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Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

July 19, 2012

I would like to suggest that Grand Circle offer travelers an upgrade option on the hotels that precede the river ship embarkation. We were booked in the Novotel Eiffel Tower in Paris prior to the Rhone trip. All of our group had rooms on the 5th, 6th, & 7th floors and all rooms were sub par at best. This hotel has 30 floors, is in a great location, and obviously has much better room selection. We would gladly pay extra for a more comfortable room at the beginning of a trip. I just think GCT should offer that option, much like the option of flying business class for a higher fee.

Author: svncontinents

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

July 19, 2012

 Interesting idea.  We generally are not too demanding about hotel rooms.  As far as we're concerned, they're only places to sleep.  So long as the room is clean, there are sufficient towels and amenities in the bathroom, we're happy.  So we've never found the rooms at whatever hotel Grand Circle booked us in to be 'unsatisfactory.'  We have found the neighborhoods in which they were located on occassion, to be unsatisfactory, but as  far as the hotels themselves are concerned, they were OK.

We got a laugh at one hotel we stayed in in Saigon on our recent Ancient Kingdoms OAT trip.  it was an older, but functional hotel, and there was a sign in the bathroom with various hotel rules, one of which was "Prostitutes are not allowed in rooms."  Must have been a leftover from the 1960's.

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

July 20, 2012

Looks like you could do that directly with the Hotel after you arrive and see what kind of room you have..I have upgraded several times after I have booked a hotel on my own but I have never tried it on a tour since I have always been satisfied with my assigned room..

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

July 20, 2012

I've had a variety of hotel rooms on my OAT/GCT trips, some better (larger, view, etc.) than others but all have been clean and with one exception, had a comfortable bed.

I wonder how the rooms that you had were "sub-par." You also mention comfort; how was it uncomfortable? Also wonder if you discussed it with the PD, or as Ed suggested, with the hotel.

Author: svncontinents

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

July 20, 2012

it is evident that everyone has different expectations for hotel accommodations.  It would be instructive to know what one's expectations, in particular the IOP's, in order to place this thread in proper perspective.  As we said, we're not too demanding with respect to hotel rooms.  As long as they're cleam with amenities.  It would be useful to know what others want beyond those, which we admit, are quite basic.  We also nevr bothered to compare rooms on trips, or participate in discvussions respecting that, as we have seen others do on a number of trips.  But we recognize that others have differing standards.  We will admit that ours are not especially demanding.

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

July 20, 2012

I agree with 7-c and after military sleeping in tents, under vehicles, etc. as long as it is clean, has bathroom facilities including a shower and a comfortable bed I am o.k.---my wife grew up on a farm in South Texas where, for a short time in her early life had no electrical power nor an "in suite" bathroom, she feels the same way  as I...Growing up in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, my Dad ran a Motel from 1937 to 1974 and it was a real education to me working around the motel as to what some people felt was "good" or "bad" and what was demanded by different people using the exact same facilities...

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

July 20, 2012

I agree with all that the room is only for bedding down at night, but in this case the bed was very low to the ground, making it awkward to get in and out of it, especially at night. The shower was different from most in that it was open at one end with only a half shower wall at the other end and the floor was very slippery. The toilet was in an area that could be closed off by a pocket door, but it was hard to close. We heard quite a few complaints. My 70 year old brother was assigned a roommate for the trip (not unexpected), but their hotel room had one double bed for the two of them. They felt quite awkward as they were strangers. They did talk to the PD and the hotel staff, but could not resolve the issue.

If this had been for only one night I would not have mentioned it, but for three nights I would have preferred a nicer room. Like I said, there were 30 floors in this hotel, so these floors were probably set aside for tour groups.

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

July 21, 2012

I hope that as well as posting on this forum, you included a description of your rooms in your evaluations of the trip.  And also wrote reviews that included all this.  The forum is really for travelers to discuss things with each other.  Going directly to GCT is the only thing that will draw their attention and, maybe, do something about it.  The situations you describe sound intolerable.

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

July 21, 2012

Glad that you clarified; a slippery floor is dangerous and "sharing" a room should not mean sharing a bed. I agree that is sub-par for GCT. I don't think one should need to upgrade to get a room with two beds for two strangers sharing and a safe bathroom -- that should be standard. 

I'm surprised that with 30 floors the hotel couldn't find something better and hope that you let GCT know about the hotel.

 

 

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

July 22, 2012

I hope that as well as posting on this forum, you included a description of your rooms in your evaluations of the trip. And also wrote reviews that included all this.

Yes, I did. I just posted this here to get some feedback from other travelers.

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

August 02, 2012

The bath tub with a half shower wall is very common in Europe and the Middle East.   I don’t think there is anything that GCT can do about that.   It takes some adjustment to how you use the shower to keep the floor dry.     

 

My perspective on the strange bathroom configurations is that it is part of the adventure of traveling.   I travel to experience new things some are better than the way we do things in the USA and some are worse, but always different and different is good it stimulates the mind.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 239
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

August 02, 2012

I'll have to put in my 2-cents worth  here on the bathroom/bathtubs. We have traveled for over 52 years, he being  a career soldier and living in Germany and Japan, and Singapore for a total of over 23 years overseas, and we've been overseas every year since retirement in 2001, sometimes 3 x a year.. 

In all the places outside of the US we traveled, the bathtub was very high off the floor. I am used to that.  But, now that I am 73 with one knee replacement, and two hips that do not like to work due to arthritis, and balancing problems, despite 10 years of workouts at the gym 3 x a week, I have a very hard time getting in to the high tubs, and getting out is even worse.  Not having a slip-proof tub adds a whole bunch to the  "worse". 

We have experienced this in all of the escorted tours we have taken with GCT.  On the half shower door, I found I must move the door out of the way, straight out to the room, then pull it back in once I am  upright in the tub.  I fix the shower head so the water hits just at the end where the door is, so I can turn it on after I am in the tub.  Being over 6 ft and stocky, my husband can't actually fit between the door and wall, so he has the water hit about the edge of the door, thus, getting water on the floor as he bathes and drips.

My husband usually showers before me and he has a worse time than me due to 2 knee replacements and a balance problem.  He does get the floor very wet, so he  puts his towel on the floor for me when he is finished with his.  If we have extra towels, I will put the bathmat in the tub so as not to slip in the tub.  Once on our recent trip to North. Ire./Ireland, at this very special, beautiful hotel, with a very beautiful appointed bathroom, I was not able to grip the tub at all because the top of the tub was not flat, but had curves on the top that I couldn't hold on to it.  I learned not all rooms had this beautiful tub, but most women complained about not being able to get in the high tub.  I tried and tried to get in without falling, or hitting the half shower door.  I ended  up calling Housekeeping for more towels and a foot stool.  They didn't have one so they brought me a stool like they use in libraries, the round one gray with black top.  That seemed like it should work, but I couldn't step up onto the stool, it is too high for my legs..   there were no handrails to hold on to once I got on to the top so I couldn't use the footstool.  I tried everything.  We would have changed rooms but we had already unpacked a lot of stuff due to multiple stay  And,  rushing out just after check-in for vicinity walk, then dinner, and I didn't check out the "mechanics" of the shower before we left.  So we didn't want to change rooms.  I finally managed to get in the tub by hugging the sink countertop, a bathmat in the tub, his towel on the floor, the door swung out wide and climbing in.  My fear is breaking that door if I accidentally hang on to it or grab it if I fall.  Yes, it is adventurous to travel, but I finally figured out how to handle all this and ask for more towels for these kind of situations.  Some people had showers only, but we never were able to get one of them. 

My suggestion for GCT/Program directors. When a hotel offers "shower only" rooms to some of the people, maybe the program director can suggest certain of his/her travelers who most might need a shower only room be given them and the "fit and well" people given the rooms with the bathtub.  I don't know, that seems a lot to put on a program dirctor but again, it's my safety I'm worrying about.

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

August 02, 2012

Oh, I do agree with Singsling about the tubs.  In most cases, I manage to get in and out.  However, in Ireland especially I found it difficult with those high sides.  I am 79 years old and only five feet tall.  My joints are still my own, but I do have bursitis.  When people say they prefer a tub in hotels to a stall shower, I'm the opposite.  When I was younger and more fit and, maybe, an inch taller, it wasn't so bad.  The trouble with those half doors that swing out is that there's nothing to get a real grip on.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 239
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

August 03, 2012

Thanks, Pauline, for your comments., I used to be 5 ft, but now 4' 10", so you can see where I was coming from.  It's not just Ireland/Great Britain; it is all of Europe, some in Italy were lower.  

I did forget to mention about the "bed too low to get in".  In almost all hotels, Europe and in US, the bed is too high for me to get in, I have to hike up one hip, lay down, and gently grunt my way on to the bed. If my knee can reach the mattress, I will climb in knees first, but that's not always possible.  Oh, the woes of leaving our comfortable  home, but oh, the fun of experiencing the world.

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