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Author: ertsy1

Joined: 3/26/2013
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

March 26, 2013

I am deeply disappointed

. Last year I took my very first small river boat cruise with GCT and had a wonderful time. I traveled solo.I was initially drawn to this company because of their "solo friendly" advertising. Based on my positive experience, I anticipated many wonderful trips with GCT for many years to come. There would have been post and pre trips as well as optional tours. In other words, GCT would not have lost money on me.

When I recently inquired about another cruise, I was told that there are very few spaces available for singles. In order to insure that I get the desired trip, I would need to book it an entire year in advance. The single cabins for the tour that interested me were long gone and a single supplement option was not available.Unfortunately, scheduling very far in advance is not possible for me.

It seems to me that this policy will only serve to discourage and alienate the very population that they hope to attract.

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

March 26, 2013

It doesn't work that way.  Those of us who travel solo know that we have to reserve well in advance because there are only a limited number of solo slots available.  The supplement that GCT charges is much less than other tour companies.  If they didn't limit the number of solo travelers for each trip, they'd be running at a loss.  The only other option would be to hope that a cancellation would occur and a solo traveler was able to get it.  And that's rare.

Author: ertsy1

Joined: 3/26/2013
Posts: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

March 26, 2013

I feel that this discriminates against people who are single and are not enthusiatic about rooming with complete strangers in tiny cabins.

Perhaps if GCT had not put themselves out there as "solo friendly," I would not feel as if I had been misled.

Well, I guess it will be back to square one for me.I'll be looking for a different company that offers a similar itinerary. Pity.

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

March 26, 2013

You could also go as a share and if there is no one else, you would get it as a single. It has worked for me. Also, if you go to other companies, most of them also have limited singles and charge a heftly single supp fee. I'd rather book ahead myself-they have a generous change or cancel policy.

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2009

March 27, 2013

I work and am happily married with a husband who will only travel to Ireland and Italy....so GCT solo is how I travel.  Sometimes it is difficult to book as early as is necessary to get my single cabin but it is so very much worht the effort. 

Author: grandcircle

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

March 27, 2013

Hello Ertsy1 -

We are sorry to hear about your experience when trying to make a reservation.  Somebody will be contacting you offline to discuss this further.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCT/GCCL Forum Moderator

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

March 27, 2013

Limiting the number of single spaces on a trip is not discrimination; it's a business practice. I have complaints about the company but cannot say that it is not solo friendly.

Recently a man at my gym was talking about a trip to Ireland and I told him about GCT's tour. First he said they (he and his wife and another couple) didn't want to do a tour. But then they decided that they didn't want to drive and looked into tours. He told me they reserved a trip with another company because it had an itinerary they like and everything is included. So I checked out the trip on the web site and it looks great, but the single supplement is $725, which would bring my cost up considerably even with the optionals..

Maybe there is one, but I havent' seen another travel company that offers free single spaces, and that is solo friendly.

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

March 27, 2013

I remember discussions on this subject over the past few years.  Always originating with someone who couldn't get the date she wanted.  And always blaming that on the fact that she was traveling solo.

 

 

Author: janice!

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

many

Traveler Since: 1999

March 27, 2013

Vantage does offer some free single supplements but I believe they are even more limited than what's available from Grand Circle.

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

March 27, 2013

 I'm sorry, but this seems to be a tempest in a teapot. Of 25 scheduled river cruise itineraries scheduled for 2013 and 2014, only 3 have no single cabins available at this time.

The results are as follows

Great Rivers of Europue 2013 - 27 doubles dates/14 singles dates

Great Rivers of Europue 2014 - 39/35

Romance of the Rhine and Mosel 2013 - 25/15

Romance of the Rhine and Mosel 2014 - 28/27

Russia Revealed 2013 - 20/9

Russia Revealed 2014 - 24/23

Eastern Europe to the Black Sea 2013 - 21/7

Eastern Europe to the Black Sea 2014 - 26/22

Eastern Europe to the Black Sea President's Cruise 2013 - 1/1

The Seine Paris to Normandy 2013 - 4/1

The Seine Paris to Normandy 2014 - 25/22

Old World Prague & the Blue Danube 2013 - 10/3

Old World Prague & the Blue Danube 2014 - 22/21

Essence of the Elbe 2013  - 24/12

Essence of the Elbe 2014  - 34/32

Holland and Belgium in the Springtime 2013  - 8/0

Holland and Belgium in the Springtime 2014  - 12/11

Cruising Burgundy & Provence 2013 - 30/1

Cruising Burgundy & Provence 2014 - 64/42

Grand European Tour 2013 - 2/0

Grand European Tour 2014 - 2/0

Christmas Markets on the Danube 2013 - 6/1

Christmas Markets on the Rhine 2013 - 10/6

Cristmastime on the Seine 2013 - 5/3

We always travel as a couple, so this does not affect us, but we just took OAT trip Heart of India, and we had to find a departure date where there was both a single  and a double available, as we had a friend traveling with us.

Granted, you may not be able to get the exact date that you want, but there are available departures for most cruises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
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

March 27, 2013

The single supplement is for the river cruises only. Land only tours do not charge a single supplement.  There are a limited number of "singles" available on each trip, but not necessarily do you have to book a year in advance. I said not necessarily. I booked in January, as solo, on a May (2013) departure of Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. I got the last solo for that time period (May, June). I really wanted June, but May 13 was available, so I took it.

Author: jeswlloyd

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 28
Traveler Since: 2009

March 27, 2013

If you are flexible about when you want to travel, you might look at the Last Minute Deals.  This past fall we took the Great Rivers of Europe trip at the middle of November.  It was the last trip of the season.  We booked this date to accommodate the vacation schedule of our adult daughter who wanted to go.  We booked about 8 months in advance.  As a solo, she was limited to rooms on the Cantata deck.  During our trip, we encountered numerous singles who booked at the last minute, paid much less than she did, and who had secured rooms on upper decks.  That might not always happen, but it worked for them.  I suspect that rules are relaxed when GCT is trying to sell out a trip.  Of course, if you are still working Last Minute Deals might not work for you.  BTW, that was a great time for the Great Rivers cruise.  Although it was cold, it was less crowded and we did get to see some Christmas markets in Heidelberg and Cologne. 

Author: vsummers

Joined: 2/27/2012
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2012

June 27, 2013

 I returned today from the "Japan's Cultural Treasures" trip.  14 people signed up for the trip and six of us were singles, in separate rooms.  OAT might have to limit the number of singles (with free supplements) on some trips, but it certainly wasn't the case on this trip! I have never found a company that is as solo-friendly as GCT/OAT and am unlikely to travel with another company for this reason.

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

June 27, 2013

Two years ago, I took the Ireland in Depth Tour.  Out of 38 people, seven were traveling solo.  Although two of those were each traveling with a couple.  So, there were really five solo travelers.  I had been told when I booked the tour, that the limit was three solo travelers.  But what I believe is that when the time gets closer to departure, GCT will allow more.  Especially when, as in that case, it was not the original departure date for some of us. 

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

June 27, 2013

I think Pauline is right about when the company allowing more singles when the trip gets closer and the numbers are low. It sounds like the Japan trip may not have met the minimum of ten if OAT hadn't allowed more singles than usual. 

However, the OP was writing about a cruise, which usually does have very limited single spaces.

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