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72 Tauck Cruise Reviews

We wanted a “get away from it all” break so chose a quiet river cruise. The ship cabin and staff were all excellent. The organisation by Tauck is first rate. Yes it is expensive but you are taken care of from the moment you land to the ... Read More
We wanted a “get away from it all” break so chose a quiet river cruise. The ship cabin and staff were all excellent. The organisation by Tauck is first rate. Yes it is expensive but you are taken care of from the moment you land to the moment you depart. We chose the ship because it had a second dining venue. That’s available all the time except the one really formal evening. Basic choices but nice to have a choice of venue. The alcohol is all in. So if you want to drink champagne for the whole week you can. The beer liquor and wine choices were all good but not exceptional. Glenlivet 12 yo was the best scotch. The clientele was 99% older well travelled Americans. We did some of the daily tours but some days just did our own thing. The tours were all well organised. I would highly recommend but just warn that if you are under 50 and not American you will stand out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have just returned from our unforgettable, glorious, spectacular 14 night river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. After we had booked our holiday we read some unfavourable reviews and began to wonder what we may be in for. We had no ... Read More
We have just returned from our unforgettable, glorious, spectacular 14 night river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. After we had booked our holiday we read some unfavourable reviews and began to wonder what we may be in for. We had no need to worry, everything about the holiday was fabulous. The small ship was luxurious and elegantly furnished. the restaurant food, delicious. with a large variety that changed each day to suit the country. The staff were incredible and dedicated to making sure all passengers enjoy their holiday. The day tours extremely well organised. and just the right amount of tour and free time to wander about in the towns. Just everything was perfect. We saw a review that said the wines were bad, We were served to most spectacular wines especially chosen by our lovely maitre d, Andreea each night, the champagne was Moët and Chandon, ( which you could have with breakfast if you so wished. We discovered Pina Calada cocktails were extremely tasty !. Each time I have one in the future I will be reminded to my tauck river cruise. The only advice I would give is that most of our passengers were between 50 and 80, so possibly it would not appeal to the younger person. Many thanks to all the staff on board that made our holiday memorable. Would we book with tauck again..... You bet ya!...... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We eagerly awaited our Tauck family trip as we had an extremely positive experience in the past. This was anything but positive- the boat was not able too maintain comfortable temperatures in the heat we experienced, the food was bland and ... Read More
We eagerly awaited our Tauck family trip as we had an extremely positive experience in the past. This was anything but positive- the boat was not able too maintain comfortable temperatures in the heat we experienced, the food was bland and even inedible at times- we ended up eating plain pasta and cucumbers off the kids salad bar, the nightly entertainment was nonexistent and disappointing. The service on the boat was fine, we just wished we had spent a week in a comfortable hotel room and missed an actual authentic and fun experience eating real French food and immersing in French culture. This was in No way a good value- we have deep regret trusting this company and we won't do it again. CAVEAT EMPTOR- this trip was the budget express. We are now looking to travel with reputable companies that stand by their name and product- it's not the cost, it's the quality of what is delivered. This was truly disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second Tauck river cruise, the first one being from Milan to Amsterdam on the Rhine and it was wonderful! This cruise however was terribly disappointing for a number of reasons. First, and this of course is no one's ... Read More
This was our second Tauck river cruise, the first one being from Milan to Amsterdam on the Rhine and it was wonderful! This cruise however was terribly disappointing for a number of reasons. First, and this of course is no one's fault, was the weather. It rained for most of the days, but that's neither here nor there. Second, the time spent on buses from the docks to the various excursions was excessive. The buses were comfortable, but if we had wanted to book a bus tour we would have done so. More importantly, it seemed we had very little time to just "hang out" in the ports and get a feel for the towns as we had on the previous cruise. In fact, due to spending four hours on the bus round trip for the excursion to Salzburg (of "Sound of Music" fame) we barely had time for a nice lunch before we needed to meet back at the bus loading area. Thirdly, unlike the previous cruise which had excursions that varied from wine-tastings to museums to rides on the tram above the Rhine, this cruise seemed to focus on history over and over again. It was the same story: oppression by the Austrian Empire, the Nazi's and the Communists with a slightly different spin depending on the country we were in. It was fascinating and compelling the first couple of times but after that, it got old. More variety in excursions and the focus of the native guides would have much appreciated. The cabin was by far the biggest nightmare, however which will be reviewed below. All in all, this cruise fell well short of our expectations and we were severely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our travel agent has been raving about Tauck for years, so when we said we wanted to do a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, she suggested Tauck. We had been on a fabulous Viking river cruise a few years earlier and decided to try ... Read More
Our travel agent has been raving about Tauck for years, so when we said we wanted to do a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, she suggested Tauck. We had been on a fabulous Viking river cruise a few years earlier and decided to try something different. What a mistake. Logistics: Problems with logistics began even before we boarded the ship. We were told to wait for a driver at the east pick up point at Centraal train Station Amsterdam. We waited over half an hour, finally called and found out the driver had been told to pick us up at the west pick up point. He was cross and so were we. Then we found out the ship was a 5-minute walk from the train station. In many places, we had to stand around in the cold and rain waiting for buses. The two worst so far involved Nuremberg where the guides gleefully told us that because it was Sunday NOTHING was open, but we had over an hour ‘free time’ before we could return to the ship so we had a choice of going into a bar at 11 am or standing in the cold plaza waiting. A few days later, we were told we had an early tour and needed to board coaches at 8:30. We arrived at Melk Abbey 15 minutes later where we stood around in a cold courtyard for over 30 minutes waiting for guides. When the guides showed up, they had tour tickets for 9:15. There were many other similar logistical glitches, which might have been understandable on a less costly or larger tour. Sometimes, it would take the tour directors 15 - 20 minutes to divide us into groups - which could have been done on the warm, dry ship, rather than on the cold, rainy sidewalk. Health: Although folks, including crew and staff, began falling ill with an upper respiratory virus two days into the cruise, it wasn’t until day 11 of the cruise - well over a week later – that hand sanitizing was pushed aggressively. Food service, especially once the virus started spreading, helped to fuel the problem. Napkins in the bar, which are placed on the table for drinks and for people to use when eating hors d’oeuvres, were then collected, and piled up neatly for folks to use again!! Buffet lines, where people reach in for food, often with their hands that they may have just used to cover a cough or blow their nose, also helps spread germs. We've been on larger ships that closed buffet lines at the hint of a virus to try to stop its spread. Other cruise ships also have signs reminding guests to use a paper towel to open bathroom doors (which carry huge amounts of germs) but not Tauck. In short, Tauck did nothing to prevent the spread of this virus. They did, however, call in a doctor for a very sick guest. Prevention would have been a better solution! Standing around in the cold and rain worsened this health problem. Many folks on the cruise are over 65 and standing for long periods exacerbates issues with hips, knees, and backs but most of the ‘walking’ tours have involved long periods of standing while a guide told us of the history of the city (information we could have gotten in a printed or oral form before leaving the boat). Schedule and activities: Most days, time off the ship has been limited to a few hours (although there have been some evenings when folks could stay in town for dinner at their own expense). For the most part, activities and excursions have been limited to walking tours of the old town (which all began to look much the same!). This is not much fun in cold rainy weather – which is common in this area - and no alternatives were available. One day there was NO time off the ship which wouldn’t have been a hardship had there been anything to do other than eat and drink. There was a pile of games and puzzles in the main lounge, but no place to work the puzzles. One waiter offered to put up a table for several of us who wanted to work a puzzle, but it never happened even though there is an unused part of the lounge that would have been perfect. There are 3 public areas on the ship: the main dining room which is open only for meals, a large bar/lounge which is open all day but with muzak playing constantly and passengers congregated there all day with nothing to do but drink, the noise level is so high its hard to hear anyone sitting next to you - much less try to read a book. There is also a small 'cafe' on the aft end, but it too is noisy. I went up one morning at 4 am just to get a quiet cup of coffee (self serve coffee there), but a waiter showed up, flipped on the muzak. I asked him if he could turn it down - or off - and he said "But people LIKE music." I said I don't, I'm the only one here, and I'd like quiet. His response was to walk away leaving the muzak blaring. Quality of the few local musicians is very uneven and not up to the standards set on a Viking Cruise of the area we took a few years ago. Staff: Usually polite and knowledgeable, but some do not hold up well under pressure and snap at guests who ask questions. Also, significant gaps in knowledge. One small city we visited had an amazing museum city which they knew nothing about; instead, they suggested a museum of tools. The Ship: Although recently updated, no noise abatement was added. In the public areas, with low ceilings and no noise abatement, conversation is difficult or impossible for those of us who are hard of hearing. During presentations, staff and guests continued to talk making it difficult to hear the speaker. Our cabin was the smallest one I've ever seen. We are not large people, but we could not pass each other walking around the room. There were two problems with our first cabin: a door that wouldn’t stay closed and a stopped up sink, were fixed eventually (for a couple of days, I was told the door wouldn’t stay closed because I wasn’t holding the key properly and the only way to close it was to slam it - thus annoying our neighbors, but when the maintenance man finally came, he had to re drill the door closing). The worst problem was the HVAC which kept our room very cold no matter what we did. This was even more uncomfortable after we got sick. After several days, of the maintenance guy coming and 'fixing' it, on day 11 of the cruise, we were moved into another cabin which also has problems with air, wildly vacillating water temperatures (i.e. cold to scalding in a flash), and cooking odors coming up through the HVAC system. That seems like a lot of problems for a ship that had recently been overhauled. Fitness and Recreation: One tiny room - claustrophobic, with a stationary bike and a few weights - was at the bottom of circular stairs and no way to signal anyone if there was a problem. I could have stood in there and screamed and no one would have heard me. We sent these complaints to our travel agent who forwarded them to Tauck. The Customer Service Representative apparently told our travel agent that this was all normal. The woman at Tauck finally agreed to talk with me, but it was a very unsatisfying conversation: no “sorry that happened,” all she’d say was that it is their policy to talk only with travel agents. Apparently, once they've been paid, they have no interest or concern that this was the worst two weeks of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this Christmas Markets tour because it included cities we know and love: Aachen, Cologne, Rudisheim, Heidelberg, Baden Baden, Strassburg and Colmar. Although cruising the Rhine became problematic after a year of historic heat and ... Read More
We chose this Christmas Markets tour because it included cities we know and love: Aachen, Cologne, Rudisheim, Heidelberg, Baden Baden, Strassburg and Colmar. Although cruising the Rhine became problematic after a year of historic heat and low river levels, Tauck found a way to make it all work seamlessly, instituting a "ship swap" half way through. Yes, it is inconvenient to have to pack up and unpack again, but Tauck saw to it that it was a minor inconvenience. Our bags were left packed in our room, and when we got to our new ship and almost identical room, there were our bags. We give them a lot of credit for insuring we got to the places we wanted to see and minimized the inconvenience. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas; the crew was festive and jovial. The smaller ship made it easy to meet people and share information. Our tour directors were very knowledgeable and our city guides were very good, one, Markus, in Cologne, not only good but very funny. Tauck really has these trips down to a fine art. Transfers are on time, without making you feel rushed. The MS Grace had lovely spaces, a great dining room, a nice alternative casual dining spot, a huge lounge, and a great large walking deck up top with the hottest hot tub I have ever experienced. We felt like cherished guests our entire time on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 2018
We have traveled with Tauck on four previous land vacations and figured they would be just as good on a river. We traveled from Amsterdam to Budapest. Halfway, we had to switch ships with Sprit's sister ship, the Treasures. Kept the ... Read More
We have traveled with Tauck on four previous land vacations and figured they would be just as good on a river. We traveled from Amsterdam to Budapest. Halfway, we had to switch ships with Sprit's sister ship, the Treasures. Kept the same cabin number. The Danube River was too low and we heard about other tour groups bussing to cities from a docked ship. Our ship had 78 tourists; our cabin was about 300 sq ft. This was great as we got to know almost everyone at least a little bit. The ship swap required a 3 hour drive after a city tour. Our Tour Directors made this fun with games, cookies, crackers, and wine on the bus! Highlights: A private dinner at a Palace in Vienna with 2 opera singers, 2 ballet dancers, and a chamber orchestra: a night sail on the Danube through Budapest - BEAUTIFUL: Lunch at Bruer's Rudesheimer Schloss with great music playing both German and American tunes: Sailing through the Lorelei Valley and the Wachau Valley (Rhine and Danube): Lunch on our own during free time in 3 cities (Tauck gave each person 20 Euros for spending money). The only extra costs we had on this entire trip were a couple meals as we arrived a day early and our souvenirs. You will never go wrong with Tauck. They PLAN for anything! and everything! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Danube Cruise 2018, Traveled 8-02-18 The first thing I want to say is this cruise and all the Tours were all top notch. My traveling companions were all pleased. The money spent is well worth it because you are escorted, given great ... Read More
Danube Cruise 2018, Traveled 8-02-18 The first thing I want to say is this cruise and all the Tours were all top notch. My traveling companions were all pleased. The money spent is well worth it because you are escorted, given great tour guides who take the time to give you an “insiders” look and little treats along the way. I did a Rhine Cruise on Uniworld in 2016, but, this was even better. I would recommend flying in one day early and be able to do all the tours because they are that good and we missed the first day due to flight delays. I am writing this review because I could not find anything extensive on it written. It is hot in August in Europe. You will wear sleeveless tops and shorts and capris and remember your good walking shoes. Nights are best with a nice tunic and leggings, no need for any fancy dresses, jackets or blazers even for the men. The only jacket you need is for the plane when they blast you with A/C. I am also handi-capped and had no trouble keeping up on the tours. This was not the case for other cruise lines I had been on. Every evening, you are given an Itinerary of the next day, along with a card on each town. Maps are available for Orientation. The Ladies in charge of our cruise were Cindy, Daisy, Diane and Hollie Our cruise began with a late afternoon flight out of Charleston into JFK. Naturally being August, thunderstorms formed up in Boston and our flight was delayed for 3 hours and of course we missed our connecting flight into Prague. Well Delta was able to get us routed onto a 1:30AM Flight to MOSCOW……….. on Auerflot. A beautiful and new Airbus with outstanding service, unfortunately, we did not have our “premier” seats we had already paid for. We landed on the tarmac as the terminal did not have a gate available. 300 people were offloaded onto buses. The clock was ticking as we had only 1 hour and 45 minutes to get our connecting flight to Prague. We got thru Passport Control and connected to the second terminal and caught our flight as it was boarding for Prague. This put us in Prague at 9pm instead of 12 noon. Our luggage was held back in JFK and put on the next flight out. Note to self, do not schedule overseas flights to take off late afternoon summer due to thunderstorms being present everyday. Tauck got us to our Hotel which was lovely. We had packed changes of clothes and the hotel gave us a Sundries kit to tide us over. Prague was lovely. We did miss the Welcoming reception at Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle because of our delayed flight, but Tauck gave us 50 Euros a piece to compensate for our missed meal. We missed our first tour and we did the Afternoon tour of the ancient Hradcany (Castle) district on a guided excursion to 1,000-year-old Prague Castle's complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens; the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus; and the grand Baroque libraries of Strahov Monastery, where we received our very own private tour while others could only stand at a barrier and look inside. We elected to “sleep in” instead of exploring Regensburg (which was the only town others did not care for). At 1:30pm, we boarded a bus for a 3 hour ride with scheduled bathroom stops. To Passau to embark. The bus took the back roads which took us thru the Sudetenland and some of the most charming villages and thru the Black Forest. Lots of history here. Arrived in Passau and got on our boat the M.S. Joy with a welcome reception and dinner aboard. Everything is delightful. Perfect! Once the ship knew we wanted to sit together, they gave us our very own table in the back. Engelhartszell we cruised up the Danube and were selected to be part of a group of 7 To visit to a local private home (and a taste of local cake, sweets and coffee), It turned out to be a local farm who had been in the same family since 1642. We saw their chickens, dairy cows and then treated to Elderberry water and fresh milk from their cows. They also offered their house made bacon and Strudel. Many people ride their bikes along here as a vacation. We elected to do a tour of the Jochenstein Lock on the Danube, through which ships navigate through the Wachau Valley. We walked the entire length of the lock and this cruise goes thru 14 different locks. We were not allowed inside the lock, but, our guide was wonderful and knowledgeable. Following lunch aboard the riverboat, Tauck offered an optional bicycle ride along the Danube to Aschach before continuing your cruise this afternoon, bound for Linz. They had two takers, but, it poured down rain on them. We had dinner that evening; after the riverboat's arrival in Linz, but, the musical trio Donau3Klang which offered entertainment was not intriguing to me. Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov or Linz We wisely chose to tour Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. We traveled through beautiful landscapes to Cesky Krumlov, which was narrated by Daisy and saw some of the stunning black Forest and quaint Country Vacation house. Cesky is graced with an incredibly well-preserved medieval heritage and charming ambiance. The town and it’s people are charming and so beautiful. We walked thru the palace Gardens and then toured part of Krumlov Castle climbing the many steps to see firsthand the medieval, Renaissance and Rococo design found inside, along with the stunning views of the town below. At the end of the tour, we were each given a delicious Gingerbread snack!! Lunch was on our own and then it was time to depart for the ship. Excellent tour and Day! 6 Wachau Valley cruise to Dürnstein We continued our Blue Danube River cruise through the Wachau Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved medieval landscapes. The cruise narrated the sites along the way, but, several of us said the Castles on the Rhine part of that cruise was far more exciting. We docked in Dürnstein and took a walking tour along cobblestone streets while some elected for a bicycle ride in the Wachau Valley. We visited the Augustinian Monastery which was breathtaking. During free time, we discovered this region is known for their Apricots! Apricot jam, Apricot liquer…… some might have taken the 20 minute climb up the steps to the ruins of Kuenringerburg, a hilltop castle above the town where Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom during the Crusades, from which the views of the river and valley are glorious. But we did not, instead we did the 4:30pm beautiful wine tasting at an authentic Austrian tavern. The tasting lasted an hour and we wish it had been done at 3:30pm. Would have allowed us to get back to the ship at 4:30, have a cocktail and get ready for dinner. Those friends who chose not to go into town ended up sitting at the stern enjoying the beautiful river views. Vienna We started with a bus tour that circled around Vienna and then did the walking tour of the Jewish district of old Vienna. I was astounded to see brass plaques on the walls of houses, naming the jewish occupants who were seized for deportation by Hitler. The Austrian people continue to apologize to those of the Jewish faith for those Atrocities. Tauck had a number of buses running beginning at noon who wanted to go back to the ship. We were escorted down their large mall with shops on either side, but, it was so full of tourists we did not stop. We went so we could get back in time for the private Imperial Evening in the Palais Pallavicini, an opulent, private Viennese palace that played a role in the 1940s film noir classic The Third Man. Welcome cocktails and dinner precede an unforgettable spectacle of beautiful ball gowns and a musical performance celebrating the legacy of Mozart. And it was exactly that, just fabulous! Lasted 3 hours. Vienna sightseeing & on to Slovakia Our second day in Vienna, we chose a morning tour to visit the amazing Imperial Apartments at the Hofburg – including the Sisi Museum, dedicated to the popular 19th-century Empress Elisabeth of Austria ("Sisi"), wife of Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph – today Austria’s official presidential residence. I only wish I had made time to visit the Small museum housing the crown Jewels. We were escorted back to where the buses would pick us up. There is an excellent chocolatier named “Bon Bons” right across the street where I could rush in and buy Chocolate for friends back home. Tauck gave us Euro’s to spend in a Café, instead I bought Chocolate. Back to the ship, lunch and then an afternoon cruise to neighboring Slovakia. I felt no need to dine in any of the cities as the Chef on the ship did an outstanding job preparing foods local to the region. Bratislava What a lovely old City and an education of how a city can gleam 20 years after emerging from Communist rule. We all felt this was the most welcoming city because so many menus were in English. We had a walking tour of this cobblestoned, vehicle-free city, and saw 17 centuries of history eloquently chronicled in sites including its 13th-century Old Town Hall, Baroque Habsburg-era palaces, the Opera House, Slovak Philharmonic Hall and St. Martin’s Cathedral. We were then escorted to an outdoor café where we could have local beer, water or cola drinks and a slice of the local pastry. A crescent shaped roll with a nut filling. Mine was not fresh, but, it was a nice gesture. Farewell dinner tonight and then we must leave our ship in the morning. What Tauck boats can get to Bratislava and Viking cannot?? Better ships belong to Tauck! Disembark in Budapest & explore Buda (Budapest, Hungary, which is split into the sections of Buda and Pest by the Danube River) It was pouring rain, but, we were prepared. They tell you to bring rain gear and it lasted about 20 minutes. We bid farewell to the crew, got off and they walked us to the Covered Market. We only had 45 minutes in the market, but, this was the perfect place to buy Souvenirs. Here is my suggestion, give us a rough diagram of the Market with how the shops are laid out. I would loved to have purchased a Herend Rabbit here. We then explore the city's Buda side with a walking tour of Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; saw Fishermen’s Bastion with its Neo-Romanesque design, and admire the stained glass windows and centuries of history in Matthias Church. We were given some free time to shop and then met back up at the bus and transferred to the Ritz Carlton where Tauck had a beautiful lunch buffet for us. We relaxed that afternoon enjoying the view from our hotel with preplanned dinner reservations at a restaurant that night. Discover Pest & party at the Akadémia Club This morning we explored the Pest side of the city on a tour including a special visit to the opulent State Opera House, opened in 1884, with its royal boxes, gilded vaulted ceiling, exquisite murals and three-ton chandelier and a special Tauck exclusive performance by two of the singers, pure magic! We then rode in a bus which passed by City Park and Heroes’ Square, bounded by some of the finest architectural works in Hungary. Later we did the themed walking tour that focuses on the Hungarian Revolution and includes the Parliament building, the Embassy and St. Stephen’s Basilica. On the way back to the hotel, we saw some friends at an outdoor café and went to have lunch at the Red Pepper where I had the best Goulash yet! That night we had our farewell dinner is at the grand Akademia Club in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences – a fitting finale to our memorable Blue Danube River cruise adventure. Budapest is gorgeous and safe! The Hungarians are awesome and they even have a bronze statute of Ronald Reagan in their square. They are so thankful he helped get them out from under Communist rule. Homeward bound We took the included transfer from The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport about a 30 minute ride for an 11:30 flight Since we had to allow a minimum of three hours for check-in at the airport., we left at 8:30am. We were able to eat our included breakfast at the hotel at 8am this way, but, the security line at the airport was incredibly long. I would advise anyone traveling in Europe to get the fast track pass to avoid this or fly at dark thirty. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2018
We had such a good time on this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. "Castles on the Rhine" by Tauck Bridges - our group had lots of grandparents, parents (like us), teens and even a few intrepid younger kids. It was so carefree. ... Read More
We had such a good time on this cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. "Castles on the Rhine" by Tauck Bridges - our group had lots of grandparents, parents (like us), teens and even a few intrepid younger kids. It was so carefree. Tauck truly takes care of everything. That leads to a somewhat planned experience which individuals may or may not like. On this trip I surrendered to it, and it was wonderful. The cruise directors Michael, Anke, Felix and Teresa were delightful. Absolute professionals, they really went out of their way to ensure that everyone felt taken care of. They were also great with the kids' activities both on-board and off (soccer games in port, science museum, parties & games on board.) They also encouraged the kids to make friends. My favorite excursions were the bicycle ride in Koblenz and the dinner at Burg Satzvey Castle. My favorite city on the cruise was Basel, the embarkation point - so many lovely museums, easy walking, trams if your feet got tired. Even though it rained on our day in Lucerne & Mt Pilatus, we had a lot of fun there. Strasbourg was absolutely gorgeous. The food was great! High quality and many choices for all, including kids. Wine choices and bar service were also excellent. The only (minor) disappointment: a couple of the local tour guides were not outstanding - I liked the ones in Strasbourg and the bike guides in Koblenz, but the walking guides in Cologne and Amsterdam were just "eh." I ended up turning off my earpiece vox and just enjoying the sights and the Van Gogh museum. But this is a minor quibble. Tauck did an outstanding job. I would absolutely recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date June 2018
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
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 2017
We began our journey on April 25, 2016, when we booked a long-time dream of a European River cruise. It seemed forever in the distance. The cost of the cruise was $18,170. We booked our own air on American Airlines at a cost of $3638.12. ... Read More
We began our journey on April 25, 2016, when we booked a long-time dream of a European River cruise. It seemed forever in the distance. The cost of the cruise was $18,170. We booked our own air on American Airlines at a cost of $3638.12. Steve used points to pay for the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam and the Hilton Budapest and the Conrad hotel in London. All excursions were included in the cruise at no additional cost… as was all liquor and transfers from the airports. The reality finally came true, when we boarded the first leg of our flight for Dallas at 11:30 on September 16. We left Dallas at 4 pm for the 9.5-hour flight to Amsterdam. Immigration was very crowded and it took an hour to get through. We looked for our driver where Tauck told us to find him but we could not find our driver. We did find a tauck representative who did not have our name on his list. He made a phone call and a few minutes a later our driver found us. He said we came in the wrong gate... well I can't answer that other than to say we took the exit immigration told us to take. He helped us with our bags and drove us to the Waldorf. We were greeted by the bellmen. We checked in but our room was not ready so we walked to the Van Gogh museum where we had pre-purchased tickets on line. The museum is lovely… but we were so very tired…I am not sure we were able to really appreciate the artwork we saw. While there we received a text that our room was ready. We walked back to the Waldorf and reception took us to room 204…which had a beautiful view of the garden. The room was beautiful. The bathroom was simply luxurious. The luggage was already in the room. We decided to take a nap and then afterward went to happy hour. We went to dinner at the Goldfinch Brasserie. We got the three-course dinner with the wine pairing. We had sturgeon Shrimp, Japanese ribs, and sweet waldorf salad. The meal and service were excellent. We came back to the room and took a hot bath and went to bed. September 18 2017 On Monday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel. We had eggs benedict. Then we walked to the red-light district and then to the Anne Frank House where we had pre-purchased tickets online. We walked back to the Waldorf and gathered our bags. The waldorf arranged for a taxi for 50 euros. The driver called the ship to find out where it was docked. We arrived at 3:00 p.m. in the pouring rain. No one... not one single person greeted us on the dock. Even the driver commented how unusual it was for no one to be there to assist us. So, we walked to the gangway and poor Steve struggled with two large bags, the backpack and the camera bag…while I had my purse and another bag. I got to the door and asked the young man to help my husband. He just stood there so I handed him my bag and went back down the gangway to help Steve. I went to the desk and checked in…which consisted of telling her our name. They checked no passport…no paper work…nothing. They told us which room... 211 and two men did help us bring the luggage to the room... thank God …because steve was furious. This is the smallest room we have ever had on a cruise. We booked a room with a king bed and a French balcony. There was a small desk and two chairs. You could not walk between the desk and the bed if someone was sitting in the chair. We unpacked and I went to the desk to ask for more hangers. They did give us more. We went to the bar and got a glass of wine and ate some nachos. We went to the desk to ask how to hook to the internet. They said to bring all of our devices to them. So, we did. We hooked to the internet which was excruciatingly slow…but at least we did have connections. When we arrived, there were very few passengers on board but at 4:00 they all seemed to arrive. There is nothing fancy about this ship. If this is a premier river cruise line I would hate to see a cheaper one. For dinner, we had Dutch salad and Dutch soup and perch and Dutch apple pie for dinner. We retired to our room…exhausted and disappointed. September 19 2017 On Tuesday, we had the breakfast buffet on the ship, then went to the Rijksmuseum. We then had a private luncheon cruise on a canal boat. We had Avocado salad, chicken fillet and Dutch apple pie. It was very lovely. We then had a 2-hour bus ride to catch up to our ship in Nijmengen. We had dinner and went to the lounge. September 20 2017 On Wednesday, we got to sleep in and then went to breakfast at 9. We docked about 11:30 in Cologne Germany. We toured the beautiful church and the roman museum. Almost all of the city was destroyed by bombs…but they did not destroy the church. We had a formal cocktail hour and then a beautiful formal dinner. We had lobster and I had extra foie gras. September 21 2017 On Thursday, we traveled the Rhine and saw many beautiful castles and vineyards on our way to Rudesheim Germany. We had a very lovely lunch at a place called rudesheimer Schloss. We had Riesling, salad, German potato soup, wiener Schnitzler, apple strudel and rudescheim cafe...with brandy. We toured the Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkaninett...and rode on a cable car to the top of the mountain to see the niederwald monument and then back down again. When we got on board, I decided to talk to Carlos the cruise director about the glitch in our arrival and transport from the airport and the fact that no one helped us with our luggage upon our arrival to the ship. He said so the driver went to the wrong gate….and did you expect people to stand in the rain to help you on board? I regretted speaking to him…because he sealed the dissatisfaction and disappointment. You simply cannot undo that kind of impression. All we wanted was an apology and a promise that it would be addressed. We felt that because we did not stay in the Tauck recommended hotel…we were punished. Had we stayed in the “right” hotel…we would have arrived on the bus with the rest of the group and everything would have been properly taken care of. Point taken…. lesson learned…Tauck lost a customer. Friday September 22 2017 We traveled from the Rhine to the Main River overnight…we went through many locks all night…and have continued to go through locks today and we went up on deck to watch how the process works. A glass blower Hans Ittig came aboard from the town of Wertheim…which we go by but do not stop at…and he gave a glass blowing demonstration and had items to sell. I bought a masterpiece horse head, a ship in a bottle, engraved shot glasses and an ornament. We took pictures of the room. Autumn is falling in Germany…and the hills are beginning to have many colors. Saturday September 23 Today we went to Würzburg and then took a bus to Rothenberg. We visited St. Jacob’s church. We had lunch at Ratsstube Restaurant bakery. I had a ham and cheese croissant and steve had quiche. Then we went to a wine tasting at Staatliche Hofkeller in the cellar of the Wurzburg Residenz. Following dinner was disco night in the lounge. Sunday Sept 24 2017 We arrived in Bamberg Germany We toured the city and the church. We did a beer tasting and sausage tasting. We came back to the ship and had a concert by the oompah oompah oompah band. September 25 2016 Monday We toured Nurnberg. We went to the documentation Center, Zeppelin Field, and the Court house. We went to the City Center. We had lunch at Bratwursthausle Tucher Weizen. September 26 2017 Tuesday We cruised into Regensburg. For the first time, we went DOWN in the locks instead of up. We have crossed the continental divide and are now on the Danube river. We toured parts of the town then went to the Thurn and Taxix palace. Then we sampled beer and brats at Hacker-Pschott Brauhaus am Schloss. We had veal at the Bistro for dinner and then were entertained by the Regensburg Spitzwegquartett. September 27 2017 We had our last stop in Germany…Passau. We went to St. Stephens church to hear a concert on the 17,986-pipe organ. We had lunch…wiener schnitzel… at am paulusbogen. We bought a beautiful cuckoo clock and a stein which will be shipped to our home. The clock was about $1000 euro. September 28 2017 Thursday We went to Melk Austria to visit the magnificent Benedictine Abby. Then we cruised the beautiful Wachau Valley. We docked in Vienna about 6 pm. We had dinner onboard then went to ride the Vienna Prater…a very large Ferris wheel. There was a large shopping facility nearby. While shopping for ornaments, one fell off and broke. The clerk…came running over…picked it up and took it to the checkout. When I took all the things I was purchasing to the checkout…she informed me I was also paying for the broken ornament. Steve took me by the arm…and walked me to the door. She stopped us and said it was ok…she would not charge us. I bought an ornament, a spoon, a shot glass and a postcard. Smart lady…. because I could have purchased those things at the next place. Unfortunately, it was not a good first impression of Vienna. September 29 2017 Friday. This was the day I had waited for! This was the event that made the difference for me which river cruise line I chose for this vacation. Tauck, was the only line that offered this special event. We began the day by touring the Schonbrunn Palace. Then we had lunch in the city at Mozart café…apple strudel and coffee.…and tonight a very special dinner in the Palais Pallavicini. We were greeted by gentlemen in tuxedos who offered us Champaign. A 3-piece orchestra played beautiful music. Then after the bell ringing to announce dinner, we were taken to the beautiful dining room. We were served a salad, soup, and veal and ice cream for dessert. While we ate, we were entertained by a 7-piece orchestra…two opera singers and two ballet dancers. It was a magical enchanting evening….one I will never forget. Tauck got this very right. September 30 2017 today we docked in Bratislava Slovakia. We did a walking tour of the city, visited the palace, and had coffee and a treat at zylinder café and restaurant. October 1 2017 Sunday Today arrived in Budapest Hungary. We took a city tour. We went to the castle district which is where the Hilton Budapest is. That afternoon, we went to the zoo. The zoo was small and old and dirty and smelly. The facilities were actually quite horrific and would never pass American standards. After dinner, we took a small boat ride to see all the lights at night. This is our last night on the ship. Carlos explained how the disembarkment process would work. October 2 2017 Monday Tauck arranged for a taxi to transport us to the hotel. It was 20 euro. We arrived at the Hilton Budapest. The bellman took our luggage. We checked in and room 382 was ready. The view from our room was amazing. The room was beautiful and the service was wonderful. We had breakfast and then walked around and did some shopping. We had dinner at pest Buda restaurant. We had goulash soup, duck liver and beef goulash with risotto. We retired for the evening but did not sleep well waiting for the 4:00 alarm to begin our journey to London. October 3 2017 As promised…the tauck driver was waiting in the lobby at 4:45 to take us to the airport. We flew to London with no glitches. Immigration was a long process but then we collected our bags and took a taxi to the Conrad. Cost for the Taxi was 72 pounds…. which is about $108. Our room was not ready, so we stored the bags and took a taxi to the London eye which I had prebooked on line. We then walked around and looked at a few things then walked back to the hotel and had lunch…fish and chips! The hotel location is very close to Buckingham palace, big ben, etc. We retired early because we got up at 4 am. Wednesday October 4 2017. Today we walked to Buckingham palace to watch the changing of the guard. I had no idea it was an hour process! We shopped in the Queens gallery. We went to the Churchill museum. We had lunch at Clarence Whitehall. Steve had Hampshire beef casserole with peas, onions and red wine jus. I had the sausage with mashed potatoes. Both were amazing! We walked to the guard museum and watched the horses. We had stood for two hours waiting for the changing of the guards and our dogs were really barking. Thursday October 5 2017 Today we took a taxi back to the airport for the long flight home. Cost was 78 pounds. Not sure why it was more than from the airport to the hotel but oh well. The flight from London to philly left 3 hours late so we also missed our connecting flight. We were able to get another flight to STL. We got home about midnight. This has truly been a trip of a lifetime. We met many wonderful people on the ship and formed friendships that will last a lifetime. In addition to Carlos…there were three ladies, Julia, Cindi and Patricia…that assisted him. These ladies were amazing. Their knowledge, their willingness to help in any way…was absolutely unbeatable. The wait staff on the ship was simply wonderful…especially kuskus…the bartender. I don’t think he could have done anything more than his very best to make everyone happy. The local guides were professional and knowledgeable…the bus drivers were simply AMAZING. I could never do what they do…driving those big buses in such small crowded places! We went through 68 locks…sometimes the ride was bumpy…but it was amazing to see how innovative the human mind can be. We saw beautiful Castles and Churches…ate in lovely restaurants…heard amazing music…and experienced places we could only dream of seeing. The beautiful fall colors along the rivers only enhanced the trip. We saw quaint little villages nestled in the hills and mountains along the way to the beautiful cities. People waved as we passed by…and never once did we feel unwelcome or afraid. The beautiful people of Europe always spoke English and treated us with respect and gratitude for our visit. We witnessed the damages of war…and the resilience of people…who pick themselves up and continue on…proving that hope never dies. There is always the promise of a new day. From Amsterdam to Budapest to London…even though we speak different languages and live in different countries…people are people…. with the same hopes and dreams for a brighter tomorrow. Thank you, Europe, for being a gracious host to a couple of kids from the Midwest who never ever dreamed a trip like this would be possible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was not a good match for us. We have been to France many times, most recently in April of this year, always on our own, and are both reasonably fluent in French. What we thought would be a spectacular voyage along the Saone ... Read More
This cruise was not a good match for us. We have been to France many times, most recently in April of this year, always on our own, and are both reasonably fluent in French. What we thought would be a spectacular voyage along the Saone and Rhone was overall a disappointment. The trip started and ended with excellent transfers provided by Tauck, and our first encounter was at the Intercontinental Grand, accommodations which were below what we normally book. In Paris we started with dinner at Fouquets which was quite good, but oddly enough there was no pre-dinner gathering so we could get acquainted with our fellow travelers. The next day was a useless bus ride around the sights of Paris at the height of the rush hour, an odd choice for travelers who had all been to Paris. This was followed by a brief trip to the museum of your choice. The guide there was excellent, as were all of the Tauck guides and cruise staff. The next day the TGV train was fine and we arrived in Lyon and boarded our boat. The boat was excellent, state of the art and new, and our level 7 cabin was outstanding. There were only 71 passengers on the boat the advantages and disadvantages I will leave to the reader to contemplate. Service aboard the boat was quite good, but we soon faced our greatest disappointment: the quality of the food. There was almost always one, meat, one fish, and one vegetarian choice for dinner along with the usual backup of steak, salmon and chicken. One problem was the awful quality of the fish. Tilapia being served on a cruise that was $10,000 a person? Salmon that was farmed? Rolled cod that was made from small pieces of fish? We would not eat this at home; why should we settle for less on a luxury vacation? Most dishes were served in a variety of heavily creamed sauces, which we always try to avoid. While the fresh fruit was good, simple green salads were rare. Even the croissants for the next 9 days were awful. The drinks in the bar were good, as were the wine selections. While the buses were new and the drivers excellent, we would have preferred more walking and less riding in buses. These bus trips invariably started at 9 AM (unless they started at 8:30). When we asked why, we were told that people wanted to be back on the ship for lunch. Few of the trips were memorable, the exceptions to the ranch in the Camargue and sites associated with Van Gogh. Typical of the poor planning was the bus ride from where the ship docked in Avignon to Monte Carlo. We stopped for 2 ½ hours in Nice, about a mile and a half from the Matisse and Chagall Museums (why not there???) and told to walk around and to get lunch on our own. They never even provided us with a list of good restaurants. Being able to get along in French, we used Yelp to find a nice restaurant away from the tourist dives and had a lunch that was better than what we had on the boat. We checked in to the Fairmont in Monte Carlo and were given an ocean view room on the smoking floor; in fact all of the rooms that Tauck booked were on this floor. While the hotel was excellent, and the food in the restaurants was expensive but good; the Tauck farewell dinner was so-so. We did not take any of the Tauck activities, but enjoyed walking around on our own, visiting the Palace, Aquarium, and shopping districts. This Tauck river cruise was a bad match for us. We are better suited to an ocean cruise where relaxing sea-days, great food and evening entertainment are joined by days in ports where we can explore on our own. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2017
This is my first Tauck trip and it did not disappoint in terms of service and the overall quality of what was offered. I did the 14 day Seine river cruise trip from Paris to London in July 2017. In practice this is only 9 days on ... Read More
This is my first Tauck trip and it did not disappoint in terms of service and the overall quality of what was offered. I did the 14 day Seine river cruise trip from Paris to London in July 2017. In practice this is only 9 days on the river boat and 5 days in hotels in Paris and London. The Tauck tour directors were helpful and friendly and I could not fault them. The whole trip was well organised and any glitches quickly dealt with. There were a number of 'small surprises' along the way which were appreciated and made you feel like you were valued and getting a high quality product - arguably you have already paid for these additional extras as part of the fare, however if you are looking for a trip experience which is above the essentials Tauck delivers. Scylla who own and operate the river boats offered an equally great product. Staff were professional and friendly - as good as I have experienced anywhere. Food quality and variety was much better than I expected and the wines were of a good standard. My main complaint about dinner service is that it is very rushed - given there is very limited entertainment on the river cruise, dinner should be made in to more of an event. What is the rush? The ship has recently been refitted and therefore it was fresh and modern. As mentioned this is a 14 day 'cruise' but only 9 nights on board the ship. The other nights are spent in hotels in Versailles and London. Accommodation in London was at the Savoy and I am pleased to have experienced this lovely hotel. The Waldorf in Versailles was ok but nothing to rave about. I would have much preferred to spend the full 14 days on ship. The packing up and moving involved in shifting really broke up the holiday (I was not the only person who felt this). The Seine is a short river, however there is much to see and I would have preferred a less frenetic pace of the land tours (see comments below). It is not that I am infirm - I just like to balance on board relaxing with touring. 14 days with the same land experiences spread out would have been much better. I am experienced ocean cruiser and this was my first river cruise. To compare the two products: - I travel on five star all inclusive ocean cruises and the service and staff were equivalent. I took a basic suite (ie: port hole only) and this room size was fine for me as a single person. I would not recommend it for two people (although a number of people did share on my trip). The room is very small and closet space is limited. - Entertainment on the river cruise was, as expected, very basic and 'touristy'. I really missed entertainment at night which is a big part of the enjoyment for me on an ocean cruise. This will impact on my personal decision as to whether to take another river cruise. If however you are happy to go to bed early and don't value night time entertainment then this would not be an issue for you. There was a pianist who was very good. I would have liked a more contemporary suite of music - just because I am in my 50s doesn't mean I only want to hear stuff written over 20 years ago. - The absence of rough seas is a real advantage on a river cruise especially if you get sea sick. There is always something to look at as you pass along the banks and this is pleasant - There is a lot more emphasis on 'off ship' activities on the river cruise. While you are able to stay on board with no issues, I found the level of activity which kept you off ship a bit excessive. I like to spend half a day on shore and half a day relaxing on ship which is very achievable on ocean cruises. Given the on shore program (which I wanted to do) there was only limited opportunity for on ship relaxation and I would have liked a greater balance. Overall - I was not disappointed in the Tauck product. They lived up to their reputation. The extra you pay is worth it. The newly refurbished ship is lovely and it is very relaxing and easy to get around. Read Less
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
Sail Date July 2017
We took a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. In the most part, the passengers are retirees - particularly from the USA. However, they were active and interesting retirees who were keen to do as much as possible. We were met at the ... Read More
We took a cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. In the most part, the passengers are retirees - particularly from the USA. However, they were active and interesting retirees who were keen to do as much as possible. We were met at the airport after a long haul flight by the Tauck arranged transfer van. The van was in impeccable condition and the driver was excellent. We were taken to the Intercontinental Amstel hotel for 2 nights which was also included in the price. The hotel is 5 star and outstanding. Tauck also transfer you from the hotel to the ship. The cabin is small whichever way you look at it. Fortunately, you spend little time in your cabin (apart from sleeping!) as the general areas of the ship are fantastic. In addition, during the day you are often off the ship. One thing to keep in mind is that the cabins right at the back of the boat are near the engines - try not to book those rooms as you will hear the engine noise. The food and service cannot be faulted. The whole of the ship is of the highest standard. All (top shelf) drinks are included in the price. All excursions and tours are also included in the price - these are also quality. Finally, they include a great evening in Vienna which was the highlight of an already great cruise. At first glance, the cost looked a little on the pricey side. However, once you take into account that the price includes airport transfers, pre or post cruise accommodation at a 5 star hotel, all tours, all drinks, great food and service and a highlight evening in Vienna you are, in fact, obtaining a very high quality and memorable cruise for outstanding value. I can only compliment Tauck on the whole cruise from the moment you get off the airplane. Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2017
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
Sail Date December 2016
This was the best river cruise we have ever taken. No detail was too small or overlooked. Everything ran like clockwork allowing for a very relaxing yet very adventuresome cruise. We arrived a day early in Vienna and Tauck had arranged ... Read More
This was the best river cruise we have ever taken. No detail was too small or overlooked. Everything ran like clockwork allowing for a very relaxing yet very adventuresome cruise. We arrived a day early in Vienna and Tauck had arranged for us to stay at the beautiful historic Grand Hotel Wien right on the Ringstrasse. We were able to walk to many of the sights from there such as. Viennna Opera House, the Museum Quarter. Being Christmas time, Vienna was a city of a million Christmas lights. You are transported to a feeling of excitement and joy of the season that you do not get when you are running from the mall to the stores. Tauck picked us up at our hotel, The Grand Hotel Wien, and took us directly to our ship. The staff quickly and efficiently checked us in and escorted us to our cabin. Tauck had picked up our suitcases at our hotel that morning and all of our bags were waiting in our room when we got there. Our room steward showed up a few minutes later with a couple of glasses of champagne and introduced herself to us. The shore excursions are all included in the price and there were three to select from each day. For instance in Nuremburg Germany, you had a choice between a bus driving tour of the city, a WWII historical tour, or a medieval walking tour of the old city. There was something for everyone. You did not even have to select your tour until a half hour before disembarkation for the shore excursion. There were a total of 3 tour directors and a cruise director that were available at all times. They were all extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the area. By the end of the trip, they and the other 99 passengers felt like family. We have taken other tours where we were nickeled and dimed to death. Not here. Everything is included in the price. If you want a glass of wine or a burger, it is yours. They passed out bottles of water before we disembarked and had hot cocoa, a heated cloth and some cookies waiting for us when we arrived back at the ship. We never spent a penny on the ship. The ship was immaculate. She was christened in summer of 2016 and we sailed her in December 2016. The staff never stopped cleaning her and everyone was responsible for keeping her in tip top shape. She was well designed and beautiful in every way. The staff learned our names on the first day and we quickly became friends with all of them. Only the Tour Directors and Cruise Directors work for Tauck. Everyone else works for the company that owns the ship, Scylla. Scylla does a marvelous job of hiring. It was almost as if they instinctively answered "yes" to every request and then went about figuring out how to honor it. There were some difficult passengers on our ship (of course) but the Scylla staff were more professional than any cruise staff that I have encountered and they killed them with kindness. I HIGHLY recommend a riverboat cruise with Tauck/ Scylla. It is clear that both companies have the same priorities and mission. Trust me if you get the chance to sail the Danube on the MS Joy and visit all of the amazing Christmas Markets, it will be the trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date October 2016
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