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!)
Cabin was nicely appointed, but unable to open the curtains at all, due to ships docked next to us in every port.