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7 Vantage Bucharest Cruise Reviews

My wife and I chose to do a long river cruise for our first river cruise experience, thinking we would want to make one airplane ride to Europe and take in as much as possible. Vantage offered a 23 day river cruise with a 5 day land pre ... Read More
My wife and I chose to do a long river cruise for our first river cruise experience, thinking we would want to make one airplane ride to Europe and take in as much as possible. Vantage offered a 23 day river cruise with a 5 day land pre cruise extension in Romania. We did not know what to expect since it was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises and, there were few reviews of Vantage. It turned out to be a good choice and we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in 2018 but the cruise was cancelled due to low river levels. Vantage offered us some incentives to re book with them for 2019 and we are glad we chose to do so. From the moment we landed in Bucharest, we were well taken care of by our land portion director and guide. All guided tours in 7 countries and 23 cities and towns were well organized and informative. When the scheduled arrival times were delayed due to busy lock passages, the guided tours were altered and some even added so that we could visit the sites that were scheduled but not visited due to a shortage of time. Specifically, in Nuremburg, our cruise director arranged for a special bus to take us to the Dokumentation center and wait for us for two hours while we went through the exhibits. Renata was the best cruise director I have ever encountered and if she is on your cruise, count yourself fortunate. 28 days is the longest my wife and I have been away on holiday but this voyage was well worth it, Vantage met all of our needs and although there were a few minor, blips, they were nothing of consequence. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This trip was with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Grand European Sojourn Bucharest to Bonn on June 23 2019. Since we live in the Phoenix Arizona area, we experienced a very long flight from Arizona to Romainia. Several transfers with ... Read More
This trip was with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Grand European Sojourn Bucharest to Bonn on June 23 2019. Since we live in the Phoenix Arizona area, we experienced a very long flight from Arizona to Romainia. Several transfers with reasonable lay-over times to get to Romainia. We used Vantage for airline routes which was better than what we found on our own. Arriving in Burcharest I was very tired due to not sleeping at all on any of the flights. When we finally reached the airport, customs was a breeze & retrieved our luggage headed for the exit. A Vantage representative was waiting for us & gave directions for our transportation to the hotel. As we had to wait for other connecting flights it took over 90 minutes to finally board the bus & no help with our luggage. This process was a disaster with all the arriving passengers upset & tired. Vantage should have handled this much better. The groups arriving at this time were going on a pre-extension excursion by land to the Romainia town of Brasov for the next 4 nights after a short day & evening in Bucharest. The Aro Palace Hotel in Brasov was excellent with a great location in easy walking distance to the center of old town. Town has it's historical sites, with many restaurants, churches, & bars. The food was very good, the atmosphere lively, servers friendly & spoke good English. Town was very busy with many travelers from North America & all of Europe. Our excursions were mostly out of town & through the countryside. Our group consisted of about 70 people loaded in 2 buses. Our local guide Vio was very informative & friendly throughout the entire time all 4 days. He offered us many things we could do on our own, restaurant suggestions,& some local sites we should visit. Group was split up with 2 local guides used the entire time while in Brasov. Both guides were excellent. After a short tour on the last morning we headed to Bucharest & the port to embark on the riverboat to begin the cruise. This process was very smooth & we were quickly in our cabin with our luggage. We organized our clothing with suitable storage & plenty of closet space. Super bathroom & a large shower bigger than any I have experienced on ocean cruises. Cabin had a small french balcony so we could open the glass door & experience the scenery & fresh air. Then the next day we would visit Rouse, Bulgaria. Itinerary as follows: Donji Milanovac Serbia Danube River Sailing Belgrade Serbia Vukovar Croatia Mohacs Hungary Kalocsa/Budapest Hungary Budapest Hungary Budapest/Sailing Hungary Sailing/Vienna Austria Vienna Austria Krems Austria Passau Germany Regensburg Germany Nurnberg Germany Bamberg Germany Wurzburg Germany Marktheidenfeld Germany Aschaffenburg Germany Rudesheim Germany Heidelberg Germany Cologne Germany The last port Cologne,after a full day's visit is a 2 hour bus ride to Frankfurt early the next morning to catch the plane home. This is a very port intensive trip with lots of walking on each excursion. Everywhere was interesting with it's own unique adventure. Some ports offered as many as 3 choices from Vantage for the day. You always have the options for DIY trips in port. Group size is usually around 25 people with headsets. Dress is casual & comfortable. No shorts in the dining room for dinner. Most travelers usually wore the same outfit for dinner as they used on the excursion. No formal nights, however most dressed better for Captain's Dinner or a special event only 4 nights during the entire trip. Captain & crew were very friendly. Front desk was exceptional in handling your requests & informing us of any changes. Housing keeping was the absolute best. Food average with many buffets & several choices. Some dinners were great, but mostly average. Servers seemed over-whelmed with too many tables to handle at dinner. Beer & wine is served & included with dinner only. If you want more than one glass of wine, you must request it. None of the alcohol was free flowing. The rest of the crew was very good in handling the boat & moving passengers on & off the boat. Total passenger count was 176. The cruise director & his assistant did a nice job engaging with the passengers & their needs. Never to busy to answer your questions. Finally: This was a wonderful trip. Mostly good weather & enjoyable entertainment brought on board in the evening to perform in the lounge. We also enjoyed the piano player who played nightly on the cruise. It became obvious that some passengers should not have taken this trip due to their mobility issues & missed some very interesting sites. My single complaint is this: With all the cruising on the river & spending most of my time on the sun deck enjoying the weather, there is no place to obtain a water, coke, or adult beverage. You had to walk down to the lounge to obtain any of the items & return to the upper deck. Absolutely no service on the sun deck. Why ??? Think Vantage is missing an opportunity to sell more beverages. Since there is no alcohol package, I thought prices were high. All purchases were in Euros & same high price as the mass market cruise ship lines. This did not slowdown my purchasing but did make it rather inconvenient. We chose this trip because we have never visited Eastern Europe or further east than Budapest. We learned much history, current Russian interference in several of these countries, more about food, music, dance & customs. We found the locals to be friendly & helpful. Most of the young people were excited to practice their English when speaking with us. Most of the areas visited now realizing the value of tourism. Vendors were not pushy & really appreciated any purchases made. This added greatly to the overall pleasures of this trip. Our age is early 70's & in good health with no mobility issues. Strongly suggest you exercise, get in shape, & can walk 2-4 miles when on land. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went from Bucharest to Bonn Germany. Wanted to visit the lower river mainly. We have visited most of the ports from Buda - Pest to Bonn. We arrived in Bucharest on June 24 2019. There was much confusion at the airport about waiting ... Read More
We went from Bucharest to Bonn Germany. Wanted to visit the lower river mainly. We have visited most of the ports from Buda - Pest to Bonn. We arrived in Bucharest on June 24 2019. There was much confusion at the airport about waiting for more connecting flights to arrive, before we were taken to our hotel in Bucharest. This process took over 2 hours with a Vantage rep, who was also confused about how to get our luggage down several flights of steps to a designated area were the bus could park. No assistance or help from anyone. This was very difficult for most of the passengers. No carts or luggage handlers available to assistance after having a 14 hour flight to Romainia. Also one must consider the average of these travelers is 70+ Once at the hotel things improved & were much better organized. Next morning a quick city tour & a bus ride down to Brasov, which was about 2.5 hours. Transylvania is beautiful & we enjoyed our stay in town during our 4 nights. Touring days were long, as we returned to Brasov each evening. The last day we would tour locally & then meet the boat outside of Burcharest to the northwest about 1.5 hour drive to embark on the next 16 days on the river. Arriving at the boat was quick & simple. Cabins were ready & finally we could hang-up all of our clothes & not use the suitcase for the next 15 days... The River Voyager is Vantage's newest boat built in 2016. The cabins are modern & good size with a french balcony. The showers are large & well appointed including a hand held shower head. The theme is jazz throughout the boat. Funny tho... I did not hear any Jazz background music during the entire voyager. We took most of the optional excursions & all the included ones. Most were very good with local guides. Nuremberg was a very poor tour & extremely short on time. This is not the local guides fault, but a decision made by Vantage. ( Change this ) The Medieval City needs much more time to be explored. Food is subjective: Thought most of the dinners were very average lacking quality & taste. Few spices used, most items seemed very bland. Breakfast is a buffet & lunch sometimes. Many choices & happy with these offerings. Wine & beer served at dinner. For my taste the wine were of poor quality & did not represent the countries we were traveling thru. Also felt the pours were small & not too often. Service is slow up in the lounge before dinner. Need more servers & 2 bartenders. No service on the Sun Deck. They need a mini-bar service especially on full cruise days. Laundry service is adequate, but expensive. The cruise director & his assistant were excellent. Crew is friendly & officers & captain engaged with the passengers. The on board entertainment was good with classical music & dancers performing their specialties. Finally... overall cruise was good. Weather cooperated most days. Passengers are well traveled & friendly. Due to some outstanding service by housekeeping, one bartender, the head waiter & assistant, along with the piano player, we tipped extra to these individuals. Our trip from Bonn to Frankfurt for the airport was almost 2 hours on the bus. We boarded at 5 am for 10:15 departure back to the USA. This made for a very long travel day. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
the grand euorpean cruise began in Ruse and ended in Cologne. The pre cruise extension was 5 days in Romania and were fantastic. A beautiful, but poor country was very clean and the mountain citiy of Brasov is a city I would return to ... Read More
the grand euorpean cruise began in Ruse and ended in Cologne. The pre cruise extension was 5 days in Romania and were fantastic. A beautiful, but poor country was very clean and the mountain citiy of Brasov is a city I would return to again. Some of the stops had extensive bus rides which now knowing I would avoid in the future. The ship was well run and the crew was exceptional. Evening meals could drag on for two hours but the dinning area at the rear of the ship was an always available buffet. The cabin was well designed and the bed and shower were fine for a guy of 6'6". The big problem I have with Vantage is the post cruise excursion was promoted as three additional nights in Amsterdam. Reading further I noticed it said two nights at the Barbizon Palace. I called Vantage and on the phone that the day they said that when others would be flying back we would in Amsterdam. We ended up with almost a full day and a half in Amsterdam. The new promotion for 2017 now states 2 more nights in Amsterdam and the price is less than the quoted 3 night 2016 extension. I can only say the same as the others who were on this extension that we were misled. Too bad the ship and crew work so hard because their customer service replied to my complaint with the 2 nights is the industry standard bull. They just wanted to get rid of me, not address the fact that there was not three nights in Amsterdam as promoted. If you go with Vantage be certain to question everything they promote and even then as happened to us they lied. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We had a nice time on this, our first River Cruise. The cabin was excellent. No disappointment whatsoever. Sufficient storage, comfortable bed and incredibly well designed bathroom. We traveled from Bucharest with stops in ... Read More
We had a nice time on this, our first River Cruise. The cabin was excellent. No disappointment whatsoever. Sufficient storage, comfortable bed and incredibly well designed bathroom. We traveled from Bucharest with stops in Bulgaria,Serbia,Croatia and Hungary. Everything was very well organized but there was just too much bus travel for us. We understood why but it was somewhat disconcerting that at every port we were reminded that there were steps, cobblestone walkways and hills to impede our progress and enjoyment of the particular site. The majority of the cruisers appeared to be sufficiently mobile so it become annoying to hear the litany over and over again for the few to which it applied. Food was fine. The main dining room was available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A small buffet area was provided each day for lunch and dinner at the other(aft) end of the ship. The vegetarian meals appeared to be minimal. We liked the fact that there was no reserved seating for dining and that all passengers ate at the same sitting. It gave us the opportunity to meet new people and new crew members. The crew was excellent. They were consistently friendly and attentive. One note (pet peeve). They served cookies each afternoon but they were straight out of the box. C'mon, can't the kitchen staff provide some fresh baked cookies or scones? Another Illogical situation was the fact that the deck chairs could be put all the way back and part way back but could NOT be put upright. If you chose to sit up straight you had to find another type of chair. It was a completely ridiculous design As I mentioned, it was our first River Cruise. All in all the positives clearly outweighed the negatives and we would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We have done 12 cruises; this was our 4th w/Vantage. We had previously taken the Amsterdam to Vienna river cruse so we booked the Black Sea to Budapest. We spent the first night in Bucharest then transferred to the ship, Some where between ... Read More
We have done 12 cruises; this was our 4th w/Vantage. We had previously taken the Amsterdam to Vienna river cruse so we booked the Black Sea to Budapest. We spent the first night in Bucharest then transferred to the ship, Some where between the hotel lobby where we saw our undamaged suitcase and getting to our cabin on the ship, the entire wheel assembly had been broken off and there was a hole in the side of the luggage approx. 5" x 4". I reported it to the Cruise Director who was totally unconcerned asking me if I saw it happen. No, but it was damaged when it was in YOUR control. She said she was going to ask her management and get back to me; never did. The brochure said that we would be offered soda and wine with the evening meal. The first night several in our group ordered soda and were told that it would cost 6.50 euros. We told them what the tour booklet said and they denied it. I went to he tour desk and showed the counciere the booklet and she looked like a "deer in the headlight" saying she'd look into it. Went back the next day and saw that she'd taken the booklet off the counter. Food was OK but awfully small portions and seemingly the same items shuffled with different names. The waiters were rather snippy. They did not want us to choose items; they wanted us to take the set menu. Often I wanted the salad from the Lighter Fare rather than the soup or appetizer from the regular menu. They also almost wanted to remove your plate while you still had the fork up to your mouth. A gratuity of 55 euros for the Cruise Director and the Concierge of 55 euros was automatically added to bill however none was added for the hardworking crew. We asked that the amount be amended to a much smaller amount for them. Management gets paid and does not depend on tips according to one crew member. We found that the excursions from the ship were not as enjoyable because they no longer employed group leaders that stayed with the group for the duration of the trip and those groups were larger - 43 in our color group - too large for the guide to point out things and have everyone see what they were indicating. On one outing, 5 of our members got lost because the leader was so far ahead and although they could hear his voice, they couldn't find us in the "maze" and left the building at the first door that said exit. One of them fell and sprained her ankle which left her unable to enjoy any of the subsequent tours. I am hoping this is was an anomaly and not a sign that Vantage is losing it's reputation of a top of the line trip providers. We will try them again for a future trip. . Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Yes we experienced both good and sad ever lasting memories from our September-October 2014 twenty-seven day Black Sea to Bonn trip. The events that developed on this cruise have prompted us to share our exceptional experience with you. ... Read More
Yes we experienced both good and sad ever lasting memories from our September-October 2014 twenty-seven day Black Sea to Bonn trip. The events that developed on this cruise have prompted us to share our exceptional experience with you. The Marriot Hotel in Bucharest was off the chart, one of the best Marriott’s we have stayed at. The day of our 2-3 hour bus ride to meet the boat in Constanta was cold, dismal, and rainy. We barely got through as the rain changed to snow, 4+ inches which cause the authorities to close the highway (snow in Bucharest in September!!!). The storm propelled 20 to 30 foot waves at the harbor throwing rocks the size of watermelons over the seal wall and causing the harbor master not to allow our boat to cross the open bay to get to the river. This forced the staff to scramble to find lodging for 4 bus loads of passengers (approximately 160 people). The next day the staff had to arrange for our busses to find an out of the way, obscure dock, in the dark, heavy rain for us to finally be on board. All this was accomplished by the staff with a seamless, no inconvenience to all of us. As a result of the furious storm, the river was full of debris and many floating large trees and logs. Unknown to the passengers the propeller was damaged due to hitting a large submerged log/tree trunk. The boat had to make an unscheduled trip to a dry dock near Frankfort, again causing the staff to scramble and locate 4 buses to accommodate another change in plans. We received an extra bonus due to the dry docking – an unscheduled trip to Salzburg!! Again, thanks to the superb efforts of crew and staff we never missed a beat of the original schedule and itinerary. So much for the good part of our trip. On Sunday early morning 2:00 AM we received a call from California, my wife’s son advising us to get home ASAP, as her 58 year old daughter, curator of the Abilene, TX zoo had a seizure and was in a coma. At 2:30 AM we woke up the cruise director with the request to get us back to Dallas. By 4:00 AM he had us booked out of Frankfort/London/Dallas. (2 days short of our planned trip) Our boat at this time was en route from Frankfort to Rüdesheim, Germany. They had to stop and berth the boat at 7:00 AM along the river, arrange for a taxi to pick us up at a remote city park for a one hour drive back to the airport to catch a 10:00 AM plane to London. We were back in our house in Plano, TX at 8:00 PM Sunday night!!! What an effort by the staff on that boat – We will never forget what they did on our behalf. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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