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Beware of Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel

Beware of Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel

Feb 11th, 2011, 06:29 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Beware of Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel

Tour Operator Grand Circle Travel & Overseas Adventure Travel
Date 5/2010
Itinerary Turkey, Greek Isles, Greece
This otherwise really good tour company which operates not only Grand Circle Travel but also Overseas Adventure Travel has one major flaw: If you travel as a single person (without a roommate) even though you pay a single supplement, you get the absolutely worst room they have. This has happened time and time again. I even sent a certified letter to the owners, who had someone call me who assured me that they had changed their policies and I would be treated equally. So I booked a trip to Turkey and the Greek Isles and Greece. Same thing happened. I was told that cabins on the ship weren't assigned until sailing. I called back 3 times, spoke with 3 different people who all repeated the same thing. Still got the worst cabin. Later when I got to know the other travelers they ALL told me that their rooms were assigned at booking. You are even limited on the departures you can take. They will have a room/cabin and tell you there are none available for a single person. I have even offered to pay 2X the price and was told that this is against their policy. This is true of Grand Circle and OAT. I feel discriminated against because I choose to travel alone even though I pay more.
Barbara_Cummings is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 04:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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www.affordabletours.com

many other companies of quality that do not do this.

rather than doing the same thing over and over

expecting different results might find a new company.

OAT is a middleman not a direct provider always

gets the left over stuff cheaply and marks it up.

Go local and direct for better experience

usually works best for me.

Galapagos cruises are the worst scammed in the world

The boards are infested with agents/scammers

touting as "destination experts" TripAdvisor is

the very worst so caveat emptor.

www.cruisecritic.com has many excellent providers

www.priceline.com allows me to precisely select

my exact single cabin # online and book still up to 70% off.

Might try them next time.
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 03:24 PM
  #3  
 
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I hope you consider simply not using them again. You have been more than patient. BTW GC/OAT has had plenty of complaints filed against them with the BBB for poor CS practices. I thought they had improved but evidently not. The heck with them. I'd complain to the BBB if I was you. Good luck. Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 14th, 2011, 05:10 AM
  #4  
 
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I can't speak to this particular tour, but I can certainly say that this isn't true across the board with OAT. I've traveled with them, and on each trip there were single travelers who did not get inferior rooms.

You can certainly fault OAT for their inflexible policies, but this isn't a problem I've experienced.

And OAT is actually not a middleman. They have their own tour staff in many countries and make direct bookings. I don't think this is true in every destination they travel to, but it is certainly the case in their most popular destinations.
doug_stallings is online now  
Feb 14th, 2011, 07:04 AM
  #5  
 
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Doug when you traveled with them did they know you were from Fodors?
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 14th, 2011, 07:10 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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No, they didn't. And I was not the person traveling as a single.
doug_stallings is online now  
Feb 14th, 2011, 08:59 AM
  #7  
 
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Thank you.
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 14th, 2011, 05:42 PM
  #8  
 
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I see you are new to Fodors. Welcome. I just returned from an OAT trip in December. There were more single folks then married ones on the trip and the singles appeared pleased. Some had opted for the matching roommate and there were 2 single rooms on the ship. I might add that if you are unsatified, why keep repeating? If they won't give you a room at booking, don't book. Simple.
southeastern is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 05:46 PM
  #9  
 
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By the way, if you were on the Athena or the sister ship, there are no bad rooms. We were on the main deck (cheap seats as I call them) and the rooms were excellent. The two single ones were good. One of the gals invited all to see it. No complaints.
southeastern is offline  
Feb 15th, 2011, 08:45 AM
  #10  
 
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We had a very bad experience with GCT..and swore we would never travel with them again. But time has softened our hearts, but DH said, never fall for their 'cash' discount policy, and put it all on your credit card. That way, if you have disputes, you have some leverage. The credit card will fix it...Many on our trip got full refund when they challenged their trip and requested a transfer from their credit card. We got a partial refund.
justwishin is offline  
Feb 15th, 2011, 02:13 PM
  #11  
 
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Again I have to say that there are no bad rooms on the boats that go to Turkey and Greece with OAT. Lots of singles and no complaining. I don't get it. There are only two single rooms on the ship and rest accomodate 2 people. There is a diagram on the website. She offered to pay twice the amount? Please, you can up grade to a high end ship for that. These are economy trips not first class.
southeastern is offline  
Feb 16th, 2011, 01:39 PM
  #12  
 
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What made you wait for 9 months to register here to post this one thing?
Dayenu is offline  
Feb 16th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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I do know Grand Circle uses "middlemen"..as we were caught up in it..Paid for a River Cruise; we questioned GCT at the last minute with several phone calls to their management about the 'cruise' as the rivers were then high; they lied and said "the river boats are on the rivers, as we speak, waiting"...but when we got there, there were 3 large busses waiting to take us on a 'pre-arranged' bus trip (3 week, mind you) thru the dregs of Eastern Europe, a place I never wanted to visit....and short of going straight to the airport and fighting with them for our refund, we took the trip...Never Again.!!! Is that called 'bait and switch?"
justwishin is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 04:43 AM
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By the way, I find "dregs of Eastern Europe" offensive.
southeastern is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 06:30 AM
  #15  
 
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I also had a very bad experience with Grand Circle/OAT a few years ago and have not considered them since. I was kicked off a trip to the Amazon less than two weeks prior even after I had all documents (such as air tickets) in hand. I was told that they had overbooked. Since I was a single, I have to assume that I was chosen rather than a double for financial reasons.
SusieQQ is offline  
Feb 19th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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southeastern: Since you were not there, not sure your opinion should influence. GCT did tell us, day before on the phone, that the boats were ON the river, 'as we speak".and they anticipated no problems. ..When we go there we were herded into a hotel lobby to wait; the tour that preceded us was just returning, and they were MAD...lots of letters, threats to sue, etc. Of course, since they had the entire fleet of busses lined up and ready to take us, it was not a 'last minute' accomocation by anyone's imagination. out and out subtrafuge.!!!! and deceit.

And No, there were several folks who were just unfit to take a strenuous bus trip...One guy was blind, totally blind, another lady needed constant medication---unavailable on bus, and one woman was so sick the entire time--they just put her on the back of the bus with a stack of depends and ignored her.

No, I did not bitch, but was about to when I found ground glass, several large chunks, in my Hungarian goulosh...a little PO'd about that, but luckily didn't get hurt. When I pointed it out to them, they just shrugged.!!!
justwishin is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:30 PM
  #17  
 
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We have traveled on 9 trips with GCT and OAT and have never had any problems. In fact, all of our tours were wonderful - with the best tour guides in the business. While we travel as a couple, we have never heard any complaints from others traveling with us as singles.

Ship cabins are generally much smaller than hotel rooms - if that's what the OP is comparing her cabin with.

GCT does own their own boats that are used on the river cruises in Europe. We will be taking another GCT - river cruise - in August, and look very forward to it. We do expect a much smaller cabin that we have had on ocean cruises, but that is the norm on river cruises.

Sad to say, there infrequently are travelers who complain about their tours for one reason or another. Most of the time it is due to unrealistic expectations.

If you have any questions about traveling with GCT or OAT, feel free to contact me at [email protected].
sandys is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 03:53 AM
  #18  
 
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"Unrealistic expectations" Very doubtful as GCT/OAT has had numerous complaints filed with the Mass. BBB. Combine that with the many complaints voiced on this thread and many others here on Fodors over the yrs. and the picture is different, far different. Yes this has be up for discussion here before and it always is the case that GCT/OAT gets polarizing reviews. There is no in between. It seems that if all goes well there are great but when problems occur then its another story. Then they leave you hanging.
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:23 AM
  #19  
 
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>>>unrealistic expectations<<<

somehow I don't think it was unrealistic to think that having documents and confirmation for a trip would mean that I would actually being going.
SusieQQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:51 AM
  #20  
 
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No, what is unrealistic is to make a blanket statement covering scores of complaints that you were not aware of inre to OAT/GCT to the Mass. BBB.
jacketwatch is online now  

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