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Old 05-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
sayhello
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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands: Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands Meets Thread

Please post here if you would like to talk with anyone else who has signed up to travel to Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands with ABD.

You can also share information/ask questions about the Equador & Galapagos Islands: Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands ABD.

Please try and keep this thread on topic to discussion and questions about the Ecuador & Galapagos Island ABD. Off topic posts will be deleted or moved.

Thanks!
Sayhello

Roll Call:
Current:

Previous:
  • Dec 18 - 26, 2012 - kristilew & family
  • Aug 14 - 22, 2013 - familygotoboston, DH, her folks, daughters (15 & 17)

Last edited by sayhello; 08-05-2014 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
kristilew
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Christmas trip!

We're on the Dec 18 departure of this year...anyone else?

Thanks, Say Hello, for organizing the new threads!

ETA: oops! Saw later that I put this on the wrong Galapagos thread...SH, can you move me? Or delete me and I'll start over?
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
sayhello
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kristilew, you're moved!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Just catching up on my Board work Say Hello, thanks for organizing threads by trip...I'll probably subscribe to both, as much info will apply to either trip.

We travel August 14, with my DH and I late 40 ish, my folks, early 70 ish, celebrating their 50 th wedding anniversary, and my teen daughters 15, and one who will be weeks away from 18. ( FYI to lurkers looking for empty houses..sorry, big male dog sitter and two big dogs staying behind 2 frogs and a cat too, but they won't do as much harm)

We are doing an extra pre night at JW, and plan to ride the Telefrico and see some of the culture and art museums with a private driver. After the ABD, we have two extra post nights at JW. We plan to go out to the Mindo Cloud Forest for a day trip with a guide one day, and tour old town the other day with the guide.

For those on the Aug 14 departure, we were told:
The trip was 70% full as of March.* *1-17 year old ( mine), 1-15 year old (mine), 1-14 year old, 2-13 year olds, 2-12 year olds, 2-11 years olds, 1-10year old, 1-9 year old, 2-8 year olds.

Hope to meet a few others who are taking this trip, maybe with some reviews from those who already have? Say Hello- is this the place to post trip reports after our trip? Or should we be starting seperate threads for extensive photo reviews?
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ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
Just catching up on my Board work Say Hello, thanks for organizing threads by trip...I'll probably subscribe to both, as much info will apply to either trip.

We travel August 14, with my DH and I late 40 ish, my folks, early 70 ish, celebrating their 50 th wedding anniversary, and my teen daughters 15, and one who will be weeks away from 18. ( FYI to lurkers looking for empty houses..sorry, big male dog sitter and two big dogs staying behind 2 frogs and a cat too, but they won't do as much harm)

We are doing an extra pre night at JW, and plan to ride the Telefrico and see some of the culture and art museums with a private driver. After the ABD, we have two extra post nights at JW. We plan to go out to the Mindo Cloud Forest for a day trip with a guide one day, and tour old town the other day with the guide.

For those on the Aug 14 departure, we were told:
The trip was 70% full as of March.* *1-17 year old ( mine), 1-15 year old (mine), 1-14 year old, 2-13 year olds, 2-12 year olds, 2-11 years olds, 1-10year old, 1-9 year old, 2-8 year olds.

Hope to meet a few others who are taking this trip, maybe with some reviews from those who already have? Say Hello- is this the place to post trip reports after our trip? Or should we be starting seperate threads for extensive photo reviews?
I went back and forth on whether to create 2 threads or just one. Finally settled on 2. (Mostly because I couldn't fit all the description for both in the Title. ) If people want them combined, I certainly can do so.

I think the best idea would probably be to post your report in it's own thread, and then post a link (or links) to it here. Otherwise, you could have multiple people doing reports that overlapped posts, and people might get confused whose posts belonged to which report. That way you can also post a link to it in the Trip Reports thread!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
I went back and forth on whether to create 2 threads or just one. Finally settled on 2. (Mostly because I couldn't fit all the description for both in the Title. ) If people want them combined, I certainly can do so.

I think the best idea would probably be to post your report in it's own thread, and then post a link (or links) to it here. Otherwise, you could have multiple people doing reports that overlapped posts, and people might get confused whose posts belonged to which report. That way you can also post a link to it in the Trip Reports thread!

Sayhello
Oh, two threads are fine! They are different trips. I guess since I am so lonely here I didn't want to lose all my Grandioso friends I think most of us keep and eye on a few different threads anyway.

That makes perfect sense about the reviews. I do like to post ( and read other's) long reviews with lots of photos...I just wanted to make sure I didn't put it in the wrong place! Now that everything is so nicely organized it should be much easier for people to do research on these boards!!
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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Wish I Could Come!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Please post here if you would like to talk with anyone else who has signed up to travel to Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands with ABD in 2012/2013.

You can also share information/ask questions about the Equador & Galapagos Islands: Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands ABD.

Please try and keep this thread on topic to discussion and questions about the Ecuador & Galapagos Island ABD. Off topic posts will be deleted or moved.

Thanks!
Sayhello

Roll Call:
Dec 18 - 26, 2012 - kristilew & family
Aug 14 - 22, 2013 - familygotoboston, DH, her folks, daughters (15 & 17)
Wow! That cruise sounds amazing. I've always wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Review

You should go! It's a great trip!
I hope it's ok with the mods, but here is a link to my review. It's such a quiet thread and it might help those going on this trip...if not I'll remove it!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
__________________
EuroDisney, Paris 1994
Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
ABD La Pura Vida Costa Rica 2007
ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
You should go! It's a great trip!
I hope it's ok with the mods, but here is a link to my review. It's such a quiet thread and it might help those going on this trip...if not I'll remove it!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
Totally, absolutely OK!

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Hello! Preparing for my first ABD trip (woo hoo!) and will be leaving for Ecuador in just over 2 weeks. I have been reading as much as I can about it here (thank you to familygoboston and tufbuf for sharing your experiences!) but I have a couple of questions. This trip came up very quickly and we don't have our "trunk" with all info yet (it was to go out end of last week so it should be here soon!).

It sounds like this is an itinerary that calls for pretty casual dress. Is there a "dress up night" along the way I need to plan for? I am stressing enough about packing with the fact that looking at the extended forecast we have a 50 degree difference between the lows during the Ecuador portion and the highs during the Galapagos portion, I'm hoping I don't have to figure out how to get several dressy things in the suitcase too!

On the ship web site it mentions you can get satellite wifi. Is it decent? Did anyone bring an iPad and if so were you able to connect with that? I know there have been times I have trouble with my iPad but can connect fine with the computer. I was hoping to get by with traveling without the laptop if I could.

Wetsuits on board...is this a one size fits most situation or do they have some larger sizes? Not HUGE but I don't want to get there and find out if you are more than a size 10 you are out of luck!

And finally, are there rules about what types of sunscreen and stuff we can use? Are there certain types that are deemed unfriendly to the environment and not allowed?

Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:56 AM   #11
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Exclamation

Oh, you've probably already left and I missed this message! I'll answer just in case you haven't and for anyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadawg94 View Post
Hello! Preparing for my first ABD trip (woo hoo!) and will be leaving for Ecuador in just over 2 weeks. I have been reading as much as I can about it here (thank you to familygoboston and tufbuf for sharing your experiences!) but I have a couple of questions. This trip came up very quickly and we don't have our "trunk" with all info yet (it was to go out end of last week so it should be here soon!).

It sounds like this is an itinerary that calls for pretty casual dress. Is there a "dress up night" along the way I need to plan for?

The whole trip is super casual! A few people chose to bring a nice sun dress for the second night on the ship, but it was by no means required! Most folks wore comfortable shoes and slacks. I am stressing enough about packing with the fact that looking at the extended forecast we have a 50 degree difference between the lows during the Ecuador portion and the highs during the Galapagos portion, I'm hoping I don't have to figure out how to get several dressy things in the suitcase too!
Don't pack anything dressy!! But do pack warm things, the highlands are cool and the dining room doors are open to the outside

On the ship web site it mentions you can get satellite wifi. Is it decent? Did anyone bring an iPad and if so were you able to connect with that? I know there have been times I have trouble with my iPad but can connect fine with the computer. I was hoping to get by with traveling without the laptop if I could. We did not use the internet on the ship, but we did on another ship recently (the sat services are fairly similar) There is a "trick" to the ipad, this won't make much sense till you try to do it, so copy this and bring it with you on board.
After you follow the step by step instructions to "connect" to the service, you will get a message saying you are "connected". If you try to go right to a webpage or mail, it will not load. You have to go back to Settings and select the ships wifi again That is the tricky part; even though you have connected, the ipad (for some reason) does not recognize it till you go back to settings and reselect the ships wifi. No idea why, but this happens, and this was the way we got around it.


Wetsuits on board...is this a one size fits most situation or do they have some larger sizes? Not HUGE but I don't want to get there and find out if you are more than a size 10 you are out of luck!
My DH is 6 foot 6; My DM is spherical; they both found wet suits with no trouble at all! It helps that ABD gets first pick on the ship, so try on your wet suit as soon as you get them and then the ABD guides will be at the stern to swap out (they will tell you when) if it's not a fit, but don't put off that step till you actually go snorkeling or sizes may be limited.

And finally, are there rules about what types of sunscreen and stuff we can use? Are there certain types that are deemed unfriendly to the environment and not allowed?
No restrictions, though we did see things about it before we left. We used our regular sunscreen (neutrogena) with no restrictions, and nothing was noted in the documents or briefings from guides during the trip.But do use it!! Even if it feels cool, the sun is very intense!
Thank you in advance!!!
Sorry I didn't see this sooner...hope you have a great trip!
__________________
EuroDisney, Paris 1994
Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
ABD La Pura Vida Costa Rica 2007
ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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gadawg94 may have already gone, but these answers are helpful for me! Thanks!

We are 34 days out and getting pretty excited! No box yet, but I figure that is going through our TA, so will get here eventually.

Meanwhile, we're just trying to get our Christmas shopping done so we can concentrate on packing!
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
gadawg94 may have already gone, but these answers are helpful for me! Thanks!

We are 34 days out and getting pretty excited! No box yet, but I figure that is going through our TA, so will get here eventually.

Meanwhile, we're just trying to get our Christmas shopping done so we can concentrate on packing!

Yeah! I'm glad it was helpful. I thought the box came too late to prep for the journey...thats why I was so glad to have the folks on CC for advice! If you are taking an adventure in a different "season" than the one you are in; you might need to shop well on advance. For instance those rash gaurd shirts are very useful for galapagos and probably Australia, but the seasons can be opposite (Dec is summer in Aus) when the box comes I would have trouble finding one in NE in December. For Africa, I found it very helpful to have a large sun hat and safari shirt (which are sold as "fishing shirts" here in NE,) and I was able to get good deals at the late summer sales and then had them ready for an early spring trip. Those shirts were also very helpful in the Galapagos too, while hiking, for covering my arms.
Happy Packing!
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EuroDisney, Paris 1994
Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
ABD La Pura Vida Costa Rica 2007
ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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Oh, did you use rash guards on this trip? I missed that on your list somehow. I guess it makes sense with the wetsuits? Luckily, I live in a surf town so they are always easy to find any time of year. (actually, I'm the only one in my family who doesn't have a bazillion already...) Should we throw some in?
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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I just got back last night. Fabulous trip! Our guides were Laura and Eduardo who are both amazing. Sounds like Laura will be back for the trip next month. The other guide would either be Eduardo or Robby.

For as obsessively as I checked the weather forecast, it was time wasted. Laura said one day that the forecast is never right for the Ecuador portion. We had beautiful weather. Jeans and light weight long sleeves during the day in the highlands then add a fleece jacket at night. In the islands I wore capris and tee shirts during the day and usually jeans and short sleeves to dinner. I added a fleece jacket for stargazing and used my pashmina a couple of times at dinner.

The ship is small and the currents are strong in Galapagos so the ship moves a lot. Lots of people leaving dinner every night because of motion sickness. Bring the sea sickness patches/wristbands/meds if you are prone to motion sickness.

Bring hand sanitizer and be very vigilant about its use. We had 25 on our tour and 12 went down with a stomach bug. Our excursion group was hit the hardest so we referred to it as "flamingo disease" since we were the flamingos. Those of us who did not get sick became hand sanitizer fanatics. Those who got sick saw the doctor and were not charged for it.

Definitely bring bug spray. Those who wore shorts in the highlands got some nasty bites. Don't forget sunscreen lip balm too. My lips got burned in day 3 and are still sore and peeling!

The wifi on the ship worked really well, even with an iPad. It was $60 for unlimited use for the cruise. You could only be logged in on one device at a time.

Be careful with packing lots of liquids in your checked bag going home. I had a full bottle of spray on sunscreen and a full bottle of pepto (both still sealed) and when checking in to the gate for our return home I was told my bag had been flagged that it needed to be searched by the police. I was taken through the innards of the Quito airport and out in to the jetway in the rain the back under the airport where a policeman searched my bag. He was most interested in those 2 items and judging by the other people having their bags searched whole bottles of liquid seemed to be a common cause. It was not an overly pleasant experience so I would have preferred to avoid it!

Tell Laura that Lori warned you about the llamas at the rose farm. long story short, Laura had just finished saying the llamas were pretty friendly but let them approach you when one hopped over a ditch and attempted to mount me as I was walking away! Laura was behind it pulling on its fur to get it off of me (the whole thing was over in seconds and was not a big deal). I told Laura I'm writing ABD and telling them she needs a raise since she can add llama wrestler to her job description. There were lots of llama jokes at my expense for the rest of the trip. :lol

This was a really amazing experience and I am so thankful I had the chance to do it! I'll be happy to answer any questions too!
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