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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I was confused because I could find any reviews since 2015. We were on the "MS River Navigator", although this page refers to Vantage River Navigator. I'm assuming and hoping I'm on the right page. River cruise, ... Read More
I was confused because I could find any reviews since 2015. We were on the "MS River Navigator", although this page refers to Vantage River Navigator. I'm assuming and hoping I'm on the right page. River cruise, NOT an ocean liner. CanNOT really compare the two. I believe the capacity is around 150 passengers as opposed to the thousands on ocean ships. Typical small rooms and bathroom, but very adequate. Room service was great. Only one time slot for meals, all dress is casual. The meals were fine: breakfast buffet, lunch at 12:00, dinner at 7:00pm. The service was great, but the kitchen was at times, very slow. Dinner is typically salad, soup, entree, and dessert. On multiple occasions we did not get our dinner entree until 8:30pm or later. I imagine very hard to serve +100 passengers timely with such a small kitchen. Staff very friendly, but minimal accommodations. No pool, no theater, no entertainment, other than one act each night in the lounge. Small library, exercise room has a couple of treadmills and a couple of exercise bikes. Overall very enjoyable experience. I was told that the clientele is typically senior citizens which was the case on our trip. So mostly quieter and no real late night activities Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our first cruise with Vantage, having cruised three times with Viking. Overall we found Vantage to be comparable to Viking with a few significant differences. First, the obvious, wine, beer, and soft drinks are complimentary at ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Vantage, having cruised three times with Viking. Overall we found Vantage to be comparable to Viking with a few significant differences. First, the obvious, wine, beer, and soft drinks are complimentary at lunch and dinner with Viking, while they are only free at dinner with Vantage. We also felt that Vantage caters to an older demographic than Viking—just our observation. Entertainment was better on Viking. The River Navigator has done away with the lounge keyboard player and replaced him/her with a juke box. This is the last year for the River Navigator, but the ship has been well maintained, and we had no complaints about the condition of the ship. We liked the smaller size (134 passengers max). The meals were on a par with Viking’s food. Taste, temperature, and presentation were all good, and service was generally good. It was somewhat frustrating that Vantage allowed large groups (6-14 people) to reserve the best tables for the ENTIRE cruise. Reserving the tables for a few nights would have been OK, or moving the groups around so that everyone had a chance to eat in the prime spots would have been a better way to handle this. On some of the tours, Vantage tried to offer little extras. Amsterdam included a guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, and we boarded boats for our canal tour there and the tour ended close to the Navigator’s docking site. At the Reichsburg in Cochem we were greeted by the “lord of the manor” and given a glass of wine. On the other hand, when we booked a year ahead of time our optional tour of Luxembourg was supposed to include either a box lunch or Euros for lunch, but when we sailed, the policy had changed and we had to buy our own lunch (in addition to the $69 we spent for the optional tour). Also, it seemed like none of the tours ever ran on time. This may have been the fault of us passengers. We chose this cruise for the itinerary (Rhine and Moselle) and loved the route, but we were disappointed in how Vantage arranged it. We docked at the tiny town of Schweich for the optional tour to Luxembourg. Schweich is only 15 km (9 miles) from Trier. Instead of staying there and having a very brief bus ride to Trier for our tour there, the Navigator left Schweich and cruised downriver to Zell—70 km from Trier. The next day we toured Bernkastel and stayed another night in Zell and then had an hour and a half bus ride back to Trier for our tour there. Why not spend the night in Schweich and do our Trier tour from there with a 30 minute bus ride? It was almost as if Vantage didn’t have a map. Also, after reentering the Rhine at Koblenz, the Navigator stopped at Boppard—a town with very little to do or see—and spent most of the day there. If they’d stopped about 2 miles earlier at Braubach, we could have done a tour of the beautiful Marksburg castle. So we had a good time on the cruise. It compared well with our previous Viking tours, but we felt that the Vantage cruise could have been better planned and executed. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Vantage Cruise from Constantina to Bonn: On the plus side of things, it was all it was billed to be and everything was as promised. Th shore excursions were generally quite good and the tour director did her best ot accommodate ... Read More
Vantage Cruise from Constantina to Bonn: On the plus side of things, it was all it was billed to be and everything was as promised. Th shore excursions were generally quite good and the tour director did her best ot accommodate everyone's needs and wants. We appreciated that wine and beer were included with dinner (provided you could flag down the over-worked wait staff) and the quality was better than we expected. We appreciated the transfer to and from services and found the extra help crucial to navigating the Amsterdam airport. The staff were always courteous and helpful. Rooms, hallways, and public areas, were always tidy. On the minus side of things, it came as a surprise how much the "recommended" tipping would be at the end of the trip. It added up to a pretty hefty sum. When we cruised on Aegean Odyssey, those costs were all included. Of course, they earned the gratuity but we would have preferred it be included (not tucked on at the end). It was no small amount! The rooms were small (and we had French balcony room with a small table with 2 chairs, so it was not like one of the smaller rooms down below) and the bathrooms posed a real challenge. Neither of us are large people but the shower stall was the size of a coffin; turn around and you "adjust" the water temperature inadvertently! Meals ... at first we thought how great it was to get all our meals provided and then boredom set in. It was totally predictable and all we could think about was getting off the boat and doing exploring on our own to find some different food. There is only one dining facility on board and seating is at tables for 4 (limited number), 6 (most are in this range), or larger tables which seem to have someone who rushes in and declares that this table is "theirs!" On our cruise, we had one such lady who organized her own "parties" for the entire tour. Yeah, just like in grade school, right? The "popular" table was by invitation only. Ho hum. So glad I was not invited. We found that Vantage appeals to an older set of travelers, many with mobility issues, and this did impact our tour arrangements in a negative way. Many things had to be adjusted to fit the needs of everyone. Fortunately, the weather was very nice most of the time we cruised so we would spend a lot of time outside on the upper deck, admiring the stars and visiting with co-travelers after dinner. Sometimes a dance group would come in and put on a dance show and sometimes the staff did their best to entertain us with shows of their own. In the final analysis: Comparing this to the small cruise ship Aegean Odyssey, we hated to see that trip end and, with this trip on Vantage's River Navigator, we were so ready for a land trip in Amsterdam. This was a trip we wanted to cross off of our "bucket list" and there really are no regrets. We have great memories and appreciated seeing all the things we did see. The River Navigator is not a new ship (it will be retired from Vantage's boats this year) but we never felt it was shabby. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first river cruise on Vantage. Previous river cruise were on Uniworld River Royale (Rhone and Provence) and Lueftner Amadeus Silver (Belgium & Netherlands). Sailed from May 28 to June 11, 2015. Took this ship because it ... Read More
This was our first river cruise on Vantage. Previous river cruise were on Uniworld River Royale (Rhone and Provence) and Lueftner Amadeus Silver (Belgium & Netherlands). Sailed from May 28 to June 11, 2015. Took this ship because it covered the areas we wanted to see: the Rhine and Mosel. Other cruises included Crystal Harmony to Alaska and the Baltic. The good parts were: great weather, sunny and in the 70s except one day of drizzle; Nico Leegwater, the Cruise Director, was very professional, had a sense of humor, and always available to help; Maude, the Concierge, was very helpful with 2 issues that arose; the home hosted dinner was a special experience; the crew was very good; and the scenery was exceptional. In Bernkastel we had an on-board wine tasting from the Doctor Vineyard. It was a treat and very enlightening. Lunch at the von Nell vineyards was okay. Unfortunately the wine maker sang loudly most of the time making conversation at the table difficult. The on-board entertainment was also very enjoyable. The tour guides were either great or mediocre. We opted for only one extra excursion (Speyer) and it was just okay. Upon occasion I was able to help the guide in translation to English since I speak German. Our Trier guide was a PhD in history and an excellent relator of interesting information. The food was generally okay, not great. I had the pleasure of discussing it with a passenger who was a Master Chef and he echoed our opinion. Unfortunately my wife got a touch of food poisoning from a trout dinner one night. She was fine after being sick during the night. She also had caught a bug on the flight over and it got worse during the trip, requiring a visit to a local doctor. Maude was very helpful in setting up an appointment. He was excellent and diagnosed her with bronchitis, gave us both a prescription (I had also gotten a touch of it from her since we share a lot) and we filled it at the Apotheke. Instead of visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amstersdam (which we both had been to) we got tickets to the Van Gogh museum. Maude was very helpful in getting these and we were able to walk right in rather than standing in a long line. The bus tour and canal boat tours were very informative. There were several changes in the itinerary from the originally published one, but that is to be expected. Interestingly, I just got an email from Vantage offering me the same trip for 2016, on a newer ship. I also looked at their reviews for this trip and noticed 2 of them had the exact same words but from 2 different sources. We probably will not travel with Vantage again. There are other lines with better offerings in ships, venues, value, and accommodations. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
I was so pleased with this trip. Being a Viking supporter I wasn't sure that Vantage could compare but they surely did. The River Navigator was so comfortable and the beds were like sleeping on marshmallows. French chef, great ... Read More
I was so pleased with this trip. Being a Viking supporter I wasn't sure that Vantage could compare but they surely did. The River Navigator was so comfortable and the beds were like sleeping on marshmallows. French chef, great staff, Captain Sigi very friendly and helped his staff if needed. I recommend the Moselle River to anyone wanting to see a beautiful part of Germany and France. They did a fabulous job of making us feel special. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My wife and I have been on eight large cruise ship tours and joined the Carolina Preserve group for our first river boat adventure. We will not go back to the cruise ship scenario. The onboard service, dining experience, activities, cabin ... Read More
My wife and I have been on eight large cruise ship tours and joined the Carolina Preserve group for our first river boat adventure. We will not go back to the cruise ship scenario. The onboard service, dining experience, activities, cabin comfort, and overall care were top of the line. Port and shore excursions were great. Dining off the boat was paid for by Vantage as well as entrance fees to local sites. We had the ultimate pleasure of dining with a local family in there home enjoying food, drink, and conversation ( very memorable experience ). Flights for both embarkation and disembarkation were handled in a very orderly fashion eliminating travel jitters. Would we go again? We're signed up for French Waterways: Highlights of Burgundy, Beaujolais,& Provence in Oct. of 2015. We are sold on Vantage and their staff.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our sixth trip with Vantage, thirds on the Navigator......and all in the same cabin!!! We started in Prague with the pre-trip extension and it was a highlight of the trip! Prague and Bratislava are both beautiful and our group of ... Read More
This was our sixth trip with Vantage, thirds on the Navigator......and all in the same cabin!!! We started in Prague with the pre-trip extension and it was a highlight of the trip! Prague and Bratislava are both beautiful and our group of 24 really bonded in the first 24 hours or so. Navigator has been remodeled since our last trip on her, and she looks beautiful, although I hate the new name of the Lounge......Rat Pack Lounge? Really???? But it seemed a lot more spacious than before and there was ample room for the on board entertainment, which there didn't use to be. Our cabin was comfortable as usual and the walk-in shower was a big relief after 5 nights struggling in and out of deep bathtubs in hotels. Plenty of storage space, especially now that I have a Vera Bradley hanging vanity case......what a find THAT was. Our cabin steward was excellent and fearless.....he came right away the afternoon I found a spider as big as my fist on the outside of the door for our french balcony.....and he didn't even laugh at me for standing on the bed pointing at the door! We were divided into 3 groups and I love the way they did it: Blue group were people who did the pre-trip extension; Green group those who were doing the Danube from Bonn to Constanta and the Yellow group those who boarded in Budapest and did not do the pre-trip. Only negative to that is that all three groups tended to stick together and not mingle a lot. The ports we visited ranged from wonderful to okay, but only because in some of them there just wasn't a lot to see and do. We did one optional on the cruise and that was the puszta tour to see the Hungarian cowboys. I know I read reviews of this tour from people who said the horses were thin and seemed mal-treated. While we saw absolutely no evidence of abuse or mal-nourishment, I would not book it again because it just wasn't worth the money. Those who went to Tito's Palace met the Prince and Princess of Bulgaria! As for the food, I thought it was great. I read previous review from vegan who had trouble finding food to eat. What a shame, because our trip had one of the best vegetarian cooks on the planet!!! I had no trouble finding many choices for breakfast from cold Muesli to yogurt and fruit and for lunch the salad bar and cold fruit soups were to die for. Dinner always had a vegetarian menu and there was only one I didn't care for and that was nobody's fault....sometimes you just don't care for a recipe and this was one of those times.....and the chef made me something else!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
What more can I say other than the title of this review. This was my first river cruise and though I have been on many large ship cruises this was my first on a small ship and the first on a river. Actually this Grand European River Cruise ... Read More
What more can I say other than the title of this review. This was my first river cruise and though I have been on many large ship cruises this was my first on a small ship and the first on a river. Actually this Grand European River Cruise by Vantage far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would be bored on a small ship without all the facilities of an ocean liner but to my surprise this was one of the best experiences I have had on any ship. Starting with the staff. They were friendly, helpful, and very professional. Every activity was well planned out (both on board and on shore) and for the most part included in the price of the voyage. There were very few "Optional" tours. When we had to tour by bus they were of the highest caliber with local guides that were excellent. The ship with about 130 passengers was just the right size. Our cabin had plenty of closet and drawer space for our clothes. Our cabin, while only 150 square feet, my wife and I never felt cramped. With its low draft, our ship had no trouble making the trip from Cologne to the Black Sea. The larger ships used by Viking were not able to make it to Passau due to low water levels and a deeper draft. We watched as their passengers were loaded onto buses with their luggage to be transferred to ships further down river. The food on the ship was varied and tasteful with a number of menu choices. When we ate on shore during an all day tour, the restaurants they brought us to were very good. While on board the ship every staff member provided excellent service (and they did it with a smile!). The Program Director was excellent (she was even there at 3 AM in the morning to see us off for our flight home making sure our arrangements were okay). Her Port Talks each evening were interesting and informative. She was always available to help if you needed it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
We are a family of 14 people (4 generations!) who just completed a cruise of Portugal's Douro River on the ms Douro Spirit with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. It was the first river cruise for all but one of us and was a magnificent ... Read More
We are a family of 14 people (4 generations!) who just completed a cruise of Portugal's Douro River on the ms Douro Spirit with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. It was the first river cruise for all but one of us and was a magnificent experience. Douro River ships are small-ish, because the lock system on the Douro can't accommodate larger ships, but the ship was outfitted very nicely and our rooms were terrific. Vantage distinguishes itself with exceptional service -- everyone was extremely friendly, charmingly helpful, and genuinely kind. Vantage's travelers are a mature group of people, so our family stood out from the rest (ages 10 - 80). Everyone was very friendly and glad to share their cruise with such a relatively young and boisterous group. Vantage managed every detail like clockwork. The 7 day cruise was the centerpiece of a 13 day tour, and our accommodations off the ship were incredible -- Vantage put us up in two of the finest hotels I've ever experienced, including a hotel in Porto, Portugal that is actually a baroque palace built in 1742. This was an incredible experience, and we are now a very happy family! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
Our cruise was outstanding. This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises. Vantage did a fantastic job of holding our hand from start to finish. It was without a doubt the best we have ever been on. The history and culture woven ... Read More
Our cruise was outstanding. This was our first river cruise after many ocean cruises. Vantage did a fantastic job of holding our hand from start to finish. It was without a doubt the best we have ever been on. The history and culture woven into the trip was obviously thought out by the agents at Vantage. From the greeting by our program director at the Amsterdam airport to our departure at Budapest everything was just great. We so enjoyed the accommodations aboard the RIVER NAVIGATOR. The food in the dining room was scrumptious everything from the personally prepared omelet in the morning to the delicious entrees and deserts at the evening meal. The individual service provided by the wait staff in the dining area was just great. The tours in the various Ports of Call were far and above what we expected. The tour guides provided a wealth of knowledge about each attraction we visited. We so enjoyed the various tours arranged by Vantage. They were just great. There were too many favorites to list them all. But among the most impressive was the Cathedral in Cologne, the Castles in Austria and of course the classical concert in Vienna. We would and have recommended Vantage to friends and acquaintances who want to take a luxurious cruise Europe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
We were welcomed aboard by Nico and received key information that we needed. We later had the overview that evening and had a wonderful dinner. Our cabin steward was most efficient and we had everything we needed. The excursions were ... Read More
We were welcomed aboard by Nico and received key information that we needed. We later had the overview that evening and had a wonderful dinner. Our cabin steward was most efficient and we had everything we needed. The excursions were well-organized. One tour I was not looking forward to way the village (Enkhuizen) on the ZuIder Zee, as it was cool and windy. Once we landed, it was very pleasant and the walk around the village fascinating. Well worth the trip!! We also loved the tulip bulb farm and, of course, the day tour of Amsterdam by boat. Another highlight was Bruges, although the walk on cobblestones was a challenge. But once there we loved the tour and the great sights of a medieval town. We always like the enrichment lectures on board which add to our knowledge about the upcoming cruise. The staff were very friendly and our dinners delightful. Disembarkation was the most efficient ever! We had someone escort our bus to the airport. She got off the bus and helped us with our passport so we were quickly on our way. Overall, an excellent tour with wonderful memories! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
This is a beautiful boat. Tastefully decorated. Wonderful staff. Really wonderful. Barely enough Wifi to get emails. Very irritating! The breakfast was great but it was hard being a vegan . Like pulling teeth to get something to eat. ... Read More
This is a beautiful boat. Tastefully decorated. Wonderful staff. Really wonderful. Barely enough Wifi to get emails. Very irritating! The breakfast was great but it was hard being a vegan . Like pulling teeth to get something to eat. The staff however tried to be helpful. We did not starve! I think if you write down what you cannot have it should be easy to follow. It was not. One other irritating thing was that we had to stock up on water! Drinking water should be free. At least put a water filter in every stateroom. Nickel and dimeing on the water is not attractive. Our remote didn't work. Had a guy to fix it but it didn't really work. These are all minor things but it would have improved things. Our stateroom was really nice. It would have been nice to go straight to he ship upon landing . I will probably do another cruise with Vantage if they bone up on my suggestions. Your staff is definitely your strength ! Read Less
River Navigator Ratings
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