1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Vantage Deluxe World Travel
  4. Vantage Deluxe World Travel Cruise Reviews

35 Vantage Senior Cruise Reviews

My wife and I chose to do a long river cruise for our first river cruise experience, thinking we would want to make one airplane ride to Europe and take in as much as possible. Vantage offered a 23 day river cruise with a 5 day land pre ... Read More
My wife and I chose to do a long river cruise for our first river cruise experience, thinking we would want to make one airplane ride to Europe and take in as much as possible. Vantage offered a 23 day river cruise with a 5 day land pre cruise extension in Romania. We did not know what to expect since it was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises and, there were few reviews of Vantage. It turned out to be a good choice and we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in 2018 but the cruise was cancelled due to low river levels. Vantage offered us some incentives to re book with them for 2019 and we are glad we chose to do so. From the moment we landed in Bucharest, we were well taken care of by our land portion director and guide. All guided tours in 7 countries and 23 cities and towns were well organized and informative. When the scheduled arrival times were delayed due to busy lock passages, the guided tours were altered and some even added so that we could visit the sites that were scheduled but not visited due to a shortage of time. Specifically, in Nuremburg, our cruise director arranged for a special bus to take us to the Dokumentation center and wait for us for two hours while we went through the exhibits. Renata was the best cruise director I have ever encountered and if she is on your cruise, count yourself fortunate. 28 days is the longest my wife and I have been away on holiday but this voyage was well worth it, Vantage met all of our needs and although there were a few minor, blips, they were nothing of consequence. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Little pricey... Ship and crew were very good, clean boat, represented themselves and the company professionally. Room cleaning needs some improvement but room was very adequate and usable. The shore trips were outstanding and had ... Read More
Little pricey... Ship and crew were very good, clean boat, represented themselves and the company professionally. Room cleaning needs some improvement but room was very adequate and usable. The shore trips were outstanding and had excellent guides, don't think they can improve any on this one. Lots of "dock side" time. Think it just is due to Lock reservations. :Lots of side by side docking with other boats/ships.\, bummer for viewing. Main restaurant service is served everybody at one time so u wait for each course. No big deal, just is. Before/arrival day/s (Basil) was a disaster. Wast of money, joke. On the other hand, Bruges, Belgium is a must do. I have never used this cruise company before and probably will not again. I found it hard to communicate with the sales rep's as each time I called I got a different person and each one said they will fix the problem and then referred you to the web site, ya right. The phone "hold" time is incredible, sometimes an hour or more. Number one objective, Get The Money! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
We chose this cruise as we had cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest previously and thought it would nice to go the other direction from Budapest. We signed up for both the pre-cruise to Warsaw and Krakow and the postcruise to Romania ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest previously and thought it would nice to go the other direction from Budapest. We signed up for both the pre-cruise to Warsaw and Krakow and the postcruise to Romania and Transylvania. (Dracula, you know). I had to call their offices twice as they had us leaving on the wrong date, and we would, in the first case, have missed the whole pre-cruise, and in the second case, missed the first day. The lady at their office said they had some kind of automated scheduling program. Guess they need to get that fixed. One couple who was on the pre-cruise ended up flying into Budapest - right day, wrong city. They were rescheduled but had to pay a baggage fee, as it was no longer an international flight, as well as a taxi, as there was no one to meet them in Warsaw. Good luck on getting a refund on that, if I can believe previous traveler's reviews. The pre-cruise involved two whole days of bus travel. One day from Warsaw to Krakow, and one from Krakow to Budapest. The day of travel from Warsaw did allow us to visit Auschwitz. Very heart wrenching - especially the children. The cruise was just a typical river cruise. Nothing terribly exciting. The usual home visit, cathedrals, excessive time allowed for shopping and "hanging out". The food was, however, better than on our previous two river cruises. Even the sirloin steak was tender. Cabins were typical - 165 sq ft. Bed, small table and two chairs, bathroom with shower. Our cabin did have a refrigerator, which was nice, so we could put our pop, etc in it. We had an "A" French Balcony cabin, so that explains the refrigerator. On these cruise ships, I don't know why they don't just put in floor to ceiling windows and forget the balcony. Its worthless, as you can't go out on it, as it's only about 8 inches wide. Post cruise we went to Dracula's Castle. Actually Queen Maria's castle, and built way later than Dracula. Still interesting. But we did get to see where Dracula did live. It's now a restaurant. Also The Parliament Building. Its the largest Government Administrative Building after the Pentagon. 4 million sq ft! I enjoyed that. Also the Romanian food. Definitely related to Greek cuisine. Would say the post-cruise was better than the pre-cruise. Staff was helpful and accommodating. Oh - most of the younger people in Eastern Europe speak English. Its required starting in first grade. So that's nice. I'm afraid many Americans do not speak a second language. Not that it would be Romanian anyway. And yes - the staff pressured everyone to put EXCELLENT on their reviews. They said, if you think it was good, but maybe it was ALMOST EXCELLENT, then mark excellent. Well, I question that. Are we to compare to just river cruises? Or ANY cruise we've been on. Lets face it, a river cruise can't compete with Seabourn. They had a port talk every night. Some lectures, sometimes by the cruise director. Folk dancing, the usual river cruise entertainment. Nothing to write home about. The use of pan pipes was interesting, but of course those originated in Greece, though we think of them relative to the Andes. All in all, as I sometimes say, I'm glad I went, but I won't go back. Note; We got a reduced rate as we went in November, when the weather was already chilly. Make sure you take you scarf and gloves if you go in the late fall. And a warm coat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We choose this cruise because we had friends who were going, had enjoyed previous river cruises, and had never visited northern Portugal. Our trip was part of a Vantage tour and we had enjoyed a couple of other Vantage tours with less ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had friends who were going, had enjoyed previous river cruises, and had never visited northern Portugal. Our trip was part of a Vantage tour and we had enjoyed a couple of other Vantage tours with less fellow travelers. We failed to realize that the cruise included very little cruising time, which meant that almost all tours were bus tours and all 125 cruisers were going to the same place every day. The number of fellow tourists was a bit overwhelming! The Douro valley is beautiful and the places we visited were lovely no doubt. The Douro Serenity does not seat guests for dinner, so the worst part of the trip was the daily "dinner dash" to get a table for you and your traveling companions. We were only 4! The bar also could not handle 125 passengers with one bartender. He did get a bit of inadequate assistance from the dining room staff in the hour prior to dinner. The food in the dining room was very good. We did enjoy seeing all the vineyards and tasting port wine and other wines of the region. We enjoyed going through the many locks on the river. The Douro is narrow, so boats can not cruise after dark, they must stay in a port, so often there were opportunities to go ashore for a drink, dinner or just some exercise. The weather in late September was still quite like summer. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
We booked our first European river cruise with Vantage Deluxe World Travel at the end of January 2017. We selected their June 27 to July 12, 2017, 15-day river cruise entitled “Majestic Rivers of Europe: Castles, Cathedrals & ... Read More
We booked our first European river cruise with Vantage Deluxe World Travel at the end of January 2017. We selected their June 27 to July 12, 2017, 15-day river cruise entitled “Majestic Rivers of Europe: Castles, Cathedrals & Fairytales” that began in Budapest, Hungary and ended in Amsterdam, The Netherland. Here is an overview of our experience(s): • BOOKING: We called and booked through Vantage Customer Service (located in Boston, MA). The booking process went very smooth and we were immediately assigned our cabin on the MS River Splendor (Category B, French Balcony on Forward Middle Deck, 165 sq. ft.). • CUSTOMER SERVICE: Whenever I contacted Vantage over the next couple of months with various questions/concerns, the people I spoke with in Customer Service were always friendly and very helpful (except for one person). Most of the information is on their website and in your MYPORTFOLIO. • AIRLINE FLIGHTS/AIRPORT TRANSFERS: We arranged for our own airline flights to Budapest and from Amsterdam, but did buy the Vantage Airport Transfers ($120.00 r/t per person). • TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN: We did not buy Vantage’s Travel Protection Plan, but did buy it through another source at a much lower cost. I understand now that effective July 1, 2017, Vantage has a new Travel Protection Plan with lower cost and increased benefits (check their website for more details). • ARRIVAL IN BUDAPEST: Our flight from Amsterdam to Budapest was delayed almost an hour and I sent an email to Maya, our cruise ship concierge, to let her know our flight was delayed and to please relay this information on to the Vantage airport representative. When we arrived in Budapest, the Vantage Rep was waiting for us and got us to the shuttle that took us to the ship. Upon arrival at the cruise ship, Maya meet us and escorted us onboard where the rest of the cruise staff greeted us. Because of the delay, we missed the Welcome and Safety Briefing, but a cruise member immediately got us to our assigned cabin and briefed us. • RIVER CRUISE SHIP: We cruised on the MS River Splendor, which was designed exclusively for the American traveler with a passenger capacity of 176. o SMOKING: There is no-smoking throughout the interior of the ship. A designated smoking area is on the open-air Solaris Deck. o HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY: The elevator is located in lobby near the concierge desk (accessible to all interior floors). A hydraulic chair lift is located outside on one side of the ship to access the open-air Solaris Deck. We never took the elevator or the chair lift, but saw other passengers utilizing it all the time. o COMPASS ROSE RESTAURANT: This is the main dining room located on the Explorer Deck (forward middle deck) and there is no seating plan, so you can dine with whomever you choose. Most tables are set for six to eight people (round or rectangle tables) with a few tables for four people (Captain’s Table is set up for 10 to 12 people). Each table has white table linens, fine crystal/dinnerware/silverware, and fresh flowers. Climate control is very pleasant if you set near the windows and a little less noisy than in the middle of the room. The restaurant is closed whenever a service is not in progress. o CABARET LOUNGE: The lounge is located on the Navigator Deck (forward upper deck), is opened 24/7, is where the bar is located (open from noon to the last guest retires), where tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are available around the clock, and where all port talks and entertainment happens. Early Risers’ Breakfast is available here from 6:00am-7:00am. It is also where you can relax, read a book from the library, or meet fellow passengers, or play a game of cards. Entertainment onboard features local performers coming aboard in select ports, plus there is a jukebox and a grand piano. o CAPTAIN’S CLUB: The Captain’s Club is located on the Navigator Deck (rear upper deck) and is where you can enjoy healthy spa cuisine and other lighter choices, buffet-style. While seating is open during the day and for lunch, reservations are required for dinnertime. We ate lunch a couple of times, but found it on the warm side and preferred the variety of food in the Compass Rose dining room. We did not eat any dinners here. o SOLARIS DECK: The top observation deck is where you will find the walking/running track, as well as chase lounges and table and chairs. o FRONT DESK/CONCEIRGE: Located on the Explorer Deck (forward middle deck). This desk was usually staffed with at least one person, but most times there were two people. o FITNESS CENTER: The fitness center is located on the Odyssey Deck (middle lower deck). It is outfitted with a treadmill, stationary bike, step machine, and free weights. We did not use it, but did notice many passengers who did. o MASSAGE STUDIO: Available onboard, but we never signed up for any treatment. The massage therapist did perform light stretching exercise several mornings in the Cabaret Lounge (free to passengers).• • DAILY PROGRAMS: Each day there is a port talk about the next day activities and each evening a daily program for the next day is left on your bed during turn-down service. The program provides times for all activities, as well as Concierge Suggestions for the port or onboard activity. • FOOD: There are 41 meals included during the river cruise (14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, and 14 dinners, including Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners and one meal ashore). o BREAKFAST: Breakfast had a time range (usually 7:00am to 9:30am). Usually buffet self-service style that included an omelet station, cheeses, fruit, all types of breads/muffins /pastries, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, bacon, sausage, some type of potato, pancakes/waffles/crepes with special sauces, several types of cereal, etc. Early risers’ breakfast is available in the Cabaret Lounge from 6:00am-7:00am. o LUNCH: Lunch normally has a start time (not a time range). It was either menu service (with buffet salad bar) or full buffet self-service. There was always a variety of proteins, vegetables, salad, dessert, and many days included a special station (pasta, thai, salmon wellington, stuffed pork tenderloin, etc.). There were at least 3 favors of ice cream every day. We loved the Salmon Wellington (went back for seconds) and will be trying to make it at home. Note: You can enjoy a Light Lunch Buffet in the Captain’s Club Lounge, but this buffet does not include the same variety you will get in the Compass Rose dining room. o DINNER (includes free wine, beer, and soft drinks): Dinner has a start time and if you are very late, you might not get any food. A normal dinner menu was usually 4 courses (appetizer, soup, entrée choice, and dessert). The Captain’s Welcome & Farewell Dinners were 5 or 6 courses. We give the food at least 4-or 5-stars. Chef Irvan and his staff were experienced and presented delicious and fresh food every day. • PORT EXCURSIONS/LOCAL TOUR GUIDES: o LEAVING AND RETURNING TO SHIP: To leave the ship, you must pick up a card (the size of a business card) from the front desk/reception that has your name and room number on it. Upon returning to the ship, you must hand the card back in. The card is placed back in your room slot so the crew knows you are back onboard. (Note: When leaving and returning from an excursion, you might have to walk through or over another cruise ship that is at the same port. Some cruise ships will not allow passengers from another cruise ship to walk through their lobby, thus making passengers walk up and across their top deck and back down to gain access to their cruise ship.) o YOUR COLOR FOR THE DAY: Passengers are divided into groups of 20 to 40 to accommodate for either the motor coach transport or walking tours and assigned a specific color. Passengers are given a color card before leaving the ship which helps them locate their assigned bus or local tour guide sign. o HEADPHONES AND RECEIVERS: Vantage uses QuietVox audio system for port excursions. The color you are assigned for each day/tour is also used to activate your receiver. o CITY MAPS: There were always maps available at the Concierge Desk for every port we were in. o BUSES: There is no assigned seating on the buses…first come, first serve. Sometimes you are allowed to leave items (i.e., jacket, umbrellas, backpacks) on the bus while you are on an excursion. Buses are locked in this situation. • BIKE RENTAL: We recommend that you do not rent a bicycle ($150.00 per person for the entire cruise). The ship has complimentary bicycles and helmets that you can sign out in port. We found little opportunity to ride the bikes in any ports unless you want to miss a port excursion. • PRE/POST-TRIP EXTENSIONS: We did not opt for any pre- or post-trip extension offered by Vantage. If we do a river cruise again, we will probably arrive a day earlier (to adjust to the time change) and maybe leave a day later. • RIVER LOCKS: During this river cruise, we went through 66 river locks (16 on the Danube, 16 on the Rhine-Main-Danube-Canal, and 34 on the Main-Rhine). Locks are a very interesting part of river cruising. For example, the lock width along the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal is 12 meters, so all ships can have a maximum width of 11.40 meters, which leaves exactly one foot of space to the right and left when a ship enters a lock. Our crew was excellent at entering the locks without bumping the walls. • LAUNDRY SERVICES: Laundry service is available onboard for a service charge. We did not use this service, but talked to several passengers who did. Pieces of clothing had shrunk or were ironed when they requested it not be ironed. The cost (in Euros) for various items: men’s or ladies’ shirt (E3.50), men’s or ladies’ pants/jeans (E6.00), men’s or ladies’ underpants (E2.00), ladies’ bra (E3.00). • GRATUITIES GUIDELINES: o CRUISE DIRECTOR/CONCIERGE/SHIP STAFF/CREW: For non-suite passengers there is a gratuity of 17 Euros per passenger/per day (20 Euros pp/pd for suite guest). This amount is pre-charged to the passenger’s credit card at the beginning of the cruise and can be adjusted at the end of the cruise or modified to cash gratuities. Our gratuity charge for 2 passengers for 15-day cruise was 476.00 Euros. We choose not to adjust at the end of the cruise, but did give several of our favorite servers in the dining room a separate envelope with additional gratuity. o PORTERAGE: Included for ship and hotels. o LOCAL GUIDES/REGIONAL EXPERTS: 2 to 3 Euros per person per day for each. If the guide was good, we gave them between 2 and 4 Euros. o LOCAL DRIVERS: 1 to 2 Euros per person per day. • CRUISE SHIP STAFF & CREW: The passenger-to-crew ratio is 4-to-1. The crew is English-speaking and very friendly. o CAPTAIN: Captain Peter was very nice. We saw him all the time: greeting passengers leaving and returning to the ship, during the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Reception. He even rode with us to the airport in Amsterdam after the cruise to catch him flight home for holiday. o CRUISE DIRECTOR: Veronika Hoskova was our cruise director and was absolutely fabulous. She was from Prague, Czech Republic and spoke at least 4 languages. I don’t know when she slept, because she literally was everywhere, all the time. She was very knowledgeable about each port and its history. She was truly a delight to be around…always very happy and really to help. o CRUISE CONCIERGE: Maya Pashpurova was our cruise concierge. Maya was good at taking care of any special request the passengers might have and assisting Veronika. o RESTAURANT/LOUNGE STAFF: The staff was wonderful…from Gina the Hotel Manager, Caitlin the Restaurant Manager, to the Chef and his staff, to the wonderful waiters/servers (especially Mihai and Galina). Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We recently sailed the River Splendor on MAJESTIC RIVERS OF EUROPE:CASTLES, CATHEDRALS & FAIRYTALES cruise, a 14-day river cruise mostly following Germany's Romantic Road with castles visible and viewed on land. The ... Read More
We recently sailed the River Splendor on MAJESTIC RIVERS OF EUROPE:CASTLES, CATHEDRALS & FAIRYTALES cruise, a 14-day river cruise mostly following Germany's Romantic Road with castles visible and viewed on land. The ship's cabins are basically the same size on 3 decks with the exception of the suites on the highest deck and the D cabins on the lowest deck which lack a french balcony and have a small window about the size of a small porthole just above the water line. Food service and wait staff were excellent. Our waiter,JARO, serve witha smile and graciusness and wine poured endlessly. Guided tours were interesting. However, the tour to Heidleburg required 2 hours of driving in each direction and viewing not themost interesting castle ruin that had been modified several times over the last centuries. Anoptional tour to Rothenburg was in lieu of spending a morning in Wurzburg; however, we did spend an hour at the end on return to the ship at the fortress in Wurzburg. A planned tour to Koblenz was skipped was eliminated because of a passenger hospital emergency that required deviationfrom routing and a medical evacuation that was handled well; however, we were docked in Koblenz and had sufficient time to walk around the old town which appeared quite charming. We had onboard entertainment in the evenings on 3 occasions; musicians came onboard playing local music, costumed dancers were cheery,and there was a glass blowing exhibiti. We ventured thru 78 locks which required closing down the top deck for 2 days. The CruiseDirector, Bogey,and his assistant Maya, were hands on, intimately involved in the cruise details, and made for an enriched cruise experience. Maya was an assistant on our Douro River cruise. Unfortunately, the cruise was marred by an apparent Vantage policy of overbooking within 90 days of departure or sooner on substanitally reduced deals likethe one we purchased. This was our third Vantage river cruise in 18 months. We were bumped from a June 2016 Douro River cruise and, fortunately, since our air was booked with Vantage,and our flexibility, we were rescheduled to July 2017, provided a substantial discount, and given an upgraded C cabin on thetop deck rather than the middle deck that had been assigned.. Vantage reps advised that Vantage had overbooked 12 cabins. The cruise itself was excellent. We reserved this Majestic Rivers cruise 1 1/2 months prior to departure at a reduced price. Our invoice assigned a cabin and expressly stated "C321 or better", a speciic cabin with a french balcony on the top deck. One week prior to departure, a Vantage rep called my wife who was at a gym and advised that we were being bumped to a D cabin on the lowest deck,, which turned out to be D 213, with the "porthole". My wife was at the gym and could not speak with him so she asked the rep to call me. Aside from the small porthole like window, because they are on the lowest deck and the window can not be opened,dT he D cabins are damp and small items that are washed take much longer to dry out. I was told incorrectly by that the rep explained everything to my wife. In fact, nothing was explained, and I was told that nothing more could be done. I called Vantage and spoke with their Travel Manager of 18 years who rudely stated that overbooking was endemic to the industry, and if I chose to express my concerns publicly,so be it. Our rate was adjusted by $600 for the difference in cost between our assigned C 321 cabin and an unspecific D cabin and discounted by $200 apparently for the incovenience of being overbooked. We emailed President Heny Lewis and received no response to our concerns prior to departure. We emailed the Travel Quality Department and was eventually advised that the Travel Manger with whom I had spoken was working on it and would do his best to restore us to a C cabin with a fernch balcony, as originally invoiced, paid for, and epressly reserved. and assigned. We never heard further from either the Quality Dept or the Travel Manager. Unaswered is the question of how a travel company overbooks a specifically assigned and reserved cabin,i.e. our "C 321 or better" reserved and invoiced cabin and bumps passengers in favor of other passengers--a form of discrimination. When we boarded the ship in Budapest, we asked the cruise director if our C cabin was available and were advised that the ship was fully booked and that we were assigned to D 213. The cruise director was truly concerned abouta problem that was not of his doing. As a result of the cruise director expressing to Vantage our ongoing and unaswered concerns, a few days later we received a bottle of champagne. As it turns out, 3 other D cabins were resided in by 3 other couples who also had been overbooked and bumped. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose this cruise when it popped up on Travelzoo at a very good price for a single solo traveler. I was able to upgrade to a double Juliette balcony mid ship cabin for a bit more than the advertised rate. When the date I reserved was ... Read More
I chose this cruise when it popped up on Travelzoo at a very good price for a single solo traveler. I was able to upgrade to a double Juliette balcony mid ship cabin for a bit more than the advertised rate. When the date I reserved was cancelled I was called and given the choice for a (better for me in retrospect) date two months later in May, this for perfect weather. I was offered an upgrade to the top ship level just prior to the cruise at a very reasonable rate which then moved me up,to the top of the ship and included a mini fridge. Only one bottle of gratis water was offered for the week surprisingly. Not so luxurious, kind of cheap Vantage. Man up! Nadia, Trip Diector Extroirdinaire welcomed me warmly as I stepped on to the ship in Conflans. I had been in Paris for three days prior to embarkation and had a driver booked through my hotel take me to the ship location on the Seine an hour outside of Paris. I had the phone number of the ship from Vantage so so he was able to be directed perfectly. It was seven days of great food, excellent tour stops, marvelous nightly entertainment and an overall atmosphere of passenger delight. I met up with three other like minded ladies as well as several couples and we dined together for most meals. The ship kitchen tour was such fun, as were the Calvados/cheese tasting and the French Culture lecture. Very important to me was the leisure time that was built into the itinerary with one major off ship activity daily and lots of day time cruising on the Seine. It's possible to be run off one's feet with too many off ship tours so each day feels like a marathon, which I've experienced on two of my four river cruises. That might be good for some, just not me. At this point I like to relax, watch the scenery, enjoy the on ship lectures and such and not feel rushed. A little disconcerting on this ship was how thin the cabin walls were, something I had not experienced on three other cruises. Unfortunately on one side of me were the Loud Couple, some of their activities were not those that should be shared. Vantage is a supporter of the Boston Boys & Girl's Club and had invited 26 high achievers from the local high schools to be guests on this cruise. It was delightful to watch them soak it all in and discover the world outside of their immediate environment. Staff on board were all highly professional at all times. My cabin was immaculate although I wish the sheets on the bed didn't have the "sand paper" feel. What's up with that? I lobed being able to open my small door to hear the river sounds as we sailed. Gratuities at E17 a day, suggested by Vantage, I felt were fair, given the excellent service provided. Those that preferred wine at lunch had it billed to their cabin. The regional wines included at dinner each night were just enough for me and plentiful on request. Cocktails before and after dinner were fairly priced although the house champagne was a tasty bargain at E3.50 a glass, my choice. I had rented a wi-fi device in Paris and for the cruise so I could keep in daily touch with family. It worked unfailingly on the river when the ship wifi was not accessible and I was able to share it on several occasions to others needing timely access. My seven days aboard were fabulous and I look forward to another Vantage cruise in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had a last minute deal which included airfare and was a great value, cost wise. We had 2 days inAvignon,a pleasent town to walk around. As this was the last cruise of the season, some cafes, and galleries were closed,including the ... Read More
We had a last minute deal which included airfare and was a great value, cost wise. We had 2 days inAvignon,a pleasent town to walk around. As this was the last cruise of the season, some cafes, and galleries were closed,including the galleries on Rue Tentulier. St Pierre's chapel was delightful to visit, as was the included excursion to midieval Vienne and the extra cost excursion to the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct. Pros- The ship has a pleasant and efficient Romanian/Buigarian staff, very good food service and cruise director/tour guide, and cabins are good size. We were upgraded to 417 which is the highest deck and had more closets and storage space and a mini fridge compared to other non suite cabins. Cons- The cabin walls are extremely thin, such that if a neighbor sneezed it was as if they were next to you and tv sound was noticeable. The latter disappeared typically by 10pm when most retired.The walls need to be improved. The river is not that scenic and that interesting to sail, frequently viewing nuclear plants, industrial sites, and trees slightly masking the parallel highways. By comparison the Douro River Vantage cruise we took in August was very scenic - hillside wineries and a few castle ruins. The Avignon stay could have been improved by a nearby visit to Nimes or Aix en Provence. The extra cost Perouges excurision was not worth $79. A tiny hamlet inhabited by about 80 people -sort of a Disney midieval open air museum. The midieve lbuildings are interesting but not as charming to view as those in our included Vienne excursion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We made a quick decision to book Vantage's Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais, and Provence based on the itinerary, timing, and excellent deal Vantage offered. Because this trip will not be offered by Vantage next season, I've decided ... Read More
We made a quick decision to book Vantage's Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais, and Provence based on the itinerary, timing, and excellent deal Vantage offered. Because this trip will not be offered by Vantage next season, I've decided to focus my review on the ship itself as well as the crew and our overall experience with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. We had limited contact with Vantage after booking because we only had a few weeks before sailing. My one phone call to them to get a few questions answered was handled very well by the representative on the line. Our included air was set up well, with good connection times without any overly long layovers. The River Discovery II is a 4 year old ship that is kept very clean and compares favorably with higher-end (and higher priced) ships of other lines. Staterooms are well conceived, with good showers, ample storage, and a table and chairs set up to enjoy the passing view in our French balcony room. Wifi and a tv with many channels and daily itinerary information added to our enjoyment. The food was excellent. The menu often offered well-executed French specialities such as coq au vin, chateaubriand, and the like. Wine was included at dinner. The lunches also provided menu options as well as a well- stocked buffet. Breakfast was a buffet with an omelet station. The staff was uniformly pleasant, hard-working and efficient. They seemed to enjoy their jobs as well as their interaction with passengers. Both embarkation and debarkation were handled efficiently. We got into our room and had our luggage delivered within minutes. At the end of the cruise, passengers were transferred to the airport at staggered times, based on flight schedules. This resulted in a very easy airport transfer. Based on this experience, we will not hesitate to book another trip with Vantage in the future, and will recommend them to our family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I took a Vantage Seine River Cruise from Paris to Honfluer, France because many of our friends recommended a river cruise as a great way to see Europe. The state rooms were small but well-organized with plenty of storage. ... Read More
My husband and I took a Vantage Seine River Cruise from Paris to Honfluer, France because many of our friends recommended a river cruise as a great way to see Europe. The state rooms were small but well-organized with plenty of storage. The bathroom was larger than on any previous cruise ships we’d been on and the water in the shower was powerful and easily-adjusted. The service onboard was outstanding, including our cabin attendant, the office staff, the dining room waiters, and the cruise director. The food was very good; freshly-prepared omelets and pastas were available for breakfast and lunch, and a five-course meal was offered each evening. There was also a “lighter fare” menu, but those who selected that said the food was adequate at best. Boarding and disembarking were well-organized and efficient. If we stopped reviewing the cruise here, we would give it a “5.” Perhaps the biggest disappointment were the tours on shore. They averaged about 2-2½ hours, were led by guides of mixed quality, and we had a great deal of free time. On two days, this free time was in very small towns whose museums happened to be closed and which had minimal shopping opportunities. Even the “full-day” at the Normandy beaches was shortened by a 3-hour round-trip bus ride. On a positive note, all activities started and ended on time. If you are seeking a vacation in Europe with all the amenities of America (including a 110v outlet in each cabin), then a river cruise is a good option. However, for those who seek a more authentic overseas experience, there are better options. This was our first river cruise and, despite the excellent service and food, will probably be our last. We have travelled extensively and have been to all seven continents. When we travel, we live on the economy, staying in bed and breakfasts, eating local foods, and struggling with the differences in language and customs. We found that we missed the “uniqueness” of France while on the river cruise. Fortunately, we had been to Paris and Normandy on our own and in a rental car several times before, so do not feel that we missed too much. This part of the cruise, therefore, would get a rating of “1.” If you do choose to take a Vantage river cruise, we have several suggestions: - Despite the information you receive by mail or email prior to the cruise, reconfirm the location of the port with Vantage a minimum of 24 hours prior to boarding. We flew to London for several days before flying to Paris, and hired a shuttle to take us to the port identified in the most recent email from Vantage. Unfortunately, the ship had docked at a different port on the other side of Paris. After a frustrating hour of searching, and an additional cost of more than the original fare, we reached our cruise ship. Vantage did reimburse us the additional fare. - Be prepared for very slow internet service. - If you do not want a full meal at dinner time, pick up fruit, bread, or cheeses at a local shop before boarding. The room service menu was very limited and expensive. - The tour notes that the boat is not handicapped-accessible. Take this seriously. We often had to climb stairs to the deck of another boat in the same dock, walk across and down stairs to our boat, and then up to our deck. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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
Best food ever, fantastic price, professional staff, comfortable room. Smooth embarkation. Would like to spend a day longer at the towns that were so charming and all very different. Our first river cruise and it was fabulous! The ship ... Read More
Best food ever, fantastic price, professional staff, comfortable room. Smooth embarkation. Would like to spend a day longer at the towns that were so charming and all very different. Our first river cruise and it was fabulous! The ship was beautiful, immaculately clean and well maintained. Our room was spacious and very comfortable. Large windows and well equipped spacious bath. Concierges exceptionally helpful, especially for those who had problems. Good balance of tours for the slower passengers and faster walkers. My husband was unhappy because he tried to get directions to the ship when it had moved in the evening and the staff didn't speak English well enough to understand from a cell phone. We were also docked below a huge wall so the boat couldn't be seen from the street level in Koln so his taxi said it wasn't there. So relaxing to rest on your bed and watch the beautiful world go by. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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
the grand euorpean cruise began in Ruse and ended in Cologne. The pre cruise extension was 5 days in Romania and were fantastic. A beautiful, but poor country was very clean and the mountain citiy of Brasov is a city I would return to ... Read More
the grand euorpean cruise began in Ruse and ended in Cologne. The pre cruise extension was 5 days in Romania and were fantastic. A beautiful, but poor country was very clean and the mountain citiy of Brasov is a city I would return to again. Some of the stops had extensive bus rides which now knowing I would avoid in the future. The ship was well run and the crew was exceptional. Evening meals could drag on for two hours but the dinning area at the rear of the ship was an always available buffet. The cabin was well designed and the bed and shower were fine for a guy of 6'6". The big problem I have with Vantage is the post cruise excursion was promoted as three additional nights in Amsterdam. Reading further I noticed it said two nights at the Barbizon Palace. I called Vantage and on the phone that the day they said that when others would be flying back we would in Amsterdam. We ended up with almost a full day and a half in Amsterdam. The new promotion for 2017 now states 2 more nights in Amsterdam and the price is less than the quoted 3 night 2016 extension. I can only say the same as the others who were on this extension that we were misled. Too bad the ship and crew work so hard because their customer service replied to my complaint with the 2 nights is the industry standard bull. They just wanted to get rid of me, not address the fact that there was not three nights in Amsterdam as promoted. If you go with Vantage be certain to question everything they promote and even then as happened to us they lied. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
I've only been on one river cruise in Germany. It was a lovely trip, leisurely sailing past castles, villages and pretty countryside with a guide assigned to a small group of about 25 of us for the entire trip. It made you feel safe ... Read More
I've only been on one river cruise in Germany. It was a lovely trip, leisurely sailing past castles, villages and pretty countryside with a guide assigned to a small group of about 25 of us for the entire trip. It made you feel safe and adventurous at the same time. Vantage did not provide this experience. The rivers were swollen hence the ship moved twice, once about 20 miles downriver and back spending the entire time in the small town of Macon France, a bedroom community of Marseilles. Several passengers called before the trip to make sure we could sail, they were told we could, not true. While Vantage could not predict the weather they were well aware of the river situation before we arrived in Europe. Many of the criticisms I offer do no reflect on the river situation, but the companies response to customer service and making amends for a bad situation. All trips begin with the transportation, which Vantage arranged. When we purchased the trip we were told not to be alarmed about or itinerary or call every time it changed, but instead wait until a closer to the actual cruise. Three weeks before our departure I called about the flights, especially the return flight - Marseilles to Paris - a layover, Paris to Atlanta A FIVE HOUR LAYOVER and then a four hour flight to Phoenix...more than 24 hours. I was told: 1. they had no record of who sold us the trip, 2. I shouldn't have waited so long even though I was told to call nearer the trip date , 3. that no representative would tell us to wait, 4, that a supervisor would call us back 5. that we could change for $300. on each end, etc.,..the bottom line I never heard from customer service again, despite several calls. In fact when I pointed out I was traveling with three 80 year plus individuals I was told "well since they are that old they probably will appreciate the extra time"! The flights themselves were fine except that I requested an aisle seat on the longer flight legs as I am diabetic and claustrophobic. I was given a middle seat on both 8 hour plus flights and a window seat on the 4 hour flights. I called the airline and got an aisle seat on the outbound flight for free. On the way home there were no free aisle seats left so I made a minor upgrade and paid $78.00 to get an aisle seat. Aisle seats would have been available had Vantage travel asked at the time of purchase. After our long flight we arrived in Lyon. We waited in the terminal for over 3 hours for all passengers. We then walked approximately four blocks dragging our luggage to the bus. The good news my two disabled friends were taken by wheelchair to the bus along with our other two traveling companions, the bad news, no one told my companions that I had to wait in the terminal with the others. They were frantic about my whereabouts and were in process of going to the airport police for help, reassuring them would have been one call to the driver, a thing that wasn't done, even after I talked to the welcome people about my concers. . After the long flight and long wait we then got to take a two hour bus ride to the ship in Macon France, a small bedroom community of Lyon. Once on the ship we found the accommodations quite pleasant, larger than my previous experience, comfortable and well kept. We opted for a small window for economy sake. It let in light but no real view, which was just as well as we were port side and spent the entire trip looking at a graffiti strewn wall or the neighboring ship which we had to walk over the top floor to get to port making for many steps up and down for the elderly passengers. When our positions were reversed the other ship had an escort through our lobby. The swollen rivers kept us in Macon for almost the entire trip We got to see France by bus. Needless to say this cut our time at our destinations short, very short in many cases allowing for no free time. Each drive would have it's own local guide and while quite adequate we never got the personal feeling that we were looked after. I personally had to go looking for part of our group when they separated from the tour. The guide never missed them despite the fact we were led to an enclosed room for a wine tasting...we had to pound on the door so the proprietor could come up from the wine cellar twenty minutes into the presentation to let us in ...no one noticed the absence of four people. Except for two occasions we had to be bused back to the ship in time for lunch. Only once was the alternative given to stay in town and catch a second bus to allow for more free time. On the two occasions that we were too far to make it back to the ship we were allowed 20 euros for lunch, which sounds generous but it wasn't. The one lunch was on a Sunday, all but three restaurants were closed so the food was almost impossible to get and still get catch the bus. The second lunch was a 40 minute break a truck stop on the way to Avignon with snack and microwave food and no place to sit. The food ranged from two nice dinners "the Captains celebration" and the Farewell dinner to barely adequate. Two alternative choices were available, but the one time I opted for a baked potato as a side it was spoiled and tasted tained and the hamburger at lunch was unrecognizable as meat. Breakfast was standard buffet fare, unvarying for the entire trip not even dressed up with some local bakery. Lunch was really awful. Soup with lovely clear broth, but hardly anything else. Turkey spinach bean soup is an example, no turkey, four beans and two strips of spinach. Ham and cheese, something no one can ruin, was two large slices of bread, one thin slice of ham and cheese...steak sandwich, less than one thin slice of roast beef with canned onion strings and very few of those. The final day the lunch main course was pork neck bones...need I say more. The crew really worked hard under very trying circumstances. The kept up a game attitude and except for several of the chauvinistic waiter attitudes, were outstanding. The ship had plenty of ice and a water purification system which kept even a water snob happy. There was very little entertainment...once a small local group, once an accordion player, a staff skit, a movie and a talk or two. This would have been fine had you been docked anywhere you could go out for the evening, but this was not to be. Do I think Vantage could have done better, yes. They could have arranged better entertainment since we had no where to go, even games if they had to. They could have allowed lunch in town, even had their chef pack a decent picnic lunch, so we could have had more time at our destinations. They could have offered some financial reimbursements. They could have paid for an "in town" dinner. I'm sure there were many things they could have done to mitigate a bad situation. The highlight of the trip was the Marseille extension. They cut the Avignon trip short to get us as a group in a night early for dinner in Marseille...even that was only pasta, no meat sauce, two bottles of wine for eight people and a small desert. Those of us staying for the extension were moved to our hotel, L'Hotel Dieu, which was excellent... a short walk to old town, our own guide Florence who couldn't have been better, Lovely sight seeing tour, boat ride on our own and a nice hotel provided breakfast. The final leg was every nightmare that we anticipated. Marseille airport parking for buses is over two blocks from the terminal in a gravel lot. There is no assistance with luggage. My three eighty plus people pulled their luggage. My friend with a shoulder injury took one of her suitcases and I, a heart patient, took mine and her carry on. After about a half hour the guide finally noticed we were missing and came back and helped us. The flights themselves, despite my reservations about Delta, were pleasant. We sat in Atlanta and watched 5 flights depart to Phoenix while killing 5 hours waiting for flight. I personally will never travel with Vantage again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
After 25 ocean cruises, we decided to go "inland" and after hearing some good reviews about Vantage, decided to try them. This was our 2nd river cruise, the first being on Grand Circle. The pre-cruise arrangements were ... Read More
After 25 ocean cruises, we decided to go "inland" and after hearing some good reviews about Vantage, decided to try them. This was our 2nd river cruise, the first being on Grand Circle. The pre-cruise arrangements were handled efficiently, courteously, and all questions handled promptly. Our flight arrangements were very good, non-stop flights from SFO to CDG. When we got to the ship we were greeted and taken to our deluxe cabin. The cabin was very nice, although a bit lacking in drawers. There were 2 tiny nightstands with barely room for the small lamp, and it would have been nice to have a few drawers in it. There were 2 TVs in the room, although you would have to sit on the couch sideways to look at the 2nd one. There was really no need for the two TVs. The tours were handled efficiently and with basically no problems. The tour guides in each port were very good and spoke excellent English. While we wish we had more time in some of the ports, like Caen, that is probably an individual thing. The things we saw were fabulous and we enjoyed the tours very much. However, the food, I hate to say, was terrible, barely edible. There was a limited salad bar with watery, flavorless dressings. The menus were odd, to say to least - - LOTS of pork with no flavor, fish we never heard of, and always some vegetarian dish. The few things that were always on the menu were not good at all, chicken, "steak" and salmon, and the baked potatoes were about the size of plums. The soups were all watery with, again, no flavor, and the bread was awful. The breakfast muffins were good, and I usually got some muffins and ate those during the day. They tried to be fancy with the menus with things like foie gras which was awful, and sauces that were just bizarre. On a scale of 1-10, would give the food a 2, sorry to say. Another thing we did not like was the fact that they automatically added 20 Euros pp tips per day and just put it on your bill. We have done ocean cruises with butlers and not paid that much. We chose to argue with them to get the figure reduced. They shouldn't add something automatically. Not good customer relations. I certainly wouldn't recommend this for children. The post-extension stay in Paris was at an average hotel, and we made the choice to go to their "illuminated Paris Can Can show." What a mistake. It was advertised as "high energy, women in petticoats, full skirts and black stockings." Nowhere did it say it was basically a topless show with young half naked women gyrating against men, flying in trapezes or on motorcycles. Some people were so offended that they took cabs back to the hotel. The food at this show was terrible. A complete waste of money. As I said, we have only done 2 river cruises, but Grand Circle was so much better and the food was very good. We were extremely disappointed in Vantage. We complained about the Can Can show and asked for our money back and the response was no. Great pre-cruise customer service, but very poor afterwards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We went on the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence" cruise at the end of March. It was my 12th cruise, but first river cruise. Pros: A few. Ship is attractive. Crew very personable and efficient. Itinerary was very ... Read More
We went on the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence" cruise at the end of March. It was my 12th cruise, but first river cruise. Pros: A few. Ship is attractive. Crew very personable and efficient. Itinerary was very appealing, much better than a Viking cruise that covered much of the same territory IMHO. Excellent food and wine, and the omelet lady, Irina, had everyone smiling every morning . . . or at least on those days when we were actually one the ship. Cons: Where do I begin? Oh yes, right at the beginning. When we made our reservations, we were told to sign up for "My Portfolio." Which we tried to do, for 10 consecutive days, receiving an error message each time. Finally, I called Vantage, told the agent of my problem. He promisd to create accounts for us. Three days later, still no account. Called again. Another agent promised to create accounts, and, hooray, he did. But things went downhill after that. My middle name is Cecil, but someone gave it to Air France as Cecile. Air France said they couldn't correct it, Vantage would have to do it. Three calls to Vantage never got it corrected, although I was promised after each call that it had been corrected. Vantage blamed the correction (which was never made) for my inability to check in on line the day before departure. I think the actual reason was that they changed the confirmation number for the first of four flights, leaving the other three flights the same. Next problem. Air France left my luggage in Paris, despite the fact that they have five hours to get it from Alanta flight to the flight to Lyon. Vantage did handle that well, having the clothes I was wearing laundered and ready the next morning. For for a couple of days after that, everything was great, And then, like most (maybe all) of the passengers, we found we had no hot water. After three days, we were told we would have to leave the ship so that problem could be fixed. So we had a three-day bus tour instead of the river cruise we had signed up for. I was more forgiving of that situation than most others seemed to be until I read Cruise Critic reviews revealing that the ship had the same problem not only the week before, but last year, and it apparently wasn't repaired until the situation became critical. I do have to give Vantage some credit for getting us to every stop on our itinerary, and even adding a day in Marseillie, but the meals when we were off the ship weren't remotely as good as those on the ship. And packing an unpacking, and living out of a suitcase for three days wasn't what I planned. Could it get any worse? Well, yes. The captain put the ship on autopilot as we headed for Avignon, and the autopilot did not know that construction was taking place in the river. The ship bounced off some rig (couldn't get a very good view of it), turned had left and slammed into the riverbank. The crew managed to free the ship after about 45 minutes, and thankfully there was no serious damage. My "value for the money" rating takes the problems into account, Had things gone smoothly, I would have given it a 5 instead of a 1. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Just returned from Paris after a wonderful cruise. The meals ,service,and attention to the the travelers was excellent . We had cruised with most river cruise companies in Europe before and we can say Vantage compares with the best . ... Read More
Just returned from Paris after a wonderful cruise. The meals ,service,and attention to the the travelers was excellent . We had cruised with most river cruise companies in Europe before and we can say Vantage compares with the best . We always felt safe given the recent terrorism situation in Paris. We had wonderful tours and many extras. The employees we had contact on the ship were very friendly and service oriented .The tour director, the concierge the waiters in the dinning room everybody onboard contributed to our memorable experience. The cabins and the ship was kept clean. We joined every activity that was offered. We were fortunate to be able to take the Paris extention free of charge. For entertaiment we had twice Roberto Colleta a high level entertainer, he was wonderful . We feel we needed a pianist for pre and post dinner music. We traveled with another couple , also seasoned travelers they agree with above mentioned comments. As a result we will be doing the Gateway to Eastern Europe sometime this year 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
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 May 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click