In a recent journal entry, I shared some of the feedback Grand Circle travelers mailed (and emailed) to us about how we dealt with the volcano eruption earlier this spring. It was extremely gratifying to hear from our travelers—especially those who were personally affected by the volcano—since it was a stressful and challenging time for us and we are always striving to deliver the best possible service and support.
After reading letters of praise from two Grand Circle travelers that appeared in the travel section of the LA Times, Edna T. sent her own letter to the editor to comment on the way Grand Circle dealt with the problems that arose from the volcano’s eruption—and she’s been kind enough to share these words with me as well. Here, Edna explains why she considers us her “travel family” and why she always feels safe and well cared for during her travels …
I was very pleased to read the letters from Brenda Schonfeld and Marilyn Van Aken regarding Grand Circle’s immediate response to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the numerous disruptions that occurred as its result, including those impacting their trips. Their comments more than validated the 28 trips that I have taken so far with Grand Circle.
Last month, I was on their trip through Southeast Asia with Thailand as our first destination. The civil unrest in Bangkok was at the beginning stages. Our Trip Leader kept us continuously updated on the situation and informed us of any necessary travel adjustments to ensure our safety during our tour and our return to the U.S. Credit must be given to the top leadership, owners Alan and Harriet Lewis, for setting the bar high for their outstanding customer service.
28-time traveler & Vacation Ambassador
Hermosa Beach, California
Thank you, Edna, for sharing these kind words. Alan and I are incredibly proud of the way our associates dealt with this unprecedented crisis—and we’re grateful to know that our travelers approve of and appreciate our efforts.
Some of my most treasured travel memories stem back to my early explorations in France with my dear girlfriends. So I’m always taken back to this magical country when I read your stories and see your lovely photos you’ve sent me from your trips to France with Grand Circle.
Here, Janet & Charles H. reveal why they can’t wait to plan their next River Cruise with Grand Circle after traveling on our The Seine: Paris to Normandy River Cruise vacation, and Joanne & Hugh C. share some of their photos from their Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d’Azur River Cruise …
We just returned from Grand Circle’s River Cruise along the Seine, which was our first trip with your company … and we promise it will not be the last. We were on the M/S Bizet. The crew was just great. Our Program Director’s name was Mireille Barten, but she had all of us call her Mimi, and she was outstanding. We can't say enough about how good the food, service, and personnel were. We can’t wait to plan our next River Cruise with Grand Circle!
Janet & Charles H.
West Berlin, New Jersey
It’s difficult to relate just how much we loved this River Cruise. How can you put into words the feeling of total joy seeing the ancient towns—each filled with a special charm? And then tasting the red wines of the Burgundy and Beaujolais regions … all we can say is, “When can we go back?”
Here are some photos from our fantastic Cruising Burgundy & Provence to the Cote d’Azur River Cruise:
Joanne and Hugh win a bottle of Beaujolais after an included wine tour and tasting.
Enjoying the view of medieval buildings high above the hills near the village of Viviers.
During an included tour of Giverny, Joanne and Hugh see the inspirational settings Monet painted. Until this trip, they had no idea that Monet’s home was so close to Paris.
Highlights of their trip included visiting vineyards and tasting red wines of the region.
Views like this inspire Joanne and Hugh to take photos and return to see and experience more of France!
Joanne & Hugh C.
And Grand Circle travelers aren’t the only ones that can’t help but tell me about their memorable experiences. Our expert Program Directors often share with me their own stories and adventures they encounter while leading their trips.
Here, Balwinder de Bois Juzan, our Program Director for our Seine River Cruise vacation, shares a special moment she experienced during one of her tours …
We were on our transfer to Arles from Nice and, as usual, we stopped at the American cemetery in the town of Draguignan to pay our respects to the soldiers who died in World War II during the landings in the south of France.
The director of the cemetery had gathered everyone around a relief plan of the landings. He was giving his explanations, when suddenly, I heard one of my travelers, Bob Germeroth, a 6-time traveler from Mission Viejo, California, say softly, “I was there.” He pointed with his finger to the design of the planes on the mountains and again repeated (this time louder), “I was there!”
We were all awestruck and there was a deep silence. Then the director shook Bob’s hand and thanked him.
We then moved towards the chapel, and I requested that Bob do the honor of carrying the wreath to lay upon the chapel. There were tears flowing and it was a very emotional moment for everyone in the group. Bob gave a fitting salute for his comrades who died during this landing. Everyone sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” with a lot of emotion and gusto.
Later, Bob told me that he had always wanted to come back to France, but had not expected to find himself in the region where he had flown his plane and dropped off the paratroopers over the Rhone Valley. He was 19 years old at the time and we celebrated his 86th birthday on board the M/S Chardonnay. Bob was our hero!
I have met many veterans who landed in Normandy in the past, but this was the first veteran I met involved in the landings in the south of France.