8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first river cruise and the entire Vantage team did such a good job, we are deciding our which itinerary will be our next. We normally travel independently, but occasionally choose an organized trip; river cruising was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and the entire Vantage team did such a good job, we are deciding our which itinerary will be our next. We normally travel independently, but occasionally choose an organized trip; river cruising was uncharted territory for us - so we decided on a Christmas cruise that fit my winter break (yes, I'm a teacher but also retired navy). I chose Vantage after much research on ports, schedules, prices, tours, amenities, ships, reviews...well, you name it, I looked it up. It took me two years to commit and I'm so glad I chose this company and this schedule. We took the pre-trip to Budapest and really enjoyed the location, hotel, transfer service and local shore excursion to the opera house and day in market with included themed lunch. I highly recommend this pre-trip. We had plenty of time to wander the city of Budapest and really see the area. The crew was perfect (all of them) and our hats off to the captain and entire nautical crew for keeping us on (or ahead) of schedule even during the already stressful low water conditions on the Danube. My husband is a working boat captain and was amazed at how competently and flawlessly (and silently) the nautical crew navigated, moored, and worked around passenger events and needs. The hospitality staff and crew cannot be matched. They were on par with the fanciest of 5-star hotels. Our cruise director (Martin Kratkoczky) and our concierge (Renata Lovrovic) were wonderful and made the cruise perfect for everyone. Our cabin was huge (at least for this old navy retiree) and our head and shower were opulent and had enough head and shoulder room for my XXL husband. The dining room service and food was amazing and the dining room staff worked very hard at making meal time memorable and fun. This is when most of us met other passengers and became friends. The dining room and kitchen staff went out of their way to remember our names, what we liked to drink or eat. Our room attendant (Melinda) was extremely diligent in keeping our cabin perfect. I know that there are many more crew that work out-of-sight that I'll never be able to name. Disembarkation was flawless as expected. Our flights were as direct as possible and the flight times Vantage reserved were the best - we flew economy but would recommend upgrading to at least economy plus (my husband is XXL and it's more comfortable in a wider seat when flying 10+ hours). Port excursions - 95%. This is the only area that I am hesitant in giving a perfect rating - not because of anything that Vantage crew or local guides did or didn't do...my complaint is with other passengers who insist on pretending they are fit enough for a full-day or even half-day walking tour. Possibly Vantage can suggest breaking groups into slow/fast or mobile/less-mobile groups or offer an abbreviated or "slower-paced" tour choice or a quicker tour for the few who want more individual time but still want a short guided tour. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our 2nd 4-week riverboat cruise across Europe on Vantage, 2011 and 2015. The 2015 ship, River Splendor, was very nice, wonderful suite cabins. We had the same Captain Roger on both trips, a wonderful captain. Vantage decreased ... Read More
This was our 2nd 4-week riverboat cruise across Europe on Vantage, 2011 and 2015. The 2015 ship, River Splendor, was very nice, wonderful suite cabins. We had the same Captain Roger on both trips, a wonderful captain. Vantage decreased the number of included tours on the 2015 cruise, but still they were fine. But there were two major disappointments: (1) very poor fish, meat and eggs; and (2) many sick passengers. The cooks and the dining room service staff were excellent. But the food stuffs were terrible. There were few fresh vegetables; and the raw fish and meat were very low quality. Several senior ship officials and many passengers stopped eating the fish and meat. I am 72 years old, and need to workout during long trips. The gym on the River Splendor was small but well equipped with treadmill, bike, elliptic trainer and dumbbells less than 10 lbs each. Unfortunately, sick passengers would come to the gym coughing and sneezing. After 14 days, I got sick, and spent the rest of the cruise in my cabin running a fever. I can't fault Vantage for this situation, which has also occurred on Holland American cruises. But this situation has ended our long cruise vacations. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Following our pre trip to Prague, we joined fellow travelers at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest since the Splendor could not reach us due to a lock problem. Vantage was able to adjust and provide an outstanding evening and all ... Read More
Following our pre trip to Prague, we joined fellow travelers at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest since the Splendor could not reach us due to a lock problem. Vantage was able to adjust and provide an outstanding evening and all guests truly enjoyed strolling the banks of the Danube and the excursion in Budapest before a bus trip to Vienna where we boarded the Splendor. Vienna with the Schonbrunn Palace and gardens were magnificent, plus the private concert at the Kursalon was a highlight of the trip. We found every tour guide knowledgeable with exceptional English. Every port experience was different, thus I really could not rate them. Bamberg, Rudesheim, and the winery visit with tasting, lunch and a local band was such fun. After so many immaculate towns and the cruise past the many castle, Cologne was my least favorite, but it may have been that it was our last and I had to get ready to depart one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The Splendor is a beautiful ship with spacious staterooms with French balconies, free Wi-Fi, first class amenities and a lovely upper deck for walking and viewing the exceptional scenery. The staff was exceptional. They took care of our every need always with a smile and humor. The meals were the best we have had on any cruise; both the quality and presentation. It was evident that the chef loved his job and was trained in nutrition. The shipboard experience included demonstrations, lectures, local entertainment. Everything was so enjoyable we hardly had time to sleep. Our cruise director, Veronica, provided a daily briefing where she shared the itinerary of the following day complete with maps and questions. Everything was so organized we could just enjoy. We especially liked having all excursions included so we could see it all. The pace was appropriate for the group of travelers and the guides very knowledgeable. There was security in knowing that Vantage understood all of our needs from bathroom breaks and water to taking us to the front of lines that we had not experienced on other cruise lines. Our transportation included taking us to and from the airport without delays and being there with visible signs to take us promptly to the bus. We loved our second Vantage cruise so much that we signed up for Paris and the Seine before we left the Splendor. We did cruise another line in January and often commented "this is not Vantage". We love the luxury of Vantage cruises and recommend them to everyone Read Less
River Splendor Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family N/A 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 5.0 N/A

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