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6 Tauck Prague Cruise Reviews

This was our second experience with Tauck, the first being their Best of the Canadian Rockies tour. It was also our first river cruise. We chose this particular cruise because of the starting and ending cities, Prague and Budapest. We have ... Read More
This was our second experience with Tauck, the first being their Best of the Canadian Rockies tour. It was also our first river cruise. We chose this particular cruise because of the starting and ending cities, Prague and Budapest. We have always wanted to visit those cities. Based on our prior experience with Tauck we had high expectations. I have to say on this cruise Tauck far exceeded even those high expectations. The hotels were fantastic at both ends. The ship, MS Joy, was immaculate, the staff super friendly and helpful, and the food exceptional. The tours were spot on with friendly and knowledgeable tour guides. Our fellow travelers were all great people to travel with, and yes as someone previously noted, mostly senior citizens like ourselves. We particularly loved Prague and Budapest. We traveled in late October/ early November of this year and surprisingly the weather was great. I read a lot of the Tauck reviews on this site and while some of the criticism sounds legit much of it sounds overly critical for small things. I always look for the overall trend and not the individual reviews. We cannot say enough good things about Tauck and are already planning our next Tauck trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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
We are experienced ocean cruisers but this was our first river cruise and first experience with Tauck. We will definitely return. The trip was all inclusive, including pre cruise hotel (Intercontinental) and tours in Prague and post cruise ... Read More
We are experienced ocean cruisers but this was our first river cruise and first experience with Tauck. We will definitely return. The trip was all inclusive, including pre cruise hotel (Intercontinental) and tours in Prague and post cruise hotel(Kempinski) and tours in Budapest. Embarking and disembarking the beautiful MS Savor was a breeze. The ship is new, spacious and well appointed. Staterooms are quite roomy; ours was category 6, 225 sq ft with a French balcony which allows one to open the large sliding door but not much else. There is plenty of room for storage and the bathroom is stocked with nice amenities. Staff, food and shipboard amenities are all first rate. The staff are very accommodating and very good at anticipating ones needs. On board entertainment is limited but fun, including the ship's crew and local talent brought on board for short performances. This is not a major focus as on an ocean liner, but hardly detracts from the experience given the very full days in port. The ports are varied and include major cities with world class attractions, sightseeing, shopping, palaces, castles, museums, churches, synagogues, opera houses and restaurants, including Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Additionally, there are visits to small, picturesque, historical towns including Regensburg, Passau, and Durnstein as well as fantastic sightseeing while cruising through the beautiful Wachau Valley. In addition to first rate, small group tours with excellent guides at each location, Tauck also provides access to special tours, dinners and private performances at venues to otherwise visit independently such as the Lobkowicz Palace and libraries of the Strahov Monastery in Prague, a Viennese palace where Mozart and Beethoven held an improv contest, and a private club in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The Tauck tour personnel, Michael, Kristyna, Sinead and Scott spared no effort to make us feel welcome and well cared for. You may pay a premium to travel with Tauck but in my opinion, it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We took a Tauck river cruise from Prague to Budapest on the Swiss Jewel. While this is a review of that cruise, we have a special focus. Gale has limited mobility, and the majority of the off-boat tours were done with her in a transport ... Read More
We took a Tauck river cruise from Prague to Budapest on the Swiss Jewel. While this is a review of that cruise, we have a special focus. Gale has limited mobility, and the majority of the off-boat tours were done with her in a transport chair pushed by her husband Bob. The chair has a thick cushion, which was critical for comfort. It has 12" foam wheels in the rear and 6" removable wheels in front. It collapses easily, and was stored in the reception area of the boat. Gale was able to move easily throughout the boat using her Canadian crutch, and took advantage of the elevator to get to the lounge and dining area. She also had to walk on and-off the boat, since the gang-plank was too narrow and steep for the chair. Also, there were times when two or three boats were docked next to each other, and this required going through (or up and over) one or two boats. The busses also have 4-to-6 steps, and the seats are not so easy to get into and-out of. That said, the trip was a wonderful experience, and the cobblestones the price of admission. Here is a non-typical tourist view. Our reviews of private time in Prague, the hotel, and two great restaurants (Imperial and Amade) are on TripAdvisor. Prague: The Hradcany Castle district has some of the worst cobblestones seen, and the walk was difficult. However, by cheating a bit and walking on the grass we were able to keep up with the tour. Also, the (wonderful) Tauck staff made arrangements all along the way for us to go in side doors to hidden elevators. Because of this, we missed very little of the tours. The Tauck dinner at the Lobkowicz Palace the first full day of the trip foreshadowed the special treatment we were to get throughout the cruise. The Lobkowiczes fled Prague just before WWII and did not return until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989. The current scion, Boston born and bred, hosted the wine reception with a 40 minute review of the palace's history, followed by a private tour of the museum, followed by a private dinner in the Palace. If in Prague, do not miss this site. The third day of the trip was a killer. Bags packed by 7 AM, three-hour bus trip to Regensburg Germany, long tour over rough streets, boarding the boat and unpacking, dinner, and collapsing in bed late. Day was a blur, so no memory of Regensburg to share. We woke up in Passau, and in spite of the hills and cobblestones had a good touring day. These stones were smaller and flatter, and there was an HP entrance to the cathedral. Our small group tours with some great local guides were followed by on-board Austrian entertainment. Passau was in West Germany, so did not have the grayness we would see in areas controlled by the Soviets. Ironically, its Southern location, right on the Austrian border and next to Czechoslovakia, meant it was ignored and avoided much of the Westernization that the rest of Germany experienced. Tour day five was supposed to be a tour of Salzburg, but it was cold and very rainy. Given the long bus ride to and from Salzburg, she who would have to sit in the chair through all the rain made the right choice and stayed on the boat. The other passengers said that, given the rain and the crowds, we did not miss much. The next day was a delight, as the boat moved through the beautiful Wachau Valley to Dernstein -- a beautiful little town on the banks of the Danube. The countryside included terraced vineyards, ancient buildings, quaint villages, and beautiful post-rain lighting. The walk from the boat up to Dernstein was steep, and pushing the chair up the incline was a lung busting adventure. But the tour by another delightful local guide was worth it. The local Augustinian monastery was human-sized, and it (and the surrounding sights) fascinating to see and hear about. The delights of Vienna are well known, and need not be written about here. The city center is a 20-30 minute bus trip from the boat, and all touring sites are fairly easy to get to and around with the chair. Of note, Tauck had another of its private dinners, near where those horses dance, with spectacular music, opera, and ballet as entertainment. Oh, my! On the afternoon of the 2nd day in Vienna we departed for Bratislava. Upon arrival in the morning, we started with a riveting talk on life in Slovakia from the late 30's on by the head of the local tour guides. Bratislava was a nice surprise -- interesting to see and very easy to see. Still cobblestones, but the smaller, flat-topped ones for the most part. The cruise portion ended in Budapest. Can we tell you what hell Buda is for both parties riding and pushing a wheelchair? Some parts are wheelchair accessible, but most of the tourist areas feel like they left the rubble from the WWII bombings in place and expect people to deal with it. Pest, on the other hand, is very easy to move about. Not only flatter and smoother, but more accommodations for chairs. From the Marriott hotel in Pest, we had the benefits of the great view of the river and the hills of Buda, along with the ease of moving about the modern Pest. The visit to the State Opera House (requires two short sets of stairs before access to the elevator) ended with another Tauck treat -- beautiful music and opera from balconies at the top of the staircase. Our farewell dinner had, yes, more wonderful music as part of the Tauck treat. Lessons learned: it may not take a village, but it takes a boat-load of people to make for a wonderful trip. There was a large crew to keep the boat running, the food cooking, and the pusher's scotch glass full. There were four Tauck staff who managed all the events, and gave some wonderful and knowledgeable lectures on the boat and busses which enhanced all aspects of the trip. There were a different set of local guides at each stop, who usually gave very knowledgeable and fun tours. All told, the staff made a nice trip a wonderful trip. We made some friends on the trip among the other guests, and will keep in touch with them. But, all helped out at different points and none felt we slowed them down. When the front wheels of the chair got jammed going over a curb, someone was there to pull us out. When Gale was too tired to climb the steps, several lifted the chair and carried it down. When the view was blocked, people moved automatically to allow the chair through. Among the joys of the trip was the sad realization that we saw a few others in chairs, and a few struggling with dual crutches over the stones. What was a temporary problem for us must be a daily challenge for the residents. Thanks to Tauck for taking a risk and letting us go. Note that the other cruise companies would not accept chairs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
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