Has any one been on this trip lately?

Hi All,

Count Down for this trip has begun but I have a few questions not able to be answered by Tauck. First, the newest itinerary does not mention Doge Palace and I was wondering if I should book a tour on the free day or if Tauck DOES bring us there. Also, no mention of a gondola ride and again is this SURPRISE or should I book one on my own?

Please help ....




  • Hi All,

    It's Regina and I am posting answers to my own questions now that I have arrived back from the trip. First of all let me say that with 15 tauck trips under my belt I did have to alter my expectations for this trip. I found that the Tauck WOW factor did not kick in until day 3 or 4 and that was disappointing to me. If you are a single traveler or someone who is use to Tauck providing many of the meals be prepared. With day 2 only giving you one meal and most others only two meals, you will either be eating alone a lot and/or reaching in to your pockets to pay for meals. This added cost can add up quickly! I much rather have Tauck not offer wine at lunch and use that money to provide more dinners. I found that with my own planning I saw everything I wanted to in all the cities and towns. however, this took some pre planning. I am still unsure how Tauck could skip the Milan Duomo and the Venice Doge Palace. I research tickets on line and was all set to hit these sites without the hassle of buying tickets in Italy and standing on lines. Day 2, definitely do the Pinacoteca di Brera. Day 4....I am an active person and taking a nap or reading near a sub par pool was not going to cut it for me in Stesa. Be prepared for too much free time in a small lake side village. once you walk the street, see the local church there is nothing left to do. One family rented a boat for a two hour cruise on Lake Maggiore and then did spa treatments. I should have looked into a boat to Isola Madre. We were free at 3:00 pm and did not depart until the next day at 9:00 am. Too much down time. Most likely you will arrive at a new hotel destination each day with plenty of time to explore the city on your own. But then what about the free time on the second day in each destination? Start reading up on the sites beyond what Tauck provides in their app. Be aware that some of the app suggestions will mean mass transit or cab rides. Tina, the wonderful Tauck Tour director, will give you her choices of top sites but my pre planning was essential. Day 5 or 6 research street performance of Romeo and Juliette. Day 7...Ferrari gift shop is really expensive...be careful what you promise your car fan from home. Enjoy Da Nello restaurant in Bologna...order anything in the Bolognese style of cooking! Not sure how Tauck can give us an entire free day on the last tour day but that is the schedule. So plan your own itinerary...find some good buddies and take a gondola ride...one boat , 6 people, 100 euros (including tip), take a water bus to the other islands , St Georgia, Duraduso and more. Skip the Murano island as Tauck will bring you to a "factory" first thing that morning. be prepared to pay top money! Hope this post helps some of you. Say hi to Tina for me . Email me if you have more questions; [email protected]
  • I have a question about the gratuities for the the trip director and bus driver. Nothing in the Tauck literature makes it clear how much the usual daily amount. What did most people give per day or total for each person? Also, could you charge this or did they expect cash. Thanks so much. Have gotten lots of great tips reading this forum.
  • The Tauck standard is $10 a day per person for tour directors and $4 a day for driver. You should find this in your green book or buried in the tour page pull downs. On some tours the driver amount is included, so check. It has to be cash!
    We always take the amounts with us already in envelopes and with paper to write a personal note. You can always add more money if you want if they are exceptional.
  • Regina, we are going on this trip in September. I appreciate you taking time to give us your thoughts and will contact you if I have any questions.
  • Regina, we are going on this trip in September. I appreciate you taking time to give us your thoughts and will contact you if I have any questions.
    We’re also scheduled for this tour beginning September 22. We arrive a day early. Thx to Regina for the info. We’re getting excited!
  • Hi Regina,
    Sorry about your disappointment in Venice but I'm guessing that Tauck did not want to duplicate the Doge Palace and gondola ride that are included in their Venice/Florence /Rome trip. Personally, when reading the itinerary, I was excited to see differing activities in Venice since we did not have enough time to do all we wanted on an earlier trip, even with going in a day early. Surprised you had so much down time because after 3 trips with Tauck, we find we do not have enough time to do all of the wonderful suggestions offered by the Tour Directors. Just walking all the bridges/alleys between San Marco & Rialto Bridge, museums, seeing the beautiful carnival masks in all the shops, sit and people watch in San Marco with a coffee or drink, or a side trip to Murano via vaporetto or public water taxi were just some of the fun places to go. Always a plus to do research before you go to help select best ways to select "free time activities". We have found that Tauck gives you the chance to have meals in towns/cities that have so many choices at various prices to enhance your own experience and provide a great meal in towns where there is a more limited selection or a "timing" issue while traveling. We have done 3 trips with them and going on #4 in a couple of weeks. Looked at your post since we are considering doing this tour with friends we made on our Canyonlands trip. Good to know that there is a bit of "chill" time, if someone chooses since it is 5 hotels in 10 days. Thanks for that insight. I will be interested in following this post for those who are going in a couple of months to hear their impressions as well to see if Regina is on point or if they found this trip was run similar to other Tauck trips.

  • Original post was from 2018.

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