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8 Scenic Budapest Cruise Reviews

Scenic is a scam. My family fully regrets booking scenic Gems of Danube for my grandma’s 80th birthday. The experience was anything but “5-star”. For starters, we were not informed of the lock issue on the Danube until members of ... Read More
Scenic is a scam. My family fully regrets booking scenic Gems of Danube for my grandma’s 80th birthday. The experience was anything but “5-star”. For starters, we were not informed of the lock issue on the Danube until members of our party were already flying from USA to Hungary. Therefore, cancelling the cruise was not an option. Due to the lock issue, we were unable to board the boat and instead were bused around from hotel to hotel and stayed extra nights in Budapest. The service at the hotels did not meet our expectations (mediocre food, no spirits) and we were left spending our own money on drinks and essentials like water. So much for a “leave your wallet at home” “5-star” experience. We escalated our concerns to scenic representatives, even senior leadership at corporate, and no one addressed our concerns. Instead they kept saying “we understand” and “we are working on it” but it was all talk and no action. Overall, I would recommend that you do not trust scenic with your vacation, our experience was very disappointing and no where near “luxury”. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Let me start by saying that I rarely write reviews but after the poor customer service we have had to this point I could not stay silent any longer. It all started when we received notice from Scenic 24 hours before (even though they knew ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I rarely write reviews but after the poor customer service we have had to this point I could not stay silent any longer. It all started when we received notice from Scenic 24 hours before (even though they knew 3 days before they sent notice) we were suppose to be getting on the boat that the lock that was damaged and the boat could not get to our planned departure point. You have to question if this was done on purpose giving us no opportunity to cancel. Up to this point our river cruise has been a bus tour hopping from one hotel to another. The all inclusive cruise has turned into an a la carte experience with many simple amenities having to be purchased separately by us. Hence the title of my post since one of their main slogans is “leave your wallet at home”. I do have to say the Scenic cruise director has listened to our concerns but has had absolutely no backing from upper management. Our group has escalated our concerns to Scenic management in Europe, North America and Australia and recurved only empty promises that they would address our concerns. I work within the service industry myself and find the (non)response from management totally unacceptable. We planned this trip for over 24 months to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday with 29 family members. We had thought we had picked the premier European river cruise company but that is not the case. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I researched and planned this trip for 2 years before deciding on a Scenic cruise due to all the online reviews we found. Being our first time in Europe and out of the country we wanted to make sure we were getting an ... Read More
My husband and I researched and planned this trip for 2 years before deciding on a Scenic cruise due to all the online reviews we found. Being our first time in Europe and out of the country we wanted to make sure we were getting an amazing getaway trip that we wanted. Not even 24hrs before our departure from the US we got an email stating that due to an incident involving a lock being broken (the incident occurring back in June) we were no longer able to board the boat in Budapest and given the option to cancel however the fees of canceling flights, already taking off work( my husband with no PTO), kennel care wasn’t worth it. Upon arriving in Budapest we still were not told of our accommodations for the next two nights. We jumped from hotel to hotel and ended up having to spend money on our credit cards because we had not planned on bringing much extra spending money due to everything being included. Upon arriving at the second hotel we asked the representative sent from Scenic about a daily allowance or what things would be included and were told that beer and wine and a dinner would be provided. We were on our own for everything else. When speaking to the corporate representatives (over the phone) we were given the run around and never a straight answer. Then spent 2.5 hours on a bus to Bratislava and another 1.5 bus to Vienna. Our “included” excursions were also effected and canceled due to this. For a “5 star” “all inclusive” trip we were given neither. After attempting to raise concerns to the corporate offices and get answers or any type of compromise we got no response and thus have taken to writing a review. I would not recommend using this company to anyone ever and am very disappointed in the customer service from the corporate representatives. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We signed up for a luxury river boat cruise and received a low budget bus tour. Scenic could not control the lock accident preventing our group of 29 people from loading the river boat but, they could control their reaction. Our group ... Read More
We signed up for a luxury river boat cruise and received a low budget bus tour. Scenic could not control the lock accident preventing our group of 29 people from loading the river boat but, they could control their reaction. Our group spent many hours of our vacation attempting to contact scenic representatives and scenic senior leadership to request simple things like free filtered water and information on what hotel we’d be staying in the next night. When we did receive responses, the representatives were unapologetic, had little to no information and failed to offer solutions or compromises. We did NOT receive complementary alcohol, plated dinners, butlers, laundry/ironing service, free water, or any type of monetary refund/credit. Instead we received a different hotel room every night, two star hotel buffet meals, and consistently canceled free choice tours. We spent countless hours on buses and waiting for hotel rooms to be ready. I will always remember scenic river boat cruises as the company that ruined my grandmas 80th birthday. If you’d like to enjoy your vacation, I’d suggest booking with viking river cruises, they actually treat their guests with respect (www.vikingrivercruises.com). If you do chose to book with scenic, I’d bring coins to pay for the numerous gas station bathrooms, as you are shuttled like cattle from city to city. Enjoy the smell! cheers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we ... Read More
Because it was advertise as a luxury cruise with 5 stars all inclusive beverage offer....and we like to stay in the same room for 2 weeks and not relocate our luggage (4 times in this cruise !) We chose a Royal Panamera Suite and we had the same food and beverage as others in a different deck Notice of low water was send by email the day of departure after we had inquire 2 weeks before and everything was supposed to be ok Hotel in Budapest was not as we were told. We were supposed to have a Premium Deluxe suite as confirmed by Scenic Under expectation....ordinary wine, no more Maccallen after one day, food was serve too fast, dining room like a cafeteria with bright lights, etc.. Had to change ships 3 times Pearl, Opal and Amber Service was not equal on every boat Did not see the Butler or inadequate On the Amber the waiter was impolite ....throw fork and knife on my table the last night, nearly agressive Guided tours were very limited to a walk in the city and no visit except for Melk and Wurzburg Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose Scenic based on online reviews etc. Considered it to be one of the top river cruise companies. We were very disappointed at service levels and food. Breakfast and lunch were major disappointments with minimal options and ... Read More
Chose Scenic based on online reviews etc. Considered it to be one of the top river cruise companies. We were very disappointed at service levels and food. Breakfast and lunch were major disappointments with minimal options and “cafeteria-feel” in the restaurant area. Our first lunch on the ship offered salads and the only hot food option : “liver balls”! For the money paid to take the trip, definitely disappointing. The water levels on the Danube were low and so bus travel dominated the first few days of our trip. Overall, Scenic tours include excursions with bus rides that are too long, example : trip to Salzburg. Also quality of docking areas are very poor : ours were generally in industrial areas or areas not near downtown or old core areas of the cities we were visiting. Tour guides were ok but duration of tours were either too short or too long. We felt that some tours included visiting a few spots that were just tossed in to make up some time. Also, most guides didn’t use their microphones properly so we were unable to hear them very well. Visit to Budapest was disappointing. Sailed into the city in the morning and really only had an afternoon to visit “Budapest in depth”, as Scenic called it. They brought us to a piano recital (which was good), but upon leaving our bus broke down and we were forced to wait in a hot bus for over 1/2 hour. Needless to say, the remaining tour consisted of a quick visit to one other site and then back to the ship. Communication among company, employees and customers was very poor. Even though the company knew water levels were low, they provided few details as to how this would impact our trip. They basically only told us that our ship was changing from the Amber to the Pearl (an older ship). This included a room downgrade in our case and it was only when I pointed this out to the tour director did they consider offering some form of compensation. We didn’t understand why they would set up an early breakfast in one location of the ship, then change it to the formal dining area and then back to the early breakfast location for late risers. Doesn’t make sense and annoys travelers. Overall, tour was not worth the money and we were totally disappointed with the company, service and tour quality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Quality of the food was downright poor. We did not like much of the buffet food and were not told that we could order from a menu. We finally found this out on the next to last day of the cruise. One day for lunch there was no protein at ... Read More
Quality of the food was downright poor. We did not like much of the buffet food and were not told that we could order from a menu. We finally found this out on the next to last day of the cruise. One day for lunch there was no protein at all. Scenic dining service was terrible. Restaurant staff had no clue how to provide service. Most dinners took 2 hours. After dinner it took 20 minutes for the server just to get a cup of coffee. I finally went and got one myself. Told this to the director and he politely smiled, but this didn't change anything. On the sun deck service, was nonexistent. I had to go downstairs to the bar to get my own drink. Even in the loune right next to the bar it took way too long for a server to get a drink. The crew was simply way understaffed. Communication was extremely poor - no one could provide times for events until the night before. We purchased a cruise on the Scenic Amber. Scenic had to change boats because of low water on the river. But we were never told that Scenic changed boats on us until we arrived. They put us on the Jade then a 6 hour bus ride to the Jasper several days into the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Before we booked this cruise, we had booked to do the same with Avalon but changes to our other tours and commitments saw us book with Scenic river cruises. We have used Scenic prior to this and had enjoyed their offerings but this was ... Read More
Before we booked this cruise, we had booked to do the same with Avalon but changes to our other tours and commitments saw us book with Scenic river cruises. We have used Scenic prior to this and had enjoyed their offerings but this was some time ago. Armed with all the hype after watching the advertising, we were expecting something really special. We arrived in Prague for the three day extension. This is really a con because one of the days is spent tightly crammed into a coach for the long day of driving to the ship in Budapest. For what we paid for this, I would never recommend it. Just do Prague on your own, you will not miss anything and will save heaps. We enjoyed Budapest but that is where it ended. While beyond Scenic's control at the outset, it is what followed that beggars belief. A lock on the river had been slightly damaged and ships we not able to proceed. Essentially what Scenic decided to do was to bus people to each of the destinations further on. This involved almost four hours on a crammed coach for 1hr 40 mins in Bratislava. But the next was a doozy, an almost 17hr day of coaching culminating in a show in Vienna! We and some others opted out for various reasons relating to physical capacity. Scenic did not offer us a viable alternative. When the lock finally opened, we simply sped past every port along the river just so the last couple of days might be on schedule! Go figure? A river cruise spent on a Coach! Of course, there could have been a better compromise but Scenic has the attitude that one size fits all. This is in spite of their claims that they offer "tailor made" experiences. In recognition of our loss of enjoyment, they have offered a paltry $1500 credit off a future river cruise. This represents around 10% of a single with flights and pre and post accommodation. Frequent travellers paying earlybird get this. I am not sure that many Aussies could even afford to do this trip,a second time. I am guessing the European passengers will find the discount a lot more attractive! I liaised with Scenic pointing out that they were the cause of much of our disappointment to absolutely no effect. For us, the premium paid for this experience is not justified. The butler service is nothing, the minibar means nothing, all drinks are included anyway. A small bag of washing is allowed for the two weeks and everything was returned shrunken. The food offerings were nothing exceptional at all. Our times on other cruises have been at least as enjoyable. Even the room design for our upgraded top level cabin was not as efficient as we have had and it suffered noise from the lobby area. The true measure of a company is what they do when things go wrong. Scenic failed us dismally. We will not be able to recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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