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Tauck December 2021 River Cruise is a Go - Surprised


Roz
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I received the following forwarded email from my TA yesterday.  The highlighting is mine in case you don't want to read the entire email.  The PCR test within 72 hrs. of the start of the cruise is going to be a challenge as I'm staying 3 days pre-cruise in Amsterdam, and the cruise leaves on a Monday.  I've located a couple of labs that do Covid tests for travelers but I can't determine if they're open Friday afternoons or weekends.  The cost is about 89 euros.  Just what I want to do on my first day in Amsterdam; track down medical testing facilities.  When I clicked on one of the green links, it said Tauck would assist those needing a test for re-entry at the end of the cruise, but it would cost extra. 

 

I was kind of surprised that Tauck has determined this far out that the cruise is a go.  Covid cases in Northern Europe aren't under control, and none of the Christmas Markets in The Netherlands or Belgium have determined whether they'll be open or not.  They all say TBA.  

 

I was planning on booking my air thru Tauck, and final payment for the cruise is due 60 days before.  Do you think I should wait to book flights until the final payment due date, or book before that?  

 

Dear Tauck Travel Advisor, 

 

We are writing today to share some important updates for your clients who are booked on an upcoming journey with Tauck:  

  • Roz: RYY XXXXXXXXXX

We are thrilled to let you know that this trip will be operating! We have taken many steps to assure your client's comfort and well-being while they are traveling with us. 

 

First, certain destinations have instituted measures like mandatory vaccination, testing requirements, health insurance coverage, or specific restrictions on travel that are often in addition to, and may go beyond, Tauck's requirements. We have listed the latest destination guidelines for your clients' specific tour or cruise on our COVID-19 Entry Requirements page which is continuously updated and available 24/7.  For additional information on what we are doing to safeguard their health and to review frequently asked questions, please visit our Travel and Health pages.


Additionally, all Tauck guests must bring with them one of the following forms of proof in case it needs be presented to meet a government or supplier requirement:

  • A government-issued certificate, such as the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, indicating that they are fully vaccinated and received the final required dose at least 14 days prior to the start of their tour or cruise; or
  • A laboratory-issued, dated negative PCR COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours prior to the start of their tour or cruise.

These requirements are reflected in the Tauck Travel Well Pledge that Tauck guests will have to sign on the first day of their journey.

We know you likely have more questions about what your clients can expect on tour. We are finalizing trip details with our supplier partners and will include them in your clients' Personal Travel Documents that will be emailed closer to their departure date. They will include a detailed day-by-day itinerary, packing list, flight transfer details, and other relevant travel information designed to answer questions they may have. Please make sure your clients review them prior to their trip.  

 

Our immediate focus is servicing guests with travel reservations in the next 30 days. As this Christmas Markets cruise is still months away, we ask for your patience as we prioritize these travelers and request that you do not call us at this time. Thank you for your understanding


As we eagerly re-start travel operations, please know that our team is working tirelessly to ensure that each trip runs seamlessly and we deliver the peace of mind you expect when traveling with Tauck. While we cannot predict or prevent events outside of our control, we have learned to expect the unexpected. We know there will be twists and turns along this journey and are prepared to adjust as we go. We hope that you will share this spirit of adventure with us as we look forward to hitting the road once again!

 

Thank you for trusting Tauck with your clients’ travel plans. We look forward to welcoming your clients on tour with us soon.

Sincerely,

The Team at Tauck

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Hi Roz.   Excited that your trip is a go!  To me it appears that you only need your vaccine card (assuming you are vaccinated)  as it says “one of the following forms of proof”.  
personally I wouldn’t wait to get flights. There are few choices now and obviously less as the time gets closer to your trip.  
just my opinion.  

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@hoosier2017, you're correct.  I re-read what I was sent and I just need one or the other.  I have my vaccine card so I should be OK unless they change the requirements.  I did see this in the more detailed info provided in one of the links" 

 

"For return to the US:

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 3 days of your flight is required for entry into the US after your trip. Arrangements for this testing will be made by Tauck at an additional cost to guests."

 

P.S.  I was a Hoosier for 15 years.

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Hope you have a wonderful trip!  We are scheduled o cruise the Rhine in November so I am simultaneously keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath that we get to go.  We have been to Munich during Christmas and the markets were so much fun. London too! 
Enjoy

Go Hoosiers! 

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One of the benefits of having Tauck book your air, if the cruise does end up being cancelled, they will have to worry about all the cancellations.  Your TA could probably get them to give you a quote as well, that way you will know if you are going to get a better deal yourself.  That's what mine does with Avalon, and so far they beat all quotes we can get.  

 

Good luck, hope all is a go.

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@Daisi, I've done 3 cruises with Uniworld and they have always been able to get me better fares than what I could get on my own.  I figured Tauck would do the same, plus take of things in the event of a cancellation as you've pointed out.

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Posted (edited)

For either river cruises or land tours, we have always booked air through the tour company for the reasons mentioned above.  Also with many companies booking air with them includes airport transfers.  We have a land tour scheduled where booking air with the tour company includes car service between home and airport at both ends of the trip!

Edited by sharkster77
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I contacted my TA and this morning she sent me quotes from Tauck for airfare.  I went to UA's website and found I could book the flights on my own for the same price or a little less.  Has this been anyone else's experience recently?  

 

I'm going to call my TA tomorrow to make sure I'm comparing apples to apples.  I'm still tempted to book with Tauck just because of the possibility of a cruise cancellation.

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If it's not a large difference, I'd be tempted to just go with Tauck.  Or have your TA book, then she has to do the re-arranging. 🙂

 

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4 hours ago, Roz said:

I contacted my TA and this morning she sent me quotes from Tauck for airfare.  I went to UA's website and found I could book the flights on my own for the same price or a little less.  Has this been anyone else's experience recently?  

 

I'm going to call my TA tomorrow to make sure I'm comparing apples to apples.  I'm still tempted to book with Tauck just because of the possibility of a cruise cancellation.

I called Tauck in the last month. I was hoping they had airfare deals. What they were quoting me seemed like rack rates for Business Class. Though they did try to push it using the example of in case of cancellation or change of itinerary, the fact that they would take care of it. 

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@Coral, thanks for confirming what I thought was going on.  A bit disappointing that there isn't a price advantage to booking air with the cruise line.

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2 minutes ago, Roz said:

@Coral, thanks for confirming what I thought was going on.  A bit disappointing that there isn't a price advantage to booking air with the cruise line.

I found an itinerary I loved with Tauck. I was disappointed in my talk with them. Considering what we are dealing with (COVID) - I thought their terms were very rigid and didn't allow any flexibility. I think given these un-certain times, I wold wait to book with the until this pandemic is over. I was looking at next fall. Right now, I will only book things that are fully refundable with out dishing out $700 for an insurance policy that is not refundable. The high cost of air was just another disappointing part of the conversation but not a deal breaker.

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I ended up booking flights with Tauck.  It was going to cost $600 extra for Economy Plus.  I decided that is money I could use for a lot of other things on my trip.  Told my TA I'll pay for Coach and then complain about it. 😄

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Are you able to go in and book your own seats once they ticket the flights?  With Avalon, we told them we wanted KLM, and then once ticketed, I went in and booked my seats and had the option to upgrade to premium if desired.  That is what I will be doing again for next year.

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