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15 Vantage Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this Cruise for the itinerary and the price was attractive. We were actually a bit dubious because we hadn’t heard of Vantage, but we were thoroughly impressed with the vessel, the staff, our accommodations and the quality of ... Read More
We chose this Cruise for the itinerary and the price was attractive. We were actually a bit dubious because we hadn’t heard of Vantage, but we were thoroughly impressed with the vessel, the staff, our accommodations and the quality of the tours. The food was very good, not quite the gourmet offerings of another River Cruise we took, but satisfying, especially for what we paid. Bar drinks were extra, but reasonably priced and our bartender made great drinks and remembered our preferences. Our stateroom was modern, clean, well laid out and comfortable. The social scene shut down at 9:30 or so, but we chalked that up to the long dark nights of winter. The tour guides that were provided for us locally were outstanding in every port of call. Personal audio transmission devices were provided for our use and we were kept up to date with daily itineraries. We would sale with Vantage again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
7 day Danube from Budapest to Regensburg We were met by well-identified Vantage people at the Budapest airport. The transfer to the ship was swift and enjoyable, and included commentary on the sights we were passing. The River Voyager ... Read More
7 day Danube from Budapest to Regensburg We were met by well-identified Vantage people at the Budapest airport. The transfer to the ship was swift and enjoyable, and included commentary on the sights we were passing. The River Voyager is a beautiful ship; we were warmly welcomed aboard and shown to our cabin within minutes. Our luggage was already there. River cruise cabins are, of necessity smaller that those on ocean ships. Our cabin (lowest deck, lowest category) was very well designed and appointed. The bathroom larger and nicer than many ocean versions we’ve seen. Service and food were excellent. Everyone, including the crew and 168 passengers got on famously. Vantage seemed to really want us to appreciate where we were and what we were seeing, so the lectures, tours and guides were outstanding and included. The only charges on our shipboard account after a week were a small bar bill (beer 4.10, wine 5.30) and the daily gratuities. Note that no gratuity was added to bar tabs, the daily rate covered it. Excursions were: Bratislava, short church recital; Vienna, Christmas markets, concert, Lipizzan horses, Liechtenstein City Palace; Linz, full day in Salzburg; Passau, city walking tour (lots of hills!). All of these excursions were included in the cruise fare. We have done quite a few ocean cruises, but this is only our second river cruise and our first experience with Vantage. A thoroughly delightful experience. We will be traveling with Vantage again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Locations included were what we wanted to see. Felt that the price was right. Really wanted a more relaxing trip and this fit the bill. We stayed in a suite and they include free laundry service, limited mini bar, full size bathtub and ... Read More
Locations included were what we wanted to see. Felt that the price was right. Really wanted a more relaxing trip and this fit the bill. We stayed in a suite and they include free laundry service, limited mini bar, full size bathtub and a double sink! What a treat! The staff was wonderful, the food was great!! Not lobster and caviar, but really good food...including wine/beer at dinner. We have also been on a Viking cruise and loved it...I was very scared that this ship wouldn't be as good as the Viking cruise...it sure was! We traveled with another couple and the husband got sick right after we boarded the ship. The staff took very good care of him. I agree that the age of passenger is older than Viking, but that wasn't a problem. Loved that they had a pillow selection! I sleep with a buckwheat pillow and they had one of them available....wow ,didn't expect that! We ended up booking another of cruise less than a month after we returned. Can't wait for the next adventure!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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
I wanted to see the old cities of Europe and not have to move from hotel to hotel. My friend recommended Vantage and we unknowingly booked the same cruise. It was the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I hope to take a Vantage ... Read More
I wanted to see the old cities of Europe and not have to move from hotel to hotel. My friend recommended Vantage and we unknowingly booked the same cruise. It was the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I hope to take a Vantage cruise every second year to different destinations but I would even take this cruise again. Water was so calm that we didn't know when we were moving - the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken. I loved that there were only 160 passengers so that it was interesting to meet a varied group of travelers and have meals with very nice people. Met some new friends too. The boat was kept very clean, inside and outside. Service was exceptional and the best food I've eaten in a two week period. Loved that they were so flexible in providing food from the café menu in the restaurant so when the menu got a little too fancy for me I could order a grilled steak or salmon. There was no shortage of excellent and fresh food and a good menu variety. I'm a believer in Vantage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Going on a river cruise in Europe was suggested by my cousin. We happened upon a brochure for Vantage in a travel store and began receiving their emails for about a year before making the decision to go. Full itineraries and videos ... Read More
Going on a river cruise in Europe was suggested by my cousin. We happened upon a brochure for Vantage in a travel store and began receiving their emails for about a year before making the decision to go. Full itineraries and videos provided for each cruise definitely influenced our final choice. We did briefly look at several other options, but found Vantage offered more places at a reasonable price. We were able to extend our journey by adding 5 nights which included Bratislava and Prague. This was our first cruise and so we were a little unsure just what to expect. Without any hesitation we can say that we were in no way disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful experience. The crew were outstanding and went out of their way to meet our every need on the ship. We were on a first name basis immediately, enjoying many good laughs and thoughtful conversations together. The crew even entertained us one evening with their talents and great sense of humour. The food was simply outstanding with a wide range of dishes offered daily. Some favourite included sea bass, red snapper, pork tenderloin in phyllo and even Baked Alaska complete with sparklers. Excursions each day appealed to a wide variety of interests with local guides providing detailed information. Two of the many, many highlights were the private classical concert in Vienna and the late night cruise in Budapest. We will always cherish the friends we met and the beautiful sites we saw. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were waiting for a good last-minute offer from GCT (the only other river cruise line we'd used) when this Vantage cruise popped up at a price we couldn't refuse. From beginning to end, things went smoothly. Sure, the flights ... Read More
We were waiting for a good last-minute offer from GCT (the only other river cruise line we'd used) when this Vantage cruise popped up at a price we couldn't refuse. From beginning to end, things went smoothly. Sure, the flights from Phoenix are long and arduous, but that's the downside to any European travel, and they were uneventful, as one would want. Check-in was smooth and we were escorted to our room by a cheery and informative crew member. The room was impressive -- large enough, with ample drawer and closet space, a gleaming bathroom with great shower and L'Occitane de Provence products, and hey, is that free bottled water?! Yes, AND a water bottle for each of us to take on tours. We'd have paid a bunch on another line for that. Minibars aren't our thing, so we put those items aside and used the little frig for our personal stash of Diet Coke. The French balcony was perfect -- lots of view through those large windows and a chance to get fresh air while cruising with the door open. Going through locks, you can see there's not an inch to spare, so a balcony with seating would only have cramped the room. We were happy with this arrangement. Card keys worked well. Captain's Club was a short distance away, so we had easy access to ice, coffee, tea, and fresh fruit 24/7. Plus, it's a nice quiet place to hang out and read. A little library at the other end kept us stocked with Sudoku puzzles and reading material. One evening after a long day, we felt more like staying in the cabin, where we could access free movies and there was a decent selection of new and old. Tours were organized by color cards, easy to understand, and great to be with different people each tour. The buses were always quite new and comfortable. Umbrellas were provided to passengers who didn't bring one and at the end of the tour, there was always iced tea and a steamy cloth for freshening up. How thoughtful! Our tour guides, every one, were fantastic -- funny, informative, and fluent in English. Their French accents were so delightful I could have listened all day. Tours went to appropriate historic and cultural spots in each city, always worthwhile. We didn't take any of the optional tours, and still had plenty of sightseeing to occupy us. One afternoon we explored Lyon using the bikes they keep on board. They weren't superb bikes, but usable for what we were doing. Another day we asked about using public transportation and got good information from the concierge. Besides the tours, we were treated to some sessions on board: a great cheese tasting with samples of four local cheeses purchased at the market the day before, talks about the history of Roman occupation of southern France, and a galley tour, always one of my highlights. I must mention that we enjoyed free wifi (not always fast, but available), chocolates on the pillow, the excellent service in both cabin and dining room, vegetarian options at most meals, a young captain Jeremy who must be extremely capable to ease the boat through those tight locks without ever kissing the sides, the casual on/off at each port, NOT having a photographer stalk us to sell inane photos, and NOT having to pay extra for nearly anything. We thought the daily tip fees were a bit high, but we did get excellent service. The ship was immaculate, all the time, though we never saw staff cleaning the public areas -- overnight fairies at work? One last thing -- the average age of the passengers on this cruise was about 65, and that made a huge difference to us. We met more couples who were active, engaged, and conversant in many topics. (The average age on the GCT river cruise was about 80. I hope to be traveling when I'm 90 too, and then might favor GCT.) There was some incentive to finish a customer survey before we disembarked, which we did, but we forgot to mention many of these positive aspects of cruising with Vantage, so I hope they monitor the reviews and take note of the great impression they are making. We'll go again as soon as we can. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Vantage did excellent on planning each aspect of our trip. Flight arrangements were great, and the Vantage person was there to guide us at France, and take us to our bus..A few people. were complaining of a 15 minute walk to the bus, lack ... Read More
Vantage did excellent on planning each aspect of our trip. Flight arrangements were great, and the Vantage person was there to guide us at France, and take us to our bus..A few people. were complaining of a 15 minute walk to the bus, lack of "porters" to help with luggage. Get real. How much walking did you do on the tour and could handle it. Possibly, you brought too much luggage along! We were upgraded to another room, and while others were upgraded, they still complained. Some people are never happy. Yes, we did have a hot water issue on the boat, and did the rumors ever fly. The management did awesome to accommodate us, as I would never have wanted to be in their shoes. They had to get us off the boat for 3 nights to get it fixed. They offered complimentary tours, normally 78.00 a person, and had us stay in exceptional hotels. The Intercontinental Dier in Marseilles, was so wonderful. Meals were great in the hotels. That hotel was a 5 star and what a treat for us! Mediterranean Sea was awesome, and we wouldn't have seen it, if we hadn't had a hot water issue! I don't know what all the whining and complaining was about on accommodations and meals. Yes, sometimes things happen on a trip, that I'm sure Vantage Travel didn't want to happen, but they handled it extremely well. We totally loved it, and complaining by some people wasn't about to ruin our vacation. Tours were exceptional, as well as tour guides. Definitely would travel Vantage River Discovery II again. I'm writing in, as it seems the only people that comment are the unhappy, complainers, rather than the ones that thoroughly enjoyed the trip! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first river cruise with Vantage, a smaller operator not in the advertising mainstream like Viking. Perhaps that is how they keep their prices down, and give more value for the money spent. The ship was fairly new (3 yrs) and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise with Vantage, a smaller operator not in the advertising mainstream like Viking. Perhaps that is how they keep their prices down, and give more value for the money spent. The ship was fairly new (3 yrs) and in excellent condition. The lounge and dining rooms are spacious, and the cabins are what we expected small, yet enough room. Dining was good to excellent, with some outstanding menus (Rack of Lamb, Lobster) to chicken and pork on other evenings. The included wines were very good (and I like wine) there is no need to "Buy" a higher end wine that is offered. Dining service at dinner was a bit slow, as a waiter and assistant are assigned 6-7 tables, so you will have to call them over when you need more wine, or try to get something else. We thought we would be treated a little more "special", however as on most cruises we have been on, they are a little overworked. The cruise director (George) and the Concierge (Maya) were outstanding, never ever making you feel that you were imposing on them even were they were obviously very busy. The only disappointment was the evening entertainment, which was only on some evenings and was just not good. The only exception was a group called LeStrada- they were excellent. The itinerary (southern France) was wonderful, we loved the choices. We chose this cruise with Vantage based on three main reasons: Price, Reviews and 10 days instead of 7 on most lines. We are glad we did, as the pace was slower, never rushed, and had more free time at each location. I would not want to do this cruise in 7 days. I would recommend Vantage and use them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This 10-day cruise was the second of the 20-day back-to-back Treasures of France: A Grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Vantage River Cruise. We sailed down the Saone and Rhone Rivers visiting the ports of Chalon Sur Saone ... Read More
This 10-day cruise was the second of the 20-day back-to-back Treasures of France: A Grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Vantage River Cruise. We sailed down the Saone and Rhone Rivers visiting the ports of Chalon Sur Saone (overnight,) Tournus, Macon, Lyon (2 overnights,) Vienne (overnight,) Viviers/Avignon (2 overnights) and Tarascon, (overnight.) We flew home from Marasilles, France. After a five-hour coach ride from Vernon, France that included a stop for lunch compliments of Vantage, we arrived at our deluxe ms River Discovery II, a 179 passenger, 46-crew riverboat docked in Chalon Sur Saone, France. The boat entered service in 2012. Our staterooms were ready immediately and staffers carrying our luggage escorted us to our rooms. We enjoyed light refreshments in the Captain’s Club. Then, we explored the charming town and its attractions on our own, within walking distance of our boat. A Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party followed by safety, ship and port briefings with the Captain, Hotel Manager and Cruise director were held in the Peppermint Lounge. After dinner, we unpacked and took a stroll outside. The ship was lovely and the public areas were quite attractive and comfortable. Our French Balcony 165 sq, feet Stateroom #307 (same number as our previous cabin) was well appointed. It contained plenty of storage with two large wardrobes, deep drawer and shelf space. Two end tables flanked the comfortable bed covered with two fluffy comforters and additional pillows. Two chairs, a desk, small table (with ice bucket and complimentary bottles of water daily,) wall artwork and plenty of lamps with good lighting completed the decor. There was a safe and hair dryer in the room. The bathroom containing a large shower had a generous replenished supple of high quality shampoos, conditioners, soaps, shower gels and body lotion. The towels were fluffy and replaced as needed twice daily. The only thing missing was a mini fridge. Our very friendly cabin steward, Kevin was efficient, very accommodating and kept our stateroom spotless. Nightly chocolates on our pillows were a nice touch as was the elephant towel animal one night. The boat has complimentary ship-wide Wi-Fi. Coffee, hot chocolate and ice are available at conveniently located 24 hr. machines. Complimentary bicycles are available for passenger use in ports. The boat has an elevator or a hydraulic lift chair between decks for passengers with special needs. Unfortunately, the riverboats are not wheelchair accessible due to the width of gangways in European river ports. We did have one wheelchair bound passenger and the staff accommodated him nicely to his satisfaction and that of his aide. There are no medical facilities on board although there is an AED defibrillator. As President Club members, having traveled with Vantage on at least three trips, we received a laundry allowance, which was an excellent benefit that we appreciated and used. Our food on board was delicious; the presentation was artistic. Breakfast was always a buffet with a few different items each day. Lunch was also a buffet but most days you could also order off the menu. I always ordered the delicious chilled soups and pasta dish when available and went to the buffet. Spaghetti Carbonara was a standout for me. For dinner there were several delicious choices in addition to the standby entrees always available such as Salmon, Chicken, a Vegetarian dish and Steak. Our party of four was completely satisfied with the food offerings. The service was always very friendly, professional and efficient. Complimentary wine, soda and beer are freely available at dinnertime. Open Seating Dinner in the elegant Compass Rose Restaurant is served at 7 pm. The Captain’s Club has alternative lighter dining by reservation. This more intimate dining area has a retractable roof and beautiful views of the river. President’s Club members and Owner’s Suite and Deluxe Suites passengers may use in-room dining. Special meal requests are honored but must be received prior to sailing. Special occasions are celebrated in a grand way at dinnertime. Dress for dinner was casual except for the Captain’s Gala Dinner when most men wore jackets. We all enjoyed an included local lunch off the boat on our port stop in Tournus. Although very port intensive, the staff found time for some interesting onboard activities A Galley Tour, Wheelhouse Tour, Introduction to French Language and Culture Talk, French Waterways Presentation, Cheese, Wine and Bread Presentations (with tasting and sampling,) Santons (local high quality figurines -not a buying opportunity) Lecture & display and a Silk Painting Demonstration. The Crème Brulee Presentation and tasting was fun with recipes hand out afterwards. Guest lecturer Olivier Pachot gave an interesting lecture on France Today that evoked many questions and comments by the packed audience. There was some outstanding entertainment on board including the extremely popular, Gypsy Night, dancer and musicians, the wonderful classical recital with La Strada, a lively French Evening with accordion music, and energetic dance music with the “Party Band.” One night we also had “The one and only ms River Discovery II Crew Show“; another night a movie was shown. A popular and fun activity was the after dinner Pub Crawl in Avignon with our lively Cruise Director, George and Concierge, Maya. The highpoint for me and for many others was the scenic sunset sail with commentary into the magnificent city of Lyons. We all gathered in the Peppermint Lounge, aft deck or the Captain’s Club to photograph the sights along the way. On such a small ship, we became quite friendly with all the passengers and the entire staff including the senor officers. My husband thought that this was the best thing about the cruise. It certainly added to our enjoyment. George did a suburb job as Cruise director; he was everywhere and always available for conversation or help. Service throughout the ship was excellent from the front desk, to the dining room, the lounges and housekeeping. The passengers were mostly older Americans with some younger passengers as well. Complimentary Quiet Vox Audio Headsets were perfect on all the sightseeing tours. Most tours - 17 between the two cruises including those on coaches were included. Not only were they worthwhile and educational, they were just plain fun and we looked forward to them daily. I took two exceptional optional tours to Pont du Gard in Avignon ($65) and the Medieval Village of Perouges ($59.) in Lyon. Our most unusual tour was a visit to a local goat farm that included a wine tasting with goat cheese. Visiting the Pope’s Palace and taking the Secrets of Avignon were other highlights as was our city tour in Lyon. We saw beautiful cathedrals, chateaus, castles, vineyards, quaint medieval cities, towers, abbeys and bucolic countrysides as we sailed along the winding waterways. Maya, our competent Concierge was on board to help passengers handle individual arrangements or dinner reservations in each of the town. How did this cruise differ from the previous one? Well first, the weather was warmer and sunnier as we headed south. We did more daylight sailing. There was more wine tasting, too and visits to vineyards. Of course, the cities differed and we passed through 14 locks as we navigated the rivers. Both cruises were equally rewarding. I highly recommend this Vantage river cruise. Vantage was the only company that offered this combination of two back-to-back river cruises through France for a total of 20 days in France. By combining the two cruises we saved $789 per couple than if purchased separately. Both cruises exceeded my expectations and I looked forward to a future trip with Vantage Deluxe World Tours. My one disappointment was that the included ride on the famous TGV high-speed train to Dijon & guided walking tour for our connection between the two cruises did not materialize and hadn’t been done for at least three years. Vantage needs to remove this from its literature. Using the Smart Pay Plan, we saved 10% off the cost of our cruise. Vantage offers the lowest price per day of all the river cruise companies that we compared. Passengers receive a 5% Travel Reward that may be used on a future trip. Vantage will add the newest luxurious 6-star ship, ms River Voyager in 2016. If you have not taken a river cruise, I hope that this review motivates you to consider one. There are different river cruise companies to choose from and from what I heard talking with passengers from the different boats, all are excellent. Remember that river conditions may affect your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This review is the first of my two Back-to-Back River Cruises through France with Vantage Deluxe World Tours. The 10-day cruise was the start of a 20-day The Treasures of France: A grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Cruise. ... Read More
This review is the first of my two Back-to-Back River Cruises through France with Vantage Deluxe World Tours. The 10-day cruise was the start of a 20-day The Treasures of France: A grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Cruise. The excellent cruise began in Paris and traveled north up the seine River to Honsfleur (Normandy) on the Vantage ship, River Venture. Food on board was delicious; the presentation was artistic. Breakfast was always a buffet with a few different items each day. Lunch was also a buffet but most days you could also order off the menu. I always ordered the delicious chilled soups and pasta dish when available and also went to the buffet. For dinner there were several choices but if none were to your liking there were entrees always available such as Salmon, Chicken, a vegetarian dish and Steak. Our party of four was completely satisfied with the food offerings. The service was always friendly, professional and efficient. Wine, soda and beer are freely available at dinnertime, also. Passengers sit whoever they want and with whomever they want. Dinner is served at 7 pm. Dress for dinner was casual except for the Captain’s Gala Dinner when most men wore jackets. We all enjoyed a local lunch off the boat during our visit to the Normandy Beaches and American Cemetery. On such a small ship, we became quite friendly with the entire staff including the senor officers. My husband thought that this was the best thing about the cruise. It certainly added to our enjoyment. Marie did a suburb job as Cruise director; everyone loved her . Service throughout the ship was excellent from the front desk, to the dining room to the lounges and housekeeping. The passengers were all older Americans and we knew everyone by the end of the cruise. The ship was lovely and the public areas were quite attractive and comfortable. Our stateroom 307 had a French Balcony and was well appointed. It contained plenty of storage with two wardrobes, deep drawer and shelf space. Two end tables flanked the comfortable bed covered with two fluffy comforters. In addition, there were two chairs, a desk, small glass table and plenty of lamps with good lighting. There was a safe, an ice bucket and hair dryer in the room. The bathroom containing a fairly large shower had a generous supple of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, shower gels and body lotion. The towels were fluffy and replaced as needed twice daily. The only thing missing was a mini fridge. Our cabin steward was efficient, very accommodating and kept our stateroom spotless. As President Club members having traveled with Vantage on at least three cruises, we received a free bag of laundry which was an excellent perk that we all appreciated and used. I loved that Vantage uses headsets and receivers on shore excursions both optional and included. We saw beautiful cathedrals, chateaus, museums, castles, monuments, quaint medieval cities, towers, abbeys and bucolic country sides along the winding waterways. All excursions were worthwhile and most were included. For me the highpoint was our two nights stay in Honsfleur. As we sailed under the Normandy bridge we received glasses of Champagne to commemorate the event. The medial city is quaint and we docked right in town. From there, we traveled one day up to Normandy for an unforgettable tour of this historic area. In fact every port of call - Vernon, Chalon Sur Saone, Les Andelys, Caudebec-en-Caux. Bayeux/Caen and Roen were equally enjoyable. Unfortunately we could not dock in Paris due to a lock malfunction but we boarded a coach from Vernon into Paris and didn’t miss any sightseeing in this exciting city. Although very port intensive, the staff found time for some on board activities - a Galley Tour, French Apple Tart Demonstration, Impressionism Lecture and World War II/ Normandy Talk. There were several nights of great entertainment including wonderful Can Can Dancers, a Traditional Folkloric Dance Company, local Jazz Ensemble and the talented Italian singer, Roberto. I highly recommend this Vantage river cruise. Vantage was the only company that offered this combination of two Back-to-Back river cruises through France for a total of 20 days in France. The cruise exceeded my expectations and I looked forward to the second cruise which I will post later. The only issue that I had was that the guide was late in arriving to meet us in Paris. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were looking forward to a great vacation, but: During the first three days we had no hot water in our room and had to shower in ice water. On day four the problem was repaired by a local plumber, why did it take so long? The ... Read More
We were looking forward to a great vacation, but: During the first three days we had no hot water in our room and had to shower in ice water. On day four the problem was repaired by a local plumber, why did it take so long? The reception desk could care less that we and others had no hot water. The front desk said that she is not getting paid enough to worry about the passengers. Why is she there and at that position. The elevator did not work during the entire cruise. Most passengers were elderly (nursing home type) with various medical issues. Some were unable to get around the boat, some required assistance by other passengers. A few fell down the steps and required medical attention. The front office did not assist them in any form; they don't care. During the entire trip we never had a French meal, it was cheap American kitchen. On Captain night only the first 76 passengers (out off 168) had lobster; why? The wine served with dinner was the best wine under $2 one can find; it was not as good as Trader Joe's. We called the Boston office from the boat to report the problems; as on the boat, no one cared in the home office. That much for traveling with Vantage, the tour company from hell. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We have done 12 cruises; this was our 4th w/Vantage. We had previously taken the Amsterdam to Vienna river cruse so we booked the Black Sea to Budapest. We spent the first night in Bucharest then transferred to the ship, Some where between ... Read More
We have done 12 cruises; this was our 4th w/Vantage. We had previously taken the Amsterdam to Vienna river cruse so we booked the Black Sea to Budapest. We spent the first night in Bucharest then transferred to the ship, Some where between the hotel lobby where we saw our undamaged suitcase and getting to our cabin on the ship, the entire wheel assembly had been broken off and there was a hole in the side of the luggage approx. 5" x 4". I reported it to the Cruise Director who was totally unconcerned asking me if I saw it happen. No, but it was damaged when it was in YOUR control. She said she was going to ask her management and get back to me; never did. The brochure said that we would be offered soda and wine with the evening meal. The first night several in our group ordered soda and were told that it would cost 6.50 euros. We told them what the tour booklet said and they denied it. I went to he tour desk and showed the counciere the booklet and she looked like a "deer in the headlight" saying she'd look into it. Went back the next day and saw that she'd taken the booklet off the counter. Food was OK but awfully small portions and seemingly the same items shuffled with different names. The waiters were rather snippy. They did not want us to choose items; they wanted us to take the set menu. Often I wanted the salad from the Lighter Fare rather than the soup or appetizer from the regular menu. They also almost wanted to remove your plate while you still had the fork up to your mouth. A gratuity of 55 euros for the Cruise Director and the Concierge of 55 euros was automatically added to bill however none was added for the hardworking crew. We asked that the amount be amended to a much smaller amount for them. Management gets paid and does not depend on tips according to one crew member. We found that the excursions from the ship were not as enjoyable because they no longer employed group leaders that stayed with the group for the duration of the trip and those groups were larger - 43 in our color group - too large for the guide to point out things and have everyone see what they were indicating. On one outing, 5 of our members got lost because the leader was so far ahead and although they could hear his voice, they couldn't find us in the "maze" and left the building at the first door that said exit. One of them fell and sprained her ankle which left her unable to enjoy any of the subsequent tours. I am hoping this is was an anomaly and not a sign that Vantage is losing it's reputation of a top of the line trip providers. We will try them again for a future trip. . Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We love Vantage World Travel, and wanted to see the tulips in the spring in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, it was one of the colder springs, so we didn't see a lot of flowers, but we loved every minute of our trip. The Vantage ... Read More
We love Vantage World Travel, and wanted to see the tulips in the spring in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, it was one of the colder springs, so we didn't see a lot of flowers, but we loved every minute of our trip. The Vantage advantage, in addition to new, beautiful ships, is in the crew. The program managers, one for each 40 passengers, gets to know everyone individually. They are in addition to the local guides. Each group, identified by colors - yellow, blue, green etc., travels on excursions together, and the program manager goes along. Vantage offers cultural connections, including lunches or dinners in people's homes. A great way to understand the local scene. They also provide free time - and cash - in selected ports - so that passengers can go to local restaurants to sample the cuisine. Some of our fellow travelers chose to go to McDonald's or Starbucks and pocket the change, but the more enlightened in the group went to local restaurants and sampled the local cuisine. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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