Vantage Cruise Lines

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What was your experience with this cruise line?

We have traveled with Vantage Deluxe Travel on 4 river cruises and found them to be excellent. We are travelling with them again this May.

We have traveled with Vantage about 6 times and would go back in a heart beat; in fact we are on a trip (now, having to cancel it due to the pandemic) next year; we've been to The Netherlands (2002), the Eastern Danube (but suggest you don't do this river area on your first river cruise), the Douro River in Portugal, the Rhone River in southern France, Moscow to St. Petersburg (fabulous and it should be better now that they don't use the ship we were on) and a Land/Sea Cruise (32 of us) in Slovenia and Croatia (one of our favorite trips of all time). We've also been with Uniworld (they are very good but more expensive) and Tauck ( they too are very good but very expensive) and Blount Small Ship river cruise on the St. Lawrence River/Oswego Canal/Erie Canal/Hudson River and through NYC, ending in Warren RI--this is a great river cruise on a not so special ship, but a fabulous itinerary. Since not many river cruise companies go on the Dnieper or Elbe rivers, we are going with Viking this fall; haven't been on Viking but have heard they are very good, but they are a little more expensive than Vantage and their boats are large (200 persons +/-)

I'm glad that there is someone who would travel with Vantage "in a heartbeat;" however, after having the scales removed from my eyes based on Vantage's actions, I see the company in a far different light. Those who would travel with them "in a heartbeat" would do well to consider my experience, and that is after THREE previous trips with the Company.

I've detailed my experiences in a rather lengthy letter which was published in the print ITN in the June issue ( it covered over a full page ), so I invite all to read the full-length chronology of my unfortunate experiences. Briefly, I found the Company to be duplicitous, at best having given me misinformation and at worst lying to me. And this is to say nothing about refusing to return my money after THEY cancelled a trip. But you can read all about it in the June ITN issue. And, I'm not alone; there's another letter also published in the same issue. And everyone should know that David Tykol, being the impartial journalist, forwarded my letter as well as that of the other complainant to Vantage for their response, and has received none (Editor Tykol's note that he sent my letter to Vantage along with that of ANOTHER Vantage client with a similar experience on April 21, 2021, to which Vantage has not relied ). And that failure should also send a message to those who would travel with them :in a heartbeat." Apparently Vantage cares little about how their actions affect customers and really doesn't care whether a couple of "disgruntled" customers don't travel with them again; Vantage has our money and that's all Vantage cares about.

Briefly, I feel Vantage lied to us about the reason why the cancelled a trip we had booked in two successive years, and then lied to us that the trip was scheduled for 2021 in order to get us NOT to request our money back after they were forced to cancel the trip yet a THIRD time; but this time it wasn't their fault. The third cancellation was due to COVID. But us wanting to take the trip agreed to for a now FOURTH time, roll the trip over to 2021. They even gave us dates for 2021. But when we received nothing from them, we were subsequently told the trip didn't exist and we weren't going to get our money back. This is only a short synopsis of what transpired. And it should be noted that the Massachusetts Attorney General was just about as helpful as Vantage, despite the fact that that office exists to provide the assistance in matters such as that.

We're through with Vantage. As a company, they have demonstrated that they are not trustworthy, and we cannot give our money to such a company that won't stand behind what they do. So, please forgive me by saying that I'd never again travel with Vantage "in a heartbeat." And those of you who think otherwise, take heed. Our experiences represent what the Company policies are and what others should expect they will similarly be if THEY are placed in similar circumstances. When everything goes according to plan, there are few, if any complaints. It's when things go south that clients need to know that Company will take steps to make them whole. Apparently Vantage will not do that.

I agree with previous writer: Vantage is not user friendly. We had a rude cruise director who I refused to tip. And I complained about him to Vantage. They GAVE him my email so he could send me a scathing letter. Unforgiveable. I would never use them again.

I sympathize with nancymcafee123 a out rude/unsophisticated/poorly prepared, or just downright lazy program directors. WE've all had them; I've had one or two. It happens and usually the company makes the necessary adjustment. But her comment goes beyond the pale; by forwarding a customer complaint to the subject why that is just suggesting a vitriolic reply. However, coming from Vantage, it is no surprise. Vantage is a cavalier company, thinking it has absolutely no obligation to a customer no matter what it does. Witness my post above and also my quite detailed letter that appeared in the June ITN. Please make not of the fact that although the complaint was communicated to Vantage by the ITN editor, as of this date, the Company has made no reply. Not even caring to reply to an allegation should tell even the most trusting that the Company simply is going to do what it wants and the customer be damned.

I just saw the comments from others on Vantage and their many shortcomings. I will say that we haven't traveled with them in several years so things may have changed since then. I will be more cautious in my recommendations in the future.

Just an update to my previous posts. After becoming frustrated in dealing with Vantage and having gotten no support from the MA Attorney General, we caved in and booked another trip with Vantage using our "travel credits" which we had already paid for a trip that had been cancelled four times previously. Of course, this trip we booked, "East Asia: Malaysia, Sri :Lanka and Beyond," was not the same trip we had originally been booked for. Vantage no longer offers that trip. But we booked this one at a considerably higher price because the alternative was simply losing our money. We paid Vantage another $8,000+ for this 'new' trip that included a side-trip to the Taj Mahal ( that had been included in the trip they no longer offer) as well as business class air. So the cost of our trip went from around $13,000 to over $27,000 for both my wife and myself. That trip was SUPPOSED to depart on 3/28/22. Well, guess what, it's not. We discovered the trip was cancelled not because Vantage either called us e-mailed us or even sent us a letter, but only because I happened to look on the web site at my invoice. The notice said they "moved" the trip to depart on 12/10/22, nearly nine months later. Their. use of the term "moved" is a clever ploy on Vantage's part to get around or to rationalize it to the MA Attorney General ( who really doesn't need much to rationalize their bad business practices, because the MA Attorney General doesn't do anything anyway), that they are not "cancelling" the trip, only "moving" it so they don't have to give us our money back. Most travel companies including cruise lines do state that itinerary changes are within their purview, but those generally apply to minor adjustments. It strains one's imagination to believe a trip moved to depart nearly nine months later is only a mere itinerary change. Well, we can't take the trip they cleverly "moved," so again,Vantage is holding our $27,000+ money. Of course, we can book the trip in 2023, for an increase in cost, so in addition to using these so-called travel credits, we're going to have to pay even more money. .