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Scenic Ruby Review

Find a Scenic Ruby Cruise from £2,379

Scenic Ruby
5.0 / 5.0
98 reviews

Gratuities, booze, excursions and butlers all included in fare
Spotty Wi-Fi, slow room service with limited menu
Bottom Line
Unlimited free beverages, butlers and no tipping = relaxing way to see Europe




Passenger to Crew

2009; renovation coming in 2019

Shore Excursions
Sails To
Scenic Cruise Deals
Susan R. Pollack
Cruise Critic Contributor

Scenic Ruby Overview

Part of the popular Space Ship series, Scenic Ruby is an upscale, luxury vessel with clean, modern lines and no-fuss contemporary decor. Most cabins feature "sun lounge" balconies that expand living space, let in light and may be used whatever the weather. Service, by a mostly Eastern-European staff that understands English, bordered on exceptional on our spring "Rhine Highlights" sailing. Did we mention each cabin comes with a butler?

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Scenic is one of the most inclusive of all the river cruise lines, with tips, shore excursions, airport transfers and beverages all in the fare. Drinks come at meals, from an in-room mini-bar stocked daily, and from the ship's bar that opens at 9 a.m. and runs until the last passenger leaves in the wee hours. There's also free shipwide internet, electrically assisted bikes, handheld GPS devices for enhanced sightseeing -- and even one small load of laundry.

Scenic Ruby doesn't skimp on little luxuries, either, from L'Occitane amenities and fluffy robes in the sleek bathrooms to Valrhona chocolates on pillows. The only onboard fees are for massage or hair salon services, extra laundry and a handful of the highest-end liquors and fancy Champagne.

Considering the small kitchen space that we observed on an optional galley tour, the culinary team does a fine job turning out fare for multiple dining options served in two main public areas, the Crystal Dining Restaurant and the Panorama Lounge & Bar. Choices are wide-ranging and, in addition to German-themed food that complements the cruise itinerary, include such European touches as plentiful cheese trays and fish selections, plus some Asian, vegetarian and vegan fare. 

Attention to special dietary needs is impressive, complete with a personal consultation, special highlighted menus and labeled items, such as lactose-free muesli and yogurt and gluten-free choices. The free state-of-the-art coffee machine in the lounge is a shipboard favorite, dispensing tasty self-serve drinks that keep passengers coming back, 24/7, for more. The large selection of teas is also popular.

A no-public-announcements policy makes for a more relaxed cruise. Passengers stay abreast of goings-on via in-room TVs and big screens in the lounge. A long, open room with windows on both sides, the lounge is the heart of the ship, abuzz with activity day and night. Public spaces and cabins, meanwhile, are kept immaculately clean.

Shore excursions range from city, castle and vineyard tours to e-bike outings, with a bigger menu of active tours planned for 2019 after the ship's scheduled remodeling. A cruise highlight for us and many other passengers was a complimentary evening vocal concert, reached via motorcoach, in a baroque palace in Rastatt, Germany.

Though much time is spent sightseeing on shore with comparatively little left for shipboard relaxation, Scenic Ruby's onboard experience should be greatly enhanced in 2019 with the addition of a larger wellness center, "well-being" coach, onboard yoga and stretching classes and an innovative salt therapy lounge.

Top Scenic Ruby Itineraries

View All Scenic Ruby Itineraries (24)

Fellow Passengers

Since Australian-owned Scenic began boosting its North American marketing efforts a few years ago, a growing number of Americans and Canadians can be counted among its passengers, previously dominated by Australians, New Zealanders and Brits. These days, there's an interesting international mix, plus a smattering of Spanish, French, German, South American and Asian passengers. Scenic Ruby's programming is all in English. Passengers are mostly middle-aged and older, including many retirees, plus a handful of younger couples and family groups with teens and pre-teens. There are no planned children's programs, but there was a mature 10-year-old, happily hanging out with his grandfather, on our "Rhine Highlights" cruise. Passengers skew younger on Scenic Ruby's shorter, eight-day sailings than on longer 15-day cruises and tend to be an active bunch, zipping around on electrically assisted bikes and choosing other outdoorsy pursuits.  

Scenic Ruby Dress Code

Scenic Ruby is pretty informal (you definitely don't need a ballgown or tux!) but you'll want long pants in the dining room and a few dressier outfits for dinner. Ladies, think slacks or skirt and a nice top or a casual dress; men, a pair of khakis or dress pants and a button-down shirt or sports coat/jacket (tie is optional). For tours, comfortable clothes and walking shoes are a must as many European towns have cobblestone streets.

Scenic Ruby Inclusions

Nearly everything is included in the cruise fare: all shore excursions, airport transfers, Wi-Fi (in-cabin and out), meals and all but the highest-end drinks, plus the cabin mini-bar that is stocked daily. Perhaps best of all, there's no pressure to tip on Scenic Ruby (or other Scenic ships) -- no envelopes or constant tipping reminders as on some other cruises. While tips are not expected, they're appreciated, of course, by crew members, who were almost universally pleasant on our spring "Rhine Highlights cruise," where the ratio of crew to passengers was 53 to 167. Several passengers we talked to credited the lack of pressure surrounding tipping with boosting Scenic Ruby's relaxation factor.

The only onboard fees are for massage, hair salon or extra laundry services, and a handful of ultra-premium liquors and fancy Champagne. The euro is the shipboard currency.

Airfare also is extra, but look for Scenic's frequent early-booking offers and other special discounts.

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Scenic Ruby Ratings

Public Rooms4.04.4
Fitness Recreation3.03.5
Value For Money5.04

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More about Scenic Ruby

Where does Scenic Ruby sail from?

Scenic Ruby departs from Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest and Prague

How much does it cost to go on Scenic Ruby?

Cruises on Scenic Ruby start from £2,379 per person.

Awards and Recognition

Scenic Ruby Member Reviews

Scenic Ruby
Ricky Hope
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We chose the Scenic Ruby as the ship and decor was very modern. We had the room at the rear of the ship.... Read More
Scenic Ruby
Mr Dean
Sail Date: May 2019
We were somewhat pessimistic about booking a river cruise but after completing the trip we can only recommend the experience to others and, specifically Scenic cruises and the Scenic Ruby.... Read More
Scenic Ruby
Sail Date: May 2019
Kudos to Scenic. A wonderful memory to cherish.... Read More
Scenic Ruby
Sail Date: Apr 2019
My husband usually dislikes cruises, but he really enjoyed this one and is recommending Scenic to all of our friends. We hope to sail with Scenic again! The excursions were also excellent.... Read More

Scenic Fleet

Scenic Ruby
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

98 reviews

Scenic Ruby, launched in 2009, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships," designed to offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry.

Scenic Ruby Cruises to Europe View All Scenic Ruby Cruises
Scenic Diamond
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Diamond, launched in 2008, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." The cabins and ship are beautifully appointed, crew is excellently trained and dining is exceptional.

Scenic Crystal
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Crystal, launched in 2012, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." It's a luxury river ship that offers excellent service, great food and comfortable spaces.

Scenic Tsar

The 112-passenger Scenic Tsar was relaunched in 2012. It's not a new riverboat, but the refurbishment was so extensive, that it's registered as a new vessel.

Scenic Sapphire
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Sapphire, launched in 2008, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." This class nods to a design that offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry.

Scenic Pearl

One of Scenic's "space ships" offering "Sun Lounge" balconies in all rooms, which simultaneously make cabins feel airy while also making the space usable in all weather.

Scenic Jewel

Highlights include "Sun Lounge" balconies, which give cabins an airy feel and make balcony space usable in fair and inclement weather, and multiple dining options.

Scenic Jade

Scenic Jade offers the intellectually curious passenger a fine sampler of excursions along more than 700 miles of waterways, from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Scenic Gem
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 128-passenger Scenic Gem was custom-built to sail on France's Seine River and features a unique design and cutting-edge technology.

Scenic Opal

The 169-passenger Scenic Opal boasts spacious cabins and public areas, as well as a splash pool and resistence swimming pool. Fares include all excursions, drinks and gratuities.

Scenic Jasper

Scenic Jasper is Scenic's 11th "Space Ship" -- so called because of the higher-than-average amount of space dedicated to public areas. Fares include all excursions, drinks and gratuities.

Scenic Eclipse

Featuring the sleek profile of a luxury super yacht, the all-suite, 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse will be the first ocean cruise ship from Australian line Scenic.

Scenic Spirit
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Spirit’s all-inclusive cruises come with complimentary beverages, a pool and spa, gourmet dining, luxurious bedding and L'Occitane toiletries.

Scenic Aura
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 22-suite Scenic Aura, launched in 2016, sails the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar between Mandalay and Pyay with an almost 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio.

Scenic Amber

Launched in 2016, Scenic Amber has capacity for 169 passengers and 51 crew, this all-suite river ship offers a contemporary cruising experience.

Scenic Azure
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

In 2016 Scenic became the first non-Portuguese company to operate on the Douro River, which means the luxury Australian line can uphold its high standards.

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