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First ever river cruise with Scenic Jade from Amsterdam to Budapest and will not be my last. In fact I have already booked a week long cruise next year from Basel to Amsterdam intending to tour Switzerland prior to joining the Scenic cruise but after this year's experience I have already inquired about an additional longer cruise. We joined in Amsterdam at the Hilton Double Tree hotel. Arrived at the hotel at around mid-day where Scenic tours were well signposted the Scenic representative took our luggage and we next saw it in our room on the Scenic Jade. Refreshments were available at the meeting point until we left there at 3 p.m for the Scenic Jade so we were able to explore Amsterdam until we departed for the ship. The same procedure in Budapest, luggage transferred to the Marriot Budapest and refreshment available there until 3 p.m. or until you removed your luggage if you were staying at another hotel which we were. I could go through every day but that would be far too long just to say that every day there was some excursion arranged usually two or 3 choices in addition to the ones you opt for when you do the booking. The guides are all very good and do their best throughout. After each tour there is usually some free time for you to do your own thing before getting back on the bus and returning to the ship for lunch or dinner. Some of the excursions involved lunch or dinner and when we left the ship at Dusseldorf for that excursion we were meant to rejoin the ship at Cologne for lunch but the Jade developed a fault in one engine so it was late arriving in Cologne. Full marks to Scenic they arranged we go on anther large cruise boat for lunch and cruise along the river at Cologne while we were dining. Not long after lunch our temporary boat pulled in and we rejoined the Jade. If you wanted to give the excursions a miss then you were free to lounge about all day on the Jade. You are usually greeted back on the Jade with hand towels and a welcoming drink after a day's excursion. I would also have preferred to have sailed to Bratislava rather than travel by coach as you do pass it on the way from Vienna to Budapest but I guess there is some reason for not doing that. Also the tour of Salzburg which for me is Mozart but included the Sound of Music. Perhaps other people liked that but not my cup of tea and then the free time only would have allowed a quick visit to the castle from which there is a stunning view and also no time for a tour of the Mozart museum. I should mention that if you go on the Salzburg tour try to get the Scenic guide Eva a lady who dresses in Austrian national dress. She is by far the best tour guide I have ever come across and a bundle of laughs throughout the tour. Often there are various lectures or entertainment on board. I particularly liked the one about the Rhine Main Danube river. I had bought the book they sell on board so it was a pleasant surprise that the gentleman giving the lecture was the author and he signed the book. There was also an entertaining demo on glass blowing. The entertainment at Schlossburg castle was very good with a Shakespearian Anglo German gentleman making it a memorable night. I choose the visit to Bratislava as I had already seen the Schoenberg Palace in Vienna but if you haven't seen it then that is a must see along with Melk Abbey. Vienna and Budapest the two most scenic cities in Europe well worth staying on in Budapest for a few days and getting to see more of the city. I booked a Deluxe Balcony cabin on the Rhine deck the Danube is the next one up. I found the cabin to be excellent never had any problem sleeping although I did hear others complain that they could hear the engine especially going through the locks and they were on the Danube deck. The cabin was cleaned etc twice a day and the mini bar which we hardly used was restocked. I found that I had eaten and drunk enough in the restaurant or cafe that I rarely needed to use the mini bar in the cabin. The bathroom is small but I found it was always clean with excellent towels and toiletries and the shower was roomy as far as I was concerned but then I am not overly large. I tend to agree with those who say they may as well have incorporated the balcony into the room rather than separate it. It isn't large enough for two people to use without having to push past each other if one is already sitting there. The staff throughout were fantastic, we never used the butler service as it was just as easy to use the cafes etc and choose what you wanted. Our cabin steward Agus was simply great nothing too much trouble and once when my cabin electronic door lock failed he spotted me struggling and had the maintenance man there within 10 minutes and the batteries were replaced. Dining was a bit of a mixed bag. First breakfast, excellent choices eggs cooked any way you liked and always a very good selection I don't see how you could improve on this. Fresh tea and coffee always available from the waiters who were constantly checking. Lunch was a buffet again very good selection but usually too many people at the same time so that it was difficult to know where to join the queue at the central buffet. Wine was always available but I don't think the wine available in the dining room was all that good. I generally like full bodied wines but often it was Italian wines and once a Chianti which I found undrinkable. There were better wines available but they were not the ones being offered at lunch or dinner. Dinner was more of a disappointment although with some exceptions. Here I think they tried to be too fancy with far too many courses and often you are left wondering what it is meant to be. Given that everyone arrived for dinner at the same time the staff were literally run off their feet trying to serve everyone with drinks and their food. If you wanted to skip the lunch buffet then a light lunch was available in the cafe with additional snacks and desserts along with drinks. There was also a coffee machine available 24 hours with an excellent selection of coffees and some cookies along with a range of teas. The bar staff were excellent and drinks were freely available but I did find that if my favoured prosecco was not available they would pass you off with some other sparkling wine thinking that you would not notice the difference. Portobello Italian restaurant again a very good experience but again just a bit too fancy. Just as an example the minestrone soup which is a very basic soup just like most good Italian soups but if someone hadn't told you it was a minestrone soup you would need to be told. The food was good but I think it goes over the top and Italian food which is amongst my favourites could be improved by being a bit more basic and more Italian. Dress code, most people made an effort but there were some who just wore shorts and even T shirts for dinner. The captains dinner at the beginning and end, usually most people tended to dress smart casual some with ties but open necked long sleeved shirts, casual jacket smart trousers but as I say there were others who just turned up, dressed as if they were going to MacDonalds. The ladies tended to be the smarter. I have probably missed a lot out so if you have any questions please feel free to post them and I will do my best. Did I have some minor quibbles, yes of course as I have listed above. However the overall experience was very good and as I have already stated I have booked my next cruise with Scenic. I like that everything is already paid for and I found that apart from the excursions where you might have a coffee or ice cream during your free time after the tour then everything was taken care of. Full marks to Scenic for an excellent river cruise, I am hooked.

Scenic Jade Amsterdam to Budapest August 6th to 20th

Scenic Jade Cruise Review by Tridhos

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
First ever river cruise with Scenic Jade from Amsterdam to Budapest and will not be my last. In fact I have already booked a week long cruise next year from Basel to Amsterdam intending to tour Switzerland prior to joining the Scenic cruise but after this year's experience I have already inquired about an additional longer cruise.
We joined in Amsterdam at the Hilton Double Tree hotel. Arrived at the hotel at around mid-day where Scenic tours were well signposted the Scenic representative took our luggage and we next saw it in our room on the Scenic Jade. Refreshments were available at the meeting point until we left there at 3 p.m for the Scenic Jade so we were able to explore Amsterdam until we departed for the ship. The same procedure in Budapest, luggage transferred to the Marriot Budapest and refreshment available there until 3 p.m. or until you removed your luggage if you were staying at another hotel which we were.
I could go through every day but that would be far too long just to say that every day there was some excursion arranged usually two or 3 choices in addition to the ones you opt for when you do the booking. The guides are all very good and do their best throughout. After each tour there is usually some free time for you to do your own thing before getting back on the bus and returning to the ship for lunch or dinner. Some of the excursions involved lunch or dinner and when we left the ship at Dusseldorf for that excursion we were meant to rejoin the ship at Cologne for lunch but the Jade developed a fault in one engine so it was late arriving in Cologne. Full marks to Scenic they arranged we go on anther large cruise boat for lunch and cruise along the river at Cologne while we were dining. Not long after lunch our temporary boat pulled in and we rejoined the Jade. If you wanted to give the excursions a miss then you were free to lounge about all day on the Jade. You are usually greeted back on the Jade with hand towels and a welcoming drink after a day's excursion.
I would also have preferred to have sailed to Bratislava rather than travel by coach as you do pass it on the way from Vienna to Budapest but I guess there is some reason for not doing that.
Also the tour of Salzburg which for me is Mozart but included the Sound of Music. Perhaps other people liked that but not my cup of tea and then the free time only would have allowed a quick visit to the castle from which there is a stunning view and also no time for a tour of the Mozart museum. I should mention that if you go on the Salzburg tour try to get the Scenic guide Eva a lady who dresses in Austrian national dress. She is by far the best tour guide I have ever come across and a bundle of laughs throughout the tour.
Often there are various lectures or entertainment on board. I particularly liked the one about the Rhine Main Danube river. I had bought the book they sell on board so it was a pleasant surprise that the gentleman giving the lecture was the author and he signed the book.
There was also an entertaining demo on glass blowing.
The entertainment at Schlossburg castle was very good with a Shakespearian Anglo German gentleman making it a memorable night.
I choose the visit to Bratislava as I had already seen the Schoenberg Palace in Vienna but if you haven't seen it then that is a must see along with Melk Abbey.
Vienna and Budapest the two most scenic cities in Europe well worth staying on in Budapest for a few days and getting to see more of the city.
I booked a Deluxe Balcony cabin on the Rhine deck the Danube is the next one up. I found the cabin to be excellent never had any problem sleeping although I did hear others complain that they could hear the engine especially going through the locks and they were on the Danube deck. The cabin was cleaned etc twice a day and the mini bar which we hardly used was restocked. I found that I had eaten and drunk enough in the restaurant or cafe that I rarely needed to use the mini bar in the cabin. The bathroom is small but I found it was always clean with excellent towels and toiletries and the shower was roomy as far as I was concerned but then I am not overly large. I tend to agree with those who say they may as well have incorporated the balcony into the room rather than separate it. It isn't large enough for two people to use without having to push past each other if one is already sitting there.
The staff throughout were fantastic, we never used the butler service as it was just as easy to use the cafes etc and choose what you wanted. Our cabin steward Agus was simply great nothing too much trouble and once when my cabin electronic door lock failed he spotted me struggling and had the maintenance man there within 10 minutes and the batteries were replaced.
Dining was a bit of a mixed bag. First breakfast, excellent choices eggs cooked any way you liked and always a very good selection I don't see how you could improve on this. Fresh tea and coffee always available from the waiters who were constantly checking.
Lunch was a buffet again very good selection but usually too many people at the same time so that it was difficult to know where to join the queue at the central buffet. Wine was always available but I don't think the wine available in the dining room was all that good. I generally like full bodied wines but often it was Italian wines and once a Chianti which I found undrinkable. There were better wines available but they were not the ones being offered at lunch or dinner.
Dinner was more of a disappointment although with some exceptions. Here I think they tried to be too fancy with far too many courses and often you are left wondering what it is meant to be. Given that everyone arrived for dinner at the same time the staff were literally run off their feet trying to serve everyone with drinks and their food.
If you wanted to skip the lunch buffet then a light lunch was available in the cafe with additional snacks and desserts along with drinks. There was also a coffee machine available 24 hours with an excellent selection of coffees and some cookies along with a range of teas. The bar staff were excellent and drinks were freely available but I did find that if my favoured prosecco was not available they would pass you off with some other sparkling wine thinking that you would not notice the difference.
Portobello Italian restaurant again a very good experience but again just a bit too fancy. Just as an example the minestrone soup which is a very basic soup just like most good Italian soups but if someone hadn't told you it was a minestrone soup you would need to be told. The food was good but I think it goes over the top and Italian food which is amongst my favourites could be improved by being a bit more basic and more Italian.
Dress code, most people made an effort but there were some who just wore shorts and even T shirts for dinner. The captains dinner at the beginning and end, usually most people tended to dress smart casual some with ties but open necked long sleeved shirts, casual jacket smart trousers but as I say there were others who just turned up, dressed as if they were going to MacDonalds. The ladies tended to be the smarter.
I have probably missed a lot out so if you have any questions please feel free to post them and I will do my best. Did I have some minor quibbles, yes of course as I have listed above. However the overall experience was very good and as I have already stated I have booked my next cruise with Scenic. I like that everything is already paid for and I found that apart from the excursions where you might have a coffee or ice cream during your free time after the tour then everything was taken care of. Full marks to Scenic for an excellent river cruise, I am hooked.
Tridhos’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 212
No complaints whatsoever with the cabin which was very comfortable, clean and well provisioned with excellent service from the cabin attendant who could not have been more helpful. Bathroom also was excellent, I am not a big build so the shower was more than roomy. The room was kept at a comfortable temperature and this could be adjusted to your own convenience. The balcony is somewhat narrow but the glass screen separating the room from the balcony could be pushed to one side so that the room and balcony merged. Our cabin was on the Rhine deck which is the lower deck with the Danube deck above. Noise levels were never a problem and I never had any problem sleeping.