131 Paris Luxury Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise because the ship went to Normandy, and we had never been to Paris. The ships was fairly new, and was excellent in every way. All inclusive, so never paid for anything else but a little laundry, cruise director Valerie, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the ship went to Normandy, and we had never been to Paris. The ships was fairly new, and was excellent in every way. All inclusive, so never paid for anything else but a little laundry, cruise director Valerie, was exceptional. Food and beverage was outstanding. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better cruise line than scenic. I would highly recommend this cruise line. Shore excursions were handled by experienced professionals who were very well versed on subject matter. Ship could have had a few more onboard activity’s. Average age of travelers was about 75. All of the employees were helpful and courteous. We have cruised on larger ships before, but never again. Smaller river cruise is better, we were double parked many times with other ships, and very few were as nice as scenic. Tauck was the only other one that looked as nice, but the ship was older. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it was something my elderly mother and father had always wanted to do. My father passed away before they had the chance to go so we did a mother daughter trip. The ship was beautiful and the staff were incredible ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was something my elderly mother and father had always wanted to do. My father passed away before they had the chance to go so we did a mother daughter trip. The ship was beautiful and the staff were incredible with their service no matter what role they had on the boat. The food was amazing - as was the wine selections it was truly a wonderful experience and a wonderful way to see the Seine and its rich history. The organised trips were good although my only feedback on these were some were very arduous for any one really elderly or with mobility impairments. Although in saying this the cruise director was very good at describing each tour option the evening before. This was a lovely experience and total "all inclusive" so the price covered everything except the hairdresser or the massage, no tipping required. We could not really fault this except the weather could have been a little kinder :-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travel agent recommended. Everything was wonderful. We enjoyed the room very much except for the septic odour that was prevalent on a number of occasions and the lighting, which was not very good, especially for the application of ... Read More
Travel agent recommended. Everything was wonderful. We enjoyed the room very much except for the septic odour that was prevalent on a number of occasions and the lighting, which was not very good, especially for the application of make-up. The cleaning staff did an excellent job of taking care of any requests we had and tried on a number of occasions to get rid of the door, with some success but it did not last long. The odour did make it difficult to sit on the balcony for any length of time. The staff was absolutely wonderful, extremely helpful and very personable. They made the trip as wonderful as it was. I would recommend Scenic to my friends based on the excellent service the staff provided. The food was excellent and the selection of shore excursions gave everyone an opportunity to see many various parts of the country. Great job again by the crew. 6 stars out of 5********. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had done the Rhine River Cruise before and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one was equally as brilliant but maybe a little less “hectic”. A joy from beginning to end. The staff were so friendly, welcoming and professional. The food ... Read More
I had done the Rhine River Cruise before and thoroughly enjoyed it. This one was equally as brilliant but maybe a little less “hectic”. A joy from beginning to end. The staff were so friendly, welcoming and professional. The food was exceptional. The scenery and tours were all first class, five star all the way! Everything was so well organised that you knew every day exactly what time to expect everything to happen. The executive chef, captain, crew, manager, cruise director bar attendants, restaurant, waiters and waitresses were all very professional and friendly. Every excursion we went on was extremely interesting and the guides were very interesting and friendly. I would not hesitate in recommending this cruise to anyone. The only thing I would advise is to make sure you are reasonably fit because even the tours said to be easy walking etc could be very tiring. Do it now! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise initially because we were attracted to the itinerary which included Monet and Van Gogh homes and the Normandy beach Memorials. We chose Avalon because the rooms were spacious and bed faced out on sliding doors instead ... Read More
We chose this cruise initially because we were attracted to the itinerary which included Monet and Van Gogh homes and the Normandy beach Memorials. We chose Avalon because the rooms were spacious and bed faced out on sliding doors instead of balconies limiting inside space. We were so pleasantly surprised! All of the cruise employees spoke English, were very pleasant and helpful and spent their day making sure everything was well taken care of. Our cruise director Jean Loup was always available, and coordinated all of the excursions with attention to detail to assure that we arrived early so that we dodged the crowds and all of the guides were knowledgeable and pleasant! To the very last day even when we left the ship he worked tirelessly to make sure all went smoothly! Our room was just as advertised, it and the ship were immaculately clean, the food was outstanding and the ride was smooth as silk! Special shout out to Octavian, Simone, Valentin, and George on the wait staff they were always there if we needed something! Our only negatives were not against Avalon. France as is much of Europe is not an accessible trip, it is difficult at times to navigate, though Avalon did twice hook us up with so all trolleys which got us to the top of Etratat’ and to the top of Montmartre, which we would have never seen otherwise! And, Paris was like any Metropolitan City difficult on your own (when you are of a certain age). All in all Thank you Avalon for making our trip the best it could be! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we were going to explore the wine regions of Bordeaux and area. We were also interested in the culinary classes. We were also very interested in the bike tours. We began the trip in Paris. I highly ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were going to explore the wine regions of Bordeaux and area. We were also interested in the culinary classes. We were also very interested in the bike tours. We began the trip in Paris. I highly recommend that you start the tour by spending a few extra days in Paris. There is so much to do and see and one day is far from enough time. We rode the train to Bordeaux. The transition went very smoothly because the Scenic team was very organized. We were welcome onto the ship by the friendly and courteous staff. I felt the room was a little smaller (not much) than a previous cruise I had taken, however I was not too concerned because we spent very little time in our room. The rooms (and ship) were always very clean. There was always a variety of entertainment in the evenings ranging from jazz, music trivia and disco nights. The port and shore excursions were excellent. We were able to a visit a variety of chateaus, try a variety of wines from different farms. The excursion to Remy Martin was very enjoyable. The bike tours through the vineyards were breathtaking. The one area I feel was a little disappointing was the culinary cuisine class. I thought it would be hands on participation and it wasn’t. However, I believe that the space limitation wouldn’t allow for that. It still was an enjoyable experience. Finally, I can’t express enough how friendly and courteous the staff were, often going above and beyond to make our stay pleasurable. I definitely feel that I would most likely enjoy a scenic tour in the near future but I would like to explore another area of the world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our fifth cruise with Scenic and it has been impossible to find fault with any of them. We have found on this cruise, as with the other cruises, that all of the staff go “the extra mile” to ensure that you have an enjoyable ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise with Scenic and it has been impossible to find fault with any of them. We have found on this cruise, as with the other cruises, that all of the staff go “the extra mile” to ensure that you have an enjoyable voyage. There is a variable and high standard of cuisine with quality wines and a large variety of alcoholic beverages. There is also a 24/7 self service machine for coffee and other hot drinks. Transfers at both the start and end of the voyage are arranged and carried out efficiently with the occasional chauffeured pick up and return to home on some voyages. The guides on the various inclusive tours are also friendly, knowledgable and fully fluent in English as well as other languages. We believe that Scenic “all inclusive “ prices give the best value for money. We chose this cruise because it was in a part of France that we had not visited before. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous ... Read More
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous and all food and drink was fantastic quality. Entertainment included an onboard pianist, in addition to performers being brought aboard from various ports. We were even treated to a recital by a classical quartet in a Château, where Scenic docked just for the evening performance, then sailed on. Very special! Most of all, the staff were welcoming, attentive, competent and caring, which always makes a trip. There was always a personal touch. The cruise director was amazing - a French national who was full of wonderful insights into her native country. Hotel Manager ensured all F&B ran seamlessly. Food and drink choices were incredibly varied and top quality. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The cruise members are so great.I enjoyed the cruise director jokes. Loved the way she give us informations. Loved our tour guide Virginia, such a funny ,lovely,personality.Christian, the manager is such a ... Read More
I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The cruise members are so great.I enjoyed the cruise director jokes. Loved the way she give us informations. Loved our tour guide Virginia, such a funny ,lovely,personality.Christian, the manager is such a nice person. The bar cruise are very nice, they spoiled us. Non stop service,very cheerful personality.The dining staff are so lovely, tried there best to please everyone. We where spoiled by the room attendant,very clean room. They are very attentive. Entertainment is great. Great pianist. I loved the duo.I particularly enjoyed the cruise member who sung. She should sing regularly, in my opinion. I have enjoyed the concert in one of the chateau,what a magnificent musician. One of the best experience is Dune du Pilat, what a magnificent place. In my opinion, should spend more time in this excursion.I recommend to see more places in Bordeaux city. It seems it has more to offer. Over all it is a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the ... Read More
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the Palais Benedictine visit, the beautiful coast and cliffs of Etretat, Rouen and the Fine Arts Museum and Deauville. We are experienced travellers who have travelled with Scenic Tours before. This cruise did not disappoint. The crew were so happy even though they worked extremely hard. A really good team. The ship is spotless, well maintained. The cabins are comfortable and spacious With lots of storage space, Windows, balconies etc. The beds are very comfortable and there is a pillow menu for added comfort. Each cabin has Internet, TVs, radio, music and movies. The bathroom is not squeezy with a good size shower 2 can fit in and lovely toiletries. Rooms are serviced twice a day Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We'd had a family member travel with Scenic before and preferred them over Viking because Scenic's prices are ALL INCLUSIVE. You won't spend another nickel for anything on the boat -- not drinks or excursions or bike trips. ... Read More
We'd had a family member travel with Scenic before and preferred them over Viking because Scenic's prices are ALL INCLUSIVE. You won't spend another nickel for anything on the boat -- not drinks or excursions or bike trips. This takes the pressure off thinking, Should I do this? Everything is open and available. The ship was sparkling clean and well-designed. Not brand new, but not suffering. Our cabin was well-organized and comfortable. The food on board was excellent -- they accommodated special dietary needs of two of our traveling companions without any problems. The liquor, if that's your thing, is all top shelf. The meals were creative, delicious, and offered many choices. This is not a boat full of casinos, shows, and entertainment. IF you want that, take another cruise. This is a small ship: around 115 guests. We were happier without all the chaos of a bigger ship. There were good talks in advance of the next day's port. Each day was FULL of activities from which to choose, or you are free to go off on your own. We biked (on E-bikes), walked through cities, toured villas, and explored Paris. BEST OF ALL: the service provided by EVERY Scenic staff member. From the housekeeping staff to the ship's captain, every single staff member was well-prepared to do their job and were thoughtful and polite to all of us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation ... Read More
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation went smoothly and swiftly. There were staff to greet us port side before entering the ship. Mandy ,our cruise director was very good and helped us in the off ship experiences. We had a wonderful cabin crew and kept everything clean and refreshed. The Restaurant was always on time with the 3 meals a day served while onboard. One thing that would enhance our stay on board , would be to ask , if there could be an onboard Doctor. Becoming ill on the ship, we asked around the towns for a doctor, but none would take an International visitor. We were very fortunate that Mandy could organise a doctor on such short notice. She took care of everything from Taxi, to the Doctors practice and then Taxi return to the ship. She is a marvel and outstanding, and very much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well ... Read More
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well organized events from arrival to departure of our trip. It was a smooth transition each day. We received amazing service and were dined and entertained beyond our expectations. We met wonderful people from different countries and enjoyed the varied offshore excursions. Top notch tour guides and transportation. Special thanks to our amazing captain, hotel management and cruise director. Their leadership and assistance was valued throughout the whole trip. Also our chef provided exquisite meals. The portions, options and wine pairings for all our meals were outstanding. We appreciated not having to worry to tip or pay additional for beverages requested throughout the whole trip. Definitely worry free. We highly recommend the scenic luxury cruise to anyone who is seeking an amazing vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but ... Read More
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but walking into our room and unpacking was like coming home! Experienced Paris by letting Viking do all the planing and as always a great job. I would just caution travelers not to go during Europe's spring break time! I also think Viking should warn travelers that the crowds will be much more intense during this time. Food and service is excellent, We loved our room. It is kept spotlessly clean and equipped very well. And if you need anything it will be delivered quickly. My only complaint this trip was the nightly "oversell" by the crew. I at times felt I was listening to a timeshare presentation. Please, not every night over dinner. Keep up the great work and we are looking forward to our next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other ... Read More
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other boats. This time it was the head chef and our waiter Alexander. This particular cruise pays special attention to the D-Day landing sites in Normandy. For those of you interested in history and the sacrifices our young men made to free the world of terror, this is the cruise to take. Being there in person gives you a whole different perspective than what you got from the history books. On board we enjoyed a plethora of gourmet meals accompanied by a superb selection of quality wines. Try the La Cave du Vin for cozy, hands on, fine dining in the boat’s wine cellar. Book as soon you get on board because it fills up quickly. There is an extra charge for this but worth it. And the bar in the Salon Toulouse will amaze you with the selection of fine beverages from all over the world. Cleanliness on board is beyond reproach as is the friendliness and the service of the entire crew. Special thanks for service above and beyond go to our Hotel Manager Maria and our waiters Nikolay and Alexander. And the shore excursions are always well orchestrated and professionally guided through interesting places. But as with everything in life there are always some glitches, minor in this case but annoying. This boat was just refurbished so they added some “improvements”. The faucet in the bathroom sink has separate hot and cold water controls. The hot water is scolding hot so it takes you a while to temper it to a usable temperature with the two handles. But the bigger problem is the water spout which comes out from the wall and almost to the outside edge of the sink. It makes it impossible to bring your face over the sink and to bring the water to your face to wash it. You have to stand back and the water goes over your feet and the floor. Hint to the designers; shorten the spout by at least six inches. The other goof is the new “Do not disturb” notification. They’ve done away with the door handle sign and replaced it with an electronic touch pad inside the cabin. However, this very sensitive unit is just below the wall slot where you insert the key card to turn on the room utilities. It is almost certain that you will touch it inadvertently and alter the setting when you insert and remove the key card. And when the card is in the slot it hides the indicator light. So when we didn’t get our cabin made up for two days I went to the reception desk for an explanation. They knew immediately what was going on because it has happened to others and they very kindly explained how this new system functions. And lastly, the room thermostat control is another touch pad unit. It is preset to 23 degrees Celsius and has a wide range of temperature settings. But regardless of what temperature you change it to the room temperature never changes from the preset temp. But these minor glitches will not deter us from sailing on Uniworld again. As a matter of fact, while on board we booked the Bordeaux cruise for May 2020. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru ... Read More
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru to the final disembarkation. The meals were well done with choices at every meal, great service, friendly polite & professional staff. Our cabin was very clean & looked after every day. The tours were as stated, on time, well organized, with very professional & knowledgeable guides. Off ship meals were well done & with no hiccups. The cruise director was on top of everything & kept the passengers updated daily on the next days activities, in addition to printed itineraries delivered each evening with the turn down service. There is entertainment every evening with some being a resident pianist & other nights bringing other groups on board. Scenic seems to aim at the retired market & hits the mark. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one ... Read More
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one involved no nighttime cruising, and was a little slower paced in the afternoons for the most part, which appealed to us NEGATIVES: The things that could have been better are few and far between, but there's always room for better. Scenic did our flight arrangements, and we found out a month or two before leaving (after setting it up well in advance), that our flight out of Nice was too early and could not get to the airport in time. To their credit, they did fix it, but it was a little disconcerting to be up in the air (so to speak) for a while. We arrived in Paris, and the next morning took a bus to the train station, and then the high speed train to the Sapphire. It's a little nicer on other cruises to arrive in the embarkation city and be on the ship right away. Can't be helped in this case since there's no large airport in Chalon-sur-Saone where it starts. A couple of the excursions had tour guides who were very slow at finding the English word for explanations, which was a slight hassle. The ship has been redecorated well, but the toilet roll holders are attached with one screw and are all coming loose or tearing from the wall. (Nit picky, I know.) Beer selection is fair, although I kind of fell in love with a french beer, so it really didn't matter. Be prepared to moor with other ships and people walking through your lobby. To be honest, this was minimal, and I could have cared less; just that a lot of people mention that. They all do it. POSITIVES: So the rest of the cruise is great. I'll try to give a feel for what my wife and I experienced. In Paris Scenic put us up at the very posh Westin, in a perfect location. Loved it. The welcoming person was so very nice, and did a very nice informational meeting. The ship is beautiful. All very sleek greys, black, white and silver, with small splashes of color. Sort of an urban chic. Always spotless. Staff members are constantly cleaning and polishing. Sanitizer dispensers are strategically placed, and they asked that everyone use them when entering and leaving the main areas - we like that. There are germs from all over the world on any ship, and that helps a lot. We had one of the "royal" suites, which involves a few extra perks, although any level has perks. No tipping, which is wonderful. You absolutely feel no pressure to tip - wow! Every excursion you choose is included, no extra fees ever. Beer, wine and alcohol are all day and night at no charge. You can relax in the afternoon with a glass of wine without waiting for dinner. We both thought the meals were wonderful. I know some people get huffy over the fact that lunch is a buffet. With only 153 passengers, I don't find that a big deal at all, and there are still menu items at both breakfast and lunch if you don't wish to stand in line for 30 seconds. My wife has some dietary restrictions, and once they caught on, it was wonderful how they catered to her. No gluten or dairy - and the chef even made her three separate desserts for her birthday following those restrictions. That was above and beyond to us. If you don't care for the menu options, at all the meals you could simply order a chicken breast, salmon, rib eye, and a couple others. I had the rib eye one night and my wife had the chicken breast - both were delicious. Service was timely, the wine flowed freely, and the dining room was lovely. The host discussed the wines for the night each evening, so you could choose knowing what you were getting. They weren't the very expensive wines, but excellent medium range wines. If you don't like one, tell the waiter and try another. Can't ask for more than that. Breakfasts were great too, large buffet, and a omelet station. I had the eggs benedict 5 or 6 times it was so good. Fresh fruit always. And the desserts were works of art. Kudos to the staff and chef for the service and quality. Special dinners each night were explained at length by the chef himself, which is a nice touch. I'd like to mention the staff. The butler, Edita, who showed us our suite was so welcoming and efficient. I can't say enough about her service throughout the cruise. Also, our two male butlers than helped us, Dominik and Vladi were practically begging us to give them tasks. And we did, from laundry to ironing to breakfast in the room, etc. All done quickly and so nicely. I had two massages from a young man named Dragan, who also led exercise programs each morning (which we didn't do). He was professional and also fascinating to talk to. Such a nice human being we had great discussions while he worked his wonders on my muscles. Best massage ever, really. The Eastern European people are so genuine, hard working, smart, and family oriented. A breath of fresh air. A young lade, named Sevit, at the front desk went out of her way to help, and give recommendations for visits to towns and shopping. She is also to be congratulated for her wonderful demeanor and knowledge. The cruise director, Eric, was everywhere, putting out fires, making sure things went well on the excursions, etc. Well done. I guess to summarize the staff, superb. I'm running out of superlatives here! Loved the bar staff, and the bartender was great. We did tip some of these staff, although there's no need, but how could we not? The daily life and excursions and entertainment were memorable, filled with culture and history. I'll mention some of the ones we did just to impart a flavor of what they're about: All afternoon and evening the lounge has a very competent piano player named Paolo, which adds a nice touch to the feel. He could play most anything. We went to the town of Beaune and Hospice Hotel Dieu, which was a lesson in history along with a perfectly preserved hospital from the 1400's. The architecture was fabulous, with a colored-tiled roof that is simpy not to be missed. E-bikes were available almost every day, on your own or organized rides. We didn't use them, but friends we made did and thought they were very easy to use and fun. One of my favorite excursions was to a truffle farm, where a family farmer and his dog, Chinook, took us into his truffle trees to hunt. He loved telling us all about the truffles, how they are grown, the dog, everything. This is something special, as opposed to just looking at churches and castles (which also is interesting). His wife then took us into their 16th century farm house and served us truffle butter she made, with wine and bread. This was a gem outing......don't miss it. We ate at the special L'Amour Restaurant on night. Really nicely done with impeccable wait staff. Also ate at the Captain's table, and he was personable and interesting. We didn't do the Table La Rive because we were busy, but heard it was also good. Had a band one night, Krystal Live Band, fun music. Al little schmaltzy, but talented. Went to Cluny where the great Abbey once stood. A part is still there, and the museum with models and explanations helps you understand the grandeur and importance of the place: Largest church in the world until St. Peters was built. Another favorite and highly recommended "Scenic Freechoice" was Medieval Perouges. A walled city very intact, and there's not a corner or nook that isn't ripe for an amazing pose or picture. The tour guide was so very good, and some free time and fun shops. That day we had a silkpainting demo on board in the afternoon. Very interesting. One evening went to the Scenic Rouge Circus Performance for a show and dessert. Lots of young talent and acrobatics. Had a French Paradox Talk, which was fun too. In Tournon we had evening aperatifs after dinner on the terrace of a castle with a panoramic view that was killer. Along with some live music, it was relaxed and delicious. Later was a music quiz that was lively and fun. They really try to keep you entertained if you desire. We picked a trip to Tain L'Hermitage and the Valrhona Chocolate factory one day, which was imformative and who doesn't like taste testing chocolate. Spent a little money there I'm afraid. The chocolatier who gave us the talk was a little long-winded, but the museum there taught me a lot. Two dancers one night" Pierre and Faustine" were so good they almost put dancing with the stars to shame. A delight. The Ardeche Park and Lavender museum was very nice - again, we learned about something we knew little of, and also saw some splendid natural beauty. That night we had a fench female singer who did Edith Pilaf among others, and she had a great sound. We Did the Chateauneuf-du-Pape vinyeard/village tour with wine-tasting. The history was superb, I loved this one, and the wine was so good we ordered some to be shipped home. We didn' do a lot of wine-tasting excursions, but this one was a gem. We toured the Pope's palace in Avignon later that same day. Just look at a couple of their pictures and you'll know it's deserving of it's UNESCO world heritage designation. A different favorite of mine was Pont du Gard and Uzes. If you're at all considering this excursion, look at some pictures of the 2,000 year old aqueduct, and you'll be hooked. The museum there was outstanding also, and the tour guide gave us plenty of time there, per the recommendation of Eric, our tour director. A special evening was dinner at the Pope's Palace. The room was so "important", can't think of the right word, because 5 papal enclaves were held right there in the 1300's. So much history. The food was fancy, but not my favorite, except for the really good pear dessert. They had a string quartet that was as good as any I've ever heard....wow. We went to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, with a fascinating church, right on the Mediterranean coast. Lots of interesting little shops. Also went to the bird Park, but it started raining and most elected not to go in (including us). That evening was a gypsy show, and they were so much better than I expected. A real treat. Another excursion I would highly recommend was Les Baux-de-Provence and Olive Oil Farm. Baux was a very cool little walled city, picturesque and fun, with lots of fun shops amidst the cobblestoned streets. And the olive farm, once again, was something I knew little about. It is a family business, and has been for many generations, even with their own 14th century private chapel. The process of making the olive oil was so well done, as was the intriguing tasting we did with one of the owner's daughters. Do it. I will say we loved the Scenic Tailormade devices. On one of ours the battery was bad, and they quickly replaced that. The sound was usually very good, except in a very windy situation. You can also take them out on your own when roaming around, and they have a built in GPS that will give you pertinent info on anything you're near. Also, take them around the ship and set to cruise mode, and they alert you to interesting things you're passing on the shore with a history. Once again, I highly recommend Scenic. It's not at all like a huge cruise ship where there are so many stores, restaurants, venues, pools, etc. But that's the charm of a small boat; almost like a temporary community expertly formed and guided by the staff. We met so many fun people. Don't get me wrong, everyone doesn't become friends, but it was easy to make some, and it made the cruise so much better. I'm 63 and there were some a fair amoung younger and quite a few a little older (retired), and a few elderly. I think all ages can enjoy this type of cruise. Of course, motion sickness is no issue here. I have read negative reviews of Scenic. Everyone isn't pleased with the same things, but I feel like with the amazing service and the multitude of choices in entertainment, food and excursions, I can't imagine not having the best of vacations on the Scenic Sapphire. Thank you Scenic for your concept and execution. You are worth the little extra money that one pays as compared to some other river cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband retired in June and we decided to celebrate by going on this cruise. We had contemplated planning and organizing an itinerary on our own (which is what we do most of the time) but decided to leave it to Scenic! We had made ... Read More
My husband retired in June and we decided to celebrate by going on this cruise. We had contemplated planning and organizing an itinerary on our own (which is what we do most of the time) but decided to leave it to Scenic! We had made our own arrangements, arriving several days earlier to enjoy Paris. We checked into the hotel provided with our cruise, Le Scribe (Sofitel) which is always good. Others went to the Westin and I understand that it was equally very good. Thereafter we took a TGV to Chalon sure Soane where we boarded our Ship. Embarkation was a breeze and our luggage was already in the room. In the past, when we traveled with my in-laws, all the women received a rose but no longer- a minute change which I did not miss but noted! The Sapphire ship is the oldest of the Scenic fleet but it had been refurbished so it appeared to the the same as two others we had been on. Our cabin (junior suite) was comfortable and had a shower tub combo. Our butlers, Vlad and Dominik were solicitous, discrete, efficient and went out of their way to ensure we were well taken care of, which we were. The lady that cleaned our room was equally efficient, warm and caring. The fitness area had three modern machines (Elliptical, treadmill and bicycle and hand weights/balls and the like) which I did use three times. The first time the room was very warm but this was quickly remedied after I reported it to the cruise director . "Dragun", the fitness expert had daily morning exercise/stretching classes which were excellent. The entertainment was good and varied (as per my husband as I did not attend most of them because port excursions were early morning) . If port excursions had had started one hour later as I would have been able to attend the evening entertainment, as in the past, I always did attend them but then we cruised at night (which we did not on this cruise). Unlike most people on board, I am not retired and had to go back to work upon our return so I wanted to be rested! If there is something Scenic could change, is perhaps doing a bit more travel in the evening (and even at night?) so that excursions could start later.... Dining /meals were very good to excellent- However we were disappointed at the meal served at "L'Amour" (a plate of charcuterie as part of appetizer?) as we were with dinner served at the Pope's palace in Avignon-such a beautiful venue with a live ensemble but food (except for dessert) was not good at all. Additionally, we had two bottle of wines for a table of 8 and when someone asked for another bottle we were told "there is no more wine"- Perhaps having a cocktail reception (with Chateauneuf du Pape wines)with an ensemble and include the daily port talk by the cruise director as an alternative? Our cruise director, Eric was outstanding- self -assured, with excellent public speaking skills, knowledgeable, solicitous, warm & with attention to details, he ensured that we (and the staff which appeared to get along well with one another, and be cohesive ) had a good time, while at the same time managing the unexpected. For example, we were to disembark in Tarascon but because of water issues the cruise did not end there- he reviewed with us our alternatives and efficiently arranged transportation to Nice. As cruise director, Eric should probably mentor those wishing to follow in his steps! Of all our cruises, I remember only another cruise director,and not for the same reasons! Our captain was visible, accessible, and friendly. The sommelier "Agostino" (equally approachable and knowledgeable) presented daily offerings, and explained well why they were chosen. The chef prepared regional dishes which were well executed. Buffet breakfast and lunch were varied ,very good, and provided a certain amount of time efficiency. Of note is that we observed one of the chef going out on bicycle to buy gluten free bread for a passenger! Port excursions were varied, with options for the "gentle walkers " to more active ones (cycling, hiking) which we enjoyed, even hiking the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape! Overall, this was a memorable cruise. I was very sad when the vacation came to an end. Beautiful destination with outstanding service. I would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak of what they went through. The embarkation went very smooth with well wishes when we came aboard. Offered a complementory cocktail and was directed to the lounge while our room was being prepared for us while we waited. The ship itself is very spacious and having no more than 130 guests, makes the experience that more special. The feeling is very intimate. You get to meet a lot of nice people. Not like on an ocean cruise where the only people you see, on a regular basis, are the ones at your dinner table every night for the ocean ships are so huge. The dining was great. Since this was a river cruise in France, The dining was French cuisine throughout the trip. I really enjoyed the meals and the wine pairing was great. You had a great choice of wines to choose from. Red and white. Whatever you desired. The entertainment was ok. We had a few bands come on board. One band played 60's and 70's music and another band played some ragtime music. We also had a comedienne come on board and we were her first ever audience on the river cruise for she was trying out her material on us to see if she was Scenic material. I thought she was great and I hope she gets the contract with them. The ports and shore excursions were very good. The explanation of the events that happened in each town during the war was very informative and made it even more exciting, for me anyway, to visit the Normady beaches and to pay respect to our fallen at their respective cemetaries ( British, Australian, French, Canadian and U.S.). Would I go again? Yes. I would like to spend more time and explore more of the Normandy beaches and to see the memorial of all 5 landing sites (Juno, Omaha, Sword, Gold & Utah). Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Choose Scenic because everything was included. And it was. As Royal Suite guests all staff went the "extra mile". Yes it was very expensive but it was worth it! The ship is modern and kept very clean. We were surprised at the ... Read More
Choose Scenic because everything was included. And it was. As Royal Suite guests all staff went the "extra mile". Yes it was very expensive but it was worth it! The ship is modern and kept very clean. We were surprised at the lack of security when rejoining the ship each time though!! Also the top sun deck was out of use for long periods due to the low bridges. Our suite was as expected and we had excellent service from butlers Vlad and Edita. Air conditioning was vey efficient throughout the ship. The food overall was consistently good - apart from the "al dente" vegetables which had not seen hot water!! When we wanted a table for 2 in the evenings we always got one. Whilst most people upheld dress standards it was disappointing to see 2 gentlemen in the dining room for evening meal in shorts when the dress code forbid this!!!!!!! Entertainment was low key and we had only one evening of a visiting singer. The places visited were interesting and "scenic". We mainly did our own exploring ashore. What really made this cruise were the staff. Mention must be made of reception staff Sevil and Daisy. Nothing was too much trouble. But special mention must be made for Frank the hotel manager, He made our trip as good as it could be. He even arranged for us to dine with our friends at the captains table on gala night. Thankyou. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had a wonderful cruise on the Scenic Sapphire on the Rhone River from Chalon-sur-Saone to Tarascon. We first flew to Paris on our own. We took the train to Lyon where we connected to a local train to Chalon-sur-Saone. The ship was great ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Scenic Sapphire on the Rhone River from Chalon-sur-Saone to Tarascon. We first flew to Paris on our own. We took the train to Lyon where we connected to a local train to Chalon-sur-Saone. The ship was great with a sizable fitness center, massages, a beauty salon. Our cabin was on the #2 deck. Most of the cabins have an outside balcony with a window that lowers to waist height. While other cruise lines have the "French balcony" with the window that lowers, Scenic is unique with an outdoor deck with chairs.The food onboard was very good. As opposed to other river cruises where you had to arrive at dinner at 7:00pm, Scenic makes a point of telling you they will serve you anytime between a range of hours. There were cooking classes onboard every day at 4:00pm. There were ample excursions to meet every desire. The service onboard was superb. Everyone was kind, outgoing and helpful. I will take Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Wanted a 15 day transatlantic with northern European emphasis. Never sailed Princess and probably wont be back. 2 1/2 hours to board in Southampton in a club class mini suite. Apparently mobility issues gets u on first but that was half ... Read More
Wanted a 15 day transatlantic with northern European emphasis. Never sailed Princess and probably wont be back. 2 1/2 hours to board in Southampton in a club class mini suite. Apparently mobility issues gets u on first but that was half the ship apparently. Ship was big and maximized cabin space at the expense of ship features. No where inside to escape the throngs...the Piazza reminds me of Vegas and is loud and always packed as there is nowhere else to hangout or lounge that doesnt involve eating or drinking. Overpriced tacky shops, library was a joke, cannot walk the perimeter of the ship on any lower deck, running track is on deck 18 and closed frequently due to wind and is also in the exhaust of the stacks. Elevators are slow and packed to the point we dreaded going to lower decks. Dining was hit or miss, steak house was great...most everything else average or below. Room service was always prompt but menu poor. Buffet mostly average to poor fatty high carb choices...meats dried out and self serve tongs are a health hazard. Never go to buffet at peak eating times...people are rude pushy and oblivious, no where to sit. Cabin L107 had the forward wrap around balcony and was wonderful...cabin service excellent. Disembarkation delayed and misplaced one bag...just hire a car to the airport as the bus transfer was painfully slow and people standing about blocking the unloading of bags. Overall we enjoyed the stops and room and had a good time once we learned how to avoid the throngs, bad entertainment and geriatric oriented events. Gym on this ship was remarkably good. Wont do another Princess cruise...so many better offerings. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had and excellent holiday on board and off board. The ship was well maintained, our cabin was perfect. I particularly liked the balcony to sit out on and have a glass of wine. The optional outside glass window (up or down) was a nice ... Read More
We had and excellent holiday on board and off board. The ship was well maintained, our cabin was perfect. I particularly liked the balcony to sit out on and have a glass of wine. The optional outside glass window (up or down) was a nice amenity when the weather was too hot. Service, was the best you can imagine. Our wait staff, bar staff (Rosie) and cabin staff had us wanting for nothing! The food on board was amazing, every morsel was delicious. The choices for dinner were varied and well presented. The choice of ports were great, the tour directors knew their "stuff" and everything went seamlessly. We learned so much about making wine and even olive oil! We always had 3+ different tours to take. Our tour director was incredible, Yvonne always kept us informed about everything that was going on daily. She was very confident and professional, but like to make us laugh as well. The front reception staff were efficient and answered any questions, without hesitation. Scenic is an excellent choice for those that want 5 star service on an all inclusive holiday. You could literally walk on board without a dime and everything is paid for. However, massages and hair salon are extra. They have a great loyalty program, credits toward a next cruise saves you money. The fly free benefit is also a great perk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It has taken me more than 12 months to compose this review, mainly due to my bitter disappointment with Uniworld.My husband and I  did the Grand France river cruise and before that had been big fans of Uniworld. We had previously done the ... Read More
It has taken me more than 12 months to compose this review, mainly due to my bitter disappointment with Uniworld.My husband and I  did the Grand France river cruise and before that had been big fans of Uniworld. We had previously done the Christmas markets from Vienna to Nuremberg on the SS Maria Theresa, but after our Grand France tour would not recommend Uniworld and we are planning an Amsterdam to Budapest with another cruise line.Admittedly the Maria Theresa is a hard act to follow, but the first half of the Grand France cruise from Avignon to Lyon on the SS Catherine was wonderful and all that we expected. Service was great,food was delicious and staff were attentive and responsive.However that all changed when we boarded the SS Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy.I will deal with the boat first and how the layout and omissions have affected the quality of the experience.. We had a French Balcony cabin on the Balzac deck. No complaints with that,the usual high quality linens and cabin we had come to expect from Uniworld. The bathroom layout was a little cramped and not as comfortable as the Catherine and Maria Theresa but I acknowledge that is trivial and hardly worth mentioning! Uniworld promotes this boat as a luxury ship and that description beggars belief! Uniworld have tinkered with the design of the ships in an effort to squeeze more dollars from cruisers and that was quite obvious on the ship.On both the SS Maria Theresa and the SS Catherine the Bar du Leopard was located at the rear of the ship with a 24 horu tea and coffee station and swimming pool. For the Joie de Vivre Uniworld has dumped the Bar du Leopard and instead has Club L'Esprit and Claude's and a swimming pool instead,as well as an ambitiously named 24 hour coffee station (cupboard would have been a more accurate description) The layout suffered from an alternate drinking and lounging place like the Bar du Leopard. Both the Maria Theresa and Catherine and a coffee "shop" or room where one could partake of a hot drink and cookie. This was absent in the layout of the Joie de Vivre where the La Cave des Vins replaced the coffee shop. The cover charge for eating in that venue was 90 Euros and a cynical interpretion is that Uniworld were hoping to gouge an extra fee from their cruisers.I will deal with the tea and coffee stations.The deck plans of the Joie de Vivre show a 24 hour tea and coffee station on the Victor Hugo deck in Salon Toulouse (the main salon). I could not find the 24 hour tea and coffee station. In the rare event that a waiter did serve us when we sat in the salon we  were brought a coffee or tea with a tiny cookie resting on the saucer.Otherwise we would approach the bar and ask for tea and coffee only to be told that the waiter would serve us,so we scurried back to our seats for the waiter to appear. Our other alternative was to hit the self serve tea and coffee station/cupboard at the rear of the ship next to Club L'Esprit. A complaint I have is that there were no cookies at the self serve cupboard. There were  cookies on both the Maria Theresa and Catherine tea and coffee "shops." This sounds trivial but when  you awaken at five am and want a coffee and one plain cookie  it would be nice to have access to them, and quite frankly for the  money uniworld charges passengers it is not too much to askfor a cookie to be provided. I completed the mid cruise review and suggested cookies could be placed in the 24 tea and coffee station and the crew responded by placing a  jar of homemade cookies in our cabin. I know this will come across as fussy  but the response missed the point. I wanted everyone to have access to the cookies (delicious by the way) by having them available at the 24 hour tea and coffee station. Cheap penny pinching by Uniworld. I will deal with Le Bistrot. We were looking forward to eating at Le Bistrot as it is promoted by Uniworld as an alternate eating venue and we had read a rather complimentary review in our city's newspaper of Le Bistrot. Also we had met some cruisers who raved about Le Bistrot and told us they had eaten in there almost every night. Sadly Le Bistrot was closed for the Paris- Normandy cruise and only opened on one night for a special dining night. When I tried to register for this I was told my name would be placed on the waiting list...so I asked if there were  many people on the waiting list could they not open Le Bistrot for a second night. This was not possible. I can only assume it was cost cutting on Uniworld's part that led to the closure of Le Bistrot for the entire journey. Service The service in the main dining room Le Pigalle was appalling and not up to the standard I expected from Uniworld. It was a struggle to get the waiters' attention, much less a tea or coffee at breakfast and forget about the a la carte menu at that meal.At lunch and dinner, my water glass was not refilled and I had to leave the table to approach waiters to ask for this to be done( which I don't mind) only to have the request forgotten. I am not a big drinker but would drink more than one wine with dinner and it was a struggle to have my wineglass refilled. I don't think that was pennypinching but merely staff who did not act as team or care about serving people.Penny pinching  One incident that highlights the lack of staff and thus cost cutting was one afternoon my husband and I were seated in salon Toulouse optimistically hoping for a coffee. A fellow passenger approached the bar and asked the attendant if she could have five champagne flutes and a bottle of champagne as she and her friends were seated at Club L'Esprit and would like some champagne and there was no one serving at ClubL'Esprit. A not unreasonable request at 4.40 pm and furthermore, one that was delivered with courtesy and charm. The bar attendant apologised and told her she could not give her the bottle and glasses (okay there are rules and we all abide by them) and asked if the woman could wait until 5 pm as the Bar attendant would be at Club L'Esprit then. My beef is not the rules but that there was not another person on duty. I cannot exaggerate how disappointing the lack of wait staff and how poor the customer service was on the Joie de Vivre. Overall I was bitterly disappointed with this ship. We had had a wonderful experience on both the Maria Theresa and Catherine and had been loyal to Uniworld in our discussions with family and friends.In discussions with fellow Aussies on the cruise it became apparent they felt the same.  Before you dismiss me as a petulant diva, remember that Uniworld markets itself as five star and the cruise cost  us approximately $700 Australian dollars per person per night. I expected more for that amount of money and truly believe that Uniworld's penny pinching and cost cutting impacted on our experience. For Aussies, a good friend travelled on APT Amsterdam- Budapest and that is what we will try. In the time since we have cruised on the Joie de Vivre I have read reviews on this forum and have been incredulous and envious of other people's experience with this cruise ship. My complaints may seem trivial but did impact on our enjoyment of the cruise.On a side note I have seen Scenic's Avignon to Lyon cruise that features a dinner in the papal palace in Avignon. I would love to have done that but Uniworld did not offer that option.My recommendation is avoid Uniworld. I certainly will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to ... Read More
We got this cruise only a week prior to departure because our Viking cruise on the Elba was cancelled because of low water. Consequently, we ended up on the bottom level (floor 1), where there was no wi-fi; luckily my cellphone was able to track 4G/LTE signals most of the journey. We have been on several river cruises by other lines and this was at the top in dining and service. The cabin was spotless and the cabin bed makeup was more than twice a day and the bathroom seemed to be constantly in order. The breakfast was wonderful; with a very large selection...including both British curly and American crisp style bacon (the only cruise we've been on that offered both). The scrambled eggs were superb and my wife loved the custom omelets. Dinners were more formal, but very good. It was our first cruise that offered frog legs or lobster (although not the Boston variety). Wine and beer were available at no charge throughout the day; both in dining and in the lounge. In general, the excursions were quite good, except for the exceptionally crowded Monet gardens. The radios for the excursions were very big and relatively heavy, with volume that never seemed to be high enough. Sure, the devices had internal maps and pictures, but we didn't find them very useful. Most of the cruises we've been on had lightweight, pocketable excursion radios, with more comfortable earpieces. Other than that nit, we found the ship and the crew among the best river cruises we've been on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click