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Sail Date: August 2019
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best ... Read More
I’m so pleased I chose the Danube to introduce me to river cruising! Climate changes are affecting river levels and we were unable to cruise the section from Nuremberg to Passau, which was disappointing but Scenic did their absolute best to keep us happy!! We were bused to Passau and there we docked for 3 nights. To see the tours we had scheduled we had to be bused anywhere from 2-3 hours which was tiring - decisions to skip out on tours were made so as not to get overtired. The sights were astounding and the guides knowledgeable. The audio system was inconsistent and needs to be streamlined. I especially enjoyed cruising on the Danube. The Pearl was beautifully maintained. Clean, modern. Meals were delicious. Lots of options. Well displayed. I thought perhaps there could have been an earlier seating for those who didn’t do tours - at times it was a long wait for dinner as late as 7:30 to wait for the buses to return. All staff I found professional and attentive. Vienna was astounding and I would only ask that the cruise stay an extra day there! Our cruise director was terrific! 5 star service! She explained everything well. Always available for questions. This won’t be my last river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The ... Read More
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The Cruise Director, Andreea was a real trooper handling everything that came up with grace and excellence. The stops were very nice, and the guides were very good, except one. The complementary drinks and mini bar and excursions were a definite plus. Andreea spent a little time each afternoon explaining how it would all work the next day. The only drawback for us was the dinners. The choices were just not appealing to us. They did have chicken, steak, and salmon for alternatives, though. Breakfast was fine with a large buffet around the center serving area. One could also order special things like pancakes and french toast from a menu. Lunch was good, but difficult to maneuver the center buffet. There was no beginning or end, so one had to just jump in front of someone else. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam ... Read More
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam to Budapest from July 1 to 15th. The basis: I had never been on any cruise of any kind in the past, and also never on any guided trip (other than a weekend bus trip last summer). I plan and organize my own holidays according to my interests and have travelled mostly in Canada and the USA with limited international travel to Iceland, Scotland, Germany and Ukraine. The attraction of a river cruise was a hotel room that came along with you as you got to see a bunch of sites throughout central Europe. We chose Scenic for their all inclusive pricing and that was definitely the right decision. Anything we wanted was included (aside some very pricy champagne), but all beverages, any time, snacks, mini-bar, butler services, tour guides, travel out, all excursions, nothing extra – no having to keep coins handy for tips – aside from personal shopping and buying drinks or snacks out on the town, you really didn't need to carry money or your CC with you. Service was excellent, meals were superb and aside from one dish with octopus or squid which felt like you were chewing on a garden hose and their inability to actually FREEZE ice cream, I can't think of anything that was less than excellent. The tour director was amazing and worked 18 hour days I'm sure, to meet all our needs and get us organized and coming and going on time. All staff were friendly, willing to assist and aside from a couple likely language issues (we got the wrong food on room service and the wrong pillows from the pillow menu), you couldn't have asked for better service. Probably not necessary to make up the rooms twice a day – you come in from a day out and toss your shopping, clothes etc on the bed and go for a drink – come back and it's all somewhere else because they have straightened the bad and left your chocolate – but sheesh, should that really be a complaint? While it was nice to be travelling with your hotel room, I didn't realize just how MUCH time was going to be spent on the boat – some days we only got out for 4-6 hours, occasionally a whole day or overnight in port and once not at all for 36 hours. 64 locks resulted in about 25 to 30 hours of time going up and down..... Time off the boat came to about 73 hours by my diary – in 14 days – which averages around 5 hours a day. That includes all the bus travel time as well which for the Salzburg trip was almost 5 hours alone. I'm saying there was much less time for actual exploration and sightseeing than I expected. Most of the time off board was taken up with a guided tour downtown (which I started skipping), and then an hour or so of free time. It was never enough – there's so much to experience and all you are doing is clock watching to be sure you get back in time. I never felt relaxed – it was regimented the whole time – get up, eat breakfast, get on the bus, follow the guide, look here, see that, listen to this, your own time for a few minutes, get on the bus, get on the boat, eat, sleep, repeat. I appreciate you can't have 150 people doing their own thing – you would never get anywhere, but I sure wish there had been much more free time – or I should have just used the bus to get to a destination and left to do my own interests. And this is strictly a “bricks and mortar” tour – forget smelling the roses or walking in a park with grass beneath your feet, or scrambling along a brook or river and listening to the birds and enjoying the breezes, no botanical gardens, no animals or zoos, or gardens. I'm sure some of these countries have these things, but no options for anything nature was in the tour at all. I DID smell the roses though at an amazing Volksgarten in Vienna and had I known there was a zoo at the Schonbrunn Palace, I most assuredly would have skipped the palace tour (AFP by that time!), and took the train out to the zoo – with pandas no less! But by the time we realized there was something else to do, it was too late and the bus was leaving and there was no time again. On board entertainment was good – a couple were excellent, but I missed at least a couple. It's really awkward when you get into port, have 90 minutes free time to explore, come back to the boat for a 45 minute concert and then have 90 minutes free time to go explore again. Just couldn't be bothered to rush back to the boat when you're out in town having fun. Why plan it that way? Entertainment while sailing makes sense – entertainment on board when you are in port and could be out, did not. Have to comment on the Scenic App which guided you along as you were exploring. The GPS feature to keep you grounded as to where you were and how to get back to the bus was excellent. BUT – it's a really big power pig and even using their devices, I could not actually listen to the commentaries for a full day without it going dead – and at the end you just use it for the GPS and nothing else. The last day in Budapest - we had planned to take the Hop on Hop off bus for a bit of more detailed exploration - but we didn't get off the boat til 10, to the hotel by 11, then a long checking, and it was noon before we got going at all. And we only had one day - half wasted - again we probably should have just done our own thing and taken a taxi to the hotel early and not waited for all the planned exits. Time in Budapest but nothing seen....sigh..... In conclusion, I'm glad I went on the trip – but I would not want to go again on one like this – it would need a lot more port time, a lot more free time and I would be much better organized to go and do what would interest me. If a guided tour is your thing, then I would highly recommend Scenic for their excellent service and all inclusive policy. But if you are normally independent and not a good follower or team player, perhaps not. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Pros: professional staff, very clean ship, liked our cabin BJ202, local entertainment onboard very good, city tours were our favourite, good selection of ports and excursions. Cons: Cabin - no butler in our balcony junior suite as ... Read More
Pros: professional staff, very clean ship, liked our cabin BJ202, local entertainment onboard very good, city tours were our favourite, good selection of ports and excursions. Cons: Cabin - no butler in our balcony junior suite as advertised. Julius, our butler, had other employment commitments on the boat. Almost every time I called him and asked for something he said to call reception. Not answering his cell when I called sometimes and often we had different people (butlers?). Our room steward often forgot to replenish kleenex, qtips, face cloths and bath salt. Air conditioning worked poorly at night and it was very warm in our cabin. Excursions - The Luxembourg excursion was a waste of time. Long bus ride and only about 1 hour to spend touring this city which is undergoing major renovations. The Roman Park: total chaos. Three buses from our ship visited this place and when we arrived, our tour guide was confused and trying to help other tour guides. Wasted approximately 40 minutes standing around and did not see much of the wonderful sites in this park. Strasbourg: homeless people on the streets and questionable characters. Our tour guide gave us a brisque tour of Strasbourg and would rather have had more of a guided tour. Sat down for a snack in the square and people would approach us trying to sell belts. Food: could have had more of a selection rather than repetitive chicken wings for lunch. TIP: Order wine off the menu rather than drinking the local wines the servers constantly offer. Overall, the cruise was wonderful but there needs to be some modifications made. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise visited very interesting places. The ship was great. The staff were second to none. The cruise director was very good. The captain was very approachable and certainly did not hide away. The weather was not good, but that ... Read More
The cruise visited very interesting places. The ship was great. The staff were second to none. The cruise director was very good. The captain was very approachable and certainly did not hide away. The weather was not good, but that was not Scenic's fault. The surrounding scenery was somewhat boring. If the weather had been better, it would have been nice to spend more time cruising the rivers, albeit that there was little to see. The cabins are great, although the wardrobe doors can be an impediment - they would be more convenient if they were sliding doors. The food was excellent, and the wine with lunch and dinner was ok ( I did find I particularly liked one and the wine waiter looked after me from then on). The majority of the guides on the excursions were good, and the cruise director was receptive to assessments of each guide. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our ... Read More
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our problem was the fact the cruise we chose to see the tulips in Holland was on tidal rivers and at times it was really rough .Tge ship sailed every night and as it was very noisy we hardly slept for a week. We also had a terrible smell in our bathroom .Cabin 103 on the jewel deck.Weather wasn’t good and it was very cold therefore could not spend time on upper sun deck .Nothing to entertain us in the afternoons so was a bit boring .Would not have taken this cruise if we had known the North Sea comes into the rivers in that area Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the Scenic line thru a recommondation from our travel agent and also friends. There were low river issues before we left, but there was no talk of postponing or cancelling. We started off our holiday with a 10 day bus tour of ... Read More
We chose the Scenic line thru a recommondation from our travel agent and also friends. There were low river issues before we left, but there was no talk of postponing or cancelling. We started off our holiday with a 10 day bus tour of Poland. We chose to pick up the river cruise in Budapest to have a relaxing 2 weeks after busing for 10 days. We were on the Pearl for 4-5 days, switched to the Opal for a few days, then bused to a location, missing a major portion of the cruise we where looking forward to. Then switched ships to the Amber. It was not relaxing after the first 4 days, Constantly packing up, unpacking and meeting new crews. The Positives: Each ship was a little nicer each time The Crew was wonderful and accommodating The Amber crew was really taxed with cleaning up after the guests switching to the Opal and preparing to accommodate the Opal guests. We all needed a holiday after that. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful ... Read More
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful crew. The crew on the 2nd ship seemed to find us an inconvenience. This is understandable since it was inconvenient for us as well. We were required to change ships for one night due to the low water levels in the Danube. I can't imagine all the extra work that means for the crew. The cruise director (Richard) was great. The worst thing about moving the ship was leaving the hearing devices on board. So we were without those fantastic devices for a full day. The guide we had that day (Regensburg?) was great, but very soft spoken. I would have had a more interesting time if I could have heard her. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after ... Read More
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after disembarking the ship. We were never offered this option. Thus, we had arranged 3 days in Munich on our own at the end of the cruise. In the end, this was fine as we loved Minuch. The Danube was at at all time low and our original boat, the Amber, never made it to Budapest. The Pearl was fine and the staff did an awesome job of dealing with low water levels and making the best of plans that had to change. We didn’t get to spend any downtime in Reggensburg and never made it to Nuremburg. Breakfast and lunch was boring and not that good. One guy making omlettes for 160 passengers just doesn’t cut it. Dinner was mediocre and a couple of times my entrees were not good. Dining is definitely the weak link on the Pearl. All-in-all, we had a great time and met some super people. The reviews that say you don’t need to dress for dinner are wrong. Women should bring 1 dress, some dressy shoes, gitzy jewelry, etc. I was always under-dressed. 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: 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
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: 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of sailing along the river relaxing and looking at beautiful scenery. However we found that the cruise consisted of up early most mornings and leaving the ship by 8 - 8.15 am to get on buses ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of sailing along the river relaxing and looking at beautiful scenery. However we found that the cruise consisted of up early most mornings and leaving the ship by 8 - 8.15 am to get on buses for excursions. It became quite tiresome, however I really like the Taylor Made devices that were used on the shore excursions and on board while sailing. They made the excursions very enjoyable especially for people with hearing problems. Most of the shore excursion were very well done and enjoyable. The ship was lovely and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I found the cabin a bit cramped and there was a lack of a full length mirror. Entertainment on board was excellent. The food was very nice and the service was excellent. The quality of the wine and spirits was very good. Most evenings we had wine from the region we were in. Our cruise was spoilt by a passenger bringing the flu on board in Amsterdam, knowing full well that she was contagious and it quickly spread through the whole ship. It is difficult to enjoy yourself when you are feeling ill and my husand and I caught the virus on the second day of the cruise and it lasted for the entire trip plus another 2 weeks after. Our flights, embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. I would have liked an organised excursion on the day of disembarkation, because we were dropped at a hotel at 9 am and had to wait until approximately 3 pm to be collected from the hotel and taken to the airport. We did a tour ourselves and then just wandered around wasting time after that not really knowing what to do. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted a relaxed holiday sailing along the rivers and canal and being able to partake of shore excursions without the need to continuously pack and unpack as if on a bus tour. We also chose the Paris ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a relaxed holiday sailing along the rivers and canal and being able to partake of shore excursions without the need to continuously pack and unpack as if on a bus tour. We also chose the Paris extension prior to embarkation at Amsterdam and the Prague extension at the conclusion of the cruise in Budapest. All of the shore excursions were extremely well organised with excellent local guides. The staff on board the ship were very friendly and helpful and the meals were of a high standard. There was ample choice in the way of spirits, wine and beer. On most evenings there was local entertainment brought on board from the local port of call and these entertainers were of a high standard. The cabin was of adequate size for the type of ship and was well fitted out. Our cruise was spoilt by a passenger who embarked at Amsterdam with a bad case of the flu, knowing full well that she was contagious. She should not have been allowed to board the ship. A cold flu virus quickly spread through the whole ship. On the third evening of our voyage she had the cheek to go on an evening bus tour to Marksburg castle. The evening concluded about 11pm and as we were boarding our bus, she collapsed for a very short period and then revived and proceeded to cough and spread germs over everyone in the bus. My husband caught the virus on the 7th day of the cruise and spent 4 days confined to our cabin. We had to call the Doctor on board in Vienna to receive some treatment and drugs to assist in combatting the virus. I thought that I had escaped the virus, but I came down with it on our second last day in Prague and spent the rest of my time in bed before flying home. The flight home was extremely uncomfortable. The virus was so bad that I spent 8 days in bed at home before I fully recovered and my husband took about the same time to recover. On the day of departure in Prague, we had to be out of our hotel room by 12 Noon, but had to wait in the hotel foyer until 2pm for our pick up to the airport. Because there was a business convention being conducted in the hotel, the foyer was very noisy, crowded and there was very little seating available. We were not happy with this arrangement, especially as we were feeling unwell. The major criticism I have, would be that hand sanitation was not supervised by staff on entrance to the dining room and also the hand sanitiser was not positioned in a prominent place. On the second last day we met a passenger who saw us sanitising our hands and he stated that he did not know that such a device was available for use by passengers. On disembarkation day in Budapest, we came back from breakfast at about 8.30am to find that our cabin had already been made up and serviced for the next lot of passengers. We still had to use the bathroom and pack our hand luggage. I felt sorry for the next lot of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Very enjoyable trip of 29 days cruising the Danube, Maine and Rhine. Interesting stops along the way where we were able to get a good idea of the country side. Five luxury coaches were provided for off ship day trips. We were treated to ... Read More
Very enjoyable trip of 29 days cruising the Danube, Maine and Rhine. Interesting stops along the way where we were able to get a good idea of the country side. Five luxury coaches were provided for off ship day trips. We were treated to five star dining, often using product grown locally. Staff were very pleasant and were there to help in any way. Entertainment was provided most evening often found from the country we were visiting. All areas were cleaned daily and hygiene around food areas was always available. Information was on hand to help if you wished to do something on your own. Fitness area was not well used as it was rather small with only a few items to use. Cabin was perhaps abit cramped.The only complaint was that twice there was a very unpleasant smell which lasted for several hours, it was always there when another ship came and docked alongside. Read Less
Scenic Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 2.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 2.0 4.5
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 5.0 N/A

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