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Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

May 03, 2012

We were very excited to read about this new trip for 2013 since we greatly enjoy being on the rivers.  After reading more thoroughly, we found that the main trip involves staying in a Kiev hotel for 3 nights before boarding the river ship or the last 3 nights in a hotel if going the other direction.

We do not understand why we cannot board the ship immediately upon arrival as we do not like staying in hotels unless we have to (such as the pre/post trips).

Greatly disappointed about this.

If this feature changes, we will definitely be signing up for the trip.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 03, 2012

Did you ask them why?  It may be that the ship would already be in use for a previous trip, and then they'd need a day to clean it up.

I checked the accommodations, and it looks like a different hotel in Kiev.  They used to use the Radisson Blu, which I found very satisfactory.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

May 05, 2012

Dear Pauline,

Thank you for your reply about the stay in a hotel as part of the main rivertrip. Because of my severe problem with renovations, etc., traveling is quite a problem so I always find as much as possible about places we are to stay.  The hotel they selected for the Kiev trip happens to be a completely renovated hotel in the past year (If I remember reading correctly) and this poses a problem for me so I cannot take that trip in 2013 as it will not have aged enough. 

Nice to hear from you and others who are so helpful.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 05, 2012

Jayge, I remembered about your sensitivity and why you have to be so careful.  The Radisson Blue was renovated long enough ago not to be a problem for you.    I sometimes wonder why they change hotels.  The one I stayed at in Galway last June was later changed to a different one in the fall and has now been changed back.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

May 05, 2012

I'm not sure the Galway hotel on the Ireland trip was changed. When I booked for a fall trip the hotel listed was the Pillo, but when I got the final documents it was a different hotel. But, we met people from another GCT group in Dublin who were a couple of days ahead of us and they had stayed at the Pillo, so maybe there just were not enough rooms available for our group.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 05, 2012

That could be the case.  My sister and niece are going in July, and they are supposed to be at the Pillo.

 

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

August 29, 2012

Kiev to Odessa rivercruise 2013

 We really enjoy rivercruising and are disappointed that the Kiev part will not be on the ship but will be 3 nights in a hotel.

At the end of the trip, there will be a night in a Bucharest hotel.

If you take a pre-trip of St. Petersburg, it would be 5 nights in a hotel there.

If you take a post trip to Istanbul, it would be 5 nights in a hotel there.

If my count is accurate, there would be 14 hotel nights using 4 hotels.  This makes for much packing and unpacking. 

I am still hoping that Grand Circle will eliminate the hotel stay in Kiev and replace it with those nights on the ship.

 

 

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 29, 2012

Part of the problem with staying on the ship is that the ship has to be parked, and may not be able to stay longer due to the high number of river ships that traverse the rivers.  I know at times there were 3 GCt river ships, one or two Viking ships, and even a Uni-world river ship, all at the same place.  Where to dock all these.  Often times one ship leaves and another takes the spot a few hours later.  We have watched this.  Also, money.

It would be necessary to have the full river ship staff aboard to plan and prepare our meals, tend our cabins, etc.  In hotels, GCT pays the hotels at group/agent rates and their staff takes care of our needs and we may even not eat at the hotel.  That's just my guess, may not even be a reliable guess.  I do know docking schedule is part of the reason at least.

 BTW, we are booked on that trip too got our cabin selected and paid for.  Anxious to read reviews of the earlier travelers as we are booked later in the summer 2013.  Sounds wonderful.

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 1999

August 30, 2012

 We are going on this trip from Kiev to Bucharest next September.  I'm really looking forward to it.  We were on the eastern Europe to the Black Sea in June this year.  

Author: thedabara

Joined: 9/13/2012
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2000

September 13, 2012

My friend and I are taking this trip next Aug.6.. No pre or post trip ..we have been to the places before..Would like to hear from anyone going at that time.. I know it's almost a year away.. But plan we must. Teddy

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

September 14, 2012

For janddb

We are also booked in Sept 2013, leaving after the 15th. Kiev to Bucharest  We were going to take the Istanbul post trip, but decided to do a back to back cruise on the Dalmation coast, so we gave up the post trip to meet the schedule.  Maybe we'll meet you on our river cruise??

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 1999

September 14, 2012

 We are leaving on September 15th also, but we are going to Lviv for the pre trip.  I think our base trip begins on the 19th or 20th.  Is your  Kiev to Odessa trip the one just prior to ours?  

We were on the Tiki Don in Russia several years ago.  It was a very nice ship and our first river cruise.  We have since taken quite a few small ship cruises with OAT and Grand Circle.  We did the Dalmation Coast cruise, while it was still an OAT tour, two years ago.  It was great.  We started in Bled, Slovenia and ended in Crete.  I think both of those extensions have changed.  Earlier this year we were on the Budapest to the Black Sea with the extensions in Prague and Transylvania.  Another great trip.  

The July 2012 issue of Popular Science has an article about Chernobyl which you might find interesting.  

Betty

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 70
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2008

September 15, 2012

Booked on the Kiev to Bucharest trip on June 1st. Will be our second cruise on the Tikhi Don.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

September 15, 2012

For jandb

See you on the ship.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

October 13, 2012

 We were considering this trip but after checking the Kiev hotel reviews about smoke smells and "working ladies" will not be going.  Still wish gct would have used the ship instead of four nights in The Presidential Kiev hotel.   Adding pre and post trips there are too many hotel days for a river trip.

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 1999

October 14, 2012

 In our travels with OAT/GCT and on business trips orr traveling on our own, we have had some great accommodations and some not so great.  Yes, it is very nice to have a luxurious room or suite, but that is a minor part of what I remember about the over experience of a tour.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 158
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2005

October 14, 2012

jayge (posted): We do not understand why we cannot board the ship immediately upon arrival as we do not like staying in hotels unless we have to (such as the pre/post trips).

pauline (posted): Did you ask them why? It may be that the ship would already be in use for a previous trip, and then they'd need a day to clean it up.

singsling (posted): Part of the problem with staying on the ship is that the ship has to be parked, and may not be able to stay longer due to the high number of river ships that traverse the rivers.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It has nothing to do with parking and/or cleaning the ship; basically pauline called it, the ship is in use. With this tour you get 11 nights on the ship. If you notice the departures are exactly 22 nights (i.e. dates) apart, that leaves 11 nights on the "out bound" and 11 nights on the "in bound".  The fewer days the tour is on the ship the more tours that the ship will be able to book. The day you get off a new group gets on. It's all the about the money and maximizing the number of tours they can offer during their cruising season (April - October). Do the math (calculations are approximate):

April to October (7 months x 30 days) / 15 day trip =14 trips

April to October (7 months x 30 days) / 11 day trip = 19 trips

Needless to say, the boat (i.e. GCT) will make more money doing 19 trips than it will doing 14 trips.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 133
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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

October 15, 2012

I voted for the Dnieper River tour  & was excited to see it become a trip.  However, we did Kiev as a pre stay last year before our Russia Revealed trip & have seen & done all of the 4 day itinerary.  It is worthwhile to visit.  We stayed at the Radison Blu Kiev & it was very well located.  We found a great pizza place, yummy chocolate gellato & pastry shops.  It was also close to the many vendors leading to St. Sophia.  All of these would take me back there...not so my husband...not so soon anyway.  I'm anxious to hear traveler reviews.  If they are favorable, odds are, I can talk my husband into it!

Author: sweeneylw

Joined: 2/9/2011
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

October 30, 2012

I see that at least thedabara has booked an Aug 5th or 6th departure "with no extensions".  When I try to price Kiev to Bucharest I get August 1 departure date with a REQUIRED pre-trip extension to St Petersburg.  I've not run into this before, and takes the time and the $$s out of our target.  Has anybody had this discussion with GCT, or seen it on other trips ??  Thanks in advance.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 30, 2012

Are you sure?  That doesn't make sense.  How could an extension be required?  If it's required, then it should be part of the main trip.

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