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
33 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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We originally were going on Viking (because we had heard the name) but they could not accommodate us in the hotel stay. Our agent suggested Tauck. What a blessing! We (my sister and our adult sons) loved our Tauck cruise. The ship was new ... Read More
We originally were going on Viking (because we had heard the name) but they could not accommodate us in the hotel stay. Our agent suggested Tauck. What a blessing! We (my sister and our adult sons) loved our Tauck cruise. The ship was new and comfortable. Our rooms very comfortable. Food, drinks, staff, etc. all excellent. Having all-inclusive was great. No extra charges at any time. Not even for a massage tip. So nice. They also gave us extra special touches such as picking up toilet fees, or little treats in town. The boys were among the youngest on the ship, 30 and 28 but fit right in with everything we did. Most nights were were too tired for the evening music, but throughly enjoyed the special guest musicians one night and our crew show another evening. Small touches such as a wet towel and special cookies coming back on board after excursions were appreciated too. The excursions were all fun too. We enjoyed "Tauck Fit" hiking and biking. We all look forward to another adventure with Tauck. We had cabin 203 and 105. We did not want an upper deck cabin because we were concerned about any noise that might come from the sun deck. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was Tauck's small ship cruise starting in Stockholm, then going to Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Copenhagen. Very well organized, experienced English-speaking guides, flexible in the case of less able-bodied passengers and ... Read More
This was Tauck's small ship cruise starting in Stockholm, then going to Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Copenhagen. Very well organized, experienced English-speaking guides, flexible in the case of less able-bodied passengers and smart about things like getting us into the Hermitage early to avoid the crowds. Only negative was that a different company (Ponant) owns & operates the boat, and only half the 250+ passengers were with the Tauck group. The boat has a small auditorium for lectures by vacationing professors on history & culture, in both French and English. Overall minimal complaints (like the door keys to our rooms being inactivated at midnight before we left and having to call somebody to get into them after breakfast) and the destinations were great. Just enough free time, with good advice on shopping (Tallinn! Tallinn!) and well-guided shore tours. The off-boat activities were all included in the overall price, so no dithering about whether the "singing revolution" part of the tour would be worth it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Our travel agent said Tauck was the Mercedes Benz of River Cruises. We were picked up in Amsterdam by a chauffeured Mercedes. I was expecting a small tour bus or van. We stayed in a loft room which we thought all in all had as much room as ... Read More
Our travel agent said Tauck was the Mercedes Benz of River Cruises. We were picked up in Amsterdam by a chauffeured Mercedes. I was expecting a small tour bus or van. We stayed in a loft room which we thought all in all had as much room as other rooms and more storage under the loft balcony. I did not have to pull out my wallet except when we bought postcards etc from the small gift shop on board. When they say all inclusive they go so far as paying for the pay toilets on our excursions. I was impressed with our 3 on board tour directors who really helped out. We were at Heidelberg Castle with at least 2 other cruise lines and they were in total chaos trying to follow just one tour guide.. Food was excellent, service superb, nw ship was very clean. Travelers and there were many who said once you use Tauck it is difficult to use anyone else. Its true this was our first trip we up the Rhine and Moselle, we just signed up for the Blue Danube Read Less
26 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
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014

My wife and I took the South Bound Christmas Markets on the Rhine tour. The cruise cost roughly $1000 per day with a 100% cabin upgrade rate. Cost affects my review to a great extent, particularly regarding value received. It rained ... Read More

My wife and I took the South Bound Christmas Markets on the Rhine tour. The cruise cost roughly $1000 per day with a 100% cabin upgrade rate. Cost affects my review to a great extent, particularly regarding value received. It rained everyday, and temperature varied from very cold to warm.

The boat was new and the cabin was outstanding, but for the price it should have been. It was very quiet and the bed comfortable. I have no complaints regarding the cabin at all save the lack of a tub as found on their other boats in this class of cabin. The crew were mostly Romanian, with a Filipino kitchen staff, all with varying English proficiency. That said I have no complaints about them, in fact I got along with them better than most of my fellow passengers. They all tried very hard, and seemed to be earning their salary. The cabin attendant did an outstanding job, and was waiting by the door every morning when we left for breakfast to clean the cabin. The wait staff varied from competent to outstanding. The Tauck staff varied from very accommodating and kind to condescending and overbearing. I did not care for the cruise director at all. The tour guides were basically competent but the tours themselves were fairly superficial. There was only one night of local entertainment, some Alsacian dancers. The other nights were left to the bar crawlers amongst the passengers.

My fellow travelers were basically retired and well to do, and mostly Tauck fanboys. Many showed an unnatural affection for the brand bragging constantly how many Tauck trips they had taken and how many they had planned for the future. Nobody seemed to talk about the present, just a constant babbling about their past Tauck experiences. It really got boring. It seemed as if everyone was trying to convince themselves that Tauck really was the best and they were the smartest kids in the class because they always travelled Tauck. I didn't go away feeling so enthusiastic I'm afraid.

Everyone is interested in the food. I was told that Tauck had outstanding food, well maybe, but not really my experience. My honest evaluation is that the food was of high quality, basically pretty good, but rather boring. Every night a new main was offered, but the soups and desserts were repetitive. Some were excellent, like the lamb chops, others not so much so. The "duck" offered one night was unidentifiable, and tasted nothing like any duck I have ever eaten. My menu said duck, another tables menus said veal, I have no clue which it really was. Very odd that two menus would describe the same entree but one as duck and the other as veal with the same sauce etc.

I would say that the food was designed to be "safe" for the mostly elderly Americans onboard. Nothing too spicy or seasoned, nothing odd or unusual, just basic US diner house fare. Medium upscale is the best classification I can come up with. NO regional foods were offered, but it seems I may have been the only one bothered by that. I noticed one man ordering the same New York steak every night of the trip. Lunch and breakfast were almost identical every day. Don't get me wrong, I didn't go hungry and most of the food was good, but for the price paid I could have eaten much better ashore.

There was one off ship lunch which was average at best, typical sausage and kraut type affair that I guess tourists think is German food, and one day we were given money to buy our own lunch. That might have been fine had there been any tourist friendly restaurants available. At least one group from our boat was not seated as the French staff didn't want to deal with English speakers. Not the tour's fault, but expecting a bunch of tourists to fend for themselves in a very overcrowded French village during the Christmas market where NOBODY seemed to speak any English or even German was a cop out. We ended up with stall food and a medicine cup sized glass of overpriced wine. A sack lunch would have been better.

The itinerary was not particularly interesting. Köln was a dirty "multicultural" city with more sushi bars than German restaurants and roaming gangs of North Africans and Algerians who appeared to enjoy tormenting the tourists, as well as an inordinate number of drunken young people making fools of themselves. This may be attractive to some, but not to me. The Christmas market was incredibly busy to the point of making it impossible to move about. Aachen had little to offer except the unique cathedral. BUT it is the only Catholic Church I have ever been in that expects you to pay for to take photos. Heidelburg might have been a nice layover but our excursion was delayed until 1030 because the "other" Tauck ship was in port and they had the 1200 lunch reservation and we had to waste time at the castle until 1400 so we could have lunch after they cleaned out the earlier sitting. This left little time for seeing the markets. It was the same at the other destinations. A one hour bus ride, 45 min. superficial tour, and an hour or so free time before jumping back on the bus. The French city of Colmar was a confusing over crowded mess and was easy to get lost in. Making the meeting time, and finding the meeting place proved very difficult. Strasbourg was rife with con men and pick pockets. I literally had to chase away two guys wanting me to buy junk fake gold to help them get home...yada yada.

All in all my feelings are pretty mixed about my experience. I liked the boat, but it did not seem superior to the AMA boat we tied up next to on one occasion. Cabins and facilities seemed pretty equal. Yes Tauck is all inclusive, but the wines served were "ok", and yes a blended red from Chile of all places was served while docked in the wine region of Germany with France but a stone throw away across the river. Why? No premium liquors were served to my knowledge.

The Rhine river itself is mostly not beautiful, it is basically a commercial canal that in many places you could probably throw a rock across. Almost all of the cruising was over night. The only river views were from commercial landings. Consequently I can not report any particularly satisfying cruise experiences except for the half day around the Lorelei. Docking was NEVER in the town we were visiting except in Rudesheim, and then it was a 15-20 minute walk to town. There was always a bus or shuttle ride involved. Although I appreciate the convenience of a traveling hotel, I'm not sure the experience was worth the premium price paid.

And finally, the pre-cruise hotel Mondial in Köln, booked through Tauck, was a disaster. I found out that Tauck charged me over twice the list price for the room I had. I know they have to pay for transfers and such, but twice, really? The hotel failed to transfer my luggage, and caused me a lot of unnecessary stress at the beginning of my trip when I arrived onboard and found my luggage missing. They told the ship I was a "no show", hadn't stayed there, even though I had checked in and out with their desk clerk, and said that they had no idea where my luggage was. It was found by the Tauck rep who had to take a taxi back to the hotel where he searched and found it still in the room where I was told to leave it, but it took 4 hours to find it,during which time I was trying to figure out how to get by with one change of clothes!

I doubt that I would book with Tauck again. For 1k a day I can almost hire a limo and stay at the best hotels in town. I have always travelled by rental car in the past, but I'm getting old and I thought the convenience of the cruise would justify the cost. I am not convinced this is the case anymore.

Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014

This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will ... Read More

This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will carry up to 220 passengers in the same space. We stayed at the Tauck-recommended hotel in Basel (our point of embarkation). The hotel is nice but sterile. We much preferred making out own arrangements on the other end in Amsterdam. We stayed at the Estherea Hotel and it was delightful.

Onboard, the internet was somewhere between terrible and non-existent. The food was average at best. We rarely docked in any town that was mentioned in the cruise itinerary. If you take this cruise, you should count on spending 2-3 hours on a bus everyday if you want to see what they advertise. On several nights we were docked in industrial harbors. Scrap metal is not what I wanted to see out of my very nice cabin. Unfortunately, if you don't get on the bus (at 8:15 to 9 am virtually every day) you will not see the sight for the day. A few times there was something to see right off boat but not what I went on the cruise to see. The buses are nice and the drivers are excellent and amazing, I just did not expect to spend so much time each and every day on a bus. Also, because we were not docked in the main towns, it was very difficult to spend extra time in a place that was interesting. Most of the tours were a little superficial to me and often I felt the guides were filling if the space because of time constraints. Unfortunately, they filled with fluff instead of the massive amounts of history available in this area. I have to admit, I do not think this tour was a good fit for me. I am 55 and I think the average age on board was closer to 75. Most of these people are retired and do not need to keep in touch with business, at least occasionally, while on vacation.

There was a wide variety of food but it was the same for breakfast and lunch everyday (with a very few exceptions). One passenger made a comment about it feeling like the movie Groundhog Day. I talked with the chef about the food and they tried to make me special meals (the staff really wants to please) but they just do not have the equipment or something to make it happen. I think the food is probably very healthy but it has very little flavor. I had soggy fish and dry tough meat and sometimes I had warm, medium rare ultra-lean beef that tasted like nothing. The waiters and table service were excellent.

Unfortunately, I am afraid that the Rhine River is oversold. There are too many boats and people at all of the sights so you can't get close, you can't enjoy and it is all just touristy.

There were a couple of times there was on board entertainment and it was nice. We had a dinner in a castle where we were too cramped together to make it comfortable. Likewise, the wine tasting event had us packed check to jowl for another excursion. I would miss both of those if given the option to go back. There was a daytime castle tour that my wife took that she said was excellent. Most of the tours and destinations were nice. It simply took too much time to get to and from them to make it enjoyable. Disembarkation went well.

Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014

We have been on one previous Tauck Tour (Machu Picchu & Galapagos) and loved it. That was with a very small and physically active group. We decided to book a 12 day river cruise on the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel) together with ... Read More

We have been on one previous Tauck Tour (Machu Picchu & Galapagos) and loved it. That was with a very small and physically active group. We decided to book a 12 day river cruise on the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel) together with another couple with whom we often travel. Overall, the trip was good but different from what we expected.

First the many positives - The ship (MS Inspire) is brand new and very nicely appointed. The hot showers work great. Bed very comfy. The engines are very quiet and the ride is so smooth it was usually difficult to feel the ship was moving. Definitely no sea-sickness issues. As expected the Tauck staff was fantastic! All the guides (Bettina, Cindy and Mark) were very friendly, well informed and always helpful. Bettina is German and her narratives and background stories were very interesting and insightful. The wait staff and rest of the crew (Scylla not Tauck) were also always helpful and very pleasant. The other passengers (total 120) were mostly from the USA, very interesting and fun to get to know. The dominant age range was 65-75. Amsterdam is a great city to visit. Tauck choose the Grand Hotel Sofitel for our pre cruise night and it was very nice.

Day 1 Board MS Inspire about 3:30

Day 2 Canal tour of Amsterdam (on small canal boat) was very nice. Visit the Rijksmuseum - excellent.

Day 3 Nijmegen, Holland - 1 hr bus trip to De Hoge Veluwe National Park and Kroller-Muller Museum. Second largest Van Gogh collection in world. Beautiful grounds with many sculptures. Reboard in Dusseldorf - not much to see.

Day 4 Bonn walking tour of Bonn not so good. Lunch at Grand Hotel Steigenberger was very good with excellent views of Rhine/City.

Day 5 Cochem on the Mosel River is a beautiful little town. Visit Reichsburg Castle - excellent. Bus to Schlagkamp Winery in Senheimis for wine-tasting with cheese and cold cuts - Fun - but winemaker's talk was a bit too long! The views on both sides of the Mosel are beautiful with many vineyards.

Day 6 Bernkastel a small very pretty town. Then a long bus ride to Luxembourg City. Most of the old walls/ruins have been destroyed/removed so it is a nice modern city. But we did not think there was all that much to see. Shopping good. Then went to the American Memorial Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg which is very moving & powerful. George Patton is buried here and most of the dead are from the Battle of Bulge.

Day 7 Still in Bernkastel. Took bus to Trier, the oldest city in Germany. This was the best little city we visited so far! Has an enormous Roman Gate - Porta Nigra - and a great market square and cathedral.

Day 8 Boppard is a very pretty little town with large Roman ruins. Fun to ride bikes through the town. Many half-timbered houses. Take the lift (Sisselbahn) to top of hill for good views of the "big bend" of Rhine. Boat then sailed to Oberwesel via the Middle Rhine Valley with many impressive castles and past Lorelei's narrows. Great views! Took bus to Castle Reichenstein which although dating to 11th century was all rebuilt about 100 years ago and is now much too commercial. Beautiful views from roof but the "medieval dinner" with lute music, etc. very "corny", very loud and too long.

Day 9 Worms. Took bus to Heidelberg (about 1 hr). Heidelberg Castle was very impressive. Then lunch at Hotel Zum Ritter was very good. Brief walk in old town then bus to meet ship in Mannheim.

Day 10 Plittersdorf. Bus to Baden-Baden (30 min) which is a lovely Spa town that dates from Roman times. Beautiful Casino and many upscale shops/baths/apothecaries but not too many historical sites.

Day 11 Dock in Kehl, Germany across Rhine from France. 30 min bus to Strasbourg. Bus tour of more modern city which was excellent. Drove past Parc de l'Orangerie with many tree top storks. Then walking tour of old city was excellent. Notre Dame is amazing with its wonderful stained glass, and amazing astronomical clock and overall construction. Wonderful lunch at La Corde a Linge along the Ill in Petite, France. If you get back to the ship and the weather is nice grab a bike and ride toward the right. After the pavement ends a very nice gravel nature path goes for several miles with interesting fish, birds, etc.

Day 12 Basel. Arrived on Sunday and most shops closed. The old town, Cathedral and town hall were interesting but really only takes about 1.5-2 hrs. Several good museums. But if you have an option take the bus ride to Lucerne.

The ship passes through many(30+) locks which are quite interesting.

Our personal favorite stops in order of preference:

Strasbourg

Amsterdam

Trier

Mosel River Vistas

Middle Rhine River/Lorelei Vistas

Heidelberg old town and Castle

Cochem/Reichsburg Castle

Baden-Baden

Boppard

De Hoge Veluwe National Park and Kroller-Muller Museum

Bernkastel

American Memorial Cemetery Hamm, Luxembourg

Luxembourg City

Basel

Bonn

Dusseldorf

Negatives - The ship was very new - great - except the staff was also new with many trainees still in the learning phase. We expected great meals and they all did look beautiful - presentation was excellent - however, the taste was generally mediocre. Most people we spoke with were also disappointed with the quality of the food. Some meals had to be returned, which I have only done once before in my life. The soups were very good. The desserts were fair at best we mostly stuck to ice cream. But the food quality definitely improved as the trip progressed and perhaps the staff is rapidly getting better. The optional dinners in Arthur's were usually much better - eat there at least a few times. The staff was very attentive to everyone's special food needs. Internet access is free but very spotty and very slow. Our biggest disappointment was the relatively long bus rides to visit most of the interesting cities/towns. We mistakenly assumed that the ship would dock within beautiful cities along the Rhine and Mosel but this was not the case. Most days we took 45 min - 1 hour bus rides to the places we visited. Our tour also skipped Cologne and its cathedral which we would have loved to see. Not sure why since we stopped at several ports with little interest. Would rather have spent more time at the better stops. Also the first 3 days traveling in this direction are through industrial Rhine and not picturesque. Glad we went in the direction from Amsterdam to Basel or our trip would have gone from good to great to poor vis a vis the scenery and ended on a down note (although Amsterdam itself was excellent).

Overall a good but not great trip. I think that with tweaking by Tauck and Scylla, it can become a much better trip.

PS I wrote this review before “seeing the posting by “tonir1025” and it is amazing how similar our reviews are. And we both have gluten dietary issues!

 

Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014

We booked a river cruise with Tauck based on reviews from friends and the new longship.

Pluses: The MS Inspire is a beautiful ship. The lobby and common areas are beautiful and spotless. We booked a little late and the only room ... Read More

We booked a river cruise with Tauck based on reviews from friends and the new longship.

Pluses: The MS Inspire is a beautiful ship. The lobby and common areas are beautiful and spotless. We booked a little late and the only room available was a Cat. 3 on the bottom deck with the steps up to the large windows. We loved the room, but we heard very loud noises all night, as if toilets were being flushed right outside our door. Although this is a minus, I spoke to Steve, our tour director, and he immediately offered us another room on the middle deck. From them on we didn't hear anything and slept like babies. The Scylla crew was wonderful, very helpful and friendly. Steve was a terrific tour director. Carrie, Mark and Lacey were on top of their game,

Minuses: This is not a cheap cruise, but we felt the food was maybe a B. We were expecting real gourmet fare, but it fell a little short. For example, we started out with local German wines, but by the last night we had Chilean and South African wines. We were not that far from France - really? The portions were on the small side which was fine for me but my husband could have gone for seconds, never offered. I will say that the soups were outstanding! And the staff was very accomodating to my gluten allergy, going out of their way to ensure I had GF bread and dessert. Now for the not so good news: except for the cathedral in Cologne, we should have skipped Dusseldorf and Cologne altogether. The cities are dirty and have no charm, the local guides were awful (Reiner) and we did not enjoy it at all. We had 2 off the boat excursions, and the meals were terrible at both places. Lunch took way too long and our pork was inedible, dinner at the castle was not much better. We joked that we were at Medeival Times with corney entertainment and bad tourist food. We made the most of it and actually had a good time with our new friends from the boat, but we should have toured the castle, had a drink and snack, and eaten on the boat - OR had a better caterer! Fortunately the stops improved after that - from Koblenz on the cities were charming. Strasbourg and Baden-Baden were wonderful, I wished we skipped the earlier stops and expanded those stops to a day each. The cruise during the middle Rhine was awesome, looking at all the castles. And Luzerne was the best of all - a great city, good shopping, and the trip up to Mt. Pilatus was the best day of the trip - up the mountain in cable cars, down on the cog wheel train - the most beautiful views.

I think that people who take the cruise from Basel to Amsterdam will be very disappointed since the trip gets worse from south to north.

Overall - given the premium price, I am not so sure we will book another river cruise with Tauck. Although we ldid love the benefits of river cruising - unpack once, see many cities, and enjoy the relaxing feeling of floating down a calm river.

Read Less
ms Inspire Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 3.5
Rates 3.0 N/A

Find a Cruise