We’ve travelled with Scenic on several river cruises in Europe and wanted to try out their ocean itinerary on Eclipse series. As this was inaugural voyage for Eclipse II and the owners/VIP would be on boat, we were expecting high standard of excellence. We encountered a mix of inexperienced butlers/waiters and other staff, incomplete preparations where staff were still adding/assembling/fixing items as they arrived on-board at each port day. We were missing cushions on sofas in stateroom. The hand sanitizer station in observatory lounge was non-functional (lacked batteries to operate), etc. The excursions are pre-selected at booking (some opportunity to swap while on ship). My wife has walking difficulties so we selected the easier shore itineraries and she would ‘take a break’ as needed. Excursions were impacted at second port (only location where tender boat used) due to high winds/rough seas. Passing thru straits of Gibraltar was a rough experience (50mph winds and 10+ ft seas) and ceiling panels on outer deck were missing the following morning. Our butler’s performance improved on day 3 after we finally made contact. Food in restaurants was excellent quality. We lacked patience to endure 2-hour dinners at larger shared tables so generally ate at table for 2. We don’t drink alcohol but there seemed to be good choices for imbibing (all beverages are included).
My overall impression was at inaugural sailing they were not ready for prime-time. Upon arrival we were told that staterooms were not ready. We were on deck 5 and were advised that room was ready within 90-minutes of boarding. Staterooms on upper decks took significantly longer to be ready (up to 4-hours for top floors). With no previous voyage, it seemed odd to take multiple hours to get rooms prepared for guests.
I was monitoring Scenic Eclipse II build progress but remained hesitant to book based on delays with original Eclipse. The sub was not ready yet but there was a helicopter on-board. I booked less than 90-days from sailing so I had fewer choices remaining on shore excursions and I was limited in selections of available staterooms. This is a premium tour company but they released product before it was up to standards that I have come to expect. I felt it was over-priced for service/value that I received. Normally I would expect company to make monetary reparations or offer other future credits when they fail to meet their standards. The Aussies on-board seemed indifferent to the glitches but more than several Americans expressed that they were disappointed. They had one chance to make a good impression and took their customers for granted.
On deck 5 in DA category. Stateroom was missing cushions for couch during inaugural sailing. Comfortable bed with adjustments. The room lighting requires insertion of stateroom card in slot by door to operate. The multi-media TV had little informational content on cruise, shore excursions or recording of any on-board entertainment or port talks.