Each evening over cocktails, the cruise director offers port talks that give some background, history and local insights into the next day's port of call, before detailing the specific tour options on offer. From time to time there are also guest lecturers and wine experts onboard.
After dinner, the resident musician plays pop music on a versatile keyboard or works as a DJ spinning tunes.
All shore excursions are included in the trip price, and there is always a choice of at least two excursions a day. Passengers can also opt to stay onboard the ship or explore at their own pace, with the help of self-guided tours on Scenic's Tailormade GPS devices. There is always an interesting variety of shore excursions including coach, walking and cycling tours of varying lengths depending on the destination and level of activity involved (active, moderate, relaxed) so passengers can tailor their experience to suit their interests and activity pace. There are World War I and II battlefield tours; walking tours of Paris, Honfleur and Rouen; guided tours of Claude Monet's house and gardens at Giverny; cycling options; village walks; castle visits; art museum tours; and shopping with a chef at a Paris market.
Cruisers can book their tours in advance of the trip and can generally change their options when onboard. Each evening over pre-dinner drinks, the cruise director gives a detailed run down of the next day's offerings including departure and return times. Professional local English-speaking French guides offer detailed historical, cultural and culinary insights at every stop along the Seine. Passengers follow each guided tour on Scenic Tailormade devices via earphones. The Tailormade devices also offer background and self-guided tour information for every port on the Seine as well as GPS-oriented commentary about the landscapes the ship passes along the cruise.
There is also an exclusive Sundowner event once per cruise at the estate of Manoir d'Apreval, where passengers enjoy a cocktail event showcasing Normandy's unique Calvados, or apple spirits, in the beautiful locale where it is created.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Daytime activities are generally focused around shore excursions.
On the Seine River cruise, Scenic Gem offers a special free Enrich Experience at Chateau de La Roche-Guyon. Here, passengers enjoy a glass of wine at the mediaeval chateau before listening to a classical music concert by local musicians.
Scenic's special Tailormade devices offer information about the riverside landscape and all ports of call.
Panorama Lounge and Bar (Diamond Deck): The main bar area, this large spacious room with a bar in the middle features contemporary decor and large picture windows. This is where pre-dinner cocktails are served and presentations are made by the cruise director. A wide range of free wines, beers and cocktails are on offer. After dinner, a musician plays live pop music on a keyboard or spins tunes as a DJ.
At the back of the bar are several quieter nooks where travelers can make their own espresso coffee and tea, watch television and read books. Toward the front of the bar area is the River Cafe, which serves casual lunches plus snacks throughout the day. The River Cafe converts to L'Amour Restaurant at night.
Riverview Terrace and Sun Deck: Drinks are also served in these areas on the top deck where there is also a designated smoking area.
There is a large rooftop Sun Deck with loungers, tables and chairs -- both under shade and in the sun. A walking track is around the perimeter. The Riverview Terrace at the front of the Sun Deck is sunken so that you can often sit out here when the ship goes under low bridges. You can also sit on the Panorama Deck in front of the River Cafe on the Diamond Deck.
Staff are available at the reception desk 24/7. This is the place where passengers can address all questions about onboard life as well as excursions and off-ship adventures. The cruise director also operates from this desk. Passengers use a digital card to sign in and out of the ship. There is a small boutique stocking jewelry, gifts, chocolates and mementos.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship. Passengers have free laundry service (1 kilogram) on each trip and can also pay for additional laundry. Diamond Deck cabins receive complimentary pressing of two items per day.
There is a small spa room for massages and facials as well as a hair salon. A 30-minute facial costs 39 euros, while a 60-minute massage is 72 euros. Salon prices range from a cut/wash/blow dry for short/medium-length hair at 47 euros to 10 euros for a beard trim.
A small fitness room has a rowing machine, free weights, treadmill and stationary bike. There is also a walking track around the perimeter of the Sun Deck. Electric bikes are available for use at every port.
Scenic Gem is an adults-only cruise ship.