Learning and Growing—With the Help of our Travelers

At Grand Circle, June is a time for bringing people together. Every year, we welcome our top-performing Program Directors and associates from all over the world to spend a week on our property in Kensington, New Hampshire. It’s a perfect occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year—but if you’ve ever met Alan or me, you’ll know that we can’t just leave it at that! Rather than rest on our laurels, we spend the week pushing ourselves to find out how we can improve our trips and the way we do business. It’s an exhausting week, but so incredibly rewarding.

Of course, our efforts would be aimless without feedback from you, our travelers—which is why for me, June 7 was the most rewarding day of all. In what has become an annual tradition, we invited 270 travelers—all of them women—to join us under our “big top” tent and share their honest feedback about Grand Circle. It’s always such a beautiful moment for me, to stand on stage right before the event begins and take in the energy of the room. I can almost feel it buzzing through the tent—such tremendous passion and brain power, all focused on a shared love of exploring our world.

This day, however, was not just about love, as I told the women that morning. Yes, we talked a lot about why they travel with Grand Circle, which is always wonderful to hear … but purely positive feedback isn’t going to help us grow. In groups, the women brainstormed together with our Program Directors and leadership from Boston to come up with honest recommendations on how we can improve. We, in turn, were honest in our responses: We’re not going to include tipping, for example, because it doesn’t incentivize excellent service. There is, however, plenty that we can do … and I want to make sure you’re aware that we’re doing it.

To this end, I’m committed to providing you quarterly updates on the things we’re doing to serve you better. You can read the first one here.

As always, you can also read the kinds of stories you've come to expect from Harriet’s Corner—like traveler Lorna Chin’s firsthand account of her journey through Holland and Belgium, and a tempting recipe for marinated Greek feta stacked with eggplant. I also answer a question about spending free time in Amsterdam.

Do you have a travel story, question, or suggestion you’d like to share with me? If so, I’m all ears: please email me at harriet@gct.com. We’ll be exploring our river cruises in Ukraine, Germany, and Holland & Belgium next month in Harriet’s Corner, but I love reading all your stories … as well as your feedback.