My wife and I booked this trip almost one year in advance. We wanted to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary in a different way. We travelled alone.
We arrived in Budapest 2 days prior the cruise departure so we could tour the city on our own. We had no problem with the embarkation although we found out the day before departure that we were on a different ship. At first we were to be on the Crystal. This was changed to the Jasper before leaving Canada and we found out that we would sail on the Jade the day before leaving.
This was our first cruise ever. We chose to go with Scenic because of the ratings we saw (5 star experience) and the comments received from friends and relatives who had travelled with them in the past.
Our experience turned out to be our worst vacation ever. Mostly due to the noise level (not the vibration) in the cabin, our cabin being close to the engines - it was the last cabin on the second deck. The information concerning this is under ''Cabin review''. Note that our neighbours in room 237 were switched rooms at Nurenberg as one room became free. They had complained before us to the cruise director so they got the room. We also found out that some passengers who had booked almost 3 months after us got a better room, at a better rate, when Scenic did a sale through Travelzoo. This got us even more upset.
Service and food on board were very good. As were the Entertainment we attended either on board or during outings, with the highlight being the concert at the Lichtenstein palace in Vienna. On the negative side, during the visits, the devices provided to listen to the guides did not work very well. We were regularly disconnected and when it worked we had background noise that made hearing the comments difficult. Some of the guides told us that the system needed to be changed. Even the cruise director made the same comment. The Average rating for Shore excursions is tied to the devices provided.
For the last 3 days of the cruise, the men's washroom near the lounge and dining room were out of order so I had to go back to my room every time I needed to use the washroom.
The Jade is a newer vessel and is much cleaner than the Crystall. Also, the internet connection on the Crystall was at best shady compared to the Jade. We could not connect from our room and connection from the hall was not very fast. The furniture and carpet in the lounge of the Crystall need to be refreshed.
We will not travel with Scenic again because this was our worst vacation ever and after complaining and explaining the situation when we returned home, we do not feel we were properly compensated. We verbally advised them we would not cruise again with them and at first, they offered us a rebate for our next cruise, knowing full well our position concerning a next cruise. We did eventually get a financial compensation but not to what we consider was an acceptable level.
The cabin was so noisy that we hardly got any sleep over the 14 days period we were on board. We started on the Jade at Budapest and because of water levels, we switched to the Crystal half way during the cruise. After our first night on the Jade, we relalised this would not be a good experience. The next morning, we spoke to our neighbours in room 237 to see if they had experienced the same frustration. They had and had already complained to the cruise director concerning the noise level. They (and we later) were told that Scenic or our travel agent should have advised us of the noise and that nothing could be done because all the rooms were fully booked. It was so noisy that we could not sleep, even with the earplugs provided. In speaking with other customers, we found that the other rooms (except for 237 and ours) were quiet. Note that we had booked our cruise almost one year ahead of time. When we switched to the Crystal, it got worst. Not only due to the engine noise but we also had water coming out of the shower drain on a regular basis (adding more noise) and this could not be repaired while sailing. One employee said that clients from both rooms 236 and 237 were complaining on a regular basis about the noise level. On the Crystall, we also had the constant smell of washing detergent as we believe we were possibly over the laundry room. The mattresses also need to be changed.