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FuelScience

All Things Vantage

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Back in June, pbnjrockette noted that people were asking a lot of miscellaneous questions about Vantage on the roll call page and suggested an "All Things Vantage" thread.

 

I think that it's a good idea, so I'll go ahead and start one here for general questions about Vantage cruises. Pbnjrockette, hope you don't mind me going ahead with this.

 

Jazzbeau, let us know if we're out-of-line with this thread.

 

FuelScience

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This is a good idea. I hope you get enough activity to keep it near the top -- but please remember the rule against posting just to "bump" the thread.

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Jazzbeau,

 

Thanks for your blessing!! Hope this reply doesn't count as a "bump"!!

 

FuelScience

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Well we have been on three River Cruises two Uniworld one AMA and considering itinerary of Douro River with Vantage. I know the Doura Spirit had been charted by Uniworld and Vantage is now leasing this ship. We are skeptical about Vantage only because we loved Uniworld. Will we be disappointed? We are looking at Vantage only because of their itinerary. Need feedback of cruisers who have enjoyed Vantage. Anyone been on the Douro with Vantage?

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We just returned from a double cruise with Vantage... Treasures of France--Paris to Normandy to Paris to Provence--- 10 days each aboard the River Venture and Discovery ll. Haven't gotten to do a full trip report yet but I did do a blog during the trip (posted in another thread). Will be glad to post pictures of both ships and answer questions when I recover from repeat of sinus infection I left with (plane travel is dangerous to your health!) :(

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What is unique about the Vantage itinerary on the Douro? I see that AMA offers both a round-trip from Porto, and also a one-way cruise that makes has all the same stops but allows a trip from Lisbon to Madrid -- the latter is very enticing for me.

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Can anyone tell me what was done to upgrade/refurbish the River Navigator in 2013? Photos on marinetraffic.com suggest that sunshades might have been added on the top deck (they don't seem to appear in pre-2013 photos).

 

Also I'm guessing that the "Rat Pack" theme was added. Any other significant changes in the River Navigator?

 

FuelScience

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Vantage had precruise trip to. Madeira ... Does any other

cruise line have this extension? We cruised with AMA a few years ago on the Danube and we were very disappointed with the food. for that reason we will not cruise with AMA again. I have read really great reviews on this forum for AMA but our choice not to cruise with them..we really enjoyed Uniworld but Vantage seemed less expensive..

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Food of course is always subjective but we recently found food on the 2 Vantage ships River Venture and Discovery ll VERY different. There was a marvelous young chef on the River Venture and the evening meals were almost always a delight! The presentation was unique and the sauces were delicious. I especially loved the soups. When we got to the Discovery we were disappointed. Meats were tough, sauces bland and soups salty. Same company...different ships, different chefs. There were 67 of us who did both cruises and most agreed, food on the Venture was much better. (Service was better but we attributed that to serving 40 less passengers -- 130 vs 170.)

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Can anyone tell me what was done to upgrade/refurbish the River Navigator in 2013? Photos on marinetraffic.com suggest that sunshades might have been added on the top deck (they don't seem to appear in pre-2013 photos).

 

Also I'm guessing that the "Rat Pack" theme was added. Any other significant changes in the River Navigator?

 

FuelScience

 

I just finished my 4th trip on Navigator all in cabin 412! Only noticeable changes to me were "rat pack" theme; additions of an owner's suite and 4 smaller suites (each of which is dedicated to a member of rat pack.....if you would have a problem with a life size portrait of Sammy Davis or Dean Martin being the first thing you see upon waking every morning you might want to choose a regular room... just sayin'); an update of lobby area and lounge, which allows for more seating. Top deck always had sun shade but sometimes it's removed for low bridges. Otherwise it looks the same and I love her. Rat pack is a bit overdone but that's just my opinion since I wasn't t a big Sinatra fan.

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For those of you who have done Vantage river cruises, which one was your favorite and why?

We did 4 river cruises with Vantage and enjoyed all of them. We did a Xmas market cruise from Budapest to Passau, a Budapest to Amsterdam summer cruise, a Burgundy cruise, and our last one was the Russian River cruise.

We have trip stories and pictures on all of them on our website, and we are always happy to answer any questions.

Note for anyone figuring on going on Viking: Vantage puts you up in hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg so you do not have to fight the traffic to get to and from the ship twice a day, at least!

As far as which was our favorite, the cruises were all so different it is hard to say. As far as ships go, The Lev Tolstoy was our least favorite because of all the stairs.

Edited by Talisker92

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For those of you who have done Vantage river cruises, which one was your favorite and why?

 

I loved them all but I think my favorite was Egypt and Jordan. I wanted to see the pyramids since childhood so it was my dream trip...and it didn't disappoint. The Egyptian people were delightful and very happy to see us...the food was fantastic and the balloon ride over the Nile at sunrise; the camel ride at Petra, Abu Simbel and standing in the tomb of King Tut were unforgettable. My only regret is the political situation has resulted in Egypt being hard to do now.

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Well we have been on three River Cruises two Uniworld one AMA and considering itinerary of Douro River with Vantage. I know the Doura Spirit had been charted by Uniworld and Vantage is now leasing this ship. We are skeptical about Vantage only because we loved Uniworld. Will we be disappointed? We are looking at Vantage only because of their itinerary. Need feedback of cruisers who have enjoyed Vantage. Anyone been on the Douro with Vantage?
We have only sailed on one river cruise which was aboard Uniworlds S.S. Antoinette , and we also enjoyed Uniworld. We are currently booked on two Vantage cruises . One is on the 12 day Danube Holiday on the River Splendor. The other is on the Douro Spirit on the Wine Country cruise which is 11 days. I booked these based on early booking savings . We too are a little concerned about the quality of a Vantage cruise, but we are not hard to please and if the ship is just O.K., and the food is just edible we will be just fine. Right now I just want to get out of this hot Texas weather, but on an upscale note I have yet to kill a rattlesnake on my farm this year. First time in many years(fingers crossed).

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We have only sailed on one river cruise which was aboard Uniworlds S.S. Antoinette , and we also enjoyed Uniworld. We are currently booked on two Vantage cruises . One is on the 12 day Danube Holiday on the River Splendor. The other is on the Douro Spirit on the Wine Country cruise which is 11 days. I booked these based on early booking savings . We too are a little concerned about the quality of a Vantage cruise, but we are not hard to please and if the ship is just O.K., and the food is just edible we will be just fine. Right now I just want to get out of this hot Texas weather, but on an upscale note I have yet to kill a rattlesnake on my farm this year. First time in many years(fingers crossed).

 

Uncross your fingers and fear not!! Splendor is their newest boat and I've sailed 4 times on their oldest, Navigator. The ships are very comfortable with ample seating in the lounges, sun deck and dining room. They are not opulent like some, but very tastefully decorated. The food is waaaaaay above just edible and you will have several options for all meals. if, as you say, you are not hard to please, trust me, you will be very pleased!! :D

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JC. Is the Douro Spirit Wine Cruise cruising Portugal ? What month are you going? Is this cruise less expensive than Uniworld?why did you chose Vantage?

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What is unique about the Vantage itinerary on the Douro? I see that AMA offers both a round-trip from Porto, and also a one-way cruise that makes has all the same stops but allows a trip from Lisbon to Madrid -- the latter is very enticing for me.

AMA's price for the cruise only is the same as Vantage's entire cruise plus land tour.

AMA is great but so is Vantage, so go for the best price.

 

We have done Vantage China and Russia and both were excellent.

 

Russia, Kiev and Baltics

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1478384

China

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1718320

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JC. Is the Douro Spirit Wine Cruise cruising Portugal ? What month are you going? Is this cruise less expensive than Uniworld?why did you chose Vantage?

The choice was based primarily on price and reviews read on this forum. This is the Portugal Douro River Wine Cruise on the Duro Spirit in the last week of October 2015 . The price was 2699.00 PP + tax vs. 3999.00 pp + tax for the same week on Uniworld. Also all cabins on the Douro Spirit have french balconies although four of these cabins are 150 sq. ft. while the other french balconies are 165 sq. ft.. This does not include the suites of course. We are booked in the smaller cabin, but we will probably upgrade to one of the larger cabins at a later date. Uniworld is great and is of course all inclusive now including gratuties ,and even hard liquor. Uniworld prices appear to have increased significantly and since we drink only occassional wine we believe Vantage to be a better deal for us. The pre and post cruise on this trip will be Madeira and Barcelona, but we have spent several days at each of these previously and will skip these this trip.

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Wow!that sure is a significant savings. I also noticed on the Douro Spirit they listed category A, B etc they seemed to be the same size room but a different level! I know on Uniworld we paid a good amount of money for our upgrade to a French Balcony. I don't think I would do that again. We will be happy with just a large window. What did you book for a room on this cruise? Also what is the best month to cruise? It can be very hot in Portugal in the summer.. Thanks for your input..

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Wow!that sure is a significant savings. I also noticed on the Douro Spirit they listed category A, B etc they seemed to be the same size room but a different level! I know on Uniworld we paid a good amount of money for our upgrade to a French Balcony. I don't think I would do that again. We will be happy with just a large window. What did you book for a room on this cruise? Also what is the best month to cruise? It can be very hot in Portugal in the summer.. Thanks for your input..

I booked cat.d which is a 150 sq.ft. french balcony but plan to upgrade to the 165 sq. ft. balcony. There does not appear to be any of the single (aquarium) rooms on the Douro Spirit.

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There were 67 of us who did both cruises and most agreed, food on the Venture was much better. (Service was better but we attributed that to serving 40 less passengers -- 130 vs 170.)

 

pbnjrockette,

 

Did you notice any other differences? Did most people prefer the older, but smaller boat over the newer, larger one? Did people "mingle" more on the smaller boat?

 

Thanks,

FuelScience

 

P.S. Hope you're getting over your jet lag and sinus infection. Loved your blog!

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pbnjrockette,

 

Did you notice any other differences? Did most people prefer the older, but smaller boat over the newer, larger one? Did people "mingle" more on the smaller boat?

 

Thanks,

FuelScience

 

P.S. Hope you're getting over your jet lag and sinus infection. Loved your blog!

 

Jet lag gone (only took 5 days--lol! Still got a cough--no more plane flights for awhile...thanks for asking! :)

 

I think most of us preferred the more intimate feel of the smaller boat--it was the NEWER one. (River Venture 2013 Discovery ll 2012) For some reason the Discovery felt older even though it looked very much the same and has an elevator. Both ships were very clean. The River Venture is painted a reddish maroon color and really stands out among the river boats!!

 

The smaller lounge was easier to hear the port talks and enjoy the entertainment.

 

The fact that there were 40 more people on the Discovery made a big difference at mealtime... service was a lot slower. When we were on the Venture we sat at different tables each night and got to enjoy different servers. On the Discovery there were people who ganged up at the doorways each night to grab "their" tables (not a pretty scene). "Open" seating became push and shove. Some of the servers seems to prefer certain patrons (I assume for "tipping" purposes).

 

We are "minglers" so met a lot of people on both ships. But I remember seeing people on the last day and wondering where they had been the whole time!!

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Have been receiving some emails from Vantage World Travel. I was thinking it was a TA and did not read.

 

Found this CC forum and see that it is a Riverboat Co. - Am I correct?

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Have been receiving some emails from Vantage World Travel. I was thinking it was a TA and did not read.

 

 

 

Found this CC forum and see that it is a Riverboat Co. - Am I correct?

 

 

Sounds like it is.... Did you Google the name as it seems reasonable there could be a TA by the same name.

 

I just Googled and went to their website, it looks like a mega TA and not the same as Vantage River Cruises, but with that name they could be related.... Both websites are totally different in look and detail.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Edited by nana541

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