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  #1  
Old April 28th, 2012, 06:01 AM
cruisemuse cruisemuse is offline
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Default Scenic Tours cruise vs AMA or Tauck?

I'm looking at a river cruise from AMsterdam to Budapest next year. I have narrowed it down to AMA Waterways or Tauck, but I am now considering Scenic Tours. Can anyone give me some feedback on how these 3 cruises would compare? I will be booking a cabin with balcony or French Balcony. thanks
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  #2  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:08 PM
franski franski is offline
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Hi -

I have not cruised with Tauck - but there are a number here who have - and rave about the experience.

I have cruised with both AMA and Scenic. If it is truly a choice not driven by cost - my choice would be Scenic. I was just saying to my DH the other day that I would love an opportunity to travel with them again.

I would need to watch for a sale, however, as (at least in our neck of the woods) the prices are quite a bit higher than comparative cruises.

I don't think you could go wrong with either Tauck or Scenic. Both are "all inclusive". Scenic does have actual balconies - although they are small.

The itinerary is a great one as well.

Fran
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  #3  
Old April 28th, 2012, 11:56 PM
shoshona2 shoshona2 is offline
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Hi Fran,

I was wondering what the smoking policy is on Scenic.

Sheila
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  #4  
Old April 29th, 2012, 01:19 AM
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I'm an Australian and a Tauck fan. We cruised last September and considered Scenic, APT (who are partners with AMA) and Tauck. I recently compared prices to see if there has been any changes and once again found that using the current rate for the Aussie dollar that Tauck compares most favourably with the other two in cost. APT and Scenic both claim to be all-inclusive but APT still add port charges and neither Scenic nor APT provide free soft drinks all day and night.

It is true that Scenic's big selling point is their outside balconies and at present they are offering we Aussies free air if we book a year or so in advance. BUT as was pointed out by travel articles down here they are also still countering noise and vibration complaints in rear cabins from recent Australian cruisers and complaints that they had to change boats mid-cruise whilst other lines sailed past them. They were basically annoyed that "nothing had seem to change " from a couple of years back.

Our next cruise will not be until the northern summer of 2014 (our 40th Anniversary) and we've chosen France and unless something leaps up and grabs us we'll be cruising with Tauck again. They were just that good.
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  #5  
Old April 29th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozjohnno View Post
BUT as was pointed out by travel articles down here they are also still countering noise and vibration complaints in rear cabins from recent Australian cruisers and complaints that they had to change boats mid-cruise whilst other lines sailed past them. They were basically annoyed that "nothing had seem to change " from a couple of years back.
What ship were they on?
Why did they switch ships? water levels / mechanical problems???
The only time I have heard of them switching ships was due to the water levels being too high or too low & of course last year when they closed the river traffic to remove the bombs
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  #6  
Old April 29th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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If you are booking 2013...look at my Scenic post.
They will offer MUCH MORE than other lines in 2013 including free drinks and butler service on all decks.

I'd be surprised to find ANY river ship that didn't have some vibration...these things steer by using more than simple propellers. You will experience some noise on a river ship...yes. You will go through locks in middle of the night sometimes and also feel the bumping.
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  #7  
Old April 29th, 2012, 03:46 PM
shoshona2 shoshona2 is offline
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Hi RvrCrzr,

Could you answer my question about "smoking policy" aboard Scenic ships?

Sheila
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  #8  
Old April 29th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shoshona2 View Post
Hi RvrCrzr,

Could you answer my question about "smoking policy" aboard Scenic ships?

Sheila
Sheila
I read someplace that it was only in the forward lounge & maybe the sundeck but hope someone will have the correct answer
Lyn
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  #9  
Old April 29th, 2012, 05:05 PM
franski franski is offline
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Sheila -

I believer there is smoking on the top deck - and also on the front observation deck.

Not a lot of smokers on our cruise - so didn't really pay that much attention.

Perhaps RvrCrzr has more specifics.

Sorry.

Fran
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  #10  
Old April 29th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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The only place you can smoke on a Scenic Spaceship is on the very AFT of the Sun Deck or just in front of the wheelhouse (where the Captain is). The Captain warned us, "If you don't see an ashtray...you cannot smoke there."

There is NO SMOKING anywhere INSIDE the ship or on the balconies. Period.
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  #11  
Old April 29th, 2012, 09:36 PM
shoshona2 shoshona2 is offline
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Thanks for the "smoking policy" answers. As a non-smoker I appreciate the info.

Sheila
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  #12  
Old April 30th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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From the latest email I received from Scenic today they give this information for river cruisers on their boats for 2013.

Unlimited complimentary beverages are always available throughout the ship including regional wines, boutique beers, spirits, cocktails, bottled water and espresso coffee. You will also enjoy our relaxing new River Café a open for all day grazing, as well as enjoying sumptuous first-class cuisine in our incredible on board restaurants. With all-inclusive dining, beverages and of course our unforgettable on shore experiences, you really will have nothing more to pay with us!

This is a big step forward in being "all-inclusive" as the best that Tauck can offer at present is free non-alcoholic drinks 24 hrs and free beer and wines at dinner and lunch. From reading the Scenic information it appears that all alcoholic drinks are complimentary all day and night. That is an amazing offer from Scenic and I'll now wait and see how that effects their per diem costs compared to 2011 when we did our costings for our holidays.

Last edited by Ozjohnno; April 30th, 2012 at 07:46 PM. Reason: addition info
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  #13  
Old May 4th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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This is true about Scenic and much more. I just experienced all the 2013 changes aboard the maiden voyage of Scenic Crystal.
Also changing:
All decks will have butler service, internet will be complimentary, transfers from the airport will become private transfers, etc. Scenic will be the ONLY all-inclusive river cruise line out there.

If you purchase your 2013 departures before the end of May and you'll get 2012 prices on 2013 cruises too. No other river cruise line can touch that.
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  #14  
Old May 4th, 2012, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RvrCrzr View Post
This is true about Scenic and much more. I just experienced all the 2013 changes aboard the maiden voyage of Scenic Crystal.
Can you elaborate?
Were they giving some of the new amenities on the Crystal now?
Was it just for your voyage or are they implementing the changes now fleet wide?
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:47 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozjohnno View Post
From the latest email I received from Scenic today they give this information for river cruisers on their boats for 2013.

Unlimited complimentary beverages are always available throughout the ship including regional wines, boutique beers, spirits, cocktails, bottled water and espresso coffee. You will also enjoy our relaxing new River Café a open for all day grazing, as well as enjoying sumptuous first-class cuisine in our incredible on board restaurants. With all-inclusive dining, beverages and of course our unforgettable on shore experiences, you really will have nothing more to pay with us!

This is a big step forward in being "all-inclusive"
Wow, that is really all inclusive! Even though our bar tab is reasonable on a 7 night river cruise, having those inclusions would be very nice!
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  #16  
Old May 4th, 2012, 05:11 PM
Luv2Travelalso Luv2Travelalso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RvrCrzr View Post
This is true about Scenic and much more. I just experienced all the 2013 changes aboard the maiden voyage of Scenic Crystal.
Also changing:
All decks will have butler service, internet will be complimentary, transfers from the airport will become private transfers, etc. Scenic will be the ONLY all-inclusive river cruise line out there.

If you purchase your 2013 departures before the end of May and you'll get 2012 prices on 2013 cruises too. No other river cruise line can touch that.

How cool to be on Scenic Crystal's maiden voyage! We are booked on it in June 2012. Was there a video of the christening that we can access? Where did the Crystal go on its maiden voyage? Thank you.
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  #17  
Old May 6th, 2012, 12:36 AM
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I made a post already about Scenic's new 2013 changes when they go all-inclusive.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1624627
No, the Scenic ships are not doing these changes this season...only ours did to show us what it will be like. They will be fleetwide in 2013.

The maiden voyage was only for Scenic Staff, Australia agents, press and about 5 US agents. (myself) The ship was built south of Amsterdam so we boarded there and we cruised down to Rudesheim to the christening ceremony. I departed there.

I put up a video on youtube of the christening. Just search 'scenic crystal christening' and it will come up for you. I've posted many pics on facebook and am posting blog review as well. Sorry I'm so vague, but this site forces me to be.
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  #18  
Old May 8th, 2012, 09:26 PM
Luv2Travelalso Luv2Travelalso is offline
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Default thanks.. RvrCrzr

Thanks for answering and I do understand about the rules of the site. Also I think they are good rules, as one can trust what people are saying, as opposed to someone pushing "their" company.

I think your trip would have been awesome. All the whistles and bells were there for you.

From what we have read from everywhere, we think, the owner has visions bar none!!! We are looking forward to hitting the button and then.... having a sun lounge. This is our "first" boat/ship cruise ever, and have had it booked for almost a year now. I thank you for your insight and passing that along. We can't access your photos on facebook or blog, but did watch your christening video, hope the bottle didn't put a dent in the boat!!!

I think we will have to save our money so we can take it again, and get the butler plus all the extras! Thanks again.
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  #19  
Old May 9th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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You are welcome. I'm uploading pics to webshots as well. Should be done soon.

Even without the added amenities...I think you will find the trip to be amazing. The ship, the staff and the scenery are simply amazing. I've been on a lot of cruises...and this one rates the highest.

I hope you have the best time of your life. I'm betting...you just might!
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  #20  
Old May 11th, 2012, 11:05 AM
Luv2Travelalso Luv2Travelalso is offline
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Talking RvrCrzr

Wow, with all your cruises that you have taken..... and this one rates the highest - that is impressive!

I know when we went to one of their presentations (in AB Canada) last year, we were so impressed with everything, that we booked this trip. It just seems that it truly is a very well oiled "boat"..... (I know, a baby ship)

Sitting on our balcony with a glass of wine and looking at the castles as we slither by, is truly going to be wonderful, speaking of which...... can one see over the railing on the balcony? I was looking at one of the pics and wondered if you had to be "tall" to see over it????

Thank you again for taking the time to always answer
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