Terms & Conditions

This document outlines what Karen Gros agrees to provide when you sign up for a trip, and what you agree to do in returnThis is very important information, so please read it carefully before you complete your reservation request.

Legal Responsibilities:  Karen Gros is a resourceful trip organizer and travel companion, and as such will be responsible for making all reservations for air travel and accommodations, as well as organizing, booking, and facilitating group activities.  Karen Gros is not a professionally licensed tour operator.  Neither Cuisine Karen nor Karen Gros and her agents and assigns own or operate any person or entity, which is to or does provide goods or services for these trips.  Because neither maintains any control over the personnel, equipment, or operations of these suppliers, Cuisine Karen and Karen Gros assume no responsibility for and cannot be held liable for any personal injury, death, property damage or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of (1) any wrongful, negligent, willful or unauthorized acts or omissions on the part of any of the suppliers or other employees or agents, (2) any defect in or failure of any vehicle, equipment, or instrument owned, operation or otherwise used by any of these suppliers, or (3) any wrongful, willful or negligent act or omission on the part of any other party not under the supervision of Cuisine Karen and Karen Gros. Additionally, neither Cuisine Karen nor Karen Gros accept responsibility for losses or expenses due to sickness, lack of appropriate medical facilities or practitioners, weather, strikes, theft or other criminal acts, war, terrorism, civil unrest, computer problems, or other such causes.  All services and accommodations are subject to the laws of the country in which they are provided.  Arbitration: You agree that any dispute concerning, relating to this contract, the brochure or any other literature concerning my trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration according to the then existing rules of the American Arbitration Association in Arkansas.  Substantive Arkansas law will govern such proceedings.

Passports are required for this trip at your expense. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of returning home.

“9 Days in Paris” includes:  8 nights lodging in high-quality, centrally-located apartments, airport pick-up & return, 3 lunches, 3 dinners, entrance fees to Louvre and Orsay museums, transportation costs to Champagne & Giverny, unlimited metro/bus in Paris, Cars Rouges open tour, detailed Michelin street map, carbon offset for flight, comprehensive trip insurance, privately guided visits & tours, all highlights above, tips & advice from companion Karen Gros.  LAND ONLY PACKAGE; airfare not included.  The October 9 – 17, 2017 Tour was published on this website on December 1, 2016, and is priced at $2,985 per person.

“10 Days in The South of France ~ Provence” includes:  10 nights lodging in beautiful, high quality accommodations (3 nights in Cassis, 7 nights in Vaison-la-Romaine), 4  breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, airport pick-up & return, rental van, full auto insurance, fuel, tolls and parking, all transportation costs (except taxi), privately guided tours & visits, carbon offsets for flight, trip insurance, and all highlights listed above. LAND PACKAGE ONLY; airfare not included. The Provence September 2017 Tour was published on this website November 11, 2015, and is priced at $3,950 per person.

“14 Days in Greece ~ Athens & the Greek Isles” includes:  14 nights lodging in beautiful, high quality accommodations (4 nights in Athens, 4 nights in Santorini, 5 nights in Sifnos, 1 final night in Athens), 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners, airport pick-up & return (taxi transfers between airport/port and Athens hotel), rental van on Santorini & group rental cars on Sifnos, full auto insurance, fuel, tolls and parking, domestic flights and ferries to/from Greek islands, privately guided tours & visits, customized food & restaurant itinerary in Athens, carbon offsets for international flight, comprehensive trip insurance, and all highlights listed above. LAND PACKAGE ONLY.  Excludes:   International flights to/from the US or other European city, transportation/taxis other than specified above, tips for guides.  The Greece 2017 Tour was published on this website November 15, 2016, and is priced at $4,385 per person.

PLEASE NOTE: Trips are LAND ONLY; airfare is not included.

Transportation: Paris: Unlimited public transportation within the city of Paris ~ metro, bus, and tram ~ is included in the trip price. Taxis are not included, although I will be more than happy to reserve taxis for you, at your convenience.  Provence: A 9-passenger minivan is rented for our group, with Karen Gros as the chauffeur. The trip price includes all costs associated with the rental of the minivan, including full insurance, fuel, parking, and tolls.  Greece:  All outings in Athens are accessible on foot, 9-passenger minivan is rented on Santorini for our group, with Karen Gros as the chauffeur, a combination of rental cars on Sifnos with Karen and other members of the group have the option of driving also.  The trip price includes all costs associated with the rental of the minivan, cars, including full insurance, fuel, parking, and tolls.

Reserve Your Spot:  To reserve a seat on one of the trips to France with Karen Gros, you must agree to these Terms & Conditions, as well as Is this the Right Tour for You?, and send a deposit of $1,000, plus the amount shown for the mandated trip insurance (based on your age), along with a reservation application.

Trip payments:  Personal checks, money orders, and bank drafts are acceptable forms of payment.  Credit or debit cards are not accepted for any trip payments.  Trip payments are non-refundable, unless the trip doesn’t make; however, the included trip insurance  allows for cancellation for a covered reason (please contact Travel Guard to file a claim to get reimbursed; Karen will assist you with necessary paperwork to file a claim.  See below for more information regarding trip insurance).  Deposit of $1,000 required to hold a spot.

Trip Capacity:  All trips are limited to 8 persons (Paris can accommodate a maximum of 10).  Reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis.  A minimum number of 6 people is required for the trip to be a go.  Should the trip not make due to insufficient numbers, all monies paid to Karen Gros would be refunded.

Exchange rate:   Trip prices are based on the currency exchange rate as of the date the given itinerary is published on this website (the publish date is shown above for each tour).  If the Euro becomes valued at more than 5% above said rate prior to trip departure, you agree to pay the additional increase.

Carbon offsets & GREEN travel:  Carbon offsets are included in your trip price in order to counterbalance the carbon dioxide emissions of your flight.  A round-trip flight from the US to France, for example, produces roughly 4 tons of CO2.  The money paid for the offset will fund renewable energy projects currently underway, such as the Farm Methane project and Farmer-Owned Distributed Wind   projects.  The offsets are purchased from ClimateCare, a carbon offset company.

Trip activities are subject to change:  Traveling is full of surprises and we need to be flexible.  Therefore, Karen reserves the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in her sole judgment, conditions warrant, or if she deems it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the group.  She reserves the right to withdraw from any activity announced.  Uncompleted or unattended group activities in the itinerary are not cause for refund.

Accommodations:   All trips are priced based on doubles (i.e. two persons per bedroom).  Please understand that “a bedroom” in France (whether in hotel, apartment, or B&B) consists of either one (1) large bed, either a king- or queen-sized bed OR two (2) twin beds.  In many cases, a room will be composed of two twins which can be made up as one large bed, or made into two separate twins; in the latter case, please note that the twin beds are sometimes positioned very close to each other, occasionally even touching.  In general, one-bedroom apartments in Paris consist of one queen-sized bed; separate twin beds being rare for one-bedrooms.  Please consult Karen at the time of booking if you have preferences about the bed arrangements.  Paris: Each party traveling together will have their own private apartment with all amenities.  Apartments will be located within a 15-minute walk of each other.  Two people traveling together will share a one-bedroom apartment; four people will share a two-bedroom, etc.   Odd-numbered parties traveling together may share one apartment by utilizing the high-quality sofa bed(s) in the living area, thus avoiding a single supplement. • Please inquire about studio possibilities for single travelers.  • All travelers, should they prefer, have the option to stay in a hotel rather than an apartment; in this case, you will be credited the amount budgeted for the apartment, which you may use toward payment of a hotel of your choice.  Should the amount of the hotel exceed the amount budgeted for the apartment, you will pay the difference.  Provence, Normandy/Brittany and Greece:  All rooms have private bathroom and toilets (with the exception Provence during the week in the villas, the toilets are located down the hall and thus shared). For single travelers, it is possible to request a private single room at a supplement; please inquire. In the case of 3 people traveling together, it may be possible add an extra bed into the double room at a nominal charge rather than a full-blown single-supplement; please inquire.

Social Responsibilities:  Karen reserves the right to decline to accept any person as a member of the trip, or to require any participant to withdraw from the trip at any time, when such action is determined by her to be in the best interest of the health, safety, and general welfare of the group or of the individual participant. • Karen wants everyone to have a good time, but it could happen that someone participating in an activity could misbehave or do things that are incompatible with the safety, comfort or convenience of other members of the group; you agree that in those circumstances, Karen Gros has the exclusive right and discretion, to expel a travelers – at traveler’s own expense – from an activity at any time, without any claims or complaints by you against Karen Gros. • Thank you for respecting protocol when traveling, as discussed in Is this the Right Tour for You?

Participants may be photographed by Karen or other trip participants. You agree that all photos, as well as your comments, may be used by Karen Gros for the promotional purposes of future tours.

Children between the ages of 17 and 21 must room with and be accompanied on the trip by a parent or guardian. Travelers must be at least 17 years of age at the time of trip departure. Activities on the trips are designed for adults; therefore, children under the age of 17 are not permitted. There is no reduced rate for children.

No Smoking: These trips are designated as non-smoking for the health and comfort of the entire group. There is no smoking inside any apartment, inside any building or room, or during any of the group activities. If you do smoke, you may smoke only outdoors and downwind from the group. Thank you for your help and understanding. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Baggage limit:  For your convenience and that of the group,  I request that each traveler bring no more than one medium-sized checked bag (max 55 linear inches, L x W x H) and one small carry-on/personal item.  Couples who are light travelers and wish to come home with a fair amount of goodies are encouraged to check one bag per couple (and pack a folding bag to check at no charge for the return home).  I cannot stress enough how much you will appreciate traveling light. Note:  Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times.  Please note that you will carry your own bags up to your room, which, except for Paris, may entail walking a block or two uphill and/or up stairs and over cobblestones.

Packing:  You do not need a new outfit for each day.  Think mix and match; try to get away with as few pieces as possible.  It’s a good idea not to bring something you will wear only once.  A simple accessory can add an evening twist to a casual day outfit.  Two things that determine the enjoyment of your trip are good shoes and pacing (see below).  Bolo, Merrell, Born, Cole Haan, and Clarks are among the brands of smart & stylish, yet comfortable walking shoes.  I recommend bringing the minimum, 2-3 outfits/combinations is plenty, many items can be worn several times before needing to be laundered.  Paris:  Some apartments have a clothes washer, others do not: very few have dryers. It is common to hang clothes inside the apartment to dry.  Provence:  Pack efficiently as all luggage for 9 passengers must fit in the minivan; we will have access to laundry facilities, the houses in Provence are equipped with washers and dryers.  Expect mild to warm sunny days, and cool evenings; rain or cold weather is unlikely, but as with anywhere, the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable.  Bring sturdy walking shoes.  Normandy/Brittany:  Pack efficiently with clothes you can hand wash in the sink and air dry.  Do not expect access to laundry facilities.  Weather in this area can varies from quite cool to warm; expect cold and breezy nights.  Rain very likely.  Bring sturdy closed-toed walking shoes.  Greece:  Pack efficiently with clothes you can hand wash in the sink and air dry.  Do not expect access to laundry facilities regularly, but we will be able to arrange a laundry service halfway through the trip.  Expect warm days, and cool evenings; rain or cold weather is unlikely, but as with anywhere, the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable.  Bring sturdy walking shoes.  

Traveling can be physically demanding.  To enjoy the experience, you will want to be in fairly good shape.  Whether you are 28 or 78, you will get more out of your experience if you get in shape before you leave.  Paris is a walker’s city.  Depending on how you plan your free time, you may find yourself averaging 5-10 miles of walking per day.  You will likely encounter uneven cobble stones, and compact soil pathways such as those in the Tuileries Gardens or Luxembourg Gardens.  Standing during sightseeing tours or museum visits can be hard on the legs and feet.  Lastly, don’t forget about steep stair-climbing if you plan to visit the towers of Notre Dame, or the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.  If you plan to use the metro a lot, you must be able to walk quickly, aptly and have no trouble climbing lots and lots of stairs.  The Paris buses offer a pleasant alternative to the metro (except during rush hour), allowing maximum visibility of this beautiful city.  Taxis are an option (at your own expense); taxi stands are found at major museums and monuments, as well as some of the larger squares and commercial areas.  Note that taxis in Paris can rarely be hailed on the street, as in New York City.  Provence, Normandy/Brittany and Greece Tours:  We will be staying in authentic residences, which includes carrying luggage up and down stairs, over cobblestones and/or gravel.  Please be prepared for lots of walking, hill climbing, cobblestone alleys, and narrow or spiral staircases.  Activity level is as follows: Provence = Moderate to StrenuousNormandy/Brittany = Moderate, except for the visit to the abbey of Mont St. Michel, which is Strenuous.  Greece = Strenuous.

Pace yourself:  Avoid over scheduling your free time; it is important to balance your time between intense and relaxed periods.  In general, I advise adding only one or two outings in addition to the group activities.  Most travelers prefer wandering aimlessly during free time, rather than be on a schedule the entire trip.  You will not enjoy your trip if you do not stop to smell the roses.  Assume you will return.  Slow down and ask questions.  Most locals are eager to assist and point you in their idea of the right direction.  Often, letting go of our rushed agendas leads us to the greatest reward of traveling: spontaneous magical moments.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance & Travel/Medical/Evacuation Insurance is included in all trip prices.  • I have chosen Travel Guard’s Essential Expanded (Silver) package (Adobe Acrobat required to view policy coverage), which includes standard coverage and 24-hour emergency travel assistance.  Trip cancellation is covered if any member of our group (travel companion), including myself, must cancel for a covered reason.  • The trip insurance is for the LAND-ONLY trip amount, i.e. monies paid to Karen Gros.  • To qualify for the pre-existing conditions coverage, ALL nonrefundable monies (including airline ticket or nonrefundable rate for extra nights in a hotel) MUST be insured WITHIN 15 DAYS of purchase of said item.  For that reason, Karen will purchase your Travel Guard policy within 15 days of receiving your trip deposit.  • It is, therefore, recommended to either purchase the travel insurance offered by your airline carrier at the time of booking, or add the amount of your flight cost to your Travel Guard policy.  Contact Karen for assistance.
Insurance supplement for persons 70+ years of age:  All trips require a supplemental insurance fee not included in the trip cost for travelers 70 years of age or older. Please contact Karen for the specific amount.

Disabilities:  Any pre-existing physical, mental, or emotional disability that may require attention or treatment must be reported in writing prior to the beginning of a tour.  All travelers are required to complete, sign and return, prior to the trip departure date, a Medical Release and Waiver Agreement.

You have read and agree to these Terms & Conditions.  You have read and agree with Is this the Right Tour for You?:  Any payment to Karen Gros constitutes acceptance of entire contents of the aforementioned documents.