We have completed 7 Grand Circle river trips and usually take pre and post extensions.
We thoroughly enjoyed, as a post-trip, the Switzerland extension with the Rhine and the Mosel river trip. We did all the extra options and greatly enjoyed them.
On our recent trip "Eastern Europe to the Black Sea" we took both pre-trip to Sinaia, RO and the post-trip to Prague. Please note that the entire trip was a repeat for us and was still very enjoyable.
It is easy to make new friends on the "extension" trips because the group is smaller than on the rivercruise itself. However, we still make many friends on the rivercruise also.
We particularly enjoy extensions whereby on the first day arrival at the hotel, we meet for a drink and then Grand Circle has arranged a "group" dinner for us in the hotel. In Prague, we had a Farewell Drink and dinner at a local restaurant (included). Also, in Prague at the Sychrov Castle (afterwards we had a welcome drink, tour of the manor and dinner before returning to the hotel (included dinner with optional tour).
On the pre-trip to Sinaia, Romania we took an optional tour of the Azuga Wine Cellars, with dinner and we highly recommend this. They have a lovely building on the grounds where they served dinner. We had done this "optional" on our previous trip and liked it.
On the main trip we were taken to Varna where Grand Circle had arranged for a lovely lunch at a beautiful resort hotel/complex right on the Black Sea.
I hope all of this will be enjoyable reading to those of you who are taking trips with Grand Circle.
Let me conclude that one of our top favorites was the trip from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
There were many interesting things to do on that trip and we intend to go again.
My husband and I do not particularly like being "left" to do things in a strange city and instead prefer after an "optional" that we have dinner together.