My wife and I cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest in August of 2014 and decided to go the opposite direction this year and to visit Prague. We have cruised Viking, Silver Seas, Crystal, and Princess in the last three years. We chose ... Read More
My wife and I cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest in August of 2014 and decided to go the opposite direction this year and to visit Prague. We have cruised Viking, Silver Seas, Crystal, and Princess in the last three years. We chose Scenic because their bathrooms had bath tubs, a must so my wife could deal with the pain in her legs after a day of touring. And because they were supposed to be a luxury cruise line. The cruise was as memorable as we had remembered and we will continue to recommend it to our friends, just not on Scenic. Scenic chose the hotel in Prague and it was very nice. The staff and tour guides were all friendly and courteous with the guides being generally knowledgeable. Everything was all inclusive; laundry, drinks, tips, etc., this is a very nice way to cruise and the quality of the wine was top notch. Unfortunately, the food on the Scenic Amber was the worst of all our cruises so far. There were some highlights but there were some downright bad entries as well. The rest of the food was only so so. Also, most of the meals were served buffet style, not what we experienced from the other cruise lines. In our opinion, this put Scenic out of the Luxury category.
Two major warnings about the Scenic Amber –
1, Do not get a cabin close to the rear of the ship!!
We were the third cabin in from the lobby and the noise and vibrations from the engines was minimal, not disturbing at all. But I walked back to the rear cabins late on a couple of evenings and the noise and vibration on both the 2nd and 3rd levels were very disturbing. Since we cruised every evening, this would have made the trip miserable.
2, Very poor food allergy support and quality –
I am allergic to gluten. The quality of the gluten free food provided was much poorer than any of our past cruses. Most meals were buffet style and none of the food was marked as to what allergens were in them. And often the people supporting the buffet did not know what foods had allergens. The dinner menu did have allergens marked but even one of the dinner meals was served buffet style.
The food was worse than any of our previous cruise. My wife does not have any food allergies and found that the food was not anywhere close to the quality of our previous cruses. Specifically, the pastries were very hard and not very good. Many of the soups were bland and lukewarm. I had a hamburger that was a preprocessed patty that had the life cooked out of it. One of the toughest burgers I ever had. Breakfast, lunch, and even one dinner was served buffet style. We like to have a consistent alternative menu to fall back on when we don’t like the main course. But we were not told that there was an alternative menu until the sixth day of cruising. Unfortunately, this menu included the burger. We also like to know the menu for dinner in advance but did not find out it was on the TV until the 10th day of cruising. It still was frustrating because the menu scrolled by and you could not stop it to read the entries. We would much rather have had a paper copy.
In the main dining room the tables along the windows were difficult to get to. This was because the tables in the next row out were so close together that it was difficult to squeeze between the chairs when people were sitting in them. Often it was difficult to get servers to refill drinks like coffee, water, or wine.
There was a lack of attention to detail that we had not experienced on our other cruises. Probably the biggest was we did not receive a binder with full instructions and room service menu until the 7th day of cruising. Scenic provided a beautiful map of the rivers and cities we were going through but not until the 7th day of cruising. The bow camera was always out of focus, a real bummer. The weather provided on the closed-circuit system often did not include the cities we were sailing to. The map showing your location did not show country boundaries and did not provide a zoomed in view. Read Less