As river cruise lines continue to add more and more new ships, the older ones remain in use and, although they are often fine ships, they are never of the same quality as the new ones. Travelers must often choose between the itinerary they prefer and the quality of the ship. Scenic Cruises, now in its ninth year, has never adhered to the status quo of river cruising – including adding new ships on top of older ones. Instead, the company remains committed to maintaining the highest level of guest experience, announcing that five of its six European ‘Space-Ships’ are being nearly completely rebuilt to match newest ships’ specifications (Scenic Crystal and soon-to-launch Scenic Jewel). What makes this commitment even more of an eye-opener is the fact that these ships range in age from 18 months to four years – and unto themselves, wonderful examples of top design and luxury.
A near complete rebuild means everything has been removed and redone except walls, ceilings and wet cells. In the dining segment, the new casual River Café has been added, Portobellos Restaurant has been upgraded, the main restaurant has enhanced omelet and carver stations, and the new Table La Rive degustation dining venue has been added. Cabins (except on Scenic Emerald and Tsar) have been redone floor to ceiling (wallpaper, marble desk tops and side tables, furniture, carpets, etc.) and will now boast the company’s unique Scenic ‘Sun-Lounges,’ allowing guests to convert their private, full-size balcony into an indoor all-weather lounge with the push of a button; new furniture throughout; and 32” Samsung HD TVs linked to MiniMac computers for in-cabin email and Internet.
Steelwork has extended the floor plans of all Royal and Panorama Suites and their interiors gutted and rebuilt to Crystal/Jewel specifications. The lounge has a new upgraded bar done with “Port Laurent” marble, additional coffee machines, and additional Eurocave wine dispensers for added choices. Reception has been completely renovated with new floors, reception desks, “BOLON” wallpaper, artwork and light fixtures. The ships will also see new carpet, curtains and designer furniture throughout. The ships also offer a number of innovative new technical upgrades including an upgraded Wi-Fi system using both Satellite and UMTS Mobile technology for faster speeds, and new equipment in the galleys for serving the new dining venues – such as pizza ovens.
New onshore experiences include Scenic Enrich– the company’s exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a private dinner and concert at Rastatt Palace; Scenic FreeChoice which offers 18 exceptional new tours, including the Hockenheim Formula 1 Track in Heidelberg; and Scenic Tailormade, an exclusive bespoke handheld GPS guided tour system with full commentary, allowing guests to choose from independent walks or cycling tours exploring interest areas like food and wine or history.
These new features are in addition to Scenic’ s already sizeable offerings: larger staterooms and suites, more than 84% of which offer full-size balconies; onboard entertainment; tour leaders; complimentary electric-assist bicycles; escorted airport transfers; and even gratuities and baggage handling.
Source: Scenic Cruises
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