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Author: grandcircle

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

March 05, 2010

Do you have a favorite GCT Program Director?

Author: ajilimojil

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 9
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2002

March 10, 2010

We have been so lucky in regards to our Program Directors.  Of our 7 trips with GCT and OAT, we cannot name one that has not been wonderful.

Argentina's Andrea Salas, from our latest triip to So. America, is one of the most professional TD we have encountered.  Her perky and charming personality, added to her total dedication to our group, contributed to making this trip a really enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately for future travelers, though, one of the best is no longer with OAT.  He was our TD in in Vietnam 2 years ago and we still keep in touch.   Such a loss for OAT!

 

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 133
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

April 18, 2010

We did the China & Yangtze River Cruise trip (2007?) and ALBERT RUAN was our guide.  He was nothing short of amazing.  Our trip would have been memorable on the locations visited alone...but ALBERT made everything, even small inconveiences, enjoyable.  He was extremely knowledgable and no questions were "off-limits"  or left unanswered.  He was a "mother hen" without being intrusive.  We were glad to be a part of "ALBERT'S FAMILY". 

Author: georgiatraveler

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 2

April 18, 2010

We did that trip in 2006 and fortunate enough to be part of Albert's Family. What a truly great guy!

Author: terry327

Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

March 03, 2011

We went to china last March ( cultural capitals) what a great trip, it was our first thru gct. will not be our last . had the best tour director ever,  Alan. I got ill toward the middle of our trip ( in Xian)and he did his best to make things better for me, offered to take me to hospital, bring me food or drink. I was only down 1 day and was back on track the next day thanks to Allen and his care .

We are going to Isreal through Oats the 22nd of this month can only hope to get a director as good as Allen, I couldn't imagine getting a  better  director. When we had free time in the evening he even asked if we wanted to do more , so we kicked in a few bucks for the driver and off we would go ,saw Xian at night , went to the exotic food market in Beijing and he came along and never asked for a thing in return. he was a great guy that was really proud of his haritage and loved his job. I only hope that he comes to Chicago some day and we can show him agood time. Terry and Patty Lowry

Author: cleopat

Joined: 6/26/2010
Posts: 16
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2001

March 15, 2011

YES!!!  Michael (Zhang Hao) was the BEST EVER!!!  Actually miss him!  Tons of patience and very diplomatic in handling difficult situations.  Really went out of his way and was very entertaining and educational.  Never a dull moment with Michael!! 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
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 16, 2011

I agree with Hootie and Georgiatraveler. I went on the China's Cultural Capitals trip Feb. 22-March 7 (2011), and we had Albert Ruan. He is the greatest! Knowledgeable, sincere, funny, good sense of humor, helpful, and on and on. I think that I will forever refer to restrooms as Happy Rooms now! It was an honor to be part of "Albert's Family", as he called us. Ding ding how, Albert!

Author: boleta

Joined: 10/1/2010
Posts: 13
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

March 16, 2011

We can't believe this question was begun one year ago.  And why only Asian Program Directors?  We should mention all of them. 

Our Chinese PD was a great gal.  Lillian spoke perfect English and was a very nice person to be around.  She was informative, sweet and caring.  And, when my husband left a pair of slacks and shirt in Guilin, she had been willing to have them sent to us Stateside.

Out of our seven trips with GCT, three of our PD's stand out, though.  Our Spain/Portugal PD was Benjamim eight years ago.  Unfortunately, he is no longer with GCT, but he was fantastic.  He would give us such good advice about both countries, and he is still one of a few of our PD's who still communicates with us from time to time.

Our second PD was from Valletta, Malta  This was when GCT had a two-week land tour of Malta, which was a magnificent trip.  Too bad they aren't doing this again.  There is enough to see there to warrant the two weeks.  After reading GCt's brochure of the Malta trip, we decided to take it.  It was marvelous and our PD was such a personable young man.  In fact, before we left Malta, he had told us that he was in a scene (which had been filmed in Malta) of the movie, "Gladiator".  Sure enough, there he was, speaking a one-liner in the movie.  We were so excited when we saw this.  

We feel our best PD thus far has been Nico Favoreel.  We couldn't have enjoyed our Rhine and Mosel River Cruise last year as much if it hadn't been for him.  He was a joy to be around--he was so positive and informative and an all-around fun guy.  We hope to get him again this year when we plan our trip to the Great Rivers. 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

March 17, 2011

Sarah, our program director in Sicily (November 2009) was incredible.  She was full of energy and enthusiasm,  It was impossible not to fall in love with Sarah and her country. 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

March 17, 2011

Sarah, our program director in Sicily (November 2009) was incredible.  She was full of energy and enthusiasm,  It was impossible not to fall in love with Sarah and her country. 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

March 17, 2011

Sarah, our program director in Sicily (November 2009) was incredible.  She was full of energy and enthusiasm,  It was impossible not to fall in love with Sarah and her country. 

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 67
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

March 17, 2011

Sarah, our program director in Sicily (November 2009), was incredible.  She was full of energy and enthusiasm,  It was impossible not to fall in love with Sarah and her country. 

Author: dondaro

Joined: 6/10/2010
Posts: 21
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 1999

July 06, 2011

Just returned from China. Michael was the best program director  we ever had. Very carring and had a great sence of humor. Everyone loved him. Home for less than 2 weeks and we miss him already. Also Eddie was a great local guide in Beijing.

Author: captainlarry

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

July 07, 2011

I express my opinion of the Program Director on the evaluation I submit after each trip. I see no benefit in discussing it in this forum. The identity of the Program Director for any trip is not made known to the traveler until he or she arrives for the beginning ot the tour, or, at best, a couple of weeks before when an email form the Program Director is received. So it is difficult if not impossible to select a trip based on the identity of the Program Director. I have been on tours with what I perceived as a mediocre Program Director only to have fellow tourists rave that he or she was the "best ever". I have also followed "great" Program Directors whom other tourists reviled at end. It depends entirely on your own concept of what constitutes good service.

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

July 07, 2011

To a great extent, I agree with Captain Larry (as I usually seem to do).  However, since you have asked ...

I just returned from Ireland, so Denis Greene comes to my mind.  He is the only PD that I can remember calling each one of us after we had checked into our rooms to make sure all was well.  And in one case, I did have something to complain about.  The deadbolt on my door was not working.  I'm not sure I would have spoken to the hotel about that myself, since the hotel was very secure.  But Denis got it taken care of right away.

Some PDs have been better than others, but I can't remember one that was actually unsatisfactory.

Author: gobuckeyes

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

July 08, 2011

By far the best (2 way tie) were;

 Betty  - OAT's Imperial China, Tibet, & the Yangtze River

 Mike Buchanan -  OAT's Ultimate Australia

Author: gobuckeyes

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

January 15, 2013

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

February 08, 2013

 It would be extremely difficult for us to pick a 'favorite' program director.  In fact, we have held each one in such high regard, that on our evaluations, we write that it is unfortunate that Grand Circle/OAT can't send the program director of our trip on EVERY trip; they have all been that good.  We have NEVER experienced a program director for whom we have written a comment other than the one we have asserted above.  They have all been 'that good.'

Author: arnold

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

February 12, 2013

 Michael Wheeler,  England Scotland &Wales 2012 was one of the most knowledgable and articulate tours directors we have encountered. 

Author: sweeneylw

Joined: 2/9/2011
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

February 12, 2013

Istvan Pinter - Budapest native  and "comedian" extraordinaire

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