2 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
When we arrived in Vienna, it was very confusing because there was a man with a Tauck sign at the airport, but he was not expecting us. Fortunately, my friend spotted another man carrying a sign with our names on it - even though we were ... Read More
When we arrived in Vienna, it was very confusing because there was a man with a Tauck sign at the airport, but he was not expecting us. Fortunately, my friend spotted another man carrying a sign with our names on it - even though we were told to look for a Tauck sign. Tours were too early in the day - even when they didn't need to be to fit the overall trip. No good alternative if you were not able to walk a long distance and climb a lot of stairs or inclines. No activities on the ship if you chose not to participate in a tour. Also, information on the trip was not given far enough in advance and we would only learn about the next day's details the night before. Basically, Tauck's attitude toward their guests is - 'HURRY UP AND WAIT'. Way too much time on buses. Tours were disorganized and there was no 'plan B' if the weather turned bad or if there was another problem. My group was forced to stand in the rain for over a half hour at Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic and when we asked if we could proceed to the lunch location to get inside we were told NO by the Tauck director because we couldn't arrive before the scheduled time and we were told to go to a coffee shop to wait. On the last day of the cruise we were informed that we could not dock at Regensburg because of low water levels on the Danube, so we were back on buses again. When we disembarked on the final day instead of a three hour bus ride to Prague we had a five hour bus ride. We finally arrive at the Intercontinental Hotel Prague in the early afternoon. This is NO 5 Star Hotel - 4 at best and the staff was poorly trained. When I finally got my suitcase the bellman came to my room and handed it to me - I had to instruct him to put the bag on the luggage rack. (The Grand Wien Hotel was very nice by contrast.) (After the Tauck tour, my friend and I moved to The President Hotel Prague next door which is a 5 Star Hotel.) The worst part about this day was that because of some mishap/bungle on the part of your transport people we did not receive our luggage until 9pm that night - the Tauck directors kept stalling with no apologies. Again, Tauck had no 'Plan B'. The Tauck staff was NOT helpful and left the lobby desk at 6pm, so there was no one to contact about our bags and where they were. I could have done without the last farewell dinner in Prague because Tauck had no seating plan, so when my friend and I arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled cocktail time all the window-side dinner tables were taken and we had to hunt the dining room to locate seats - we could not even find a Tauck person to help us - they were too involved in making their farewell speeches. (The same thing happened at Palais Pallavicini for the welcome dinner in Vienna - no seating plan. My friend and I had to search for a seat and were at the very last table in the back of the room.) At my request - at the end of the evening in Prague Andrew Haringer came to our table and only after my citing all the issues we had on the trip did he apologize on behalf of Tauck - too little too late. I have to mention that the Scylla ship's crew were excellent which is more than I can say for the Tauck people. Out of the three Tauck directors, only one was somewhat professional and courteous. My friend and I both booked cabin category 7 as we had last year and we were so looking forward to this trip because we had taken a Tauck Rhine cruise a year before and had a wonderful time. This time we couldn't wait to get home! I have traveled all over the world for 50 years and am accustomed to first class travel - this is NOT it. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I chose the river cruise as a new experience. We normally travel internationally alone, but we have heard very good things about tauck tours and thought that the boat was small and the group would be a manageable size. We ... Read More
My husband and I chose the river cruise as a new experience. We normally travel internationally alone, but we have heard very good things about tauck tours and thought that the boat was small and the group would be a manageable size. We are around 60 years old we had asked what the ages will repeat of the guests on the boat. We were told 60% over 60 years old 40% below. We were dismayed to find that generally speaking the primary age was mid to late 70s till early 90s, with very few below this age range. The cruise was half land and half sea. From the very first evening that we met as a group it was clear that we were to be herded around like cattle and it would be a very impersonal experience. Tauck reps spent all there time telling you what bus to get on with no interaction personally. On the bright side the hotel in Berlin was incredible. The tours were very good and the river ship was beautiful with wonderful staff. The food throughout the trip was very good. And the countries we visited Germany Austria Poland were fabulous. Much time was spent on buses literally entire days were spent on buses where we were herded iaround. Although I have wonderful memories I will not be repeating this experience in anyway shape or form. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We decided to try a river cruise and bring no expectations with us allowing us the chance to be very open minded about our experience. We had been asked to try this type of travel by long time friends. Both of us have traveled extensively ... Read More
We decided to try a river cruise and bring no expectations with us allowing us the chance to be very open minded about our experience. We had been asked to try this type of travel by long time friends. Both of us have traveled extensively both abroad and stateside. The concept of starting the trip with two nights at a hotel was appealing as it greatly reduced the chance of missing the beginning of the cruise should there be any travel delays. The hotel was top notch and the transportation from the airport to the hotel very comfortable as they used small transit vans and not big buses. As for the cruise personal we had mixed feelings. Carel (sp) was very welcoming and very well informed. Monica (sp) was also knowledgable but her demeanor was at times harsh. Anita, fairly new to Tauck, was making a very good effort to welcome all. Her initial commentary on the first leg of the trip was somewhat choppy and when she referenced Neuschwanstein Castle as the Disney castle we couldn’t believe what we heard. All in all these were minor issues and the guides did a great job of taking care of all the guests. As for the ship the rooms were very well appointed and very comfortable. The meals provided were excellent as were the staff members. On several occasions there was musical entertainment brought on board. They were also excellent. Things that were not to our liking but totally out of control by Tauck. The river is so busy now with over 600 river cruises (according to our cruise directors) that the journey feels more like being on a highway. The fact that you can’t open your drapes because there may be a ship parked next to you created a feeling of being very closed in. Because the ship only has one main lounge and one very small lounge there isn’t a lot to do when you’re sailing. Since we didn’t have great weather for being outdoors we weren’t able to use the top deck very often. The entertainment is definitely geared to a much older crowd. The pace is very slow and that may not appeal to certain groups. The day touring often consisted of riding on a tour bus to a destination and then being in groups with “vox boxes” where there was a local guide describing the area we were seeing. The local guides were good in general. Often the groups were 20 people in size which was larger than we would have liked. We understood this to be a historical tour and although the guides were informative the tours at times were somewhat long winded and we preferred to leave the tour and just experience the area. Our final thoughts about the river cruise. Tauck excels at this type of cruise but it’s not the type of cruise that we would choose to do again. The ship is very small, there are now too many ships on the river, the typical guest is quite elderly, the onboard activities weren't very interesting for guests younger than 70. We're definitely not group tour individuals. We prefer to explore on our own. If you want a very planned experience with a lot of group tours than this would probably be to your liking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The wi fi signal was the worst I have ever experienced of my 18 times on cruise ship. Although this is the 1st time I travel on river cruise. I don't believe the wi fi signal can be this bad on river cruise as compare to ocean ... Read More
The wi fi signal was the worst I have ever experienced of my 18 times on cruise ship. Although this is the 1st time I travel on river cruise. I don't believe the wi fi signal can be this bad on river cruise as compare to ocean cruise. I can understand the ship may pass through an area that has bad signal which the signal could be bad and speed might be slow for a few hours. But for 7 days & nights continuously to be bad and super slow signal? I don't believe it. I am disappointed with this so call Luxury cruise line. Their other services, shore excursion arrangement, food, on board service, are all great. Luggage arrangement to and from hotel for Embarkation and disembarkation was excellent. Worry free. Entertainment is fine. Piano singing and dancing every night, some nights had performance. Overall, the Ship was comfortable, clean and fresh. I wish the menu can be more creative and more selection. But the cooking was good. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first river cruise and we decided to try Tauck because of the companies long history of delivering first rate travel. Our expectations were high and there was not one aspect of the trip that did not exceed our expectations. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we decided to try Tauck because of the companies long history of delivering first rate travel. Our expectations were high and there was not one aspect of the trip that did not exceed our expectations. First, AND FOR MOST - the crew - Cruise Director Maggie was ever present and made a point of chatting with each and every passenger. The three Tauck directors: Sinead, Bettina, and Ernst were amazing. Such knowledgeable and helpful people; you could not have asked for better. My husband had some health issues going into this trip and the directors were incredibly helpful and always making sure he was doing ok. The rest of the crew on the Savor were also so friendly and helpful - those folks work so hard to make sure the passengers are relaxed and well taken care of. The ship itself was lovely. We did have a large cabin which was well maintained at all times. The dinning room was lovely and the wait staff was great. The food was so nice with good options and always something that was "local" to the region we were in. The wines and beer were regional which we found quite nice - it was fun trying something new. The itinerary was well thought out and had some very good options. What was so special about the itinerary and Tauck was the Special Nights: Dinning and entertainment at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague, being welcomed into the private homes of some of the townspeople of Englhartszell (very special), dinner and entertainment at the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, and dinner and entertainment at the Akademia Club in Budapest. These special activities really made this trip so enjoyable. The sign of a great tour company is the ability to handle hiccups - on one of our mornings the directors found out our one coach had broken down - without skipping a beat the directors had taxi outside our ship and we off to our destination without losing any time!!!! We would go on a Tauck trip anytime!!!!!! Read Less
12 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
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
15 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
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