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We chose the 14 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with 3 days in Paris (Westin Hotel) at the start and 3 days in Prague (Art Deco Imperial Hotel) at the end. This was our first river cruise but we have been on 5 ocean cruises in the last 3 years. Scenic was pitched to us as 5 star all the way and it simply did not live up to its reputation. The Paris and Prague portions were excellent with great tour directors, hotels and excursions. We had free time and could walk most places. The high speed train from Paris to Amsterdam was excellent with good food and drink service as well as a comfortable seat. The transfer to Prague was via a long coach ride and we got stuck in two traffic jams due to accidents. A train transfer should be considered by Scenic. The cruise itself was underwhelming. The cabin was small but well appointed and comfortable. Our room steward was phenomenal and kept our room clean and well stocked including the mini bar. The balcony was nice but the window was loud to open and took about 15 seconds each way. Unfortunately due to the vast number of ships sailing this route we ended up tied alongside another ship for half of our time in Port. This meant that you couldn't really use the balcony and needed to keep the curtains closed which meant that you basically had an inside room. Balcony was a waste of time money. The food was a mixed bag. Both breakfast and lunch was served buffet style in the main dining room with an option for a la carte from a menu. The layout of the buffet was terrible with people not knowing which way to go and line ups for omelettes etc longer than I've experienced before and there was only 160+ onboard. Breakfast food was quite good but lunch here was not worth it and we generally went for the light lunch in the lounge upstairs which was less crowded. Dinner was great some nights including Portobellos and average some others as was the service. Definitely not 5 star dining and certainly the worst food overall that we have had on any cruise. The drink service was excellent including bar snacks before dinner. The excursions were also a mixed bag and as usual dependant on the tour guide. They varied from poor to very good but at this price point you expect excellent across the board. We discovered that the "Sundowner" excursion included in our package was only going to be drinks and snacks on the sun deck and not in a more exotic location as on other Scenic cruises. It never occurred anyways because shortly before that day they ran the stern of the ship aground briefly during the night, waking everyone up and damaging the propeller and other parts of the propulsion system. This necessitated placing the ship in dry dock for one day. The cruise director did a great job of rescheduling most of the excursions but some people missed out and we spent a lot of hours on a coach killing time until the ship was back in the water. The Captain, basically non communicative during the entire cruise, gave a poor and perhaps dishonest explanation of what occurred and why which satisfied few onboard. The "Sundowner" event never happened and was never mentioned again. Be aware that this cruise goes through 68 locks which are interesting at first and during dinner but not as much during the night after going through 40 already. We found a few crew members both unhappy and rude which we have never experienced before on any cruise. The majority however were very friendly and accommodating. The entertainment on board each evening was listed as live but was generally a DJ. One of our group complained one night and he switched to playing and singing live for a while which was quite good. The local entertainment they brought onboard several times in the afternoon was always excellent and we could have used more of that.

Despite the cruise a good trip

Scenic Jade Cruise Review by Northbound2012

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Europe
We chose the 14 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with 3 days in Paris (Westin Hotel) at the start and 3 days in Prague (Art Deco Imperial Hotel) at the end. This was our first river cruise but we have been on 5 ocean cruises in the last 3 years. Scenic was pitched to us as 5 star all the way and it simply did not live up to its reputation. The Paris and Prague portions were excellent with great tour directors, hotels and excursions. We had free time and could walk most places. The high speed train from Paris to Amsterdam was excellent with good food and drink service as well as a comfortable seat. The transfer to Prague was via a long coach ride and we got stuck in two traffic jams due to accidents. A train transfer should be considered by Scenic.

The cruise itself was underwhelming. The cabin was small but well appointed and comfortable. Our room steward was phenomenal and kept our room clean and well stocked including the mini bar. The balcony was nice but the window was loud to open and took about 15 seconds each way. Unfortunately due to the vast number of ships sailing this route we ended up tied alongside another ship for half of our time in Port. This meant that you couldn't really use the balcony and needed to keep the curtains closed which meant that you basically had an inside room. Balcony was a waste of time money.

The food was a mixed bag. Both breakfast and lunch was served buffet style in the main dining room with an option for a la carte from a menu. The layout of the buffet was terrible with people not knowing which way to go and line ups for omelettes etc longer than I've experienced before and there was only 160+ onboard.

Breakfast food was quite good but lunch here was not worth it and we generally went for the light lunch in the lounge upstairs which was less crowded.

Dinner was great some nights including Portobellos and average some others as was the service. Definitely not 5 star dining and certainly the worst food overall that we have had on any cruise.

The drink service was excellent including bar snacks before dinner.

The excursions were also a mixed bag and as usual dependant on the tour guide. They varied from poor to very good but at this price point you expect excellent across the board.

We discovered that the "Sundowner" excursion included in our package was only going to be drinks and snacks on the sun deck and not in a more exotic location as on other Scenic cruises. It never occurred anyways because shortly before that day they ran the stern of the ship aground briefly during the night, waking everyone up and damaging the propeller and other parts of the propulsion system.

This necessitated placing the ship in dry dock for one day. The cruise director did a great job of rescheduling most of the excursions but some people missed out and we spent a lot of hours on a coach killing time until the ship was back in the water. The Captain, basically non communicative during the entire cruise, gave a poor and perhaps dishonest explanation of what occurred and why which satisfied few onboard. The "Sundowner" event never happened and was never mentioned again.

Be aware that this cruise goes through 68 locks which are interesting at first and during dinner but not as much during the night after going through 40 already.

We found a few crew members both unhappy and rude which we have never experienced before on any cruise. The majority however were very friendly and accommodating.

The entertainment on board each evening was listed as live but was generally a DJ. One of our group complained one night and he switched to playing and singing live for a while which was quite good.

The local entertainment they brought onboard several times in the afternoon was always excellent and we could have used more of that.
Northbound2012’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 218
Small but well appointed. Mini bar restocked twice daily including cookies and chips. Bottled water included.
Comfortable bed. Good size bathroom with large excellent shower. Closet space was adequate but tricky to access.