This was our first cruise with Vantage, having cruised three times with Viking. Overall we found Vantage to be comparable to Viking with a few significant differences. First, the obvious, wine, beer, and soft drinks are complimentary at ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Vantage, having cruised three times with Viking. Overall we found Vantage to be comparable to Viking with a few significant differences. First, the obvious, wine, beer, and soft drinks are complimentary at lunch and dinner with Viking, while they are only free at dinner with Vantage. We also felt that Vantage caters to an older demographic than Viking—just our observation. Entertainment was better on Viking. The River Navigator has done away with the lounge keyboard player and replaced him/her with a juke box.
This is the last year for the River Navigator, but the ship has been well maintained, and we had no complaints about the condition of the ship. We liked the smaller size (134 passengers max).
The meals were on a par with Viking’s food. Taste, temperature, and presentation were all good, and service was generally good. It was somewhat frustrating that Vantage allowed large groups (6-14 people) to reserve the best tables for the ENTIRE cruise. Reserving the tables for a few nights would have been OK, or moving the groups around so that everyone had a chance to eat in the prime spots would have been a better way to handle this.
On some of the tours, Vantage tried to offer little extras. Amsterdam included a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, and we boarded boats for our canal tour there and the tour ended close to the Navigator’s docking site. At the Reichsburg in Cochem we were greeted by the “lord of the manor” and given a glass of wine. On the other hand, when we booked a year ahead of time our optional tour of Luxembourg was supposed to include either a box lunch or Euros for lunch, but when we sailed, the policy had changed and we had to buy our own lunch (in addition to the $69 we spent for the optional tour). Also, it seemed like none of the tours ever ran on time. This may have been the fault of us passengers.
We chose this cruise for the itinerary (Rhine and Moselle) and loved the route, but we were disappointed in how Vantage arranged it. We docked at the tiny town of Schweich for the optional tour to Luxembourg. Schweich is only 15 km (9 miles) from Trier. Instead of staying there and having a very brief bus ride to Trier for our tour there, the Navigator left Schweich and cruised downriver to Zell—70 km from Trier. The next day we toured Bernkastel and stayed another night in Zell and then had an hour and a half bus ride back to Trier for our tour there. Why not spend the night in Schweich and do our Trier tour from there with a 30 minute bus ride? It was almost as if Vantage didn’t have a map.
Also, after reentering the Rhine at Koblenz, the Navigator stopped at Boppard—a town with very little to do or see—and spent most of the day there. If they’d stopped about 2 miles earlier at Braubach, we could have done a tour of the beautiful Marksburg castle.
So we had a good time on the cruise. It compared well with our previous Viking tours, but we felt that the Vantage cruise could have been better planned and executed. Read Less