As one of Scenic’s innovative ‘Space-Ships’, the Scenic Jewel – launched onto Europe’s rivers in 2013 – is big on space, both in public areas and also in staterooms and suites. It shares the same spec as its sisters, the Scenic Crystal and Jade, and all three ships offer the unique ‘Scenic Sun-Lounges’ concept in most cabins, allowing guests to enjoy the breeze and river views come rain or shine. In fact, 85% of the Jewel’s cabins have a balcony of some description.
Boasting the ‘all-inclusive’ label, a voyage on the Scenic Jewel includes all meals, all drinks (other than a select few high-end spirits and Champagne), shore excursions, Wi-Fi use and a personal in-room butler service. With the little added creature comforts, including television-Mac computers in every cabin and premium L’Occitane bath products in the bathrooms, a trip on the Scenic Jewel would be the perfect choice for anyone looking for an upmarket, elegant and luxurious trip down the river.
The majority of passengers hail from Australia and the UK, but cruises on the line are also popular with more mature travellers from the USA and Canada, too. Travellers tend to have similar interests in culture, sightseeing and history, which they can indulge with the varied shore excursions.
When full, the ship can hold 169 passengers, who can benefit from a crew to passenger ratio of approximately 1:3.3, ensuring service is professional, personalised and attentive at all times.
As with other Scenic ships, the Scenic Jewel offers six different dining venues for guests to sample, including the enticing room service option, thanks to the onboard butler service.
Elsewhere, guests can choose from the open-seating main Crystal Dining Room, which dishes up a buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, before setting up for the dinner service - is a sit-down, waiter service, fine dining affair. Dish options consist of popular fare and regional specialities, all freshly prepared by the professional chefs onboard.
Alternative venues include the romantic and intimate Portobellos, a 25-seat Italian restaurant, and Table La Rive, which is an exclusive 10-cover restaurant for Diamond Deck passengers and reminiscent of a Chef’s Table experience. At Table La Rive there is a gourmet, six course fine dining menu with wine pairings for each course. Dining at Table La Rive and Portobellos doesn’t carry a surcharge, but reservations are a must. Other dining options include the al-fresco Riverview Terrace on the Sun Deck, and the River Café one deck below, which is an ideal spot for casual dining and snacks.
Drinks are complimentary throughout the cruise, including local wines and beers during lunch and dinner, plus drinks from the bar. Hot beverages are also available on a self-serve basis and include a range of coffees, hot chocolates, and bagged and loose leaf teas. Dress code is smart casual in the evenings, with passengers saving their most elegant outfits for the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell dinners, or for when dining in Portobellos or Table La Rive.
The Panorama Lounge and Bar, situated on the Diamond Deck, is where the majority of entertainment takes place, and boasts a full bar service. A resident pianist and singer perform during the evenings, while the dancefloor is available for guests who wish to show off their moves. The dancefloor is also the focal area for other planned entertainment, such as folkloric shows and crew performances.
Scenic river cruises are port and excursion intensive, and as such, the majority of the itinerary is focused on what happens on dry land. All guests have a choice of excursion, and also have the option to explore independently. The Scenic Freechoice programme allows guests to typically choose an excursion from walking, biking and sightseeing options. Guided tours are expertly led, and the Scenic Tailormade GPS device means that guests can enjoy the commentary, even if they aren’t standing next to the guide. These devices also include maps for some ports, and cruise-along commentaries. There are also bikes onboard, which can be used in the ports and are electric-assisted.
There is ample seating on the Sun Deck and the Cruise Director also plans occasional additional activities including galley tours and cooking demonstrations. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship to help stay connected with home.
You’ll find a range of different accommodation types available on Jewel, from Standard Suites on the Jewel Deck (160 sq. ft.), which have picture windows, to Royal Balcony and Royal Panorama Suites on the Diamond Deck that include ‘Scenic Sun Lounges’ and up to 325 sq. ft. of space. All rooms have balconies or ‘sun lounges’, other than those found on the Jewel Deck.
All staterooms and suites are comfortable and tastefully decorated, with spacious bathrooms and ample storage. Amenities across the board include complimentary bottled water, bathrobes and slippers, in-room safe, hairdryer, umbrella, iPod docking station, HDTVs linked to an Apple mac mini and complimentary minibar. Specially made Slumber Beds are hotel-style rather than berths or bunks, and feature crisp white Egyptian cotton linens and a choice of pillow.
Extra facilities, including bathtubs, enhanced butler service, seating area with sofa and additional perks, are provided with the higher-end accommodation options.
The Sun Deck is the place to be if you wish to relax and soak up some of the sun’s rays during onboard downtime, with plenty of sunloungers and shade awnings.
There is also a spa onboard, which offers facials and massages daily. Hair and salon services are available too, providing manicures, haircuts and styling. Across from the spa is a fitness centre, which includes elliptical trainer, bike, rowing machine and treadmill.
The Scenic Jewel focuses on the majestic Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, with various itineraries available. Many of its voyages are eight or 15 days, giving passengers plenty of opportunities to explore and appreciate the local European culture, customs, heritage and destinations.
Choose from itineraries including the Jewels of Europe (Amsterdam to Budapest) or the eight day Danube Discovery (Budapest to Nuremburg) or Treasures of the Rhine tours (Nuremburg to Amsterdam). Themed cruises, including Christmastime voyages which centre on festive markets, are also available.