Our Review of the The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam River Cruise.

We returned late Wednesday from this cruise. It was the 1st cruise of the season for Tauck. It was me, my husband, & my cousin - his 1st time to Europe & w/Tauck. We were a little concerned w/it being the 1st cruise of the season and so early in April - but our concerns were quickly laid to rest. A few wrinkles they had to iron out - but it was wonderful. The weather was perfect - mid 50s to high 70s & sunny --- except, of course, in Switzerland at Jungfraujoch= where it was below 0F at times - but clear, sunny, w/amazing views.

We flew in one day early on Delta - Charlotte, NC to JFK to Zurich in PremiumSelect seating. Flight was good, no issues. Tauck was there waiting for LOTS of us when we arrived - we had about 1hr, 15min ride to Bern from Zurich - so it was a VERY long flight day.
The hotel in Bern was fantastic (Bellevue Palace) as most all Tauck hotels are. Our rooms were ready when we arrived about noon. It was Easter Sunday when we arrived, so everything was shut down - still a great town to explore and walk around. We had dinner in the Hotel that night since everything was closed - all 3 of our meals were delicious and the service was excellent, but very pricey.

Easter Monday, was the start of the tour, but not till 6pm for Tauck Welcome dinner at the hotel. The included breakfast that morning was amazing as we find all European breakfasts to be. Everything in Bern was shut down again on Easter Monday - so we walked a lot and spent lots of time in the train station which was open - it was huge & it was a highlight for my cousin. The Tauck Welcome dinner was average, as we find all the hotel Welcome dinners to be. They did have a Swiss band that was great to listen to. Typical set menu - nothing stood out, but we expected this and had a nice late lunch in anticipation of dinner.

Tuesday was our first full day with Tauck w/a choice of excursions - a walking Chocolate tour of Bern OR a trip to the Alps/Jungfraujoch (I'd say probably 85% of us went to the ALPS). It was a bus ride, several train rides, a funicular, and gondolas to get there - all w/gorgeous scenery. Tauck provided a set menu lunch which was average. We had a tour and then about 1.5 hrs of free time after - this was a highlight for us all. One man did get Altitude Sickness, very weak and pale, in a wheelchair - but felt totally normal as soon as we got off the mountain.

Wednesday we loaded on the bus, left Bern & drove to Lucerne - one of our favorite Swiss towns. We had about an hour long boat ride along Lake Lucerne w/a very good commentary about the area and history, then about 2-3 hrs on our own for lunch and to explore. We then got back on the bus to drive to Basel to begin our River Cruise on the Rhine.

Our Tour Guides were Patricia from Hungary, Chris from Hungary, and Daniel from Lucern - they were all 3 very good.
Our Cruise Director was Joyce from California

To be continued . . .


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    terrilynn, thanks for your comments

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    Terrilynn, Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of your recent trip. It is always nice to read other experiences people have on the tours. It sounds like you had lovely tours. I hope your cousin enjoyed his first river cruise.

    This past September we did Amsterdam to Budapest on The Treasures. Our castle viewing day had a similar situation with most people wanting to just grab lunch at Arthur's and sit up top. Arthur's was slammed and it was very slow. As expected, the staff handled it the best they could in our sitation too. This must be a common problem and hopefully they can adjust things accordingly.

    Thanks again for reminding me of how wonderful Tauck river crusing is!

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    Great review Terrilynn. Thank you for your report. We just got back yesterday from the Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy River Cruise. I have terrible jet lag, so I will write a review once I recover. LOL. It was great, but we also had a couple of glitches in the beginning which I will cover in my report.

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    Terrilynn quick question what riverboat was this cruise on?

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    Walter_HebronJr - MS Inspire...

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    terrilynn, thank you for your comprehensive report. We've done this itinerary with another line (Uniworld). On "castle day", they had a German inspired buffet served on the sundeck - brats, sauerkraut, huge soft pretzels, beer and soft drinks. It made it a lovely day.

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    BrendaAnderson= yes! That's what we told them, do a buffet on the sundeck. They did that exact menu the day before for lunch.
    We've cruised with Uniworld a couple times in the past also.

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    Any thoughts on Uniworld?

    Did Tauck repeat the same lunch menu?

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    I've done a couple of Uniworld cruises and they do a good job (France Seine and Rhone and Egypt Nile).

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    We 'liked' Uniworld, but we LOVE Tauck. We will only do Uniworld again if they offer an itinerary that Tauck doesn't.
    The breakfast buffet and dinners weren't as good. Plus, they do NOT have Tour Guides on board like Tauck does. They also have other excursions that you have to pay for -- Tauck would incl these, so Uniworld isn't as all-inclusive as Tauck is. There were also no surprises like Tauck throws in.

    As far as Tauck's lunch - it changes daily and is very good - there is a HUGE buffet, plus a specialty cooking area, and a menu to order from. Plus, Arthurs is always another option. This is another reason we prefer Tauck over Uniworld.

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