After 25 ocean cruises, we decided to go "inland" and after hearing some good reviews about Vantage, decided to try them. This was our 2nd river cruise, the first being on Grand Circle.
The pre-cruise arrangements were handled efficiently, courteously, and all questions handled promptly. Our flight arrangements were very good, non-stop flights from SFO to CDG.
When we got to the ship we were greeted and taken to our deluxe cabin. The cabin was very nice, although a bit lacking in drawers. There were 2 tiny nightstands with barely room for the small lamp, and it would have been nice to have a few drawers in it. There were 2 TVs in the room, although you would have to sit on the couch sideways to look at the 2nd one. There was really no need for the two TVs.
The tours were handled efficiently and with basically no problems. The tour guides in each port were very good and spoke excellent English. While we wish we had more time in some of the ports, like Caen, that is probably an individual thing. The things we saw were fabulous and we enjoyed the tours very much.
However, the food, I hate to say, was terrible, barely edible. There was a limited salad bar with watery, flavorless dressings. The menus were odd, to say to least - - LOTS of pork with no flavor, fish we never heard of, and always some vegetarian dish. The few things that were always on the menu were not good at all, chicken, "steak" and salmon, and the baked potatoes were about the size of plums. The soups were all watery with, again, no flavor, and the bread was awful. The breakfast muffins were good, and I usually got some muffins and ate those during the day. They tried to be fancy with the menus with things like foie gras which was awful, and sauces that were just bizarre. On a scale of 1-10, would give the food a 2, sorry to say.
Another thing we did not like was the fact that they automatically added 20 Euros pp tips per day and just put it on your bill. We have done ocean cruises with butlers and not paid that much. We chose to argue with them to get the figure reduced. They shouldn't add something automatically. Not good customer relations.
I certainly wouldn't recommend this for children.
The post-extension stay in Paris was at an average hotel, and we made the choice to go to their "illuminated Paris Can Can show." What a mistake. It was advertised as "high energy, women in petticoats, full skirts and black stockings." Nowhere did it say it was basically a topless show with young half naked women gyrating against men, flying in trapezes or on motorcycles. Some people were so offended that they took cabs back to the hotel. The food at this show was terrible. A complete waste of money. As I said, we have only done 2 river cruises, but Grand Circle was so much better and the food was very good. We were extremely disappointed in Vantage. We complained about the Can Can show and asked for our money back and the response was no. Great pre-cruise customer service, but very poor afterwards.