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-   -   Grand Circle Travel: Love 'Em? or Not? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/grand-circle-travel-love-em-or-not-280027/)

esagman Dec 17th, 2002 05:39 AM

Grand Circle Travel: Love 'Em? or Not?
 
I am planning an October 2003 trip to Italy (and possibly other places). I like one of the itineraries of Grand Circle Travel, but had a bad experience with them getting my money back after 9/11. I'm willing to give them another chance (I think).<BR><BR>Would anyone be willing to share why they like GCT...or why they wouldn't use them ever again?<BR><BR>I really appreciate this...I'm planning to meet with my travel agent next weekend and need to have made up my mind. :)<BR><BR>Thank you in advance!<BR><BR>Elaine Sagman<BR><BR><BR>

hanna Dec 17th, 2002 06:22 AM

GCT does not work with travel agents.

Mary Jayne Dec 17th, 2002 06:47 AM

I have traveled with Grand Circle at least 15 times or more and have always felt it was a good buy. I have done two of their Italy trips and they were fantastic, in fact a month ago came home from the Alpine Village Sampler and that was superb.<BR>I hadn't had a trip planned near the 7/11 thing, however I felt no company was quite prepared for what happened and Grand Circle at the moment made a bad choice, however have heard they rectified it in time, resinding their hasty decision on the refunds. And of course now have a different type insurance package which MIGHT better cope with such a situation.<BR>And October was a wonderful time to be in Italy, the color was wonderful and weather for the most part cooperated. Try them again, bet you will be pleased. Mary Jayne

ellen Dec 17th, 2002 09:09 AM

Went to Sicily with GCT in Oct and was disappointed. #1.The group of 42 was way too large. #2. We spent more time on the bus than we did seeing the sights. #3. We stayed one week in Palermo---too long and one week in Taormina---too long. Just not enough to do. Many of the travelers loved the trip, however and thought it was perfect. Not all GCT trips are like this, but you might keep these caveats in mind. Ellen

ellen Dec 17th, 2002 09:13 AM

Thought of a little more to add. I did go to Tuscany with Overseas Adventure Travel, a subsiderary of GCT and loved the trip. The price is a little higher, but you get so much more. Max 16, smaller hotels, not so much bus time and the wine was a lot better. Ellen

xxx Dec 17th, 2002 10:31 AM

I think it's great that they don't work with travel agents. I'd just as soon book directly with the company and I resent having to pay an extra 10% or so for them to allow to pay travel agents a commission.

Sharon Dec 17th, 2002 10:32 AM

Have made 2 trips to Italy with Grand Circle. Cost-wise, these trips are a pretty good deal.<BR>Our problem was that we didn't enjoy the enforced sociability. Sharing 3 meals a day with the same people, dressing for dinner, etc. isn't to our liking. We prefer being independent and interacting with local people. (My complaint could apply to any escorted tour group.) <BR>That being said, I'd recommend them to those who enjoy group get togethers with the same people every day.<BR>(There are many on these trips who enjoy the sociability with fellow Americans.)

esagman Dec 17th, 2002 01:25 PM

Thank you, everyone, for you input on GCT. <BR><BR>Hanna and xxx, I was not aware GCT doesn't deal with travel agents. That is very helpful to know. I also was not aware that prices were inflated to include a 10% commission to travel agents.<BR><BR>Mary Jayne, I'm glad to hear October is a good time to travel to Italy. I was concerned it may be their rainy season.<BR><BR>Ellen, my last trip was with 18 people and looking at other tours of 40+ people, I imagined it wasted alot of time just getting people from one spot to another. I would like to find a tour of 20 or less. Maybe GCT isn't the way to go for me. Thanks for the advice on Overseas Adventure Travel. I will look them up.<BR><BR>Sharon, your point is well taken re: forced social activities. Being a solo traveler, I don't mind, and when I want alone time I decline offers to join the others. However, I have to agree with you...by the end of the day, I am more than ready to be by myself. That is why I always pay the single supplement! :)<BR><BR>Again...thanks to all. Have a happy holiday!<BR><BR>Elaine Sagman<BR>

xxx Dec 17th, 2002 01:49 PM

What I meant about the 10% to cover travel agents is just common sense. If any tour group pays an agent a commission then that commission is built into the price. If you don't use an agent then you are still paying for that commission, because they've included it in their pricing. But if a group doesn't pay any commission, then they don't need to jack up their prices to cover the possibility of having to pay one.

garandee Apr 6th, 2013 11:33 AM

Hanna and XXX - just so all are educated: you can book direct with almost any travel vendor and you DO NOT get any discount to book without using an Agent. Vendors do not tack on or charge more because you book with an Agent!
I'm really surprised most have not discovered this yet..
I've worked for many travel vendors and do so currently, and NONE of them ever jacked up prices 'just in case' they had to pay agents. Some vendors as well as travelers actually prefer Agents to take the booking so the Agent can qualify the Client and help them with all aspects of their travel - they value the Agent's expertise - as do most Clients. Just so you are educated...

kybourbon Apr 6th, 2013 11:51 AM

Garandee - Just so you are educated, this thread is from 2002.


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