Grand New England

After taking several Tauck trips in the past and loving each one, Tauck really needs to reconsider this tour. Utter disappoint. All of us as a group felt that this trip was sub par. Blame it on Covid over and over. Some parts were excellent but most left us reconsidering future Tauck trips. Many events just eliminated and food was average at best. Sigh.

Comments

  • I can only comment that having just spent six days in Cape Cod, the food certainly was not wonderful but expensive in the main.

  • WrigleyGirl,

    It would help if you could give specifics as to why you were disappointed with the tour. Thanks in advance.

  • edited October 19

    We all felt that Tauck provided transportation to certain "highlights" for an hour then dumped us in local areas to shop. This was the first time I felt like we wasted money and I could have planned better at half the cost. The tour guide was reading from her phone. Hotels were dirty. Acadia NP for instance highlighted 3 key areas for a total of 3 hours including transportation and parking then dumped us back in local shops. No option to stay at the park for the day. One couple we met was on their first Tauck trip and commented that there was a lot of "fluff time". Just not the Tauck experience we have loved in the past. Many events just eliminated like horse drawn carriage ride and farm to table dining experience in VT.

  • We saw the Tauck bus in Provincetown. We were there many years ago, this time it was a big disappointment, if you were dumped there for a couple of hours, I feel bad for you, there were no exciting stores and we thought we would be there for severely hours, thank goodness we could leave when we wanted because we took an independent trip.
    We were considering Grand New England sometime in the future because doing it on our own would be too much driving.
    How was the tour Director in general? Our last US tour with Tauck, the TD was really poor, it put newbies off using Tauck again. Other US tours, the TD”s have been excellent.

  • Tour director was average on information of area but good on customer service . She was sitting on the bus reading from her phone. We felt like she was pulled from a different area and placed on this tour without much prior experience . Our past tour guides have been excellent and kept us coming back to Tauck. Not any more.

  • I immediately wrote Tauck after this trip (10 days ago) because I was so disappointed. Heard nothing from the them. In the past, I immediately wrote them with glowing comments about our trip and especially the tour guides. Times have changed Im afraid. They have the reputation and service has declined.

  • WrigleyGirl,

    It sure doesn't sound like you had the typical Tauck experience. This is pure conjecture, but I wonder if Tauck did not have the logistics worked out before they resumed this tour. Regardless, they are very committed to customer service and hopefully will take your comments to heart.

  • WrigleyGirl - I've been on quite a few international trips with Tauck, enjoying every one, but would never consider doing a continental US tour. Travel is so easy in the US. When I go to NPs, I like to hike, see what there is to see without a timetable, and not simply get a few hours of overview. I know getting individual accommodations in the parks can be tough, but I believe that only really applies to the "majors" such as Zion and Yellowstone, if you plan ahead. Learn from your experience.

  • our intentional trips have been fabulous with Tauck but this was our first US tour. Never again. I spend days in national parks but Tauck felt 3 hours door to door was enough . Tauck should give an option to travelers.....spend the whole day in the park and we will come pick you up at 6pm OR 3 hrs in the park and dump you at the local shops. Very disappointing.

  • edited October 19

    We have taken over a dozen trips with Tauck, only one of which was a US tour- Hidden Gems of N.E. For a number of reasons, it was far below the quality of all our international tours. Not the only reasons, but the sites visited, while interesting did not hold a candle to overseas sites typically visited. Same goes for the hotels and meals. Once you get outside cities in the US, it becomes difficult to find hotels that meet typical Tauck standards.

  • Totally agree AlanS. I feel like Tauck needs to really reconsider these US trips. If this was my first Tauck trip, it would have been my last. Over half of the hotels/dinners were below average.

  • Cathyandsteve, if I would have booked our trip on my own, I would have not been so disappointed. I feel Tauck should have pulled this trip from us and waited until next year. Its like they forced the trip but still kept the price the same while many experiences were just eliminated. PS It is wonderful to see tourists traveling again!

  • Don't give up on hearing back from Tauck...the TD's often don't immediately get them off to CT headquarters...then it can take a few weeks to hear back...but you will! So sorry about your disappointment...I would have been too. We save Tauck for international and travel the US of A on our own so far! We have looked at Canadian Maritimes trip with Tauck but somehow haven't gotten real excited to do it due to reviews in recent years. We may try that one on our own too.

  • edited October 19

    Nancy, Canadian Rockies with Tauck was fabulous. I have learned that US tours with Tauck is nothing special. One and done. I usually plan on my own but planning with a large group, Tauck trip just seemed easier.

  • I agree...we did the Canadian Rockies with Tauck in 2018...it was fabulous!

  • Oops I missed one- we also did Yellowstone in Winter- it was fantastic!! The Mammouth lodge had just been completely redone so was great. Old Faithful snow lodge was fine. Food was good but meal service at both was a little slow- winter and beginnings of COVID (Feb 2020). But . . . the lodging and food are a very distant factor for us- we go for the sights and experiences which were exceptional.

  • What I find interesting is there is no way for me to review my trip on Tauck website.

  • It was never a good feature- very limited ability to leave a meaningful review due to the format and character limit. The capability was never re-activated when they launched the new forum software a few years ago.

  • edited October 19

    Don’t forget, Tauck began by being a company that specialized with only US tours, for years!
    Like Alan, we do not prioritize hotels and food on our tours as long as they are in a good location, clean and safely prepared food.
    Also, think about it, this tour and many others cover a lot of distance. Just by looking at the tour, one has to realize that you aren’t going to be in one place for very long. The tour would have to be much longer and even more expensive. We had visited many of the places independently before we took the US tours we had done. We actually preferred the Tauck experience. They stayed in better hotels, could stay in the parks without booking independently probably a year in advance, knew when was the best time to be there and so on. This was especially true for example when we went to the Grand Canyon. Tauck had us there to see the beautiful colors of the sunset and we could get up early the next morning for the sunrise. We even did a short hike down. Same when we went to Bruce Canyon, we hiked down very early unofficially with the TD, one of the best might I add.
    When we went on our own, we went from England, we must have booked the three week tour of the west a year in advance with a company that specialized in US tours, very experienced, but they could not find accommodation in the park. We stayed in a lovely hotel, but we had to drive to the Canyon. You also have to factor in that the driver is going to miss seeing the scenery too.
    I truely don’t believe that the majority of the usual Tauck customers on the US tours would want to be dropped off for a day at one of the parks, they are usually older than the regular international Tauck customers and haven’t traveled much out of the US. We were certainly by far the youngest couple when we took our first US tour. We met one couple who had taken every Tauck US tour for years. We met another woman on our last US tour, it was number 39! Beat even us, I think most were US ones for her.
    I think that many of the people taking the US tours this year, would not normally take them, but they chose them because of the Covid restrictions on foreign travel. We nearly booked the shorter New England tour. There was a lot of discussion between us because, at the time, there was only one date open, a small group one and the price was ridiculous when you compared it to foreign tour prices. We were anxious to get away, called Tauck, couldn’t get through, changed our minds, focused on Cape Cod on our own for six days.
    Before my husband retired, we would take one long foreign tour with Tauck and then a shorter US tour, with only three weeks vacation at that time, that was it. The US has to catch up with the rest of the developed world and give their citizens more paid leave. It makes for more productive workers, but that’s another discussion.
    We liked it when Tauck started shorter one week foreign tours concentrating in one small area like the PUGLIA tour. Tauck did try doing just one city for a week, it obviously wasn’t popular.
    One way to see more of a place, is to arrive early and/or stay longer. We do that when we can. Other wise one could go to a place independently abroad that you particularly like and stay for one or two weeks, like London, Paris or Amsterdam.
    Another way Tauck could improve the US tours would be to shorten the lunches, just give everyone a boxed lunch, have a sandwich, which, let’s face it, don’t most of us just make a quick sandwich at home, grab a bowl of soup or a quick salad or eat a leftover at lunchtime. But I can imagine how that would go down with most Tauck customers! I discussed it with a TD one time and they said they have to stay competitive and feed people well. Buffets are even worse,,,just get in line and put the food on your plate people, don’t just stand there and look at it or chat to the person next to you while everyone waits in line for half an hour for their food. I want to be out there looking a scenery, not here eating lunch forever and wondering round tacky gift shops for hours.
    I’m sure Tauck did not cancel these tours because of the initial high demand for them during the Pandemic. They are certainly extremely popular during normal times. Unfortunately, Tauck have maybe been too generous with their last minute cancellation polices during this time for their own good. They have probably lost more money doing this than canceling the tours.
    Wrigleygirl, you are probably correct, your TD was likely a last minute replacement, we have had that happen a couple of times but the TD has been fine. Please keep the forum up to date on any responses you get.

  • British , there were some experiences that were excellent but unfortunately, more things were subpar. We were so hungry as you said to get out and travel again that I did overlook some things such as how much land they had to cover. Definitely would change that . We had couples on their 17th and 20th Tauck trip. The couple on their 17th trip were questioning whether they should keep their 18th Tauck trip next year because this trip was not up to Tauck’s standards. Part of the Tauck experience is great hotels and this trip just didn’t fulfill. We felt like there was too much fluff time on our own. Another couple we met on their 9th Tauck trip have only done US tours and like us , felt this trip was not like any of their past trips. I’ll let you know if Tauck reaches out to me. I feel if they cut major experiences on our trip that they feature on their “ highlights” , they need to add something else or refund us some portion.

  • edited October 19

    Interesting. One of the reasons we wanted to take the tour was because it covered a big area that we would not want to do all at once on our own. Tauck hotels were never as fancy as they are these days. A total waste in my opinion maybe apart from the start and end hotels where you have the options to stay longer.
    There appears to be more and more free time on tours, but I think that is because of customer demand. No one surveyed us, but there was talk we heard from others on our earlier tours that that is what they would prefer.
    If you read the small print on the tours, Tauck reserve the right to change the tour if it is unavoidable. Say like during a Pandemic. Did the itineraries change from the final paperwork you got? Then I would have not been happy.
    Our first tour will be, funnily enough, the new Desert Oasis, US tour. Our pre pandemic tours were all cancelled. We never booked any more new tours for 2020 or 2021, we knew things would still be bad. When you are from the scientific and nursing community like us, we kinda figured it out.

  • I agree with you about the hotels being nice at beg/end of trip. A couple of hotels in this trip were run down and dirty having us all question what is Tauck thinking. One had mice running around outside restaurant. Tauck’s itinerary for this trip still lists experiences that they have cut. I knew about the fine print about excluding things out of their control but felt it was too much cutting. Again , we came back from this trip for the first time travelling with Tauck feeling like we wasted our money. Shame because we are younger and have many years hopefully to travel .

  • Wrigley Girl, I generally send in my comments to Tauck via mail rather than giving it to the tour director. Give Tauck some time and then follow up.

    On one trip we had directors from a Disney boat - immature and refused to talk to us "under instructions" when the weather on the Ponant became stormy - an interesting experience when our ship left the ocean twice in one night! One evening they never showed up for the evening scheduled briefing - the captain of the ship told us of the change in itinerary due to high seas. We expressed our displeasure over the unprofessional directors and the poor substitutions for the change of itinerary to Tauck. We received a very nice call from a Tauck rep who offered us compensation to be applied to a future trip. We were satisfied. Other times when we had negative comments, we received a letter telling thank you for letting them know. We actually enjoyed the trip, except for those 2 items.

    We live in New England. Outside the big cities there are not many superior lodgings and restaurants that will accommodate large groups. The best are generally small places. I have always been surprised at some of the places Tauck uses in New England. The best way to travel here is by car on your own. Unfortunately some people can't do that.

    Give Tauck another chance. Like many on the forum, we use Tauck for non USA trips. We did do the Canyonlands and enjoyed that. Looking at New Mexico. We have traveled with Tauck for 16 years and look forward to another 20!

  • I did send Tauck an email as well as comments through TD.

  • We were on this tour a few weeks ago - it certainly didn't equal our other Tauck experiences. The TD seemed scattered and wasn't as interesting or as helpful as others. I do think Tauck should say in advance that the accommodations are primarily small, locally owned venues so don't expect 5 star hotels. Mainly, I thought the tour missed opportunities such as tours of a blueberry farm or other local businesses. While we saw hundreds of solar panels, there was no mention of this industry. I generally prefer guided tours -- most were self-guided which most likely means I missed important details. When a tour participant needed medical attention, the TD was very late to the game to offer assistance - again - disappointing and not what we experienced on other trips. The best part? Great people! Loved the small group of 24 where we really enjoyed interactions with new friends. Also -- terrific bus driver!!

  • Some of the things we wanted to do on our independent tour were closed such as the oyster farm…staff shortage…and cranberry fields.
    You can look up all the hotels Tauck book on the tour webpage and read independent reviews. We look all the time to check facilities, spa menus etc.
    We benefited from the lack of tourists the most on our whale watching . The boat was less than half full.
    I would write a specific letter about the TD to Tauck….it may help…it may not. The only poor tour director we ever had and let Tauck know…we met a couple on another tour who had him five years before and couldn’t believe he was still employed, no one cared for him on their tour.

  • I received a voicemail from Margarita in Guest Relations on Oct 28th about this very thread and to hear my comments/concerns. I called her direct number back 3 times and left 3 voicemails. Nothing. Today is November 20. Plenty of time to call back. I would have rather heard nothing from Tauck than to have a rep from their customer service leave me a message and go ghost. Another disappointment from my once favorite tour company. Sigh.

  • Any suggestions on a different tour company that would compare to the old Tauck are welcomed. Trying to plan a European river cruise. Thanks!

  • Who is flagging these posts? Does the flagger think this is Facebook and a flag means "Like?" NOT!

  • Perhaps the “Flagger” objected to asking for other tour companies on a TAUCK forum…I understand your frustration with lack of communication but don’t expect Tauck clients to recommend another company on this forum.

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