Welcome to Tauck’s Cruising Down Under - Eastbound Forum
Welcome to Tauck’s Cruising Down Under - Eastbound Forum - Find the answers to your trip questions, answer questions posted by fellow travelers, plus share your Tauck experiences and stories. Stop by often and join in on the discussions.
We're interested in April, 2015 because we're trying to line up with another trip . . .
Really enjoyed Tauck's African Safari last year . . . and would like to use Tauck again for this trip.
Appreciate your help !
The dates are listed here on the web page for this trip. You'd better hurry because one departure is already listed as sold out! January 4th, eastbound, is still available. Vite! Vite!
We are thinking of taking this trip in Jan. 2016
I was intrigued by the Cruise Critic person's complaint about the ... dare I even use the word? ... toilet in the cabin. I can only assume that this person has never, in his or her life, felt the need to use a ...??? I know! ...a public convenience. How extraordinary. I think I might have travelled with that very same person on a Tauck California Coast trip. (Almost all my fellow travellers were Americans.) Once we got over the shock of the general behaviour and in particular the regular, at-every-comfort-stop, bathroom cleaning exercise it was all quite entertaining. If disconcerting. If quite sad, really. As for the complaints about food ... well, as someone used to eating many varieties of international cuisine, there's not much I care to say about this person's view of American cuisine.
I'd be inclined to seek further information, Bob, before basing your travel plans solely on this particular critique. Grain of salt comes to mind.
You will see in a review of this trip on the Tauck site a similar complaint about food and the service on the L'Austral. The Tauck reviewer was not as critical and gave the trip 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciate your info. Have you taken a cruise on the Ponant Co ships?
I am the reviewer on the Tauck Cruising Down Under Eastbound that rated the trip 4 stars out of 5. Why? Because when you consider the 4 hotels, all the excursions and the variety of venues presented it was a very good trip. I saw a great deal of Australia and New Zealand. Would I have liked much better food on the ship? Of course, but the food could not be all I rated the tour on. I will never sail on L'Austral again. Other travelers on my tour had been on L'Austral before and said this trip was a totally different experience with a different wait staff in the dining room. When you travel you have to be flexible and take the good with the bad. Hopefully Tauck will change ships for future tours.
Thanks for posting your thoughts on this trip. Good to have your views.
I haven't taken this trip and am unlikely to do so. Let me explain. I am not a particularly good sailor and I know that all the waters surrounding my continent (I live in Melbourne) can be rougher than I am comfortable with. You must understand that my inner ear can revolt with a sea that is as flat as a tac. Not to say it always does. So the journey, for me, has to be extraordinary. And considering that I am familiar with this itinerary I would need to be "encouraged" to indulge! )))) I think I could find many winning arguments against me taking this trip!!!!!
However, Ponant Cruises ... the shipping line Tauck has partnered with for most of their small ship cruises ... have a wonderful reputation. As Carol says, if I may paraphrase, you can't please all the people all of the time. I have certainly considered some other Tauck small ship cruises for the future. I haven't decided on one, yet. What interests me, is an expedition type journey. That would likely induce me to find a legal source of the sea sick patches (not allowed in Australia) which, when I gave up and went to Orion's Doctor and got the jab, and allowed me to survive, nay, love, the rest of the voyage to & from Macquarie Island. (It is a tiny Australian speck, with World Heritage Status, in the middle of the Southern Ocean, half-way between Tasmania & Antarctica).
I am definitely considering more expedition type voyages, in the type of comfort and style that makes me happy. (That's not counting up the names of cruise ships and number of departures I've taken. I do not enjoy the cruising experience. I couldn't think of anything worse! Urgh.) It's the journey that interests me. I have to be convinced that my sacrifices in the name of exploring the world would be at least comfortable. Thus, exit Lindblad and enter Ponant, quite frankly. As a solo traveller I do not appreciate being offered (since the takeover) the worst cabin on the wonderful (then) Orion. Travelling at the bottom of the ship under the anchor won't do much for my attitude, let alone my survival!
So the Ponant line is on my list for the future and quite possibly a Tauck/Ponant partnership.
I did the Tauck Galapagos trip on the Isabella a few years ago and it was fabulous. I was fabulous. And we were out in the open ocean quite a bit on that little boat. Lots of rocking and rolling. I slept like a baby. I didn't even make it out of Otago Harbour before the movement got to me. And when it really got nasty between the South and Stewart Islands ....... Let's just say the photo I took of the first meal consumed ... the almost polished empty plate, that is, on day three ... was a very fulfilling moment. So if you know where I can get those patches ........
Just look at the horizon ......... pfft. Yeah, right.
I figured your review rating covered the whole trip and not just the ship. We were looking at the cruisetour, but, not so much anymore. The Tasman Sea's reputation is a concern as brought out by Jan's post. May just sign up for a land tour.
Whatever you chose, I am sure you will enjoy these countries. You have to weigh up the pros and cons and decide before your ideal dates sell out for another year.
Please don't hold the flu against us. I'm really surprised a Haka didn't scare the flu germs away, anyway!
Illness on the tour. I have never known so many people ill with colds, coughs and flu on any other Tauck tour I have been on. As I have mentioned, they did seem to come from the people who had been to Australia first. Some were really ill, we had five who could not do a trip one day for example. my husband and I rarely get even a cold, but having said that, when we returned home I am noticing that there is illness around here too. A good friend was ill and she never gets colds normally either, but had the cough. My husband still has a cough after three weeks. So no, I do not think illness was because of the time of the year we went, as the Drug companies published late last year, they got the flu strains for their vaccines a little wrong this season because the viruses mutated. Mr B and his colleagues better get it right next year.
For 29, 32, 32, 34, 29. ... next 5 day forecast:
Smacks, check out Jan's post on weather in Australia and. New Zealand in the Austraia and New Forum under 'Just returned from. A and NZ' It reminds me of my High school Geography, but I love it. So few people even consider about weather when they pick dates. So it is great that you are thinking about it. And of course Ausralia is such a huge continent.
I am the "nasty" American that posted on Cruise Critic about the L'Austral and dare I say "toilet." Yes we Americans are quite demanding and choosey about our food. We experience it all and when we travel we know what we are talking about.
Yes we do use the "toilets" when we go on a tour - my goodness - how unusual.
I don't expect a public-type toilet on the L'Austral. I also expect good food.
I have not been on this tour, and I have not been on L'Austral. I have been on Le Soleal, one of its identical sister ships. Had Mr. Balderi taken the time or effort to check out the cabin plans of L'Austral, he would have known in advance that the sink and "toilet" are separated, and he could have decided not to go on this tour based on that configuration.
Readers of this forum from outside the United States . . . PLEASE do not think that the attitude taken by Mr. Balderi is the attitude of others.
Food, I wonder if there was a problem on that particular tour? Perhaps the regular chefs were ill too.
The toilets, maybe Rabo is right, maybe Mr Baldari should have noticed that the bathroom consisted of two rooms. Interestingly, in England, many older homes have the facilities configured that way, a separate toilet and then another room with sink and bath. My in-laws four bedroomed home was configured like that, one toilet, one room with sink and bath with shower over. I can't tell you how many times I went to wash my hands after going into the unmentionable room to find that someone had gone for a leisurely bath! It is a French ship, maybe homes in France are like that, though I have been to France many times, I have never been in a private home.
Price of the vacation, yes very expensive, I am not sure I would like to be on a boat when I was supposed to be visiting Australia and New Zealand, there is so much scenery to miss by not doing the land tour. I just got back from the New Zealand land tour, the food was excellent and I could wash my hands in the same room as the toilet. However, a lot of people were ill on that trip too.
What I am interested in is the response you got from Tauck about your complaints, after all, this is a new tour for them. And, were there lots of complaints or are you in the very minority?
Sounds to me like the ship was the main problem..more than toilets, like the food, lack of things to do, too much sail time, costly, etc. I figure that some of the 5 star reviewers were from the non-Americans on the trip.
I like your idea of separate land tours.