We just returned from a one week cruise on the Scenic Opal. Overall, we had a wonderful time, with a few disappointments. We were told that they would only pick us up at the Zurich Airport, so we stayed there overnight and arrived at the designated meeting spot at 11:45 as directed only to be told that we would not depart for Basel until 2:00. When we arrived at the ship, the welcome lunch was long over. I suppose we could have ordered room service, but we were not fully aware of what was offered, and no attempts were made to serve us lunch. To be truly honest, there is always some type of light food available in the bar area, and often the pastries there are far superior to those offered in the dining room.
Our room was small, as expected, but very nicely laid out. The bathroom was modern, and everything worked effortlessly. My only complaint was that that there were two sliding doors, one for each closet, but one had to be fully closed before opening the other one. This caused all kinds of confusion as my husband and I tried to get dressed at the same time in the small room. Other than that, the room was very nice and the bed was very comfortable. Scenic’s unique sliding glass balcony worked very well and gave us an unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside. Our cabin stewardess was wonderful. We rarely saw her, but our room was always made up quickly twice a day. We saw our “butler” the very first day, but then only saw him tending the bar, working in Portobello, etc, leaving him little time to do anything for us. Some people seemed to have been able to order room service for breakfast, but there were no forms left in our room.
The food was one of the lower points of the cruise. Breakfast and lunch were very good, but dinner often left something to be desired. Waiters rarely encouraged you to order breakfast or lunch from the elaborate menu placed on each table. Our “special” dinner at Portobello, was just terrible, watery minestrone, oddly flavored mushroom soup with foam, horrible “osso buco” and polenta, marginal tiramisu. It is very easy to cook excellent Italian food, but if you can’t, please leave it off the menu. The cannelloni was also terrible, and was offered more than once as a vegetarian alternative on the main dinner menu. I also felt that the pastry selections, of which there was usually only one at dinner, could have been a little more imaginative. A horrid rhubarb tart was offered as the only dessert on the final night. The other three choices were usually some sort of ice cream, a cheese plate or a fruit plate, that usually included too much apple and unripe melon and few berries of any sort. I was extremely disappointed with the dinner selection and quality on the Scenic Opal, although all of the staff were friendly and accommodating.
Tours were well organized with excellent local guides, but I wish they didn’t all start at or before 9:00AM or earlier, causing a rush to eat breakfast and leave the ship. There was nothing offered in the afternoon, even though we often remained in port. I have to agree with a previous reviewer who said that the seats on the sundeck were so uncomfortable, it was almost impossible to spend much time up there.
Kurt, the activities coordinator was wonderful, very accessible and organized everything beautifully, right down to our departures, which were well planned to the minute. We even had someone meet us at the airport to help with checking in.
All in all, we had a very nice time. I just wish that there were afternoon tours offered and that the food in the dining room at dinner would have been better.
As stated above, the cabin was very well appointed with the only annoying thing being the sliding doors on the closets. Everything else worked well. The cabin was midship and very quiet.
Great walk through Strastbourg with our well iknowledgeable local guide.
Excellent local guide who knew everything about the area.View All 104 Walking Tour Reviews
Cruise guide was good but visit to cheese factory was very commercial and geared towards us buying their products, with very short tour. Volendam is very commercial, not the way i remember from the last time i was there many years ago. It is full of cheap souvenir shops and greasy food stands.View All 17 Volendam Walking Tour Reviews