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Scenic Amber Cruise Review
0.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
149 Reviews

3 days in Prague then 8 days on Scenic Amber

Scenic Amber Cruise Review by KSummerwine

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2017
  • Destination: Europe River

We began our flight from the US on 9/16 and arrived in Prague at 11 AM on 9/17. Our room at the Prague Marriott had a city view, 2 queen beds, and lots of space. The daily breakfast (included) was excellent and service throughout the hotel was great. We were greeted at the airport by a girl with a Scenic flag, were escorted to a taxi, and our hotel room was available when we arrived, we checked in, put our things in our hotel room, and ventured out.

The Marriott is within walking distance of everything in Prague. The Old Town Square is nearby (8 minutes) and all one needs to do is look up to see the spires and walk toward them (the old Clock Tower was being restored while we visited). There is a nice grocery store next to the Marriott and many good restaurants nearby.

Our Prague Scenic guides had a desk in the hotel lobby and gave us advice and easy-to-follow directions for our independent exploration. Czech currency is the "crown" but most places will accept Euros, and our guides steered us toward reputable currency exchange locations.

The Charles Bridge (15 minutes) is very touristy unless you visit early in the A.M. Once across the bridge (Castle Town) you will find wonderful little shops, places for lunch, the John Lennon Wall, bakeries, Prague's oldest pub, and the beautiful long stairway up to Prague Castle. Views (and photos) from the castle are stunning.

Wenceslas Square is another area to visit and is not as crowded or touristy as Old Town Square. Nearby is the Jewish quarter where one ticket gains entrance to all the synagogues (oldest in western Europe) and the incredible historic cemetery.

We had a half-day tour with our guide (Pavel) our 1st full day in Prague. Pavel covered places of interest, history, and personal information since he grew up in the area during communist occupation.

A highlight was our last morning in Prague. Those who chose to participate met our guides at the hotel lobby at 6 A.M. for a brisk walk to the bridge (in the fog), and it was exhilarating and beautiful.

A bus met us at the hotel for our (3 1/2 hour) trip to Nuremberg. We stopped mid-trip for a lunch break at a rest area with a couple of eateries. I enjoyed watching the German autos zip past our bus autobahn-style. Pavel joined us on the bus and provided interesting facts about the areas traveled in the bus along the way.

The bus pulled up next to our ship, Scenic Amber, and everyone was invited on board. We were provided with ID's on lanyards and taken to our cabins right away. My daughter (age 30) and I had a deluxe balcony suite on the 2nd level. There were 2 large closets with sliding doors (for hanging clothes) with drawers below, and bedside tables with drawers. Our other paperwork, itinerary, and maps of the ship were already in our cabin.

You will need Euro-style adapters for your electronics and there are plugs above both bedside tables. There are two GPS devices with lanyards which need to be charged nightly. Earphones are provided but you are able to use your own earbuds. These GPS devices tell you where you are while cruising the river and also allow you to hear your tour guide in each location when you travel in a group at each destination.

The TV in the cabin has camera views from certain ship locations, BBC news, music, weather, and local stations in many languages.

Our butler (Atila) provided us with our personal choice of pillows and answered basic questions. Our first evening on the ship we received an invitation to dine in Portofino, the Italian eatery onboard. All other evenings we dined in one of the 2 other locations. Each evening a meeting was held to explain the next day's itinerary. After dinner there was always music, singing, and some sort of performance for entertainment. If you were tired you could view the entertainment in your room on the TV.

There were three excursions we signed up for at home, online, prior to our trip. You will be given a code number and a website (Trip Personaliser) online where you need to enter all your personal info. (passport #, name, home address, medical, emergency contact, etc.) and you need to check and complete that website at least 6 weeks before traveling. You will also receive a mailing at home: itinerary paperwork, luggage tags, sleep mask, travel transfers, support socks, and a small backpack (day bag) for each person traveling about 4 weeks before the trip.

There were 2 or 3 excursions to choose from in every port. Cruisers may also choose to explore on their own either walking or using the electric-assist bicycles on board. The GPS units also assist with independent exploration.

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed everything on board, on the excursions, and found all guides interesting and entertaining. Food on board was plentiful and delicious. We would definitely go again, and my next river cruise will include Christmas Markets.


KSummerwine's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin Deluxe Balcony 210

Spacious, clean, comfortable, adjustable queen bed, lots of closet space, plenty of electrical outlets, flat screen TV, 2 GPS units, 1 umbrella, walking/hiking sticks, choice of pillows, nice linens, refrigerator, snacks, reading lights, large sun-balcony, clothesline in shower to dry hand-wash


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Nuremberg

Tour of castle/fort, tasting gingerbread, German sausage sandwich and beer lunch, then free time in the Nuremberg Market - this place is famous for its Christmas Market. Bought a few items at the market, some gingerbread to take home, listened to a live German band, and watched the crowds.

Regensburg

Weltenburg Abbey tour: Cathedral, brewery, beer garden, had pretzel & beer, bought a few souvenirs.

Mirabell Palace

Lunch at a restaurant from the 800's, schnitzel was delicious! The Old Town and Market area are wonderful. I personally was not interested in the movie set from "Sound of Music" but the Salzburg University of Music information was very interesting.

View All 7 Mirabell Palace Reviews
Old Town Tour

Streets narrow and long flanked by parts of the Alps, interesting shops, festival that weekend so locals wore lederhosen and dirndls, the Market Square was crowded but lots of fun to watch people and try local beer.

View All 70 Old Town Tour Reviews

Independently visited. Went in many of the shops and purchased a few items.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Charles Bridge

Scenic Guide (Pavel) took us on the Old Town walking tour, City Tour, and on the Charles Bridge. These tours were included with Scenic itinerary. We visited the rest independently.

View All 19 Charles Bridge Reviews
City Tour

Included with Scenic Itinerary

View All 28 City Tour Reviews
Jewish Quarter

Visited independently.

View All 7 Jewish Quarter Reviews
John Lennon Wall

Looked up the location online and visited independently. Fairly crowded.

View All 4 John Lennon Wall Reviews
Old Town Walking Tour

Included with Scenic.

View All 20 Old Town Walking Tour Reviews
Prague Castle

Walked up the long stairway and visited independently. Long lines.

View All 26 Prague Castle Reviews

Visited independently and purchased apricot liqueur and "rabbit shit" candies (chocolates)

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Walking Tour

Shopped with ship's chef, then walking/bus tour, free time after, visited cathedral, visited old town, then Lichtenstein Palace enrichment that evening with an orchestra, opera, and waltz.

View All 183 Walking Tour Reviews

Visited independently and had lunch, purchased souvenir.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
City Tour

Bus tour, piano concert, lunch, then castle district and cathedral tour, that evening Scenic Amber began cruising the Danube as we finished dinner. Everyone went up onto the top deck to view the sights at night with the lights of Budapest. This was our last evening on the ship.

View All 353 City Tour Reviews
Budapest

Beautiful view over the river from Pest to Buda


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KSummerwine
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