Vantage seems to have carefully chosen where to add value and where to cut costs on River Venture, and the approach extends beyond the public spaces and into the staterooms, as well.
The bathrooms in all cabins are wonderfully spacious and make even the best standard bathrooms on ocean-going ships seem poorly designed. The materials aren't plush, but the line has allocated an adequate amount of space, which isn't often the case on other lines.
For example, the shower design is ideal. It's closed off completely, so there's no danger of getting the rest of the room wet, and it's huge compared with most onboard showers. There's a full glass door, so there's no worry about creeping shower curtains sticking to your limbs, and the spaciousness means no bruised elbows. The bathrooms also come stocked with L'Occitane products, which is always a nice touch.
On the Samsung flat-screen televisions, the menu offers dozens of recent and classic movies of every genre and a handful of music compilations in various genres in addition to the usual itinerary, shore tour and map features. And there's an iPod/iPhone docking station in each room. (Note: It's not compatible with iPhone 5.)
The line has chosen to cut costs in decor, which is simple. There's nothing at all wrong with the choices; they're just functional rather than sumptuous. The drawers in the dresser are deep and wide. The closets have plenty of room hangers. And a second closet behind the door is actually a shelving unit deep enough for shoes.
Cabins feature the standard in-room safe and phone, though there are no coffee- or tea-making facilities in most cabins. And there's no refrigerator, which can be an annoyance for those who like to bring their own snacks onboard -- particularly if you're coming to France to sample the cheese. Most power outlets are European, but there are one or two standard U.S. outlets, depending on your cabin grade.
The sleeping setup needs work. The "double bed" is two single beds pushed together, which is not unusual, but the sheets and duvets are single-bed sized and altogether too small.
Of the 69 cabins onboard, 56 are classed as deluxe outside staterooms and measure 165 square feet. Those in this category on the lower deck have small windows positioned near the ceiling instead of the French balcony windows enjoyed by the rest. There are also four single cabins on the lower deck, measuring 125 square feet.
The nine suites onboard aren't true suites, but they offer a separate sitting area within the bedroom and queen beds, a complimentary mini-bar, an extra flat screen TV, a bathtub, and bathrobes and slippers. The deluxe suite grade cabins measure 250 square feet, and the owner's suite 330 square feet.