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Author: abattista

Joined: 10/29/2012
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2003

October 29, 2012

Sorry to write this review which is so negative, but GCT keeps sending me messages telling me " to tell like it is"  sooo

Our trip had three major things wrong with it:

(1) All optional trips are way overpriced. Be aware and choose wisely.

(2) All lunches included on this trip were terrible. My wife said it was so much worst than on our previous trips. At one stop, there was a tour group from Canada  also having lunch. Their's looked eatible, ours was not. How much more could it have cost for GCT to have a better lunch provided? Whatever it was, it would make better sense to make the incremental increase in the trip price or make it our responsibility than to be presented with this terrible food. Our dog eats almost everything, but even he has standards and would not eat this garbage.

(3) The hotel we were to use in Opatija was changed. We were informed of this as we were on the bus to the hotel! There was never any regrets offered and the choice of the other hotel we had to use was in a much lower rating group. How would you like to be treated like this? I daresay GCT saved a bundle on this change.

 

Author: pegheeter1

Joined: 6/28/2010
Posts: 22
Traveler Since: 2001

October 29, 2012

 I can't help but wonder if you were on the same trip my husband and I experienced -

While we might not be as negative as you, we are pretty strongly tilted in the same direction.  At best we'd say that our Dubrovnik trip was a "barebones" version of what we've experienced in our other GC trips.

Yes, our hotel was changed in Opatija - not to a miserable one but definitely a lesser one.  And yes, the optional tours were generally overpriced.  And yes, the included lunches were, for the most part, not too good.

But --- we did not have any orientation walks in the neighborhood.  We did not visit a school, although we traveled during the fall, when school was operating.  We did not visit any of the GC Foundation sites.  Perhaps there aren't any in Croatia/Slovenia, but the fact that GCT HAS a foundation was not mentioned. On a slightly lesser level, we didn't talk about anything controversial, even though this area has been through a major war and dislocation in the recent past. 

We did have an exceptionally good home-hosted dinner. At least that was worthwhile.  

If we do another trip, we'll be very cautious.

Thanks for your report - nice to know not everyone is overly awed by any given tour. 

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

October 29, 2012

Good to know -- I'd been thinking that looked like a good trip.

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

October 29, 2012

 I hope that you both answered the post trip survey, for the sake of future travelers. Although many of the problems weem to be with the trip itself, is it possible that you both had the same PD. A good PD can make up for a lot of faults in the trip. We have encountered hotel changes in  the past, but a good PD can adkust to it. His/her attitude can carry forward to all the travelers, helping to make up for any shortcomings. We have not done this particular trip, but have visited and thoroughly enjoyed a small ship cruise with GCT through many Croatian towns, This trip is no longer offered.

Author: rscrawford

Joined: 1/20/2011
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2005

August 15, 2013

It doesn't matter if you fill out the surveys and "tell it like it is".  They really don't care.  My biggest issue was GCT not disclosing that the tourist season closes the last day of October.  I took the trip in November and found 90% of Dubrovnik closed.  We even went on an pre- trip optional tour to see Marco Polos museum.  After spending hours driving there and taking a boat to the island...it was closed.  Really?  This will probably be my last trip with Grand Circle.  They did nothing to recify several problems encountered on this trip.  There are too many other travel companies that will listen to my valid concerns and attempt to correct them or at least act like they are listening.  This 5 time traveler will take her business elsewhere.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

August 15, 2013

Hello RSCrawford -
 

Thank you for reaching out.  We are sorry to hear about the experience that you had on your last trip.  Somebody will be following up with you offline to discuss this.

Kind Regards,
Michelle
GCCL Forum Moderator
 

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 109
Traveler Since: 2001

August 15, 2013

 When someone from GCT "follows up offline" what actually happens?  Do they offer a discount on future tours?  Do they apologise? Do they clarify what corrective action will be taken?  

My recent GCT "Spain's Cultural Capitals" trip, in its first year, was sensational, with nice, well-located hotels, great food, well-chosen stops on bus trips, and an excellent program director.  I sometimes wonder if the old, well-established tours are ignored and slip into disarray.  I know there's management in each country.  Perhaps they should get out in the field more.  Or someone from headquarters should shadow a trip.  At any rate, this review of "Dubrovnik & Beyond" is devasting ..... and I hope someone in Boston shows some interest and, maybe, takes some action.  

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
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 15, 2013

That was one of the two I had to cancel in 2007-2008.  And I've been mourning it ever since.  The other was Russia Revealed, which I did take in 2010.  The only reason I didn't make up this missed trip was my physical limitation.  Guess I didn't miss anything.

Someone from GCT should go and make a physical inspection of all the places that these people complained about.  And try out the food.

But scheduling excursions after the season is over and the destinations closed is unforgiveable.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

August 15, 2013

I like the adage, "inspect what you Expect." It is my (limited) experience that good program directors (and I think the vast majority of PDs with Grand Circle are excellent) spend a good deal of their time calling and emailing ahead and checking every single detail of the activities that are coming up. How this trip went so badly is a real mystery.

Author: noseycat

Joined: 5/18/2012
Posts: 48
Traveler Since: 2007

August 15, 2013

I agree that, in the case of specific complaints, GCT/OAT should try to have a responsible person take some kind of onsite look.  My recent Cartagena, Colombia extension prompted some extremely pointed remarks in my trip evaluation about one specific activity, and included the exact recommendation: someone needed to make a close and personal inspection!  Overall, a fantastic trip, but one item needed attention.  Haven't had any response other than a generic Thank You.

Author: franniepat

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 49
Countries Visited:

Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Western US parks.

Traveler Since: 2008

August 15, 2013

Thanks for the heads-up on this trip! I'll wait awhile to take this one!

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 274
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

August 16, 2013

I enjoyed this trip in April of 2010 and was generally very satisfied. I think the problems which others have reported could occur on any trip. The worst event by far for some of the participants was missing the first part of the trip because of the volcano eruption which occurred the day they left home. I had chosen to include the pre-trip extension and was very glad I had.

Author: casey

Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 5
Traveler Since: 2002

August 16, 2013

I can not comment specifically on this trip, but I completed the Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast trip on June 10, 2013 and it was one of the best trips we have taken with GCT/OAT.  Please don't let the experience of one person discourage you from taking a trip.  Be sure to read all of the Traveler Reviews on the specific trip page. 

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

August 17, 2013

There are at least three people listing negatives about this trip on this thread and all have valid complaints. The worst probably is driving miles to see a museum on an optional and finding it closed when they arrived. That should never happen; the PD should be aware of availability.

I agree it's a good idea to read the traveler reviews. They are mixed on this trip, but with the new system without travel dates it's hard to judge whether the trip has changed within the last year or if people complaining about lack of a/c in three hotels were traveling in summer, spring or fall.

Itineraries change, hotels change, optional tours change so unless the reviews are specific, I would  pay more attention to recent posts here when deciding about a trip.

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