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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The first cruise on Scenic was Basal to Amsterdam. We throughly enjoyed the whole trip. This time we chose to start in Amsterdam for a few days and then cruise down the Rhine and Danube ending in Budapest. Enjoyed time in Budapest post ... Read More
The first cruise on Scenic was Basal to Amsterdam. We throughly enjoyed the whole trip. This time we chose to start in Amsterdam for a few days and then cruise down the Rhine and Danube ending in Budapest. Enjoyed time in Budapest post cruise. It was the same ship and some of the same crew/staff were aboard. As usual, a fabulous trip from accommodations, food, drinks, excursions and other wonderful passengers. We will be sailing with Scenic next April as well. Starting in Porto and sailing round trip down/up the Douro. We discovered Scenic through our travel agent. It is not as well know in the US and the passengers were mostly Australian, Canadian, New Zealanders. That made for a wonderful mix of people with plenty to chat about beside the day's events. We loved that there was a choice of different excursions everyday. As well as excursions for gentle walkers, average walkers and bicycle riders. We also loved that the cruise is all inclusive. One price included everything. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first river cruise and cruise with Scenic Tours. We chose Scenic because of its inclusive pricing. It was as advertised. They didn’t even take a credit card and my final invoice was so miniscule that I could use of some ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and cruise with Scenic Tours. We chose Scenic because of its inclusive pricing. It was as advertised. They didn’t even take a credit card and my final invoice was so miniscule that I could use of some of my extra Euro change. From the very beginning this cruise line was a class act. They greeted us at the airport and transferred us to our hotel in Amsterdam like VIP’s. Our stay at the hotel was excellent and our transfer to the ship was handled professionally. We waited only a short time for our cabin to be ready. While we were just starting to unpack our butler, Antonio, visited us and explained the cabin and the services he would/could provide during our cruise. I mentioned that the minibar included only one bottle of the liquor we drink and would it possible to make it two. He made it four and every night that we used the minibar it was replenished throughout the trip. One evening I went to the bar to get some ice and was reminded by the front desk person that I could call the butler to have the ice delivered. The food was very good. Each day we had a choice of a light breakfast and lunch served in the River Lounge. A fuller breakfast and lunch were served, as well, in the main dining room. We preferred the lighter option and each day it was a little different. I complement the chef on his soups. They were some of the best soups either of us has eaten – and they were served hot which sometimes does not happen. Each evening dinner in the Crystal Dining Room included several selections of the day as well as a list of entrees that one could select from if the evening’s selections were not to one’s liking. The only criticism I have of the food is the desserts were more often than not dry or lacked good execution. They said they were made fresh onboard but it didn’t seem that way to us. Wine service at lunch and dinner were generous. However, there was one selection – red or white chosen each evening to represent the location of our ship that day. But if you like the wine from the day before it was impossible to order a bottle for the table. The bar staff were friendly and warmed up to us right away. Two or three nights into our cruise they knew our drink preferences and in some cases had the drinks underway before we sat down. In particular, Sandy did a wonderful job and made our time enjoyable. Coffee, water, beer, wine, alcohol, soft drinks etc. were easily available at any time of the day. It was nice to have a cocktail before dinner without wondering how much it cost and how many you might drink over the course of 15 nights. The cruise director, Hunor did a masterful job of keeping the evening’s fun and the daytime excursions right on time. The only delay in an excursion was the last day in Budapest due to the Budapest Marathon – and that was no fault of Scenic. Even after getting started on the excursion more than an hour late none of us felt like they cut corners on their promised itinerary. Every thing ran like clock work. As far as the excursions, we felt they were excellent. There were some better than others but only because of our personal taste. Scenic offers “enrich” experiences and these experiences were wonderful. Our day trip to Salzburg ended with lunch and a “Sound of Music” performance that were no less than perfect. Our evening at the Palais Lichtenstein in Vienna was a beautiful evening with a very professional concert of music, dance and voice. We could not have been happier with our choices. For the most part the local guides were informative and helpful and our transportation was first class. One of the great surprises to us was at the end of the cruise. We had made our own arrangements for a post cruise trip to Prague. I fully expected that Scenic would say good-bye to us at the door of the ship and we’d be on our own. But this was not the case. Hunor arranged a taxi for us, Scenic picked up our luggage and delivered it to the car and Hunor accompanied us to the taxi so that he knew we were settled and had an agreed upon cost for the trip to the train station. It was first class service. I cannot say enough about Scenic Cruise lines. We would use them again without reservation. They deliver on their luxury cruise advertisements and their promise to be all-inclusive. Having said all of this, we did feel that the cruise survey process could be improved. The Scenic Cruise survey was only available while on the ship the last day – not a bad idea to be sure people actually fill out the survey. However, the Wi-Fi that day in Budapest was spotty at best and trying to get online was nearly impossible and if you did score a connection the survey took forever to load. We gave up and we weren’t the only ones. If you are considering a European River Cruise I would recommend you strongly consider Scenic Cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This has been the most disappointing holiday that we have participated in. This was our first river cruise where we travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest. We wanted to try something different. Despite that we got to briefly visit some ... Read More
This has been the most disappointing holiday that we have participated in. This was our first river cruise where we travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest. We wanted to try something different. Despite that we got to briefly visit some incredible places however the longer the cruise went on the more disappointed we became with the overall process. I guess most of the disappointment results from the perception created by marketing versus the reality that is delivered. River cruising is as close as you get to a coach tour through Europe. To that end have chosen to write a list of what they don’t tell you in the brochure/online’: 1. The cruise company claims to offer a ‘choice of airlines’. Our experience was that our first leg of our trip was on the airline of our choice and then the second and third on Swiss Airlines. The explanation was that Scenic has a relationship with Swiss Air. Swiss Air are not as bad as American Airlines but they are not to the standard that we enjoy in our part of the world. While our trip up was fine, our trip home was nothing short of traumatising on Swiss Air instead of our chosen airline (see below) 2. The entire travel experience is a cookie cutter, pressure cooker, production line trip which means if you move outside the programme the production line stops working. We opted to spend two extra nights up front in Amsterdam and two after in Budapest. Because of this, Scenic were not interested in airport transfers or transfers to/from the boat despite using their recommended hotels and despite what they say in their advertising. 3. Our welcome aboard was easy, fast and professional. All the staff onboard are exceptional, second to none and the service is a lot more personal than on large ships. Marina, our butler was awesome. 4. First impressions are the ship is smart, clean and slick and as the trip progressed and as we passed a huge number of other riverboats, I felt we were on one of the best ones on the river. Our cabin was everything we expected and more with both a balcony and slide down window in the lounge part. It became a haven to escape to away from the one public lounge/bar onboard. Probably the only slightly weak point on our ship when compared to others passing was that the top deck is a bit spartan however it could not be used a large part of the trip as it was closed and folded down so we could fit under low bridges. 5. The cross section of people in marketing photos does not really reflect the people who actually river cruise. The process is more geared to older travellers, inexperienced travellers and people who seem obsessed with meeting new friends. Everything onboard has been designed exclusively for these groups. There were a few couples onboard, including ourselves who were obviously uncomfortable or disappointed with this Hi de Hi, over familiar ‘get to know you’ type vibe. 6. There are sing-a-longs to old songs I did not know the words to. 7. It is not possible to get to breakfast without at least 30 fellow passengers and staff saying Good Morning along with more at the breakfast buffet. The surrounding chatter at breakfast consists of, have you cruised before, how did you sleep, health issues and on two mornings, an in-depth discussion about bowel movements. 8. There is a ‘Port Talk’ every night in the main lounge 15 minutes before dinner which outlines the upcoming day. They cover docking times, what excursions take which bus at what times, an overview of each excursion happening the next day, how many steps are involved in an excursion or if there is an elevator alternative, if there is any uneven surfaces or inclines involved, how far you will be from a souvenir shop, times between food. They finish with waiters bringing mock-ups of the main courses through the room so that there are no surprises with what their dinner option is going to look like that they order 30 minutes later in the main dining room. During dinner a brief summary of Port Talk is left in your room. 9. Disappointingly there are some excursions where photography is not allowed. You are not told until you disembark the bus to begin you excursion where you will be offered an apology and thanked for your understanding. In my world that does not cut it. It is not like anything there was up to Versailles or The Louvre standard where you are allowed to take photographs. 10. Unlike musical entertainment in the Crystal Lounge, Port Talk in the same Lounge is not broadcast on the television in your cabin to ensure that if you want any information about the following day you are forced to sit and mix with fellow passengers. 11. Dinner takes two hours every night regardless of how fast you eat or if you are first or last into the dining room. There are four tables for two people that are close to the next table to ensure you cannot be left alone if you chose a table for two. 12. There are a lot of busses involved. The format of the fortnight makes it feel like bus touring without the need to unpack and pack everyday as your floating hotel room moves with you however like a bus tour you need to be up early each morning for breakfast (with the exception of two) and then ready to set off on a bus for your chosen excursion. 13. The excursion guides are very knowledgeable and excellent without exception. 14. The first thing after arriving at any excursion is a protracted group toilet break. At times the excursions move at snail’s pace, particularly around shops and souvenir shops, stopping every 40 or fifty steps for a story while people catch their breath while at some attractions, neck snapping speed with barely enough time to take photographs where allowed, ensuring little time for any free time in any of the towns. Free-choice are marketing buzzwords as the excursions are anything but. They are hightly structured with little or no opportunity to explore by yourself. 15. Everybody on the boat gossips. Something said at dinner is back to you at breakfast from a complete stranger. Twice. 16. There are a lot of Australians onboard who are not backward in coming forward on their feelings about gay people. This is not really a holiday or environment that works well for gay couples. 17. Despite the perception created prior to the trip, there is no local cuisine. The food onboard is stunning but mainstream and non-offensive. 18. I had imagined from reading the marketing collateral that when the boat docked you could simply disembark and stroll a short distance into town. River cruising has become so crowded that in most cases the boat docks along with a multitudes of others in custom built docks which are a bus ride from town. The crew became quite ‘excited’ when we docked 2 hours early and we suggested we would walk the 3.5 kms into town. 19. There is little or no time to wander off. The ship docks, everyone piles onto their buses for their excursion and upon their return the boat sails again. There is little time for your own exploring. 20. Very few onboard care about maximising their time in each port and are happy to achieve one attraction per stop or alternatively settle for a drive around the town that takes in most highlights as viewed through a tour bus window before returning to the ship. We quickly learned to avoid these rest-home styled outings. 21. There is WIFI onboard which works some of the time but slowly. Any travel sites that would be helpful to plan your own excursion the following day when the schedule is suddenly changed are blocked. 22. By and large the excursions and port stops are in heavily touristed towns and villages full of other tour groups, tourists, souvenir shops and tourist traps. 23. Marketing warns you that from time to time you will be docked alongside another boat which you will walk over or through to get to the dock. I didn’t stop to think that this would also mean we could not use our balcony and had to close our curtains for long periods of time as our room looked directly into another a metre away on the next boat and theirs into ours. 24. The limited numbers, behind the scenes excursion to The Vienna Riding School turned out to be a tour bus full of fellow travellers who were given the same tour that the public could buy. We were the first to register our interest in tickets to a performance at the school and purchased the premium tickets that resulted in probably the worst seats in the theatre where you could not see much of the show. Given this was the main reason for choosing this itinerary and company, I was gutted. 25. You are on your own. Heading home, our evening flight to Zurich was cancelled three hours after we were due to depart. Scenic advised us to deal directly with Swiss Air who gave us a bottle of water and a bed directly on the marble floor of the Budapest Airport departure hall where there are no shops or vending machines to buy food and drinks In summary, the boat is better than most we saw on the river and there are masses of them. The staff are fabulous, fun, and professional. However, river cruising in Europe has become crowded and become a formula type holiday, one step up from a bus tour. It certainly delivered a different reality that the perception created by marketing. I don’t think I am old enough to appreciate the style of travel that European River cruising offers and need a lot more from my vacations and I certainly do not expect to be sleeping on old marble airport floors. Won’t be trying river cruising again anytime soon. Hugely disappointing with a traumatising finale. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This cruise was recommended by a friend and it was top notch. The cabin (double) was comfortable with a small balcony with seating for two. Not only the cabin, but the entire ship was well maintained by staff. The meals very ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by a friend and it was top notch. The cabin (double) was comfortable with a small balcony with seating for two. Not only the cabin, but the entire ship was well maintained by staff. The meals very good with lots of variety and choices. The entertainment was very good from current popular music to classical music and some comedy. The ports of call and shore excursions were very well organized, always timed well and all interesting. The staff, without exception, were pleasant, responsive and knowledgeable. The cruise director deserves special mention. She oversaw most everything, gave clear and precise daily briefings, displayed a lovely sense of humour and could answer virtually any question posed to her. The only thing I would have wished for, was a slightly bigger and better equipped fitness room. Fortunately the weather was exceptionally good and exercising by walking regularly on the deck was the primary outlet for fitness. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the duration of the trip. We chose Scenic after considerable research, because of the quality of the ship, the relaxed opportunities for meals, the services provided and of course the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the duration of the trip. We chose Scenic after considerable research, because of the quality of the ship, the relaxed opportunities for meals, the services provided and of course the experiences shared by other cruisers with Scenic. Our biggest concern was whether or not there would be fellow travellers on the cruise with us around our age. I would have to say that we weren't in the majority however at least 40 percent of the cruisers were around our age (60). The staff do a great job accommodating all age groups. The quality of the food service onboard was excellent! The local guides used for the excursions were very knowledgeable and most were entertaining, not just blurting out dates and history lessons. There was a great deal of flexibility in the excursions offered in port and on the ship. I would not hesitate booking another cruise with Scenic in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our second river cruise and chose Scenic because of all the FreeChoice options for excursions. The ship was incredibly clean and the entire staff was fabulous. It was an extremely well organized trip in large part due to the tour ... Read More
This was our second river cruise and chose Scenic because of all the FreeChoice options for excursions. The ship was incredibly clean and the entire staff was fabulous. It was an extremely well organized trip in large part due to the tour director, Szilvia. She was outstanding. The tours were wonderful, although a bit smaller groups would have been better. All the guides were well informed and most interesting. Possible ideas for additional tours might include a car manufacturing facility or a lock tour. The tours on board (galley & Q&A session with chief engineer) were also very interesting. There was ample food and great variety. There were always choices and we appreciated the availability of fresh fruit every day. Suggestion - staff's name badges could have slightly larger print. They were not always easy to read. A very top notch tour company! We definitely would recommend it to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Scenic seems to be the closest to "all inclusive". Everything was included, no tipping, top rated liquor, high end toiletries and linens, excellent food. The trip was amazing. The only thing I would change is have less of ... Read More
Scenic seems to be the closest to "all inclusive". Everything was included, no tipping, top rated liquor, high end toiletries and linens, excellent food. The trip was amazing. The only thing I would change is have less of The Netherlands and more of Belgium. The day trip to Bruges was too short (1.5 hours). I would have like to spend most of the day there. The e-bikes were a great addition. I liked that there were various excursions based on mobility/fitness so that everyone had something to do. There was something to see every day and if you didn't want to join the excursions, the views from the ship were terrific - lots of castles and wineries. The cabin was small but that was expected. The balcony helped make it seem larger. I didn't use the butler service but it was available if needed. I have special food requirements and this was handled so well by the chef that it exceeded my expectations. There was a lot of variety for the breakfast and lunch buffets and the 4 course dinners were outstanding. Regional wines were also served, a different one each night. There were a couple of nights of entertainment that were a lot of fun, but mostly it was just piano music with all hits reduced to the same tempo, so kind of boring. I would suggest adding a trivia night for some fun. The attentive staff was always ready to provide whatever you needed and did so with a smile. The average guest age was a bit higher than ours, so I think the next couple of trips we will plan on our own and give river cruising another try in a few years. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
First time of sailing with Scenic and definitely not the last. From the moment we stepped on board we were welcomed by cheerful m friendly and, as it turned out, very hard working crew. Suites well appointed and maintained although a ... Read More
First time of sailing with Scenic and definitely not the last. From the moment we stepped on board we were welcomed by cheerful m friendly and, as it turned out, very hard working crew. Suites well appointed and maintained although a tad on the small side. This is not a real problem. We were on Diamond Deck. Food and wines were good. The arranged excursions were very well planned and organised with plenty of choices for each excursion. Evening entertainment was varied and local. The provision of electric bikes and the very accessible cycle lanes alongside the rivers made for a very pleasant experience and the opportunity to experience the countryside and local wildlife. Also a wonderful way to exercise and help keep off the weight! We have already booked another cruise. SO much better than a sea cruise with always something to look at as you cruise down the river. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We loved Scenic because their balconies offered an automatic glass window that you could raise to lower to expand the bedroom space and allow us to enjoy the river scenery. They also offered multiple choices of excursions each day and all ... Read More
We loved Scenic because their balconies offered an automatic glass window that you could raise to lower to expand the bedroom space and allow us to enjoy the river scenery. They also offered multiple choices of excursions each day and all were included. The tailor made devices were cumbersome to use on the tours but here helpful to point our sites while on the river. The staff were superb and the food choices were fabulous. The cruise director was exceptional at accommodating any request by guests and ensure we all had a fabulous experience. We loved starting in Budapest and cruising to Amsterdam so the 68 lift locks came first then we had an easier cruise into Holland. We had great weather --22-28 degrees. The water was low but we only were stuck in the mud at one point when we moved to the side of the Rhine to let another river cruise ship go by. There were days when we had to close the sun deck as the the clearance to the bridges was so tight. The concert in Palace Lichenstein in Vienna and the Sounds of Music in Salzberg were highlights as was the Sundown evening in Aggstein Castle. Dining was open and earliest you could have dinner was 7:00pm. But after the excursions and the pre-dinner entetrainment eg. violinist, string quartet etc. made it seem not so late to eat. The gym was small and had only 2 bicycles but we made do. I would love to do another Scenic cruise SOME DAY! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Our travel agent recommended this cruise. Scenic does not promote their cruises well in North America. Most of the passengers were Australians who were very friendly and fun. We had a a junior suite. Nice sized room and very ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise. Scenic does not promote their cruises well in North America. Most of the passengers were Australians who were very friendly and fun. We had a a junior suite. Nice sized room and very coveniently located to the ships amenities. We are non-smokers and our cabin was located just above the smoking section above the main doors. We could not use our balcony most of the time. They need to relocate the smoking section elsewhere on the ship. The wine offered with meals was either white or red. Wines offered were mediocre however there were some other better choices on the menu. The crew and servers were outstanding. The excursions were well organized and on time time. The excursions were outstanding and fun. First class all the way. The food in the Portabello's restaurant was excellent. The food was typical cruise cuisine. Good variety. We thought that the meat proteins were marginal at the lunch buffet. Our room was clean and very comfortable. One passenger passed the flu bug on to most of the passengers. The cruise industry needs to do a better job quarantining sick passengers. It was a great cruise even though most of the passengers were sick near the end of the cruise. The cruise director was outstanding. This was one of the best cruises ever for us. The Rhine Gorge was spectacular. We would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment. We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board. A poor start when ... Read More
The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment. We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board. A poor start when we were not met at the airport by the Scenic person. There were large signs for Avalon and Viking, but not for Scenic. Eventually, a lady turned up, after a wait and some worrying on our behalf. The opposite occurred regarding our crowding expectation. With only one bar/ lounge and two dining rooms (Scenic claims a third, but its a table in the main dining room) and a rooftop area that is off limits a lot of the time due to bridges, we found we were always in a crowd. The other travellers were very nice. The food was fine, the drinks plentiful. The scenery was great, as were the locations from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cycling was a personal highlight! Most of our time was on a tight schedule, which was not relaxing. The excursions left little time for our own exploring. There was an evening update of the activities for the following day - the Tour Director's routine/ patter became tiresome - following this we were off to dinner, where you could not book a table in advance. Much better on the big ships! The entertainment, such as it was, was OK, but not a patch on the big ocean going ships. Again, the small bar/lounge area meant it was a big crowd when most people turned up for a show. Our room , on the Diamond Deck, was very small and the balcony was not private; we could hear what our neighbours were saying or doing. The shower controller fell off and the window could only be closed if I physically assisted by pushing it up as well as using the control. The maintenance man fixed it once but it quickly failed again. He fixed the shower and it was OK for the rest of the trip. On balance, we would not recommend a river cruise with Scenic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
My sister in law and I have just returned from a cruise Amsterdam to Budapest (August 2017). What an experience. . Food was fantastic, staff were fantastic, my cabin 302 was a bit noisy being the closest to the public areas, and with the ... Read More
My sister in law and I have just returned from a cruise Amsterdam to Budapest (August 2017). What an experience. . Food was fantastic, staff were fantastic, my cabin 302 was a bit noisy being the closest to the public areas, and with the crew doing what had to be done as in fueling up, loading fresh produce etc. and then the night time discos where they closed the door, but then it kept banging every time somebody came through to the cabins. Milos was our butler, a fabulous guy but we could see just how busy all the staff were and we chose not to use him much knowing he had so many other duties to fulfill. You could not choose a bad excursion as they were all wonderful choices. Fortunately we were able to see the Andalusian horses in Vienna. My most favourite stop would be Rudesheim, This is what we envisaged the small villages would be like. A fabulous little town and here we did a lot of shopping. Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum was wonderful but due to the rain we did not do the Niederwald Cable Car ride. If I could suggest anything it would be in Vienna after the concert, to bus back via all the lovely old buildings and statues with the lights shining on them. This would have finished a wonderful night, beautifully. Another suggestion would be to not have to bus 21/2 hours to the castle. Although seeing the countryside was wonderful, I would rather have been able to berth much closer and spend more time in villages such as Rudesheim. Also If we could have paused and disembarked the bus to take photos on our way up the mountain to the Sound of Music Concert would have been fantastic. The countryside and mountains were spectacular. These are not complaints, just suggestions I felt would have made the experience just that much better. But all in all it was a fantastic experience. I would highly recommend to anybody considering doing a cruise. Funnily enough we had a variety of very knowledgeable guides. A kiwi, a scotsman, and an American included. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My family and I had our first experience on Scenic cruises and we simply could not fault any part of our experience. We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest in August 2017 and for our first time on any cruise ship, it was fantastic. The ship ... Read More
My family and I had our first experience on Scenic cruises and we simply could not fault any part of our experience. We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest in August 2017 and for our first time on any cruise ship, it was fantastic. The ship itself was beautiful, with three floors including the top deck, plenty of room and incredible glass panel windows on both sides. We had booked a royal suit cabin which came with butler services, laundry service, a mini fridge, wine and snacks, a safe, tv with wifi, a bath and shower, fruit selection and cookie jar, an incredibly comfy adjustable double bed and a balcony with two chairs, a table and an electronically controlled window. The rooms were luxurious and well sound proofed and everything was very accessible and uncomplicated to work. Our butler, Milos, was absolutely wonderful and although we did not require his services that much, we appreciated his presence and it was a comfort to us to know that he was around if we needed. The whole staff on the cruise ship were fantastic. Our cruise director, Werny, was constantly on his toes and made sure that every single person was catered for. We had a nightmare with our luggage getting lost in between London to Amsterdam with some very important medication and from the minute we arrived on the ship, Werny did everything he could to track down the cases, calling British Airways every 10 minutes and he eventually stayed behind in port one day and met us in Germany to see if he could get the cases himself. I honestly believe that without his help and reassurance we would not have had such a good time. The rest of the staff were wonderful. They always had a smile, were ready to help at any time and treated us to excellent service throughout our trip. We were able to get to know quite a few of the staff members which was lovely too. The food on the ship was very varied and followed thematically depending on the country we were in. The food was absolutely delicious and the chef and staff were eager to help in terms of allergies and intolerances. There was an excellent resident musician on board (who did everything from light background music to brilliant disco nights) and we were also treated to some other musical performances on board including a string quartet, a traditional zither player, Hungarian folk dancers, a tap dancer and an electric violinist. Our excursions were so well planed and we received a daily itinerary every day and would choose our options with the help of our director. There were coaches to take us to our destinations, tailor made GPS systems with which you could also listen to the guide through an earpiece. Our guides were absolutely fantastic, very charming and knowledgeable and completely catered to each group's needs. We could not fault the guides at all. My family and I have said that we would 100% travel again with Scenic cruises and will really miss the countries we visited, the people on board and of course the fabulous staff. Tell all your friends to try Scenic Cruises! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
I did lots of research before deciding on Scenic for our Budapest - Amsterdam cruise. Yes, Scenic LOOKED expensive, but when compared with other cruise lines and taking into consideration all of the inclusions, we decided that it was quite ... Read More
I did lots of research before deciding on Scenic for our Budapest - Amsterdam cruise. Yes, Scenic LOOKED expensive, but when compared with other cruise lines and taking into consideration all of the inclusions, we decided that it was quite reasonable ,especially as economy flights were included. From the moment we arrived in the departure hall at Budapest airport everything went as smooth as silk; we were taken straight to "Pearl" and greeted warmly by the crew and introduced to our butler, Andre. Our cabin was ready so straight in to unpack. We had chosen the lower deck as we felt that we wouldn't be spending too much time there and we were right. It wasn't huge, but gee I was so impressed with the amount of storage space and even more than enough coat hangers! The bed was so comfy, everything was spotlessly clean and the bathroom was well equipped with lots of L'Occitaine goodies. Food. Well, what can I say but YUUUUM!!! Firstly breakfast - full buffet with everything you could want, but if you fancied something not there, like eggs benedict perhaps? No problem, chef will do it for you. Moet was there if you wanted it. Full buffet at lunchtime (if you have room after brekkie) often with local specialty dishes and attentive wait staff the whole time. If a light lunch was your preference, there was always something new on offer in the lounge - usually one or two hot dishes with tapas or salads, sandwiches etc. Dinner was fine dining all the way with lots of choices and never was a main course repeated in the 15 days we were aboard. Suggested wines were there but there was also an extensive list available. I just wish that some of the passengers had made an effort to dress nicely for dinner - shorts and thongs are not really appropriate for silver service. Oh yes, and because the galley is so tiny it is vital that you arrive on time for dinner (usually 7.30) so that the courses can be co-ordinated. We had a tour of the galley, hosted by chef Budi, and I have no idea how they manage to produce so much wonderful food in such confined space! Excursions ashore were wonderful. The local guides were very knowledgeable and some were better than others of course in their ability to make the places come alive. The only criticism I have here is that some of them refused to wear their headsets as they are meant to be worn - on their head! Instead they would wear them slung around the neck, which meant that every time they turned their head the microphone was nowhere near their mouth. Being Scenic, there were several exclusive excursions which made us feel special. The service on board was spectacular, from the guys who cleaned the cabins and left chocolates on our pillows every night, topped up the mini-bar etc etc, to the butlers who were available at all times, the wait staff were LOVELY (would have liked to take a few of them home with me!) - so attentive, polite without being stuffy, friendly, knowledgeable of every dish and wines. Special mention to the tour director, Szilvia from Budapest. So friendly, helpful and displayed a wide knowledge of each destination. On several nights either before or after dinner, they brought local entertainers on board for an hour or so after which there was a pianist Roberto to entertain for a few hours. Would definitely love to do another river cruise some time soon and will certainly be with Scenic! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first river cruise, following a couple of ocean cruises. Basically the cruise is 14 'city' tours with some short interludes on board to refresh yourself. Scenic ensured we were met at the airport and quickly ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, following a couple of ocean cruises. Basically the cruise is 14 'city' tours with some short interludes on board to refresh yourself. Scenic ensured we were met at the airport and quickly moved to the ship, six of us shared a posh mini bus. Suitcases were again quickly moved into the cabin and we could star the holiday straight away following a bite to eat and straight into Amsterdam. The itinerary had very few disappointments The ones that stood out were the lack of organisation in Cologne when it was raining heavily, standing around waiting for the guides to get sorted. The other disappointment was the sundowner after Melk. The only alcohol on offer was a litre of white wine, no red nor no beer. The entertainers tried their best and it was a reasonably good sing along. The food was ok but was quickly attracting both flies and wasps. However the rest of the experiences were really enjoyable, as long as you are happy to join in. At least with a passenger list of about 150 everyone seemed at least to recognise their fellow passengers. Cabin was kept clean, quite small but functional, didn't spend a great deal of time in there anyway. Food good but not exceptional, some passengers felt the need to order double portions on occasions although you could have a 5 course meal every night should you choose. Staff tried hard but particularly on an evening waiter service for drinks could be slow. No lighting on the top deck became a bit of an issue as we liked to sit out after dinner and enjoy the evening and watching the sunsets. Overall a very enjoyable trip. Good to mix with Aussies, Canadians and Americans, Brits a definite minority here. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
This is my second Scenic Cruise. I love that everything is inclusive and no hidden costs. The Airfares were subsidised and had transfers to and from Airport. This meant hassel free all the way. All the meals were exceptional. I looked ... Read More
This is my second Scenic Cruise. I love that everything is inclusive and no hidden costs. The Airfares were subsidised and had transfers to and from Airport. This meant hassel free all the way. All the meals were exceptional. I looked forward each evening to the wonderful choice we had to choose from. It was like being in a top restaurant every night with beautiful wines to match the meal each time. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and a lot of fun. Our wine waiters had a lot of knowlege of the wines for the evening. All the tours were planned well and we got to see some wonderful places. The scenery all the way was wonderful and being able to go for bike rides in free time while docked was great fun on the E bikes. We were also lucky we had amazing weather so making use of the top deck in the evenings while we cruised along with a lovely night cap in had to finish the day was very memorable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we read good reviews of Scenic and our travel agent spoke positively about it. We also like the all-inclusive policy. Our expectations were met and exceeded. From the time we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we read good reviews of Scenic and our travel agent spoke positively about it. We also like the all-inclusive policy. Our expectations were met and exceeded. From the time we were picked up at the Amsterdam airport to the time we dropped off at the Budapest airport, service could not have been better. The entire cruise staff was attentive and professional. Excursions were well planned and, unlike some ocean cruises we have been on, you could always get your first choice of excursions. Special events were indeed special, often including themed meals and entertainment in a local setting. The food presentations were always attractive and the regional wines included with meals were of high quality. On-board entertainment was usually related to the area we were in and always well done. Unlike some ocean cruises we have been on, "all-inclusive" really does mean all-inclusive, including tips for local guides (although we did some supplementary tipping for special services). Shore excursions were well organized and interesting, and during some of them the ship would drop us off and then pass through a few locks (a slow process and boring after the first few) and pick us up downstream, so we used time efficiently. I can think of only two minor negatives. (1) The gym was disappointing, with only two bicycles, but it turned out that we had enough activity without the gym, and the ship had power-assisted bicycles for guest use on land. (2) Some of the food was too salty for my taste, but this is an individual thing. We would certainly cruise with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Carried out extensive research on the Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise with all the major companies and Scenic came out ahead for our requirements. We opted for one of the Royal Balcony Suites and were not disappointed, the extra lounge ... Read More
Carried out extensive research on the Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise with all the major companies and Scenic came out ahead for our requirements. We opted for one of the Royal Balcony Suites and were not disappointed, the extra lounge area was lovely to sit by the lower-able window and watch the world go by with a glass of champagne. The itinerary was well organised with various options to most tours along the way. If you did not wish to go on a tour you simply stayed on the ship. The organisation of the tours was superb and catered for the different walking/fitness abilities of the passengers. There were so many highlights that I cannot begin to tell them all but sitting on the upper deck on the Rhine River watching all the Castles, Church's and towns come into view was amazing. The catering was very good considering the limited size of the kitchen and regional wines were served along the way. All the staff are very eager to please you and do so with a big smile. If I go on another River Cruise I would have no hesitation to choose Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose because we had travelled with Scenic in Australia and had a memorable holiday with great Freechoice etc. Did not explore departure city because our flight was delayed but not a major problem because we had been to Amsterdam thrice ... Read More
Chose because we had travelled with Scenic in Australia and had a memorable holiday with great Freechoice etc. Did not explore departure city because our flight was delayed but not a major problem because we had been to Amsterdam thrice before. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone smoother. Everything was done for us. Ship was of the highest class and our cabin had everything you could want including a balcony which coud be in the open air or enclosed. The food was wide in choice and local and of a very high standard. the entertainment both on the ship and on shore was carefully chosen and again high class. the service was superb. All the staff were friendly, smiley and left nothing to chance. the excursions were well supported by guides but the only downside was that they were often too short to explore the town. There were no children on the cruise. I would have to think carefully about another cruise - I found some of the co-passengers noisy and overbearing. I would look for a largely British clientele if I went again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Friend's recommendation and our own previous Scenic experience. The places visited all seemed good choices based on our research and previous travel experiences. We knew the Scenic enrich choices would be worthwhile and the standard ... Read More
Friend's recommendation and our own previous Scenic experience. The places visited all seemed good choices based on our research and previous travel experiences. We knew the Scenic enrich choices would be worthwhile and the standard of accommodation, food and drinks of the highest standard. I chose this cruise as a 70th birthday present for my husband although his actual birthday was in April. April is a bit early for this trip hence our June travel date. We had a suite on Diamond deck (A335) which was lovely but there was considerable engine noise and vibration at times. I know the river levels were low in the first week of the cruise which may have been a factor but I wore ear plugs every night we were sailing. The staff on the boat were all great particularly the cruise director and our butler, Marina. Everyone worked extremely hard and always with a smile. The entertainment was varied and complimented our destinations. Our ports and shore excursions were good combining guided elements with free time. The tailor made devices are a great idea but ours were bulky and the battery life limited. I noticed other travellers in our ports had smaller devices. We had a lovely holiday and hope to travel with Scenic in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We have been on 4 other Scenic cruises and 4 Scenic tours so we have been impressed with the quality and content of the cruises and the overall organisation of cruises.The staff in Manchester are excellent and very helpful in organising ... Read More
We have been on 4 other Scenic cruises and 4 Scenic tours so we have been impressed with the quality and content of the cruises and the overall organisation of cruises.The staff in Manchester are excellent and very helpful in organising assistance for my wife at Schipol Airport. The Senic Pearl was up to the usual high standard of Scenic.Both the crew and the various other Scenic personel particularly the Tour Manager,Nikola, were both friendly and efficient.The waiting staff in the restaurants were both frindly & efficient and we were impressed with the quality of the wines served with meals. The cabin was up to the usual high standard as was food on offer in both eating places.The entertainment was of a high standard as were the onshore excursions.Particularly the concert in Vienna and the onboard entertainment ie string quartet,violinist, and zither player. Again we were so impressed that we have booked another cruise on the River Seine in 2018. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We explored the embarkation port before we sailed. Embarkation and disembarkation both very smooth. Cabin smaller than expected but very well appointed. Staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. The choice of ... Read More
We explored the embarkation port before we sailed. Embarkation and disembarkation both very smooth. Cabin smaller than expected but very well appointed. Staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. The choice of excursions was excellent Although we had visited Budapest and Vienna before we still found new and interesting places to visit. e.g. the hospital in the caves in Budapest. Amsterdam however had nothing new to offer. As we travelled through Austria and Bavaria besides historic towns we enjoyed the charming villages on our excursions. We sampled every kind of sausage and beer in Austria and visited every Christmas shop. We may need to have two Christmas trees this year. Perhaps the highlight was the champagne reception and orchestral evening in Vienna - wonderful music singing and ballet in splendid surroundings. We would travel with Scenic in the future and will certainly recommend the company to family and friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose Scenic for this holiday on the recommendation of friends and comments on the reviews. We were not disappointed. The Scenic package we picked up from our travel agent was so well organized it was a sign of what was to come - the ... Read More
We chose Scenic for this holiday on the recommendation of friends and comments on the reviews. We were not disappointed. The Scenic package we picked up from our travel agent was so well organized it was a sign of what was to come - the flights, transfers, hotel accommodation and cruise all flowed smoothly. The organization and service by staff - cabin, butler, bar, dining and ship was always friendly and attentive. The food was excellent- the quality and variety at each meal made choices difficult. It was nice to have all beverages and alcohol included, a glass of wine while cruising the river in the afternoon, a drink before dinner etc. The organization of cabins in the small space was most efficient. Tours were interesting and informative - the Taylormade system made it easy to listen to the information being presented by the guide or know what you were seeing as you sailed the rivers. The local guides were excellent, very knowledgable and enthusiastic about the sites they were sharing with us. The local wines, menu items, and entertainment reflective of the area added to the regional flavour. The enrichment activities- Vienna concert, Sounds of Music concert, Oktoberfest, castle dinner, were all very special and memorable events. All combined to make this a most enjoyable holiday. As everything was included in the trip price before leaving home, the only other money spent was on local specialty coffees on our free time or souvenirs to bring home. I definitely recommend Scenic for the all inclusive value and experience and look forward to another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Had always wanted to do a European river cruise. Daughter's travel agent recommended this cruise company. They are certainly well organized and deliver a good experience. On the positive side: - Staff are attentive and work ... Read More
Had always wanted to do a European river cruise. Daughter's travel agent recommended this cruise company. They are certainly well organized and deliver a good experience. On the positive side: - Staff are attentive and work hard to serve. - The cruise director (Sylvie Magyar) was excellent. Very well organized. A real pro. - Facilities by and large are first class. - Tours, entertainment and events are sophisticated. - Having daily news for the countries represented was great. - Having dedicated buses following the latter part of the tour was great. On the negative side: - Very disappointed that evening meals for the most part were international without a local cuisine. When that was presented, the guests overwhelmingly chose that 135 of 151. - Some (not all) senior staff were unwilling/unable to deal with errors that the company made. One involved cabin safety and the other over-charging. Neither was adequatley addressed. - Rules are inflexible. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose Scenic based on a recommendation from a friend and then doing a thorough analysis. Since it was our first river cruise, I wanted to explore all the options. We wanted to see the tulips in Holland and having never been to Hungary, ... Read More
I chose Scenic based on a recommendation from a friend and then doing a thorough analysis. Since it was our first river cruise, I wanted to explore all the options. We wanted to see the tulips in Holland and having never been to Hungary, our choice was the Amsterdam to Budapest Jewels of Europe. I compared other cruise lines offerings for this route and found that Scenic was really all inclusive. We went in a day early and did a private tour of Keukenhof gardens and Amsterdam- well worth it. My husband had recently been diagnosed with Celiac so this was our first gluten (or anything) free adventure. They worked with him for each meal giving him the menu early and marking which options could be made without gluten. No matter where we sat in the dining room they brought him his special bread, muffin or dessert. We enjoyed the regional meals as we moved down the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. The service was excellent. We had a slight delay in receiving our laundry (included) but that was truly the only hiccup. Dancing at night in the lounge with our Australian and British shipmates was a lot of fun. Enjoying a glass of wine on the sun deck was also so relaxing. The tours are great and you can usually walk back to the ship from town on your own. Just remember where it is parked! Thee are a ton of white flat river cruise boats and the do look alike. Many of the tours are walking tours although there are options. E-Bikes are available too but sign up early if you want one - there are a limited number. For a 15 days cruise we walked 85 miles according to my fitbit - which was good, considering how often they feed you! For Vienna and Budapest they had shuttle buses that ran back to the ship all afternoon. We were lucky and had only 1 afternoon of rain which we enjoyed in a local cafe people watching. We truly enjoyed this trip. We got to know almost all of the staff and the majority of the other passengers which would never happen on a mega ocean cruise. Read Less
Scenic Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 2.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 N/A

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