Although this is a beautiful ship with a generally terrific crew, we cannot recommend Scenic. The Rhine/Moselle itinerary is interesting and the excursions offered were adequate although we often chose to tour independently to avoid the rather lengthy bus trips. The Cruise Director, Richard Grey, was generally excellent, but he was somewhat handicapped by the continually changing arrival and departure times dictated by lock schedules and river traffic. There were about 144 passengers (not quite full capacity), and the ship's main lounge and dining room often felt very crowded. Cabins are cleverly designed in order to make up for the tight space and were comfortable. We were in Suite 201, a Junior Deluxe Balcony Suite, which is one of the larger suites and still small. Butler service is provided and was well performed by an enthusiastic staff. Everything was kept spotlessly clean. One of our suitcases was misplaced on embarkation due to improper labeling by the crew. We advise putting your own cabin number on your tags. The bar staff is very young, enthusiastic, and totally incapable of mixing standard cocktails. Pre-port lectures by the Cruise Director every evening before dinner were informative, but the overcrowding in the dining room directly afterwards caused the restaurant staff to be severely stressed. Even though there is open seating, tables for four were not always easily located and no Maitre'D was available to help. After dinner entertainment was minimal, but not unexpected for a river cruise.
Now for the food, which was largely inedible! Thin, watery soups, insipid salad dressings, awfully prepared meat dishes, baked potatoes that were hard as a rock...I could go on and on. There are buffets for breakfast and lunch, which did not change much from day-to-day. The same stale bagels, watery scrambled eggs etc. kept appearing. Very good made-to-order omelet station is available. Lunch could be scary, with mystery meat and gloppy dishes put out. Dinner was no better. Steak, chicken and salmon was always available as an alternative and was atrocious. Desserts were not much better. Think Army mess hall quality (or lack there of). Bottom line is that this food will not please American tastes. The ship's passenger contingent was largely Australian, with others from the UK, New Zealand and Canada. Some appeared to really enjoy the heavy meat and potato offerings as they were seen going back for more. Curiously, the Table la Rive, Portobello and Captain's Dinner tables did have edible offerings. If they were able to produce those results, why not for the standard meals in the Crystal Dining room? We are disappointed in the value and quality that Scenic offers. If you are looking for luxury and good value, you will not find it here!
Response from FionaB, The Scenic Team