We had never done a cruise before; ocean or river and decided it would be a terrific way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. While scheduled to go on the Scenic Amber our ship in Nuremberg was the Scenic Jade due to low water levels and Amber's inability to travel the Danube. Our Scenic travel arrangements were seamless. We were met at the airport, taken to our hotel that we were staying at the night before our cruise date, and then met in the hotel lobby then next day for transport to our cruise. All we dealt with were lovely, professional, courteous, and friendly pointing out interesting places en route. When we arrived at the ship it was prior to 3 pm but we were welcomed aboard enthusiastically. Our cabin was a bit roomier than we expected it to be and our butler Igor was charming. We were welcomed with a lovely card and a bottle of bubbly for our anniversary. A wonderful touch. The cruise director Richard was helpful, informative and upbeat. He had a bit of a job as we had been warned that we would likely change ships midway through the tour due to water levels and unfortunately had to do a bit of a dance until it was confirmed. He handled it all well from our point of view; difficult role to play being the messenger. We enjoyed the varied dinner menus with multiple options, riverside cafe, our special dinner invitations to Portobellos and Le Rive,the people we met, the well-organized tours, the tour guides, the ability to opt out if we wanted to explore on our own and the myriad of additional touches we experienced along route. We did change ships to the Scenic Pearl (apt as Pearl is the marker for 30th anniversary) midway through, missing Passau and our only wish was we had done this the other way around starting our voyage on the Pearl, as the Pearl cabin felt a bit smaller than the Jade but the staff were super. We were so impressed with everyone's attention to detail and the farewell night song to the travellers was hilarious. We are definitely fans of river cruising now and already investigating where else we want to explore. Kudos to all onboard Jade and Pearl. You helped create the most fabulous and brilliant wedding anniversary memories we will treasure always.
On the Jade the balcony was separated by glass panels so that you could open them up and enlarge your general living space. Closet doors slide enabling you to move about easily and that bathroom shower a very good size. On the Pearl, all felt a bit smaller there were patio doors between the room and the balcony and the closet doors opened outwards limiting your ability to move about when someone trying to access them. The shower quite a bit smaller and we found this ship a bit noisier than the Jade. We took our travel agents suggestion re location as had lots of cabin positions to choose from and next time would not opt to be at the back of this ship but rather more midway.
We arrived a day early so explored the old city on our own therefore were able to opt for the WWII tour as our Scenic option and so pleased we did. We were fortunate to have Sebastian as our guide and he was fabulous. He is a wealth of knowledge and provided it to us in a friendly, non-judgemental way with plenty of detail for us to mull over. We found it so eerie to be standing where rallies of 500 000+ people were gathered and then visiting the document centre was just devastating. Not the most uplifting tour but one to give you plenty to think about. Haunting and we will remember this outing forever.
Loved our visit to the Abbey and have to say raced to Bus 2 when we saw Sebastian our guide from Nuremburg standing there. A great day, Abbey gorgeous, beer delicious.
We started our day in Melk and went for a wander about with our passports to provide information about the buildings and gorgeous Abbey that overlooked the river and town. We didn't opt for the tour. Then Steve departed for Durnstein via bike and I remained onboard to enjoy the Wachau Valley from the river. We both enjoyed how we each spent our time immensely. Beautiful scenery. We walked about Durnstein on our own then joined the group at the restaurant for wine and charcuterie offered as well as the music. Lovely, sunny hot and an exceptional way to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.
We opted out of the tours offered as wanted to attend the Lippezaner Stallion morning workout which we first noticed when we signed up for our cruise but it had disappeared from the itinerary. Our cruise folk were very helpful gathering information about tickets and ordering us a taxi to get us there. We were so glad we did this. We then purchased tickets for a hop on/hop off bus so that we could get an overview of the city which was a good way to experience all we could in the short amount of time we had there. Very happy with our day in Vienna - would return