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72 Scenic Diamond Cruise Reviews

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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
Sail Date May 2018
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
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2017
A most enjoyable cruise with fantastic staff. The staff were in fact one of the best shipboard staff we have had on any of our cruises. Our Cruise Director ( Mandy) was fabulous and she led a great team of enthusiastic staff who were ... Read More
A most enjoyable cruise with fantastic staff. The staff were in fact one of the best shipboard staff we have had on any of our cruises. Our Cruise Director ( Mandy) was fabulous and she led a great team of enthusiastic staff who were always welcoming and provided excellent service and nothing ever seemed to bother for them.An excellent on board experience with great food and beverages and we always enjoyed the nightly entertainment. The mix of people from a range of countries also added to the experience. Some great shore excursions including; Arcachon ( could have spent longer),Saint Emilion, Remy Martin, Sauternes Region, Medoc Valley and Blaye to name a few and we really enjoyed our special off ship Chateaux Gisours dining experience. All our enthusiastic local guides were excellent with fabulous knowledge of both the history and attractions and great ambassadors for France. Only disappointment was the fact that due to France's working restrictions a lot of places were closed when we had free time but this would be very difficult to overcome. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our third sailing with Scenic and they just keep getting better. We took the 12 day package "Breathtaking Bordeaux", and arrived in Paris and took the Fast Train to Bordeaux the following morning. As expected we were ... Read More
This was our third sailing with Scenic and they just keep getting better. We took the 12 day package "Breathtaking Bordeaux", and arrived in Paris and took the Fast Train to Bordeaux the following morning. As expected we were met at the airport and hotel by warm and welcoming Scenic representatives and escorted to our Space Ship the Diamond where again the welcome was warm and friendly. I can't say enough good things about the crew. They worked at making sure that our every need was taken care of. The excursions were fun and informative. The Culinary Class on Board were one of the highlights for me. Chef Jerome was both informative and entertaining and each class I had the opportunity to attend was hands on, allowing each person an opportunity to learn from the expert. The entertainment was top rate we even had open air concerts on the Sun Deck, there is no end to the talent we danced to! Who knew the hotel manager Milenko and Cruise Director Mandy were amazing singers! On the Diamond we were treated to excellent meals, there was something to please everyone's palate. The Gala Dinner at Chateau Giscours Estate was amazing, as was our dinner at the on board Bistro L'Amour. Our Thanks to Cruise Director Mandy who was the heart of the Ship, her care and attention to detail was outstanding and created the Warm atmosphere that was so instrumental to the well being of each and every passenger she lead by example the crew truly enjoyed what they were doing and we were the beneficiaries of the results. Looking forward to our next trip . Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second Scenic cruise. I always try to book well ahead to get the right cabin and this time managed to get a Panorama Suite and boy was it with it. Very spacious and spectacular views from behind, just a bit disappointing that ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. I always try to book well ahead to get the right cabin and this time managed to get a Panorama Suite and boy was it with it. Very spacious and spectacular views from behind, just a bit disappointing that rivers Garonne and Gironde were nothing to write home about, no scenery and very dirty. Dining was adequate but not spectacular, no sign of any seafood at all which was strange. The chef (Jerome) was so full of his own importance that he seemed to disregard the fact that his clientel should have been his main concern, his cooking of breakfast eggs was a prime example, he used a silly spatular and managed to break them every morning. The entertainment on board was very poor apart from one night a duo came on board and they got everyone dancing, the rest was vet unentertaining. The shore excursions were excellent and very informative, we visited various Chateau's and had some excellent wines, also attended dinner in a beautiful chateau whilst being serenaded by classical music. The service aboard was good but not exceptional, we had a butler to look after us in the cabin (Bura) he was very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Mandy who was the ship's co-ordination, was another star, she looked after everyone, made sure we were all where we should be and entertained us with her humour, well done Mandy! All in all we enjoyed the trip and met some nice people, but value for money, maybe not. would we return? Certainly to Bordeaux a lovely clean and easy city but not on these two rivers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have experienced Scenic's hospitality on a number of cruises and this was our fourth cruise on Europe's waterways with Scenic. Unfortunately, this cruise, out of Bordeaux, out of all the ones we have done, was the least ... Read More
We have experienced Scenic's hospitality on a number of cruises and this was our fourth cruise on Europe's waterways with Scenic. Unfortunately, this cruise, out of Bordeaux, out of all the ones we have done, was the least enjoyable and somewhat underwhelming. There was a number of reasons, but being the first cruise of the 2017 season there was a number of on-board problems and the service delivery was not up to the usual, impeccable standard we have come to expect of Scenic. Some issues were beyond their control and some definitely were because of poor on-board service. Firstly, the scenery around southern France, being tidal rivers, was no where as spectacular as those on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers. This is beyond Scenic's control but perhaps the itinerary could be improved to showcase the region better. Understandably, being in the world's premier wine region, trips to vineyards and chateaus were plentiful but I would have preferred to see and stay near more old French villages. We spent far too much time moored in Bordeaux, which is a beautiful city but we returned there on three occasions (including disembarkation day) and spent perhaps two days of our 11 day tour tied up next to the Bordeaux Esplanade. Having a balcony suite was of no advantage to us under this circumstance because we were on the dock side of the ship on each occasion and had to keep our curtains closed to ensure privacy from the nearby, ever passing public. There was teething problems on the ship when, on the first night the kitchen apparently had stove problems and some meals took until very late in the evening to be served. Not Scenic's usual level of service but they should have better informed us of the reason for the very slow delivery of meals. The reception area balcony also had a problem with a glass balustrade and was therefore covered with plywood for the whole trip (not a good look). Further, being an older ship in their fleet, but one we understood to have been refurbished, the cabin and bathroom was not as well equipped, spacious or efficient as the later ships we had travelled on like the Scenic Jade and Scenic Gem. The balcony was old style and had sliding, rather than bi-fold windows between cabin and balcony. This meant that the cabin-balcony space seemed much smaller because you could not open up the space as much as you can with bi-fold, concertina-style doors. Further, the actual balcony space on later ships is completely enclosed and sealed from adjacent cabins and therefore much quieter. On this trip we had relatively noisy neighbours so had to keep the balcony-cabin door closed at times just for a degree of privacy from intruding talk. The shower on the Scenic Diamond is also much smaller than on the Scenic's Jade and Gem which also had disco-lighting in the shower (but, to be fair, we can live without this gimmick!). It was in the level of service that we felt most let down. We had come to expect so much from Scenic. Although not a show stopper, it was little things - like the rose on arrival, towel art, birthday announcements and celebrations - that made you feel like a valued guest. There was none of this on our Bordeaux cruise. Apparently, on enquiry, I was advised that it is not now part of company policy. In 2017, Scenic changed the way they recorded our comings and goings from the ship. Previously we had just been given a plastic, coloured card that had to be returned to the reception desk on arriving back on board so as to signify we were back on board. This year they were replaced by a small, scannable, square disc that was supposed to be mounted on a proper lanyard but, unfortunately for our cruise, the lanyards hadn't arrived in time so we got a crappy piece of ribbon in order to hang it around our necks. Our name was printed on the opposite side of the disc and these served to replace the normal name badges that Scenic used to issue and were regularly worn by passengers at dinner and other functions. This year, nobody wore their crappy, ribbon lanyard-hung disc to dinner! They were too uncomfortable and not very classy and consequently we found it harder to get to know people's real names. Scenic should revert to a proper name badge and a suitably barcoded, credit card-sized card that can fit into your wallet or handbag to use when scanning on and off the ship. Forget the lanyards - when we are off the ship we have enough to hang around our necks with cameras and Taylor-made GPS systems! The special dinners at table La Reive and Lamoure were also a bit disappointing. We had not experienced La Reive before and, to be fair, the service and food was good but the evening not as enjoyable as what we had anticipated or hoped it to be. We received our La Reive invitation on arrival back on board after a long afternoon being bused around vineyards and were therefore very tired. Unfortunately, due to the late return of the bus, we were given 15-20 minutes to get showered, dressed and ready for this sumptuous meal. Fortunately, we were able to opt out that evening and rescheduled for another night. Altogether though, it was poor PR and planning by the crew. The visit to Lamoure was also underwhelming by comparison to other cruises where we had very much enjoyed the service and food in this special dining area. This time the food was not up to the usual standard but we are thankful that we were not booked into Lamoure on the subsequent evening. On that evening there was group of some 40+ American tourists on board who had block-booked their cruise and therefore many of them booked on the same evening for Lamoure. The reports back were that it was so noisy and crowded due to "overbooking" that the waiters simply could not navigate between table. Scenic should be careful not to denigrate this feature of their cruises by overbooking and spoiling the experience. This leads me to the issue of the aforementioned block-booking. Because all of the Americans knew each other they tended to dominate proceedings on-board, were seemingly afforded special "privileges" on-board and on bus tours, and were generally noisy and disruptive to the detriment of other passengers. This is not an indictment of the Americans as people, as many, when you got to know them, were lovely people. It was just that being part of a large group that were all familiar with each other there was no need for "ice-breaking" on new friendships. Consequently, in the early days, they tended to take over the ship. Traditionally, Scenic cruises are dominated by Australians who can be equally as rowdy but most come aboard as strangers and therefore there is generally more a general, growing bonhomie between passengers as the cruise progresses and new friendships are forged. My advise to Scenic is to limit the numbers in block bookings. Forty in one hit is too much. The day trips to various Scenic enrichment and and other locations were also disappointing compared to other experiences on previous cruises. Of particular note is the bus trip to the beautiful seaside town of Arcachon. We spent some three and a half hours on a bus - there and back - to only experience about one hour in the town. The trip should be day-long experience rather than trying to get everyone back to the ship for a late lunch. Scenic should have scheduled both an early and late bus to allow passengers to enjoy lunch in this town rather than being bundled back on the bus in quick time. Unless of course, you were part of the American contingent who somehow managed to arrange their own bus, got a further taste of oysters and lunch in Arcachon! Other factors..... Lounge Camera: The Cruise Director should ensure that the lounge camera is turned on for Port Talk each evening. Often, after returning for a day out, you are still getting dressed for dinner and would prefer to tune in to Port Talk on your cabin TV via the video, rather than attend the lounge. Disembarkation: This is something that Scenic normally organise very well but being one of the earlier departees for Bordeaux Airport at 7:15 am we were astonished that, despite the briefing the night before by our Cruise Director, who insisted a breakfast would be available in the River Cafe, we arrived to find no service and no food. In fact there was no Cruise director to complain to either! She had apparently left the ship earlier that morning. All in all, this was a disappointing finish to our cruise. We got the feeling that it was a case of feeling like it was - "bugger off" you have finished your cruise and that you don't matter to us anymore. I know from past experience with Scenic (and why we kept coming back) it is not their normal form but they should be wary not to let their guard down and their standards slip. We will give them one more chance because we felt it was more a case of a new crew, an early-season cruise and therefore inherent teething problems that detracted from this trip. It is disappointing for me to write such a poor review but I feel that feedback is due. We are fans of Scenic and will not entirely judge them by this cruise alone but for the money spent on this trip we did not feel, by comparison, that we got our money's worth. Nevertheless the cruise was still very enjoyable but, as previously indicated, our past experience led us to expect better. Harry Bracegirdle (Port Fairy Victoria Australia) Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We specifically chose this cruise, as we watch him on PBS, and because this cruise was billed as a hands-on cruise with Burt Wolf, who would be with us in some of the towns and host special events in some towns. However, the itinerary ... Read More
We specifically chose this cruise, as we watch him on PBS, and because this cruise was billed as a hands-on cruise with Burt Wolf, who would be with us in some of the towns and host special events in some towns. However, the itinerary changed after we boarded and although Burt Wolf was there, he only gave short, 15 minute or so talks on his upcoming show plans, before the dinner hour. On three occasions, he provided passengers with with a macaroon, a small glass of Cognac, and some swiss chocolates he and his swiss counterparts had developed - with strong flavanol enhancements - that allegedly help with memory. So all-in-all, we could not recommend this trip with Burt Wolf to anyone. Our traveling companions agree. One of those couples had been on a cruise with him face years ago and said it was "great" and that's why they signed up for this one. They too were very disappointed. Having cruised before, I have to say the upgraded cabin (not a suite, but not a standard room either) was "sufficient" for our needs, tight, but sufficient for our needs. The food was very good, and the towns in which we stopped along the Garonne River were quite nice. And the staff? The staff were excellent - mostly all from Eastern European countries. And the service was very good. Finally - this was billed as a Scenic Luxury Cruise. I would not use the word luxury even though this was a very good cruise. It's why we gave it an average rating. This was the last cruise of the season for the Scenic Diamond as it's now in dry dock being retrofit with a gym and either a pool or hot top. This may improve the experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the third holiday we have had with Scenic and overall it was the most disappointing. Whilst the Scenic Diamond was to the usual high standard and the crew helpful and accommodating we were happy to disembark. We felt that Scenic ... Read More
This was the third holiday we have had with Scenic and overall it was the most disappointing. Whilst the Scenic Diamond was to the usual high standard and the crew helpful and accommodating we were happy to disembark. We felt that Scenic had misrepresented what we could expect. The river was dirty and muddy and there was little or no scenery along the banks. Our main complaint was the low standard of off ship experiences. Almost every destination involved a coach trip of 60 to 90 minutes each way and with the exception of two or three destinations they were not worthy of the long journey. The ship spent the majority of its time berthed in Bordeaux and on almost every occasion had another ship berthed alongside which either blocked our view and restricted the use of the balcony or resulted in us having to climb through the reception area of the other ship to reach land. One complaint about the staff was that the waiters appeared to have no knowledge of the Responsible Service of Alcohol policy and continued to ply clearly intoxicated persons with further alcohol. Scenic did not live up to its usually high reputation on this occasion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Scenic Diamond Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 3.5 N/A
Family N/A 3.8
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.7
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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