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Scenic Jasper our time onboard.

I have never been on a river cruise before so to experience my first one with All Inclusive Butler service was a real treat!! From the moment we stepped on board the Scenic Jasper in Amsterdam to be handed a hot towel, a glass of Champagne and then a beautiful rose as we were taken through to our cabins, we felt like royalty. With 72 suites and 13 cabins sleeping 169 passengers the ship, it is average size for a river cruise ship but still retains the intimacy of its smaller counterparts – with nowhere feeling too far away!! As we made our way to our balcony cabin it was obvious they were the ultimate in modern luxury, with bathrobes and slippers on the beds, L’occiotane toiletries (replenished every day), LED bedside lights (very impressive), my personal favourite touch was the A-Z Wonder book that contained all the little bits you needed to know for your whole stay plus a pillow menu if you so desired to choose a different pillow – the age defying one in particular amused!! A miniature chocolate found its way onto our pillows every evenging. Our own personal Butler Nathalie proudly showed us all the features of the cabin including the ‘Sun Lounge balcony’ where the top half of the floor-to-ceiling retractable window that can be opened with the small press of a button so it could still be used even if the weather was questionable and the ‘mood lighting’ in the shower changing from red to pink to green to blue and back again – very amusing especially as we couldn’t switch it off the first night!! As our flight landed into Amsterdam early in the morning we had the chance to explore some of the cabins before the rest of the party arrived which was a bonus. As well as the Balcony Cabins on the middle and upper decks there are standard cabins with picture windows and 2475 square foot Royal Panorama Suites which had a separate living area. Along with the cabins there was also a gym – very small with only about 6-8 pieces of equipment but with towels and water to hand which added a nice touch. Opposite the gym there was a treatment room for massages as well.
Dining wise there is the main open-seating Crystal dining plan, the River Café that serves lighter bites all day. Then 2 speciality restaurants Portobello’s – quite possibly the best Italian meal I have had of all time and the Table La Rive, a private area of the main dining room that serves a six-course tasting menu with wine. Both Portobello’s and Table La Rive are invitation only which gets left in your cabin the night before you are due to dine there.

scenic Jasper 2

Before we embarked on our trip we were asked to choose our Scenic Freechoice excursion (all included) so on the first day we left for a cheese making factory where a very kind lady in traditional Dutch dress showed us how they make the cheeses then we got to try some samples with different flavoured mustards (a delicacy over there) and we made some purchases from the gift shop. Next stop was Zaanse Schans, a World Heritage site where we visited a working windmill and went to a clog making exhibition – very interesting!! Then it was back on board for our first sailing to Antwerp.
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The second day we went into Bruges itself and were met by local tourist guides who told us some of the history. We had some free time to pop into chocolate shops and also to try the famous waffles in a local cafe!! On our third day we were due to sail into Hoorn which we were all excited about as its supposed to be a beautiful port but unfortunately there was a problem with the lock so we had to go back to Amsterdam – not to be defeated though, the cruise director had organised coaches and got us there anyway!! Hoorn is so quaint and pretty, very chocolate box and we were very lucky to sample the local delicacy of Kibbeling – a goujon of battered and deep fried white fish – absolutely delicious. In the evening we took part in a Scenic Enrich experience that saw us dine with the locals in the amazing church of Oosterkerk, eating traditional dishes of vegetable soup, beef stew and semolina with a cherry sauce – the lady hosting our table was a lovely local B&B owner. We were sad to leave Hoorn after such a lovely day and evening but back to our ship we went for our last evening. We found a lovely finishing touch in our cabins – of a small pair of fridge magnet clogs popped on our pillows – its things like that, that will set Scenic apart from the rest!!

scenic Jasper

For more information on Scenic Cruises please contact our team on 01954 232802

 

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