Holiday Danube River Cruise ABD vis Tauck Bridges. 7K price difference?

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by lolakat, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. lolakat

    lolakat DIS Veteran

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    Hello,

    I am a frequent Disney traveler and have taken multiple mass market ocean cruises. This is my first time considering a guided tour like ABD and first time booking a river cruise. I will be traveling with my husband and 12 year old child. I would like to book a big trip for over Christmas and I think the Danube River cruises look amazing. ABD and Tauck have very similar itineraries. Pretty much everything is included on both. Both have a cabin that will accommodate the 3 of us. Tauck has a larger cabin but ABD has a true balcony. From what I read both ABD and Tauck bridges have an excellent reputation for luxury family tours.

    The ABD trip is more expensive by over 7k!! Can any of you experienced tour takers tell me if there is something better about ABD over Tauck Bridges to justify the price difference? This is a once in a lifetime trip so I would be willing to pay more for something that is truly better but the on-line descriptions sound very similar. Although I LOVE Disney and I'm sure they have a great product I am having a very hard time justifying this price difference in my own mind.... much less to my husband.
     
  2. tink1970

    tink1970 DCL Platinum

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    I haven't been on a TB river cruise, but I've been on Tauck Bridges tours (and regular Tauck tours) as well as the holiday Danube (and Rhine) ABD river cruises. If the itineraries are the same, I'd guess that maybe the number of guides and/or guides themselves might be the factor. For instance, Tauck does not allow their guides to eat with guests whereas last year one night Veronika sat and had dinner with us, telling us her story. Little things like that...which made my DD insist on another ABD river cruise for her graduation over being offered a trip anywhere with a tour company or not. So...I'd say for the parents probably not worth an extra $7k...but if you asked my DD (who of course doesn't realize what $7k is, really) absolutely!

    This probably isn't helpful, so I apologize but that's the best way I can boil it down. Our river cruise trips have been wonderful- DD thought last year's was the best Christmas she's had.
     
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  4. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

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    Double check the “everything included.” On our very fabulous Tauck Bridges Danube river cruise, all drinks at all times were included. I have seen mention that ABD river cruises only include some drinks at dinner.

    We did miss the guides sitting with us, but certainly not by $7000 worth. And the guides were fantastic, both on and off the boat. They also did so much to engage the kids on board. I’d do the TB trip over the ABD in a heartbeat
     
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  5. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    I agree with Kristilew, We had the 3 person suite on Tauck and it was fabulous. We would not miss a balcony for we did not spend much time in our room as we cruised rather on the decks for a better view. Tauck uses local guides at each stop and they were very good with the kids IMO.
     
  6. lolakat

    lolakat DIS Veteran

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    You are right about the included alcohol. ABD is just during meals and Tauck is "everything" and supposedly includes "top shelf" mixed drinks. I'm not a big drinker but it is nice to know we could enjoy a cocktail without additional cost.
     
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  7. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    Plus in the suites you have a fully stocked mini bar.
     
  8. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    I'm not sure, but I believe Tauck doesn't do dynamic pricing? If so, that may be a portion of the difference, too. The ABD river cruise may have been less when it first came out.

    Sayhello
     
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  9. sun_seekin

    sun_seekin Earning My Ears

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    I priced out the Tauck Bridges Holiday Danube cruise for 2019 and found the price difference to be very minimal but we are a family of 5 and have to book a triple cabin and a double cabin. I ended up booking the ABD version. Something that swayed me towards the ABD version was that I couldn't find anywhere on the TB itinerary where it had the "illuminations" cruise past the Parliament Building in Budapest. That was something that was non-negotiable for me, as that was one of the main reasons I wanted to do a Danube river cruise. Now it very well may have that on the Tauck Bridges Holiday Danube cruise, but i just could not find where it stated it in their itinerary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  10. sun_seekin

    sun_seekin Earning My Ears

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    This. After we booked, my in-laws called to get a quote and it had already gone up in price since we booked two days prior. In fact, it was our booking that drove up the price. I think the price goes up every time someone books?
     
  11. WanderlustNZ

    WanderlustNZ DIS Veteran

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    By going straight to a cruise line, you are likely to save even more money. So another option you might want to look into is Uniworld’s Generation programme. I’ve looked at this a few times and decided that ultimately (because they are one of the more expensive river cruise options) it’s still more than I’d be happy paying, but it does look great.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  12. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    Nobody knows for sure, :) but I don't believe the price goes up every time someone books. I think they have some sort of threshold, like every 5 bookings or the trip is 20% full, then 40% full or whatever (and those numbers are just random; I have no clue what they actually might be).

    Sayhello
     
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  13. Bobo912

    Bobo912 DIS Veteran

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    We've done 5 ABDs (none river cruises) and 2 TBs (one was the Danube cruise in the summer, not the Christmas markets). All of the trips were good, some of the ABDs less so than others. The TB Danbue cruise is probably #2 or #3 on my list of favorite vacations (Nat Geo trip is #1). We had 4 guides and a cruise director, who was also a Tauck employee. When we divided up for excursions there were 40 or fewer in each group, so pretty much like a regular ABD trip. The guide on the regular TB land trip that we took did not eat with the guests, but the guides on the river cruise did at times. And they rode rides with the kids at The Prater amusement park, flew kites and threw a dance party for the kids up on deck, had a contest with prizes for the Marzipan faces we made in Passau with funny categories customized for each person. They were awesome. One of the guides was giving us restaurant suggestions for lunch in Vienna and when I asked her if they accepted credit cards, she wasn't sure, so she gave me all of her cash (70 Euros) in case there wasn't an ATM nearby. I thought that was pretty amazing!

    I've also done one of the Uniworld generations cruises. It was also great. I had a cocktail before and wine with dinner every night and that was included, although they do say premium alcohol is included and "diamond' alcohol is extra. I thought everything I had was excellent, so I guess I don't need diamond. :) The food was fantastic and the service was probably the best I've experienced. They also had a washer/dryer available if you preferred not to send your laundry out, although that may not be the case on all of the ships. On the generations cruises, the price is 50% for children under 18. As a Costco member we got a 10% discount and a shipboard credit. We paid less than $6000 for 1 adult and 1 child for the Castle on the Rhine cruise. They also have some different discount offers on specific sailings. We also go 2% rebate and a Costco cash card (I don't remember the amount). @WanderlustNZ, if they have Costco in New Zealand you would probably save a lot if you priced it through them.
     
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  14. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    If you arrive a day before to Budapest there are multiple boat tours that cruise up the river and see the "illuminations" which you can schedule on your own. It will be much less than $7000.00.
     
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  15. lolakat

    lolakat DIS Veteran

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    Thank you all for sharing your experience. I did not know about the "dynamic pricing" so perhaps that is driving the large difference in cost. We have decided to book with Tauck as it sounds like both options are high quality. We will put the 7K "saved" toward our next vacation!!

    @Bobo912 Thanks also for the information on the Uniworld generation options. We are Costco members so we will look into that for our future adventures.
     
  16. tink1970

    tink1970 DCL Platinum

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    Have a wonderful vacation :) Please report back after your trip-it would be nice to hear about other options.
     
  17. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for this - we have looked at the Uniworld generations cruises, but since I couldn't find any reviews we just didn't know whether they would be good or not.

    I really wish TripAdvisor had a section for guided group tours (multi-day ones like ABD, Tauck, etc.) the same way it does for hotels, specific attractions, day tour operators, and restaurants.
     
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  18. sun_seekin

    sun_seekin Earning My Ears

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    Have a great trip and please do report back! I would not have paid $7K more for ABD either! We booked early enough that that the price difference was very minimal at the time. I'd also love more reviews of the Uniworld Generations River cruises. I'd also consider one in the future and we are Costco members so the savings would be nice.
     
  19. ajw28

    ajw28 Earning My Ears

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    Costco has a good rebate for ABD as well. It is in the form of a gift card. I don't remember the exact amount, but I think it comes out to about 8% of the total cost.
     
  20. WanderlustNZ

    WanderlustNZ DIS Veteran

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    Agreed. Even something in their forums would be nice, given they have whole sections for things like cruises, road trips, family travel etc etc, but nothing for tours.
    It’s part of the reason I enjoy reading this ABD section of the DIS, even though the majority of the tour companies being discussed here are very much in the top end of my budget.
     
  21. chachadeb

    chachadeb Earning My Ears

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    Just got off the ABD Danube river cruise. Definitely not like Tauck with all drinks included at all times. Wine and beer were included with both lunch and dinner. Drinks at the Farewell party. And any cocktails for the one hour sip and sail each night were included. They feature a special cocktail each night during the cruise but you can order anything you'd like.
     

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