First Time Tauck Traveler! Majestic California

My wife, daughter (9) and I just booked the June 8th (2014) Majestic California trip as a way to try out Tauck. We've always traveled overseas and domestic with me being the TD. I know I'm tired of doing it, and they are tired of me doing it because I try to plan everything out too much.

Basically I'm posting this to see if any seasoned Tauck travelers would be willing to give me some tips on the best way to prepare for the trip. The reviews across websites are always great, but was hoping on some advice specific to this tour, Tauck bridges, or Tauck in general.

I appreciate your responses in advance, and we are extremely excited about our upcoming trip.


  • Not sure if you mean the Calif. Gold Coast. Haven't heard about the Majestic trip. If you mean the Gold Coast trip I could give you some info. if you want.
  • Majestic California was our first TB trip. Basically all you need to do is show up. Everything is well planned and there isn't a lot of free time. There is some free time in San Francisco on Day 2. The tour director will make some suggestions, but if your family is interested in visiting Alcatraz (the included activity only cruises by the island), you should book that well in advance. If your tour director suggests visiting a hotel (I don't remember the name) and riding the elevator to the top, do it. It sounds crazy, but it was fantastic. Also, there is some free time at the Tenaya Lodge. If you're interested in participating in any of the activities available at the lodge, you should sign up soon after arrival. The activities fill up and if you delay you may not get what you want, or anything at all. We found that out the hard way. If your daughter is interested in getting a junior ranger badge at Yosemite, mention it to you tour director before you go to Yosemite on Day 5. That's all I can think of now. If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to try to answer. It's a great trip. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
  • edited April 2014

    Thanks for the quick response, and I appreciate the advice. I'll look into Alcatraz tonight and make note of the ranger badge. I hope the TD knows about the elevator or I'll be googling from my phone now that you have me curious. If I was to book Alcatraz what time do you think would be safe for the morning tours ending? Thanks again!


    Majestic California is the Bridges trip for Yosemite, San Francisco, and Monterey. If your tour involved any of those locations I'd love your opinion.
  • I believe we had most of the afternoon free, but I checked the current itinerary and they've changed it a bit. We did the city tour first, then the California Academy of Sciences, stopped on the way back and walked onto the Golden Gate Bridge, then went on the bay cruise. Our cruise wasn't on a catamaran and wasn't private, so they've changed that since we took the trip. Looks like the activities are reversed now, so possibly your cruise is longer. To be on the safe side, it would probably be a good idea to call Tauck and find out when you'll return to Fisherman's Wharf. Or if you're arriving early on the first day you might have time to visit Alcatraz then. The only activity on Day 1 is the welcome dinner in the evening.

    I did some googling too and the hotel is the St. Francis and unfortunately they've added key card readers so only guests can use the elevators. I guess they didn't want tourist coming in off the street just to ride them. We rode it 3 times and we were the only ones onboard, so it didn't seem to be a problem, at least not at that time. It's too bad, because the view is fantastic.
  • Ah,

    You're a lifesaver! Called Tauck and tour ends at 3:30 that day. I have us booked for the Night Alcatraz tour at 6:30 that evening. My daughter is so excited and wanting to watch alcatraz stuff on YouTube. She likes forts and old places as she is weird like that. Thanks again!
  • I should have posted this as soon as we got back from our trip, but I procrastinated. We had an incredible time on our first Tauck trip! Our TD was incredible and the children were best friends almost immediately. I'm sure the bonding the kids did skews my view a little, but probably the most satisfying trip we've ever done (we have traveled quite a bit). I called it a trip because a vacation it was not. We were extremely tired when we got home, but would not have traded a minute of the busy schedule. We did do Alcatraz on our own and my daughter loved it. Already booked South Africa for next summer after trying one trip out in the states. Sorry it took so long to post my thoughts on the trip, and happy to answer any other questions if someone is looking at this tour.
  • Hi titanfan2000,

    I'm so glad to hear you had such a fantastic time on your trip, even if it was a bit tiring! Thank you so much for traveling with us, and we look forward to having you again next summer!


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