GCT last minute deals

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#1
283 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I am looking at GCT's last minute deals. (Google 'GCT deals'). There are 5 of them, all river cruises. They sell lots of things. Anybody want to speculate why all the deals are river cruises ??
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Paul W

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#2
Ohio
590 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by p598738
I am looking at GCT's last minute deals. (Google 'GCT deals'). There are 5 of them, all river cruises. They sell lots of things. Anybody want to speculate why all the deals are river cruises ??
I'm sure they want to fill their boats. Not cost effective to run a boat cruise with empty cabins. These are mostly all cruises in March and it's not the most poplular time for people to take vacations on riverboats.
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Carole
#3
2,066 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I agree with Carole- the boat is going to sail with or without a full passenger load (with the same number of employees to pay, etc). Why not fill it? Ocean cruises are the same. DH & I frequently do last minute deals (river and ocean cruises) because we're retired with few commitments (and because we're thrifty!). We don't mind traveling at the last minute. In 8/07, we did GCT's The Great Rivers of Europe with 7 days notice- a great last minute deal- and paid less than half price. And next month, we're doing their Springtime in Holland and Belgium for a significant savings.

So why aren't the ships booked solid? March is an iffy month, plus we're sailing over Easter. Many people don't want to be away from family at holidays (our DD is 24 and will spend Easter with the BF's family). And what about the dollar? Many of our friends won't even consider going out of the USA because the dollar is so low compared to other currencies. However, we feel that this is an advantage to GCT's river cruise-the prices have already been established and they're in dollars. Yes, we'll buy souvenirs (and of course beer and chocolate from local sources), but over all we shouldn't be too affected by the weak dollar.

Finally, many passengers on river cruises are older than on GCT's (or OAT's) more active tours. And sometimes older people have health issues that can keep them from vacationing at the last minute. They have to cancel, so a cabin is suddenly availabe. GCT has their deposit, so why not get a little more for the empty cabin by booking it at a steep discount? If you want to look for a last minute deal on a specific cruise, find out when the final payment is due or the last day that booked passengers can cancel without penalty. Keep your eyes open at that time- cabins may be suddenly available.

And is anyone else going to Brussels on March 20?
#4
283 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I wonder why we don't see deals on the other (non cruise) trips.
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Paul W

HA Nieuw Amsterdam W Caribbean April 2017
Oceania Marina 10 Night Caribbean Feb 2017
Celebrity Cons.(again) Jan 2016 Nassau+Key West
Louis Cristal from Mo'bay Cuba Clockwise Feb 2015
Riverboat Arapaima Peruvian Amazon April 2012
Celebrity Constellation 14 day Carib. Feb 2011
Costa Fortuna Caribbean February 2009
Cochin Kerala India Houseboat December 2008
NCL Dream Boston/Halifax+Sidney N.S./Maine 2008
MS Deutschland Rhine/Moselle 2007
Norwegian Majesty Boston/Bermuda 2007
Chardonney Soane and Rhone 2006
HA Zaandam Panama Canal 2006
River Aria Danube Eastern Europe 2005
Celebrity Constellation Trans Atlantic 2004
Cunard Caronia Canaries and Madeira 2003
MSC Melody Brazil 2002
Ankhanhut River Nile 2001
Nordic Prince Mexican Riveria 1997
Carnival Tropical Southern Carib 1990
HA Niew Amsterdam West Carrib 1987
Carnival Holiday South Carib 1980
Carnival Marti Gras Nassau St Thomas 1975
#5
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,560 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by p598738
I wonder why we don't see deals on the other (non cruise) trips.
A cruise has a lot of fixed costs and few variable costs (more passengers equal much lower per person costs). The other trips have few fixed costs and a lot of variable costs (per person costs change very little with the number of travellers).
Empty cabins on a cruise ship only save the owner a few bucks a day for food. But they still need to pay all the crew, fuel the ship and pay docking charges - and they are the big costs.
Below capacity on a land tour? No expense for the room in a hotel you don't use, no expense for the meal(s) and no expense for the air or rail travel from one city to another. (these are the big costs on a land tour). OK, a bit higher per person cost for the bus driver and fuel for the bus (peanuts in the overall scheme of things).
#6
Florida
134 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Hi all,
Can someone steer me in the right direction where I can find these last minute things?
My window of time is summer.
Thanks!!
Tina
#7
Lake Monticello, VA
855 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Paul W gave the suggestion of doing a Google search on 'GCT deals' and I found a page full of deals. If you look there, you will find some deals for March and April. But keep checking back, I'm sure they will post more as time draws nearer to summer.

My husband and I have never used GCT, but have friends who use them all the time for their travels. They are generally pleased with the service.
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Pat



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#9
Yuma, Arizona
15 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
And is anyone else going to Brussels on March 20?[/quote]

We are going on GCT from Basel to Brussels and will be flying out on March 20. Are you going on the Romance of the Rhine and Mosel?
Patty
#10
2,066 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Hi Patty- No, we're on GCT's Springtime in Holland and Belgium. However, your cruise (Romance of the Rhine and Mosel) is on our wish list. (When we see a last minute special.) So when you return, please let us know how you liked it! We did the Great Rivers of Europe last August, and we noticed that many of the stops along the Rhine are different on those two trips-so we'd have quite a variety of towns and excursions.

Have you cruised with GCT before?

Have a great cruise!
#11
Yuma, Arizona
15 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by JerseyGem
Hi Patty- No, we're on GCT's Springtime in Holland and Belgium. However, your cruise (Romance of the Rhine and Mosel) is on our wish list. (When we see a last minute special.) So when you return, please let us know how you liked it! We did the Great Rivers of Europe last August, and we noticed that many of the stops along the Rhine are different on those two trips-so we'd have quite a variety of towns and excursions.

Have you cruised with GCT before?

Have a great cruise!
Yes, we went on GCT's Great Rivers of Europe last spring and enjoyed it so much that we booked another trip scarcely a year later. Looks as if the weather is going to be quite chilly this time, but we are counting the days--two weeks today!
Patty
#12
ATLANTA, GEORGIA USA
933 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by JerseyGem
Hi Patty- No, we're on GCT's Springtime in Holland and Belgium.

We are on the GCT Holland & Belgium in Springtime APRIL 19th River Ravel cruise and would like to read your comments and tips - especially if you are going before us !
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#13
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,560 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
JerseyGem's DH here .

dlhamlten
We are before you . . . March 20 to 31. I guess you will have better weather and flowers in the fields. You can safely ignore that part of any review we write.
Our trip is Brussels to Amsterdam on the River Concerto, which way are you? Is this your first GCT? The Ravel is slightly smaller and a not the same design as the Concerto, so we can't offer you any insights on the ship.
Post any specific questions you have and we'll be sure to pay attention to those aspects of the trip.

Precious Patty
Which stateside airport are you using? We fly direct to Brussels from Newark on Continental.
Are you staying a few days in Brussels? We'll have 3 nights there . . . we're looking forward to sampling the beer.
Our first GCT trip was last August (last minute, one week notice). This one was more like a month in advance. we'll be on the same ship as we were on for the other cruise.
#14
ATLANTA, GEORGIA USA
933 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by CPT Trips
JerseyGem's DH here .

dlhamlten
We are before you . . . March 20 to 31. I guess you will have better weather and flowers in the fields. You can safely ignore that part of any review we write.
Our trip is Brussels to Amsterdam on the River Concerto, which way are you? Is this your first GCT? The Ravel is slightly smaller and a not the same design as the Concerto, so we can't offer you any insights on the ship.
Post any specific questions you have and we'll be sure to pay attention to those aspects of the trip.

.

We are actually doing the reverse Itinerary - Amsterdam to Brussels -. It will be our second GCT Trip after Egypt last year which was very well done.

I would be most interested in which Optional Tours you take and your evaluations of them. Any Tours / Events you were disappointed with ?

Did you run across any particularly good restaurants or shops that you recommend ?

What was the policy about buying Tulip and other bulbs ( and Cheese ) to bring back to the States as far as what Customs allows ?

Thanks in advance.
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OCEANIA Marina-Pacific Journey-Papeete to Lima-April 2016


NOW Where ................................???????????

OCEANIA Riviera - Enchanting Mediterranean & Piazzas & Palaces B2B - June 2017

" If you can afford to go First Class and don't - your heirs will ! " --- Anonymous
#15
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,560 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Oh Lord, don't ask me about cheese. I bought some gouda in the Amsterdam airport duty free shop last year. Supposedly it was packed for transport through Paris to the states. We'll cut the long story short with Paris at lunch, time security wanted my cheese, DW had visions of me being hauled off by the gendarmes - my Geneveer made it, but not the cheese!!!

That said, are you flying home direct, or will you have to change planes anywhere? That will matter as far as bringing things in your carry-on.

Are you staying any nights in a hotel? Where?
#16
ATLANTA, GEORGIA USA
933 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Since we live in Atlanta, we will be on non-stop Delta flights to Amsterdam and from Brussels. No connections, fortunately, and only 1 iteration of Security.

We have been to Amsterdam before and will not be doing a pre or post-trip stay.

The only Hotel we will be in is the NH Atlanta ( coincidently ) in Brussels.
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CUNARD Queen Mary - Transatlantic
CARNIVAL - '92 Festivale & '98 Imagination
PRINCESS - Alaska Crown- 1993 & Mediterranean 2005
ROYAL CARIBBEAN -Rhapsody
CELEBRITY - Galaxy Caribbean
NCL -Sea & Seaward - Caribbean
WINDJAMMER BAREFOOT -S.V. Polynesia
ROYAL CARIBBEAN- Serenade Caribbean 2006
CARNIVAL - Miracle 2006 West Caribbean
CELEBRITY Xpedition Galapagos Islands 2006
CARNIVAL Legend 2007
GRAND CIRCLE TRAVEL M/S River Anuket Nile River 2007
CELEBRITY Summit - Hawaii 2007
CRUISE WEST - Yorktown -Baja/ Sea of Cortez/ 2008
GRAND CIRCLE M/S River Ravel Holland & Belgium 2008
CARNIVAL Holiday Mayan Riviera - 2008
ROYAL CARIBBEAN Jewel Transatlantic 2008
CELEBRITY Constellation Eastbound Transatlantic April / May 2009
CRUISE WEST - Spirit of '98 Northwest Passage 2009
CARNIVAL Triumph 2009 New England & Canada
The PAUL GAUGUIN 2010 French Polynesia
CARNIVAL Destiny 2010 Exotic Eastern Caribbean
GRAND CIRCLE River Harmony Great Rivers of Europe Vienna to Amsterdam 2011
AMERICAN CRUISE LINES American Star New England Islands 2011
OCEANIA Nautica Imperial Interludes 2012 Bangkok to Beijing and Back to 'Nam
CARNIVAL Freedom November 2012 Virgin Islands
CELEBRITY Infinity 2013 South America to Antarctica
OCEANIA Marina Nordic Explorer September 2013 Baltic/Russia - Stockholm to Southampton
EMERALD PRINCESS - Southern Caribbean Medley 2014
The Schooner STEPHEN TABER - Penobscot Bay, Maine August 2014
VANTAGE Discovery II - Culinary French Waterways - Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence - October 2014
OCEANIA Regatta- Amazon Interlude -Rio de Janeiro to Miami - March 2015
OCEANIA Marina-Pacific Journey-Papeete to Lima-April 2016


NOW Where ................................???????????

OCEANIA Riviera - Enchanting Mediterranean & Piazzas & Palaces B2B - June 2017

" If you can afford to go First Class and don't - your heirs will ! " --- Anonymous
#17
2,066 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
dlhamlten: Since you're flying home direct (and avoiding the horrors of CDG), you probably will be able to bring cheese into the USA, as long as it's packaged properly (sealed). However, I remember reading (maybe here on CC) that tulip or other bulbs are a problem with USA customs. I'll try to research on a dot gov site.

Also, your hotel may change by the time you receive your final docs. We were originally told the Atlanta but are actually staying at the Hilton Brussels (Boulevard de Waterloo 38). (Just a head's up in case you're planning something specific for the Atlanta.)

We (CPT Trips) intend to do several of the optional tours, so we'll post when we return. Also, we are planning to do a "beer tour" (pub crawl?) in Brussels (with friends of my cousin who live near Brussels). And assuming we recover from that, we want to take the train to Brugge the next day (our full, free day in Brussels).
#18
Yuma, Arizona
15 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Precious Patty
Which stateside airport are you using? We fly direct to Brussels from Newark on Continental.
Are you staying a few days in Brussels? We'll have 3 nights there . . . we're looking forward to sampling the beer.
Our first GCT trip was last August (last minute, one week notice). This one was more like a month in advance. we'll be on the same ship as we were on for the other cruise.[/quote]

We are flying British Airways Phoenix to Heathrow (poor us) to Basel, Switzerland where our cruise originates. We are cruising from Basel to Brussels. Our cruise is GCT's Romance of the Rhine and Mosel.
Patty
#19
New Jersey, the Philly end
6,560 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Patty - your trip is on our "to do" list. Let us know how it is. We did one of the optionals you have available - Marksburg Castle. We enjoyed it . . .

If either Dewy or Gusta are PDs on your tour, say hello from us (Randy and Lynn). By the way both were super.

Heathrow! It does have a reputation. May I suggest you check out whether you will need to go through security over there. If so, I think you are limited to one carry-on . . . no personal item in addition and no extra for any kind of medical device (such as a CPAP)
#20
Yuma, Arizona
15 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by CPT Trips
Patty - your trip is on our "to do" list. Let us know how it is. We did one of the optionals you have available - Marksburg Castle. We enjoyed it . . .

If either Dewy or Gusta are PDs on your tour, say hello from us (Randy and Lynn). By the way both were super.

Heathrow! It does have a reputation. May I suggest you check out whether you will need to go through security over there. If so, I think you are limited to one carry-on . . . no personal item in addition and no extra for any kind of medical device (such as a CPAP)
Randy and Lynn,
Coincidentally we also went to Marksburg Castle last spring on GCT's Great Rivers cruise. We enjoyed it too, but will pass on it this spring.

On British Airlines website it states that two carryons are now allowed--a carryon bag and a briefcase or purse. I sure hope that doesn't change while we are in the air, as when we flew over last time I got on with bag and purse and had to stuff my purse in the bag before I could get off at Heathrow. We did have to go through security again and then run for our flight.

I will be happy to post a trip report when we get back. We are sure excited and can't wait for Thursday. Would love to hear of anyone else on GCT's Romance of the Rhine and Mosel March 20-April 4. I should have done a roll call, I guess, but I'm a newby here.
Patty