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2 Grand Circle Family Cruise Reviews

The boat, CONCERTO, was excellent- the rooms were large and spacious; the bathroom was clean. The food was nothing special however. The staff were very nice.There were smaller issues and I’ve reviewed the same in another post on the ... Read More
The boat, CONCERTO, was excellent- the rooms were large and spacious; the bathroom was clean. The food was nothing special however. The staff were very nice.There were smaller issues and I’ve reviewed the same in another post on the Nile Cruise. Hady, our guide, was excellent- he’s a formal Egyptologist and knew the nitty gritty of Egyptian history- and answered our questions easily. He’s been doing this for the last 15 years. Hady, gave us excellent tips and other general information on each port of call; how much we should be tipping different people; taking us to the correct shops; etc. It was an excellent four days- and the five of us (including Hady) became very friendly and easy to be with each other. The one-day difference between a 4 day-3 night (Aswan to Luxor) and 5 day-4 night (Luxor to Aswan) cruises is due to the fact that with the former you are traveling WITH the current so you get to Luxor faster; and with the latter, you are brunting the current so your travel increases by one day. The sights are exactly the same but it only takes longer due to the time of travel up river. Ports of call were: Aswan (departure)-Kom Ombo-Edfu-Luxor. Hady accompanied us through the trip, from day 1; and attended to all our queries, needs, etc. He was extremely professional, a very knowledgeable person and a very nice person to be with. During my communication with Hany, I also set up with him for the Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum tour in Cairo. As mentioned above, the food was nice- but nothing special. It was a buffet set up for all meals and the timings were set- so you either ate in those times or you missed the meals. The staff were very courteous and the cooks made my omelette very well. You should not tip individually- the Cruise requests that at the end of the cruise to put in whatever gratuity amount you want into an envelope and with your room number deposit it into the box at the reception. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The cruise itself was pleasant and easy. We went from Athens through Greece to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. It was a small ship and the other passengers were quite congenial. The group was broken into two groups of 25 that generally ... Read More
The cruise itself was pleasant and easy. We went from Athens through Greece to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. It was a small ship and the other passengers were quite congenial. The group was broken into two groups of 25 that generally went on shore excursions together the small group leader was fantastic and would not only speak about the history of the sites and countries we visited but also about the current economic and political situations in the countries as well In general with the exception of one local guide, the local guides were also great I felt that we got a good sense of the various sites and cities we saw The rooms were adequate. It was a small ship and I think they were standard for that. I think the ship was built for generally calmer water than some we encountered so there were some rocky moments Many of the passengers had travelled with this company before and were quite happy with them. They were generally older thanme (I'm 60) but this was a trip with my parents who are83 and 91. The food improved half way through the trip when the chef was replaced. It was generally fair to good but we did enjoy eating at restaurants along the way when that was possible My review of this trip was very much colored by the way that they handled my father’s medical emergency. One morning my father woke up quite ill. Because the ship was small there was no medical staff on board. The paramedics were called but the captain would not let them on the ship immediately as there was some issue about their not being able to leave Croatian territory. The captain spent precious time making phone calls. Then the captain refused to allow myself and my husband to use the oxygen on board for my father (although we are both physicians). My father was rushed to the hospital where he remained for 9 days. Grand Circle cruise line was absent for the first 8 days of an experience where my 91 year old father shared a room with four other men who smoked in the bathroom, where coffee was served in pans, and where no one other than his cardiologist spoke English. Grand Circle referred us to their insurance company , On Call. On call also did not show up but rather had a different 22 year old representative call and talk to my parents every day to check in. My father was cleared to leave five days after admission. On Call, the insurance company, who was supposed to escort him back, did not even start to initiate a plan to return him until the day he was cleared for release. He had to remain in the hospital for four more days waiting for a nurse to arrive from the US. Then he had to wait two more days before he was escorted home. He spent an additional 5 days in Croatia just waiting to go home. Meanwhile, the hospital was appalled at the lack of communication from both the cruise line and the insurance company. This experience cost myself and my siblings thousands of dollars in expenses and lost income. It turns out that Grand Circle contracts out their insurance to On Call but On Call contracts out the underwriting to something called Trip Mate. Basically everyone kept passing the buck and saying that it was the other organization that should have done something. Fortunately my father returned home safe and well. However, both Trip Mate and Grand Circle refused to reimburse most of our expenses. My 91 year old father is now trying to see what his health insurance will reimburse for the hospital bill and then we will see if that portion of cost will be reimbursed by Tripmate. What we did get finally was an apology letter from Grand Circle for our miserable experience… and a final denial to compensate us in any way. We did get some reimbursement from Tripmate but it was a fraction of our expenses and lost income (and we did not ask them to reimburse our lost income, just our expenses). If you have any potential medical issues I would strongly suggest NOT going on this ship as the captain, the company, the medical insurance company and underwriter were not responsible, professional, caring or respectful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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