ABOARD THE SCENIC JADE – Today was our second day in Vienna. It is really nice that Scenic spends twos day in this beautiful and exciting city.
Yesterday almost everyone did the city tour that was offered and today we were offered three different options. Two busloads headed off to explore Bratislava, the capital of nearby Slovakia, another visited the Schoenbrunn imperial summer palace and the last group visited the famed Spanish Riding School in the city center.
Last night we were treated to a private concert at the Palais Leichtenstein. This turned out to be a very special event. It was just an hour long and the perfect mix of Strauss, Mozart, marches and walzes, opera and ballet. There were even some humorous moments. We had considered skipping it and are so glad we attended.
Because we had been to Bratislava and were not in the mood for another palace after last night, Chet and I went to the Spanish Riding School. I really did not know too much about it, except that it featured the well-known white Lippanzer horses. The tour was interesting enough but somewhat disjointed because the bus was in a minor accident on the way there and then our group had to weave around all kinds of construction as the school area was being transformed for a major fundraiser this weekend. We did get to see of few of the stallions, however I think that we all had the impression that we would be seeing more than we did.
Afterward, Chet and I decided to stay in Vienna for lunch and then walked around a bit before catching the shuttle bus back to the ship. Scenic has offered free shuttles in all of the cities were they were needed. Another big plus.
Let’s talk about the amenities
As this cruise draws near its end, I wanted to go over in a bit more detail all that is included in a Scenic river cruise.
- Not only are all alcoholic beverages included at meals and from the bar, but each cabin has a mini-bar, also complimentary. It is re-stocked daily and includes wine, beer, whatever alcohol you might choose, Coke products, juices, chocolate and snacks, as well.
- The toiletries are top-drawer: L’Occitane. Each passenger receives a soft plush bathrobe and slippers for the duration.
- All tours are complimentary. (I discussed that in detail in my previous post.)
- The Scenic Tailormade GPS units are far superior to the “whisper” units provided by all other river cruise lines. Those units only transmit the guide’s narration via earphones. The Tailormade units show you exactly where you are on a GPS map, will provide information to you on points of interest whether you are walking through a city or sailing down the river AND they transmit your guide’s narration during tours.
The bathrooms are exceptional, especially the Hansa shower units in the large walk-in showers. There are three spray heads that can be adjusted to different levels and offer great pressure. A few of the top suites have bathtubs as well.
- Each cabin is provided a guidebook, in our case specifically for this Amsterdam to Budapest cruise. It is loaded with photos and basic information.
- The beds are lush. Our king bed has two separate soft Egyptian cotton comforters and four pillows. At pillow menu offers three additional options.
- Finally, as I mentioned before, the balconies with windows that go down and make the cabin so much larger are wonderful. They are available in most staterooms on levels 2 and 3, but not the lowest level. In fact, the cabins on the 100 level are much smaller and offer only a slim window running across the top of the outer wall. If you are spending the money for this luxury experience, then be sure to book a balcony.
Photos by Cynthia Boal Janssens
June 23, 2014