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Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 141
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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

June 12, 2013

Talk about loyality---I would think that on your 25th trip with them that they would give you an engraved gold watch, a diamond ring or something similar in recognition...I am curious if there is any other member with more trips than you have?

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

June 12, 2013

Wattsed- I think there are.  About 5 years or more, while attending one of the GCT grand meetings in Phoenix, the moderator asked people how many years or how many trips.  One coiuple said they had been on 29 GCT trips. 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 425
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 12, 2013

On our 2011 trip to Sicily and Malta one of our fellow tourists, Valerie, from Utah, was taking her 50th GCT/OAT trip. That's right, our PD made a special recognition of her 50th trip! And she was only 76 years old. When we got to Malta the PD there greeted her like a sister. It was the fifth trip Valerie had made to Malta with GCT. That was the eighth GCT trip for my First Mate and me and we were the third highest number.

I emailed Valerie some time after our return to request that she post on the forum to give readers an idea of the trips she had taken, but she did not respond and, as best I know, did not post on the forum. I suspect that if Valerie has remained in relatively good health she will have taken three or four more trips by now.

Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 141
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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

June 12, 2013

That reminds me of a lady I met on a Holland America cruise...she had been on the same ship for over two years and various other Holland America ships for a period of several more years...In my conversations with her she told me that she had checked out costs in a retirement community setting and found that being on the ship was more cost effective...she was treated like a queen by the staff  and had a reserved seat on the front row for any of the shows..I asked her if she got a discount by being on so many cruises and how she paid and got a strange answer which was, "no I don't and because  I do not trust them  I only pay them by the week.".

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 540
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 13, 2013

I agree with the OP; there should be recognition and rewards for those who have made 20-plus trips.

This has come up before, so apparently nothing came of those suggestions. Keep on trying.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 512
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
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 13, 2013

 As people with 14, soon to be 16 trips, we feel that the recognition given is nice and adequate. Depending on the trip,  the top three may get dinner at the captains table, a slightly better room/cabin a gift of some sort and priority on being given upgrades to higher priced cabins if they are available. It all depends on the trip and/or  the TL/PD. The recognition may be relatively minor, but it is nice. The number of trips to get recognition will vary. On the great rivers, with 12 trips, we had the most trips and had dinner at the captains table, a shirt and some other gift. The next trip on the Seine, the couple with the most trips had 28. We we in the middle of the pack with 13. For the Seine trip, we had been upgraded for free from Category D to Category A, a savings of $800 per person. From what we understand of these upgrades, when they realize that they have an empty better cabin available, they start down the list of those with lower class cabins in order of number of trips, if you say no or they can't reach you they move on to the next person in order of seniority immediately, to get the cabin assignments completed. This  seems to happen about a week or two before the trip.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 13, 2013

The only perk I remember receiving was a bowl of fruit on the Russia Revealed trip.  I've never had a complaint about my accommodation, so I don't know whether I might have received an upgrade.  At the last event I attended in Boston, I did get a lovely bouquet of flowers as did everyone with 10 or more trips.

Oh, I should add that I have one of those little pins from the Russia Revealed trip.  But it's the only one I ever received.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 425
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 13, 2013

Here are a couple of paragraphs from my journal of the Romance of the Rhine and Mosel cruise in May 2010. That was the most recognition we have yet received because of our Inner Circle membership. Incidentally, the two events mentioned were on different days.

"The ship got underway at 1600. At 1700 we got a little bit dressed up and went to the dining room for an Inner Circle Reception. Nearly half of the passengers on this cruise are Inner Circle members. To be in the Inner Circle Club you must have done at least three previous tours or cruises with Grand Circle Travel or its subsidiary, Overseas Adventure Travel. This was our seventh trip with Grand Circle so we are veteran Inner Circle members. We got some Champagne, some hors d'oeuvres, and then a free drink from the bar. Mary had a non-alcohol mixture of orange and pineapple juices. I had a draft beer. Csaba, the Hotel Manager, Marian, the Captain, and Gunther, the leading Program Director, made little speeches about how important we were to the continued success of Grand Circle Travel."

"The cocktail party was loud and boring and when everyone left, those of us who would be dining at the Captain’s table went into the library where we were given a glass of champagne, which nobody really drank, and had the menu read to us. We then paraded to the dining room where the table was set up for the Captain, the Hotel Manager, the three Program Directors, and three guest couples. One did not show up because they had not noticed the invitation, so only Mary and I and one other couple were the guests. It was a little bit awkward, especially when the Captain proposed a toast and I spilled half a glass of red wine. I didn’t get any on me but it didn’t do the white table cloth or Mary’s white sweater a bit of good. But life went on and we enjoyed the meal, the conversation, and the special attention by the maître d' and all of the waiters. Our presence at the Captain’s table was noticed and commented on by many of our fellow tourists during the rest of the evening. They thought it was a real honor, and I guess it was."

 

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 272
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

June 14, 2013

Hello Everybody -

Thank you for your feedback & suggestions.

This thread has been forwarded to the department that manages our Loyalty Clubs.  We are looking into how we can better serve & reward our loyal travelers.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCT/GCCL Forum Moderator

Author: suekansas

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 26
GCT Trips Taken: 14
OAT Trips Taken: 16
Traveler Since: 2003

June 19, 2013

Michelle, Would you please also forward my comment to the department that manages the loyalty club: 

The other day I saw a post in regard to the fact that many-time travelers should be rewarded.  That the equity between and 3 time and a 30 time doesn't differ much.   Now I can't find the post, so I will start my own subject. 

We think that GCT/OAT is a wonderful company.  That is why we are ready to leave on our 31st trip and will be doing "The Essence of the Elbe: Berlin to Prague" next week.  (On my postings I think it is showing only 28 but that isn't correct.)

I think someone mentioned that if you are a frequent traveler you wil be upgraded to a better cabin.  That isn't necessarily so.  We have been on a few occasions, but it's been some time now since we've been upgraded.  I have also seen that the many time travelers get the best rooms at a hotel.  That has happened several times, but other times I would imagine the tour director has never been told that, so it hasn't happened.   

I do feel that there are occasions when I call GCT to book that we have received a few special considerations.  We have also been given nice gifts while on a cruise for being among those who have traveled the most with GCT. 

I absolutely beleive that after say 10, 20 or 30 trips some kind of special courtesy should be given.  This is not happening!  We have also traveled with GoAhead Vacations and I know for a fact that after 20 trips you are given a free trip up to the value of $3,000.  After 10 trips you receive free travel insurance.  It's free travel cancelation after 6 trips. 

I have a travel blog and I think that GCT/OAT benefits greatly from my very positive review of the fantastic trips we have taken with them. 

So, GCT, how about rewarding those of us that are long time and many time faithful travelers with this company? 

My travel blog:  http://thefarmersmeanderings.wordpress.com/

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

June 19, 2013

To hdstein and suekansas, I concur that people who have traveled with the company as many times as you have should be rewarded with benefits that have a significant value. Also, I think they should eliminate the Inner Circle program because it seems to depend on luck as to who gets any significanl benefit from it.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 158
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2005

June 19, 2013

 janice (posted)...Also, I think they should eliminate the Inner Circle program because it seems to depend on luck as to who gets any significant benefit from it.

_______________________________________________________________

Just sayin': Don't eliminate the GCT CInner Circle and/or OAT SEH programs, I like the OAT calender and the "exclusive gift" with a new vacation.

Here are the official benefits of the GCT Inner Circle program, anything else (i.e. like a hotel room upgrade) is just "icing on the cake":  http://www.gct.com/Grand-Circle-Difference/Inner-Circle-Club/Benefits.aspx

However, I do think that there sould be some followup feedback on our suggesations/comments that were "forwarded to the appropriate department":

Hello Everybody -

Thank you for your feedback & suggestions.

 This thread has been forwarded to the department that manages our Loyalty Clubs.  We are looking into how we can better serve & reward our loyal travelers.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCT/GCCL Forum Moderator

 Re: Thank you for your feedback & suggestions.

 Too often the Forum Moderator posts something like the above post, and you never hear anything about it again. How about GCT/OAT giving us some feedback as to what the office that they were forwarded to actually does with our suggestions. In my opinion, there needs to be some followup on issues like this (i.e. that are forwarded to the responsible department). What was the people in that specific department's opinion/comments?, what was their actions in response to the suggestion?; and (if it was elevated) what is top management's opinion on the issue?, and what (if anything) is actually being changed?

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 176
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 19, 2013

Just returned from Normandy to Paris Cruise a few days ago and was finally invited to sit at the Captain's Table for Dinner.  Also got very hard pieces of fruit in our cabin which they removed after 5 days because the fruit was still hard and it might be a "health" hazard.  This was our 12th trip with GCT but we have some personal annoyances with the Inner Circle concept and will now give attention to the other popular Cruise Lines offerings for our following trips.   Loyalty just goes so far.

Author: mary jayne halli...

Joined: 9/25/2010
Posts: 57
GCT Trips Taken: 27
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1989

June 19, 2013

I will admit to being very interested in this particular topic as I am going on my 26th trip in August.  While it has been very nice being invited to the captins table, and receiving a nice gift, I did LOVE the sound of that one comment that after 20 or plus trips that a FREE trip would be offered or at the very least, FREE INSURANCE as the latter is way overpriced, however being a very senior citizen, do feel the insurance is a necessity.  Perhaps these comments will stir something up.  I HOPE!!!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 540
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 19, 2013

I sure hope something happens for you loyal travelers who've taken 20 or more trips with OAT/GCT. I doubt that I'll ever reach 20 but believe that there should be a significant reward (free insurance or a large discount) for those who have.

I  found SueKansas' post interesting. I've had the same experience since becoming an Inner Circle member, sometimes I got a better room and sometimes I didn't. I got a small gift (hard candy) from the PD once. I don't really care that much but think the program should be consistent and especially reward their long-time travelers.

I like the annual calendar.

Author: hdstein

Joined: 3/12/2010
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 21
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 1999

June 19, 2013

I am delighted that so many of you are responding to my post about Inner Circle rewards. We, too, have traveled with Go Ahead Vacations, and their "perks." are excellent. Hard fruit and candy after 20+ trips just doesn't do it. Loyalty, does indeed, just go so far. Let's see if GCT/OAT addresses this input from us. We, who have $ to spend are pretty desirable.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 19, 2013

I have my 11th trip in a little over two weeks.  And I have never, ever received a telephone call from the PD.  I did receive an e-mail before the Russia Revealed trip in 2010.  The PD on the Ireland in Depth trip the following year said he had sent me an e-mail, but I never got it.  And I'm sure that was because I had changed my provider just before.  The old one never responded to incorrect e-mails, so they just went into limbo.

There were several years when I couldn't travel, and that must have been when they instituted this practice of getting in touch with travelers.  But is that only for Inner Circle?

I did get a bowl of fruit on the Russia Revealed trip.  And one of those little pins, the only one I've ever received.  The cocktail party on the ships has always been a very poor quality champagne.  And I don't like champagne, anyway.

What else?  Room upgrades.  I've never been dissatisfied with a room I've been given, so I've never requested an upgrade.  Well, that's not exactly true.  In Vienna on the extension of the Best of Eastern Europe, my friend and I were given a small room with one regular bed and one in a cubby.  The shower leaked all over the place.  But we didn't complain, so I don't know if we would have been upgraded.  We weren't Inner Circle then.  And I don't know if the rooms I have been given were the result of an upgrade I didn't know about.  I've always felt it was the luck of the draw.

Gifts.  For the past few years, I haven't found any gifts I wanted so I just donate the equivalent to the Foundation.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 972
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
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 19, 2013

I should add that I agree that three trips is not the same as twenty plus.  And that there should be a better/larger reward for really longterm travelers.

Author: lyn

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 36
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

June 19, 2013

This is a very interesting topic and I hope that GCT will consider these comments from everyone and make some necessary changes for loyal travelers with 10, 20 or 30 trips with the company.  I like the idea of a free trip or some other incentive such as a percentage discount on a future trip.  We have traveled many times with Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean and they offer a free trip after you have booked 10 trips (70 nights).  We are almost up to our second free trip with them.  We have reserved our 10th trip with GCT.  We really like the value and the organization of the trips.  We have been treated very well on each adventure.  I know that GCT listens to their customers and they also keep up with what their competitors are doing in the industry.  Perhaps some changes are on the horizon...

Author: arnold

Joined: 10/20/2010
Posts: 15
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

June 20, 2013

Having given some thought to the above posts,  I came up with a couple of possible  perks of Inner Circle membership:    the retention of travel credits beyond the present limits .  (This year  I used GoAheadTours    credits which had accrued 3 years ago)     or,   the ability to use travel credits on last minute travel.

 

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