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Sail Date: August 2019
This is our second time with Scenic, the first being 14 nights from Amsterdam to Budapest. The Scribe in Paris was our pre cruise hotel and it was wonderful. The room was very comfortable and the staff very friendly. Scenic was able to ... Read More
This is our second time with Scenic, the first being 14 nights from Amsterdam to Budapest. The Scribe in Paris was our pre cruise hotel and it was wonderful. The room was very comfortable and the staff very friendly. Scenic was able to extend our stay with their rates for 6 nights which helped for a smooth transition. We bussed from Paris to Chalon Sur Seone where we embarked. Bus ride was about 5 hours excluding a stop for lunch along the way. Embarkation was easy! We stayed in a Royal Balcony Suite which was great. The extra space was well worth the extra cost and our butler and cabin attendant were terrific. Maybe it's because we were in France but the food and wines were outstanding. The entertainer was very versatile and good. Ports were fine although we wondered why we stopped at Vienne, but my guess is because of spacing and availability for the boats along the river. There was not much to see and we were only there for a few hours. The "special experiences" offered by Scenic were also great...Scenic enrich, sundowner cocktails, and the two specialty dinners. The best part of everything is included. It's always nice to leave with no need to pay for anything else. Granted you pay it in the fare but it's still nice not to get charged for "extras" like so many other cruise lines do. I would travel with them again and highly recommend. They are two for two with us! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our fifth cruise with Scenic and it has been impossible to find fault with any of them. We have found on this cruise, as with the other cruises, that all of the staff go “the extra mile” to ensure that you have an enjoyable ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise with Scenic and it has been impossible to find fault with any of them. We have found on this cruise, as with the other cruises, that all of the staff go “the extra mile” to ensure that you have an enjoyable voyage. There is a variable and high standard of cuisine with quality wines and a large variety of alcoholic beverages. There is also a 24/7 self service machine for coffee and other hot drinks. Transfers at both the start and end of the voyage are arranged and carried out efficiently with the occasional chauffeured pick up and return to home on some voyages. The guides on the various inclusive tours are also friendly, knowledgable and fully fluent in English as well as other languages. We believe that Scenic “all inclusive “ prices give the best value for money. We chose this cruise because it was in a part of France that we had not visited before. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Word of mouth and previous cruises with Scenic Staff and cabins are good and the price is all inclusive. Off boat trips are well managed and tour guides very helpful. Transfers and flights are well organised and airport transfers ... Read More
Word of mouth and previous cruises with Scenic Staff and cabins are good and the price is all inclusive. Off boat trips are well managed and tour guides very helpful. Transfers and flights are well organised and airport transfers are well catered for. Cruise director and manager were very helpful and service was great. Room are good size and well serviced and the staff are very helpful. Top deck vantage points are excellent and full bar service is available The battlefields tours were excellent and the D Day memorial was first class. Weather was a problem on a couple of days but there were enough umbrellas to assist with the tour Coaches were good and very good drivers and guides Some more time Could have been spent at a couple of the venues but overall was well presented Overall this was a great cruise and would recommend this for a river cruise Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous ... Read More
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous and all food and drink was fantastic quality. Entertainment included an onboard pianist, in addition to performers being brought aboard from various ports. We were even treated to a recital by a classical quartet in a Château, where Scenic docked just for the evening performance, then sailed on. Very special! Most of all, the staff were welcoming, attentive, competent and caring, which always makes a trip. There was always a personal touch. The cruise director was amazing - a French national who was full of wonderful insights into her native country. Hotel Manager ensured all F&B ran seamlessly. Food and drink choices were incredibly varied and top quality. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The cruise members are so great.I enjoyed the cruise director jokes. Loved the way she give us informations. Loved our tour guide Virginia, such a funny ,lovely,personality.Christian, the manager is such a ... Read More
I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The cruise members are so great.I enjoyed the cruise director jokes. Loved the way she give us informations. Loved our tour guide Virginia, such a funny ,lovely,personality.Christian, the manager is such a nice person. The bar cruise are very nice, they spoiled us. Non stop service,very cheerful personality.The dining staff are so lovely, tried there best to please everyone. We where spoiled by the room attendant,very clean room. They are very attentive. Entertainment is great. Great pianist. I loved the duo.I particularly enjoyed the cruise member who sung. She should sing regularly, in my opinion. I have enjoyed the concert in one of the chateau,what a magnificent musician. One of the best experience is Dune du Pilat, what a magnificent place. In my opinion, should spend more time in this excursion.I recommend to see more places in Bordeaux city. It seems it has more to offer. Over all it is a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our fourth Scenic cruise and we have to admit it was the best one yet. That's not to say the previous ones weren't excellent, because they were. It was just everything about this particular cruise made it so memorable. ... Read More
This was our fourth Scenic cruise and we have to admit it was the best one yet. That's not to say the previous ones weren't excellent, because they were. It was just everything about this particular cruise made it so memorable. As usual, everything on the ship was pristine, the staff were brilliant notably the cruise director Sonja who ensured everything ran smoothly and was a bundle of energy. Restaurant manager Doru who once finding my wife was vegetarian ensured her dietary requirements were more than met! Robert, the chef was a culinary master and special mention to our two main waiters, Cattalin and Eduardo. Our cabin attendant Thomas was first class and our butler Coco always at hand. All in all an excellent experience, enjoyed all the excursions and the company of our fellow passengers who predominantly Australian were great fun and a pleasure to be with. In between the cruise, our transfer both from airport to ship and visa versa went without problem, Thank you Scenic for everything. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the ... Read More
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the Palais Benedictine visit, the beautiful coast and cliffs of Etretat, Rouen and the Fine Arts Museum and Deauville. We are experienced travellers who have travelled with Scenic Tours before. This cruise did not disappoint. The crew were so happy even though they worked extremely hard. A really good team. The ship is spotless, well maintained. The cabins are comfortable and spacious With lots of storage space, Windows, balconies etc. The beds are very comfortable and there is a pillow menu for added comfort. Each cabin has Internet, TVs, radio, music and movies. The bathroom is not squeezy with a good size shower 2 can fit in and lovely toiletries. Rooms are serviced twice a day Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had travelled around Europe by hire car before we started the cruise. The on board service started when we first boarded. The cabin wasn't ready as we were early. The drinks were offered straight away. The pianist who played ... Read More
We had travelled around Europe by hire car before we started the cruise. The on board service started when we first boarded. The cabin wasn't ready as we were early. The drinks were offered straight away. The pianist who played nearly all day long did not repeat a tune. The food was excellent and the wines top quality. We had two degustation dinners with matching wines which were outstanding. In separate meals I had snails, frogs legs, oysters, lobster and the freshest fish I've eaten in years. The service was impeccable, the rooms were cleaned with fresh towels twice a day. The shore excursions were brilliant, although some two hour bus trips back were quite tiresome. Overall it's a five star experience. There's nothing better than watching the passing shore from either your room's balcony or from the top deck. We would not hesitate to recommend Scenic Cruises to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Previous Scenic Cruise in 2008, inspired us to travel this destination again. Scenic have all aspects of the luxury cruising experiences covered. The suites are spacious with the added comfort of the balcony with a large outdoor window. ... Read More
Previous Scenic Cruise in 2008, inspired us to travel this destination again. Scenic have all aspects of the luxury cruising experiences covered. The suites are spacious with the added comfort of the balcony with a large outdoor window. The food is fresh and varied. The crew happy to meet every request. Destinations are varied and available to people with limited ability most of the time. The fact that the Scenic Spaceships can dock right in the centre on a city makes walking much easier in these European cities. We can only highly recommend Scenic cruising for any one planning a European river cruise as an all inclusive holiday experience. The Danube Main Rhine rivers offer unique views of endless views of vineyards, villages hundreds of years old, castle ruins, remnants of Roman times. A Scenic Cruise offers the opportunity to sample the culinary delights from many countries as well as wines from many regions. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Last year we traveled with Scenic on the Gems of the Danube itinerary and were very disappointed. As I wrote a rather critical review of that experience ... Read More
Last year we traveled with Scenic on the Gems of the Danube itinerary and were very disappointed. As I wrote a rather critical review of that experience http://click.email.cruisecritic.com?qs=8bec0de70cfedc34d0783c44859edf84aaeaab785ae07d932f616c10a3f01701e526b95ecd7e021448a152adadca3e9a4527d6ca83bc5faf it is only fair that I say how wonderful our experience on the Scenic Gem was. Hard to believe it was the same cruise company! First, full disclosure, our itinerary was a charter with some significant changes in the shore and on board programs. Having said that, the crew, kitchen staff and ship were, without exception superior to what we experienced on the Danube. The Scenic Gem is a smaller ship designed to be able to travel from Paris to Honfleur. We understand that she is one of only a few that can include both these ports in the itinerary. The other lines' larger ships are restricted from one or the other (or both) ports as they cannot make the necessary turn around in Paris or enter the restricted harbor in Honfleur. Additionally she has been designed with some features not included on the Pearl. The Cabin (middle, sapphire? deck) was very similar but unlike the Amber, where the "balcony" was segregated from the room by an immovable partition, the Gem partition was capable of being fully opened allowing the balcony to become an integral part of the room. My wife quite liked the disco lights in the shower as well. A whimsical touch! Without exception the crew were amazing and among the best we have ever encountered. Accommodating, friendly, available! Hotel Manager Tomas was always present and ready to provide service (he even came with me and helped me open our cabin door one early morning when he saw me balancing two cups of coffee and croissants.) The staff quickly learned our preferences and went out of their way to provide extraordinary service. Wine glasses were topped up with no need to signal the waiter. Special requests for cabin issues, food or wine were happily and quickly responded to. As our charter did influence the menus I will not comment on this item, but the Chef and Kitchen staff produced some of the best quality food I have ever experienced on a cruise ship (including the 6 star lines) After our Danube experience we resolved never to sail with Scenic again. What the Seine cruise told us is that they are capable of providing an extraordinary experience . One wonders why there should be such great differences from one ship/crew to another. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cannot say enough good things about Scenic. Everything is 5 star plus! This was our second cruise with Scenic and the ship, crew, program, food and accommodations were all fantastic. I highly recommend river cruising. The smaller ... Read More
Cannot say enough good things about Scenic. Everything is 5 star plus! This was our second cruise with Scenic and the ship, crew, program, food and accommodations were all fantastic. I highly recommend river cruising. The smaller ships make it so easy to meet all of your fellow traveler’s. You always have sight of the shore and the scenes that you are passing as you cruise. When docked in a town or city, you are usually only a short walk from local attractions. Scenic also have 4 luxury coaches that take you to distant attractions and an average of three activities to choose from each day. The ship is a very comfortable home for the duration of the cruise. We had a balcony room on the top level (the Diamond deck). When you board you unpack your case and hang your clothes in the cupboard and slide your case under the bed ... you are home. The dining room is 5-star all the way with excellent choices in food and wine. The lounge has an excellent selection of top-shelf alcohol which is available at all times plus there is a mini-bar in your room that kept stocked. Scenic is all-inclusive and great value for your money. Highly recommend Scenic cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The ... Read More
Having cruised the Rhine also with Scenic, we needed another holiday where we would also be spoilt, and so we decided to go with them on the river Seine, visiting WW1 and 2 battlefields, and many other interesting historical places. The crew of the Gem are brilliant, and there is honestly nothing bad that can be said about them, they are attentive, dedicated staff who will do anything for you. Lots of great wine and cheese to be tasted. Watch your waistline on this cruise, as France is famous for it food, and the Gem's chefs are brilliant, and produce some absolutely great meals, and of course if you don't like what's on the menus they will make you anything. Once your on-board put your wallet and CC's in the safe, you will not need them. Everything on this cruise was included, including alcoholic drinks, and by the way there is a massive range of cocktails, which can be skippered or slurped on the upper deck in a light breeze as you sail down the river. Scenic Gem can get into harbours other cruise ships can not visit, so you are alone sometimes whilst docked, brilliant! Try this you will not be disappointed, but you will be spoilt. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I did explore Paris before embarkation. Saw all the local attractions and enjoyed the local restaurants. Did not like having people smoking in restaurants, hopefully this will be addressed in the near future. Welcome dinner was lovely ... Read More
I did explore Paris before embarkation. Saw all the local attractions and enjoyed the local restaurants. Did not like having people smoking in restaurants, hopefully this will be addressed in the near future. Welcome dinner was lovely with the beautiful city as a backdrop. . Dining experience was very good. Entertainment was good and enjoyed Chef’s cooking experience. Service was excellent. Some of the ports were littered with rubbish but that was not Scenic’s problem, local authorities should look into this problem. Shore excursions were very good , except the day of the Somme Battlefields excursion, the restaurant that day was not up to standard, food was terrible and were not offered anything other than the local cheap red wine. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, thanks to the Cruise Director. Cabin was clean and very comfortable , servicing the cabin was prompt , with friendly service by staff. All in all, a very enjoyable cruise and I would highly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We'd had a family member travel with Scenic before and preferred them over Viking because Scenic's prices are ALL INCLUSIVE. You won't spend another nickel for anything on the boat -- not drinks or excursions or bike trips. ... Read More
We'd had a family member travel with Scenic before and preferred them over Viking because Scenic's prices are ALL INCLUSIVE. You won't spend another nickel for anything on the boat -- not drinks or excursions or bike trips. This takes the pressure off thinking, Should I do this? Everything is open and available. The ship was sparkling clean and well-designed. Not brand new, but not suffering. Our cabin was well-organized and comfortable. The food on board was excellent -- they accommodated special dietary needs of two of our traveling companions without any problems. The liquor, if that's your thing, is all top shelf. The meals were creative, delicious, and offered many choices. This is not a boat full of casinos, shows, and entertainment. IF you want that, take another cruise. This is a small ship: around 115 guests. We were happier without all the chaos of a bigger ship. There were good talks in advance of the next day's port. Each day was FULL of activities from which to choose, or you are free to go off on your own. We biked (on E-bikes), walked through cities, toured villas, and explored Paris. BEST OF ALL: the service provided by EVERY Scenic staff member. From the housekeeping staff to the ship's captain, every single staff member was well-prepared to do their job and were thoughtful and polite to all of us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation ... Read More
We had sailed with Sceinic prior, and thought this trip Paris to Paris would be a wonderful experience. The staff were the best, and were very friendly. We arrived in Paris 4 days before we set sail and toured the city. Our embarkation went smoothly and swiftly. There were staff to greet us port side before entering the ship. Mandy ,our cruise director was very good and helped us in the off ship experiences. We had a wonderful cabin crew and kept everything clean and refreshed. The Restaurant was always on time with the 3 meals a day served while onboard. One thing that would enhance our stay on board , would be to ask , if there could be an onboard Doctor. Becoming ill on the ship, we asked around the towns for a doctor, but none would take an International visitor. We were very fortunate that Mandy could organise a doctor on such short notice. She took care of everything from Taxi, to the Doctors practice and then Taxi return to the ship. She is a marvel and outstanding, and very much appreciated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The 'personal butler' was hardly seen during the 10 day cruise and the services to be given by that person did not happen. Many people had difficulty with the app for a smart phone that was to be used with one's own personal device when on guuded excursions. It either did not work, or the quality of the sound was poor. There were a very limited supply of devices from Scenic, but one was not available when the app did not work on my phone. It was after 3 requests from 3 different people that the technical problems were largely resolved. The waiting staff were attentive but at times appeared to be more interested in refilling wine glasses than providing other services. As one who does not drink alcoholic beveriges, requests for alternatives at times were not met. As with many enterprises, the plans and intentions were good but some staff did not perform to expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have wanted to go on a river cruise vacation and at the same time experience France. My husband and I could not have been more pleased, actually we were blown away. We arrived in Paris Saturday morning, departure was Sunday and was seamless. The staff went above and beyond to make our trip enjoyable and memorable; to name a few Francoise, Coco, Vita, Danika, Christian, David, Eduardo, Irena and Alexandro! The manager Thomas and Valerie our cruise director were outstanding. Our cabin was room 322. It was a balcony suite and I would highly suggest that. The storage was very cleverly thought out and the bathroom was very ample for a ship this size. Meals were delicious! The ports and shore excursions were first rate as were our tour guides. Our favorite being Monet's Garden and Normandy. The towns we visited (Les Andeleys, Rouen, Honfleur especially) were beautiful and just to walk around was so enjoyable. We stayed at the Westin Hotel before and after our cruise and that too was a great experience. It was in a great location. I cannot give a negative and highly recommend Scenic. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well ... Read More
We had a fabulous river cruise in the Bordeaux region of France. It was excellent because of the first class treatment we received from the whole crew. This was our first river cruise and have only great appreciation for the well organized events from arrival to departure of our trip. It was a smooth transition each day. We received amazing service and were dined and entertained beyond our expectations. We met wonderful people from different countries and enjoyed the varied offshore excursions. Top notch tour guides and transportation. Special thanks to our amazing captain, hotel management and cruise director. Their leadership and assistance was valued throughout the whole trip. Also our chef provided exquisite meals. The portions, options and wine pairings for all our meals were outstanding. We appreciated not having to worry to tip or pay additional for beverages requested throughout the whole trip. Definitely worry free. We highly recommend the scenic luxury cruise to anyone who is seeking an amazing vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had been to many of the cities along the European river cruises and we wanted to go somewhere different. Our cruise experience met our expectations especially with the daily fine dining. All of the ship crew were extremely helpful and ... Read More
We had been to many of the cities along the European river cruises and we wanted to go somewhere different. Our cruise experience met our expectations especially with the daily fine dining. All of the ship crew were extremely helpful and at all times displayed a very professional application to their individual roles. The Cruise Director, Eric, was very personable and very organised throughout the cruise. The variety of off ship excursions allowed individual choices to be made. All of the tour guides were well educated about the area that we were visiting and it made the excursions very enjoyable. One of the highlights for us was the gala dinner and classical concert in one of the grandiose rooms of the Pope's Palace in Avignon. Our cabin was very comfortable and the balcony with its motorised window allowed us to enjoy the passing French country side when sailing. One negative regarding disembarkation was that we were transferred to the Marseille Airport but we were not leaving France at that time which meant we then had to take a taxi to our hotel in the centre of Marseille which is some distance from the airport. There were a number of guests in this situation and it would have been better for us to be transferred into Marseille itself. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru ... Read More
My wife & I chose Scenic & the Scenic Gem as a retirement celebration & going to places on our bucket list in France. The entire experience was superb starting from the pickup at our hotel in Paris at the time designated thru to the final disembarkation. The meals were well done with choices at every meal, great service, friendly polite & professional staff. Our cabin was very clean & looked after every day. The tours were as stated, on time, well organized, with very professional & knowledgeable guides. Off ship meals were well done & with no hiccups. The cruise director was on top of everything & kept the passengers updated daily on the next days activities, in addition to printed itineraries delivered each evening with the turn down service. There is entertainment every evening with some being a resident pianist & other nights bringing other groups on board. Scenic seems to aim at the retired market & hits the mark. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our previous experience with Viking was reason enough to go with them again. I had been cautioned by an acquaintance that the food on his Scenic cruise in Bordeaux earlier this year was not very good. I have to agree with that. At best the food was medioce. The best meal was the Rack of Lamb. All other meals were forgetable. On our last evening, we ate at the l’amour restaurant. Our table had the duck confit. The flavour was good, but the meat was extremely dry and tough. Everyone I spoke to (who had the duck) had the same comment. It was a good way to end the cruise. In general, the breakfast and lunch buffets were very good. The food was kept hot, was varied and tasty. In all cases the desserts were excellant. The staff on board were extremely efficient and very friendly. Our cabin was made up promptly. Special kudos to Sophia, Daniel, and the rest of the wait-staff. As well, Benjamin was an excellant cruise director. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one ... Read More
We have sailed with Scenic once before and our experience was extremely positive, so we decided to take the plunge and do another one. We were not disappointed on any level. We did the Spectacular South of France cruise because this one involved no nighttime cruising, and was a little slower paced in the afternoons for the most part, which appealed to us NEGATIVES: The things that could have been better are few and far between, but there's always room for better. Scenic did our flight arrangements, and we found out a month or two before leaving (after setting it up well in advance), that our flight out of Nice was too early and could not get to the airport in time. To their credit, they did fix it, but it was a little disconcerting to be up in the air (so to speak) for a while. We arrived in Paris, and the next morning took a bus to the train station, and then the high speed train to the Sapphire. It's a little nicer on other cruises to arrive in the embarkation city and be on the ship right away. Can't be helped in this case since there's no large airport in Chalon-sur-Saone where it starts. A couple of the excursions had tour guides who were very slow at finding the English word for explanations, which was a slight hassle. The ship has been redecorated well, but the toilet roll holders are attached with one screw and are all coming loose or tearing from the wall. (Nit picky, I know.) Beer selection is fair, although I kind of fell in love with a french beer, so it really didn't matter. Be prepared to moor with other ships and people walking through your lobby. To be honest, this was minimal, and I could have cared less; just that a lot of people mention that. They all do it. POSITIVES: So the rest of the cruise is great. I'll try to give a feel for what my wife and I experienced. In Paris Scenic put us up at the very posh Westin, in a perfect location. Loved it. The welcoming person was so very nice, and did a very nice informational meeting. The ship is beautiful. All very sleek greys, black, white and silver, with small splashes of color. Sort of an urban chic. Always spotless. Staff members are constantly cleaning and polishing. Sanitizer dispensers are strategically placed, and they asked that everyone use them when entering and leaving the main areas - we like that. There are germs from all over the world on any ship, and that helps a lot. We had one of the "royal" suites, which involves a few extra perks, although any level has perks. No tipping, which is wonderful. You absolutely feel no pressure to tip - wow! Every excursion you choose is included, no extra fees ever. Beer, wine and alcohol are all day and night at no charge. You can relax in the afternoon with a glass of wine without waiting for dinner. We both thought the meals were wonderful. I know some people get huffy over the fact that lunch is a buffet. With only 153 passengers, I don't find that a big deal at all, and there are still menu items at both breakfast and lunch if you don't wish to stand in line for 30 seconds. My wife has some dietary restrictions, and once they caught on, it was wonderful how they catered to her. No gluten or dairy - and the chef even made her three separate desserts for her birthday following those restrictions. That was above and beyond to us. If you don't care for the menu options, at all the meals you could simply order a chicken breast, salmon, rib eye, and a couple others. I had the rib eye one night and my wife had the chicken breast - both were delicious. Service was timely, the wine flowed freely, and the dining room was lovely. The host discussed the wines for the night each evening, so you could choose knowing what you were getting. They weren't the very expensive wines, but excellent medium range wines. If you don't like one, tell the waiter and try another. Can't ask for more than that. Breakfasts were great too, large buffet, and a omelet station. I had the eggs benedict 5 or 6 times it was so good. Fresh fruit always. And the desserts were works of art. Kudos to the staff and chef for the service and quality. Special dinners each night were explained at length by the chef himself, which is a nice touch. I'd like to mention the staff. The butler, Edita, who showed us our suite was so welcoming and efficient. I can't say enough about her service throughout the cruise. Also, our two male butlers than helped us, Dominik and Vladi were practically begging us to give them tasks. And we did, from laundry to ironing to breakfast in the room, etc. All done quickly and so nicely. I had two massages from a young man named Dragan, who also led exercise programs each morning (which we didn't do). He was professional and also fascinating to talk to. Such a nice human being we had great discussions while he worked his wonders on my muscles. Best massage ever, really. The Eastern European people are so genuine, hard working, smart, and family oriented. A breath of fresh air. A young lade, named Sevit, at the front desk went out of her way to help, and give recommendations for visits to towns and shopping. She is also to be congratulated for her wonderful demeanor and knowledge. The cruise director, Eric, was everywhere, putting out fires, making sure things went well on the excursions, etc. Well done. I guess to summarize the staff, superb. I'm running out of superlatives here! Loved the bar staff, and the bartender was great. We did tip some of these staff, although there's no need, but how could we not? The daily life and excursions and entertainment were memorable, filled with culture and history. I'll mention some of the ones we did just to impart a flavor of what they're about: All afternoon and evening the lounge has a very competent piano player named Paolo, which adds a nice touch to the feel. He could play most anything. We went to the town of Beaune and Hospice Hotel Dieu, which was a lesson in history along with a perfectly preserved hospital from the 1400's. The architecture was fabulous, with a colored-tiled roof that is simpy not to be missed. E-bikes were available almost every day, on your own or organized rides. We didn't use them, but friends we made did and thought they were very easy to use and fun. One of my favorite excursions was to a truffle farm, where a family farmer and his dog, Chinook, took us into his truffle trees to hunt. He loved telling us all about the truffles, how they are grown, the dog, everything. This is something special, as opposed to just looking at churches and castles (which also is interesting). His wife then took us into their 16th century farm house and served us truffle butter she made, with wine and bread. This was a gem outing......don't miss it. We ate at the special L'Amour Restaurant on night. Really nicely done with impeccable wait staff. Also ate at the Captain's table, and he was personable and interesting. We didn't do the Table La Rive because we were busy, but heard it was also good. Had a band one night, Krystal Live Band, fun music. Al little schmaltzy, but talented. Went to Cluny where the great Abbey once stood. A part is still there, and the museum with models and explanations helps you understand the grandeur and importance of the place: Largest church in the world until St. Peters was built. Another favorite and highly recommended "Scenic Freechoice" was Medieval Perouges. A walled city very intact, and there's not a corner or nook that isn't ripe for an amazing pose or picture. The tour guide was so very good, and some free time and fun shops. That day we had a silkpainting demo on board in the afternoon. Very interesting. One evening went to the Scenic Rouge Circus Performance for a show and dessert. Lots of young talent and acrobatics. Had a French Paradox Talk, which was fun too. In Tournon we had evening aperatifs after dinner on the terrace of a castle with a panoramic view that was killer. Along with some live music, it was relaxed and delicious. Later was a music quiz that was lively and fun. They really try to keep you entertained if you desire. We picked a trip to Tain L'Hermitage and the Valrhona Chocolate factory one day, which was imformative and who doesn't like taste testing chocolate. Spent a little money there I'm afraid. The chocolatier who gave us the talk was a little long-winded, but the museum there taught me a lot. Two dancers one night" Pierre and Faustine" were so good they almost put dancing with the stars to shame. A delight. The Ardeche Park and Lavender museum was very nice - again, we learned about something we knew little of, and also saw some splendid natural beauty. That night we had a fench female singer who did Edith Pilaf among others, and she had a great sound. We Did the Chateauneuf-du-Pape vinyeard/village tour with wine-tasting. The history was superb, I loved this one, and the wine was so good we ordered some to be shipped home. We didn' do a lot of wine-tasting excursions, but this one was a gem. We toured the Pope's palace in Avignon later that same day. Just look at a couple of their pictures and you'll know it's deserving of it's UNESCO world heritage designation. A different favorite of mine was Pont du Gard and Uzes. If you're at all considering this excursion, look at some pictures of the 2,000 year old aqueduct, and you'll be hooked. The museum there was outstanding also, and the tour guide gave us plenty of time there, per the recommendation of Eric, our tour director. A special evening was dinner at the Pope's Palace. The room was so "important", can't think of the right word, because 5 papal enclaves were held right there in the 1300's. So much history. The food was fancy, but not my favorite, except for the really good pear dessert. They had a string quartet that was as good as any I've ever heard....wow. We went to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, with a fascinating church, right on the Mediterranean coast. Lots of interesting little shops. Also went to the bird Park, but it started raining and most elected not to go in (including us). That evening was a gypsy show, and they were so much better than I expected. A real treat. Another excursion I would highly recommend was Les Baux-de-Provence and Olive Oil Farm. Baux was a very cool little walled city, picturesque and fun, with lots of fun shops amidst the cobblestoned streets. And the olive farm, once again, was something I knew little about. It is a family business, and has been for many generations, even with their own 14th century private chapel. The process of making the olive oil was so well done, as was the intriguing tasting we did with one of the owner's daughters. Do it. I will say we loved the Scenic Tailormade devices. On one of ours the battery was bad, and they quickly replaced that. The sound was usually very good, except in a very windy situation. You can also take them out on your own when roaming around, and they have a built in GPS that will give you pertinent info on anything you're near. Also, take them around the ship and set to cruise mode, and they alert you to interesting things you're passing on the shore with a history. Once again, I highly recommend Scenic. It's not at all like a huge cruise ship where there are so many stores, restaurants, venues, pools, etc. But that's the charm of a small boat; almost like a temporary community expertly formed and guided by the staff. We met so many fun people. Don't get me wrong, everyone doesn't become friends, but it was easy to make some, and it made the cruise so much better. I'm 63 and there were some a fair amoung younger and quite a few a little older (retired), and a few elderly. I think all ages can enjoy this type of cruise. Of course, motion sickness is no issue here. I have read negative reviews of Scenic. Everyone isn't pleased with the same things, but I feel like with the amazing service and the multitude of choices in entertainment, food and excursions, I can't imagine not having the best of vacations on the Scenic Sapphire. Thank you Scenic for your concept and execution. You are worth the little extra money that one pays as compared to some other river cruise lines. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband retired in June and we decided to celebrate by going on this cruise. We had contemplated planning and organizing an itinerary on our own (which is what we do most of the time) but decided to leave it to Scenic! We had made ... Read More
My husband retired in June and we decided to celebrate by going on this cruise. We had contemplated planning and organizing an itinerary on our own (which is what we do most of the time) but decided to leave it to Scenic! We had made our own arrangements, arriving several days earlier to enjoy Paris. We checked into the hotel provided with our cruise, Le Scribe (Sofitel) which is always good. Others went to the Westin and I understand that it was equally very good. Thereafter we took a TGV to Chalon sure Soane where we boarded our Ship. Embarkation was a breeze and our luggage was already in the room. In the past, when we traveled with my in-laws, all the women received a rose but no longer- a minute change which I did not miss but noted! The Sapphire ship is the oldest of the Scenic fleet but it had been refurbished so it appeared to the the same as two others we had been on. Our cabin (junior suite) was comfortable and had a shower tub combo. Our butlers, Vlad and Dominik were solicitous, discrete, efficient and went out of their way to ensure we were well taken care of, which we were. The lady that cleaned our room was equally efficient, warm and caring. The fitness area had three modern machines (Elliptical, treadmill and bicycle and hand weights/balls and the like) which I did use three times. The first time the room was very warm but this was quickly remedied after I reported it to the cruise director . "Dragun", the fitness expert had daily morning exercise/stretching classes which were excellent. The entertainment was good and varied (as per my husband as I did not attend most of them because port excursions were early morning) . If port excursions had had started one hour later as I would have been able to attend the evening entertainment, as in the past, I always did attend them but then we cruised at night (which we did not on this cruise). Unlike most people on board, I am not retired and had to go back to work upon our return so I wanted to be rested! If there is something Scenic could change, is perhaps doing a bit more travel in the evening (and even at night?) so that excursions could start later.... Dining /meals were very good to excellent- However we were disappointed at the meal served at "L'Amour" (a plate of charcuterie as part of appetizer?) as we were with dinner served at the Pope's palace in Avignon-such a beautiful venue with a live ensemble but food (except for dessert) was not good at all. Additionally, we had two bottle of wines for a table of 8 and when someone asked for another bottle we were told "there is no more wine"- Perhaps having a cocktail reception (with Chateauneuf du Pape wines)with an ensemble and include the daily port talk by the cruise director as an alternative? Our cruise director, Eric was outstanding- self -assured, with excellent public speaking skills, knowledgeable, solicitous, warm & with attention to details, he ensured that we (and the staff which appeared to get along well with one another, and be cohesive ) had a good time, while at the same time managing the unexpected. For example, we were to disembark in Tarascon but because of water issues the cruise did not end there- he reviewed with us our alternatives and efficiently arranged transportation to Nice. As cruise director, Eric should probably mentor those wishing to follow in his steps! Of all our cruises, I remember only another cruise director,and not for the same reasons! Our captain was visible, accessible, and friendly. The sommelier "Agostino" (equally approachable and knowledgeable) presented daily offerings, and explained well why they were chosen. The chef prepared regional dishes which were well executed. Buffet breakfast and lunch were varied ,very good, and provided a certain amount of time efficiency. Of note is that we observed one of the chef going out on bicycle to buy gluten free bread for a passenger! Port excursions were varied, with options for the "gentle walkers " to more active ones (cycling, hiking) which we enjoyed, even hiking the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape! Overall, this was a memorable cruise. I was very sad when the vacation came to an end. Beautiful destination with outstanding service. I would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Based on our Travel Coordinator's advice we selected the Scenic Luxury Cruises for our first cruise. The entire crew was superb. They were very attentive to our requests. As an example, while on shore I asked our Cruise Director, ... Read More
Based on our Travel Coordinator's advice we selected the Scenic Luxury Cruises for our first cruise. The entire crew was superb. They were very attentive to our requests. As an example, while on shore I asked our Cruise Director, Cathy, if she could point me to a pharmacy to purchase some throat lozenges. She said she would take care of it and when the group got together a little later, Cathy had purchased them and did not make a big deal out of it. River cruising will always be impacted by the amount of water in the river. The Rhine River was sufficiently low that we had to disembark the Ruby and take a more shallow day cruise through the Rhine River gorges. While the guests were on the day cruiser, the crew disembarked our luggage and drove to the other end of the gorges where the Crystal was waiting when we arrived. Scenic and their crews did an excellent job of keeping the passengers informed and then doing the ship switch professionally. By the way, the unplanned day cruise ship was filled with tourists and locals and ended up being a pleasant experience. The on shore tours and events were excellent. In addition to the crew, we enjoyed meeting fellow passengers and sharing stories. In summary, Scenic was a great experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I`ve always wanted to go to the Normandy beaches and to pay my respects to our fallen heros. It didn`t disappoint. The information I soaked in, with the guide we had, was more than enough to feel the heartbreak of what they went through. The embarkation went very smooth with well wishes when we came aboard. Offered a complementory cocktail and was directed to the lounge while our room was being prepared for us while we waited. The ship itself is very spacious and having no more than 130 guests, makes the experience that more special. The feeling is very intimate. You get to meet a lot of nice people. Not like on an ocean cruise where the only people you see, on a regular basis, are the ones at your dinner table every night for the ocean ships are so huge. The dining was great. Since this was a river cruise in France, The dining was French cuisine throughout the trip. I really enjoyed the meals and the wine pairing was great. You had a great choice of wines to choose from. Red and white. Whatever you desired. The entertainment was ok. We had a few bands come on board. One band played 60's and 70's music and another band played some ragtime music. We also had a comedienne come on board and we were her first ever audience on the river cruise for she was trying out her material on us to see if she was Scenic material. I thought she was great and I hope she gets the contract with them. The ports and shore excursions were very good. The explanation of the events that happened in each town during the war was very informative and made it even more exciting, for me anyway, to visit the Normady beaches and to pay respect to our fallen at their respective cemetaries ( British, Australian, French, Canadian and U.S.). Would I go again? Yes. I would like to spend more time and explore more of the Normandy beaches and to see the memorial of all 5 landing sites (Juno, Omaha, Sword, Gold & Utah). Read Less
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