Bridges Danube Family Riverboat Adventure - Westbound - June 29

Hello,

It looks like our Tauck Bridges Danube trip is actually happening on June 29! Hard to believe after so many cancellations - we originally booked this trip a couple years ago. I have been doing some final planning and have some questions.

For anyone who has recently been on the Ms Savor, what things are being cut back? Has Arthur's been closed? What other things are different for covid/low staffing/food supply chain issues? Were there less people on the boat? We have a 13 year old son and are hoping that there will be others near his age. We have been on 2 Tauck Bridges trips - one land and one a riverboat cruise. Both trips had a great mix of friends for him to hang out with. And both trips were amazing and wonderful.

Are any scheduled/planned Tauck activities being dropped from the schedule? And what are the replacements?

What is the latest with Covid? I know Tauck requires updated vaccinations/boosters, and we are all set with that. Does Tauck require/do Covid testing for passengers onboard the Ms Savor? If so, how often? It seems there is no requirement to show any vaccination paperwork on arrival in Budapest. I'm also reading of people needing to quarantine because they have tested positive prior to departure back to the US. Any suggestions on how to be prepared in case of this worst case scenario possibility?

I'd love to connect with any fellow passengers going on this trip, and I appreciate any answers to my many questions. Excited to be actually able to travel back to Europe later this month!

Comments

  • Jenny, I appreciate that you are excited for your tour and concerned for your family. Virtually everything you're asking has been discussed here in multiple threads. You'll learn a lot by reading thru the posts. What you can pick up from those discussions:

    • the situation on the river cruise ships is changing weekly with Scylla adding to the crew staff - anything anyone could tell you right now is likely not to apply to your cruise - especially since it's a bridges tour and for some reason few participants on those tours provide feedback or reviews
    • latest on covid? - again a constantly changing topic but from what others have said no that don't do testing routinely - they primarily just arrange for the testing to go home
    • quarantine if testing positive? - depends on the tour, where you're at - to prepare you need to know what insurance coverage you have (Tauck guest protection or another company) - since you're most likely to test positive at the end of your tour you can find out the quarantine requirements for the country your tour ends at in particular is it mandated isolation or do you have enough freedom of movement to buy groceries, get fresh air - you can research economical lodging options - and since you're traveling as a family you might want to come up with a plan in case only part of your party is positive i.e. should those testing negative go ahead and go home leaving the positive case(s) in Europe

    Wishing you the very best for a great tour.

  • Thank you, Claudia! I've been reading a lot of this forum and appreciate all that you have added. It's certainly an interesting time to travel! I'll look into quarantine rules for Germany since that is where we will be staying for a few days after our river cruise. I should have done that already. Looking forward to traveling again!

  • I called Tauck this morning (only about a 5 minute wait to talk to a real, live person!) and was told there were 29 kids on board this Bridges Blue Danube tour. Lots of kids around my son's age (13 yo) and almost half boys/half girls. This makes me more excited for this trip! Just thought I'd pass this info along in case anyone going on the same trip (Ms Savor - Westbound - departure on June 29) sees this post.

  • Enjoy your tour! We're in the same boat (haha) as this trip was originally scheduled for 2020! I'd love to read your feedback on the trip, but we'll be getting on the boat just hours after you depart (July 6th trip for us). Hope you have a marvelous time. While we can't say for sure Arthurs will be open, a recent review of another cruise on the Savor did indicate that it was open. But I suspect that all operations will all be subject to staffing shortages or not for that particular trip. We are SUPER excited for this trip to be happening!

  • @JennyMiller

    You excited?! It's less than a week away!!

  • Yes, dogdoctor, I am excited! We depart on Sunday out of Minneapolis (about a 3 hour drive for us). I have A LOT of final packing to do...still figuring out carry ons...I think we will need to check at least one bag...hard to believe it's finally here! We booked it all back in 2019! Crazy!

  • The wife here has the guest room all spread out for all the travel items and clothing. So far no packing....yet. And yes, there is a LOT to do. We depart out of Boston (only 45 min drive) the Monday after next (4th of July). My biggest fear right now is the Airlines. Lufthansa just cancelled > 2000 flights for July. So far we haven't been impacted, but I suspect we will in some fashion. I've been tracking our particular flight out of Boston and it's been cancelled 2 times in 6 days, and delayed 4 times. And then there is the baggage issues in Europe right now. Gah! I know you have to roll with the punches... but we are so close!

  • edited June 24

    If my husband ever calls me ‘the wife’ I will kick him out of the door!

  • Be thankful you’re not traveling from the west coast!

  • British - please explain your disgust with the use of ‘the wife’. Should your husband refer to you as ‘Mum’ or ‘Maam’ like they do on all those British detective/copper shows.

  • edited June 24

    Those are Tv shows, not real life. It’s really demeaning

  • @ British - really it wasn't meant as demeaning as it was more of a simple word to give a narrative to folks that I have no relationship with. It certainly wasn't the kids that had laid out the room. :D

    Have you never said "the husband" is out doing x with friends? Just curious.

    Ok. ok. My wife just walked in and laughed. She certainly doesn't read it as demeaning. As she put it..."She is the wife!" But to my question above she said she probably would use "my husband" rather than "the husband".

    But we have gone way, way off topic now!

  • There is a world of difference between my and the in this case, it’s just a pet peeve of mine!

  • Just returned from the Blue Danube tour on the MS Savor. Everything was up to the usual Tauck standard. Tours operated as usual. Arthur’s was open. The main dining room had buffet breakfasts and lunches with a few items you could order. Our rooms were cleaned daily. The ship did not appear to be short staffed - I think there were 91 passengers. We had great service and the staff was wonderful. Masks were recommended, but not required. During the disembarkation meeting they announced 2 passengers had been COVID positive and were no longer on the ship. Have a great time!

  • We have arrived in Budapest! Both flights had minor delays but truly no problems. We checked 2 bags and both arrived just fine. We have 2 nights at the Hotel Kempinski, and our driver picked us up at the Budapest airport. Our only issue was during check in, we were told our hotel reservation had been canceled. I was flabbergasted and insisted this was incorrect. I had all my paperwork and a reservation number. Initially it seemed we would need to find another hotel. We were asked to sit and wait. After maybe 30 minutes, they said they had worked it out. I don’t think we are in same room type as I had understood we had booked, but I don’t care. They brought a bed in for my son, and I’m too tired to get to the bottom of it. The room isn’t huge with the additional bed (there’s 3 of us) but it will be f fine. Overall a very successful day. Hoping to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

  • edited June 27

    I would have called the Tauck emergency number if I had booked the room through Tauck
    Ah, I see you had the gift of time problem, I guess that was the confusion. Even so, it warranted an immediate Tauck emergency call. You know, I should have thought of that one for us when our post hotel stay on our last tour insisted we needed to pay.

  • British, it would never have occurred to me to call the Tauck emergency number. Does that number really handle hotel issues? I do understand tour point of view.

  • I hope so, after all, you might have had nowhere to sleep for the night, I call that an emergency! A simple call from them to the hotel should have sorted it. I’ve never had to call the number, maybe someone else here has, anyone had that experience?

  • As reported on a thread regarding the benefits of booking air through Tauck, I once had to phone the emergency number when stranded in Frankfurt. Tauck immediately jumped into action, found an alternate flight and followed through with a phone call later on to ensure we had an uneventful rest of the trip. This was years ago. Fortunately, I have never needed to call that emergency number again.

    JennyMiller - Glad to hear your issue was resolved. Have a wonderful tour!

  • edited June 27

    The emergency number gets action. We used it to report our repeated flight delays and cancellations en-route Treasures of the Aegean just to be sure our TD and transfer company were informed and knew things kept changing. That and other issues are its purpose.

  • It actually sounds like the Kempinski hotel made the mistake with the reservation being canceled - not Tauck. It didn’t really make sense. But she insisted our room had been canceled. We have paid for the hotel room night through Tauck. If I feel like it, I might ask some questions later, but not tonight. Good reminder on the Tauck emergency number.

  • Glad you made it safe and sounds (minus the room hiccup)! Keep that emergency number handy (digital green book document that was e-mailed to you). A family on a Bridges tour was left temporarily stranded in Paris at CDG airport yesterday, as no one arrived to pick them up. They scrambled to contact Tauck but didn't have the "tour specific contact/emergency numbers." It was eventually sorted out, but it was clear they were had a small panic moment based on the FB post. Even FB users contacted Tauck to get in touch with them.

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