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Scenic Jewel Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
105 Reviews

Voyage of the Damned or Cursed....Jewels of Europe with Paris and Prague

Scenic Jewel Cruise Review by RetiredQA

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: Europe River

We chose this cruise to celebrate our 30th Anniversary and we had a really good time last year on the Seine River cruise. This trip was a completely different experience for us, we were disappointed with some of the elements of this trip. The first sign that this cruise was going to be interesting (cursed) was the ship was changed 2 days before our departure date. Hmm, what was wrong with the Jade (our first intended ship) I wondered... Next, the restaurant located on the 57th/58th floor of the Eiffel tower which we were supposed to go for dinner was closed for renovations (since September 2019) and (the incompetent personnel at Scenic did NOT inform us of the change in September as they should have) and did not give us the chance to change our plans while in Paris. It was only due to a very nice couple from Australia wanting to switch with us, that we had the opportunity to go to Lido de Paris (a cabaret club) instead. We had a great time there..NOTE to Scenic...you people should describe the cabaret club MUCH BETTER than you do in your brochures. The restaurant food on the river boat should have been a bit more of a German or Austrian style (be authentic too and LESS SALTY), we were disappointed with some of the meals (dinner and lunch) that were prepared. Some of the meats were overcooked to the point where you could not cut the meat at all; it was like shoe leather. The service in the restaurant declined as the trip was coming to the end. It was harder to order a second cup of coffee at breakfast and we felt that every breakfast was rushed due to the early starts of the morning excursions. We had to wake up early in the morning, rush to eat breakfast and then we still had to wait for the tourist areas to open anyway and by that time other cruise company's buses had arrived to see the same attractions. Some of the attractions were not that interesting, i.e.; Cologne cathedral, it dominated the town and it seemed all there was in the surrounding area were expensive shops. Also, some of the attractions had a NO PHOTOGRAPH policy which was a huge disappointment. The previous year's trip in France allowed us to take as many pictures as we wanted to within the chateaus. One day the cruise director had bragged that Viking Cruise lines had 2 river boat accidents so far in 2019 and that night the pilot house that controls the boat was not lowered enough on our ship and it collided with a bridge which then threw off our whole schedule for the next day. I think Scenic needs to train their employees concerning clarifying the departure times for the excursions and just generally speaking to the ship's guests in a non-condescending manner when we were posing questions to the Scenic employees. Also, we were told the bus would not be held for us the next time for the next excursion since we were late by JUST 1 MINUTE (the cruise director should have made it clear the day before what time the line up started and what time the buses actually departed...as I said, they should hire people who can speak English much better or BE DETAIL-ORIENTED enough to put enough information on the daily Itinerary). We ended up sick with a cold as did a number of guests on the boat due to the ship crew's inability to isolate the sick people from the healthy ones and we noticed our boat was not kept as warm as the other Scenic boat (the Opel) when we had to cross through it as we walked inside to get to the dock for an excursion. The housekeeping for the cabin could have been much better, our attendant did NOT understand a word of English because we had requested a few items (eg. more pillows) and it was our butler who had to intercede on our behalf in order for our requests to be fulfilled. The cabin could have been cleaned better on some days, i.e.; face cloths that were to be taken away that morning were still under the sink when we returned from our excursion when we returned for lunch, new towels and sometimes soap were replaced. The last part of the excursion in Prague was wonderful, our guide Tomas made the trip in the Czech Republic a great experience but again something that Scenic FAILED TO MENTION, was the bus trip was 8 HOURS LONG (it included 2, half hour washroom breaks and a 1 hour lunch break). We thought it would have been easier if we could have taken a high speed train to Prague from Budapest so a whole day of travelling could have been reduced as we did between Paris and Amsterdam at the beginning of our trip. In conclusion, we are seriously considering NOT going on any more Scenic river cruises in the near future due to the issues we encountered on this last cruise and feel we did not get full value for what we spent on the river cruise.

RetiredQA's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

We did not sleep as well in this cabin on the same level as we did on the last cruise. We found it to be a bit noisier due to ship noises i.e.; ship was creaking, bumping in the locks, etc.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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Zaanse Schans Windmills


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there were many things to see, very crowded streets..smoked beer if your into smelling ashtrays as you drink beer....


Gloomy experience going through the museums...


The monks made the best beer I've ever had...really amazing monastery too...

Linz (Salzburg)

It was a busy town, we were higher than the fog that day, so every picture turned out well, lots to see....

We tried 3 different white wines in the cellar, really enjoyable experience, walked in the busy town as well....

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Schonbrunn Palace

we could NOT take any pictures of the interior of the palace!!!!...VERY disappointing...

View All 179 Schonbrunn Palace Reviews

It was a nice day for taking a walk, some of the stores had items that were reasonably priced, lots to see..hated seeing all that graffiti...

Could NOT take any pictures - very disappointing...

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