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2 Vantage Singles Cruise Reviews

This was our ninth Vantage World Travel voyage, and our fourth Vantage European river boat cruise. Our past experiences had been excellent and we expected the same to be true of this one. Sadly, Vantage no longer offers the same quality as ... Read More
This was our ninth Vantage World Travel voyage, and our fourth Vantage European river boat cruise. Our past experiences had been excellent and we expected the same to be true of this one. Sadly, Vantage no longer offers the same quality as in the past. Formerly, there were four program managers to take care of guest needs. That equated to one program manager for every 44 passengers, assuming the ship was full. Now they have only one for all 176 passengers. They also have a concierge, who is really a program manager in training. One day Jessi, our program manager, spent 2-1/2 hours pointing out from the bridge the castles on either side of the Rhine. Then, she scurried down to the lounge to do her port talk. She was fantastic, but, in my opinion, overworked. The food quality also has become inconsistent. There were some memorable dinners - excellent rack of lamb, pork tenderloin Wellington, and beef tenderloin. But while presented beautifully, most meals were not memorable - at least when compared with past cruises. But, on a positive note, there were many choices available. And the soups, every lunch and dinner, were fantastic. They used to have a piano player in the lounge every afternoon and evening; they now have a juke box! Now that I've listed the disappointments, here are the positives: We arrived in Amsterdam at around 7:30 AM and were on the ship by 8:45, having breakfast. Our suite was ready by 10:00. The ship is immaculate. The crew, every one of them, was superb. Friendly, hard-working, and eager to please. Program manager Jessi was especially great. The lounge and dining rooms were large and comfortable. The Cotton Club rear lounge served as an alternative restaurant, and the food there was always good. On board entertainment was good - one night a three-piece German band (as a tuba player, I was disappointed there was no tuba; only a guitar, accordion, and clarinet/sax player. But they were entertaining.) Another night a French singer/accordion duo - they were fun. There was also an on-board wine tasting, German lesson, and an EU lecture. All ok . . . but a past highlight was the crew show; there wasn't any. Port and shore excursions were good, but many of us thought the walking tours were too long. We did appreciate the home-hosted kaffe klatch, and the lunch on our own in one port, where we were given 30 euros per person to spend. Overall, a wonderful trip, but Vantage has lost its adVantage over other river cruisers by cutting costs and services. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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
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