Grand Circle Travel

Grand Circle Travel Reviews

347 Congress Street, Boston, MA

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Grand Circle Travel Reviews

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    Reviewed June 13, 2024

    I just returned from our “Budapest to the Black Sea" cruise. It was a fantastic experience. I certainly did not expect to learn as much as I did. First off, the ship was very comfortable. The rooms were maintained in tip top shape at all times. The beds were comfortable and we had no trouble sleeping whatsoever. Then there was the food. I just can’t believe the talent of these chefs. Each and every plate brought out was a work of art. They always offered several choices, and you could always order salmon or chicken if something on the menu didn’t appeal to you. I ordered salmon once just to try their salmon. Delicious! Their desserts were beautiful. One thing I really liked was that they didn’t try to stuff you. The portion sizes were sensible, although there were a couple times that I probably should have said “Half Portion” just because I didn’t arrive for that meal as hungry as usual.

    Service: The wait staff in the dining room were unbelievable. We would walk in and our iced tea and wine were waiting for us. My wife eats gluten free, and after they knew that, they had gluten free toast waiting for her at breakfast, and gluten free bread at other meals. They took such good care of my wife. The cruise itself was very good, however you must remember that when you travel to Eastern Europe, you are going to learn a lot about communism, tragedy, heartache and cruelty. You will also learn how the people in these countries overcame the evil and returned to the proud countries they used to be.

    The Program Directors were just incredible. They literally became our family. I can’t believe the depth and breadth of their knowledge for countries they have only visited, although each of the four directors were citizens of one of the five countries that we visited. This cruise is different than “The Great Rivers of Europe” cruise that I went on eight years ago. This cruise centered around learning rather than just sightseeing. The people they brought on board to teach us about their country were amazing. It always generated great conversation.

    After ten days on board, we reached the Black Sea. After a champagne toast and a dip in the sea, we were put on a bus to Bucharest, Romania. We stayed in a beautiful Sheraton hotel and had wonderful meals served to us that included local wines. From start to finish, this was a class act. It was also VERY reasonable. I know for a fact that a friend who is in Europe today on a competitor cruise spent more than three times what I spent for this cruise. I cannot see how the accommodations, food or service could have been better on another cruise line. Grand Circle Tours definitely goes the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction. You won’t be sorry you booked with them!

    Customer ServicePunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 28, 2024

    My recent cruise, "Romance of the Rhine & Mosel" on the MS River Harmony, was my 12th trip with Grand Circle Cruise Line or Overseas Adventure Travel. As a recent widower, this was my first solo cruise and I was concerned that I might not be able to handle the loneliness. As it turned out there was absolutely nothing for me to worry about. The crew, Program Directors, and fellow travelers all made sure that the trip was filled with fun, interesting activities, and well-planned excursions at the various ports of call along the way.

    I was impressed with the fact that the Program Director, Amin **, sent me a long email a few days before my departure, with some current advice about weather and plans with reminders of appropriate articles for me to pack. During the trip, Amin's knowledge, compassion, enthusiasm, management skills, and keen sense humor was the spark that lit up the entire trip. A true gentleman and professional. GCCL is noted for the quality of their employees, and Amin is right at the top. The lounge at the bow was large and comfortable with a well-stocked bar with enough bartenders to keep us all happy. Evening entertainment was always fun and the discussions were timely and informative. There was never a reason to spend time in my cabin (except to sleep).

    The Dining Room at the stern was served by a small galley run by 3 Chefs, 2 Cooks, a Pastry man and 2 Kitchen Stewards. The meals they produced were simply amazing, artfully plated and always prepared to perfection. They were delivered by waiters whose skills and competence made every sitting a successful one. GCCL has the right to claim to be the best. I am looking forward to my next adventure with them. YES, I would and have recommended them to friends.


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      Reviewed May 5, 2024

      I couldn’t have been more pleased with my recent trip to Belgium and Holland on Grand Circle Cruise Lines. Our air connects were seamless. We were met by a delightful young lady who directed us to a small van where we were transported to our hotel in Bruges. The hotel was five star as far I was concerned. Centrally located to the historic part of the city. We met our travel program director that evening. Bob ** was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the city, friendly, funny, and just a delight. From Bruge we traveled to Ghent and Antwerp.

      The accommodations on the River Harmony were gracious. We had plenty of room to unpack all our things and put our suitcases out of site. That’s one of the best features of a riverboat cruise… you only have to unpack once! My roommate and I met some delightful ladies on the trip that we ended up eating with and spending time together. The meals on the boat offered a wide variety of choices at each seating. The waiters and waitresses couldn’t have been more friendly. We loved chatting with them and learning about their home countries. I was particularly taken with Bob’s knowledge of the history of all the cities we visited. One special thing Bob did was to arrange reservations for my daughter and her family who just happened to be in Delft the same day we were. I do so appreciated his kindness. And speaking of kindness, we witnessed a person from another tour group take a fall from her bike.

      Bob rushed over to assist her!!! My roommate and I appreciated the free time we were given each day to explore on our on. We always had maps and suggestions from the programs directors of special sites or shops we might want to visit. One thing I also appreciated was we were never “forced” to do anything, but encouraged to do what we thought would be of the most interest to us. Bob was always very clear about times and places we had to meet the group to head back to the boat.

      Another feature of Grand Circle that I really enjoy are the home visits. We had a delightful visit with a lovely Dutch lady who treated us to coffee and cookies and shared interesting tidbits about her life in Holland. This was my third Grand Circle Cruise. I would definitely choose GCT to travel again. There were three highlights of the trip among numerous memorable explorations. Seeing Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child in Bruges, the Ghent Altarpiece, and of course the Keukenhof Gardens were truly inspiring. The only disappointment we had was not being able to visit Amsterdam due to the King’s birthday. Had we know that, I’m pretty sure we would have signed up for the post-trip to Amsterdam. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad we made the choice to travel with GC again!!


      Reviewed April 27, 2024

      This was the first trip with Grand Circle Travel. Since we were the only Canadians on the trip, we assume that they do not market heavily to Canadians. We had never heard of the company but came across a great offer on Travelzoo. We had never taken a guided tour as we were concerned that there would be pressure to participate in all the planned activities. However there was not. We were free to do as we chose - no pressure, just support with maps and suggestions. Our experience was excellent. All arrangements, from the flights, bus/train travel and transfers, off-site tours and meals, to the hotel accommodations were tightly managed. Our program leader - Laurige - was excellent. Very helpful, interesting and well-versed on the attractions of the tour.

      The cruise ship - the M/S Chanson - was lovely. I have never been on a small ship but enjoyed the ambiance. Our cabin was well appointed. Upon our arrival there was even a bottle of distilled water in the cabin as I had mentioned in the pre-trip paperwork that I use a CPAP. The crew was professional, polite, yet friendly, and always working away at some task. Everyone was always smiling. The food....oh the food....tasty with lots of variety and options. I enjoyed the variety of the free wines that were available at the bar.

      The daily programmes with the menus of the day and the upcoming activities were appreciated. We enjoyed the evening entertainment that was arranged. My husband and I used the games that were provided in the lounge. I felt that we received excellent value for the cost. I am definitely going to plan another trip with Grand Circle. Highly recommended.


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      Punctuality & SpeedStaff

      Reviewed Nov. 24, 2023

      Recently cruised the Rhine and Mosel Rivers and had great service, great food, a great Tour Director, and lots of fun. Our cabin was always ship-shape. Our daily tours with Tim included lots of history and background and were delightfully not crowded at the beginning of November. We saw lots of Christmas decorations and booths going up for the coming Christmas Markets. We expected lots of rain, but had just a few showers with 1 day of rain.

      This was my 11th GCT/OAT trip and they adjusted to the events wonderfully, as usual. On our really rainy day when we were up the Mosel, the good Captain left quickly when all were aboard from Luxembourg. We reached the Rhine before the river rose too high to get under bridges, tied up in Salzburg (bonus city) and they bussed us back to Cochem castle. In Bernkastel we happened to be there for a village fair with lots of costumes and music. If you didn't visit Marksburg Castle, several roamed around on electric bikes. As "mature" adults, a few passengers had health issues and were taken to nearby facilities as needed. Only one had to leave the trip. I enjoyed our morning walks with more steps to record.

      I had taken the same trip 10 years ago and this was even better. They added a visit to Riquewihr, a 16th century medieval village outside Strasbourg, France. Interesting and great shops! We used to have a buffet breakfast and lunch, now it's a full lunch with a salad bar. The food and wine were excellent. The quizzes and evening music, skits, and talks were good after a long day. We dined on board most of the time. We had Afternoon Tea at a local home in Speyer; it's always interesting to see how Europeans homes and customs differ. Note the reservations staff is back to pre-covid levels, with fewer delays. Great time! Great trip!

      Grand Circle Travel
      Grand Circle Travel

      Joan, thank you for sharing your experience! We are very glad to hear you enjoyed your adventure with us. We hope you join us again in the future.

      Reviewed June 7, 2024

      We have just completed our 7th vacation with Grand Circle Travel taking the Great Rivers of Europe cruise. As usual, GCT provided us with an excellent vacation, plenty of education about the cities and areas we saw. We enjoyed everything and will be back again.


      Reviewed May 31, 2024

      Grand Circle provides a wonderful experience full of adventure and delight! This was our 5th trip and we hope to make another one soon. The staff are all amazing - friendly, knowledgeable and ready to help in any way. The food on our River boat, Harmony, was excellent, too!

      Punctuality & SpeedStaff

      Reviewed May 27, 2024

      My first cruise with Grand Circle, Paris to Normandy on the Seine. The time on the ship was exemplary. Extremely well organized, food was beyond delicious, EVERY staff person seemed to be there to meet our every need with a smile. Our Program Director for the pre trip and cruise was well-informed, organized, and lovely. It seemed that they all wanted us to have the very best experience possible. Unfortunately, that was not true for the post trip. It was disorganized, we were moved to an old hotel in a less than savory area, with a guide that was unfamiliar with the area, and did not seem to care whether we were making our way or not. It was exactly the opposite of the cruise, and left a very bad taste in everyone's mouth for the last days of our trip. Such a sad way to end an otherwise lovely cruise.

      Customer ServiceSales & MarketingPunctuality & SpeedStaff

      Reviewed May 22, 2024

      This was my first cruise on Grand Circle which was recommended by friends who are former travelers as an educator's cruise line. Our ship River Harmony was extremely clean and nice size with 144 passengers. The staff on ship was amazing and attentive especially those in the dining rooms. But in general, all crew members would get 5 stars from me for friendliness and a job well done. Cuisine was quite delicious and interesting menus daily with choices at each meal.

      The two cities that had local guides, Ghent and Kinderdijk, were very knowledgeable and first rate! The Discovery Series event -a Home visit- was delightful and quite enjoyable. I wish the address or email of our hostess would have been provided for a follow up "Thank You" note. Tips were well explained in advance so no hidden charges. I appreciated that I could get the correct currency for the staff and guide in advance.

      Issues -. Before the trip my luggage tag and itinerary according to the timeline did not arrive on time.. Luckily my friend checked to see if I had received my package as she already had. Being a little worried I had to call two times in 2 different weeks before it was finally sent Fed Express. Thankfully, due to my persistence it came on time. The biggest issues was I did not get what was advertised and what I paid for.

      Day two was advertised "arrive in Brussels." We did arrive in Brussels at the city/nor sign of Brussels and we were advised not to go into Brussels on our own. This was something that was important to me to choose this particular itinerary as I wanted a day or at least a few hours in the City. The trip was also advertised to spend time in Amsterdam. Day days 9-12. We never saw Amsterdam! It was King's Day. It comes every year the same the Fourth of July. A very patriotic day. Our welcome letter even suggested for us to bring something orange to wear to celebrate and show support! This day was not a surprise and yet.. we could not dock nor visit any of the city due to the celebration. Besides the tulips, and Brussels this was of of my main reason to book this trip.

      I can understand two of the city tours were cut short due to rain. But on top of that three days with no Amsterdam???? A company whose business is touring would surely know the countries they visit and would plan accordingly. I did respond to Grand Circle survey when we returned home about my disappointments with the cruise. Even more disappointing was the lack of any response from Grand Circle which was 3 weeks ago. However they did manage to send me a request to donate to their Foundation.. I was soooo disappointed with this cruise as I had hoped to do another river cruise of the great rivers of Europe.


      Reviewed May 18, 2024

      I just returned from the Rhone River trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our director, Lionel was the best. He was very informative about all of the places we visited, Being from France, he had very good English speaking skills with humor and compassion for our small group of 39 people. On our trip from Nice to the MS Chanson we stopped at the cemetery of American soldiers who fought in a battle with makeshift gliders and didn’t make it. We boarded the ship in Aries. This was a small boat newly decorated in elegant fabrics with gold trim. The room was small with a large window but we were so busy that it didn’t spend a lot of time in our room. The staff was excellent and very accommodating to our needs.

      The cruise down the Rhone was beautiful and we saw many hillsides with vineyards planted. We meet 3 couples from our Southern states and always sat together for our meals. The food was excellently prepared with French influence. This is my second Grand Circle trip and I am already thinking of where to go next.

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