This is a difficult review to write, as some parts of the cruise were excellent and others extremely disappointing. My bottom line is that Scenic ultimately failed to deliver the “6-star” experience they promoted. I am limiting the review to those aspects of the trip specific to Scenic and the Scenic Eclipse. The destinations themselves, the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, will be enjoyed by anyone who likes wildlife or unique scenery, but there are many ships that offer this itinerary.
On the positive side, the ship’s staff was excellent. Everyone in housekeeping, food and beverage, customer relations, and the expedition team (called the Discovery team by Scenic) was friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. This was consistent with our previous river cruise on Scenic and one of the reasons we chose Scenic for this voyage. On our cruise, there were actually more staff members than passengers. The expedition team deserves special commendation. Its members were knowledgeable in oceanography, marine biology, glaciology, geology, and ornithology. They were careful to protect passenger safety and the safety of the environment. Another positive feature was the open bridge, where the ship’s officers were willing to talk about the ship or simply let you stay there to observe the surroundings.
The cabins were a mixture of good and bad. Shortly before our voyage we received word through our travel agent that the cabin we had booked (along with a number of others) was not as big as advertised. While Scenic offered to reimburse the premium paid for a larger cabin, we had deliberately chosen a large cabin for a cruise of this length and were quite disappointed. A better solution would have been to move us to a cabin of the size we had booked, but they did not offer this. It is also disturbing that we were told of this only shortly before the cruise, after final payment had been made. They claimed that they had only learned of the size discrepancy recently and, in fact, the next season catalog we had just received showed the cabin as larger than it is. But the failure to meet the cabin specifications should have been noted during quality inspections when the ship was built and probably reflects on all of the construction issues faced by the Scenic Eclipse. Our cabin was very noisy with loud creaking whenever the ship moved. Maintenance tried to fix this but couldn’t, and we were led to understand that the problem related to the various ceiling and wall panels not being properly joined or separated, when necessary, by gaskets, again reflecting on ship construction. On the good side, the bed was very comfortable. Negatives, many mentioned in other reviews, were minimal storage space for clothing, absence of shelf space in the bathroom with a sink that looked great but was not very functional, and a TV behind a reflective surface so it was difficult to see.