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Anyone ever flunk out of a Grand Circle tour?

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OK, this is embarrassing, but I am 3000 miles from home and need some gentle imput. After 4 different conversations with. GCT People, asking about their tour of Italy and being completely honest about my being mobile but not agile because of old knees, I was reassured I would be fine and adjustments would be made. I think that was the get my $ stage, so I booked this tour and another GCT tour with 10 days in between.

So I packed and planned and shared my excitement with everyone, went to several doctors who cleared me.... When I finally heard from the actual tour director, I tried to tell her the
Exact things I told the others and things began to fall apart. Six days before I was to leave, GCT offered to refund my $, but I had no heart for canceling at this point. Who would.? I did say if I could keep the second less strenuous tour and the air arrangements, I would make my own arrangements for Italy which didn't seem that far fetched, since GCT allows "break away" travel. I stayed up literally all night trying to figure out alternatives, but they said all or nothing.
So here I am, I am the slowest in the group, and the director just says I can't be w the others; I can come along but I am on my own. Yesterday there was an optional tour to Siena and I was not allowed to go with the group, but I could go separately. So I did. I got a public bus to Sienna, had a darn wild strike at a transfer and had to wait 3 hours, walked up,the long, steep. Hill to the magnificent basilica and made my way to the splendid Campo plaza. My bus again was canceled, but i found a train and paid a fortune for a taxi back to our hotel. Certainly not a perfect day, but I loved Siena.
The kicker was today. I chose this tour because it has been a dream to go to Pompeii since I first heard of it as a child, and this tour has an optional tour to Herculaneum. I knew they would be hard on me but figured I would manage. Today she told me she would not allow me to go to Pompeii AND she would also prohibit me from going on my own, again saying I should just go home, still with a refund at least.
I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience and, please, at this point I don't need a lot of negativity. I was very candid from the beginning, and it seems obvious there were over zealous sales people, but if am a real live person here who got caught in their marketing. Still, although understandably difficult, if they would just deduct the cost of the air travel from the refund, i could figure it out. I may be slow but I am resourceful. Gentle comments?

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