Pick up in from Basel hotel

We are taking this trip in May 2015 so this is a bit early, but I have a question. I know that Tauck will pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel the day before the cruise (we are booking the hotel on our own), but will they also pick us up at the hotel the day of the cruise and take us to the river boat?

Thanks,
Greg

Comments

  • SueSue
    edited April 2014
    Usually they only pick up from the hotel if it is booked through them. I suggest you call Tauck and get an answer "from the horse's mouth."
  • We are booked on a river cruise embarking in Basel in May. We booked one night on our own at the hotel that Tauck uses. Tauck has been wonderful about the transfers. They are picking us up at the railway station on arrival and providing a transfer to the hotel. The next day they are providing a transfer to the riverboat.

    We are very pleased at how flexible Tauck is being with accommodating our schedule and arrangements.
  • Sue wrote:
    Usually they only pick up from the hotel if it is booked through them. I suggest you call Tauck and get an answer "from the horse's mouth."
    If you are staying at the Tauck hotel in Basel, regardles of who made the reservation, and as long as you have notified them of your arrival information, they know you need to get from A to B on day one. I seriously doubt that they discriminate against their clients on the basis of who made the hotel reservation and via whom.

    When it comes time for you to give Tauck your arrival information in Basel, you will also need to tell them where you are staying ... with long lost, great aunt Madeliane, the designated Tauck hotel or somewhere else. If you choose to hike from great aunt Madelaine's to the collection point, you know, I'm guessing Tauck would be accommodating enough to let you catch a ride. That's the type of classy company they are. But do check with them ahead of time. They are not mind readers, but I've never found them particularly horsey! ;)

    Cheers,

    Jan

    PS: Do check the street number for long lost, great aunt Madelaine. You don't want to have to rely on the faultless good manners of strangers. ;)
  • Hi Gregdude,

    Actually, Sue is correct. Due to our contracts with the transport companies, they can only drop you off or pick you up at the hotel we book at before the tour. Sorry!

    -Tim
  • edited April 2014
    Hi Tim,

    I have always had to make my own reservations at the Tauck hotel because your reservation people can only provide their rate for a maximum of 3 nights … if that. I also understand that there is a ceiling on the number of extra Tauck nights that are available at the designated property for any one departure date. Because I choose to start a Tauck tour with the worst of my jet lag under control and because I really like to see the city where your tours start, 3 days won't work for me. Even if I could get more nights through Tauck, those 3 nights might not be confirmed until just a few months before departure. That's not satisfactory, so I make my own reservations at whatever rate I can get at the Tauck hotel. I provide my arrival information well ahead and Tauck have always transferred me from the airport to the Tauck hotel. They have also transported me, along with the people whose hotel reservations have been made by Tauck, to the starting point.

    What you describe is not what was outlined to me when I made my most recent reservation. Have your practices changed?

    Will I now have to stand at the front door of the Tauck hotel and watch all the other people being transferred to the cruise boat? Will I now have to wave them goodbye as I wait for my own taxi to take me to the same place? At least I could get to tell the taxi driver …"Follow that bus!" That sounds like fun … for myself and all the other guests who travel further than your regular domestic guests and for those who might choose to arrive at the departure city a little ahead of the departure date.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • I don't know if this will help Jan but for upcoming holiday in August we booked, through Tauck, our first night at the Sheraton in Edinburgh as an extra night; an extra night at the Royal Horseguards in London and an extra first night at the Intercontinental in Paris and according to the itinerary we will be picked up and delivered by Tauck to and from the airport and/or train station. The extra nights were a combination of self paid and gift of time. I have to admit this is the first time we're doing back to back tours and also spending extra time at the Tauck allocated hotels. I still think there is a much better chance that Tauck will be on hand to transport us than our baggage will arrive with us after three plane transfers from Brisbane to Edinburgh.

    Ah! The adventures of overseas travel.
  • edited April 2014
    Hi Rod,

    This is the first time I've heard of this bit of partisanship, particularly on the official position. ;) As you know, we really work at travelling with Tauck on a few, peculiarly Australian, levels. (Don't mention the fx! And don't mention the war! Python who?)

    I usually book back to back trips … why would you choose to waste the cost of an overseas airfare on a short trip? Travelling for business is one thing. Why would you do that for pleasure? I didn't do the back to back thing this year because no amount of flow charting could come up with compatible dates and/or trips. My extra time will be spent in Singapore on the way home.

    If Tauck have changed their hotel to boat transfer protocols, no doubt I'll find out all the gory details when I next contact HQ … hopeful by one of the efficient methods! ;))

    Thanks for your thoughts. And my thoughts go with your luggage. Don't forget to check the tags before the bags shoot off on the conveyer belt at Brissy. Easy enough to miss when you're excited!

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Some clarifications are needed.

    In Greg's original post, he did not stipulate if he was staying at the Tauck hotel or a different hotel. Tim's response may be applicable only if the guest is staying at a hotel different from the one that Tauck books. Tauck's contract with the transport company apparently stipulates transfers to and from only the specific hotel that Tauck uses.

    Based on our current arrangements with Tauck, I believe that Tauck still provides transportation from the airport or train station to Tauck's hotel regardless of whether the Tauck hotel was booked through Tauck or independently. Similarly I believe Tauck provides transfers from the Tauck hotel to the riverboat regardless of whether the hotel was booked through Tauck or independently. This is consistent with the final documentation that we received from Tauck for our own transfers.

    Tauck Tim, please confirm that these interpretations are correct.

  • My experience was at the post-end of our river cruise in France. I had booked a hotel in Lyon for 3 nights after our Waterways and Vineyards tour. The hotel I booked was not the hotel Tauck used (this one was very inexpensive). I had been trying to arrange my own transportation for getting to the hotel from the ship, and had been emailing with a taxi company before leaving home. I was not able to connect with them onboard the ship (my emails went unanswered). One of our TDs told me that he would take care of it for me. A taxi was waiting when we disembarked. When we arrived at the hotel and I tried to pay the driver, he told me that the TD had taken care of it. Tauck was not contracted for this, nor did I expect it, but that's one of the reasons I travel with Tauck.
  • Thanks all!

    I did not expect so many responses but greatly appreciate al of your input. We are booking the Tauck hotel SwissOtel, on our own in Basel and using the "Gift of Time" in amsterdam at the end of our cruise. It sounds like, because we are using their hotel in Basel, that they will provide a transfer to the boat. I do agree that we will need to talk to Tauck again before we leave (May 2015) to confirm all of our arrangements and transfers. We have used Tauck on multiple land tours and have always found their transfer policies to be generous, one reason we select Tauck!
  • Hi Greg … or should it be Hey Dude ..(that sounds much cooler!;))

    The fulcrum is the Tauck hotel. I know people who've stayed elsewhere have, in the past, transferred themselves to the Tauck hotel on commencement day and been included in the group, onward transfer. Depending on the outcome of this semantic discussion, that's something you might keep in mind for your trip.

    I'll be there and back by your dates, so I'll keep you posted.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Thanks jdurkin, but I spoke to Tauck when I made our reservations last week and was told that the hotel they use in Basel is "SwissOtel". Perhaps they have changed or perhaps if one is full they use another? In any case I will confirm the hotel choice in six months when we are getting closer to the cruise.
  • I was told the same thing when I booked this trip, gregdude, so I made my hotel reservation accordingly. Granted, I did book the trip last year, but since you tell me you only booked yours last week, that provides a little comfort. The hotel chain is "SwissOtel" and the Basel property is "Le Plaza". Tauck told me then that my transfer was included from the hotel to the boat. I wouldn't have booked that hotel otherwise! They know I have to make my own hotel reservation in Basel because we have the same conversation every time I book a Tauck tour. I do hope they haven't changed hotels without telling me. I will be beyond mad, make that incandescently mad, if they have! Who knows … after this particular conversation. Whatever, I'm going to be finding out quite soon. I must say, I'm getting a very bad feeling about all this.

    As I said earlier, I'll be long home before you make your trip, so I can pass on the skinny. That's a really bad choice of word …. no one gets home from a Tauck trip in the least bit skinny …..


    Cheers,

    Jan

    PS: Why is it always the weekend here and not working hours over there when you need to know something? Sometimes it's a real pain to be ahead in the time game.
  • Hi, Jan,

    No need to stress over the weekend.

    I happened to call Tauck today with some questions regarding the time of our own transfers for our upcoming voyage in a few weeks. In the process we reviewed all our transfers. We booked Tauck's Basel hotel, Swissotel Le Plaza on our own. Tauck is providing our transfer from the Basel train station to the hotel. The following day they are providing our transfer to the ship with the others that are staying at the hotel.

    In Amsterdam, similar to Greg, we are using our Gift of Time to stay at the Sofitel. Tauck is providing us a group transfer to the hotel. The following day they are proving us a transfer to the airport.

    I am sure that you are booked at the correct hotel in Basel and that your transfers will be included both in Basel and in Amsterdam. For your own peace of mind, call them next week to confirm but certainly don't worry about it over the weekend. Things have not changed. Tauck won't let you down!

    Rhonda
  • Hi Rhonda,

    What a shame we won't be on the same trip. Thanks so much for the reassurance. I can dream peacefully till next week. Lovely!

    Tauck have never let me down before … but their 3rd party limo did once fail to turn up at SFO to take me into the city. That particular trip I had followed a flight plan I've taken many times, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, SFO on Singapore Airlines. A lovely way to fly indeed. That time, I didn't stop in Singapore as I usually do but flew straight through. Dumb. So very dumb. My personal time continuum went to Mars while I staggered out of international arrivals trying to pretend I really was on Venus. Luckily I know SFO well, and found my own way to town, but it took me forever to ascertain that I really had been abandoned. The TD sorted me out in folding stuff when the tour started 5 days later and all was well … but it's not an experience you want to go through after my kind of flight. I have made my travel agent promise she'll never let me do that again.

    Tell me what you think the Sofitel! I haven't stayed there before. I have fond memories of the Hotel Pulitzer but I don't think Tauck uses it any more. :( From what I know, the Sofitel is closer to another … um … interesting?? part of town. :-0

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Wow, we have a real thread going here, very unusual for a Tauck forum! Not to add more confusion, but it is fun to do so, Tauck has booked us into a different Amsterdam hotel than mentioned above! Next may they have us booked into "De L'Europe" for our "Gift of Time". My best guess is that they must have different contracts with different hotels over certain time periods. Based on past experience I'm sure we will all have a great experience.

    Those who are traveling over the next few weeks, I would be most appreciative if you give us a good trip review and review of the "Inspire". It would also be helpful to hear about restaurants in Basel and Amsterdam.
  • Hi, Jan and Greg,

    I just took a good look at the Tauck website and the hotels used for various voyages. This is what I found listed:

    Rhine and Moselle (13 days) - Northbound and Southbound: In 2014 and Tauck is using the Swissotel Le Plaza in Basel. In 2015 it is using the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel. For both 2014 and 2015 Tauck is using the Sofitel Amsterdam.

    Romantic Rhine (8 days) -Northbound and Southbound: In both 2014 and 2015 Tauck is using the Swissotel Le Plaza in Basel and the De L'Europe in Amsterdam.

    Jan,

    Based on past posts, I believe you are actually on the Rhine and Moselle itinerary Northbound in 2014 as are we. (Although we are posting on the Romantic Rhine sub-forum, we are actually on a different itinerary.) Therefore our hotels are the Swissotel Le Plaza in Basel and the Sofitel in Amsterdam. Too bad we aren't on the same trip. It would be great to meet you!

    Greg,

    I assume you are on the Romantic Rhine Northbound in 2015, so your hotels would be Swissotel Le Plaza in Basel and De L'Europe in Amsterdam.

    Tauck could make some chages for individual voyages so it is always best to confirm the hotels with Tauck.

    Have you seen the blog written by a professional travel writer / photographer from the first voyage of the MS Inspire? Here is a link to his write-up:
    http://www.fromthedeckchair.com/2014/04/18/ms-inspire-live-voyage-report-recap/
    Within the link click on each day to see some great pictures of the Inspire.

    We will be cruising on the Inspire in just a few weeks and can't wait!

    Rhonda

  • Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for doing that hack work! And extra thanks for the link. I'll take a look later in the morning. And maybe we could set up a tea date in an appropriate location … The Savoy, The Ritz …. somewhere over the rainbow, or across a crowded room …… Ahem. For my next number ….. I'd better go organise that very late breakfast. Sugar levels and all that……

    Cheers,

    Jan

  • gregdude wrote:
    Those who are traveling over the next few weeks, I would be most appreciative if you give us a good trip review and review of the "Inspire". It would also be helpful to hear about restaurants in Basel and Amsterdam.
    I've only been to Switzerland once before in the 70s. I don't care if it is passé. I want to find a good fondu restaurant. I just have to …. I can do without special muffins, though.

    Cheers,

    Jan
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