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.