We were impressed even before we boarded for our cruise!
On the day before sailing we found the dock and boarded to ask a few questions. The staff was quite pleasant and accommodating. This was definitely a different experience than an ocean cruise.
We brought our luggage to the ship around 11 am on the first day and they stored it while we ate lunch and then left the ship to explore Budapest. At 3 pm we were able to check-in. That was a very fast process. There again, compared to an ocean cruise, it was a snap. We were able to go to our cabin (223). The luggage was already there.
The cabin had good storage for all our belongings. The sliding doors on the closet were neat and didn’t take up room in the cabin. We particularly liked the balcony being a part of the room. That made the space seem much larger, although it only added about 20 sf more. I liked that there were four glass doors that could close off the cabin if needed. We only had the balcony top window down a couple of times, but it was nice that we had that option.
The room was quiet once the room above us got all situated. We didn’t hear them again until they were on their balcony Skyping their family in Australia and talking loudly. Closing the glass doors to our room helped solve that. The door really kept out the hallway noise. I didn’t hear anything noise in the evening. We usually turned in well before other cruisers.
We found to the food to be good. The plated portions were on the small side. We could have ordered more, but there was adequate food and we never went hungry. The breakfast and lunch buffets had a nice selection. Tables were configured to seat 2 or 4, and occasionally a larger one. Many times the table for two would join in the conversation with the table for four. We found our fellow passengers to be quite congenial and interesting.
The excursions were set for different activity levels. We usually took the more active walking tour. My husband also went on a 38k bike ride. The bikes are electronically assisted. It was a nice ride for them. They actually got to the port in Melk about the time that we were docking.
We enjoyed the evening Enrichment concert at the palace in Vienna. It was a lovely evening of listening to classical music and opera.
Another outstanding excursion was the day tour to Salzburg and then lunch and a Sound of Music Show. The morning started off foggy and then lifted by the time we got to Salzburg. That made walking around the town so much nicer.
Most of the passengers were on their first river cruise. One other couple were on their fourth Scenic cruise (the only line they have been on)- a good testament to Scenic.
Of the 169 passengers, Canadians had the most, followed by Australians, Americans, Brits, a New Zealand couple and three from Israel. It was a good mix. Average age was probably in the upper 50s or mid 60s – no kids (except for two 20 somethings).
The staff was mostly from Eastern Europe- Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. They spoke English very well and were very pleasant.
We sad that the ship was continuing on from Nuremberg without us. We look forward to going on another river cruise in the future.
The cabin was a good size for a ship. The balcony was part of the room and really made the room feel much larger.
The bathroom seemed bigger than ocean cruisers. There was a rain shower head, which made it seem like a more luxurious shower. The shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion and soap were L'Occitane products- posh.
The mini-refrigerator was filled everyday by the cabin steward. Each day our Coke and Diet Coke was replenished.
There was also a small can of Pringles and a pack of wafer cookies on the shelf in case you had the munchies.