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130 Scenic River Cruise Reviews

The ship was gorgeously decorated. The cabin we had was 205 Sq. Ft. which felt mildly snug especially to my wife. I visited a 225 Sq. Ft. cabin which felt larger than I expected from the additional 20 Sq. Ft. The bedding was ... Read More
The ship was gorgeously decorated. The cabin we had was 205 Sq. Ft. which felt mildly snug especially to my wife. I visited a 225 Sq. Ft. cabin which felt larger than I expected from the additional 20 Sq. Ft. The bedding was extremely comfortable. We used the balcony and opened the large window that was at the outside of the balcony. It was a nice amenity. The service was outstanding from all levels of staff and many knew my name. Importantly, all were friendly and readily smiled. Some of the meals were superior and the majority were excellent. Selections reflecting the country we were traveling was a constant. I had to try several red wines before I found those that I enjoyed, but I am a discriminating wine drinker. There was an alternative premium wine selection, which was the only item for which there was a charge. The trip was truly all-inclusive. There were no gimmicks. The shore excursions were well chosen and the guides were knowledgeable. A device was used that received the guide's speech directly to an ear receiver so all was easily heard. It also had pre-programmed descriptions of various sites that could be heard at leisure. The guests were friendly and interesting. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We were guests during the Naval Supply Core cruise. It was the best decision we made. The Opal was beautiful and very comfortable. But, it was the staff that made this trip so memorable, fun, and amazing. It was like being at summer camp ... Read More
We were guests during the Naval Supply Core cruise. It was the best decision we made. The Opal was beautiful and very comfortable. But, it was the staff that made this trip so memorable, fun, and amazing. It was like being at summer camp with a very enthusiastic counselors! They remembered names and preferences. They were engaging and fun. We spend time in both Amsterdam and Zurich, before and after the cruise. We enjoyed our time in both these cities. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Such a good impression of Scenic Cruise lines. Our cabin was lovely. It was nice to unpack and then cruise from city to city. We loved the window that rolled down to the railing. Several days we were able to sit in our room and get fresh air off of the Rhine River. Our butler, Milan, was helpful and very sensitive to our wishes. The food was great. (We enjoyed the chef's tour of the kitchen!) We loved all of the options. Especially the seafood! The all-inclusive aspect of the cruise was very important to us. We enjoyed all of the shore excursions and took advantage of tours every day. Getting the port talk the night before was helpful and lots of fun! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We spotted an exceptionally good price on a 6 day, 5 night cruise from Paris to the English Channel and jumped as fast as we could. The cruise was a charter by Legendary Journeys and, with the exception of initial problems in receiving ... Read More
We spotted an exceptionally good price on a 6 day, 5 night cruise from Paris to the English Channel and jumped as fast as we could. The cruise was a charter by Legendary Journeys and, with the exception of initial problems in receiving information because of a computer issue, the trip was a real joy and we regret not also taking the "return trip" to Paris The Scenic Gem is a new design for cabins. Comments are below. Our desire on the trip was to relax and enjoy walking around small French towns at a comfortable rate, The trip worked perfectly for that and we were able to enjoy the company of good friends we met on the trip. The food was very good and the Chef was available for special requests. We totally enjoyed the dining experience from Breakfast to late night snacks. The entertainment was limited to a single musician playing the piano and guitar, as well as singing. Sounds concerning, but this guy was both experienced and talented and worked the room with skill. Service was excellent. Benjamin was the Legendary Cruise Director and spent a lot of time helping us contact embassy (my wife's purse with passport and green card were stolen in Paris before the cruise) and we really appreciated his efforts. All other staff were very friendly and worked hard to ensure you enjoyed your cruise. I was impressed to the point that I want to take the same ship next year? Visits to towns along the river ere a joy to stroll around and we would enjoy visiting each one again so I would rate them 5 Stars. Overall the cruise was fun of good food, great new friends and excellent service. Strongly recommended, Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
From the moment we were greeted at Amsterdam airport by a Scenic tour director, we knew we had made a great choice. We had done numerous ocean cruises in the past and had decided that a river cruise taking in the Christmas markets was a ... Read More
From the moment we were greeted at Amsterdam airport by a Scenic tour director, we knew we had made a great choice. We had done numerous ocean cruises in the past and had decided that a river cruise taking in the Christmas markets was a great way to see parts on Europe that we had missed on previous adventures. The cabin, while at first looking smaller than expected was a lot larger once he curtains opened up onto our balcony which included a versatile window that could be raised or lowered at the flick of a switch. The ship (Scenic Crystal) was excellent as was the staff throughout with a very special mention to Yvonne out cruise director who was a sensation and loads of fun. The tours to all of the small towns and cities were extremely well run and informative with no problems at all along the way and the scenery as the ship sailed down the Rhine Gorge had to be seen to be believed. Do not worry about getting bored on this cruise as there is no time for bordom! This is a cruise that I would totally recommend and a company that stands by their word. Scenic deliver! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as ... Read More
It was a freezing sunny day when we boarded the Scenic Jewel, we were made to feel very welcome and our butler explained all amenities to us in great detail. We were on the top deck (diamond) and had choosen a junior suite. The cabin as with all river cruise lines was small with very little hanging space and one has to be a great packer to put everything away. However it was The bathroom that made us choose this suite as its larger and has a bath. The bathroom has plenty of room with a separate shower lots of space. Plus I had a hot bath at the end of almost evry day. There are lots of lovely bath salts and gels it was lovely. The Scenic Jewel is like a floating 5 star hotel, the decor, modern, simple and stylish. Everything is very clean and attention to detail sublime. The food is wonderful with plenty of choices, so much food. All drinks are served pretty much all day and are included in the tariff. If you wanted you could eat and drink all day long. There is a huge upper deck with ample deck & longe chairs. It was very cold during our trip but sunny not many clients braved the upper deck but we did and the views with all the castles were divine. All staff were first class and a credit to Scenic, in particular Raddo our barman who was very attentive to the point of when I got ill he made me a hot brandy lemon drink without prompting for my husband to bring to me in our cabin. Everyone on our cruise pretty much got sick, this was of NO fault of Scenic who went to great lenghts to explain to the guests why they needed to use hand sanatation but so many ignored this advise and those few morons infected us all. The day trips were plentiful with many great choices our only upset was we couldnt dock in Vienna (something about a bridge being fixed) this meant we had to moor 90 minutes away from Vienna and commute backwards and forwards. In a 18 hour space we spent a total of 7 hours on a bus meaning less time in Vienna. I was very disappointed with this as Vienna was the main reason we did this trip, however this was not Scenics fault so I cant blame them. The onboard entertainment is so bad its good. The entertainment brought on board at various cities excellent. The hairdresser and masseur were not as good as I usually have but they were certainly okay. If you want to get a wonderful overview of Europe in a 5 star floating hotel, with awesome staff, excellent food and unpack only once then I would suggest you take a river cruise, this one was our third (first with Scenic) and matched our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to ... Read More
When we were in Prague as an add on to our river cruise we received a note in our door that the first 3 days the ship would be operating out of Passau (a 3.5 hour bus ride away) and that the excursions would be bus tours from there to Nuremberg (2.5+hours) and Regensburg (1.5+hours) each way. Also the boat was now the Opal rather than the Jasper. We were not aware of this either. We were very unhappy as were all the fellow cruisers to whom we spoke. One of the joys of river cruising is, supposedly (as we never found out) sitting and watching the world go by. Instead we were stuck at a dock in a small cabin with a useless sunroom and with another boat rafted beside us. Therefore we had no light, no view, no air and no privacy. We then sailed to Komoron which is 2 hours outside of Budapest and has absolutely nothing to do or see. I would rather they had changed the itinerary to include cruising to some other part of the river rather than sit in port. Or, as other river cruise lines did, transfer us to boats in major ports on our itinerary and at least cut down on the hours of driving on a bus that smelled like urine. For the entire week we cruised during the day approximately 6 hours. The rest of the time the boat sailed at night or we remained rafted in our little dungeon. It would have been nice to at least use the hot tub but it was out of commission for all but the first day. Then there is the food. Definitely not five star in my opinion. Over cooked pork, raw chicken, soggy seafood and beef, overcooked vegetables, cornstarch filled soups with no flavour or substance, dried bread, cheap wines and very little flavour for everything. The seafood buffet held at one lunch time was all that I believe was satisfactory, although as mention the soup was tasteless except for the flavour of cornstarch. The cruise was run like a cheap bus tour. No sit down breakfast after 830, short lunch and dinner whenever the buses got back. The beer and wines were okay but not 5 star as were the drinks. No caesars to be found. The entertainment was limited and very disappointing. The cruise director and staff were not helpful when trying to book alternate excursions such as the hop on hop off bus. It stopped right outside the boat in Vienna but we didn't figure that our until we followed their recommendations to take a taxi into Vienna to book it. Which we did. Then found that the itinerary included a dock side stop right in front of our boat. We brought the brochures (from the booth outside of the ship at the bus stop) to the staff for further reference. As mentioned, included excursions required usually over 2 hours of bus time each way. The sundowner (happy hour) excursion included cheap white wine, no red wine or beer and a long walk from the bus(which was not mentioned) We had no problem with this but many of the other cruisers did. Also the night of so called elegance for a classical music concert at a palace in Vienna involved a long bus ride and then a long walk through the city on cobblestones so those that made the mistake of wearing the recommended "elegant wear". The so called self guided town and river devices did not work at times and they were very cumbersome. Also be aware that they asked us to leave the ear phones so they could be recycled (they were only cheap plastic for one ear). The overall lack of respect from the cruise director and the constant misinformation or lack of any information was disappointing to say the least. None of us on the cruise, that I am aware, had any prior information related to the changes. Also there appeared to be no attempt on behalf of Scenic to alter excursions or practice to improve the experience. We did not start the cruise where we were promised. We did not finish the cruise where promised. We do not believe we received 5 star service. However we believe that we had the most expensive 1 star bus tour to be had. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We travelled from Budapest to Nuremberg!! as 2 couples and chose Scenic because we had been told it was the best. The ship was changed a few days prior to travelling because of the water levels being low on the Danube. Apart from one stop ... Read More
We travelled from Budapest to Nuremberg!! as 2 couples and chose Scenic because we had been told it was the best. The ship was changed a few days prior to travelling because of the water levels being low on the Danube. Apart from one stop our cabins, 212 and 214, looked directly into the cabins of other boats which were docked alongside us. This meant the balcony was completely non functional and also we had no privacy making showering in the evening very difficult. The cabins were in darkness the majority of the time because of this. The food was, to say the least, below average. We dined on fillet steak and chips when we were looking forward to fine dining each evening. The only decent meal we had was on the one night that we were allowed to dine at Portobellos. That was delicious. The tours were very well organised and well orchestrated. We felt that everything was geared towards the Americans and Australians on board. No breakfast after 8.30am and dinner was7.00pm latest. One night it was 5.00 pm. The cabins were excellent, comfortable beds, spotlessly clean and well equipped. The "butler" was conspicuous by his absence. The only public areas were the restaurant and the lounge so there was nowhere to go to get away from the "entertainment " provided. After returning from our tour of Salzburg we were informed that the boat could go no further as the river levels were too low so the excursions were altered accordingly. Overall, we were very disappointed. It is not a cheap holiday and we felt that we did not get value for money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Ship is a 'convention' or banquet hall type of atmosphere, no pictures,no ambience. Plastic flowers on tables & big bouquet of plastic flower in foyer. Staff although professional, it was a 'business' as usual ... Read More
Ship is a 'convention' or banquet hall type of atmosphere, no pictures,no ambience. Plastic flowers on tables & big bouquet of plastic flower in foyer. Staff although professional, it was a 'business' as usual attitude. The 'butler' introduced himself the first & last day, although he did take our laundry bag once - over rated as a marketing tool. Food was ok & the buffet lunches was confusing, no one knew where to jump in around the island. We were stuck with a bunch of austrailians, over 80% of the ship - they lacked manners, loud, noisy,etc. Of course the water level was low & halfway, we had to be coached upstream & transfered to the Scenic Jewel, which in essence was a better ship & the staff was also better to a point. The tours in each port was short and the biggest complaint. My 3rd & 4th river cruise and the the most we spent was very disappointing. They do push the all you can drink, but over priced and who can drink through out the day. The cabin closest door was always stuck and hard to pull shut creating alot of noise & the bathroom shower was a half door, you had to lay down towels all the time. During embarkation we could not board the ship like the other river cruise line but met at their land hotel that the pre-cruisers took and then coached the 300meters over as a group, 'check in' not before 4pm. 2 other lines we took, welcomed you any time & we could even have drinks and something to eat in the lounge. Disembarkation, the tour director spent the night before about an hr. going on how they would like our luggage outside our cabin by 6:45am, & us out by 9am for the next group coming in. We turned on the tv monitor for the daily schedule and they had already changed our names to the guests that will be occupying our cabin. Not a 15day cruise, since we really left early in the am of the 15th. The staff did work hard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our 7 days aboard the Scenic Pearl were a great introduction to river cruising. We had great weather and saw so many sites. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized. There were 163 people on board for the trip. The ... Read More
Our 7 days aboard the Scenic Pearl were a great introduction to river cruising. We had great weather and saw so many sites. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organized. There were 163 people on board for the trip. The excursions offered and the ones we took were very good, not too long bus rides if needed, gentle walker group for some of the sporty sites, small groups for the excursions helped make the excursions fun and interesting. The afternoon of sailing by all the castles was the reason I selected this cruise. It was just great, the CD gave some background about the various castles as we went by. There was plenty of room on the deck for viewing. The excursion to the Sprey Museum in Mannheim was a delightful morning and saw so many different pieces. But the Mechanical Music Museum in Rudesheim was just enchanting. We thoroughly enjoyed all the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I purchased a river cruise package from Scenic which including the airfares cost over $60,000. This was a Paris to Paris cruise along the Seine followed by a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with an ad on in Paris at the ... Read More
My wife and I purchased a river cruise package from Scenic which including the airfares cost over $60,000. This was a Paris to Paris cruise along the Seine followed by a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with an ad on in Paris at the beginning and an ad on in Prague at the end. The first cruise along the Seine was enjoyable as the ship sailed mostly in the day and moored at small French towns during the evening in contrast to the second where the ship sailed mostly at night and moored in industrial areas a lot of the time. The cabins were fine and as traffic on the Seine was not as busy as the Rhine we did not have to raft up with other vessels when mooring unlike the Rhine. The Hotel Manager was very friendly and went out of his way to provide a good service, however the food was not 5 star and my wife who is vegetarian found the restaurant staff very inflexible and unaccommodating to provide vegetarian food if it was not on the menu despite plenty of notice. We attended their Table La Rive fine dinning experience where despite plenty of notice they could not provide vegetarian food other than cherry picking a couple of dishes from the menu in the main dinning room, very disappointing seeing as she paid the same amount of money as everyone else and they state that they will attempt to meet any guests requests. The excursions to the Somme and D Day landing sites were scheduled early in the cruise for some inexplicable reason whilst the ship was close to Paris. This involved bus trips over two and a half hours in each direction plus a trip to a restaurant for lunch which left little time at the actual venue. A few days later the ship was closer to the coast and the attractions were only a short distance away. We booked this cruise late last year to be told that only one cabin on B deck was available. However after talking to fellow passengers I found that some had booked only recently and been given cabins on the top level which is what we wanted, plus some passengers had been given free upgrades to the top cabins which is what I requested and was willing to pay for. The transfer from Paris to Amsterdam was stated in the itinerary and confirmed by my travel agent when booking as by high speed train with First Class travel including meals taking 3hrs 40 min however the Tour Director to save money used a charter bus despite our protests and the fact that I offered to buy a train ticket for my wife and I even though it was included in the package, so 9hrs later we arrived in Amsterdam by bus having stopped at truck stops so the driver could take his mandatory rest stops and where we had to buy the less than satisfactory food and drink. Scenic owes us money plus a day of our life back. The food was not 5 star the wines were ok the dinning room was noisy the service at busy times was slow as they do not have enough wait staff. the entertainment was like something you would find in a retirement village they would be better off without it. The Tour Director was very friendly but a bit touchy feely with the women and attempted to be a stand up comedian without much success and when push came to shove was unwilling to do much out of the ordinary. We do not believe these cruises represent value as the operators attempt to provide the lowest standard that they can get away with where as other operators in this price bracket attempt to provide the best available. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
3 years ago we did Budapest to Amsterdam and enjoyed, this year we did the reverse and would recommend doing our first option. The hotel and cruise director great. The Opal is a new ship and very nice. The only fault we had was at ... Read More
3 years ago we did Budapest to Amsterdam and enjoyed, this year we did the reverse and would recommend doing our first option. The hotel and cruise director great. The Opal is a new ship and very nice. The only fault we had was at the buffet, breakfast and lunch, the food was not hot or warm. The meat was still red and we would have preferred it to be At least pink when cooked. Leaving from Amsterdam, we felt that the excursions were rushed as it was afternoons and the ship had to sail. This is our personal opinion. The trip was fantastic all in all. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Brand new ship, the Scenic Opal did not fail to impress. Small ship (123m long by 11.5m wide) we found it very comfortable, crew were very friendly and accommodating and food was very good, especially the evening at Portobello's ... Read More
Brand new ship, the Scenic Opal did not fail to impress. Small ship (123m long by 11.5m wide) we found it very comfortable, crew were very friendly and accommodating and food was very good, especially the evening at Portobello's (restricted to 1 reservation per cruise unless availability permits extra sitting). The dining room food was varied, portions perfect in size (4 course dinner) and well presented, as you could expect in any high end restaurant. Or you could choose a simple steak or burger & fries if that's what you felt like. Entertainment on board was varied and interesting. Local artisans came on board while we were in port and showed us there craft/skill whether it was glass blowing, musicians playing a local instrument or local dancers. On land tours were very informative, guides were interesting or you could do a 'guide yourself' tour so you weren't restricted to a group tour. Overall, an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We joined the Jasper from spending 3 nights pre-cruise in Prague, which was a beautiful city and the Marriott was quite nice and perfectly located in old town area. Didn't depart our hotel on a 4 hour bus ride to our ship docked in ... Read More
We joined the Jasper from spending 3 nights pre-cruise in Prague, which was a beautiful city and the Marriott was quite nice and perfectly located in old town area. Didn't depart our hotel on a 4 hour bus ride to our ship docked in Passau/Vilshofen, and would have been nicer for either an earlier departure or shorter ride. All aspects of this cruise were very good, with service, public areas, and cabins being considered to be top-notch. A beautiful and new ship, with a crew who are really doing their best to make it a 5-star experience. The food was quite good, with plentiful quantities and well-prepared. The breakfast and lunch buffets were outstanding every day--some of the best we have had. The dinners started out a bit below par for the Scenic objective of being a premier cruise line, but got consistently better each evening. They could improve by having a more varied menu and a few more local selections from the areas we visited. Our cabin steward and butler were totally awesome and consistently went over-and-above in providing exceptional service. Our captain did an outstanding job navigating the low water levels in the Danube, but really didn't see much of him or the hotel manager other than leaving/returning to ship each day after our shore excursions. Would have been nice to see them a bit more as they were quite friendly. Our cruise director did a good job in spite of a few curves thrown at him by some of the ships local tour guides- which he seemed to handle very well. He was quite personable and took care of all of our minor issues, but he appeared a bit overworked and could have used some help from some of the many talented and energetic ship's staff, possibly Scenic needs to create a "trainee CD" program like we saw on our prior cruises with Uniworld, to help assist in herding the flock while ashore. The shore excursions were considered "very good" to "excellent" and will only get better as this new ship and staff get more familiar with the local stops and local guides. Overall, this was a very enjoyable cruise and we would love to try Scenic again in the future. Next time we'll cruise in spring or fall as it was blazing hot each day which had a little bit of an impact on our overall enjoyment of shore excursions and on-deck time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have never done a river cruise before and have only ever done an ocean cruise back in 1969. I usually do escorted coach tours when I travel to Europe and my husband hasn't travelled overseas since we married back in 1971. We ... Read More
I have never done a river cruise before and have only ever done an ocean cruise back in 1969. I usually do escorted coach tours when I travel to Europe and my husband hasn't travelled overseas since we married back in 1971. We arrived in Zurich a day ahead of the cruise departure and that was a good thing, as my husbands luggage didn't arrive when we did. No one was waiting for us by the time we eventually got to the arrivals hall but after contacting the local Scenic number, our private transfer driver came back to the airport and delivered us to the Zurich hotel. Thankfully the luggage arrived the following morning, so all was okay when we were picked up and taken to the ship, which departed from Basel. Arrival and embarkation was slick. Our cabin was fabulous but that was my husbands choice, not mine. I would have been happy with a Balcony suite or even just a state room, as there were plenty of community areas for seeing both sides of the river and I'm a more social person than my husband is. Our cabin included all laundry plus a €197 credit to be spent in the wellness area and I managed to spend most of the credit. Shampoo and blow-dry x 3 @ €34.00 and a massage €79.00. The royal cabins received 3 snacks/bites each afternoon/evening. I think Scenic should cut that back to 2. It was nice receiving a snack/bite mid afternoon but I found the pre dinner one just a tad too much. The after dinner bite was nice though. Our cabin attendant was lovely, although I wished that she would adhere to the sign in the bathroom saying that if you didn't want your towels changed, hang them a certain way. No matter how I hanged them, we always had clean towels after showering. Our cabin was serviced twice a day. Near the end of our tour, I would refold my towel and hang it as if it was unused and it wasn't changed. Victory for me. Our butler was lovely but in reality we never used his services apart from one evening when we decided to have room service. All drinks are included with Scenic. The only drinks my husband had from our bar fridge was coke and I would have a wine every few days. Unless you have a drinking problem, the included alcohol isn't necessary. IMHO. The staff were friendly/fabulous and their service was excellent and I enjoyed the delicious HOT omelette that Bravo cooked for me every morning for breakfast. After the first couple of days, hubby & I decided that the lunch meals in the restaurant were too heavy (unappetising) and we would then have lunch at the River Cafe. The prawn pizza I had one day there, was yummy. The cold meal choices, not so crash hot but the soups and a few of the other hot meals were good. The meals were a disappointment to me, especially the dinner ones. The vegetables were often overcooked and, unfortunately, the majority of the meals, luke warm. Loved my breakfast omelette though. Their lunch time BBQ needs a bit of a rethink, though the idea was good. The included excursions on offer were great and if you couldn't find something to suit you, you could always stay onboard. The Irish Coffees are potent. I decided to have one when in the lounge one afternoon, when doing the crossword puzzle. Took me about half an hour to sip that and I wasn't game to have another. Local news/papers are available every day. i.e. highlights from your country. Canada, Australia, USA and UK plus a paper with a crossword puzzle on one side and a Sudoka on the other. Overall I loved this tour BUT for me personally, river cruises are not my thing. I don't plan on doing another one in the near future. If money was not a consideration, my rating might be different. I didn't pay for this holiday, my husband did but I have rated some things from my income perspective. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
To begin last year there was a drought on the danube and you could not start where you were suppose to. The cruise never told us until the day it left prague. I wish someone had told me not to go out every day and rush around and stay on ... Read More
To begin last year there was a drought on the danube and you could not start where you were suppose to. The cruise never told us until the day it left prague. I wish someone had told me not to go out every day and rush around and stay on the boat one day and crusie down, or you dont get to see any beautiful countryside cause at nite its dark when the boat was moving. The nites they had special dinners the food was great , the other nites it was good. Lunches looked great but you were off the boat everyday site seeing. I would not pay extra for balcony cause you are at dock level and dont see anything or you go up to the top deck at nite and there is where the view is. Entertainment is fair you are not going on a river cruise for the entertainment. The electric bikes were great but everyone was in a hurry , and they needed to divide the groups up more. Scenic is one of the better ships cause everything is included. It is much different than a big cruise ship. Just remember to relax. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Have just completed our second Scenic river cruise having booked this one after completing our first on the Scenic Jewell 2 years ago. The transfers and embarkation were of the usual Scenic high standards as was the quality of the ship and ... Read More
Have just completed our second Scenic river cruise having booked this one after completing our first on the Scenic Jewell 2 years ago. The transfers and embarkation were of the usual Scenic high standards as was the quality of the ship and its crew. The pace of the Amsterdam to Basle cruise was more relaxed than our previous Amsterdam to Budapest trip. This cruise had a high percentage of repeat passengers and this was evident in the passengers choice of excursions with some electing to stay on board and just enjoy cruising on the river. The variety of excursions was excellent as was the quality of the local guides. The one exception was a concert performance in the Palace of Rastatt. No air-conditioning and 33 degrees made for a very uncomfortable evening. Our big disappointment was the food on this trip, our previous Scenic experience was so good it influenced our decision to book this trip. The breakfast buffet was excellent as previously remembered as was the lunch buffet. However, what happened to all the small lunch choices we remember in the River Café (hamburgers, fish and chips etc). Often the choice of dishes had a very Asian influence which was not our taste. The dinner menu in the Crystal Dining Room was a strange mixture of dishes with little local influence and a lack of compatability between courses. Dishes were often overcooked, especially the seafood.(tough lobster and wilted snow peas). On several occasions we resorted to the back-up menu of steak and chips or hamburgers from room service. We were really looking forward to the "highlight" top-deck barbecue after our previous experience but were sadly disappointed when the meat was not barbecued but prepared in the kitchen and served from hot dishes. (Another buffet!) The best meal we had on the cruise was an evening excursion to a restaurant in a Dutch village where where well prepared local dishes were served. As with our previous trip, getting a second or subsequent glass of wine at dinner can be a challenge with most of the passengers dining at the same time which stretches the waiting staff. Overall, the boat, crew and excursions were 5 star but the dining experience 3 star at best. Disappointing when you paid for 5 star across the board. The change from an eastern European kitchen staff to an Asian one may explain the difference in the meals. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We travelled on Scenic's Jasper on the Gems of the Danube River cruise in July 2015. Having cruised on ocean liners several times before, and hearing the hype around Scenic cruise line, we had high expectations. Let me say off the top ... Read More
We travelled on Scenic's Jasper on the Gems of the Danube River cruise in July 2015. Having cruised on ocean liners several times before, and hearing the hype around Scenic cruise line, we had high expectations. Let me say off the top that overall I'd rate our cruise experience on Scenic about a 2.5 out of 5 and that low score had all to do with the poor quality of the service in the dining room and the less than enticing food. Although the one night we had reservations in the Portabello restaurant, the food AND service was outstanding! Our favourite waiter from that night on was "Luigi" who was not only vastly entertaining but knew what outstanding service meant. With a few exceptions, many of the dining room servers seemed as if they were in training, albeit, most tried hard to please but didn't seem to have the instinct or worse, the training to know what to do. Scenic needs to take the word "luxury" out of their descriptor, at least for the Jasper because we can't comment on any of their other ships. The cabins were nicely appointed with lots of storage, the ship's decor was attractive and the cruise itinerary and ports of call were very interesting. The cruise director, Patrick, was very good, however the captain spoke no English on a ship that had 169 passengers who were mostly English speaking. A few hours after dinner on our first night on board first night a number of people in the group we travelled with were relaxing in the lounge (which by the way, featured an excellent nightly entertainer, Sergio). We asked for snacks and they could only offer us wasabi chickpeas. After much convincing by my husband, the night supervisor was able to scrounge up some sandwiches for us. The bartender in the lounge was also very good. For us the most enjoyable part of the cruise was meeting and getting to know the other guests who mainly hailed from Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States, the land excursions, the excellent tour guides, the three day stay at the Marriott in Prague at the end of the river portion of the cruise, the cleanliness of the rooms, and the fact that you truly walk off the ship with having spent zero dollars. One thing to note however, is that although they promoted it as all inclusive, if you preferred a brand of alcohol such as Grey Goose vodka, they either didn't carry it or you had to pay extra. Sort of defeats the purpose, don't you think? And, we never actually met with our so-called butler, he passed us in the hallway on the first day and then we never saw him again. While I am always one to look at the glass as half full, I don't think I could be persuaded to travel on a Scenic River cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ... Read More
We have recently returned from the Jewels of Russia River Cruise starting in Moscow and finishing in St Petersburg which has been great. We were met at the Airport and taken by Coach to the Ship Tsar where we were welcomed on board. The ship itself is quite comfortable. (Not a space-ship), and, BALCONY CABIN adequate. Meals and service on board were of excellent standard, with drinks served for Lunch and Dinner. The staff were all very warming, friendly and dedicated, which helped create a relaxing atmosphere. Excursions, Concerts, Circus, Ballet, Cathedrals, Museums, Metro Subways etc. were all Highlights, and, very well organised throughout the cruise, with free time given. Once sailing, each village being Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritsy, Kizhi Is, and Mandrogi all have their own stories which are all interesting. Back on board it was time to relax and reminisce with fellow passengers, and staff. There were many fun activities for all. Vodka Tasting Session, Traditional Russian Doll making, Russian Language and Songs, Martryoshka painting class, and, Ice-Cream Parties to name a few over the 14 days. Each evening there was Live Music and Dancing with Surprise Entertainment the last night before arriving in St Petersburg, which was exceptional. To say what has been most enjoyed, would be difficult as the whole cruise was of high standard. Thanks to all involved for such wonderful memories to treasure. We continued on with Scenic to do the Baltic States Land Tour which has also been enjoyed by John (my husband) and myself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Can not fault anything on this cruise and the staff were fantastic. Lovely to be on holiday and understand everyone as the main tourists are Australian, Kiwis, American, Canadian and British. The average age is about 65-70 but this did not ... Read More
Can not fault anything on this cruise and the staff were fantastic. Lovely to be on holiday and understand everyone as the main tourists are Australian, Kiwis, American, Canadian and British. The average age is about 65-70 but this did not bother us as everyone so friendly and we were by far the youngest. We had a balcony suite which was sufficient - all toiletries included and everything in your mini bar - plus refilled every day. The ship was only three weeks old and has a well thought out layout. There is even a little dipping pool on the top deck which was 40oc when I got in but very pleasant. A lot of the other scenic boats do not have one. The dress code - quite casual. Nobody got really dressed up for dinner. Food - good selection but they will also make whatever you want. Drink - all free-husband made full use of it!!! On board there are electric bikes - these are put on shore when docked for you to use-great fun and worth a shot-free to use. Our scenic rep Gary who stays on board was full of fun and information - he organises all your trips, entertainment, deals with any problems etc. There was only one hick-up he had to deal with-in each cabin there are two commentary electric guides for your tour information-these kept loosing signal but when we left the ship they were getting all check out and reprogrammed. Would definitely recommend:) Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Very enjoyable trip of 29 days cruising the Danube, Maine and Rhine. Interesting stops along the way where we were able to get a good idea of the country side. Five luxury coaches were provided for off ship day trips. We were treated to ... Read More
Very enjoyable trip of 29 days cruising the Danube, Maine and Rhine. Interesting stops along the way where we were able to get a good idea of the country side. Five luxury coaches were provided for off ship day trips. We were treated to five star dining, often using product grown locally. Staff were very pleasant and were there to help in any way. Entertainment was provided most evening often found from the country we were visiting. All areas were cleaned daily and hygiene around food areas was always available. Information was on hand to help if you wished to do something on your own. Fitness area was not well used as it was rather small with only a few items to use. Cabin was perhaps abit cramped.The only complaint was that twice there was a very unpleasant smell which lasted for several hours, it was always there when another ship came and docked alongside. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our first sight of Scenic Sapphire was of an impressively sized modern river cruiser moored up at Le Quay de Messeries in Chalon sur Saone , central France on the River Saone. With the afternoon sun reflecting off the glass and polished ... Read More
Our first sight of Scenic Sapphire was of an impressively sized modern river cruiser moored up at Le Quay de Messeries in Chalon sur Saone , central France on the River Saone. With the afternoon sun reflecting off the glass and polished steel she looked very inviting indeed. The staff were busy loading important items such as champagne, fine wines and lots more that is all included in a Scenic cruise. It was only when we were being escorted to our cabin by one of the butlers that we realised how long, and how wide, these elegant queens of the rivers are. 74 cabins and 10 suites on three decks accommodate the 167 guests with a ships crew of 50 to look after them. All the cabins are decorated in a smart modern style with quality furnishings throughout. The beds were really comfortable with lovely sheets and duvets and the air conditioning ensured a good nights sleep. Everything seems to have been thought of from Scenic branded adjustable walking sticks to umbrellas, a stocked mini bar with drinks and snacks to help yourself from, a TV that does everything from giving you a view of the boat's passage, access to the Internet, a review the weeks excursions to having a look at your next Scenic holiday. Afternoon tea beckoned at the more casual River Cafe where snacks are available from early bird breakfast to late afternoon. We enjoyed smoked salmon sandwiches with a glass of Stella for me and a cup of Earl Grey for my wife. There are several categories of cabins or staterooms from the Royal suites and balcony cabins to the 6 standard staterooms that apart from not having a balcony are otherwise all decorated and equipped to the same high standards. During our afternoon tea we were invited to join in with the welcome party and probably all the passengers who had now returned from their various trips to Beaune and other parts of Burgundy's delights who had gathered to meet with Cruise Director Anita who after only 24 hours on board with the new arrivals had already converted them to friends. She welcomed everyone and then explained some of the workings of river cruise life and the wide choice of excursions available and all included in the holiday cost. Next it was lifeboat drill before our departure from Chalon to the next port of call, Tournos, a leisurely 3 hour afternoon cruise down the Saone River. The pace of river cruising is far more gentle and relaxing than ocean cruising and another difference is there is always something to see with the river banks only ever a stone's throw away, in fact there are sights and secrets that are only revealed from the river. A sunset cocktail was being offered on deck as we set off...well it would be rude not to. All drinks, anytime, are included in a Scenic holiday. At 7 pm we attended the Captain's welcome cocktail party before the once weekly gala dinner and this was an opportunity to meet the various managers from the ship's company, from the head chef to the ships Captain as they were introduced to the passengers. Normally there is a choice of dining in 4 different dining areas and at a time to suit but tonight we all ate at the same time in the Crystal Dining Room for this special welcome dinner . How they managed I don't know but we had a splendid meal and some fine wines to choose from. After dinner we went upstairs and had a coffee and brandy on deck under the stars moored up in the tiny medieval town of Tournos. After a very comfortable nights sleep we enjoyed a pre breakfast morning stroll through the town, sleepy at this time of day but me thinks sleepy at anytime, passing the church, market square and the flag adorned town hall. Breakfast was a sumptuous affair with a really wide choice that would suit every taste from a wide variety of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit to freshly made eggs with smoked salmon or crispy bacon. After breakfast, It was time for the trips to depart , some were visiting the beautiful Chateau de Cormatin whilst others were visiting a vineyard and looking forward to a wine tasting and a nice lunch. All included in the cruise price. Some would be back for lunch on board, others mid afternoon in time for the sail away to the next port of call on this cruiser as it winds its way down the Saone and onto the Rhone and into beautiful Provence. All too fleeting a glimpse of what having a holiday on board a Scenic River Cruise would be like but certainly leaving us with a taste for more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious ... Read More
In Australia, we were happy to pay the $11,000 per person (excluding airfares) based on the fact that everything you could possibly need or want on tour was included in the tour price - "a five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience!" is what we were sold. This was supported by advertising propaganda provided to our travel agent, inserts in their Scenic Russia brochure and on-line advertising which states "travel without your wallet"! and shows pictures of a butler cleaning shoes, etc. On boarding the ship the story is very different, with passengers being asked to sign paperwork for their "on-board account" as soon as they board the ship. Nothing is at request, with access to food and drink only at meal times unless you pay. The only exception being tea and coffee which can be obtained from a machine at any time. Dispite being asked to provide dietary requirements months in advance, these are only catered for as an after-thought by removing what can't be eaten (no special meals) and if it can't be removed, expect to be offered very little to eat. There is no butler, no assistance for elderly passengers, no laundry, a Dr is on board but all medical services must be paid for. Rooms are modest. The fitness centre is a walking machine and a bike in the upstairs bar. Live entertainment is rare, most evenings this will entail the sad sight of a member of crew DJing. In no way the five star, once in a lifetime luxurious experience it was billed as being. In the very least, knowing the truth would have allowed us to pack and budget differently. But in reality had we known the truth about what was on offer, we would not have taken this tour. To say we are dissappointed is an understatement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The most wonderful cruise I have been on. Very attentive staff. A very competent captain. Plenty of interesting things to see and do, great shore excursions, along with some cultural concerts, and ballet performances. Would recommend ... Read More
The most wonderful cruise I have been on. Very attentive staff. A very competent captain. Plenty of interesting things to see and do, great shore excursions, along with some cultural concerts, and ballet performances. Would recommend this type of cruise to any one. The entertainment that was provided onboard that related to the region that we were cruising through, e.g. Hungarian Dancers, German Bar b q at one of the local wineries. The ship was very clean and well presented, very prompt service from the crew nothing was too much trouble. Participated in all the off shore activities, and any entertainment on board. Disembarkation was well organised. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone ... Read More
Our first and last river cruise with Scenic. I totally agree with the poor review on this website. Our cruise was supposed to be a gastronomique and wine cruise in France. Well the classical French dishes were nowhere to be seen let alone resemble classical French dishes. Bouillibaise, French Onion soup, mussels, crepes suzettes, coq au vin etc where did they get the recipes from? The cabin was small in comparison with cruise ships. The waiters understood little English. One night we asked to see the Maitre D and got a pot of tea. We complained to the hotel manager about the food and was told that we cater mainly for Australians. Is that an insult to Australians or is it an insult to Brits, Canadians and Americans who were on the ship. As like the poor review we paid in excess on £11000 for what is classed as a luxury cruise and by far this is the worst cruise we have been on. This was our 15 cruise but our first river cruise. The company advertisers itself as top market. I would have thought that being if France the food would be as advertised in brochure, no where near. The chefs hands are tied by a moron in head office. The housekeeping and reception were excellent along with literally one or two waiters/butlers. Would I recommend Scenic, never in a month of Sundays Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. ... Read More
Having experienced the amazing service of Scenic on an Amsterdam to Budapest cruise we were happy to entrust our next holiday to them. We understood that river cruising in Russia was going to be different from Europe and planned for it. We were met at the airport by one of the lovely tour guides who saw us into a lovely BMW that speedily transferred us to the ship. First the Ship - Scenic Tsar is a lovely ship. We had a cabin on the middle deck about half way along the ship. The cabin was not huge but it was very well organised with adequate storage for our gear. The only negative was the tiny shower - fine for us but I imagine it wold be a struggle for bigger folk. The private balcony was a bonus as it gave us a place to sit in our cabin that was not our 'bedroom'. It was wide and very spacious - perfect for an afternoon wine or a morning cuppa. It was also big enough to hang out the 'smalls' we hand washed each evening without them intruding on our relaxation space. Meals without exception were excellent. I am coeliac so eating gluten free was essential for me. The staff it the dining room and the lounge knew after the first day and always brought me appropriate substitutes. Even at the self-serve tea/coffee station which had a small selection of sweet treats, I only had to ask and I was brought some gluten free treats. Free flowing wine and beer was served with all on board lunches and dinners. It was of a good quality and we found that we could always leave the dining room with a full glass to relax in the lounge or on the top deck if we so wished. We had $200 on board credit that we thought we'd use easily for extra drinks but found we actually spent the last couple of days working out how we cold use as, whilst the brochures all say drinks with meals only, there were lots of 'special occasions' where drinks were served before dinner. Evening entertainment whilst cruising was limited but enjoyable. In both Moscow and St Petersburg we enjoyed evenings out like Moscow Circus, choir recitals in and art gallery, ballet, evening cruises and on the ship we were entertained by a pianist each night, opera singers another night, a vodka tasting, piano recitals by one of the talented guides, and a few other fun activities that involved both crew and passengers. We found that as we had been so busy during the days, often with early starts that we weren't up for late nights of carousing anyway. We did enjoy warmly rugging up and taking a glass of wine for a stroll on the top deck after diner to watch the sun slowly sink to the horizon. The shore excursions were all amazing - interesting, insightful and some amazing places. Our guides were friendly, knowledgable and open to absolutely any questions we wanted to ask. We finished our trip in St Petersburg and pretty much had a free day on the last day. We had to be out of our cabins by 9am but were welcome to enjoy explore on our own or relax in the lounge or top deck facilities until our afternoon transfer to the airport - we did a bit of both. Would we do it again? Absolutely. I would love to return to Russia and because the tour was so richly intense, a repeat trip would still be most enjoyable. Would I do it again with Scenic? A resounding yes! We are in fact now planning our next trip with Scenic for 2017. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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