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30 Scenic Tsar Cruise Reviews

We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ... Read More
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ship itself is quite comfortable. (Not a space-ship), and, BALCONY CABIN adequate. Meals and service on board were of excellent standard, with drinks served for Lunch and Dinner. The staff were all very warming, friendly and dedicated, which helped create a relaxing atmosphere. Excursions, Concerts, Circus, Ballet, Cathedrals, Museums, Metro Subways etc. were all Highlights, and, very well organised throughout the cruise, with free time given. Once sailing, each village being Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Is, and Mandrogi all have their own stories which are all interesting. Back on board it was time to relax and reminisce with fellow passengers, and staff. There were many fun activities for all. Vodka Tasting Session, Traditional Russian Doll making, Russian Language and Songs, Martryoshka painting class, and, Ice-Cream Parties to name a few over the 14 days. Each evening there was Live Music and Dancing with Surprise Entertainment the last night before arriving in St Petersburg, which was exceptional. To say what has been most enjoyed, would be difficult as the whole cruise was of high standard. Thanks to all involved for such wonderful memories to treasure. We continued on with Scenic to do the Baltic States Land Tour which has also been enjoyed by John (my husband) and myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious ... Read More
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience!" is what we were sold. This was supported by advertising propaganda provided to our travel agent, inserts in their Scenic Russia brochure and on-line advertising which states "travel without your wallet"! and shows pictures of a butler cleaning shoes, etc. On boarding the ship the story is very different, with passengers being asked to sign paperwork for their "on-board account" as soon as they board the ship. Nothing is at request, with access to food and drink only at meal times unless you pay. The only exception being tea and coffee which can be obtained from a machine at any time. Dispite being asked to provide dietary requirements months in advance, these are only catered for as an after-thought by removing what can't be eaten (no special meals) and if it can't be removed, expect to be offered very little to eat. There is no butler, no assistance for elderly passengers, no laundry, a Dr is on board but all medical services must be paid for. Rooms are modest. The fitness centre is a walking machine and a bike in the upstairs bar. Live entertainment is rare, most evenings this will entail the sad sight of a member of crew DJing. In no way the five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience it was billed as being. In the very least, knowing the truth would have allowed us to pack and budget differently. But in reality had we known the truth about what was on offer, we would not have taken this tour. To say we are dissappointed is an understatement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. ... Read More
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. We were met at the airport by one of the lovely tour guides who saw us into a lovely BMW that speedily transferred us to the ship. First the Ship - Scenic Tsar is a lovely ship. We had a cabin on the middle deck about half way along the ship. The cabin was not huge but it was very well organised with adequate storage for our gear. The only negative was the tiny shower - fine for us but I imagine it would be a struggle for bigger folk. The private balcony was a bonus as it gave us a place to sit in our cabin that was not our 'bedroom'. It was wide and very spacious - perfect for an afternoon wine or a morning cuppa. It was also big enough to hang out the 'smalls' we hand washed each evening without them intruding on our relaxation space. Meals without exception were excellent. I am coeliac so eating gluten free was essential for me. The staff it the dining room and the lounge knew after the first day and always brought me appropriate substitutes. Even at the self-serve tea/coffee station which had a small selection of sweet treats, I only had to ask and I was brought some gluten free treats. Free flowing wine and beer was served with all on board lunches and dinners. It was of a good quality and we found that we could always leave the dining room with a full glass to relax in the lounge or on the top deck if we so wished. We had $200 on board credit that we thought we'd use easily for extra drinks but found we actually spent the last couple of days working out how we cold use as, whilst the brochures all say drinks with meals only, there were lots of 'special occasions' where drinks were served before dinner. Evening entertainment whilst cruising was limited but enjoyable. In both Moscow and St Petersburg we enjoyed evenings out like Moscow Circus, choir recitals in and art gallery, ballet, evening cruises and on the ship we were entertained by a pianist each night, opera singers another night, a vodka tasting, piano recitals by one of the talented guides, and a few other fun activities that involved both crew and passengers. We found that as we had been so busy during the days, often with early starts that we weren't up for late nights of carousing anyway. We did enjoy warmly rugging up and taking a glass of wine for a stroll on the top deck after diner to watch the sun slowly sink to the horizon. The shore excursions were all amazing - interesting, insightful and some amazing places. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and open to absolutely any questions we wanted to ask. We finished our trip in St Petersburg and pretty much had a free day on the last day. We had to be out of our cabins by 9am but were welcome to enjoy explore on our own or relax in the lounge or top deck facilities until our afternoon transfer to the airport - we did a bit of both. Would we do it again? Absolutely. I would love to return to Russia and because the tour was so richly intense, a repeat trip would still be most enjoyable. Would I do it again with Scenic? A resounding yes! We are in fact now planning our next trip with Scenic for 2017. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. ... Read More
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. We were met at the airport by one of the lovely tour guides who saw us into a lovely BMW that speedily transferred us to the ship. First the Ship - Scenic Tsar is a lovely ship. We had a cabin on the middle deck about half way along the ship. The cabin was not huge but it was very well organised with adequate storage for our gear. The only negative was the tiny shower - fine for us but I imagine it wold be a struggle for bigger folk. The private balcony was a bonus as it gave us a place to sit in our cabin that was not our 'bedroom'. It was wide and very spacious - perfect for an afternoon wine or a morning cuppa. It was also big enough to hang out the 'smalls' we hand washed each evening without them intruding on our relaxation space. Meals without exception were excellent. I am coeliac so eating gluten free was essential for me. The staff it the dining room and the lounge knew after the first day and always brought me appropriate substitutes. Even at the self-serve tea/coffee station which had a small selection of sweet treats, I only had to ask and I was brought some gluten free treats. Free flowing wine and beer was served with all on board lunches and dinners. It was of a good quality and we found that we could always leave the dining room with a full glass to relax in the lounge or on the top deck if we so wished. We had $200 on board credit that we thought we'd use easily for extra drinks but found we actually spent the last couple of days working out how we cold use as, whilst the brochures all say drinks with meals only, there were lots of 'special occasions' where drinks were served before dinner. Evening entertainment whilst cruising was limited but enjoyable. In both Moscow and St Petersburg we enjoyed evenings out like Moscow Circus, choir recitals in and art gallery, ballet, evening cruises and on the ship we were entertained by a pianist each night, opera singers another night, a vodka tasting, piano recitals by one of the talented guides, and a few other fun activities that involved both crew and passengers. We found that as we had been so busy during the days, often with early starts that we weren't up for late nights of carousing anyway. We did enjoy warmly rugging up and taking a glass of wine for a stroll on the top deck after diner to watch the sun slowly sink to the horizon. The shore excursions were all amazing - interesting, insightful and some amazing places. Our guides were friendly, knowledgable and open to absolutely any questions we wanted to ask. We finished our trip in St Petersburg and pretty much had a free day on the last day. We had to be out of our cabins by 9am but were welcome to enjoy explore on our own or relax in the lounge or top deck facilities until our afternoon transfer to the airport - we did a bit of both. Would we do it again? Absolutely. I would love to return to Russia and because the tour was so richly intense, a repeat trip would still be most enjoyable. Would I do it again with Scenic? A resounding yes! We are in fact now planning our next trip with Scenic for 2017. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have wanted to see Russia for a long time so when Scenic offered the trip on the Scenic Tsar (AKA Alexander Grinn) we were delighted. We started our trip in Berlin with Scenic and had about 12 days before we got to Russia. On arriving ... Read More
We have wanted to see Russia for a long time so when Scenic offered the trip on the Scenic Tsar (AKA Alexander Grinn) we were delighted. We started our trip in Berlin with Scenic and had about 12 days before we got to Russia. On arriving at St Petersburg we were transferred to the ship for our accommodation. Embarkation was well organised and our luggage was delivered to our cabin shortly after we arrived. Trips were well organized to see the sights and every effort had been made to ensure that we were able to see all the sights, such as the Hermitage, which often became crowded before the large numbers arrived. As we have dietary issues we were asked to notify the company well in advance and the ship could not have been more helpful. The staff ensured I was informed of dishes which had ingredients I was allergic to and there was always the a la carte menu I could select from as well. When we went on excursions we were given cards which detailed my allergies and the fact that my husband was a diabetic. We only had one lunch where there was an issue on an excursion and the restaurant tried to solve the issue and ended up providing a salad. One of our group had become ill on the land part of the trip and the doctor on the ship diagnosed pneumonia. The service that the ship provided was really great with ambulance transfer to the American Hospital and one of our guides from the ship going with her and her husband to ensure all arrangements were suitable for both of them. They also went back over the next 2 days to check that all was well and to ensure that arrangements were made to transfer them home when she was well enough to travel. Cabins were comfortable and the balcony was a pleasant place to sit in the evening to watch the sunsets. Room service was unobtrusive and efficient and rooms were always spotless. All staff on board were friendly and went out of their way to make sure that every request was met. Each day there was a meeting to ensure we knew what was happening the following day and to answer questions that may have arisen. Also if problems did occur they were dealt with efficiently and without a fuss. The ship had a lift which allowed me to move around the ship quite easily and staff were always available if the gangplank was steep to assist those with limited mobility to board and exit the vessel. The range of shore excursions was varied with city life, life of the Tsars, country excursions, religious and cultural experiences and highlights for us, a ride on the Moscow Underground, a visit to the Space museum with a question and answer session with an actual cosmonaut and many visits to art galleries and collections. Cultural activities were offered on board some nights and on others we were taken to events at venues off the ship. Our only problem with these was the rude habit of other guests holding either their ipads or telephones up in the air in front of us to record the event and blocking our view. We had gone to see the concert not their electronic device! The guides from the ship (all 3) were always on the look out for any issues and when the security at the Kremlin wanted me to remove my prosthesis in my knees because they were metal this was quickly resolved by one of our guides. Our other delight was that one of the guides was a professor of art from the university who was working as a guide during the holidays and she made our tours of the various art collections an absolute joy. Her passion for the art of her country was self evident and she imparted so much knowledge to us we came home understanding so much more not only of the art but of the history of Russia as depicted in the art works. Disembarkation was interesting. We were the only people going to the new airport so a car was provided to take us there and the trip was excellent. At the airport we were met by one of the English speaking guides who took us as far as the security at the front door where he was not able to enter. He pointed out to us the counter we needed to go to for our flight and wrote down the things he thought we would need to ask or answer when we were in there. At that point he had to leave us as security do not let anyone who does not have a ticket enter the building. We got through with only one slight problem which was where to pay for the excess baggage as they would not issue the boarding pass until the fee was paid and we had no Russian and the staff generally had no English. This has been one of the most stunning trips we have done and was definitely well worth the money. I would recommend it as a wonderful cultural experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Scenic Tsar Ratings
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