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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because ... Read More
Unfortunately we were sailing in an unlucky year as 2018 saw one of the driest condition on the rivers in 100 years. So we weren’t able to sail on our assign ship the Opal. Our embarkation didn’t happen on Oct 24 as scheduled because no ship could reach Budapest. We were able to finally board the Jewel on Oct 28 in Regensburg. The ship was comfortable and it was smooth sailing, we had a good crew. The cabin was small but clean and comfortable, the little balcony was nice when we could open our curtains. Our butler wasn’t the most attentive as we hardly saw him, when we did he was a bit argumentative although reasonably nice. The food and drink selections were great, the service in the dining room/lounge etc was superb. The onboard entertainment was very nice and we enjoyed it. The ports and shore excursions were also very nice. The only thing negative to say about those is related to the drought complications and the fact that to go to Salzburg we had to do another 31/2 hours each way by bus, so way too much time spend in the bus and our visit in Salzburg was very short and felt rushed. We made used of the ebikes once, and it wasn’t a good experience because my husband fell and we were forced to return to the ship. When back there I asked if they had a first aid kit. Unfortunately even though they had one it was quite lacking in supplies such as peroxide to clean wounds and antiseptic cream for example. They could really improve in the stocking of their first aid supplies. We were given assurance that there would be compensation for the days we missed on the boat. We were told that we would get a letter within 7days of our return providing the final amount we are able to claim. We have been back now 9 days and are still waiting for a sign of the letter. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in ... Read More
We booked to leave Basel on 10/15/18 and arrive in Amsterdam on 10/21/18 on Scenic Jewel. The Rhine river had been low since end of June beginning of July according to many locals and crew. This trip was a disaster. We met to board ship in Basel ( met at Airport) and were bussed to Worms as river was too low to allow ship to go to Basel. We took a BUS to Worms. We were in Worms two days being bussed to some of itinerary and many changes to itienerary. We asked Cruise director about status of cruise at airport first day—she told us this event happened within last week and accommodations would be made to itinerary. This trip had multiple deviations to schedules and we missed over half of Rhine river. Being bussed was difficult for many. Our cruise -turned into a BRUISE ( Bus/Bruise). We had to be be bussed to Cologne to do a ship swap—had to pack and unpack and get into a new room. This crew was beat up on new chip ( Scenic AMber) and we all sensed their frustration and tension. Many things went wrong with this cruise. We went to Frankfort and docked ( not on itinerary). My wife and I finally couldn’t take the daily mistruths and changes to itinerary and we disembarked in cologne and took train to Amsterdam to salvage a few days of this vacation. I understand the cruise line has no control over river water levels—but they do have control over information and to be deceptive ( and not tell us the truth up front about this cruise changes; nor give us an option to cancel before starting in Basel and potentially taking another trip in future) was wrong. In light of this, we met a new group leaving Amsterdam on this ship to go to Basel—-No information given to them. How information that is bad is handled is just as important as the information. They were terribly deceptive and not forthcoming. Buyer be aware. I will never cruise Scenic again nor recommend them to anyone I know. This is our 3rd river cruise( first on Scenic); One other cruise had a problem ( Viking) and it was handled so well—we went and did another cruise with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who ... Read More
This was our first trip on Scenic and we were pleasantly surprised. We were on the Diamond Deck in a Balcony Room. It was very nice and small but manageable. The balcony was a plus. Our room service was excellent. We did get a butler who was wonderful and very personable but he seemed to have other duties which kept him busy. We did get the "special dinner" which was excellent and fun to try different wines and food. It was part of the dining room but in the back. The food was good. My favorite was the German lunch!! The excursions were fine but wish we had more time in some cities. They do give you a GPS device. Now, let me tell you these when they work they are great. We only had one in our room, so we had to ask for another one which did not charge. Then we had to get another one as the sound did not work. We suggested that maybe it would a good idea to give the tour guides extra ones but I think these could be expensive. Now the river ... it was low. The lowest in years. The captain was awesome and I was amazed that we got as far as we did. Also, he was there to greet us on and off the ship at every port. Very friendly and helpful. As I stated the river was low and we did make it to Worms. We were not able to go to the castle for our concert, so they brought it to us. We couldn't make it to our last two stops but they did bus us to Strasbourg and provided lunch. We were able to see the town but being Sunday many places were closed. We were then bused to Zurich where we stayed at a lovely Marriott, They provided us with a lovely dinner with wine and beer. The next day, we had breakfast and transported to the airport. All provided by Scenic. We did not make it to Basel. Our social director, Sylvia really did a fantastic job. I wasn't sure about her first because she was like other social directors that I have had on other ships but let me tell you did a phenomenal job. The only concerned was that those who were on their own after the cruise should have been given a choice of going to Basel or Zurich with us instead of being left on the ship and transferred the next day. One more thing, when they say that everything included they mean everything!! We did not have to pay anything extra. I would definitely take another cruise on Scenic. It was not their fault that the river was low. For future travels maybe I would go in the spring!! Their care department will take care of any issues. They did go out of their way considering the problems to make it a fun cruise. Look what we have to talk about with our friends!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. ... Read More
We boarded the Scenic Jewel in Amsterdam for this 14 day itinerary. In each port, Scenic gives guests a choice from at least 2 excursions. First port was Antwerp, and we chose the excursion to Bruges. This town was quaint and interesting. Next stop was Veere, and we were quite impressed with the excursion to the Delta Works. We were treated to a "Dixie-land Band" after our Delta Works tour. In Arnhem, we found the Open Air Museum informative. In Maastricht we did a walking tour, then cruised the Maas River in the afternoon. When docked in Emmerich, the excursion to the Roman ruins of Xanten was awe-inspiring. Our next port was Koblenz, where we did a city tour. Then we headed down the Moselle River and delighted in the steep hills covered with vineyards and small towns along the way. First port on that river was Cochem, where we visited the fully-furnished Reichsburg Castle. We next briefly stopped at Traben-Trarbach to let the Electric-Bikers off the ship, as they were biking 15 miles to meet the ship in Bernkastel. While docked in Bernkastel, we took the excursion to Trier for an impressive city tour. We then headed back to the Rhine as quickly as possible as water levels were dropping. The ship diverted to Andernach until water levels rose enough we could enter the Rhine Gorge. The Rhine Gorge was dotted with hillside castles, impressive cathedrals, and riverfront towns. Gorgeous! Due to the delay from the low water, we had to skip our scheduled stop in Rudesheim. In Mannheim, we toured Heidelberg castle and the old town. The ship then docked in Rastatt, where guests toured Rastatt Palace and were entertained by a classical music concert. We docked next in Kehl, and took a city tour of Strasbourg and spent time in Le Petite France area. Next was Breisach, where we took coaches to the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it was windy that day, so we were unable to take the cable car gondolas to the top of the mountains. During our hike in the hills, we toured a farmhouse museum and sampled Black Forest cake. We disembarked in Basel. In addition to daytime excursions, we had 5 evenings where local musical entertainers came onboard. Overall, the excursion guides were top-notch, and Scenic arranged so only about 25 people were with each guide. We wore "Tailormade" devices, which were headsets to hear the guides. But these devices also serve as GPS locators, if you want to self-tour with the city maps they provided for each location. The food on the Jewel was excellent, with a wide variety of choices at each meal. All types of alcohol are included in Scenic's price, and with the well-stocked bar, drinks flowed generously. Regional red and while wines were offered at each meal. Service was prompt. The staff was always pleasant and welcoming. The electric-assist bikes make treks along the shore enjoyable. Also, while cruising, the "Tailormade" device clicks on to describe points of interest along the shore. Scenic also provided complimentary maps and a tour book of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. The map showed landmarks and bridges, so it was easy to follow the ship's progress. The tour book detailed pertinent information about towns along the river. We had a butler to attend to our every need. Room service was complimentary. We were on the Sapphire deck, so included was one small bag of laundry per cabin. Those on the Diamond deck also had complimentary pressing services. We felt Scenic filled this 14 day trip with a satisfying blend of sightseeing and entertainment. There were 169 passengers onboard (majority being Australian & Canadian), and demographic was 60+. We met many lovely, outgoing, well-traveled people. Overall, Scenic really looked after their guests. I would not hesitate to cruise with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. ... Read More
We have been on 2 other Scenic river cruises and they were above expectations. We do not know whether Scenic is now cutting corners or whether it was just this boat, but it was a real come down from our previous experiences with Scenic. It was not just the food, service and entertainment aboard the ship but also the tours. We had read other reviews about the food quality and variety complaints before taking this cruise, but felt they were just whiners. To our surprise found that their observations were acurate. When entering the restaurant, we could not get the waiters attention to bring us a menu, so our table ended up just grabbing one as we entered the restaurant each day. The food portions were so small, we started taking pictures. Instead of providing a bread basket for the table, the waiter would cut off a small piece of from a bread roll. It was so small, you just put the whole piece into your mouth. Not all the meals were substandard though, as they did serve a great leg of lamb one night and the chateau briand and salmon were great. The fruit selection was mainly water melon and other melon fruits. There were only 2 waiters in the lounge for the talks, so we just went to the bar and got our own drinks. There was a large group of Thomas Cook people that left part way through the cruise and we really noticed a big improvement in service when they left as the crew had more time to look after everyone. Only had 2 occasions where the waiter forgot the order. Most of the tours were just a walk around a local village or town and other than some cobblestone streets, there was not much to see. The trip to the Delta Works in the Netherlands was a must see. The day of cruising on the Moselle provided spectacular scenery. Scenic have what they call Tailormades and they are fanstasic. We had these with us most of the day. They tell you what you are looking at as you cruse along or as you walk around. They are also great for listening to your guides which were very good. Scenic also has e-bikes which we found were really enjoyable for touring around the country side. They should have mirrors though. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle ... Read More
The dates suited and this particular cruise was suggested by the Travel Agent. We thought it would be a good idea to go on the cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam en route to Sweden where were going to a 90th birthday in the Arctic Circle where we hoped to arrived in a relaxed manner - and we certainly did. It was a wonderful way to begin a journey. Everything on the Scenic Jewel was way beyond expectations from the welcome on board, luggage handling, cabin service, tours, entertainment, food and drink, cleanliness and departure. ALL staff without exception were efficient, helpful, thoughtful, courteous and very good humoured. We met some delightful people with whom we had many laughs and many drinks and many wonderful meals. The land excursions were excellent though the listening devices could be improved. The ear pieces tended to fall out of your ear and the sound was often faint and/or broke up. It is difficult to say what the most memorable part of the trip was - it was all so different and interesting. Going through the locks was amazing; the scenery was charming in fact in many ways it often felt as though one were moving gently through a postcard. It was always delightful to go on shore and walk around such interesting and charming places which prior to the trip were essentially names in atlases or novels. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel ... Read More
We chose to cruise with Scenic after friends referred them. Being our first river cruise, we wanted to move forward with the confidence that someone else had enjoyed their experience. I cannot say enough about Scenic, and the Jewel Captain and Crew. While other river boats were unable to sail their itinerary because of low water levels in the Rhine, we did not miss one of our ports of call. The food, wine, entertainment, tours were all exceptional. I would highly recommend the Scenic family of cruises, and we will definitely call upon Scenic for our next cruise. The tours were exceptional with clean coaches, the scenery was beautiful, the transfers to and from the airport were seamless. Everything ran so smoothly. We enjoyed the bicycle tours, although found that there wasn't enough bikes on board for all the passengers that wanted to participate. This would be their only downfall. I would suggest signing up for the bike tours early to avoid disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were ... Read More
We wanted a 5 star experience with nothing to worry about and Scenic was recommended. I can't express what an amazing time we had on this River Cruise. From the minute we stepped aboard until we stepped off 8 days later, we were given the Royal treatment. The excursions are of top quality, from glass boat tours through the canals of Amsterdam to Castles, cathedrals and even a Baroque Concert. The food was excellent!! They do not skimp on anything, the wine and drinks are all of excellent quality and the selection of meals, cheese and desserts were fantastic! We were lucky enough to enjoy an 8 course meal with wine parings for each course! A true 6 star event!! The staff (on the Jewel) is the best we have ever experienced on any of our travels. They were fun, courteous, professional and never left you wanting for a thing! Special mention of Goran (butler), Sandy,(bartender) Nickola (cruise director) for making our holiday even better than we could have expected! The beds were so comfortable, the rooms were kept incredibly clean, with room care and full bar service twice a day! If you want a holiday that you don't need to worry about a thing and want to be treated like kings and queens, then Scenic is the only way to go! You won't regret it. Now to decide where our next Scenic River cruise will take us! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was ... Read More
Expectations for the money spent was lacking. Food selection was mediocre at best although the quality of most dinners was very good. Breakfast and lunch was the same everyday and not as high quality as expected. Organization for tours was well done and options for excursions was varied. Staff and crew were exceptional. Nightly entertainment was very poor with the exception of staff night. They were entertaining. Could have had some interactive activities that entertained and included the guests. Other guests who have sailed with this line said it was the worst they had ever been on. Sadly it’s the one we picked so nothing to compare too besides the 4 major ocean cruises we’ve experienced. This very expensive trip of a lifetime did not compare to those. Because of low water levels on the Rhine we could not complete our cruise as expected. Unfortunately we were stuck in an industrial port for most of a day and overnight. Thought some sort of excursion could have been arranged. We were a 20 minute ride from a major town and those that choose to go we’re out of pocket for the cost of cabs. Overall the sites we saw and the people we met made this a trip to talk about. We would unfortunately be very leery of trying this again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was ... Read More
Positives and negatives. First the good news. All shipboard personnel were terrific...helpful,friendly, eager to please and competent. Great attitudes in spite of grueling work schedules. The cabin, on the diamond deck, was super.....spacious enough, quiet, and kept spotless by our room attendant. Both arrival and departure from the ship were extremely well organized. Daily briefings by the cruise director were clear and informative. Multiple onshore activities from which to choose.....all included in the "all inclusive" price of the cruise. No surprises there. Now the not so great news. First, I should note that this was our first river cruise, so some of these obversations may be applicable to all such trips and not specifically applicable to this one alone. The overall impression is that the business model here involves cramming the maximum number of paying customers onboard while providing the minimum number of staff possible to attend to their needs. The "personal butlers", for instance, were more often serving as waitstaff in the dining room than as butlers. Ours was more than willing to deal with our (infrequent) requests, but was clearly relieved whenever I handled whatever task was at hand rather than intruding on his other duties. Again....this MY impression, and not a reflection on his thoroughly professional demeanor. The brochure gave the inaccurate impression that there are there are three separate "restaurants" on board. NOT true. In reality, there is ONE. The "river cafe" is in fact a small salad and dessert station and two chafing pans setup in a corner of the bar. Tiny selection of pre-cooked and often mediocre fare. The "portobello" venue is actually a few tables set up to the front of the bar and used as seating for the aforementioned "River cafe" during the daytime. In the evening those same tables host a small number of invited guests for a dining event which is indeed superior to the otherwise unremarkable fare served in the ship's only real dining room, the "Crystal". Though there is open seating, meals are actually served at a single seating time, with little leeway given. Indeed, when we entered the dining room 30 minutes into the 90 minute "window" listed as the dinner period we were informed that we must be seated at once, or miss dinner, as the "first course had already been served.". The real problem is that all of the passengers, wherever seated, are eating food prepared in a kitchen woefully too small and understaffed for the job. Having owned several restaurants, my wife and I identified the problem immediately. All staff were doing their level best to deal with unrealistic workloads. With the exception of a few "alternative choices" available at dinner, virtually nothing is cooked to order on the ship. Breakfast and lunch are served as buffets with nearly identical setups daily. Dinner offers a choice of three main courses. In general, this feels like an assembly line operation. Overall, the food on board was uneven in quality and a real disappointment given the cost of the trip. Adding to the feeling of "mass production" is the fact that the dining room is over-crowded with tables sitting much too near each other. The scenery ashore was a major disappointment for much of the trip. Other than a few hours one day in the Rhine Gorge (where all of the brochure pics must come from) we might as well been anywhere in the midwest U.S. The shore excursions often involved coach rides of varying lengths with guides of varying quality. Strasbourg and Heidelberg were lovely. Some of the others not so much. Anyway, Good luck! Read Less
Scenic Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 2.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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