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Sail Date: June 2018
The reason for doing this cruise is that we wanted to explore Australia`s involvement during WW1 and WW2 plus see the French country side from the comfort of a luxury river cruise ship. The ship was generally very comfortable, excellent ... Read More
The reason for doing this cruise is that we wanted to explore Australia`s involvement during WW1 and WW2 plus see the French country side from the comfort of a luxury river cruise ship. The ship was generally very comfortable, excellent staff but failed in the quality of food supplied. The embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly and was well organised. One person in our party is a vegetarian and struggled to find adequate, nutritious vegetarian meals during the cruise. There was only one vegetarian meal listed on the menu each night whereas a non vegetarian had 3 choices on the mains plus the alternative section (which did not contain one vegetarian meal). Where the vegetarian meal was not appealing there was no offer to change or make up an alternate meal. It seemed we had to either like it or lump it. On one occasion the vegetarian received the same meal as the non vegetarian minus the meat. It was a plate with a few boiled vegetables on it and that was it. A very plain, tasteless meal with little thought or imagination. Generally the quality of meals was only average. The bakery was an exception with the breads and rolls being fresh and delicious. Scenic was notified in advance that one of our party was a vegetarian and on previous cruises with this company the chef spoke with the vegetarian and supplied nutritious, tasty meals. This did not occur on this cruise. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear woerner, Thank you for your review and we are sorry to hear that even though you found the Scenic Gem very comfortable and the staff excellent, the quality of the food let this experience down. The quality of the food mentioned does not sound like the normal high standards we provide and we apologise that the vegetarian in your party found the meals unappealing. I have passed your feedback onto our team to review. In spite of this, we are delighted to hear that the bread and rolls from the bakery were delicious and you found the embarkation and disembarkation smooth and well organised. Best wishes, The Scenic Team
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and my 56th birthday and so chose to splurge on a river cruise to one of the most iconic cities of love. We'd had a negative experience on our first and last ocean cruise (a freestyle ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and my 56th birthday and so chose to splurge on a river cruise to one of the most iconic cities of love. We'd had a negative experience on our first and last ocean cruise (a freestyle format); while the itinerary attracted us - embarkation in Venice visit along the Mediterranean to Istanbul, then disembarkation in Barcelona - the major detractions were that alcohol was an additional cost and when we did bring on board our bottles from the various ports of call, they were confiscated from us and held until the final destination upon which we could collect our purchases. The only alternative was to pay a corkage fee of $15 US, which often exceeded the cost of the bottles we'd purchased. Additionally, the ship was so large that we could never meet or sit with the same guests. The options for dining didn't encourage intimate conversations. We were so discouraged by these restrictions as well as the food wastage as displayed by the other passengers, we swore off cruises of all types. (This decision held true for five years.) Our friends had taken a river cruise on a tourist class/standard line from Amsterdam to Budapest and raved about the demonstrably lower passenger capacity as well as the alcohol-included aspect of the cruise. We, therefore, decided to take the leap of faith and chose to take a Paris/Seine cruise as neither of us had ever visited Paris, and were intrigued by the itinerary of visiting historic sites on the Seine. Our initial interaction with the administrative offices in Vancouver did not bode well for the trip. When we initially booked our cruise, we were residing in Kelowna, and, therefore, were booked to depart YLW. However, life intervenes and a career opportunity presented in Alberta, necessitating a flight change in departure from YLW to YYC. We were obliged to pay a $700 change fee, and the final cruise information package was couriered to our former Kelowna address. When my husband called to inquire why the package wasn't forwarded to our Airdrie address. He was advised that we had neglected to advise the travel department to which he replied we had done so by paying a $700 change fee in order to depart from the closest airport to our new residence. Upon this disclosure, he reminded the agent we had done so by paying the change fee and updating our address concurrently. He was then advised that we had needed to advise reservations, as this information was not automatically updated enterprise wide!! Fortunately for us, the new owners of our previous residence took it upon themselves to re-direct the info package to our new residence at their own cost!! Consequently, our dismay in selecting Scenic was quite palpable. However, once we embarked on the Scenic Gem, all our trepidations were eliminated. It started first when I contacted the Vancouver office to inquire if we could store our baggage before the official embarkation time. Our VRBO required checkout was noon, but the boat didn't officially invited guests to embark until 14:00h. When I learned that we could drop our luggage off as early as noon, I was immensely relieved. When we arrived at the Port of Lower Javel, not only did a crew member take our luggage onto the boat for us, we were invited by Tony, the Cruise Director, to stay for a light lunch which was being served in the lounge. This invitation was unexpected and absolutely appreciated. The commencement of our exceptional cruise experience was already underway, unbeknownst to us. We could not have enjoyed a more stellar experience thanks to the following personnel: Chief Officer of the ship, Captain Bruno, First Officer Patrick, Hotel Manager, Thomas, Assistant Hotel Manager, Vlad, Purser Francina, Concierge Martina, Restaurant Manager, Doru (who went out of his way to ensure the serving staff were aware of my crustacean allergy, and never failed to recommend the tastiest "plat du jour"), our personal butler Francis (whom we met on our last day before disembarkation running an errand for one of our fellow passengers on his free time), our cabin attendant Sofia , cabin attendant Irrina (always greeting me with by the title, "Madame"), Chef Albert, Executive Chef Christophe (from Scenic HQ), Sous Chef Nuno (who made my oatmeal personally adding an egg swirl, like my Mom used to do, and garnishing differently every day with different fruit), Bartender Noemi (mixmaster supreme) Line Cooks extraordinaires Sergio and Coco, Costica and Illya (personal butlers, who also doubled master servers), Eugen (expert server), Bogdan (always a twinkle in his eye), Daniel (unflaggingly dedicated), Savka, Agnieska (both incredibly patient and hard-working), Mihai, (also dedicated and selfless in his serving), and finally Filip. This was his first tour of duty, I believe, in the serving brigade. I noticed Filip looked somewhat wan, and inquired if he was well. He indicated that he hadn't slept much the first night we sailed, and I got the impression he was quite concerned about his performance. Each successive time I saw Filip, he was more confident, and one could see clearly that he was doing his utmost to ensure our dining comfort. By the end of week one, Filip was inquiring how I was feeling as I had trouble sleeping and was fighting a cold. My only critical observation is that I would have appreciated yoga classes offered also in the late afternoons instead only daily at 7:00 a.m.. I'm not an early riser, and would have appreciated a class in lieu of a cocktail hour. As for the excursions, my lament is that we weren't always permitted the opportunity to spend more time at sights. If we were given the option of a drop off and pick up (not having to return to the ship for lunch), we would have gladly accepted a pret a porter lunch in order to exploit our time during the excursion provided. The jazz/Dixieland quartet were excellent; regrettably their contracted performance was too short. We learned post-concert that the castle in which a classical quartet performed also allowed us to explore the wine cellar. We weren't advised of this option nor were we made aware this was available and would have preferred a curtailed beverage service in the inner courtyard in favour of exploring the castle's surroundings. Our first experience on a river cruise with Scenic will not be our last as was the case with our first ocean cruise. I can only encourage any of you wondering if investing in a Scenic cruise is worthwhile. My response is that we've already started saving for our next Scenic adventure. The difficulty will be in the decision of whether it's to be Bordeaux or to the south of France. For us, the nautical crew, the hospitality personnel, and the staff of the Scenic Gem validated our initial decision to pursue a higher calibre of travel. We were not disappointed; they validated our decision. We offer the crew all a heartfelt, "merci beaucoup". Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 4th river cruise with Scenic which we tried after having done a dozen ocean cruises with various cruise lines but mostly holland America. Previous cruises with Scenic were outstanding and we (1) wanted to see this part of ... Read More
This was our 4th river cruise with Scenic which we tried after having done a dozen ocean cruises with various cruise lines but mostly holland America. Previous cruises with Scenic were outstanding and we (1) wanted to see this part of France, and (2) were confident that Scenic would deliver a memorable experience. The meals in the Crystal Dining Room were excellent. Very high end with portions that were just the right size. Food did not go to waste with leftovers, due large portions, thrown away. The chef did a great job on a daily basis of restocking with local lproduce that made each meal memorable. The included excursions were well done. The guides were fluent both in their language and their assigned area of guiding. It was very informative. Perhaps the best tour was the walking tour of Paris. We had previously been to Paris and had taken the hop on - hop off bus tours and thought we knew our away around the highlights. The walking tour took us just a couple of blocks inward from the main roads and exposed a whole better understanding of the offerings and what else was there just off the beaten track. The liquor selection was high end and unlimited. As was the daily wines being offered. And they too came until one quit taking them. And the good news is that no one on the cruise over-imbibed. Everyone indulged responsibly. The only negative, and it is a very minor one, is the location of the smoking area. It is right at the top of the stairs leading to the upper deck. Non-smokers have to navigate their way through the few smokers and their cloud in order to get to the top deck. Do not let this comment sway you from taking a Scenic cruise - it's just a minor annoyance and life is full of minor annoyances. Lengthwise, the cruise is relatively short. But experience wise it is just as enriching as previous cruises with Scenic. For a retired military person, particularly meaningfull was the day long tour of the Somme battlefield and the day long tour of the D-Day landing sites with emphasis on Omaha Beach. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. The previous one a few years ago was good although, to no avail, we objected to the requirement that we had to add on a three day tour at either end of the cruise in order to book and obtain a premium ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. The previous one a few years ago was good although, to no avail, we objected to the requirement that we had to add on a three day tour at either end of the cruise in order to book and obtain a premium cabin on board. Overtones.. My view of Scenic after this cruise on the Gem and after paying nearly $2000 a day is that it is no longer value for money. The ship is spotless, and the crew excellent plus - particularly the bar staff, the Cruise Director and the Bureau and our Butler. Any cock ups were administrative not the fault of the staff. Many of the tour visits were outstanding (a few duds), but the food is indifferent. We had a few examples of awfulness, and a few of credit, but in general, indifferent. I was not Robinson Crusoe in this view. Inexcusable. The cabins are small, the size of the lounge inadequate at choke points, and the long running issue of rafting alongside other craft a pain in the butt. Your view and privacy are gone and getting back on board across two other vessels (Vernon) whose passengers all descend on the one gangway at the same time, is a hard slog. Boot camp. Scenic's collection and delivery services are good but the company remains difficult to deal with. I have heard agent's quoted as saying this. Our Paris hotel, the Weston, was fabulously situated - better than the Scribe. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This cruise line was recommended by our travel agent and it was everything she said it would be and more. Wonderful, attentive and professional staff. Great shore excursions with knowledgeable and friendly guides, superb entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise line was recommended by our travel agent and it was everything she said it would be and more. Wonderful, attentive and professional staff. Great shore excursions with knowledgeable and friendly guides, superb entertainment, fabulous food and great attention to detail. We will certainly travel with Scenic again and will highly recommend travel with Scenic to our friends. The Cruise Director and the Hotel Manager were so helpful in solving any problem that occurred at any time. The rooms were comfortable and again very efficiently designed. The balcony was wonderful except when in port and anchored next to another ship. But I recognize that this could not be helped. This was our first riverboat cruise and it won’t be our last. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and again everyone was so helpful. Our departure and arrival city offered so much to see and experience. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the whole experience was. Thank you Scenic. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear kyabear, Thank you so much for your wonderful review and so happy to hear you had an amazing cruise on board Scenic Gem. We pride ourselves on our excellent and friendly staff and are pleased to hear that they were all wonderful, attentive and professional. It's also great to hear that you loved the experience and would travel with us again. We look forward to welcoming you back on board soon. Best wishes, The Scenic Team
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Ship was beautiful, cabins were huge very spacious the bathroom was a very generous size with a amazing shower. The dining on board is the best dinning experience i have ever had the waiting staff very polite and knowledgeable ... Read More
Ship was beautiful, cabins were huge very spacious the bathroom was a very generous size with a amazing shower. The dining on board is the best dinning experience i have ever had the waiting staff very polite and knowledgeable regarding wines and dishes being served. The port of call were fantastic great choice with very knowledgeable guides who were happy to answer any questions along the way. Seeing the Eiffel Tower illuminated and sparkling was a great start to our cruise. Service we received from every single staff,crew member was brilliant. The whole experience from start to finish was seamless Entertainment was very low key which was fine, nice music playing in the background each evening. I would 110% recommend a Scenic Cruise to friend and family i can guarantee you will be blown away. Looking forward to planning another one and i know Scenic will be my first choice every time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our third river cruise in Europe - all with Scenic. There is nothing that Scenic does not think of to make your luxury cruise all that you want it to be. The Scenic Gem is a beautiful ship and the crew make everyone feel so ... Read More
This was our third river cruise in Europe - all with Scenic. There is nothing that Scenic does not think of to make your luxury cruise all that you want it to be. The Scenic Gem is a beautiful ship and the crew make everyone feel so welcome and special. As always the food choices and service are excellent. The itinerary and pace was just right. The "invited" dinners are truly special. We had a wonderful mix of Aussies, Canadians, Americans, New Zealanders and Brits. The cruise director, Benjamin is a natural in the role and kept us entertained and on time for all itinerary jaunts. I always say that the crew is what makes Scenic so special. Scenic really means it when they say ALL INCLUSIVE. Scenic uses very knowledgeable local guides who make the excursions educational, entertaining. The trip to the Normandy D Day landing beaches was emotional for many of the passengers. Transfers to and from the ship are seamless. The young man who picked us up at Charles De Gaulle had to wait two hours for us to clear customs - yet there he was waiting patiently. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
First time on a cruise and did not want to be on a huge ship among thousands of people, so this filled the bill extremely well. having a night in Paris before the sail date was a good idea a this lessened the effects of the long flights ... Read More
First time on a cruise and did not want to be on a huge ship among thousands of people, so this filled the bill extremely well. having a night in Paris before the sail date was a good idea a this lessened the effects of the long flights from Australia. it was a bit tricky locating the actual ship and took us a few stops with a local driver having to consult maps et al to find the right pier. Once on board, all went well and continued smoothly for the entire trip. Cabin was well appointed and the addition of a small open balcony was a bonus for just spending time watching the river go by. Dining was well organised if a little regimented as one needed to be mindful of times and locations of meals to avoid being late or in the wrong area. Service was generally very good although my order was overlooked a couple of times by one of the waiters. Activities were diverse and appropriate for the towns included in the trip as key points of interest were included and the tour guides were overall excellent and informative. The sole pianist, while very good became a little less interesting without a break for a different form of entertainment. Cruise director did a wonderful job overall, but I found some of the jokes a bit tired and the activities, games etc to involve travellers were not really my cup of tea, though I know others were happy with what was on offer. All in all I had a great time and would certainly recommend Scenic especially for anyone new to cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Highly recommend Scenic Cruises especially this one, we chose this cruise for the itinerary with a wonderful variety of interesting and beautiful destinations, the Somme and Normandy beaches, Giverny and Monet’s Garden, Les Andelys ... Read More
Highly recommend Scenic Cruises especially this one, we chose this cruise for the itinerary with a wonderful variety of interesting and beautiful destinations, the Somme and Normandy beaches, Giverny and Monet’s Garden, Les Andelys to name a few. All were as good as we had imagined. A real highlight was the Staff on the ship, they could not have been more helpful, friendly and the service they all delivered was outstanding. The Cruise Director Ben is the best, he is perfect in this role and leads his team superbly. Nothing was a problem, always enthusiastic, super helpful and a thoroughly nice young man. He is one of the real gems on this boat. The food in all the restaurants delicious and plentiful, we ate very well. The food and beverage served on this ship are 5 star along with the service from the wait and kitchen staff. Great music each evening. The butler service was perfect thank you Ovidio. Loved the opportunity to use the ebikes when we wished and we do several times, to cycle along the Seine through the countryside and no one else around on a beautiful day was fabulous. What I really enjoyed was the serenity of cruising on the Seine, very few other river ships so it felt even more like we had the river to ourselves apart from the interesting barges sailing by.. quite simply a fabulous trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Overall price of flights and river cruise. Good choice of excursions suitable for any fitness level, the local guides were very good all speaking English. Transfers to and from the Scenic Gem were very good, the overall organisation was ... Read More
Overall price of flights and river cruise. Good choice of excursions suitable for any fitness level, the local guides were very good all speaking English. Transfers to and from the Scenic Gem were very good, the overall organisation was very good. The Tour Director was excellent in keeping everyone informed of the day to day activities and any special dinners and outings. He always finished his port talk with a joke of some sort. He was very personable. The food reflected the area we were travelling in as did the wines, all of which were inclusive of the price. Our only criticism would be that there were not enough vegetables available at dinner. As an extra bonus our Tour Director loaded a personal USB stick with photos taken along our journey of the Seine and Normandy countryside. First class would have no hesitation in recommending Scenic Cruises and look forward to our next one. Read Less
, The Scenic Team has responded
Hi rfthorne, Happy to hear that you had a great river cruise on board Scenic Gem and the transfers to and from the ship and organisation were very good. We are also pleased to hear that our Tour Director was excellent and very personable. Sorry, to hear about there not being enough vegetables at dinner. I have passed your comments on to our Customer Care Team to look into for future guests. We hope to see you again in the future. Best regards, The Scenic Team
Scenic Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.2
Family 0.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 3.5 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.5 4.5

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