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This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest commencing late June 2018. We are fussy travellers and happy to pay good money to get the best that is available when we travel. I must say we were less than excited before our departure from NZ, probably because we really didn't know what to expect from a cruise. All I can say is that this was the most exceptional experience from the moment we arrived at the ship. We were in cabin 309 on the Diamond deck. We chose this cabin as it was well forward and were told there was less engine noise up front. Although The Pearl is one of the older ships, it had clearly been either totally refurbished or maintained to an exceptional standard. The cabins are not large on any of these river ships when you view the dimensions in the brochure and we were expecting to feel really cramped. This was far from the case. The design of these cabins is so good. The bed extremely comfortable and large, the bathroom very well appointed with a very acceptable shower space, loads of storage in cupboards, wardrobes and drawers and plenty of room for even four large cases under the bed. The deck arrangement with sliding power window works well. Three power points for charging whatever and a TV screen which tells you where you are, what's on and also offers TV, but I cant see why you would need the latter apart from BBC new perhaps. Wi-Fi was good just about all the way through the trip. The service was exceptional at any time of the day or night. The food was way beyond what we expected even given the great reports we had from our friends. The bar and liquor service well beyond generous with top end spirits, an excellent selection of beers and a good choice of local and regional wines....All totally complimentary. Pay your money up front for this cruise and then leave your wallet in the safe. I cannot recommend Scenic highly enough even though we had some issues with water level from Regensburg to Passau and spent 2 nights in a hotel in Vienna until the ship was able to catch up. The alternative arrangements were handled superbly and we were all housed together in Le Meridien which was an excellent central city hotel. No side trips were missed with the alternative arrangements. Just a little bit more time on the bus due to the schedule changes for those who did not wish to miss anything. Would I recommend this cruise. ABSOLUTELY. Even though Scenic are at the top of the river cruise price range, they still offer great value for money when you consider how inclusive they are. I would recommend top deck as forward as you can get. There was absolutely no noticeable engine noise and if you need to get back to your cabin from the lounge / dining it is a short walk. There is only one guest toilet at the front of the boat, so it is very convenient to be able to pop back to your own cabin if this is in use and its quite a long walk to the back of the boat. The crew all had wonderful senses of humour and worked so hard. Andrea the cruise director worked tirelessly and never seemed to be off duty. The chef and his team created exceptional meals with wonderful presentation and never repeated the same dish twice in 14 days. And what a treat...everything wasn't served with buckets of fries!! Well done Scenic. We will be back.

First cruise

Scenic Pearl Cruise Review by Fattrout

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest commencing late June 2018.

We are fussy travellers and happy to pay good money to get the best that is available when we travel. I must say we were less than excited before our departure from NZ, probably because we really didn't know what to expect from a cruise. All I can say is that this was the most exceptional experience from the moment we arrived at the ship. We were in cabin 309 on the Diamond deck. We chose this cabin as it was well forward and were told there was less engine noise up front. Although The Pearl is one of the older ships, it had clearly been either totally refurbished or maintained to an exceptional standard.

The cabins are not large on any of these river ships when you view the dimensions in the brochure and we were expecting to feel really cramped. This was far from the case. The design of these cabins is so good. The bed extremely comfortable and large, the bathroom very well appointed with a very acceptable shower space, loads of storage in cupboards, wardrobes and drawers and plenty of room for even four large cases under the bed. The deck arrangement with sliding power window works well. Three power points for charging whatever and a TV screen which tells you where you are, what's on and also offers TV, but I cant see why you would need the latter apart from BBC new perhaps. Wi-Fi was good just about all the way through the trip.

The service was exceptional at any time of the day or night. The food was way beyond what we expected even given the great reports we had from our friends. The bar and liquor service well beyond generous with top end spirits, an excellent selection of beers and a good choice of local and regional wines....All totally complimentary. Pay your money up front for this cruise and then leave your wallet in the safe.

I cannot recommend Scenic highly enough even though we had some issues with water level from Regensburg to Passau and spent 2 nights in a hotel in Vienna until the ship was able to catch up. The alternative arrangements were handled superbly and we were all housed together in Le Meridien which was an excellent central city hotel. No side trips were missed with the alternative arrangements. Just a little bit more time on the bus due to the schedule changes for those who did not wish to miss anything.

Would I recommend this cruise. ABSOLUTELY. Even though Scenic are at the top of the river cruise price range, they still offer great value for money when you consider how inclusive they are. I would recommend top deck as forward as you can get. There was absolutely no noticeable engine noise and if you need to get back to your cabin from the lounge / dining it is a short walk. There is only one guest toilet at the front of the boat, so it is very convenient to be able to pop back to your own cabin if this is in use and its quite a long walk to the back of the boat.

The crew all had wonderful senses of humour and worked so hard. Andrea the cruise director worked tirelessly and never seemed to be off duty. The chef and his team created exceptional meals with wonderful presentation and never repeated the same dish twice in 14 days. And what a treat...everything wasn't served with buckets of fries!!

Well done Scenic. We will be back.
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