"Available " is 4-6 spots still avail. - " Limited" 2-4 spots avail. as far as I was told.
Travel with confidence... just be super careful at airports and crowded places. - wear your mask and wash hand. if possible, keep some dist. from others. you should be fine. the % of people infected from a Tauck tour is not even a full 1%.
When I was on a river cruise last fall, testing was not performed on the boat, but there were random temperature checks, With COVID cases rising once again requirements may change.
The most likely way people could be infected on a tour is from their fellow travelers who will be nearest them, especially at meals where Tauck makes no attempt to socially distance people. This is especially true for tours to countries that do not require negative tests to enter. It happened on our only foreign tour so far during Covid.
Thanks y’all . I guess I’ll mask as much as I can around my fellow travelers, just in case.
Confusing language. Do you have to get a second booster 180 days before traveling or just recovered from Covid. Seems unfair as if you weren’t boosted but had Covid you can go but if you don’t have a second booster you can’t. So should I try and catch Covid like the Chicken pox? Also I am 49 and will turn 50 on the trip, it isn’t approved for under 50. Will I be prevented from traveling anyway? Also my husband is 51 and he had his first booster in Dec, it will be 190 days when we leave. Our Dr. doesn’t recommend we get them yet.
See your thread titled "Explain language please" for the answer.
It was only a matter of time.
I appreciate everyone's feedback. We spoke with Tauck and because of the unique circumstances involved in our trip, we were granted a full refund, less the cost of insurance.
Let me explain what happened...
We were on the Oberammergau Eastbound river cruise, rescheduled from two years ago. We REALLY wanted to do this trip and we are very sad about this turn of events. Unfortunately, the newly updated booster requirement and additional country requirements make it impossible for us to go. We are owed a refund because they added the booster requirement too close to our travel date. Moreover, Tauck's country specific Covid restrictions are actually more restrictive than what the countries require themselves.
We simply cannot meet this new medical requirement. We never stopped traveling, even though all the Covid chaos. We simply got our vaccines, tested when required, actually quarantined in Hawaii (our home) once for two weeks, been to Europe twice, spent a month in Portugal, flew back and forth across the US many times, went on an Alaskan cruise... We appreciate the complexities of travel these days, but this trip just isn't going to work out.
Sad to hear JMHW, but you will eventually do the cruise and glad Tauck did not let you down.
On my recent Savoring France Rhône cruise many people were sick with a bad cough and cold symptoms with some too sick to go on excursions. It was rampant and you could hear the coughing and hacking behind closed doors as you walked down the corridor. Someone above in this thread asked about daily testing and the answer is no - at least not on this cruise in France. Perhaps other countries have a different requirement. Had that been in effect on this cruise then perhaps fewer people would have been sick…in my husband’s case it turned out to be Covid. He was very symptomatic on the ship but still tested negative upon departure yet he tested positive as soon as we came home. So it’s unclear how many of the other sick people onboard had Covid, too. 15% tested positive upon departure but even more people did not get tested because they were extending their trips and returning home later…plenty of that group were sick with something, too. Of course, everyone was up-to-date on vaccines which includes boosters if eligible.
So it finally looks as if people are getting Covid on tour, from each other. yikes, I’m glad I kept my mask on more than a lot of others!
The 15% COVID-positive test rate reported by Gourmet Gal is really alarming, especially to folks like my wife and I who will be on that boat next month (if we don't cancel). It would be great to hear from travelers on the sailings after Gourmet Gal's April 6 trip as to what the COVID rate was at the end of their voyages. April 6 was close to the peak of the current French COVID surge, and cases have dropped by a third or more in the last two weeks. Clinging to that wisp of good news.
Gourmet Gal - Do you have any idea how those who tested positive dealt with it? I assume they had to quarantine before returning. Did Tauck assist with this?
Just like cold and flu seasons there are always going to be people who get sick on tour and potentially infect others. The big difference with covid is the U.S. test requirements to come home.
Unless you just can't risk a delay returning my advice ( worth what you're paying for it) is to make a plan of where you'll stay if you have to wait to return home, stay out in the fresh air as much as possible and go enjoy your tour. I sweated about this last year until I realized the French weren't going to lock me up in a ward and someone on the Rick Steves website made a good recommendation of an affordable hotel/apt chain. None of our group tested positive.
With all the U.S.legal wrangling about masks I'd much rather they dropped the testing to come home requirement.
There was no info made available to the group as to how it was handled once someone tested positive. In the case of the tour director who tested positive we were told she was isolated onboard. Some countries require travelers to stay in certain hotels if quarantined and I’ve also heard other cruise lines putting people up in the relevant airport hotel until they tested negative. There was also assistance on flight adjustments. None of it is fun. I think more frequent testing onboard could help with having to scramble at the end of the your tour to change flights and adjustments. It could also prevent further spread. People forget that the more Covid spreads, the more it mutates and not every mutation is going to be as “mild” as the current one. Spread also perpetuates the pandemic.
I really don’t want to travel 12 hours on a plane with a greater risk of Covid positive pax who could be maskless and sitting next to me. I am all for the continued test requirement to re-enter the US.
Someone mentioned how careful they were with mask wearing more than anyone else. My DH and I were the most careful of anyone onboard and he still contracted Covid. It would literally require being masked 100% of the time to mitigate all risk or else just stay home. On this river cruise Tauck seemed to think Covid doesn’t spread if you’re sitting down having a meal or a drink 3 feet from someone else.
On this river cruise Tauck seemed to think Covid doesn’t spread if you’re sitting down having a meal or a drink 3 feet from someone else.
Gourmet Girl - just curious, what would you have Tauck do short of canceling all trips?
Tauck could be more diligent about social distancing for meals for a start. There was no attempt to do that on our tour in February, and it could have easily been done in a smallish group. As it was in the US, we didn’t even know if the tour was beginning with anyone in the group being positive and no symptoms. Welcome reception started, complete strangers in the group were coming up to us unmasked, first time we had experienced that in almost two years. They didn’t seem to care. We have busy lives again and can’t risk having to cancel things because we get Covid.
Gourmet Girl I hear you about not wanting to fly home seated near someone who was sick. Years before covid we were flying back from Amsterdam with what sounded like a whole unit of respiratory virus cases. Spent two weeks after that with tonsillitis. Covid is moving from being a pandemic to endemic just like colds and flu. At some point we need to start treating it that way. Take reasonable precautions but otherwise get on with life.
Thank you Claudia! There are all sorts of risks in life. I’m thrilled things are getting back to normal. I want to meet new people and feel the energy of community- without a mask, with a hug and a handshake. Tauck has been brilliant about how they’ve responded to the pandemic. One always has the choice of traveling alone to maximize isolation. Several in Our little group of 13 on The Jewels of the Nile trip (last November) had wicked coughs and one gal had a cold. We all kept up and enjoyed the trip. We all tested negative on that last day. 3 days later I was sick as a dog with pneumonia. It’s taken me several months to feel 100%. But never would I have wanted to change one thing about that trip. Now I’m off to Italy and happy to leave Covid out of the equation.
BSP, A couple of thoughts here. I think the team onboard could have been much more vigilant about reminding people to social distance and wear their masks unless eating or drinking, sort of like on planes. Yes, I know it’s a drag but it could reduce exposure. Rather than increase social distancing, on this ship it was reduced during meals by not having Arthur’s open for meals. At the least they could have had the Tauck team take their meals in there. Perhaps, more staggered meal times could be implemented. Also, it would have been helpful to request people spread out more on the busses rather than crowding at the front. Reminders on indoor excursions, cooking classes, etc. to wear masks. My husband and I were usually the only ones masking on excursions. And finally, there were only 70 pax on board - not sure if that was by design but perhaps capacity needs to be reduced a little more to allow for more social distancing.
Claudia, we’re not in the endemic phase yet and there is no guarantee that future iterations of the virus will be milder. In fact, the Spanish flu ended when the final variant was so deadly it killed in one day so the hosts didn’t live long enough to spread it. Because this flu is milder right now it makes people want to think we’re closer to getting back to near normal so they begin to behave as if things are normal and it’s just too soon. My husband is still sick and testing positive with this “mild” Covid.
I know what you are thinking. We are 6 ladies going on a US tour in Sept. One of us does not have the booster. She has had some serious problems with pressure behind her eye and her doctor told her to hold off on the booster as the vax. causes inflammation which would compound the eye issue. Because of this new ruling from out of no where she may not be able to go. We have been planning on this trip for a year and we are all excited about finally traveling. Like I said in another post, we just came back from a Magic of Morocco tour with tauck. All of us were vaccinated, neg tests etc. No one even checked our vaccine paperwork other than a slight glance.
Long story short, 11 out of 18 of us got covid. Don't know who is making the decisions at Tauck but forcing one to get a booster is the straw that will stop me from traveling with them. After my booster, I had some serious problems with my thyroid. Lost 10 pounds. I never had any issues with my thyroid ever!!! Only thing is I had the booster and after that baam. Thyroid condition. It eventually came back to normal but I will not get another booster until they iron out all the kinks. Also why get a booster for the Alpha strain when it is the Omicron strain that we are experiencing now.
Bella, I’m sorry you seem to have had a rare reaction. It appears it was not permanent and that your body’s immune system was set in action, which is what it is supposed to do. Did you or your doctor report it to the FDA? That is what should be done to seen if it is occurring in other people too. My son works at Pfizer, if he hears of anyone having reactions just in his everyday life, he is obliged to report it as an ‘adverse event’ so he laughed and told me not to tell him if I had any reactions after the shot, which i didn’t.
To explain about how a vaccine works would be long, but the vaccine primes your immune system to recognize the virus, even if you don’t get a complete match up to what is currently around, that’s why some people still get Covid after a vaccine, but they generally escape with mild symptoms. If you remember the early reports about the vaccine, it works far better than many vaccines for other diseases. Thank goodness.
If you won’t travel with Tauck, what other company will you travel with, most are more strict than Tauck.
I’m still alarmed to hear how many people got Covid on your tour, did you keep in touch and find out how they faired? I did that on the tour I was on, I kept in contact with the positive people to see how the company I traveled with looked after them, or not.
Any vaccine can cause reactions. I had a first dose of Shingrix a few months before covid hit the U.S. and within a month was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder it's taken me until now to get back to normal. Did the vaccine cause it? No idea and my Drs have mixed opinions on. No vaccine is ever going to be completely free of negative side effects for everyone.
It makes sense for Tauck to require vaccines and boosters for tours in countries that require them. No use planning and paying for a tour only to be stopped at the airport. But for U.S.citizens on U.S.tours? Hummmm
Claudia, I also had the Shingrix and then a week later had my annual PET scan which is very bad planning to have a body scan after a live vaccine. No one mentioned at the time not to do that. The same probably holds true for the Covid vaccines. One brilliant doctor I have just out of the blue asked me, what vaccines did you recently have? Who knew! The vaccine and the scan were too close together.
A couple of issues to consider. While we hate to admit it and often downright deny it, most Tauck customers are getting old and susceptible to any number of ailments. Many of us are at an age when not all that many years ago, we would already be dead!!
Each of us has a different medical history and will react differently to vaccines and viruses, etc. Obviously, Tauck must follow CDC, international, and carrier guidelines. As to their own guidelines, Tauck can only do what they can do, and must weigh all the pros and cons. They are a business and don't want to make the requirements so rigid that no one will book trips, nor do they want the requirements to be so lax that too many become infected, etc. or become sick and die. It is a tough balancing act and extremely hard to please everyone as evidenced by the forum discussions over the past two years. Everyone has their own opinion, and who is to say which are right or wrong for the group?
For, me, I don't care if I get COVID (again), but I do care if I get it before a tour and can not go, or our participation in a tour is cut short. I only care slightly more, about being prohibited from flying home and must quarantine for a week or a few days. If the procedures for such are bearable, I can deal with that.
The bottom line, you can take it or leave it and if you don't like something, write it up in your critique or send Tauck a letter. If enough people complain about a particular requirement or procedure, then Tauck may change it. Tauck is not trying to take advantage of you. They are trying hard to give you the best experience possible and at the best price point in the prevailing environment. You can disagree and argue all you want about that, but anything else is detrimental to their business.
Actually Ourtravels, Shingrix is not a live vaccine. The old shingles vaccine was. I think that's one of the reasons 2 doses are recommended. One theory for my reaction is there's an ingredient in it that kind of makes it more powerful. That may have been what my system over-reacted to. I ended up with my immune system attacking my body. I never did go back and get the 2nd dose nor ever plan to. I've never had any bad reaction to a vaccine (the military gave me plenty) including covid and booster.
Claudia, I also had the Shingrix and then a week later had my annual PET scan which is very bad planning to have a body scan after a live vaccine.
Claudia, I also had the Shingrix and then a week later had my annual PET scan which is very bad planning to have a body scan after a live vaccine.
Shingrix is NOT a live virus vaccine.
Well said AlanS. I agree with you wholeheartedly.
I am traveling with Tauck because of their covid policy. While not perfect and sometimes their info is outdated, they have a business to run, insurance considerations and the safety of their clients to consider. In filling out its surveys, covid protocols was a primary concern for us.
ella c, your friend has a choice - get the booster or don't take the trip. I have been planning my trips with Tauck since early 2019, and am glad to be traveling after numerous cancellations. Your friend has been planning "for a year" and should have known the policy when she booked. Too bad she has issues, but sometimes life throws a curve ball.
Cathyandsteve...I agree with you and AlanS. Not afraid of getting Covid now, but I don't want to get stuck somewhere, either. Our next trip is an Arctic Expedition in June. Two weeks on a ship in the middle of nowhere. Probably many opportunities to catch Covid from fellow passengers. Definitely don't want to have to quarantine before returning to the US, but it's a risk we'll take. Since we're both employed, it will be a major nuisance if we can't get home (healthcare - no remote working for us!).
BTW - I got my second booster last week - and it hurt! My arm was sore and red for 5 days! Not worse than my Hep B shot I recently got, but surprisingly painful. Maybe I tensed my muscle too much? (I have been working out...😉).