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River Discovery II Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
26 Reviews

Avoid Vantage Cruises and the River Discovery II

River Discovery II Cruise Review by Sonny Joe

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2016
  • Destination: Europe River

We chose this Easter-time Cruise that was marketed as the "Religious Highlights of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence". However, the itinerary was changed to the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence with a significant change to the shore excursions, without us ever being notified! In addition, the previous Vantage tour we took sent us a detailed brochure several weeks prior to the start date. This did not happen on this cruise. Afterwards we were told that we were expected to go to the website, even though that was not explained prior to the trip.

Vantage booked our air, but unfortunately, it resulted it us arriving on-board as the initial briefing was wrapping up and we never obtained then information. This was supposed to be a 10 night cruise aboard ship, with us unpacking and packing one time. It wasn't! Due to sloppy maintenance, we arrived on board without hot water in the cabins! After 3 nights of these unsanitary conditions we were evacuated as a German engineering contractor came on board. We spent 2 nights in a Lyon hotel and 1 night in a Marseille hotel. The hotels were very nice. However, for my sight impaired wife they were tortuous, having to continuously navigate unfamiliar locations as well as pack and unpack 2 additional times.

However, the food at both hotels was excellent and much better than we received on board. For 2 days we were docked to a Viking boat and walked through it boarding and disembarking. It was eye-opening to see the difference in professionalism of the crews. Viking always had a ship's officer observing who was coming on board and departing. No such security was evident on the RD II, only an occasional deck hand was evident. Another example of the unprofessional crew occurred on April 1st. That afternoon we departed our port and shortly thereafter ran aground on a sand bar. The Captain's excuse over the PA was Autopilot error! Where was the officer of the deck? We were truly lucky that some of our elderly passengers were not on the stairway or off balance on board when the collision occurred. Perhaps the final insult that day was during the Captain's Reception and Dinner. He didn't have the courage to attend! We did not have any entertainment offered. Upon return home, we completely our cruise survey and repeatedly tried to reach a supervisor in Vantage via letter, phone and email to express our disappointment. We were not successful.


Sonny Joe's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin suite 402

No hot water 3 nights, moved to a hotel for 3 nights. Very comfortable end of the cruise.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Avignon

The optional tour the Roman bridge/aqueduct was the highlight of this cruise! Do not miss the opportunity to visit.


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Sonny Joe
1 Reviews Written
11 Helpful Votes
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