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Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest ... Read More
This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest commencing late June 2018. We are fussy travellers and happy to pay good money to get the best that is available when we travel. I must say we were less than excited before our departure from NZ, probably because we really didn't know what to expect from a cruise. All I can say is that this was the most exceptional experience from the moment we arrived at the ship. We were in cabin 309 on the Diamond deck. We chose this cabin as it was well forward and were told there was less engine noise up front. Although The Pearl is one of the older ships, it had clearly been either totally refurbished or maintained to an exceptional standard. The cabins are not large on any of these river ships when you view the dimensions in the brochure and we were expecting to feel really cramped. This was far from the case. The design of these cabins is so good. The bed extremely comfortable and large, the bathroom very well appointed with a very acceptable shower space, loads of storage in cupboards, wardrobes and drawers and plenty of room for even four large cases under the bed. The deck arrangement with sliding power window works well. Three power points for charging whatever and a TV screen which tells you where you are, what's on and also offers TV, but I cant see why you would need the latter apart from BBC new perhaps. Wi-Fi was good just about all the way through the trip. The service was exceptional at any time of the day or night. The food was way beyond what we expected even given the great reports we had from our friends. The bar and liquor service well beyond generous with top end spirits, an excellent selection of beers and a good choice of local and regional wines....All totally complimentary. Pay your money up front for this cruise and then leave your wallet in the safe. I cannot recommend Scenic highly enough even though we had some issues with water level from Regensburg to Passau and spent 2 nights in a hotel in Vienna until the ship was able to catch up. The alternative arrangements were handled superbly and we were all housed together in Le Meridien which was an excellent central city hotel. No side trips were missed with the alternative arrangements. Just a little bit more time on the bus due to the schedule changes for those who did not wish to miss anything. Would I recommend this cruise. ABSOLUTELY. Even though Scenic are at the top of the river cruise price range, they still offer great value for money when you consider how inclusive they are. I would recommend top deck as forward as you can get. There was absolutely no noticeable engine noise and if you need to get back to your cabin from the lounge / dining it is a short walk. There is only one guest toilet at the front of the boat, so it is very convenient to be able to pop back to your own cabin if this is in use and its quite a long walk to the back of the boat. The crew all had wonderful senses of humour and worked so hard. Andrea the cruise director worked tirelessly and never seemed to be off duty. The chef and his team created exceptional meals with wonderful presentation and never repeated the same dish twice in 14 days. And what a treat...everything wasn't served with buckets of fries!! Well done Scenic. We will be back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I booked the Gems of the Danube cruise eighteen months ago to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary. It was more than I would usually pay for a weeks holiday but as it was for a special occasion decided to push the boat out. (Excuse the ... Read More
I booked the Gems of the Danube cruise eighteen months ago to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary. It was more than I would usually pay for a weeks holiday but as it was for a special occasion decided to push the boat out. (Excuse the pun!) I have been so looking forward to it I probably expected too much-it was such a disappointment! It was tiring, disorganised, stressful and not a bit relaxing! A lot of it was out of Scenic's control but it all made for a bad experience. I have sent an even longer report to the company! Received email day before departure to say 2 boats blocking the river so we had to join ship much further away than planned. Got to airport and flight cancelled-had to get one to Frankfurt and then another to Munich. Then had to wait over an hour for rest of party from another flight. Then a very long coach journey to join ship. Arrived exhausted. Had to be up 6.30 the next morning as trip to Nuremburg left 8AM. As we were moored so far away another 2 and a half coach journey. After long day 2 and a half back which turned into 4 hours as coach got lost taking a detour from the busy autobahn! Got back half an hour before dinner which was one sitting for everyone at 7pm. Mad rush to shower and change. That was the pattern for the rest of the week-early starts, long coach journeys and getting back late. There should have been more half day trips . The restaurant food was not 5 star in my opinion, very average. Also there was no sommelier ,the waiter served the wine too of which there was no choice and no refill unless you asked. And no coffee after! Very slow service each night. As for the cabin, I booked a deluxe balcony but wished I had not bothered. It was not as big as I had imagined and the balcony was just an extension of the room by about a foot. Pointless! You could not sit on it when ship was moored anyway as other ships moored alongside and you were just looking into their cabins. It was then so dark we had to have the light on. After the first night we hardly saw the butler, he was doing other things. Not what is was advertised as. The excursions were too long and did not allow time to shower and change before dinner. As they were in with the price we felt obliged to go as there was nothing else to do on the ship anyway except a small gym and small pool. There were no toilets of most of the coaches (not luxury) and so they kept stopping at toilets for which you had to scrabble for change. There was a lot of walking each day not entirely suitable for older people. The one day the bus did not come back to get us as the driver had gone home! Shambolic! Basically there was only one day when nothing went wrong. All we heard were apologies from the guides. But what upset me the most was my actual Ruby Wedding day. When I booked I had told the agent the date and she said she would make a note so they would treat us specially. We mentioned it to the restaurant manager and a couple of other people because we wanted to eat in Portobello's (the Italian) that evening to make it special. When we arrived they had no idea about it and it was not even acknowledged. The chef had made a cake for the Canadians as it was Canada Day but we had nothing! I was very upset as we were on our own..(There was a card in the cabin on return!) There were some positives. All the other guests from all countries were lovely and friendly. Yvonne the tour manager was excellent. The other staff were all very nice. The night trip around Budapest was spectacular and we enjoyed the Sundowner and some of the places we visited. But all in all it was such a disappointment and not something I would ever repeat. As one man said" I don't feel I have been on a river cruise, more a coach trip just using the ship to eat and sleep! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
selected because we had a great time on a previous cruise. the service could not be faulted. Will select another cruise next year knowing we will get the same high level of service. The main reason for the very favourable review is ... Read More
selected because we had a great time on a previous cruise. the service could not be faulted. Will select another cruise next year knowing we will get the same high level of service. The main reason for the very favourable review is the attentiveness of the staff. They remember your name and your food and wine preferences. The "everything is included" policy is 100% correct. The elderly or those requiring assistance were fully catered for. Nothing was too much trouble. The captain and the cruise director spent much time mingling with the guests. The catering stand explained the food and wine to be served in great detail. I was able to request and be given any "off the menu" dish I liked. The use of the " battery assisted" was a great hit as we were able to tour the wondrous and extensive vineyards in ease and comfort. The guide on the bike hikes was terrific. I often would request an electric bike to tour the local town and it would be on the pier in a matter of minutes and in one case was personally delivered by the Captain. There are not enough superlatives to fully explain the service from the staff, the food and wine provided and the cruise experience in general. When chatting with other guests during dinner we were not surprised to hear the many were enjoying their second cruise with Scenic and many had been on more. I applaud the Scenic Company for providing this vey memorable experience. Thank you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Did a Scenic cruise last year for my first river cruise and was totally impressed. Have over 25 ocean cruises in the past. When Scenic talks about all inclusive, there are no hidden surprises. After 15 days on the ship, my check out ... Read More
Did a Scenic cruise last year for my first river cruise and was totally impressed. Have over 25 ocean cruises in the past. When Scenic talks about all inclusive, there are no hidden surprises. After 15 days on the ship, my check out invoice was $0. We ate every meal, went on outstanding excursions every day with local guides, took advantage of completely open bar 24/7, sent out laundry, enjoyed all the services of an outstanding crew who were completely paid in advance, including tips, as part of the package. There was wonderful entertainment both on board and in ports. Ship and cabin are pristine. It is hard to believe the quality of food that comes out of a galley that is restricted in size by the maximum size appropriate for river boats. I am hard pressed to come up with anything that I believe could have been better. Given the opportunity, I will definitely do another trip with Scenic. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Scenic after attending one of their local presentations and after extensive research. We were not disappointed. Their attention to detail and providing us with the best experience we have ever had, was exceptional. The crew ... Read More
We chose Scenic after attending one of their local presentations and after extensive research. We were not disappointed. Their attention to detail and providing us with the best experience we have ever had, was exceptional. The crew working as a team did an amazing job in providing us quality comfort. After understanding the efforts of the captain, cruise director and crew to assure the cruise and lock timings, we have a great appreciation for their achievements in making sure our experiences occurred seamlessly. The excursions choices and tour guides were very good and enriched us with a flavour and appreciation of the towns and countries we travelled through. The food was nothing short of exceptional, in quality, quantity and presentation as was the service. Our room attendant and butler were very friendly and accommodating, a service many overlook...but not us. A job well done and appreciated. A big hand to our cruise director Eric, who kept the happy travellers engaged and looking forward to each day. He did an exceptional job, again seamlessly to us, in orchestrating the our cruise and making sure our voyage experience was so pleasureable and memorable. Overall this was a fantastic experience that was made so by a great crew and organization right from the admin staff who arranged our trip to the ship crew and staff and the excursion tour staff as well. We would highly recommend Scenic to our friends and look forward to another Scenic experience in the future. (***We have one concern we would like to share with you. During our cruise, there was a group, that behaved less than satisfactory. They were loud at times and seem to monopolize the small swimming pool, much to the disappointment of others who wanted to use the pool. This was fuelled by large quantities of alcohol. They also captured more that adequate service from staff at the expense of other travelers. We are concerned that this group, based on the type of experience they would relay to friends, would encourage others who feel unending supply of alcohol and attention, is the reason to take a Scenic cruise. We are sure that you would agree with us, that this is not the path that Scenic would like to take as it would greatly jeopardize the quality experience Scenic portrays. We hope that Scenic examines this occurrence and puts into place well ahead of time, actions to correct this behaviour before it becomes a negative irritation to others and tarnishes the experience.) Beyond this...the experience was nothing short of exceptional! Thank you, Scenic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which ... Read More
Very organized, they think of all the details. Glad we added a few extra days in Amsterdam through Scenic, prior to departure. We did a canal cruise in that time so after boarding the ship we could select the excursion to Volendam which gave us the opportunity to see some of the countryside including a windmill. Beautiful ship, very modern suites. The most comfie bed and pillows I've ever had, except at home! Being able to open the balcony window was a great perk to enjoy some fresh air. More than enough space for 2 people and their suitcases. The process to board and disembark was so well organized and fast, no endless waiting in line. The food was great, nice variety. Drinks were awesome, especially the local beers and wine. Very attentive staff. They seemed like they were actually enjoying the trip. Excursions were also well organized and well chosen, very interesting choices, it made it difficult to decide which to take. I only wish we had more time at each stop but then it wouldn't have been an eight day cruise! The special concert at Ratstatt Palace was absolutely amazing. If I do another river cruise I would definitely choose Scenic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our second cruise on Scenic. We cruised on the Scenic Amber last year down the Danube and it was wonderful. This years cruise on the Jasper down the Rhine was very good BUT......... not as good as last year. Last year Scenic used ... Read More
This is our second cruise on Scenic. We cruised on the Scenic Amber last year down the Danube and it was wonderful. This years cruise on the Jasper down the Rhine was very good BUT......... not as good as last year. Last year Scenic used their own buses for the entire cruise. This year the contracted out to local bus companies. The service was spotty. Some were very good and right on time, some were just ok and ran late. The transfer service from Zurich to the ship was poor. Scenic told us to arrive in Zurich no later than 1:00 PM. Most international flights arrive early morning. When we got our final paperwork 3 weeks before the start of the cruise we were told airport pickup would not be until 2:00PM. This ment we would have to sit in the baggage area in the airport for 5 hours (after an 8 hour flight). After several emails and phone calls, Scenic provided a van for us and 3 other couples. It was an extremely uncomfortable 2 hour ride. The rest of the passengers all arrived at the same time on 3 buses. Not well planned. The service seemed to be out of sinc. Not as smooth as our previous cruise. The food was definitely not 5 star gourmet. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style. The food was no better than good. Dinners were better but not “5 star”. An 8 day - 7 night cruise is actually a 6 day cruise since days 1 & 8 are travel days. Unless you see 2 days in the first port, don’t expect to see much of that stop unless you plan on a pre or post cruise stay.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Embarkation was moved to Breisach from Basal, but it was not a big inconvenience. The cruise was wonderful. It was our first river cruise and our expectations were exceeded in every area. The staff was phenomenal; the service superb. I ... Read More
Embarkation was moved to Breisach from Basal, but it was not a big inconvenience. The cruise was wonderful. It was our first river cruise and our expectations were exceeded in every area. The staff was phenomenal; the service superb. I can't think of anything more they could have done to make us feel special from the Captain, the Cruise Director, Reception, waiters, housekeeping....all. The food was out of this world every single day, and every single meal. Our special treat was an evening of Italian cuisine in Portobellos. The tours were memorable...hard to pick a favourite but we totally enjoyed Siegfried's Musikkabinett Museum, an evening with the most entertaining opera singers at Rastatt Palace, and the beautiful Cologne Cathedral. Our tour guides were so knowledgeable, entertaining, and funny! We made some lasting friendships with other passengers and enjoyed some relaxation time between tours. Choices were endless..you could stay on board and relax; do self tours, or join one of 3 other tours offered almost every day. Entertainment on ship was really good. Enzo was amazing, and other entertainers brought onboard were excellent. I also enjoyed a wonderful spa experience before leaving ship. We were so pleased, we haven't stopped looking at the tours for 2020. Well done Captain and Crew of Scenic Jasper! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it to. Our flight arrived from Canada in Zurich first thing in the morning. Our Scenic driver was right there waiting for us at the luggage carousel to drive us to the Park Hyatt making it a stress-free experience. Our hotel room was ready upon arrival which we were very happy about. We wished we would have arrived one day earlier in Zurich to tour the countryside as we only had time to walk the city centre, The next day, the Scenic bus was there to pick up Scenic guests from the Park Hyatt and drive us to Basel. The embarkation went excellent as well. Our room and bathroom were very clean and spacious enough (store suitcases under the bed once unpacked). We were on the Diamond Deck, however, our cabin was at the back of the ship and even with earplugs, it was very loud with engine noise and vibrations, especially when arriving at or leaving ports or going through locks; as well as the stairway noise from the top sundeck. We had several sleepless nights (we also found the bed very hard). I would strongly recommend you do not choose a cabin at the back of the ship. With all the excitement of exploring the ship, I would suggest you take the time to read the information in the book in your cabin as well as meet with your butler the very first day so you are aware of everything from the get-go. The dining at dinner was absolutely fabulous... every dinner, but especially the Table la Rive dinner for Diamond Deck cabins and the Portobello's dinner... the food, wine and the service was amazing! We felt after a few days there wasn't much selection for hot meals at the buffet in the dining room at breakfast (although the scrambled eggs and bacon were very good) and especially for lunch so I would be sure to check out the menus on the tables for both breakfast (the porridge was very good) and lunch (be sure to leave yourself enough time to order breakfast before leaving for the excursions). Dress code was casual for breakfast and lunch and varied at dinner (some jackets and very few ties for the men, ladies varied between smart casual and more formal). The excursions were extremely well organized (but don't be late) and most of the guides were great (especially Niles for the Heidelberg tour), as well as the GPS hand-held devices... be sure to take the devices with you on your free time self-guided tours or while going through the Rhine gorge on the ship. Travel on the ship through the Gorge was absolutely breathtaking. I was surprised however that there was very little sight-seeing from the ship the first few days on the river. The first few locks were interesting and the swans were indeed beautiful. Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Cochem and especially Volendam and Edam were amazing tours. We thoroughly enjoyed the Enrich concert at the palace; however not so much the onboard entertainment (the violinist was fabulous). The drinks and bar service was good however there should be more bar staff, especially serving the outside front and top of the ship or when everyone is together, ie port talks before dinner, right after dinner, etc. All of the staff were very friendly and efficient. The snacks and min-bar in the cabin were replenished daily. Be sure to have your laundry done prior to the second last day on the ship before it is too late (it is only a small laundry bag)... and utilize the daily pressings for those on the Diamond Deck. Internet was intermittent. It was busy and very scheduled (which we weren't use to since this is our first cruise). Mobility with all the cobblestones and walking (and bicycles in Amsterdam) may be difficult for some. Overall everything was extremely well organized, the tours and food were great... we enjoyed our cruise. We met many other great Canadians on the cruise, as well as very friendly British, Australian, American, etc. people. We did spend two more nights in Amsterdam on our own after the cruise but wish we had one more day to visit a few museums. I would suggest the 24 or 48 hour Hop On Hop Off tours, especially via the canal boats. Also if you would like to see Anne Frank's house, order the tickets several months in advance online (you cannot purchase them there). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything you could ... Read More
Our first river cruise and we chose Scenic as it is sold as a 'Six Star' cruise which in many ways is true. The ship is the nicest we saw, rooms are small but this is a River Boat and they are perfectly equipped with everything you could need. Cannot speak highly enough about the team on board - butler service was amazing, the teams in the restaurant and bars were great and Mandy the Cruise Director is perfect for her job. The excursions are well organised and with the exception of one rather boring medieval village, well put together if a little on the slow side which is understandable as the average age on our cruise was probably 75! Do not expect exciting entertainment, again probably catering to the age group but in a lot of the ports there is the opportunity to stroll ashore rather than listen to 'Lady in Red' from the on board entertainer again!! Our only issue with the cruise was the food which lets down the whole 'luxury' offering. Breakfast was 4 star hotel style, basic hot and cold buffet with oddments to order from the kitchen, bacon was either almost raw or burned and who eats aubergine for breakfast ?? The buffet style lunch was also OK, not exciting but generally a decent choice of hot and cold dishes and 2 soups which were always watery and generally tasteless. Dinners were a huge disappointment - we are in a part of France famed for its food and the dinners were unremarkable to say the least. The watery soup made a comeback on each menu, portions were extremely small and a fish serving usually consisted of one very small fillet which was usually dry. A number of guests were returning food to the kitchens, inedible steak, black vegetables and complaints were made to the Chef who did not seem to understand the problem. 4 basic cheeses each night, no local specialities, no fresh local seafood, just poor quality food which was badly cooked. I hate having to say this as we had a great time on the cruise but this is an expensive holiday and all the efforts of the team on board should not be let down by this one department. A lot of effort had obviously gone into the wine offering as the choices each everning were interesting, local wines and all enjoyable. Would I cruise with Scenic again? Only if I could be sure the food had improved - spend less time trying to make everything look fancy and serve good, well cooked, tasty dishes with a local flavour, quality ingredients and a little more flair!! Read Less
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