am compelled to write this review has nothing to do with the river. It has everything to do with Scenic and their awful customer service. Not once did any of the staff even apologize for the unfortunate situation and how the customers would now have to be bused several hours each day to the various land excursions. They were rushed and acted like THEY were being put out by the situation. The food quality and varieties were awful and the "special" dining options for the Portebello and La Rieve dining was disappointing to be generous. The entertainment was virtually non-existent and the views from the balconies was nothing more than other ship parked a foot outside your window. To call this a luxury cruise is completely false and I would not recommend Scenic to anyone seeking a river cruise. There are other options and to pay a premium for what is below average at best makes this a terrible value. The true test is the follow up by Scenic. After you leave the ship, they could care less about how they performed. This speaks volumes about their appreciation of the customers. Do not take Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We recently took a Scenic Danube cruise, the water levels on the Danube were low as the industry states, the operators and travel agents don't want to discuss your river cruise could end up as a bus tour, an expensive bus tour. We ... Read More
We recently took a Scenic Danube cruise, the water levels on the Danube were low as the industry states, the operators and travel agents don't want to discuss your river cruise could end up as a bus tour, an expensive bus tour. We spent about 20 hours on buses which shortened our visits to each city. We only had one day on the river cruising the rest was spent on buses. Scenic was a long way from a luxury cruise. The best part of the cruise were the local tour guides. FOOD The food was certainly not 5 star, it was buffet average food. BUS DRIVERS The bus drivers were rude, mind you with all the extra driving it would have been tough taking passengers on long day tours then driving to the next port. VIEWS When at port boats are tied together so keep your drapes closed. They concert we looked forward to at Palais Lichtenstein however it was switched to another venue at the last minute. I guess if we were given any of this information we would have chosen not to take a $1,500 a day river cruise on Scenic. Buyer Beware!! Worst 7 day vacation of my life. Thank you Scenic, I will never travel or recommend you to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to ... Read More
When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to Nuremberg (2.5+hours) and Regensburg (1.5+hours) each way. Also the boat was now the Opal rather than the Jasper. We were not aware of this either. We were very unhappy as were all the fellow cruisers to whom we spoke. One of the joys of river cruising is, supposedly (as we never found out) sitting and watching the world go by. Instead we were stuck at a dock in a small cabin with a useless sunroom and with another boat rafted beside us. Therefore we had no light, no view, no air and no privacy. We then sailed to Komoron which is 2 hours outside of Budapest and has absolutely nothing to do or see. I would rather they had changed the itinerary to include cruising to some other part of the river rather than sit in port. Or, as other river cruise lines did, transfer us to boats in major ports on our itinerary and at least cut down on the hours of driving on a bus that smelled like urine. For the entire week we cruised during the day approximately 6 hours. The rest of the time the boat sailed at night or we remained rafted in our little dungeon. It would have been nice to at least use the hot tub but it was out of commission for all but the first day. Then there is the food. Definitely not five star in my opinion. Over cooked pork, raw chicken, soggy seafood and beef, overcooked vegetables, cornstarch filled soups with no flavour or substance, dried bread, cheap wines and very little flavour for everything. The seafood buffet held at one lunch time was all that I believe was satisfactory, although as mention the soup was tasteless except for the flavour of cornstarch. The cruise was run like a cheap bus tour. No sit down breakfast after 830, short lunch and dinner whenever the buses got back. The beer and wines were okay but not 5 star as were the drinks. No caesars to be found. The entertainment was limited and very disappointing. The cruise director and staff were not helpful when trying to book alternate excursions such as the hop on hop off bus. It stopped right outside the boat in Vienna but we didn't figure that our until we followed their recommendations to take a taxi into Vienna to book it. Which we did. Then found that the itinerary included a dock side stop right in front of our boat. We brought the brochures (from the booth outside of the ship at the bus stop) to the staff for further reference. As mentioned, included excursions required usually over 2 hours of bus time each way. The sundowner (happy hour) excursion included cheap white wine, no red wine or beer and a long walk from the bus(which was not mentioned) We had no problem with this but many of the other cruisers did. Also the night of so called elegance for a classical music concert at a palace in Vienna involved a long bus ride and then a long walk through the city on cobblestones so those that made the mistake of wearing the recommended "elegant wear". The so called self guided town and river devices did not work at times and they were very cumbersome. Also be aware that they asked us to leave the ear phones so they could be recycled (they were only cheap plastic for one ear). The overall lack of respect from the cruise director and the constant misinformation or lack of any information was disappointing to say the least. None of us on the cruise, that I am aware, had any prior information related to the changes. Also there appeared to be no attempt on behalf of Scenic to alter excursions or practice to improve the experience. We did not start the cruise where we were promised. We did not finish the cruise where promised. We do not believe we received 5 star service. However we believe that we had the most expensive 1 star bus tour to be had. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. ... Read More
You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. They didn’t deliver a luxury experience, even though they still had the opportunity and facilities to do so, instead they provided terrible service with really cheap food (often buffets) and really cheap wine. I thought after their 16 million dollar class action case they lost last year that they would have improved their service, but they have obviously learnt nothing from past mistakes. We were advised by email on 19th October (5 days before our cruise, and we were already in Europe) that we would have to do land arrangements for four nights before joining the Scenic Jewel (instead of Scenic Opal) in Regensburg on 28th October. We were not advised of an option to cancel the tour. We were then emailed on 22nd October advising which hotels we would be staying at. Still no option to cancel. On the 24th October in Budapest we met our Tour Director, and was given an update on the trip. At that stage we found out that there were 109 people booked for this cruise but only 65 showed up in Budapest and 44 people cancelled and didn’t travel. After speaking with people on the tour we found out that scenic contacted some people before they left Australia and gave them an option to cancel, and didn’t bother to contact other passengers at all (including us, except for an email advising a change to the itinerary, but not advising any option to cancel). We were informed that the river was the lowest in over 100 years by the tour director, so obviously scenic knew well in advance that this trip was going to be affected and yet we were not advised. Looking at reviews of previous scenic passengers that cruised this itinerary this year, there were many disruptions, so scenic should have advised us well before we left Australia and given us an option to cancel like they did for only select passengers. We totally understand that scenic can not help the water levels being so low that they can’t operate the cruise at certain sections of the river, however, they knew the river conditions well in advance of the cruise as they’d had problems all summer. They should have given everyone, not just a select few, the option the cancel before leaving Australia. I wonder if they went ahead with this cruise because they had a travel agent famil group booked on this cruise? I telephoned and emailed Scenic in Australia from Budapest, after our tour briefing, however they were not of any help at all and just gave a generic reply to claim for compensation when we return home. Rather than going into a long letter, I’ve itemised below the terrible experience that we had from Scenic considering that Scenic has advertised this “Luxury River Cruise” as an all inclusive (spirits, wines, soft drinks, tea, coffee and mini bar), with anytime dining. - we were advised in writing by the tour director that we were allowed up to two glasses of wine, beer or soft drink with dinner and one glass with lunch during the first four days of our trip which was conducted by land (hotels and buses) - Even though scenic had the access to provide spirits, wine, coffee, tea, afternoon tea...etc at the hotels we were staying at, scenic would not include this for us and we were told we would have to pay for these ourselves. - The quality of the buffet food and wine we received at the hotels was of a very poor quality. The food was like something you’d get at an RSL club and the wines were really cheap and nasty. We stayed at very nice hotels, but received the cheapest quality of food and wine. - We finally boarded the scenic jewel in Regensburg, on 28th October. - We were onboard the ship for 10 nights. During this time, there was no anytime dining in the crystal dining room (as advertised by scenic) instead we were restricted to sometimes late dining times and the waiters were always in a hurry to get us fed and out of the restaurant. - Portobellos was only open 2 nights out of the 10! Why?? - For 8 out of 10 nights on the cruise there was only one dining option, and that was a fixed time, which is totally opposite to what scenic advertise. - There was absolutely no drinks or food service on the top deck during the entire cruise, which is completely the opposite experience of friends who have done this cruise before. I know there was part of the cruise when the top deck was closed when going under bridges, but we received no service there at all the entire cruise. Even when we docked in Amsterdam, we saw Viking and Avalon ships beside us serving their passengers drinks and food on their top decks.....our ship was completely dead in atmosphere and service. - The food quality on the ship was very “hit and miss”. Sometimes the food was very nice, other days they food was just terrible and quite often cold. - The cakes in the river cafe were a generic shop bought cake that was often stale by being cut and left in the display cabinet. - We were never offered a packed picnic lunch, as advertised by scenic, if we didn’t want to do an organised tour and just do our own sightseeing. - The entertainment onboard the ship was really amateur and something you’d expect on a budget cruise, not a luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our cruise on Scenic Opal was from Basel to Amsterdam commencing 25 July for one week. We had a balcony cabin 216. Embarkation was poorly managed and for reasons never fully explained the cruise started at Strasbourg, The rep at the ... Read More
Our cruise on Scenic Opal was from Basel to Amsterdam commencing 25 July for one week. We had a balcony cabin 216. Embarkation was poorly managed and for reasons never fully explained the cruise started at Strasbourg, The rep at the airport did not mention the change and many of us endured fully loaded bladders during the 1hr 45 min trip. We subsequently found that a small group new of this arrangement well in advance. The ship is clean and tidy with smooth and comfortable progress. The cabins are small but clean. The so called inside/outside balcony area takes up a significant amount of living space and is behind the cabin curtains. Hence when these are drawn the cabin feels smaller than it should. This appears to be a design flaw. When docked the curtains needed closing for the majority of the time because we were either up against a dock wall or another boat. Scenic has a policy of sharing berths with other boats of the Scenic group (Emerald etc). This means that even if there are many spare berths (and there usually are) you become locked in, which makes the cabin atmosphere unpleasant. A money saving procedure despite the high cost of the cruise. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and the food is adequate. Service can be chaotic with a limited number of waiters trying to cope and naturally becoming stressed. Different excursions often start and return together which overwhelms the staff and creates a frazzled atmosphere. Dinner was awful. The quality of the ingredients was poor and the chefs were not capable of making anything of them. As an example, there was a special gala night dinner where the soup was inedible, the mashed potato the consistency of custard, the lobster a soft tasteless mess in its shell and steak so tough it was barely edible. Service was variable but the staff tried hard to manage difficult situations imposed on them. If Scenic reads this then our waiters George and Alexander were excellent and need a bonus. Our cruise director was incapable of relaying information with any clarity. She talked endlessly in an inappropriate life and soul of the party manner, which became extremely waring. Daily briefs on ports to be visited became so long and facile that we escaped elsewhere. I understand that the cruise director has the impossible job of being all things to all men/women. Some do it well but ours certainly did not. Ports and excursions were excellent but could not make up for the poor food, variable service and cabin shut in atmosphere. The cruise became a bit Butlinesque, although with a very high price tag. Never again Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Although this is a beautiful ship with a generally terrific crew, we cannot recommend Scenic. The Rhine/Moselle itinerary is interesting and the excursions offered were adequate although we often chose to tour independently to avoid the ... Read More
Although this is a beautiful ship with a generally terrific crew, we cannot recommend Scenic. The Rhine/Moselle itinerary is interesting and the excursions offered were adequate although we often chose to tour independently to avoid the rather lengthy bus trips. The Cruise Director, Richard Grey, was generally excellent, but he was somewhat handicapped by the continually changing arrival and departure times dictated by lock schedules and river traffic. There were about 144 passengers (not quite full capacity), and the ship's main lounge and dining room often felt very crowded. Cabins are cleverly designed in order to make up for the tight space and were comfortable. We were in Suite 201, a Junior Deluxe Balcony Suite, which is one of the larger suites and still small. Butler service is provided and was well performed by an enthusiastic staff. Everything was kept spotlessly clean. One of our suitcases was misplaced on embarkation due to improper labeling by the crew. We advise putting your own cabin number on your tags. The bar staff is very young, enthusiastic, and totally incapable of mixing standard cocktails. Pre-port lectures by the Cruise Director every evening before dinner were informative, but the overcrowding in the dining room directly afterwards caused the restaurant staff to be severely stressed. Even though there is open seating, tables for four were not always easily located and no Maitre'D was available to help. After dinner entertainment was minimal, but not unexpected for a river cruise. Now for the food, which was largely inedible! Thin, watery soups, insipid salad dressings, awfully prepared meat dishes, baked potatoes that were hard as a rock...I could go on and on. There are buffets for breakfast and lunch, which did not change much from day-to-day. The same stale bagels, watery scrambled eggs etc. kept appearing. Very good made-to-order omelet station is available. Lunch could be scary, with mystery meat and gloppy dishes put out. Dinner was no better. Steak, chicken and salmon was always available as an alternative and was atrocious. Desserts were not much better. Think Army mess hall quality (or lack there of). Bottom line is that this food will not please American tastes. The ship's passenger contingent was largely Australian, with others from the UK, New Zealand and Canada. Some appeared to really enjoy the heavy meat and potato offerings as they were seen going back for more. Curiously, the Table la Rive, Portobello and Captain's Dinner tables did have edible offerings. If they were able to produce those results, why not for the standard meals in the Crystal Dining room? We are disappointed in the value and quality that Scenic offers. If you are looking for luxury and good value, you will not find it here! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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 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
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
Embarkation went smoothly although we didn't embark from Basel but from Bruisach, and we had to wait at the airport a while because an abandoned piece of luggage caused the airport lock down. The ship was spacious and airy, and ... Read More
Embarkation went smoothly although we didn't embark from Basel but from Bruisach, and we had to wait at the airport a while because an abandoned piece of luggage caused the airport lock down. The ship was spacious and airy, and the cabin comfortable with the balcony in use all the time, which made it seem even more spacious. Dining was good. We always used the main dining area, and enjoyed the alternate menu option on a couple of occasions. The Table La Rive was exceptional and the Portabello restaurant was also good. We thought the chefs were exemplorary, working in such a small space, and we had never tasted lamb chops like it ever! We enjoyed the musical interludes both on board and the special event in the baroque palace. Then we made friends in the bar afterwards, dancing the night away. Service was exceptional, the staff were all friendly, professional, and attentive. All areas of the ship were exceptionally clean. Also the turn down service when the cabin had its second cleaning of the day was excellent. We enjoyed the shore excursions, we usually chose the guided walking options to get to know the town we were staying in, and the Mercedes Benz tour was mind blowing! We did think the tours were a little short, and there could have been an afternoon option, but also enjoyed the time to relax on the balcony. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Heard good reviews plus family/friends already booked. The staff was terrific. From Beate-cruise organizer to wait staff of GEORGE, JANKO, BRANISLOV and MARISIO. To Maria room attendee. They were all courteous, friendly, attentive and ... Read More
Heard good reviews plus family/friends already booked. The staff was terrific. From Beate-cruise organizer to wait staff of GEORGE, JANKO, BRANISLOV and MARISIO. To Maria room attendee. They were all courteous, friendly, attentive and just plain NICE people. Always served us with patience and a smile. They were the best part of our trip. The crew was also terrific in the smoothness of our journey. I would suggest snacks for the tables in the bar area as I went and bought my own chips and peanuts. Needless to say 2 days later snacks were served with our beverages. Pringles just didn't do it for us. MISS VICKIS CHIPS would be a great idea. Most of the tours were informative. The least favorite was Cologne. The tour guide spoke to long and really nothing to see except the church. Food was delicious. The cooks etc work very hard. The back drop of what the whole ship does is incredible. From Captain and crew to sous chef is amazing. GTEAT JOB Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My friend suggested this cruise and it sounded wonderful. Overall it was! The dining staff really made the cruise worthwhile. They were friendly, extremely professional and hardworking. They really took the time to make sure you felt ... Read More
My friend suggested this cruise and it sounded wonderful. Overall it was! The dining staff really made the cruise worthwhile. They were friendly, extremely professional and hardworking. They really took the time to make sure you felt looked after. The Chef was excellent and important because I have a food allergy. The food was plentiful and there was a great variety. I felt the off ship tours were interesting but sometimes the bus trips to and from the ship seemed long. Our cruise Director was enthusiastic and informative but the many introductions of staff and crew went on too long. One introduction on the first day would have been enough. My favourite part was being on the ship and cruising on the river. It wasn’t always picturesque, especially through the industrial areas, but I still enjoyed the breeze and the sunshine on the top deck. On the second day, I put two blouses out for ironing only. Apparently, for the first time ever, laundry went missing. I had to ask several times, but I do believe they were doing their best to locate my tops. They were finally returned to me late on day 7 of an 8 day cruise. Laundry service was included but obviously we were hesitant to try it again. The much anticipated in room mini bar was a disappointment because it offered mostly alcohol. Very limited snack selection. Pringles and biscuits, and not every day. At this point, I’m not sure that I would travel with Scenic again, but I would definitely enjoy another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Scenic Opal Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find a Scenic Opal Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click