This was our first cruise (river/ocean). We wanted the best and were to understand Scenic Tours was the best (all inclusive/luxury). We selected a deluxe suite on the Diamond Deck.
The cabin was acceptable, clean compact with great housekeeping services.
The dining aboard was very good with a wide selection of items.
The Cruise Director and most of the staff were excellent.
The excursions were acceptable - although our hike through the Black Forest was simply a walk up the driveway alongside a vineyard to a farm to have Black Forest cake - no sign of a Black Forest.
The Butler service Scenic describes was non-existent. Our 'Butler' never introduced himself, showed us to our cabin or had any interaction with us. After talking to other passengers I learned where the card was to order coffee in the cabin in the morning.
The special dinner they describe as: Table La Rive was nothing better than a regular dining room dinner. There was a table assigned at the back of the dining room, we were not even seated at that, since the table was occupied by 10 friends that wanted to sit together. The food not special, the sommelier had taken (?) the basic wine course. The food: I do not need to be told what an 'amuse bouche' is, but they should look up the definition; after being asked how I wanted my beef cooked - I was told it would be med-rare, why ask?; the meat was tough.
I think the biggest disappointment was the balconies with the special windows. There was no need for them. The view for most of the trip, except 2 days, was non-existent. We were either facing an industrial park, a dirty brick wall (see photo) or were tied up to another boat (we embarked by walking through a Viking ship) - you could actually touch the windows of the other boat without leaning over the side. The cabin felt like a tomb.
It will be a long time before we consider cruising. I will definitely ask more questions, although Scenic does not like to get specific on details (so how can you ensure what you will see out your cabin windows?). Probably will not choose Scenic again.
I needed a foam pillow. I called the 'butler service' the first night - he told me to call reception. Reception told me to call the butler. Eventually someone came with the pillow, thrust it at me and said 'enjoy'.
The housekeeping was always friendly and very thorough.