A friend we were traveling with found Scenic and we just took his recommendation. The ship was excellent and the crew were superb. The only disappointment was our butler, who did very little and for the the odd time that we asked for ... Read More
A friend we were traveling with found Scenic and we just took his recommendation. The ship was excellent and the crew were superb. The only disappointment was our butler, who did very little and for the the odd time that we asked for something he still didn't come through. Otherwise, the entire experience was excellent.
The shore excursions were very well organized and we were very pleased that all the gratuities were included.
The motor-assisted bicycles were also a great amenity. We used two of them on one occasion and thoroughly enjoyed them. They were also very easy to learn to use.
The meals were outstanding and the chef took great pride in his craft. The selection of wines was mediocre but sufficient. The bar selection was likewise very good and the bar staff carried the torch for service excellence.
Overall, we had good value for our money and will likely cruise with Scenic again. Read Less
We loved every aspect of the cruise. The service and attention to our every need as top priority for the crew. Once they knew what we wanted, we never had to ask for something again. It was always there for us without asking. The ... Read More
We loved every aspect of the cruise. The service and attention to our every need as top priority for the crew. Once they knew what we wanted, we never had to ask for something again. It was always there for us without asking. The excursions were fun and enlightening, helping us to experience the culture of the communities we visited. The food was top quality. We particularly enjoyed La Rive with the white glove service. What we really liked is that everything was included. We didn't have to pay for excursions. The only costs for us were the souvenirs we purchased. The room was large and we loved being able to lower the windows in the balcony. Scenic had special cultural events only available to Scenic passengers that were very high caliber. From an Oktoberfest to Medieval banquet, to a symphony performance, we were always entertained. They managed the logistics perfectly. We often arrived at our ports early which gave us more time to enjoy our destinations. Read Less
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing ... Read More
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing storage. Even though this cabin was not a suite, we had two balconies. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom very adequate with a great shower, and the entire cabin was scrupulously maintained by the Amacerto housekeeping staff.
The cruise manager, Nikola Grujin, was fantastic! Humorous and exceedingly helpful. Nikola was there for all of us in planning the trips to care of an injured passenger. Due to no fault of the Ship's crew, a passenger hurt her finger. All this is to say that Nikola accompanied the injured guest to Vienna hospital. Message to us: Ama Waterways staff will go the extra mile in the care of its passengers.
Food & Drink: For all three meals, passengers can choose from the abundant buffet, or order from the menu. One of our friends ate vegetarian; a special elegant breakfast, lunch, and dinner was served to her. This was a wine-tasting cruise with Dr. Doug Garman, wine expert, that gave special lectures and wine tastings for all passengers.
Touring & Entertainment: The guides were very well informed supplied by the local population. Choice of gentle to vigorous touring were offered. Opportunities for biking trips were for the younger folks. Since we are an elderly couple, we chose the more moderate excursions. Our favorite entertainment was a special concert of Mozart and Strauss at the beautiful Vienna Konzerthaus. We were entertained by Wiener Hofburg-Orchestra under the direction of Svetoslav Borisov; operatic solos and duets by soprano Ella Tyran and baritone, Michael Havlicek. Classical ballet pieces and Vienna folk dances were also included in the program.
Every evening hours: beautiful music was provided by pianist, Gabor. A special onboard musical vocal duet of Vienna music was delightful. Even an Octoberfest beer celebration was provided by the local population.
Disembarkation was professionally accomplished. All passengers were carefully delivered to the Munich airport.
I cannot believe any other longship river cruise could offer a passenger more enjoyment. Don't miss a fabulous opportunity for a river cruise. Select Ama Waterways to be guaranteed fabulous experience. Read Less
Though we are seasoned ocean cruisers, this was our first river cruise.
We'll start with the documentation pack, which arrived in the post a few weeks before the cruise. We were most impressed with the elegant presentation, and with the ... Read More
Though we are seasoned ocean cruisers, this was our first river cruise.
We'll start with the documentation pack, which arrived in the post a few weeks before the cruise. We were most impressed with the elegant presentation, and with the very comprehensive and well-organised information supplied. We were delighted by the river map, and later, on the ship, by the Douro guidebook, which was specifically tuned to all the places we visited.
We were warmly and efficiently met at the airport by the cruise director, and transferred to the ship, where the captain greeted us at the gangplank. This was such a nice touch, and indeed Captain Afonso -- a most pleasant gentleman -- was often to be seen around the ship, doing everything from mingling with the passengers to helping with the mooring ropes, quite apart from his superb skills at the wheel. On the first night we had a short cruise under the Porto bridges as the sun went down. Emerald didn't have to give us that outing, but it was a lovely surprise.
Our stateroom was not large, but the width and height restrictions needed to get the ship through the five locks make this understandable. It was nicely finished, and contained everything we could possibly need. There was a problem with intrusive mechanical noise on the first night, but Hotel Director Bruno resolved the situation promptly and very graciously.
In fact, all of the crew were wonderfully warm and friendly; nothing was too much trouble for them. We won't list all the names, but nobody put a foot wrong. The one person we must mention is Executive Chef Nuno, who produced three wonderful meals every day: great variety, great flavour, great personality. He was often to be seen in the Reflections Restaurant, explaining the various dishes he had created, and frequently manning the egg station at breakfast. All the wines were Portuguese; every lunch and dinner featured at least one Portuguese speciality.
We did only some of the included outings, on account of the very tiring heat, but we enjoyed those that we did. We avoided the evening trip in Folgosa, not only because of the heat, but also because of our dislike of mass catering.
At the end of the holiday, our flight home wasn't until 6pm. We really appreciated being able to stay in the Horizons Lounge, and eat one more delicious lunch there, before our airport transfer at 2pm.
After all that glowing praise, there were just a few minor things we weren't so happy about; we've written separately to Emerald about them. But the overall experience was excellent, and we're looking forward to our next Emerald cruise in 2018. Read Less
We were invited by dear friends and had never been on a river cruise before and really had no expectations. Without reservation the experience for both my husband and I was wonderful - The adventures from Budapest through Prague were ... Read More
We were invited by dear friends and had never been on a river cruise before and really had no expectations. Without reservation the experience for both my husband and I was wonderful - The adventures from Budapest through Prague were incredible not only from a historic perspective but from a cultural one also. The cruise was most appropriate for us in that it balanced relaxation with historic touring ( we can still picture both of us sitting on the top deck and viewing the magnificent bridges and churches in Budapest and viewing the vastness and beauty as we traveled along the Danube) .
We took advantage of the walking tours offered by Emerald Star which were lead by the most informative tour guides and extended our experience by attending an optional tour to the Opera House where we attended a Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss - an awesome night!!
Wish we had an extra day in Vienna - loved the enchanting village of Durnstein - my handmade Christmas ornament will be front and center on the tree this year.
The accommodations and service on the Emerald Star were outstanding - While we weren't big fans of the two buffets they had the meals were excellent with attention to details. Amazed at how efficient the staff was - kudos to the chef -
Cannot say enough about the staff - professional and courteous - attentive but not overbearing - looked forward to seeing them each day ( especially Sasha) - the crew presented a "show" one night which we are still talking about - I recorded the "happy birthday" song they sang to celebrate someone's birthday at dinner - will play it now that we are home as it brings a smile to our faces.
Accommodations were perfect for us - room well appointed - very clean - beds and pillows very comfortable. Glad we had the "balcony" which gave us more space and viewing opportunities.
Arrival and Departures very organized and orchestrated. It was obvious that we were in good hands with Bolash.
Great Experience - Thank you dear friends for the invitation and thank you Emerald Star!! Read Less
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by ... Read More
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by arguably the most capable and entertaining crew imaginable. They truly made this cruise one for the books! The cruise director, chef, and other staff made the port briefings and subsequent evening dining a highlight and not merely the dissemination of information and provision of outstanding menu items. This is our third Viking cruise, and while they all have their own personalities, it is the interaction of the crew that will provided us with some of our more endearing memories. The excursions were exceptional as well, again because the staff worked so well together. Throw together iconic land destinations and the capabilities of the staff and you have an unbeatable combination. We'll see Viking again soon! Read Less
We have wanted to visit Portugal's famous Douro for many years. We couldn't have chosen a better way to explore this gorgeous wine producing region than our wine river cruise aboard the AmaVida. This ship offers everything: fine dining, ... Read More
We have wanted to visit Portugal's famous Douro for many years. We couldn't have chosen a better way to explore this gorgeous wine producing region than our wine river cruise aboard the AmaVida. This ship offers everything: fine dining, outstanding daily excursions, spacious accommodations and a superb staff that anticipates the guests' every need. Each day was an exciting new adventure and by the time we departed the ship, we felt we had really come to understand and love the Douro and surrounding areas. While we chose to participate in each excursion, some friends in our group decided to stay on board and enjoy relaxing poolside. Their experience was just as special as ours. Whether you choose to immerse yourselves in Portugal's fascinating culture by joining the AmaVida's outstanding guides as they conduct their daily tours or simply explore the charming towns that are the overnight port stops, you can't go wrong. After this introduction to river cruising, we can't wait to explore other AmaWaterways wine river cruises. Read Less
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. ... Read More
We explored Lisbon before we embarked our ship in Porto. I found Porto difficult to walk around with lots of potholes in the sidewalks and lots of empty buildings. In the future, I would skip Lisbon and head into Porto a little earlier. That being said, the hotel was lovely and our waitress in the hotel lobby knew her wines, and was generous in her information about Portuguese wines.
Embarkation went smoothly.
Our cabin was on Sapphire deck and was quite comfortable to our needs. Very comfortable bed. Housekeeping always kept the room immaculate and refreshed our little bar daily and gave us extra water. Loved the balcony which I could open and close at leisure.
We ate mostly in the Crystal dining room, but often ate a lighter lunch in the sun lounge. We ate once in the Portobellos, the specialty restaurant. Food was delicious on all counts.
Our entertainment and activities were light but highly interesting. Tours also were interesting, and there were always washrooms available. I am going to try to make the candied almonds that one person demonstrated on one tour. We especially liked the Fado music both on and off board, the cork demonstration, shopping with Chef and his demonstration, and tours to the wineries and villages.
Service was always with a smile and we loved the staff, their hard work and humor.
After disembarking at Porto, we flew on to Madrid. The only negative thing I have to say is about Portuguese airlines. Small and not on time.
We loved Madrid. Our tour guide was knowledgable, warm and welcoming. She was always more than available and helpful. The streets are pedestrian friendly. We would definitely go there again. And our city tour guide who was also our guide at the Prado Art Gallery was exceptionally knowledgable.
In conclusion, we loved Scenic. I love the all inclusive, I loved the wonderful variety of shipmates. I loved that the ship was Portuguese built, and the crew was Portuguese. But never fear - their English is impeccable. We would travel with Scenic again. Read Less
Scenic, The Scenic Team has responded
It sounds like you had a great time on board and we're happy to hear you loved your time in Madrid.
The Scenic Team
My wife's grandparents were born in Budapest & Vienna areas, and was our initial interest in this river cruise on the Danube. The crew on the AmaSerena was excellent, and went out of their way to make everyone feel like family. The ... Read More
My wife's grandparents were born in Budapest & Vienna areas, and was our initial interest in this river cruise on the Danube. The crew on the AmaSerena was excellent, and went out of their way to make everyone feel like family. The cabin was very comfortable, and having an outdoor Balcony made it very convenient to be outside without going up on deck. The crew provided 1st class service and dining was excellent, with both "Chef's Choices" and anything on the menu offered at all meals. The dining highlight was the intimate dinner at Chef's Table, with many courses included over a leisurely pace. The special dining room offered views from 3 sides. All excursions offered included up to 5 levels of walking difficulty, and provided detailed history, which covered many centuries, dating back to Roman times. The use of very knowledgable local Certified Guides provided a top notch experience. The night-time cruise thru Budapest offered a stunning view of all the city lights, including the Parliament building. One of our most memorable excursions was an intimate evening concert in Vienna. Read Less
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