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Posts posted by GiannaD

  1. **********************************************************************************************************

    Just read and enjoyed your pictures of your Ireland trip. It really sounded like you had a great trip. I will look at some of your others too to include your river cruises. Thanks for sharing.


    We're booked on Budapest to Amsterdam cruise in Nov 2011. Thanks for sharing your pictures & stories. They are wonderful. This is our first river cruise and wandered if it gets boring at night? We did pre option in Budapest & post option in Brussels and have never been to either city. Would appreciate any must sees & restaurants. Thanks New Orleans:)


    We did this tour in October 2007 and will be on our third Vantage river cruise this month. You have chosen a great itinerary and should enjoy it very much.


    It will be cold on the rivers in November so you should pack warm clothes with layers and take your most comfortable walking shoes. A hat and gloves will also be useful.


    You will enjoy the included Vantage excursions and should consider the optional Jewish Heritage tour in Budapest. The Dohany Street Synagogue was one of the highlights of our last visit. A visit to a horse farm in the country is also very interesting. The riders are truly amazing.


    You should check out Eyewitness Travel guides from your local library. They will give you an idea of the sights in each city and you can choose those that interest you most. They have lost so photos and suggested walking tours.


    Evening entertainment on the river cruises is low key (not at all like the big ships) but we found it enjoyable. Vantage usually has a port talk before dinner and then some sort of activity after dinner. You may have a folk group performance, swing band, local singing group or performers, crew entertainment, dancing, demonstration, or other game show like activity.(You will pass through many, many locks and the local groups get on at one lock and then get off several hours later at another lock.)


    There is a piano player in the lounge after the evening program which ends about 10:00 to 10:30 and the bar is open until the last guest retires. You can also watch movies which are usually classics related to upcoming ports on your TV. The itinerary is port intensive and you are usually up early so we were happy to be back in our room by 10:30.


    Enjoy your trip.



  2. I have been on two river cruises and as stated above it really doesn't matter which side of the ship you choose. Depending on the port either side may be next to the dock and you may be moored next to another ship. I would go with the cabin that is best located based on the distance to the dining, room, lounge and reception. We prefer cabins that are midship.


    Depending on your itinerary you may be traveling mostly during the night so nighttime docking may not be an issue at all.


    If you are concerned about noise you may find that you will pass through many locks during the night and there will be things that go "bump" in the night even in the best located cabin.


    Enjoy your trip.

  3. The ships definitely dock out of the city center. The canal through the city center is much too narrow and shallow for riverboats.


    It depends on the tour company whether there are shuttles into the historic center. We were on a Vantage cruise that had an overnight stop in Vienna and we were provided free shuttle service to and from the ship after the morning tours were over until late afternoon. Depending on the ship location the subway station is generally walkable and as mentioned above there is a stop in the cathedral square. From there you can walk to most of the main sites.


    Schonbrunn palace is a must see but not in the historic center.

  4. Hi,


    I booked my first River cruise with Vantage River Odyssey Waterways of Holland/Belgium, Tulips...... 4/1/12. I also booked a pre-cruise extension in Brussels. I've been searching high and low on CC for any information about this kind of itininary. Not finding anything. Can anyone give me any information about the ship and the itininary? Any suggestions on what to do in Brussels? Apparently Vantage will keep me busy on and off ship :).


    I am a cruiser..done over 20 cruises. This will be my first river and I'm very much looking forward to it. I always wanted to do one.





    We were on the Vantage Explorer in 2009 for their "Tulip" cruise and it was great. We have been on the River Navigator and will be on the Odyssey in September.


    You can get information about the ships on the VantageTravel.com website along with a detailed itinerary for your trip. You can find some information by entering Vantage Holland & Belgium under search this thread on Cruise Critic in the River and Canal Cruises section.


    We really loved Vantage and their ships which are "sisters" and have only minor differences. The crews are fantastic. We are looking forward to our next cruise with Vantage.

  5. We will be on our first Vantage trip from Amsterdam to Budapest this fall. Could you tell me how the tips are handled? Can they be put on a credit card? Thanks


    The tips for the crew and staff can be charged to your onboard account which can be settled by cash or credit card. The tips for the program manager should be paid in cash. Tips for local guides should also be in cash. You can find this information in the Vantage travel guide for your cruise.

  6. We have sailed on 2 Vantage river cruises, and have a 3rd to Burgundy booked for next year. The stories and pictures are on our website www,stevekathytravels.com


    I checked your site and enjoyed your posting. We have been to many of the places you wrote about and on three previous Vantage trips. It was great to read about the locations we have visited and places we still want to visit.


    Thank you,



  7. Gangway, we are considering the "Springtime in Eastern Europe & the Black Sea" cruise for next year on Vantage, going from Budapest to Bucharest. If this was the cruise you were on, I would be interested in hearing more about it. How was the weather in May?Was the boat the MS River Odyssey? If so, what was it like? If you get a chance, please post or contact me by email at pdcldco@hotmail.com.Many thanks.


    We have been on the Navigator and Explorer and are booked on the Odyssey in September. The ships are sister ships and only have slight differences. They are impeccably maintained and the crews and tour directors are marvelous. On the upper deck they have a sundeck with walking track and places to sit and watch the scenery glide by. There is a lounge with a bar in the bow and the dining room is at the rear of the second deck. The dining room has linen table covers and china for dining. Breakfast and lunch are usually buffet style and dinners are served. The rooms are comfortable with a lot of storage but more compact than on most ocean cruisers. As is typical on river cruisers the bathrooms are small but adequate. The upper deck has hotel type beds and the two lower decks have fold down twin beds that are very comfortable. (I thought I would hate those beds on our first cruise but since have chosen to book B1 rooms with the fold down beds because they have a larger table and more floor space than the twin bed rooms.) You can get a good idea of the ship amenities by visiting Vantagetravel.com

  8. We're booked on the Vantage Deluxe World Travel Cruising the Danube to the Black Sea departure for September 2011. This will be our third river cruise with Vantage but the first in Eastern Europe. We thoroughly enjoyed the River Navigator and River Explorer and are looking forward to the River Odyssey.


    We would be interested in hearing from anyone who has taken a Vantage Eastern Europe Cruise and especially anyone who has taken the cruise from Vienna to Bucharest or the reverse in 2011.


    We welcome your comments about the itinerary and any helpful hints you might have for enjoying the cruise.


    Looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

  9. just wondering - if we want to pack a picnic lunch to take ashore, is this ok? i know there are restrictions on what you can bring on, but wasn't sure if you're free to take food off the ship as well. we are traveling with small children, so we pretty much always need small snacks and water with us!


    On a recent Caribbean itinerary there were constant reminders not to take food off the ship or bring food onto the ship. Bottles of water are permitted and so are prepackaged snacks (cookies, pretzels, crackers - brought from home) as stated above. You can fill your own bottles with water or purchase water on the ship. You can bring things like bags of coffee, candy, cakes, and snacks onto the ship but nothing fresh like a sandwich and especially no fruits or vegetables can be taken on or off the ship. The rules were the same in Europe.

  10. Looking for info on the Vision of the Seas:


    Are the D1 corner aft cabins larger than the rest of the aft cabins?


    Are the aft cabins larger than the side cabins?


    Do the corner aft cabins have larger balconies than the rest of the aft cabins?


    Looking at the St. Petersburg & Baltic Cruise...any recommendations on the following ports of call:


    Stockholm, Sweden

    Helsinki, Finland

    St. Petersburg, Russia (read about bkg with a good private tour company)

    Riga, Latvia

    Gdansk, Poland

    Visby, Sweden


    Yes, I did read the Baltic forum...but there are many posters on this forum that have sailed on the Vision and I'd like to read their opinions, also.


    Will the Vision be going into dry dock for refurbishment?


    We were in JS 8588 on the aft corner of the Vision in October 2009. The room was great but no larger that the other JS cabins. The balcony as on the 7th level was huge (largest on the ship). It was great to watch the wake and sunsets from the balcony. The only drawback was the long walk and that part of the balcony is not under cover. It was great for sunbathing BUT collected soot when we were in some crowded ports.

  11. We returned this week from the Eurodam Western Mediterranean 10 day cruise. We ate in the dining room every evening without reservations. The food was great as was the service. No matter what time we arrived we never waited more than a few minutes to be seated and the service with a few small exceptions was very good. We generally asked to be seated with others and met some very interesting people. We much prefer the flexibility of dining when we wish and not being confined to a set time with the same table mates each evening. We tried anytime dining on Royal Caribbean last October and had a similar experience.


    My advice- try it you'll like it!

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