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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We have been to Russia and Africa with Tauck, and this was or first river cruise ever, although we have been on ocean cruises. The other reviews are comprehensive, so I will mention other points. I recommend room 323 which is next door ... Read More
We have been to Russia and Africa with Tauck, and this was or first river cruise ever, although we have been on ocean cruises. The other reviews are comprehensive, so I will mention other points. I recommend room 323 which is next door to Authur's where I could pop in any time for cappuccino, tea, cookie/snack to take back to my room, or to sit to see both sides of the river since this was the aft end. Just quick and easy. Interestingly, the motor coaches we used had a bathroom, and we could actually use them. We have been on tours where we were not allowed to use the bathroom on the coach. What? Not enough time in Vienna. There should have been 3 full days and a guided tour of the Kunst Historical Museum one of the most important museums in the world; and Vienna one of the most beautiful cities. What architecture! This was our second visit to Vienna. I hesitate to mention since it is a personal preference. The rooms need an adequate dressing table for My Lady with a mirror and lamp. Obviously a man designed the rooms, not a woman. LOL They were generous in providing me with a laptop for the entire trip, although Wi-Fi was as slow as molasses. I did note there is no Doctor on the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2011
We had waited a long time for our special Tauck River Cruise having booked many months in advance and having reviewed on-line brochures for most of the main river cruise lines. Our departure was a smooth one and the flight was without ... Read More
We had waited a long time for our special Tauck River Cruise having booked many months in advance and having reviewed on-line brochures for most of the main river cruise lines. Our departure was a smooth one and the flight was without problems (except for major delays passing through security in Frankfurt). We arrived in Budapest on a clear, sunny day, collected our luggage and looked for the Tauck representative who was meeting us (even though we were arriving a day ahead of the official beginning of our tour and staying at a non-tour hotel for one night. There he was holding a sign with our name on it. He walked us and 2 other couples on our cruise to the private shuttle to take us to our hotels. We walked our luggage the short distance to the Intercontinental hotel the next morning thinking that we would check the luggage and check in later in the day. Nope - Tour Directors were already at their table in the lobby; we were greeted with friendly words and smiles, checked in and had our luggage in our room in about 10 minutes. Wow - became our favorite word for the attitudes, knowledge and friendliness of the Tour Directors for the next 12 days. We had an amazing Welcome Dinner at the Budapest Academy of Sciences the first evening, toured Pest and Buda via buses with Tour Directors in charge and local guides at some places (Opera House, Castle Hill). On the second day, we boarded the boat mid-afternoon, were welcomed on board by Cruise Direct Lynn Hardcastle, provided our room keys and found our luggage already in our cabin. We were met by our room steward, Giorgio, unpacked and made our way to the lounge for orientation by the Captain and staff. The Captain was a hoot - so clever and funny and visible throughout the trip. We had a wonderful welcome reception and dinner that included beautifully presented full course meal with wine flowing throughout dinner (complimentary every evening during dinner).A full description would be too long to include here, so I'll just include the highlights. The beauty of Budapest and then the countryside as we cruised away was just the beginning of a lovely way to see some of the best parts of 4 countries (Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Czech Republic). The excitement (that never waned) of watching the Captain take us safely through multiple locks with little room to spare at times was one of the new experiences. Sailing through the Wachau Valley after visiting lovely Durstein was spectacular, especially when we passed the Melk Abbey. Surprise stop for coffee and local pastries on the only slightly rainy day that we encountered in Bratislava was so much fun and much appreciated. Fantasizing about Julie Andrews running across the meadows in the Austrian Alps as we passed the meadows on our way to Salzburg and seeing the fountain where Maria played with the Trapp children in the Mirabel Gardens and visiting Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg. Two days in Vienna, the organ concert in Passau's magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral, sausage lunch in Regensburg are just a few of our special memories. But most important was the way we were treated all the time and by everyone on the staff. The Tour Directors - David Lane, Jeremy Shifferly and Fero Bakos - were incredible. They made a great team - knowledgeable and presenting great lectures in the lounge, problem solving every day with ease and grace, telling stories while in transit to inform us and pass the time while traveling. We felt like we were leaving good friends when we said good-by. Lynn and her staff on the boat were always ready with something to drink and a cool towel when we returned to the boat after excursions, reception desk staff were friendly and always ready to meet needs, cabin was always clean and bathroom sparkling when we returned to it each day. Bartenders learned our favorite drink quickly and within a day of boarding and called us by name (especially, my DH and how he likes his martinis). Food was plentiful and good - a bit on the high fat/too much salt side for us, but delicious most of the time. Buffets in the AM and for some lunches were presented beautifully and more than ample. Highlights were the welcome dinner and farewell dinner. Lighter food was available in the Lido Bar area but we didn't find it to our taste. Although we certainly loved the coffee/ hot chocolate machine!Entertainment was 'folkloric' - several times local entertainers were brought onboard to present local music and dances and well appreciated by all. One night, there was a hilarious staff show featuring the captain and one of the reception staff as an elderly couple getting into a bed (made with sundeck lounges and bedding)...very funny!! Local guides used microphones and each guest had an Audio-vox with headphone. We loved all of the guides that we had (guests were divided into 3-4 groups with one guide to a group) except one who walked and talked too fast for some of the guests. Guides were s so proud of their hometowns and very knowledgeable about the history and relevant sights. Excursions were very interesting and there was adequate time to take the guided walk and also have some free time to explore on our own. We learned so much - I feel like I've just passed a course in Central European history. And the pictures!! I can't even count how many I took - there was something that screamed for a picture to be taken at every turn. What a beautiful part of Europe. Disembarkation was easy and well organized. We left our luggage in the hallway outside of our room and next saw it in our room in Prague. Our tour ended with a bus ride to Prague from Regensburg and two days at the Prague Marriott (we added an additional day at that end as well so we had 3 full days to see and learn to love this city in the Czech Republic. Two Tauck tours and a private tour that we arranged for our extra day (plus an orientation walk by our Tour Director, Fero, when we arrived in Prague). On our day of departure, we were told to leave our luggage in our room and come down to the lobby at 7:30 AM to meet our ride to the airport. The bellman at the hotel had a list of times people were leaving and automatically went to the room and had our luggage in the lobby before the car came. We had a last look at Prague as we drove to the airport. As we got out of the car, we were met by a Tauck representative with a cart who walked us to the correct line for checking baggage. Our last works were - They think of everything!! Read Less
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