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Five previous wonderful trips with Vantage. This was very disappointing. First, after a very long wait at the airport to be taken to the ship, we had a terrible two hour bus trip to Vernon. Told that "stuff happens" and the ship was too wide to get through a lock to Paris. A narrow lock was open, but the wider one was broken. Viking and AMA ships were in Paris, the Venture was not. I agree that stuff happens, but the lock had been broken for a few weeks, and still may be. Should have notified us that we were not going to be parked in Paris, so no evening strolls, no Van Goh museum, so nice meals. Had we been notified, I would have rescheduled. Very annoying, particularly since the staff barely apologized. Then, while parked in Vernon twice (heading west, then on the return) we were not even given an informal walking tour of this lovely town. Plenty of history (Rommel's base after D-Day, 12th century fortress, etc. I had to learn about the town by following around a Viking tour-guide. In the past, the tour directors would have taken the initiative to walk us around. The new system of a cruise director and concierge is terrible. Bring back the three cruise guides. Another change is amazingly cheap. Rather than offer bottles of water when leaving ship for a tour, we were told to bring one of the TWO we were given each evening. Two pint sized bottles of water. The hotel manager and tour director were indifferent to customers. The two meals that we were given off site were awful! One meal in a converted abbey was about 45 minutes away, and the food was barely edible. Entertainment was nice. The other off site meal was during the Normandy tour and while we were in a lovely coastal town, they chose an awful, ramshackle place with inedible food, creaky stairs to a second floor vacuous room with cheap wine. A much better idea would have been to give us each 20 euros so we could have had a lovely meal at one of the street cafes facing the nice harbor. On the bright side, the onboard meals were the best on any of our cruises. The wait staff and room porters were terrific. I contacted the director of customer service in Boston, and my complaints were not answered until I emailed Mr Lewis. I was then told that they were going to notify booked passengers who were not going to be based in Paris of that fact. I wonder if they have.

Paris Cruise Without Paris; Disappointing Sixth (and Last) Trip with Vantage

River Venture Cruise Review by pmraetsch

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Five previous wonderful trips with Vantage. This was very disappointing. First, after a very long wait at the airport to be taken to the ship, we had a terrible two hour bus trip to Vernon. Told that "stuff happens" and the ship was too wide to get through a lock to Paris. A narrow lock was open, but the wider one was broken. Viking and AMA ships were in Paris, the Venture was not. I agree that stuff happens, but the lock had been broken for a few weeks, and still may be. Should have notified us that we were not going to be parked in Paris, so no evening strolls, no Van Goh museum, so nice meals. Had we been notified, I would have rescheduled. Very annoying, particularly since the staff barely apologized.

Then, while parked in Vernon twice (heading west, then on the return) we were not even given an informal walking tour of this lovely town. Plenty of history (Rommel's base after D-Day, 12th century fortress, etc. I had to learn about the town by following around a Viking tour-guide. In the past, the tour directors would have taken the initiative to walk us around. The new system of a cruise director and concierge is terrible. Bring back the three cruise guides.

Another change is amazingly cheap. Rather than offer bottles of water when leaving ship for a tour, we were told to bring one of the TWO we were given each evening. Two pint sized bottles of water. The hotel manager and tour director were indifferent to customers.

The two meals that we were given off site were awful! One meal in a converted abbey was about 45 minutes away, and the food was barely edible. Entertainment was nice. The other off site meal was during the Normandy tour and while we were in a lovely coastal town, they chose an awful, ramshackle place with inedible food, creaky stairs to a second floor vacuous room with cheap wine. A much better idea would have been to give us each 20 euros so we could have had a lovely meal at one of the street cafes facing the nice harbor.

On the bright side, the onboard meals were the best on any of our cruises. The wait staff and room porters were terrific.

I contacted the director of customer service in Boston, and my complaints were not answered until I emailed Mr Lewis. I was then told that they were going to notify booked passengers who were not going to be based in Paris of that fact. I wonder if they have.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 408
Excellent roomy, great attendant. We were very lucky because we were excused from the two water bottle limit. They gave us three bottles per evening. Very clean, great bed.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Monet at Giverny Gardens
    Very nice, good tour guide. Convenient since we were based in Vernon
    View All 63 Monet at Giverny Gardens Reviews
  • The Louvre
    Crowded, but this place is always crowded. Vantage did not provide any special tours
    Problem was that we were bussed in from Vernon, were not staying in Paris, so we had an hour bus trip to get there.
    View All 35 The Louvre Reviews
  • Versailles
    Very nice, but crowded. vantage did have a tour that was not as crowded. took an hour bus ride because we were not based in Paris.
    View All 53 Versailles Reviews