Since Scenic Emerald launched in 2009, the Australia-based Scenic has more than doubled its fleet. In an effort to keep the older ships current, Emerald — along with her sisters Sapphire, Diamond, Ruby, and Pearl — were updated in a $10 million refurbishment. Suites were spruced up with marble-top desks and TVs connected to Mini Macs, plus some were refitted with "Sun-Lounges," a glass-walled balcony that opens up to the outdoors with a touch of a button. Imbibers will appreciate that wine dispensers and a sparkling wine bar were also added to Portobellos Restaurant.
What We Love
Around-the-Clock Room Service: Even if you miss a meal, you won’t go hungry here. Room service is available all day long, with a late-night menu for those craving a midnight snack.
Everyone Knows Your Name: Think of the ship as your very own version of "Cheers." With only 169 passengers, the staff gets to know guests and their preferences after day one, so your after-dinner espresso will be on its way before you even have to say anything.
Best Known For
The Destinations Shine: Scenic began as a tour operator 30 years ago and brings this expertise to its cruises, designing excursions with hand-picked guides who showcase a port’s more hidden gems. For independent explorers, the ship offers the use of a GPS-enabled device programmed with tours of different points of interest.
Restaurant Choices: Not in the mood for porcini tortellagi at Portobellos? Head to the laid-back River Café where there's a gelato bar, or if you're a Diamond Deck passenger, the 10-seat Table La Rive — both new features to Emerald.
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Who It's Best For
Travelers Who Like the Finer Things in Life: The boutique ship is set up to satisfy passengers’ every desire, with luxe amenities like pillow menus, high thread count Egyptian linens, and butler service for every cabin. And while all meals on board are included (and are nowhere close to typical cruise food) these guests don’t mind splurging on shore for an incredible meal, working with Scenic Emerald’s concierge to arrange reservations.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Top-of-the-Line Suites Sell First: Despite the price tag on the two Royal Panorama Suites, they’re the first to go. The largest on Scenic Emerald, measuring 325 square feet, these suites have prime views from from their perch at the stern of the ship. They also come with added perks like pre-dinner canapés and petits fours, as well as a 100 euro spa credit.
Lane Nieset is a Miami-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Ocean Drive, Frommer’s, and Paste.