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Sail Date: March 2013
We took our first Grand Circle river cruise this spring (2013), on the M/S River Rhapsody, and I want to voice a few cautionary notes, to help people decide whether this cruise is for them. But first the strong positives. (1) The staff ... Read More
We took our first Grand Circle river cruise this spring (2013), on the M/S River Rhapsody, and I want to voice a few cautionary notes, to help people decide whether this cruise is for them. But first the strong positives. (1) The staff are uniformly competent and helpful. As just one example: my wife and I were each sick for a couple days. During those periods every employee seemed to know of the problems, and asked if there was anything they could do to help. The head of the dining room had special (very mild) meals prepared for my wife. (It was almost with reluctance I left the room on these occasions--I had to repeatedly decline offers of assistance.) Not once did we encounter any attitude other than an earnest desire to help. (2) This attitude extends to excursions off the ship. The Program Directors (PDs) led people onto the trams (streetcars), led them off, and continually operated on the assumption the passengers were inexperienced and needed assistance. It was a very safe and protective environment. (3) The accommodations were comfortable and the food was excellent. (A trifle ornate for my taste, but, if my worst problem is five-course dinners, life is pretty good!) However, here are some factors you may find worth considering. 1. There is a lack of "diversity". For example; our last land tour was with Trafalgar and we enjoyed the company of passengers from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada and England. The passengers on this GC cruise are all from the US. (A fellow passenger who travels with a friend from Canada said she had to forward Grand Circle information to the friend--Grand Circle would not even mail literature outside the US.) The result is (in my opinion) a far less diverse or cosmopolitan social setting. During one meal, for example, the conversation focused on the difference in winter weather between west Texas and east Texas. [Also, do not expect meals as in a restaurant. There are no tables for two--when you eat you socialize.] 2. This tour was advertised as featuring "walking over uneven surfaces" and people were warned the PDs could modify participation or even send travelers home if individual limitations impacted the group's experience. Yet our group (which was comparable to others--35-45 people with one PD) were mostly in their 70s or 80s, with several people in their 90s. Some people used canes; one a walker, others were very hunched over. (My wife and I are in our early 60s; our choice was to offer to help the stragglers or ignore their struggles.) I trust you can envision the speed with which this large group moved, and the time spent catching up, resting, etc. 3. Perhaps our expectation of experiencing the culture of the areas we traveled was unrealistic, because--since all tours were with our group and all meals were provided--we only ate and socialized with our other passengers. Basically, we found ourselves in a cocoon of US people protectively following the PD's flag to see and be described the sights. 4. The tour literature indicated we would have internet service, although it might not always work when we were cruising. This is an optimistic exaggeration. Even when there was a connection (at some of the stops, and occasionally when traveling) I found it only accessible late at night or when other passengers were on a tour or at a meal. (Apparently having many people trying to access it during "free time" overloads the system. Someone also lamented that many people now had "smart phones" that automatically accessed any available network for various "apps"--weather, news, etc. And forget Skype or any program that requires a faster connection.) I happened to need access at least every couple days; my repeated requests for advice on how to obtain that access finally led to the crew advising me to walk into town and find a McDonalds. (Apparently all McDonalds in Europe now have free wi-fi.) Do not plan on having regular internet access. 5. Room idiosyncrasies. Our lamp lights were 8 watt fluorescent and the ceiling light had three 40 watt bulbs; not quite bright enough for me to read by, unless it was sunny. There is a reading light inside the pull-down beds, but, if you are unwilling to limit yourself to reading only while opening up the bed and lying down, bring or buy more powerful bulbs (240v, standard screw-in sockets). Also, we booked a cabin with a balcony. Turns out those are on deck 4 (Serenade deck), which is the corridor between the dining room and lounge. If regular traffic and loud conversation outside your door (especially when people line up for the dining room to open) bothers you, don't select this deck. Also, one has to go to the lounge or Sun deck to hear the intercom with a PD's description of the sights we're cruising by, so we didn't use our balcony much. [Note if anyone from GC reads this: it would also be nice if there was music available in the cabins--we didn't really care about European sports or showing one movie over and over.] This tour had mostly repeat customers of GC, indicative that many people enjoy this level of attention, and the cloistered environment and slow pace. If you are in this category, I highly recommend this tour. However, as I'm sure GC will agree, this tour is not for everyone, and there are other reputable companies out there. I encourage you to compare. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Wanted to take a river cruise and see eastern Europe. We had extreme heat from Prague to Bucharest. In Belgrade the ship broke down due to extreme heat of 110. Two of the three generators failed and couldn't be fixed. It probably ... Read More
Wanted to take a river cruise and see eastern Europe. We had extreme heat from Prague to Bucharest. In Belgrade the ship broke down due to extreme heat of 110. Two of the three generators failed and couldn't be fixed. It probably couldn't be fixed probably because the ship was so old...17 years. They didn't have a part and who knows if that part was even made. Other ships, i.e. Viking withstood this heat because they were new and well maintained. This is my biggest grip along with missing the best part of the trip going through the Iron Gates and the locks. We then had to be bused from Belgrade to Bucharest as this ship couldn't be fixed to meet our deadlines. The 4 directors were wonderful and worked very hard arranging for what was to come next. They were busy day and night. They did their best under the circumstances. The food on the ship was excellent and Grand Circle certainly takes care of their passengers. They deserve a lot of credit. Bottom line... We will never take any old ship again whether it is a river ship or ocean ship. They all seem to have problems. Combined with the horrible heat, which couldn't be helped, the trip was very disappointing. This was not the way we wanted to see eastern Europe on a bus. We did not get what we paid for. I'm sorry but I cannot recommend GCT because of their old ships. This may not have happened if the weather was the way it should be, but the ship should have been able to within this, as other newer ships did. We really enjoyed the first part of our trip seeing Prague, the Czech Republic and visiting a family's home, seeing the beautiful lights sailing at night in Budapest. That part we highly recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We wished to learn about the Normandy Invasion and enjoy another river cruise. The Normandy day trip was quite emotional and many passengers were there to honor relatives and veterans. The itinerary, staff, Program Directors and food ... Read More
We wished to learn about the Normandy Invasion and enjoy another river cruise. The Normandy day trip was quite emotional and many passengers were there to honor relatives and veterans. The itinerary, staff, Program Directors and food were all outstanding. Christophe Leger was our leader and a passionate traveler, historian, and all around good guy. His concern for our welfare, attention to details, and his enthusiasm for French culture and history all contributed to a very enjoyable cruise. A nice touch was the added shuttle bus for those of us who arrived a day early to give us 2-1/2 hours in Paris for a walk-about and a café lunch. This was a nice surprise. Also on departure day, GCT provided an employee to greet us at CDG to point us to the correct departure counters. That place is humongous! I nearly hugged the guy! I suggest asking for a top deck cabin on the right-hand side, as we tied up 3 times to another boat and had to keep our curtain closed during the day. Also when the Eiffel Tower lights up, you can't see it from your port-side cabins. Another suggestion: for the wonderful home-hosted visit, the bar staff onboard had gift wrapped bottles of wine. Our family was enthusiastic to collect various wines and this was an easy solution to bringing a hostess gift. We booked this cruise at the last minute and yet all details were handled well. You can't go wrong with Grand Circle Tours. This is go-to tour company! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Meals: Breakfast: full gamut of choices from freshly made omelets on down to fruits and danish. Lunch: plenty of options each day from cooked dishes to make your own sandwiches. Dinner: portions small, but meals are 4 course! I asked ... Read More
Meals: Breakfast: full gamut of choices from freshly made omelets on down to fruits and danish. Lunch: plenty of options each day from cooked dishes to make your own sandwiches. Dinner: portions small, but meals are 4 course! I asked for double lamb chops, no problem. You could double whatever you wish. I often had two desserts as I wanted to taste several options. Always available at lunch and dinner are hamburgers and breast of chicken. Both rather plain, but good if you don't fancy what's on offer on the menu! Staff was very accommodating. I required Kefir milk and they went out and bought a supply just for me! Danish shortbread cookies appear in the lounge near the coffee machine in the afternoons. You will gain weight and won't ever have hunger pangs! We felt so stuffed we decided to skip dinner one evening. We made sandwiches at lunch and put them on top of our air conditioner. Cold enough to keep them cooled all afternoon. Our cruise was a month. Some days we felt less social and needed a break, so we took lunch back to our cabin. Never had any issues with buffet lines. Everyone very respectful. Five of us chose to stay on board the day the rest went on an excursion and the boat sailed on to meet them at the next port. One couple stayed in their room. We and another person had lunch in the dining room, having pre ordered our sit down meals from a limited menu! We had thought we'd have to take something from breakfast as there wouldn't be lunch. They seem to think of everything. Wait/Kitchen staff: EVERYONE was super nice, helpful and friendly. I was pleased that we were allowed to have a cousin and wife spend a day with us in a port as visitors. We were also allowed to book them in for dinner at a reasonable cost. There are no reserved tables, but we were told to be first to enter the dining room and we would easily be able to snare one of the two tables for 4. They understood that another couple stuck with us would have been bored with our catch up on family conversation! As guests they also allowed free beer and wine in the lounge. Library: comfortable and an excellent amount of books to suit all tastes. Lounge: comfortable. Bit crowded for port talks. Fine for entertainment and lectures as not everyone is there. Cruise Directors: Our Cristian, along with Kiril, Ivor and Zoli on the Eastern Europe portion of our cruise were top notch. On nights where local entertainers didn't come on board, the cruise directors came up with more than enough things to keep us happy....even horse racing, with betting, and drinks! We had a resident pianist half the cruise and resident pianist/singer the other half. The crew's show was a riot. I thought it was going to be a talent show, but not so! The cruise directors make a point of sitting with you at meal times...at least breakfast and dinner, one or two of them at a time. They purposely make the rounds of tables and are happy to talk about whatever you wish and answer any questions, difficult or otherwise about their lives and countries. Experiences: All programs were good to excellent. We had many surprises from lectures to walks to food tastings. The home hosted lunch was informative and interesting. Playing a language game with the children who are learning English was great fun. Highly recommend Grand Circle. This was our second trip with them. First was a ground tour. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because it went up the Eastern Coast of Italy from Malta to Venice in 17 days. (or vice-versa) It was called the Undiscovered Adriatic and it was! Malta is a jewel and a good starting point for us. Then up the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went up the Eastern Coast of Italy from Malta to Venice in 17 days. (or vice-versa) It was called the Undiscovered Adriatic and it was! Malta is a jewel and a good starting point for us. Then up the coast to local towns with many UNESCO stops along the way. Too many highlights to mention here. The ship is small only 50 passengers. There are 2 trip leaders so we were in two groups. Crew, food and accommodations were very good to excellent. The rooms are smallish for me but adequate for sure. Balcony rooms are a waste since we were so busy there was no time to sit around and the deck on the upper level was delightful. It was truly an amazing adventure for discovery, learning and history. And making Limoncello and cannolis were a lot of fun!. We even took the bicycles out for a spin at a local beach. One could say it was a bit expensive but meals, entertainment and local tours are included. A definite adventure into the local culture of the stops we made. Even Plan B's were wonderful. That occurs when the sea is too rough to move. Lots of walking, we recorded almost 5 miles a day. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
River Adagio, from Budapest to the Black Sea, Aug 18-30, 2017 The River Adagio is an older ship, but kept in very good shape. All cabins are 160 square feet with two beds that fold out from opposite walls with a narrow, permanent table ... Read More
River Adagio, from Budapest to the Black Sea, Aug 18-30, 2017 The River Adagio is an older ship, but kept in very good shape. All cabins are 160 square feet with two beds that fold out from opposite walls with a narrow, permanent table in between. I traveled solo, so I found the cabin quite sufficient. This was my first river cruise and first time with Grand Circle and I couldn't be more pleased. I chose this itinerary as, other than Budapest, it was completely new to me. I was lucky in that our weather was excellent (sunny and in the 80s-90s almost everyday). The ship holds about 160 passengers and we were divided into four sightseeing groups, each with its own Program Director, who co-ordinate the daily activities. After breakfast we usually had a bus or walking tour and returned to the ship for lunch. After lunch there was usually a walking tour and some free time for shopping or further exploration. We returned to the ship in late afternoon and had a port talk (about the next day's destination, schedule and activities), followed by dinner and then either an activity (karaoke, bingo. trivia contest) or a folk performance. If you chose to participate in all the activities, you were kept busy from about 8 am to 10 pm! They pack in a lot. There was only one full cruise day and it's of the most scenic part of the Danube passing the rock sculpture of Decibelus and going through the Iron Gates (locks). Grand Circle emphasizes "learning and discovery." They hire local guides for every stop who talk about their country's/city's demographics, geography, history, culture, economics, etc. Our four program directors were from Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. The crew and the staff of the River Adagio was mostly from the Balkans, too. The meals onboard ship also reflected the cuisine of the countries visited. So, although the guests are predominantly American, Grand Circle creates a culture-rich experience in many other ways. In addition, Grand Circle arranges a family visit in which groups of about ten have lunch in a local family's home and visit with them to learn about their lives. Grand Circle also arranges special talks at various stops along the journey. We heard from a man in Budapest who helped the refugees flowing into Hungary two years ago. In Serbia we heard from an older man who told us what it was like to live under communism in Tito's Yugoslavia. In Bucharest we heard from a man who took part in the 1989 revolution which overthrew the dictator, Ceausescu. We also heard a talk by a young woman who is part of the Roma community. The meals and service onboard were delicious and excellent. Breakfast was a large buffet with a wonderful variety of traditional breakfast foods. Lunches and dinners were full service meals with several courses and several choices, mostly with a local flavor. They did their best to accommodate special diets. Wine and beer flowed freely with lunch and dinner. The staff and crew were very friendly, always reminding you to have a good day or meal. Grand Circle caters to an older clientele (50+). Most are seasoned travelers who want more than a quick overview of the places visited, a big shopping trip or a fancy ship. They have developed a very loyal following who act like an arm of their marketing department. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Romance of the Rhine and Mosel I went to a presentation by GCCL and could not believe how many people had cruised with them before. Many had traveled more than 20 times with GCCL. Mom, 92 and still agile, and son active 70 year old ... Read More
Romance of the Rhine and Mosel I went to a presentation by GCCL and could not believe how many people had cruised with them before. Many had traveled more than 20 times with GCCL. Mom, 92 and still agile, and son active 70 year old really enjoyed the pre-trip in Switzerland. I used to live in the pacific northwest and am familiar with mountains, but the alps are amazing. We bused from Lucerne to Basel where we boarded the River Rhapsody where we were greeted with champagne and a hot towel - nice. Our state room was on the second deck in the very front right over the bow thrusters which made quite a lot of noise when used (locks and docking). It is a good thing that I can sleep through anything. Still I would try to avoid room 214 or whatever is just across the hall. I did like that the beds folded up during the day so that there were small couches and a table you could sit at. I do not like the duvet covers because it is so hard to regulate sleeping temperature. Closet space is adequate. The ship is not new 1999, but it is spotless. Our ship had engine problems and so we were stuck at a location not on the itinerary for 2 nights. GCCL program directors worked till late at night to arrange great tours and buses. I think that what we experienced may have been better than what was on the normal schedule. (We didn't miss any of the signature stops), Service in the dining room was really excellent on the right side of the ship, the servers learned our names and what we liked. The left side of the ship had ok servers, but not outstanding. I thought that the food was excellent and varied (with a local offering at each port). Now to the best part of the cruise, the program directors. All three were excellent, but ours Rebecca was far and above any that I could imagine. She was articulate, caring, observant, interactive with locals and us, purchased food for us to try. I don't have enough superlatives to describe her. Local guides varied from really excellent to mechanical. The guide our group had in Marksberg castle was not very good. Overall I really enjoyed the trip and definitely would travel with GCCL again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We just returned from a week on the Athena leaving from Athens to 6 of the Greek islands and Ephesus Turkey. Before leaving I read the Cruise Critic review of the Athena, fairly positive, and the reviews of two who had sailed on the ... Read More
We just returned from a week on the Athena leaving from Athens to 6 of the Greek islands and Ephesus Turkey. Before leaving I read the Cruise Critic review of the Athena, fairly positive, and the reviews of two who had sailed on the Athena, quite negative. So having done many Crystal Cruises it was with mixed emotions and low expectations that we ventured forth. The embarkation process was set the tone for the whole cruise. We were greeted warmly by the staff who efficiently handled our paper work and guided us and our luggage to our room. Subsequent disembarking/re-embarking was similarly handled - smooth and efficient. After the week we, and our 18 travel companions, are hard pressed to find fault with the Athena and find those reviews are not the least bit representative of what we experienced. Our travel companions were all American with an average age of late 50s or early 60s; all of them were seasoned travelers and most had traveled with GCT many times - one had 26 trips with GCT/OAT. One guest fell and broke her nose and arm, but she got immediate and good medical attention and was able to complete the cruise with her arm in a sling. On one of the small islands another guest needed an emergency prescription, but the pharmacy was closed - until the tour director got involved and arranged for the prescription to be filled. First, this is a small boat and the entertainment, medical facilities, exercise facilities and amenities are not going to compare to a large cruise ship. This is like a small private yacht where you spend little time in your room - most of it is spent in the common areas visiting with other guests. The overall condition of the boat was very good to excellent - there was no evidence of significant damage or wear. Our room was modest in size with a small veranda. It was quiet, well organized with plenty of storage space and had a very nice bathroom/shower for a small boat. The lounge area had a very nice ambiance and the availability of free house wines, beer and many non-alcoholic drinks was a nice feature. The house wines were very drinkable and there was really no reason to pay for the more upscale ones. We had great weather and were also able to enjoy being outdoors on the upper deck. The onboard ambiance was very nice and very casual - shorts and golf shirts were perfectly acceptable dinner dress. The Captain and Hotel Manager and their staffs were Croatian, Ukrainian or Indian and were first rate. They were friendly, engaging, very competent doing their jobs and blended in as if they were one of the passengers - they quickly learned our names and personal preferences. While weather conditions can create schedule variances for cruises, all of our schedules were communicated in advance and met. Our tour director, Maria Charalampidou, was excellent and ensured we got comfortably early starts to avoid crowds - however, when 3 or more big cruise ships arrive in Santorini at the same time there crowd avoidance is brief and there is little they can do as the crowds become oppressive. The food was very good - great quality, nicely presented and reasonable portion sizes for most people; special requests, such as my salmon omelettes, were cheerfully received and honored. All in all it was a great tour of the islands and Ephesus on a very nice boat with an excellent crew - I would sail on the Athena again with this crew without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
We travel with Grand Circle because 1. The pricing is terrific, 2. A home-hosted visit is always included on all of their trips including river cruises, 3. Travel is always very casual., and dockage in Paris is within walking distance ... Read More
We travel with Grand Circle because 1. The pricing is terrific, 2. A home-hosted visit is always included on all of their trips including river cruises, 3. Travel is always very casual., and dockage in Paris is within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and many museums. Seating in the dining room is open and the food is very good. Grand Circle hires their chefs well. Staff aboard ship is always pleasant. Because there are only 135 passengers on the river ship, you get to know your fellow travelers fairly well. In fact, we met some folks on our first river cruise from Paris in 2004 and became friends keeping in touch throughout the ensuing years. . Several years ago they visited us and ended up moving to our community. Navigating the airports is very easy with Grand Circle as they have people to get you to the airport on time for return home and to handle your luggage. In other words, GCT takes care of the details and you just relax and enjoy! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This is a trip for the curious. Do you like to try new food sensations? Do you enjoy learning? Do you like to mix with fellow travelers and ship's staff? Do you enjoy history both recent and distant? If not try something else. ... Read More
This is a trip for the curious. Do you like to try new food sensations? Do you enjoy learning? Do you like to mix with fellow travelers and ship's staff? Do you enjoy history both recent and distant? If not try something else. The weather may change as will the sights you will see, the wine you will drink and the people you will meet. Isn't that what travel is all about - new experiences on all levels.? The staff on this ship could not have been better. They tried with all their being to make us older folk happy. They work long, long hours for our benefit and pleasure. They gave us the impression they really liked us which is tough when you have to treat a new group every ten days or so. The program directors are very well chosen, knowledgeable, gregarious and great "cat" herders. We had live music every night in the lounge - requests welcome. One night we were entertained by the entire staff (including the captain) with song, jokes and silly skits which all passengers seemed to love. The wait staff were attentive, cordial and even flirtatious if they had figured out you were single and so inclined. Nothing overt though just enough to boost one's ego - we are talking fantasy here which every good trip should include. Food was great. How do they manage in such a small space to produce excellent quality meals for over 100 people each day three times a day? From my perspective nothing could have been better except an extra pillow a bit harder than the ones provided. I woke up each day with joy that I was fortunate enough to experience all the wonders that I was about to encounter. I felt like a child (I'm 75) being taken care of by very, very young and caring grandparents - another fantasy for the older set. Kudos Grand Circle. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I wanted to experience the Rhine and Mosel Rivers and to go to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland. The Ship was excellent and the food divine. The tours were one of a kind in some places. The 120 ... Read More
I wanted to experience the Rhine and Mosel Rivers and to go to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland. The Ship was excellent and the food divine. The tours were one of a kind in some places. The 120 people on the ship were all older but refined and easy to get to know. The optional tours were fabulous and not that expensive. I took all except one in Germany to an old castle which I had already been to years ago. The cabin attendant Albano from Portugal was a gem. He was the top hit at the talent show when he sang Louis Armstrong. I must say that you meet the nicest people on Grand Circle. Not pretentious but down to earth wonderful individuals. GCT has program directors on the whole trip who "baby" you and pamper you to the nth degree. Many people on the cruise were returnees and some had over twenty trips with GCT!! Read Less
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