Scenic Jewel April 12-19, 2013 Inaugural
Recently, I had the great opportunity to sail on Scenic River Cruises newest vessel, the Scenic Jewel. As it was a special sailing, we boarded in Mainz, Germany, en route to Amsterdam.
From the moment we boarded, you could see the difference with Scenic Tours. Embarkation procedures were done onboard – from the lounge after you had a moment to settle down with a glass of champagne. Once the formalities were completed, it was off to our stateroom and its innovative Scenic Sun Lounge.
This is one of the best innovations I’ve seen onboard! With the touch of a switch, the upper glass portion of the balcony can raise or lower – allowing you to enjoy the scenery along the river, no matter what the conditions. And, Scenic has gone one step further in their design of the balcony area. Instead of heavy metal and sliding glass doors, they have created a sliding glass panel system that effectively opens up the balcony area into your stateroom – virtually expanding your stateroom!
Staterooms were very nicely laid out with lots of closet space and plenty of electrical outlets. You will definitely need to bring along a converter and adaptor for the room’s European plugs!
The Bathroom had plenty of storage and one of the most spacious showers at sea considering the space limitations of a River Boat.
The ship was very pleasant – light and airy in its décor, with lots of comfortable seating in the Panorama Lounge. A unique feature with Scenic River Cruises and the Panorama Lounge is their River Café – Late risers Breakfast, casual Lunch and yummy snacks available throughout the day here!
This is also the location for the Portobello Restaurant – available by reservation at no additional charge. This is a lovely Italian restaurant, with wonderful views facing the bow of the vessel – perfect for those early afternoon adventures with one of the many locks along the rivers!
Great views from Portobello Restaurant
as we entered one of many locks!
A Trio of Desserts at Portobello!
Dining in the main restaurant was very nice – meals freshly prepared and service with a smile!
Breakfast and lunch are more of a buffet option, but included table service for the hot items. Lunch and dinner were always accompanied by a choice of wines. Selections for both lunch and dinner every time included a fish option, and there were continually standard items such as chicken and salmon if nothing caught your fancy!
Sailing along the Rhine Gorge is one of the most scenic itineraries – and when they say Castles along the Rhine – it’s not one or two, but dozens upon dozens!
With Scenic – you have your choice of excursions to take – all included and nothing at an additional cost. You can take a bicycle out either on your own or as part of a tour. Walking tours are offered on most ports where the town or village is right at the river. Or, Scenic has a fleet of buses almost shadowing us along the river – meeting at the next port of call where required to take us up to a 12th Century Castle for dinner and a show or into the ancient city of Bruges.
Onboard we were all equipped with our own Scenic Tailormade devices. This is a guided GPS tour system which alerts you to the next point of interest along the river, or whilst on your own walking tour through town! What an excellent way to tour!
With Scenic River Cruises all inclusive experience, you are never asked to sign for a beverage or pay gratuities – it’s all included – all part of why Scenic River Cruises is
“The Ultimate River Cruising Experience”!