I chose this cruise when it popped up on Travelzoo at a very good price for a single solo traveler. I was able to upgrade to a double Juliette balcony mid ship cabin for a bit more than the advertised rate. When the date I reserved was cancelled I was called and given the choice for a (better for me in retrospect) date two months later in May, this for perfect weather. I was offered an upgrade to the top ship level just prior to the cruise at a very reasonable rate which then moved me up,to the top of the ship and included a mini fridge.
Only one bottle of gratis water was offered for the week surprisingly. Not so luxurious, kind of cheap Vantage. Man up!
Nadia, Trip Diector Extroirdinaire welcomed me warmly as I stepped on to the ship in Conflans. I had been in Paris for three days prior to embarkation and had a driver booked through my hotel take me to the ship location on the Seine an hour outside of Paris. I had the phone number of the ship from Vantage so so he was able to be directed perfectly.
It was seven days of great food, excellent tour stops, marvelous nightly entertainment and an overall atmosphere of passenger delight. I met up with three other like minded ladies as well as several couples and we dined together for most meals.
The ship kitchen tour was such fun, as were the Calvados/cheese tasting and the French Culture lecture. Very important to me was the leisure time that was built into the itinerary with one major off ship activity daily and lots of day time cruising on the Seine. It's possible to be run off one's feet with too many off ship tours so each day feels like a marathon, which I've experienced on two of my four river cruises. That might be good for some, just not me. At this point I like to relax, watch the scenery, enjoy the on ship lectures and such and not feel rushed.
A little disconcerting on this ship was how thin the cabin walls were, something I had not experienced on three other cruises. Unfortunately on one side of me were the Loud Couple, some of their activities were not those that should be shared.
Vantage is a supporter of the Boston Boys & Girl's Club and had invited 26 high achievers from the local high schools to be guests on this cruise. It was delightful to watch them soak it all in and discover the world outside of their immediate environment.
Staff on board were all highly professional at all times. My cabin was immaculate although I wish the sheets on the bed didn't have the "sand paper" feel. What's up with that? I lobed being able to open my small door to hear the river sounds as we sailed.
Gratuities at E17 a day, suggested by Vantage, I felt were fair, given the excellent service provided. Those that preferred wine at lunch had it billed to their cabin. The regional wines included at dinner each night were just enough for me and plentiful on request. Cocktails before and after dinner were fairly priced although the house champagne was a tasty bargain at E3.50 a glass, my choice.
I had rented a wi-fi device in Paris and for the cruise so I could keep in daily touch with family. It worked unfailingly on the river when the ship wifi was not accessible and I was able to share it on several occasions to others needing timely access.
My seven days aboard were fabulous and I look forward to another Vantage cruise in the very near future.
Cabin comfort was only so-so due to thin walls and loud talking couple next door who stayed up half the night with tv volume on high.