We did a 14 night Amsterdam to Budapest cruise on the Tauck Esprit. The ship was only 2/3 full which of course was a big plus. Tauck did a fabulous job.
Tauck staff was amazing
Ship was gorgeous and ship's staff provided A+ service.
Food was out of this world.
Lots of ethnic specialties and local wines available
Local guides were superb
Special events -- e.g. private opera performance at a gala dinner in Vienna -- were over the top.
We enjoyed our fellow cruisers very much.
We find river cruising far too regimented for our tastes. Be here at this time; there at that time.
We usually only book private guides when we cruise and tour in groups of 6 or 8. This river cruise reminded us of how much we detest bus tours with 25 plus people. After the cruise we hired a private guide in Budapest who took us to a small town on the outskirts. That was great.
The tours go to the usual places -- palaces, museums and churches. Not our kind of travel. We want to experience something other than landmarks. We have seem too many palaces, museums and churches.
The scenery was gorgeous in some places but ugly in others. There is plenty of industry along the Rhine.
There was nothing to do on the ship. Found it rather boring.
We like sea days. A port a day is no longer for us.
The cabins are ridiculously small. We booked a mini suite and I immediately regretted not booking the larger suite. We like to cruise in a large suite with a butler.
If river cruising is for you -- and I know many who love it - then I cannot say enough good things about Tauck. Best of the best. But you won't be seeing us on board.
Hope this is helpful for those considering river cruising.