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We went on the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence" cruise at the end of March. It was my 12th cruise, but first river cruise. Pros: A few. Ship is attractive. Crew very personable and efficient. Itinerary was very appealing, much better than a Viking cruise that covered much of the same territory IMHO. Excellent food and wine, and the omelet lady, Irina, had everyone smiling every morning . . . or at least on those days when we were actually one the ship. Cons: Where do I begin? Oh yes, right at the beginning. When we made our reservations, we were told to sign up for "My Portfolio." Which we tried to do, for 10 consecutive days, receiving an error message each time. Finally, I called Vantage, told the agent of my problem. He promisd to create accounts for us. Three days later, still no account. Called again. Another agent promised to create accounts, and, hooray, he did. But things went downhill after that. My middle name is Cecil, but someone gave it to Air France as Cecile. Air France said they couldn't correct it, Vantage would have to do it. Three calls to Vantage never got it corrected, although I was promised after each call that it had been corrected. Vantage blamed the correction (which was never made) for my inability to check in on line the day before departure. I think the actual reason was that they changed the confirmation number for the first of four flights, leaving the other three flights the same. Next problem. Air France left my luggage in Paris, despite the fact that they have five hours to get it from Alanta flight to the flight to Lyon. Vantage did handle that well, having the clothes I was wearing laundered and ready the next morning. For for a couple of days after that, everything was great, And then, like most (maybe all) of the passengers, we found we had no hot water. After three days, we were told we would have to leave the ship so that problem could be fixed. So we had a three-day bus tour instead of the river cruise we had signed up for. I was more forgiving of that situation than most others seemed to be until I read Cruise Critic reviews revealing that the ship had the same problem not only the week before, but last year, and it apparently wasn't repaired until the situation became critical. I do have to give Vantage some credit for getting us to every stop on our itinerary, and even adding a day in Marseillie, but the meals when we were off the ship weren't remotely as good as those on the ship. And packing an unpacking, and living out of a suitcase for three days wasn't what I planned. Could it get any worse? Well, yes. The captain put the ship on autopilot as we headed for Avignon, and the autopilot did not know that construction was taking place in the river. The ship bounced off some rig (couldn't get a very good view of it), turned had left and slammed into the riverbank. The crew managed to free the ship after about 45 minutes, and thankfully there was no serious damage. My "value for the money" rating takes the problems into account, Had things gone smoothly, I would have given it a 5 instead of a 1.

First river cruise was simply a disaster.

River Discovery II Cruise Review by JGsped

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We went on the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence" cruise at the end of March. It was my 12th cruise, but first river cruise.

Pros: A few. Ship is attractive. Crew very personable and efficient. Itinerary was very appealing, much better than a Viking cruise that covered much of the same territory IMHO. Excellent food and wine, and the omelet lady, Irina, had everyone smiling every morning . . . or at least on those days when we were actually one the ship.

Cons: Where do I begin? Oh yes, right at the beginning. When we made our reservations, we were told to sign up for "My Portfolio." Which we tried to do, for 10 consecutive days, receiving an error message each time. Finally, I called Vantage, told the agent of my problem. He promisd to create accounts for us. Three days later, still no account. Called again. Another agent promised to create accounts, and, hooray, he did.

But things went downhill after that. My middle name is Cecil, but someone gave it to Air France as Cecile. Air France said they couldn't correct it, Vantage would have to do it. Three calls to Vantage never got it corrected, although I was promised after each call that it had been corrected.

Vantage blamed the correction (which was never made) for my inability to check in on line the day before departure. I think the actual reason was that they changed the confirmation number for the first of four flights, leaving the other three flights the same.

Next problem. Air France left my luggage in Paris, despite the fact that they have five hours to get it from Alanta flight to the flight to Lyon. Vantage did handle that well, having the clothes I was wearing laundered and ready the next morning.

For for a couple of days after that, everything was great, And then, like most (maybe all) of the passengers, we found we had no hot water. After three days, we were told we would have to leave the ship so that problem could be fixed. So we had a three-day bus tour instead of the river cruise we had signed up for.

I was more forgiving of that situation than most others seemed to be until I read Cruise Critic reviews revealing that the ship had the same problem not only the week before, but last year, and it apparently wasn't repaired until the situation became critical.

I do have to give Vantage some credit for getting us to every stop on our itinerary, and even adding a day in Marseillie, but the meals when we were off the ship weren't remotely as good as those on the ship. And packing an unpacking, and living out of a suitcase for three days wasn't what I planned.

Could it get any worse? Well, yes. The captain put the ship on autopilot as we headed for Avignon, and the autopilot did not know that construction was taking place in the river. The ship bounced off some rig (couldn't get a very good view of it), turned had left and slammed into the riverbank. The crew managed to free the ship after about 45 minutes, and thankfully there was no serious damage.

My "value for the money" rating takes the problems into account, Had things gone smoothly, I would have given it a 5 instead of a 1.
JGsped’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 212
Very attractive but a bit tight. Biggest problem was that the electrical outlets with U. S. current did not work.