Founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Henry R. Lewis, Vantage Deluxe World Travel has succeeded in providing European river cruises and travel adventures to over 450,000 travelers on all seven continents, in over 80 countries. Travelers get to experience first-hand the culture of the countries they visit, including experiences like home-hosted meals, and are led by a local Program Manager. As proud sponsors of the Henry R. Lewis Foundation and many other major philanthropic efforts, Vantage Deluxe World Travel offers veterans, military family members who've lost a loved one and victims or first responders to the Boston Marathon bombing the chance to travel for free. Call Vantage Deluxe World Travel today to start your very own adventure!
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I have been on 2 Vantage trips over the past few years to France. I love Vantage, and wouldn't hesitate to book them again! The ships were beautiful and the staff was exceptional. The itineraries were wonderful, I loved all the cities we visited. The meals on board were always so good. I couldn't say one bad thing about Vantage - You will definitely be seeing me again!
We paid for steak. Vantage served hamburger. While it was not Vantage's fault that low water on the Rhine cased the first week of our two week cruise to turn into a bus tour, it was Vantage's fault in how they incompetently coped with the crisis. Vantage staff lied in telling me there was no problem when I called them 3 days before departure and asked if there was a low water problem. When, less than 24 hours before departure, Vantage called & told me that half the cruise would be turned into a bus trip, I said I wanted to utilize Vantage's (expensive) trip cancellation insurance and rescheduled the same trip for next year, Vantage said they would transfer the $7,000+ paid for this year to next year's trip and then I would have to pay an additional $6,000+ to make the change. But the biggest mess Vantage made was the way they adjusted to conversion from ship to bus travel.
They stuck us in a second rate hotel in Basel, one of the most boring cites in the world for tourists, for 5 nights. Double rooms in the hotel were smaller than the single cabins on the ship and lacking in amenities. Every day they sent us out by bus from Basel, the scheduled start of the cruise to the ports we were missing. On the sixth day, we had an 11-12 hour bus trip to Koblenz to finally meet the ship. The length of the daily bus rides would have been reduced by as much as four hours if Vantage had put us up in Strasbourg instead of in Basel, and we would have been located in a major tourist center rather than in a backwater (Basel). Because Vantage chose to house us in the most inconvenient possible location for the trip, we wasted so much time in bus rides that a large number of scheduled events had to be canceled - instead of seeing the promised sights, we were riding a bus.
Called Nov 29 to Vantage to make reservation for the special that expired on Nov 30 with free air. Their website was on "maintenance" during work week. Paid deposit, was told that in May the price will be the same and they will call me. I called them the next day 3 times and every time they promised to "call me in 20 minutes" and never did. Finally I called to Mira at 6 pm, prices are not there, supervisors are not available. This company is a total waste of time.
This week I put a deposit down on a trip and was told that I had 24 hours to cancel and my deposit would be returned. During that time I tried to call Vantage to ask some questions and was put on hold for half an hour. I couldn't wait any longer so I tried later. Same problem. At that point I decided to cancel my trip because of poor customer service. It isn't enough to tell them you want to cancel on the phone. They tell you you must follow up with e-mail which I did and then I received an e-mail back saying I had to send the e-mail to a different address than one than I was told. Then I received an e-mail saying I had to talk to a specialist before my request could be processed. The specialist hasn't returned my 2 phone calls. At the time I asked for the refund I was told it would take 30 days. I will never choose them for travel.
No agent outside of baggage claim to greet us upon arrival as promised. Spent almost an hour trying to find agent that was busy dealing with another issue for a departure instead of being available for us arrivals. Agent confirmed that we did go to the right location and they should have been present. Horrible sewage smell in our room and bathroom from day one for the entire trip. Addressed issue for multiple days and every time had to check in instead of being told anything. Was never given an answer of what is wrong or a resolution. Had to cover up the all drains in the bathroom with a wet towel and spray deodorizer every time we went in the bathroom to help cover up the smell for our entire trip. Talking with fellow passengers they also had this problem.
My luggage was lost overnight over a 12 hour period after being pick up by Vantage staff when our cruise was turned from a river cruise into a land tour. I did not receive my luggage until the following morning about 1 hour before we where schedule to depart by bus for our tour for the day almost causing me to miss the days adventures after a sleepless night of worry. I understand you have no control the low river levels however notice and planning ahead of time was very poor after looking at your competition such as Viking that gave notice to their passengers even before their trip started would have been a much better approach. I even checked in with you before our trip started after seeing multiple issues with other river cruise lines on social media and was advised in writing and verbally that you expected the trip to be as normal.
On March 11, we booked a river cruise with Vantage. My husband upgraded us to Premium economy class telling the agent I had a bone disease and needed to be on the aisle to allow me to get up often to stretch. However going over and back I was not on the aisle and people slept while on the aisle. When I complained to Lufthansa, I was told Vantage got at least two reminders to pay the airfare. When they did not, my seat was cancelled. Two days later, Vantage rebooked and because the time was late, I did not get an aisle seat. We paid $1,300 EACH for the upgrade. After getting details from the airline, I contacted Vantage only to be told they cannot guarantee any requests. Then when I gave them dates and time frames that were missed, I was told I had no idea what their contract with the airline states.
Again, I called the airline only to be told they did have a contract to be paid by a certain date. Therefore, they cancelled my request. When the flight was booked two days later, Vantage not only had to pay more money. But I did not get my aisle seat. Vantage refuses to take responsibility for their mistake and offered me a $250 credit on another cruise. I absolutely will not step foot on a Vantage cruise again. I have contacted two other cruise lines and asked of their policy in booking airfares. They even offered to send their policy in writing. Do not book with Vantage. There are many others that want your business and repeat business.
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My husband and I recently returned from one of the best trips we have ever taken. After reading all the negative reviews and some issues I had with the travel department, I was a little apprehensive. My issues with the travel department were worked out to my satisfaction. Every aspect of our trip, from being met at the airport upon arrival to delivering us back to the airport on the final day, was handled professionally.
This trip exceeded all my expectations. The activities included game drives on land at every park as well as a walking tour. Some were early morning or late afternoon. Some were half day and some full day. It included a river tour on a big party boat with lunch, a photo safari with a professional photographer and an evening sunset cruise followed by an elegant dinner in the bush. This trip was more than just an African Safari. Visiting a school that is supported by Vantage and a home hosted dinner gave us insight into the African culture. Seeing Victoria Falls gave us an appreciation into the beauty of the continent.
Being the dry season, we did not experience any infestation of bugs. All the hotels were clean and comfortable. The Hwange Lodge was a little less favorable as it needs serious updating but the property on which it is located made up for the lesser accommodations. I was disappointed that we did not get the tented camp experience in Hwange but sometimes things are not always perfect.
Our tour director, Deirdre, was always concerned about our comfort and always told us what to expect weather wise to ensure we were comfortable. She has an amazing knowledge of the animals and birds we saw along the way and fully complemented all the local safari tour guides/drivers. I also appreciated that all the gratuities were included. We did not need to carry around cash to tip each guide individually. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants a complete experience of all that the area has to offer. I would have no hesitation to take another tour with Vantage.
My husband and I were supposed to take Vantage's "Croatia and Pearls of the Adriatic Coast" trip in April 2018. When we arrived at the BWI airport we were told our flight was delayed and we would miss our connection from Toronto to Munich. I immediately called the number Vantage provided in case you miss your flight. I was told that they couldn't do anything to expedite alternate flight arrangements; once the flights are booked, it's the responsibility of the airline. After continued flight delays and cancellations the best the airline could do was to get us on an evening flight the next day to get us to Zagreb via Frankfurt after a 10 hour layover in that city. That meant we would miss 2 days of trip arriving totally exhausted.
Instead of going to Croatia, we went home late that night at which point I emailed Vantage to let them know we cancelled. In total I called Vantage 3 times from the airport. The only "help" they gave was to ask if we had the name and address of the hotel in Zagreb because most likely no one would be at the airport to meet us and just email Vantage to let them know when we finally know our arrangements. Vantage doesn't monitor the airlines nor did they suggest we might have better flight arrangements from another airport. My question: Why use a tour operator if they are not assisting and taking care of you? In fairness, I must say we went to Patagonia with Vantage in October, 2016, an entirely different experience - everything was wonderful. Of course there were no unexpected problems. Therefore the one star.
I had booked a trip to Cuba. When the State Dept. said that Americans should not travel to Cuba, I canceled. I had the Vantage sold Trip Mate cancel for any reason insurance, which I bought over the phone. Big mistake. Vantage said I'd have to deal with Trip Mate on my own, and they were next to impossible to contact by phone. After many email and calls to both companies, I received a partial refund from Vantage, and a travel voucher from Trip Mate. My cancel for any reason did not accept my reason. I was told that the cancel for any reason only gave refunds if the REASON was on the list. My problem is that I didn't have the leaflet from Trip Mate when I bought their policy from Vantage.
I should never have paid without a full explanation of how the insurance worked. Evidently, the State Department saying that Americans should not travel to Cuba was not a sufficient reason, merely because it wasn't on their list. I have written letters to both companies, the State Department and my representatives in Washington and have heard from no one, except the denials from Vantage and Trip Mate. This was done with ample time before the trip, and I sent all documentation requested. Evidently there is no recourse for consumers with these 2 companies, I either have to absorb the loss, or take a trip with a company that has not treated me well. Within a year. Not much of a choice.
I've taken more than 12 trips with Vantage and I am altogether happy with the experiences. I've cruised all the major rivers of Europe, plus the Norwegian Coastal Cruise. Later this year, I'm cruising the Baltic Sea. The Vantage employees - ship's officers and crews, Tour Directors, City Guides, etc. - have been universally excellent.
I booked the "Best of Africa", which is supposed to be an Africa Safari trip, and have pre-paid $5,699 for the trip already. Even before I take the trip, which is scheduled for March 22nd- April 6th, 2018, I already know I have been scammed by Vantage Travel!!! I, like most fellow Americans, want to go to Africa for the Safari experience. From that perspective, no one in his right mind, would spend $6,800 to buy a business class ticket, to go to Africa to visit local schools. But THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT VANTAGE TRAVEL PUT IN THEIR ITINERARY!!! WHAT A SCAM!!!
If you want to take a real safari tour, that is $295 per person extra for a 4 hour morning tour, NOT IN THEIR ORGANIZED ITINERARY, but is an OPTIONAL TOUR. By now, I don't have to spill beans, you should have already got the full picture of the scams! I have decided to cancel my Africa Safari trip and get full refund from Vantage Travel. Unfortunately, I purchased business class airfare separately, which is un-refundable. I demand that Vantage Travel refund my round trip business class airfare. I can tell this is going to be a long-drawn legal battle with Vantage Travel. My message to all tourists is BEWARE OF Vantage Travel, THE SCAMMER!
This Vantage trip was advertised as Deluxe cruising on a Yacht. We began with an overnight stay in Edinburgh at the Leonardo Royal Hotel. It was not suited to our large group - minimal lobby space, crowded dining area that we shared with other groups for our first dinner & non-existent bellhops. The ship we then boarded was the Variety Voyager which looked like a yacht but was very basic inside. Overall the ship looked weary & many things did not function properly. Very few of the crew spoke English & each morning the maître d' & omelet chef argued loudly (in Greek) across the entrance to the dining room. The food was basic Greek diner fare & not gourmet in any way except the descriptions on the menu. Outside the decks were often strewn with ropes & gear that was not stowed properly. We sometimes exited the ship on rubber rafts (Zodiacs). The ship's crew had little understanding of the safety measures for such an operation.
On one return trip they loaded 20 folks into the raft with one driver (not English speaking) & we headed out into the bay in choppy seas to re-board the ship. All very unsafe in my estimation & only luck prevented a disaster. The trip was advertised as requiring a high degree of mobility yet a large portion of the guests were handicap in some way. One lady said she was told that there was an elevator onboard & indeed there was but we were told it was for the kitchen staff & not for guests. The handicapped guests were troopers but it changed the entire experience for those expecting more adventure. My biggest disappointment was that we missed 3 ports of call. The one in particular - Iona - was why I was willing to pay the high price for the trip.
The captain & Vantage tour director made the decision to skip Iona, Barra & Stornoway. Yet, we later discovered, that earlier trips in the season did make those stops even in rough seas. Another issue was that we only had 1 cruise director for 60 travelers. Although she did her best, the job of minding all the guests, organizing replacements for the missed ports of call, checking travel plans, being our only source of history, geography, etc. of the places visited & more, was too much for her. I have taken many small ship cruises (some in rough seas) & so can honestly make judgments on this trip. There is so much more to share about my dissatisfaction with the trip but simply writing this is making me recall a very unhappy travel experience. Vantage brochures go directly from my mailbox & into the trash can in the garage.
Very Dissatisfied with 2 of the Tour Lodgings - My wife and I took Vantage's "Best of Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Namibia" tour May 4 to 19, 2017. Without exception, the guides, vehicle drivers, hotel and wait-staff, and fellow travelers on the trip were wonderful: friendly, courteous, helpful, hard-working, etc.
However, our stay at 2 locations (6 nights of the 14 nights lodging) was a nightmare!
The infestation of STINK BUGS made our lives intolerable at the Hwange Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe and the Chobe Water Villas in Namibia! It was like living in the worst bug-infested slum housing in the world (even though we were in 5-star hotels)! We had to brush our teeth and do our toiletries in the midst of thousands of bugs! I would kill 20 such bugs in the bathroom and 5 minutes later there were 20 more! You would walk on them, have them jump on the desk-tops, clothing, everything!. We took great effort to keep our canopied bed curtained-in to avoid them, but a few still found their way into joining us on our bed at night!
As for our great meals in the hotel restaurants: the STINK Bugs would be crawling all over our tables and even getting into our food! I had one plop into my glass of coke and not realizing it until I found something solid in my mouth and my did it taste bad! After that I would have to keep my glass of beverages covered until I drank. However, it happened again to me days later at Chobe where I had left the glass uncovered for a brief moment! Echh! This is not what one should expect after paying Vantage a great deal of money for a luxurious vacation!!! These lovely hotels had no right to accept guests under such conditions! If Vantage had informed us that we might have to live 6 nights of our trip like that, we never would have booked the trip!
A few friends and I have traveled on the River Voyager and have loved it. The staff is excellent and very caring. The boat is beautiful. The itineraries are great, and the food is wonderful. I'm sorry some people have had bad experiences, but my friends and I can't say enough good things about Vantage. Our most recent trip was the Rhine and Moselle from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland in May of 2017. The one from 2016 was Castles, Cathedrals, and Fairy Tales from Budapest to Germany. Just the sights you see from the boat are beautiful, but then going out to visit so many different towns is wonderful. We love Vantage and look forward to more exciting cruises with them in the future. The optional tours are worth purchasing too.
The service these people give is barely there. They seem to specialize on Seniors pushing eighty, which makes it far worse in my eyes. They lie, lie, lie, tell you that you have a certain cabin on a ship, when you arrive they don't even know where to put you. If you are stupid enough to take multiple trips with them, then you are "upgraded" which means you get a little better than horrible treatment. Do not bother to try to call them on the phone with a problem because their answer is to curtly tell you to go online under your trip number and tell the computer. Going Vantage is asking for the worst vacation or trip of a lifetime.
Stay away from Vantage Travel. It's their own fault and lack of customer service. Our Cuba cruise cancelled for the second time - just three days before our flight. Not even a phone call, just an email to "call us" - and now we're told our refund may come back in "up to 30 days" at their discretion. There was no Vantage "Deluxe" treatment in this cancellation process, just lies and disappointment.
Yes, it is resolved. Faith of Vantage Travel called and explained the situation.
In June 2016 my friend and I signed up for a Portugal River Cruise for this Sept. 2017. I chose Cabin 113 and it appeared on our "My Portfolio" up until last week when it was changed to Cabin 115. I did not choose that cabin as it is next to the crew quarters and noisy. This is my 20th trip with Vantage and I have always been satisfied. I have spoken to three different representatives and all I get is a runaround as to why it was changed. Now I am waiting 48 hours for Faith, the supervisor, to call. I don't have much hope with Faith as she has been mentioned in other complaints as doing nothing. After 20 trips with Vantage you would think I would get an upgrade but no. However I do want the cabin that I requested. What is happening with Vantage? I don't see a trip #21 in my future.
In January of 2017 I paid $1300 as a deposit to Vantage for a May 15 trip to Iran. The total cost of the trip was upwards of $7000. In early February a friend who was going to Iran in April with Road Scholar was told by them that their April and May trips had been cancelled due to President Trump's ban on Iran causing Iran to refuse to issue the necessary visas to get into the country. Also, the turnaround time to receive a visa was 90 days according to Road Scholar even in the best of conditions. I started calling Vantage to see what they were doing about my May 15 trip and the other April and May trips they had listed on their website. The information I received from all, was that "we are going" so please pay the remaining $5500 you owe which I did.
As of March 13, I still am not getting any honest answers. Indeed, a young man hung up on me this morning when I called again to find out why the April 3 and April 10 trips were no longer listed on their website. I expect the reason is they were cancelled although there is no notice of that anywhere. When I suggested to him that other travel agencies - and indeed even reputable websites - had confirmed that Iran was not issuing visas or giving the necessary authorization code at least until fall, the answer was - "so what does that have to do with Vantage?" , it has a lot to do with Vantage if Road Scholar and several other reputable travel agencies cannot get visas either. I have traveled with Vantage before but NEVER AGAIN. At least in this case, they have been dishonest, rude, and greedy.
This was to be the trip of a lifetime. My friend and I booked a 5 week cruise through SE Asia (Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) eleven months in advance. We were in constant contact with the cruise line as to cabin choices (we booked a suite but had to change to an A1 cabin so we could have twin beds) and in March received our confirmed cabin assignments on both river boats.
Paid the $18,000 in full in October, 2016; received "final" documentation on December 9th for my December 31 departure. December 14th I receive a call from "Dennis" saying the trip was over booked and we were out as we were the last to reserve (???). He offered us the choice to take the trip in 2018 or any other Vantage tour in 2017 plus $1000 voucher for another trip.
In June, 2016 I called Vantage to inquire if another couple could join us on the trip and was assured there "was plenty of room" for a reservation. If I wanted to go anywhere else, I would. I have been planning this for 11 months, I don't know if I will be able to go in 2018. I have spent a lot of $$ on visas, clothes, transportation to LAX, medical appointments for all the shots and prescriptions recommended for that area of the world.
I have traveled on several other cruise lines in the past and each knew what their cabin itinerary was at any given moment. None of this, "All cruise lines overbook" excuses. When I asked for a full refund, the new Customer Service agent, Scott **, said that they had procedures and protocols in place and it would take 30 days to receive a refund. At 35 days, I called back and found that my refund had been coded as "canceled by customer, no refund". It is now 45 days and I have received my refund... but no consideration for all the other expenses. I would NOT recommend this company for any cruise and if you are booked -- be careful, you can't cancel or change your plans without penalty, they sure can.
My experience: I booked and paid in full (via auto debit from my checking account over the phone- funds received by Vantage in about 2 days) for a Travelzoo special on a Danube cruise for April 2017. I was notified a month later, at the end of October, that my cruise had been cancelled because the ship will be in for repair. I was then told that I had the choice of either taking the same cruise a YEAR later in April 2018 or receive $250 pp toward a different cruise. At first, I thought maybe I could wait a whole 18 months to take my vacation. Later, I realized that waiting for vacation that long is just not acceptable. I decided to see if Vantage could get me on a different cruise for about the same price for the same YEAR as the cancelled cruise. I was assured by the representative that I should be able to find another special that would be comparable in price to my original booking and that I should check on their website.
A few days later my husband called and asked about several other cruises. All were sold out or substantially more expensive than the Travelzoo special even with the $250 pp credit. I then requested a refund. I was first notified about the cruise cancellation at the end of October. It is now approaching the end of November, and I still have not received my refund. According to the Vantage Deluxe World Travel Tour Participation Agreement, "If the tour is canceled by Vantage for any reason, Vantage shall have no liability beyond the PROMPT refund of all tour participants payments received by it." Note the word "prompt". The dictionary definition of the word prompt is "done, performed, delivered, etc., at once or without delay." I have now experienced an almost month long delay to receive a refund. This is not what I call care or meeting one's legal obligations.
I am not a bank, and I do not issue loans. However Vantage Deluxe World Travel seems to think I am. They have now used my money for about 2 months, all interest free. It did not take 30 days for Vantage to receive payment for a cruise that they cannot provide to me. It took them 2 days. I think I am entitled to the same time consideration in getting my money back. My advice to anyone considering a seemingly great deal on a Vantage cruise is to heed the saying, "if something seems to good to be true, it usually is". Know that you may have your money taken from you for 2 months or longer, and that you may or may not get what you thought you paid for using your hard earned money.
We signed up for the "Great Lakes Tour" for June 2017. The tour was supposed to start in Montreal, a place I wanted to explore and was new to me. We get a message to call Dennis at Vantage. "Oh so sorry, we are starting the tour in Toronto instead. TORONTO is not Montreal! Apparently, it is not their fault since they do not own the cruise ship. (I am from Niagara Falls so I have spent a lot of time in Toronto.) No upgrade of cabin--absolutely nothing offered for this change. Isn't this a bait and switch?
Updated on 11/23/2016: My husband called Vantage and explained how we felt cheated and Dennis agreed to comp the pre-trip to Toronto and to upgrade the cabin to a B. Apparently there are others who a very upset about the itinerary changes.
In July of 2016 I booked a trip to India to join a group of friends who had already booked on the same trip earlier. I spent around $14k in this trip including airfare and a travel protection plan. After booking I called to inquire about visa requirements but their customer service rep had no knowledge of visa and referred me to their partner for that matter GenVisa who were not very helpful either in providing information about the requirements, options, etc. They limited their information to what THEY required for the processing of visa which included sending them my passport which they will return with the visa and that I needed to pay their fee for it plus an additional fee for expediting it. Because I did not feel comfortable sending out my passport I searched the internet for other options and found that you can get a e-tourist visa via email and for a very reasonable price - less than half of what GenVisa was charging and so I got it.
My trip included a pre-trip to Nepal but Vantage flew us to Delhi and flew us back to Nepal the following morning and stayed there for 4 days and then flew us back to Delhi. And that is when my nightmare began. Since I had already entered Delhi once, they did not accept my visa again for a re-entry therefore I was held back in Immigration, treated not as a tourist but as a non-grate individual, was not allowed to access my luggage, was asked to make travel arrangements to leave the country and NOBODY FROM VANTAGE offered to help in any way. I remained there in a holding area throughout the night and was released to the gates area the following morning to take the plane back home after just 5 days of a 26 days trip.
To this day, almost a month later, I have not received any call or letter from Vantage acknowledging the situation and/or refund of my money. I have sent multiple communications with no response for which I have started lawsuit process. Vantage, as the Tour Operator should have been responsible for ensuring that travelers have the accurate documentation to travel and that nothing will get in the way for a memorable experience specially with such high priced tours...on the contrary they are totally hands off and are not there for you when something goes wrong. NO CUSTOMER FOCUS. I DO NOT recommend Vantage to anyone. There are way much more better alternatives...that I have used in the past.
More than pleasantly surprised with Vantage. We had been on Viking for 2 wks in May 2016 and I honestly liked Vantage better. One of the biggest differences was Vantage had on board entertainment nightly and if not entertainers, then group games that were fun. The staff was just the friendliest bunch and our tour guide Ava was top notch. It was one of my most relaxing enjoyable trips and it helped that the weather was outstanding. I would highly recommend trying them.
Worst company... booked to leave today lax to china, had a flight delay. Faith **, customer service manager, did nothing to accommodate us. This is my moms 8th trip and the last with this company!! We will not miss our first day of our tour... 12k spent, not worth it.
River cruise Bonn to Budapest. First off I'd like to say that the crew and ship were magnificent. The company is the pits. Two weeks before a trip we paid for over a year ahead, we were informed that our cabin was downgraded due to overbooking. We found that to be not the whole story. They had a group sign up and demanded 10 cabins next to each other. Their gratuity process is a sham. They pre-charge your account 17e per day per person with the promise that all of it is evenly divided with the 47 members of the crew. That means each gets about a $1000 tip for 15 days. Not true. I asked one how much he gets. $500, about the same as his salary. I cannot get an answer to "Where does the rest go to"? I think the rest pays their salaries. It's another way to give the company more money.
The engine failed on the fourth day of the cruise, and the cruise became a series of busing from the docked ship to destinations 3-7 hours per day in an attempt by Vantage to satisfy the scheduled itinerary creating mass confusion on a daily basis. Instead of leisurely daily tours visiting towns for 8 hours, the bus trip left 1-2 hours of touring. Many of the elderly passengers could not make the bus trips. Vantage management during this period was conspicuously silent except for a few insulting memos. Since our return their efforts to compensate have been unacceptable. I would definitely not recommend Vantage. They had no emergency plan to effectively handle situation and to compensate for the disaster. As a result there are 174 furious passengers.
What should happen when things don't go right on a cruise? We recently booked a river cruise with Vantage on their latest and newest vessel. The River Voyager launched on April 26, 2016, its first themed ship highlighting jazz music. Why then would this ship, well past shakedown, fail with the bow thruster going out of service into the 6th of a 15-day cruise on July 13, 2016? Was it human error or some other cause? And how should Vantage have performed in light of this development?
As things stand today no reasonable compensation has been offered. Vantage's immediate reaction was to make a 15-day river cruise into a bus excursion, something too horrendous to even consider and yet they went ahead notwithstanding the complaints and criticism of most passengers. To those who wanted to leave then and there, nothing was offered in the way of a refund, not then, and not now. How safe is this vessel for any future river cruise? Can it happen again? Up to this time passengers have been to stunned to respond; but I feel that will change in the near future as more of the 170 plus on that ill-fated adventure begin to speak out and demand compensation.
There are many precedents as to what others lines have done in similar circumstances, why does Vantage feel this is not appropriate? River cruising should be a very pleasurable means of sightseeing and while weather can cause problems, the failure of a tested ship is not what one anticipates when the Vantage ad reads: The Best Value in Deluxe Travel Guaranteed!
I just got back from a river cruise on the Danube. My experience with Vantage had been a delight: the Cruise Director and the rest of the crew to the ship captain. This trip was a total disaster; the ship engine had to be replaced and Vantage did not inform us until we were on board. I was not given any compensation. The only thing I got was insulting letter stating that continue on buses for the rest of the trip. I was given a choice of accepting $250 and go on the bus or go home without any reimbursement. I would not recommend this company to anyone.
On May 30, 2011 my father paid Vantage Deluxe World Travel $11,446. for a trip to begin August 31, 2011 for my mother and him. On July 21, 2011 he orally canceled this trip and then confirmed the cancellation in writing on July 26, because of a bad turn of health. He had purchased a Travel Protection Plan. He was supposed to contact Trip Mate regarding his cancellation. My father filled out or had his doctor fill out all of the required forms as to why he medically was unable to take the trip. Trip Mate asked for additional information and on August 18, 2011 denied his claim.
Sadly, my father's health had seriously deteriorated. He died August 1, 2013. He left all of his many letters, documentation, post office receipts, etc. in a file for me. He wrote to the Attorney General of Massachusetts and also Mr. Henry Lewis (the CEO of Vantage), all to no avail. Obviously his medical condition was such that he should have been able to use his Travel Protection Plan. My family is still owed $8,368.90, not including interest. This is disgraceful. My recommendation is that you never use or trust Vantage Deluxe World Travel.
We went on the "Best of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence" cruise March 14-25, 2016. This was our second cruise with Vantage. It was a decent cruise with one major caveat, we had no hot water (except sporadically like 3:00 AM). We had to settle for sponge baths because was the water wasn't just cold it was ice cold. I complained to the cruise director numerous times and was told they were working on it and it wouldn't be long. Well it went for the entire 11 day cruise and to my understanding several days into the following one.
Upon returning I contacted Vantage and asked for Henry **. His representative said he does not talk to customers. He told her to give them $250 and have them sign a release. There were three couples of us. I told his representative that this was an insult, unreasonable and unacceptable. The cheap cape, Henry ** refused to talk to any of us and said this was their final offer. To make matters worse and show their lack of concern, they offered the exact same cruise in May for $1000 less, also including free airfare.
Several weeks later I got a letter from Vantage apologizing as if they and never been in contact with me. This time they offered give us 50% off a few (very few) select (undesirable) dates but there would be no reduced airfare or past credits allowed, again we had to sign a release. This was absolutely not a good deal, actually costing more than the one we took. I only wrote this review to inform fellow travelers of the people (or person) that is running Vantage Cruise Lines.
As an avid traveler, I have taken at least three tours or cruises with Vantage Deluxe World Travel, without ever canceling a trip including a fourth coming up soon, but I will book no more trips in future because of their stingy cancellation policy. After spending about $35,000 with Vantage trips in the past four/five years, I recently tried to cancel a booking, made only a week earlier, for my daughter on an upcoming trip and requested to have the $500 deposit returned to my CC, only to find out how tight-fisted Vantage is when trying to get a small, simple refund.
I have received several emails from Vantage (none from the same person), explaining how to get a refund or cancel a trip, but after nearly three weeks of trying, not even a promised partial refund was returned to my CC, nor do it appears Vantage gives a hoot if my deposit is ever returned, since the refund request is shuttled around with no one person to follow up and get it done. When booking a trip, it takes any Vantage employee only a nanosecond to charge my CC, but what a hassle trying to get a small down payment returned or partially refunded. Returns don't seem to be high on the priority list. I hope I'm wrong about that. I have not given up on trying to get my hard-earned money returned, but have given up on doing any more business from Vantage.
Vantage Deluxe World Travel expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Vantage Deluxe World Travel was established in 1983 when it started offering affordable deluxe travel to select groups, like teachers unions and alumni associations. Since then, the company has escorted almost half a million travelers all around the world.
Trip options: Vantage has a wide variety of destinations and activities for travelers to choose from, including Canada, Europe, Russia, China, Latin America, and Africa. Travels can go on river cruises, small ship cruises and/or land tours.
SmartPay discounts: When individuals pay for their trip in full in advance of their travel date, they receive a discount. Travelers who pay 15 or more months in advance receive a 12 percent discount.
Single travelers: Those traveling alone can receive special supplements or roommate discounts when they book select cruises with Vantage. The staff also works to create a friendly environment, helping solo travelers make connections with other guests and locals.
Loyalty rewards: Vantage rewards those who travel with them multiple times. After customers’ first trip, they receive a five percent credit for future trips, and after three trips with Vantage, customers receive free upgrades and special onboard discounts on cruises.
Theme trips: Those with special interests can take one of Vantage’s special themed trips. Special interest options include wine and beer themed tours, nature tours, music, art and culture tours, religious tours and more.
Best for: Vantage Deluxe World Travel is best for world travelers, frequent travelers, groups and solo travelers.
Vantage Deluxe World Travel Company Information
- Company Name:
- Vantage Deluxe World Travel
- Year Founded:
- 90 Canal Street #100
- Postal Code:
- United States