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2 Tauck Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

My first river cruise, but have traveled a lot with Tauck, so I had the Tauck high quality/service expectations going into it, and they were met. They have a quality crew partner in Scylla and to the casual observer they seemed to work ... Read More
My first river cruise, but have traveled a lot with Tauck, so I had the Tauck high quality/service expectations going into it, and they were met. They have a quality crew partner in Scylla and to the casual observer they seemed to work well together. I've only been on a few small-ship cruises, but felt that the cabin size and storage space were more than adequate (though I travel with only a 22" suitcase and a backpack). The shower was excellent--good water pressure and no sharp edges on which to bang elbows. Good ventilation, too; could wash out "smalls" in the morning and they'd be dry by the end of the day. Tour was Tauck first class. Nice shore excursions most days, always with the option of staying on the ship, and often with the option to either return to the ship for lunch after a morning tour, stay in town for lunch and return at around 3, or even to head back into town for a quick visit after lunch. Very accommodating and flexible, with their own coaches (with bathrooms) and great drivers. My Highlights: Trip to WWII cemetery in Luxembourg, Baden Baden--nice sized town but not overwhelming, the amazing vineyards along the Mosel, the smaller towns along the Mosel (Boppard, Cochem, Bernkastel), the fact that there were no add-on charges, excellent food with wine included at dinner. Quality of Vox sound box. Tips/Notes: Fun to eat at least one meal back in the Lido bar; smaller, more intimate, able to see a lot off the stern. This ship will be moving to France for cruises there starting in the fall, and this tour will get the newest ship in the fleet. Some of the Scylla crew will join the new ship, some go w/the Emerald Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We just returned from a 13 day river cruise of the Rhine and Moselle. Tauck exceeded our expectations in many ways. Classy is a word that best describes the attention to detail that this tour provided. e.g, On our visit to the American ... Read More
We just returned from a 13 day river cruise of the Rhine and Moselle. Tauck exceeded our expectations in many ways. Classy is a word that best describes the attention to detail that this tour provided. e.g, On our visit to the American Cemetery in Luxemborg, Tauck gave each passenger (96) a white rose to place on a grave. They paid the fees for visits to public toilets. One day they gave each passenger 20 euros each to have lunch in town. The guides in town and tour directors were excellent. Peter Tanner is an outstanding director. His sense of humor and historical knowledge made all his tours the most sought after for passengers. We sailed on the Swiss Emerald. The boat is small but not cramped and the Scylla crew were most accommodating and anxious to please. This is our first river cruise and our first experience with Tauck. I would not hesitate to travel with them again. On our tour, there were those who traveled w/ Tauck 14-21 times, proving passenger loyalty. The cabin was small but adequate w/ the exception of the closet and storage space. There was only one chair w/ a small table or desk. Two people could not occupy the bathroom at the same time, nor was there enough space for two to walk at the foot of the bed. I am not claustrophobic, so this was not a problem for me, but also, we did have a big sliding glass door/window, no balcony. River cruising is much more stable and quiet than ocean cruises. e.g., I experienced no motion sickness in the 12 days. We had a large window, which was nice as the river views were interesting though not always spectacular, e.g., coal loading or light industrial sights, but then we did see the occasional castle. Passing through locks at night can be disconcerting. Some of the jolts were similar to earthquake shocks, so there was that initial feeling of experiencing an earthquake. The bathroom was small but the shower head was great. We did not suffer the usual water saving problem w/ the water pressure. We met a couple w/ the junior suite and they did not feel their room was that much larger than ours, though it was about 50% larger. The shower stall is tiled, so it feels less like some prefabricated compartment. The ship was clean and our rooms always tidied in a timely manner. The crew were hardworking and most accommodating of all requests. River cruising is different from ocean cruises in that they are less frenetic and more intimate. Generally, the food on the Swiss Emerald was not outstanding, but it was always beautifully presented and obvious care was made to attend to differing dietary restrictions/demands. The ice cream was outstanding and worth every calorie. There is a casual dining option on the Lido deck but that needs to be expanded to include lighter fare options for evenings when one just doesn't want a multi-course meal. For our sailing, they instituted an Italian dinner option which was mediocre at best. It is a nice place to have coffee and watch the world go by, so dining there "al fresco" would have been a nice option, even if limited to sign-ups. It's something we suggested to Tauck in our review. Seniors should feel comfortable traveling w/ Tauck. For those less able to walk, they always had a bus that would drive as close as possible or modify the walking demands. The "quietvoxes" used for tours was excellent and those hard of hearing felt they were a godsend. There were approximately 10 ports, some of the smaller towns began to look alike, e.g., the usual cathedral or grave. Adequate time was given in the bigger cities, e.g., Basel, Stasbourg and Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
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