Douro river cruise

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South Carolina
816 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by joybug
Is anyone going, or have you been on this trip? Our Grand European cruise on Vantage was superb. Joybug
We are going on the one with Vantage in May. We should have some info after we return. For those people who have done this trip with other cruise lines, do you have any restaurant recommendations for Lisbon and other ports???
SF Bay Area, California
233 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by joybug
Is anyone going, or have you been on this trip? Our Grand European cruise on Vantage was superb. Joybug
My DW Chris and I are going on this trip with Vantage in September. We fly out of Newark on Sept. 18, spend 3 days in Lisbon, and board the boat on Sept 22. We are also taking the post cruise Barcelona extension.

This will be our first trip with Vantage and our first river cruise, but we have cruised on Holland America several times. We are joining my cousin Sandy and her husband Greg from Minnesota. They have used Vantage several times and recommended we join them.

Greg
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Future Cruises:
MS River Voyager - 26 day Vantage Grand European River Cruise 09/05/2016
Noordam - 14 day Sydney to Auckland 01/31/2017

Past Pleasures:
Prinsendam - 20 day North Cape Explorer 06/16/2016
Zuiderdam - 22 day Mediterranean & Adriatic Explorer 05/17/2015
River Discovery II - 13 day Culinary French Waterways 10/23/2014
Ryndam - 14 day Turkish & Homeric Quest 10/05/2013
Veendam - 31 day Splendor of South America - 3/31/2013
Douro Cruiser - 14 day Douro River Valley - 09/18/2012
Eurodam - 21 day Northern Europe - 06/03/2011
Quest - 14 day Panama Canal - 02/02/2008
Ryndam - 10 day Mexico Sea of Cortez - 04/05/2005
Volendam - 7 day Alaska Glacier Bay - 06/16/2004
Sunny Orlando
123 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by GregnChris
My DW Chris and I are going on this trip with Vantage in September. We fly out of Newark on Sept. 18, spend 3 days in Lisbon, and board the boat on Sept 22. We are also taking the post cruise Barcelona extension.

This will be our first trip with Vantage and our first river cruise, but we have cruised on Holland America several times. We are joining my cousin Sandy and her husband Greg from Minnesota. They have used Vantage several times and recommended we join them.

Greg
If you remember, please post some pics of your trip/

_KD
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Belgium
312 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Has anybody made the same cruise with the French company "Croisi Europe" ?
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The world is a book. Those who do not travel, only read one page!
Cruises:Insignia (Oceania) (oct16) Bridge of the Americas, Indochine (Croisieurope)(apr/may 2016),Nautica (South Africa) (nov 15), AidaCara (nov14), Noordam (mar14), AidaSol (sep13), Austral (jul13), Princesse d'Aquitaine (nov12), Seabourn Pride (nov12), Celebrity Reflection (oct12), Fernao de Magalhaes (jul12),Statendam (nov11), Seabourn Spirit (jul11), Veendam (dec10), Nautica (jul 09), Windstar (aug08), QE2 (2001)

14 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by kaliterri
I broke my knee on a Segway tour.
Goodness! Did it heal ok ?

Any tips on how to avoid doing that?
Belgium
312 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
We are just back and we stayed a few nights in the Mercure (Accor group) in Porto Center. Very well situated in the hart of the old town.

Then we went on board. Posted this also under "Other cruise lines" but in fact this thread is closer to the subject , reason I reposted it also below:
Out of Porto we had a cruise on the Douro with the ms Fernao De Magalhaes up to the Spanish border and back.
Croisieurope is a French company based in Strasbourg and specialized on river cruises. On Cruisecritic here it is not often that this company is mentioned and I can imagine that many of us believe that only French is spoken on board. I discovered something completely different.
Used to sea-going cruising, it is the first time I had a river cruise experience. The ship has 142 passengers maximum on 3 decks. Is built in 2003 but renovated in 2011.
The first impression on checking in, was the warm welcome, friendliness and efficiency of the staff, and this impression will be continued up to the last moment.
Cabins are clean and comfortable, shower room a bit small, but we are of course not on a seagoing vessel. During the welcome we realize that 3 languages are used: French, English and Spanish. Languages spoken by the staff in contact with the passengers, who are not only French, Belgian or Swiss, but any English speaking people and also Spanish people.
The food is under the management of a French chief, which is certainly a reference. But they offer also Portuguese and Spanish courses which are prepared is a finer and more sophisticated way as the original. Wine and other drinks are free of charge during the meals (noon/evening) and don’t worry they are not difficult at all is you want some more! Now at the bar the drinks are of course to be paid, but the prices are very honest! With regard to the menu it is with a fixed menu. However if you do not like one of the courses the waiters will directly ask you what else they can serve you, no problem at all.
The Douro is a fascinating river to discover. There are several locks and one is the highest in Europe with a difference of 36 meters. Fascinating to see how the ship fully with own means enters between impressive walls. But the way that the water goes up is rather fast.
On deck there are plenty of chairs available, either in sun or under a large shadow cover.

Due to the destination, it is easy to use the shore excursions. Although I prefer organizing them myself where possible we took 3 of them. Salamanca in Spain was a full day. Also these excursions are reasonable in price. For Salamanca at noon dinner is provided in a nice local restaurant and at the same conditions as on board, this means you do not pay for wine and other beverages.
Now again there is a bus with French speaking guide and another bus with English and Spanish speaking guides.
In the evenings the entertainment is of course limited view the vessel size, but the staff organizes them well. There are also some local dancers or groups invited.
One of the last days all passengers are invited if they want (not during maneuvering in the locks of course) to visit the bridge. The Captain is answering you all questions and really with pleasure.
Well this was an excellent experiment on a river cruise. They have also a lot of other cruises on Donau, Rhine and others. They have even some coastal ship at the Croatian coast.
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The world is a book. Those who do not travel, only read one page!
Cruises:Insignia (Oceania) (oct16) Bridge of the Americas, Indochine (Croisieurope)(apr/may 2016),Nautica (South Africa) (nov 15), AidaCara (nov14), Noordam (mar14), AidaSol (sep13), Austral (jul13), Princesse d'Aquitaine (nov12), Seabourn Pride (nov12), Celebrity Reflection (oct12), Fernao de Magalhaes (jul12),Statendam (nov11), Seabourn Spirit (jul11), Veendam (dec10), Nautica (jul 09), Windstar (aug08), QE2 (2001)