We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. ... Read More
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. Next stop was Veere, and we were quite impressed with the excursion to the Delta Works. We were treated to a "Dixie-land Band" after our Delta Works tour. In Arnhem, we found the Open Air Museum informative. In Maastricht we did a walking tour, then cruised the Maas River in the afternoon. When docked in Emmerich, the excursion to the Roman ruins of Xanten was awe-inspiring. Our next port was Koblenz, where we did a city tour. Then we headed down the Moselle River and delighted in the steep hills covered with vineyards and small towns along the way. First port on that river was Cochem, where we visited the fully-furnished Reichsburg Castle. We next briefly stopped at Traben-Trarbach to let the Electric-Bikers off the ship, as they were biking 15 miles to meet the ship in Bernkastel. While docked in Bernkastel, we took the excursion to Trier for an impressive city tour. We then headed back to the Rhine as quickly as possible as water levels were dropping. The ship diverted to Andernach until water levels rose enough we could enter the Rhine Gorge. The Rhine Gorge was dotted with hillside castles, impressive cathedrals, and riverfront towns. Gorgeous! Due to the delay from the low water, we had to skip our scheduled stop in Rudesheim. In Mannheim, we toured Heidelberg castle and the old town. The ship then docked in Rastatt, where guests toured Rastatt Palace and were entertained by a classical music concert. We docked next in Kehl, and took a city tour of Strasbourg and spent time in Le Petite France area. Next was Breisach, where we took coaches to the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it was windy that day, so we were unable to take the cable car gondolas to the top of the mountains. During our hike in the hills, we toured a farmhouse museum and sampled Black Forest cake. We disembarked in Basel.
In addition to daytime excursions, we had 5 evenings where local musical entertainers came onboard. Overall, the excursion guides were top-notch, and Scenic arranged so only about 25 people were with each guide. We wore "Tailormade" devices, which were headsets to hear the guides. But these devices also serve as GPS locators, if you want to self-tour with the city maps they provided for each location.
The food on the Jewel was excellent, with a wide variety of choices at each meal. All types of alcohol are included in Scenic's price, and with the well-stocked bar, drinks flowed generously. Regional red and while wines were offered at each meal. Service was prompt. The staff was always pleasant and welcoming. The electric-assist bikes make treks along the shore enjoyable. Also, while cruising, the "Tailormade" device clicks on to describe points of interest along the shore. Scenic also provided complimentary maps and a tour book of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. The map showed landmarks and bridges, so it was easy to follow the ship's progress. The tour book detailed pertinent information about towns along the river. We had a butler to attend to our every need. Room service was complimentary. We were on the Sapphire deck, so included was one small bag of laundry per cabin. Those on the Diamond deck also had complimentary pressing services. We felt Scenic filled this 14 day trip with a satisfying blend of sightseeing and entertainment. There were 169 passengers onboard (majority being Australian & Canadian), and demographic was 60+. We met many lovely, outgoing, well-traveled people. Overall, Scenic really looked after their guests. I would not hesitate to cruise with this company again. Read Less