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grandinroad
#1 Posted : Monday, May 08, 2017 12:15:45 PM

Posts: 18

I just returned from the Southbound trip and found it lacking in many respects. I posted the comments below on the Northbound board in response to a review by Joyce. I believe the same comments are true of both the northbound and southbound trips.


Though we just returned from the Southbound trip, we agree completely with Joyce's assessment of the trip--whether it be north or south. The ship, L'Austral was the worst part of the trip. Most of the time the food in the main dining room was inedible. There were few choices on the dining menu for dinner. My husband and I are not fussy eaters, and this is our 10th Tauck tour. We found the ship unacceptable.

The Hotel Grannie in Kyoto was not up to standards either. Yes, the location was great. The food on the welcome reception dinner was so bad that hardly anyone ate dinner. The hotel staff was unable to communicate to English speaking guests, which seemed unusual in such a large, metropolitan hotel.

Whereas in every other group I have been in with Tauck, I leave, having made a few friends and know everyone's name, that was not so on this trip. I never did meet everyone in our group. The farewell dinner on the final night was not the way I wanted to end. We had to rush to get a table to sit with anyone we knew. There were all 4 groups there and it was like a big convention rather than an intimate ending with a group of friends.

This will definitely be my last small ship cruise with Tauck. I am very disappointed. The only good thing is that the itinerary was good, and our tour director was excellent. Beyond that, not up to Tauck standards in any way.
AlanS
#2 Posted : Monday, May 08, 2017 1:27:33 PM



Posts: 2,077

With 10 tours under your belt, you have probably already done Peru & Galapagos, but if you haven't, please don't group it with other small ship cruising tours.

I am speaking of the portion of the trip when you embark on the Isabela II in the Galapagos, not the larger vessels which carry over twice the guests, the Santa Cruz II or the new vessel, the Silver Galapagos, on tap for 2018 for the new "Hidden Galapagos and Peru". With only 40 guests and those divided into roughly three groups, usually one per naturalist, for nature walks, or other activities by personal preference and ability for snorkeling, kayaking, etc., sailing on the Isabela II is Tauck as we know it. The only times all 40 of us gathered at one time was at mealtime and for the evening briefing/presentation. We are big fans of land-based, small group tours and found this trip to be wonderful- the Tauck we have come to love.
Tauck Emily
#3 Posted : Monday, May 08, 2017 4:47:45 PM



Posts: 866

grandinroad wrote:
I just returned from the Southbound trip and found it lacking in many respects. I posted the comments below on the Northbound board in response to a review by Joyce. I believe the same comments are true of both the northbound and southbound trips.


Though we just returned from the Southbound trip, we agree completely with Joyce's assessment of the trip--whether it be north or south. The ship, L'Austral was the worst part of the trip. Most of the time the food in the main dining room was inedible. There were few choices on the dining menu for dinner. My husband and I are not fussy eaters, and this is our 10th Tauck tour. We found the ship unacceptable.

The Hotel Grannie in Kyoto was not up to standards either. Yes, the location was great. The food on the welcome reception dinner was so bad that hardly anyone ate dinner. The hotel staff was unable to communicate to English speaking guests, which seemed unusual in such a large, metropolitan hotel.

Whereas in every other group I have been in with Tauck, I leave, having made a few friends and know everyone's name, that was not so on this trip. I never did meet everyone in our group. The farewell dinner on the final night was not the way I wanted to end. We had to rush to get a table to sit with anyone we knew. There were all 4 groups there and it was like a big convention rather than an intimate ending with a group of friends.

This will definitely be my last small ship cruise with Tauck. I am very disappointed. The only good thing is that the itinerary was good, and our tour director was excellent. Beyond that, not up to Tauck standards in any way.



Hello grandinroad,

I've also responded to you on Joyce's original thread...

We sincerely appreciate you sharing your perspective. Company-wide our programs are made better trip after trip, year after year because of our guests sharing examples of what we can do better and then by responding to those suggestions. Of all the places that our Small Ship Cruising operates; the hotels in Kyoto have proven the most challenging in terms of meeting or exceeding western standards. We’ve worked with our hotel partners in Kyoto to improve service for the Tauck guests, but some of the guests’ comments on recent trips indicate that there is more to be done.

The disappointment or suggestions we have received about L’Austral, suggesting changes for a better cruise experience have been shared with our partner LePonant in Marseille. We’ve appreciated Ponant’s receiving these comments in a positive way and we appreciate their enthusiasm for addressing our concerns; staff changes and training are ongoing and though there is always a bit of fluctuation in service ratings on any of our vessels we’re encouraged about positive trends we’re seeing

Our cruises accommodate more guests than our land programs do, but in spite of that our guests often bond in ways that lead to friendships, we regret that was not the case on your voyage.


Sincerely,
Tauck Emily