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8 Tauck Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Travel agent and friends had recommended Tauck but I was very disappointed in our experience. We had booked same category 6 cabin ( 2nd highest) as our friends and it was a terrible cabin and the worst customer service ( NONE). We were in ... Read More
Travel agent and friends had recommended Tauck but I was very disappointed in our experience. We had booked same category 6 cabin ( 2nd highest) as our friends and it was a terrible cabin and the worst customer service ( NONE). We were in cabin 318 at rear of ship and friends were in 302 ( same category and price) but the comfort level was worlds apart. This Cabin and the one across from us had noises almost every evening from the engine starting up ,from staff walking on roof above us ,and vibrations from the engines. Our first night we had the noise and vibrations so bad the bathroom door would't stay shut and things were falling off our table. The hotel manager (who is not a Tauck employee) came down and switched out the glass table and had the bathroom door worked on. But the main issue of noise and vibrations were with us every night. I could not leave a glass of water on the nightstand. I ended up taking sleeping pills most nights. The Tauck cruise host never talked to us or asked how it was and the hotel manager ignored me for the rest of the cruise. When you go thru 61 locks, the ship is stopping and starting engines a lot and mostly at night. I emailed my travel agent day 2 and she supposedly contacted Tauck. My friend asked about moving to another cabin as there were 4 empty cabins on our deck and was told if wanted to pay the difference she could move. I NEVER asked about a new cabin and never was offered any cabin change. For the price we paid it was a big disappointment and ruined the cruise for me. Our neighbors across also had same issues and we would commiserate every morning . So DO NOT book these cabins and I think Tauck needs to rethink their pricing. These 2 back cabins should not pay the same as the forward ones. Several people told me their travel agent had advised against these cabins when they heard our story. Wish my travel agent had. The cruise was good otherwise-Vienna was very special evening and the tour in Amsterdam of museum and canal cruise were great. Also enjoyed the evening entertainment they brought in. Due to water level, the roof deck was closed for over 8 days so it was crowded on the forward deck and limited viewing options outside. Also wish there had been more personal time to wander cities. Felt like we would get on bus, have tour, take 30 minutes to wander, then back to bus then back on ship. Food was ok ( not as good as Seabourn or Silver Sea ). Several of us had to trade off time as only 2 treadmills. The young serving and room staff were great. Most local guides good altho 2 were very insensitve to guests by walking too fast for the group and not paying attention to if everyone was following. Had to go tell her she had left 2 people back across a street. Two of the Tauck directors were excellent both in providing good Discovery briefings and commentary while sailing. My impression would have been much better and I might consider Tauck again if there had been any customer service regarding our room. Our friends did enjoy their cruise as did the majority of the guests. One difference on Tauck vs other lines I have cruised with is they don't own the ship- only 4 Tauck employees are on board to assist, rest of crew are with the ship. So neither one feels responsible or willing to handle customer issues was my perspective. Different bosses. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This trip was regrettably not a good fit for our family for so many reasons - first of all, ever see the movie "Out to Sea"? That is a perfect representation of the bombastic, overbearing cruise director - annoying and ... Read More
This trip was regrettably not a good fit for our family for so many reasons - first of all, ever see the movie "Out to Sea"? That is a perfect representation of the bombastic, overbearing cruise director - annoying and patronizing personality who was harshly unaccommodating. He shrilly bellowed announcements over the intercom into your stateroom at 7:15am sharp every morning - that could not be overridden, despite him saying they could be. The ship was filled with out of control kids who would run down the hall and on the deck playing tag and hide-and-seek until 10:00pm every night, sounding like a herd of elephants were stampeding over your head. They also turned the very small Jacuzzi into their private wading pool - there was no way we were going to risk getting in that. And if this isn't bad enough, apparently some of the cabin crew had sticky fingers because we lost a very expensive and sentimental necklace, a brand new scarf, and an heirloom hair brush from our stateroom at the end of the trip. Also keep in mind the ship itself is extremely regimented and they heard you like cattle onto buses and give you zero flexibility - it took all the leisure out of the experience. On a positive note, I do want to note the maitre d's, bartenders and some servers in the restaurant were wonderful. Board at your own risk - if any of the above sounds enticing to you, good luck with your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will carry ... Read More
This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will carry up to 220 passengers in the same space. We stayed at the Tauck-recommended hotel in Basel (our point of embarkation). The hotel is nice but sterile. We much preferred making out own arrangements on the other end in Amsterdam. We stayed at the Estherea Hotel and it was delightful. Onboard, the internet was somewhere between terrible and non-existent. The food was average at best. We rarely docked in any town that was mentioned in the cruise itinerary. If you take this cruise, you should count on spending 2-3 hours on a bus everyday if you want to see what they advertise. On several nights we were docked in industrial harbors. Scrap metal is not what I wanted to see out of my very nice cabin. Unfortunately, if you don't get on the bus (at 8:15 to 9 am virtually every day) you will not see the sight for the day. A few times there was something to see right off boat but not what I went on the cruise to see. The buses are nice and the drivers are excellent and amazing, I just did not expect to spend so much time each and every day on a bus. Also, because we were not docked in the main towns, it was very difficult to spend extra time in a place that was interesting. Most of the tours were a little superficial to me and often I felt the guides were filling if the space because of time constraints. Unfortunately, they filled with fluff instead of the massive amounts of history available in this area. I have to admit, I do not think this tour was a good fit for me. I am 55 and I think the average age on board was closer to 75. Most of these people are retired and do not need to keep in touch with business, at least occasionally, while on vacation. There was a wide variety of food but it was the same for breakfast and lunch everyday (with a very few exceptions). One passenger made a comment about it feeling like the movie Groundhog Day. I talked with the chef about the food and they tried to make me special meals (the staff really wants to please) but they just do not have the equipment or something to make it happen. I think the food is probably very healthy but it has very little flavor. I had soggy fish and dry tough meat and sometimes I had warm, medium rare ultra-lean beef that tasted like nothing. The waiters and table service were excellent. Unfortunately, I am afraid that the Rhine River is oversold. There are too many boats and people at all of the sights so you can't get close, you can't enjoy and it is all just touristy. There were a couple of times there was on board entertainment and it was nice. We had a dinner in a castle where we were too cramped together to make it comfortable. Likewise, the wine tasting event had us packed check to jowl for another excursion. I would miss both of those if given the option to go back. There was a daytime castle tour that my wife took that she said was excellent. Most of the tours and destinations were nice. It simply took too much time to get to and from them to make it enjoyable. Disembarkation went well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We stayed at their top level suite on the third level. The room was nice and decent amount of room. The tours and guides provided very good information and were overall very good. The staff took good care of us and our only real issue was ... Read More
We stayed at their top level suite on the third level. The room was nice and decent amount of room. The tours and guides provided very good information and were overall very good. The staff took good care of us and our only real issue was the food was just subpar and not what we expected at all. Tauk is promoted as a quality luxury river cruise but the food was very poor quality. We have cruised on Silver Seas, Crystal and we dine out at least two days a week with a wide palate. The quality of the ingredients was not fresh and it seemed to an attempt to cook more American dishes rather than using fresh local ingredients and cook more local fare. We had consistently poor lunch and dinner meals with one evening so bad that our entire table sent the main veal dish back as it was just plain bad with the meat looking grey in color. Salads listing grilled fresh artichoke hearts were straight out of the can uncooked and bland. We met many other guests complaining about the food. Many of those other guest ended up dining on the same boring chicken or cheap 1/2 inch steak as the other options were so bad. We plan on trying Tauk one more time as they offer a trip to the Holly land but if the food is this poor again then we will have to look for another option. Their food really was a shock as they promote themselves more like the Silver Seas for river cruises but so far they are barely above a Uniworld or Viking river cruise which compared to an ocean cruise line are more like cheap Celebrity cruise ships. One other complaint is that quality hotels and restaurants generally tell sick employees to go home and not work but at Tauk they had a tour person very sick with a cold whom got me and many other guests sick with a terrible cold during our precious vacation. That might be expected on a low end cruise line but I thought Tauk was higher quality? We plan on trying them out possibly one more time due to they offer a tour to the Holly land but if the food is this poor that will be our last Tauk cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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