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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had such a good time on this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. "Castles on the Rhine" by Tauck Bridges - our group had lots of grandparents, parents (like us), teens and even a few intrepid younger kids. It was so carefree. ... Read More
We had such a good time on this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. "Castles on the Rhine" by Tauck Bridges - our group had lots of grandparents, parents (like us), teens and even a few intrepid younger kids. It was so carefree. Tauck truly takes care of everything. That leads to a somewhat planned experience which individuals may or may not like. On this trip I surrendered to it, and it was wonderful. The cruise directors Michael, Anke, Felix and Teresa were delightful. Absolute professionals, they really went out of their way to ensure that everyone felt taken care of. They were also great with the kids' activities both on-board and off (soccer games in port, science museum, parties & games on board.) They also encouraged the kids to make friends. My favorite excursions were the bicycle ride in Koblenz and the dinner at Burg Satzvey Castle. My favorite city on the cruise was Basel, the embarkation point - so many lovely museums, easy walking, trams if your feet got tired. Even though it rained on our day in Lucerne & Mt Pilatus, we had a lot of fun there. Strasbourg was absolutely gorgeous. The food was great! High quality and many choices for all, including kids. Wine choices and bar service were also excellent. The only (minor) disappointment: a couple of the local tour guides were not outstanding - I liked the ones in Strasbourg and the bike guides in Koblenz, but the walking guides in Cologne and Amsterdam were just "eh." I ended up turning off my earpiece vox and just enjoying the sights and the Van Gogh museum. But this is a minor quibble. Tauck did an outstanding job. I would absolutely recommend this cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Tauck is a wonderful operator It is an all inclusive cruise...all of the gratuities..shore excursions..alcohol and beverages The MS Inspire is a gorgeous ship..I have been on 28 ocean cruises so I am not new to the cruise experience ... Read More
Tauck is a wonderful operator It is an all inclusive cruise...all of the gratuities..shore excursions..alcohol and beverages The MS Inspire is a gorgeous ship..I have been on 28 ocean cruises so I am not new to the cruise experience From the second you board the ship until the second you disembark you are always greeted by name and an big smile very eager to cater to your every need Embarkation was a breeze as well as disembarkation..my luggage was waiting in my room upon arrival...what a nice surprise The cabin was very comfortable with memory mattress..a huge bathroom which was very well appointed..I actually had room to shower!! The food was just adequate with very little menu selection The shore excursions were great with all local guides Like I said the service is 5 star!! If you are lucky to meet thomas or Nicoli please say hi I would go with Tauck agaiin!!! Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This trip was regrettably not a good fit for our family for so many reasons - first of all, ever see the movie "Out to Sea"? That is a perfect representation of the bombastic, overbearing cruise director - annoying and ... Read More
This trip was regrettably not a good fit for our family for so many reasons - first of all, ever see the movie "Out to Sea"? That is a perfect representation of the bombastic, overbearing cruise director - annoying and patronizing personality who was harshly unaccommodating. He shrilly bellowed announcements over the intercom into your stateroom at 7:15am sharp every morning - that could not be overridden, despite him saying they could be. The ship was filled with out of control kids who would run down the hall and on the deck playing tag and hide-and-seek until 10:00pm every night, sounding like a herd of elephants were stampeding over your head. They also turned the very small Jacuzzi into their private wading pool - there was no way we were going to risk getting in that. And if this isn't bad enough, apparently some of the cabin crew had sticky fingers because we lost a very expensive and sentimental necklace, a brand new scarf, and an heirloom hair brush from our stateroom at the end of the trip. Also keep in mind the ship itself is extremely regimented and they heard you like cattle onto buses and give you zero flexibility - it took all the leisure out of the experience. On a positive note, I do want to note the maitre d's, bartenders and some servers in the restaurant were wonderful. Board at your own risk - if any of the above sounds enticing to you, good luck with your holiday. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have just returned from the "Romance of the Rhine", cruise on the MS Inspire, run by Tauck. After four land tours with Tauck we decided to try a river cruise. When Tauck says all inclusive they mean it. From the time we ... Read More
We have just returned from the "Romance of the Rhine", cruise on the MS Inspire, run by Tauck. After four land tours with Tauck we decided to try a river cruise. When Tauck says all inclusive they mean it. From the time we arrived at the hotel in Basel to the time we left the hotel in Amsterdam we paid for absolutely nothing. Sure on some shore excursions we decided to have a meal on our own rather than return to the ship for lunch and that was on us. But even in Lucerine, where lunch was not included in the day long trip, Tauck gave each passenger 20 Eros to buy lunch on their own! The MS Inspire was a great ship with lots of space for the relatively small number of passengers (130 compared to Viking 180, on the same size ship). We had one of the new Loft cabins on the lowest deck. If I took another river cruise offering a loft cabin I would jump at it. The cabin was always full of light, the large two deck windows created the impression that you were in a much larger cabin. In the loft area the two chairs and large table made for a great place to have our morning coffee while watching the river flow by and reading the NY Times on our iPads. The bathroom was much larger than most ocean going ships and had an enormous amount of storage space. Food is always subjective, but we found the quality of food was high and the variety (at lunch and dinner) changed everyday. Each portion of food was on the small side, but after a five courses meal, with unlimited wine, and rolls we were always stuffed. Dinning room seating was excellent with a wide variety of seating options. The most impressive part of the dinning room was the service. Every time I reached for the coffee pot I was caught by a very attentive waiter who beat me in an attempt to fill my cup. The friendliness of the entire crew was simply amazing and a total surprise given that gratuities are all a part of the Tauck all inclusive program. We saw a large number of Viking Cruse line boats of the Rhine, but none were as beautiful inside and outside than the MS Inspire. Perhaps one of the glaring differences took place during shore excursions. To start all excursions are a part of the cruise cost including several that included meals. All excursions included several options such as walking on your own, taking a bus back to the ship for lunch and returning afterwards to the city being visited, or just remaining the city until the last minute. In Strasbourg four of us decided to remain in the city, others chose to return to the ship and then go to Baden Baden for a second excursion that day. Tauck provided buses for each option and a tour guide. In our case a separate bus was sent to pick the four of us up and the guide to return to the ship at 2:30 PM! We also noticed that every Tauck excursion included a city guide for 12 to 15 of us. We could not help but notice that the Viking tours were one guide to 40 passengers, a real mob scene! After seven days it was difficult to leave the MS Inspire in amsterdam after such a wonderfully orchestra adventure down the Rhine. The Drinks, food, crew, tour guides, facilities, and attention to detail at every step was so amazing throughout this tour. My only advice to those thinking about this trip is go a day early and stay a day late. I suggest this because we found that to take in all of sights, sounds, and beauty of Basel and Amsterdam required extra time. Read Less
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