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#1
florida
11 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
My friend just told be about Vantage river cruises and am wondering if anyone has been on one? We've never been on a river cruise, so have nothing to compare. Looking for suggestions.
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2007,crystal symphony, Mediterranean
2006 Royal Carribean, Panama Canal
2009 Alaska, Regent
2012 Baltic, Regent
#2
Florida
20,313 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We have our first booked
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We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 29 voyages 661 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 84 Cruises 1118 days

NOT YET SAILED
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam Boston to Rotter 7/18 - 19 days
Prinsendam Amster to FTL 8/18 96 days
Zaandam Antarctic 12/18 - 22 days
Nieuw Statadam Carb. 1/19 - 7 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
#3
milwaukee wisconsin
538 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
debbie ann - I haven't been on Vantage so I can't help there. I do suggest though that if you've never been on a River Cruise you should read this cruise critic board often. You will get some good insights and lots of personal opinions. River cruises are much different than Ocean cruises. They are a lot more 'laid back' and relaxing. I think that's one reason an 'older' crowd enjoys these so much.

There are lots of different European river cruise companies. Just to name a few - Vantage, Viking, Uniworld, Scenic, GCT, Tauck, Avalon. It seems that everyone on this board (with a few exceptions) have their one and only favorite company. Brand loyalty is rampant.

If you are serious about going on a river cruise I suggest (as lots of others will tell you) to consider creating a spreadsheet that outlines various aspects of a cruise that interest you and rate the cruise companies that you may use. price, iteniaries, time of trip, what's included, size of cabins, etc etc. could be some of your determining factors. Also read the Cruise Critic reviews for each river company line you may consider. You will get a feel for the river tour company although some may be naturally a bit biased.

These are JMHOs! Have fun planning!
#4
2,503 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Paulinda is right on. A few other things to consider: Vantage and Grand Circle do not use Travel agents. They are also the lines without an international mix of guests. Have taken one Vantage trip and it was very good. We have also sailed with Cruise West, Gap Adventure, AMAwaterways, Uniworld and Viking. The itinerary is most important. If you can avoid the early spring, do so. Water levels are very iffy at that time. If there are mobility issues, check each boat for elevators. Viking doesn't have them on all boats. This board is full of wonderful question, answers and opinions. Hope you find the perfect cruise for you. Pat
#5
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,811 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We researched river cruises in Russia and selected Vantage, based on cc posts and comparing the prices/itinerary/boats and more.
GCT, Vantage, AMA Uniworld and others offer the top tours. The budget tours like Gate 1 are cheaper, but boats are older, etc. and less included in package.

We chose Vantage (August 2011) because of cc posts and what they offer for the price. Vantage provides you with downtown hotels in Moscow and St. Pete when most of the others have you stay on the boat and commute to the sites by bus (which is a problem with the local traffic).
We also went with the Vantage air package, which resulted in us being booked on Lufthansa, which is good. We also, opted for the pre and post tours to Kiev and the Baltic countries.


Also, we booked a River cruise with AMA in France in Burgundy and Provence, based on the overall package.
Enjoy.
#6
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Hi Debbi Ann - We have been on 4 Vantage trips and just signed up for their Dec 7 Christmas markets trip. Cannot say enough good things about Vantage. Very well run organization. Willard
#8
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Can anyone tell me what the average age of a Vantage traveller is?
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#9
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I would say anywhere between 50 and 80. Average might be in their late 60s to early 70s. We have never had a problem waiting for someone on tours.
#10
Florida
20,313 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by npphotog
I would say anywhere between 50 and 80. Average might be in their late 60s to early 70s. We have never had a problem waiting for someone on tours.
But i would say thay all must be fitt
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We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 29 voyages 661 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 84 Cruises 1118 days

NOT YET SAILED
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam Boston to Rotter 7/18 - 19 days
Prinsendam Amster to FTL 8/18 96 days
Zaandam Antarctic 12/18 - 22 days
Nieuw Statadam Carb. 1/19 - 7 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
#11
Carlisle Pa. USA
434 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Debbie my wife & I have been on three GCT cruises & 3 Vantage & on 10-23-11 we are doing the Eastern Europe cruise from Bucharest to Budapest with 5 days pre cruise to Transavania & 4 day post cruise in Budapest. We have found Vantage to be higher than GCT but they give you more included tours.We have also been on the Mississippi River cruise. We have been on 83 cruises.
#12
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by we're sailing away....
But i would say thay all must be fitt
I was just concerned that we might feel a bit out of place in our late 30's. We'll have no problem if the pace is quick
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#13
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,811 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Age can limit activity, but at 63, I bike 120 miles a week. I don't get left behind.

Age does influence things like music preferences and interests. I am sure that I would not be able to discuss most of the popular music today.

Older people sometimes are a bit jaded. My Daughter asked me if I was interested in going to DisneyWorld, and I had no interest. Been there, done that.

My Son and Daughter have encouraged us to travel with them on cruises, and we have been on one with my Daughter's family and Son and friend, as well as a second cruise with my Son and his friend. We do all the same things they do, except we don't go to the casino.
#14
Maitland, FL
281 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
We just returned from a Vantage cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. The food service was great. The planned excursions were fun and it was nice to have everything so well organized for us. The Hotels Vantage uses are 4 to 5 star in the city centers. The big difference from a regular cruise is the Program director to guide and entertain you every day. We have been on over 60 cruises and really enjoyed the river cruise experience with Vantage. We had either a half or full day organized excursion each day. I'm sure you will be happy with Vantage.
#15
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Note to HSHOWALTER - We did the Eastern Europe trip last September - we also did the pretour to Translyvania...you will love that part. Also before we moved to Florida from Lansdale Pa. Glad to get out of that ice and snow. Willard
p.s. Hope they still offer the Tito train ride in Belgrad...if they do, TAKE IT.
#16
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by 4774Papa
Age can limit activity, but at 63, I bike 120 miles a week. I don't get left behind.

Age does influence things like music preferences and interests. I am sure that I would not be able to discuss most of the popular music today.

Older people sometimes are a bit jaded. My Daughter asked me if I was interested in going to DisneyWorld, and I had no interest. Been there, done that.

My Son and Daughter have encouraged us to travel with them on cruises, and we have been on one with my Daughter's family and Son and friend, as well as a second cruise with my Son and his friend. We do all the same things they do, except we don't go to the casino.
Age is just a number.... In the past three years I've done three trips with my dad who is in his early 60's, two to Europe and one to China. He's getting a bit slower with arthritis but he can still move when he needs to (traffic in Beijing is crazy).

We probably have more in common with those who are retired or semi retired, we don't have kids and we spend 4+ months of the year travelling. I just wanted to get a sense of the demographic that travels with Vantage - we're already booked.
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#17
Florida
30 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by Gangway
We just returned from a Vantage cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. The food service was great. The planned excursions were fun and it was nice to have everything so well organized for us. The Hotels Vantage uses are 4 to 5 star in the city centers. The big difference from a regular cruise is the Program director to guide and entertain you every day. We have been on over 60 cruises and really enjoyed the river cruise experience with Vantage. We had either a half or full day organized excursion each day. I'm sure you will be happy with Vantage.
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 [email protected] thanks.
#18
Victoria, BC, Canada
1,643 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I bet you pay a lot more than you complained about on Princess Phyldon
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#19
Florida
30 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by robgvic
I bet you pay a lot more than you complained about on Princess Phyldon
What is a Princess loyalist doing on a river cruise message board????Perhaps we'll sail together again next year!!! I doubt that the expense of a river boat cruise will come anywhere near what we spent on the Crown Princess.
Sorry that Robgvic got off the subject of this thread....let's continue with the subject, shall we?
#20
2,503 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Phyldon, we did this part of the river in 2004 as part of a longer trip--Black Sea-Amsterdam.. Would strongly encourage to go from Bucharest to Budapest. One, the trip home will be shorter. Two, you will go from a bit on the depressing side countrywise to the more capitolistic countries. I think going west-east could leave one a downer of a mood. Have sailed on that Vantage boat on a Christmas market cruise and found it very nice--good crew, staff and a very nice boat. Enjoy, but be careful river cruising can be addicting. Pat