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Live From Vantage Ocean Odyssey Mumbai to Singapore December 10, 2022


nh6mile
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You're welcome.  Not everything was perfect but some of the issues may have been caused by the home office not realizing transit times and visa requirements.  The crew and staff (somewhat shorthanded) were excellent.  We had fun.

We are scheduled to be on the same ship in August 2023 on a British Isles journey.  And we are scheduled to do Egypt with Vantage in 2024.

We like Vantage itineraries but we also travel with other travel companies and are playing catch up due to Covid.  Busy schedule in 2023 and 2024.

Happy New Year.

 

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No to mandatory covid test but we took one prior to leaving the states.  Negative.  If we were positive we would have stayed home.  Did not hear of any Covid issues while on the trip but there was lots of coughing.  Masks were optional - about 25% usage. Friends made on the trip did test positive when they got home and they wore masks the entire journey.  It's hit and miss.

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On 12/13/2022 at 12:47 PM, souschef said:

Thanks for offering to let us know how your Odyssey trip is going. We’re booked on a mid-Mar trip, so excited to hear about your experience. 

I embark in February in Australia. Anxious to learn as much as possible about cruising on the Ocean Odyssey perhaps meeting other passengers as I will be on board for five months solo. 

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Sort of.  I start w a pre-trip in Sydney then on to Darwin to embark on what are 14 back to back trips.  So I essentially am on a five month trip with overnight stops in Sri Lanka and  Egypt and I end up in Stockholm, Sweden from where I fly home in July.  Thus we will be on the same ship for awhile.  I live in Prescott, AZ 

 

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Re-posting this question on this topic thread: We are booked on the Odyssey in March, Mumbai to Dubai. We have a question for anyone who has traveled on this ship to the UAE. Vantage website indicates that a UAE visa is available upon arrival at the airport, but no mention of availability at the sea port. Fujairah is the first UAE port stop on our cruise. Does anyone have experience with getting a visa at a UAE sea port?

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Thanks for the live posts. I get a lot of advertising from them and there are several itineraries that interest us.  So I am considering giving them a second chance after our prior (pre-covid) not so good experience.
How many tour leaders are on board with you? Do you have a sense whether they plan to add any tour leaders for trips at capacity?
Does one of the tour leaders accompany each group that goes out on the tours? If so does each group also get a local guide?

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We were on miaden voyage of the Ocean Explorer, Amman to Dubai in Nov/Dec, 2022. . No visas were required at any of the ports of call or Amman airport.  We were told that the countires we were visiting wanted to bring tourism back  again after years of covid related problems.  I had researched each country"s  requirements and found that all would issue visas at the ports as well as the airport in Amman.  At the Amman airport  a Vantage rep collected our passports prior to immigartion/customs and we exited without paying for a visa. However, there were about 25 of us on the same flight so I wouldn't count on that always being the case.  The cruise director said she personally negotiated for waiver of visas for the ports. 

There were several unhappy passengers who had not only gotten  visas in advance but had thought they needed to use the visa service on the Vantage website and paid a lot of money.

In Nov, it was necessary to get the free QR code for Jordan entrance.  Some people missed flights because they hadn't gotten it prior to boarding in US.   https://www.gateway2jordan.gov.jo/

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I am going on the May 17 Rome to Barcelona and am enjoying hearing about your experiences keep them coming.  For the person asking bout air. You can get your reservations about 250 days before sailing. Note the airlines are adding and changing flights. The air department was only two people when I called.  They were pleasant and helpful. Call during the meddle of the week and plan to hold for quite some time.

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Teddybauer 

Have you gotten an India Visa yet?  A few days ago the application form only allowed entry for January and February.  It now goes beyond.  We are on back to back Singapore-Mumbai and Mumbai-Dubai starting March 5.  Our entry port for India is Port Blair (although I think nh6mil said they skipped this stop but in the opposite direction so it was not the first port). The form only lists the airport for entry.

If we skip it Cochin will be the first. Please let me know what you do. 

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I got my visa and paid little attention to where the first touchdown was to be figuring if they will let me into the country through one door they will let me in another. I couldn’t get the visa in December either as they only allowed a 60 day window but did get it without a fuss this month. Sri Lanka was harder but only because I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag and didn’t understand which city belongs to which country and Vantage doesn’t necessarily say..

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  • 1 month later...

We are also booked on the Beauty of the British Isles trip in early August.  Thanks for giving us some idea of how things are going with Vantage.  We traveled with them three times are had good luck.  These recent issues have left us skeptical.  Perhaps others will post their experiences and we can all breathe a bit more easily.

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It sounds like your changed your arrival to a day earlier and were able to book a room in the same hotel.  Did you do the hotel booking through Vantage?   My other question is, if you booked your airfare through Vantage, I thought they took care of your transfers between the airport and hotel.  Is that not true if you create a variance in flights?  Thanks again.

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Just received another email about the cruise along the Adriatic Coast...I really want to do this cruise but am so skeptical of Vantage's recent customer service.  Please re-assure me that all is well at the corporate level and the ship is great!

 

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 I concur with what has been said about the ship and its staff - no issues at all.  The staff can’t do enough to keep you happy while onboard.  
 

However, excursions off the ship have been a bit rocky.  Lots of complaints about disorganization as well as lack of resources to give everyone onboard an equal experience.  They have resorted to a lottery system twice to determine which guests get to participate in some of the expedition experiences.  In the case of sea kayaking, only 8 people will be able to participate out of probably a hundred who expressed interest.  
 

Perhaps where expedition style cruising gives way to a normal cruise there will no longer be a need to have lotteries.  However, the lack of overall organization and on-ship communications may continue. Today there was a general ***** session with the cruise director with a lot of loyal Vantage customers saying that this will be their last trip with them.  I have never seen anything like this on any previous trip.

 

The biggest issue is with the extreme lack of communication and, in my view, deception on the part of the home office.  I have been waiting for

On 3/5/2023 at 7:59 AM, deec said:

Just received another email about the cruise along the Adriatic Coast...I really want to do this cruise but am so skeptical of Vantage's recent customer service.  Please re-assure me that all is well at the corporate level and the ship is great!

 

over five months for a refund for the canceled pre-trip that we made.  They say they are “backlogged” and we need to wait our turn.  Really?  Over five months? They won’t even give me a copy of my invoice which shows the amount of the refund that is due.  I could be wrong, but after reading other threads from people waiting years for a refund it seems to me that the company is in a very real cash flow crisis.  I will not be giving Vantage any of my cash for future trips for fear of them going bankrupt.  Your risk tolerance may be different than mine.  
 

It’s a shame since, in talking with long time customers, this company used to provide very good service.  I have yet to talk with anyone onboard who will use Vantage in the future except for cases where Vantage is already holding their money hostage.

 

PS sorry for the misplaced quote.

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