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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Let me preface my review with this: my husband and I are frequent travelers. 11 cruises in the past 6 years -- Crystal is our favorite (have been on Regent and Norwegian too). This was our first river cruise, first time on Tauck. ... Read More
Let me preface my review with this: my husband and I are frequent travelers. 11 cruises in the past 6 years -- Crystal is our favorite (have been on Regent and Norwegian too). This was our first river cruise, first time on Tauck. Communication, Transparency and Customer Service are not Tauck's strengths, from my experience. When we arrived at our hotel in Budapest, we were told -- for the first time -- that the ship could not get to Budapest due to low water levels on the Danube, so we would be bussed to Vienna the next day. I don't blame Tauck for the water situation, but I was surprised they hadn't shared this info in advance. Even without low water levels, the Danube cruise requires A LOT of time on a bus, since some of the featured cities (Salzburg, Regensburg, Prague) are VERY far from the dock (2+ hours to Salzburg, 3+ hours to Prague). None of this was shared in any of the materials. On our 10-day cruise, we had only ONE afternoon of "river cruising". All of those cool videos you see gliding past castles and lovely little towns? Not on THIS cruise. We left most ports at night. In every single port, we could NEVER open our cabin window curtains -- because there were ships docked right next to us! The food was very good, but there's not much to do at night on this little ship (I guess we're spoiled by the bigger ships with so many choices). But here's the kicker: we were a group of 6 friends, traveling together. We met another group of 6 on the ship, and have since visited them in their city. Imagine our surprise when we saw them in January, and they asked what we were going to do with our $500 credit from Tauck -- awarded to each of them because they wrote to Tauck about the many busses, limited river cruising, and inability to open their window shades. We never received a credit, despite giving Tauck the same exact feedback, multiple times. We even forwarded the credit letter from Tauck to their customer service department -- and heard NOTHING back. With so many choices out there, I don't think I'd ever return to Tauck. Customer service is BIG in my book, and I will be a loyal customer if you treat me with respect. Tauck missed the boat on me (and my friends and relatives and anyone else who reads this review and thinks twice about spending so much money on a luxury river cruise -- try Crystal instead!) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had a great experience years ago on a Tauck Bridges tour and decided to do the Budapest-Amsterdam cruise, and were not disappointed! This newly refurbished ship was beautiful, with no detail forgotten. Our Ruby Deck, level 6 room was ... Read More
We had a great experience years ago on a Tauck Bridges tour and decided to do the Budapest-Amsterdam cruise, and were not disappointed! This newly refurbished ship was beautiful, with no detail forgotten. Our Ruby Deck, level 6 room was fabulous, with plenty of storage for a two week cruise. The one complaint- the closet for long clothes was not long enough. The bathroom was surprisingly large, with Molton Brown supplies, fresh flowers, and 2 shower heads. The super-comfortable bed faced the floor-to-ceiling windows and the positionable tv (the videos available were thoughtfully chosen to reflect the area where we were traveling- The Woman in Gold, The Diary of Anne Frank, etc etc, along with a choice of recent hits).Fully stocked mini fridge and Kureg-type coffee maker were available. Meals were perfectly portioned and delicious, with daily selections reflecting the local area; Argentinian beef filets, chicken breast, and veg meals were always available. Desserts were perfect- a few bites to round off a nice meal. Most people gathered in the Panorama Lounge for drinks and amuse bouche in the afternoons and before and after dinner; a pianist played and several times local musicians were brought aboard. The tours were a good length- usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The option was given to walk into town or ride a bus to the city center- the walk was usually no more than 15 minutes. The group was usually split into 2 to 3 smaller groups; we were given a small “vox” to wear with earbuds (provided)- there was no straining to hear the local tour guide. We were usually given time in each city to explore on our own, or to return to the ship. There were no “snoozer” cities on this cruise as we have had on previous cruises- we enjoyed each day! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a very enjoyable cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We booked through a TA, bought business class tickets through Tauck but chose our own hotels, not the Tauck hotels because the perks were better. However, Tauck still picked us ... Read More
This was a very enjoyable cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. We booked through a TA, bought business class tickets through Tauck but chose our own hotels, not the Tauck hotels because the perks were better. However, Tauck still picked us up from the airport in Budapest and picked us up at our Amsterdam hotel and delivered us to the airport all in fine style. The fact that Tauck does not own their cruise ships did not seem to pose any issues at all. Everything was seamless and service was outstanding at every turn. All the ship personnel and most of the Tauck personnel were so pleasant to deal with and every detail was flawlessly executed with the unfortunate exception of the cuisine. Breakfasts were fine although the menu never varied. Lunches were also very similar with a rotation of salads and different entrees however, some were really awful such as the infamous pork neck. It was so tough and sinewy as to be too difficult to chew! Most fish and chicken seemed to be over-cooked at lunch and dinner. Dinner was disappointing on multiple nights with the entrees being odd or poorly prepared. The presentation was very basic. The farewell dinner was somewhat better but was more like I would expect EVERY night for a premium cruiseline. I actually lost weight on this cruise! On a positive note, many local, regional specialties were offered along with local wines almost daily. However, some of the wines were not very good so we asked for other options. The dining room staff was outstanding as was the bar staff, especially the charming head bartender. There was also a small cafe aft which was great for light breakfasts, lunches and coffee/tea all day. There were also themed dinners available to reserve there and the food was actually quite good. Our standard cabin was minuscule but had plenty of storage and the bathroom was ingeniously designed to feel bigger than it actually was. Housekeeping was impeccable. Public spaces were light and airy in decor and roomy enough for all passengers during cocktail hour or dinner. The entire ship was in excellent condition. The gym was tiny and claustrophobic as is typical on most river ships. Wifi was terribly slow, unfortunately. There was excellent entertainment nightly or daily depending on the schedule for the day. Plenty of lectures, guest performers, even a local glassmaker. The tours were led by the 3 tour directors and they each did a fantastic job. Jaimie, Patricia and Cindy were so professional, hospitable, efficient and detail oriented. Every tour was well planned and interesting. I loved that there were choices to just have an orientation walk, full walking tour or a fitness walk in many ports. There were a couple of bike tours offered. I couldn’t quite understand what the cruise director’s job was but dealing with the public was not his forte. Perhaps he did most of his work behind the scenes but any time he addressed the passengers was cringe-worthy. He was not very friendly at all. The itinerary was packed but fortunately we had just enough down-time to catch our breath and not feel too overwhelmed. There were a few short bus rides with the longest being about 40 minutes if you chose the Röthenburg option. Except for 1 rainy day the weather was spectacular and the river water levels were never an issue. Highly recommend Tauck if you don’t care about food. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first Tauck cruise. The staff, food, and service were outstanding. Unfortunately, the cabins were not. We were later told that other ships Tauck uses from the Scylla Line had been updated to enlarge the cabins. We were ... Read More
This was our first Tauck cruise. The staff, food, and service were outstanding. Unfortunately, the cabins were not. We were later told that other ships Tauck uses from the Scylla Line had been updated to enlarge the cabins. We were surprised at the lack of space in our cabin, especially for the premium price, compared to those on other river river cruises where we paid less. The French balcony door opened only halfway. It was so heavy that one needed two arms and a strong push to open it. There was not nearly enough counter space. Also the sides of the bed were far too close to the wall and glass French balcony window and the nightstands barely fit. Shore excursions varied, probably due to the destinations. Budapest is a gem; Belgrade and Bucharest are not. Too many ugly, drab Soviet apartment buildings and ever-present graffiti detract from the few scintillating structures popping up among them. Our trip to a Croatian town obliterated during the Balkan War still showed the scars, including an eery bombed-out train station with the town sign dangling in one piece. Our visit to families in the area who shared stories of their evacuation and photos of what was left of their homes was a highlight of the trip, especially since Tauck kept the groups 8-12. It would have been better to spend more time in the vibrant town of Novi Sad, the largest town in Northern Serbia, than in Belgrade. The dinners at palaces in Budapest, Belgrade, and Bucharest's monstrosity (2nd only in size to the Pentagon among world government buildings) were quite pleasant and somewhat worth the much higher price Tauck charges for this trip to the Black Sea. Also, Tauck clients seemed to be in their 70's. Self-exploring adventurers they were not. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
To be honest, my bad, I did not do my research. I was told this was a 5 star experience and book based on my thoughts of what 5 star meant. Therefore, This is a difficult review to write. The staff was excellent, helpful, friendly, ... Read More
To be honest, my bad, I did not do my research. I was told this was a 5 star experience and book based on my thoughts of what 5 star meant. Therefore, This is a difficult review to write. The staff was excellent, helpful, friendly, experienced, a pleasure to be around. If I was 80, it would have been a good trip. But I'm 60, also known as the new 40. Tauck does not cater to 40 year olds. Tauck caters to the geriatric group that likes all-inclusive programs. It was extremely expensive and disappointing. Not at all good for young families. The workout room is in the bottom of the boat, what little equipment there is it's failing, it is hot, no view, lots of tv's but no individual sound system, very noisy, tiny. The Massage therapy room is next to the workout room. Very little room for the therapist to work, noisy due to proximity of workout room, being on the bottom of the boat, and toilets flushing. The food is adequate, but I would not put it high on my list of places to eat. We ate ashore as often as possible. So much for that all-inclusive price! I will say the Indonesian chef cooking makes great Indonesian food!! Our cabin is excellent and the service we have gotten has been fabulous!! But again, it better be! We paid an exorbitant price for it! Seriously, look on Tauck tours and see what category 7 cost! There are 10 bikes available, 3 broke making it 7, for 118 people. Talk about first come first serve! And that is given you get a chance to ride! I think we will get 5 days out of 15. On the day we were stuck on the boat for over 24 hrs (not good for active baby boomers) we were told no biking. There would be no place to stop. Although the boat captain was able to pick up and drop off entertainment during the day along the way. FYI, our group on bikes was faster then the boat on water. We would most certainly have beat the boat to the meeting location. All-inclusive! I know what that means now! You can have all the bad wine you want!! Tauck saves the good stuff for the cruises that are not all inclusive! We are foodies and wine goes with that. I would gladly pay a premium additional for a good glass of wine. But again, if you knew the price I paid, you would have expected it to include fine wines. Entertainment has been a 50/50 proposition. Some was really bad and some was...ok. Some has been very informative. I traveled with my husband and a large group from Budapest to Amsterdam in October. (Currently on cruise) October north is a bad idea in itself. Wet cold rainy and a bit dreary. And the price was the same for this week as it was for two weeks ago going south. My bad. So, you know what twenty 60 yearolds due when locked up on a cruise on a rainy day? Drink. And then cause problems and by now day 11 would all jump ship if we could!! I do not blame the staff or crew for this disappointing cruise. They have been excellent! They are only working within the confines of Tauck policy and procedures. I did not do my research. I hate all-inclusive destination resorts, not sure why I thought this would be better/different! Bottom line, Tauck needs to hear this... They are not catering to a generation with money that has another good 10-20 years of active traveling! The idea of not having to pack everyday to move on to next town is attractive, but I will be looking to other cruise and travel companies for my next vacation. It won't be Tauck. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Travel agent and friends had recommended Tauck but I was very disappointed in our experience. We had booked same category 6 cabin ( 2nd highest) as our friends and it was a terrible cabin and the worst customer service ( NONE). We were in ... Read More
Travel agent and friends had recommended Tauck but I was very disappointed in our experience. We had booked same category 6 cabin ( 2nd highest) as our friends and it was a terrible cabin and the worst customer service ( NONE). We were in cabin 318 at rear of ship and friends were in 302 ( same category and price) but the comfort level was worlds apart. This Cabin and the one across from us had noises almost every evening from the engine starting up ,from staff walking on roof above us ,and vibrations from the engines. Our first night we had the noise and vibrations so bad the bathroom door would't stay shut and things were falling off our table. The hotel manager (who is not a Tauck employee) came down and switched out the glass table and had the bathroom door worked on. But the main issue of noise and vibrations were with us every night. I could not leave a glass of water on the nightstand. I ended up taking sleeping pills most nights. The Tauck cruise host never talked to us or asked how it was and the hotel manager ignored me for the rest of the cruise. When you go thru 61 locks, the ship is stopping and starting engines a lot and mostly at night. I emailed my travel agent day 2 and she supposedly contacted Tauck. My friend asked about moving to another cabin as there were 4 empty cabins on our deck and was told if wanted to pay the difference she could move. I NEVER asked about a new cabin and never was offered any cabin change. For the price we paid it was a big disappointment and ruined the cruise for me. Our neighbors across also had same issues and we would commiserate every morning . So DO NOT book these cabins and I think Tauck needs to rethink their pricing. These 2 back cabins should not pay the same as the forward ones. Several people told me their travel agent had advised against these cabins when they heard our story. Wish my travel agent had. The cruise was good otherwise-Vienna was very special evening and the tour in Amsterdam of museum and canal cruise were great. Also enjoyed the evening entertainment they brought in. Due to water level, the roof deck was closed for over 8 days so it was crowded on the forward deck and limited viewing options outside. Also wish there had been more personal time to wander cities. Felt like we would get on bus, have tour, take 30 minutes to wander, then back to bus then back on ship. Food was ok ( not as good as Seabourn or Silver Sea ). Several of us had to trade off time as only 2 treadmills. The young serving and room staff were great. Most local guides good altho 2 were very insensitve to guests by walking too fast for the group and not paying attention to if everyone was following. Had to go tell her she had left 2 people back across a street. Two of the Tauck directors were excellent both in providing good Discovery briefings and commentary while sailing. My impression would have been much better and I might consider Tauck again if there had been any customer service regarding our room. Our friends did enjoy their cruise as did the majority of the guests. One difference on Tauck vs other lines I have cruised with is they don't own the ship- only 4 Tauck employees are on board to assist, rest of crew are with the ship. So neither one feels responsible or willing to handle customer issues was my perspective. Different bosses. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My wife and I considered several cruise lines before we settled on Tauck. We are looking for the best river cruise for our family — three of us, including our twelve-year-old — and while the Adventures By Disney option was tempting, ... Read More
My wife and I considered several cruise lines before we settled on Tauck. We are looking for the best river cruise for our family — three of us, including our twelve-year-old — and while the Adventures By Disney option was tempting, we really liked Tauck's itinerary. The reviews were consistently high, and the agent we spoke with was extremely helpful and knowledgable. We boarded the MS Savor in Budapest. Members of the crew and the cruise director greeted us, all cheery and welcoming. We quickly discovered the Panorama Lounge and had a light lunch as we waited for our cabin to be ready. From those first moments, we were very impressed. We had never been aboard a river boat, and we weren't sure what to expect. I think our biggest fear was cramped quarters and packed dining halls — far from it. MS Savor is a big roomy vessel that was spit-spot clean for the entire journey. Our cabin was much bigger than we had imagined. We were on the uppermost deck about halfway down from reception. With the exception of a few kids who ran along the hallway from time to time, it was very quiet. The bathroom is spacious with a nice hot shower. And the closet is enormous. Our bed was terrific, and our son, who had the pull-out sofa bed, slept very comfortably. The room was always clean with new towels and thoughtful leave-behinds each night by a topnotch maid service. Just like a 4-star hotel. The meals on board were absolutely delicious, made even better by a wonderful serving staff. We got to know a couple of the waiters very well, and they totally took care of us — especially our son. All along our journey, we enjoyed specialties and wines of the countries we visited. And breakfast each morning was quite something. The Sun Deck is terrific place to relax and take in the beautiful landscapes along the Danube. We had a barbecue there one night, and it was a highlight of the cruise. My son and his newfound friends also enjoyed the small pool — not a lot of room, but a lot of fun. Our Tauck staff included our tour director, Tea, who was wonderful, and four experienced guides, two of whom had been with the company for a number of years. As passengers, we were divided into smaller groups, and for the most part we stayed in those groups for the entire cruise. On the days we traveled by coach, we had the chance to get to know our guides better, and we found them all to be very knowledgable. On the day we took a bike ride, our guides doubled as bike mechanics. The night we did karaoke, they served as back-up singers. And whenever we were making our way through a city on our own, they were our local experts, pointing out must-sees and fine restaurants. Tauck also had city guides ready for us in Bratislava, Vienna, Durnstein, Salzburg and Passau. Every one of them was excellent. We really felt like we had a great vacation. And if we were to do another trip like this, Tauck would absolutely be our first choice. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Itinerary-Cruising the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest First time taking a trip of any kind with Tauck and we were very happy with the overall experience. This was an inclusive trip with two pre-cruise nights in Budapest at the Ritz ... Read More
Itinerary-Cruising the Danube from Budapest to Bucharest First time taking a trip of any kind with Tauck and we were very happy with the overall experience. This was an inclusive trip with two pre-cruise nights in Budapest at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and two nights post-cruise at the JW Marriott Bucharest. Tours and welcome dinner/farewell dinner events were also included during both segments of the journey. We have done many traditional cruises with smaller ship cruise lines such as Windstar and SilverSea and only one previous river cruise with Aqua Cruises on the Amazon. After this trip we are excited to try river cruising again. Tauck is extremely professional and detail oriented. This particularly itinerary required quite a few bus trips from the ports along the way so that might bother some cruisers but we were so anxious to do this itinerary that we were willing to do that. We loved seeing this part of the world-it was incredibly eye-opening and educational and the special experiences like the private tour of Ceausescu's Palatial Parliament Building followed by a special dinner accompanied by a string trio was unique and exciting. We had a 300 square foot suite which was super comfy and well appointed. Loved the walk-in closet and the bathroom although we did not use the bathtub except for drying hand washables. The french balconies were lovely-floating along the Danube with doors open while reading, relaxing or doing yoga was such a treat. Food was good and we especially enjoyed the yummy breakfasts. The crew was outstanding, from the front desk people, bar servers and wait staff, to the excellent masseuse on board. Carlos our cruise director was wonderful. We had three excellent Tauck guides, two of whom were from countries we visited on this cruise. The guides rotated busses so it was a treat to get to know all of them. There were cultural activities on board which enhanced the overall experience and contributed to our knowledge of the region. These included documentary films, folk dancing and classical music. On our "sea day" cruising the Iron Gates of the Danube, the guides took turns narrating the sights and this was played over the ships PA system. Overall, I highly recommend cruising Budapest to the Black Sea with Tauck and we would be happy to go with them again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First the good points. The interiary was great, especially with a second day in Vienna. The two special evenings - one in Budapest and the second in Prague - were very well organized, enjoyable, and memorable. The rooms were large ... Read More
First the good points. The interiary was great, especially with a second day in Vienna. The two special evenings - one in Budapest and the second in Prague - were very well organized, enjoyable, and memorable. The rooms were large and well kept. The tour guides and excursion staff were excellent, knowledgable, and very friendly. They were always available to help out or answer questions. The spa and hair salon was a great touch. Next, many areas were disappointing and need improvement based on previous river cruises with two different lines. The Cruise Director was inadequate and did nothing to enhance the guests experiences. We were not really sure what his actually role was. The food in the dining room was nothing special, in general only fair, and one night the beef was ineatable. The lunch and breakfast buffet was fine but not excellent. Even the selection was disappointing. The wines were not good nor was there an excellent reserve for those who wished to purchase wine at an additional cost. The Dining room staff needs additional training and were not even very friendly. Overall, the staff on the ship was, at best only adequate. Lastly, the ship was newly commissioned and we expected a twist of flair and elegance. I would say the decor was basic, boring, almost dated, and rather low scale. Even the art work was bland. For those travelers needing special assistance this is definitely not the line for you. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We were told Tauck was the premier tour group. We took the Danube river cruise from Budapest to Prague. (Cruise ended in Regensburg, Germany). Our tour included two night in Budapest prior to the river cruise and two nights in Prague ... Read More
We were told Tauck was the premier tour group. We took the Danube river cruise from Budapest to Prague. (Cruise ended in Regensburg, Germany). Our tour included two night in Budapest prior to the river cruise and two nights in Prague following the cruise. This was the finest trip I have ever taken. The cruise director was phenomenal. He anticipated our every need. The cruise guides were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. The local guides were great. Tauck provides each guest with a Vox box and personal earphones so while on all tours everything the guide says is easily heard. There is no need to try to stand near a guide in order to hear and then stand out of range so others can be near the guide. The food was gourmet quality and all drinks were included, even specialty cocktails. There were special events one could not have traveling independently or with other tours groups. We had elegant dinners in a private club and in two palaces which included aperitifs, appetizers and chamber music. At the Budapest Opera we not only had a private tour but arias sung by the leading singers. At the Lobowitz Palace we saw their museum quality art collection and music in Mozart,s own hand re orchestrating Handel's "Missiah." Everything was included - all shore excursions, special events and all gratuities. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I am comparing my Tauck River Cruise experience with two previous river cruise vacations I went on with a competing cruise lines. First, I will start with positives. The size of my stateroom and the layout was quite nice. The ... Read More
I am comparing my Tauck River Cruise experience with two previous river cruise vacations I went on with a competing cruise lines. First, I will start with positives. The size of my stateroom and the layout was quite nice. The cabins are spacious and clean. The bathroom was very large and well light. The decor and ambience was lack luster, ordinary, and, to me, equalivate to a three star US hotel. The ship lacked an European flair. In fact, the decor of the ship was dark wood, brown, and beige and just more brown and beige in ever room. Nothing defined the different ship areas. Definitely, the ship was not stylish or elegant. No special artwork or creative decor. The three female staff guides were friendly, helpful, professional, and knowledgable. The cruise director was inadequate, fellow travelers could not really understand his duties as he did nothing but sit behind the desk. The food and dining room service, I regret to say, was sub-par. The presentation of the breakfast and lunch was unprofessional and the selection ordinary. Some dinners were fine others not really. The wine selection was regional so you cann't expect much. The overall crew was just ok. With the exception of the three female ship guides, I wouldn't say anyone with out of their way to accommodate cruise guests. I want to note that I noticed that Tauck is not set up for older guests that need a slower pace or help getting around. I will commend Tauck for the two specially planned events in Vienna and Prague. Both were just wonderful, quite memorable, and high end. The planned group lunch in Budapest was really not very good and a waste of time and think it should be changed or let travelers lunch on their own. To sum it up, my problem was the ship itself, the ambiance, the crew, and lackluster meal experience. I traveled on the Savor in the spring and understand that the dining staff and crew have undergone a complete turn around and that the service and kitchen have greatly improved. For me its too late, and will cruise with a competing line. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We have been to Russia and Africa with Tauck, and this was or first river cruise ever, although we have been on ocean cruises. The other reviews are comprehensive, so I will mention other points. I recommend room 323 which is next door ... Read More
We have been to Russia and Africa with Tauck, and this was or first river cruise ever, although we have been on ocean cruises. The other reviews are comprehensive, so I will mention other points. I recommend room 323 which is next door to Authur's where I could pop in any time for cappuccino, tea, cookie/snack to take back to my room, or to sit to see both sides of the river since this was the aft end. Just quick and easy. Interestingly, the motor coaches we used had a bathroom, and we could actually use them. We have been on tours where we were not allowed to use the bathroom on the coach. What? Not enough time in Vienna. There should have been 3 full days and a guided tour of the Kunst Historical Museum one of the most important museums in the world; and Vienna one of the most beautiful cities. What architecture! This was our second visit to Vienna. I hesitate to mention since it is a personal preference. The rooms need an adequate dressing table for My Lady with a mirror and lamp. Obviously a man designed the rooms, not a woman. LOL They were generous in providing me with a laptop for the entire trip, although Wi-Fi was as slow as molasses. I did note there is no Doctor on the ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first River Cruise so didn't know what to expect. This cruise was Fantastic. We couldn't have asked for more. The room was a nice size with all amenities. The food on the ship was delicious and the servers were ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise so didn't know what to expect. This cruise was Fantastic. We couldn't have asked for more. The room was a nice size with all amenities. The food on the ship was delicious and the servers were the best! When we left they felt like family. Whatever you wanted or needed Tauck was there for you. The tours were Great as were the tour guides. We felt they gave more than was required. The Tauck tour directors gave us extras, they accompanied us to extra tours plus we had private tours to the Library in a Monastery in Prague which is not open to the public. Our dinners in two Palaces were above expectation with entertainment that was Unbelievable, I.e., opera/ballet while eating dinner. I would definitely recommend this trip. I would suggest that you spend an additional Two days in Prague as we really only had 1-1/2 days which was not enough to see all the beauty of Prague. We made many friends on the ship and all of us gave this trip 5+ stars Sue G Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
I loved my river cruise from Budapest to Romania last August (2014). I am a single woman and was traveling alone. I might have been a bit uncomfortable in some of the places we went if I had been on my own, but since I was with Tauck, ... Read More
I loved my river cruise from Budapest to Romania last August (2014). I am a single woman and was traveling alone. I might have been a bit uncomfortable in some of the places we went if I had been on my own, but since I was with Tauck, everyone was friendly and the tour guides were always sure to keep us well looked after. I had a single room on the lower deck, and was perfectly happy with it. I only had a single high window, but could see the river bank and little towns we passed. The room had a nice flat screen TV but I had little time to watch anything but the news. People were always happy to have you join them for meals, and I thought the food was quite nice. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with plenty of choices, including an area for pancakes and waffles in the morning. Dinner had quite a few choices. In the evenings, there was an excellent piano player in the lounge and I was able to borrow a laptop at the desk and send e-mails as I listened to music. At times the guides would take us on evening walks through various cities, even stopping to buy us ice cream. In Budapest they took us to the Market where they gave us warm cherry strudel. I always felt a part of the group. Our hotels were quite nice, and we seemed to always have rooms near each other, so that I was not concerned about being alone. Our hotel in Bucharest was across from The Palace of Parliament, which was an amazing view. But as a warning, there were hundreds of marble and granite steps to climb on the tour, though for dinner we went to another entrance with only a few steps. But in Europe, or at least Eastern Europe, there were often no elevators, no handrails by the steps and the steps were all uncarpeted stone and steep. Take comfortable shoes, especially for the evening dinners in palaces. Tauck was excellent, and there were many excursions that were a part of the tour. Dinners in palaces, folk dancing on board in the evening, and in Romania a fantastic formal dinner the last evening in Ceausescu's 1000 room palace, where we were greeted with the traditional offering of bread and salt, before a lovely dinner with chamber music and gifts. Tauck's special events were always outstanding. We did many things that would not be on a regular tour, and they were all included. Every evening before dinner we all met in the lounge to hear about the choices for the next day- such choices as a visit to Dracula's castle, a hike to Rock Churches, guided walks to historic churches and art museums, visits to an island, or a visit to a local home in Croatia. The tour guides were always attentive and helpful, there were always additional local guides provided in the various cities, so it was a great opportunity to hear stories about what it was like to live through Communist times or the wars for freedom. Our guides were from 3 of the countries we visited, and they were all open and friendly and enjoyed telling us about their experiences. I can't say enough about my Tauck River Cruise and am happy to be booked on another one in April 2015. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We just returned from an amazing land and River Cruise "The Blue Danube" onTauck's new river boat the MS Savor. We've done many ocean cruises including Oceania, Celebrity, RCL, and Holland and a previous land tour with ... Read More
We just returned from an amazing land and River Cruise "The Blue Danube" onTauck's new river boat the MS Savor. We've done many ocean cruises including Oceania, Celebrity, RCL, and Holland and a previous land tour with Tauck. The trip was outstanding due to to the following: We had never traveled on a river boat before but loved the idea of doing a land and river cruise all in one tour. The land portion was not an add on so everyone traveled the length of the trip enabling us to keep our fabulous tour directors throughout the trip (Sabina Straley, Karei Cernosed, Joeri Happel and on the ship Steve Marcant). The hotels provided by Tauck Kempinski Hotel Corvinus in Budapest and Marriott Prague were excellent. The breakfast as the Kempinski is the best buffet breakfast we've ever had including freshly made jams, bread etc. The MS Savor only the 2nd sailing and staff provided outstanding service. The ship is beautiful and we had a CAT 1 cabin which worked for us. We loved looking out the windows at water level. The bathroom is small but very well designed. The shower door can stay open inward while using the bathroom providing more room. We enjoyed the food on the boat although no where near the quality or choice that Oceania Cruises can offer. The Itinary is fabulous. We loved the big cities Budapest, Vienna and Prague as well as the smaller stops. We cannot have enough good things to say about Tauck. What made the trip so fabulous was the precision planning and their ability to respond to our every need plus the fabulous experiences that they were able to provide including: - Dinner at the Academia Club in Budapest with entertainment. Our best meal on the cruise (Veal). - Dinner in a Viennese palace. Setting was elegant but nothing special about the food. - Dinner in the princely Lobkowicz Palace. (worth going on the cruise for the historical history) Every stop on the river was met by fabulous tours, and pampering. The Tauck directors went above and beyond to assist us even when we had free time to walk around the towns on our own. They saved us so much time versus touring on our own having already purchased the tickets, arranged the guides and buses and providing experiences that we had options to attend. They even added activities once they learned what our interests were including a lecture on the ship on the Jewish History of Europe and a visit to an old Jewish Cemetary in Bratislava (conducted by Joeri) We also enjoyed using the new bikes on board riding along the river. I needed my bike adjusted and within minutes they had someone from the boat with tools to do the adjustments. Buses used by Tauck were not overcrowded. They had more transportation than needing making sure they were not filled to max so we would be comfortable. If traveling to this part of the world, I recommend this as a top of the line way to see the area.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
We stayed at their top level suite on the third level. The room was nice and decent amount of room. The tours and guides provided very good information and were overall very good. The staff took good care of us and our only real issue was ... Read More
We stayed at their top level suite on the third level. The room was nice and decent amount of room. The tours and guides provided very good information and were overall very good. The staff took good care of us and our only real issue was the food was just subpar and not what we expected at all. Tauk is promoted as a quality luxury river cruise but the food was very poor quality. We have cruised on Silver Seas, Crystal and we dine out at least two days a week with a wide palate. The quality of the ingredients was not fresh and it seemed to an attempt to cook more American dishes rather than using fresh local ingredients and cook more local fare. We had consistently poor lunch and dinner meals with one evening so bad that our entire table sent the main veal dish back as it was just plain bad with the meat looking grey in color. Salads listing grilled fresh artichoke hearts were straight out of the can uncooked and bland. We met many other guests complaining about the food. Many of those other guest ended up dining on the same boring chicken or cheap 1/2 inch steak as the other options were so bad. We plan on trying Tauk one more time as they offer a trip to the Holly land but if the food is this poor again then we will have to look for another option. Their food really was a shock as they promote themselves more like the Silver Seas for river cruises but so far they are barely above a Uniworld or Viking river cruise which compared to an ocean cruise line are more like cheap Celebrity cruise ships. One other complaint is that quality hotels and restaurants generally tell sick employees to go home and not work but at Tauk they had a tour person very sick with a cold whom got me and many other guests sick with a terrible cold during our precious vacation. That might be expected on a low end cruise line but I thought Tauk was higher quality? We plan on trying them out possibly one more time due to they offer a tour to the Holly land but if the food is this poor that will be our last Tauk cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
Writing this in our hotel overlooking the Danube before we leave for dinner at the the Academe Club (courtesy of Tauck) on the last night of our trip. By way of background, my wife and I have cruised usually twice a year since 2001. We ... Read More
Writing this in our hotel overlooking the Danube before we leave for dinner at the the Academe Club (courtesy of Tauck) on the last night of our trip. By way of background, my wife and I have cruised usually twice a year since 2001. We have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Windstar before this trip. We are from Texas and so naturally have hit the Caribbean a lot, but we have also been to Tahiti (Windstar) and the Galapagos (Celebrity). We also done a driving tour through Iceland (Nordic Vistor) last year. This was our first River Cruise and my first time to Europe (my wife had been here 40 years ago with her family). We chose Tauck based on a recommendation from a former travel agent as well as recommendations from passengers on a Windstar cruise on our most recent cruise to the BVI. Little did we know that we are probably hooked for life. For those that are not familar with river cruising on the Danube, there are numerous crusie lines that operate here, including Viking, Uniworld, AMA, etc. The boats are very similar overall style, being very long with a maximum of four decks to allow the boat to clear some of the lower bridges in the upper part of the Danube (literally going into the Wachau valley, you could lay on a lounge chair on the top deck and touch the bottom of a bridge.) In several ports, the boats tie up next to each other, so you have the opportunity to walk through the lobbies of the other boats on the way to and from shore. So from a cursory glance, they look the same. So, the simple question - if they all have basically the same boats and go to the same ports (in our case, Passau, Dirstein, Bratislava, and Budapest), why spend the extra money for Tauck. The answers are as follows: 1) All inclusive - the only add on was your bar bill at happy hour and our understanding is that Tauck is moving to 100% inclusive next year. All our on shore tours, dinners (see below), etc. were included. 2) Organization - each city offered a tour with a local guide in the morning and then free time to shop and tour on your. All of our guides were excellent and include many of their personal experiences living the city. Our guide this morning told us of her father's participation in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, for which he was imprisoned for over six years. 3) Extras - in our first night in Prague, they sponsored a tour and dinner at the Lefcowicz palace overlooking Prage. In Vienna, we had a reception at the Palla Palavicci next to the Hapsburg Palace, serenade by 16 members of the Viennese orchestra and a young lady from the opera. Seranaded today at the end our tour of the Budapest opera house. IT IS THESE EXCLUSIVES THAT REALLY SET TAUCK APART. 4) Directors - we had three tour directors for 120 people, plus a cruise director while on board. All very experieced, which made they whole experience seamless I could go on, but I have to get ready for dinner. In short, try them - you will not go back to any other cruise line!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
We were not going to travel this spring! we had taken a driving adventure this winter and drove 9,000 miles and decided to stay home. But our friends were doing another Tauck river cruise and at the last minute one couple was unable to go ... Read More
We were not going to travel this spring! we had taken a driving adventure this winter and drove 9,000 miles and decided to stay home. But our friends were doing another Tauck river cruise and at the last minute one couple was unable to go due to illness and we decided, with twenty four hours notice to take their place. I couldn't believe the travel agent was able to get everything booked and ready to go in that short of time, much less that we managed to pull it together on our end! The joy of being retired. When we arrived at the airport the ticket agent said the Brussels baggage handlers were on strike so we best not try to check any luggage. I ran to the gift shop and bought a small bag and we threw open our suitcase and took the bare necessities only. We called our daughter to come pick up our bag and flew off to Chicago and on to Brussels. we arrived in Prague late the next night. We joined our group one day late at the Marriott in Prague. right from the start the trip was just as wonderful as our previous Tauck river cruise through Belgium and Holland. The accommodations on the boat were fabulous, thanks to the fact that our friends who couldn't go had booked a suite! The food was very good and even excellent at times. But most of all, we so appreciated the knowledgeable Tauck guides who informed us of the history of everything before we even saw it. now you must understand, we didn't even know where we were going! We knew we were flying into to Prague and out of Budapest but that was it! we trusted our friends and mostly we trusted Tauck! We had learned the basic history of the Danube countries in school but we really knew so little! it was almost embarrassing to be so naive on the Hapsburg Empire and the rich and deep history of the Jewish people in Europe. The entire trip was beautiful and educational. There wasn't a day that seemed repetitive or boring in any way! the local guides that were hired to give us walking tours of each town were also excellent and very knowledgeable. The only problem we had with any guides was an occasional issue with understanding their English. Vienna was probably my favorite city, mostly because of the fabulous music we were treated to. Prague and Budapest were both wonderful surprises as we had such little expectations. But we really loved sailing on the Danube and stopping at small towns along the way. it was a beautiful and memorable trip that I am very glad we were able to do! Tauck took very good care of us the whole way and made the trip seem easy. The hotels they put us in we're top notch and every detail was taken care of. the old adage, "You get what you pay for," was really true. We only hope we are able to do many trips with Tauck! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2012
Normally we are independent travelers. Even on cruises we do the ports on our own or hire a private guide. This was our first experience where the tours were inclusive. We chose this method as it was the most efficient way to see many ... Read More
Normally we are independent travelers. Even on cruises we do the ports on our own or hire a private guide. This was our first experience where the tours were inclusive. We chose this method as it was the most efficient way to see many countries that would have been less accessible on our own, plus doing the river cruise down the Danube covered Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, all of the Eastern European countries we had the strongest interests in. Overall we were glad for the mode of travel we chose for this particular trip, however I don't think we would do it again. Although the tours and guides were very well done and informative (with some lovely surprises in between), being forced to travel enmasse with a large group of folks was not appealing in the long run. In particular the demographics on this particular cruise were much older than we expected and we did not anticipate the slow pace of travel. Also, a lot of the tours included events we would never have chosen on our own (particularly shopping excursions) so some time was wasted in our opinion. On the positive side, the MS Treasures was a beautiful cruiser, the staff was friendly, efficient and accommodating and the food was exceptional. Although at the end of the cruise we missed a day on the river due to the Danube being too shallow to continue on, Tauck made an impressive turn about to keep everything on schedule by shuffling buses and hotels without a hitch. Tauck is a very impressive company and does an excellent job for what their intended purpose is. They gave us an opportunity to see a difficult part of the world in comfort and ease. If you are still very agile and motivated, however, this type of tours may be a bit too stodgy. We enjoyed everyone we met as they were all well traveled and interesting, we just needed to move faster! May try Tauck again down the road when we are looking for a more leisurely experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2011
We had waited a long time for our special Tauck River Cruise having booked many months in advance and having reviewed on-line brochures for most of the main river cruise lines. Our departure was a smooth one and the flight was without ... Read More
We had waited a long time for our special Tauck River Cruise having booked many months in advance and having reviewed on-line brochures for most of the main river cruise lines. Our departure was a smooth one and the flight was without problems (except for major delays passing through security in Frankfurt). We arrived in Budapest on a clear, sunny day, collected our luggage and looked for the Tauck representative who was meeting us (even though we were arriving a day ahead of the official beginning of our tour and staying at a non-tour hotel for one night. There he was holding a sign with our name on it. He walked us and 2 other couples on our cruise to the private shuttle to take us to our hotels. We walked our luggage the short distance to the Intercontinental hotel the next morning thinking that we would check the luggage and check in later in the day. Nope - Tour Directors were already at their table in the lobby; we were greeted with friendly words and smiles, checked in and had our luggage in our room in about 10 minutes. Wow - became our favorite word for the attitudes, knowledge and friendliness of the Tour Directors for the next 12 days. We had an amazing Welcome Dinner at the Budapest Academy of Sciences the first evening, toured Pest and Buda via buses with Tour Directors in charge and local guides at some places (Opera House, Castle Hill). On the second day, we boarded the boat mid-afternoon, were welcomed on board by Cruise Direct Lynn Hardcastle, provided our room keys and found our luggage already in our cabin. We were met by our room steward, Giorgio, unpacked and made our way to the lounge for orientation by the Captain and staff. The Captain was a hoot - so clever and funny and visible throughout the trip. We had a wonderful welcome reception and dinner that included beautifully presented full course meal with wine flowing throughout dinner (complimentary every evening during dinner).A full description would be too long to include here, so I'll just include the highlights. The beauty of Budapest and then the countryside as we cruised away was just the beginning of a lovely way to see some of the best parts of 4 countries (Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Czech Republic). The excitement (that never waned) of watching the Captain take us safely through multiple locks with little room to spare at times was one of the new experiences. Sailing through the Wachau Valley after visiting lovely Durstein was spectacular, especially when we passed the Melk Abbey. Surprise stop for coffee and local pastries on the only slightly rainy day that we encountered in Bratislava was so much fun and much appreciated. Fantasizing about Julie Andrews running across the meadows in the Austrian Alps as we passed the meadows on our way to Salzburg and seeing the fountain where Maria played with the Trapp children in the Mirabel Gardens and visiting Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg. Two days in Vienna, the organ concert in Passau's magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral, sausage lunch in Regensburg are just a few of our special memories. But most important was the way we were treated all the time and by everyone on the staff. The Tour Directors - David Lane, Jeremy Shifferly and Fero Bakos - were incredible. They made a great team - knowledgeable and presenting great lectures in the lounge, problem solving every day with ease and grace, telling stories while in transit to inform us and pass the time while traveling. We felt like we were leaving good friends when we said good-by. Lynn and her staff on the boat were always ready with something to drink and a cool towel when we returned to the boat after excursions, reception desk staff were friendly and always ready to meet needs, cabin was always clean and bathroom sparkling when we returned to it each day. Bartenders learned our favorite drink quickly and within a day of boarding and called us by name (especially, my DH and how he likes his martinis). Food was plentiful and good - a bit on the high fat/too much salt side for us, but delicious most of the time. Buffets in the AM and for some lunches were presented beautifully and more than ample. Highlights were the welcome dinner and farewell dinner. Lighter food was available in the Lido Bar area but we didn't find it to our taste. Although we certainly loved the coffee/ hot chocolate machine!Entertainment was 'folkloric' - several times local entertainers were brought onboard to present local music and dances and well appreciated by all. One night, there was a hilarious staff show featuring the captain and one of the reception staff as an elderly couple getting into a bed (made with sundeck lounges and bedding)...very funny!! Local guides used microphones and each guest had an Audio-vox with headphone. We loved all of the guides that we had (guests were divided into 3-4 groups with one guide to a group) except one who walked and talked too fast for some of the guests. Guides were s so proud of their hometowns and very knowledgeable about the history and relevant sights. Excursions were very interesting and there was adequate time to take the guided walk and also have some free time to explore on our own. We learned so much - I feel like I've just passed a course in Central European history. And the pictures!! I can't even count how many I took - there was something that screamed for a picture to be taken at every turn. What a beautiful part of Europe. Disembarkation was easy and well organized. We left our luggage in the hallway outside of our room and next saw it in our room in Prague. Our tour ended with a bus ride to Prague from Regensburg and two days at the Prague Marriott (we added an additional day at that end as well so we had 3 full days to see and learn to love this city in the Czech Republic. Two Tauck tours and a private tour that we arranged for our extra day (plus an orientation walk by our Tour Director, Fero, when we arrived in Prague). On our day of departure, we were told to leave our luggage in our room and come down to the lobby at 7:30 AM to meet our ride to the airport. The bellman at the hotel had a list of times people were leaving and automatically went to the room and had our luggage in the lobby before the car came. We had a last look at Prague as we drove to the airport. As we got out of the car, we were met by a Tauck representative with a cart who walked us to the correct line for checking baggage. Our last works were - They think of everything!! Read Less
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