TravelerReviews

Cruising Down Under – Westbound

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Traveling Tommy

Not up to Tauck Standards

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2017

You would think that this would have been a top shelf trip for what we paid, Unfortunately this wasn't the case. Based on a previous small groups tour we took with Tauck to Italy this trip fell far short of the bar set by that trip. Overall food quality was average at best. Free time at tour stops was very limited. Too much money for too little.

Most Memorable Moment:

The scenery and towns in New Zealand were breathtaking but we weren't given enough time to explore and shop. Itinerary travel changes took a complete day away from us in the middle of the trip.

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Ginko

First time Tauck guests. Heard it would be first class perhaps we expected too much.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2017

Sorry to report this tour was not what we heard it would be. The group consisted of 98 guests with 3 tour directors. Too many guests in the same place at the same time. City tours were rushed and basically a drive by. We thought we would be going to the Fitzroy Gardens and the Parliament House, we didn't. Lost full day traveling to Queenstown.

Most Memorable Moment:

Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, Hartleys Adventure, and the Jet boat ride on the Shotover River.

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Table for 10

Too much travel time, too large a group.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: February 2017

Trip to Australia and New Zealand. 5th Tauck trip, least enjoyable. Too much travel time (two full days on a plane, bus, few days on the seas). Thought group was limited to 28, group was ninety, tho "subdivided" into three groups, but most dinners, lunches, and activities had ninety Tauck participants; "upgraded" room on ship very small.

Most Memorable Moment:

Phillip Island - The march of the penguins was interesting, enjoyable, and a not to be forgotten experience planned before Tauck trip began. The trip off the ship at Dunedin to see the rare "yellow-eyed" penguins was a joke - trip by bus, 8 wheeled all terrain, steep hike, long line, and 30 second look at a baby penguin head behind a wooden window!

TAUCK RESPONSE

I am sorry you were disappointed with your 5th Tauck journey. I have passed along your comments to our Guest Relations Department who will be in touch with you.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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RonaldPearl

More Than Memorable

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2017

As a 50 year anniversary gift to ourselves, experienced the trip of a lifetime. Tauck NZ/Aus staff, cruise & charter personnel were so knowledgable, kind & always smiling. Loved the small ship experience especially; excursions were unique & exclusive. Best of all, once resv & payment made, we didn't lift a finger; Tauck handled everything!

Most Memorable Moment:

The windy city of Wellington - seeing where my Dad & his 2nd Marine Division trained during WWII. Having kept in touch throughout the years, we were then able to visit with the NZ family he shared time with while there. Beautiful stories remembered.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Congratulations on your 50th wedding anniversary! We are so glad you were able to celebrate it in this extraordinary destination!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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StartMeUp

Disappointed

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2017

Australia, New Zealand in 19 days. Not luxury as expected. Shangri-La Hotel in Cairns was unacceptable with mold/mildew in rooms. Sydney Opera House tour was not exclusive but same as people off the street got. The L'Austral was fine but the food was poor and the wine terrible. The trip with 100 guests was too crowded and the guides were over worked

Most Memorable Moment:

Maori "village" in Tauranga was great and I would not have found it on my own. In NZ, Waiheke Isl was spectacular. Many things we could have done on our own if I knew but was not informed they were available. I know I could have researched these but isn’t that why you go on a tour?

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MarolynSpeer

Cruising Down Under East Bound

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

Super trip. Great guide. Well organized. It would have been helpful to have pre departure information to help utilize free time. I thought that we had too much free time and a lot of travel time on this trip.

Most Memorable Moment:

Helicopter flight over Great Barrier Reef. This was not included but optional.

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Janlaw

Phenomenal experience

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

This was our first Tauck trip. We saw iconic sights as well as places that we would not have found on our own. Taking charter airlines within Australia made travel easy and comfortable. Taking the ship around New Zealand permitted access to some hidden treasures (e.g. fjords) and comfortable surroundings. Tour directors were excellent.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were many-Examples are: Seeing/visiting the Sydney opera house; snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef; the shotover boat in Queenstown; the incredible New Zealand landscapes; visit to Maori village.

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signman

If you have the time and money, do not miss this trip.

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

Every trip we have taken with Tauck has exceeded our expectations and on a scale from 1 to 10, this was a 15. We were offered so many unique activities and cultural activities that we never would have experienced if we had planned this trip ourselves. The trip of a lifetime.

Most Memorable Moment:

There were so many - that said, the Jet Boat ride in Queenstown was the most unique and unusual activity on the trip.

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rnadolink

Fantastic Experience DownUnder !

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2016

Having taken a Tauck small ship cruise several years ago to the Amalfi Coast and Siciily on a Ponant ship we had high expectations which were exceeded on this "land" tour of Australia followed by a cruise on Le Soleal around New Zealands two beautiful islands. The two highlights were the Great Barrier Reef experience and the many local visits in NZ

Most Memorable Moment:

Taking a snorkeling "safari" on the Great Barrier Reef with a biologist guide.

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smilie

Cruising Down Under

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

Cruising Down Under Eastbound was our third Tauck tour. Overall, it was the best we have done so far. The worry we had before the trip was that the cruising component might mean that we would not have sufficient time to get to know New Zealand. That clearly proved not to be the case. The Tauck itinerary left plenty of time to both enjoy the cruise & get to know New Zealand. New Zealand is a fascinating country. We really felt we saw enough different aspects of the country to really get to know it. Our Tour Director was another plus. His knowledge of both countries was extensive & he did an excellent job of making sure we saw everything. We hope to have the same Tour Director again on China tour 9/22/16

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lkis229

Great vacation

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

We were very pleased with the trip, guides, tours, events but found sometimes not enough time was allowed at a particular place. However, you can't please everyone. I would like a full day in Melbourne since it was too rushed to board the boat. If possible, might involve extending the tour a day, the tour should include Ayers Rock.

Most Memorable Moment:

My trip was made by the snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef and would have enjoyed more time or another day there. The other "best" thing was Barefoot Gardens, sheep shearing and lunch at the beautiful garden! Great side trip.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for your feedback. I have passed along your comments about having extra time in Melbourne to the Product Manager.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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james

down under australia , new zealand

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

It was one of the most amazing trips I've taken. Every tour excursion was an experience of a life time. And tauck tours did a fabulous job with every detail from start to finish. The small boat cruising to various ports of call was all well accomplished without effort to us.

Most Memorable Moment:

Many moments; visits to the sheep farm, feeding and petting the kangaroo's, watching crocks being fed. Viewing waterfalls and mtn range from ship. Everyday a different and memorable adventure.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful memories and we hope you travel with us again!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Stephen Schroeder

Tauck trip to Sydney, Cairns, Melbourne and then to New Zealand via L'Austral ship

 

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

This was a combined land trip to Australia and a cruise to 7+ ports in New Zealand, via L'Austral, a small new French Ship. The Tauck portion of the trip was great. It exceeded our expectations. The Tauck tour guides were great. The food, entertainment, and service aboard ship were mediocre, however. But it was a nice ship.

Most Memorable Moment:

For my wife, it was snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. For me, it was touring the Opera House in Sydney. I was blown away by the inside and outside architecture. A close second was visiting a working family sheep farm in Picton, NZ. Beautiful!

TAUCK RESPONSE

So glad you had a wonderful trip and hope you travel with us again!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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ENass

Cruising Down Under Eastbound

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

We embarked on our amazing journey in Sydney which included spectacular views, wine & cheese tastings, charter flights to Cairnes & Melbourne. L'Austral journeyed us to Tasmania & on to the luscious beauty of New Zealand & its culture. Friendly Tauck group & fantastic guide, Melissa. Remarkable lifetime opportunity. Occasional choppy seas!

Most Memorable Moment:

With a 21-day adventure, there were many memorable moments: Great Barrier Reef; relaxing near Sydney Opera House; Taronga Zoo; Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary; Milford Sound; Picton Sheep farm & wonderful lunch in farm garden ; Maori experience; Te Papa Tongarewa Museum; Waiheke Island. Melissa enhanced all of our experiences; all sites were special.

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MMorris

Crusing Down Under - 1/20 - Auckland

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

I'm sure that you heard a lot of negative comments about this trip. There were a lot of problems with the ship (no internet, bad food and too long).The land accommodations were underwhelming and the food-no one at our table ate dinner our last night.This is the second trip (we took the Canadian Rockies 9/14)where we have disappointed. See below..

Most Memorable Moment:

I don't think that we will use Tauck for our next trip. The highlight of this trip was New Zealand and our guide Petr.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We apologize that this trip fell below your expectations and thank you for taking the time to share your comments. Our Guest Relations Department will be contacting you regarding this matter.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Dawg60

Big disappointment!

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

We are long time Tauck clients. And this 14th excursion with Tauck was a big disappointment. For the cost of this trip, we expected a top notch Tauck experience. Instead, we got a rather mediocre tour. The ship"L'Astral" was less than pleasant; food quality poor; cabins unclean and uncomfortable. Excursions were typical tourist traps .

Most Memorable Moment:

Hotels and bus transportation were fine. Too bad this trip did not include tickets to an opera. Three trips to wild life facilities, multiple Maori sites and numerous wine tastings just don't cut it!

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. One of our Guest Relations Specialists will be contact ing you shortly to discuss this matter in more detail.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Vincent Baldari

Unhappy Traveler

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

Very disappointed with your selection of the Cruise Ship L'Austral. The food was awful. I have a letter prepared which I am sending in to Tauck explaining in detail why my husband and I were totally disappointed with this ship which was extremely expenses. Did anyone from Tauck actually take this cruise

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. One of our Specialists from our Guest Relations Department will be contacting you shortly.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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jandavis49

Cruising Down Under

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

Absolutely great! Chocked-full of adventures. We saw much more than we ever could have by doing this trip any other way! New Zealand AND Australia are musts to do at the same time since they are SO far away. So glad we were able to do both. Our guide, Petr, was wonderful and had so much first-hand information to share since he had lived in both.

Most Memorable Moment:

We really enjoyed experiencing the sheep farm, watching the dogs herd 400+ sheep and watching while a sheep was shorn. Pretty impressive! The Great Barrier Reef was okay, but not as pretty as what we'd anticipated. But, still glad we had the opportunity to go there. The trip was very well- organized.

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for sharing your comments; We're so happy you enjoyed your trip overall. It truly is one of the most majestic parts of the world!

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Monkey Child

Lots of cruising

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

This trip is not one of Tauck's finest ones. When our group booked it, the cruise description was "confusing" and we didn't realize we would be six of eleven days at sea with little to do. A few days were extremely rocky. Due to the waves and cool temperatures, we couldn't enjoy being on deck. Things definitely improved when we hit Australia.

Most Memorable Moment:

Running across the Sydney Bridge, views from our awesome hotels, gondola in Cairns, Marvelous Melbourne.

TAUCK RESPONSE

We're sorry you found some of our itinerary confusing and regret that you did not enjoy all of your trip. Please know that we have also notified the Product Manager for this trip of your comments. We're glad that you did enjoy the land portion of your cruise and hope you still choose to travel with us again.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Cindela

Not up to Tauck standards

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

Loved Australia but La Austral left a lot to be desired. Rooms great, food lousy and NOTHING to do on ship. Had TV'S but no news channels just B rated films. Not enough time at all in Melbourne, and our day at Cairns was the worse of all vacation!! My husband got food poisoning from the pontoon, and because of all the people, no fish seen.

Most Memorable Moment:

feeding kanagaroos

TAUCK RESPONSE

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are most apologetic that certain aspects of this tour fell below your expectations. Please rest assured that our Guest Relations Department will be contacting you shortly regarding this matter.

-The Tauck Guest Relations Team

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Parrish

An outstanding trip

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

The perfect trip, combining land and sea. Hotels were mostly first class. Our group of 35 out of the 100+ members of the tour were was so compatible without any prima donnas, and Gary our tour director was perfect, so witty and so caring. He was on top of every detail. Downunder is well worth a trip with a few tweeks to eliminate hohum excursions

Most Memorable Moment:

Visiting the sheep farm in Picton, a close second to our two lunches at the two wineries in Picton and Waiheke.

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CarolMEvans

Cruising Eastbound Down Under

Overall Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Verified Review

Travel Date: January 2015

Spent 24 days on the inaugural Small Ship Cruising Eastbound Down Under beginning January 4, 2015. Loved the locations of the Four Seasons in Sydney, the Sofitel in Melbourne, and the Hilton in Auckland. Our tour director, Melissa, was personable and very well organized. Negative was the ship and crew on L'Austral: poor dining room service/food.

Most Memorable Moment:

Opening up my curtain in my room at the Four Seasons in Sydney and seeing the harbour with the Opera House at the end of the peninsula: truly Australia at its best. New Zealand's beauty is amazing as are the people in both countries.

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