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130 Scenic River Cruise Reviews

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 were due to leave Australia after the floods in Europe were well publicised. We continually rang Scenic Tours only to be told that there was no problem as far as they were concerned. The waters were receding and we would be boarding our ... Read More
We were due to leave Australia after the floods in Europe were well publicised. We continually rang Scenic Tours only to be told that there was no problem as far as they were concerned. The waters were receding and we would be boarding our scheduled cruise (Scenic Crystal) as organised. The Mayor of Prague has requested that tourists not visit his City due to the risk of disease. We informed Scenic of this, but they still said that no cancellation was going to happen and should we cancel no refund would be granted. On our arrival in Prague (we had 3 nights there), we were informed that the Scenic Crystal would not be available in Budapest, but we would be boarding the same in Vienna. This was not accepted terribly well, but we had no choice. We then coached around and were accommodated in hotels with no choice for dinners but buffets. On two separate occasions our lunch was at a roadside dinner, once again many complaints were made to no avail. On our arrival in Vienna the Scenic Crystal was not not moored and we were told we would be boarding in Linz. Our hotel in Linz was at best a 3 star and the food was not acceptable to us and others,but again hard luck. Some passengers were accommodated in smoking rooms. We eventually boarded the Scenic Ruby after 6 nights being accommodated in hotels. The Scenic Crystal was still in the Black Sea. Our accommodation was still not available as we had booked a Deluxe Cabin on the Danube deck. The difference has since been credited. I have written four letters to Scenic with my complaints regarding the standard of hotel accommodation and the quality of food provided. Scenic would have made money out of lack of suitable accommodation, but we have only been offered $500.00 p.p. The hotel in Linz for example could be organised for just over 110 Euros per night (we paid over $1000.00 per night for the River Cruise). Be aware that if anything goes wrong with any of the Scenic itineraries you will not be compensated with anywhere near the amount that you have paid. The same thing happened to us in Canada a couple of years ago and on that occasion instead of our luxury 5 star accommodation we were billeted in a motel on the main highway. Scenic appear to be quite happy to spend millions of dollars on advertising their product, but beware often things go wrong and it is no good complaining via numerous letters. One is continually told that you signed the Terms and Conditions, so hard luck. Be very aware of Scenic Tours   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This was to be a luxurious celebration, 14 days and nights cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers with excellent facilities, food and service, a tour planned over a year and anticipated fondly. That is not what happened. Heavy winter ... Read More
This was to be a luxurious celebration, 14 days and nights cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers with excellent facilities, food and service, a tour planned over a year and anticipated fondly. That is not what happened. Heavy winter snow melted late and heavy spring rains fell. The rivers rose, flooded and then were closed to boat traffic. However, with knowledge of the flooding and the possibility of impassable rivers, Scenic Tours embarked our cruise. We were not offered a cancellation. We cruised for 2.5 days. After that we were moored in Mains for 5 days, then transferred by bus in an appalling comedy of errors lasting near 18 hours to Vienna and the Scenic Pearl. We swapped ships and were moored there for another 5 days. The last transfer was a long bus day to Budapest and a hotel. We did not get near most of the destinations and tours. We did not cruise. We sat on the river. Avalon Cruise passengers affected in the same way were given a 50% refund on their fares and a 50% discount on future bookings. Scenic have provided 5%. Yes, 5% on a 10,000 ticket. The ships are nice, the food is good, the staff excellent but Scenic must be avoided because of their policy of not informing passengers and their practice of starting a cruise that cannot be delivered as advertised. Their refund of 5% is offensive. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We chose this cruise on recommendations from our travel consultant and friends. We are a retired couple and to us this was a trip of our lifetime. The first week was brilliant, food accommodation, service was just what we had dreamed ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendations from our travel consultant and friends. We are a retired couple and to us this was a trip of our lifetime. The first week was brilliant, food accommodation, service was just what we had dreamed of. We had been a bit concerned about the height of the river from reports in Australia but presumed that there were no concerns as the cruise left Amsterdam on time and no mention of potential difficulties. How wrong were we? When we arrived in Regansberg where we were just to have a short stay before moving on over night to Vienna is when we were informed we had to stay overnight as the ship could not get under the next bridge due to high water levels. That one night turned into two and although staff were helpful and our Cruise director organized bus trips to see the places we were missing out on it wasn't until the afternoon of the second day we were informed we would have to leave the ship and be transported by coach to Vienna. This was a bus journey of 5 hours with a stopover for lunch. We were given money to pay for lunch. We were then advised that the concert in Vienna was to be provided free to all. On arrival in Vienna we were taken to a restaurant for a meal, which was awful, then expected to go straight to the concert without the opportunity to shower or change. My husband and I were exhausted so declined the concert in favour of the hotel, very sad as I was looking so forward to this! I have a spinal issue and those hours of sitting had made me very sore. The cruise was now obviously a bus trip! I have emailed and they have given us a $800 credit on another cruise! That's not much good to us. I understand about no control over weather conditions, but surely due to flood conditions in other parts of Europe, there should have been some idea of this happening. We were not given a choice we should have been, the second half of the trip was awful, the only good hotel was one night in the Carlton Ritz in Budapest. All the meals provided were nowhere near the standard on board. I would advise future guests to carefully check weather conditions and Travel Marvel to reconsider future policies. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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
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
Being ardent Silversea and Seabourn cruisers we booked with Scenic because they appeared to be the nearest equivalent when it came to river cruising... wrong! Scenic are an old coach tour company (sorry coach holiday fans) with aspirations ... Read More
Being ardent Silversea and Seabourn cruisers we booked with Scenic because they appeared to be the nearest equivalent when it came to river cruising... wrong! Scenic are an old coach tour company (sorry coach holiday fans) with aspirations to be something they don't have the company mentality to be... a class act. We booked quickly when told their latest offer was due to expire that day, only to have an email sent a day or two later that extended their offer for another month... an offer which is still going on in some form or another. Having booked through a travel agent, who were ABTA members imagine my surprise when I discovered after booking that Scenic are not ABTA members... in fact of the top ten river cruise companies they are the only one that I can find who isn't a member. Not mega important you may think but should something go wrong (as in our case) at least with ABTA there is some code of conduct, which all their members must follow. So what went wrong? Well the cruise was the ship's inaugural cruise and so came with all the associated problems that you might expect... the real problem was Scenic didn't tell anyone beforehand that they were on a maiden voyage. So we paid just short of £12,000 to be guinea pigs and fault finders, of which there were many in our Royal Suite. 1. Constant smells from the toilet (ten days to fix) 2. No TV/entertainment/WiFi until we reached Vienna 3. Pictures which fell off the wall and struck my wife as she relaxed on the sofa( it was fastened to the wall with sticky tape!) 4.Noise and heavy vibrations through the night. 5. Shower not working correctly. But the best... sorry worst... was Scenic promise of an experience not to be missed... new for 2015 was their Scenic Sundowner where we were promised ( read the brochure its brilliant) we could watch the sun go down over the Danube whilst sipping cocktails and champagne and listening to the music of the masters... wonderful. WRONG again what we had was a windowless cellar, sat at a picnic table, with a bottle of white wine from a beer bottle listening to some octogenarian play the accordion whilst his equally aged wife sang such classics as 'Roll out the barrel' and 'Its a long way to Tipperary' ! And what was Scenic's response to all this. Well whilst on board they provided us with a plug-in air freshner and a bottle of champagne by way of an apology (yes that's what we thought as well... champagne was already free on board! Post cruise... well and this is something to remember for the future after my first letter of complaint I was called by their Customer Delivery Manager (great title by the way) who told me she would reply to my letter within 3 weeks. Well I did receive a short curt reply but not from her (I guess she was too busy delivering customers that day). When I phoned to speak with her and discuss the reply apart from ignoring my first three calls, eventually she sent a message to the person I was speaking to to say she wouldn't speak to me and if I had a reply to put it in writing. But the worst part of all was the fact that they appear to think that most of what happened ... well it never happened because the cruise director on board didn't put it in her log. This in spite of the fact that the ship's engineer was in our suite almost every day and stopped me in the corridor to tell me he'd be in the cabin and ripped out the toilet whilst we were out for the day and repaired the faulty pipes... but I must have imagined that because Scenic reckoned it never happened! Perhaps I had too had a blow on the head from another picture falling off the wall. So in summary: -Beware of what Scenic promise because in my experience it's all gloss and no substance. --Record everything because they will deny most claims and ALL liability. -They told me that it was MY responsibility to ask questions BEFORE I booked... questions like 'Is this a maiden voyage?' -Don't believe anything you read in the brochure. -Don't believe any of their 'offers must end by' -Don't book the 15 day Jewels of Europe cruise. On the Danube the scenery's better and you can stand/sit outside on the sundeck. - But most of all don't book with Scenic... if something goes wrong they are not ABTA members, they have no published complaints procedure and their customer service is appalling. Final point to be aware of is that Scenic and Emerald Waterways are one and the same company... oh they say they're different but the addresses of the two companies are the same and there one and only customer service person...Darren... works for both companies (he told me so himself when I phoned the Scenic number and he answered the call as Darren from Emerald Waterways! That's despite the same person telling me before we travelled that the two companies were wholly independent.) Mind you, at least it answered my queries... why there is such a long wait for anyone to answer the telephones? and why did Scenic's answering service tell me to visit the Emerald Web site if I needed more help!!! Don't be put off river cruising... it's just that I wouldn't ever book with Scenic again, you're not valued customers just profit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Hello. My husband and I were not “guests” but a paying customers on the Scenic Ruby (8/9/14 - 15/9/14). I was to complete the survey provided and return however putting a cross in a box could not express in detail all that should be ... Read More
Hello. My husband and I were not “guests” but a paying customers on the Scenic Ruby (8/9/14 - 15/9/14). I was to complete the survey provided and return however putting a cross in a box could not express in detail all that should be said. We were on tour Romantic Rhine and Moselle River cruise (code AMBA080914-2) that we booked. After a 8hr flight to Zurich we were transferred to Hotel Movenpick and left for 7 hrs in a room with chairs fit for a classroom with coffee facilitys. Once on the ship, both the room keys issued to us malfunctioned 4 times each. We were accused of keeping them next to a phone - NOT TRUE. Of the passengers that boarded 2 where visibly terribley sick with the flu. There was no attempt by the cruise director to address the prospect of infecting others. Others ships do so and retain those for a period to monitor in an infirmary. We were told after 2 days they were removed to hospital to intensive care and only returned on the last day of the cruise to fly home. It took a few days for 98% of those on board to get extremely ill (us included). When I tried to contact our private butler after being bed ridden for a day/night and explaining we had not eaten in this time, I was told that he was too busy as he was working in the dining room. The entertainment was an organ player suitable for a retirement village. The rooms appeared tidy and the bed comfortable. However the piece of blue material covering the bed foot was stained with what I could only call bodily fluid stains! The room staff where pleasant however some dining staff frowned when a request was made. You just about lost your voice trying to talk over the noise in the dining room. Food not 5 star - the same plain gravy with 3 totally different meats over 3 nights and 1 toaster for one hundred and so passengers. All passengers are invited to dine for an Italian meal at a dining area called Portabellos. I've had better Continental Cup minestrone soup, with more veg in it. The bus trip to Kaju Restaurant where we had a Swiss Cheese Fondue lunch consisted of 2 squares of bread to dip in the fondue and I had to get up to get my own drink of juice as the staff could not cope! - Not hard people. No one saw the 3 guys playing the Alp Horns on arrival as 3 bus loads of people with busting bladders tried to fit in 3 Female/ 3 Male toilets. Our guided tour of Strasburg had actually left 2 of the group there! Of the electric bicycles many did not work, neither did the GPS. We went out then without the GPS and took a map from the boat but the maps did not mark the locations of the sites - as you need the GPS to find them! The tour guides contracted to conduct the tours where blazay a least. The bike tour guides did not wait for the slow AND with no tool kits, they actually stopped at a residents house to ask for a spanner so as to adjust a seat for a rider! We were in Outside Stateroom: Cabin E110. Every time the Ruby entered a lock, it would fill with diesel fumes. An obvious lack of ventilation. Travelling time on board too long. We actually realised that we had turned and back tracked on the river. The last 2 days on board, the entire lower section reeked of raw sewerage (leaking sewerage container?) At this time staff where preparing for the next passengers. Our room was no longer serviced or stocked with toiletries (including toilet paper). Our bath robes were confiscated for cleaning for the next passengers and our tv/internet turned off. This tour is designed for those who wish to sink copious amounts of alcohol, spending time on a boat with 60% of industrial river views. PS take the earplugs if you don't wish to hear any rowdy neighbours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We were promised exceptional service and food, but believe me, what we got was not even average! The menu was never explained, so many people never knew you could order special items for breakfast. Food was cold, and looked pre-cooked. ... Read More
We were promised exceptional service and food, but believe me, what we got was not even average! The menu was never explained, so many people never knew you could order special items for breakfast. Food was cold, and looked pre-cooked. There was not enough help, so we had to get our own pre-paid for drinks, and we were told to get our own ice water at dinner! One night they never served an entrée, and I ended up eating dinner from my mini bar. The crew had a party, below our room, until 1 am and we could not sleep. We have traveled on Grand Circle, Vantage and Uniworld, for much less money and had way better food and service. The crew on Scenic were from former Soviet Union countries, and that is exactly what the service was like....HORRIBLE. Many of our fellow passengers have traveled with Scenic before and they could not believe how bad this trip was. A travel agent who booked 12 rooms was outraged at the poor service. I complained to the head office and they blew me off, after we spent $20,000 on this trip. DO NOT go on Scenic. Nest year we will do Tauck.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river ... Read More
As a preface, we are a couple of active, still working adults somewhat on the low end of the age range of typical river cruisers. I cancelled a back to back Celebrity cruise touring Iceland and the Baltic after reading about river cruising. Our experience has been mostly with the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity product. I considered Tauck, Uniworld and a few other lines when booking this trip last October. I chose Scenic based on the inclusions(tips, alcohol, all excursions, butler, internet), greater population of Australians, and appeared to have more "active" inclusions such as a gym and use of bicycles as well as "tailor made" self touring. As many of CC members, I researched and read reviews and had a good idea of what river cruising was about -- or so I thought. We booked the Jewel - the newest ship of the Scenic fleet-- based upon itinerary, and the fact that it included a gym (we love to eat). We arranged our own air/hotel stays which included 10 days in Europe prior to our July 1st Scenic cruise. Budapest is just as wonderful as all of the reviews. We stayed in a lovely B&B (Kapital Inn) for 3 nights. Our first disappointment came 2 days prior to the cruise in a forwarded email from our TA. We would not be cruising on the Jewel in Budapest, but instead would be on the Diamond for 3 nights, then we would be bussed to the Jewel which was upriver and unable to make it to Budapest due to a lock being closed up the Danube. We took a taxi to the Marriott to drop our luggage and take transportation to the ship. Quite a few people had not received word that we would not be on the Jewel. Most of us had been aware of the flooding, and although there was a little grumbling about not being told in advance, it wasn't a huge problem. Our cruise director Marin was the only staff that stayed with our group during our very challenging cruise. He did an amazing job considering the problems he faced. I'd like to mention the other ships we stayed on, as we found huge differences that impacted our trip. We ended up having to change ships again due to lock strikes in Germany after being docked in a commercial area in Bamburg for 3 nights and long bus trips for excursions. We started on the Diamond, moved to the Jewel and ended up on the Pearl. Our vision of unpacking once and enjoying the river from our balcony ended up being not so ideal. We spent much more time being on big bus tours than we thought. Did the interruptions impact our cruise enjoyment? Probably. We never did experience the "afternoons enjoying the villages on our own" The only village we stayed at required a 10 Euro one way taxi ride. I thought there would be smaller than the 40-50 groups were regularly on and the long bus rides to our destinations.Diamond: Some wear and tear obvious on the ship. It didn't matter to most of us, as we knew we would be meeting the Jewel in a few days. Some negative comments "we didn't get what we paid for", some people ended up in different cabins due to the ships not being identical. The staff however was lovely. We were greeted with cool towels, glass of champagne and a rose for the ladies. Passengers waited in the lounge. We were escorted to our standard balcony cabin after a very brief and orderly check in process. The room was explained by the very friendly stewardess. The balcony was a great feature, space for two chairs and a small table. It was somewhat annoying that the railing was just at eye level when sitting. The ability to move the window up and down was what i guess is Scenic's "signature" feature. To get the A/C to work, the sliding door to the balcony needed to be closed. Our butler "Zoltan" came to introduce himself. He was a favorite on the ship. Most wished we could take him with us. The bed was two two twins (full size twins) pushed together to make a king. L'Occitane bath products, and shower had a complicated spray system, gave it a somewhat higher end feeling. There was a "meet and greet" before dinner, where officers made some comments and the CD explained the river situation, assuring all that we wouldn't notice the ship change, that all would be seamless. Buffet first dinner, somewhat chaotic. The dining room was noisy, most were tables of 6 with a table for 2 right next to it. We found fun tablemates the first night and ate with them frequently during our trip. The wait staff was friendly and seemed very busy and hardworking. We were treated to a night sailing on the Danube to see the lights of BUdapest. We enjoyed the Diamond. DIdn't enjoy packing up three days into our trip. The plan was to take the scheduled tours with being bussed to the ship which was ahead of us. Jewel: We were to have a BBQ lunch on the top deck. Kinda sounds like fun, but it wasn't. The lines were long around the buffet, there weren't too many near tables. Drink service was odd, with waiters asking what we wanted, then never bringing it. No reception when entering the new ship. Not much in the way of greeting. Given our room keys. We find the new cabin to be much nicer -- a better use of space, no sliding door to the balcony, but a nifty folding door that we just left open. The bathroom had a huge shower!! no more complicated shower system. The public rooms were somewhat the same, it was just obvious that overall the physical layout of the Jewel was much better. You would think that this would make happy campers, right? Well, there was a HUGE difference in staff across the board on the Jewel. The ship captain was a substitute and the hotel director appeared to be on vacation. I wish this was an exaggeration. While we saw the hotel director working alongside his people, and checking on dining room status, the hotel director was never seen. People were scratching their heads, how can waiters and bar staff seem to look so "busy" all the time, but people couldn't get any service. Overall, it impacted our experience. We heard there were many verbal and written complaints. We didn't put ours in writing, because at the time I wasn't sure what was going on. THe wait staff didn't appear to be trained on how to do their job, so rather than say it was the problem with the staff, I place the blame on the uninterested hotel director. I did notice that we seemed to "warm" up the staff, mainly because I think we had a very tolerant, fun loving group of passengers. Pearl: like the DIamond, great, hardworking staff. It's hard to believe the difference. I had low expectations for food quality, and high expectations of service, but the reverse actually happened. For example, there were only two menus placed on each table of 6-8. Never did a waiter point out there were alternate selections each night. We were offered a "red" or "white" wine, and it took a few days to figure out they stock more than one choice. You had to be on guard as the waiters often would just pour what was in hand, not noticing you perhaps were drinking a Chianti that night. There was no coffee served dinner. Dining choices on the menu were limited, the food was well presented. I was pleased with my meals. Dining by buffet is difficult when all passengers eat at the same time. I never stayed in the long line for the carved meat or breakfast selections.Scenic promises much more than they are able to deliver. If you enjoy large organized bus tours, or walking tours where you are herded from one location to another Scenic can give you that experience. Our best days happened to be those which we decided to take a pass on the bus tour, and stayed on the boat while it was moving to the next port. The best experience was meeting new friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Our cabin, though on the Sapphire Deck, had limited space for movement. The wardrobe and shelving space was adequate and the safe on a pull-out drawer easy to use. However, we chose a cabin with a balcony, thinking we would wake up with ... Read More
Our cabin, though on the Sapphire Deck, had limited space for movement. The wardrobe and shelving space was adequate and the safe on a pull-out drawer easy to use. However, we chose a cabin with a balcony, thinking we would wake up with our morning tea and look out onto the Danube scenery - all we could see 5 mornings out of 7 - was into the cabin of the ship moored alongside us. We saw a lady coming our of the shower, thankfully with a towel draped over her and a man putting on his underwear!! There was no space to pass between the chair at the dressing table and the end of the bed. The shower was very good, but the tap over the basin was sited much too high, therefore clothes splashed if not VERY careful. The design of the window space was most odd. What use was each individual sliding glass panel? What were they there for? The net curtain and the bedroom black curtain, when pulled closed, made the cabin even smaller. Thought should be given to re designing the curtain to go AROUND the window thus opening up the balcony space for use at all times. The food was most disappointing and not 5 star as advertised. The dining room tables were much too close together - some tables never used as people could not get into the spaces at table. We did not expect Buffets when 5 star advertised. The entertainment was varied to suit all tastes and the excursions were well organised, though a 10 hour trip to and from Strasbourg was much too long. The Lounge area was too cramped and movement to reach a seat meant struggling between low, black glass tables and the swivel chairs. The service of all crew, catering, housekeeping and guides was fantastic. The Cruise Director was fantastic, helpful and knowledgeable. If there had been 30 less people aboard, space would have been better and things more relaxed. We would not use Scenic again for these reasons. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do a Rhine cruise and the dates coincided with our Ruby wedding anniversary and our friends 60th Birhtday ( We are from The UK our friends from Australia ) We arrived at the ship in Nuremburg to a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do a Rhine cruise and the dates coincided with our Ruby wedding anniversary and our friends 60th Birhtday ( We are from The UK our friends from Australia ) We arrived at the ship in Nuremburg to a warm welcome and glass of champagne. Most passengers had already boarded at Budapest a week earlier and so we were one of only six couples to board. We were given a welcome briefing which was brief, practical and on the whole useful. Our cabin was comfortable and reasonably spacious - the innovative balcony windows are a great idea. The bed was very comfortable as were the pillows. The cabin staff were helpful and nothing was too much trouble - the same can be said for all the staff aboard the ship. I personally found the meals to be disappointing as I a a Vegetarian and found there was very limited chice. Lunchtime was particularly disappointing - often of the two soups available one was rarely vegetarian and if it was it was often a cold soup ( yuk ! ) The lunchtime Bar- B-Q was also a disappointment - vegetarian options were lettuce, mini corn on the cob and jacket potatoes. There was a wide selection of meat and fish dishes but where were the vegetable kebabs, vegetarian sausages etc ? On another occasion there was a meat lasagna - wherre was the vegetable lasagna ...? ! ! Evening meals offered only one vegetarian option per course - I guess you coud call that adaquate but how many non vegetarian passengers would settle for ony one option per course ? Acceptable on a basic cruise but not in my opnion on a cruise advertised as five star. ( And yes we have been on 5 star cruises ! ) The bar and dining room staff work very hard ( Bar staff double up as waiters in the dining room in the evenings ) But due to the fact that everyone is expected in the dining room at the same time; it can be a long wait before you are served your meal and an even longer wait for wine ( There is no wine waiter ) We often had to ask busy staff for wine and also to be topped up. There is a longe with a bar in which some entertainment is provided most nights. The lounge is very crowded and it was often difficult to find a seat. This however was not the main problem. On our first evening we noticed a great many passengers were coughing and anticipated the worst. Unfortunatly it was not just a cought but a flu like virus and sadly both ourselves and one of our friends caught the virus. Not surprising given the close proximity of passengers in the lounge. I would estimate that at least 80% of passengers were take ill. In fairness to Scenic it was not thier fault that someone brought the virus aboard the ship and there is an emphasis on using the hand gel dispensers located at the entrance to public areas and at the entrance of the ship. But sadly our experience was spoilt and our wedding anniversary celebrations non existant. The same can be said of our friends 60th Birthday celebrations. On balance I would say the cruise was enjoyable - there are some good excursions, the staff are excellent and the cabins very comfortable. But if you are a Vegetarian think again about booking and don't book a river cruise end of September onwards - the possibility of catching a virus would be very high. It only needs one person to bring a virus aboard the ship and sadly it can spoil the entire experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose Scenic at that particularly time to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in my husbands family's heritage - Germany and for me to see Vienna, Spanish Riding School. Sadly they advertise 5 star dinning but it is at best 3 star. ... Read More
Chose Scenic at that particularly time to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in my husbands family's heritage - Germany and for me to see Vienna, Spanish Riding School. Sadly they advertise 5 star dinning but it is at best 3 star. Ignored emails for us and our travel agent (6 in total) and we told three people when we boarded that the wife is seriously allergic to all fish and sea food products - I still go served fish 4 days into the trip that did not look like fish and was not ordered. The staff blamed us for not telling the company (we had 3 times) - one response state "we cant guarantee food requests can be met". We were told your met at the airport and taken to the ship. Nope we spent 7 hours in a hotel function room waiting to go to the ship. We had been traveling 35 hours in the same clothes by the time we got on board! All we wanted was our room and shower - but first Scenic crew wanted a lovely meet and greet with champagne - YUK! when your sweaty and dirty from traveling. To many Port calls they go on and on and everyone is expected to attend (at least a couple a day). While the crew handled a difficult time badly (rive closed for few days) the companies options were appalling - cut Vienna to 4.5 hours (the worlds cultural centre) and we had four days in row going to medieval villages - no offense but seen one seen them all - the best one was Rottenberg. There are no picnic baskets as advetised - the crew had never heard of such things. Meal times are ridiculously strict - and tend to over rule travel one would like to do - seriously the first two weeks of our once in a lifetime anniversary trip ruined by living to scheduale we do that for a living! May as well have stayed at work. However, Great Britain and Switzerland were awesome and made up for the cruise - scenic had nothing to do with that part of our trip. PS butler to look after your every whim - rubbish we saw him twice to say hello day 1 and goodbye on day 15. I am told Viking are much better company to travel with. Our Cabin Steward Putu was fantastic!!! Needless to say we thanked him privately. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Paid for ultra luxury, got a nice 3 star experience. On the plus side, clean ship, pleasant hardworking staff, plenty to eat and drink. On the negative side, not enough staff to offer a 5 star cruise, food tried to present as ... Read More
Paid for ultra luxury, got a nice 3 star experience. On the plus side, clean ship, pleasant hardworking staff, plenty to eat and drink. On the negative side, not enough staff to offer a 5 star cruise, food tried to present as ostentatious but failed, wines local and uninspiring. Enhanced experiences very nice, but other trips disappointing. Onboard entertainment less than one would expect for the price and claimed luxury standards. Cruise Director comes in for critism as a poor communicator, inefficient and with a sense of humour that could be interpreted as irritating by many. Showed no interest or follow up in those who had been taken unwell. My wife was taken unwell on an outing and he just pointed us to get ourselves back to the ship, with no follow up her wellbeing. We do not feel that we got the ultra luxury experience that we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We did a Danube cruise on the Scenic Pearl from Nuremberg to Budapest from 20th to 27th June 16. We were in a Junior Suite. The cost including Business Class fares was £7500 for the two of us. High water levels on the Danube. We ... Read More
We did a Danube cruise on the Scenic Pearl from Nuremberg to Budapest from 20th to 27th June 16. We were in a Junior Suite. The cost including Business Class fares was £7500 for the two of us. High water levels on the Danube. We were notified before we left that the boat could not make it to Nuremberg because of the high water levels. We were told that we would be bussed to near Passau - about 2.5hrs. As we had gone out early for a weekend in Nuremberg this was no real issue. But for the others on the trip it was as they this meant they either had to miss Nuremberg or face a c 6hr/there and back bus trip. But the more serious issue was whether we would be stuck in Passau for the whole week. A Viking boat had tried to 'escape' only to hit the bridge and had to 'Abandon Ship'. Clearly not advisable! Eventually, they were able to make the ship as low as possible by removing sun shades all the furniture and railings on the sundeck and we made it under the bridge with inches to spare. I can't really criticise Scenic for any of this. But, as ever, communications were in short supply. They did keep us safe. Note this an not uncommon issue with river cruising that must be taken into account. Suite We had a Junior suite. But it was still quite 'compact'. About what you would expect from a 'Regular' suite on a sea cruise. I don't think we would have wanted anything smaller. Beds comfortable. Clean. Well equipped. Just as an aside, a number of cabins two floors below us flooded when a valve blew. They had 3 inches of water in their cabins and, as the boat was full, they were rather stuck. I think it would have ruined our holiday if it had happened to us. I understand the cabins had not dried out as the cruise ended and new occupants arrived. Food The food was a great disappointment. Breakfasts were fine. Buffet lunches missed all the stuff we had been expecting like a 'carving joint of the day', prawns, crab claws etc. Dinners were even more disappointing. We had no 'WOW' meals. Fish was universally overcooked as were the veg. If you want fine dining, Scenic is not for you. Food much better on UniWorld and it bears no comparison to what you would get on Regent or Silver Seas. The Crystal Dining room is more like a canteen. The tables are very close together with inches between the tables for four. The noise level is high and on hot days the air con couldn't cope. Service Generally Eastern European crew. We had 'issues' with our butler who had a real 'attitude' problem. But the rest were great - friendly and efficient. They probably need more staff as drinks service was slow and limited outside the main lounge. There is only one bar which was closed during an exhibition of local dancing. Excursions Generally very good. The perennial problems of guides wanting to fill every moment of a 90min coach trip with talk,talk,talk. But this is not exclusive to Scenic. Best trip was to Melk Abbey. The evening concert at the Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna was top notch in every way. The tour of the Hospital in the Rock in Budapest was fascinating. On the last night we were sailed along the Danube as the buildings were lit up. This was magical. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We have previously taken the St Petersburg to Moscow river cruise with Viking, a Basle to Cologne cruise with Riviera and the Hurtigruten return trip between Bergen and Kirkeness. We booked the Scenic cruise on the basis of the all ... Read More
We have previously taken the St Petersburg to Moscow river cruise with Viking, a Basle to Cologne cruise with Riviera and the Hurtigruten return trip between Bergen and Kirkeness. We booked the Scenic cruise on the basis of the all inclusive price, the cabin size, itinerary (Amsterdam to Budapest) and the claims about food quality. Although there was plenty to be enjoyed on the trip it did not deliver the increased quality that it should have considering the price level compared with our previous trips. The good bits were the cabin which was spacious and comfortable (although the air conditioning never succeeded in getting the cabin temperature down to the level that we wanted). The balcony was a nice to have but there was actually very little time available to just sit and watch the world go by. The shore trips were too long and too many but there was very little point in staying on board as the boat seemed to be always moored well away from anything on shore that could be explored individually. The trips also seemed very much aimed at an audience that had never seen a building that was more than 50 years old so became very repetitive. The food was not as good as we expected. Breakfast was the best meal and if that standard had been maintained we would have been happy. Lunch was repetitive (pasta dishes almost every day) and dinner varied between quite good and awful (rubber lobster on one night). I suspect that the kitchen was not large enough to produce the variety that they were attempting. One meal that we were offered was in the Italian Restaurant which was pretty good. One of the other guests that we got to know was invited to have dinner with top deck passengers on what was called La Rive (actually a large table within the same dining room as the rest of us) and said that it was very pretentious and not very good. There were a range of short afternoon entertainment sessions which were generally well presented and interesting. They ranged from a string quartet to an oompah band! The lounge area on the ship looked quite tired. The double glazing had blown in at least 6 windows and some of the sofas were starting to look threadbare. On the positive side our butler was very helpful and the Tour Director was excellent. The electronic devices that allowed us to listen to our tour guides worked well but the other facilities that they offered such as details of landmarks along the river were very haphazard and became such an irritation that we just switched them off. If I was booking this trip again I would look much more carefully at alternatives and believe that I could have saved quite a lot of money by paying for drinks and tours that I actually wanted rather than having it all packaged. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I and another couple just returned from a cruise from Chalone sur Saone to Nice on the Sapphire. This was our first on Scenic but we had cruised with Viking once. This was our friends first river cruise. Due to the high ... Read More
My husband and I and another couple just returned from a cruise from Chalone sur Saone to Nice on the Sapphire. This was our first on Scenic but we had cruised with Viking once. This was our friends first river cruise. Due to the high water level our itinerary was disrupted thru no fault of the cruise company. This was supposed to be a luxury cruise! Where to start! The rooms were small as the sun balcony interfered with the width of the room. The bathroom was not as big as was advertised and did not have " flashing lights ". We had to leave the remains of the first bar of soap on the bathroom floor before we got a replacement but otherwise the room was very clean . We could have asked for one but people should be trained to observe what is needed . This is a luxury cruise! The food was average. The portions were so small that 3 bites of a salad and it was gone. There should have been more French dishes and more fresh fruit from the area . The wine was fantastic so we should have had the food to go with it. Most of the staff were wonderful but I think they were understaffed, especially in the dining room. If you stopped someone to ask them for something ,they stopped what they were doing for someone else and did your bidding . A few more staff were needed in the dining room. We talked to a lot of couples that had sailed with Scenic 6 or more times and they were not impressed with the cruise. It was nice to have the cruise all inclusive but it came at a premium price. Would we cruise again with Scenic , no. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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
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
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
First of all I should mention that we had awful weather - cold and wet - and this obviously affected my enjoyment of the cruise. We were new to river cruising and I am glad that we chose a shorter cruise as our intro. There were no onboard ... Read More
First of all I should mention that we had awful weather - cold and wet - and this obviously affected my enjoyment of the cruise. We were new to river cruising and I am glad that we chose a shorter cruise as our intro. There were no onboard activities apart from a quiz one evening. Scenic cater for the more mature traveller and we found that the tours were not active enough. For example the best day weather wise was Salzburg but there were two stops on the way there so having done the walking city tour - one hour - and had lunch, there was only 45 minutes of free time. Regarding the ship itself, the restaurant and bar area were very cold - I was in layers the whole time. If you feel the cold take plenty of sweaters and shawls to put over evening wear. People didn't seem to dress up as much as they do on ocean cruises. There are also 68 locks to navigate if you take the whole trip to Amsterdam so nights are noisy - take earplugs. We dined in Portobello which is just a glassed off area at the front of the bar and also Table la Rive which is just a table for twelve at the far end of the restaurant - both meals were good. The standard of food overall was good with plenty of choice although the buffet dinner on the first night was a bit of a scrum. There were some interesting towns along the way - its worth walking around Regensburg because if you choose the Weltenburg abbey trip you won't see the town at all. I would have liked to explore Passau but as soon as we came back from the tour of Salzburg we sailed off - there did seem to be a rush to get to the next lock - presumably to avoid queueing. The sun deck was closed off most of the trip because the river was high and bridges low. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I are experienced travelers and have been on several Ocean Cruises ranging from midrange to luxury. We had decided to try a river cruise, taking a 15 night cruise from Basil to Amsterdam Pre-cruise didn’t get off to a great ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced travelers and have been on several Ocean Cruises ranging from midrange to luxury. We had decided to try a river cruise, taking a 15 night cruise from Basil to Amsterdam Pre-cruise didn’t get off to a great start as little information is provided on ship port timings or schedules for tours nor how long they lasted, which if we would have known that information we have never booked this particular cruise Romantic Rhine and Moselle. This ended up being mostly time spent on the boat or motor coaches with only 3 days where the boat stayed more than 5 hrs in port. We’re very active and having limited port time was a big disappointment. This cruise doubles back on itself 3 times during the day.. boring. The Transfer from Zurich to Basil included a 6 hr wait in a hotel meeting room with just snacks. You would think a lunch of some type would have been brought in. Particularly since most of the passengers had been traveling for over 24 hrs from Australia. In general the ship was more spacious that we had expected, the staff was very helpful, friendly but you could tell they are overworked. The on-shore tours were just OK. If you got a good guide we stayed with them if not we just went on our own. The average age on this trip was well over 70 and mostly “gentle walkers” so tours were very slow. The GPS/touring devices provided were good when you had a guide since you could hear everything but other than that a total waste of time. They don’t direct you but just “go off” when you get near a point of interest, if you can find the point of interest, a challenge with the maps supplied. Better maps with the tour route may have made the GPS devices more useful. The Cruise Director was approachable we found out later he was about the only employee on board that was paid by Scenic everyone else was contract labor through agencies. On board entertainment was definitely designed for the age group on board which we understand. The local entertainment was very Lawrence Welk. The nightly meeting about the next day was a hassle you’re almost had to attend to find out what was happening- it was supposed to be broadcasted in the room but it never had any sound. Can’t figure out why the disembarkment meeting was 3 days before we were to leave the boat. Bringing us back to reality long before it needed to be, made us feel like it’s time for you to leave long before it needed to be. After the nightly what’s happening tomorrow it was straight to dinner. There really wasn’t open setting since everyone went into dinner at the same time. If you came in even 20 minutes later than the foors opened and sat at a table for two you could tell dining room management was not happy based on the dirty looks we were given one time we did that. Dinners were always a big disappointment we both ended up eating the steak option all but 2 nights. The seafood night which my wife ate steak anyway and the special dining room night. Don’t bother with the special dining room it was really bad and really slow over 2 hrs. Dinner was also very long while it’s free choice seating everything is served in courses so that even if sit choose a table for 2 and only order the main course you sit and wait while all the other courses are served for the whole dining room before you get food. The only option to complete a dinner in less than 90 minutes was room service which we did three times- steak again. The breakfast buffet was fine. Lunch buffet was OK but we also had to order hamburgers several times to find a suitable protein. There were 3 meals off the boat the fondue lunch was unacceptable plus the wait staff was so angry if anyone tried to get their own coffee/tea it was a running joke at our table. The dinner at the palace and the dinner at the local restaurant were just OK. The bar/lounge is the main sitting/meeting/entertaining area and when busy seating was at a premium including and we found ourselves standing at most events since we’re in our late 50’s and most others were at least in their mid-70’s and several folks in their late 80’s we didn’t feel right sitting and making these folks stand. The plus points of the cruise was its all-inclusive but to have it be a reasonable value you needed to drink and I mean a lot to make it compare to the other boats in this market. We did tip individually the cabin steward and waite/bar staff. Wi-Fi is free and the TV channels are OK but need more movie choice when you’re cruising for sometimes 36 hrs in a row. Plus the movies sometimes had a new version listed and when it started it was the original version from 30 years ago. We did not enjoy our cruise due to the itinerary and the food options. Plus we didn’t anticipate the average age to be well into the 70’s. This is certainly not 5 stars like Seabourn or Crystal . They need to improve the food a lot. Once again if they were upfront about itinerary time in the brochure/web site we never would have booked this itinerary. We would not recommend this particular itinerary to anyone active. We would not recommend Scenic to anyone that thinks food is a major focus when cruising. Do you like to drink, relax and do nothing for 14 or 15 days but sit and talk to folks in their 70’s this is the itinerary for you.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise. We enjoyed the size of the ship and that there were only 168 guests, which made getting to know people very easy. The cruise director, Andreea, was exceptional - she managed all aspects of our itinerary seamlessly. The food was very good, with a varied selection of appetizers, soups, mains, and desserts. The wait staff were friendly and professional. Our cabin was very well designed so we had plenty of space to put everything. Our cabin was also spotless. I would say that I found the itinerary a bit rushed - that being said however, I also chose to not stay on the boat, which I could have. Perhaps the same itinerary could be completed in ten days, allowing a bit more time in some cities. Unfortunately on our second last day we ended being off the ship for almost 11 hours. Our tour of Regensburg was to last 4 hours. There was a problem with water levels being too low and the boat being unable to make it to our next destination. That is understandable - cannot control Mother Nature! I'm not totally convinced that there was not a way to get us on the boat earlier. So, the memory of my last excursion was a long, wet, cold day in a small city with nothing to do. When we boarded the boat everything was rushed. The next morning we had to wake up very early to be bussed to our last port of call. Unfortunately these events coloured my overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
A friend we were traveling with found Scenic and we just took his recommendation. The ship was excellent and the crew were superb. The only disappointment was our butler, who did very little and for the the odd time that we asked for ... Read More
A friend we were traveling with found Scenic and we just took his recommendation. The ship was excellent and the crew were superb. The only disappointment was our butler, who did very little and for the the odd time that we asked for something he still didn't come through. Otherwise, the entire experience was excellent. The shore excursions were very well organized and we were very pleased that all the gratuities were included. The motor-assisted bicycles were also a great amenity. We used two of them on one occasion and thoroughly enjoyed them. They were also very easy to learn to use. The meals were outstanding and the chef took great pride in his craft. The selection of wines was mediocre but sufficient. The bar selection was likewise very good and the bar staff carried the torch for service excellence. Overall, we had good value for our money and will likely cruise with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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