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Eurpoean River Cruisers...a question, or two

Eurpoean River Cruisers...a question, or two

Jun 5th, 2005, 04:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 181
Eurpoean River Cruisers...a question, or two

Our dream trip, a European river cruise is on the horizon. Need advise from Fodorite river cruisers regarding ambience and services offered by Viking and Vantage. The brochures with photos seem to paint a shipboard experience much more formal and stuffy than we would be comfortable with. Is coat and tie(suit)(me),and dress with heels(BH) required when dining on board ship?
jimmyk64 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
We did a river cruise down the Rhone River on the MS Cezanne which we booked thru Elegant Cruises..

Men did wear coats and ties to dinner and women wore pantsuits or dresses-but NOT cocktail..No formal wear is needed.
This is only done for dinner- all other meals are casual...

There is really nothing to do at nite except to listening to piano in the lounge..more of a see the area type cruise than a heavy entertainment type cruise- if you catch my drift.

We had lots of Europeans on the cruise and it was a lot of fun...
andy is offline  
Jun 7th, 2005, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 510
We have traveled on three river cruises;

Two with UniWorld (=Viking) and one with GrandCircle. We love them.

I don't remember anything but casual dress on any of the trips.

We are going on Vantage 7/7 they sort of suggest that a coat would be nice for the Welcome and Fairwell dinners. No Tie.

The atmosphere is very relaxed and fun. The land tours have all been excellent. :-B
ed is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I've taken a couple of Viking cruises and didn't find them "stuffy" at all. Of course I am over 50, and I like the relaxed atmosphere. If you are younger you might think it is too laid-back (stuffy??). As for dress on Viking, I think the brochures make it look more formal than it really is. Most of the time there were very few men with jackets even at dinner, and women wore mainly slacks and pants suits or casual skirts/dresses. The Captain's Reception is suggested to be coat and tie, and many (not all) men wore a jacket but very few had a tie. I can't speak about Vantage. I booked with Cruise Muse and I recommend this agency for river cruises. Email me and I'll be happy to tell you how to contact. Sue ([email protected])
sueswny is offline  
Jun 16th, 2005, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 41
I took Viking's danube river cruise. Beautiful. Relaxing.
I do want to point out that this cruise's pasengers were mostly senior citizens. I went with my mother (71) but I still loved every minute of it.
manenita is offline  
Jun 19th, 2005, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 34
My husband and I went on a Rhine River Cruise about 7 years ago. I was dating him at the time. It was a cruise through his company. I can't remember the cruiseline..but the food was EXCELLENT. Five star gourmet dining. The food was so good that people stayed on board to eat instead of going on shore to eat. I would love to take my parents on that cruiseline next summer. The rooms were very nice with kingsize beds and were very roomy for a small ship. Does this sound like Viking or Uniworld? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!
Azoria is offline  
Jun 19th, 2005, 05:16 PM
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I am studying this very subject myself. Viking cruises is a cruise line. Uniworld and Vantage are cruise brokers who sell viking cruises. There used to be a company called KD but I read Viking had bought them. the other option is Peter Deilmann cruises, but it is a more German line. At least that`s the way I understand it. I am more comcerned about which river to sail, the Rhine, Mosel, or Danube and the ship, than the company to go through.
pat is offline  
Jun 19th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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I'm looking into a European River cruise for next summer, but the prices seem to be a little high. I looked at the France & Netherlands 7-day cruises, and they run a litte over $300 per night per person, not including air. I'm thinking for $600 a day I could do much better on my own.
Budman is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Look at Grand Circle Tours river cruises--\considerably less expensive.
Underhill is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14
I have not taken any Vantage or Viking river cruises, but have taken Peter Dielman and Globus/Avalon Waterways. Dielman is top notch but a little more expensive, Glubus's ships are all new - oldest if 2004 and caters to English speaking passengers. Recently returned from a Budapest to Prague cruise Nov. 2005. Crew was fantastic, complimentary wine with dinner, standard staterooms are all 172 sq. feet, compared to about 90 sq. feet with Viking and Grand Circle. Open seating, no formal nights, just something nicer for farewell dinner. Had a marvelous time and sorry they don;t have anything going to Russia right now. You may want to check them out.
Berea is offline  
Feb 5th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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They have a new russian tour. Check the website! They will have maybe the newest ship over there.
Iceflower1 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Grand Circle's new ship, the Tikhi Don, was just totally overhauled and put into service in 2005. The cabins are now 130 - 150 square feet. We took the trip in 2004, and the cabins were much smaller and more rustic, but the trip was fantastic.
jackandann is offline  
Feb 7th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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My parents (both in their mid 70's) have taken several Vantage trips over the past 5-6 years. They absolutely loved them. They do not tend to be "formal" people. The most my dad owns is a sport jacket and my mom usually wears skirts and a nice blouse. I don't think she owns any heels.
jcasale is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Has anyone used Grand European Tours to book a rivercruise to Holland (Tulip and Windmill Tour) in Spring. Looking for reviews of this company. Also, is lower deck cabin a risk for fumes?.

haleydog is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Have been on 2 Vantage riverboat cruises. Casual dress was totally acceptable. Captain's Dinner - some people dressed up more, but it was not required or necessary. Trip fare includes airfare which makes the price pretty reasonable - be sure to insist on good routing, though, as they can sometimes run you all over the place to get you from Place A to Place B. The dining is open, so you can sit where you please with whom you please.
CruisingTheWorld is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Before you go, be sure to check the ethics of any company you are considering. For example, Grand Circle has been getting some pretty bad press lately, and was dismissed from the Better Business Bureau for bad customer relations and non responsiveness. OAT, which is a subsidy of GCT, has some problems too. Search on both and get well informed.
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,693
Here we go again! What is it with people bashing GCT? This is beginning to sound like a bad record; nearly every post mentions the Better Business Bureau thing, which is old news. My and my friends' experiences with GCT have been first rate.
Underhill is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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Probably the reason there is negative stuff about this company, or any company, is because it is founded in fact. The internet gives travellers a wide exposure to other people's experiences and opinions, and we would never travel with a company that has has much negative press as this one. Mr./Ms. Underhill, you are either very naive, or have other reasons to feel so passionate about GCT. They are only one company that does tours. If you search on "complaints against" any ocmpany, you will get a rough idea of waht is going on. We always do, whenever we go with a tour group. It is only good sense...I wouldn't want to get caught in some strange place, with things going wrong, and find that I am not in good hands, would you? Why not search on Viking, Vantage, or some of the other companies, before making up your mind? What's the harm in that?
Aug 4th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,693
The complains have mostly been claims about what or was not said by a sales agent. Since my calls to GCT have always been recorded, I suspect that in at least some cases someone didn't quite understand what was being said--particularly about refunds.

I am also inclined to take any rants on the travel sites with a large grain of salt.
Underhill is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 09:35 PM
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Sorry, not true...see "stichintime" on the frommers forum...she actually received her money credited back toher after a lenthy feud with this company. And if they 'record' conversations, they are required by law to state that 'this conversation may be monitored or recorded'...surely you knew that.

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