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Author: companero

Joined: 12/24/2011
Posts: 3
Countries Visited:

I've been lucky enough to have traveled parts of four continents (alone and with others.) My last trip was the OAT Ancient Kingdoms tour of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Next, I am going with OAT to Machu Picchu & the Galapogos in December (with or without a travel companion.) Regardless of new destinations or old, I look forward to future adventures and wish you all safe passage. Thanks.

Traveler Since: 2009

February 27, 2012

  I'm currently writing you from Auckland, New Zealand on a Grand Circle trip to Austrailia, New Zealand and Fiji. Although I have a week to go, my experience with Grand Circle Tours has been quite different from the several  OAT trips I've been on.  This is my first and last Grand Circle Tour.  I don't want anyone to have the experience what myself and others have been through on this trip.  Enough said. Questions?  Do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be quite specific.  You be the judge. Until then take care. 

 

Author: oldbog

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 39
Traveler Since: 1999

February 27, 2012

 Surely you can give more details....there are down spots on every trip.  We took that one two years ago and were generally pleased....were glad we did before the terrrible damage to Christchurch which was a favorite stop.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 27, 2012

We took this trip, with both extensions, in June 2010, and thought it was excellent. We have travelled 8 times with GCT and twice with OAT, with another GCT trip scheduled for next month. I am currently working on a belated trip review and blog, that I hope to have completed in the next week or so. If you have specific complaints bout the trip, please voice them here, as you have supplied no way to contact you, and everyone should see what your complaints are, and be able to respond.

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

February 27, 2012

I agree with the above posts. You've posted a warning with no information. Give us a clue why you are so unhappy with the tour.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Traveler Since: 2010

February 27, 2012

 

My husband & I will retire next year, and we are interested in this trip. I have been reading the reviews and most of them are very positive. I know everyone has their personal likes and dislikes, but it sounds like the initial poster has a negative opinion of the entire trip. I too would like to know the details of his disappointment.  I would also like to know others' opinions, both the positive and negative of this trip.

Diane

Author: fleetfoot

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 45
Traveler Since: 2006

February 27, 2012

Four of us took the Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji trip along with the pre-trip to Melbourne and the Outback in September, 2011.   The trip was excellent.  We had no problems or complaints about this trip.

We have used both GCT and OAT and like both of them very much.  Our choice always comes down to the destination and the itinerary.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Traveler Since: 2010

February 27, 2012

Thank you Fleetfoot for your response. It reassures us that this trip will be exciting and rewarding. With group travel some aspects will appeal more to some travellers, while others will prefer different events. We have taken two Grand Circle European River Cruises and enjoyed them immensely. Soon we will have the time to travel more extensively and venture to more distance places. We have always wanted to travel to Australia and New Zealand. After comparing various companies intineries, we thought the GCT tour was a good value  - it included many highlights and allowed free time to persue individual interests. Therefore, I was rather shocked by this poster's negative response to the entire tour.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

March 01, 2012

Reading this entry prompted me to do a report on our experiences with this trip in June 2010. I have started posting a blog on travelpod.com. So far, it is complete through the outback pretrip. I expect to complete it in the next week or so, at which time I will also post a traveler's review on this site. To link to the blog click here. As this is my first attempt at blogging, it may give you some problems. If it does, let me know here.

 

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Author: captainlarry

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

March 01, 2012

Let's give companero another week to get home from the tour and compose the "details" of the trip. I, as with most, am quite eager to hear what he/she has to say to support the statements in the first, cryptic. post. That the post was made by an unhappy traveler is evident. So we eagerly await further enlightenment.

Author: rosemarynj

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 34
Traveler Since: 2010

March 05, 2012

I will be very interested to hear the details of of the trip as I am on the May 29th trip to Australia, NZ and Fiji with GC.  I am hoping companero will post the specific complaints.  Hopefully, if it is posted maybe GC will notice and try to correct the situation.  Waiting for the info....

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

March 05, 2012

Rosemary.,

I have almost completed my blog on this trip. It is quite detailed If you click here you will be linked to it. It is complete through Aukland, with just Fiji and the post trip cruise left to come, which I expect to complete in a couple of days. When I am done, I will summarize it in a traveler review. In a 1 line summary, we loved the trip. If you do link to the site, it will ask you to create a free ID on the site, TravelPod. It is a blog site from Trip Advisor that seems to be quite serious about keeping out advertising, but will supply links to evaluations on hotels and attractions, in addtion to the links that I put in the blog. It is ready to read, but there may still be some typos in it.

If you do read it, I would love your reactions to it, either here or on the blog. It is my first attempt at a blog, and we are leaving in a couple of weeks on another trip, and would like to blog that one as we go.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

March 05, 2012

Rosemary,

If you link to the TravelPod site and then create the ID, it may not complete the link to my blog. Either link to it again, after creating the ID, or do a search for 'GCT Australia',  That should find my blog.

Author: fleetfoot

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 45
Traveler Since: 2006

March 05, 2012

nanaandpapa,

We did the Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji trip in September, 2011.  We also had Maree as our TD.  I really enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your great photos.  Your links were very helpful.  I thought you did a great job.  Thanks for letting us know about your blog. 

fleetfoot

Author: branca

Joined: 9/30/2011
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

March 06, 2012

I recently read the reviews for the South Pacific trip and was taken back by the comments from Camanero posted 2/27/12. The post really tainted one's thoughts about GCT and this trip in particular.  We have traveled with GCT twice and have a third coming up this week. Our experience has been positive, obviously we wouldn't be going on this one if it was otherwise.

Posting comments as they did without giving specifics is a diservice to travelers and GCT in general. Most travelers would understood that a trip might not meet one's EXPECTATIONS, however it would seem appropriate to give reviewers objective information so they could make a judgement about the disatisfaction the writer offered.

We are waiting for the details.

JPB

Author: rosemarynj

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 34
Traveler Since: 2010

March 06, 2012

nanaandpapa,

  I was thrilled to read your blog and it did make me even more excited about our upcoming trip and since we are leaving on May 29th which is almost the same time you went, I took particular note of the weather and what you were wearing.  I think I need to bring warmer clothes than what I was thinking of packing.  I went to all the links of the hotels as the same ones are listed for our trip and even signed up for the Rydges Club as you suggested.  Thanks so much for sharing it with us.  I didn't use the Map coordinates but maybe others would like those. My favorite part was all the photos.

  I noticed that you seem to have taken all of the optional tours.  Do you think they were all worthwhile?  Would you suggest we eliminate any of them?  We are definitely taking the Milford Sound.  I am a little worried about getting seasick as this has happen to me before and it seems like a few boat trips.  I will bring Bonine.  Also, I see you did the Hot Air Balloon and liked it.  I wasn't planning on doing that one as I did the hot air balloon at Cappadocia in Turkey and it was magnificent - not sure if any other could live up to that one.  I wonder how it compare to Cappadocia?  I know it is probably quite pricey. 

  Do you have any advice on restaurants to go to on the days where dinners are not include?  I noticed you mentioned fast food that you brought back to the room - I assume thay have all the same fast food palces we have in the US.

  Thanks again for sharing your blog.  We are also doing the pre-trip to the Outback.  I am also waiting to hear from the original poster as to what his/her  complaints were about the trip.

Rosemary

 

 

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

March 06, 2012

Rosemary,

First of all, I have completed the part on Fiji. In the next couple of days, I will do the post trip extension and a summary.

As far as clothing is concerned, you have a trade off between warm/cool weather clothes and luggage limits. Qantas is the first airline that I have seen that carefully wieghs and measures carry-on luggage, so pay attention to their limits. To put the latitude in perspective, Milford Sound is about as far from the equater at Portland ME. Fiji is the equivalent of San Juan PR.  I assume that you are from NJ,, based or your name. We are from MA, just north of Boston. Layers are the key to the weather. Fleeces and windbreakers are a good combination, as well as a warm hat and gloves. Nylon zip off combination pants such as The North Face, Columbia, etc., are pretty impervious to wind and rain, without being too warm. They also dry quickly if you have to rinse them out.

I had not really remembered how many optionals we had done, until I was writing the blog. It does not appear that as many are currently offered. It looks like Milford Sound is now included. We are glad that we did all that we took. Ann had done a hot air balloon, but I had not, so I figured that this was as good a time as ever. Im sure that it could not stand up to Capadocia.

I would not be too concerned about sea sickness, none of the boats are really in open water and subject to much in waves. Even the sail in Aukland is very steady,

Yes, there were plenty of fast foof and reasonable restaurants in the area of all the hotels except in Fiji. We are not into fancy dining, so we were fine.

If you have any further questions, we would be glad to answer them, and if you want to make direct contact, we can figure out a way.

We are off to Paris in a couple of weeks for The Seine: Paris to Normandy. As we will have available Wi-Fi, i had planned to write a blog while on the trip, so I figured that I should try writing one before going. I really enjoyed doing this, as it brought back good memories. I hope to go back and do earlier trips.

Enjoy your trip, and please let us know how you liked it. It is a shame that Christchurch is no longer on it, but Rotorua should be very interesting as well.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Traveler Since: 2010

March 07, 2012

nanandpapa,

I enjoyed reading your blog about the Australia & New Zealand trip and viewing your pictures. I have been following this thread, and most people have a positive view of the trip. I still wonder what upset the initial poster. I hope you enjoy your cruise on the Seine. That trip is also on our post-retirement bucket list, so I will be looking forward to reading your blog on that one.

Rosemary,

I wish you a wonderful time on your upcoming Australia & New Zealand trip. I look forward to any review you might make.

Diane

 

 

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

March 07, 2012

Rosemary, I am also subject to motion sickeness although it doesn't seem to be as bad as it used to be.  One thing I swear by are the accupressure bands.  You don't have to take them ahead the way you do bonine.  And you're not adding anything else to your system.  They're available at CVS and all other pharmacies.

And I never had a problem on any of the times I was on a boat in Australia or New Zealand.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 164
Traveler Since: 2002

March 07, 2012

Rosemary: I am one of those people who hates to take anything,,,,,,, but,,,, I did go to my local health food store and purchased some ginger tablets.  The one I bought was not too tasty but it did help when I started to feel a little queasy on the boat.  Even when we went snokeling in Fiji and the boatride out to the site was a bit choppy, I took some before and after.  Worked like a charm for me.

 

This was an exciting trip for us and you will certainly enjoy everything.  Dont think of the uncertain and unqualified complaints.  Unless companero shares them, I would disregard his posting completely.

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

March 08, 2012

I agree with grammyflo. Ignore the vague negative post; the poster has had ample time to explain but hasn't. The reviews are generally excellent and I think most posts on the forum are positive.

Of eight OAT/GCT trips Aus/NZ/Fiji is near the top of my "Bests" list. No trip is perfect and no one should expect it to be, but this a good one.

Go and enjoy!

 

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