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Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Postby cruiseselect » 08 Apr 2015 11:45

I have recently been lucky enough to experience a 5* Scenic Tours river cruise aboard Scenic Jasper (a Scenic ‘spaceship’). She is a brand new vessel sailing for the first time this April.

I wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first river cruise experience.

When we arrived at the ship, it was raining and there was a lady with a golf umbrella waiting to escort me right into reception where I was greeted with a glass of Champagne. You would think all pretty standard on a deluxe product, but then I was presented with a single rose and shown to my cabin. On entry into my cabin there on the table was a vase already filled with water waiting for my rose. Surely that's attention to detail and that's just the welcome!!

The décor inside was distinctively modern and very sleek. Black, white & chrome were the main colours throughout the ship. All designed by the wife of the owner, so a great deal can be said about a "woman's touch" and in this case, "A touch of class".

I stayed in a balcony suite which came with a TV, complimentary mini bar, welcome bottles of water which were constantly replenished, slippers & robe, internet use via the TV, earplugs, walking poles, umbrella and a safe. Plus plenty of storage space. The bathroom had a lovely walk in shower and the highlight for me was that it had a colour changing light within the shower head, giving multi coloured rain of your choice...just a small touch, but quite a novel idea.
All staterooms also have a butler service! The higher the grade, the more Butler privileges you receive plus you get on board credit in some cabins.

With the balcony cabins you can choose to be enclosed in bad weather or lower the outside window to give you a regular balcony feel. All of this is done at a touch of a button. As you may imagine the weather in March wasn’t that great, so it was nice to still be able to enjoy the views from your balcony and not get cold.

There are different grades of cabins including Junior and Royal Suites. The Royal Panoramic Suites can be found at the back of the ship and offer a large sitting area with big panoramic windows. Absolutely beautiful but double the price, so not for everyone!

There was a small gym and wellness room onboard. The wellness room offered massages etc and these can be booked once on board.
Wellness area.jpg

Because of the weather we didn't get a chance to sit up on Sun Deck but I can imagine in the summer it is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the view. There are various sun loungers, reclining chairs, barbeque area and a pool.

135 m long.jpg

Life on board is completely all inclusive. Everything from gratuities, to drinks to shore excursions is included. You may think the initial price of the holiday is expensive but when you consider all that’s included, it is good value for money.

The Crystal Dining Room has a modern décor, and this is where breakfast is served (buffet style). You can also enjoy room service if you wish.
For dinner, the Crystal dining room offers a waiter service dinner. This is where we also enjoyed a Captain’s gala dinner which is a more formal affair with a champagne toast and beautiful dining. At the front of the restaurant, behind a separate glass panel is the speciality area which is called Portabello's and although included in the holiday, you do have to make a reservation once on board.

Crystal dining room again.jpg

All excursions are included. You also get given your own Personal Scenic Tailormade device which are used for sightseeing. This means you can hear your guide even from afar. These could also be used independently when off the ship as they use the latest GPS and show you where you and the ship are. So you should never get lost! All of the excursions are arranged through the Cruise Director and everything is operated very smoothly and efficiently.

In Amsterdam, I opted for a tour to Zaanse Schans which was a taste of Dutch life and although good as an overall view, I couldn't help but feel that it’s just a place for tourists...even though locals do live there, but seeing ten other coaches in the car park means that you are just one of many.

Zaanse Schans.jpg

I also chose to do a tour of Bruges but in hindsight I think this was probably the wrong choice for me as it took an hour and a half each way with only a little free time to explore. I probably would have been better off spending the time in Antwerp.

During the evening, they did have a piano player and one night there was a crew show which was very light hearted.

There are very few announcements on board but instead information is provided in your cabin.

I wouldn't have any hesitation to recommend Scenic and they have quite an extensive fleet to choose from. I would say that it’s important to choose the right itinerary and make sure that the ports do have an interest for you.
I would also personally choose a cruise that sails overnight as on the odd occasion I could hear the engines during the night - not like an ocean liner with a swaying motion, but with the shudder of the engines which although only lasted a moment could be quite disturbing for a light sleeper.

Even Bedford Bear got to enjoy the trip with me!
Bedford bear.jpg

I really enjoyed my time on Scenic Jasper and can quite understand why it is a five star service as there are no stones unturned. It’s just a shame I couldn't bring my butler home with me!
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Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Postby Dave » 08 Apr 2015 12:40

Thanks for that Sarah. It looks absolutely fantastic - and very classy! :D

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Postby Borneo » 08 Apr 2015 14:36

You've made that sound very tempting. Enjoyed reading it and the photos.
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Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Postby grannyM » 08 Apr 2015 17:24

Borneo wrote:You've made that sound very tempting. Enjoyed reading it and the photos.

Same here Sarah and as Dave said, it all looks and sounds very classy. Thanks for the review and photos. :D
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Sarah's 5* River Cruise Experience with Scenic Tours

Postby bobbyoscar » 08 Apr 2015 18:53

Sarah, it all sound lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Cruises booked:
June 2020 Celebrity Silhouette
- Bergen - Geiranger - Flam - Stavanger
Sept 2020 Celebrity Silhouette - Madeira - Tenerife - Las Palmas - Lisbon- Vigo
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