Scenic Diamond Cabins
- Pro: All-inclusive ship offers exceptional dining, service and active excursions in Bordeaux
- Con: Enrichment and spa experience could use some tweaks
- Bottom Line: For casual luxury without reaching for your wallet, Scenic Diamond is a fantastic choice
Scenic Diamond Cabins
Scenic's "Space-Ships" are aptly named. They feel spacious and pleasant, thanks to a few design choices. First, cabins have different layouts than on most riverboats. Closets face into the room and bathrooms are tucked in a nook along the outside wall rather than the entry. The result is cabins that are cozy yet comfortable, and not at all claustrophobic. The all-white beds are inviting, the storage plentiful and the bathrooms surprisingly large.
All cabins onboard have river views. They're decorated with blonde woods, a black-and-white color scheme, marble countertops and bathroom accents, white-tiled accent walls and fabric headboards. Each cabin is stocked with still and sparkling water (replaced when used), bathrobes and slippers, a safe, a hair dryer, an umbrella, an iPod docking station with clock and a mini-bar (with juice, soda, liqueur and snacks) that's complimentary and restocked daily.
The Scenic Slumber Beds, made especially for the cruise line, feature white Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets. Though twin beds can be joined into one queen, the duvets are twin-sized, leaving a blanket gap in the middle of the bed. A pillow menu offers the choice of synthetic soft and medium pillows or "sandwich pillows" with white goose down. Nightstands vary; some are just marble tabletops, while others are wooden with two drawers. The bedside setup is quite good, with both small lamps and directed reading lights. Closets vary in size by cabin category but have plentiful hangers, shelves and drawer space.
There's no real desk -- just a countertop that juts out with a white leather ottoman-style stool and some shelving above. Cabins have European and Australian plugs, using 220 volts, so Americans will need adapters.
Bathrooms are attractive and in most categories, large by cruise ship standards, with glass-enclosed showers, bowl sinks with faucets that will splash everywhere if you don't delicately turn them on and some storage space. Toiletries include L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion and two kinds of bar soap, as well as a nail file and shower cap. A clothesline in the shower makes it easy to hand wash and dry small items, although laundry is included in most room categories.
All passengers are entitled to butler service (there are four butlers onboard), but services increase for the higher-end cabins. Butlers in all cabins will shine your shoes, arrange shore excursions or spa appointments, and bring you drinks. Additionally, passengers in balcony cabins can have butlers bring early-morning tea or coffee. Passengers on Deck 3 -- where the suites are located -- can order room service breakfast and get two pressed items daily. In the Royal suites, the butlers will unpack and repack your bags, offer free laundry and pressing, serve you meals in your cabin whenever you wish, draw you a bath and deliver a morning newspaper. These rooms are also ideal for cocktail parties, which can be arranged.
Standard Suites (Jewel Deck).: The most basic accommodations on the ship are found on the lowest deck and are 160 square feet. These have windows high up on the wall and the smallest closets. Shower-only bathrooms are also compact.
Single Cabin (Sapphire Deck): There's one single cabin (number 224) that's essentially half a balcony suite at 129 square feet, but it still has the full-size closet, balcony and bathroom. With the shades open, it's cute and cozy; pull the blackout curtains, and you might be a bit claustrophobic.
Balcony Suites and Deluxe Balcony Suites (Sapphire and Diamond Deck): These staterooms, at 205 and 225 square feet respectively, are nearly identical, save for the 10 square feet difference. These categories, as well as that of the other suites, have Scenic's Sun Lounge balconies. The "balconies" are actually glass-enclosed portions of the cabin, behind floor-to-ceiling sheers and blackout curtains. They feature two black-and-white wicker chairs and plastic drink tables. This sunroom, if you will, can transform into a balcony at the push of a button. The top half of the exterior glass wall comes down, and voila -- instant balcony. If it's chilly or raining out, bring the glass back up, and you can enjoy the view without the breeze. The design makes the cabins feel more spacious and airy, and the balcony becomes the preferred sitting area, regardless of whether the window is open.
Junior Suites (Sapphire and Diamond Deck): These cabins are 250 square feet, but it's not the extra square footage that counts. The major upgrade in these cabins is the bathrooms, which feature high-sided bathtubs, small showers (likely half the size of the showers in balcony suites in order to squeeze in the tub) and expanded sink/vanity areas with actual mirrored cabinets for extra bathroom storage. The desk area has slightly more space, as well as an extra small table. However, the closets are not as wide as in the Deluxe Balcony cabins. If you have no use for a tub and don't mind a bit of tight bathroom storage, save money and stick with the Deluxe Balcony. The Junior Suites are located toward the front of the ship so you might get noise from reception or the lounge on some nights.
Royal Panorama Suites (Diamond Deck): There are two of these 325 square foot cabins in the aft corners. Each has windows on the aft wall, as well as a sun lounge on the side; a sitting area with a couch across the cabin; and a large bathroom with a larger shower and tub.
Royal Owners Suites (Diamond Deck): These two cabins, added in 2017, bring luxury to another level. With 504 square feet, the staterooms are true suites, with the sitting room and bar near the entryway and a bedroom separated by a hallway. The sunroom, which has two padded papasan-type chairs and a table, is also off the hallway. The living room is big enough for a cocktail party, with four chairs and a sofa, as well as a long bar. The bathroom has both a shower and a tub, as well as dual sinks and a heated floor; you can access it from both the living room and the bedroom's walk-in closet.
A host of perks surround the Royal and Junior Suites. Not only do all these upper-category suite passengers dine at Table La Rive, they receive afternoon fruit skewers, pre-dinner canapes and post-dinner petits fours. Royal Owners Suite passengers also receive airport transfers by private vehicle, upgraded bathroom amenities and 200 euro per couple in onboard credit to use at the spa or salon. They also receive bottles of Champagne, more wine than is in the other suites and can have meals served in their rooms.
Wheelchair-accessible (Diamond Deck): Cabin 302 is the one cabin that's modified for accessibility. It's identical to a junior suite at 250 square feet, but it has a larger entry door and a modified shower with a fold-down seat and a grab bar. (To accommodate this, the tub has been removed.)
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