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Scenic Azure Review

Unforgettable Service, Excursions and Meals

Review for Europe River Cruise on Scenic Azure
2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2022

We chose another Scenic cruise after having a wonderful experience 3 years ago when we took a Budapest to Amsterdam cruise with this company. All the transfers and excursions which were part of the Lisbon extension on our cruise were handled seemlessly, as was the return transfer from the Azure to the Porto airport. Our cabin was on the Diamond level which entitled us to a number of complimentary services, including laundry and a special tasting dinner. We used the laundry service several times as the weather was warmer than expected and I had not packed enough short sleeve tops and shorts. The laundry came back beautifully folded in a box by early afternoon. The cabin itself wasted no space and provided plenty of options for clothing and personal item storage. We loved the separate seating area (balcony) for watching the world go by along with the option to keep the large glass window up or down. At night having a window to partially roll down along with its screen gave us a chance to sleep without air conditioning, which was pleasant as the evenings were cool. Water pressure was great. Our cabin was made up twice daily and was spotless! There was variety in the daily meal selections along with an array of staples at breakfast and lunch. Menu items changed daily and special requests were never a problem. I love dessert and was happy to see that it was also available at lunchtime. While I do not drink mixed drinks, there didn't seem to be a single mixed drink which the bartenders could not produce! Since the tour took place on the Douro, Portugese wines were always on offer and were well-paired with meals. Of course there were plenty of port wines as well. The excursion choices made it easy for those with mobility issues to still participate in seeing and learning about Porto and the Douro River. Local guides, in addition to the on-board guides who accompanied us, made sure that all our questions were answered and that tours were fun as well as educational. My favorite excursions were the day in Salamanca (walking tour followed by free-time for lunch and visiting local museums and churches), the visit to the Coa Valley Museum (state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the rock carvings made by Paleolithic inhabitants in the area), and the Cockburn Winery Tour (huge facility with an incredible tasting of ports and thorough explanation of the process). I'm not sure that the staff on board ever really rested. They worked together seemlessly to cater to the passengers and always were genuinely kind and helpful. Daily entertainment and enrichment opportunities provided variety and also an abiding respect for the heritage and customs of the people of Portugal. This was our second trip to Portugal and once again I found the people to be patient, friendly, and warm. I'm by nature a critic and once again I must say that Scenic exceeded our expectations.

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