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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The trip was really two parts- booking and then the cruise itself. Booking and customer service after booking was awful. Everything got screwed up: names, air deviation schedule, beginning port, all took more time than they should have ... Read More
The trip was really two parts- booking and then the cruise itself. Booking and customer service after booking was awful. Everything got screwed up: names, air deviation schedule, beginning port, all took more time than they should have to correct. Agents were almost to a person, unhelpful. Principal complaint was when we booked air deviation for Marseilles planning to arrive three days early with my daughter who would not be on the cruise. We planned on staying in Marseilles and meeting the tour on sailing day at the airport as we took our daughter for her homeward flight. Late in the game we were told no transfers although we paid extra for deviation. Cruise line stated it was policy. Off to a poor start. We were upgraded to the Columbus Suite which was great. Few details: TV worked only for music, but not a problem. Overall service on the ship was very good and they generally accommodated my wife's special needs. Food was good but about like other river lines. On board activities were limited because of tours but evenings had several entertaining performers. Public areas were the Peppermint Lounge forward and the small Captain's Lounge off the stern. Very little service there. Frankly, I found the itinerary and passing scenery pretty boring. We loved Avignon where I was an 18-year-old GI in 1946, and also Lyon. But passing scenery was very industrial and lots of nuclear plants we were told. We took only two tours, not realizing the tours were mostly pretty strenuous, but those tours were excellent with a high point an organ concert in an old medieval cathedral. Our air arrangements were adequate with two stops and short connection times but we managed with wheelchair pushers who knew the shortcuts. Having sailed on 4 Viking river cruises and one AMA, I would rate Vantage below those two, primarily because of the initial attitude of customer service. Another factor didn't bother us, but a number of cabins, even suites had no hot water on the whole trip, and it was the first trip of the season. Also, tips are deducted and are 20 Euros p/p, which was too high. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
The ship was very nice, had the best crew. We lucked out on our first cruise with Vantage we got what we thought one of the best rooms onboard. This is a very laid back company, nobody is in a hurry to do anything. The tours are not all ... Read More
The ship was very nice, had the best crew. We lucked out on our first cruise with Vantage we got what we thought one of the best rooms onboard. This is a very laid back company, nobody is in a hurry to do anything. The tours are not all paid for. They never get around to leaving until 9 or after. Walking is a must. Some of the most historical places we didn't get to see. We had 172 onboard, we were all bused one right after another lined up in generally 4 buses. Guess the only thing to see is grape vines, and more grapevines. We did get to go to a goat cheese factory, which we got to sample, with more wine. If you like layed back cruises, and lots and lots of wine, this is the cruise for you. The people on the cruise couldn't have been better, and the food was good. The only thing wrong was the temperture. We thought the air-conditioner was turned off about 12 then turned back on about 5. Over half of the passengers got colds and coughed, thank goodness we took plenty of cold medicine, which we shared with all. The people got hot in the night, and caught colds. We asked the crew, they said no, but it probably was computerize control. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
Since our only visit to France had been on an ocean cruise stop in Cannes, we wanted to get a better feel for the country, the culture, and the history (oh yes, and the wines!). The cruise traveled from the Mediterranean to the Normandy ... Read More
Since our only visit to France had been on an ocean cruise stop in Cannes, we wanted to get a better feel for the country, the culture, and the history (oh yes, and the wines!). The cruise traveled from the Mediterranean to the Normandy Coast, with Paris in between. What more can you ask for? Along the Rhône, Saône, and Seine rivers we stopped at numerous towns and cities for (included) excursions of towns such as Avignon, Perouges, Dijon, Giverny, and Honfleur. Most notable were excursions to wineries in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Beaune, and the Pont du Gard and the Normandy D-Day landmarks and American Cemetery. The entire journey required two different riverboats, but the connection was something special as well. The included connection was from Dijon to Paris aboard the TGV, or Train à Gran Vitesse, France's high-speed train. What a pleasure to sit in power reclining seats and travel over 200 mph in smooth, quiet comfort. The real beauty for us is the way Vantage takes care of everything, from handling our luggage at the airport to escorting us through the Paris train station. There are no worries about catching a ride, how to get to a sightseeing attraction, or even "where are the restrooms?" QuietVox headsets are provided for all excursions, so you can comfortably hear your English-speaking guide even if you're half a block away. all excursions are divided into groups of 20-30 guests, so crowding is not an issue. Dining is superb, and the chefs go out of their way to provide local delights as well as traditional American fare. An example: "Rack of lamb with Dijon mustard crust, rosemary potato gratin, and ratatouille Provencale". Make no mistake, this is NOT a cruise for children (there were none on our voyage), but adults will find it very relaxing and most interesting. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
This cruise line has been little reviewed on Cruise Critic. Vantage is in an expansion phase but is sometimes forgotten in a market dominated by big cruise lines such as Viking. My wife and I are very itinerary focused and all of the stops ... Read More
This cruise line has been little reviewed on Cruise Critic. Vantage is in an expansion phase but is sometimes forgotten in a market dominated by big cruise lines such as Viking. My wife and I are very itinerary focused and all of the stops on this cruise were new to us. We took their French Waterways: Beaujolais and Burgundy cruise. We were slated to to fly in to Marseille and take a shuttle to Tarascon. There was a change and we were taken directly to Avignon where we spent our first three days. The main difference between Viking and Vantage is that Vantage cruises take 11 days staying extra days in port while Viking cruises cover the same ports in eight days. When you consider the long flight to Europe it makes more sense to have a longer stay than an eight day cruise. The Vantage cruise has competitive pricing and is only sold directly through their website or office in Boston. We were informed that the average age of a Vantage traveler is 60. For this cruise it was closer to 70. I see old people, wearing shorts, and lots of them! Vantage highlights that they cater to an American customer and the food/service reflect that focus. A typical day is stopping at a port, taking a city excursion (overview) from 9:00 a.m. to noon, lunch on the ship, and afternoon free time to further explore the port on their own. Most excursions are included in the fare but there may be additional extra excursions at additional cost. Audio Vox systems are used for excursions which make listening to the guides much easier (although they are not much help with the heavily-accented French guides). The greatest strength of a cruise of this nature is the opportunity to be immersed in the French culture. Fine foods, delicious wines, visiting small villages off the beaten path, and expert guides helps one to better understand the unique French contributions to our world. Food choices are limited but adequate. The service throughout the cruise was exceptional as all crew members are very focused on your satisfaction. Read Less
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