It's funny the different takes on this. In most of the 11 or 12 trips with GCT we've taken, MOST of the time the PD was behind the whole group except when they were giving a description or discussion with the whispers. Most of the time, the PD walked between the front, middle and back to see if all was okay. One PD on the River Seine cruise even pushed the wheelchair of one of the passengers who insisted on going on the tour. Her caregiver was not able to push the wheelchair herself. The terrain was up hill and not on any concrete, but on dirt with rocks. Someone helped her to push over the rocks. I mentioned to the PD that it wa nice of her to take charge of the wheelchair when it wasn't her job. She told me that IT WAS HER JOB. This woman in the wheelchair is the same woman the PD spent a whole night with in the hospital-- this terminal woman who was given hours to live, holding her hand lest she die there; that was not the first night the PD spent in the hospital with her. The PD did not make breakfast, but she was there, without a wink of sleep or a change of clothes, on the bus tour that left at 9:00 am. Again she told me it was her job! She cried when she asked forgiveness if she sneaks a few winks in the back of the bus, but to pray for that woman. I think the woman was eventually medevac-ed out that day.
I agree with some of the posters on the What to Know in brochures and catalogs. For the Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast, we had very challenging activities, but there was nothing describing what the "3-4 miles throughout a day" would entail. I told the PD that a more descriptive explanation of just what the trip entails would be more helpful so that we can either book the trip or not. I also wrote it in my review. No one said we had to partake of the tour, but waiting with the bus driver would not be a good idea since we would not be going back to the same area to board the bus. I don't think GCT will ever change the description, though, just my hunch. On this particular itinerary, I called GCT several times to discuss the hikes and was told that looking at the other trips we had taken, we could certainly do the Hidden Gems.
I received a booklet from AAA on a trip recently, and they described the activities as one, two, or three walkers, and stated the challenges in degrees of 1 walking, 2 small hill, 3 challenging hike, or something to this nature--I don't have the book now.
Even though I walk on a treadmill at 3 miles per hour, and around our park sometimes at at least 3.3-3.4 mph, we rarely use a cane on trips, just to go up or down hills or steps--and that's a lot. We are in constant pain with our knees and back, but we don't keep the others from going at their pace. We don't ask the PD to "wait for us" or help us. They do it anyway, because, more than one told me, IT'S OUR JOB.