Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to participate in the forum. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: mmerhoff

Joined: 9/18/2011
Posts: 13
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Australia South Africa Europe - 4 river cruises Greece

Traveler Since: 2012

August 08, 2017

BE AWARE - POLICIES ARE CHANGING THAT AFFECT HOW SINGLES ARE BOOKED IN 2018.  I just got back from Gems of the Dalmation Coast and tried (operative word) to book a small ship curise for the Riveria in April 2018.  Unfortunately, I found that Grand Circle is changing how singles are treated.  (I've taken 9 GTC trips so far with number 10 scheduled for August 2018.  I try to take two trips a year and I've never traveled with any company except Grand Circle Travel.)  Their small ships have a capacity of 50 and usually have two single cabins on the lowest deck.  The cabins are usually identical regardless of location with the exception of cabins that have a baby balcony. 

For both trips this year. I was able to go through Inventory to get an upper deck cabin with a balcony.  I pay a single supplement and the hgher price for the better cabin but that's to be expected and I've felt the price has been reasonable. 

For 2018, I've been told the small ships will have 4 cabins for singles for each trip.  There will be the 2 on the lowest deck, 1 on the main deck and 1 on the upper deck.  (This will also apply to ships on the river cruises.)  OAT and Grand Cricle Land trips will have also "limits" on the number of singles that are permitted.  For OAT trips, I was told it's 3 singles per trip - not sure about GTC land trips.  Once the single spaces are sold, we singles are out of luck.  Inventory will not change any rooms or spaces and at this point, it's "no exceptions."  On my last trip, there were 7 of us who were "singles".  Had this rule been in place for my recent trip, at least 2 or 3 of us would NOT have been on the trip!

The number of singles is growing and most of us - me incljudes - will NOT consider a share with anyone!  And I'm willing to pay for a better cabin.  I was able to book my Baltic trip for August 2018 because I gave GCT a deposit months ago and called the minute bookings were opened.  But I can't usually book 15 months in advance as I teach and do consulting. 

So - singles be aware of this policy change.  I'm sure that if the cabins are not sold out, we might get something BUT it also means you cannot plan for any trips.  To me, it also means that Grand Circle is changing to be less accommodating for singles.  I certainly understand making a profit but the change is unfortunate.  And I'm betting if any of us are willing to pay double we can book whatever cabin on whatever trip we want.  It has already forced me to ask all of the people who were on my recent trip for recommmendations for other comapnies because I'm not going to stop traveling.  My trips just may or may not be with Grand Circle anymore. 

Author: rkauzlarich

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 103
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2009

August 08, 2017

The new policy on limiting singles has been discussed quite a bit on the OAT Forum.

https://www.oattravel.com/legacy/community/travel-forum.aspx?g=posts&t=13757

Author: esther

Joined: 10/8/2012
Posts: 33
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 17
Countries Visited:

7 Continents; 158 Countries; 47 States

Traveler Since: 2009

August 08, 2017

I've been following another thread on the OAT forum closely as I book as a single.  The thread  is called "Other (non OAT) Travel Options"  and several members have cited good companies  with low or free single supplements. The thread  is now 3 pages long - here is the link   

 

Author: mmerhoff

Joined: 9/18/2011
Posts: 13
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Australia South Africa Europe - 4 river cruises Greece

Traveler Since: 2012

August 08, 2017

The actual OAT posting is called Has OAT Changed its policy on Single Availability?  I recommend that everyone look at it starting with Page 1.  I have never taken an OAT trip as the idea of a tiny group scares the crap out of me.  I want to be able to "hid" depending on the group dynamics.  In any case, I'm going to also put my posting on the OAT forum as well.  I've loved my trips with Grand Circle and I'll just have to see how this works out in the future!

 

Author: bantryb

Joined: 4/4/2013
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2006

August 15, 2017

I, too, am very disappointed with the new singles policy rigidity. I am a group leader and have been leading groups through GCT for 10 years. Many of my travelers are singles and they do NOT want to room with someone else. 

We just got back (in May) from the England, Scotland, Wales trip where I took 14 travelers. Of that number, there were only 3 couples.  With the new policy in place, I will find it impossible to earn a free trip, given that I have such a large number of singles. Too, as a single who snores loudly and who needs my space away from my group at end of day, I am finding it difficult to even find a single for myself.

Grand Circle, you're making a big mistake. You're forcing me into shopping your competitors, and if they supply me with a great trip, you will most likely lose my business permanently, I"m sorry to say.

I'll be looking at the suggestions on OAT for alternative suppliers.

Author: pattimck

Joined: 1/9/2014
Posts: 37
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Countries Visited:

Only 6 continents. Antarctica is still on my bucket list.

Traveler Since: 2006

August 15, 2017

I have also run up against this new policy, and was told that invreentory will make no exceptions, even when trying to schedule my 22nd trip, when I asked for an upper deck as a solo traveler. Per GCCL if I wanted my own room on the upper deck (balcony deck) I would haver to take a double occupancey room an pay 2 person price. Hmmm. Viking and Tauck may get my future business, and Grand Circle will get my comments about "solo friendly" on Cruise Critic.

Author: mmerhoff

Joined: 9/18/2011
Posts: 13
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Australia South Africa Europe - 4 river cruises Greece

Traveler Since: 2012

August 19, 2017
Pat and others - Supposidly, there are to be FOUR single cabins on each of the small ships. I think every ship has 2 singles on the lowest deck. There is supposed to be one cabin designated for singles on the main deck and one on the upper deck. I've personally had an upper deck cabin on two separate small ship cruises this year! I wrote this post because I couldn't book a small ship for April 2018. One NEW thing I learned the other day is that Inventory is ALSO limiting th e number of Pre-Reservations being allowed for singles. While a "pain", I think this is a good thing as it "helps" to insure that a person will be able to "book" a single once the dates and prices are published. BUT if you hesitate, I'm sure you won't get anything! I still don't like this policy and think the Lewis family is being penny wise and pound stupid. With the attack in Spain, I'm betting that many people are canceling trips. This makes this policy even more senseless. Personally, I will continue to travel. I'll try to book with Grand Circle but if I can't get the cabin I want when I want it, I'll go to other competing companies that are more open to singles!

Author: janice.

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 373
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

August 19, 2017

There's always the possibility that a person with a single reservation will cancel (I've done it twice) which would result in a single becoming available. As far a I know, they don't have a wait list so it may be worthwhie to periodically check to see if a single has become available.

I've traveled with many other tour providers and have had many marvelous experiences which would not have been possible if I had limited my choices to Grand Circle's offerings.

Author: kba

Joined: 6/19/2010
Posts: 91
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

August 22, 2017

Is the new policy posted on the GCT site?  I did not receive Harriet's letter.  I have so enjoyed traveling with Grand Circle and have always upgraded to a room with a balcony on the river cruises.  I will not travel with a room mate and, as many have indicated,I am researching alternative companies.  

Author: ginirn

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 50
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

US including Hawaii. Ireland twice., Italy, UK, multiple cruises

Traveler Since: 2013

September 11, 2017

What hits me the most with this and other recent changes is the 180• change in the attitude toward the customer. Previously the emphasis has always been to please and retain customers. If a change was unpopular the company would try to accommodate the customer and always welcomed suggestions and critiques to improve the travel  experience.  Now if a single says they are unhappy enough to look elsewhere the company more or less shrug s and seems to say we really don't mind losing you as long as we can replace you 2 for 1. It's really too bad . However it is a pretty widespread attitude these days for companies dealing with both customers and employees. Usually the change happens when new management comes on board with the intent to improve the bottom line.

Author: bristolsg@cox.ne...

Joined: 8/19/2016
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

September 17, 2017

I find all of these posts very interesting.  A friend and I travel together, but prefer to travel as solo travelers because we each want our own room.  On land tours, that is not a problem  However, we recently tried to book a river cruise.  The single supplement was listed, and they always tout their solo traveler availability, but yet not one single departure for all of 2018 had any solo availability.  That trip was recently cancelled by GCT, and we wanted to take a different trip.  Every trip we looked at had extremely or no availability.  They are now misleading everyone with their positioning and marketing to single travlers.  It's too bad!

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.