Among cruising highlights: The Rhine Gorge with castles on the shoreline. (Fletcher/Newbern photo ©2018)
Scenic Cruises’ Scenic Ruby sails the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers in style throughout the year, allowing cruisers to take advantage of Europe’s musical heritage, seasonal wine festivals, stunning scenery, Oktoberfest, Christmas markets, or, as we discovered, Holland’s fantastic tulip season.
With only 165 passengers aboard, we found ourselves quickly making friends from many nationalities. There happened to be a few more Americans than usual on our sailing. The Australian company attracts higher numbers of Australians, Europeans and Canadians. Solo travelers, couples, friends and families all amicably not only share in more than ample space aboard but also shore excursions. Open seating for dining provided many opportunities to meet others as well as, yet there were private, romantic dining experiences if desired.
This trip, the median age skewed much younger, too. We were surprised when the affable cruise director said age 70 is the average. Age is, of course, just a number, and Scenic cruisers are well traveled, curious, adventurous and appreciate how Scenic superbly delivered its version of all-inclusive.
Great Service at All Levels
From the first moment of embarkation, unparalleled attention by the crew to passengers was evident. One UK passenger said, “They can’t do enough for you,” adding, “As soon as I arrived, a gentleman came up to me to take my bag. I turned to see that my lock was on and then noticed he seemed very well dressed. That night at the lounge talk, I saw he was the captain.”
Captain Tibor Nagy’s warm smile and demeanor evoked confidence. Early on he explained we’d cross 12 locks total on this seven-night “Rhine Highlights” voyage from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. The narrowest lock is 39.37 feet wide. The ship is at 37.57, so he and his team’s skills were evident traversing locks, a fascinating maneuver to watch.
The 53-person crew created a cohesive fabric that delivered on Scenic’s company promise to “unpack once and watch the world go by.” Conversations all week about staff and service were peppered with accolades like “brilliant,” “unbelievable,” “impeccable.”
(Full story: http://voyagesmagazine.com/2018/07/03/scenic-ruby-delivers-perfect-rhine-highlights-river-cruise/
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