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Sail Date: April 2019
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating ... Read More
Arrived in Bordeaux 3 days before cruise and explored thoroughly. Great B&B (La Maison Fernand) above Place Fernand Lafague - very close to restaurants and Rue Saint-Catherine boutique shops. Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating hotel for our 11 day cruise - with excellent managing staff and tours run by an exceptional Cruise Director. A very well organised and paced tour with a good variety of attractive destinations: not always wineries. Scenic offer a complete tour experience with cultural and artistic events interspersed with in-depth guided tours of many beautiful villages and towns. Highlights were: String Quartet Classical concert at Chateau d'Agassac; St Emilion, with its underground cathedral; Bergerac's lovely streetscapes and its pioneering 19th century hydroelectric facility; Bordeaux's Cite du Vin wine museum; cycling through the vineyards; and, the Remy Martin tour in Cognac. The ship-board entertainment lead by our highly entertaining Cruise Director Sonja was excellent, as was the extensive menu and the hotel service. Local wines were featured, but could have been more mature, with more higher quality regional alternatives offered. A thoroughly enjoyable discovery tour of the Bordeaux region from Scenic who, once again, provided an exceptional river cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well ... Read More
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well organized events from arrival to departure of our trip. It was a smooth transition each day. We received amazing service and were dined and entertained beyond our expectations. We met wonderful people from different countries and enjoyed the varied offshore excursions. Top notch tour guides and transportation. Special thanks to our amazing captain, hotel management and cruise director. Their leadership and assistance was valued throughout the whole trip. Also our chef provided exquisite meals. The portions, options and wine pairings for all our meals were outstanding. We appreciated not having to worry to tip or pay additional for beverages requested throughout the whole trip. Definitely worry free. We highly recommend the scenic luxury cruise to anyone who is seeking an amazing vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise having done many sea cruises with Seabourn and Silversea. We were initially pleased with the overall experience, although the suites were a little tired. All of the staff were extremely polite and helpful ... Read More
This was our first river cruise having done many sea cruises with Seabourn and Silversea. We were initially pleased with the overall experience, although the suites were a little tired. All of the staff were extremely polite and helpful and we listed many individuals in our on board review.The food, service and excursions were excellent. The on board entertainment was average. Apart from one guest entertainer, we had the same pianist/vocalist for the entire cruise. The problems started for us after a couple of days when our toilet stopped flushing. On reporting the problem, we were informed that there was a major issue as a plastic bottle had been flushed into the system. There was an unsuccessful attempt by staff to solve the problem and this resulted in 170 guests and all staff having to use 2 toilets on another ship alongside.The use of this other ship continued for 2 days but the problem remained for the whole of our cruise. We were assured by the staff that there would be some compensation for the inconvenience caused. In fact some guests chose to leave the ship part way through their holiday. Having submitted a complaint to Scenic we were initially offered 20% discount on a future cruise.This is hardly compensation for what we had suffered and in fact has no value unless we book again with Scenic. We contacted Scenic to express our disappointment and it took a further 3 weeks to be told that we would not be getting any further compensation other than the discount. We feel that this is extremely poor service when we were led to believe there would be some financial compensation against the considerable expense we laid out for this holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. ... Read More
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. This failure was complete at times (leaving cabin toilets full of waste and no working toilets at all for an ENTIRE DAY). Sometimes the blockage was partial, however as our week went on, the smell of human waste increased in the hallway and was unsanitary and distressing. Our cruise director promised the entire ship would receive compensation - however for Scenic, this only amounted to an offer of 20% off everyone’s next cruise. The Scenic promise is a disappointment. We chose Scenic because of their reputation for excellence - and the cruise was excellent - however when an issue as large and disruptive as this happens - the customer should be compensated AND offered a discount on their next Scenic Cruise. The cruises are very expensive and with such poor customer service it is too risky to invest that amount of money again. It is a shame and we are very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t ... Read More
Wonderful staff, they go over and beyond. Butler Aron was especially great along with the bar staff crew and restaurant staff. Wonderful excursions with great guides. Only thing we could say was the air conditioning in the room wasn’t working well, but in Scenic’s defence there was a record heat wave booing on. Aron went and got us a small fan for our room which made all the difference. Also, my husband has celiacs which comes with a strict gluten free diet. The boat was great with this, gave us the best bread ever. Would like to see a few higher sipping rums on board but they had a great wine selection. Karol and Razan in the restaurant were so much fun, but honestly they were all extremely good. Cristian the bar supervisor was also great. He has awesome staff. Excursions were a ton of fun. Lots to choose from. Would have enjoyed free time in Cognac, but the tour was great. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
selected because we had a great time on a previous cruise. the service could not be faulted. Will select another cruise next year knowing we will get the same high level of service. The main reason for the very favourable review is ... Read More
selected because we had a great time on a previous cruise. the service could not be faulted. Will select another cruise next year knowing we will get the same high level of service. The main reason for the very favourable review is the attentiveness of the staff. They remember your name and your food and wine preferences. The "everything is included" policy is 100% correct. The elderly or those requiring assistance were fully catered for. Nothing was too much trouble. The captain and the cruise director spent much time mingling with the guests. The catering stand explained the food and wine to be served in great detail. I was able to request and be given any "off the menu" dish I liked. The use of the " battery assisted" was a great hit as we were able to tour the wondrous and extensive vineyards in ease and comfort. The guide on the bike hikes was terrific. I often would request an electric bike to tour the local town and it would be on the pier in a matter of minutes and in one case was personally delivered by the Captain. There are not enough superlatives to fully explain the service from the staff, the food and wine provided and the cruise experience in general. When chatting with other guests during dinner we were not surprised to hear the many were enjoying their second cruise with Scenic and many had been on more. I applaud the Scenic Company for providing this vey memorable experience. Thank you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything ... Read More
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything you could need. Cannot speak highly enough about the team on board - butler service was amazing, the teams in the restaurant and bars were great and Mandy the Cruise Director is perfect for her job. The excursions are well organised and with the exception of one rather boring medieval village, well put together if a little on the slow side which is understandable as the average age on our cruise was probably 75! Do not expect exciting entertainment, again probably catering to the age group but in a lot of the ports there is the opportunity to stroll ashore rather than listen to 'Lady in Red' from the on board entertainer again!! Our only issue with the cruise was the food which lets down the whole 'luxury' offering. Breakfast was 4 star hotel style, basic hot and cold buffet with oddments to order from the kitchen, bacon was either almost raw or burned and who eats aubergine for breakfast ?? The buffet style lunch was also OK, not exciting but generally a decent choice of hot and cold dishes and 2 soups which were always watery and generally tasteless. Dinners were a huge disappointment - we are in a part of France famed for its food and the dinners were unremarkable to say the least. The watery soup made a comeback on each menu, portions were extremely small and a fish serving usually consisted of one very small fillet which was usually dry. A number of guests were returning food to the kitchens, inedible steak, black vegetables and complaints were made to the Chef who did not seem to understand the problem. 4 basic cheeses each night, no local specialities, no fresh local seafood, just poor quality food which was badly cooked. I hate having to say this as we had a great time on the cruise but this is an expensive holiday and all the efforts of the team on board should not be let down by this one department. A lot of effort had obviously gone into the wine offering as the choices each everning were interesting, local wines and all enjoyable. Would I cruise with Scenic again? Only if I could be sure the food had improved - spend less time trying to make everything look fancy and serve good, well cooked, tasty dishes with a local flavour, quality ingredients and a little more flair!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. ... Read More
Bit confused as to why Scenic ask (and only allow) you to fill out a guest feedback form before the cruise is over, hence this review! Positives; The Staff are very good and strive to provide high levels of service across the board. There is a lack of constant background music and endless PA announcements which we found refreshing given the constant noise other cruise lines see fit to subject you to. When Scenic say all inclusive that's what you get, no covert "up selling" good quality drinks package and tours. Could do better, The organisation of travel pre and post tour doesn't take account of customers needs as well as it could, poor connection times, arbitrary flight choices were frequently mentioned by other guests as well as being the case for us. The food was variable in its quality- some was very good, some not so good. Be aware the cabins are small. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
the Bordeaux area is wonderful to cruise and tour. Scenic did a great job of arranging tours through the area both by bus, bicycle and walking. The food and wine that was served on the ship was excellent. The Captain and the entire ... Read More
the Bordeaux area is wonderful to cruise and tour. Scenic did a great job of arranging tours through the area both by bus, bicycle and walking. The food and wine that was served on the ship was excellent. The Captain and the entire crew were very pleasant and the Cruise Director Mandy did an excellent job of organizing everyone's day and did a recap for us at the end of the day. The entertainment on board was good. A great way to relax after dinner if you are not out for a walk in port. This is our second Scenic River cruise. Last year we were on the Rhine, which was also great. It was much different n that we sailed almost every night and woke up in a different port everyday. All of the arrival and departure details were handled by Scenic and went like clockwork. Taxi buses were on time and we got to the Airport with time to spare. Overall it was a great cruise and we will definitely do another one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The itinerary and daily program offer a wide range of options, each five star. Staff were invariably courteous and good-humoured. Quality food and drinks were available 24 hours. The Scenic hype said you can put away your wallet when ... Read More
The itinerary and daily program offer a wide range of options, each five star. Staff were invariably courteous and good-humoured. Quality food and drinks were available 24 hours. The Scenic hype said you can put away your wallet when you board. It is absolutely correct. It is only when you shop privately ashore that you need to spend: everything else (except, perhaps, laundry above the freeby limit). My criticisms relate to the size and layout of the single balcony cabin. In its presented configuration it was impossible to open the wardrobe doors or use the desk. Perhaps the luck of the draw, but I had problems with both arrival and departure transfers. Nobody met me, as advertised, at Bordeaux Airport. After 40 minutes I worked out that nobody was coming and managed to get a taxi ( and a 50 Euro refund on arrival). Lucky I'd bought Euros. On departure I followed the detailed instructions and arrived at the service desk on time and waited....and waited. Enquired about transport and was told a phone call would be made. Next told a cab would be called. No results. Finally the next group (30 minutes or so later) was ready to depart for the airport. I asked if I could go with them and be dropped at station. Initially, no, but rationality prevailed in the end. Thankfully. I just made my train to Paris. Unnecessarily stressful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have done 2 previous Scenic cruises ( Rhine and Rhone) , loved the experience and Bordeaux sounded like fun. Due to a high water level due to heat winter snow, we were not able to go upriver from Bordeaux, so we were docked their ... Read More
We have done 2 previous Scenic cruises ( Rhine and Rhone) , loved the experience and Bordeaux sounded like fun. Due to a high water level due to heat winter snow, we were not able to go upriver from Bordeaux, so we were docked their for a couple of extra days and bused to the excuses that were up river. We were sometimes double parked with other ships and they all looked more tired and not as elegant as the Diamond.. The ship and Sapphire level balcony suite were as expected, modern and well designed. The guests are a great group and we made good friends with 2 Australian couples. The chef ( Angelo) was French and had worked at Michelin Star Restaurants. He was fresh and took great pride in putting his " traditional French" stamp on his dinner offerings. all soups , sauces etc were made on board with local ingredients. Meat was often slowed cooked over several hours. He tried really hard. The food in the main dining room was definitely superior to the last Scene ship we were on. As we were in the wine region, primary wine selections varied each night with at least 10 alternates of red and white available from the menu. Service in both the dining room and upstairs lounge/bar was very fast and the waiters anticipated our need by refilling our wine glasses before we had to ask. The bar service is really all inclusive. The excursions are of very high quality. As an example, We were taken to the Remy Martin Cognac distillery in Cognac , for a tour and tasting ( which is about a $200 value when bought online for general tourists ). Private Chateau tours with classical concerts from members of the Paris symphony were another highlight. No staff or guides ever look for tips, it is all included. The local guides are always of terrific quality. We did 2 Scenic Culinare cooking school experiences on board which were a lot of fun. a hands on experience with the assistant chef and 10 people. There was always evening entertainment which I understand does not always occur on other ships. We also booked a 3 day add on to Madrid. the hotel was 5 star and a local guide ( Isabel) was provided to meet us at the airport and was available for the 3 days providing walking tours and accompanying us to a provided great restaurant dinner for a group of about 16. It was like having a persona; guide for the whole time without her being intrusive. We have never met a more hard working guide. Overall a terrific experience. one slight quibble, the toiletries are L,Occitane ( shampoo , shower gel etc.)and were always provided in generous quantities. they used to supply L'Occitane hand wash but now supply a generic bar of soap for hand washing . Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an ... Read More
Being wine lovers, we wanted to visit Bordeaux, 'the wine capital of the world'. Our trip started with a pre-cruise two night package at the Intercontinential Bordeaux, in an upgraded executive room. The pre-cruise package was an excellent deal as it included all transportation and full breakfast. The Scenic Diamond was moored about a thirty minute walk from the hotel. We ventured over there for a look where we met Mauricio, the hotel manager. He welcomed us to board early and have lunch on-board. As we booked the Royal Owner Suite, we felt we received amazing service from all of the staff, especially Aron, our butler. Our newly renovated two room suite was beautifully, appointed including an amazing outdoor balcony and two person bathroom. The meals prepared by our executive French chef were all nicely varied, hot and very tasteful.We opted for a combination of the breakfast buffet and a la carte entree service (eggs Benedict was excellent). We usually enjoyed the light lunch, served in the restaurant, beside the main bar. Dinners were excellent and varied, although some of the daily special entrees were usually overdone. Most of the wines offered were from the Bordeaux region, good but not exceptional. However, the bar selection left nothing to be desired and included top shelf liquor and after dinner drinks. Ship amenties included a small gym, a relaxing salt room, a spa and a hot tub (on the upper deck). The circular track allows guests to burn off some of the calories consumed on board. One of the best features of Scenic is leave your wallet at home as drinks, excursions and tipping, are all included. This makes for a very relaxing vacation. On board service was quick, effecient and genuine. Everyone makes you feel special. On shore tours were interesting and led be excellent guides who were the same for the entire cruise. They were very knowledgeable, informative and spoke English very well. The ship's cruises were the weak point. Travelling up and down the rivers around Bordeaux was not as exciting as was our previous river cruise, along the Danube. We were unable to cruise to ports south of Bordeaux, due to low bridges and high water. hat made for longer bus rides to and from the well planned excursions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but ... Read More
Scenic and Bordeaux appealed to us for its luxury, interesting itinerary, wine tours and all-inclusive approach to travel. They delivered on all levels. Our stateroom (Junior Suite) was compact - as you would expect on a river cruise - but really well designed so there was plenty of room in wardrobes and bathrooms and the bed was huge and really comfortable. This theme continued throughout the ship. The common areas were excellent and the staff were consistently superb - friendly, attentive, helpful and all with a good sense of humour. Trips ashore provided excellent variety and range of choice and all the vineyard visits were excellent. A major highlight was the quality of the food and wine for every meal. Plenty of choice and a great size allowing you to easily taste four or five courses without feeling stuffed. Entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. Best of all was not ever worrying about how big the onboard account was growing - everything was included. Wow!! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was my first river cruise, though I've spent plenty of nights on ocean cruises. Thus, there may be items I raise here that are simply typical of river cruises, and I just don't know that yet. There was much to like on ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, though I've spent plenty of nights on ocean cruises. Thus, there may be items I raise here that are simply typical of river cruises, and I just don't know that yet. There was much to like on this one-week Bordeaux cruise on the Scenic Diamond. The atmosphere is laid-back, and the passengers a nice mix of (primarily English-speaking) nationalities. Apparently, this was the first time that the majority of passengers were from the U.S. Usually it is majority Australian, with a good number of Canadians and Brits thrown in. There was a large pre-formed group on our cruise from the U.S., so that may account for that peculiar demographic. Fortunately, they were not insular, so we did not have the issues that often come from a charter group being aboard. EXCURSIONS Scenic is a largely all-inclusive line, so one never had to worry about chits for drinks or excursions. This is consistent with its positioning of itself to the luxury market. Where it is several notches above the luxury ocean cruise lines is that it has truly taken ownership of its excursions. It is clear that they have selected, and know, the guides, and can help direct you to the one that will most meet your wishes for the particular experience. There is none of the sense of indifference that comes with contracting with ground tour companies--Scenic knows its guides and its guides know (and meet) Scenic's expectations. The downside on the excursions is that there is so little choice. In many ports, the only choices were whether to go to the designated destination by coach or by bicycle. While they arranged the tours so that not all the coaches and bikes arrived at the same place at the same time, the wine tours/tastings and town tours tended to be rather overcrowded for the spaces involved (38 seemed the standard number per coach, and 25 per guided bike tour). But the contents of the tours were outstanding, with personable and informative guides and interesting destinations. BTW, Scenic's bikes are e-bikes, which means they offered a battery assist. When in a group, one could not set the pace too high, but many found the assist helpful and the bikes easy to handle. Instead of doing an excursion, one could always go off on one's own. And this is another plus on Scenic. It offers a "tailor-made" product--a GPS system that offers commentary and directions for setting out on your own. They also are used by the guides to narrate the tours, so that you didn't have to stand around in a tight pack to hear your guide. But it was great for exploring the city of Bordeaux, where the thought of another coach tour was just too much, and where bicycling did not seem the best idea. I was not feeling well that day, so did not explore as much as I'd have liked, but I did find the assist from the tailor-made system to be terrific. It also provided excellent narrative along the rivers. PUBLIC SPACES Brochures and ships' diagrams notwithstanding, there really are only three spaces for meeting, mingling, partying and dining. One is the Crystal Dining Room on the lower deck. This really is the only dedicated dining space. It generally is open for 90 minutes for breakfast, 90 minutes for lunch, and 2 hours for dinner. Second is the Lounge on the second deck, just past the reception desk. Just inside the entrance are self-service coffee and tea stations, and then an expanse of sofas and chairs. The room has a dance floor, and then the bar, with tables and chairs to the side. I believe that this area is what is referred to as River Cafe, but it is not really differentiated from the rest of the lounge. There is a partially partitioned area in the back, which doubles as the alternative restaurant L'Amour on some evenings. During the day, a few food items are put out here for an hour after breakfast and again an hour after lunch for those who missed the main meal in the dining room. The third space is the Sun Deck, a long expanse of seating on the top deck where one can enjoy good weather and watch the towns and chateau go by. The bikes are tied up here, and a hot tub also can be found here. There is no bar up here, so (with the exception of a couple of specific events, discussed below), if you want a beverage or a snack, you must head down to the lounge to get it. FOOD Breakfast is a buffet, with a reasonable array of largely well-prepared choices, and including an omelet station. There is a menu from which other fare can be ordered, but you have to know about it and specifically request it--it won't be offered. For another hour after the regular breakfast, a smaller selection of fare can be had in the back of the lounge upstairs. Lunch also is a buffet. Fare here is hit-or-miss, and unfortunately too often a miss. There are salad fixings, but they are interspersed here and there along the rectangular service area, at which there often are crowds, making the assembly of a lunch salad something of an ordeal. Some hot dishes are offered, including at least one pasta, but these were usually re-renderings of some previous night's dinner and ranged from mediocre to inedible. One or two soups also would be on offer. These were either excellent or indifferent. There were rumors that menu service was available up in the River Cafe portion of the lounge, but I never personally witnessed this. They certainly weren't visible on the tables. Most days, there were a few dishes from downstairs available up in this area in the hour after regular lunch service ended. Dinner was generally decent to good, with an occasional excellent. Four courses were offered--you didn't have to take them all--and portions were reasonable. For heartier appetites, people could order extra. There was a very good set list of wines available with dinner--really, the best included wines I've seen on any type of cruise. One would hope for good wines in the Bordeaux region, and ones hopes would be fulfilled here. One night per cruise, you could sign up for a dinner at L'Amour, that little area in the back of the lounge. This is where Scenic dining was at its best. Each course was superb, and service was impeccable. It was truly special. Also, one evening dinner was off-ship, at a Chateau that was about a 30-minute coach ride away. On an evening of perfect weather, we arrived at a lovely garden of a chateau that is no longer lived-in, and were able to stroll around the house and grounds while sipping a pleasant wine. We were then called to dinner in the "farmhouse," an event space on the chateau grounds. Faced with the challenges of feeding 140 people, the dinner was surprisingly good, though hardly Michelin material. It was nevertheless a special evening, and one to enjoy. Those in the more expensive cabins also were invited to a special degustation dinner at a long table at the back of the dining room. I was not among this group, so cannot speak to it, but heard it was quite good. ENTERTAINMENT AND EVENTS Daytime was either sailing, or port-focused, so no other entertainment ensued. The one exception was offered by nature: the mascaret, or tidal bore. Required by law not to be tied up when the tidal bore came, the ship maneuvered out to the middle of the river at its expected time. And, sure enough, as you looked up the river, here came a wave much like an ocean wave making its way down the river. And, sure enough, there were people surfing this wave. It was quite the entertainment. The first time it happened, most of us gathered up top to watch and take pictures. And this was one of only two times that bar staff was serving up top, so it was quite the party. This natural phenomenon happened twice more during the cruise, but most of us were off on excursions at those times. One thing to know: this ship never sails at night, only at day. And only a couple of hours at a time. Really, when you get right down to it, it barely went anywhere. I think I should have figured this out from the maps, but I had not. I have to say that this was a bit of a disappointment but now I know to look for it. Most evenings, the entertainment was provided by a talented young woman, Margaret, who used recorded music to back up her singing and guitar or clarinet playing. Or sometimes she'd just play recorded music and help gin up the dancing, of which there was a good bit. Other evenings, guest performers would play. Most were quite good, and played a set or two before departing and leaving the stage back to Margaret, who would play until the wee hours if people wanted. The evening of our first full day was off-ship, with sundowners at a local chateau. We tasted, and some might say over-tasted, some nice wines in a beautiful setting. A truly lovely evening. SERVICE This was the last cruise of the season, and I think we saw some fraying around the edges because of this. Much of the staff seemed tired and overworked. I had the sense that the ship was perhaps understaffed. The room attendant for my area was stellar, and could not do enough for you. Unfortunately, the butler performs multiple functions--he could be seen serving drinks in the evening, setting up the meals in the River Cafe, and doing odd jobs around the ship. He tended to be testy and forgetful, snapping at passengers on more than one occasion. At least one other butler also seemed to be pretty disengaged when performing her alternative duties. They just seemed to be overextended. The dining and bar wait staffs were great to outstanding, always warm, welcoming, and attentive. And always ready to have a bit of fun themselves, which helped to make a happy atmosphere. A note about the "free" load of laundry: don't rely on this for your clothing soiled during a pre-cruise stay. Only one bag is included, and that bag is comically tiny. When I first saw it, I thought it was the shoe shine bag. To the butler's credit, he did give me pointers on how to jam it full by rolling your clothes up into tight balls, so I managed to get 4 socks, 3 tops and a pair of slacks into that little bag. CABIN I was in the one single cabin on the ship. I am doing a separate review on that. I will just say here one word on it: don't. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The reason why we booked was a special offer of 10 nights for the price of 7. We had heard Scenic tours were a very good travel company although rather expensive. We had previously done European river cruises with Uniworld which suits us. ... Read More
The reason why we booked was a special offer of 10 nights for the price of 7. We had heard Scenic tours were a very good travel company although rather expensive. We had previously done European river cruises with Uniworld which suits us. Looking at your brochure we were hoping Scenic were going to offer us much more. But other than the balcony with a window that goes up and down, it did not. Uniworld always took us to and from the airport but Scenic did not. The evening special entertainment was poor, however, the resident entertainer, Margaret, was excellent. Our butler service was the worst part of the trip. She was very disappointing and quite rude! The drinks were very good, but the food was not as good as I had hoped. No potatoes available for a lot of meals. L'Amour restaurant very disappointing. The highlight of our cruise was being invited on to the Captain's table for the gala dinner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most ... Read More
It was 20 years or so since we last took a river cruise. Scenic's reputation, first class ships, advertising and website hyperbole convinced us to travel with them. 'Beautiful Bordeaux' seemed to fit the bill. In most respects our decision was vindicated. The all-inclusive nature from airport check-in at our local airport to return 11 days later was exceptionally well organised. Our flights with Air France went almost to schedule. The meet-and-greet at Bordeaux by a very smart young driver with a black Mercedes minibus for us and two others was spot on and we were on-board in about 30 minutes of baggage reclaim. The recommendation from the Scenic agent in Manchester, to take the earliest flight of the day so that we could 'start eating and drinking' sooner, really did pay off. There was a light lunch in the River Café waiting for early arrivals. At the end of the cruise, we were escorted by bus to Bordeaux airport and taken to the correct terminal for check-in: an exercise of almost military precision. We had a balcony suite on Diamond Deck. It might best be described as small but perfectly formed. It was a tight squeeze around the king size bed for more than one to be near the wardrobe, to pack and unpack, or by the desk. But all the details were catered for: plenty of hangers and hanging space, shelves and drawers, TV/computer, bottled water replenished as used, minibar (which we barely touched since there was so many other opportunities to consume on and off the ship). And the bathroom had plenty of cupboard space for wash bags and the like, constant hot water, plenty of Occitan bath amenities, towels, robes and slippers. We did not have many opportunities to use the balcony/sun lounge, because we were either sailing or (unfortunately) tied up facing the quay or another cruise ship. We enjoyed the lounge/bar with its large floor to ceiling windows, sufficient seating, and multiplicity of uses - lectures about shore excursions, music, River Café for light lunches and afternoon tea, and l'Amour tasting menu. The only gripe from my arthritic wife was the lack of higher backed and higher seated chairs, which would have been more comfortable than the low sofas and easy chairs. Likewise, the large dining room was also well lit with day light (unless we were parked alongside another cruise ship, when the blinds and drapes were pulled), comfortable and offered a surprising amount of space between tables. What about dining? Being on the Diamond Deck, we had our evening in L'Amour with its five course tasting menu and La Table Rive, with its six course menu. These were culinary highlights of the cruise, with their dedicated wait staff, descriptions of each course and, in the case of Rive, a new wine to go with each course. The website blurb implies that l'Amour also has wine pairings, but on our night, there was one red and one white, after a small glass of champagne to start. Also, whereas the website implies that invitations come automatically for these nights, we were advised by our butler on her welcome chat to go to reception and ask for an invitation! Breakfasts were excellent, with a wide menu of juices, cereals and fruits, yoghurts, cold cuts, hot dishes, and omelettes, fried and poached eggs, eggs benedict, steaks and lamb cutlets cooked to order. Think Hilton or Crowne Plaza then add a notch or two. Lunches, too, had a reasonable selection of salads, soups, hot and cold food, deserts and cheese, but gradually over the ten days, there was a degree of repetition. It was the dinners that disappointed us. Scenic use words like 'sumptuous food' and 'gourmet cuisine'. I know these epithets are subjective, but barely were we offered dishes that fit words like 'sumptuous' or 'gourmet'. We were in France, near some of best sea food and cheeses in the world. So where were the fruit de mer? We had an oyster evening when an oyster merchant came before dinner from Arcachon with more than enough oysters. We had mussels twice, once when they were almost under-cooked because of demand and once when they were over-cooked. We had prawn cocktails with a very modest sprinkling of frozen prawns on a bed of lettuce. And the inevitable lobster tail on the Captain's farewell menu. Where were the langoustines, the fresh prawns and shrimps, the bulots, and the rest? When it came to cheeses, there were probably less than ten out of which three were permed for each meal: how often did we need brie, bleu d'Auvergne and Compte, when there are so many other cheeses available. And where we the distinctly French dishes, such as a proper bouillabaisse (the one we had was basically a thin fish stock), boeuf bourgignon, sautéed foi gras, cassoulet, and the rest? Sadly, there seem to be three answers to some of these questions. One is that the menus were at the unexciting end of the spectrum to cater for the masses (whether the masses really wanted such safe food or not). They were not a patch on menus on some of the small luxury cruise liners. The other is that almost all the food on board is trundled in chilled trucks all the way across Europe from a central point in Germany, so that as the ten days went one, some items reduced in selection. And the third is no doubt the bean counters fetish for central control on menus, as happens also on many cruise lines and hotel chains. We chose one day to forego lunch on-board and treated ourselves to an assiette de fruit de mer at a waterside café in Bordeaux to get a true taste of French cuisine. Enough of the gripes. The chef and his staff worked wonders in the small space they are required to call a galley, and the wait staff were friendly, professional and wonderfully knowledgeable about the wines they were serving - and these were generally very good wines. We didn't indulge much in the entertainment, except the three piece jazz band that came on-board on evening: magical. The ports on this cruise were generally neat little French local towns close to vineyards and historical UNESCO sites. The excursions were exceptionally well organised and the guides better than most we have met anywhere in the world. The number of wine tastings (why else would one go on this cruise?) must have done nothing for our livers for a day or two! Most were easy even for wheel-chair users, with one or two towns, such as St Emillion having cobbled streets and hills to negotiate. Overall, yes, we had an excellent time and the cruise had many very good features. But please, Scenic, either prove you can meet some of the hyperbole about the dining experience, or alter the epithets you use to be less misleading. And, on reflection, we would probably use Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship is lovely, the staff and crew are brilliant, and work so hard to cater for your every need. The Bordeaux region is lovely and you have a selection of quaint towns ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship is lovely, the staff and crew are brilliant, and work so hard to cater for your every need. The Bordeaux region is lovely and you have a selection of quaint towns with lots of history, and of course the vineyards. Also the beautiful Bordeaux city to visit, plus a trip to the coast and the Atlantic Ocean. I've seen some reviews complaining about the 'brown' colour of the rivers, but it is explained that as they are tidal, the salt water keeps the sand in suspension, so they just appear to be muddy. The locals call the colour milk chocolate! The food is excellent with so much choice to suit everyone. The tours were well organised and the guides excellent. We made some lovely friends and laughed a lot. Nobody likes the end of their holiday, but the disembarkation is so well organised and with door to door transfers it's so easy. We would definitely book with Scenic again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on ... Read More
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on call at all times, the balcony is unique to Scenic with the electric opening and closing windows that allow for you to sit out there regardless of the weather. The dining as usual was first class from the light lunches to the speciality table restaurants on board and being remembered by the crew for drinks and other services was especially great. As for the activities as we have come to expect from Scenic they were all great and well timed to not be totally exhausting but very informative and a wonderful experience each time. And we will always recommend Scenic for those who want luxury and an exceptional adventure that is value for money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to cover the area around Bordeaux to celebrate our Golden Wedding, and having travelled with other tour operators we decided to try a Scenic cruise as it seemed to offer something special. We travelled with friends and had a ... Read More
We wanted to cover the area around Bordeaux to celebrate our Golden Wedding, and having travelled with other tour operators we decided to try a Scenic cruise as it seemed to offer something special. We travelled with friends and had a great time. The tours were excellent, especially Chateau Roquetaillade, though I got a bit tired of the sight of vines, and there was one disappointment, which I will come to later. The "sundowner" we all thought was very good and really enjoyable. The food on board was excellent, and being able to have a free drink, at any time, was a bonus! As indeed was not having to worry about tipping guides and drivers etc. We did give some of the staff, who were all excellent, a little extra thank you, but that was our choice. Now the disappointment-- the dinner at Chateau Giscours! The menu was ill thought out, majoring on Goat's cheese, which normally I love, and aubergine, which I can live without. Having said that the presentation was lacking and the food itself was pretty awful. We wished we had stayed on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The crew of the Scenic Diamond could not be more accommodating. Their attention to detail was excellent. The cabin was serviced twice a day and was always ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The crew of the Scenic Diamond could not be more accommodating. Their attention to detail was excellent. The cabin was serviced twice a day and was always immaculately clean. The food was very good, and the wine was excellent and plentiful. Bar service in the lounge was wonderful. The on-board entertainment was week although outside guest artists were an improvement. The on-shore excursions were good. We chose more active excursions including organized bike ride/tours and hiking to avoid just sitting on a bus. All the guides were knowledgeable, personable, and their English was good enough. We enjoyed the smaller number of people on the river cruise. We were able to meet a broader group of people and did not feel that we had to sit at the same table with the same group for every meal. We liked the fact that we could move around. The buffets were a little weak but the ala carte dinners were excellent. This cruise opened our eyes to river cruising vs. ocean cruising and we will definitely consider another Scenic cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Offered by Hilton Grand Vacations; my wife speaks French and France was a desirable venue; both my wife and I are wine lovers and this tour featured wine. The food, service, and especially the wine were all first-rate. The rivers we ... Read More
Offered by Hilton Grand Vacations; my wife speaks French and France was a desirable venue; both my wife and I are wine lovers and this tour featured wine. The food, service, and especially the wine were all first-rate. The rivers we cruised -- Garonne, Dordogne, and Gironde -- are muddy and not scenic, so the ship was really a floating hotel in order to access the Bordeaux wine country. The off-ship trips were outstanding, to historic sites and wineries, including a fabulous meal at a top Medoc winery and a tour of the Remy Martin distillery in Cognac. The guides for the tours were also very kind and knowledgeable, and most of the venues were an hour or less from the ship. Having time in the beautiful city of Bordeaux was also enjoyable. The entertainment varied, with a couple of groups for one-night appearances that were very good, while the standard performer was average at best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was a spectacular cruise. The ship was beautiful and the staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating. The food was especially delicious and reflected the french countryside where we sailed. The same was true for the wine ... Read More
This was a spectacular cruise. The ship was beautiful and the staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating. The food was especially delicious and reflected the french countryside where we sailed. The same was true for the wine that was served-- we were able to sample wines from the various vineyards and the crew members were very knowledgeable about the different wines. Every excursion was memorable--especially the wine tastings at the beautiful chateaus. We enjoyed meeting the current owners and learning that the vineyards had been in their families for hundreds of years. The Remy-Martin tour was also a highlight. I chose one option of shopping with the ship's chef at a market and then attending a cooking demonstration by him on board-- very interesting and fun. I also took advantage of the on-board beauty salon!! We have beeen on several river cruises with other carriers but I would definitely choose Scenic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise because of Hilton, the location of Bordeaux, of course wine and the activities/excursions offered which sounded very active. We had the owners suite which was amazing with the windows opening entirely in ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of Hilton, the location of Bordeaux, of course wine and the activities/excursions offered which sounded very active. We had the owners suite which was amazing with the windows opening entirely in both the bedroom and the balcony. The walk in closet was great as was the tub which is a must for me. Enjoyed our sitting room and had guests almost nightly visit us. The food was okay with moments of very good and others that were just average but I guess in this setting you try to appeal to all. I tend to prefer a little more spice and temperature to my food which isn't always appealing to everyone. The excursions were great. We especially loved the bikes which we used every day and signed up for all but 1 of the excursions offered where biking was concerned. Wine?! Enjoyed the excursion that involved wine. My husband and I have been to Bordeaux many times by land because of the wine but generally spent the majority of the time outside of the city. It was interesting to explore the city to some degree. I agreed to the cruise so long as there was a gym. There was a gym but very limited with no weights and only 3 pieces of cardio equipment. Fortunately for me, few of the other passengers were interested in this so I did not have to wait. I also took advantage of the top of the ship and ran, did lunges etc around the ship. Overall, I would recommend this ship and cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise mainly for two reasons: One we love France and two we loved our last cruise with Scenic so much we wanted to go on another. Everyday brought a new place to visit and experience. Each was interesting in its own ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for two reasons: One we love France and two we loved our last cruise with Scenic so much we wanted to go on another. Everyday brought a new place to visit and experience. Each was interesting in its own way. The guides were very knowledgeable and enhanced each visit which made places come alive for us. On board the crew were all very polite and pleasant. Wherever we were on the ship they always greeted you and often asked if you were enjoying everything. The food was excellent; buffets were kept fully stocked and the variety was very good. Drinks were ready available and Sandra who ran the bar was lovely. Our cabin was always kept spotless and towels changed everyday (not something we felt was necessary). The passengers were mainly Australians and we met some lovely people 2 of whom I feel we shall keep in touch with. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first cruise, we chose Scenic as it had excellent reviews. They did not disappoint, it was 5* all the way. We had our butler, the cabin was spotless as was the whole ship, the food was excellent, the bar was always open, and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we chose Scenic as it had excellent reviews. They did not disappoint, it was 5* all the way. We had our butler, the cabin was spotless as was the whole ship, the food was excellent, the bar was always open, and nothing was too much trouble. From the moment we got picked up at the railway station, until we were deposited back at end of cruise, we felt like pampered pooches. Highly recommend Scenic, if you need a little vacation or wish to see out of the way places, they make it seem effortless, and always have a smile for you. Daily program for visiting vineries, historical places, depending on what you chose, were all organised and proceeded smoothly with local English speaking guides. I loved visiting St Emilion as well as Remy Martin where they make a fine Cognac, we also visited Archacon, on the coast, places that are not easy to get to unless you have a car, cruising along the river then being driven by a luxury tour bus made it very simple and enjoyable. Read Less
Scenic Diamond Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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