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Author: terrydan

Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 1995

April 28, 2011

 

We have been InterCircle members for many years.  It was nice to have a "special" representative & phone number, but I am satisfied with the regular customer service.  They have always been very helpful & courtious. We have received some great gifts in the past,.  I do think the quiality & choices has gone down. Our last gift was the toiletry organizator, which came in handy. We have never received or have been offerred a pin on any of our trips. One helpful tip:  if you ever have an accident or have to cancel a trip while away, read your documents carefully. Ask questions or speak to somone who has the authority to make decisions. Once your back home, Grand Circle does not  want to hear from you nor will they offer any help with "their" insurance carrier. Because of this, our next trip (which was booked a year ago) will probably be our last one with Grand Circle.

Author: sandys

Joined: 3/8/2010
Posts: 23
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

Most countries in Western Europe - Many countries in Eastern Europe. New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island. Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Mexico (including Copper Canyon), South Africa. Almost all states in the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska. Canada, Bahamas, Many of the Caribbean Islands. China, Thailand.

Traveler Since: 2005

April 28, 2011

I had the same experience as terridan. Grand Circle refuses any liability whatsoever for accidents in their Ts and Cs.  I will still continue to travel with GCT and OAT, but will skip any activity that could possibly be dangerous.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 143
Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2004

April 28, 2011

Dear TerryDan and Sandys,

Did you have occasion to use the insurance and found it to be not satisfactory?

I developed a sinus infection while in the post trip and was concerned about having to fly back with this.  My Program Director got a Doctor out on a Sunday to the hotel who gave me antibiotics and the Program Director went to a pharmacy for me to get over-the-counter drugs the Doctor ordered.  When I came home I submitted the Doctor's bill and meds and was paid for both.

I also was present on another trip when a fellow female passenger tripped and broke her hip.  Her Program Director went with her to the hospital and helped in whatever way she could.  The nurses did not speak English but the Doctor did.  I am sure having the Program Director with her was both helpful and reassuring.  This woman did not even have insurance but the hospital had a Doctor operate on her and a year later when I spoke with the woman, she was very happy with the outcome.

 

 

 

Author: sifaka

Joined: 5/11/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

My photo was taken after a hike to a hidden pool in the desert of Madagascar after a refreshing swim & wonderful picnic lunch. I've been to many places in the USA, but not all the states [yet]. Have also traveled to most of the places on my"bucket list" including Bhutan & Iguassu Falls! Have been on 30-40 trips & more country's with different modes of travel, but OAT is my preference.Just not sure I can keep up with them any more!

Traveler Since: 2000

May 11, 2011

i have been traveling with GC & OAT for over 11 yrs & agree with most of the comments posted regarding special reconition for being  Inner Ccircle or Sir Edmound Hillary "team". If you have been on most trips "in your group" you get modest reconnition. this seems to be up to the tour guide. because on last trip there was an anniversary that seemed to be overlooked. That said, i travel with them, because i feel i get more value for my money & they provide a good & interesting travel expierince. i've traveled with several companies & stiil enjoy OAT the best. Since i also travel alone i have the option of a travel companion match. have found the OAT adventures more to my liking as the groups are smaller & can visit places a bus can' t go & the accomadations are more unique. But i think the insurance "stinks". & will chose another alternative for my next trip.For me, the fact that transportation to /from destination is included is big factor.Bobbie

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 65
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2008

May 21, 2011

We took the President's Cruise on the Seine last year. Toward the end of the trip they had a reception for all Inner Circle members and gave out some very nice gifts to travelers with the most trips, some of 25 or more. I don't know if this was unique to the President's cruise, but it was the first time I've experienced this. Of course, this was just our third trip, thus our first Inner Circle invitation.

As for the pins, we have been given a pin for every trip we've made. It could just be the availability of them for a particular trip. Though not good for much else, I do enjoy the little remembrance of each trip.

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 65
Trips Taken: 9
Countries Visited:

Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

August 25, 2011

I agree with most of the posts here Inner Circle is No Big Deal.    On our last trip to Tunisia with OAT everyone on the trip was Inner Circle so we all got a pin.  On the last day the PD did give several nice gifts to the couple who had made the most trips, over 25, and the rest of us got a pin.  The following are my observations on Inner Circle.

1.        Pins -  I think it is a new thing, because we did not receive those until our 2009 trip. 

2.       Pre-trip Gifts - We received a gift for ever trip we have taken.  The only difference is that when we became Inner Circle we got to pick the gift.  Before that they just sent something.

3.       Better Rooms – I have never seen any difference.   It always seems to be the luck of the draw.

4.       Calendar – Nice calendar but we STOPPED receiving those after 2 years.

5.       Special Recognition - At the welcome brief the PD has always mentioned who in Inner Circle and thanked them for traveling with GCT/OAT.

6.       Name and Luggage Tags – This is only for GCT.  OAT does not use name tags and everyone get the same luggage tags.

7.       Special Phone Number - The number is not published on the web site so I can never find it when I’m ready to book a trip.   If you call the regular number from your home phone they use caller ID and have all of you info looked up before they answer the phone and know you are Inner Circle.  So, I’m not sure if the service is better on the Inner Circle number.

8.       Inner Circle Cocktail Party – Those are only on GCT owned ships.    We have only taken one river ship trip and they did have a 1 hour party one night before dinner. 

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 143
Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2004

August 26, 2011

Inner Circle:  Having completed seven rivertrips with Grand Circle, my husband and I have received very nice gifts.  I believe the first trip (before becoming Inner Circle), they sent us two canvas bags with compartments which we use on the aircraft to hold books, medications, etc. and find them more handy than some we have purchased on our own.

I believe the second trip, they sent us each a wallet-type to hang around your neck and it has a zipper compartment.  This is extremely useful to carry our passports, tickets, etc. during the airport part of our trips.

On subsequent trips we have selected the green nylon jackets with hoods, the beige jackets with hoods which we wore many times during our chilly, drizzly weather in Russia.  We like these jackets very much and sometimes use them at home.  (Note: we really liked the Russian trip despite some infrequent light drizzle part of a few days).

 We have been quite satisfied with these gifts from Grand Circle.  We collect the "pins" indicating the rivercruises which we enjoy having.  I must say though that we were never given our "Seine River" ones despite calling Grand Circle and requesting them several times.  They make our collection from our trips "incomplete".

Yes, on every trip, there has been a "party" for Inner Circle members with tributes to those who have traveled the most with Grand Circle.

We are looking forward to selecting a trip for next Spring/Summer with Grand Circle.

 

 

 

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