Back from the Oct.7 Amsterdam to Budapest

Hi,

Just in case anyone is looking for a bit of feedback. We really enjoyed this trip. The MS Treasures is a beautifully luxurious boat. Our 3 Hungarian and Romanian tour guides that were with us the whole way were wonderful - so accommodating and helpful during the entire journey. Could not have asked for better guides. Unfortunately our weather was not as nice as it could have been, starting with a very rainy day in Amsterdam. As we went along, many days were cloudy but at least no rain. The itinerary was great - wonderful visits to each port, some truly great lunches included at local restaurants. Tauck, as always, comes through with some nice surprise extras that are not listed in the detailed itinerary, so I won't spoil that for anyone considering going! Some very good and varied food onboard. Great entertainment - several different types of groups came onboard to perform in the evenings - very enjoyable and certainly some top-notch talent. It was also a nice variety of programs. The tour guides also gave their own informative presentations along the way - all very well done and quite interesting.

I truly did expect, however, to have a bit more time to simply enjoy being on the river. It did occasionally feel like a land tour that uses a boat as a hotel. There really was only 1 day of full cruising. (This is probably the ocean cruiser in me that yearned for a bit more 'down time' to just kick back and enjoy the cruise.) Also typical of Tauck, the itinerary is quite busy - you really get to experience alot during the guided tours along with ample free time to explore and shop on your own - and one thing I also did not expect was that the boat often moves during the day while the guests are touring, and then you catch up with the boat again either late afternoon or early evening by bus. I was not totally thrilled with getting back onboard as late as 6:00 especially since the presentation for the next day's activities was generally held at 6:15 already. Our favorite days were when the boat stayed in port the entire day so that you could go back to it whenever you wanted to. Once again, I'm so used to ocean cruising where the ship does not leave port during the day. Also, I didn't anticipate that the sun deck is unavailable for a significant part of the trip due to navigating the low bridges (the boat's wheelhouse is even hydraulically lowered several feet when needed.....pretty amazing!). I also knew nothing about having to go through so many locks - quite a neat experience! I loved that there is so little motion while sailing since I can be prone to seasickness, and certainly would take another riverboat cruise for the chance to be on such calm water.

Overall, it was great and I'd highly recommend it to someone who has only done ocean cruising and is considering a riverboat trip. Many people we talked to onboard seem to have no great love for the larger cruise ships, but I'd have to say that I certainly would not give up ocean cruising to only do riverboat trips. I like things about both types of cruises. Since the dining room tables on the MS Treasures were set up for a minimum of 4 guests, you truly get to interact with and meet many different people during the course of the trip. I was a bit surprised that there was no list circulated for everyone to write their email addresses that then would be copied and shared. Other Tauck land trips we've been on have done this. It became obvious during the journey that many new friends were made. I also should mention that the lounge has a great supply of reading material relative to all the areas visited during the trip. And, even more enjoyable was that the cabin TVs offered free movies that were all thematically related to the trip. Movies such as the new version of "Anne Frank", "Monuments Men", "A Bridge Too Far", "Woman in Gold", etc. made the trip more meaningful.

If you're unsure about taking a Tauck river trip - by all means just go and enjoy! I don't think you'll be sorry.

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