Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Anyone ever flunk out of a Grand Circle tour?

Anyone ever flunk out of a Grand Circle tour?

Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:09 AM
  #221  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<Please can we wait until she is safely back home before giving her a hard time about her already-made choices?>
Exactly, suze!

twoteachers, safe travels. Keep us posted! I, for one, look forward to reading your trip report and hearing more about the sights you saw--your Africa report was really terrific reading, so I thank you for posting it.
NewbE is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:16 AM
  #222  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,606
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This thread has become quite lengthy - perhaps a new one could be started as the tour comes to an end. May I suggest "Two teachers toddles on".
suec1 is online now  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:29 AM
  #223  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83,061
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
221 is not "long".
starrs is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #224  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Everything should be kept together for continuity.
adrienne is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #225  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And for general amusement.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:25 AM
  #226  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"TwoTeachers Toddles On" is an awesome title, suec1 and TT. Since you are committed, TT, to moving forward, a new post does sound like a good idea.

TT--I am so excited for you. May every day give you a sense of mastery and a sense of awe.
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:27 AM
  #227  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 97,217
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
No new thread is needed. It's fine to continue the story here.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 01:28 PM
  #228  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well here's a thought, maybe twoteachers should decide about a new topic.
socaltraveler is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 01:46 PM
  #229  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>Please can we wait until she is safely back home before giving her a hard time about her already-made choices?>>

Anytime twoteachers wants to go home -- or stop posting on Fodor's she can.

I really don't know what to think after reading the Africa blog post in conjunction with this thread, but certainly one thing I and maybe other people don't want to be sucked into is the kind of set up where somebody creates a big drama around themselves with risky behavior, and then "proves" to everybody who advised a safer approach "wrong" by surviving the stupid situation they put themselves into.

I could be wrong, but I honestly don't think twoteachers is in the "pickle" that some travelers who leap onto message boards have been --. travelers who have been robbed, or lost an apartment, or who need an English speaking doctor or were stranded by a bankrupt tour operator -- and who really need help immediately and don't know where else to turn.

twoteachers has wanted to avoid breaking out of her budget, asking her husband to pitch in, taking a refund, etc. She is entitled to work out her situation to her own liking -- but she has resources (as she herself pointed out early in this therad).

If some of you find this thread inspiring in some way, well, so be it. I certainly wish twoteachers happy travels as she moves on from here. If she prefers to go home, I endorse that too. Travel is not a test. It is something to enjoy, and if you're not enjoying it, go do something you enjoy.
sandralist is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 01:53 PM
  #230  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 97,217
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Exactly what I was hoping people would be willing to not do on this thread.
suze is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 03:13 PM
  #231  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess I do have one more thing to say about this thread:

I never heard of Grand Circle Tours before seeing this thread. I have no idea whether they are a good company or not, but some people posting in this thread have posted they repeatedly had good experiences and good service traveling with them.

I don't know if Grand Circle Tours is a big company or a small company, but many of you posting in this thread seem totally oblivious to the possibility that a thread like this, making unsubstantiated accusations, could cost good people their jobs or their income. Few of you seem to consider that the people at Grand Circle Tours might have families, might be doing a good job, might have worked very hard to start from scratch and build a good reputation in a highly competitive tourism industry.

A thread like this, with a title like this, accessible by Google, has the potential to cause a real damage to people who work hard to make an honest living. There have been all kinds of assumptions made here about employees of GCT that don't stand up to scrutiny. Certainly we have no idea what the other side of the story is.

A company may look like a machine that hasn't got humans in it, but there are humans there and it is possible not a single one of them did anything wrong. This company of people appears -- even by the testimony of twoteachers -- to have worked to protect the comfort and safety of twoteachers, and also to protect her monetary investment by offering her refunds.

In addition to being concerned about twoteachers, maybe some people should be concerned about whether this thread has needlessly damaged the reputation of a company that didn't deserve this.
sandralist is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 03:19 PM
  #232  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83,061
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
Good grief. Of course it has not.

The OP was clear that the issue is centered on her mobility issues. The OP has been fair to the company and wanted support/input on what she should do next. That's what she got and as an adult, she made that decision for herself.

Let it go.
She didn't make the decision that you recommended personally but that's perfectly reasonable.

To speculate on potential damage her thread caused to the company is ridiculous IMO. You just don't like the decision she made. Get over it.
starrs is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 04:21 PM
  #233  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For once, we agree, starrs.
NewbE is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 06:25 PM
  #234  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amen.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 07:21 PM
  #235  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sandralist - you have not read all the responses, especially the one I wrote about contacting GCT about this thread and the OP's situation. They had the option to read it and and give their perspective but choose not to do so.

They do happen to be a large tour company and a good one as far as my experience with them.
adrienne is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 07:31 PM
  #236  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,476
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are not going to believe this but when you google Grand Central Tours complaints, other complaints arose. Who would have thought that a major tour operator would have other issues.

Like everything else in the world you try to balance the good with the bad. I judge hotel reviews the same way they used to judge diving competitions during the Cold War, you throw out the best and worst scores and see what is left.
IMDonehere is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 09:57 PM
  #237  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
People hardly ever post compliments online. You hear from the kvetches. You must take the complaints of kvetches online with a grain of salt. Often not everything said is trued. Grand Circle is a huge tour company with lots of clients. It is relatively low end--which means they give you a low price for the tour and then you pay a lot for optionals. Some tour companies, like Tauk, cost more but include everything. I have not worked for Grand Circle or Tauk but I have worked for other companies. People complain constantly on tours, Most of these tours involve elderly people, many of whom over estimate their abilities do do the program. The complaints are about the program, about the food (usually mediocre to keep the prices down when it is included), the fact that things are not identical to what they would find at home, and the fact (and this is key here) that the tour does not cater to the needs of the individual tour client. It's the same complaints over and over again. All tours promise a lot and more or less delivered, but you are rushed to keep up with the schedule all the time. Some things you will "see" are just drive bys.

I have been a tour client myself with elderhostel (now Road Scholar). On the tour I took to Russia, two people went home and one ended up in the hospital for a few days as a result of a fall. The first two people were clearly too frail to participate. The second woman, the oldest woman on the tour, was loved by all and never complained. The person we hated most was always holding up the group because she was shopping--so you cannot predict. One day the shopper went off with a private guide somewhere and the group was very happy. Who knows how she got all her "stuff" home. In addition to kvetches, you find a shopper on every tour.

Road Scholar is all included--including the tip at the end. You are admonished not to tip because you have paid the tip in the price. For almost all other tour companies there are suggested tips.

Insofar as twoteachers is concerned, I have no idea if what she is saying is the truth, if she really went on the tour, has an ongoing grievance against Grand Circle for something else that she parades around all over the internet to cause harm to their buisness, just enjoys pulling people's legs on internet message boards to start fracases (successful here), or just wants attention for herself (also successful here).

No one should be calling Grand Circle about two teachers. It is totally inappropriate. You are free to give her whatever advice you want and she will probably post more complaints about whatever she does. Please remember that tour directors do not make a lot of money. They are generally young people. You cannot do this work as an older person very long because it requires a lot of stamina. You go to bed after the group and get up before they do. So the tour director is more exhausted than the group. Changing hotels, you are responsible for not losing anyone's bags. I am sure the tour director is doing his best and we are only getting twoteachers side of whatever is really going on. Yes, I am skeptical about the reason for this entire thread. Many of you have simply bought into a story line that may or may not have some basis in what is the truth.

I do agree with sandralist's comments. If you google any tour company, moreover, you will probably find a lot of complaints.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:13 PM
  #238  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,884
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Summary:
- Twoteacher's is entertaining us with her travelling mobility issues in Europe caused and her lovely writing style.

- According to the OP, Grand Circle has attempted many times to show goodwill and is reluctant to put their clients into any risky situations... which is why they keep telling her to stay put.

- Twoteacher's decision to go on her own day trips is made at her own risk.

- I have no idea how a person with mobility issues did Capri but I really don't care because...

I'm using this is as a source of entertainment and will never know what the truth is or not. Egads, this is the internet and not the bible (she says dripping with irony).
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:32 PM
  #239  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 761
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
keeblatt, it might surprise you but I agree with you on the entertainment value of this thread. However, aside from that, it is nothing.

I did find the mobility issues and Capri to be amusing as well. Getting in and out of the boats for the Blue Grotto would be "interesting" for someone with mobility issues to say the least.

Unfortunately, some people wait until they are too old and have serious health problems to visit Europe. They end up dissatisfied and sitting on the bus while the others do things. Other people just want attention on the internet.
lauren_s_kahn is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2014, 11:47 PM
  #240  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amusing?

Whether you choose to believe twoteachers or not, how do you possibly get any amusement out of her situation? Do you enjoy watching people with disabilities getting on and off buses or in and out of boats?

If you don't believe her, move on.

What IS amusing is your pontificating about tour companies. GTC is a big boy, twoteachers complaints and issues are not going to cause the company to fold or take the bread out of little children's mouths. Get a grip.
Cathinjoetown is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -