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Anyone ever flunk out of a Grand Circle tour?

Anyone ever flunk out of a Grand Circle tour?

Old Jun 18th, 2014, 04:23 AM
  #201  
 
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As others have noted, the OP's experience emphasizes the need for honest assessments of trip suitability by both the individual and the tour operator. The Grand Circle website does indicate that this trip would be challenging for someone with the OP's limitations; this information would have given me pause if I had similar problems. Wishing for something does not make it so.

https://www.gct.com/trips/land-tours...5#tripincluded

Physical requirements

Not accessible for travelers using wheelchairs or scooters
Travelers using walkers, crutches, or other mobility aids must travel with a companion who can assist them throughout the trip
You must be able to walk 3 miles unassisted and participate in 3-5 hours of physical activities each day, including stairs

Terrain

Travel over uneven walking surfaces, including unpaved paths, hills, stairs, and cobblestone
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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I hope you made it to Capri, twoteachers. While people here read fine print and lecture you, you're off seeing the world. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 07:19 AM
  #203  
 
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No Marija, that is not what it is all about. People who are reading the fine print are not lecturing the OP, nor are they mindlessly cheering her on to the finish line. This has actually become an interesting conversation about a certain mode of travel, and the need to to due due diligence when researching a trip.

I have an arthritic left knee. Reading the description of this tour, I would not have signed on because I know that I have to go slower, and keep to my own pace. And I have been to Pompeii, walked the cobblestones of many Italian towns, etc., BUT this is independent travel.

A red flag in the OP's situation, now glossed over, is the offer from GCT six days before the tour, where it is apparent that the tour company has some serious reservations about her suitability for the trip, and advises cancellation and a refund. She dismisses this with 'who would cancel now?'. And we know what happened after that. I also doubt they want her to take the other tour; the current td has been in contact with them throughout and the issues are documented on their side.

If you need more insight, and have the time, do read the OP's trip report from Africa. Again, research and due diligence is what we advise people to do before traveling. I continue to wish the OP only the best in this journey, but enough of the rah-rah. Her travel decisions have impacted others, and continue to do so.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 07:38 AM
  #204  
 
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I am certainly supportive of the OP's efforts to make lemonade out of lemons, I am very pleased she has been able to see as much as she has, and I hold no brief at all for GCT (wouldn't travel with them if you paid me). However, I am starting to think that she has some responsibility for signing up for the lemons.

Compare the physical requirements given above with this: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...e-disabled.cfm
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 08:45 AM
  #205  
 
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Yes, this tour would be my idea of hell, mainly because others can really make or break one's trip.

I would like to make the point that physically disabled persons are not the only people who can ruin a tour for others. There are those who are perpetually late--perfectly fit, but perfectly, consistently late. There are those that demand constant verbal attention. There are those that are unkind to hotel and restaurant staff--you know, the cringe-worthy kind. And there are those on the small tour bus who consistently recline their seats in one's lap for the three-hour trek to the next stop.

I don't blame the TD or GCT. Marketing folk, I might be inclined to blame, but certainly I'd like to hear their side of the story before I'd pass judgment.

A blame or judgment game is enervating. The OP is right now in a pickle, and I'd like to believe she can count on some good folk here for some kind help, whether she moves forward somehow with GCT with her own side trips, goes out on her own, or tries to get back home on her limited budget.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 08:57 AM
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There are those that demand constant verbal attention. There are those that are unkind to hotel and restaurant staff--you know, the cringe-worthy kind.

Oh exactly. We had the (dis)pleasure of meeting two such creatures on our small culinary tour of Puglia in May. By the end of the week, the rest of us were able to laugh it off, but frankly it did diminish the trip for the others. One had traveled with this td several times before and in one of our last conversations, I told him that if he developed another itinerary of interest to us, we would not go if this woman signed on.
So the ying and yang of traveling without choosing your companions is a risk you take. On the other hand we did make a new friend, a truly delightful woman, who we now refer to as our BFF in Portland.

This situation that the OP is in should not be a blame game, but you cannot ignore that GCT clearly did evaluate a potentially troubling situation (correctly IMO) almost a week before departure and did contact the OP with their concerns and an offer of a refund.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Thanks to the last four comments for some rational evaluations without further comments. Of course we are sympathetic to a disabled traveler, but...
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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Excellent points, thursdaysd
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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<If you need more insight, and have the time, do read the OP's trip report from Africa. >
Thanks for the tip, socaltraveler--what a great trip report! Twoteachers is one determined traveler. Yes, she has many physical infirmities--which we know about b/c she cops to every single one of them and more than once--and yet she has gone on very arduous and adventurous trips on a shoestring budget and returned to tell the tale--and tell it well!

I guess some see the glass half full, and others half empty. Indeed, I would have thought twice about taking the GCT tours myself, and especially with twoteachers' limitations, but that's not the point is it, what I would have done? I would not have undertaken that trip to Africa, either. Which is another irrelevancy.

Ozarksbill, has GCT offered you that discount yet?
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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To be honest, my insight from the Africa trip leans more to thinking the OP does not do enough research and thus gets herself into some interesting situations, as in the verbal offer of a hotel room, never confirmed, nothing in writing and then surprise, no one at the hotel had ever heard of them.

Admitting you have physical limitations, limitations that seem to be outside the clearly written scope of the tour, and yet taking off on said tour, and then finding out that this creates problems, is nothing to be applauded. Support the determination to see it through, but the more I know, the less I see the hero here. We all make mistakes, and the OP has gotten a lot of support and good advice, but taking the second tour does not seem to be the best idea. Then again, we hardly know if GCT is still offering the full refund.

Definitely lessons to be learned if one is still reading.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Please can we wait until she is safely back home before giving her a hard time about her already-made choices?
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:12 AM
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NewbE, ha ha, it was only said in jest! And lordy wouldn't you know, someone took me seriously.

We are looking forward to Spain-Portugal with GCT in October. This is our only trip ever with known friends, turns out nine of us from our church. We just got to chatting and it went ok-if-you're-going-I-will-too. A report later hopefully from us friends!

Well, I forget several Holy Land trips where I recruited a group of folks.

I will reiterate that most every tour requires walking and often some in the party have canes or walkers. So they lag a bit. But we all may huff and puff. I'm no spring chicken (but not an old rooster).
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Just to say I did go to Capri and anacapri today. It was fine except thunder and rain in the morning delayed my departure and really shortened my time. The views there were amazing on their own. I have also canceled my second tour but hope to continue on to most of the same places on my own....
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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This is, as I said, a most interesting situation.

But having thought about it: this is one of those situations that comes with a test that one must be deemed to have either passed or failed. Twoteachers certainly passes the test of determination and enthusiasm, but that isn't the test that GCT is administering, for purpose of qualifying people for its tours. One often reads, "the decision of the judges is final" in connection with many contests. This is one such contest.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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Good decision I think TT. Hope it works out well for you. All the best.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Please let us know how it goes. None of us know when we may have similar problems!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 04:01 PM
  #217  
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So glad you had the chance to see the views from Capri and Anacapri!
Wishing you well as you move along.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 04:47 PM
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I think those are excellent decisions. Glad you were able to see Capri today. Glad you aren't going on the 2nd tour. And VERY glad you are staying on to travel at your own speed and see the things you want to see.

Way to go!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Europe isn't Timbuktu and there are people around to help her as long as she can physically manage it. And then there are always the outdoor cafes where she can sit down and sip the time away.

There's been a lot of rain in Italy lately so here's wishing for better weather.

Keep posting, Twoteachers. This is truly a fascinating thread you started. I so wish I could chat with Thin while reading this... I feel his excitement.
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Old Jun 19th, 2014, 01:42 AM
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Makes me glad that I am currently home exchanging in Poland and missed a lot of the posts on this thread.
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