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11 Scenic Budapest Cruise Reviews

You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. ... Read More
You can really judge a company by the way they handle a difficult situation. My experience, and others, on this trip was that Scenic handled this absolutely terribly and conducted the tour at the most cheapest cost possible to themselves. They didn’t deliver a luxury experience, even though they still had the opportunity and facilities to do so, instead they provided terrible service with really cheap food (often buffets) and really cheap wine. I thought after their 16 million dollar class action case they lost last year that they would have improved their service, but they have obviously learnt nothing from past mistakes. We were advised by email on 19th October (5 days before our cruise, and we were already in Europe) that we would have to do land arrangements for four nights before joining the Scenic Jewel (instead of Scenic Opal) in Regensburg on 28th October. We were not advised of an option to cancel the tour. We were then emailed on 22nd October advising which hotels we would be staying at. Still no option to cancel. On the 24th October in Budapest we met our Tour Director, and was given an update on the trip. At that stage we found out that there were 109 people booked for this cruise but only 65 showed up in Budapest and 44 people cancelled and didn’t travel. After speaking with people on the tour we found out that scenic contacted some people before they left Australia and gave them an option to cancel, and didn’t bother to contact other passengers at all (including us, except for an email advising a change to the itinerary, but not advising any option to cancel). We were informed that the river was the lowest in over 100 years by the tour director, so obviously scenic knew well in advance that this trip was going to be affected and yet we were not advised. Looking at reviews of previous scenic passengers that cruised this itinerary this year, there were many disruptions, so scenic should have advised us well before we left Australia and given us an option to cancel like they did for only select passengers. We totally understand that scenic can not help the water levels being so low that they can’t operate the cruise at certain sections of the river, however, they knew the river conditions well in advance of the cruise as they’d had problems all summer. They should have given everyone, not just a select few, the option the cancel before leaving Australia. I wonder if they went ahead with this cruise because they had a travel agent famil group booked on this cruise? I telephoned and emailed Scenic in Australia from Budapest, after our tour briefing, however they were not of any help at all and just gave a generic reply to claim for compensation when we return home. Rather than going into a long letter, I’ve itemised below the terrible experience that we had from Scenic considering that Scenic has advertised this “Luxury River Cruise” as an all inclusive (spirits, wines, soft drinks, tea, coffee and mini bar), with anytime dining. - we were advised in writing by the tour director that we were allowed up to two glasses of wine, beer or soft drink with dinner and one glass with lunch during the first four days of our trip which was conducted by land (hotels and buses) - Even though scenic had the access to provide spirits, wine, coffee, tea, afternoon tea...etc at the hotels we were staying at, scenic would not include this for us and we were told we would have to pay for these ourselves. - The quality of the buffet food and wine we received at the hotels was of a very poor quality. The food was like something you’d get at an RSL club and the wines were really cheap and nasty. We stayed at very nice hotels, but received the cheapest quality of food and wine. - We finally boarded the scenic jewel in Regensburg, on 28th October. - We were onboard the ship for 10 nights. During this time, there was no anytime dining in the crystal dining room (as advertised by scenic) instead we were restricted to sometimes late dining times and the waiters were always in a hurry to get us fed and out of the restaurant. - Portobellos was only open 2 nights out of the 10! Why?? - For 8 out of 10 nights on the cruise there was only one dining option, and that was a fixed time, which is totally opposite to what scenic advertise. - There was absolutely no drinks or food service on the top deck during the entire cruise, which is completely the opposite experience of friends who have done this cruise before. I know there was part of the cruise when the top deck was closed when going under bridges, but we received no service there at all the entire cruise. Even when we docked in Amsterdam, we saw Viking and Avalon ships beside us serving their passengers drinks and food on their top decks.....our ship was completely dead in atmosphere and service. - The food quality on the ship was very “hit and miss”. Sometimes the food was very nice, other days they food was just terrible and quite often cold. - The cakes in the river cafe were a generic shop bought cake that was often stale by being cut and left in the display cabinet. - We were never offered a packed picnic lunch, as advertised by scenic, if we didn’t want to do an organised tour and just do our own sightseeing. - The entertainment onboard the ship was really amateur and something you’d expect on a budget cruise, not a luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Cruise was supposed to be a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, however, low water levels resulted in being bussed 800 km of the 1400 km trip. Scenic was not, of course, responsible for the low water, however, they almost certainly ... Read More
Cruise was supposed to be a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, however, low water levels resulted in being bussed 800 km of the 1400 km trip. Scenic was not, of course, responsible for the low water, however, they almost certainly knew well before the Oct. 16/18 start date that they would likely have to bus passengers for more than 1/2 of the trip. They therefore should have cancelled the trip as they knew they would be unable to provide the product promised, or even a reasonable facsimile of it. This was a very expensive bus tour. We were put up at a hotel in Budapest for 2 days before being bussed over 300 km to board our ship. We were scheduled to be on the Crystal but instead boarded the Pearl (sister ship) but for only 2 days then bussed over 300 +km to board the Opal which we were on for 6 (or maybe 7) days then bussed for about 200 km to board the Amber which we were on for 3 days. Breakfast & lunch were, of course, buffet and were good. Dinners were, however, inconsistent. Beef not cooked correctly, entrees not hot. Service was good ie. prompt. Not the over the top friendly we're used to on ocean cruises. Could be because the crew was eastern European & it's not their culture. Very little on board entertainment but none really expected. Nice comfortable lounge. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose this cruise to see the scenery, castles, and towns as we cruised along the Danube and the Rhine and the fact we would not have to pack for all 15 days. Actually we only cruised 1 day total in the daytime, the rest was a series of ... Read More
Chose this cruise to see the scenery, castles, and towns as we cruised along the Danube and the Rhine and the fact we would not have to pack for all 15 days. Actually we only cruised 1 day total in the daytime, the rest was a series of long bus trips, 3 ship changes and a few night in hotels and some cruising at night. The Ruby was the last ship but no space to enter all 3. This was all due to low water levels in the rivers which Scenic knew about long before our departure date but failed to inform us. We were not given the option to cancel or change sailing dates. I tried to correspond with Scenic prior to our departure when I suspected a problem, but had no response. The city excursions were good and we had very good local guides. These were hard to enjoy after our long bus trips and room changes. The buses used for both the excursions and the shuttle service between port had poor visibility out of the side windows because of reflection. The washroom in the buses ranged from filthy to poor. One of the rest stops along the way was disgusting and we had to pay to use any of the Rest Rooms (WC's) - something Scenic should have covered. The main topic of conversation on the trip was how to get compensation from Scenic for our lost holiday not how we were enjoying the trip. There was little enjoyment just frustration on this trip. We are keeping in touch with each other to see what Scenic will offer us for not providing what we had signed up for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose Scenic because our friends sailed with this company and everything was included. We attended a seminar and we were impressed with the information. The high water situation was discussed and so we booked in September to avoid the ... Read More
We chose Scenic because our friends sailed with this company and everything was included. We attended a seminar and we were impressed with the information. The high water situation was discussed and so we booked in September to avoid the spring rain falls. Before we left on the cruise, we heard rumours of low water levels and scoured the internet for information about cruise interruptions but could not find any. 2 days before we left Canada, we received an email from Scenic saying our ship had been changed to the Amber and further in the email a paragraph "The upper Danube river between Passau and Regensburg is experiencing low water levels and our Cruise Director will keep guests informed of the changing river situation and required cruising amendments." My travel agent called Scenic and was told they knew of no issues with the ships sailing the route. Once we got there, we learned not 1 ship made it all the way along the route since June! We had cancellation insurance and could have rescheduled everything at that point. Scenic would have had their money and we would have had ours. If we had known we were to pack up and change ships twice and spend hours on a bus, we never would have gone on this cruise! Misrepresentation and lies is all we got. As well, on the Rhine gorge portion, you know, where you are supposed to be having a glass of wine and gazing at castles, they put us on a noisy, stinky public ferry. Adding insult to injury, as the ferry ground along, we looked over and a Scenic ship went by. They make it seem like they are doing you a big favour by moving your luggage for you and rearranging the schedule to get as much in as they promised but it is a huge inconvenience to be jumping up early and packing and unpacking to be shuttled on a bus where there are a bunch of people coughing. We both got sick from being cooped up on busses for hours. Don't be fooled by the advertising. More than 1/2 the time we were docked beside another ship, staring into someone else's cabin. The top of the ship is closed a lot as well, to get under the bridges. This route is packed with ships, way too busy. Having said all this, I must add that the facilities on the ships, the food, service and tours were amazing! I only regret I was not offered an opportunity to go at a time I could have enjoyed it to the max. I have been offered an insulting refund amount according to their "cruise guarantee" which I am disputing. They have acknowledged receipt of my letter but have not responded. It's been more than 2 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because we were told it was all inclusive and fantastic. Our first five days were pretty good but we didn’t know that the river levels were an issue and we asked every day but no one would tell us anything finally we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told it was all inclusive and fantastic. Our first five days were pretty good but we didn’t know that the river levels were an issue and we asked every day but no one would tell us anything finally we were told one night before dinner that the ship could no longer navigate the water. We were given three choices with no real plans to either of them. We were given two hours to make a decision after asking for days what was going to happen. The coach tour of the trip was a nightmare we went from five Star to three-star. We were given one drink at lunch only wine and beer at dinner and we would have to pay for all her other liquor food etc. other than breakfast lunch and dinner or 24 hour service and food and drink was done. I know I’m one of many who are unhappy. Scenic has not got back to me yet nor my tour guide as to what my compensation will be. They offered us $250 a day but I will not except that. I’m hoping soon scenic will get a hold of me But I’m sure it’s going to be me running after them. I will not be cruising with scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were recommended to Scenic by dear friends who have had great experiences with this company. We were told about the 5 star food, drinks and accommodations. We booked a balcony suite 2 years in advance and saved to go on this cruise. It ... Read More
We were recommended to Scenic by dear friends who have had great experiences with this company. We were told about the 5 star food, drinks and accommodations. We booked a balcony suite 2 years in advance and saved to go on this cruise. It started off on a bad note on day one. We went to the bar and ordered champagne to celebrate our cruise. We were told to go sit down and that they would bring us our drinks. What they served us was not champagne. It was something sparkling but of such poor quality that we returned the drink. The bartender, Alin, explained that most guests preferred prosecco, so that is what he pours. No. We specifically ordered what we wanted. We didn't want a substitute of something inferior. This was the tone of the entire cruise with the bar staff. Eventually, we just stopped ordering drinks. If you ordered Remy Martin cognac you received something that would burn your throat. The bar staff would give us rude comments and show mocking behaviour about our champagne request whenever we came in the bar. We were always polite but insistent on getting what we ordered. They would pre-pour drinks and have glasses lined up with who knows what. When you asked for something specific they would substitute it for something inferior. If you did not insist that they pour it in front of you, you could never be sure what you had received, you only knew that it wasn't what you ordered. When you save your money and pay for a high quality experience you have every right to expect it. At the end, we were charged for items we did not order and had to argue it at settlement. The food was horrible. 3 star at best. As I have read of others, we lost weight on the ship. The salads were browned lettuce with no dressing. We could see no reason for the poor produce as we visited the central market in Budapest before the cruise and could see the beautiful produce available. The quality of everything served was just mediocre. We were so thrilled with the land excursions and the chance to eat a tasty meal that we willing paid of our own money for these experiences. The wine quality on the ship is very poor. The serve it freely at dinner but after tasting it, I usually drank water. At the Portabellas restaurant we left before dessert because it was such a poor meal. I will include photos I took of the breakfast selections, you be the judge if it looks 5 star quality. The coffee is vending machine coffee. At least they served Moet champagne at breakfast, but who wants to drink in the mornings? On the last evening, the menu produced was so lacking that my companion asked for a burger instead. The restaurant manager came over with snarky comments about "Here is your McDonalds". We don't eat a McDonalds at home. We don't eat fast food at all. The food is so poor, we figured they couldn't screw up a burger, could they? Many people ordered specific things not on the menu because the menu was just so poor. The ship itself was fine. Our room was fine. David, who offered the entertainment was great and was a nice, friendly diversion when we needed to go to the lounge/bar for updates. Yvonne, the cruise director, did an exceptional job and offered great suggestions. Dennis, our housekeeper was a highlight of our cruise. He always had pleasant conversation and was so attentive. We saw the butler once. After that it was kitchen or wait staff that would bring the things we ordered to our room. Dennis was the most attentive. The only negative about the room is that other ships dock right next to you so the balcony use is very limited. Mostly you are looking into the room of the next ship. Our best part on this cruise was when it ended and we did the land portion. The Scenic guides in Prague, were the best. The Marriot was a real treat after the ship. I'm glad we didn't start in Prague because getting on the ship would have been even more of a let down. I loved hearing the personal stories of the guides. It brought so much to my enjoyment of the cruise. We cannot, in good conscious, recommend a Scenic Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the ... Read More
Every day since we left, our ship docks next to at least one other. Sometimes there are 3 abreast - this, in the low season. As a result, our view from our balcony (which we paid extra for ~silly us!) is into the window of the cabin of the other ship. So, no view. One night, we were apparently near the exhaust vent of another ship and so for days after, our room and all others on this side smelled of cooking grease. Food is average to poor, you have to eat at 7pm regardless if ypu’d like to eat later, so no opportunity to have a leisurely cocktail hour, most of the towns in between are largely unremarkable, just a means to provide some diversion between the two main cities of interest (in our case, Budapest and Prague). No one on the ship other than the cruise director knows anything about the itinerary, landmarks, upcoming events, so if you can’t find the cruise director, you’re in the dark. There’s about 20 of us in our mid`50s and all have did “never again”. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Thought it might be good from past cruises with scenic but very disappointing. Our panorama suite was not as expected from literature and video. Definitely not value for money. The table and chairs were not suitable for eating a room ... Read More
Thought it might be good from past cruises with scenic but very disappointing. Our panorama suite was not as expected from literature and video. Definitely not value for money. The table and chairs were not suitable for eating a room service meal. The balcony was no bigger than those on ordinary rooms. The noise from the engines kept you awake and the vibration made everything move, rattle, tinkle and roll! What food we had in our room was cold as these panorama suites are at the back of the boat miles from the kitchen. The food in the dining room was not as good as it was on our last cruise with Scenic. Standards seem to be slipping... The crew tried hard to please as always but the whole experience seemed to be geared to what was easiest for Scenic. Up at 6.30 for leaving the ship! Then locked out of our room at 8 am as they started to get the ship ready for next cruise. Great way to finish your Scenic Luxury Enriching Cruise I think not, Never again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I don't write bad reviews very often. I thought long before writing this one since this was the first river cruise I had ever experienced. We were greeted by the Scenic Tours staff win Budapest aboard the Scenic Ruby and ... Read More
I don't write bad reviews very often. I thought long before writing this one since this was the first river cruise I had ever experienced. We were greeted by the Scenic Tours staff win Budapest aboard the Scenic Ruby and escorted into the lounge area for a cocktail on arrival. Victor was the nicest young man who was our waiter. After we finished our drink (which gave the staff time to deliver our luggage to our room), we were checked in and escorted there. We had chosen a specific room (panorama suite) at the rear of the ship because we knew it would allow more room for us (my husband and me) to move around. I had checked the photos online (Scenic website) to make sure we would be pleased. I was never so disappointed. The photos of the suites on the website are NOT them same as the Scenic Ruby. The first issue was that the windows were dirty and looked as though they had not been cleaned in weeks. (I called to ask if someone could clean them for us...after all we spent $$$$ for the view from that suite and could not see through the glass). No one ever cleaned the windows the entire trip. :( The second issue was that there was a Dyson fan in the floor trying to cool our hot room...the fan did no good. The room felt like an oven. The air conditioner was working as hard as it could to cool the room. Since the room was too hot to stay in, we got a glass of wine and retreated to the top deck. Nothing like trying to shower and dress for dinner in 80 degree room. :( Issue three was that here was yellow painter's tape on our walls which had been left after repairs had been made. There was a hole in the wall behind the television because a previous guest got eager trying to adjust it against the wall. Issue four was the food served on the boat. Several times we were served cold cuts on a buffet...yuck! I may have had better sandwiches while in the grade school cafeteria. One day we were on the top deck enjoying our one day of sailing day. My friend and I went to the bar/lounge to get a snack to take back to the top deck. After ordering, we were told that lunch would not be served for 10 more minutes and that we could not take the food to the top deck. 10 minutes later there were several people on the top deck eating lunch....go figure. Mark Silprovic (?) was the person who said we could not order lunch yet. Our best meals were off the boat. Issue five.....if you do not like smoking or have allergies to smoking...this is NOT the cruise ship for you. The entire front of the ship on the top deck was reserved for smokers. Nice chairs, tables and umbrellas for those guests. The rest of the guests were in the center of the top deck with reclining chairs, but no cocktail tables. The smoking area had cocktail service whereas the rest of us went to the bar to get our own drinks. Speaking of smoking....almost the entire Eastern European crew smoked. Crew smoking area was at the back of the top deck. Therefore, we were sandwiched between crew and guest smoking area....very offensive. We, therefore, did not visit the top deck during times we were stopped especially in the locks we passed through which were many. Issue six....I also used the spa...once. I scheduled a massage with Plamen. I know you think by now that I am super picky, but getting a massage by someone who has cigarette smoke on his hands is not exactly relaxing and optimal. :( I felt as though we were being held hostage by a group of 30 year olds who cared more about their cell phones than the guests they were employed to serve. JJ (cruise director) and his girlfriend often "made out" in the crew smoking area. I'm sorry, but that's not what I want to watch while on my cruise. :( Although it was discovered that a guest was smoking three rooms in front of us, I believe the engine crew below us contributed to the smoke smell in our room. I reported that the crew's smoke was flowing into our room three times, but alas, to no avail. We were unable to open our "window" on our deck the entire trip... :( There were great servers and room attendants who made the trip bearable. Irina, Marko (bartender), Victor, and Christian were phenomenal. Needless to say, I will NEVER, EVER recommend or go on a Scenic Cruise again. I will let you know that my travel agent intervened with the cruise line but all she could get was a $300 credit for us toward another Scenic cruise...which we declined. Travel with Scenic at your own risk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Scenic was highly recommended by our travel agent. We found it less than remarkable. Misrepresentations included the role of the so called "butler" - we never saw or heard from him, and nightly local entertainment on board - ... Read More
Scenic was highly recommended by our travel agent. We found it less than remarkable. Misrepresentations included the role of the so called "butler" - we never saw or heard from him, and nightly local entertainment on board - there were two such events, including the "Crew Show". The on-board entertainment that was provided (piano player/singer) was stale and off-key. It is difficult to say which was worse, the food or the on-board dining room service. Both were bad. Our best meal was a dinner at a hotel in Budapest before we joined the cruise. We have better coffee at home. The ship was comfortable. However, the shower in our room was uncomfortably small. The view from our balcony was awesome when we were able to use it, which was not often as the ship was bolted to another ship virtually every afternoon, night and morning. Excursions were rushed and schedules inflexible. Scenic is not responsible for rising water on the river and the subsequent inability to reach intended ports.(We reached our day #6 port on Day #8 and disembarked from there). However, Scenic could have done a MUCH better job adjusting land trips so that guests were not on a coach for 7 hours for a 1 hour city tour. Find a closer venue. Leave earlier so that there is more time at the venue. I would not sail on Scenic again, certainly not before trying some of the others out there. We could have done better on our own, spending a handful of days in Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Our next trip will be un-escorted. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river ... Read More
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river cruising. Our experience has been mostly with the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity product. I considered Tauck, Uniworld and a few other lines when booking this trip last October. I chose Scenic based on the inclusions(tips, alcohol, all excursions, butler, internet), greater population of Australians, and appeared to have more "active" inclusions such as a gym and use of bicycles as well as "tailor made" self touring. As many of CC members, I researched and read reviews and had a good idea of what river cruising was about -- or so I thought. We booked the Jewel - the newest ship of the Scenic fleet-- based upon itinerary, and the fact that it included a gym (we love to eat). We arranged our own air/hotel stays which included 10 days in Europe prior to our July 1st Scenic cruise. Budapest is just as wonderful as all of the reviews. We stayed in a lovely B&B (Kapital Inn) for 3 nights. Our first disappointment came 2 days prior to the cruise in a forwarded email from our TA. We would not be cruising on the Jewel in Budapest, but instead would be on the Diamond for 3 nights, then we would be bussed to the Jewel which was upriver and unable to make it to Budapest due to a lock being closed up the Danube. We took a taxi to the Marriott to drop our luggage and take transportation to the ship. Quite a few people had not received word that we would not be on the Jewel. Most of us had been aware of the flooding, and although there was a little grumbling about not being told in advance, it wasn't a huge problem. Our cruise director Marin was the only staff that stayed with our group during our very challenging cruise. He did an amazing job considering the problems he faced. I'd like to mention the other ships we stayed on, as we found huge differences that impacted our trip. We ended up having to change ships again due to lock strikes in Germany after being docked in a commercial area in Bamburg for 3 nights and long bus trips for excursions. We started on the Diamond, moved to the Jewel and ended up on the Pearl. Our vision of unpacking once and enjoying the river from our balcony ended up being not so ideal. We spent much more time being on big bus tours than we thought. Did the interruptions impact our cruise enjoyment? Probably. We never did experience the "afternoons enjoying the villages on our own" The only village we stayed at required a 10 Euro one way taxi ride. I thought there would be smaller than the 40-50 groups were regularly on and the long bus rides to our destinations.Diamond: Some wear and tear obvious on the ship. It didn't matter to most of us, as we knew we would be meeting the Jewel in a few days. Some negative comments "we didn't get what we paid for", some people ended up in different cabins due to the ships not being identical. The staff however was lovely. We were greeted with cool towels, glass of champagne and a rose for the ladies. Passengers waited in the lounge. We were escorted to our standard balcony cabin after a very brief and orderly check in process. The room was explained by the very friendly stewardess. The balcony was a great feature, space for two chairs and a small table. It was somewhat annoying that the railing was just at eye level when sitting. The ability to move the window up and down was what i guess is Scenic's "signature" feature. To get the A/C to work, the sliding door to the balcony needed to be closed. Our butler "Zoltan" came to introduce himself. He was a favorite on the ship. Most wished we could take him with us. The bed was two two twins (full size twins) pushed together to make a king. L'Occitane bath products, and shower had a complicated spray system, gave it a somewhat higher end feeling. There was a "meet and greet" before dinner, where officers made some comments and the CD explained the river situation, assuring all that we wouldn't notice the ship change, that all would be seamless. Buffet first dinner, somewhat chaotic. The dining room was noisy, most were tables of 6 with a table for 2 right next to it. We found fun tablemates the first night and ate with them frequently during our trip. The wait staff was friendly and seemed very busy and hardworking. We were treated to a night sailing on the Danube to see the lights of BUdapest. We enjoyed the Diamond. DIdn't enjoy packing up three days into our trip. The plan was to take the scheduled tours with being bussed to the ship which was ahead of us. Jewel: We were to have a BBQ lunch on the top deck. Kinda sounds like fun, but it wasn't. The lines were long around the buffet, there weren't too many near tables. Drink service was odd, with waiters asking what we wanted, then never bringing it. No reception when entering the new ship. Not much in the way of greeting. Given our room keys. We find the new cabin to be much nicer -- a better use of space, no sliding door to the balcony, but a nifty folding door that we just left open. The bathroom had a huge shower!! no more complicated shower system. The public rooms were somewhat the same, it was just obvious that overall the physical layout of the Jewel was much better. You would think that this would make happy campers, right? Well, there was a HUGE difference in staff across the board on the Jewel. The ship captain was a substitute and the hotel director appeared to be on vacation. I wish this was an exaggeration. While we saw the hotel director working alongside his people, and checking on dining room status, the hotel director was never seen. People were scratching their heads, how can waiters and bar staff seem to look so "busy" all the time, but people couldn't get any service. Overall, it impacted our experience. We heard there were many verbal and written complaints. We didn't put ours in writing, because at the time I wasn't sure what was going on. THe wait staff didn't appear to be trained on how to do their job, so rather than say it was the problem with the staff, I place the blame on the uninterested hotel director. I did notice that we seemed to "warm" up the staff, mainly because I think we had a very tolerant, fun loving group of passengers. Pearl: like the DIamond, great, hardworking staff. It's hard to believe the difference. I had low expectations for food quality, and high expectations of service, but the reverse actually happened. For example, there were only two menus placed on each table of 6-8. Never did a waiter point out there were alternate selections each night. We were offered a "red" or "white" wine, and it took a few days to figure out they stock more than one choice. You had to be on guard as the waiters often would just pour what was in hand, not noticing you perhaps were drinking a Chianti that night. There was no coffee served dinner. Dining choices on the menu were limited, the food was well presented. I was pleased with my meals. Dining by buffet is difficult when all passengers eat at the same time. I never stayed in the long line for the carved meat or breakfast selections.Scenic promises much more than they are able to deliver. If you enjoy large organized bus tours, or walking tours where you are herded from one location to another Scenic can give you that experience. Our best days happened to be those which we decided to take a pass on the bus tour, and stayed on the boat while it was moving to the next port. The best experience was meeting new friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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