Tauck is 6 stars -- perfection -- but never again

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Sacramento, CA
1,315 Posts
Joined May 2003
That's generally how I feel about ocean cruises.


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-- sherita

Read my travel blog: scluvsrain.blogspot.com



1997-Statendam-Alaska
2003-Noordam-Baltic
2004-Amsterdam-South America
2004-Zuiderdam-Eastern Caribbean
2004-Amsterdam-Seattle-Vancouver
2005-Westerdam-Transatlantic Ft Lauderdale/Rome
2007-Statendam-Hong Kong to Osaka
2008-Prinsendam-Celtic Kingdoms Cruise
2009-Oosterdam-Med Kngdms-Venice/Turkey/Greece
2013-Volendam - Singapore-Thailand-Vietnam-HK
2013-Zuiderdam-Pacific Coastal
2013-Eurodam-East Coast/Canada
2014-Eurodam-Viking Passage
2015-Westerdam - Seattle to Alaska
2015-Veendam - Boston to San Diego
2016-Zaandam - South America/Antarctica
2016-Westerdam - Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas
2016-Maasdam - Alaska - 14 day R/T Seattle
2017-Amsterdam - WORLD CRUISE!!!!!
2017-Prinsendam - North Cape Explorer
2017 - Tauck River Cruise - Budapest to Amsterdam

2017 - Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Vancouver to San Diego
2018 - Amsterdam - World Cruise segment - Auckland to Hong Kong
2018 - Veendam - 14 Day Boston - Bermuda - New England - Canada to Montreal (May)
2018 - Maasdam - 14 Day Alaskan Explorer R/T Seattle (July)
2018 - Prinsendam - 28 Day Rivers Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms Explorer (September)
2018 - Koningsdam - 20 Day Best of Mediterranean - (October)
2019- Prinsendam - Grand South America & Antarctica
ca
1,109 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Hope you made it home safe. I have really enjoyed your insights about your cruise. Will you be writing a review of your experience?
Sacramento, CA
1,315 Posts
Joined May 2003
I made it home but turned around after two days and flew to New York for the weekend.

I have not finished updating my blog that will include the rest of my comments about the river cruise. I'm a little slow sometimes, to finish things up.

I will say that overall I enjoyed the river cruise. There are definitely things that I did not enjoy - those damn locks - and the inconsistent food quality and service, and sometimes feeling rushed in a port, but overall it was good and I'm happy to have experienced it. I might consider going on another one but for sure never again on the Danube!!!

I wanted more time in Vienna. I loved how clean Germany was. I loved all the things to do, visit and see in Budapest, but I was not a fan of the people in that city. I found them rude and sullen.

I bought a cuckoo clock on my travels and I think it will serve as a very nice memory of my trip. When it gets here. (I had it shipped).


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-- sherita

Read my travel blog: scluvsrain.blogspot.com



1997-Statendam-Alaska
2003-Noordam-Baltic
2004-Amsterdam-South America
2004-Zuiderdam-Eastern Caribbean
2004-Amsterdam-Seattle-Vancouver
2005-Westerdam-Transatlantic Ft Lauderdale/Rome
2007-Statendam-Hong Kong to Osaka
2008-Prinsendam-Celtic Kingdoms Cruise
2009-Oosterdam-Med Kngdms-Venice/Turkey/Greece
2013-Volendam - Singapore-Thailand-Vietnam-HK
2013-Zuiderdam-Pacific Coastal
2013-Eurodam-East Coast/Canada
2014-Eurodam-Viking Passage
2015-Westerdam - Seattle to Alaska
2015-Veendam - Boston to San Diego
2016-Zaandam - South America/Antarctica
2016-Westerdam - Circle Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas
2016-Maasdam - Alaska - 14 day R/T Seattle
2017-Amsterdam - WORLD CRUISE!!!!!
2017-Prinsendam - North Cape Explorer
2017 - Tauck River Cruise - Budapest to Amsterdam

2017 - Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Vancouver to San Diego
2018 - Amsterdam - World Cruise segment - Auckland to Hong Kong
2018 - Veendam - 14 Day Boston - Bermuda - New England - Canada to Montreal (May)
2018 - Maasdam - 14 Day Alaskan Explorer R/T Seattle (July)
2018 - Prinsendam - 28 Day Rivers Holy Land and Ancient Kingdoms Explorer (September)
2018 - Koningsdam - 20 Day Best of Mediterranean - (October)
2019- Prinsendam - Grand South America & Antarctica
Here and There
540 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by scluvsrain
I made it home but turned around after two days and flew to New York for the weekend.

I have not finished updating my blog that will include the rest of my comments about the river cruise. I'm a little slow sometimes, to finish things up.

I will say that overall I enjoyed the river cruise. There are definitely things that I did not enjoy - those damn locks - and the inconsistent food quality and service, and sometimes feeling rushed in a port, but overall it was good and I'm happy to have experienced it. I might consider going on another one but for sure never again on the Danube!!!

I wanted more time in Vienna. I loved how clean Germany was. I loved all the things to do, visit and see in Budapest, but I was not a fan of the people in that city. I found them rude and sullen.

I bought a cuckoo clock on my travels and I think it will serve as a very nice memory of my trip. When it gets here. (I had it shipped).


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Looking forward to reading your blog regarding the rest of this cruise.
Here and There
540 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by HBCcruiser
2014. I'm checking with a friend who just got back from Tauck Danube cruise.


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Any feedback to share from your friend? I am especially interested to hear about the food issue. Which ship was your friend on?
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Very interesting I am currently on board Avalon Expression doing the same route. I would have to say the food and wine has been excellent and I am comparing it to Oceania who I have travelled with. In most cases we have parked up in town or just on the edge, buses were provided but we have walked back on almost every occasion. There is never a guarantee given of where you are going to be parked as it will depend on river levels, other boats and who gets first. This is our first river cruise and we are enjoying it, although I am almost cathedraled out!

The guides apart from one have been excellent and very knowledgable even when we have been in small towns with not much to see. Locks don't bother us and we have slept right through most night apart from the odd lock where the Capt didn't get the entrance quite right and we brushed the side, other than that absolutely fascinating. Enjoyed the towns along the Main and it was much quieter than the Danube which is chocked full with cruising boats.

Would I do it again, certainly. Would I do it again with Avalon without question.
Reno, NV
31 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
We did the Rhine Amsterdam to Switzerland river cruise on Tauck last year. We have done about 7 ocean cruises, mostly on Princess in the past. We thoroughly enjoyed our river cruise and are now booked for the Danube on Tauck from Budapest to Prague. Some have asked about the bus rides and wished they could just walk off the boat for the excursion. There are places that we visited where that is not possible. Such as on the Rhine we went to Stuttgart, probably an hour's drive from the boat. But along the way we saw parts of Germany. Even if you are on a bus, you are still seeing the country that you are visiting. Tauck's buses are their own and are very new and very comfortable. At the end of our Rhine river cruise we stayed two nights in Bern, Switzerland on land where we traveled up the mountain to the top of Europe. It was a wonderful experience, and we got to see a beautiful part of Switzerland. As to ocean versus river cruising, I like both. With ocean cruising you can't get into the heart of a country, whereas with river cruising you are seeing the interior of the countries rather than just the outskirts that you can reach from the seaport. We also took a Viking China riverboat cruise. It was such a wonderful experience, and I would highly recommend it. A wonderful way to see China. As far as cabins on the Tauck boats, we had a Class 7 which was very spacious. Food was wonderful. The smaller boat gave us a chance to really get to know the other passengers onboard. We chose our river cruises based on itinerary. The Danube itinerary on Tauck is more preferable than the Viking for us. Each company, Tauck and Viking, do an excellent job.
Nipomo & La Quinta CA
422 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We have returned from a Tauck River cruise on the Saone and Rhone. I am sorry to say my wife and I were greatly disappointed for several reasons.
1)At the Fairmont in Monte Carlo Tauck placed all of us on the third floor which Fairmont informed us is the designated smoking floor. The Paris Intercontinental Grand's rooms were old and small.
2)The food on the ship ranged from good to poor, The fish was very poor quality: tilapia for lunch, and what looked like compressed cod one evening for dinner. Most dishes were served with cream sauces that were heavy. Even the pasta for lunch, while al denti seemed to always done with a cream sauce.
3)They took us to Nice on the bus between Avignon and Monte Carlo and dropped people off for 2 1/2 hours in a light rain with no list of restaurants. Why could they not have left us off at the Chagall or Matisse museums?
4)Everyone (all 71 passengers) had been to Paris before; but they started the cruise with a 9 AM bus tour of the city in heavy traffic.
I have included the negatives here, but will write a full review in a few days which will praise the beauty of the ship and the quality of the staff. To me it often seemed like a bus tour on a boat; as we can easily get by in French and have often gone to France on our own, for us,this trip was an error.
2,840 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
Originally posted by Off Shore
We have returned from a Tauck River cruise on the Saone and Rhone. I am sorry to say my wife and I were greatly disappointed for several reasons.

1)At the Fairmont in Monte Carlo Tauck placed all of us on the third floor which Fairmont informed us is the designated smoking floor. The Paris Intercontinental Grand's rooms were old and small.

2)The food on the ship ranged from good to poor, The fish was very poor quality: tilapia for lunch, and what looked like compressed cod one evening for dinner. Most dishes were served with cream sauces that were heavy. Even the pasta for lunch, while al denti seemed to always done with a cream sauce.

3)They took us to Nice on the bus between Avignon and Monte Carlo and dropped people off for 2 1/2 hours in a light rain with no list of restaurants. Why could they not have left us off at the Chagall or Matisse museums?

4)Everyone (all 71 passengers) had been to Paris before; but they started the cruise with a 9 AM bus tour of the city in heavy traffic.

I have included the negatives here, but will write a full review in a few days which will praise the beauty of the ship and the quality of the staff. To me it often seemed like a bus tour on a boat; as we can easily get by in French and have often gone to France on our own, for us,this trip was an error.


Wow-ok. Sorry you were disappointed. I wouldn’t want to be on a smoking floor, either, but was that requested by Tauck or done by the hotel?
Poor quality food would be disappointing. Did you ask for pasta or fish WITHOUT sauce? I would be shocked to hear that they refused to prepare without the sauce, if asked. If so, that would be something that I would take up the ranks.
Finally, were you unaware that there would be a tour of Paris? I’d think that would have been in the itinerary, yes? Are you suggesting it should have been cancelled because people had been there before? I don’t understand the complaint here...


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882 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Interesting thread. If you had been to Paris before why didn’t you just skip the bus tour and do your own thing? The itinerary is sent to pax in advance so there shouldn’t be too many surprises. As for Nice, The Matisse museum is not in the central area of the town but is easily accessible by city bus or taxi - the ship’s shuttle unfortunately is not a taxi. On all my cruises I‘ve never been given a list of restaurants unless I ask for recommendations from the concierge. Other than the quality of food it seems many of your issues could have been avoided or mitigated. After encountering the first heavy sauce it is so easy to request sauce on the side or none or ask if there’s an alternative. I’m no fan of Tilapia either but isn’t salmon always available? Salt cod croquette’s are a very traditional dish in Europe....I would have been so happy but it is understandable if it’s not your favorite. Other than the matter of your personal taste was the food generally not well prepared? If so I would be concerned about the direction Tauck is headed in light of the other recent comments on this thread.
Nipomo & La Quinta CA
422 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Of course, we didn't HAVE to take the bus tour in Paris; we skipped the one in Monte Carlo. It is that it was an odd choice for an expensive cruise line. Tauck put everyone, without asking them, on the smoking floor of the Fairmont Hotel. It was usually not possible to get the food with no or less sauce, believe me we asked. I was not asking them to be a taxi to take us to the museums, I know how to call a cab, and used them in France. I was trying to point out that this was not luxury treatment in Nice. We found our own restaurant using Yelp, and it was wonderful.
United States
419 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by notamermaid

As regards ocean cruising I can say that it would take a lot of convincing to get me on an ocean cruiser. I tend to "extrapolate" what the experience might be like from channel crossings on ferries with slot machines and teenagers and children talking in many languages or in high-pitched voices calling for mummy and cannot see myself on such a ship.

notamermaid
There are - many high end cruise lines that you might enjoy, Crystal, Seabourn, Viking, Sea Dream, Silver Seas that cater more to adults - although some may, depending on the time of year and itinerary have some kids on board.
New York
8,306 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by notamermaid
As regards ocean cruising I can say that it would take a lot of convincing to get me on an ocean cruiser. I tend to "extrapolate" what the experience might be like from channel crossings on ferries with slot machines and teenagers and children talking in many languages or in high-pitched voices calling for mummy and cannot see myself on such a ship.
notamermaid
Originally posted by 2SailingNomads
There are - many high end cruise lines that you might enjoy, Crystal, Seabourn, Viking, Sea Dream, Silver Seas that cater more to adults - although some may, depending on the time of year and itinerary have some kids on board.
All of the above would be far, far better than your nightmare -- and here's where Viking Ocean seems aimed directly at your concerns: NO casino; NO children.
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Rhine, Germany
2,118 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Thanks 2SailingNomads and HostJazzbeau. Will remember your suggestions. Not sure what is available of those on the German market, but I am sure I can get round that problem by booking in the UK.

As regards Tauck river cruises, I must say that they do have some interesting itinerary offers. As jwcsr stated, they went to Stuttgart on their cruise. Certainly unusual, have not heard the town mentioned in a connection with a river cruise yet. Worth the one hour bus ride in my opinion, a good idea, I like the town. Nice shopping opportunities, opera house, castle/palace, museums and an architecturally interesting railway station. Need no more to make me happy on a day out. And the Christmas market is supposed to be good as well.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
Albany, NY
4,320 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by notamermaid
As regards Tauck river cruises, I must say that they do have some interesting itinerary offers. As jwcsr stated, they went to Stuttgart on their cruise. Certainly unusual, have not heard the town mentioned in a connection with a river cruise yet. Worth the one hour bus ride in my opinion, a good idea, I like the town. Nice shopping opportunities, opera house, castle/palace, museums and an architecturally interesting railway station. Need no more to make me happy on a day out. And the Christmas market is supposed to be good as well.

notamermaid
I've heard that they also make cars there...

Stuttgart was on our list for the last trip but we didn't get there.
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Rhine, Germany
2,118 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Aah, yeaah... I had forgotten about that. Those with the star. A great trip for car enthusiasts I am sure, they also have a museum there. Would like to see an old Maybach, or even better be driven around in it. Perhaps picked up from the river cruise ship with it, now that would be real luxury.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips