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Author: carol101

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

January 30, 2011

The following was posted by GCT on Facebook:

 

Due to recent events, we have decided to cancel all departures to Egypt through 2/5. All travelers effected are in the process of being notified. All of our travelers are safe and we are focusing our efforts on bringing them home from Egypt. If you have any further concerns, you can call our World Events Hotline at 1-800-866-6568 until 7pm ET on Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 7pm. ET.

Unfortunately, the copy and paste for the above from GCT on Facebook came out small but try and read it and then call them.    I would presume that anyone that is supposed to be traveling to Egypt soon would have done so by now.

Author: carol101

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

January 30, 2011

My 'copy and paste' did come out fine so there is all the info you need for now.  Not sure why there were so many questions posted to the message board when a phone call to GCT would have gotten everyone their answer.

If  you are traveling later in the year, it would be a waste of time to wonder if the trip will still be departing as no one would know what the situation will be then.

Author: renee001

Joined: 5/2/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2011

January 31, 2011

My husband and I are to leave on the May 7th trip for our 25th Anniversary.  Never have traveled overseas before.  I have been so upset over this and it is comforting to read of your concern also.  I constantly have been checking the site and my email hoping for an update from GCT even though I am 96 days from a trip that was reserved a year ago.  I called GCT on Friday and spoke at length to a representative.  At that time she had stated that they were in constant contact with the tour directors and all was ok--that was Friday.  She assured me that if GCT cancels we will get a full refund and they will assist us with going on another trip.

I feel for the tourists there now.  On CNN this am they had a call from a tourist who just finished the Nile cruise and was trapped in Luxor.  She said she felt safe but there was no way to get out of the city.

Author: martycooper

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

January 31, 2011

Just got off the phone with GCT. Our trip is 4/2 and if we wanted to reschedule, we have to first cancel our trip (we do have trip ins. through GCT) and re-book. We would lose our money paid for the insurance. There are six of us going. If GCT cancels the trip, we get all the money back, including the insurance. All their trips to Egypt are canceled through 2/15 at this time. I think we will take the wait and see approach until the end of Feb.

Author: puzkat

Joined: 3/20/2010
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

January 31, 2011

We are scheduled for the April 2nd departure also and have made THE phone call.  We'll sit tight til March but do have ideas for a "back-up" in mind. 

Did the China tour  (China's Cultural Capitals) last year and had a wonderful time.  Saw lots of wonderful sights and had a super leader -- "Albert".  Dress warml!  We were there in April and had jackets and sweats on a good portion of the time.

Now I'm off to Facebook to "friend" GCT!

Author: harphil7

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

January 31, 2011

Our trip is also April 2nd.  We are just going to wait to see what happens.  Hate to lose the insurance money.  I wish GC would cancel so that we could plan a trip elsewhere.

Author: mexfolkart

Joined: 2/1/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2001

February 01, 2011

We were on the trip scheduled to depart with GCT on Saturday 1/29. We had arrived at our hotel near JFK at 530pm (after having left home at 6am..loong day) and at 730pm they called us and told us that our flight the next day would be cancelled. They have been very nice about it all and we have rescheduled Egypt for next January as we really want to go there. And, go with GCT as they have always done such fabulous trips for us!   Delta was super in trying to find us a return flight home and we were able to get home by 730pm Sunday.

But GCT has been very helpful and we are impressed. When they called us Friday night they said "just try to get home as soon as you can and then we can deal with everything else"!

We are very glad that we are home right now, even though we should be at the Pyramids this morning!!!

Best, Sherry & Kimber

 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 345
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

February 01, 2011

I just read on another forum that all Egyptian river cruises have been cancelled until 28 February. That includes GCT, Viking, Uniworld, Abercrombie and Kent, et al.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 243
Trips Taken: 0

February 02, 2011

Hello -

We have cancelled departures only through February 15. 

If you are departing on one of our Egypt trips after Februrary 15 and have any further concerns, you can call our World Events Hotline at 1-800-866-6568 Monday through Friday 8am - 8:30pm ET and Saturday & Sunday 9am – 7pm ET.

Thank you.

Michelle

GCT Forum Moderator

Author: l1116164

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2010

February 02, 2011

We are scheduled to leave on 2/19, starting with a pre-trip to Israel. We called the info number for Egypt and were told that "the trips must go on", we corrected them and said they should be saying "the GCT profits must go on". I see on the Viking website that they have cancelled all Egyot cruises thru 2/28. We explained to the GCT person that we want to travel this month and the sooner GCT makes "the obvious call" to cancel all February Egypt trips, the sooner their "valued" customers can move on with their travel plans. He said that decision is made by upper management.

Come on GCT, do you think things are really going to get better in the next two weeks. According to the news reports, the Egyptians are throwing molotov cocktails over the fence of the National Museum, the chances for substantial improvement in the situation is slim to none.

 

Author: njoma2

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 11
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2005

February 02, 2011

We are also scheduled to leave on the 2/19 departure with post trip to Jordan.  My husband called the GCT special number today and was told that all departures after 2/15 are scheduled to go as of today.  Other companies have cancelled  Egypt trips thru 2/28 -- really think GCT should do the same.  Can't imagine how things could possibly change enough there to make travel safe within the next few weeks.  Because of our business, we need to travel during this time of year and be home before the end of March.  As we wait to learn if our trip is cancelled, many of the GCT/OAT trips are selling out.  Needless to say, we are not happy at all with GCT these days  -- we take our safety much more seriously than they seem to.  Would like to hear from other travellers on this departure.

Author: cblankfield

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

February 02, 2011

Just talked with GCT at 8:20 pm EST, the Feb 19th date is cancelled. I asked for an immediate refund and was told we will be contacted within 72 hours, Monday at the latest. Perhaps Alan Lewis, CEO of GCT, or Nick Lento, President of GCT could arrange for GCT travelers to get their money refunded sooner than that.  After all, everything could be done as an electronic transfer.

Author: allicat

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

February 02, 2011

Especially to l1116164.........................best post I've seen.  We are scheduled on 3/5 and you are correct..........".profits over safety".   Wonder if Trip Mate (GCT's insurance company) would sell us all a $10,000,000 policy if we feel forced to go and wonder if  GCT would send their family members on each scheduled depature with us.   We've traveled the world and with GCT twice, always thought they would do the right thing........................still hope they do.   I'm a great Trip Advisor contributor and trust the honesty on that sight..............I always tell the truth; the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Author: njoma2

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 11
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2005

February 03, 2011

Just spoke with GCT -- all Egypt departures thru 2/28 are cancelled witih full refund.  Good  news for all of us scheduled to depart in February.   Since there are so many people to call, it may take until Monday for GCT to call everyone.  Glad the trip is cancelled now, but hope to get to Egypt at another time.   Hope things work out for all that are booked on future dates.

Author: l1116164

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2010

February 03, 2011

I also just confirmed with GCT that all of Feb trips to Egypt have been cancelled. I suggested that they post this update on their website, this would eliminate much of the heavy phone traffic they are experiencing. I was told they want to call each traveler personally instead of having them find out about the cancellation on the website.

They told me that the refund would be processed in the same way that the original payment was made (ie if you paid with a credit card, your refund would go back on your cc). You would then have to call the credit card company to get the amount sent back to you. This is kind of a hassle, but I understand the logic.

I am extremely happy that GCT has finally done right by their customers, just sorry it wasn't done sooner. They could have bought a lot of goodwill with an earlier cancellation.

Author: sylvie

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

February 03, 2011

We are scheduled for the Nile river trip the 3rd week of March.   I spoke with GTC last week and was told that our trip has not yet been cancelled.  If GTC cancels it, we will get a full refund or credit towards another trip.  if I cancel the trip, i will not get back the cost of the trip insurance.   We will wait until the end of February to see what GTC decides.

 

Author: sylvie

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

February 03, 2011

We are scheduled for the Nile river trip the 3rd week of March.   I spoke with GTC last week and was told that our trip has not yet been cancelled.  If GTC cancels it, we will get a full refund or credit towards another trip.  if I cancel the trip, i will not get back the cost of the trip insurance.   We will wait until the end of February to see what GTC decides.

 

Author: sylvie

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2004

February 03, 2011

We are scheduled for the Nile river trip the 3rd week of March.   I spoke with GTC last week and was told that our trip has not yet been cancelled.  If GTC cancels it, we will get a full refund or credit towards another trip.  if I cancel the trip, i will not get back the cost of the trip insurance.   We will wait until the end of February to see what GTC decides.

 

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

February 03, 2011

I object to the "profits before safety" statements being made about Grand Circle. I think that they have done a good job under amazingly difficult circumstances.

You know what Abraham Lincoln said about pleasing all the people all of the time.......well, if they had cancelled some of the trips too soon, there would be some people upset because "GC cancelled too soon to allow time to see what would happen over there."

Our Feb. 5 departure was cancelled, of course, and we booked a Last Minute deal trip to China, leaving on Feb. 22. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT for that to post to your credit card account first. They (GC) are just using part of our refund to pay for the China trip, and then will refund the difference.

I would suggest that if you are too antsy to wait, just go ahead and cancel and lose the travel insurance money. It's not that huge of an amount to be stressing out over. I know I don't like to lose money either, but then a decision would have been made........

.......and no, I do not work for GC or have been paid to make the above statements ( a little humor here, folks......lighten up!) :)

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 243
Trips Taken: 0

February 03, 2011

Hello -

Due to recent events, we have decided to cancel all departures to Egypt through 2/28. We are in the process of notifying all affected travelers with this information, including options for rescheduling their trips.  If you are not scheduled to travel within the next 7 days, we kindly ask that you wait to be contacted by one of our Travel Counselors.  We plan to be in contact with everyone by February 11th.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCT Forum Moderator

 

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