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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise at the last minute and did not really know what to expect. After a long flight we embarked the ship in Amsterdam with a minimum of fuss and found what should have been a hectic experience very smooth and welcoming. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute and did not really know what to expect. After a long flight we embarked the ship in Amsterdam with a minimum of fuss and found what should have been a hectic experience very smooth and welcoming. The staff aboard “The Pearl” were nothing short of fantastic and really made our cruise the experience of a lifetime. The cabin is small but very comfortable and the onboard amenities plentiful. We really enjoyed the the small ship experience especially the all inclusiveness. Our every need was catered for. The itinerary was extensive and we found that the experiences included of the highest quality. The food was of a high standard and plentiful, we wanted for nothing In that regard. The staff really were exceptional on our cruise and my praise really doesn’t do justice to their hard work and motivation. I can recommend Scenic enough for introducing us to the wonders of Europe. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was ... Read More
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was the biggest lie ever. After that experience we were very reluctant to do another river cruise again. I had voiced my concerns with friends in Perth Australia, they said try Scenic, they had tried it and loved it. So here we were ready to get on board, nervous, a little weary and very anxious Getting picked up at the airport in a private transfer was excellent. No waiting, no fuss. The driver was friendly and helpful. Arriving at the ship, well, let;s just say we gave a sigh of relief. They actually had security, the other ship did not. We were greeted at the desk like we were old friends. The desk staff, kind courteous and efficient.. The tour director, Darinka, she is awesome, I would cruise with scenic just to have her on board again! We were told go have a snack and a drink and they will collect us and bring us to our cabin shortly. Indeed shortly was correct! Our cabin #316, was excellent, loads of storage space, huge adjustable bed, sofa, chairs, a full bathroom with a bathtub and a balcony. A chilled bottle of Champagne awaiting our arrival, fresh fruit and a wonderful butler. Our butler gave us a run down of everything in the room, how to lower the window... The cabin,clean, a mini bar well stocked and we could order room service anytime. Every day there was a daily briefing on the next port of call, dinner, drinks and any info you needed. The dining was excellent, as professionals that we are we always like to dine alone since we see so many people in everyday , here we could. It was so nice to be able to do that. The food was excellent, great choices for vegetarians, great quality, great wine choices. Every evening there was some entertainment, we danced the night away a few evenings. The excursions well planned and executed, the welcome back home with a cool towel is always welcoming. Overall, we were very happy with Scenic, we will book another cruise for 2021 with them without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise on the Scenic Pearl far exceeded our expectations! We loved gliding along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and gazing at the picturesque scenery along the way from our balcony, the dining room, lounge and top deck, there was ... Read More
This cruise on the Scenic Pearl far exceeded our expectations! We loved gliding along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and gazing at the picturesque scenery along the way from our balcony, the dining room, lounge and top deck, there was always something amazing to see. Our cruise director was outstanding and all the staff were friendly and attentive and worked hard to make sure we had the best experience. The gourmet food was delicious, plentiful and well presented. The excursions and enrichment activities were very well organized and we also enjoyed the free time to explore on our own. Some of the highlights for us: The beautiful scenery, Amsterdam from the canals, Melk Abbey, Nuremberg, Saltzburg with some Sound of Music sights, the wonders of Vienna and the beautiful Opera performed just for us, ancient villages, castles and ruins and the surprise Budapest light show on our very last evening was truly spectacular. We can’t rave enough about this cruise...it really was a dream vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this trip as some of our family had already booked, and it was something we thought we would like to do It was an amazing experience, and we all had a fabulous time. We would definitely recommend this to anyone First class ... Read More
We chose this trip as some of our family had already booked, and it was something we thought we would like to do It was an amazing experience, and we all had a fabulous time. We would definitely recommend this to anyone First class accommodation and meals, with an excellent itinerary with first class activities and outings included We hope to cruise with Scenic again in the future. It was so well organised and easy for passengers. The staff were wonderful and very friendly and accommodating All of the onshore activities were value for money, interesting and informative as well as a lot of fun. We felt very pampered and well looked after and couldn’t totally relax and enjoy our cruise holiday knowing everything was taken care of. The food and drink menu and waiters were amazing, and really made life on the ship so special, as did our cruise director, who made sure everyone had a fabulous time. Thankyou Scenic, for a truly memorable holiday Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our ... Read More
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our problem was the fact the cruise we chose to see the tulips in Holland was on tidal rivers and at times it was really rough .Tge ship sailed every night and as it was very noisy we hardly slept for a week. We also had a terrible smell in our bathroom .Cabin 103 on the jewel deck.Weather wasn’t good and it was very cold therefore could not spend time on upper sun deck .Nothing to entertain us in the afternoons so was a bit boring .Would not have taken this cruise if we had known the North Sea comes into the rivers in that area Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise ... Read More
Water levels were low so we ‘swapped’ ships twice. Started on Scenic Pearl, then Scenic Opal then Scenic Amber. Opal and Amber were newer ships so larger rooms. Service was excellent. Food great. Tours organized very well and cruise director Andreea was amazing. The swaps were handled very well and pretty painlessly for us, with the exception we had to pack up twice but all luggage was handl d by the crew and in our rooms when we reached the new ship. Weather for October was well above normal so we were able to st on the top deck as we crises te rivers. Rm 234 at te back of the ship was very noisy on the Pearl but not so on the newer Opal ad Amber. Etertanmet rought on board was ver good. String quartet delightful. Would have enjiyed ports more had we been able to dock closer to town centres but low water levels found us needing to shuttle into centre of towns. Would definitely travel wt Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful ... Read More
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful crew. The crew on the 2nd ship seemed to find us an inconvenience. This is understandable since it was inconvenient for us as well. We were required to change ships for one night due to the low water levels in the Danube. I can't imagine all the extra work that means for the crew. The cruise director (Richard) was great. The worst thing about moving the ship was leaving the hearing devices on board. So we were without those fantastic devices for a full day. The guide we had that day (Regensburg?) was great, but very soft spoken. I would have had a more interesting time if I could have heard her. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our ... Read More
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our usual travel experiences. Walking tours did not provide options for people with limited mobility. There were only two days out of the eight that matched expectations. The food compares with adequate convention food; very difficult to select low cholesterol options which was surprizing given the average age: most of us probably were on statins. Cabin was very tight and the private balcony could not be used because of the adjacent ships so the premium was not of any value; we had to keep the drapes closed for privacy otherwise you would be able to see and touch cabins on the next ship. All inclusive did not result in good value for experienced travellers; this is meant for people who prefer to assign details to a "tour operator". Scenic can not control the river levels but could improve some service and excursions. Excellent travel companions helped make the best of the trip. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an ... Read More
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an industrial area next to the garbage bins. We had paid for a balcony cabin, but since we were docked next to other ships for most of the trip, this was impossible to use. The drapes remained closed and the balcony was waste space. Only half of the guides were informative, the food was convention quality, the wine was plonk and the service was average relative to the cruise industry. Most of the passengers were over 65 and likely were on statins, but most of the menu was high in cholesterol and waiters could not suggest appropriate dishes. Would it be a real problem to provide skim milk for cereal? Scenic has no control over river depths, but they do have control over other aspects and the quality was limited. Two days out of eight matched expectations. Only redeming quality was the opportunity to interact with terrific fellow passengers who made the journey memorable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We are reasonably experienced cruisers (Silversea, Regent, Oceania, Princess) but this was our first river cruise. We chose Scenic based on their all inclusive 5 star claim and the advice of friends who had sailed with Scenic before. The ... Read More
We are reasonably experienced cruisers (Silversea, Regent, Oceania, Princess) but this was our first river cruise. We chose Scenic based on their all inclusive 5 star claim and the advice of friends who had sailed with Scenic before. The Danube itinerary suited our interest in visiting both Budapest and Prague and the Scenic Amber was reported to have the kind of amenities we were looking for. We were quite looking forward to this cruise but unfortunately Scenic seemed intent on failing to meet even the most basic expectations. First the Ship. Sadly we never got to experience the Amber. A couple of days before our departure for Budapest we were advised by Scenic that we would be traveling on the Pearl not the Amber. No explanation or apology offered. Had the Pearl been the same class of ship as the Amber it would have been a non issue but as the Pearl does not have a pool, which my wife was looking forward to using for daily exercise it was a major disappointment. We understand the vagaries of river travel but this switch did not seem to be justified other than as a scheduling error by Scenic as the Amber was in the same stretch of the Danube as we were and indeed we actually met her heading for Budapest on our way to Vienna. As we had no prior experience with Scenic or river cruises we were not aware of some of the other amenity losses; including no separate dining room for the Table Rive and (hearsay) some people were very upset that the class of cabin they had booked on the Amber was not available on the Pearl. The lack of prior notification of the change did not leave them an opportunity to change plans. Cabin: We were booked on the Diamond deck with butler service and while small the room was more or less as expected. The Pearl is designed with a "separate" balcony area with a window that can be lowered if you wish the outdoor experience or raised in inclement weather. It provided me with an opportunity to get out of my wife's way but being separated from the rest of the cabin reduced the flexibility that the additional space could have afforded. We noticed that some of the other lines incorporated the balcony area into the cabin proper allowing some space for sitting. Service; We cannot fault the staff aboard. Hotel staff worked their butts off trying to keep up but the Pearl is so grossly understaffed (Pax/crew ratio 3.3) that is impossible for the staff to meet the advertised 5 star standard. Our butler was doing double duty as a dining room waiter (on call it would seem). It may seem like a small thing to some but the bean counters at Scenic seem to require the servers to limit a pour of wine to no more than 3 ounces (champagne 1 oz). This would be ok if you could find a waiter to top up your glass but they were usually too busy. At a table of four where we were all drinking the same wine they refused to leave the bottle implying this was against policy. Food: It is hard to find words. First impressions are important and for our first dinner I ordered the Sea Bass. When it arrived, it looked like a sardine on the plate. I have never seen such a small portion. I'm not a big eater and don't tell me I could have ordered more, I know! But as this is a five star ship I shouldn’t have to order two meals to get one! The quality of food was poor to average. Anyone who wishes a balanced meal is out of luck. I ordered extra vegetables every meal. My specific request resulted in a second broccoli floret being added to my dinner. Given the huge amount of wonderful vegetables available in the local markets the lack of vegetables was very disappointing. My wife has an allergy to asparagus and this was made known to the manager. In one instance she wished to order a wrap and asked if there was any asparagus in it. The waiter acknowledged the request but brought the wrap anyway without comment. a close call! Interestingly the quality of the food improved a bit a few days into the cruise after a re-provisioning. Makes one wonder why they didn't start that way. Again, the staffing issue was a problem. Dinners were rushed events, more typical of chain restaurants than a five star dining experience. Due to river level issues were not able to sail to Nuremberg as planned but had to turn around at Regensburg and return to Passau. The extension visit to Prague was a highlight. Great hotel, tour director that was the best ever. All in all we were quite disappointed both with Scenic, the Pearl and river cruising in general. River cruising has too many uncertainties if our experience is typical. I've seen it written that river cruising is like a package bus tour without the unpacking. this is certainly true so if that style of travel is not your preference stay away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a gift for 20th service at my work! The different excursions were fantastic and well organized. The bike ride was magic and with the electric assistance, it was a great discovery. The cabin is really nice and gives a ... Read More
This was a gift for 20th service at my work! The different excursions were fantastic and well organized. The bike ride was magic and with the electric assistance, it was a great discovery. The cabin is really nice and gives a beautiful view we could enjoy with an opening window on the Danube! The cabin is always clean because of the efficency of the cleaning staff. The Chef is incredibly good, always surprising us with different tastes and presentations. The cruise was from Budapest to Nuremberg but because of the low water level, we were not able to go till Nuremberg with the ship. The weather is something we cannot control but we were lucky enough to have the sailing almost till the end. The only thing I would do a remark on is the time between some excursions is tight with the next one. Not much time to exercice and I was sad because no pool on the ship. But for me, it was an incredible experience and I would definitively say, Go for it!! Thanks to all the Fantastic Crew :) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after ... Read More
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after disembarking the ship. We were never offered this option. Thus, we had arranged 3 days in Munich on our own at the end of the cruise. In the end, this was fine as we loved Minuch. The Danube was at at all time low and our original boat, the Amber, never made it to Budapest. The Pearl was fine and the staff did an awesome job of dealing with low water levels and making the best of plans that had to change. We didn’t get to spend any downtime in Reggensburg and never made it to Nuremburg. Breakfast and lunch was boring and not that good. One guy making omlettes for 160 passengers just doesn’t cut it. Dinner was mediocre and a couple of times my entrees were not good. Dining is definitely the weak link on the Pearl. All-in-all, we had a great time and met some super people. The reviews that say you don’t need to dress for dinner are wrong. Women should bring 1 dress, some dressy shoes, gitzy jewelry, etc. I was always under-dressed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are ... Read More
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are typical of the river cruise experience and not unique to Scenic. First the good points 1 The staff were excellent and tried very hard. However due to the multi tasking required several promised facilities did not live up to the promise. How can your ‘butler’ be in attendance when she is waiting on tables. If the service cannot be efficiently delivered why offer? 2. The boat was very clean and tidy all the time 3. Our suite was fabulous. However looking in others they seemed small. I appreciate that small cabins are typical of most river cruise boats, not exclusive to Scenic 4. The excursions were very well organised. However on some occasions, such as in Vienna they started at 8.00am when they could very easily have started 1.00-1.50 hours later as we were in port to late evening. Consequently breakfast was served 6.30-8.00 which was not necessarily desired by those guests not participating in the tours. 5. The free laundry service is very useful 6. The unlimited drinks at any time is a generous facility and the quality of wine,spirits and champagne offered was good. 7. Good modern easily useable technology in the cabin and ample power points 8. Relaxed dress code. 9. Due to difficulties with low water levels making parts of the Danube unnavigable the cruise schedule had to be amended on several occasions. This was seamlessly managed by Scenic Downsides 1. Some aspects of the service did not live up to promises. For example whilst the mini bar was refreshed daily occasions the replacement champagne was left on the table not placed in the fridge. Dirty glasses were left on the desk for several days and half finished bottles of water were not refreshed. Three empty ice buckets accumulated on the small coffee table before being removed. In view of the excellent and hard working staff is this perhaps a reflection of poor management or being over worked? 2. Due to the size of the public areas at full occupancy they were not capable of accommodating all the passengers 3. The dinner is at a fixed time of 7.00 pm, which personally is to early for us on vacation. Whilst ‘open seating’ is advertised there are very limited tables for two. Whilst we are happy to dine with others we feel this should be at our discretion, not forced upon due to lack of alternative seating 4. Our particular boat (Scenic Pearl) could perhaps benefit from some additional bed chairs and deckchairs on deck. Observing other Scenic boats they appear to have more which are needed during sunny days. 5. Whilst understanding the need to dock boats side by side this is one feature in particular which will deter us from returning to river boats. If your boat is in the middle or your side abuts another boat it makes the cabin and common areas very dark as blinds and curtains are drawn for privacy. Not sure if multiple docking is essential or an economic benefit as I noted that in several locations boats were not multiply docked. 6. Being something of a foodie the food was perhaps the biggest disappointment. The buffet selections at breakfast and lunch were limited and fell well below 5 star standards. In the heart of the summer we would at least expect strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. The menu selection for dinner was also limited and only of average standard. Recognising the 5 star boast if a limited selection is offered it has to be of excellent quality which unfortunately it was not. At ‘Late Breakfast’ in Portobello one morning I was served my fruit and yogurt after cold poached eggs. Not acceptable. 7. The restaurant times seemed to be arranged at the convenience of the staff not the guests. In addition if a sitting ended at say 9.00am the food was cleared away by 9.05. Not very client friendly or conducive to guests who arrive at 8.55 Due to the downsides identified above we have concluded that river cruises are not for us. Potentially Scenic has a great product which on our cruise was let down by attention to detail and generally disappointing food. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest ... Read More
This was our first ever river cruise even though we have travelled a lot. Scenic were recommended to us by friends who had sailed with them last year and also our travel agent spoke well of them. We travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest commencing late June 2018. We are fussy travellers and happy to pay good money to get the best that is available when we travel. I must say we were less than excited before our departure from NZ, probably because we really didn't know what to expect from a cruise. All I can say is that this was the most exceptional experience from the moment we arrived at the ship. We were in cabin 309 on the Diamond deck. We chose this cabin as it was well forward and were told there was less engine noise up front. Although The Pearl is one of the older ships, it had clearly been either totally refurbished or maintained to an exceptional standard. The cabins are not large on any of these river ships when you view the dimensions in the brochure and we were expecting to feel really cramped. This was far from the case. The design of these cabins is so good. The bed extremely comfortable and large, the bathroom very well appointed with a very acceptable shower space, loads of storage in cupboards, wardrobes and drawers and plenty of room for even four large cases under the bed. The deck arrangement with sliding power window works well. Three power points for charging whatever and a TV screen which tells you where you are, what's on and also offers TV, but I cant see why you would need the latter apart from BBC new perhaps. Wi-Fi was good just about all the way through the trip. The service was exceptional at any time of the day or night. The food was way beyond what we expected even given the great reports we had from our friends. The bar and liquor service well beyond generous with top end spirits, an excellent selection of beers and a good choice of local and regional wines....All totally complimentary. Pay your money up front for this cruise and then leave your wallet in the safe. I cannot recommend Scenic highly enough even though we had some issues with water level from Regensburg to Passau and spent 2 nights in a hotel in Vienna until the ship was able to catch up. The alternative arrangements were handled superbly and we were all housed together in Le Meridien which was an excellent central city hotel. No side trips were missed with the alternative arrangements. Just a little bit more time on the bus due to the schedule changes for those who did not wish to miss anything. Would I recommend this cruise. ABSOLUTELY. Even though Scenic are at the top of the river cruise price range, they still offer great value for money when you consider how inclusive they are. I would recommend top deck as forward as you can get. There was absolutely no noticeable engine noise and if you need to get back to your cabin from the lounge / dining it is a short walk. There is only one guest toilet at the front of the boat, so it is very convenient to be able to pop back to your own cabin if this is in use and its quite a long walk to the back of the boat. The crew all had wonderful senses of humour and worked so hard. Andrea the cruise director worked tirelessly and never seemed to be off duty. The chef and his team created exceptional meals with wonderful presentation and never repeated the same dish twice in 14 days. And what a treat...everything wasn't served with buckets of fries!! Well done Scenic. We will be back. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and easy. The ship was pristine clean, easy to walk around. The suite cabin was compact with lots of storage place, the balcony is an oasis of retreat Dining is first class. The waiters, ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and easy. The ship was pristine clean, easy to walk around. The suite cabin was compact with lots of storage place, the balcony is an oasis of retreat Dining is first class. The waiters, chef and buss people are first class (courteous, efficient and always happy to serve you). Entertainment and activities are chosen with great detail. You can do as much or less as you want. Our cruise director went above and beyond her duties. Service was a 10 + The e-bikes are a bonus. Easy to use and they you the opportunity to go as near of as far from the ship that you watt. Ports and shore excursions are chosen with great detail. Easy and tailored to everybody's needs. We are absolutely going back on Scenic, a real all inclusive trip. We did a 15 day cruise which was enough to see and appreciate that part of the Danube, Maine and Rhine. Congratulations Scenic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
After hearing many positive comments about Scenic and attending a presentation we signed up fort he 15 day Jewels of Europe Cruise. Everything we had heard was absolutely true and the experience exceeded our expectations. Our travel ... Read More
After hearing many positive comments about Scenic and attending a presentation we signed up fort he 15 day Jewels of Europe Cruise. Everything we had heard was absolutely true and the experience exceeded our expectations. Our travel agent was superb and assisted in many ways. We boarded Scenic Pearl in Amsterdam after spending a couple of days on our own.Scenic looked after everything for us. Flights, hotel, transfers from airport to hotel and to ship where we were made to feel most welcome by all the staff. Our balcony room was perfect and we really enjoyed the large balcony with large window which we could lower and raise as required. Chef Budi fed us wonderful meals and the on-board entertainment was wonderful. The Cruise Director was well organised, had a great sense of humour and very helpful. The shore excursions were well organised and featured a good variety of things to do and see. The Enrich experiences were exactly that. They enriched our experience in so many ways. Leaving the ship was a bit of a let down in terms of service. In order to catch a 6:30 a.m.flt out of Budapest we had to have our luggage out for pick up at 3:00 a.m. and were told that there would be a continental breakfast provided. Only 1 staff person was apparently on duty-the night clerk who gathered up ourluggage for transfer to the airport. While there was the cofffe machine available, and 1 jug of orange juice on the bar along with some swet buns/rolls, there were no glasses for juice nor plates for food so we just looked after ourselves. The transfer was on time and uneventful. The only negative aspect of the experience was the Tailormade device.Scenic has to get rid of these and move into more modern technology. They are heavy awkward and unreliable as to power. We had to exchange ours at least 3X because of failure to charge, and even the replacements failed while on guided tour. The tour guides we talked to were also frustrated with them in that individual units would fail in mid presentation much to the dismay of their guests. Other than that we will certainly recommend Scenic to our friends and will consider another Scenic River Cruise in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first river cruise and cruise with Scenic Tours. We chose Scenic because of its inclusive pricing. It was as advertised. They didn’t even take a credit card and my final invoice was so miniscule that I could use of some ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and cruise with Scenic Tours. We chose Scenic because of its inclusive pricing. It was as advertised. They didn’t even take a credit card and my final invoice was so miniscule that I could use of some of my extra Euro change. From the very beginning this cruise line was a class act. They greeted us at the airport and transferred us to our hotel in Amsterdam like VIP’s. Our stay at the hotel was excellent and our transfer to the ship was handled professionally. We waited only a short time for our cabin to be ready. While we were just starting to unpack our butler, Antonio, visited us and explained the cabin and the services he would/could provide during our cruise. I mentioned that the minibar included only one bottle of the liquor we drink and would it possible to make it two. He made it four and every night that we used the minibar it was replenished throughout the trip. One evening I went to the bar to get some ice and was reminded by the front desk person that I could call the butler to have the ice delivered. The food was very good. Each day we had a choice of a light breakfast and lunch served in the River Lounge. A fuller breakfast and lunch were served, as well, in the main dining room. We preferred the lighter option and each day it was a little different. I complement the chef on his soups. They were some of the best soups either of us has eaten – and they were served hot which sometimes does not happen. Each evening dinner in the Crystal Dining Room included several selections of the day as well as a list of entrees that one could select from if the evening’s selections were not to one’s liking. The only criticism I have of the food is the desserts were more often than not dry or lacked good execution. They said they were made fresh onboard but it didn’t seem that way to us. Wine service at lunch and dinner were generous. However, there was one selection – red or white chosen each evening to represent the location of our ship that day. But if you like the wine from the day before it was impossible to order a bottle for the table. The bar staff were friendly and warmed up to us right away. Two or three nights into our cruise they knew our drink preferences and in some cases had the drinks underway before we sat down. In particular, Sandy did a wonderful job and made our time enjoyable. Coffee, water, beer, wine, alcohol, soft drinks etc. were easily available at any time of the day. It was nice to have a cocktail before dinner without wondering how much it cost and how many you might drink over the course of 15 nights. The cruise director, Hunor did a masterful job of keeping the evening’s fun and the daytime excursions right on time. The only delay in an excursion was the last day in Budapest due to the Budapest Marathon – and that was no fault of Scenic. Even after getting started on the excursion more than an hour late none of us felt like they cut corners on their promised itinerary. Every thing ran like clock work. As far as the excursions, we felt they were excellent. There were some better than others but only because of our personal taste. Scenic offers “enrich” experiences and these experiences were wonderful. Our day trip to Salzburg ended with lunch and a “Sound of Music” performance that were no less than perfect. Our evening at the Palais Lichtenstein in Vienna was a beautiful evening with a very professional concert of music, dance and voice. We could not have been happier with our choices. For the most part the local guides were informative and helpful and our transportation was first class. One of the great surprises to us was at the end of the cruise. We had made our own arrangements for a post cruise trip to Prague. I fully expected that Scenic would say good-bye to us at the door of the ship and we’d be on our own. But this was not the case. Hunor arranged a taxi for us, Scenic picked up our luggage and delivered it to the car and Hunor accompanied us to the taxi so that he knew we were settled and had an agreed upon cost for the trip to the train station. It was first class service. I cannot say enough about Scenic Cruise lines. We would use them again without reservation. They deliver on their luxury cruise advertisements and their promise to be all-inclusive. Having said all of this, we did feel that the cruise survey process could be improved. The Scenic Cruise survey was only available while on the ship the last day – not a bad idea to be sure people actually fill out the survey. However, the Wi-Fi that day in Budapest was spotty at best and trying to get online was nearly impossible and if you did score a connection the survey took forever to load. We gave up and we weren’t the only ones. If you are considering a European River Cruise I would recommend you strongly consider Scenic Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The first cruise on Scenic was Basal to Amsterdam. We throughly enjoyed the whole trip. This time we chose to start in Amsterdam for a few days and then cruise down the Rhine and Danube ending in Budapest. Enjoyed time in Budapest post ... Read More
The first cruise on Scenic was Basal to Amsterdam. We throughly enjoyed the whole trip. This time we chose to start in Amsterdam for a few days and then cruise down the Rhine and Danube ending in Budapest. Enjoyed time in Budapest post cruise. It was the same ship and some of the same crew/staff were aboard. As usual, a fabulous trip from accommodations, food, drinks, excursions and other wonderful passengers. We will be sailing with Scenic next April as well. Starting in Porto and sailing round trip down/up the Douro. We discovered Scenic through our travel agent. It is not as well know in the US and the passengers were mostly Australian, Canadian, New Zealanders. That made for a wonderful mix of people with plenty to chat about beside the day's events. We loved that there was a choice of different excursions everyday. As well as excursions for gentle walkers, average walkers and bicycle riders. We also loved that the cruise is all inclusive. One price included everything. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We researched many river cruise companies on line before deciding upon an itinerary and tour operator. Even though our travel agent was unfamiliar with Scenic, we chose this company based on their reputation as a quality Australian ... Read More
We researched many river cruise companies on line before deciding upon an itinerary and tour operator. Even though our travel agent was unfamiliar with Scenic, we chose this company based on their reputation as a quality Australian company. The tour we chose was an all-inclusive luxury 15 day tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. They met or exceeded our expectations at every level. Every detail was organized from flight arrangements, airport shuttles, hotel accommodation, hotel to boat transfers. Once on board everything is arranged and included, there were no charges for anything apart from extra laundry. The shuttles from airport, and hotel to the ship were also included. A truly all-inclusive tour! The staff and crew on the MS Scenic Pearl were pleasant, professional and truly tried to meet the highest standards. The crew all spoke English and came from numerous different countries. The Tour director and Hotel Manager were top notch and attentive to all the varied passenger needs. The mix of nationalities on this tour were approximately 80% Australian, 10% Canadian, 5% American and a few other nationalities. The food and beverage service were excellent with first class meals and ample food service outside of meal hours. It was very difficult not to over indulge in the food, beverages, wine, beer, and cocktails which were available morning to night. We chose a lower level cabin without the large cabin window. We spent very little time in our cabin given that we spent most of our time on excursions, in the Pearl lounge socializing or on the sun deck. It is a very beautiful ship with a restaurant, a lounge, and a sun deck/walking track that is available when not restricted due to low overhead bridge clearance. There was also a small exercise room with bikes and a small relax spa. The rooms were comfortable, functional and very clean with a TV / Apple computer. There is adequate closet storage for clothing. Extra clothing can be left in suit cases stored under the bed. Rooms and bathrooms are cleaned daily with beds turned down in the evening. There is a mini fridge with snacks and drinks (no charge). There is one small bag of complimentary laundry service. Additional laundry service is available but rather expensive. There was a selection of excursions away from the ship every day to appeal to different tastes. All excursions were led by knowledgeable guides. Lunch and/or dinner were also provided during land excursions. Many of the excursions also included local entertainment. One minor negative, Scenic has what they call their "Tailormade Device" for audio during excursions unfortunately these devices are bulky, and unreliable. They often do not charge properly. In addition to the regular onboard music entertainer there were a number of entertainers brought onboard at different stops to provide insight into local music and dancing. These events were excellent. We had a trip of a life time! An excellent tour with an excellent company and staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Scenic seems to be the closest to "all inclusive". Everything was included, no tipping, top rated liquor, high end toiletries and linens, excellent food. The trip was amazing. The only thing I would change is have less of ... Read More
Scenic seems to be the closest to "all inclusive". Everything was included, no tipping, top rated liquor, high end toiletries and linens, excellent food. The trip was amazing. The only thing I would change is have less of The Netherlands and more of Belgium. The day trip to Bruges was too short (1.5 hours). I would have like to spend most of the day there. The e-bikes were a great addition. I liked that there were various excursions based on mobility/fitness so that everyone had something to do. There was something to see every day and if you didn't want to join the excursions, the views from the ship were terrific - lots of castles and wineries. The cabin was small but that was expected. The balcony helped make it seem larger. I didn't use the butler service but it was available if needed. I have special food requirements and this was handled so well by the chef that it exceeded my expectations. There was a lot of variety for the breakfast and lunch buffets and the 4 course dinners were outstanding. Regional wines were also served, a different one each night. There were a couple of nights of entertainment that were a lot of fun, but mostly it was just piano music with all hits reduced to the same tempo, so kind of boring. I would suggest adding a trivia night for some fun. The attentive staff was always ready to provide whatever you needed and did so with a smile. The average guest age was a bit higher than ours, so I think the next couple of trips we will plan on our own and give river cruising another try in a few years. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the duration of the trip. We chose Scenic after considerable research, because of the quality of the ship, the relaxed opportunities for meals, the services provided and of course the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the duration of the trip. We chose Scenic after considerable research, because of the quality of the ship, the relaxed opportunities for meals, the services provided and of course the experiences shared by other cruisers with Scenic. Our biggest concern was whether or not there would be fellow travellers on the cruise with us around our age. I would have to say that we weren't in the majority however at least 40 percent of the cruisers were around our age (60). The staff do a great job accommodating all age groups. The quality of the food service onboard was excellent! The local guides used for the excursions were very knowledgeable and most were entertaining, not just blurting out dates and history lessons. There was a great deal of flexibility in the excursions offered in port and on the ship. I would not hesitate booking another cruise with Scenic in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
First time of sailing with Scenic and definitely not the last. From the moment we stepped on board we were welcomed by cheerful m friendly and, as it turned out, very hard working crew. Suites well appointed and maintained although a ... Read More
First time of sailing with Scenic and definitely not the last. From the moment we stepped on board we were welcomed by cheerful m friendly and, as it turned out, very hard working crew. Suites well appointed and maintained although a tad on the small side. This is not a real problem. We were on Diamond Deck. Food and wines were good. The arranged excursions were very well planned and organised with plenty of choices for each excursion. Evening entertainment was varied and local. The provision of electric bikes and the very accessible cycle lanes alongside the rivers made for a very pleasant experience and the opportunity to experience the countryside and local wildlife. Also a wonderful way to exercise and help keep off the weight! We have already booked another cruise. SO much better than a sea cruise with always something to look at as you cruise down the river. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our second river cruise and chose Scenic because of all the FreeChoice options for excursions. The ship was incredibly clean and the entire staff was fabulous. It was an extremely well organized trip in large part due to the tour ... Read More
This was our second river cruise and chose Scenic because of all the FreeChoice options for excursions. The ship was incredibly clean and the entire staff was fabulous. It was an extremely well organized trip in large part due to the tour director, Szilvia. She was outstanding. The tours were wonderful, although a bit smaller groups would have been better. All the guides were well informed and most interesting. Possible ideas for additional tours might include a car manufacturing facility or a lock tour. The tours on board (galley & Q&A session with chief engineer) were also very interesting. There was ample food and great variety. There were always choices and we appreciated the availability of fresh fruit every day. Suggestion - staff's name badges could have slightly larger print. They were not always easy to read. A very top notch tour company! We definitely would recommend it to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment. We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board. A poor start when ... Read More
The advertising was very appealing, but what a disappointment. We have been on two ocean cruises and thought that a smaller number of guests (160 v 2,800 or so) on a river cruise would mean smaller crowds on board. A poor start when we were not met at the airport by the Scenic person. There were large signs for Avalon and Viking, but not for Scenic. Eventually, a lady turned up, after a wait and some worrying on our behalf. The opposite occurred regarding our crowding expectation. With only one bar/ lounge and two dining rooms (Scenic claims a third, but its a table in the main dining room) and a rooftop area that is off limits a lot of the time due to bridges, we found we were always in a crowd. The other travellers were very nice. The food was fine, the drinks plentiful. The scenery was great, as were the locations from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cycling was a personal highlight! Most of our time was on a tight schedule, which was not relaxing. The excursions left little time for our own exploring. There was an evening update of the activities for the following day - the Tour Director's routine/ patter became tiresome - following this we were off to dinner, where you could not book a table in advance. Much better on the big ships! The entertainment, such as it was, was OK, but not a patch on the big ocean going ships. Again, the small bar/lounge area meant it was a big crowd when most people turned up for a show. Our room , on the Diamond Deck, was very small and the balcony was not private; we could hear what our neighbours were saying or doing. The shower controller fell off and the window could only be closed if I physically assisted by pushing it up as well as using the control. The maintenance man fixed it once but it quickly failed again. He fixed the shower and it was OK for the rest of the trip. On balance, we would not recommend a river cruise with Scenic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Our travel agent recommended this cruise. Scenic does not promote their cruises well in North America. Most of the passengers were Australians who were very friendly and fun. We had a a junior suite. Nice sized room and very ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise. Scenic does not promote their cruises well in North America. Most of the passengers were Australians who were very friendly and fun. We had a a junior suite. Nice sized room and very coveniently located to the ships amenities. We are non-smokers and our cabin was located just above the smoking section above the main doors. We could not use our balcony most of the time. They need to relocate the smoking section elsewhere on the ship. The wine offered with meals was either white or red. Wines offered were mediocre however there were some other better choices on the menu. The crew and servers were outstanding. The excursions were well organized and on time time. The excursions were outstanding and fun. First class all the way. The food in the Portabello's restaurant was excellent. The food was typical cruise cuisine. Good variety. We thought that the meat proteins were marginal at the lunch buffet. Our room was clean and very comfortable. One passenger passed the flu bug on to most of the passengers. The cruise industry needs to do a better job quarantining sick passengers. It was a great cruise even though most of the passengers were sick near the end of the cruise. The cruise director was outstanding. This was one of the best cruises ever for us. The Rhine Gorge was spectacular. We would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Scenic Pearl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 2.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 2.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 5.0 N/A

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