We travelled on Scenic's Jasper on the Gems of the Danube River cruise in July 2015. Having cruised on ocean liners several times before, and hearing the hype around Scenic cruise line, we had high expectations. Let me say off the top that overall I'd rate our cruise experience on Scenic about a 2.5 out of 5 and that low score had all to do with the poor quality of the service in the dining room and the less than enticing food. Although the one night we had reservations in the Portabello restaurant, the food AND service was outstanding! Our favourite waiter from that night on was "Luigi" who was not only vastly entertaining but knew what outstanding service meant. With a few exceptions, many of the dining room servers seemed as if they were in training, albeit, most tried hard to please but didn't seem to have the instinct or worse, the training to know what to do. Scenic needs to take the word "luxury" out of their descriptor, at least for the Jasper because we can't comment on any of their other ships.
The cabins were nicely appointed with lots of storage, the ship's decor was attractive and the cruise itinerary and ports of call were very interesting. The cruise director, Patrick, was very good, however the captain spoke no English on a ship that had 169 passengers who were mostly English speaking. A few hours after dinner on our first night on board first night a number of people in the group we travelled with were relaxing in the lounge (which by the way, featured an excellent nightly entertainer, Sergio). We asked for snacks and they could only offer us wasabi chickpeas. After much convincing by my husband, the night supervisor was able to scrounge up some sandwiches for us. The bartender in the lounge was also very good.
For us the most enjoyable part of the cruise was meeting and getting to know the other guests who mainly hailed from Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States, the land excursions, the excellent tour guides, the three day stay at the Marriott in Prague at the end of the river portion of the cruise, the cleanliness of the rooms, and the fact that you truly walk off the ship with having spent zero dollars. One thing to note however, is that although they promoted it as all inclusive, if you preferred a brand of alcohol such as Grey Goose vodka, they either didn't carry it or you had to pay extra. Sort of defeats the purpose, don't you think? And, we never actually met with our so-called butler, he passed us in the hallway on the first day and then we never saw him again.
While I am always one to look at the glass as half full, I don't think I could be persuaded to travel on a Scenic River cruise again.