Scenic Gem River Cruise Review
We were a little bit apprehensive before travelling as Scenic Tours changed our ship from the smaller Scenic Jade to the larger ship Scenic Gem. We actually have had a wonderful time, and it was lovely to be on a brand new ship, which was superb.
On board there were 6 British, 4 US and 6 Canadian passengers, the rest were Australian. We did notice that the attire on board was smart-casual, but we couldn't get over just how casual some of the Australian guests dressed, however they did tend to dress up a little more when it was the Captains night! All the passengers all got on really well. Fortunately for all the places we visited we were very lucky with the weather with sunshine, but apparently for the next week we were told that at Passau they are worried about the river water level and have been told that 2 boats will not be able to dock together unlike on our cruise.
The Cruise Director and Hotel Manager were very very good. The excursions that were included and pre booked before travel along with the extra optional excursions that we booked and paid for on board were all fantastic! Scenic have their own coaches and you have 3 Scenic coaches that follow you right through to the end of your holiday, they were superb, as were the tour guides. In Amsterdam we saw the Red light district, which was very interesting!!! In Budapest we had an evening tour down the river which was lovely, especially seeing it all lit up. Another thing that worked well was that everybody is given a ‘Gizmo’ which was an earpiece you put into your ears and log on to the guide when you are on the excursions, it was all very well organised.
Our cabin was a deluxe balcony cabin #205 which was a decent size. We were able to sit out on the balcony and also slide our patio door right across. We only had a shower in the cabin which was large too and we had bigger wardrobes than our friends that we met that had a Junior Suite! These suites have a WC and wash basin, bath and separate shower, which is a smaller shower and if you bend over our friends said your bum hits the glass! And the wardrobe on the suite was actually smaller than ours! In the suites they have a butler, receive fruit in the morning and tea/coffee and chocolate. We felt that personally our cabin was actually better than our friends suite and would be happy to travel again in the same cabin. In our cabin we were also provided with 2 hand walking poles, an umbrella, a bottle of still and fizzy water, a bottle of wine and 2 glasses, a free mini bar which was topped up every day, a small tub of Pringles crisps and a bar of chocolate, again these were replaced every day if we used them. At night we also received a chocolate on our pillow and the towels were made up into different animal shapes too! All drinks were free at any time of the day, which some passengers took full advantage of! We were also given a free bottle of water for when we went on shore excursions.
Everybody on board the ship had an opportunity to dine in Portobello's specialist restaurant with no charge, and for passengers who were booked in cabins on deck 3 they also had the opportunity to dine in the La Reeve speciality restaurant with no charge. The main restaurant, The Crystal, was very nice as was the self-service River Café. Entertainment on board was very good, with various artists, one night when we were in Hungary they had Hungarian dances and musicians which involved audience participation, another evening we had a gentleman come on and play the Zither, which is a sort of string instrument, he was fantastic! There was also a resident musician who played the keyboard, sang and played the guitar and trumpet, again he was very good and got everybody dancing. We were lucky enough to visit the galley and the head chef did a demonstration for us, we also had a glass blower come on board who was amazing.
We were on holiday to celebrate my 70th Birthday and Scenic recognised this, we also got a lovely card from yourselves at RiverCruising.co.uk. Some passengers we got talking to had previously been on a Viking River Cruise and they said that Scenic was far superior, although so was the cost, but it is well worth it. We would definitely recommend Scenic Tours and RiverCruising.co.uk.
"Amazing feedback for Scenic Tours. It just goes to prove that you get what you pay for on a premium river cruise, the service standards are second to none! Thank you to Scenic for delivering a quality experience for our clients, they thoroughly enjoyed their 70th Birthday celebration river cruise." Phil - MD RiverCruising.co.uk