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3,223 Europe - All Cruise Reviews

Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first river cruise and won’t be my last. Had a wonderful experience on the Scenic Crystal. Wonderful staff, great excursions, food was outstanding. We came with a group of 18. Couldn’t have been a better way to travel with ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and won’t be my last. Had a wonderful experience on the Scenic Crystal. Wonderful staff, great excursions, food was outstanding. We came with a group of 18. Couldn’t have been a better way to travel with this many people. We had 160 people on our boat but never felt crowded. Plenty of space to accommodate our group.They had such a nice variety of excursions. Always something for all interests. The staff saw to our every need. They all seemed to work together as a team . The food was very good. Loved that we had 2 nights with different dining experience’s outside of the normal dining room. Nice variety of entertainment . Also very happy with the way they timed everything. Never felt rushed or over scheduled but yet we saw and did so much. Very well organized and run operation. Loved that everything was included. No upgrades required. Thank You Scenic Crystal for a wonderful first River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the second of back to back cruises on this ship. The first was around the British Isles and this one was to Scandinavia. Both cruises started and ended in Dover. Transit arrangements were seamless, there were no custom ... Read More
This was the second of back to back cruises on this ship. The first was around the British Isles and this one was to Scandinavia. Both cruises started and ended in Dover. Transit arrangements were seamless, there were no custom clearance requirements at Dover. We could stay on the ship or walk on and off anytime we pleased. As I reported on my British Isles cruise review, the ship is great. The small ship means everything is close, the crew seem less stressed than on the larger ships, and the food is also just that little bit better than on the larger ships. The highlight of the cruise was St Petersburg. We were right near the end of the tourist season, which meant less crowds at the popular attractions. The weather was cold, but there was no rain. We did a private tour through Viator, which used local company SPB tours. We had a small group of 14 which made it easy to get around to all the attractions Other places, which surprised us were Riga and Tallinn. The old town areas in these ports were well preserved and very interesting to visit. Copenhagen and Stockholm were other interesting ports. Helsinki did not have much going for it, but that could have been that it was the first port after spectacular St Petersburg. Disembarkation was a straight forward process. A lot of people were staying on the ship for the next cruise, which meant it took less than 15 minutes to clear the ship, pick up luggage and head out of the terminal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and ... Read More
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and a bunch of funny (and some not so funny) incidents Embarkation – brilliant! Slick and well organised. It would be hard to think of any way to improve on it. Well done! Cabin – gave it a ‘once over’ with an ultraviolet torch and it was pretty good, clean and tidy The usual over priced water offering (5 x 1.5l bottles for £10.50 with a 6th one thrown in for free). For the same price my local Lidl would give me 66 x 2l bottles, but hey, this isn’t Lidl. Bathroom functional and clean but not much else to say. Needed extra clothes hangers which were readily provided from the steward Television frequently not working as the satellite signal keeps getting lost as you rock when at sea but tends to work pretty well when in port. Could do with a larger selection of films as I had seen pretty much everything there was. No music on offer. These days you cannot get access to your account from your room and have to ask for a printout from reception instead. So much for progress with technology. Safe works easily. Storage space is adequate. Suitcases fit under the bed or on the shelf above the hanging wardrobe. Breakfast in bed is available (free) and many room service options (chargeable) are available. There is a phone in the cabin. Each deck is numbered and lettered so, for example, if you want to phone cabin A123 (deck no.4) you would dial 4123, cabin B123 would be 5123 and so on. Beach towels are provided (two per cabin) but, you should ask for extras if you intend sunbathing. You will need two per lounger. The smoke stacks/funnels spit out a fair bit of soot and any loungers down wind of the stacks can get dirty. So pop to Poundland, and get yourself a couple (each) of the big plastic clips that hold the towels on the loungers (as it can get very windy) and never sit on a lounger without a protective towel if you value whatever you are wearing. If you do end up with soot marks on your clothes, go to reception and they will give you a FOC (Free of charge) laundry clean but the item will be gone for 2-3 days. There are two 500ml bottles of water free when you arrive. To augment the water supply, you can either bring back a glass with you when you return to your cabin from any food area or, you can boil water in your cabin and when cool, refill the 500ml water bottles. Or you can pay the £10.50 (but I am too mean to). The mirror in the bathroom tends to get very misted up if you have a shower. Quick tip – rub a bar of soap onto the mirror and then clean it off with a small hand towel. The soap will clean the mirror up nicely as it dries leaving you a better chance of doing your hair, gel, wig etc. The tea coffee tray has the basics but if you need fresh milk, gluten free, skimmed etc you can ask the steward for some. Similarly, if you prefer a fruity tea, peppermint tea etc you can grab a couple from the self service buffet deck 15 and use them in your cabin. We take a bottle of gin and a couple of bottles of tonic and have a G&T as we get ready for dinner each night. Don’t forget to bring a little bottle of lemon or lime with you if you do the same. Avoids the need for knives, fruit etc. You can ask the steward for extra glasses for your cabin so you have some for the G&Ts and others for your water. There are laundries on every deck with washing machines and driers. We have never used them but they appear to be free. There are ironing boards and irons available there too. Washing powder/tablets/capsules are available on deck 5 (I was told) so you do not need to bring anything yourself. I hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For this review, I have compiled the facts and written them in an easy, logical way to read, however, as will become clear, the information from the Captain was given after the acute crisis event, during a Q & A session, with a ... Read More
For this review, I have compiled the facts and written them in an easy, logical way to read, however, as will become clear, the information from the Captain was given after the acute crisis event, during a Q & A session, with a proportion of the affected passengers. This is a factual description of our experiences. Facts: 1. The Captain had warned P&O 3 years ago not to include Monaco in any itinerary during the annual 4 day Monaco mega yacht show (which this year was 25 -28 September 2019). This is because all hotels in and around the area are completely booked, areas are closed, the Monte Carlo pier and tendering is not available, taxis are not available, buses are limited, it is packed and you have to pre pay 280 Euros to walk in the harbour promenade; 2. The Captain informed us that 2 weeks before our sailing, they tried to change the port to Villefranche, but 2 other ships were already there; 3. The Monte Carlo tender port is notoriously choppy and unpredictable and a quick scan of the forums shows how frequently the tender port is cancelled or has to be suspended; 4. Google states that in 2003 a modern cruise ship pier was opened to prevent the need for tendering in the known unpredictable swells. So why do some cruise companies still not pay to use it and instead choose to tender? 5. Upon questioning by the passengers the Captain revealed there is a written P&O protocol and procedure for exactly what to do when tendering has to be suspended and passengers are stranded – the 1st thing is to acquire hotel accommodation. This was never going to be available during the yacht show. A simple, common sense, uncomplicated risk assessment by a layperson would reveal that no ships should ever tender during the yacht show and the P&O protocol could never be accomplished; 6. Monaco offered P&O a tender area adjacent to Monte Carlo called Fontvieille and P&O / Carnival took the risk, that despite there never being hotel availability and P&O not being able to fulfil step 1 of their emergency protocol, that they would tender there; 7. The Captain’s weather forecast was for “good boating” that day. We got on the tender at around 9.10am. We have always loved tender ports and are excellent sailors. We noticed how many passengers could never have fulfilled the compulsory “step” test and were being lifted into the tenders. There were many wheelchairs and scooters. Our tender was choppy and many passengers were bumping their heads and being thrown around in their seats. Other passengers said how later this became progressively worse and the tender operation was extremely slow and interrupted; 8. When we joined the enormous, return tender queue at 14.15, passengers told us that the tender operation was suspended and apparently had been for some time, hence the vast queue. We considered going back into town, but it is a long, hilly walk into Monaco Ville from Fontvieille and I could not physically repeat it. We opted to wait…..and wait……and wait. The queue must have had 400-500 passengers by 15.00hrs and then the excursion coaches arrived at around 17.00. I overheard the Intercontinental excursion man, upon meeting the guests, informing them not to join the queue and to go to the nearest shopping centre to use the toilets, get refreshments and rest. The queue had not been told to do this. Information was extremely minimal i.e. it was passed down the line that they were still trying to resume tendering. Meanwhile, the water canisters ran dry and there were no toilet facilities that were open and we all remained standing in the Monaco sun. In the Q&A meeting the hotel manager claimed, as per protocol, that there was plentiful water at the tenders. She had clearly not been informed that this had long ran out. And anyway, the exceedingly patient, compliant queue did not move from their spots to walk the 100-200 meters to where the water containers would have been. At one stage, as the queue was right in the sun, the excursions department manager and a colleague carried what was left of the water along the queue until it was empty. After the risk of heat stroke and dehydration, the sun went behind the buildings and the wind whipped up. It quickly became very cold and of course we were all in strappy T shirts and shorts; 9. At 18.00hrs, all the staff in the queue were gathered together and debriefed. At 18.10, these various staff members went along the enormous queue. We realised something was up, because suddenly the previously unmoving queue all moved to the right and into 2 tiny restaurants / pizzeria and a bar. Eventually we were told we could spend up to 20 Euros per person for food / drinks, which would be refunded. By the time we got this information, the small eateries were full. The 18.10hrs message also stated that there would be a further announcement at 18.30. There was no way we could get food anywhere within that time, so we stuck with the queue as did some others. There never was a further announcement, but staff did go along the line at approximately 19.30 hrs asking if anyone had any priority needs, e.g. medications. I have a brain tumour, which I volunteered and was invited to go to the front of the queue. As I look relatively young, fit and well, I knew (as indeed happened) I would get dagger stares for moving to the front and so I declined, but the staff member escorted me; 10. At the front the brilliantly assertive senior nurse, who happened to be on shore leave, was organising the immediate priority group 1 and the 2nd priority group, where I was put. We waited and waited and we then boarded 1 of these 2 tenders. It was extremely rough. Again, many passengers who could barely walk and certainly not unaided, were being lifted into the tender. There is no way that they would have been able to fulfil the “step” test. 70 passengers were in our tender, but then the exits of the tenders were completely blocked by numerous wheelchairs, scooters and buggies. The 2 tender crew had to keep climbing over them. The voyage to the ship began at approximately 20.30hrs in the pitch black of night. We have never experienced such a rough tender ride. Passengers were having panic attacks, some screaming, crying and virtually all were vomiting. We have never seen so much vomit and we are hospital / medical professionals. Our tender was unable to get up alongside the ship, as tender priority 1 had to abandon unloading half way through, as it was far too dangerous. Passengers on the ship watched in horror and disbelief at the extreme rolling and pitching of the tenders. After approximately 45 minutes of these awful conditions we got back to the quayside, but we could not go alongside, as there were 3 empty tenders parked alongside. We, as passengers, had to tell the crew to move the empty tenders, so we could dock and be unloaded. It appeared that the entire tender crews and officers on the jetty had no control and were floundering. Eventually we unloaded and stood right on the jetty water’s edge, in the pitch black, back at the front of the enormous queue. We stood there for some time and then the safety officer in a quiet, sheepish voice, barely heard by most said “the police and authorities have taken over”. We were all led for a 15 – 20 minute walk to a sports centre, attached to the football stadium; 11. This whole time we had no information and no clue what was going on. It was now approximately 22.15 hrs and we had queued for 8 hours without seats, toilets, food, water, or shelter. We were all exhausted; 12. Most passengers were led into the basketball arena with had massive, steep, concrete steps to climb, without rails, to the plastic arena chairs. 1 elderly lady face planted down these steep steps and was taken away to hospital. We found 2 chairs in the hall. Some wonderful, off duty, non-officer staff were sharing the foods they had purchased for their personal use; 13. Eventually, the tender crews managed to collect some boxes of biscuits, dry crackers, nuts, tortilla chips, bottles of water, towels and blankets – anything that could be thrown from the ship into the tender. We later found out this food supplies mission had to be abandoned at 23.30hrs as a crew member fell from the tender pontoon, into the sea, between the ship and the tender, sustaining multiple head bangs. Clearly, any food transit had to be abandoned. Thankfully, we can now tell you, that the crew member survived, but the Captain told us that as it was a near fatality, the entire ship’s crew were naturally very shaken; 14. At the point when the snacks, towels / blankets arrived the calm, pleasant, courteous P&O passenger characteristics changed into 2 groups……- the considerate, selfless, carers group and the self-centered, just look after yourself group. Whereas I took 1 biscuit, others were seen hoarding entire, large, wholesale packets; 15. The senior nurse demonstrated strong leadership skills, effectively prioritising those with life threatening needs. There was still no information; 16. At approximately 22.45hrs, a policeman, of which there were loads, asked us if we needed a bed? Of course, we did need one, but we thought others showed greater need, so we declined; 17. At around 23.45hrs, a sudden surge of police and Red Cross staff arrived. A policeman came to us and instructed us “follow me, bed”. We were led into the basketball stadium, down the extremely steep stairs and into a further hall that had been set up with 100s of stretchers as makeshift “beds”. The majority were barely off the floor, narrow and metal and were of the type seen on TV news during earthquake / person evacuation / disaster zones. It was at this point we realised we were there for the night. There was still no P&O information. It was a complete disgrace and a total failure of communication; 18. The influx of police and Red Cross volunteers formed a human chain, passing more stretchers into the hall, which they then assembled. We were given a “couverture de survie” – a life saving foil cover. In a way we were lucky to get 1 of these orange evacuation metal stretchers, as we found out from passengers the next day, that they had to rest on the cold floor, on tables, or on broken up boxes, or sit all night in the arena plastic bucket seats, which must have been even more truly awful. However, these passengers told us that they had seen many passengers hoarding 5 towels as pillows or multiple blankets. 1 passenger at 3am saw an empty blue camp bed with a neatly folded blanket on it. As she took the blanket, the nearby man shot up and shouted at her to leave it, as it was “taken”. A few hours later she returned and saw the same empty camp bed and neatly folded blanket. In our hall there were many Red Cross workers who gave out the tin foil covers, some table cloth type covers and some duvet type sleeping bags, which we used to soften the hard, metal of the evacuation stretchers. The Red Cross went around the hall all night, checking on people and covering them with the tin foil, however all passengers will relay how exquisitely irritating the noise of this foil was – it became a torture noise in our sleep deprived state. Some passengers managed to sleep, but the extreme snoring, was for most, a further noise torture. For me, the worst torture was the bright overhead fluorescent lights that were left on, so any rest was futile and broken by foil / snoring / fluorescent light and the hardness / narrowness of the stretchers; 19. At no time were any hot drinks available from the Red Cross, which was a surprise to us, as hot drinks are commonly used in any emergency first aid crisis. However, there was now plentiful water obtained from the ship and at 3am we found some other snacks in the main basketball arena. During this time we spoke to a shore side food and beverage man that happened to be visiting the ship. We asked him if there was any information and were told that we were going to be got up at 5am, to leave by bus at 6am, to go to the Monaco train station to get a train to Villefranche, to join the ship. This information had not been communicated to anyone outside the basketball arena, so at 5am we asked the officer in charge – the customer service manager to announce it to our hall and other areas where passengers were. My husband also asked him if the ship was actually in Villefranche, as it would be ridiculous for us to leave shelter with toilets, snacks and water to be left stranded in the outside, without any facilities. He replied “that’s the plan from above”. My husband suggested to him that he should confirm with the ship that they were in a position to sail to Villefranche, before any of us left the sports centre. He remained silent and did not move, so my husband went upstairs to the basketball arena and found the food and beverage man from before and explained that there were whole areas that had not been made aware of the plan and announcements needed to be made. The ship’s food and beverage manager officer then came to our area, but no one could hear him, but, as before, passengers followed other passengers’ lead. We tried to stay, but were told to leave. We now know, that at this stage, as we predicted, it was still not possible for the tenders stranded at the quayside to be loaded back onto the ship. A ship is legally not allowed to move without the tenders in place and yet the passengers still had to be moved from the shelter of the sports centre; 20. We were put in queue groups for public buses, which did not have many seats and were taken by police escort to the train station. We personally got the 7am train which arrived at Villefranche at 7.15 (there were 3 trains 6.30, 7 and 7.30). A further 15 minute walk took us to the newly reassembled, enormous queue, which we personally arrived at, at 7.30. We saw the ship sailing towards us in the distance, but by the time it arrived, anchored and dispatched the tenders, we had had to stand for another 2 hours, without seats or toilets, in a totally sleep deprived state, before getting on a tender; 21. At 7.07, whilst on the train to Villefranche, some passengers received a text from P&O, but most phone batteries were now dead. The text read “Good morning. We have now started the bus operation from the stadium to get you back to Azura. If you are not at the stadium, please make your way to Villefranche cruise terminal without delay”. A further text arrived at 7.45 “Good morning and thank you for your patience. Azura will shortly be at anchor and we plan to start the tender embarkation as soon as possible. Thank you once again”. When this arrived all 1000+ passengers were standing in the queue. It was noted by passengers how P&O had failed to send any texts of information until this point; 22. Whilst we were in this final 2 hour queue, we came across the Events Manager and I sarcastically asked him how this event had gone. Unforgivably, he replied “very well”!!! 23. We arrived back at the ship at 10.00hrs and were told to go to a particular restaurant for breakfast. We went via our cabin to wash our hands and found a letter of apology from the Captain, which included a statement “we will be refunding you a full day of your cruise (on a pro rata basis). Also, a gesture of £50 per person will be automatically placed in your onboard account today, for you to enjoy”. The letter stated that there would be a 16.00 hrs Q&A session and that we would be contacted to confirm the venue. Notification of the venue came in a letter around 14.00hrs, when most of the affected passengers were asleep and therefore did not know! 24. We attended the 16-17.00hrs meeting and the general, overwhelming themes were: a) complete failure of communication, b) failure of senior staff to manage, control, or lead the situation, c) the 1 day offer was insulting, as we were already on day 2 of impact and for the majority, it would take additional days to physically recover and a lot longer emotionally and d) the £50 “gesture” is empty if it is on board credit, as the money goes straight back to the company. Already flown in from shore side and present at the Q&A session, were a representative from guest experience and a representative from guest relations. It is interesting that despite the passengers having been given no information that P&O managed to coordinate 2 shore side staff members to be flown in to meet the ship. There was positive recognition and thanks of some P&O staff who were fantastic, particularly the non officer junior staff, who showed the greatest empathy and kindness, when they were also stranded in their off time. Summary P&O blame this event on a force majeure, however as outlined, we strongly feel this was a completely avoidable crisis. We should never have tendered during the yacht show as a risk assessment would clearly have demonstrated that there would never have been an ability to execute their emergency protocol (for hotel accommodation) in the event of tender difficulties, in an area of proven track record for unpredictable sea conditions and aborted / delayed tender operations. This was a foolhardy gamble that went wrong and could easily have resulted in crew and passenger fatalities or serious injuries. In this regard P&O were extremely lucky. Goodwill Gesture / Refund and Financial Remuneration: 1. The promised refund of maximum 20 Euros per person was applied as on board credit at an exchange rate of 1.25, giving £16 non-refundable OBC, therefore the money went straight back into the pockets of P&O. The Bank of England rate on the day was 1.12 = £17.86. Monaco is one of the most expensive places to eat and drink, so 20 Euros would not adequately cover a meal; 2. The one day refund was never increased, despite the shore side guest experience representative saying that they would reconsider it, so we personally got £117 per person simply for the loss of 1 day on the ship. There was never any recognition for the extreme suffering, physical and emotional distress, sleep deprivation, stress and disappointment and for us, the ruination of the entire 2nd week of the cruise and therefore half of the holiday; 3. A letter was received in the cabin to claim on insurance for the loss of the port in Corsica. As an additional point of note, this incident happened after the major news event of day 5, when the ship rescued 17 migrants floating on a dinghy. This 10 hour rescue meant that we could not reach Barcelona as planned; 4. A few days after the incident a bottle of Prosecco was brought to the cabin; 5. On arrival home an unimpressive, small hamper was delivered with a message “A warm welcome home for all to enjoy. From P&O cruises”. Lessons learnt for tender ports: 1. Before the cruise, research on forums the specific tender ports to establish if they have a history or strong likelihood of being aborted, delayed or cancelled; 2. Do your own risk assessment and assess the sea conditions before and on the tender out and immediately return if it feels unusually choppy; 3. Take emergency provisions for that and the next day – food, water, warm clothing, sun protection, inflatable pillow and mattress, spare phone batteries and chargers and most importantly any medications for that and the next day. Consider the need to carry all this in a carry-on luggage wheelie suitcase; 4. Captains’ weather forecasts can be seriously flawed – supposedly calm, good conditions can adversely and extremely change. Are you prepared to take the risk? 5. Beware that P&O itineraries still have tender ports at Monte Carlo during yacht shows in future years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No ... Read More
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No imagination, no food uploaded along the route - so no local produce.(To ensure quality - we are told.) To ensure max profit is probably fact. We chose the cruise to visit Corsica - it never happened but for acceptable reasons. However P&O food gets worse each cruise. Every turn demands money - the only smiling staff for the 1st two days were those demanding money! The music has got louder and less appropriate to each venue. Azura appears to have no quiet area for relaxing. The staff are great but corners are being cut everywhere. If you like massive loads of average food, loud music everywhere and family movies like Dumbo - you will love P&O Azura. It is not for us - we do not go on holiday for endless loads of poor quality food, for over loud music and below average entertainment. Aurora was ok but even so, did not match RCI for food quality or entertainment. RCI per day was half the price too! Maybe we got a good deal but - 50% cheaper - that is something to consider even at full price! Better food by far, better entertainment and a more caring company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef ... Read More
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef who cooked an amazing regional menu. We visited some beautiful places including Arles, Avignon, , Tournon, Lyon and Beaune, the highlight of these being Avignon. The local guides were all very knowledgable and interesting, keeping us entertained as we walked around the beautiful places. On board there was always plenty to do, with quizzes, game shows, golf and Boules. There were also local presentations on wine, silk scarves and cheese, which were very interesting. There was a lovely mix of people to meet on board with several nationalities represented including Australian,Canadian, American, South African and British. I would highly recommend this trip and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because it included everything. We feel we are now spoiled for any other company.Low water levels meant we couldn't cruise between Regensburg and Passau so we were stuck in Passau for a few days. Scenic handled it ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it included everything. We feel we are now spoiled for any other company.Low water levels meant we couldn't cruise between Regensburg and Passau so we were stuck in Passau for a few days. Scenic handled it brilliantly and bussed those who wanted to see Nuremberg .We chose to do the extra trip to Passau which is beautiful. The ship was very modern and stable .Didn't feel any movement . Only heard noise going through the locks . Excellent showers in the cabins,wonderful beds. I thought my bed at home was soft until last night when the mattress felt hard in comparison. The food and wine plentiful. I put on six pounds in weight. Brilliant pianist,Mark, every night.. The classical concert at the Palace Liechtenstein in Vienna is memorable. Hungarian dancers on our last night. Great fun. Loved the great mix of people on board everyone was so friendly. I have left the best to last. The marvellous crew. They couldn't do enough for you. Always smiling,always friendly. We have been cruising many years,Twenty five in all, mostly ocean cruises and all the different companies . This was our first with Scenic .Hubby has now stated any future ones will be with Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before ... Read More
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before boarding the boat. The Viking included excursions in Prague and on the boat were top-notch, their fleet of buses were noteworthy for cleanliness and comfort. Our embarkation was about as simple as could be...walk on the boat, our bags where at the room within minutes. Unlike Ocean cruising I didn’t see any security, no photo ID’s, no scanners of bags, all which led to a little uneasiness. The first organized event was the welcome to the ship by our cruise director, Sonia. She was tops in her communication and organizational skills. Kept us well informed and herded us to our various excursions. The biggest disappointment with the cruise for me was the evening meal. Once the pre-brief for the next day was complete at 7:00 PM it was a mass rush to dinner. There is only one dining room, and it was a scramble for the tables, no assigned seating, no escort by the Matre D, or staff...just grab a seat. Kind of throwback to College dining facility. “Smart Casual” was largely ignored given the preponderance of jeans, jeans in my book is not smart casual. The food was tasty, the choices descent, the service good. The included tours by Viking were well done and varied, walking tours, organ concerts, excursions to sites out of town. A lot of history, was a bit tired of history by the end of the cruise for my liking but the area we cruised is history so it should be expected. A few sections of the river were very beautiful and the timing was such that they were done in the daylight. Enjoyed the Mozart concert in Vienna. Onboard entertainment was slim, only one venue. They brought some area entertainers onboard that were a nice break from the resident piano player. Overall well done for Viking. Most of the travelers were in their 60’s and 70’s, not quite as old as I feared, the walking tours were slow paced. I would do another Viking but prefer the amenities offered on an ocean cruise over the river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. ... Read More
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. They watched, just like they should, over patrons and ensured that everything met expectations. I would probably ask for a Wi-Fi package next time but it is really expensive. I would recommend that soft drinks be available at the Raffles buffet. Having to visit the bar for a Pepsi or Ginger Ale is not necessary. We were disappointed by the lack of recycling facilities for plastic, paper. Nowadays, it should be standard. It probably is hard onboard a ship, but still, a little effort would go a long ways. Perhaps public places where people could drop the recycling. The ship is not new but has a warm, inviting atmosphere. Again, the cleanliness is worth mentioning. It is not one of the larger cruise ships but I liked it that way, not too intimidating for a first time cruiser. We went to a couple of entertainment shows, quite enjoyable, very professional looking. We went to the Japanese restaurant, and the Windows restaurant. Very good food, no complaint there. The service was very good in these restaurants, and exceptional throughout the rest of the ship. We had three excursions with Norwegian: Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin. Extremely knowledgeable guides and nice buses. In Kirkwall, we disembarked through the use of tenders (small covered boats housing about 100 persons). This is an interesting experience even though one of the tenders (ours) experienced a technical problem. We were brought to the boat safely, though. We had a great time, we fully intend to use Norwegian Cruises again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is something my husband and myself have talked about doing for sometime but have always felt it was a little expensive , however, having had a recent bereavement in the family and deciding life is too short we booked our trip just a ... Read More
This is something my husband and myself have talked about doing for sometime but have always felt it was a little expensive , however, having had a recent bereavement in the family and deciding life is too short we booked our trip just a few weeks before sailing . We have no regrets , the trip was wonderful . We were made to feel at ease as soon as we boarded , the ship was gorgeous and the staff so welcoming , nothing was too much trouble . Our Cruise Manager ( Rachel) superb x but all the crew have to be complimented . Everything was so well organised , the catering and various options for dining were superb . We have met some lovely people on board , the Rhine is stunning and we were blessed with beautiful weather . As for value for money that is provided on this cruise , you certainly get a lot for your money and believe me that’s something coming from. Yorkshire girl !! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean ... Read More
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean and tidy. The food was wonderful and every meal we had the opportunity to try Russian regional specialties. The service in the main dining room was always great, our favorite waiter was Mark :) Our tour guides in Moscow really made the visits to the Kremlin informative and interesting. I also enjoyed visit to Ulgich and other small towns on our cruise to St. Petersburg. Our first tour was of The Hermitage and my husband and I broke off from our group to explore other areas of the museum on our own. We visited the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and our tour guide was excellent. We took the optional tour to Peterhof and our guide was Phillip. He was very informative and we were able to tour both the palace and the gardens. I highly recommend taking a tour of Peterhof. Finally, we visited the Faberge Museum with Slava as our tour guide. He knows the history of the museum and the Imperial Eggs in-depth. I was very glade he lead our tour. Sasha from Russia who is the Cruise Coordinator is enthusiastic and kept my husband and I laughing most of the cruise. This cruise met all our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We ... Read More
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We celebrated a birthday while on board and we were treated very special and met our request. The food was excellent with good choices daily. There was more alcohol than I could ever manage and the wines especially the rose was superb. On the evening of my friend’s birthday a local Michelin star chef prepared the dinner, which made it very special for her. It was a perfect evening. The tours were well planned and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. I had a shared cabin and there was enough space for both of our stuff. The cabin was very well appointed. It was also very nice when the staff participated in the evenings activities - it made us feel special. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took the cruise “From the Châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau to the Loire Valley” Sep/12 - Sep/18 Just some dry stats Time spent sailing: 16 hours Time spent on excursions: 20 hours Time spent in the bus: 24 hours ... Read More
We took the cruise “From the Châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau to the Loire Valley” Sep/12 - Sep/18 Just some dry stats Time spent sailing: 16 hours Time spent on excursions: 20 hours Time spent in the bus: 24 hours Time spent on a boat at the dock: 61 hours The planning department of the company could have done a much better job. So little time sailing and so much time on a bus can not be attributed just to the river conditions. Many times while we were bussed to the excursion the boat was simply following us on the river. In summary it felt more like a bus tour, with docked boat used as a hotel. While the corporation certainly messed up, the crew and the boat must be commended. The boat architect did a nice job designing the cabin layout. Despite the obvious size limitations there is plenty of compartments to put your stuff in. The suitcases can be nicely hidden under the bed. The bathroom is very convenient to use. The shower cabin is quite spacious. The crew was extremely attentive and courteous. The kitchen did outstanding job, very delicious French food was served every day. We truly enjoyed every single meal on board. All announcements were done subsequently in French, English and Spanish, so sometimes it didn't help the clarity of the message. Probably the corporation could have invested more into printed booklets and more detailed information shown on TV. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for the Greek islands. We only did 1 week. Excellent cruise very easy and quick embarkation and getting off was quick also. . Staff were all lovely very friendly. Clean ship amazing food noble problems there drinks a ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Greek islands. We only did 1 week. Excellent cruise very easy and quick embarkation and getting off was quick also. . Staff were all lovely very friendly. Clean ship amazing food noble problems there drinks a bit on the expensive side but as tips have been taken of we expected that. Inside cabin was OK clean lovely guy looking after us. Irons on our deck did not work very well. Had room service breakfast 3 mornings it was OK. Did not pay for any excursions found them to be expensive. Did our own thing. Entertainment was excellent. Food was also very good. Nice atmosphere a round the ship. Shops a bit expensive but had some good sales on. Captain very good kept us all informed had to change itinery due to a force 10 gale during the night on the Friday that was Scarry but captain was very reassuring Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We started sailing on the Scenic Ruby but due to low water changed to the Scenic Crystal. I didn’t realise there were water level issues and its a lesson for all to note that. We were lucky to have a scenic boat coming the other other ... Read More
We started sailing on the Scenic Ruby but due to low water changed to the Scenic Crystal. I didn’t realise there were water level issues and its a lesson for all to note that. We were lucky to have a scenic boat coming the other other way and passengers simply changed. We had an excellent cruise director Alex who managed the lot. The facilities were excellent on every level of accommodation, some complained about smash showers in the lower floors We were on for 15 days and that was my limit. The ruby had better service that the crystal but the Crystal was a better boat My lessons are -Pack light, most people didn’t dress up, and laundry was quick and reliable -Check out water levels before you travel and get insurance -See which boards have Alex as cruise director -DOnt feel obliged to go on every tour, it was exhausting Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and ... Read More
Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and crew and our cruise manager made sure everything met everyone’s expectations and that everything went off without a hitch. Our start in Budapest gave us ample time to experience Hungary and its rich history. We very much enjoyed walking through the area along the Danube and into town for shopping and experiencing the local atmosphere. Our stop in Bratislava was very enjoyable and gave us the opportunity to experience a taste of Slovakia. Vienna and our other stops in Austria were very enjoyable, getting to experience the countryside and local crafts, food, wine and the opportunity to lean more of certain European history of the region. Our final stops in Germany and Ama’s Octoberfest was a great ending to our trip.We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
it's my first cruise, due to i am a solo traveler. Cruise line who provided solo cabin not many choose: Fred Olsen, P & O and Cunard- Queen Mary 2. I choose Fred Olsen finally because i saw comment with Fred overall is better ... Read More
it's my first cruise, due to i am a solo traveler. Cruise line who provided solo cabin not many choose: Fred Olsen, P & O and Cunard- Queen Mary 2. I choose Fred Olsen finally because i saw comment with Fred overall is better than another two company. Lucky i have made a right choice. i am satisfied my cruise trip. Itinerary: Day 1 : Embarkation at Southampton. I am arrived the QE II Terminal around 14:00, check in and security check process was smooth, it took around 20 minutes.The Palms Cafe and Thistle Restaurant provided lunch. Day 2: Sea Day (formal night) Day 3: Aviles, Spain Day 4: Sea Day Day 5: Bordeaux, France Day 6: Sea Day (British Night) Day 7: Falmouth, UK Day 8: Disembarkation Dining: Thistle Restaurant: Main dining room. Server and manager are friendly. They knew i was suffer in sea sick, they pay attention to assistance me and talking with me. Concern and humor is a good medicine^^ Al de carte menu or set menu during lunch time. 5 course fine dining in dinner. Great foods and good services (server details mind, good manner) Main course have 5-6 choices, usually is fish, beef, british cuisine, local cuisine(the port that you visit), pasta...etc sometimes have theme buffet / cuisine. have a seafood gala buffet: crab, mussel, lobster, sushi, cheese cake, opera cake, chocolate fountain. Supervise that have a ice engraved decoration, and the water melon was engraved as a rose. Palms Cafe: cozy atmosphere. Beverage self service, have cold brewer tea and Red tea, black tea, blend (sleep ) tea. But i did not find mint tea( i thought would provided on cruise ). A chef would make omelette in the morning. Bookmark Cafe: enjoy coffee and chocolate. Shop: Due to it's a small ship, i am not expect have a lot of products. They sell Fine jewelry, costume jewelry, watch, bags , ties, causal clothes and smart causal clothes, skin care and make up products. If you forgot bring clothes you could find essential items. Entertainment: they have live music and show daily. Sometime have magic show too. I am recommend the music show- One Vision. If you love Queen- the greatest rock band in UK. You should not miss the show. Activities: Have quiz, Fit ball, pilates, Nintendo WII bowling, jewelry making course...etc. I was join the jewelry making course. Use gemstone to made a pendant. (cost ten pounds) Shore excursions: I was join a shore excursions in Bordeaux. It's a half day tour(cost 40 pounds), one hour drive to Saint- Emilion. The tour guide introduce and bring us to visit the Great wall and the Cordeliers Cloister, than have 45 minutes to explore yourself. Afterward drive back to the port at 14:00. No complaint about the tour, i wish i could stay longer time would definitely perfect. Tips: Passenger and crew are friendly, it's a small ship and not too much people. You would easily to meet people on the ship. Passenger age from 50-80, they are enjoy and insist the cruise traditional norms: to dress up at night. I am sure you would enjoy and come out the night life with Fred Olsen. Moreover, they have dance host, that's mean if you a solo traveler, don't worry about to find a partner. conclusion: Fred Olsen is a traditional cruise ship, simple stage, a few dancers and singer. BUT they do in great performance. If you like live music , i am sure you would like it. Simple is the best! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted a cruise in the Mediterranean in September. Cruised several times before but not on Britannia. Huge ship and that means it is very spacious. At no time did it feel crowded. Lots of space on deck. Lots of sunbeds. If you meet ... Read More
Wanted a cruise in the Mediterranean in September. Cruised several times before but not on Britannia. Huge ship and that means it is very spacious. At no time did it feel crowded. Lots of space on deck. Lots of sunbeds. If you meet irritating people don't worry you will never see them again. Restaurants were busy. Lots of space to read. Enjoyed walking on deck. Nice pools. So smooth. Forgot we were at sea. Restaurants were busy but well organised. Top tips: Opt for freedom dining it worked really well for us especially on shore days when you want a rest before dinner. If they can't fit you in they will give you a pager and you can go off and have a drink or walk. Sorry to be negative but overall food in my opinion was poor. We have been on 8 cruises and we definately noticed a difference in food quality. Food was sometimes cold in the Horizon. Not the chef's fault but poor menu choices and poor ingedients. Steak and chips, liver, cottage pie lumpy mashed potato and tinned fruit is not what I expect having worked hard and saved for years for this holiday. Desserts were unexciting. Food reminded me of Butlins in the 80s. On the plus side I didnt feel constantly bloated and didn't put on loads of weight like other cruises. A lot of emphasis was put on paying extra for other restaurants. Well NO I am not paying extra I have paid enough. The mini bar in the cabin was an unnecessary extra too. On the positive side staff were so helpful, friendly and go out of their way to make your meal lovely. Top tips: Order breakfast to be brought to your cabin. IT IS FREE. Have it out on the balcony. A beautiful start to your day. Ours was brought to us by Francis so lovely and friendly. Ship was clean and tidy apart from the windows which need a good wash. Lots of handwashing facilities around the ship and public toilets were immaculately clean. Entertainment was good with a singer from the Hollies, a couple of comedians and an amazing acrobatic act. Top tips: Go to 10.30 show. It's much less busy and you can get a seat . Lots been said about lifts. Yes they are very busy after shows. Getting back on board ship etc.There are going to be 3,500 people wanting to use them so chill out. Wait a few minutes after shows, walk up the stairs a bit more. My husband asked people to sing in the lift and asked for deck 21 which got people grinning. Don't have lift rage you are on holiday. Loved the formal nights. So nice dressing up. Saw many great films on board. Really enjoyed them. Enjoyed seeing Marco Peirre White. Oasis spa was lovely and had the best manicure and gel nail polish I have ever had. Ports of call were amazing. We were very well informed about when we going to arrive. Weather ect. Nice port talks. Loved Rome and Pisa and Cartegina was just delightful. Look for the roman amitheatre. Entrance is via the museum in the shopping centre. Had a fabulous time. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the ... Read More
I've cruised twice before - Ventura (P&O) and Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). I chose this cruise because we were limited in terms of the dates we could take annual leave from work. Overall I enjoyed the cruise however there weren't many people my age or younger. I would estimate the average age of passengers to be 65/70+. I preferred the Royal Caribbean as the age range was more varied and this was reflected in the activities and entertainment. Ballroom dancing seemed to feature a lot - holds little/no interest for younger passengers Far too many black tie nights. At one point we had 2 black tie nights in a 3 day period. When dining I would prefer to dress more comfortably and casually. I have to dress up for work everyday so like to be more relaxed when on holiday. One black tie night per week is more than sufficient. I thought the food on Britannia was not as good as Royal Caribbean and on P&O Ventura. Staff were excellent. Cabin was excellent, clean with everything we needed. Ship Sun Decks - even though Britannia is a bigger ship with more passengers there seemed to better provision of sun loungers than compared with smaller P&O ship Ventura and Royal Caribbean. Atrium - a very large space with no atmosphere or buzz, occupied mostly by people drinking coffee, reading or eating cake to background of piano playing. I didn't use this area at all. It felt like an upmarket old people's home. Drinks - Reasonable prices, better value than Royal Caribbean. Drink packages - unless you are drinking well over healthy recommendations on a daily basis (verging on alcoholism) the drinks package is not worth having. We bought our drinks separately. Some passengers with drinks packages were unhappy as the bars weren't open very late - possibly due to the age range of the majority of the passengers. There were very few people about after 12am - most had retired for the evening. Some said the packages limited them to 15 drinks/day. Spa - Didn't use this - very overpriced. I had a tension headache and enquired about booking for a 30 minute treatment. The shortest and cheapest treatment (with a discount) was reflexology session for 50 minutes at £89. I didn't book in, not because I couldn't afford it but because it was not good value for money as this would cost less than half the price back home. I appreciate that things will be dearer on the ship but would have felt ripped off if I'd booked in for a treatment. They didn't seem very busy - possibly because the treatments are overpriced. If they reduced the price I feel people would be more inclined to book treatments. The prices for nail treatments seemed more reasonable. Entertainment Not enough provision for younger passengers below pensionable age, I was often bored during 'at sea' days. I was 50 at the time of sailing so i'm no spring chicken however I'm not ready to spend my nights ballroom dancing or sitting drinking coffee and eating cake in the atrium. There were seminars but most wouldn't appeal to my age and younger - swollen ankles, foot problems, health ailments etc. Marco Pierre White cooking demo and Q&A was excellent Tony Green featured as a speaker on several days. His stories about various war battles were brilliant and his knowledge was extensive. This became a highlight of our 'at sea' days. Brodies - pub feel. Went to Bingo and quizzes here which were good. Sail Away - We left the first sail away due to the volume of the speakers, it was so loud it actually hurt my ears and I'm someone who regularly goes to concerts and festivals watching live music so It's not that I'm noise sensitive. For this reason we didn't attempt any further Sail Aways. Headliners Theatre - most performances were singing and dancing and this became a bit 'samey' so we only went to a couple.The dancers were excellent and I assume many also have acting skills so why not perform a condensed West End type musical with acting and offer a bit more variety. Terry Cotta comedian was brilliant, made a nice change from all the singing/dancing performances. Another comedian or variety act would have been appreciated. Good space but chairs are very narrow and the drink holders only have one side so I don't use them as it's easy to spill your drink. This meant I had to hold my drink or place it under my seat throughout a performance. Film - There is a small theatre showing films which is good, we went there a couple of times. It was empty a lot of the time and the space could have been better used/occupied with additional films being put on. Cookery club - We were lucky enough to to do a Masterclass with Marco Pierre White. Cost of £100pp. This was excellent and made our trip. Marco was brilliant, we saw him around the ship a lot and he was always charming and friendly towards passengers. Dining First meal in restaurant wasn't very good - bland, not hot enough. Subsequent meals were an improvement however the food on Ventura was better and Royal Caribbean were much better. Most meals weren't hot enough. Horizon - buffet, very good, lots of choice and open later at night for snacks, hot chocolate etc. Was much easier to get a table when compared with Ventura and Royal Caribbean. There were grab and go fridges for snacks and a pizzeria, burger bar which were really good. Epicurean - a fine dining experience. We went twice for a £25pp supplement - excellent on both occasions. Limelight Lounge - excellent (evening meal with entertainment). We paid £25pp and saw Chesney Hawkes and Eric and Ern (Morecambe & Wise act) - both were excellent and good value for money Sindhu - we went there once for a £25pp supplement. Excellent food and atmosphere. Excursions Rome - Tiber Cruise and Walk. Booked this as we did a full walking tour of Rome last year to the main places of interest and thought this would be a bit easier on the feet. The cruise element of this tour is negligible, we were only on the boat twice for less than 20 minutes on both occasions and there's not a great deal to see from the boat. The tour was predominantly walking. There were several flights of stairs up and down from pavement level to the river which proved difficult for some people. Tour guide was excellent Gibraltar - WW2 tunnels This was interesting and the guide also took us via the monkeys on the Rock which was a bonus as it wasn't included in the excursion. Tour guide was excellent Florence on your own. Would recommend Barcelona Short walk away from the shuttle bus drop off there are hop on/off tourist buses. We bought a ticket and hopped on and off at several locations. Would recommend. Caution - the tourist bus drop off point for Gaudi Guell Park involves a significant uphill walk to get to the park Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was ... Read More
first time done a cruise and was not disappointed. When arrived at cruise terminal checked in was fast and once on the boat shown straight to cabin. Met so many nice people and everybody was friendly and spoke to each other which was nice The food was excellent and different restaurants to eat at and bars to drink at and there was different entertainment every night. Lots of things to do gym centre and several swimming pools. The excursions were very good lots of choice. Staff very friendly and helpful and staff kept boat clean and tidy all the time. Reception staff and restaurant staff all excellent. The scenery of the Norwegian fjords are stunning so lovely to see when getting up everyday in a different port. Getting on and off the boat at every port the staff very friendly and helpful as you have to use your smart card to get on and off the boat and put bags through security and when leaving the cruise ship at the end of the cruise that went really smoothly no problems. Would go on a cruise again as had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of date to fit in with our Golden Wedding anniversary celebrations, As such we booked the Strathaird Suite C751 Boarding and welcome buffet absolutely first class plus. Our suitcase was waiting at the cabin door as expected. We entered the suite, first impression , dull drab and old looking furnishings looking very tired!! Gosh what have we done? Nearly £5K spent already just to get this far!! In due course the Butler arrived to explain what he could do for us but really was a passed master at explaining what he did not do.Frankly no need for this individual at all not even for the delivery of the stale canapes each evening The wash hand basin in the unheated bathroom was cracked, the sofa bed in the lounge area was so flat and uncomfortable the bottom on one side was falling away. Servicing by the cabin stewardess left a lot to be desired One excellent Perk of the suite is the invitation to breakfast every day in the White Room at the Epicurian fabulous service. Our special dinner there was exceptional. All in all a very disappointing cruise, the ship only actually sailed in and through the fjords at night and was either in port or at sea during the day Definitely NOT value for the money on this occasion Our dining experience in the Bay Tree restaurant was the food dull and uninspiring with 50% of the menu repeated every night Entertainment was quite good with Comedy from Tucker on two great nights and Magic from the Astonishing show Overall onboard was just ok but we have already cancelled our Christmas cruise on Ventura and booked on another P&O ship We found the public rooms a little too cool and the Costa area needing a good clean, eg The back of the chairs had coffee spillages on them and needed wiping and cleaning Service was just ok but we have seen better Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, ... Read More
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, even on the airport transfers from/to home. Scenic bills itself as 5 star all-inclusive so we were disappointed to read in the information booklet that “if we received exceptional service” we were free to add a gratuity. Sorry, for what we paid, exceptional service was expected! 68 locks, 803 bridges so it’s definitely a worry about low/high water levels. We were very fortunate as a few days after we passed Passau ship swaps happened. Cabin 206 was perfectly situated, bed was very comfortable, roomy shower with rain head and hand held shower wands. Ample storage; everything was soft close (cupboards, drawers, cabinets, toilet seat). Very impressed with the number of outlets. Great lighting and mirrors make the cabin seem very spacious. We had a couple of minor things that needed attention and, within a half hour, the issues were resolved. Excellent service. The individual blankets had not been washed prior to our arrival so we made sure not to put them back in their zippered pouch so that our cabin steward was aware they had been used and needed cleaning. Our cabin steward was excellent – the best we’ve ever had. They make a big deal about your “butler” but, other than introducing herself the first day, we had no interaction with her at all. That being said, we didn’t have any need for the included services or they were provided by other individuals. Toiletries were great. Hair dryer, Nordic walking sticks, large umbrella, ear plugs, even a long handled shoe horn were provided. Undecided if the sun lounge was worth the additional cost; rafting and/or facing public areas often left us unable to enjoy it but it does make for a larger cabin. Breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent; lots of variety and the breads at lunch were awesome. The pastry chef was outstanding; apple turnovers, croissants and other breakfast pastries were light and flaky. I absolutely loved the butter machine which provided a fresh portion of butter at the touch of a button; definitely a hit with all guests. There are fresh made options available for both breakfast and lunch. Smoothies were tasteless as was the “flavoured” water served at the Late Riser Breakfast in the River Café. We had lunch served in River Café when we opted out of the excursion to Salzburg and, while the selection was fine, the food was lukewarm. The same situation with the Sun Deck BBQ. The warming trays just don’t do the job. They do not serve “fresh” milk and we normally drink milk at lunch and dinner. Opted not to visit Portobellos as we didn't like the menu (beef cheeks!) and we don't drink alcohol so the wine pairing wasn't of interest. Very small portions for dinner. Even by Canada Food Guide recommendations Scenic portions fall far below the minimum requirements. Vegetables and starch are almost non existent! My husband has a small appetite and TWICE he woke up hungry during the night; NEVER happened before in his 72 years! There are limited selections; two cold appetizer options, two hot appetizer options, one soup, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. Fortunately they have “always available” options. Soups were “made with love” but would definitely benefit from being made with cream. They were watery despite being called “cream of”. My husband said the soup spoons were more like shovels and would come in handy digging in the garden. Meal descriptions left much to be desired and were often not an accurate depiction of what the meal really was. We only ordered room service once and the meal was delivered promptly and the food was piping hot. I have menus and pictures of the meals at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/22259946@N08/Fi6264 With the exception of one employee who twice refused to take an order for coffee in two different venues on two different days to two different people (he just pointed and said “self-serve”) everyone was friendly, efficient and eager to please. There was wonderful interaction between staff members and a very warm environment. Some great moves were witnessed on disco night! Our cruise director Richard (distant relation of Richard the Lionheart) was entertaining, knowledgeable and energetic. Miljenko, Restaurant Manager, was charming and always willing to assist with food concerns. Mario Alberto, Hotel Manager, was an absolute delight and ran the operations with a warm smile and a firm commitment to guest satisfaction. The reception staff were wonderful; always a ready smile and can do attitude. There were 148 guests; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.K., a few Americans and one couple from Curacao. It was a great group with everyone having an enjoyable time without any drunken behaviour in spite of the included alcohol. Unfortunately a few guests didn’t make use of the hand sanitizer, complimentary water, shampoo and shower gel and preferred “au naturale” to using deodorant. Opal Lounge had ample, comfortable seating but the very low black tables were a hazard at night as both a tripping issue and trying to find the surface to place your glass. I loved the glass straws! Being non-alcohol drinkers we would have appreciated frozen mocktails. Hot chocolate, teas and coffee available 24/7 in the Opal Lounge was excellent. We were pleased with the offered entertainment. We enjoyed listening to David; a talented musician. The excursions were well organized and stress free. We especially enjoyed the Palais Liechtenstein concert and we have NO interest in classical music. It was definitely an experience not to be missed as was the visit and feast at Marksburg Castle. The banquet is for everyone, the Castle Tour is definitely NOT for anyone with mobility issues or a fear of falling. We really enjoyed the high lock experience, it was so well done with dramatic music added! The highlight for us was sitting on the Sun Deck soaking in the passing scenery between Koblenz and Rudesheim. Life just doesn’t get any better than this. The Scenic Taylormade app was hit and miss on excursions but the City Guides and River View options were excellent. We would rate our experience a 10 but, value for money, 7-8. We’re glad we ticked this experience off our bucket list but with the high cost and the anxiety over water levels it’s not something we’ll do again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because AMA made us an offer we could not refuse after they had to change an itinerary due to bridge construction. With discounts and credits available, we chose this trip despite it's stopping in two ports we had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because AMA made us an offer we could not refuse after they had to change an itinerary due to bridge construction. With discounts and credits available, we chose this trip despite it's stopping in two ports we had earlier visited. We had been on AmaPrima during its inaugural season and I found myself looking for signs of wear and tear after I noticed how pristine the ship looked. Other than some chairs which looked a bit tired, the ship was immaculate. The cabin was so clean and well maintained that we could have been the first cruisers to occupy it. Because it was a river cruise, the cabin was not large, but we had no problem with storage or getting around. The crew was as professional and courteous as we had come to expect from AMA and Rolf, the cruise director, was professional, helpful and consistently good humored. The shore excursions were well organized and informative. Also, the excursions were not over scheduled, leaving us some good downtime and making daylight cruising along the beautiful Moselle river a regular part to the cruise. The food was up to the usual AMA high standards except for the chef's special slow cooked lamb; that was the best meal I have ever had on a river cruise ship and among the best I have ever had on any ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and prior reviews. The crew was great, the room adequate, the ship is unique and pretty. However the tours were badly organized with two exceptions, Heidelberg and Cologne. The Luxembourg ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and prior reviews. The crew was great, the room adequate, the ship is unique and pretty. However the tours were badly organized with two exceptions, Heidelberg and Cologne. The Luxembourg tour with the American cemetery was awful. Only four hours allowed and forty five minutes each direction.We did not get to the cemetery as one road had construction. The tour director evidently did not check before with the cemetery. The bus driver asked a tractor driver for directions. We wanted to pay respects to my uncle who is buried there. The tour of the town was a mess one guide lost half his group. We were left huddled under pouring rain while the buses sat not far away. This was not an isolated incident several tours had bus drivers that had no idea where they were going. The dining room was totally disorganized and the food was average. Frozen butter, forgotten bread and you got rushed out at the end. Entertainment was laughable. No piano player at night or dancing. Three nights live music, two violinists and a vocalist with a guitar accompanied by recorded backround on two. We feel the entire thing was overpriced and underperformed. By all means do a river cruise the Rhine and Moselle are spectacular. Just not this one. By the way french balconies did not open like on other river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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