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Everything posted by djh1959

  1. Congratulations! We are cruising with Scenic for the first time next year too, but a shorter trip, Amsterdam to Basel, Rhine Highlights from October 14-21. It will be for our 35th anniversary. We too will go to Budapest but by train to meet up with some friends. Enjoy the planning.
  2. Well please post a review Balloon Man. This will be our first cruise, and I only know what to expect from reading on here and my parent's trips. Some people have commented that their butler was fantastic, but others have said that they never saw him/her, which would be disappointing.
  3. I am not sure that that is correct. We haven't been yet, going next October, but when I booked they said that all cabins could have room service from a small room service menu, but only the higher end cabins can have a full breakfast, lunch or dinner served in their room. We booked a Junior suite specifically for this reason, I think on days with an early start, breakfast in the cabin would be great and we might want one dinner by ourselves.
  4. Lucerne is gorgeous! Not to be missed are the covered bridge, the Lion Monument and really do try to do a mountain excursion and a lake cruise. We did two, a day on Mt. Titlis because we wanted to see lots of snow. We also did a day on Mt. Riji which included a lake cruise before catching the train up the mountain. Dinner at the Old Swiss House is also excellent, particularly if you like schnitzels cooked in butter. Delicious!
  5. So was that Scenic that offered a refund? That is quite surprising, because they rarely do.
  6. I just made our booking at Banks Mansion for October 2019, and that month is definitely available now. I was fairly shocked at the price though, it has risen considerably since our last stay. I have made a cancellable reservation and will modify to a prepaid one when it's a lot closer. @Michael50, what dates in October were you looking for? I am surprised it is booked out already, although it is very popular. We have recommended it to friends and they couldn't get in, but not eleven months in advance.
  7. I have to second the Banks Mansion! Fabulous hotel that we stayed at a few years ago. We will definitely be rebooking there before our river cruise next October. Book a Deluxe Canal View room, they are beautiful.
  8. We have one booked for October 2019. It will be our first from Amsterdam to Basel. We have put this trip off for years as everyone said we were too young, we've finally got old enough, but now I am very worried.
  9. So sorry to hear of your situation abelov. You are quite right, it is not the way to lead in to a much anticipated holiday. We are booked with Scenic, but luckily not until October next year. I am already stressing after reading these boards. I very much doubt they will let you cancel, unless you simply forfeit all your money, which is hardly what you will want. Someone recently posted the link to the solicitor who handled the last class action against Scenic. They are currently preparing another one for this year's issues, as it seems Scenic are about the worst in the way they are treating people. I do hope things work out for your and please keep posting so we know how you get on.
  10. We spent five days in Lucerne a couple of years ago, not connected with a river cruise, just an independent train holiday. It was incredibly easy to manage. We did not to Pilatus, but chose to do day trips to Mt. Titlis, which was stunning, and also Mt. Rigi which included a lake cruise. The trains are very simple to prebook online or at the station. It is often cheaper to prebook, especially for long trips. We travelled from Salzburg to Lucerne for our five nights, then continued by train to Zurich for a day or two before flying home. We stayed at Hotel Des Alpes, where we had a room with a balcony overlooking the famous Chapel Bridge and the river. The rooms was a little dated back then but I believe they have now renovated. All hotels are very expensive, as is everything in Switzerland, but our views were stunning and I would certainly stay again. And I totally agree with pcbeck, do not miss the Lion Monument and Swiss House. We travelled Europe with two early 20s boys who ate schnitzel pretty well every lunch and dinner and they both voted the Swiss House the best that they had eaten, and we certainly agreed. The chocolate mouse for dessert isn't too bad either!
  11. Marjan1 and pully8. I am so glad you posted that. I too am in Australia and there is certainly no such thing as "cancel for any reason". We are booked with Scenic for next October, the Rhine Highlights, and I am seriously regretting paying the $2000AUD non-refundable deposit. I am even considering cancelling now, but losing $2000 for nothing doesn't thrill me. I am working on the basis that surely this couldn't happen again next year, but I know that it could. Just our 7 night cruise was $12000, then we still have to add flights and pre- and post-cruise. Luckily we will do all that ourselves and not involve Scenic at all, as from what I have read on here and on social media they are pretty much the worst company of the lot. I wish I had known that before booking, but my parents have done four trips and raved about them. I know for a lot of retirees that these river cruises are literally using their life savings before they settle to a life of relative poverty and it is so sad for them when this happens. In our case, we have been lucky enough to travel to Europe regularly although that probably won't continue for too much longer. I am using the small inheritance left to me by my father for this trip and would be devastated if it gets ruined. Due to bladder issues, bus trips longer that 45-60 minutes are just not possible, so if this happened to us, I would have to cancel the trip, and as you said, our travel insurance wouldn't cover it. What we need is for Scenic to cancel, but they haven't done that this year at all, unfortunately. We already have our Plan B in place with either trains from Amsterdam to Basel or possibly hiring a car if worst comes to the worst. The problem is finding the money to pay for it all, when it is all tied up in the cruise. I think the idea of a River Cruise Bill of Rights would be wonderful, but again, not sure it would hold in Australia.
  12. Thanks for posting this. We are about to spend five days in Strasbourg shortly after Christmas, so it was wonderful to watch.
  13. Mimmy52 you are exactly right. I was reading another post of yours and I saw your reviews in your signature. I have also found another couple of older ones. Even though it is in the past, the photos and things are rarely very different. Thanks again.
  14. I too have loved your review and hope that you are still following. We are booked Amsterdam to Basel next October 2019. Not with Viking, but another line. Just hoping we don't have the problems with low water that has happened this year. Your review, and photos, were fantastic. Thanks
  15. 28 Days!!!! That is pretty disgraceful for a supposed "luxury 5 star" company. Why don't you telephone, at least someone needs to respond. Oh how I wish we hadn't booked with Scenic for next year, so tempted to cancel but then we lose $2000 AUD deposit.
  16. notamermaid, I am in Melbourne, Australia, and they were talking about it on the radio the other day. Someone called in saying that their friend's cruise had been cancelled. Everyone seemed very shocked and had no idea why, but then people started ringing in explaining. So the news is certainly filtering out.
  17. I see that you are in Australia. I know insurance will cover if Scenic cancels, but what sort of amendments will they cover for? Do you mind me asking who you are insured with please. From what I understand, it is highly unlikely that Scenic will cancel, they will suggest buses and hotels. And if you decide not to go ahead, insurance won't cover it because it was your choice. Hopefully I am wrong but that's what I have heard from a few insurance companies.
  18. Can't help with the driving but we were in Avignon last year and stayed at the Hotel de L'Horloge. We had a terrace room with a view of the Palais du Papes. Really nice, boutique style hotel.
  19. We will be in Amsterdam next year before our river cruise, that will be with Scenic instead of Viking. We will be doing three extra days in Amsterdam before the trip, which will will do under our own steam. Like the above poster, we will stay at Banks Mansion. We have stayed there before and I totally agree that it is a fabulous hotel in an excellent location. It will always be cheaper to do it on your own, and in my opinion, more fun.
  20. We too hope you get another ship! I am beginning to really wish we hadn't booked Scenic for next year, their service really doesn't seem to match their price point. Hopefully your trip will be stress free and relaxing.
  21. We are booked for October 2019 on Scenic - Amsterdam to Basel. We are doing our own flights a few days earlier and then staying in Europe for 10-14 days after to train with friends from Basel through Switzerland and Austria to Vienna and finally Budapest. I have my plan B all worked out already. If river levels mean a cancellation, or worse a bus trip, we will catch trains from Amsterdam to Basel, and the start of end of our holiday will continue as always planned. Possibly being pessimistic but at least we can relax knowing that we will have a great holiday anyway. Hope all goes well for you.
  22. At least they are now offering you five days insurance, which is a vast improvement on the original one day that you had. It is still not good enough though, I wouldn't mind betting that there might be another class action coming for Scenic.
  23. Well hopefully we wish ours was longer too, because that means that it was as great as we are hoping!
  24. jeb_bud, you must be on a different cruise to us then, because there is only one Scenic Amsterdam to Basel in October (and two going the other way). Ours is also only a 7 night cruise, where yours is obviously a lot longer, lucky you. We were originally planning Amsterdam to Budapest, but changed our minds with all the bad reviews. At least one week isn't too much of a waste if things go wrong. We also have the discount offer for early payment, but to me it is far too early to commit that amount of money. We have paid $1000 AUD each deposit and the rest isn't paid until three months before. We prefer to do our own flights as we love to fly Emirates and as I said we are also meeting other people, so much easier to do it ourselves. We won't be cancelling the holiday if things go wrong as we are celebrating major birthdays and a wedding anniversary, so will just swap the cruise portion to a train trip instead.
  25. jeb_bud. We may very well be on the same trip - we are leaving (hopefully) on 14th October, Amsterdam to Basel on the Pearl at this stage. You are right that the Scenic buses have toilets but there are still a couple of problems. Generally you are told not to use them except in an emergency. In my case there would be a lot of emergencies and it does get a little bit embarrassing. The comfort of the toilets wouldn't be an issue, having travelled a lot in Asia with this condition, believe me I have seen some horrendous toilets. It is more the embarrassment that bothers me. The other issue is that from reading some Facebook posts, because there are so many issues on the rivers at the minute, there are not always enough Scenic buses to go around and so quite often people are put on other buses with no toilets. That would be totally impossible for me to do. RDC1, you are also right that they are maximums and they don't provide any minimums which is fairly poor. My husband and I have already decided that if we have a similar situation, we will elect to leave the trip and use trains. We already have plans involving other people in Amsterdam pre-cruise and elsewhere in Europe after it, so total cancellation won't be happening. I must admit that at this point, I am seriously regretting the non-refundable $2000 AUD that we have paid but it's too late for that now.
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