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Author: allicat

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

January 28, 2011

We've got this trip planned for early March; State Department says to stay away.  Any one scheduled on that trip soon and what are your thoughts?  Other than, hope we bought good cancelation insurance.

Author: wkidd

Joined: 1/28/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 0

January 28, 2011

You would think that GTC would say something on their website.  We are scheduled for September.  Time will tell.

Author: l1116164

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

January 28, 2011

We are scheduled to leave Feb 19th for Egypt with a pre-trip to Israel. I would hope that GCT would be proactive and post an update on their website or at a minimum email the travelers who are scheduled to leave soon with a personal email giving them an update.

 

 

Author: allicat

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

January 28, 2011

We are going to canel; it will only get worse.  We didn't buy GC insurance; so we'll find out how good this insurance is.  God bless anyone over there, on a vacation and get's involved with this.  I'm thinking GC should be very  liberal with policies, since the state department said Don't go.

Author: allicat

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

January 28, 2011

Please let us know what you do; you are scheduled much sooner than us.  I'd love to talk  330844 6881.

Author: wmancoff

Joined: 7/30/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 1

January 28, 2011

GCT did put a posting on their web site.  There's a thread in the Middle East section of the Community Boards on the protests in Egypt and they put an official post in the thread that they are monitoring the situation with their staff in Egypt.  They also included a number to call if you have questions about your reservation.

Author: cblankfield

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

January 29, 2011

We are also scheduled for Egypt on Feb 19th, GCT could be a bit more helpful. I have found out if you cancel you lose your insurance and it is still not clear if you get a voucher or cash. GCT tells us it is Tripmate's call, Tripmate states it is GCT's call. If you wait and GCT cancels you then they will move you to a different trip, or ... it is still not clear cash or voucher but then you do get your insurance money reimbursed. We are very nervous espiciallly since the State Dept warning and the curfews. Being in a hotel or stuck on the ship is not the Egypt we had hoped to see

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
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 29, 2011

I am supposed to leave on this trip on Feb. 5, so of all the people who have posted so far, I have the most pressing "deadline". They have posted minimal updates on their home page.

I am quite disappointed that I probably won't get to go on the trip whether they cancel or I cancel, but hopefully one day when/if Egypt settles down, I will get to go.

I have called twice, and here is the info that I have (about canceling):

If they cancel, you have choices--take credit, schedule a different trip, or a full refund, including the travel insurance money that you paid.

If you cancel, AND HAVE BOUGHT THE INSURANCE, you will get travel credit with them, for the price of the trip minus the trip insurance cost, to be used at another time.(I had to do this for a trip about 2 years ago, for an "uncovered event", and got trip credit. At that time, I had to use the credit within a year of cancelling or lose it. No problem. I just booked a trip for a few months later and went.)

Not sure how it will all go down with the current situation. I am sure that Grand Circle is not happy either.

Author: murphcor

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 9
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2011

January 29, 2011

I really appreciate reading these posts.  We're not scheduled until September so we have a little bit of time to see if things settle down.  My husband is very concerned as to the type of government that might take over in Egypt.  I am disappointed that the company is not taking a more visible approach in informing people concerning options if the area is unsafe.  We had a cruise on Princess delayed due to weather conditions and the minute you got on the web site they had updates and a link for more information.  I feel very badly for the people booked to go to Egypt in the immediate future.  This was truly supposed to be the "trip of a lifetime".  My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Egypt. 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 529
Trips Taken: 8
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

Traveler Since: 2006

January 29, 2011

Good information Nancy. I like your attitude and hope you get to Egypt. I see that GCT and OAT have canceled the 1/28 and 1/29 departures and Delta and Egyptair have canceled flights.

It's really nerve-racking for people scheduled soon, next Saturday for you, I hope the situation settles down soon, but if not, grab one of the last minute trips and go to Egypt another time.

Good luck to all who have scheduled upcoming trips.

 

Author: nptank

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

January 29, 2011

I am scheduled for March 26 with a group of 8 friends.  My family is asking me about the travel conditions, but since feel responsible for getting good information for my group (even though it doesn't qualify as a group with GCT) I'm very concerned about the lack of information.  As this will be my 10th trip with GCT/OAT I would have expected better information.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
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 29, 2011

Well, my friend and I had already decided to cancel our Feb. 5 departure to Egypt when GC called that they were canceling trips, and also were bringing home the people already over there.

We got on the website, spotted a Last Minute Deal to The Capitals of China, and booked it with some of our refund from the Egypt trip. Can't hold us down for long!!! We leave Feb. 22 for 2 weeks. It will be cold over there.....brrrrr.......but we are not going to sit around thinking "boo hoo" we didn't get to go on our trip. So.......

I know this isn't the area for posting about China, but if anyone has been on this trip and has any suggestions, let me know!......it goes to Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing!

Author: harphil7

Joined: 1/8/2011
Posts: 10
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2000

January 29, 2011

My husband and I are scheduled to leave on March 26th also, but that is the pretrip to Israel,  arriving in Egypt  on April 3rd.  Are you on the pretrip?

Author: carol101

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 4
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2001

January 29, 2011

GCT on Facebook (I have them on my page) said that the trips up till February 5th have been canceled and they are in the process of communicating this to those scheduled to depart.  They are also doing their best to get those that are there, home.

I do think that by thinking  and wondering about your departure this coming September is a bit premature as who knows what will be the situation at that time; I would not even think of questioning the company about that, now!

I also believe that if a trip is canceled due to unrest, etc., you will get your money back and not have to worry about the insurance.  I would presume and hope that I am correct, that GCT will refund or give credit for a canceled trip due to unforeseen civil unrest.

I would suggest that people that are supposed to leave shortly rely on GCT to be in touch with them and not to agonize over something that is beyond every one's control for a trip that one cannot take at this time.

We did take the Egypt and Nile trip in February of last year and loved it. We have traveled to over forty countries and Egypt is one of the most interesting we have visited (but then again, we have never traveled any where that we did not enjoy).   The sights are amazing and to be able to visit the 'cradle of civilization was a wonderful experience.

Author: allicat

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

January 30, 2011

Sounds like it's better to wait and see if they cancel our 3/5 trip.  We have insurance, but not thru Grand Circle.  Wondering if GCT cancels, if they refund the cost paid along with the price of the visas and our air to JFK which we purchased separately.  We purchased our insurance thru Travel Guard and haven't contacted them yet; but I will certainly post here and on Trip Advisor to advise how they handle the situation.  We've used them before, they are cheaper than GCT's insurance, but we've never been put in the situation to have to file a claim.

Author: caladezi

Joined: 1/30/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2003

January 30, 2011

I doubt that GCT would refund any trip insurance NOT purchased from them no matter who cancels the trip.  There is no reason that they should.  As for the Visa fee that you paid, that was done as a matter of choice by you.  When we went on this trip last year, at least half of our group obtained their Visa at the Cairo airport with no wait and at a much lower cost.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 30, 2011

When you purchase your trip insurance through (not from) GCT, it is Trip Mate Insurance.  And GCT will help you obtain the forms from Trip Mate to process a claim.  If you use a different insurance company on your own, it is up to you to take care of that.  Each travel insurance company is very specific about what is, and is not, covered and how people should go about filing claims.

I've used Travel Guard in the past when traveling on my own, because Medicare is not good outside the US.  Fortunately, I've never had to file a claim on it.  But I have to assume they're as reliable or they wouldn't stay in business.  I did have to file a claim with Trip Mate a few years ago when my traveling companion became too ill to travel, and we both filed claims, backed up by medical records.  We received everything back, minus the cost of the insurance and a small handling fee.

When I sign up for a trip and pay the deposit, I also pay for the insurance at the same time.  Saves worrying about it later.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
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 agree with Pauline. I just pay my deposit and the trip insurance (Trip Mate) at the same time, and not worry over it.

Since GCT canceled our Feb. 5 departure to Egypt, we are getting back all of the cost of the trip AND the cost of the insurance, since we bought it THROUGH them. I don't know what your other travel insurance company will do about refunding you. Guess it's a good reason to just do everything through GC.....just my opinion. (If we had canceled, we would not have gotten the cost of the travel ins. back because at that point it would have been "used".

They will not refund the cost of your visa. That's just one of the "risks" of planning a trip, and it doesn't get to "go". What has happened in Egypt is out of GC's control. I don't know this, but I would think perhaps if GC had canceled due to something in their control (not sure what), that maybe, perhaps, they might have paid you for your visa.......

Air on your own is always a travel "risk" also. We had used some of our American mileage to book our flights from Austin to JFK, and then were starting with GC from there. When we canceled those flights yesterday, it cost us $150 each to have those miles reinstated into our Advantage accounts. Maybe your travel insurance covers the cost of your air that you booked. I suggest getting out the paperwork that they sent you when you bought it, or just give them a call and find out.

As previously stated, we just applied some of our refund to a Last Minute Deal to China, leaving later on this month. Now all I need to do is practice up using chopsticks, and be sure I have enough warm clothes!!!!! (Well, get an expedited visa also!!)  :)

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 529
Trips Taken: 8
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

Traveler Since: 2006

January 30, 2011

"Wondering if GCT cancels, if they refund the cost paid along with the price of the visas and our air to JFK which we purchased separately."

It's not clear to me if you're wondering if GCT would refund the cost of the visas and your separate air of if the company you took the insurance with would. 

I think GCT would refund whatever you paid to them but not the visa costs or the separate air cost. However, the insurance that you took might include the cost of the air travel to JFK since it would be part of the trip.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 30, 2011

Why should you expect GCT to refund the money you paid for a visa?  You didn't pay it to them.  Not even through them.  When my friend and I had to cancel our trip to Russia in 2007, we got back what we had paid to GCT minus the insurance and a small handling fee.  But the money for the Russian visa went to PVS directly.  And since you paid for insurance on your own, you should apply to them for refunds.

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