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debbie ann

vantage river cruises

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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.

Edited by debbie ann
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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!

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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

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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.

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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

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Debbie - Forgot to ask what part of Florida you are from - we live in Largo, Florida. Willard

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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 pdcldco@hotmail.com.Many thanks.

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I bet you pay a lot more than you complained about on Princess Phyldon

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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?

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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;)

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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.

Hi could you give us some tricks on Vantage,

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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.

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Does anybody know if RCL has an agreement (for their loyalty program) with a river cruise tour company? We are loyal to royal and are starting to look for next years adventure...

 

Thanks!

Edited by lthornton
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Welcome to the River Cruising Board. No. Their loyalty programs are only between RCI and Celebrity -- no river boat companies!

 

I suggest you spend some time reading all about the river boat companies on this section of CC since everyone has their favorites.

 

Once you do a river boat cruise, you will become addicted to it! Enjoy.

 

Sheila

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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

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