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Author: rosemarynj

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 34
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

January 28, 2011

I was wondering if GCT has any concerns about the Egypt and the Nile River tours due to all the unrest in Egypt.  I know GCT is also just getting over the terrible bus accident that happen to travelers on the way to Abu Simbel.  We went on this tour in June and it was one of our best trips. I would hate to see the trip cancelled but safety is a primary concern of all travelers. 

   Does GCT have any tours in Egypt now or in the near future and will they still be going?

 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 28, 2011

I am booked to leave on this trip on Feb. 5, in one week! I have talked to GC several times, and at this point in time, they still having groups over there that are moving around and doing things without a problem. And there is a group leaving for Egypt tomorrow, and still go as planned (at this point), and another one on Sunday. So, guess we will just wait and see.

There is more important issue here in this situation that could definitely impact the Middle East and our  (U.S.) relations to the area than if I get to go on this trip, but I would definitely be disappointed......however, if cancelled, and when/if the area settled down, I could/would just rebook and go another time.

Maybe if that happened, I would just book one of their last minute deals and go on that! Can't control the wind, but I can adjust my sails!! (power of positive thinking, I guess!)

Author: rosemarynj

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 34
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

January 28, 2011

I would be surprised if GCT would send more travelers to Egypt.  I just saw this posted today from the US Dept. of State:

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing political and social unrest in Egypt.  Violent demonstrations on January 28 took place in several areas of Cairo and other parts of the country, disrupting road travel between city centers and airports.  Disruptions in communications included the interruption of internet and mobile telephone service.  The Government of Egypt has imposed a curfew from  6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez until further notice.  Given this situation, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time and advises U.S. citizens currently in Egypt to defer non-essential movement and to exercise caution. This Travel Alert expires on February 28, 2011. 

This sounds like an advisory that GCT would honor. The lack of Internet and phone services whould be reason alone to not want to go there. 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 28, 2011

Rosemary--I agree. I am just waiting for GC to call that the trip has been canceled. I would rather know sooner than later. Bummer........

Author: pmcarol

Joined: 1/28/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1984

January 28, 2011

I am scheduled to leave on February 5 with the first week to be spent in Cairo.  The current situation is very disturbing and today the news report said the flights out were being cancelled.  My family and friends are calling with their concerns.  The State Department is advising to not go.  What I want to for GCT to respond to this situation, they should put the safety  and quality of the trip for their customers  as a top priority. The four of us would be disappointed to cancel but were are concerned about not only the trip but the ability to get back home.

 

Was the bus accident that killed American tourists a GCT trip?

Author: rosemarynj

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 34
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

January 28, 2011

Yes, the bus accident that happen with the tour buses to Abu Simbel was a GCT tour.  If you go to the Traveler Discussions  and look under Africa, it was reported by several people.  This was a tragedy but could happen on any tour. 

  I have confidence that GCT will not run any trip if safety is an issue.  My husband and I took our first GCT to Egypt and Jordan last June and it was a wonderful trip (one of our favorites)  and we have traveled the world with many tour groups.  We are looking forward to another trip this June with GCT. 

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 279
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

January 28, 2011

We are continuing to monitor the situation in Egypt with the help of our management staff in Cairo, Aswan, Alexandria, & Luxor.

For privacy reasons, we are unable to address individual reservations in our Forums. If you have concerns about your reservation to Egypt, please contact our World Events Hotline at 1-800-866-6568 from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCT Forum Moderator

 

Author: allicat

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 12
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

January 29, 2011

Very curious how Grand Circle is still planning on sending people this weekend since EgyptAir has canceled flights to and from Cairo.   We are scheduled on the 3/5 trip; anyone else out there scheduled then?  Wondering what your thoughts are. 

Author: martycooper

Joined: 8/23/2010
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

January 29, 2011

There are six in our party who have planned to leave 4/2. Many are nervous and not sure what to do especially since the U.S. Govt. has issued warning about travel to Egypt.

Author: ksexton

Joined: 1/30/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2007

January 29, 2011

4 of us are scheduled to leave on Feb 7 for the Cairo and The Eternal Nile OAT trip.  We agree with "prncarol" that we wish GCT would address this sooner rather than later.  We want to go on the trip but are EXTREMELY concerned at this point.  We don't want to get over there and not get to see what we paid to see, or get stuck and be unable to get home.  We would certainly try to take the trip again, and would be happy with a credit for another trip, or even take a different trip during that time.  Also, family and friends are begging us not to go, but we also don't want to lose the money we have paid for the trip.  Heard today that the pyramids were closed.  Can't image a trip to Egypt without being able to see the pyramids!

Author: allicat

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 12
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

January 30, 2011

We aren't scheduled to leave till 3/5; but really don't see things being better/safer.  Please let us know how GCT handles your 2/7 trip; I would think they should be telling you something now; not the day before scheduled departure.  Also, do you have their insurance?  We purchased our insurance thru Travel Guard and I haven't talked to them yet about how they will handle this.  Other than the cost of the trip; we also have the expense of the air flight to get to JFK and the money spent on the visas.   Good luck.

Author: cdahab

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2002

January 30, 2011

We went to Egypt with OAT last year and with GCT in 2002.  Both were great trips.  Regarding the cost of the visa--a multiple entry visa costs $15 and can be obtained before the trip by contacting the Egyptian consulate.  There is no need to deal with a visa service and pay their fees.  We sent our documents to the NY office and had our passports and visas back within a week.  I think they were returned via Fedex.

Author: jimparsons

Joined: 1/30/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

January 30, 2011

I am concerned with the lack of comunication from GCT/OAT regarding our trip to Egypt on 2/9. I have sent 2 e-mails and made 2 phone calls to try to get information. I was even told by a fellow traveller that the trips to 2/5 had ben canceled but was not told by GCT. I wonder if the fact that if YOU cancel you do not get a refund but a travel credit influences their decision. With the State Dept. advising not to travel why should it take so long to make a decision for GCT? This is our 8th GCT/OAT trip and have loved them all but this disappoints me.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

January 30, 2011

I was booked on the 2/5 trip, and GCT called me yesterday (Saturday) to tell me about the cancellation, so they ARE letting people know. They would not just cancel a trip and not let people know. This is a reputable and professional travel company, and they know what they are doing.

On the website on the Home page is a Egypt Update Tab. It only takes a moment to go to this and see any updates. They have furnished a World Events hotline, which I called a couple of times prior to the cancellation, and the people I talked to were very helpful and informative.

Sometimes you just have to be more proactive instead of reactive......just my opinion!

Author: cblankfield

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0

January 30, 2011

I see on google that GCT has now cancelled the Egypt trips up to 2/15, we are still waiting to hear about 2/19 departure date. I am sure we will not be able to go, I am just anxious to get the final word. We hope to get on a different trip to someplace else.

Author: ksexton

Joined: 1/30/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2007

January 30, 2011

I just called the World Events Hotline # (1-800-866-6568) and was connected in just a few minutes with a live person who informed me that our OAT trip (departure date 2/7) HAS been cancelled.  He was very helpful, telling me that we had several options.  The company is offering to let us select another trip on either OAT or GCT, between March and June, for substantial discounts (between $600 and $1275 per person, depending upon the trip, and the departure date ).  Or, we can rebook the trip to Egypt for later in 2011.  (He did say we would need to rebook in 2011, not 2012.)  I recommend that anyone with questions call this # to inquire about the status of your trip and your options.

Author: pkonk

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2003

February 01, 2011

I was on the Cairo/Nile trip last spring.  Given the security measures even then (oozies on the buses and machine guns on the ship), I am not surprised that GCT is cancelling the immediate trips. 

I'm heart-broken about the bus crash on the way to Abu Simbel!  I've tried contacting our "green" group leader, but he hasn't been very communicative any way.  Still, I worry.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 158
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2005

February 01, 2011

Today's AP news article sure doesn't sound very good:

Cairo ramps up evacuations, thousands seek exit

EgyptAir's staff scuffled with frantic passengers, food supplies were dwindling, flight information was nonexistent — and some policemen even demanded substantial bribes before allowing foreigners to board their planes.

Five or six EgyptAir employees scuffled with passengers who were frantically trying to get seats on the few outbound flights it had available, airport officials said. There were no reports of injuries, but the incident spotlighted how days of political uncertainty, as well as massive crowds at the airport and little guarantee of securing a flight, had worn down peoples' nerves.

"People holding tickets had difficulties getting on the plane, because the airport in Cairo is pure chaos," Canadian tourist Tristin Hutton said after his plane landed at Germany's Frankfurt airport.

"The terminals are full of panicking people. The ground staff is disappearing, and at the gate, just before entering, we all together had to collect $2,000 for a policeman at the door. ... He would not let us pass without paying," added the 44-year-old.

and

New York-based Pamela Huyser, who had traveled to Egypt for a conference, arrived in Larnaca late Monday unnerved by the violence she witnessed from her ninth-floor hotel balcony in Cairo.

"You cannot even believe what we saw," she said. "We saw people looting, we saw gunfire, people shooting other people. A lot of people working in our hotel, they came out with sticks and knives and bats and they protected us from getting looted."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110201/ap_on_re_us/egypt_evacuations

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 559
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

February 02, 2011

According to the latest Egypt update all GCT/OAT travelers have left Egypt. Apparently they are either home or on the way home.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 177
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

February 02, 2011

Just got home from Egypt last nite. We went with Grand Circle. They airlifted us out of Luxor Monday night with a charter to Milan. We stayed overnight. Jet from Milan to freezing rain JFK (chaos there) then to Atlanta Then to Tampa. We got home at midnight after running from flight to flight, rescheduling when flight were cancelled. Exhausted.

If you still want to go to Egypt, call your physician for a head exam or read msnbc.msn.  We totally enjoyed the one week we were there but the locals were starting to become unfriendly and pushy.  Feel sorry for the Egyptians in the middle of all this chaos. Optionals and included trips were canceled as far back as three days after we got to Cairo.  Lovely hearing gunfire all night.  Grand Circle was wonderful. Caring more for our safety then their pockets.  Ihab, our Egyptian Muslim guide, was fantastic and told it like it really was.  Too much more to put on this board.

But decide for yourselves. cajasu@tampabay.rr.com

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