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Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak of what they went through. The embarkation went very smooth with well wishes when we came aboard. Offered a complementory cocktail and was directed to the lounge while our room was being prepared for us while we waited. The ship itself is very spacious and having no more than 130 guests, makes the experience that more special. The feeling is very intimate. You get to meet a lot of nice people. Not like on an ocean cruise where the only people you see, on a regular basis, are the ones at your dinner table every night for the ocean ships are so huge. The dining was great. Since this was a river cruise in France, The dining was French cuisine throughout the trip. I really enjoyed the meals and the wine pairing was great. You had a great choice of wines to choose from. Red and white. Whatever you desired. The entertainment was ok. We had a few bands come on board. One band played 60's and 70's music and another band played some ragtime music. We also had a comedienne come on board and we were her first ever audience on the river cruise for she was trying out her material on us to see if she was Scenic material. I thought she was great and I hope she gets the contract with them. The ports and shore excursions were very good. The explanation of the events that happened in each town during the war was very informative and made it even more exciting, for me anyway, to visit the Normady beaches and to pay respect to our fallen at their respective cemetaries ( British, Australian, French, Canadian and U.S.). Would I go again? Yes. I would like to spend more time and explore more of the Normandy beaches and to see the memorial of all 5 landing sites (Juno, Omaha, Sword, Gold & Utah). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to ... Read More
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to track 4G/LTE signals most of the journey. We have been on several river cruises by other lines and this was at the top in dining and service. The cabin was spotless and the cabin bed makeup was more than twice a day and the bathroom seemed to be constantly in order. The breakfast was wonderful; with a very large selection...including both British curly and American crisp style bacon (the only cruise we've been on that offered both). The scrambled eggs were superb and my wife loved the custom omelets. Dinners were more formal, but very good. It was our first cruise that offered frog legs or lobster (although not the Boston variety). Wine and beer were available at no charge throughout the day; both in dining and in the lounge. In general, the excursions were quite good, except for the exceptionally crowded Monet gardens. The radios for the excursions were very big and relatively heavy, with volume that never seemed to be high enough. Sure, the devices had internal maps and pictures, but we didn't find them very useful. Most of the cruises we've been on had lightweight, pocketable excursion radios, with more comfortable earpieces. Other than that nit, we found the ship and the crew among the best river cruises we've been on. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much ... Read More
I will openly admit that I was sceptical about why anyone, myself included, would want to take a 10-day Scenic cruise up the Seine River from Paris to the coast, when you can drive it in 2 hours! I thought it would be boring with too much time doing nothing… How wrong I was… Scenic Cruises have once again exceeded my expectations, as has the countryside and places we visited throughout Normandy on this very leisurely ‘must do’ river cruise. Full credit to Scenic for making this a 10-day cruise and not a 7 day, as most other river cruise operators do. Those extra few days turn a short getaway into a genuine relaxing holiday, one that will be remembered for many years to come. The itinerary is very well thought out with a mix of culture, cruising, experiences and diversity that I wouldn’t have thought possible in just the one ‘department’ (state, county) of France. Normandy has so much to see and do. From quaint inland villages to coastal seaside towns. Rolling hills to tidal flats and chalk cliffs. There is something for everyone on this cruise. As always Scenic do it in style. That’s why they are the leaders in River Cruising, all others simply copy. It’s the staff that make your holiday a truly great experience, with attentive care, attention to detail and a smile whatever the time, day or night (do they ever sleep I wonder?). I came on with an old pair of shoes and left with what looked like a new pair – a tribute to the butler service. Some travellers are initially put off by the price but believe me it works out better value than many of the competitors when you take into account all the inclusions. You could give the moths in your wallet a well-earned holiday as everything is included, from meals, drinks, tips, to choices of excursions you could easily go the full ten days without opening your wallet nor spend a single Euro. I was particularly impressed with Scenic’s attention to detail. Their ship ‘The Scenic Gem’ is purpose built for this river, made slightly shorter, with less cabins solely so it can dock in Honfleur instead of Le Havre as many of the other companies are forced to do being as their vessels are too long. Honfleur was a highlight of the cruise and being able to moor up in the quaint historic coastal town centre was a plus. (Le Havre is a major industrial port, no comparison!). The evening concert at the Chateau was also a great experience not to be missed, so unique, something not possible anywhere else in the world. This was my forth Scenic River Cruise and it did not disappoint. I came away feeling totally relaxed and satisfied that I had tasted all Normandy had to offer – and done it in style. Note: If you are under 60 years you will enjoy the cruise but do not expect to meet too many new friends of your age group. It primarily attracts an older crowd, perhaps due to the excellent excursions to WW1 & WW2 battle fields (Somme & Normandy Landing) which catered to not only Australians, but Canadian and American history buffs. But don’t despair, as with all Scenic Cruises there is always a choice of day tours so if these did not rock your boat then you could go explore the spectacular Chalk cliff coast line and its delightful seaside towns, or perhaps a Castle or a culinary experience. The onboard meals are of the highest standard, all made from local produce complimented by a range of fine French wines. The fresh seafood from Honfleur was up there in the ‘yum’ stakes, as were the scrumptious desserts. This raises the question: ‘Has any Scenic passenger ever got off the ship lighter than when they boarded?’ I seriously doubt it. If you did you were a temptation diehard freak with the world’s greatest will power to resist the local French delicacies and pastries on offer every day. This cruise comes highly recommended and would be an ideal add on to any European tour, a great way to end any visit to the continent. Don’t forget to book a couple of extra nights at the beginning or end of your cruise so you can do Paris justice, there is so much to experience in this captivating city. Where to go next on Scenic? Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we had never heard of Scenic before, we were not sure if we would feel motion sick or if we would like the food or service provided or the cabin size. Well Scenic was "top notch", we would not river ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never heard of Scenic before, we were not sure if we would feel motion sick or if we would like the food or service provided or the cabin size. Well Scenic was "top notch", we would not river cruise with anyone else. They do not nickel and dime you at all, the ship cruising was smooth, the food was out of this world and only the best wines were served with lunch and dinner. The beer was pretty good too. The wait staff were very attentive and the bar staff were great as well, especially when we stayed up until 2:30am drinking fine scotch. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly at the beginning and end of the trip, as well as the daily excursions. The bands that came on board were very entertaining and the on-board musician that played piano during the cruise played requests and made our anniversary special. The are mostly seniors on cruises such as this one and there were no children (yeah!). The excursions on shore at the different cities and towns were very informative and made the cruise even more interesting. Europe is full of history whether it be art or military or music..it was all wonderful....The cabin was just the right size; i.e. Private Balcony Suite [205 sq. feet]. We just had to get used to the raised ledge that we banged into with our feet the first day as we would walk into the washroom...slippers helped...The cabin was serviced twice every day in a professional manner. It was nice up on the sun deck when we cruised to the next destination, it was completely relaxing. The enrichment activity was at a chateau built into a cliff, the music was classical and it was entertaining, the sound carried well within the room in which we sat and listened. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Friends recommended this cruise line. We were not disappointed. Everything was excellent. Their staff were amazing. The food was excellent. The drinks plentiful. We really enjoyed the smaller boat and it was like we were one big ... Read More
Friends recommended this cruise line. We were not disappointed. Everything was excellent. Their staff were amazing. The food was excellent. The drinks plentiful. We really enjoyed the smaller boat and it was like we were one big happy family. Our embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. When returning from an outing, we were always greeted by friendly staff and usually with a 'welcome back' drink.\\ Water was always provided when we were going out on excursions. The nighty entertainment was quite good. The two different groups that were brought in were excellent. It was nice having the cruise director give an overview of the next days activities. The daily program on the TV in your room was also very helpful. I would definitely recomment this cruise line to other people. Everything was included in the price of the cruise - no extra surprises. We even had a 'butler' to assist us in any way. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I have been researching river cruises for a while and Scenic were always high on the list. Essential to us was no children, as that was not the type of holiday required. I had an area in mind that I wanted to visit and found the Scenic ... Read More
I have been researching river cruises for a while and Scenic were always high on the list. Essential to us was no children, as that was not the type of holiday required. I had an area in mind that I wanted to visit and found the Scenic itinerary that covered all these highlights. I did not look any further. The itinerary and reputation of the line were my main consideration. No extras to pay for along the way. The staff are amazing - "you wont hear no on this ship madame" says it all. Food also 5 stars - large variety and top quality. Everything always on time. The airport collection and after cruise transfers are a must. And did I say - the staff are amazing ! I would travel with Senic again without hesitation. Do your research on where you want to visit, and then let Scenic take care of the rest. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food ... Read More
We just luv river cruising now 7th in a row.( see other reviews) and we are also scenic tragics..having said that I do hold them accountable for a superior offering. The scenic Gem and the crew we had was a superior offering ,food excellent ( though im a difficult person to please ..in a plain way) .Off boat excursions varied as we are used to with on & off board entertainment in line with what scenic does. Now: 1. Crew - just a group of can do people from Bagadan our dining room waiter to karlo bar person & Palen our bulter .They couldnt do enough , attended to my many and varied requests coped with my wierd food combos ( toasted ham & cheese with a choco milk shake..on a scenic fine food boat).We had great interaction and even when i wanted to served myself they cut me off .."at the pass" 2.Food- from made to oder breakfasts ..to my specifications to my special H & C lunch of other items from the cafe to fantastic dinners..again mix & matched to my specifications the food offering is always great.Just didnt indulge as much as I have in the past.Came home only 1kg heavier.They also have special regional lunches incorporating local specials each day. 3.Off boat excursions-a real varity which options each day ( though usually similar themes).I came specifically for the Anzac battle fields Villers Bretonneux & the Normandy beaches.VB comprises leg 3 of my Anzac pilgrimage ( Gallipoli & Kokoda PNG being first two)Unfortunately it rained but we did homage to those who went before.Scenic even have a guest poem that is read every cruise . This plus Chateaus , Monets garden a bike ride all completed the offering 4.On/off board entertainment- river ships struggle here and other than a poor WW1 lecture oldie rocker band (on/b) light quizz off/b clasical quartte round out this part which was quite good overall 5.Gym & wellness- the gym is ok for me small 3 machines does the job. What was interesting & different this cruise had a wellness/excercise coach ( doubling up i believe) which we had never experienced before.While only 5 /84 of us took advantage it is an area that scenic should develop . This is not a family crusie ..couples really only just a great 11 days of " wonder" Next......Scenic Eclipse april 2019..stay tuned. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We were waiting alloted embarkation time, when we noticed a chap from Scenic on the dock. We enquired about boarding early, and from that time on the crew could not do enough. From taking charge of our luggage to ensuring we were shown to ... Read More
We were waiting alloted embarkation time, when we noticed a chap from Scenic on the dock. We enquired about boarding early, and from that time on the crew could not do enough. From taking charge of our luggage to ensuring we were shown to the check in desk, from there it was pure & simple luxury every day. The cabin, food, wine, tours were all amazing & informative. We would not have seen half the sights on our own. We couldn't fault a thing. All Inclusive means just that, we did not put our hand in our pocket for anything (Spa services excl). The entire crew were amazing, and really made our trip special. We will definitely be recommendig Scenic to our friends and we look forward to our next Scenic adventure. Valerie, the cruise director made everything so easy, with Port Talk each evening, we knew what was planned for the following day. The entire crew work extremely hard, long hours to ensure the passengers have an unforgettable experience. They certainly exceeded our expectations!! Well done. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
As previous Scenic travelers we had no hesitation choosing another Scenic Cruise. Paris was everything we thought it would be. Vibrant, romantic etc. We stayed 1 night prior to embarkation on to the Scenic Gem where we had booked a Scenic ... Read More
As previous Scenic travelers we had no hesitation choosing another Scenic Cruise. Paris was everything we thought it would be. Vibrant, romantic etc. We stayed 1 night prior to embarkation on to the Scenic Gem where we had booked a Scenic Delux Balcony room on level 2. The cabin like the other Scenic ships is spacious & 5 star. All the crew made an effort in introducing themselves & nothing was to much bother. The food & dining facilities are first class. Choices galore with some very special memories ( & additional calories to take home). We chose this particular trip for the excursions & they did not disappoint. We only marked the rating down from 5 to 4 as we did not have any internet in our room for the whole trip (while friends in other cabins did). Scenic tried to fix this but were unable to on our voyage. Also one other comment was that there appears to be a diffenet mini bar selection from level 2 to that of level 3. We asked for scotch in our mini bar which level 3 had, but were informed this was not a selection on level 2. Whilst not a huge issue as we could get one from the lounge bar or order from our butler any time we wanted it would of been nice to make our own in the room. Read Less
Scenic Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.2
Family 0.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 3.5 4.5
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.5 4.5

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