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Sail Date: August 2019
American's have not really discovered this Austrailian based cruise company, but we were lucky to find this river cruise while searching for last minute deals on line. We are experienced cruisers and thought why not try something ... Read More
American's have not really discovered this Austrailian based cruise company, but we were lucky to find this river cruise while searching for last minute deals on line. We are experienced cruisers and thought why not try something different. We ended up having the experience of a lifetime and enjoyed all the benefits of a first class all-inclusive cruise. Yes, we were in the minority (we were only two of 14 Americans on board, versus about 75 Austrailians and 60 Canadians) but that proved to be an advantage. It was nice to escape the political noise in our country and get some other perspectives from those outside the daily fray. We ended up sailing on a 15 day itinerary from Budapest, Hungary to Amsterdam and were given first class treatment all the way. Even though we elected to arrive in Budapest several days before embarkation without buying Scenic's pre-departure package - they still picked us up at the Airport and drove us to our chosen hotel for no extra charge. Very few cruise lines do that for you. Our embarkation in Budapest was seamless and Scenic had the premier docking position in Budapest so we could enjoy beautiful nighttime views of the Hungarian Parliament building and several beautiful bridges our first night on the river boat. Disembarkation was also a snap and Scenic even had someone meet us at the Amsterdam airport to guide us to our airline's check-in area. So nice. Food and drinks flowed freely on board with no restrictions whatsoever. We had specialty coffees and drinks at our disposal night and day and a fully stockied mini-bar that was replenished immediately. The wine selections for dinner and lunch were truly memorable and designed to complement the deliciously prepared meals. I was very impressed by the freshness of the fruit, vegetables and salads - not always the case on many cruises. The included excursions and enrichment activities were first class and I feel they had the connections to get us into some of the best places to visit. For example, our private concert at Palais Lichtenstein in Vienna was just beautiful. Another highlight was attending a performance at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna as well as an evening tour and dinner at Marksburg Castle in the beautiful Rhine Gorge. E-bikes were available for each port and we totally enjoyed touring various cities using them. We often saw Viking Ships docking at the same ports and doing some of the same tours, but I often felt sorry for them as we seemed to have the preferred times and better guides. I don't know how Scenic does it - but they do. My only caveat would be in regard to cabins. Because we did a last minute lower-priced booking, we were only able to book one of the smallest cabins with no balcony. Although the room was very clean and well appointed, for such a lengthy cruise, we wished we had been in one of the larger balcony suites. I wouldn't have minded the small cabin for a five to seven day cruise, but after 15 days I was tired of our small shower and the minimal room in our cabin. But that was a choice we made and of course we saved over $3,000 a person in the process. Just be warned - small cabins are small!!! One final point - our on-board tour director was fabulous. Very organized, clear and well versed about all our destinations. I know that my husband will never sail any other way than all inclusive going forward and we would definitely choose Scenic for our next cruise. Read Less
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: August 2019
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact ... Read More
This ship is a 5 star hotel and the service is fantastic. I also loved the app for your phone that alerted you to points of interest you sailed by, and that you could look up info on all the cities along the route. Also loved that fact that once you paid the fare everything was included, no surprises at the end of the cruise. Highly recommend Scenic Cruises! Embarkation and disembarkation was very organized and went smoothly. The ports of call and shore excursions were well organized and very interesting. I would have liked to have more than 1 day in Budapest and maybe 1 less day in Vienna. The entertainment was very good with a good variety and many special things only for Scenic like the classical music concert at Palais Liechtenstein, and the Salzburg Sound of Music Show. Our cruise director, Richard Grey, did an excellent job of organizing local talents to come on board to entertain us. Al in all I would highly recommend Scenic Tours and I plan to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We have friends who told us the river cruises were a great way to see an area. So we decided Europe. Our travel agent recommended Scenic as a choice for an all inclusive trip for the price. From the time Scenic picked us up in Amsterdam to ... Read More
We have friends who told us the river cruises were a great way to see an area. So we decided Europe. Our travel agent recommended Scenic as a choice for an all inclusive trip for the price. From the time Scenic picked us up in Amsterdam to the time they shuttled us to the airport in Budapest everything was first class. In fact they even let us upgrade our airline tickets to business class (highly recommended for international travel) for a very reasonable fee. The trip was so well organized all the stress was removed which travel often brings. The service was exemplary. Food excellent at every venue. Cabin was spacious with all the comforts. Our cruise director, Richard, worked tirelessly to insure all aspects of our tours and free time went smoothly. Never a dull moment but somehow with time to just relax and "vacation". This was my first introduction to Europe and Scenic did it well. I told our "new friends" we met on the cruise, I have never been so far from home but never felt so much at home. Still trying to process all we've seen and experienced. I will definitely recommend Scenic. Thank you Scenic for a memorable trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Wanted to visit Amsterdam and Germany and it was the perfect way to do it. We chose the Scenic Ruby as the ship and decor was very modern. We had the room at the rear of the ship. The rear window was wide that we didn’t have to ... Read More
Wanted to visit Amsterdam and Germany and it was the perfect way to do it. We chose the Scenic Ruby as the ship and decor was very modern. We had the room at the rear of the ship. The rear window was wide that we didn’t have to leave our room to see the beautiful river scenery especially the castles. The food and service was five star, all our needs were met by our wonderful butler with early morning coffee and breakfast in our room. There was a also a full buffet breakfast in the dining room with a great selection of cold and hot food. Evening meals were five star. The daily soups are to die for. As you cruise through the towns and past the vineyards you get to try the lovely wines and beers in that area with you meals. It seemed happy hour all day. The bar staff would were very attentive and ready to mix your favourite cocktails. The musical entertainment on board was excellent. There was a good selection of shore excursions. Our Cruise Director was informative advising us of the next days’ tours and departure times. Comfortable coaches and guides were ready each day to take us on our guided tours. This was certainly a five star cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile ... Read More
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile and answered all our questions. I am sure he would have also been quick to solve any issues but there were none. He was on top of everything. Everything was done effortlessly, or so it seemed, from my perspective. The staff was friendly, upbeat and Costi our restaurant server made me laugh, a discreet comedian, suggested food and drink, made me a toddy in the evening. He was a true delight. Vlad our attentive and intuitive butler knew or seemed to know what we wanted before we even expressed our thoughts. We was extremely professional and incredibly helpful. The food was stupendous! The chef came around and wanted our feedback. No wonder! The baked goods are to die for. The lamb, wow. The soups yummy. We loved everything about our trip! What a grand adventure. Sylvia the tour organizers took very good care of us. She took great pains to explain and plan the wonderful outings we enjoyed. Our suite was wonderful, ours was the Royal Panorama. It was spacious, kept spotless and generously supplied with anything one could possibly need. Our laundry was taken care of and returned promptly. The salt room felt wonderful after our massage. I could go on, but will stop here before I write a book. I am still suffering from Vlad ( our butler) withdrawal. If you enjoy a phenomenal adventure and want to feel coddled in luxury, then sign up. You will love it! Guaranteed. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Wowee! What a magical experience. I cruised on the Scenic Jasper from Budapest to Amsterdam leaving 31 July and was blown away by this trip. The combination of friendly relaxed passengers, fun and professional crew, the experience of ... Read More
Wowee! What a magical experience. I cruised on the Scenic Jasper from Budapest to Amsterdam leaving 31 July and was blown away by this trip. The combination of friendly relaxed passengers, fun and professional crew, the experience of gliding down the river, the places we visited, the food, the entertainment – everything made it just fabulous. I was taken aback by how difficult it was to leave on our last day. Everything is included in the fare so you don’t have to worry about anything – what a luxury. All the passengers interacted in an open and fun way and I think Scenic are very good at choosing the perfect crew to make the cruise extra special. DJordje (Hotel Manager) is an excellent leader and worked with the passengers, the leadership team and the crew to create a warm and fun vibe. Thankyou Yevgeny (Captain) - who got us through some very shallow water, DJordje, Szilvia (Cruise Director), Istvan (Head Chef) and the entire crew. I wish I was cruising, cruising, cruising! I was asked by a friend to join her on a river cruise with Scenic cruises. This was my first river cruise and we joined the Scenic Jasper at Budapest for a Jewels of Europe 15 day 14 night trip to Amsterdam. We were originally scheduled to be on the Scenic Crystal but were informed a week prior that that we were assigned the Scenic Japser. We arrived from Australia a day prior to our departure and stayed in the Budapest Marriott - the recommended Scenic hotel. The hotel is in a great location on the Pest side and within walking distance of many sights. The hotel room was spacious and had everything you need. A bonus was the fabulous view of the Danube and the sights on the Buda side. The window took up almost the entire wall of the room. Cabin Our cabin was a balcony suite on the Sapphire deck. As we were friends travelling we had a twin bed configuration and had more than enough space. The Scenic ships have the advantage of giving extra room in the cabin – with the flick of switch you have a balcony and sun lounge or extra room in an enclosed cabin This part of the cabin had two chairs and table and there is a black out curtain that comes across to separate this area from the main cabin. I was amazed at how much storage space there was - your case is stored under your bed and there was enough room to have had a side of the wardrobe each plus shelving and drawers. The beds were very comfortable and the bathroom had the best shower. A full length mirror, plus mirrors on the dressing table were enough for us. There is a TV with news channels, current movies and TV programs. We used it primarily to track our progress on the rivers, check Wi-Fi coverage, the daily schedule and to see view from the camera on the front of the ship. There is a mini bar which is refilled every day. I loved our cabin though I didn’t spend much time in it! It was serviced every day by our wonderful crew – thankyou Hari and Agus. The cabin was located toward the back of the ship about 200 steps from the reception area. If you have mobility issues it may be useful to book a cabin closer to the reception area. It was fine for me – it did get my steps up. We had a butler assigned to our cabin who was there to help us with anything! – a luxury. Thank you Marco. We came into contact with the other butlers also so thank you – Katy, Milos and Vlad. I viewed the single cabin which was across from ours and it looks perfectly formed. Half the size of ours but with all the amenities – plenty of room for a single traveller. Friends stayed in a standard suite on the jewel deck. They reported that it was cosy but that this was not a problem as the majority of their time was spent in the public areas and exploring at the various stops. Dining was first class –plentiful, many choices with a few different restaurant/café areas in which to eat. Before dinner the Chef Istvan spoke about the meal and our choices and Darko (RM) took us through the wines that would complement the food. Service in the dining rooms was always excellent – thank you Rade, Carmen, Made, Luka, Laur, Kevin, Costi. During the day and after dinner we gathered in the lounge and bar to chat, dance and view entertainment. Coffee, tea and biscuits were available all day in the lounge as well as sandwiches, sweets and gelato from the café. The bar crew worked tirelessly and nothing was too much trouble for them – thank you Nikolay, Janko, Alin, Nemanja, Wayan. Entertainment – there is a musician on board – thank you Enzo - who provided music in the afternoons and evenings. This was supplemented by other performers coming on board for short concerts. All were excellent from the Zither master, folk dancers, ballet dancers, violinist, duo and more. We had music quiz and a disco night on board – much hilarity ensued. The concert in Vienna was of a very high standard, the show in Salzburg was great and the feast at Marksburg castle was entertaining. Excursions – Szilvia was our Cruise Director - she was funny, approachable, clear in her briefings, organised and this was reflected in the on-shore excursions – from my point of view they ran like clockwork. In many of the places we visited you had a choice of three activities. On two occasions we chose to do our own thing. In Vienna, the ship was moored near the underground station so we travelled in to the centre of Vienna and back. We were also moored next to the underground station in Budapest and chose to use that option. I know of some other passengers hired a car to visit a particular museum in the country side and some others used the e bikes to explore. It is worth thinking about what you want to see in an area because not every excursion may appeal. Scenic supply you with maps and you can use their app to do your own guided tour. Thank you Dalma and Marina for assisting us here. Before our excursion we were given water to take with us and upon our arrival back given a cool towel and cold drink. Thank you Nenad and crew. Highlights: I loved Dürnstein, Bamberg, Vienna, Budapest, Nuremberg, Cologne and Rudesheim the most. I have wonderful memories of sailing through Bratislava, being on the top deck to glide through Frankfurt at 1am on a Sunday morning and waking up to views of palaces and castles. I loved sitting on my favourite couch in the lounge with my coffee or gin and tonic, reviewing the photographs I had taken that day and watching the world glide by. Meeting all of the wonderful people on board was also a highlight. Disembarkation: We got instructions the night before regarding disembarkation. We had breakfast, put our bags out at 8.30am, our taxi arrived at 9am and we were gone – all too soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we ... Read More
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we experienced on the trip was wonderful. All the staff were fantastic, including the bus drivers with a special mention for the driver on the overland section through Switzerland and Austria by the name of Milos. By the time we joined the ship in Budapest we had got to know a great many of our fellow passengers. This enhanced the whole experience. The cruise itself was fabulous in all respects. All the staff on the ship were extremely friendly and helpful. There was some doubt initially about whether the water in the Danube was going to be deep enough. However our captain did a sterling job navigating us safely through the waterways. The ports we visited were many and varied with interesting excursions being available at all ports of call. Alternatively you could do your own excursion and wander through the town or village. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise had been on our bucket list for quite a while so we were finally going to experience it. After spending 3 fabulous days in Paris, we chose to add this extension along with a 3 day extension at the end of the cruise to Prague, ... Read More
This cruise had been on our bucket list for quite a while so we were finally going to experience it. After spending 3 fabulous days in Paris, we chose to add this extension along with a 3 day extension at the end of the cruise to Prague, we got on the "fast" train which was to take us to Amsterdam to board our ship. The train broke down & we were given numerous different excuses as to why & even our tour guide from Scenic couldn't get a straight answer. What a great start to a cruise down the river. As a result we were 3hrs late arriving to the ship which put our plans for exploring Amsterdam out the window. Our ship Cruise Director did make us feel very welcome though when we did eventually arrive. We were on the Scenic Opal ship. Our cabin was very spacious & had all the amenities that we needed. We had a balcony suite. Very, very limited entertainment on board. Aprox 1hr maybe every 3 days. Only one dinning room every evening to go to & you had to dress appropriately. Nil activities to do whilst sailing down the river. As the ship had to pass under some low bridges during the trip the sun deck was unavailable for 5 days for the passengers. This meant we were stuck inside all this time when the ship was sailing. This was never mentioned to us that this was going to occur when we booked the trip. When we eventually reached a port there was very limited time on shore. Aprox 3-4 hrs for shore excursions. Not enough time at all. Too much time is spent sailing down the river with nothing to do on the ship. On a couple of our elective tours we were not informed until we were at that particular palace/church etc that we couldn't take photos inside. This was not mentioned to us when we booked the cruise or by the Tour Director on the ship. If it had we may have made a different choice beforehand. The service on the ship was terrific. The bar, cabin, stewards & butlers were all fantastic. The ship was clean at all times. We had room service a couple of times & it was very prompt, nicely presented & tasted delicious. There needs to be another option if you don't wish to go to the dining room for the evening meal though & there isn't one on this ship. We would not do another river cruise again due to the slowness of the cruise down the river, lack of entertainment/activities on board, lack of dining facilities, shortness of time at ports & too much time spent on the ship doing nothing, unavailability of using the sun deck. What we saw when we finally got on land was amazing & definitely needed more time to see more. For the amount of money we spent on this cruise we would have been better off using it for an ocean cruise & got more value for money. Very disappointed with the cruise in general but very happy with the things we actually got to see. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The staff made an dream experience for us both and memories to cherish. All events and activities were well organized leaving no worries. Professional and friendly the entire trip. The cruise director was very knowledgeable and thorough ... Read More
The staff made an dream experience for us both and memories to cherish. All events and activities were well organized leaving no worries. Professional and friendly the entire trip. The cruise director was very knowledgeable and thorough with all planning details. The reception staff were patient and accommodating to all requests. The host, servers, provide a carefree environment during relaxation times. From the start to the end of the trip nothing was left out and nothing was left wanting. The enrich and cultural events were detailed and educational. The free time to self explore at each stop allowed an opportunity to shop or explore in greater depth. A good pair of walking shoes are mandatory. By the end of the cruise it was difficult to say goodby to staff and new friends. The food and the chef were exemplary allowing for an incredible culinary experience from all counties travelled during the cruise. Thank you Scenic Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Scenic in part due to the all inclusive price, no tipping, no added fees. We also received a recommendation from our travel agent. We arrived in Amsterdam 1 day early, primarily to help with jet lag. In hind site it would have ... Read More
We chose Scenic in part due to the all inclusive price, no tipping, no added fees. We also received a recommendation from our travel agent. We arrived in Amsterdam 1 day early, primarily to help with jet lag. In hind site it would have been better to have come 2 days early to enjoy Amsterdam more before the cruise started. Embarkation was much easier than initially described. We were told that we would be boarding at 15:00, however we were able to board the ship at 12:30 and enjoy the lounge while rooms were readied and to start to get a feel for the ship. Disembarkation in Budapest was equally smooth and relaxed. From the very first interaction the care and training of the staff was obvious, everyone was friendly and helpful. The ship (Jade) appeared to be recently refurbished and everything was in top condition. The cabin was well laid out and easy to use. The dining experience was excellent, breakfast and lunch were primarily buffet, however a menu was available if a passenger wanted a meal with more than buffet preparation. The dinners were we very delicious and well presented. The entertainment (a quartet, a zither musician, a waltz couple and lessons and Hungarian dancing) were timed with the ports and shore excursions and provided a inspiration during time in the lounge. The service on the ship, at all levels was top flight and everyone was both friendly and helpful. The shorE excursions were also first class with lots of information and pace geared to various levels of needs. In addition the medieval dinner, sound of music show and the concert left us with very happy memories. We did face a ship shift, that is we started on the Jade but at Nuremberg we had a bus ride to change to the Jewel. We had been cautioned that this happens. On the positive side it went like clockwork. We were told what we needed when we needed it. For example we were 1.5 days ahead that this was coming, then the next evening we needed to pack then on the day of the shift, we did our normal shore tours and then after lunch boarded the buses and were in our new cabin in time for supper. For the most part the ships were identical. The jewel had not been updated and the lounge furniture was older and the shower faucet was older but worked well. The only problem was with the WIFI. On the Jade we had great service in our cabin, however on the Jewel we had no service in our cabin. Passengers on one side of us had service while the passengers on the other side of us did not have service. Despite asking reception for help (and they in turn asking engineering to look into the matter), there appeared to be nothing to be done about this, We did not have any children on the trip with us and we are both quite mobile. Would we go again, definitely. In fact we are already dreaming of future trips with Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Scenic are by far the most friendly and professional of the river cruising companies. Excellent service with an outstanding menu and so many shore excursions to choose from.Staff were always friendly, courteous and always available to ... Read More
Scenic are by far the most friendly and professional of the river cruising companies. Excellent service with an outstanding menu and so many shore excursions to choose from.Staff were always friendly, courteous and always available to provide additional information. Cruise director Tadej was outstanding He handled the change of ships with ease and it was of minimal inconvenience to the passengers. Shower was a little small in the Crystal. Adequate room in the State room for a couple, but may be a bit tight for 2 singles. Ports were great with interesting and variety of shore excursions, would have liked to spend longer at some ports. Able t change excursions with no fuss from the Crew. Dining was exceptional with many courses for each meal and all drinks included. The gym was adequate if you wanted to work out. The sun deck was a great vantage point for the senasational river views along the way. A great cruise for an overview of where you would like to go back to and spend more time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The ... Read More
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The Cruise Director, Andreea was a real trooper handling everything that came up with grace and excellence. The stops were very nice, and the guides were very good, except one. The complementary drinks and mini bar and excursions were a definite plus. Andreea spent a little time each afternoon explaining how it would all work the next day. The only drawback for us was the dinners. The choices were just not appealing to us. They did have chicken, steak, and salmon for alternatives, though. Breakfast was fine with a large buffet around the center serving area. One could also order special things like pancakes and french toast from a menu. Lunch was good, but difficult to maneuver the center buffet. There was no beginning or end, so one had to just jump in front of someone else. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully ... Read More
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully presented and a wonderful variety at all meal times. I would strongly recommend it. The facilities & food are brilliant. Most of the tours were enjoyable and gave us a good glimpse of important attractions and local cultures. Nikola our cruise director was very professional and enthusiastic and always ensured all passengers were well informed of upcoming events, times and places to meet which resulted in smooth transition from ship to tour & back to the ship again... The water levels in the rivers were apparently problematic, but the captain & crew moved the ship along when needed to make sure we could get through ok which we are very thankful for. This cruise really was value for money and definitely will look at travelling with Scenic again in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam ... Read More
I am writing here since each cabin is only allowed one official evaluation – and if you happen to feel differently than your roommate, there is no option to voice a second opinion. My friend and I took the Scenic Pearl from Amsterdam to Budapest from July 1 to 15th. The basis: I had never been on any cruise of any kind in the past, and also never on any guided trip (other than a weekend bus trip last summer). I plan and organize my own holidays according to my interests and have travelled mostly in Canada and the USA with limited international travel to Iceland, Scotland, Germany and Ukraine. The attraction of a river cruise was a hotel room that came along with you as you got to see a bunch of sites throughout central Europe. We chose Scenic for their all inclusive pricing and that was definitely the right decision. Anything we wanted was included (aside some very pricy champagne), but all beverages, any time, snacks, mini-bar, butler services, tour guides, travel out, all excursions, nothing extra – no having to keep coins handy for tips – aside from personal shopping and buying drinks or snacks out on the town, you really didn't need to carry money or your CC with you. Service was excellent, meals were superb and aside from one dish with octopus or squid which felt like you were chewing on a garden hose and their inability to actually FREEZE ice cream, I can't think of anything that was less than excellent. The tour director was amazing and worked 18 hour days I'm sure, to meet all our needs and get us organized and coming and going on time. All staff were friendly, willing to assist and aside from a couple likely language issues (we got the wrong food on room service and the wrong pillows from the pillow menu), you couldn't have asked for better service. Probably not necessary to make up the rooms twice a day – you come in from a day out and toss your shopping, clothes etc on the bed and go for a drink – come back and it's all somewhere else because they have straightened the bad and left your chocolate – but sheesh, should that really be a complaint? While it was nice to be travelling with your hotel room, I didn't realize just how MUCH time was going to be spent on the boat – some days we only got out for 4-6 hours, occasionally a whole day or overnight in port and once not at all for 36 hours. 64 locks resulted in about 25 to 30 hours of time going up and down..... Time off the boat came to about 73 hours by my diary – in 14 days – which averages around 5 hours a day. That includes all the bus travel time as well which for the Salzburg trip was almost 5 hours alone. I'm saying there was much less time for actual exploration and sightseeing than I expected. Most of the time off board was taken up with a guided tour downtown (which I started skipping), and then an hour or so of free time. It was never enough – there's so much to experience and all you are doing is clock watching to be sure you get back in time. I never felt relaxed – it was regimented the whole time – get up, eat breakfast, get on the bus, follow the guide, look here, see that, listen to this, your own time for a few minutes, get on the bus, get on the boat, eat, sleep, repeat. I appreciate you can't have 150 people doing their own thing – you would never get anywhere, but I sure wish there had been much more free time – or I should have just used the bus to get to a destination and left to do my own interests. And this is strictly a “bricks and mortar” tour – forget smelling the roses or walking in a park with grass beneath your feet, or scrambling along a brook or river and listening to the birds and enjoying the breezes, no botanical gardens, no animals or zoos, or gardens. I'm sure some of these countries have these things, but no options for anything nature was in the tour at all. I DID smell the roses though at an amazing Volksgarten in Vienna and had I known there was a zoo at the Schonbrunn Palace, I most assuredly would have skipped the palace tour (AFP by that time!), and took the train out to the zoo – with pandas no less! But by the time we realized there was something else to do, it was too late and the bus was leaving and there was no time again. On board entertainment was good – a couple were excellent, but I missed at least a couple. It's really awkward when you get into port, have 90 minutes free time to explore, come back to the boat for a 45 minute concert and then have 90 minutes free time to go explore again. Just couldn't be bothered to rush back to the boat when you're out in town having fun. Why plan it that way? Entertainment while sailing makes sense – entertainment on board when you are in port and could be out, did not. Have to comment on the Scenic App which guided you along as you were exploring. The GPS feature to keep you grounded as to where you were and how to get back to the bus was excellent. BUT – it's a really big power pig and even using their devices, I could not actually listen to the commentaries for a full day without it going dead – and at the end you just use it for the GPS and nothing else. The last day in Budapest - we had planned to take the Hop on Hop off bus for a bit of more detailed exploration - but we didn't get off the boat til 10, to the hotel by 11, then a long checking, and it was noon before we got going at all. And we only had one day - half wasted - again we probably should have just done our own thing and taken a taxi to the hotel early and not waited for all the planned exits. Time in Budapest but nothing seen....sigh..... In conclusion, I'm glad I went on the trip – but I would not want to go again on one like this – it would need a lot more port time, a lot more free time and I would be much better organized to go and do what would interest me. If a guided tour is your thing, then I would highly recommend Scenic for their excellent service and all inclusive policy. But if you are normally independent and not a good follower or team player, perhaps not. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Both myself and my wife were on the pearl this past 2 weeks. I would like to say that this experience was top notch! Everything from the shore excursions to the food, and overall service was excellent The experience was varied and in ... Read More
Both myself and my wife were on the pearl this past 2 weeks. I would like to say that this experience was top notch! Everything from the shore excursions to the food, and overall service was excellent The experience was varied and in depth and was pulled off without a hitch. My special thanks go to all the people on the ship and a well deserved special honorable mention to Darinka , our cruise director, who, in addition to being a top flight professional, is curtious, kind, funny, and tireless at her job, taking care of everything from on shore excursions to handling luggage transfers to and from the ship. The experience was executed to perfection. In addition, what a perfect way to get to know many new friends as the ship had around 150 passengers. This enables things to happen quickly and efficiently. Everyday can be either busy or relaxing. You choose............. The food was extremely varied with the chef tailoring the meals to the various ports of call. What was extremely worth while was their use of software via an app that worked very well . The app interfaces with your iPhone or your iPad etc enabled you to get valuable information from all sites we visited whether it was from an excursion or while cruising. Because of the GPS used, the app would recognize where you were and prompt you for more information on the site you are seeing or visiting. In addition, scenic has certain venues that are exclusive to scenic only. We were able to have a concert to ourselves in Vienna. My compliments to the Scenic Pearl and all the staff...... An all inclusive that truly was "ALL Inclusive"""" 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: June 2019
My husband was drawn to the cruise because his college alumni was a sponsor and we were happy to learn that many other college alumni groups were aboard, all of which were very interesting to talk to and we very much enjoyed meeting new ... Read More
My husband was drawn to the cruise because his college alumni was a sponsor and we were happy to learn that many other college alumni groups were aboard, all of which were very interesting to talk to and we very much enjoyed meeting new people. We enjoyed the fact that there were only a little over 150 people on the cruise, which made it much more enjoyable to us than the larger cruise ships of 2000 or more people on board. While we enjoyed the variety of shore excursions offered, some of the descriptions were not clear enough to address the time and distance involved requiring a coach ride to get to the destination. Also, several of the older people on board required canes or walkers and had difficulty navigating the uneven cobblestone streets, long walks from the ship to the coach and I felt they should have been advised of the difficulties they would have beforehand so they could have made another choice or just stayed on board. Dining was excellent; ALL crew members were well spoken, efficient and pleasant to be around at all times. Our cruise director, Andrea, was wonderful; competent, efficient, friendly and outgoing and and excellent cruise director. We will definitely go on another river cruise and hope to find one in the USA to see more of our own country! A. Piland Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Our second river cruise and also with Scenic. This time on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel rather that the Danube. We have also done river cruises on the Mississippi, the Amazon and the St Lawrence as well as 20 ocean cruises However ... Read More
Our second river cruise and also with Scenic. This time on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel rather that the Danube. We have also done river cruises on the Mississippi, the Amazon and the St Lawrence as well as 20 ocean cruises However although we enjoyed our cruise overall I am not convinced that river cruising in Europe is about style over substance and because of that it was over 6 years since our cruise on the Danube. To start the pre-cruise administration lacks a lot of detail such as when you are going to be in a port/location and how long you will be there which means you can't really organise your visits particularly if there are things you want to see or do in a particular town or stop. Also information on all tours is not available until aboard ship. Yes tours may be included and a highlight of your itinerary but I like to plan my shore time. On board service is mixed with some very helpful and efficient staff with others just doing a job albeit diligently. It was most annoying to find that on our last full day the complimentary ironing service was not available and that bath robes had been removed - presumably to prepare for the next cruise - and without any notice. After all we had paid for the full cruise! The Jasper has three restaurants/cafes and a fourth if you count Table la Rive (only available by invitation) but the food is of variable quality and quantity. The evening a la carte menu had some of the smallest plate portions I have ever seen - mushroom tempura being one small mushroom on a bed of puree!? The food could also be warmer and there are no choices of side vegetables although there are some standard off-menu items available. Portobellos is an Italian restaurant available to all but is more theatre than culinary with the waiters all claiming to be from Italy and the food being pretty standard Italian fayre. White and Rose wines in the restaurants are not always cold enough. As wine is served throughout the restaurant by the glass the bottles are not returned to the fridge/ice bucket while waiting for someone else to request that wine. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style and here again the food could be warmer. Until I complained the plates were also cold although plate warmers were available but not switched on. At breakfast there was only one egg/omelette station sometimes resulting in long queues although the chef was very efficient and kept calm under pressure. Entertainment on board is low key with a permanent singer/keyboard player most nights supplemented by guest performers, sometimes if cruising during the afternoon. Unfortunately our musician, Enzo, was very poor. The guest Irish folk singer(Norman?) was very good and the crew band were also good. Tours were reasonable with app hearing devices which were good but sometime the guides were not very informative other than of what they wished to talk about e.g. no mention of free town tour trains or other city highlights. Also we visited Strasbourg on a Sunday when just about everything was closed yet we were taken ashore at 8.30am. The actual guided tour lasted just over 1 hour and we were then left 2 hours free time in a deserted Strasbourg. To be balanced there are however a number of good aspects: spacious (unlike standard suites) Junior Suites with Scenic Sun Lounge, free mini-bar, butler service, leisurely cruising, ship berthing close to most city centres. Also the tours app could be used along the river to point out and narrate points of interest. Darinka our Cruise Director was always available and tried to be helpful but she did seem to treat us as schoolchildren and tended to use 10 words when one would do. The cruise along the Rhine was interesting but apart from the section of the gorge where all the castles are it is not overall as scenic as the Danube. In conclusion although Scenic and other river cruise lines claim to provide 5* luxury and gourmet dining with flexible itineraries that give you the freedom to pick and choose how you spend your time ashore I remain unconvinced and don't think they live up to those claims. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had friends recommend this Scenic Cruise after their experience on board last year. They were so right, it was a wonderful experience. We had never been on a river cruise, being very independent travelers, but Scenic was a perfect fit ... Read More
We had friends recommend this Scenic Cruise after their experience on board last year. They were so right, it was a wonderful experience. We had never been on a river cruise, being very independent travelers, but Scenic was a perfect fit for us. You could choose any of the offered excursions, or adventure on your own using their e-bikes. Every excursion left exactly at the time stated, and returned to the boat at the precise time scheduled. The local guides were knowledgeable and added much local flavor to the tours. We can not compliment the ship's staff enough! They worked together beautifully, always with smiles, truly wanting to make the trip memorable for you. The cabins were very well appointed, perfectly designed to maximize the space, with quality amenities. The meals were delicious with many choices, and beautifully served. Be sure not to miss the sorbet dessert! I think the camaraderie of the crew carried through to the guests. Everyone was so congenial and welcoming to each other. Conversation flowed easily amongst the passengers who were mainly Canadians, Brits, Aussies and Kiwis, with a few Americans as well. The shore excursions were excellent, onboard entertainment was very good, and a highlight was the evening a Palace was opened for the guests to explore and then attend a private concert! We arrived home and began looking at the Scenic catalog for another trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Due to a lock closure, we were transferred from Jasper to Ruby from a deluxe balcony suite to a balcony suite. We found a cheque from Scenic on our return home without a covering letter and were disappointed with the amount since it was ... Read More
Due to a lock closure, we were transferred from Jasper to Ruby from a deluxe balcony suite to a balcony suite. We found a cheque from Scenic on our return home without a covering letter and were disappointed with the amount since it was far smaller than the one received from Emerald (this was for a much smaller inconvenience caused by low water levels in 2015). The suite on the Jasper was very nice except for a tiny basin which made it difficult to shave without bumping into the shelf above the basin. The basin on the Ruby was far better in size. On this trip the gentle walkers should have been assigned to a coach before leaving the ship rather than trying to find the right group when all the coaches arrived at their destination on shore. At least one tour guide was unsympathetic to the "gentle" group and was more concerned in covering her tour at a normal pace. We hoped to see the horses in action at the Spanish riding school in Vienna but nobody told us the horses rest on Mondays even though we booked this option months ahead!! Other than the above, the excursions were very interesting, entertainment on board was very good (except for the pair from Vienna who did not perform much Viennese songs). The waltz lesson and the Sound of Music features were particularly very good. Great care was taken with respect to our diet which included a daily printout of what is allowed from the menu. In both ships, the cabin crew were first class. Disembarkation was very well organised. It would be better to include port charges in the price of a tour rather than be surprised at the time of booking about the extra cost. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our ... Read More
We had to change ships on the 10th day of a 14 day cruise. Scenic was repositioning the Jewel and the Pearl due to high water problems on a prior cruise. Our comments are based on our experience on the Jewel in the first 10 days. Our experiences on the Pearl were NOT as good. The crew and staff on the Jewel were very friendly, communicative, accomodating and fun to be with. They handled a passenger emergency in a very professional manner and all worked out in the end. The Captain was very visible and friendly. The excursions were good and informative. We wish that there was more free time at some of the stops. Entertainment was very enjoyable. Our cruise director, Jeff, was very helpful and informative. This was our second river cruise with Scenic. We have recommended Scenic cruises to family and friends. We enjoyed ourselves very much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
A year ago we'd never heard of Scenic and were comparing many cruise offerings for May of 2019. Fortunately my travel advisor suggested considering Scenic along with many other cruise companies I was comparing. Hands down, this ... Read More
A year ago we'd never heard of Scenic and were comparing many cruise offerings for May of 2019. Fortunately my travel advisor suggested considering Scenic along with many other cruise companies I was comparing. Hands down, this cruise never disappointed and was superb! We had invited first-time river cruiser friends to join us (with some trepidation as we'd never been on a Scenic cruise). They were quite impressed as were we. Compared to our previous two river cruises, Scenic was an exceptional experience! Our stateroom was beautiful with spaciously creative designs. Personnel were friendly and professional. All excursions were well thought out and very enjoyable. Food was very good - not gourmet, but regionally representative, delicious and beautifully presented. Being an all-inclusive river cruise took most of the guest work out of this trip. The weather was spectacular and I truly cannot believe any Rhine River cruise could have delivered more than the sights and experiences we had. Next year we'd like to enjoy a Seine River/Normandy cruise and with what we now know Scenic will be our go-to company for river cruises from this time forward! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We went to one of their presentations here in Victoria and what they said sounded really good. Both my husband and I wanted to experience a five star experience on a smaller cruise ship going down the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. The ... Read More
We went to one of their presentations here in Victoria and what they said sounded really good. Both my husband and I wanted to experience a five star experience on a smaller cruise ship going down the rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. The food was mediocre!! We sent a steak back to the kitchen, it was cold inside and slightly charred on the outside with a frozen glob of butter on top. If the steak was hot the butter would have melted. Also I have a mushroom allergy, of which they were informed of and they didn't always remember to inform me of the menu for the lunch and dinner. I found out by chance on one occasion that mushrooms were in the dinner menu because I was in the entertainment room when the chef announced what he was cooking that evening and that mushrooms were in the food that evening. I was very upset that I was not informed and could have had a very bad reaction and hospitalized had I injected the uninformed ingredients. For the money put out, honestly we would have been better off with a cheaper carrier where the company doesn't portray itself as five star but gives you this kind of service. Also the entertainment was a joke, truly, a joke. First of all there was little of it and our evening entertainment was someone that as long as he didn't sing we could listen to the music, which was not that impressive. The few days that entertainment was brought on the ship only two were good the rest was not acceptable in the least. The daily excursions were excellent, the tour guides, buses, sites, amazing. You have to remember that was off the ship. The scenery was really great. The Captain was very good at his job as was Darinka, our tour director, made sure we were aware of the daily schedule and was herself very entertaining. The crew in general were excellent and wanting to please at every moment. In summary, we have had a much better experience with a standard (or even economy) cruise line. Scenic was not good value for the money. Read Less
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