We recently sailed the River Splendor on MAJESTIC RIVERS OF EUROPE:CASTLES, CATHEDRALS & FAIRYTALES cruise, a 14-day river cruise mostly following Germany's Romantic Road with castles visible and viewed on land. The ship's cabins are basically the same size on 3 decks with the exception of the suites on the highest deck and the D cabins on the lowest deck which lack a french balcony and have a small window about the size of a small porthole just above the water line.
Food service and wait staff were excellent. Our waiter,JARO, serve witha smile and graciusness and wine poured endlessly.
Guided tours were interesting. However, the tour to Heidleburg required 2 hours of driving in each direction and viewing not themost interesting castle ruin that had been modified several times over the last centuries. Anoptional tour to Rothenburg was in lieu of spending a morning in Wurzburg; however, we did spend an hour at the end on return to the ship at the fortress in Wurzburg. A planned tour to Koblenz was skipped was eliminated because of a passenger hospital emergency that required deviationfrom routing and a medical evacuation that was handled well; however, we were docked in Koblenz and had sufficient time to walk around the old town which appeared quite charming.
We had onboard entertainment in the evenings on 3 occasions; musicians came onboard playing local music, costumed dancers were cheery,and there was a glass blowing exhibiti.
We ventured thru 78 locks which required closing down the top deck for 2 days.
The CruiseDirector, Bogey,and his assistant Maya, were hands on, intimately involved in the cruise details, and made for an enriched cruise experience. Maya was an assistant on our Douro River cruise.
Unfortunately, the cruise was marred by an apparent Vantage policy of overbooking within 90 days of departure or sooner on substanitally reduced deals likethe one we purchased.
This was our third Vantage river cruise in 18 months.
We were bumped from a June 2016 Douro River cruise and, fortunately, since our air was booked with Vantage,and our flexibility, we were rescheduled to July 2017, provided a substantial discount, and given an upgraded C cabin on thetop deck rather than the middle deck that had been assigned.. Vantage reps advised that Vantage had overbooked 12 cabins. The cruise itself was excellent.
We reserved this Majestic Rivers cruise 1 1/2 months prior to departure at a reduced price. Our invoice assigned a cabin and expressly stated "C321 or better", a speciic cabin with a french balcony on the top deck. One week prior to departure, a Vantage rep called my wife who was at a gym and advised that we were being bumped to a D cabin on the lowest deck,, which turned out to be D 213, with the "porthole". My wife was at the gym and could not speak with him so she asked the rep to call me.
Aside from the small porthole like window, because they are on the lowest deck and the window can not be opened,dT he D cabins are damp and small items that are washed take much longer to dry out.
I was told incorrectly by that the rep explained everything to my wife. In fact, nothing was explained, and I was told that nothing more could be done.
I called Vantage and spoke with their Travel Manager of 18 years who rudely stated that overbooking was endemic to the industry, and if I chose to express my concerns publicly,so be it. Our rate was adjusted by $600 for the difference in cost between our assigned C 321 cabin and an unspecific D cabin and discounted by $200 apparently for the incovenience of being overbooked.
We emailed President Heny Lewis and received no response to our concerns prior to departure.
We emailed the Travel Quality Department and was eventually advised that the Travel Manger with whom I had spoken was working on it and would do his best to restore us to a C cabin with a fernch balcony, as originally invoiced, paid for, and epressly reserved. and assigned.
We never heard further from either the Quality Dept or the Travel Manager.
Unaswered is the question of how a travel company overbooks a specifically assigned and reserved cabin,i.e. our "C 321 or better" reserved and invoiced cabin and bumps passengers in favor of other passengers--a form of discrimination.
When we boarded the ship in Budapest, we asked the cruise director if our C cabin was available and were advised that the ship was fully booked and that we were assigned to D 213.
The cruise director was truly concerned abouta problem that was not of his doing. As a result of the cruise director expressing to Vantage our ongoing and unaswered concerns, a few days later we received a bottle of champagne.
As it turns out, 3 other D cabins were resided in by 3 other couples who also had been overbooked and bumped.
See above re overbooking from a paid and invoiced "C 321 or better cabin" to the damp D 213 cabin with a porthole just above the water line.