ABOARD THE SCENIC JADE – It wasn’t exactly easy to get here…three flights, beginning in Traverse City, Mich., and ending in Nuremburg, Germany. In Detroit, we connected up with our good friend and my fellow writer Bob Jenkins and the three of us traveled together. However, the overseas flight was delayed so Chet, Bob and I ended up spending four extra hours in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and arrived last night at about 6 p.m. Overall, a trip for us of 21 hours.
But we figure it is going to be worth it.
We overnighted at the Le Meridien hotel in Nuremburg which proved to be delightful (I didn’t realize they actually had king beds in Europe…I don’t think I have ever had one before). We had a great dinner at the hotel’s dining room and our first meal was appropriately German: veal schnitzel with parsley potatoes.
After a good night’s sleep, brisk shower and filling breakfast we caught a taxi to join our river ship, the Scenic Jade, in time for the day’s city tours. Bob opted to see Nuremburg’s World War II sites and we went on a city tour that included a sampling of gingerbread, sausages and beer. (I don’t usually drink beer at 11:30 a.m., but it hit the spot!)
So we are now back on the Jade and we are getting used to our new quarters. Some basic info:
• The Scenic Jade is brand new, introduced this year along with its identical sister ship the Scenic Gem. They are the eighth and ninth river ships owned and operated by Scenic Cruises, a division of Scenic Tours, an Australian company that is a leading tour operator in Canada and the United Kingdom. The company calls these models “Space Ships.”
• The mix of passengers seems delightful: About half are from Australia (always fun folks), about 35 percent are from Canada and the UK and about 15 percent from the U.S. Everyone is exceedingly friendly.
• Our stateroom on the Danube deck is very spacious and has more storage than we could possibly need. Chet’s first comment was “I love the shower,” but my favorite thing is the so-called “Sun Lounge,” a private walk-out balcony that holds a table and two chairs and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall – the top of which slides down at the push of a button, creating an indoor/outdoor environment.
• We already appreciate the fact that everything is included on these cruises: No buying drinks, paying for extra tours, trying to figure out tips. As they explain it, the only thing you can pay for on this ship is hair care, massages/facials or items from the store.
• The mini-bar in your room is also complimentary and Chet has already had them replace the original liquor with scotch.
We are looking forward to our first evening aboard…which begins with a lecture about the European Union. I think it is appropriate that we have some education before we begin our play.
Photos by Cynthia Janssens
June 17, 2014