Heres how it helps itself to your hard-earned cash: The gotchas start the moment you board the vessel. Any amount of compensatory. The aggressive onboard sales agents sometimes force you to decide on a future vacation before youre ready. (Annual sales and employees) What industry is the company in? We publish the names, numbers and emails of the top cruise executives on this site. One Company Refused to Refund Travelers More Than $100,000, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/travel/coronavirus-refunds-overseas-adventure-travel.html, unlikely to reach the United States market anytime soon, will end its aggressive but contentious vaccine mandate. Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprise committed to changing peoples lives through international travel. If youd rather have a bit more action, or are after a "see a lot, do a lot" city and country hopping pace, this style of travel is probably not going to hit the right note for you. The porters removed his bag and he never saw it again. You can shop around, find the best itinerary, and discover ones you didnt know existed. Grandparents & grandchildren (ages 13 and up are welcome to join). Look out for our newsletters with travel tips and special offers. And in many ports of call, the medical facilities are not up to Western standards, and the patient must pay in cash. Not so long ago, you had to pick up a phone and call your local travel agent to book a cruise. If you are injured with Grand Circle, be prepared to handle all medical necessities and communication yourself including pushing a wheel chair. (How generous of you!) This company must not have enough staffing. How can I reach them?? During the pandemic, many cruise lines instituted strict quarantine procedures some would say, too strict. Don't do business with these people. (Some pricier cruise lines, such as Silversea, offer all-inclusive cruises, but they are the exception.). Airlines are sidestepping refund regulations established by the United States Transportation Department and the European Union, betting that negative press (and even class-action lawsuits) are still preferable to negative-balance bank accounts. they acquired Cambridge, Mass.-based Overseas Adventure Travel and After a series of high-profile customer service incidents in 2012 and 2013, the cruise industry adopted a voluntary bill of rights for its passengers, to clearly communicate to them their rights regarding comfort and care in a number of important areas. The contents of this site may not be republished, reprinted, rewritten or recirculated without written permission. The pandemic exposed one of the most absurd aspects of cruising. Our values are the foundation upon which our company is built. But we need to cancel. was no longer offering refunds. Were mediating these problems on a case-by-case basis. The company has been in business since the 1980s, and has grown to become one of the largest tour operators in the world. Were always here to help. With GCC, our associates have the unique opportunity to travel numerous countries and experience once in a life time events. Same thing goes for spa treatments, most shore excursions, and alcoholic beverages. But why cant I get a refund? No longer. But which one is right for you? About Grand Circle Corporation Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprise committed to changing people's lives through international travel. For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our After registering, I can manage my newsletter subscriptions by visiting my Profile Settings page. Youll probably get the deepest discounts, and in some cases, a price protection that assures you that if the fare drops, youll get a refund. Often, they succeed. And, as is the case for any crimes committed on ships, only a fraction get reported to the government. As Preferred Sir Edmund Hillary Club / Inner Circle Customers, having made five previous trips with this company (customer number 962737), we pre-reserved our trip for mid-April 2021, and paid in full before the end of February 2020, over a year in advance. that business to include all Americans over the age of 50. And then it took them over 3 months to give us back our money which they did only after numerous phone call attempts and letters to management. By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. (But dont take your agents word for it trust but verify, as they say.). 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Grand Circle Travel Manager in development of Restaurant, Restaurant & Bar operations with outstanding record and experience in top award winning companies, Apollo Group, Celebrity Cruises, Valamar Hotels & Resorts and Grand Circle Travel. We are either rebooking travelers on another trip or providing a refund. Since mid-March, she said, O.A.T. The goal is for each of us to maximize our effectiveness, and ultimately our success, in an unpredictable and ever-changing environment. To determine if my hunch was correct, I reached out to O.A.T. I've tried to reach by each way listed without success. Supervisors and managers want everyone to succeed. Grand Circle CEO Alan Failing that, you can file a credit card chargeback or complain to the Federal Maritime Commission for violations of the Shipping Act. Lunch was provided in the cost. Grand Circle's three travel brands are Grand Circle Travel. Cruise lines add tips of up to 20 percent to your spa or bar bill. travelers in 1985 to approximately $760 million in sales and Cruise lines have always been cautious about offering their products directly to consumers, fearful that they might offend the travel agency community on which they depend for distributing their products. This tour was phenomenal from the beginning to the end! When flying on a commercial airline, booked through GCT, they negotiate a deal (to increase their. Grand Circle's Annual Report & Profile shows critical firmographic facts: What is the company's size? We make it accessible through trips that deliver unmatched discoveries, leisurely pacing, more travel choices, and comprehensive value. Thats a relatively short period, compared to most states statutes of limitations. Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion. Inside That's not entirely true. Ships appear to get less safe with each passing year. Then our columnist intervened with the Boston-based tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel. For more information about your privacy and protection, please review our full, My wife and I were excited to take our first river cruise with Grand Circle Travel/Overseas Adventure Travel (GCT/OAT) in The Netherlands in spring 2021 to see the flowers. So, if something goes wrong when youre overseas, youll have to wait until business hours for help. Grand Circle Travel was started by the founder of AARP, and as such know their demographic extremely well. Plan to arrive a minimum of 24 hours before your cruise leaves. Grand Circle Foundation Call our Regional Adventure Counselors 1-800-955-1925. Younger couples or families will probably feel out of place among the crowd on a Grand Circle tour. Why Choose a Tour with Grand Circle Travel? Other travelers looking for refunds may have a better chance if theyre dealing with companies headquartered within Hawaii, Washington state, Illinois or California. You can request a roommate if you travel solo to save on the s We had a great tour guide in Ivan, was very knowledgable, friendly and very considerate of peoples concerns. In the end, there may be no correct answer for everyone. If you need help with any problem,please contact us through this form. Its your responsibility yours alone to have the correct documents. chairman of Grand Circle Foundation. These Britrail England Flexi Passes are taking forever to refund. Whether its an optional shore excursion or an onboard auction, the cruise line wants more of your money than you spent on the cruise fare. 62% of employees think that Grand Circle Travel has a positive business outlook. Can I get a refund for my Marriott Vacation Club Points? It appears that the main cause of Grand Circle Travels financial issues is attributed to a decrease in demand for the companys services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Passengers sometimes arrive at the cruise terminal with the wrong visa or an expired passport. Our values shape our decisions, give direction to our growth, and allow us to measure our progress. Its generally a lot of smaller grievances that dont add up to much. Americas +1 212 318 2000. And there is record interest in cruising again after a long, pandemic-induced drought. We have just returned from our 6th, and probably last, Grand Circle tour. Grand Circle Travel (GCT) seems to play a few nasty games, and cheating its customers!!! I feel I was defrauded and the company has been unethical in their dealings. How do you buy a cruise, then? Even though GC advertises travel for mature adults- this is overwhelming in a foreign country. They appear to be having problems, long waits on the phone. (Mr. Anolik has a detailed breakdown of other state-by-state travel laws on his firms website. Read More rugged variety. The main thing I have to say to others is: There are many tour Companies out there, now is the time to dismiss GCT and try someone else. Access to possible upgrades and onboard credits. Why is Good UI/UX Design Imperative for Business Success? Heres what happened: Many cruise lines offered either a refund or a 125 percent cruise credit when COVID-19 hit. Our family of travel companieswhich you can read more about below . Additionally, Grand Circle Travel can look into ways to reduce overhead expenses, such as cutting down on staff or renegotiating contracts with vendors. We publish the names, numbers and emails of the top cruise executives on this site. There are a variety of ocean cruises, from budget to luxury. Two stars ONLY because of the excellent treatment we were given by our program directors both during the cruise and after I contracted Covid. If you think youll have less, get it renewed before your cruise. There was a stop at the Hoover Dam to view the dam. Our content is intended to be used for general information purposes only. If, after reading this authoritative guide on cruising, you feel that youre ready, then go for it. Lunch in one of our specialty restaurants? Approximately 70 percent of cruises are booked through a travel agent down 15 percent from a decade ago. Hotels are comfortable and centrally located. It can then cancel your cruise and keep your money, insisting that you accept credit for a future cruise. The worst fee Ive seen is for the end cut of a roast served at dinner. In order to understand the current financial situation of Grand Circle Travel, it is important to first examine the causes behind the company's financial struggles. Its an online travel agency. To get a job at Grand Circle Travel, browse currently open positions and apply for a job near you. . said in a statement that "97% of Grand Circle travelers say that Employees rate Grand Circle Travel 3.3 out of 5 stars based on 429 anonymous reviews on Glassdoor. Weve received numerous complaints from readers who purchased overpriced jewelry or art on their cruises. Excellence in our quality will continually enhance our repeat business and ultimately our financial performance. Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprisecomprised of a family of travel companiescommitted to changing people's lives by offering high-impact experiences to our travelers and building local communities through philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and volunteerism. But once you get on the ship, youll realize its a waste of money. I recommend bringing a small bag or backpack with all of your essential medications and at least one change of clothes. undisclosed amount. Answer: Yes. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Grand Circle Travel? Will this be the busiest spring break ever? No, no, no. We ran off the road and almost flipped--and Grand Circle did NOTHING. Not only did GCT require vaccination, including a booster, paperwork sent to me in my final packet, one week before departure, stated GCT policy "G.C.C.L requires all travelers wear facemasks when in public spaces while on board the ship and/or while traveling in a coach bus." The original Grand Circle Travel was founded by retired high . Quality can be subjective, and in our business quality often involves a compromise between speed and perfection. Not a week goes by that my advocates dont receive a case from someone who didnt have enough travel insurance and faced a large bill at the end of a cruise. But Massachusetts happens to be one of only a handful of states with specific laws that guarantee consumers protection against travel sellers, including requiring that tour operators offer the option of cash refunds (in addition to vouchers or credits for rebooking) when they fail to provide agreed-upon, paid-for services. Our buses had problems; the drivers were pulled from retirement and were unfamiliar with the vehicles. When the customers asked for a refund, the cruise lines said they couldnt get one future cruise credits were nonrefundable. There are new cruise lines, new ships, and new routes this year. Roz. The company notified me of the cancellation and offered either a credit for rebooking or a full refund that would have included airfare. Working at Grand Circle Travel has to be one of the best jobs I've worked at. It isnt that these items arent fun to have while youre on a cruise, but that in many cases, theyre ridiculously overpriced. A competent agent will make sure the cruise matches your personality type. WE CAN DREAM ABOUT TRAVEL Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The Tour guide read from a book, did little guiding on site and was mainly interested in getting us back on the bus. CONTENTS Overview Reviews Updated 03/02/2023 About Grand Circle Travel This profile has. The "older sibling" of Grand Circle Cruise Line, Grand Circle Travel specializes in land tours for Americans of baby boomer age and above (fifty-plus, but leaning toward the plus). Why? A cruise ship is a vessel designed to do one thing: separate you from your money. Sharing Your Travel Videos, Slideshows & Photos. Since 1958, Grand Circle has been the leader in international discovery for mature American travelers. If my cruise is canceled, am I entitled to a refund? Many of their phone agents are located in overseas call centers. Sometimes it can feel like college at times. We plan to go to Iceland. Tours & Operators on Travelstride Awarded and Featured by: 2023 Travelstride. We booked a river cruise, including airfare, and documented every detail. Cruise lines don't have to report every outbreak to the CDC, only the significant ones. Harriet Lewis will Thousands of itineraries from over 1,000 trusted travel companies. If relaxing on the cruise with a book in hand for hours on end, gliding by quiet European shores is your idea of a grand old time then Grand Circle is for you! Overseas . The Elliott Report is a consumer news site supported by Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that offers free advice and advocacy for consumers. So you couldnt review the quarantining protocols before making a booking decision and say, No, thats too much. The only way to avoid an unpleasant quarantine is to wait until the infection risk is low. How are they allowed to keep my money? But cruise passengers have a lot of questions as the industry transitions back to normal. If the agency is a member of a larger group, like AAA, youll get deals no one else has, and they may be unbeatable. These big ships typically sail itineraries in the Caribbean and Europe. I feel like I was duped by a bait and switch and wonder how many others were caught in the same scheme. A human travel agent who can take the time to sit down with you and talk about your cruise options is a tried-and-true way to buy a cruise. as its customer service. Its location on this page may change next time you visit. I respected allan lewis and spoke highly of him till i saw that he is not a man of his word and terminated loyal people and hire stupid ones he fooled us and i think this company is toxic ,he knew about sexual harassment for women and didn't do anything about itRead More. Well start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. Sears couldnt deliver my appliances. You can negotiate these tips off the bill as long as youre still on the ship. While Grand Circle Travel has seen tremendous success over the years, the company has recently found itself in a difficult financial situation. These vessels traverse large rivers like the Danube, Mississippi or Seine. Get buying tips about Travel Agencies delivered to your inbox. Agents are often incentivized by commissions and bonuses called overrides from cruise lines that reward them for booking a lot of itineraries with the same company. It appears that the main cause of Grand Circle Travel's financial issues is attributed to a decrease in demand for the company's services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But whats this $452 bill? Grand Circles motto is We Change Peoples Lives; it has certainly changed ours. As Adam Anolik, a San Francisco- based travel-industry lawyer, explained over email, thats why oversight forcing a company to comply with state laws can feel like an uphill battle. When Will Hawaiis Safe Travels Program End? Dont expect extreme luxury or especially unique accommodations however. The best they do is send a canned letter saying how sorry they are that they are behind in correspondence because of having to frequently change airline reservations for various tours. You are on hold for 2-3 hours. Tip: Avoid virus season (usually late winter and early spring). In addition, a local restaurant lunch was packed full of passengers with food being served right under their noses. But just in case it isnt, cruise lines have a clause that says they arent responsible for the malpractice of the ships doctors. Grand Circle Travel employees are most likely to be members of the democratic party. By Christopher Elliott Globe correspondent, Updated November 11, 2021, 12:00 p.m. Grand. I called, sent letters, asking for a refund. While there are several included activities, you have many options for personalization through optional extensions and plenty of free time in each destination. Completely different, and highly disappointing, from previous trips. Grand Circle Corp. is being sold to New York Candidates give an average difficulty score of 3.1 out of 5 (where 5 is the highest level of difficulty) for their job interview at Grand Circle Travel. But it was the industrys way of saying it could do better. Additionally, Grand Circle Travel may be forced to close some of its offices and cut back on its operations. And cruise lines dont like to do that. Capital portfolio company. Other passengers couldnt cruise for health reasons. Poor food, poor guidance and no involvement from the guide or the Company. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review. Established in 1958 by Ethel Andrus, educator and founder of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), we view world travel as a powerful lever for lifelong learning. The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures. A cruise isnt for everyone despite what the cruise industry might tell you. If you are on a slim budget try the " last minute" opportunities. But there are lots of cruise options. Younger couples or families will probably feel out of place among the crowd on a Grand Circle tour. Our 2020 tour has been re-booked to 2022. Copyright 2022 Consumers Unified LLC. Its a high-pressure sales pitch on the high seas. This company policy was the reason I booked with them in the first place, because, as we all know, vaccinations may keep one out of the hospital but does NOT keep one from contracting COVID. Avoid like the plague! Grand Circle's cancellation, refund and exchange policies as well Grand Circle Travel is a company that offers guided tours and river cruises to destinations all over the world. Heres how to spot it, Expert advice for booking the best hotel and finding the lowest rate, Here it is: The complete guide to holiday travel. They dont have any way to contact them. You probably need travel insurance for your cruise. Travelers routinely returned home to phone bills in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. But it refuses to refund his money. Corp. has 44 offices and employs 3,000 people. When will cruising feel safe again to you? Plenty of free time is included in the itineraries, and there is a lot of choice among optional tours. Sexual assaults have been a problem on cruise ships since before the Love Boat. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. trips and has been pressuring the company to comply with the states travel-seller laws. USTOA is a nonprofit professional association representing the tour operator industry.Its members are made up of companies who provide services worldwide but who conduct business in the U.S. Travelstride helps you search and compare 50,000+ expert-planned trips from 1,000+ companies. Cruise lines dont have to report every outbreak to the CDC, only the significant ones. Credits And Savings. They had no number call back policy and I have been on hold 1/2 hr. What is paid time off like at Grand Circle Travel? Its not just one problem, but many. If you have a severe health problem, avoid cruising. I advise focusing on a bigger problem and letting the smaller things go. My cruise line requires a vaccination and now my credits are expiring, Take that back: The ultimate guide to a product return, The ultimate guide to getting a repair, replacement or refund for your broken appliance, Cell phone customer service: How to get virtually any problem fixed now, The ultimate passenger guide to Lyft, Uber and ridesharing. Its extra. Plenty of free time is included in the itineraries, and there is a lot of choice among optional tours. Youre on vacation. Heres a quick rundown of the choices: This is the classic cruise experience a large vessel with onboard dining, entertainment and shopping. This could ultimately lead to a decline in customer loyalty and revenue for Grand Circle Travel. Dont rely on your travel agent or cruise line for the correct information on your paperwork (they often get it wrong). Travel agents can make 10 percent or more in commissions and overrides from your cruise. That agency said that it has received about 275 consumer complaints so far about canceled O.A.T. private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners for an But Im not aware of anyone who has received a refund or resolution after filing a complaint to the federal government, so if you do that, it may just be to get the cruise line in trouble with the government.