We chose this cruise after very careful scrutiny of itineraries, cabins and amenities. This was to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and had to be very special. We booked 51 weeks in advance to ensure we got what we wanted and what we paid for. We arrived in Budapest on August 20/18, got our bags, went through customs and finally found our private transfer to the ship. We were VERY disappointed to find that we were not going to the ship but to the Corinthia hotel. Australian and British passengers were advised in advance of the change caused by low water in the river. Canadians were not advised. Ships could not get past Vienna going up the river, or Regensburg coming down. The Jade was one of those stuck above Regensburg. J.J. the Cruise Director, met with the group of us who had been assigned to stay at the Corinthia. He promised that we would meet up with the Scenic Pearl in Vienna, and that our cabin would be equivalent to what we had booked on the Scenic Jade. He also told us that we would be transferred to the Jade at Regensburg, at some point, which meant we had to pack up and move partway through the cruise. At dinner that evening, at the Corinthia, I advised J.J. that I had a dairy allergy (the appropriate form had been filled out and submitted to Scenic in October 2017). He arranged for the maitre d' to help me with what I could eat on the buffet. However, when we were taken to a restaurant the next day for lunch, enroute to Vienna, he had not advised them and there was nothing I could eat safely. He became angry when I told him that and said it was not his job to worry about everyone's diet. He claimed he managed 7 ships and hundreds of guests and staff, and had no time to worry about everyone's diet. He blamed Scenic, the restaurant and me. His job was to take care of us on behalf of Scenic. My dietary restrictions were an issue for the entirety of the cruise. I was given the menus for the day each morning, once we reached the Jade. The dishes containing dairy were highlighted, but no alternates offered. The food on both ships was terrible. Very little choice, poorly executed and very little of it. We often had room service for dinner because it was faster, and tasted better than the dining room. On approximately the day 3 on the Jade, they stopped offering coffee/tea at lunch and dinner. For the most part, the crew with the exception of J.J., were wonderful. Our butlers: Kris & Gus (Pearl) and Harry (Jade) were very attentive. Harry especially would ensure my meals were dairy free and I was being taken care of, when he was in the dining room.
As noted, we booked on the Scenic Jade, but were first accommodated on the Scenic Pearl because of the low river water. We were assured, by J.J., that our cabin on the Pearl would be equivalent to what we had booked on the Jade. At the time we booked, the Pearl was not even assigned to this itinerary. The rating on the cabin is for our cabin on the Jade, NOT on the Pearl. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived in our Pearl cabin and it was not even close to what we had booked. It was smaller, had no sofa, we had to climb over a corner of the bed to access the sitting area of the cabin, the teeny bathroom was almost impossible to negotiate with the door closed which was ok because the door never stayed closed. One of the perks noted in the brochure was that the butler would unpack/pack for us. I asked Gus, our butler on the Pearl about that and he said he would, but I would have to stay with him to tell him where to put everything - this kind of defeats the purpose, so I did it myself. Never, on either ship, did we receive hors d'oeuvres before dinner in our cabin. Cabins on both ships were spotless and anything we needed was quickly taken care of.
Melk was very nice. Walked into the village and did some shopping.
Bused to the Scenic Jade. Made a restroom stop at a service center which was so busy and crowded that it was difficult to even negotiate through the crowd to exit the building
We visited WWII sites, which was interesting. Visiting the area where Hitler held his rallies was very disturbing.
We took the Romantic Road excursion. It was interesting. Rothenburg was a lovely town. Shopping in the Christmas store was average, but expensive.
The village was very nice but expensive. We took a short walk around before dinner. Most passengers went to the Marksburg Castle for a tour and dinner. Those of us who did not were treated to possibly the best meal of the cruise in Portobellos, as a surprise. Very nice!