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Author: capybara

Joined: 3/8/2011
Posts: 9
Traveler Since: 2003

May 11, 2011

On many trips the same people would hog the front seats on the bus. The best arrangement on one trip was the following: At the beginning of the trip the tourleader handed out index cards on which we printed our names and we left them behind when we got off the bus. The tourleader would then move the cards a row up or down. No arguing who would sit where.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 234
Traveler Since: 1995

May 12, 2011

Sounds like a bunch of first graders!

Sitting in the front of the bus has it's disadvantages, too.  First seat:  no side window view, at least not much; leg room almost non-existent, and no place to put your day pack/purse, hat, etc.   The other seats at least have hooks or mesh pockets, and foot rests if you need.  Also at least the first and second rows should be given to those people who have trouble getting on and off, or ambling through the aisle to the front.  Placing less abled people in front gives them opportunity for assistance from the bus driver and/or program director.  Yeah, not their job, but they always help.  People who can and don't want to wait for slow amblers, can turn around and go out the back door. 

We're 6 time travelers and counting for our 8th in back-to-back tours this summer, so we have lots of experience on where to sit on the bus. 

 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
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

May 12, 2011

I agree with Singsling.  Once on a trip through the Canadian Maritimes (with a different tour group), the PD did that same thing with the name cards.  She was a former elementary school teacher and, although very nice, treated us as though we were a class of not-too-bright fourth graders.

People have different needs.  Those who have trouble getting around need to be near the front doors where they can get help from the guides and drivers, who almost always provide it.  Those of us with hearing problems need to be near the front so we can hear the local guides, although the radios and earphones help there.  Some people always want to sit in the back for some reason, probably to nap.

We don't need to be regimented.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
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

May 12, 2011

I agree with singsling and Pauline. On one GCT trip our PD did the name card thing and I hated it. At the end of the trip she went off on the post-trip extension but gave the cards to one of the group who was riding to the airport for our return flights and he put them on the seats -- for an hour bus ride to the airport! I felt throughout the trip like I was back in grade school. I don't know if she was a school teacher but she was the most controlling PD ever.

On all my trips I've sat up front only a couple of times to see what the big deal is about. I prefer the back (especially if there is a back door) and am perfectly happy with a first-come, choose your seat arrangement. On one trip our PD announced in the beginning that we were not doing seat rotation but that he didn't want to see the same people up front all the time. That seemed to work. On another trip, the PD drew names for the first two rows.  I also agree that people who need help should get the front seats if they want.

Author: lyn

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 35
Traveler Since: 2004

May 12, 2011

My husband and I just returned from Ireland with GCT.  We had a wonderful time.  We have done 6 river cruises so this was our first land trip.  One of our concerns when we booked the trip was , how will bus seating arrangements be handled.  Our PD,  DeeDee, had a daily computer generated seating chart which helped to eliminate our concerns.  As a retired first grade teacher I must say that at first I was a little put off by this assigning of seats to everyone.  This seat assignment chart worked wonderfully and we all adapted to it very easily.  Each day we moved up 2 seats until we reached the front seats and as we crossed to the other side of the bus we then moved back 2 seats.  Each day we had new people sitting across from us.  We LOVED it.  No rushing to get on the bus and hoping for a prime seat.  When the tour was finished we all had done a complete rotation on the bus.  Each seat offered a different view as we toured the beautiful country of Ireland.  One day one of our passengers felt ill from sitting in the back of the bus and she was able to trade for a seat in the front of the bus.  Once we all got in the swing of the seating schedule it was very easy to follow.  We look forward to many more land tours with GCT.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 126
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

May 12, 2011

bus seating...

We've never experienced the index cards, nor have we ever heard of it.  In 6 trips with GC, 5 were free for all-open seating.  Only once (Best of Eastern Europe) did the PD tell us how the seating was going to work.  On the first day as a group on the bus, whichever seat we were sitting in, we would move back one row each day.  The people in the back row would move to the front seat of the opposite side of the bus.  It worked.  However, there was some confusion on optional tours when you had alot less people on the bus.   Then, it was open seating, but, some people would still want to follow the rotation and insist on "their" seat.  It usually went well, but sometimes....a two year old would appear!

Author: suekansas

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 26
Traveler Since: 2003

May 12, 2011

All I can say is, thank heavens we've never been treated like first graders and had to endure ASSIGNED seating.  I have a feeling we wouldn't be doing anymore group traveling if we had to go through the index card routine, or a computer generated seating chart.  The most that has ever been said by the PD is that (he or she) didn't want to see the same people in the front seats everyday, and that worked.  Of course I've never been able to figure out what the big deal is all about being in the front seat anyway. 

I am also thrilled that the group numbers on GCT are being reduced to 32-38.  40 plus people on one tour bus is entiring too many people.  I hope they go with the 32, because 38 is only two away from 40.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
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

May 13, 2011

@lyn  I am on the Ireland in Depth leaving in a little over three weeks.  My goodness, is it that soon?  Anyway, I am so looking forward to it.  There will be 37 of us, which seems like such a small group after the Russia Revealed that I took in August.

I'm traveling solo, which is no problem, and taking the post trip extension in Dublin.  Is there any information you can give me that would be especially helpful?

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 386
Traveler Since: 2002

May 14, 2011

Sorry, folks, I don't mean to be argumentative. But I see this as a classic "non-problem". In the past ten years the only tour bus I have been on that had "bad" seats was an ancient model that was pressed into service in Nova Scotia because of higher than anticipated registration for a cruise shore excursion. Otherwise, where I sit in the bus is of little consequence.

That said, I do believe that the slight irritation one might feel at the regimentation of assigned seats is far outweighed by the group animosity that might be directed at the so-called "seat hogs".

Neither the "regimentation" nor the "animosity" was felt on our most recent trip. After about the second day the only concern about seating on the bus was that one of the front seats was always reserved for Anna, who had a bit of motion sickness problem. All of the other tourists were solicitous of Anna's well-being.

Author: shatzi

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 58
Traveler Since: 2009

May 14, 2011

I must agree  with Capt. Larry, seating is not a problem.  It becomes one, if you let it.  Seat hogs are there and they are the ones excerting all the energy missing out on the leisurely wonder of these fabulous trips. So be it.  The leisurely walk to and from the bus it a great time for meeting and sharing with other passengers.  This is part of the trip enjoyment. Yes, there are those that do NEED an easier access to seating.  Most passengers readily accommodate these needs of others. So............Seat hogs out there do your thing while the rest of us are taking time to smell the roses!

Author: seashell

Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 1
Countries Visited:

In the several decades that I've travelled, I've been to about 69 countries, including practically every one in Europe at least once. I've loved trips to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, western and eastern Turkey, S. Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. I've also been to 42 US states and Puerto Rico. I've traveled independently with a friend as well as on group tours with a number of tour companies.

Traveler Since: 2002

October 19, 2011

Some people suffer from what I call the "silent handicap,"  motion sickness.  Those so afflicted have to sit in or near the front of the bus, especially on winding and mountainous roads, to avoid the stomach churning nausea one feels in the fishtailing back seats.  And it's important for motion sickness sufferers to be able to look out at the horizon, especially when rapidly passing by trees along the side.  Closing one's eyes doesn't help much at all.

 Motion sickness is a huge problem for travellers since while motion sickness medicines generally prevent vomiting, they only somewhat decrease the nausea and horrible sick feeling that overcomes anyone with motion sickness.  I've suffered from it all my life, but I've been an inveterate traveller for 40 years now.

Hopefully, other tour participants will be as considerate of those with motion sickness as they are with those who have restricted movement and are not agile.  There's a lot of ignorance about the problem.

I have learned to ask the tour guides for help in advance so that if there is seat rotation, I can take my turn in the back seats on roads which run fairly straight and don't twist and turn.   

 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
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

October 19, 2011

I suffer from motion sickeness also and have all my life.  I inherited it from my mother who we always said got sick even sitting in the front seat of a car.  I've had good luck with Bonine which doesn't contain an antibiotic, so it doesn't make you drowsy.  But the greatest things are the accupressure bands, which you can put on if you start feeling queasy.  Unlike meds, you don't have to take it ahead and you're not putting another thing into your system.

With regard to seating on the busses, in Ireland we moved two rows each day.  But there were only 36 of us on a bus that could seat 50.  So if someone didn't feel comfortable sitting in the back, he/she could join one of us traveling solo who was sitting towards the front.  Everyone cooperated on that.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
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

October 20, 2011

Sorry.  I meant antihistamine when I typed antibiotic.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
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

October 20, 2011

I was surprised at the comments about motion sickness and sitting up front. On my Turkey trip, two people who were sitting in the front asked if they could come sit in the back with me on the days when we were traveling over the mountains. One did and the traded with someone else. Different type of motion sickness?

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 144
Traveler Since: 2004

October 20, 2011

I guess most of us have some kind of health problems.  Mine happens to be breathing chemicalsor pollution; therefore, bus trips with diesel exhaust become a consideration.  I try to get a seat mid-way which seems best for me. 

Being in the back of the bus is a serious problem for me so I try to get on early if possible.

We once encountered where someone's friends arrived earlier and put name tags of other people to "save the seats".  Not a nice thing to do. 

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

October 20, 2011

Jayge wrote: "We once encountered where someone's friends arrived earlier and put name tags of other people to "save the seats".  Not a nice thing to do."

When this occurs, I think it's time to be assertive and sit in the "saved seat"; then hand the the name tag to the person when she or he shows up. It's really not fair to everyone else to save a seat for anyone but your travel partner.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
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

October 20, 2011

Oh, I do so agree.  In Malta, there were a couple of youngish people who pushed their way to the front of the line getting onto the bus.  Four of us were using canes at the time, my friend and I just as a casual aid.  But two sisters in their 80s really needed them and had a lot of trouble managing.  They were game and were taking a breakaway in Paris afterwards, so they never complained.  But I finally spoke to those youngish people, who were shocked that their behavior was causing problems for someone else.

Author: uofmich77

Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 43
Traveler Since: 2005

October 24, 2011

 My husband and I have taken many bus tours with GCT, OAT and also three other companies. Generally there has been seat roatation which worked well without index cards. When started traveling with GCT and OAT we were a little surprised that it was open seating. We soon learned though that that worked as well. I too don't see anything special about the front seats. I get batter photos through the side windows. That said, on a trip to Israel I had a bad flare up of some neck stenosis (undiagnosed till after that trip). With the help of Vicodin and a front seat in the minibus for the remainder of the trip provided generously by the PD and trip mates, I made it through. The grab bar really helped to prepare for bumps etc. Haven't needed that before or since but I trust I will remain sensitive to those who do.

Author: beverlyguest

Joined: 7/22/2010
Posts: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

October 26, 2011

I love sitting in the back and because I am slower in getting off the bus I feel that I am not in the way. Besides there is more room.I didn't live this long to be treated like a 1rst grader.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
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

October 29, 2011

I agree and disagree with some of these posts. First of all, I do not like being told where I can or cannot sit on a bus. I don't want to rotate either. We all pick up quickly on those who need to be in the front, due to carsickness, etc.  and don't have a problem with that. Most of the time after we have ventured from the hotel or rivership on a bus, we have left a sweater or bag or something behind on our seats on the bus, so no hurry to run back to the bus after a stop so that we can get a good seat. Just get back on and reclaim your same place. And I don't have a problem with "saving" seats. I traveled to Russia with 3 other women friends, and when 2 of us would get on the bus first, we would place items across the aisle on the two seats so that we could be together.

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