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Old 04-22-2010, 03:08 PM   #16
WeLoveABD
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We stayed at the Hilton AdT for KandL, and loved the location and the hotel.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #17
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ACmom, thank you so much for your candid comments. My 9yo son and I are going on K&L in July and your comments about the food addressed one of my main concerns about the trip. It would be a tragedy to go to London and Paris and not eat good food! I've been making restaurant plans around the ABD meals, now I'm thinking of skipping the Harrod's tea to give us another restaurant opportunity. Did anyone skip the tea on your trip?

What time did the group return from Versailles? That is our only free night in Paris and I'd like to know what time I can make dinner rez.

Unfortunately, it appears this year we'll be in the Hilton Arc de Triomphe, which I've heard is not as nice as the Renaissance AdT.

I wish we had more time on our own to explore and eat. Sounds like maybe the K&L Gateway would have been a better fit for us. Oh well, I'm sure we'll have fun.
No one skipped the tea on our tour. You take the double decker bus from Buckingham Palace to Harrod's. I suppose you could always just go to the Tube station right next to Harrod's or explore the Kensington area instead. You might like the tea... If you're looking to gain some free time, this is a good place if you don't mind skipping it. You do have more free time in London than Paris. Definitely take your son to the London Eye and the British Museum if you have time.

We returned from Versailles well before 6, maybe earlier. This is a great night to go to the Arc de Triomphe as it stays open late. We heard fantastic things about dinner cruises along the Seine at night.

I've heard really good things about the Hilton. I don't know why they made the switch but we were switched 2 times before we left - from the Hilton to the Westin and finally to the Renaissance (I think we were called 2 weeks before we left).

Don't regret K&L. For us, the Gateway trip would have been much less fun and not worth the cost difference. We stayed in really nice hotels, the 1st class Eurostar trip was excellent, and we wouldn't have wanted to miss the trip to Versailles. The palace and grounds are breathtaking. The lunch was one of the best we had and biking through the grounds together will be one of those precious life long family memories. We would have had a really different trip if we did the Gateway. Enjoy every minute of it with your son - he'll remember it forever.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #18
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ACmom, thanks again for your thoughts. It will be our second ABD so I know we'll be well cared for and will have a good time. It's just that on this trip there is so much more to do in these locations than what's covered in the itinerary that I'm a little frazzled trying to fit in everything I/we want to do.

We'll probably do the Natural History museum rather than the British Museum as my son is more interested in nature rather than history. It's near Harrod's, so maybe we'll just duck out of the tea early. He says he has no interest in the London Eye, but he may change his mind when he sees it in person. What time do we need to meet back up for the Lion King?

Is there time to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe after the welcome dinner? I was hoping to save the night after Versailles for going somewhere nice for dinner.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:59 PM   #19
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I didn't do an ABD, but I DID spend a month in Paris, and a week alone, so here are my tips:

I strongly suggest learning at least basic French. It's a huge plus. I brought along a little phrasebook I bought for about 8 Euros, and it has PICTURES and the French/English underneath. It's useful just in case you get lost on your way home from wandering around the city.

Definitely read up on French history so you know the significance of what you're looking at. It's really easy to become overwhelmed.

Eat lots of croissants. Eat macarons. Eat foie gras. I live in NY now and I'm such a French food snob, I can't even bring myself to step inside the Boulangerie Patisserie in the EPCOT pavillion.

If you are flying out of CDG, BUY THINGS IN THE DUTY FREE SHOPS! The terminal I flew out of had a TON of shops and I basically ran through and bought lots of souvenirs for the family. They have EVERYTHING, from Laduree pastries to foie gras, to fun candies.

If you have a fashionista back home in the States, buy her a French Vogue magazine. They sell them in the airport. I bought one for my cousin and she practically fell over. She still shows it to all of her friends.

Take tons of pictures and have fun!
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:48 PM   #20
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I decided to go with the Tauck Discovery Castles and Kings tour. They do Windsor castle and Versaille and is one night longer. I will report back on the boards when I have finished. I will be keeping a pen and pencil journal while there and will write a report when I get back.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:32 AM   #21
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I decided to go with the Tauck Discovery Castles and Kings tour. They do Windsor castle and Versaille and is one night longer. I will report back on the boards when I have finished. I will be keeping a pen and pencil journal while there and will write a report when I get back.
I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions of Tauck. I thought their London/Paris itinerary looked great. They seems to do very well with booking too. Most of the Kings & Castle tours appear to be sold out, as well as a lot of their other itineraries. Our Yosemite trip had only 4 slots left open last January when we booked, so I never had any concerns about cancellation for lack of participation. I'm hoping for a good experience with them this year, so they will stay on our list for the future. I'm going to be snapping pictures like crazy and hopefully come up for a good submission for their photo contest. One of those travel voucher would come in very handy!
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:28 AM   #22
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I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions of Tauck. I thought their London/Paris itinerary looked great. They seems to do very well with booking too. Most of the Kings & Castle tours appear to be sold out, as well as a lot of their other itineraries. Our Yosemite trip had only 4 slots left open last January when we booked, so I never had any concerns about cancellation for lack of participation. I'm hoping for a good experience with them this year, so they will stay on our list for the future. I'm going to be snapping pictures like crazy and hopefully come up for a good submission for their photo contest. One of those travel voucher would come in very handy!
Since I am a bonafide Disney freak they are going to have to really wow me. I hear that they will.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:40 AM   #23
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TammyAlphabet: is your trip Tauck or Tauck Bridges? I'm very interested in reading about your experience. When are you going?
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:50 PM   #24
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TammyAlphabet: is your trip Tauck or Tauck Bridges? I'm very interested in reading about your experience. When are you going?
Tauck Bridges. Expensive like Disney, I like the itinerary better though. We will see.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:46 AM   #25
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I did the tour. I was not wowed. It was nice and other than the Oliver show in London, I have no real complaints. Oliver show was a little vulgar for my tastes. Excessive sexual innuendo and a beating murder onstage. For kids? Other people just loved it though. It was a nice tour the tour guides and tour director were great. Locations were great. But, dollar for dollar, next time I will take ABD. From the reviews on this board, they are a better overall value.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:24 PM   #26
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Appreciate your posting your impresison of Tauck Bridges. Good to hear first-hand experience. Will you be posting a trip report somewhere?
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #27
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Appreciate your posting your impresison of Tauck Bridges. Good to hear first-hand experience. Will you be posting a trip report somewhere?
I am not very good at those really and I am kinda snowed under really. If you have any questions, please let me know.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:40 PM   #28
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Thanks for the notes on Tauck. We did Knights and Lights in September 2008 and had a blast. We stayed at the Ren. Chancery Court in London and the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris. We did two post nights at the end of the trip to see DL Paris (took the Metro.) I wish we had some more time in London but loved what we saw. The British Museum is a must. We also did the London Eye and the War Museum on our own. I thought Paris was the most beautiful city I have ever seen. Loved the museums, the bike ride and the Eiffel Tower day. So easy to get around both cities. Hope to do another ABD soon!
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