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36 Scenic Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because 10 family members wanted to travel and this cruise let us bring our 14 and 17 year old family members. We all got to enjoy a river cruise. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and spouses. No one was left ... Read More
We chose this cruise because 10 family members wanted to travel and this cruise let us bring our 14 and 17 year old family members. We all got to enjoy a river cruise. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and spouses. No one was left out. Thank you Scenic Amber! We believe in Family First!! And this river cruise did too!! We also liked the stops along the way. We liked the route it was going on. We enjoyed our travel agent, Michelle! We especially enjoyed the dates. We knew we wanted to go this time of year and experience the Christmas markets. It was a great experience. The food on the cruise was superb and at the destinations just as wonderful. The chef made the dinners according to the country and style. Excellent to say the least. We are beyond pleased with Scenic and all the care and respect they have shown us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we ... Read More
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we booked this cruise there was little to no information available, so I’ve gone a bit over the top with the detail in case you’re like me and prefer to know what to expect, to be able to plan appropriately. We did the 12 day Antarctica in Depth from Ushuaia departing on 7 Dec 2019. Return internal flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia were included in the Scenic quote, but we wanted to have a few days in Ushuaia before the cruise, so Scenic happily refunded our inbound flight portion, and we booked our own one-way flight with Aerolineas Argentinus. I urge you to do this – we did a half day Tierra Del Fuego National Park tour from Ushuaia with Canal Fun and Nature, and really it’s not to be missed. I was also slightly nervous that AA would cancel the inbound flight on the cruise departure day, so wanted to give us a few days buffer. (And ps, the Scenic flight is VERY early in the morning, 7am or so. Ugh, not for me). Ushuaia is a small and walkable town with an interesting history. The “Blue Bus” 1 hr city tour was fun (in a Fawlty Towers kind of way), with steamed up windows and cramped seats, but we had a bit of a laugh, and enjoyed touring through the suburbs and local beauty spots. Embarkation - walking along the Ushuaia pier to Scenic Eclipse was a little bit emotional – we were amongst those impacted by the building delays, so to finally board the ship 12 months on from the original departure date was quite surreal. Boarding was quick (even for us who forgot to attach our luggage tags to the luggage, duh), and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes of arriving – the luggage arrived just a minute later. Cabin - #627 was a Deluxe Verandah (almost the “middle of the middle” of the ship – booked to minimize sea sickness) on the starboard side, and was plenty big enough for the 2 of us. It had a king size bed (like sleeping on a cloud), a little seating area, heaps of storage, usb charging points next to the bed (yes!), dyson hairdryer (whoa!), unlimited free wifi (sometimes with drop outs, but well … Antarctica !), excellent block out blinds, and an adequate verandah with table and two chairs. Everything was fresh and new. This particular cabin had the bed facing “backwards” ie. When lying in bed you’re looking towards the back of the ship, not forwards to what’s coming up in front. I found this a little disconcerting, but not a major drama. Don’t worry about whether port or starboard is better – there will be 360 degrees of stunning scenery, and the ship often turns to cater for the sub, so either side will afford mind-blowing views. The shower-room was well-lit with a storage mirror above the vanity, drawer space, and open shelving to the side. Others have commented on the lack of towel hanging space with only two hooks, but ours also had a large towel rail next to the vanity; perhaps this has since been incorporated. Large pump-packs of Espa toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, handwash and moisturiser were provided. I found the shampoo very drying, but perhaps this was due to the overall very dry air in Antarctica. I found the all-in-one vanity unit slightly annoying because I like to put my makeup bag on the vanity itself, but there was no dry space to do this. Just a slight niggle. There is one MAJOR pain in both Verandah and Deluxe Verandah cabin styles – the large “opening outwards” wardrobe doors. We often crashed into each other if the wardrobe door and bathroom door were open at the same time. This was compounded by the swaying of the ship, which often meant being wacked on the head or back trying to get clothes out of the wardrobe (remember you’ll be accessing the wardrobes several times a day going to and from excursions). Successfully making a coffee with the amenities door and fridge door open, crashing into you while holding boiling hot water, was at times a super-human effort! We would most definitely upgrade to a Grand Deluxe cabin with the walk in wardrobe if cruising again on this ship. Yes we would cruise on this ship again. Sliding doors with strong magnets on Scenic Eclipse 2 please. OK that’s the not so good out of the way. In every other aspect, this cruise was SPECTACULAR ! Common areas – luxurious, comfortable, immaculate, spacious. The Discovery Lounge was the go to place at the end of each day to swap photos and have a nightly cocktail (or 4) with other cruisers. The Theatre was very comfortable – a handful of seats though faced a structural column, so get there 10 minutes before the lectures to nab a good seat. Fellow Passengers - There were 199 Passengers on-board – 50% Aussies, 20% each US/UK, with the remainder being a small mix of Canadians, Germans and Asians. There were a handful of very well behaved teenagers on this cruise; it's not a cruise for young children, and there were none on-board. Butler, Cabin Steward and Restaurant Staff – always a smile and nothing too much trouble. When I tried on my Scenic supplied jacket on day one I found it a little snug … a quick call to Steve our Butler, and within one minute (yes one minute !), he was at the door with a larger size. Was he sitting in the coat storage cupboard ? I have no idea, but his response time to any issue was really quite incredible. Restaurant bookings were organised without a hitch, and Richard kept our cabin immaculately clean and complimentary items always stocked. Again, always with a friendly greeting when we met in the hallway. Expedition Team and Excursions – this is where we learnt that a Zodiac Driver is not just a Zodiac Driver! While being transported onshore, more often than not Chris the Marine Biologist, or Sarah the Geomorphologist, or Pepe the Ornithologist would be sharing their knowledge of the local environment or fauna. Simply incredible knowledge and experience has been brought together on this cruise. There were daily enrichment lectures in the theatre (or simulcast on the cabin tv) by the Team. Danny the Expedition Leader was inspirational and seemed to be everywhere at once, keeping an eye on proceedings and making sure Passengers and Crew were safe. Danny honestly deserves an 11/10 (and perhaps cloning?). Kayaking was our favourite excursion – silently gliding amongst icebergs while penguins are porpoising next to (and under) you while the snow drifts gently down … OMG this was the epitome of the million pinch me moments of this cruise. Sub and Helicopter – Having a lower category cabin may have affected our ability to get onto “the list” for these activities. My husband desperately wanted to go on the sub - each day he dutifully checked the list at reception. It wasn’t until the last day that he was offered a ride. We put our names down for the helicopter but never made it on. I didn’t really care either way, but this was our only negative activity feedback to Scenic - the lack of communication around these extra activities and having to keep checking if you were one of ‘the chosen ones’. It got a bit tedious. I expect those booking the higher cabin categories were given preference, though we found out later that other people in the same cabin category were offered 2 helicopter rides, so go figure. A few weeks before we cruised, Scenic emailed an ‘expression of interest’ for these activities - my husband put down the sub, but we didn’t put down the helicopter, and we didn’t attend the helicopter briefing session on the ship - maybe that affected our chances, even though we filled out the helicopter form on the ship twice. So express interest, attend briefing sessions, and fill out the form on the ship - this should give you a better chance. My husband’s sub was around 30 minutes all up and cost USD$295 pp (worth every cent he said). The Helicopter was around USD$795 pp for 20 minutes, Yikes. Others we spoke to raved about it, so probably worth it in the grand scheme of things. Dining – Wow ! Beautifully presented and always fresh – incredible given there are no provisioning stops during the cruise. The Lumiere degustation is something not to be missed – ask your Butler to book it when you arrive. The menu changes every four days, so going back a second or third time is recommended. The Teppanyaki also needs to be booked in advance if you’re interested. You can simply turn up at any of the other restaurants. Our favourites were Kokos Asian Fusion and Azure Café (healthy options always available). Tips (Antarctica Specific) - • If arriving from Australia, stay at least 5 days in Buenos Aires (beautiful city) to settle into the new time zone and to get over the long flights (I suffered jet-lag for the first 4 days). Also 2 days in Ushuaia before the cruise. • The Scenic chartered flights have a 23kg baggage limit. Be careful of Aerolineas Argentinus which has 15kgs. We paid an extra $15 to have 2 x 15kg bags instead. And no, they won’t let you put it all in one 23kg bag, very inflexible. If you receive the opportunity to upgrade to Business Class … DO IT ! We received an email a couple of days before the flight, paid $50USD pp, and were blown away by the spacious comfortable leather seat, plus a 23kg bag limit, score. It was the best $50 I’ve ever spent - Economy was certainly cramped on the way back to Buenos Aires. • During the cruise you’ll cop a bit of spray in the zodiacs, and if the wind is up it’s bitterly cold, so you most definitely need waterproof pants and gloves (both glove liners with smartphone touchpads, plus waterproof ski type gloves). Scenic will supply the double layered waterproof jacket and knee-high rubber boots to keep you snug and stable on the snow. A neck gaiter/warm scarf and beanie/furry hat are also mandatory. The Scenic website now has a comprehensive “Polar Packing List” – check it out. • You can get away with just two sets of thermals – the ship has 3 large (i.e can do two loads of washing at once) commercial self- service washers and dryers, so it is very easy to throw washing in at the end of the day. We washed 3 times during the 12 days and never had an issue with availability in the laundry. • An good SLR camera with a 300mm zoom and sports mode will get you incredible wildlife photos. See penguin shot taken from our cabin verandah. • You don’t need super-dressy clothes, most Passengers were quite casual. My husband brought a nice dress jacket that he never used, and it took up considerable space (and weight!) in his bag. At night it was more smart casual, I wore black trousers and a nice top. The ship stays warm (perhaps a tad too warm at times), so we wore t-shirts and chinos/slacks/jeans during the day. • Pack Kwells or other sea-sickness tablets - the Drake Passage can be rocky (duh). Waves were only 3-4 meters during our 36 hour journeys to/from the Peninsula, but probably 20% of the Passengers were unwell and stayed in their cabins. I took a Kwell as soon as we rounded Cape Horn (about midnight day one) and had no issues from then on. Same for the return trip. It’s smooth sailing for the 9 days in Antarctica. • Take a few moments to sit down with the penguins. There’s a 5 meter exclusion zone for the penguins – but they don’t have to abide by it ! Have your camera ready because the Adelies are very curious and will come right up to you for a good look. The penguins were nesting on their eggs during our visit, which started hatching around 20 December. Would I cruise again on Scenic Eclipse ? Unreservedly YES. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative that got us shuttled to the spaceship and from that point on, we were very well looked after by all of the Scenic staff. All of the staff were wonderful. Our cabin and its amenities ... Read More
We were met at the airport by a Scenic representative that got us shuttled to the spaceship and from that point on, we were very well looked after by all of the Scenic staff. All of the staff were wonderful. Our cabin and its amenities was great. We loved how the balcony became part of the room by folding back the glass partitions and lowering the top glass on the balcony rail. It was a wonderful addition to the room on the sunny days were were travelling in November! Alex, our Cruise Director was the best. He was attentive to all of the passengers, he was innovative with his talks, he was very organized, he was able to deal with all of the different passengers with ease and he made our trip fun! All of our excursions were amazing! It was great that we could choose how we wanted to travel ie. coach with guide, walking with guide or without or biking. A mix for all! The enriched excursions for everyone were a "once in a lifetime" experience like the Viennese Orchestral concert and the Salsburg dinner and musical. Wonderful!!!! The itinerary was very good. We loved travelling and seeing 5 different countries. We have often heard how wonderful river cruises are and now that we have experienced one, we would absolutely encourage anyone to go on it and we are very happy that we chose Scenic! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were very impressed reading the itinerary and all the trip offered. It was our first river cruise with scenic. The daily programs are explained every evening, before dinner. Svetlana armstrong, our cruise director was wonderful! Her eye ... Read More
We were very impressed reading the itinerary and all the trip offered. It was our first river cruise with scenic. The daily programs are explained every evening, before dinner. Svetlana armstrong, our cruise director was wonderful! Her eye for detail is exceptional, there was never a time she wasn't there for the guests: ensuring all understood the guidelines of what to do, where to meet, along with all the historical places we would be visiting. Every day was a wow! vadim palchun, our historian, program director, and guide was beyond an a++. Vadim"s intellect surpasses any historian we have ever met. Vadim greeted us every day with humor, patience, knowledge and passion for russia as he guided us thru his homeland. The palaces, the cathedrals, the museums, (don't miss the world war 11 museum) the ballet, the rivertours, the folklore show, & the phenominal old moscow circus!!! Was outstanding!!! Truly, surpassed our expectations! the only significant problem involved the limo service from home: to and from the airport, would not want to deal with this limo company again.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
From the moment we arrived, the driver waiting for us, made a very smooth transfer to the vessel. Can't say enough compliments of the entire crew, very polite , accommodating, responsive, kind, caring and very knowledgeable about ... Read More
From the moment we arrived, the driver waiting for us, made a very smooth transfer to the vessel. Can't say enough compliments of the entire crew, very polite , accommodating, responsive, kind, caring and very knowledgeable about the different ports, The ship was always immaculate, cabin super clean and always ready when we returned from any excursion. Dining was superb,quality and variety to please any of the 150 guests aboard, breakfast, lunch and dinners, good wines. The daily entertainment and I am including the Cruise director daily briefing were great, Once again I mentioned that the service from the entire crew was fantastic, first class. I was not going to single anyone,but, I would be remiss if I don't acknowledge two individuals that made my cruise such a pleasure, they are our servers Ana and Nemad, very charming and always ready with a beautiful smile. The ports visits and the guides for the excursion were outstanding, very knowledgeable about their cities and the sites we were visiting.And the special concert in Vienna was just beautiful.I do recommend this cruise to anyone and ,a bit bias , I would ask for the Scenic Jade, because their crew made it double a pleasure. Another suggestion is book the entire package including the flight, The Scenic Staff in the US knows how to make a comfortable 10 hour flight painless. I am planning another cruise with Scenic, this time to Southeast Asia. Again this cruise exceeded my expectations.Thank you Scenic, Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As our first cruise, I chose Scenic because I wanted all inclusive - flights, tipping, trips and excursions, food and drinks and Scenic delivered. All of the staff went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed or wanted. ... Read More
As our first cruise, I chose Scenic because I wanted all inclusive - flights, tipping, trips and excursions, food and drinks and Scenic delivered. All of the staff went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed or wanted. The food was delicious, varied, pleasing to the eye and to the palate. If we didn't want the selections offered, there was a menu. Wines and beers from the regions we went through were very different and all good. Excursions offered variety - bus, walking, bike, boat rides, gentle walks, something for all. The guides were well versed in the history of the towns and landmarks we saw. History came to life every day we went out. The Jade rode so well it was like being soothed to sleep at night. The countryside was vibrant with colour from the people, the buildings and even the crops looked like home, so no one was home sick. From the smooth pick up at the airport to the return at the end, Scenic did it all smoothly. Entertainment on board included Hungarian dancing and music, a zither, waltzing, violin concert and every night Henrick provided music for listening and dancing. Salt room available, work out gym, walk track upstairs, lots of chairs to sit outside on or stay in the comfortable lounge. In 2 weeks, staff became friends. We knew names and where there families are from. Our fellow passengers were mostly Aussies, fellow Canadians, Americans, British, Hungarians, Serbs, Czechs. Pretty much world nations. Wonderful first trip and it has made us want to travel again, thanks Scenic. You have a wonderful fleet of crew ambassadors. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of our previous experience with the luxury of Scenic cruises and because it fit very well the busy schedules of six adults. We could not have been more pleased with our cruise. The ship and the cruise exceeded ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our previous experience with the luxury of Scenic cruises and because it fit very well the busy schedules of six adults. We could not have been more pleased with our cruise. The ship and the cruise exceeded our expectations in every respect from the quality of the ship to the service, dining, and activities. The service could not have been better, as good as our last cruise with Scenic two years ago, and better than any other we have experienced on 6 cruises to date. Our adult children (51 and 49) and their spouses experienced their first cruise and were completely in awe of the experience. There was a wide variety of activities and entertainment. The availability of the e-bikes was a special treat of which we all took advantage. The ports along the Saone and Rhone Rivers offer much to see and experience. We felt that we got the luxury promised and outstanding value for the money expended. 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
Sail Date July 2019
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
We had the best food, crew and tours. Due to an unfortunate incident involving a damaged lock on the river, we spent the first 3 days on land in coaches and hotels which was a little tiresome and inconvenient. However, I believe they did ... Read More
We had the best food, crew and tours. Due to an unfortunate incident involving a damaged lock on the river, we spent the first 3 days on land in coaches and hotels which was a little tiresome and inconvenient. However, I believe they did the best they could under the circumstances and I personally think the cruise director and his staff did everything they could to make everyone happy. The only gripe I had was we travelled as a family of 4 and booked cabins next to each other, but we were on completely different floors during the entire land portion despite me telling them to rectify at the next hotel at the first hotel. The food on board was amazing, get ready to indulge in the most sumptuous cuisines and getting spoilt by the crew. The staff in all areas were wonderful and friendly and made us feel at home and we’ll looked after. I cannot speak more highly of the staff members we encountered. 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 July 2019
Outstanding reviews and recommendations by friends.Kudos to the entire crew of our Rhein River cruise ship the Scenic Ruby. Each crew member from the captain to the dining room staff and service employees are gracious, accommodating and ... Read More
Outstanding reviews and recommendations by friends.Kudos to the entire crew of our Rhein River cruise ship the Scenic Ruby. Each crew member from the captain to the dining room staff and service employees are gracious, accommodating and extremely generous with their time in the service of their 300 international visitors. Vikie Lofton Wetzel and I missed dinner by 15 minutes but the dining room staff set up a special location and prepared a wonderful dinner for us. We doubt that any other large cruise line would have been so accommodating or generous with their valuable time. We strongly encourage anyone who may be even remotely considering any cruise to check out Scenic cruises in Europe. The prices including airfare, unlimited drinks, no fee excursions and no tips whatsoever will be the best cruise investment that you will ever make. The entire staff is exceptional in every way. Their personal care and interest for the comfort of every passenger is unique and wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I took the advice of our Travel Agent when booking a birthday and retirement celebration cruise for my 70-year-old Mom. Our Agent assured us Scenic was a "luxury cruise line," up to our standards. However, our ... Read More
My husband and I took the advice of our Travel Agent when booking a birthday and retirement celebration cruise for my 70-year-old Mom. Our Agent assured us Scenic was a "luxury cruise line," up to our standards. However, our time on board had disappointing service challenges, even bewildering at times. I wanted to take this opportunity to share our experiences aboard the Scenic Azure during the Delightful Douro Sailing. We have cruised extensively, including multiple sailings with Aqua Expedition River Cruises, Regent, and Crystal Cruises. When we booked "Scenic Luxury Cruises," we were expecting a similar service experience to the brands mentioned above. We had two cabins on this cruise, one for my Mom and the other cabin for my husband and me. Disappointments & Challenges: The Crew, especially the Cruise Director, Butlers, and the Ship's Manager were not particularly friendly or service oriented in our opinion, and this created multiple service failures that were not anywhere near to a luxury line. We learned early into the sailing that this was the entire Crew's last sailing. The boat was going into dry dock for the winter, and we were the last group they had to endure. The Crew was burnt out, provisions were sparse, and food was absolutely awful during our cruise, prompting us to take Uber's at every Port with a street into town and eat ANYWHERE else but in the Scenic dining room. It was raining in Porto; we had a Scenic outdoor walking tour booked with 45 minutes in the rain. I asked our Butler for an extra umbrella. Navigating the slippery, uneven cobblestones is severe enough, trying to share an umbrella while doing so - impossible! Also, this excursion specified a high difficulty because we needed to go down a considerable number of stairs or hills. Butler's answer to my umbrella request, "No, only one umbrella per suite, sorry, that's just the way it is." We bought an extra umbrella in town, but I got soaked first. What kind of company denies their guests an umbrella on an outdoor tour day when the forecast is rain? Unbelievable, but in alignment with our other experiences onboard. Crew: We found the Cruise Director, to be aloof, and not particularly keen with assisting in our minor requests. For example, on our first day, Mom asked for a piece of cake that was on display in the River Cafe. She remarked that they had been put away for the evening and she could not, under any circumstances, enjoy that cake (not even through room service) until the next day at 4 pm when they would be on display again. It was almost as if she delighted in telling us "NO." How difficult could it be to get my sweet old Mom a piece of cake? After all, this cruise was her birthday gift. Perhaps a, "My pleasure, please have a seat while we get you one" would have been more in line with what we were expecting from a company with the word "Luxury" attached to their name. Front desk young man was very unhelpful. He failed to deliver messages to our Butler on multiple occasions and sometimes didn't answer the phone at all. Also, he provided no help whatsoever when we tried to figure out how my Mom could have breakfast at 6 am before her 7 am morning walk with the Wellness coach in Port. He condescendingly said breakfast information was in our rooms, including the breakfast card for the door. None of this was previously pointed out to us by the way. The young man begrudgingly handed us another breakfast order form for the door... when I looked at it, I pointed out to Jose that it didn't start service until 7 am. He said, "Well, I guess you'll have to wait until after your walk." Once again, just perplexing guest relations. Excursions: Excursion planning was unnecessarily involved in our opinions. Instead of being able to choose all tours pre-trip we had to wait for a talk about the port excursions while on the cruise. None of the pertinent details for the port excursions were printed out ANYWHERE- they were only briefly discussed during the port talk slide show. We checked off the boxes of the tours we were interested in for the upcoming week, and we turned in the sheet to the cruise director. It occurred to us we had nothing at all to refer to for future reference, and nothing was provided. We NEEDED to know: 1. Start times and duration of each tour we booked for the week ahead. 2. Level of difficulty of each excursion we chose (need to prepare my Mom) 3. Please provide footwear suggestions (athletic shoes for hills, or casual) 4. Please give the duration times of transportation in the motor coach to each destination. This reasonable request for information necessary for our adequate planning and comfort of my 70-year-old Mom who has weak knees, a weak bladder, and hip spurs. I didn't think it was an unreasonable request. This information is also STANDARD on every other cruise we have ever taken and provided pre-cruise. However, the Butler informed us that the Ship Manager denied this information to us stating," You must attend all Port talks each evening (even though we were tied up) or make an appointment during our cruise vacation to meet with the ship manager privately so that he could discuss how Scenic corporate does things." REALLY? I was dumbfounded. I asked the Butler, "So he refuses to provide this information? This simple information, am I understanding you correctly? I have to take time out of my vacation to make an appointment to see him so he can explain why he will not supply this information?" The Butler said, "Yes, that is correct." I was so infuriated by this I hardly slept the entire night. I couldn't even begin to comprehend what kind of manager or company withholds the most basic of information from its guests. Outrageous. Information You Can Use: The Taylor Made audio devices in our cabins were a nice touch for Port tours. However, no one mentioned they could also be used during the cruise (back on board) to learn about the areas we were cruising through. We were up on deck every single day of the cruise - for hours, we would have LOVED to know that feature was accessible. We only learned about it because we saw another passenger on the last day of sailing listening to hers on deck. We asked her, "What on earth are you listening to? Taylor Mades are for the Port tours." She explained that she had been to a Scenic presentation (she was a travel agent), and had learned about them from the marketing video. Wow! Why on earth wouldn't Scenic mention this to guests? Why not have a sign or note of some kind in the rooms letting guests know? Why didn't the staff or Butlers mention this? What a disappointment, we would have loved this, especially my Mom. We asked several other guests if they knew about this great use of the Taylor Mades while cruising, and not a single one knew about it - they too were disappointed. We missed out on what could have been a memorable highlight to our sailing. Other frustrations that didn't line up with our expectations: - Bottom shelf Alcohol. A luxury cruise with only Jose Cuervo? We would have gladly paid more to have some top-shelf brands on board. My husband ordered Jose Cuervo Silver as the only tequila choice on board, and they were out until the 2nd or 3rd day of the cruise. They were also out of Pringle's, Bellini ingredients and other items we were told they needed to restock at Port on day 2 or 3. - Dining room service for lunch was slow. Fountain Sodas were flat and if you were drinking anything other than wine you had to wait a while for the only waitress to go downstairs and get your beverage order. - We waited through our entire lunch only to get flat Coke Zero. When I told Food Bev Mgr, the Coke was flat, he argued that I am just not used to Coke Zero in this country, "It's different here" he firmly exclaimed. It was uncomfortable. Why is the Scenic staff so combative? Later they fixed the issue with serving cans of Coke Zero that had adequate carbonation. - Food choices at all meals were minimal and not very good. Though the head Chef, was a lovely man, and passionate about his job, the food was far from great, and some dishes were inedible (pretty much all of the seafood). On our last night, we had rotten avocado tempura. We left the ship and ate in Port every chance we got, even paying an Uber $60 each way just to get into town. The port excursions could have been better managed. Would have loved more time in Salamanca, especially after the two-hour coach ride in. The lunch at the Hacienda Zorita was hardly edible, except for the dessert. Would have preferred an option to stay in the town of Salamanca and had an authentic Spanish lunch instead of the funky, undercooked salmon and campy tourist dance show at Hacienda Zorita. What we LOVED: -Our cabin steward. Our cabin was flawlessly clean each and every day. She's the only crew member we tipped. She deserved it. -Our tour guide in Salamanca -The Fado concert in Porto - The Captain was absolutely amazing. Incredibly genuine and friendly, we really enjoyed time chatting with him. - The adjustable beds were fantastic, my Mom purchased one back home she loved it so much. - Showers were incredibly spacious for a ship. - The open-air balconies were spectacular. - The coach drivers on the tours were great, felt safe. - All three of us loved the onboard tile painting class - our tiles came out great. My Mom was thrilled with her keepsake. All in all, I could not feel comfortable recommending Scenic to my friends and colleagues at this time, considering the service challenges that experienced. I did hear from Scenic's Senior Director after a letter I emailed about our consistent service challenges. He didn't have much to say, he said he would follow up with me on these issues and never did (it's now been 7 months). I was eager to learn if this is simply Scenic's standard level of service or if our disappointments were merely a result of a tired crew ready to be done for the season. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Gems of the Danube river cruise (my husband and I were actual paying cruisers on the Jasper just 11 days ago. We were not compensated in any way to write this review) We did online research of several cruise lines. We were ... Read More
Gems of the Danube river cruise (my husband and I were actual paying cruisers on the Jasper just 11 days ago. We were not compensated in any way to write this review) We did online research of several cruise lines. We were particularly looking at the excursions offered on various cruise lines. We felt Scenic offered a good variety of choices. Some active choices and some less active choices depending on how you're feeling. As expected the excursions were well thought out and executed. When traveling to a particular location we were aboard Volvo coaches. Very nice. Everything on the ship was done on time! Including embarkment and disembarkment, excursions, meals, entertainment, etc. Very nice. I can't say enough about the ship staff/crew. Super friendly! Every time we passed a staff member or had an encounter with one they smiled and greeted us. They genuinely seemed happy to be doing their job. We met some very interesting crew members. Funny and entertaining. Our cruise director was Richard from Yorkshire and he was so funny. He never got flustered either. Each room has a butler. The name of our butler was Graykor and he was very attentive. If you called him with a need he was at your door in a mater of minutes. The Hotel Manager on our ship was Marco and he assured that everything ran smoothly. And let us not forget the bartender. His name was Mikol (pronounced Me-Hi) and he was so funny. We loved getting to know him. I elected to have an optional massage during out first day of cruising to work out the knots from our traveling. The massage therapist did not disappoint. He gave an excellent deep tissue massage. Ahhhhh And the fee was no more then I would have paid here at home. The food! Oh the food. I miss it already. Excellent regional food. Buffet (excellent buffet food) or menu ordering for breakfast and lunch. And a fabulous menu of choices every night. The food and wine were paired as well. Twice during the cruise we received an invitation to a special dinner: Portobellos with restaurant manager Predrag Acimovic, and Table La Rive (for Diamond Deck cruisers) with Executive Chef Antonio Jones. An amazing dining experience with multiple courses. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment too. Hungarian folk dancers, Viennese Waltz Dancers, Decades Disco with Enzo, Schuplattler Dancers, Trivia Challenge night, Music and dancing every evening throughout the cruise with Enzo at the piano. Last but not lease we made some wonderful friends and exchanged contact information. You know it's a wonderful vacation when you come home with new friends! I highly recommended Scenic Cruise Lines. It met and exceeded our expectations. I realize I used a lot of adjectives & exclamation points - but I'm still enjoying the wonderful memories we made on such a fun cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked a river cruise but it felt like a bus tour with occasional stops on the river. We were on 3 different boats during a 15 day cruise. Not 5 Star Service on any of the three. We started on the Ruby, were then transferred to the ... Read More
We booked a river cruise but it felt like a bus tour with occasional stops on the river. We were on 3 different boats during a 15 day cruise. Not 5 Star Service on any of the three. We started on the Ruby, were then transferred to the Jade and then finished on the Pearl. Spent way too much time packing/unpacking and a ridiculous amount of time on buses vs the river. Definitely would not cruise with Scenic again. Dining was not what I would call 5 Star and the entertainment on board was meant to have you fall asleep. We got behind schedule from the beginning and it took us a week to get caught up, but in the meantime because we were behind schedule we spent a lot to time on buses getting us to our excursion locations. I felt sorry for the older cruisers as they were pretty well confined to the ship due to the fact that we never stopped where we were suppose to and as a result they had no way of getting off the ship, we weren't docked where they had accessibility to shore. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
We planned this trip as a Wedding Anniversary and chose Scenic after going to an information session. We were originally supposed to be on the Pearl but changed to Amber a few days before departure. We spent 2 extra days in Budapest, were ... Read More
We planned this trip as a Wedding Anniversary and chose Scenic after going to an information session. We were originally supposed to be on the Pearl but changed to Amber a few days before departure. We spent 2 extra days in Budapest, were met at the airport and transported to the Marriott very efficiently. We enjoyed the 'Hop on, hop off' bus to explore this beautiful city. We arrived on the Amber and were warmly greeted by the staff. Our time on the Amber was 5 star + +. Rooms, staff, food, and entertainment were exceptional. Thank you Giovanni, (our butler who I nicknamed 'the flash'), and all the Amber staff. They really made us feel like we were home. Then we had to change to the Jade. Yikes, the staff were Ok, but not nearly as friendly, with the exception of the bar staff, who were cold, verging on rude. I get it, you work really hard on a ship swap day, but don't take it out on the guests. The beds were hard, and I had a sore back for 2 days. I find it difficult to understand why such a reputable company would allow such different standards in customer service between ships. Thankfully we switched to the Ruby for our final days, and we were back to almost 5 star. Beds were more comfortable and staff was, although not quite up to 'Amber' caliber, very good. Entertainment on all 3 ships was excellent, and we enjoyed many nights in party mode after dinner, with all the great guests we met on board. Tours and guides (Eva and Jacop stand out to me), were amazing, in particular, the concert in Vienna, the Sound of Music dinner and the Medieval dinner theater. While I understand the need to swap ship when the river is low, this is not something new, and the process seemed needlessly cumbersome, for example our luggage truck got 'lost' on one swap, really? It seems like the river might be overcrowded and dock space, (and perhaps luggage trucks?), are hard to come by. We went by bus to the Medieval dinner and back, but passed other cruise line ships going up river, and some docked where we were going. Scenic is providing a small refund for the inconvenience which we appreciate. All in all, we loved it and would do it again if we could do it all on the Amber! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I were celebrating several special events: We had our 50th anniversary, I retired two months prior to the cruise, and my birthday fell during the cruise. We highly recommend Scenic Tours for creating an amazing journey for ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating several special events: We had our 50th anniversary, I retired two months prior to the cruise, and my birthday fell during the cruise. We highly recommend Scenic Tours for creating an amazing journey for us that was first class in every way. We were switched from Scenic Amber to Scenic Jasper before we boarded, but the ship was beautiful, modern, impeccably clean. Service was outstanding. This cruise was all-inclusive, so we were constantly approached by staff asking if we wanted anything. The dining experiences were nothing short of amazing. Huge buffet breakfasts and lunches, regional foods, great choices. Dinners were four or five-course meals that were outstanding, delivered with perfectly appetizing plates and with wonderful presentation. The ports we visited were abundant in rich history, ancient cultures, and unforgettable scenery. Even when faced with Mother Nature's wrath (low rainfall resulted in the Danube River becoming so shallow in spots that navigation was tricky), the staff performed above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction. At one point we had to swap ships, where we transferred from Scenic Jasper to Scenic Jade, so that we could continue one more day of our river cruise before disembarking in Nuremburg for our trip to Prague. The transfer was held with precision and professionalism. All the excursions were totally amazing, and the historical descriptions we were given both by our very knowledgeable tour guide and/or the electronic, hand-held "blue box" ensured that we knew what every landmark was. The cabins were small, but we expected that! We didn't come on this cruise to sit in the cabins! The accommodations were extremely comfortable, ultra-modern, and highly satisfying. We cannot recommend this cruise enough to anyone who wishes to be immersed in the amazing history of Austrian and German castle ruins, palaces centuries old, storybook villages, with impeccable dining, wines, mixed drinks - anything we wanted was offered to us! We hated to see the trip end! Well worth the cost! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After an exhaustive review (at least it seemed like one) we chose the Scenic. Nuremberg was an important stop for us and we also had never been to Budapest and this cruise met those criteria. I felt that the overall cost vs value was as ... Read More
After an exhaustive review (at least it seemed like one) we chose the Scenic. Nuremberg was an important stop for us and we also had never been to Budapest and this cruise met those criteria. I felt that the overall cost vs value was as good or better than all other all other cruise lines. The ship was outstanding and the cabin was as described. The dining, service and crew exceeded our expectations.The excursions were well planned with excellent guides. We did want to spend more (than the 2 hour stop) time in Passau. The Cruise Director (Richard) provided us with maps to the train station so we couild spend more time in Passau . We then took the train, after our day in Passau, to Linz and met the boat there when it arrived. A fantastic day. We would recommend to travelers to arrive a day early. This would make it easier to stay awake during the embarkation briefing. Plus, it would have permitted more time seeing Nuremberg We are looking forward to another cruise and Scenic will be our first choice. The meals were consistently good and the evening meals were exceptional and the portions absolutely perfect. The evening entertainment was always something to look forward to and something we have told many others about. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose Scenic for our first river cruise, which was a 60th birthday celebration for my sister. There were 3 couples in our group, ranging in age from 45 to 62. It appeared the average age of the other passengers was closer to 70. From ... Read More
We chose Scenic for our first river cruise, which was a 60th birthday celebration for my sister. There were 3 couples in our group, ranging in age from 45 to 62. It appeared the average age of the other passengers was closer to 70. From the initial booking/reservation experience right through to disembarkation, the Scenic team provided outstanding service. They took care of our every need and request. Very impressive. The ship was extremely clean, as were our cabins. I honestly could not believe how our cleaning lady managed to keep the glass shower enclosure so spotless. We had one of the few basic cabins on board without a balcony. Because of the itinerary, we felt the extra expense of balcony rooms would not be worth it and we do not regret our decision. Our cabins were on the small side (170 sq ft) but adequate and clean. The food ranged from very good to excellent. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and the selection choices were excellent. I really appreciated the Moet & Chandon champagne mimosas! You also had the option of ordering from the menu (eggs bennie, lamb chops, etc.) if nothing from the buffet tickled your fancy. Dinner was always from the menu. Although the portion sizes were small, it didn't matter as you could order an unlimited amount of food. The small portion sizes were an added bonus as it meant the larger eaters at our table could try out several different appetizers, mains, and desserts! Everything we ordered, with the exception of the beef main in Portobello's, were perfect. The beef main course at Portobello's was served well done and I like my beef medium rare. In the chef's defense I didn't specify my preference. Excursions were another highlight of the trip. All were excellent and well organized. We especially appreciated the special cultural immersion options. Truly unique experiences! The only negative about this river cruise was the lack of on board activities. Besides the one lounge and bar (rather nicely appointed) there were no other areas to hangout. Because of the cold damp weather the outdoor top deck wasn't really an option. We've traveled on several ocean cruises and really love the entertainment and activity choices offered on those. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation & disembarkation went quite well although getting our luggage outside out cabin by 8:30 AM on the last day meant that the last evening of the cruise was spent packing! River cruise boats are necessarily constrained in ... Read More
Embarkation & disembarkation went quite well although getting our luggage outside out cabin by 8:30 AM on the last day meant that the last evening of the cruise was spent packing! River cruise boats are necessarily constrained in height (bridges) & length & width (locks) which makes space a premium. We had a Junior Suite (Cat RJ) which was more like a large room than a suite. Public areas on the boat were also at a premium - if you did not wish to enjoy the evening entertainment, your only recourse was outside on deck or in your cabin. Dining on Scenic was reasonable though not as good as on ocean cruises such as Silver Seas. The entertainment was somewhat eclectic but mostly enjoyable. The boats crew were very good. Our butler addressed our every need. The shore excursions that I participated in were very good though the long bus rides (~1 hour) were somewhat tedious. The last day of the cruise was spent in Amsterdam & we bookended a few more days there to enjoy Keukenhof Gardens and a train ride to Rotterdam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Overall a great experience on-board, and thoroughly enjoyed Budapest and Prague and thankfully we had booked longer stays at both cities. All off shore tour guides were excellent, well prepared, knowledgeable and a joy to learn from, ... Read More
Overall a great experience on-board, and thoroughly enjoyed Budapest and Prague and thankfully we had booked longer stays at both cities. All off shore tour guides were excellent, well prepared, knowledgeable and a joy to learn from, except that we were extremely disappointed with the Salzbury tour guide (Dieter), very opinionated to the point where we we turned our audio off (he made several comments that may have been deemed to be offending to some of the tour group, he should also be reminded to turn his audio on mute/OFF while in the bathroom) . The Scenic Amber ship and its crew expertly navigated the high waters of the Danube and communicated updates on a regular basis, this was appreciated, however the "engine /propeller failure" - as we were told, resulted in the tour not sailing to its end destination of Nuremberg, which was very disappointing as this was a city that partly swayed us to choose this particular cruise line. There has been no mention of compensation being provided for the missed leg of the cruise, something that I would expect from a 5 star cruise line. Thankfully the accompanying Scenic buses were on stand-by and accommodated the unforeseen transportation deviations and got us to Prague safely. Great dining experiences and wonderful food choices were provided daily, excellent wines, and very courteous, knowledgeable and entertaining staff served us daily. Although we experienced many wonderful adventures while on the cruise part of our vacation, we had extended our vacation an additional 11 days to travel to other parts of Europe. However due to a family emergency back home we had to cut our vacation short and Scenic staff in Australia were able to assist in changing our return flight to accommodate our needs. Their quick response allowed us to overcome the various timezones issues that I was experiencing, and we were on a flight home within 10 hours of making the call to the Scenic emergency number. Thank you to all who were involved in assisting us with the flight deviation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Booked late and chose cruise because no Viking cruise available. 1st river cruise, (9 ocean cruises). Food okay and wine and liquor selection was great; all inclusive in price. 80% Aussies, few Canadians and 1 US couple. Best new items ... Read More
Booked late and chose cruise because no Viking cruise available. 1st river cruise, (9 ocean cruises). Food okay and wine and liquor selection was great; all inclusive in price. 80% Aussies, few Canadians and 1 US couple. Best new items for us was the e-bicycles having a electric motor assist which were nice in the small towns. Best part of trip is the Danube river thru Germany. Cabin was extremely small and we had to crawl over each other to around . Our beef was with the hotel manager. We had to wait 4 hours in lobby for our room to be ready. Over the hours, buses were unloading and other guests sent directly to room. We were one of last ones get our room. There were over 20 rooms that were empty on the cruise. Hotel manager was very rude when we inquired a couple of times if our room was ready. There was no attempt to accommodate people who had been waiting an excessive amount of time. We would not recommend a Scenic Cruise!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we read good reviews of Scenic and our travel agent spoke positively about it. We also like the all-inclusive policy. Our expectations were met and exceeded. From the time we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we read good reviews of Scenic and our travel agent spoke positively about it. We also like the all-inclusive policy. Our expectations were met and exceeded. From the time we were picked up at the Amsterdam airport to the time we dropped off at the Budapest airport, service could not have been better. The entire cruise staff was attentive and professional. Excursions were well planned and, unlike some ocean cruises we have been on, you could always get your first choice of excursions. Special events were indeed special, often including themed meals and entertainment in a local setting. The food presentations were always attractive and the regional wines included with meals were of high quality. On-board entertainment was usually related to the area we were in and always well done. Unlike some ocean cruises we have been on, "all-inclusive" really does mean all-inclusive, including tips for local guides (although we did some supplementary tipping for special services). Shore excursions were well organized and interesting, and during some of them the ship would drop us off and then pass through a few locks (a slow process and boring after the first few) and pick us up downstream, so we used time efficiently. I can think of only two minor negatives. (1) The gym was disappointing, with only two bicycles, but it turned out that we had enough activity without the gym, and the ship had power-assisted bicycles for guest use on land. (2) Some of the food was too salty for my taste, but this is an individual thing. We would certainly cruise with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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