We chose Scenic in part due to the all inclusive price, no tipping, no added fees. We also received a recommendation from our travel agent. We arrived in Amsterdam 1 day early, primarily to help with jet lag. In hind site it would have been better to have come 2 days early to enjoy Amsterdam more before the cruise started.
Embarkation was much easier than initially described. We were told that we would be boarding at 15:00, however we were able to board the ship at 12:30 and enjoy the lounge while rooms were readied and to start to get a feel for the ship. Disembarkation in Budapest was equally smooth and relaxed. From the very first interaction the care and training of the staff was obvious, everyone was friendly and helpful.
The ship (Jade) appeared to be recently refurbished and everything was in top condition. The cabin was well laid out and easy to use. The dining experience was excellent, breakfast and lunch were primarily buffet, however a menu was available if a passenger wanted a meal with more than buffet preparation. The dinners were we very delicious and well presented.
The entertainment (a quartet, a zither musician, a waltz couple and lessons and Hungarian dancing) were timed with the ports and shore excursions and provided a inspiration during time in the lounge.
The service on the ship, at all levels was top flight and everyone was both friendly and helpful.
The shorE excursions were also first class with lots of information and pace geared to various levels of needs. In addition the medieval dinner, sound of music show and the concert left us with very happy memories.
We did face a ship shift, that is we started on the Jade but at Nuremberg we had a bus ride to change to the Jewel. We had been cautioned that this happens. On the positive side it went like clockwork. We were told what we needed when we needed it. For example we were 1.5 days ahead that this was coming, then the next evening we needed to pack then on the day of the shift, we did our normal shore tours and then after lunch boarded the buses and were in our new cabin in time for supper. For the most part the ships were identical. The jewel had not been updated and the lounge furniture was older and the shower faucet was older but worked well.
The only problem was with the WIFI. On the Jade we had great service in our cabin, however on the Jewel we had no service in our cabin. Passengers on one side of us had service while the passengers on the other side of us did not have service. Despite asking reception for help (and they in turn asking engineering to look into the matter), there appeared to be nothing to be done about this,
We did not have any children on the trip with us and we are both quite mobile.
Would we go again, definitely. In fact we are already dreaming of future trips with Scenic.
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