Embarking Scenic Crystal: First Impressions, Day One

Launching the Scenic Crystal in Rudesheim, Germany: Glen Moroney, Scenic Tours Managing Director

One thing became apparent after I stepped aboard the new Scenic Crystal this afternoon in Rudesheim, Germany.

The age of luxury river cruising is well underway.

Consider the following, in photos, on Scenic Crystal:

Balcony Suite 332, measuring 205-square-feet, with a step-out balcony and Scenic Sun Lounge (we will get to that later in this post). These staterooms feature Queen-size slumber beds with Egyptian cotton linens.

The pillow menu features several varieties of pillows.

Wall-mounted iMacs that double as in-stateroom infotainment/entertainment centers with Apple TV. Scenic Crystal offers free WiFi throughout the vessel.

Apple wireless remote, keyboard and mouse.


One of two closets, with complimentary mini-bar, replenished daily. Also, complimentary pressing of up to two garments per day.

Large bathroom with spacious shower.

No need for privacy cards to hang outside the door.

Breakfast room service brought to me by my butler at no additional charge. Yes, Scenic features butler service in all cabins.

iPod/iPhone docking stations and Scenic FreeChoice tours, multiple complimentary tours offered in most destinations.

Dining in one of six venues on Crystal Scenic.

A few more Scenic hallmarks that we’ll experience this week:

  • The “Scenic Sun Lounge,” remote-activated sliding hydraulic sealed windows that can be opened during warm weather and closed during cool weather.
  • Complimentary use of electronic-assisted bicycles.
  • Shore excursions, or as they are known in the river cruise industry, tours. Scenic, which is also a tour company, brands its tours as Scenic FreeChoice, offering multiple complimentary tours in many destinations.
  • Enrichment experiences ashore, such as the classical evening at Rastatt Palace, which I’ll report on later this week.
Also notable, tipping and gratuities are included on all Scenic cruises, even for shore excursions

Balcony with Scenic Sun Lounge.

Coming to Scenic in 2013

  • Unlimited complimentary beverages
  • Personalized airport transfers. No waiting for a group to fill a minibus or motor coach.
  • Scenic Tailormade, a GPS guided tour system that allows guests to tour on their own. Will also be downloadable as an app for Apple and Android devices.

Crystal Scenic, newly christened in Rudesheim, Germany.