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Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

August 06, 2011

I don't think so because my husband and I have traveled with GCT for 7 river trips and sometimes we have had some bad rooms while others in the group had no problems.

A bad room was in Sinai, Romania and we were the only ones from the group on that floor and most rooms were empty.  The carpets were filthy and the room smelled strongly of tobacco so much so that we kept the windows open all day and night and though it was cold, it was necessary.

Another time we were given a nice room but a smoking room in another city and when we mentioned my severe allergies, they said they had nothing left except a room next to where the cleaning woman had all their vacuums outside in the hall near the room, the carpets were loose and wavy but at least it was tobacco free.

Other trips we had some nice rooms so it is the luck of the draw not that you are a couple or not.

Jayge

 

Author: gerabel

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 22
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

Iceland, Westman Islands, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, France, England, Greece, Grecian Isles, Spain, Gibraltar, Malta, Comino, Gozo, Morocco, Sicily, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Mallorca, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, much of the USA, among other places.

Traveler Since: 2000

August 07, 2011

I've traveled many trips with GCT as a solo and have never felt I received an 'inferior' room.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

August 07, 2011

GCT is the best tour company for solo travelers.  They don't charge the single supplement for the land tours, and the supplement for the river cruises seems to be the lowest in the industry.  And they certainly don't have the hotels assign less desirable rooms to us.

You may not be able to get your first choice of dates, because they do have to limit the number of solo travelers  All tour companies do that.

If you don't mind rooming with a stranger, you can ask them to match you with someone.  And there's no extra charge for that.  I don't, because I wouldn't find it comfortable.  And I don't always sleep well, so I sometimes turn the light on and read for a while.

There was a discussion on this topic back in February and March of this year.  I believe the phrase was "single travelers."  Check it out.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
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

August 07, 2011

I don't think so. I've made seven trips with OAT/GCT, six of them as a single, and have never had an inferior room. Most rooms have been the same as the doubles, with two beds or a queen or king-size bed. 

However, on two trips with Elderhostel I had a dark, minuscule room for one week and a larger room the second week on a two week trip. The first room was the worst I've ever had traveling solo with a group or independently and I paid a hefty single supplement. I didn't mind sleeping in a small bed or not having a chair in the room, but the shower was downright dangerous -- fitted into the corner of a tiny bathroom with a shower curtain that didn't reach the floor so the floor was slippery every time I showered. The second EH trip we spent one week in Aix and one in Arles and I had good rooms in both cities, but another woman traveling solo said her room in Arles was tiny.

 

 

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 276
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

August 07, 2011

I have been on  at least 50 group tours with single accomodations on most of them.  These include 25 trips with Elderhostel, six with GCT plus a several other organizations.  In addition, I have traveled independently many times.  Almost never have I been given an inferior room because I am a single woman.  One exception I remember was in Switzerland.  Our tour leader assured those of us who did not get a room with a view that we would get one at the next hotel.  When I complained that I did not what he had promised, I was told they did not have any rooms with a view for singles.  There have been a few times when I have requested a different room because of various issues.  I recall walking into rooms with a smoke on two GCT trips.  Whenever this happens, I immediately go to the reception desk and request a different room.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

August 07, 2011

I don't think many hotels have a lot of single rooms.  By that, I mean an accommodation for only one person.  It's not a cost effective use of space.  I can remember only two occasions when I had a single room.  Once was at an older hotel on a business trip, and it was a charming little room with small furniture.  The other was a hotel in Manhattan, and they called it a "boutique" room.  When I traveled on business or on other occasions, almost always the rooms were set up for two occupants and priced the same for single or double.

If you paid a single supplement and then were given a room that would hold only one occupant, they should have returned the supplement charge.

On my last two GCT trips, I traveled solo.  In Kiev, the room had two beds and I wasn't charged a single supplement.  On the Rossia, there were two beds and I had the housekeeper move them together.  In Ireland, most of my rooms had double, queen or on one occasion a king-size.  In Waterford, there were two very narrow single beds.  We sometimes compared notes, and we all seemed to have about the same types of accommodations.

Author: patmckinney

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 50
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

29 countries

Traveler Since: 2009

August 11, 2011

Funny that this should be mentioned. After receiving some brochures from GCT, I was thinking that it was couples who were being shafted.  Just think about it.  A couple plays double..gets only one room...I believe that a couple should pay about 1.5 percent of what a single pay. So if a single pays about $700, then a couple should not pay $1,400 biut should pay only $1,050.   A couple occupies only one room. That would be fair.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
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

August 15, 2011

Solos comprise a large part of the travel market and OAT/GCT want that segment. Perhaps they prefer to have the rooms booked by a few singles rather than be empty. Only one of my seven trips met the maximum.

Single rooms are limited. I believe there are two on OAT trips and four or five on GCT trips so singles must reserve early. My first few trips I paid the single supplement but have not on the last few. However, the price dropped on almost every trip after I reserved. On my upcoming September trip, the reduction is $800 per person.

If I were traveling as a couple I would not rush to reserve. Furthermore, most of the big discounts on the "Last Minute Trips" are for couples; rarely for singles.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

August 15, 2011

On my recent trip to Ireland, there were seven single travelers.  Two of them were traveling with friends/relatives traveling as couples.  The other five of us were real solo travelers.  I don't know if this has any bearing on it, but for some of us it wasn't the original date we had booked.  And the list of fellow travelers that I got with my final documents was not accurate.  It had two couples on it that were not part of the group.  And it didn't have three solo travelers that were

When I made my reservation for my trip next June, the person I spoke with said that there would now be a limit of two solo travelers with each tour.  At least, I think that's what she said; I couldn't understand her too well.  But I'm really sure that if time gets close and they have space and someone calls to get on, they will take him or her.

The discussion that was held in February and March on the subject of solo travelers did include a posting from someone who stopped using one tour company because she did get inferior hotel rooms after paying a hefty supplement.

Author: franniepat

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 50
Trips Taken: 10
Countries Visited:

Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Western US parks.

Traveler Since: 2008

December 08, 2011

This past October, I went to Costa Rica as a single and had a room with 2 king sized beds! Plus a huge bathroom and cathedral ceiling! I know sometimes I get assigned a room that is further or higher up, but it's probably because I'm more mobile than some of the other travelers, so I don't really mind.

Author: chinaplus

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2008

December 10, 2011

 I traveled solo on the Heart of India trip. My rooms ranged from good to spectacular. Other singles on the trip invited travelers to admire the amazing rooms that they had. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

December 10, 2011

Since the original post has been deleted, we don't know what exactly was said.  With the exception of jayge, who was the first to respond.  I think we all have had the same reactions, that whatever rooms we get are about the same as that of those traveling in pairs.  Sometimes, we get superior rooms, but never inferior.

That's with GCT.  Only one other trip have I traveled solo, and that was a cruise to and land trip in Alaska.  Since a travel agent friend had made my reservation, I had a luxurious cabin on the sundeck of a Holland-American cruise ship.  My accommodations on the land portion seemed to be the same as everyone else with the exception of our last stop in Fairbanks where I was told they didn't have a room for me, although they admitted I had a confirmed reservation.  They wanted to move me to a different hotel, but I dug in my heels and told them that I knew hotels had rooms set aside for emergencies and that they were to consider me one.  I ended up in a lovely suite with a private garden and a luxurious bathroom.  Too bad, we were there only two nights.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 515
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

December 11, 2011

After my last few GCT trips I've reached the conclusion that rooms are assigned alphabetically and if you are at the end of the alphabet you're likely to get a decent room  but not one of the most desirable, whether a couple or a single. On my last trip others were talking about luxurious bathrooms with heated floors while my room in two hotels was in the annex, which was reached by a combination of elevators and stairs and then at the end of  long corridors. In one of the hotels, my bathroom was basic with a small corner shower. One of the other singles said she had a large bathroom with a shower and tub, but her name was several letters before mine and the couple a few rooms away was two letters away from mine.

The rooms were clean and comfortable and I was fine. On my two OAT trips, my rooms were the same as the couples and I had a suite in Morocco.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

December 12, 2011

Our name begins with a G and a couple of years ago in the New Montana, Romania hotel we were given a very bad room with stains on the carpets, reeked of tobacco and no one else from Grand Circle was on that floor.  I was unable to get a room change until the next day and that room was only one step better.  (we had been one of the first few to be assigned a room key, so you see the alphabetic, at least in our instance, did not count.)  A couple who had one of the front balcony rooms said the road noise was so bad, they couldn't open the windows.

The good part is that the hotel is right in the middle of the town.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

December 12, 2011

My last name begins with an L, so I come right in the middle.  The friend I used to travel with had a last name beginning with B, but in Vienna we had a room that involved a long walk down corridors, around corners, and up and down a few steps to reach from the elevator.  We were right next to the closet where housekeeping staff kept their supplies.  The room was very small.  One bed was in a normal situation.  The other reminded me of Heidi's bed at her grandfather's home; it was tucked into a sort of closet.  The bathroom had a stall shower with a glass door that had no means of staying shut.  Which meant that water went all over the floor when one of us showered.  We learned to put a couple of towels, which we stole off the cart, on the floor before turning the water on.  The hotel was the Biedermeier which they don't use anymore.

Jayge, do you remember what the first post was about?

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

December 12, 2011

Dear Pauline, I do not understand your question about a first post.  Please give more information so I can respond.  I did want to make clear that, in our experience, being at the beginning of the alphabet didn't seem to get us a better or worse room.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

December 12, 2011

Dear Pauline,  I took the time to read over all the entries showing and someone said that the first post to which I responded was no longer there.  I do not remember anything about that post but assume it had to do with "solo" travelers.  My responses were pertaining to my husband and me who, of course, travel as a couple and I wanted solo travelers to realize that even "couples" can run into less than satisfactory rooms.

All considered, I feel that Grand Circle does an excellent job in attempting to secure hotel rooms at a fair price and satisfactory ones.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 964
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

December 12, 2011

I was just curious in case you remembered what the first person posted.  Obviously, he/she had some concerns about treatment solo travelers might expect.  My own experience as a solo traveler and what I observed when I traveled with a companion is that we could not expect to be treated with more consideration and friendliness.  I am booked on a trip to the UK in July, and I have three more trips in my Travel Planner, so I am committed to traveling with GCT.  Not OAT, unfortunately, I'm not up to the physical demands of those trips as interesting as they seem.

Author: sashie

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 9
Countries Visited:

All seven continents.

Traveler Since: 2007

February 02, 2012

I have been on 5 solo trips with OAT and did not feel my room was inferior. I use to travel with the Rick Steves group and not only did I always pay an extra supplement  but received the worse rooms.....by far. this was the reason I stopped traveling with that group.

Author: ventot

Joined: 4/30/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

From cruising around the world, I have been to different countries, from the Far East, South America, and Europe. I have been to America's Magnificent Parks, have participated in Trans-Canada Railway Odyssey, been on wild life safaris in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe in South Africa. I have cruised the Baltic Capitals on the Norwegian and cruised to Asia and the South Pacific on Holland America, and Alaska on the Princess Diamond.

Traveler Since: 2012

April 30, 2012

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