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Author: harrietgf

Joined: 8/5/2012
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Italy (twice, most recently in Spring 2012), Litchenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Canada(several times, most recently in Summer 2009), Mexico, and throughout the Continental USA!


August 04, 2012

Hello, I am new to GCT, I requested a catalogue and was taken with the Russia itinerary for 2013 travel.  I may be traveling with one or two others, but if they change their minds, I am still interested in going on a Russia summer cruise, so I'd be traveling solo.  Has anyone used GCT's roommate match service?   

 

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 138
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

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

Traveler Since: 2010

August 05, 2012

If you book early enough you do not have to worry about the matching program---you will get a room all to yourself; however, these accomodations are limited so that is the reason to book early...It is much better than sharing a room with a total stranger..

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 05, 2012

I took the Russia Revealed trip in August of 2010 and traveled solo.  I had a wonderful time and met many people.  There were other solo travelers, as well.  I don't think anyone I met was part of a pair that was matched by GCT.  They all seemed to be relatives or friends.  Several years ago, my friend and I met two women traveling solo during the Amsterdam pre-trip extension for the Holland and Belgium river cruise.  They were both to be matched with strangers for the river cruise, and both matches were disastrous.  One didn't want to be friendly with anyone; the other was a teetotaler and took great offense at the rest of us for drinking wine with dinner.

The single supplement on GCT cruises is much lower than any other company and if you decide to take the extensions, there is no supplement. 

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 05, 2012

Oh, and I should add that Wattsed is correct.  They limit the number of solo travelers on any trip, so the sooner you make your reservations the better. 

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 1999

August 05, 2012

I used this service on a river cruise several years ago only because there were no single cabins available when I made my reservation. It was not a pleasant experience so I vowed to never do it again even though I might get a roommate I really liked the next time. There is just no way of knowing in advance.

In another recent post, a woman wrote that her brother and his roommate, who was a stranger, were assigned a hotel room with only one bed. That is definitely something that I would not tolerate.

Author: mertziek

Joined: 9/2/2010
Posts: 34
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

August 05, 2012

 I have to agree.  Book early when you want to go and get a single.  I know of two people who did not do well with the match.  And the rooms on the Russia cruise are very small so living in cramped quarters would be tough.  Plus then there is the issue of the safe and if you would feel comfortable sharing it and putting your valuables in it with a stranger.  I know it can work but if this is your first experience with GCT, go alone.  People are friendly and you will always find someone to eat with and tour with.  I have done 4 solo trips now, 3 with GCT, and am sorry I did not start sooner.  Unless I travel with my husband, I will never share a room again, even with a friend!  If your friends decide to go, they can always book a double later.  Just did the trip in May and loved it.  You will not regret booking it.  So many beautiful places to visit.  Also did the Kiev extension and loved that, too.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 144
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

August 06, 2012

I have to point out that, just like when you start college, roommate matching can go either way. And a two week trip is a lot shorter than a college semester, if things don't go quite right.

 While it's true that on our OAT trips we have seen a couple of roommate matches that were not happy ones, several times we've met people who have made very contented and successful alliances. They might just have one fun trip together, or they might meet a new traveling companion.  One pair of women we met on our last trip had been matched several trips before, six, I think, and each year they choose a new trip to take together.

I suppose, like most gambles, the results of being matched could be a curse or a blessing. You could meet a difficult person, but you could also make a wonderful new friend.  Each person knows himself or herself best, and can evaluate their own personal habits and their own desire to take a risk.

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

August 06, 2012

This trip is too wonderful to have it potentially "ruined" by a roommate that you might not get along with. I traveled solo on an OAT Peru trip (no supplement because it is solely a land trip) but I actually loved having a room to myself. Showered when I wanted to. Read into the evening or turned the light out at 9:00. No problem. On nearly all of my trips with GCT or OAT I have met other women who have used the roommate matching system, and not a one of them was happy with their roommate. Not GCT or OAT's problem, but it is just too risky, in my opinion.

The poster who said that when many of us went to college we took potluck with a roommate (actually, I didn't...I knew my roommates ahead of time) is true; however, many of us were younger and somewhat more "flexible" in our habits, routines, etc. than we might be now. At least, I know that is true in my case.

Anyway, this is just my opinion. And sometimes it's even hard to get along with a friend who you have purposefully chosen to travel with! I'm just sayin'!!!

Author: harrietgf

Joined: 8/5/2012
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Italy (twice, most recently in Spring 2012), Litchenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Canada(several times, most recently in Summer 2009), Mexico, and throughout the Continental USA!


August 14, 2012

Thank you, everyone who offered suggestions, info and insights regarding GCT solo travel!  Your experiences were very, very helpful and I feel much better about the possibility that I may do the Russia cruise solo should my friend not be able to join me.  I have traveled both alone and with friends in the past, to other countries, always had positive experiences either way..but this would be a first-time experience for me (river cruising).  I'm much more comfortable now about the solo travel option, what I would need to do, and the best timelines to follow. 

Thanks again!

Harriet

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