My river cruise turned into a bus trip – how about a refund?

Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock
Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock
Al Chapper’s trouble with Vantage Worldwide River Voyages isn’t just the most common river-cruise question I get. It’s the most common cruise complaint, period.

Which is why I’m thinking of mediating it.

Chapper just got off a “river” cruise of France’s Burgundy and Provence region. And I put “river” in quotes because although they followed the Saône and Rhône rivers, they were not on a ship.
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Is this any way to treat a member of the President’s Club?

Sarena Wiener thought she’d taken every precaution before embarking on her Vantage Deluxe World Travel tour of India recently. Her flight itinerary gave her plenty of time to make her connections, she had purchased travel insurance, and besides, she was a valued customer — a member of Vantage’s “President’s Club.”

What could go wrong?

Everything could go wrong, that’s what.
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Can this trip be saved? They overbooked my cruise and all I got was a refund

Beth Mann and her husband were looking forward to a European cruise they booked through Vantage Travel for months. They’d been preparing for her ports of call in Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn by reading books on Russia and the Baltics.

But then the hammer fell on their plans.

A few weeks ago, they received a call from Vantage. “Oops, we’re sorry,” a representative told them. “We overbooked.”

Never mind that they’d already paid $11,920 for cabin 246 on the MS Tolstoy. The Manns weren’t going.
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