Having just read a review by someone I knew to be on the same cruise I thought I would add my thoughts as well.
Firstly Discovery Team...outstanding and knowledgeable. They appeared to genuinely love their jobs and that was demonstrated time and time again.
Captain and staff on the bridge always welcoming and engaging.
The welcome. Non existent and very poor. Considering the world is currently reeling from Coronavirus when I noted to the Guest Relations Manager that no one was made to wash their hands ( or use sanitizer) as they boarded the ship, I was told people have common sense!! Really , having been on two buses and an airplane everyone should have been made to wash their hands. Same at restaurants, we observed time and time again a lack of hand hygiene.
On embarking we were sent to level 5, to find Azure and the staff there were completely unprepared for our arrival. We asked for champagne that took half and hour to find. Our lunch was a salad bowl, those sent to Elements got a three course meal and table service with wines, level 7 patrons received a buffet meal and some people were ushered into the Lounge and apparently they got a welcome drink!! Completely tainted the first impression of the trip.. Eventually after giving ourselves a tour of the ship we made our way to the Lounge and found staff giving out room keys. It was shambolic.
The room. We had Gränd deluxe veranda suite. Size was fabulous, however there are lots of form over function issues that have been mentioned before. On a rocky day at sea, note there are no handles to grasp in the toilet and you are likely to pull the toilet roll holder from the wall!! Unlike the other reviewer we had an exceptional butler and cleaner who went out of their way to ensure that the fridge was stocked with champagne ( the wine on board was average to say the least. AUST ship and didn’t show case any wines from well established and known labels. Extremely disappointing), folded our clothes, had pots of tea in our room after dinner...nothing but praise for their thoughtfulness and preemptive actions. However fair warning to anyone in rooms 512 to 501 you will hear everything that is on in the theatre particularly music. Once again Scenic are aware that you will have a constant boom boom but no compensation and as yet no attempts to remediate the situation. It’s fixable but annoying.
Restaurants were hit and miss. Some meals great, some barely passable. Don’t expect to go to Chefs Table...no one has quite worked out the way guests are asked but it would have been a treat on a 19 day trip as the choices became limited. Sushi almost impossible to get a seat at unless you line up at 1830 for a 1900 seating. There was a group of guests who did that every night.
If you like spirits you are well catered for. If you like wine and champagne the ship does not care. The champagne bar at Lumiere is a joke...supposedly you can sit at the bar and try the champagne before the meal ( I think there are only 5 and none that were on the Captains list...you pay extra for those ) and have caviar and oysters. The waiter asked the kitchen for oysters and the chef threw a hissy fit (we could see her as the kitchen is glass and said it was her prep time and was so angry, stomping and slamming on the bench.) Completely underwhelming and not the special experience we had hoped for on Australia Day.
Final thoughts it’s a beautiful product , all shiny and new ( literally ) but someone has not invested any time or money into making everyone feel special. Just a few tweaks, some finesse and understanding that after a 2am wake up for a 3 am bus trip for flight to Ushuaia and then arriving in Ushuaia at 11 to drive around until 12 is not conducive to guests being treated like cattle and no welcome...definitely not 6 Star. The potential is there to be six stars, just hope they listen to what seasoned travelers are telling them.
Would I go again? Probably on version number 2 where hopefully some design changes are being made that will enhance the functionality and enjoyment of all the guests