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Grand Circle Tours

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Apr 7th, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #1
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Grand Circle Tours

We are considering a fall trip to Italy and would like to use a tour company. Does anyone out there have experience with GCT?
sumreknot is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 09:40 AM
  #2
 
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My parents just did their Italy tour in Feb, they loved it and speak highly of GCT. It was also amazingly inexpensive, too.
LAwoman is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 09:44 AM
  #3
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Thanks..could you give me anymore details? We are "young" retirees, very active. How big was the group and where did they depart from? I am from Michigan. Was the stay in Rome long enough?
sumreknot is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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I don't know about the size of the group, GCT should be able to tell you. I know they opted to add on time at the beginning - in Rome - and the end, in Venice. So I don't think there is enough time in Rome on the basic tour.

These tours probably attract an older crowd - they said the youngest were around fifty and the oldest was 94. My folks are probably older than you, but they're in good shape and are more interested in an in-depth cultural experience than being pampered.

I've seen other posts on this tour company before, if you put "Grand Circle" and/or "GCT" in the search box above, you will find more feedback that should be helpful.
LAwoman is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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My parents say that the thing they like about Grand Circle is the opportunity to stay at 2 or 3 places for a week each and venture out from there. They also offer the chance to do things with the group or separately. They've traveled with GCT several times and have always been pleased.

Which tour are you thinking of?
Grasshopper is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 10:46 AM
  #6
 
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You might want to check out this story about GCT.It doesn't show them in a particularity good light.Caveat emptor.

http://www.tripso.com/archives/2005/...g_the_run.html
Lovejoy is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 04:02 PM
  #7
 
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I've traveled with GCT to Thailand and Malta. Excellent tours. The guides were great and I particularly like the fact that they stay awhile in various cities. I considered an Italy trip (Sorrento-Montecassino) but opted to go on my own. I'm also looking at the Eastern Europe tour. Honestly, they give very good service and it's hard to beat the price.

The age range was 50-70s with a couple of people older. These are all people who love to travel and don't hold you back. You do not have to do everything that's offered. Go out on your own where you want to.
nancy is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 04:22 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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You also should check out Insight Vacations.

http://www.insightvacations.com/us/

They are great!

--Marv
Infotrack is offline  
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Apr 7th, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have traveled with Grand Circle 13 times and hope to go on many more. Have done two of their Italian trips and they were wonderful. Always a very good valu and good experience. Have a good time. Halfpint
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Apr 7th, 2005, 07:45 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Lovejoy,
That was I who wrote to Chris Elliott about our problems with Grand Circle

He was remarkable in his promptness and attentiveness to our problem, even though he was unable to actually "solve" our problem.

He, too, was extremely upset with GCT regarding their disdain to their customers, and what he said was their "disingenuous dealings" with him, and said they'd regret the way they handled this situation.

Unfortunately, we, too had seen many other tours that looked interesting for the future, but I wouldn't touch them now with a ten foot pole!

Obviously, the story is much more involved than what he was able to write, but be warned that GCT was very deceptive, that the prices we'd booked with and had 3 invoices for, including our final invoice were supposedly "wrong", had been wrong on the website for that date for over 6 weeks and were still wrong in the computer. Obviously, what we thought was a contract was nothing in their eyes. Check out consumeraffairs.com and BBB for other horror stories. Other major companies handle such errors with much more courtesy and generosity than did GCT. Mistakes happen, but the consumer shouldn't have to pay for them.
Hagan is offline  
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Apr 8th, 2005, 04:25 AM
  #11
 
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I was bumped off a trip with one of their divisions, OAT, due to over-booking. I had my final documents and it was less than two weeks to my departure. They told me that it is their policy to overbook and usually they have enough cancellations so that they don't have to bump anyone.
SusieQQ is offline  
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Apr 8th, 2005, 05:18 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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We have travelled with Grand Circle four times, Egypt, The Danube, Thailand and Russia, and we have two more booked, Northwest National Parks and Italy, Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast. We have always been totally satisfied with them. There have been some minor billing problems, but they were always resolved in a timely manner. We went with them in the first place because they give a great value for the money. They don't stay in 5 star accomodations, but we have always been satisfied. The content of the trip is far more important than the room you spend a few hours in. We are in our late fifties and were always on the younger end of the group, but we have never been the youngest. Grand Circle's program directors have always been local and very knowledgeable. Grand Circle puts very much emphasis into understanding the local culture and meeting the locals, including having at least home hosted meal. Generally Grand Circle and any other coach based tours will have a group of about one busfull or about 40 people.No subject is taboo. We have discussed politics and religion in Russia, Islam in Egypt, Buhdhism in Thailand, etc. The pacing of the tours is great for our taste with very few one night stays and no rushing to keep up with a guide on the run. If you have any detailed questions, you can either respond in this forum or by Email
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