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7 Vantage Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

This was our ninth Vantage World Travel voyage, and our fourth Vantage European river boat cruise. Our past experiences had been excellent and we expected the same to be true of this one. Sadly, Vantage no longer offers the same quality as ... Read More
This was our ninth Vantage World Travel voyage, and our fourth Vantage European river boat cruise. Our past experiences had been excellent and we expected the same to be true of this one. Sadly, Vantage no longer offers the same quality as in the past. Formerly, there were four program managers to take care of guest needs. That equated to one program manager for every 44 passengers, assuming the ship was full. Now they have only one for all 176 passengers. They also have a concierge, who is really a program manager in training. One day Jessi, our program manager, spent 2-1/2 hours pointing out from the bridge the castles on either side of the Rhine. Then, she scurried down to the lounge to do her port talk. She was fantastic, but, in my opinion, overworked. The food quality also has become inconsistent. There were some memorable dinners - excellent rack of lamb, pork tenderloin Wellington, and beef tenderloin. But while presented beautifully, most meals were not memorable - at least when compared with past cruises. But, on a positive note, there were many choices available. And the soups, every lunch and dinner, were fantastic. They used to have a piano player in the lounge every afternoon and evening; they now have a juke box! Now that I've listed the disappointments, here are the positives: We arrived in Amsterdam at around 7:30 AM and were on the ship by 8:45, having breakfast. Our suite was ready by 10:00. The ship is immaculate. The crew, every one of them, was superb. Friendly, hard-working, and eager to please. Program manager Jessi was especially great. The lounge and dining rooms were large and comfortable. The Cotton Club rear lounge served as an alternative restaurant, and the food there was always good. On board entertainment was good - one night a three-piece German band (as a tuba player, I was disappointed there was no tuba; only a guitar, accordion, and clarinet/sax player. But they were entertaining.) Another night a French singer/accordion duo - they were fun. There was also an on-board wine tasting, German lesson, and an EU lecture. All ok . . . but a past highlight was the crew show; there wasn't any. Port and shore excursions were good, but many of us thought the walking tours were too long. We did appreciate the home-hosted kaffe klatch, and the lunch on our own in one port, where we were given 30 euros per person to spend. Overall, a wonderful trip, but Vantage has lost its adVantage over other river cruisers by cutting costs and services. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have sailed on over 40 ocean going cruise ships. Typically 3 times a year, and 10-15 days at a time. We prefer Celebrity and approximately half of or total cruises have been with them. We like he Solstice class ships, and generally ... Read More
We have sailed on over 40 ocean going cruise ships. Typically 3 times a year, and 10-15 days at a time. We prefer Celebrity and approximately half of or total cruises have been with them. We like he Solstice class ships, and generally book those if at all possible. That said as a baseline for our sailing experience, we have always wanted to experience a European river cruise but have been put off by the high per day cost, and unknown ports/cities they visit for the most part. An email from TripAdvisor led us to the Vantage River Voyager that is the subject of this review. First impressions are, the ship is clean and well kept. It's fairly new, so that was not a surprise. The greeting staff was pleasant, in general the entire staff were nice. The cabins are slightly smaller than a balcony on Celebrity, but adequate. I need to add that we sailed from Ft. Lauderdale on the Celebrity Silohouette for 14 days to get to Amsterdam for our Vantage cruise. The smaller storage & closets on the Vantage ship were able to accommodate our belongings, but not as easily as bigger ships. We did not expect or have any entertainment except an occasional (2-3 instances) solo performer. Breakfast was probably the best meal of the day, with omlets, & eggs cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet, and a limited menu to choose from. Dinner was pleasant with wine and beer included. The choices were usually appetizer, one soup, 3 entrees, and 2 desserts. Very few of these items were memorable, but I'm a fussy eater and probably spoiled by Celebrity exposure. There are several reasons this review is only 3 stars. To begin, most of the ports visited had little to offer as far as a local attraction, and in about 2/3 of them, if you didn't go on the included tour, the ship was typically docked beyond walking distance to anything else. I suspect the outlying docking accommodations are less expensive for Vantage. Frequently when we were bussed into the town close to our ship, there were vacant docks all over the area that we could have docked at. This was evident time and time again. Another issue was the ships' WiFi service was quite slow, and for at least the last 1/3 of the trip either out of order or barely usable and irregular. I kept asking what was wrong and why didn't we have service, but never got an explanation. Finally, the worst incident occurred a few days before the end of the trip. When we got up one morning, the toilet in our cabin would not flush. It turns out, the whole ships' system was not functioning in any cabin or public restroom. It remained out of order apparently all day. We left for the day on an excursion. Upon our return at dinner time, they had restored service, but I heard the public toilets were filled to the brim by passengers. I pity those who did not leave the ship on the excursion. We enjoyed parts of this trip, and got to see areas we would not have visited otherwise, however, I will not be booking another river cruise any time soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary seemed to cover the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in greater depth than other river cruise lines. This was our 50th cruise with various cruise lines (combination of ocean, river, adventure, ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary seemed to cover the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in greater depth than other river cruise lines. This was our 50th cruise with various cruise lines (combination of ocean, river, adventure, etc.), and our third trip with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Based on our most recent experience, it will also be our last trip with Vantage not just because this cruise was totally ruined for us but also because of the way we have been treated with complete lack of respect and lack of any customer service after our return despite the fact that we are supposedly "valued" Presidents Club members with Vantage. Thus we are writing this review to alert other prospective Vantage clients of their many pitfalls. Our major concern was with the terrible cabin we were ultimately assigned aboard the River Splendor. To start at the beginning of this saga, we originally booked Vantage's "Switzerland and the Heart of the Rhine and Moselle" river cruise on the Navigator sailing October 5, 2015 with cabin 306 assigned along with booking a 3-night pre-extension in Lucerne. Vantage cancelled this sailing and thus we agreed to rebook it for September 7, 2016, on the River Splendor with the same cabin promised and the 3-night pre-extension in Lucerne. Vantage cancelled again and thus we agreed to rebook on the September 17, 2016, sailing with the same cabin promised although the itinerary was now reversed and the 3-night Lucerne extension became post instead of pre. After repeatedly checking our Portfolio, the cabin was always shown as TBD thus we repeatedly called Vantage and were assured by numerous agents that there was no problem as "cabins were not assigned yet", but they now promised us cabin 329 which was still acceptable. However, after time, the Portfolio still showed TBD. After a few more calls, we were now told that being "President's Club" we were obviously being upgraded. In reality, 2 days prior to departure, the Portfolio finally showed a cabin 337 assigned which was not acceptable. Seeing we are not novice cruisers, we did not like the location of this cabin being above the engines and below the Captain's Club. While we were given no choice at this point, we hoped to make the best of the situation until we discovered cabin 337 has an UNBEARABLE STENCH as it is located directly next to and above the ship's sewer vent so that despite the fact that we paid for a so-called French balcony, we could not open it due to the odor that persisted day in and day out and even permeated the room with the door closed! Perhaps it should be reclassified as a STENCH BALCONY. In addition to the constant lies we received from Vantage throughout this booking process and the unacceptable cabin which entirely ruined our cruise experience and destroyed our faith in Vantage, there were major changes to the original itinerary throughout the course of time. Keep in mind, Vantage had our full payment for almost 2 years! Our original paperwork which was never revised shows beginning the cruise in Amsterdam (not being bused to Arnhem) and included an Amsterdam canal boat tour, included a tour of Cologne (where we never even went), included a tour of Luxembourg (which we now paid extra for as an optional tour), and the Lucerne extension somehow became 2 nights instead of 3 and skipped the tour of Bern with the included lunch (enroute from Basel to Lucerne) and skipped the included Farewell dinner. By the way, because the Bern excursion was omitted, we arrived in Lucerne well before noon only to discover we could not check in to the hotel until 3pm so to everyone's dismay wound up sitting in the lobby for hours after the Lucerne walking tour. In view of the various problems and disappointments we experienced in booking this trip, the unbearable stench in our cabin, and the entire stress this situation has caused, we think asking for compensation of no less than half of what we paid for the journey (not including air) is fair which according to their invoice would be a total of $5249. While the hotel manager aboard the River Splendor seemed very conscientious and understanding and genuinely concerned about the matter, he had no authority beyond the ship to rectify the situation and compensate us in any way as his hands are in effect tied by the Boston office. Since returning home on October 4, we have tried to deal with the matter through the director of customer service to no avail as he has failed to come up with any mutually satisfactory compensation, does not return our repeated phone calls, and basically has blown us off. As a last resort, we reached out via email to Vantage’s president, Henry Lewis, who also never had the courtesy to respond to the email in any shape, form, or fashion. A word to the wise to future travelers, there are many other tour operators and cruise lines out there which are more reputable and will cater to your needs! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We sailed on River Splendor at the end of April and into early May. The cruise was Belgium and Netherlands. It was designed to give you a look at the tulips and flowers of Holland. They are beautiful. We had Room 325 in the center of ... Read More
We sailed on River Splendor at the end of April and into early May. The cruise was Belgium and Netherlands. It was designed to give you a look at the tulips and flowers of Holland. They are beautiful. We had Room 325 in the center of the ship. A very nice room. Small but efficient. Nice bathroom with a very good shower. The room had a large window that opened with a beautiful view as we cruised. The ship itself is very nice. On the top deck was a sitting area but it was to chilly to use most days. We did sit up there one day with coffee and played a game from the library. Nice area to just relax. Smoking is restricted to a very small area so for the most part it won't bother non-smokers. The dining area is very nice. It is large and comfortable. Our restaurant manager was named Boyan and he ran a very good restaurant indeed. Super friendly wait staff that does a great job. At breakfast the buffet never runs out. Lunch and dinner were always good. The food is presented nicely and very god quality. Even the cheeseburger was good! The staff of this boat is extremely friendly and helpful beyond belief! Anything you need or any question you have will be answered. Everyone speaks very good English. The selection of shore excursions is wonderful. The guides know their area very well and are more than willing to just chat if time permits. The places you see are well chosen. Our guide at the Rijkmuseum was so animated and so knowledgabble about the art he was a show himself. Art excited him and he showed it. Kukendoff Gardens are crowded but you can do it all. All in all a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We got back a few days ago from our Vantage river cruise. It was wonderful! We left from Amsterdam and sailed the waterways to Belgium and back. The River Splendor was a great boat. Very clean and great staff. My only real negative was the ... Read More
We got back a few days ago from our Vantage river cruise. It was wonderful! We left from Amsterdam and sailed the waterways to Belgium and back. The River Splendor was a great boat. Very clean and great staff. My only real negative was the noise in the dining room during dinner. It was like all passengers needed hearing aids and had to raise their voice to talk. It was hard to talk to the person across the table. For some dinners we chose to go to the buffet at the other end of the boat. Only 40 people (usually only 15-20) and same menu as in the dining room. The food at lunch and dinner was excellent. Wine was included at no extra charge.Breakfast was the same every day and was rather boring. Eggs, omelets, cereal, oatmeal, cheeses, juice, pastries, etc. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate was available in the lounge during the day. I had tried to determine before we left if my husband needed to take a sport coat for the captains dinner. He finally took one but next time he won't. Maybe 25-30% of the men wore one, the rest just a nice shirt and khakis or slacks. The rooms were clean and well planned. The shower was large and they provided nice size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. We had a French balcony but next time I might not pay extra for it. We were hardly ever in the room and many times we were tied up right next to another river boat and had to keep curtains The shore excursions were wonderful. It was so well organized. The busses were comfortable and the tour guides very knowledgable. If we were to leave at 9am we left at 9 am. I don't usually like to be herded like sheep from one site to another but it wasn't too bad, mainly because of the guides. Also, wherever we went there were groups from other boats. Unlike Viking Cruises, there was no signage on the dock as to where the boat was docked. We arrived in Amsterdam 5 days before the cruise so had to make our own way to the boat. I called Vantage to find out where the boat was docked and luckily it was behind our hotel (Doubletree) within walking distance. It was behind 2 Viking Boats and not easy to find. This was our first river cruise and will not be our last. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our cabin was rated as a B2 level and we were quite pleased with our room: plenty of space and a french balcony. Food was probably the best we have had on a cruise ship (although I must admit our former experiences were on ocean cruises, ... Read More
Our cabin was rated as a B2 level and we were quite pleased with our room: plenty of space and a french balcony. Food was probably the best we have had on a cruise ship (although I must admit our former experiences were on ocean cruises, not a river one). Even though the weather was frigid during our trip, both my husband and I were very happy with our experience. Among the highlights of our tour: tons of gorgeous artworks (two museums through the cruise and three on our own) the Keukenhof Gardens, and a full day tour/canal ride in the beautiful city of Bruges. Local guides (with one exception) were excellent and very informative. In addition, we really liked Vantage's liberal allowance of 'time at leisure' as sometimes group tours can get tedious. One free afternoon, the two of us decided to take a train to The Hague to visit the famous Mauritshuis Museum. Our concierge, Renata, was a wonderful help, even purchasing online tickets in advance for the museum. Although both my husband and I are very mobile and into hiking, I heard some of the older passengers complain about the amount of walking necessary. Apparently they had chosen this particular trip for its 'Low Activity Level' assignment in the brochure and experienced quite a bit of difficulty on the shore excursions. We found this cruise to be a very good value, although I must confess our costs included a $1000.00 credit given to everyone who had sweltered aboard Vantage's M/Y Harmony during the previous year's Black Sea cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first River Cruise and it was excellent. We have gone on 54 big ship cruises (mostly Princess and Celebrity) and did not know what to expect on a small River Cruise. The tours were very well organized, we had the very best ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and it was excellent. We have gone on 54 big ship cruises (mostly Princess and Celebrity) and did not know what to expect on a small River Cruise. The tours were very well organized, we had the very best tour managers who went beyond the call of duty to make sure everything went smooth. Most passengers were are age (60). Only one passenager used a walker and was not able to join some of our tours. Tesa our tour manager helped him as much as she could to be sure he had a good time. The food was amazing. The Chief came to the table every night to see if we enjoyed our meal and ask if we needed anything special. The Captain was friendly and even helped me off the ship with my suitcase at the end of cruise. In one of the ports a couple had not returned to the ship on time. The Captiain got off the ship with my husband to look for them. That woudl NEVER happen on a Cruise Ship. I can't believe Vantage has gotten so many bad reviews. I would totally recommend them and would not use any other River Boat company. They did an excellent job. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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