SCENIC, THE WORST EVER
Of 21 Cruises, this was by far and away the worst we have ever taken!!! We have cruised Carnival, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Crystal, Seabourn and this was definitely the worst. Misrepresentations on services galore, misdirections, and sullen, surly staff started us off. Mediocre to poor food continued the negative impression, and extremely difficult access to decks, docks and tours completed the debacle. It appeared that the Australian owned line had changed its policy on room service between the time we booked in February and the time of our cruise in August. Scenic, when contacted about this, from the email rep, to the operations manager to the staff onboard all said we could not have it. Pointing out the fact that their brochure on page 23 said they had room service did not do the trick. Only after showing them the 3 pages and menu in our cabin 3-ring notebook (proclaiming our services and amenities) which included room service, made somebody at the reception desk and the cruise director agree that we were to get room service. It was a constant battle. And although this was booked as all “inclusive,” we had to beg for iced tea or mineral water with lunch. We finally on the fourth day got a 6 -pack of bottled water for our room. At meals the waiter would arrive with a bottle of cheap wine in each hand (one red and one white) and assume that you would not have anything else. Most people had one glass and shut up. One day I asked for iced tea and waited 15 minutes for it. The bartender in the lounge blew his nose on a cocktail napkin and then continued garnishing drinks! Food portions were minuscule: fish was cut in pieces barely bigger than a silver dollar. Cafeteria containers of over-stewed vegetables accompanied all buffets. Desserts were tasteless and served in what appeared to be liquor glasses. The only 5 star stand out was the dining manager, Gianny, who was beyond professional and helpful. He went out of his way to assist with my husband’s lactose intolerance issues, and even highlighted menus with what he could safely have to eat. He was genuine, and caring and always available. Our “butler” appeared as we unpacked, mostly looked at himself in the mirror and left before we found out how to turn on the shower or find the A/C outlet in the bathroom. We did not see him for 4 days. On one tour we were taken by a kiddie train with no knee room on a rough teeth rattling ride up a hill and told the boat was at dock #19 if we wanted to find our own way back. Attempting to return, we walked approximately a mile to dock #19 to find no ship!! We then walked the approximate mile back the other direction to find the Scenic Opal at dock #4. Upon inquiry, the reception desk just said, “Oh, that train guide told everybody the wrong dock number.” No apology, no concession, nothing. My knees hurt so bad I had to miss the next day’s tour in Heidelberg to recover. All in all it was awful. Supposedly free choice and open seating, we were herded like a bunch of 3rd graders to eat at one seating: an hour or hour and a half for lunch and then wait for 7-9 dinner. And despite the limited options, all were made painfully aware that the “Diamond Deck” passengers were far superior. Have never had such a class conscious experience on any cruise ship!!! And although we did not have the most expensive cabin on the ship we figured our costs at over $1,000 per day would provide much better than we got.