River Navigator Cruise Review by riesling
- Sail Date: May 2015
- Destination: Europe River
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.
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