Q – We’ve been following your reviews closely and you helped us plan our last two Riverboat vacations. But, as we sailed Scenic twice and loved the experiences, we couldn’t help but notice that they have come down a notch or two in the rankings. We’d love to know why as we are contemplating our third.

A – The Scenic on-board product has not deteriorated. Scenic has an excellent crew training program, better-than-average food, and modern design with great appeal to many American travelers sailing this Australian company. Scenic has been downgraded by our Team primarily on the basis of its poor handling of consumer issues and its reactions to water-level itinerary changes. The fact that top management is based outside the United States seems to result in a lag time when decisions need to be made quickly aboard ship. There have also been frequent management changes at the company that has been unsettling. Shore excursions have not stood out in any memorable ways. On-board lectures are minimal or non-existent.

By way of full disclosure, we have a bias toward Scenic riverboats. One of our owners is the “Godmother” of one of the line’s newest ships. We are sure you will love your third Scenic experience but we thought your question deserved a truthful response.