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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We did a 3 day pre cruise in Lisbon, the transfer from the airport to the Sheraton, well we waited over an hour for the rude gentleman, and we were not the only ones who had issues, Scenic you have to do better. The stay here was very ... Read More
We did a 3 day pre cruise in Lisbon, the transfer from the airport to the Sheraton, well we waited over an hour for the rude gentleman, and we were not the only ones who had issues, Scenic you have to do better. The stay here was very good, our Scenic Rep Pedro was excellent, a good orientation that evening, followed by a delicious meal at the Sheraton where we met fellow guests and our table of six, gave way to new friends for our cruise. The room was well appointed,buffet breakfast each morning was delicious, staff pleasant and attentive in dining room. Reception staff was also pleasant and informative, no issues checking in or out. Porters were also pleasant. Lunch and dinner were on your own, except for Sunday evening which was arranged in Lisbon, by coach, with a wine pairing, we had cod, duck was also on the menu, delicious. Saturday, was a morning Lisbon tour by coach followed by a visit to Sintra Palace, beautiful but had a lot of stairs. We stopped at a cafe for a delicious desert and coffee , and time for shopping. Back in Lisbon we went to dinner across from the Sheraton, an Italian restaurant with delicious food. Sunday was a free day, Pedro had arranged a walking tour to a beautiful botanical garden, and a museum tour if you wanted. Our transfer to Porto with stop at Coimbra was very good, some touring of the university and lunch on our own, with time for shopping Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We took a 10 day Douro river cruise in Portugal on the Scenic Azure in October 2018. This was our third cruise using Scenic and like the others we have taken this cruise was outstanding in every way as well as totally inclusive. ... Read More
We took a 10 day Douro river cruise in Portugal on the Scenic Azure in October 2018. This was our third cruise using Scenic and like the others we have taken this cruise was outstanding in every way as well as totally inclusive. But every kind of Scenic cruise is also different in its own way, and the one along the Douro is no exception. What stood out for us most of all was the authenticity of the experience. It’s a relatively short distance cruise with the total distance sailed about 400 km (beginning in Porto, going to the Spanish border, and back again) so there is a lot of time for excursions. Overnight cruising is not allowed on the Douro, and in some cases, you’ll stay moored for two nights. You’ll therefore do a lot of walking both on ships excursions and exploring on your own, frequently up and down hills on cobblestones. Not a trip for a person with mobility issues, or someone who doesn’t like to walk. All excursions are in Portugal aside from a visit to Salamanca, Spain. The entire ship’s crew is Portuguese and they are proud of their country and want everyone to experience it. We went to small villages, churches, castles, and wineries and in every place, we got to appreciate some different aspect of Portuguese culture and history. You’ll learn more about port wine, sardines, cork, the Portuguese royal family, the 1910 revolution, and fado singing than you ever thought possible. Scenery along the river is beautiful particularly in port wine country where there are terraces containing grape vines, olive trees, and almond trees, along with pretty villages with red roofed buildings. The Azure is smaller ship, with only room for 96 passengers. Cabins are on the small side too but were very comfortable. We appreciated that the beds could be adjusted into chairs (like a hospital bed) and that the balcony was integrated into the cabin, thus increasing the efficiency of the cabin. By the way, be sure to book on the starboard (right) side as we did, for we usually faced the river than a wall or dock with all the limits to privacy that can bring. Small ship size is necessary given the size constraints of the five locks along the way. Ship was built in 2016, so it has amenities such as pool up top that we’d not seen on other scenic ships. Food was very authentic too with a special focus on Portuguese dishes and wines. The executive chef and the drinks manager would tell us each day about the special choices on offer. Be aware that the Portuguese diet includes lots of fish, pork products, cheese, olive oil, and eggs. For those that don’t like such things, there are lots of more standard choices available. There’s no getting around the fact that Scenic cruises are more expensive than offerings from other cruise lines such as Viking. But you get what you pay for – there are no extras (including service charges; tipping is expressly forbidden) and we ended up paying no incremental costs whatsoever. We choose Scenic’s three day add on to Lisbon prior to the cruise and the three add on to Madrid afterwards. These were also excellent in every respect. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Scenic mainly manage to give you a perfect river cruise. The staff on this trip were all Portuguese and the were so friendly, they did their jobs very well. The chef's out did themselves, the food section was amazing with a Portuguese ... Read More
Scenic mainly manage to give you a perfect river cruise. The staff on this trip were all Portuguese and the were so friendly, they did their jobs very well. The chef's out did themselves, the food section was amazing with a Portuguese dish every now and then. You have the choice of the full dining room or the lounge bar where you can have something light. Drinks, the bar tender made the"cocktail of the day" which was very good or you could have anything you ordered, some even had Moet for breakfast, that was a little to early for me. The port stops were good, you would be transported by bus for the am to the destinations and then back on board for lunch, either the full dining or the light lunch. I am not a great church or cathedral visitor and I found there were just a few to many trips that included churches and cathedrals. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The Azure is the smallest river cruise ship in the scenic fleet. That has its good and bad points.its wonderful to cruise with a small number of people but it does suffer in the main restaurant and bar with lack of space.The staff did ... Read More
The Azure is the smallest river cruise ship in the scenic fleet. That has its good and bad points.its wonderful to cruise with a small number of people but it does suffer in the main restaurant and bar with lack of space.The staff did everything they could but probably the restaurant suffers most from lack of space mainly in the evenings when Portobellos is closed. When open it takes about 25 guests which to an extent releaves the pressure. Does not seem to stop the scrum to get favourite tables which does seem to spoil the atmosphere that Scenic tries to create. Overall the staff were amazing especially Elia the cruise director and her team. Our room was always immaculate cleaned quickly by Suse, our butler Filipe did a great job along with the other two butlers who were always about and so helpful. The bar staff led my Miguel and his team also made sure that our glass was never empty! The only down side was the food , good but seldom excellent and too often cold even from the buffet. Dinner one night though in Portobellos was really excellent. Either than the staff the best part about the cruise was the scenery which is captivating. Trips are OK but even Salamanca left a what if , feeling at the end. A more relaxed visit to the city would have been better and not so much time spent in a banqueting room outside the city where we had a long lunch. I must say the administration of this side by Elia was incredible. Perhaps the best we have ever experienced on the rivers or at sea. This is our second Scenic River Cruise the improvements are quite noticeable especially the little touches the do to make the guests feel special. Would certainly use them again but would need to be careful about the space issues and to a degree research food issues. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Sunday golf, Thank you for your review of your recent cruise along the Douro. We are delighted to hear that you had an enjoyable time, loved your meal at Portobellos and found the service from our staff and Cruise Director to be excellent. We are sorry to hear that you found the restaurant and lounge areas on board a little crowded and some of the tours not as leisurely as you would have liked. We have passed this feedback to our Europe team for further review. Thank you again for cruising with Scenic and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Best regards, The Scenic Team
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
we have done all the Scenic European River Cruises at least twice but never the Douro so we were looking forward to it and are very glad that we did - and we will do it again. The crew was exceptional and nothing was too much. Our ... Read More
we have done all the Scenic European River Cruises at least twice but never the Douro so we were looking forward to it and are very glad that we did - and we will do it again. The crew was exceptional and nothing was too much. Our butler Alexandra was amazing and came up with new ideas to spoil us and make us feel special. Philipe, the cruise director together with Maria, one of the on-ship guides have excellent knowledge about the area and passed it on with great enthusiasm. The ship is the smallest of the Scenic fleet but well appointed, cabin layout makes use of every little space, the balconies provide a lot of privacy and the ship has even got a little pool which was used by a number of people. Local entertainment was well presented and very enjoyable shore excursions were well organised. We had a late departure and the crew made sure, that we were looked after until we left the ship - Thank you all for a wonderful experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We did hear a lot of positive comments about the Douro River Cruise and having done all the other European Rivers twice (except Russia), we gave it a go! We did hear a lot of positive comments about the Douro River Cruise and having ... Read More
We did hear a lot of positive comments about the Douro River Cruise and having done all the other European Rivers twice (except Russia), we gave it a go! We did hear a lot of positive comments about the Douro River Cruise and having done all the other European Rivers twice (except Russia), we gave it a go! The Scenic Azure is the smallest in the Scenic fleet, but perfect for this river needing only 2 meters of water and at times the river can be low. We started in Lisbon with 4 days on our own followed by 3 days with Scenic as part of the overall booking. The Sheraton Lisboa whilst a good hotel is a bid too far from the 'old town' and the places to see. However, we got our self a 72 hours '4-in-one' ticket which included the must do 'hop-on-hop-off' bus, 2 old trams - red and green (stay away from Tram 28 - too crowded and pick-pockets), a river sightseeing boat and all public transport busses. It turned out to be the right choice to get around. Sintra was a waste of time at this time of the year with crowds queuing for hours in mid 30 degrees heat. Belem and Cascais are definitely worth a visit at any time of the year. The Douro river and its valley exceeded all our expectations! Until now the 'South of France' River Cruise from Chalon-sur-Saone to Tarascon with a Nice extension was our favorite one, but the Douro River comes very close. The ever changing scenery is just stunning and the excursion to Salamanca in Spain was another highlight. The entire crew from the captain to the cleaner, from the chefs to the waiting staff is to be commended for their outstanding professional and always friendly service they provided to their guests! Using their own on board guides rather than externals was another great benefit. We’ll do this cruise a second time as well in a couple of years time. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear JR_J, We are delighted to hear that you had a fabulous time along the Douro and loved the scenery as well as you time in Salamanca. It's also pleasing to know that you found all of our crew outstanding, professional and friendly. Although you found your hotel in Lisbon a little bit far from the 'old town' it's good to hear you enjoyed your hop on hop off bus experience to see all the sights. Thank you again for your lovely review and travelling with Scenic and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Best regards, The Scenic Team
Sail Date: July 2018
This was probably one of the best Scenic river cruises we have done. Staff were excellent, from cabin workers to the head honchos. Filipe the cruise director was exceptional as were his two other guides. The Douro is a beautiful river with ... Read More
This was probably one of the best Scenic river cruises we have done. Staff were excellent, from cabin workers to the head honchos. Filipe the cruise director was exceptional as were his two other guides. The Douro is a beautiful river with extraordinary landscapes. Definitely a must do. Excursions were good and varied and of course lots of port wine to be had. The on board facilities are excellent a great gym but also great early morning yoga stretch and even early walks through the quant little towns we stopper at. No night sailing so lots to see in the day sails until you reach you night destination. The day trip to Salamanca was also great. Plunge pool a bonus on the warm sailing days. The nightly entertainment was great as was the wonderful food. Thanks for the wonderful experience would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to experience a luxurious Scenic river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We have cruised with Scenic Tours before and they have always paid a lot of attention to detail. Each shore excursion is planned out to the infinite detail, but if you want to do your own thing then that is fine as well. All the cabins ... Read More
We have cruised with Scenic Tours before and they have always paid a lot of attention to detail. Each shore excursion is planned out to the infinite detail, but if you want to do your own thing then that is fine as well. All the cabins are well appointed with the majority having their own balcony. The beds are like sleeping on a cloud. The room service is of a very high standard. Every member of the crew greet you and make you feel as if you were royalty. If something is not right it is fixed immediately. The meals are abundant leaving you with the need to expand your belt. Everyone is able to dine in the specialty restaurant on the cruise. The wines match the meal being served. But if you do not want wine there is the option of having another type of drink. This is not a cruise for children as there are no activities for children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We really liked the all inclusive nature of Scenic with no further charges once on board apart from spa options. Dining was enjoyably varied and generally very good. The crew were great. Dining staff were attentive and soon got to know our ... Read More
We really liked the all inclusive nature of Scenic with no further charges once on board apart from spa options. Dining was enjoyably varied and generally very good. The crew were great. Dining staff were attentive and soon got to know our preferred drinks, breakfast orders etc. The services of Sonja and Nuno in the bar were wonderful - always ready to serve with a smile. Loved my 'Bandy and Braileys'! The cabin was compact but very well appointed with a lovely sun balcony area. The bathroom was very well equipped too and all was kept very clean by Susana. The river Douro far exceeded our expectations - stunning scenery, quiet and some lovely places to visit. The weather was unseasonably chilly for late April and although we had some very good days, the wind was a challenge on occasions. We did have a problem with our butler as we didn’t meet her for 24 hours and which presented some difficulty trying to operate various things in the cabin- including our shower which we abandoned trying to take on arrival as couldn’t find the on/off lever. The butler finally came to our cabin the following afternoon when 2 men and a child knocked asking to come into the cabin to repair a curtain. My friend, who was alone, became very upset at this unnannounced intrusion as our safe was open as was our luggage as we were reorganising our use of storage etc. She had to do to reception as the phone was not answered to find out if these visitors were genuine. The butler came later and was very supportive to my friend. This seemed to be a safety issue as no one had informed us of this and they could have walked on from shore as we were still in Porto. After this we tried on subsequent days to make contact with the butler for simple requests like a pot of tea but didn’t ever make contact. We gave up trying after a few days.This was disappointing as others spoke very highly of their butler's service and I felt we missed out on a benefit we had paid for but not received. Our butler was very pleasant and friendly when we saw her on the ship, but the service was very poor probably because this was her first sailing. A final issue was the lack of emphasis on using the hand sanitiser at the entrance to the dining room. Many people became ill with a cold during the course of the cruise as my friend did as well as in the days following disembarkation, like myself, and also others we have heard from since. We always made a point of using the spray before dining unlike many others. A reminder by the crew would have helped embed this as common practice. Thank goodness it wasn’t Norovirus. We did enjoy very many aspects of the cruise and hope that these shortfalls can be addressed in the future. We particularly enjoyed the company of the passengers who proved to be very good company and a lot of fun! Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Leighites, Thank you for your review. It's great to read that you enjoyed the all inclusive nature that Scenic is known for and you found the dining enjoyable and crew great. It's also wonderful to hear the Douro river far exceeded your expectations with the stunning scenery and excursions. We are sorry to hear that you had trouble with your butler and didn't receive this full benefit. I have forwarded this on to our team to make them aware for future. We are pleased however to hear that you enjoyed the company of your fellow passengers and had a lot of fun. Best wishes, The Scenic Team
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ... Read More
This was our third Scenic river cruise. All have been great but this one was the best. Great boat, friendly crew, fantastic food and excellent day tours. Portuguese food and wine is superb, and the cruise focus on local dishes, ingredients and wines was well placed. At each daily brief the chef and tour director highlighted that night’s recommended local dish and wines. As always with Scenic there was lots of choice on the menu, but the local dishes were our favourites. We had a little trouble with high water given the heavy rains before we arrived and were required by the Portuguese authorities to dock at unplanned locations. But Scenic did a great job of keeping us informed, arranging for day trips when we were docked unexpectedly, and making sure everyone got to the airport to get on to their next destination. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who likes history, food and wine. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear Ctener668 Thank you for your review and wonderful to hear that you have cruised with us before and that this one was the best. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your time on Scenic Azure, alongside the food, wine and our on shore excursions. It's also great to hear even though there was high water, this did not ruin your holiday with us. Thank you again for cruising with us and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Best wishes, The Scenic Team
Scenic Azure Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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