Trip Review- Treasures of the British/Irish Isles

Our first trip was a cruise through the British Isles. This cruise was advertised as being on an intimate French ship. Since we have cruised all over the world, I can say this trip did not come close to meeting our expectations. The top tier rooms were small and the toilet in the bath room was in a tiny closet, smaller than on an airplane. Half the passengers were French and not Tauck customers, so everything had to be repeated twice. Once in French, then in English. The process of doing a fire drill was poorly done and in fact dangerous since I saw one man fall down three steps and get injured. Tauck did not mention that several ports we needed to tender in; so when the weather turned bad they cancled that port. The food for a French ship was very disappointing, on all seatings, and without a doubt the worst coffee we have ever tasted. There was a Cruise Director who said "she was going to be chained to her desk" for the trip. I went to her desk area 9 different times and never found her there once. Two tour directors were so disorganized and ill-prepared that they were basically worthless when we needed help. One tour director, Phillip was excellent. The poor weather contributed to poorly concieved tours such as on the Isle of Man. Overall we found that this trip is not worth the cost nor the time and would not recommend it at all.

Comments

  • I have taken many many land tours with Tauck and two small ship tours. Both were on brand new French Ponant ships, both were exclusively chartered by Tauck. We chose the smaller rooms. Indeed the toilet was in a small ‘closet’ and the shower and sink were also in a small room, it was not really possible for both to be in there at the same time. This size of a room does not normally matter on Tauck tours because you only sleep in the rooms, but on these two cruises there was too much down time for our liking. The food was excellent, the staff friendly. Less experienced tour directors appear to be put on the ships with one or two very experienced. Indeed, on the first cruise was one of our favorite and best Tauck tour directors we have now travelled with three times.we chose these cruises because they were the only way to best see the country/have the experience, Iceland/Panama Canal. The thought of being on a big cruise ship, however big a room might be in comparison, leaves us cold.
    Tauck does say on their info whether the particular tour is all Tauck or a mixture, or you can ask before you book. I guess you didn’t see how much smaller the rooms were maybe compared to a big ship. We did notice although I admit I was disappearing with the bathroom facilities apart from the large storage drawer under the sink.
    Finally, I think I read the itinerary for this cruise last year, I think it was in April. I remember thinking then, who on earth would dream of sailing round the British Isles at that time of year, not me! Being born there, I know the weather. The choice of stops also seemed weird. For me it seemed like a way of doing one of those repositioning the ship for the season trips. but at a hefty price.

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