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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

April 30, 2012

I'm not sure why there's a blank post but now that I'm here ... I previously posted that I had not gotten an "inferior" room but I did on a trip after that and remembered another trip where couples got the best rooms.

Of eight trips, most of the rooms that I was assigned were as good as, or better than, those assigned to couples and to Inner Circle members. The two trips where they were not, the rooms were were clean and comfortable, but were smaller and not as well located within the hotels (no view, no veranda, or a small shower, no tub).  I actually got the best rooms before I became an Inner Circle member, so I don't think that is any guarantee of getting a "superior" room. I think it depends on the hotel, the larger it is, the more similar the rooms and amenties.

LIke another poster, the absolutely worse room I've every had traveling solo was with another company (Elderhostel, now Road Scholar) and I paid a single supplement. It was tiny and dark and depressing with a shower without doors in a corner of the bathroom so the floor was flooded every time I took a shower.

The couples on both sides of my room told me their rooms were huge. So, having a smaller room every few trips without having to pay a supplement is okay with me.

 

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 140
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

April 30, 2012

And as a postscript to  this long chain of comments and conclusions about which groups of travelers get the best rooms, I have to add a funny story about our hotel in Antalya, Turkey.

The hotel was right on the harbor, two stories for most of it, but a "tower" at one end. The elevator only went to the second floor, and then there was a long flight of stairs up to the tower. Our tour guide asked us if we would mind having the tower room in spite of the extra stairs .(There were several people on this trip who were less able than we were, which is why she asked us, and of course we agreed.) The rest of our stay there, our traveling companions felt a little sorry for us and offered condolences because we had to climb those stairs to our slightly smaller room. Most of their rooms had views of the lovely garden courtyard where we enjoyed our breakfasts.

What they didn't realize was that our tower window looked out on the picturesque harbor. At night, the lights and the water reflections made it magical. The breeze blew through to cool us, and we could hear the water lapping against the seawall. We loved it! We still enjoyed the garden in the daytime, but being in our room at night was like being in a romantic fairytale.

 

Some rooms are larger, have no stairs, and have garden views.  Others are smaller, with steep stairs, and have harbor views. Some rooms even face a wall. I figure that, in the end, after the half a dozen hotels on any given trip, it all evens out. You're only going to be there a night or two.  Unless there is medical, sanitation, or safety issue that requires you to change to another room, here is what I believe, and it is the same thing I used to say when I passed out art supplies in the classroom:

You get what you get, and don't have a fit!

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

May 01, 2012

I agree with Ed. On these trips we change hotels every two or three days so as long as the room is clean and bed comfortable, I'm okay.

But I really want to comment on Gaynell's room in Antalya -- it sounds heavenly to me, despite the stairs. Being able to sleep with the window open and hearing water lapping the shore -- Wow!

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

May 22, 2012

 We had a chuckle reading all the posts and their conjectures as to how rooms are assigned.  Our experience has shown us that program directors are given a block of rooms, with most rooms being of the same quality, and sometimes, there are one or two better rooms( but not always ).  In general either those rooms have a better view, or some additional ammenity that the other rooms do not.  Not really any big deal.  Those rooms are usually given to travelers who have the most trips of all the group, regardless of whether they are singles or couples.  So the best way to insure that you will be getting what might be the best room in a block, if that's important to you, is to be the traveler with the most GCT/OAT trips.  And given GCT/OAT's attractive prices and their giving you the best value for the money you spend, that would not be hard to do.

So keep traveling with Grand Circle and OAT, and one day you too will get the best room in a block, assuming that there is one room that might be a bit better.

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

May 22, 2012

"...Those rooms are usually given to travelers who have the most trips of all the group, regardless of whether they are singles or couples. So the best way to insure that you will be getting what might be the best room in a block, if that's important to you, is to be the traveler with the most GCT/OAT trips."

As I wrote earlier, that was not my experience. On eight trips I sometimes had better rooms than the Inner Circle members and on others, after I was an inner circle (as on my seventh and eighth trip), first- time travelers got the rooms with the ocean views and the verandahs) My rooms were fine. So, my guess is it evens out over time.

 

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

May 22, 2012

I agree with Luisa.  I used to travel with a friend, and now I travel solo.  I don't see any differences between the size or quality of the rooms I am assigned now and the ones we were assigned then.

When I was in Ireland last summer, most of the rooms I got seemed to be for a solo traveler or a very devoted couple.  Only in Waterford were there two beds, and they were so narrow I was afraid of falling off.  On the Rossia, the cabins seemed to be all the same size except for the two just outside the dining room which were considerably larger.  But the people who had them were not Inner Circle and had no idea how they had lucked out.  In Vienna in 2001 at the Biedermeir when we were not Inner Circle, our room was down the corridor, up a couple of steps, around a corner, down a couple of steps, and next to the housekeepers' closet.  One bed was a regular bed; the other reminded me of Heidi's bed when she goes to live with her grandfather.  It was in a cubby!  And the shower door didn't stay shut, so water went all over the floor!  But a solo traveler showed us her room, and it was twice the size of ours.

It's just the luck of the draw.  As long as it's clean, the bed is comfortable, and the bathroom is ensuite.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

May 22, 2012

Re: lulsa.... I agree with Ed. On these trips we change hotels every two or three days so as long as the room is clean and bed comfortable, I'm okay.

You forgot two more very important items that the room should have: shower with (at least) warm water and a toilet that works (i.e. flushes).

 

 

 

 

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

May 22, 2012

Oh yes.  And the water in the shower should not be scalding.  I don't remember where it was, but in one hotel the shower was stuck on Hot.  Cold would have been better in this situation.  And in Antigua, Guatemala the water system failed.  We had to get buckets and fill them from the pool to flush the toilets.  Reminded me of one summer at camp when we were lugging them up from the lake.

Author: hdickfoss

Joined: 5/29/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2007

May 28, 2012

I just returned home after travelling as a single to Australia, New Zealand and Figi, I never felt I received a lesser accomodation than anyone in the group, I was treated equally and so grateful for the option to have my own room t no extra charge. Thank you Grand Circle.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 87
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

June 25, 2012

Regarding this topic. So far all my trips with GCT have been as a solo woman traveler. On my Ireland trip, I had only one room that I felt was "inferior" and as soon as I mentioned my concern to my PD, she was able to get me moved to a very comfortable, larger room with a view. On my Venice pre-trip this spring, my room was tiny, dark, and stuffy...I went to my PD and the hotel immediately moved me to a larger, brighter, and fresher room with a nice view of an interior courtyard.

I don't think solos are deliberately short-changed and so far most of my rooms have been the same quality as the couples on the trips.

My advice...if you are unhappy, ask to be moved and in most cases you will be accomodated.

Wishing you nice rooms and safe journeys,

walshcs

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

June 25, 2012

Cate,

I'm going to follow your lead. I've had a few less desirable rooms, including in Ireland, but it didn't occur to me to talk to the PD. None were horrible and I figured it would only a couple of days. However, I would have if I'd been assigned a room like the one you described in Venice. A room with a view in Ireland?

 

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

June 25, 2012

In Vienna at the Biedermeier, we had what I would call an inferior room.  But this was not as a solo traveler.  Every room I've had since I've been traveling solo has been on a par with everyone else in the group.  At least, as far as I could tell.  But I would certainly complain to the PD if I had a dark gloomy inferior room. 

In Cork, I was concerned because the dead bolt didn't work.  But our PD got the hotel manager to send a maintenance person up right away, and he fixed it.  I was prepared to  shove a chair under the door knob.

I'm curious as to why this thread was ever started.  The first post disappeared, so we don't know why. 

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1999

June 26, 2012

 Having just visited the Count's castle in Transylvania, I can tell you that he had glorious views from every window.  Heavy draperies were the only possible answer.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 87
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

June 26, 2012

Hi Pauline,

This topic appeared in two different sections of the forum. The original thread may have been in the first category and it was from a solo woman traveler who wondered if she could expect less desirable rooms on GCT/OAT trips than couples. She may have said it was her first GCT trip. I don't think she asked about Inner Circle members having better rooms but sometimes that does appear to happen.

Overall, I have been pleased with my accomodations, however, I don't hesitate to inquire if I'm truely unhappy. I am highly allergic to tobacco smoke and the residue left behind so I always ask for a non-smoking room and IF I end up in one that smells of stale tobacco in the carpet, drapes, etc..I always ask to be moved. I have never been refused and sometimes I get an upgrade as that is all the hotel has left!

And to the jokers who posted about the Count and the ghosts...yes it was funny :) however, it also felt like a disrespectful put down directed at me re my Venice room description. If an unpleasant,  dirty, or otherwise unsatisfactory accomodation will affect a person's emotional or physical well-being during the trip...its ok to seek a solution. 'Nuff said.

walshcs

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

June 26, 2012

Cate,

Ed oftens jokes in his posts; I completely believe his explanation. The second person just posted because he/she had been in a hotel in Transylvania.

Given your description of the Venice room anyone would request a change.

Author: lauracunningham

Joined: 7/13/2013
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

July 13, 2013

I've been on both OAT and GCT trips as a single and never once felt like they gave me a substandard room as compared to a couple.  From time to  time I've seen where someone has not gotten a great room for a couple of nights but it has mostly to do with the cultural/country standards.

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