We like Scenic. Having done all the Scenic river tours in France, we wanted to visit Europe again and the country in which two famous seafarers were born - Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. This is the first year this cruise was available, and most of it was excellent. However, what was terrible, was truly terrible.
POSITIVES: We were fortunate to have included on our tour a visit to the Cathedral containing the tomb of the Vasco Gama, so we achieved that. Our business class flights from Perth via Singapore to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines were excellent, but ..
NEGATIVES: 1. the 2.5 hour flight to Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Lisbon was a nightmare. Definitely choose another airline or route for that leg! The 3 nights in Lisbon were OK at the Sheraton, very nice staff and room, but they had never heard of porridge or Vegemite .. so some education of the chefs to give Australians (38 of us, so worth bothering about) a choice of recognisable food would have improved our stay.
2. An evening dinner at "Tagine" restaurant in Lisbon near water on Saturday 23rd July was terrible. After half an hour on a bus It took an hour for half a cup of lukewarm tomato soup to arrive (by this time I had consumed the 2 small pieces of bread allocated to the four people around me), then there were some reasonable vegetables wrapped up in a piece of fish, then an hour later the dessert (a bright pink concoction which barely covered the base of the same size plate the soup had arrived in, with a strawberry on the top). There was plenty of red and white wine, served copiously.
3. More variety in on-board entertainment essential (not the same guy every night!)
FINALLY We liked Portugal, found most of the tours excellent (except the afternoon ones when it was 43 degrees, which we declined) the ship, most Scenic Staff. However third parties (hotels, restaurants) need more careful selection. Onboard the "Scenic Azure" the food and staff was excellent. We needed a rest and once on board were happy to stay put.
Great views out the balcony, which added to the space available for the cabin.
Once we worked out the air conditioning, that was fine too. Comfortable beds, lovely pillows. Good bathrooms, plenty of hot water. Sliding doors to the built-in robes were tricky .. only one side could be opened at a time so there was often a race to see who got their clothes out first!