Scenic Christmas Markets Cruise: The Bottom Line

The cruise lived up to promise, exceeding it on many levels. Rooms were comfortable and beautifully maintained, the windowed balcony was perfect for chilly season cruising, the staff were exemplary. My only regret was that I could only do one week of a possible two week cruise. When I read about the complete ‘all inclusive’ promise of the Scenic Cruise line, I have to admit that I was skeptical. Yet, at the end of the cruise, I …

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Scenic Cruises Christmas Market Tour: A ship’s farewell and a slow transition to shore life

There’s such a difference between the disembarkation from a cruise ship and the disembarkation from a river cruise boat.  This one was serene and manageable – no getting up at dawn, no suitcases in the hallways at midnight. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, said goodbye to the crew and got into the taxi that Yvonne the tour director had arranged for us. That, for me, is how a cruise should end – I hate rushed endings and …

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A Taste of Dutch Christmas

When I open the cabin drapes this morning, I’m treated to a view of the heart of Amsterdam.  The Central Station is just a walk away! The surprising shape of the EYE Film Museum glows even in the early light, and the Dutch are already zipping by on their bikes.  This is one of my favorite cities in Europe and I’m excited to see it ‘glammed’ up for Christmas. Some passengers will be heading out to the …

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Cologne and Dusseldorf, Decked out for the Holidays

Since we had been to Cologne recently, we decided to tour nearby Dusseldorf as our choice of excursion today. This is a very cool town, with Frank Ghery modernism combined with medieval churches to produce a dynamic atmosphere.  There are several Christmas Markets in the heart of the city, each with a different personality. One is the Angel Market, another is a traditional market, and one is very controversial . The designers attempted to make this market …

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A Memorable Birthday on the River

My husband forgot it was my birthday, but Stewart, the Hotel Manager didn’t!  He whispered a discrete ‘Happy Birthday’ as we went down for breakfast.  As did our Butler Joana, and the cabin attendant, who devised a very creative birthday cake out of towels! A very nice way to begin the day.  My husband remembered somewhere between the eggs benedict and the latte. While it is a bit sad to be away from family when your birthday …

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Wine and Food Pairing at La Rive

This evening we are invited to experience La Rive, a special dining experience where the chef designs a tasting menu which is paired with the perfect wine to match the flavours of each dish. There were six courses, as well as an Amuse Bouche to start -which was served with a prosecco cocktail. The first course was a lemongrass Creme Brulee served with a 2010 Grauburgunder, followed by salmon carpaccio paired with a 2011 William Fevre Chablis. …

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