A Near Private Riverboat Adventure (Only 35 Passengers!) Eastbound July 6th Tour Review!

Non-Tour Items First:
Fly direct when you can. Take long layovers if connections are needed. Arrive 1-2 days early. Pack Lightly in the checked bags. Use carry-ons for anything important. Also by a high class of ticket as well - I found it very obvious that business and first class bags are handled and cared for differently. While my premium economy bags on Lufthansa made it through Frankfurt (short layover) on to Munich just fine, my brother-in-law's short layover on Iberia/British Airways in Madrid got his back hung up. It made it to Munich the following day (but we were already in Passau) and it was clear that BA/Iberia and GSRM did not give crap that it was delayed. We've all since flown home and as far as my BIL knows his bag is still in Munich. We're taking bets on when he'll actually get it (and when) or not. [Edit - his bag left the US on 7/5 and returned to Milwaukee on 7/20!]

Apple AirTags worked well but had some minor limitations. I would travel with them again for their practicality in keeping an eye on things and they did work very well when Tauck was handling the bags too (ie. taking the bags ahead of us to the ship).

The MS Savor was beautiful, but not without some hiccups. FYI the whole boat was open and being used as one normally would expect. Our only hiccup was that in cabin 308 - we had a leaking AC unit the first night that leaked all over the pull out couch, soaking the pillow/mattress and ruining the first night as we has a semi-sleep deprived, now near-delusional, 15 y/o daughter that felt like she was in a water torture experiment. We rectified it by sleeping 3 in the main bed, but brought it to the attention of the staff the next day. They replaced the couch/bed and fixed the AC that morning and we never had another issue afterwards. If we had, they had planned for us to change rooms - which would have been easy with only 35 passengers on board!

FYI there are 2 110v outlets in the Cat7 Rooms - one next to the bed and one in the nook next to the couch. All remaining and there were many were 220v.

The whole crew and TDs were amazing. I can't say enough good things about Miles, Dianne, and Meagan. Trip was well thought out for all the stops. My kids had a fabulous time getting to know other kids (there was only a handful of them) and the staff.. We got to know Roland, Tibor, Tomas, Boryana, Budi, and Chef Peter (a freaking genius in the kitchen) the most. It was great to learn about them and their homeland/personal lives as we traveled. Roland in particular made an instant (first minute we walked on board) and amazing connection with my son over Japanese Anime and they were best buds the whole rest of the trip.

All the stops on the trip were fantastic. I can reply about any stop if anyone is interested.

The low for us had to be, sadly, the Palais Pallavicini dinner. For those interested, all the men except my brother-in-law wore jackets (he simply didn't have any of his clothes). I would have liked to see the 16-19 year old boys wearing coats, but I was not surprised. The younger ones still looked very dapper dressed nicely. The music, song and dance was excellent. Sadly the food was just meh. And that is being generous. After eating on the boat all week - to get a menu with a listed course that was just skipped (soup), and main dishes that were very plain and not well done was, well, extremely boring. My daughter and I liked our dishes (veal), but the salmon and strudel left a lot to be desired. Then during the performances, the woman who sings and is the hostess for the night, tried (and failed) to get any one of the 3 youngest boys ages 12-14 to go up and dance with her. My own son refused even with me urging him to show others how it's done. With her displayed failure, she loudly vocalized that she has never happened before, forcibly pulled off her mask, and deliberately exited the room. It was palpable that she was pissed and we in the room were left thinking, "strange. I hope it was part of the act?" Upon speaking to the TDs later - it was not part of the act and there was some form of conversation had with her. The dinner also ran very late/long - which weighed both on the younger kids and the older grandparents - who both wanted to be in bed shortly after dessert was served.

The highlight for us had to be Dürnstein. From the morning bike ride through the Wachau Valley and vineyards to the afternoon CLIMB to the ruins where Richard the Lionheart was kept prisoner - it was all just spectacular. I will cherish the selfies and photos from the top of the ruins with my son where I felt like I might get blown off. It was the scariest photo-op I've ever taken. I will say for those reading up on this tour - the hike to the top isn't long - 30 minutes, but it's a hike! You better be fit to get to the top.

My only regret for the trip was not spending more time in Budapest. We stayed one extra night, but I would have preferred 2 extra days. We crammed a lot in the last 12 hours we had. I'm so glad we spent that night there...now we will have to go back!

Here's to looking forward to our next Tauck Tour!

ps. Staff were masked 100% of the time. TD were masked 99% of the time. Guests were masked 0.5% of the time (my in-laws and one other older couple would mask up every now and again). We got home and tested for COVID. Only my daughter was positive (and weakly at that) for 2 days and then she tested negative. I didn't see anyone act sick or be quarantined and we would have all known it with only 35 on board.


  • Thanks for a great comprehensive account of your trip.We are booked on 8/28 eastbound on Ms Savor.Hoping the water levels will be good by then.

  • dd, quite the luxury private cruise; perhaps Tauck should publish total signups to lure us in.
    p.s. as an editor I've got to ask: why is everyone calling dessert desert? Guess I missed that memo. I hear woman/women mangled every day on the news, so is dessert the new woman? 🙃

  • edited July 2022

    MarketArt, the editor, and I, the linguist, should collaborate on a book. I just shake my head when I hear people everywhere say further when they should be saying farther. But my favorite is...example follows...the former is correct, but the later is wrong. I digress but just couldn't resist.

    Your trip sounded wonderful, MarketArt!

  • MarketArt
    dd, quite the luxury private cruise; perhaps Tauck should publish total signups to lure us in.
    p.s. as an editor I've got to ask: why is everyone calling dessert desert? Guess I missed that memo. I hear woman/women mangled every day on the news, so is dessert the new woman?

    Ha. No that's me just not paying attention and waiting for spell check to correct me. Sadly, spell check never catches that one and yet I keep making the same error!

    Your trip sounded wonderful!

    It was. So much fun was had by all! I wish we could have just stayed on the boat, reversed course, and did new things in each city!

  • I went for a long time using the wrong word - desert vs dessert. It's up there with never being sure whether it's chili vs chile.

  • Claudia, I believe you are in NM; isn't it chili on menus? I see chile is sometime called the US spelling, new to me. They use chili peppers in Chile, where it can be chilly in the Andes.

  • Yep, NM. Chile is the pepper that's sold green or dried until they are red. Chili is actually chili con carne.

  • edited July 2022

    Chile- officially the Republic of Chile

    chile- A US variant spelling of chili.

    chile- British chili : a pepper whether hot or sweet

    chile- A predominantly southern variation of the word "child"

    chili- The pungent, spicy fresh or dried fruit of any of several cultivated varieties of capsicum peppers, used in cooking, e.g. chili, chili con carne, chile con queso (chili with cheese), chili relleno, a green chil1 pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs.

    chili- A dish made with (hot) chili peppers and other ingredients, such as beans and beef or other meat (chili con carne, "chili with meat", an American dish with Mexican roots)

    chilies- plural of chili

    Chili's- Chili's Grill & Bar. Tex-Mex casual dining. Flagship brand of Brinker International (Brinker International also owns Maggiano's Little Italy). Some locations are getting a bit long in the tooth.

    Chili- small unincorporated town in Indiana, NY, Ohio, etc.

    Chili- a character of the Pokémon universe

  • But Chili, NY (I live nearby) is pronounced with two long i’s, as in “like”.

  • The only real question here is "Red or Green?". In fact the state legislature made it the official state question in 1996. When dining out here and ordering NM cuisine you'll be asked that. It refers to whether you want sauce with red or green chili's - or Christmas which is asking for both.

  • With regard to the pepper, chile is the correct Latin American/Mexican spelling. Chili is the Americanized spelling.

  • MikeCoyner
    But Chili, NY (I live nearby) is pronounced with two long i’s, as in “like”.

    Like Lima, Ohio. :D

  • What about Chilly meaning feeling it’s a bit cold. And I can spell that without anyone making a nasty comment about me.

  • edited July 2022

    British - Living back east, you should know that "a bit cold" is nippy. Regarding being ridiculed for spelling errors, those individuals are probably the same ones who should review elementary principles of grammar, punctuation and syntax before pointing fingers.

  • lord knows they don't teach that stuff in schools any more!

  • edited July 2022

    When my kids were at school in England, the school authorities were going through the phase of saying that trying to have perfect spelling and grammar was stifling creativity of writing freely about anything they wanted to express. I’m not saying that was a good idea, but another way of looking at it.

  • Society needs to needs to be able to spell words correctly.. How does that stifle the creative process? Society should not dumb down basic skills - reading, writing and arithmetic. I may even add penmanship to the list snd being able to write in cursive (which is not even mandatory now) if you can believe that! All the texting snd abbreviations are making a mockery of language.and writing skills.

  • We also need to pretend to be editors and proof read what we have written to look for the “needs to needs to” phrases. (;-)

  • For me it's the darn autocorrect. Regularly changes things that are written correctly.

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