Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: charlesjerryjoan

Joined: 7/11/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2007

June 12, 2012

We are scheduled for the July 5 departure for the National Park's tours and I am getting quite concerned about the wild fires in that area.  Has anyone ever booked a trip that Grand Circle had to cancel for reasons out of their control and if so, how was it handled.  I know they would not put their clients in harm's way, but I also know that no company wants to lose money if at all possible.  

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
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

June 12, 2012

I was scheduled for the Egypt trip in late January of 2011, right when all of the uprising over there was going on. I figured that GC would cancel the trip, and they did, about a week before our departure date. They gave us choices for the refund: credit for a later trip or full refund, including the travel insurance money. We took the refund and then booked a Last Minute trip to China (China's Cultural Capitals) that left about 3 weeks later, We didn't want to sit around "feeling sorry" for ourselves because of the Egypt trip cancellation. (btw, the China trip was wonderful!!).

Note: by one week out from it,  we had already decided to cancel the Egypt trip if for some reason GC didn't. It wouldn't have been safe, but we were waiting for them to do it. Since we had bought the travel insurance, we could have canceled "without covered reason" and have gotten credit for a later trip (which would have been okay), but we would not have gotten the trip insurance money back or as credit, since technically we would have used the insurance. Since GC cancelled, we got it all back. Our original plan was to wait until the day before the trip departure to see if they cancelled first, and then go ahead and do so if they didn't.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 490
Trips Taken: 15
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

June 12, 2012

Several years ago we had a China & the Yangtze canceled, due to the SARS epidemic. China had essentially shut down to tourism. We booked a replacement trip, with a prompt refund of the difference. I'm not sure if we had bought insurance on that trip, but I know that we did not lose anything in the transaction.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 62
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

June 12, 2012

I too was scheduled for the Egypt trip last year. We were to leave February 12th, when the riots broke out on January 25th.  We called GCT on the 28th and was told our trip was still scheduled. We knew we were not going, but decided to wait until the last minute to cancel, hoping that GCT would cancel. Sure enough we got a call on the 30th. Like the previous commentor, we had several choices: a full refund, to rebook Egypt for the fall, a chance to book any last minute deal that spring or to book any one of their trips departing from March-June that year. We chose the later, and took the Holland & Begium in Springtime River cruise that April. Not only did they apply our entire cost, plus the travel protection money and the $757 traveler credits we had applied to the Egypt tour, they gave us an additional $400 credit which they called a Worldwide event credit. We did have to pay a little more for the cruise, as it was a more expensive trip than Egypt even with all the credits. We were very pleased with how GCT handled the situation. When considering the Holland & Begium cruise we wanted to take the Bruges extension which was booked up except for 2 singles. The customer representative called his manager &  was allowed to combine the 2 singles into a double for us. We had a wonderful time on our cruise - unusually warm & sunny weather, except for 2 chilly days in Bruges. Even though it's stressful, you get a better deal if you can wait for the tour company to cancel. Of course we knew we could cancel at the last minute, because we had bought the TripMate insurance with the cancel for any reason waiver. I hope everything works out for your trip. GCT will not take you anywhere unsafe, but no tour company likes to cancel & will probably wait as long as possible before cancelling.

Author: charlesjerryjoan

Joined: 7/11/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2007

June 12, 2012

Thanks everyone for sending your comments.  I am sure they will wait as long as possible before making any decision to cancel.  We will have to wait and see.  We always purchase trip insurance with Travel Guard, but do not have the "cancel for any reason" clause, so I am a bit nervous.  We live in NC and once when there were problems with a fire in Georgia, we could see and smell the smoke that far away, and I know these wild fires are closer to some of the areas that we will be visiting.    My heart goes out to all those residents of the affected states where the wild fires are out of control.  Hopefully they will be contained very soon. 

Author: svncontinents

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

June 16, 2012

 As other posters have indicated, if Grand Circle cancels the trip, you will have several choices as to how you would like to receive the money you have paid for the trip.  It should be noted that Grand Circle reserves the right to alter the itinerary, which is more likely what will occur if the route of your trip takes you near the affected area.  We took the trip two years ago, and we do not recall any stops in the affected area, however, a modification of route of travel may be in order.  So you're trip is likely to go.

Author: k.tarlow

Joined: 3/6/2010
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2008

September 25, 2012

 From the comments on this thread, it appears that GCT has improved their handling of trip cancellations necessitated by "natural disasters" and circumstances/events beyond GCT's control.  This is a very welcome change.

In 2010 we were scheduled to depart on a Monday in mid-April for a GCT river cruise in France.  Thursday prior to our scheduled departure date the volcano in Iceland erupted, bringing to a halt all air travel.  We called GCT to ascertaiin what to anticipate and their resonse was twofold: 1) the trip (i.e. the ship) was departing on schedule and 2) we had to deal directly with the airlines -- it was not GCT's responsibility.

Well, the airline would only discuss possible flight changes with the "agency" that booked the flight and, therefore, would not speak with us. They would only deal with GCTG.  At the same time, GCT held its position that ur flights, booked through GCT, were not their responsibility.  While feeling caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, proved to be academic since there was no way we could get to anyplace in Europe in time, this was a most disturbing state of affairs.. 

Through Sunday, the day prior to our scheduled departure, GCT maintained their position that the trip was not canceled and that the air arrangements were our responsibility. 

Thankfully, we had our own trip insurance and did not purchase GCT's.  Our insurance company advised us as to how to proceed and on Monday, the scheduled day of our outbound flight, we canceled the trip.

I must add, a few days later GCT phoned and offered to re-book us on the same river cruise at a later date with no change in price.  We accepted the offer (canceled our insurance claim) and enjoyed another wonderful trip.

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

September 25, 2012

My experience with cancellations on the part of GCT was slightly different.  My friend and I were supposed to leave for the Best of Eastern Europe on September 12, 2001!  Of course, the cancellations were not at the instigation of GCT; if you remember, nobody was flying anywhere.  GCT told us that they were working on everybody's planned trips and they would be in touch with us.  We were not to call them.  At that time, they were also not taking any new reservations because they didn't know when the ban would be lifted. 

Nobody in my family and none of my friends suggested that we should cancel.  It didn't even occur to me.  A few of my friend's friends did say they thought she should cancel, but she shot that idea right down.

After about 10 days, GCT called and we were back in business.  My flights were all the same, the hotels were all the same, the tours were all the same.  My friend's flight over was changed, because she had been booked on Polish Air from Newark to Warsaw nonstop, and they didn't fly that day.  However, everyone's return flights were changed.  Our PD spent most of his time in various airline offices working on getting everyone home. 

The group we traveled with was made up of what was left of our original group and what was left of the next original group.  That was how many people cancelled.  If they had purchased the Trip Mate insurance through GCT, I would assume they got the vouchers since the trip itself was not cancelled.

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 137
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

September 25, 2012

I had booked Budapest to the Black Sea in 2011 and about two weeks before the sehedjuled departure,  I received a call that the trip had been cancelled; however, I was offered a few "bennies" and a cabin upgrade if I would take the reverse route from the Black Sea to Budapest which was a bit over a week later...I had no problem with the change and agreed...A week or so later I got an invoice in the mail billing me for the cabin upgrade; however, when I called Boston that got corrected in about 30 seconds!

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 137
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

September 25, 2012

I had booked Budapest to the Black Sea in 2011 and about two weeks before the sehedjuled departure,  I received a call that the trip had been cancelled; however, I was offered a few "bennies" and a cabin upgrade if I would take the reverse route from the Black Sea to Budapest which was a bit over a week later...I had no problem with the change and agreed...A week or so later I got an invoice in the mail billing me for the cabin upgrade; however, when I called Boston that got corrected in about 30 seconds!

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.