We have just returned from a 14 day cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Scenic Jasper. This was our first river cruise and the cruise surpassed our highest expectations. There was no question that Scenic is a 5 star cruise line as there was nothing they wouldn’t do to try and make the cruise the best experience possible. Most of the passengers were from Australia with a few from New Zealand, Canada and the US. The crew were mostly from eastern European countries but were friendly and very well trained. We had a choice of two to three excursions almost every day and the guides were all excellent and all spoke very good english. Scenic’s Taylor made devices work very well in comparison to others we have used and were very easy to use and provided more functions than simply a device to hear the guides narrative.
While on this cruise the Danube was closed for about three days due to an incident that happened in the Gabcikovo Canal near Bratislava and caused all boat traffic to have to stop and tie up in the river. We were kept very well informed by our cruise Director Sylvia and Scenic made plans to deliver as many of the excursions as possible. Although we had to endure some long bus rides from where the ship was tied up to our planned excursion I strongly believe Scenic and Cruise Director Sylvia did everything within their power to deliver a first class experience during this delay on the river. They even went as far as to provide one nights hotel rooms in a 5 star hotel in Salzburg for those of us who chose to take that excursion.
While the rooms on Jasper were fairly small they were very well appointed and the bathroom were very nice with a large shower by cruise ship standards. The public spaces were very comfortable and the service by the waiters and bartenders was excellent. The daily selection of primarily regional wines were excellent and if by chance you didn’t like one of them there were always several alternatives. While the menu for dinner was a little limited the food was very well prepared and beautifully presented.
As I previously mentioned Sylvia, our cruise director, was one of the best we have ever had. Everything that happened was very well explained and everything was run exactly on time. The passengers were also very good about getting back to the busses after shore excursions on time so that fellow passengers didn't have to wait for a late person.
Scenic’s enrichment experiences were fantastic and all of them were very good but the one we liked the most was the Sound of Music event held in the Alps overlooking Salzburg. The food, music and entertainment were excellent and it was a pure joy to be there.
Scenic advertises as an all inclusive cruise and they really deliver on that. Once we got to the airport in Budapest we never spent a cent except for some small touristy things we bought to bring home. They even had a representative at the airport in Amsterdam to guide to to the proper check in area.
All in we will probably go on another Scenic cruise in Europe and whole recommend it highly to our friends and relatives as we believe is an excellent value for the money!