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The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment. We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board. A poor start when we were not met at the airport by the Scenic person. There were large signs for Avalon and Viking, but not for Scenic. Eventually, a lady turned up, after a wait and some worrying on our behalf. The opposite occurred regarding our crowding expectation. With only one bar/ lounge and two dining rooms (Scenic claims a third, but its a table in the main dining room) and a rooftop area that is off limits a lot of the time due to bridges, we found we were always in a crowd. The other travellers were very nice. The food was fine, the drinks plentiful. The scenery was great, as were the locations from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cycling was a personal highlight! Most of our time was on a tight schedule, which was not relaxing. The excursions left little time for our own exploring. There was an evening update of the activities for the following day - the Tour Director's routine/ patter became tiresome - following this we were off to dinner, where you could not book a table in advance. Much better on the big ships! The entertainment, such as it was, was OK, but not a patch on the big ocean going ships. Again, the small bar/lounge area meant it was a big crowd when most people turned up for a show. Our room , on the Diamond Deck, was very small and the balcony was not private; we could hear what our neighbours were saying or doing. The shower controller fell off and the window could only be closed if I physically assisted by pushing it up as well as using the control. The maintenance man fixed it once but it quickly failed again. He fixed the shower and it was OK for the rest of the trip. On balance, we would not recommend a river cruise with Scenic.

A big disappointment

Scenic Pearl Cruise Review by maxd

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment.

We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board.

A poor start when we were not met at the airport by the Scenic person. There were large signs for Avalon and Viking, but not for Scenic. Eventually, a lady turned up, after a wait and some worrying on our behalf.

The opposite occurred regarding our crowding expectation. With only one bar/ lounge and two dining rooms (Scenic claims a third, but its a table in the main dining room) and a rooftop area that is off limits a lot of the time due to bridges, we found we were always in a crowd. The other travellers were very nice.

The food was fine, the drinks plentiful. The scenery was great, as were the locations from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cycling was a personal highlight!

Most of our time was on a tight schedule, which was not relaxing.

The excursions left little time for our own exploring. There was an evening update of the activities for the following day - the Tour Director's routine/ patter became tiresome - following this we were off to dinner, where you could not book a table in advance. Much better on the big ships!

The entertainment, such as it was, was OK, but not a patch on the big ocean going ships. Again, the small bar/lounge area meant it was a big crowd when most people turned up for a show.

Our room , on the Diamond Deck, was very small and the balcony was not private; we could hear what our neighbours were saying or doing. The shower controller fell off and the window could only be closed if I physically assisted by pushing it up as well as using the control. The maintenance man fixed it once but it quickly failed again. He fixed the shower and it was OK for the rest of the trip.

On balance, we would not recommend a river cruise with Scenic.
, The Scenic Team has responded
Dear maxd, We are sorry to hear that your holiday with us did not live up to expectations. I have passed your comments and feedback along to the team for review. Regards, The Scenic Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
maxd’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 309
Cabin was too small - see above.

The balcony was also small and not at all private. We could hear our neighbours.

See above re the faulty window and the shower controller falling off.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews