When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to ... Read More
When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to Nuremberg (2.5+hours) and Regensburg (1.5+hours) each way. Also the boat was now the Opal rather than the Jasper. We were not aware of this either. We were very unhappy as were all the fellow cruisers to whom we spoke. One of the joys of river cruising is, supposedly (as we never found out) sitting and watching the world go by. Instead we were stuck at a dock in a small cabin with a useless sunroom and with another boat rafted beside us. Therefore we had no light, no view, no air and no privacy.
We then sailed to Komoron which is 2 hours outside of Budapest and has absolutely nothing to do or see. I would rather they had changed the itinerary to include cruising to some other part of the river rather than sit in port. Or, as other river cruise lines did, transfer us to boats in major ports on our itinerary and at least cut down on the hours of driving on a bus that smelled like urine.
For the entire week we cruised during the day approximately 6 hours. The rest of the time the boat sailed at night or we remained rafted in our little dungeon. It would have been nice to at least use the hot tub but it was out of commission for all but the first day.
Then there is the food. Definitely not five star in my opinion. Over cooked pork, raw chicken, soggy seafood and beef, overcooked vegetables, cornstarch filled soups with no flavour or substance, dried bread, cheap wines and very little flavour for everything. The seafood buffet held at one lunch time was all that I believe was satisfactory, although as mention the soup was tasteless except for the flavour of cornstarch.
The cruise was run like a cheap bus tour. No sit down breakfast after 830, short lunch and dinner whenever the buses got back.
The beer and wines were okay but not 5 star as were the drinks. No caesars to be found.
The entertainment was limited and very disappointing.
The cruise director and staff were not helpful when trying to book alternate excursions such as the hop on hop off bus. It stopped right outside the boat in Vienna but we didn't figure that our until we followed their recommendations to take a taxi into Vienna to book it. Which we did. Then found that the itinerary included a dock side stop right in front of our boat. We brought the brochures (from the booth outside of the ship at the bus stop) to the staff for further reference.
As mentioned, included excursions required usually over 2 hours of bus time each way. The sundowner (happy hour) excursion included cheap white wine, no red wine or beer and a long walk from the bus(which was not mentioned) We had no problem with this but many of the other cruisers did. Also the night of so called elegance for a classical music concert at a palace in Vienna involved a long bus ride and then a long walk through the city on cobblestones so those that made the mistake of wearing the recommended "elegant wear".
The so called self guided town and river devices did not work at times and they were very cumbersome. Also be aware that they asked us to leave the ear phones so they could be recycled (they were only cheap plastic for one ear).
The overall lack of respect from the cruise director and the constant misinformation or lack of any information was disappointing to say the least. None of us on the cruise, that I am aware, had any prior information related to the changes. Also there appeared to be no attempt on behalf of Scenic to alter excursions or practice to improve the experience.
We did not start the cruise where we were promised. We did not finish the cruise where promised. We do not believe we received 5 star service. However we believe that we had the most expensive 1 star bus tour to be had. Read Less