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Old 04-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #16
Pakey

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Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
Thanks Molly! It's such a great ship, isn't it?..loads to do, I think I read your review too! (different screen name tho!) Good luck with your ABD, we are not DVC members, but friends thought that their points were better used on WDW vacations (more bang for the $) but if you know you won't do both in a year...might as well use them! I plan to review my ABD here in a similar (day to day) way here. I wish there were more like that to read on this board!



That's who we used as our "add on" to ABD...at the time ABD did not offer Torteguero national park, and thats what we added on. They did a terrific job and for similar money we were completely escorted from point to point with just our group of 4. Now ABD offers that on the TNP on their "turtles" itinerary.

I recommended CRE to friends of mine who did not have children with them and were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. They had a terrific trip too, and CRE put together an alfresco anniversary dinner just for them one night! I scored big points for that recommendation
It was based on your report of your add-on here on the dis that made me look into CRE. We had booked originally through AbD and then changed. So I guess I should say thank you because you are responsible for our most recent vacation.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:09 AM   #17
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It was based on your report of your add-on here on the dis that made me look into CRE. We had booked originally through AbD and then changed. So I guess I should say thank you because you are responsible for our most recent vacation.
Well, next time instead of being responsible...I'd rather GO with you! Glad it worked out...hope they don't boot me off the boards for losing a booking
But truly there are different trips for different family circumstances! I'd go CRE to CR as just two adults again, but I'm likely to take a Europe Adult Only ABD for the special access, so I think there is a trip for everyone!
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:52 AM   #18
RJPoste
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FamilyGo, since you are giving such great advice, and everyone else who would like to pitch in.....

We are DVC members and have soe points accumulated and probably not going to a resort next year. We are 2 adults, no kids and considering either a cruise or ABD trip next year.

Where would be a good starting point to consider?

Thinking about one of the So. America trips...

What do folks recommend?
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RJPoste View Post
FamilyGo, since you are giving such great advice, and everyone else who would like to pitch in.....

We are DVC members and have soe points accumulated and probably not going to a resort next year. We are 2 adults, no kids and considering either a cruise or ABD trip next year.

Where would be a good starting point to consider?

Thinking about one of the So. America trips...

What do folks recommend?
The first thing I'd recommend is to find out how many points each adventure costs this year (although it will likely go up for next year, it has previously) so you have an idea of which trips you'd have enough points for. ABDs tend to cost a lot of points, from what I've heard.

My understanding is (and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong! ) is that you can't partially pay for a person's trip. If you don't have enough for 2 people, you can use points for one, and the other person has to be in cash.

I haven't done any of the South American trips, so I can't help you with that. Personally, I think Southwest Splendors (the American Southwest) is one of ABD's best itineraries, and a great "first ABD".

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Old 04-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #20
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Use the web. Check tour companies like Tauk, Trafalgar and Insight. There are a couple website that let you compare tours from multiple operators including ABD. Just because you use a site for research doesn't mean you have to book through them. You can still book through DU, assuming you're happy with service and pricing, even if you do research elsewhere.

Any time I've looked the price premium for ABD was between 25-50%. It's even higher then Tauk which is a premium brand.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by RJPoste View Post
FamilyGo, since you are giving such great advice, and everyone else who would like to pitch in.....

We are DVC members and have soe points accumulated and probably not going to a resort next year. We are 2 adults, no kids and considering either a cruise or ABD trip next year.

Where would be a good starting point to consider?

Thinking about one of the So. America trips...

What do folks recommend?
I cant help with points, other than what my pals ave told us about the " point cost" of the ABD trips being higher than the actual price difference between the WDW stay and ABD if you paid cash. But if you have points going unused at WDW, then it really doesn't matter!

We've done Costa Rica and have Ecuador/Galapagos coming up.

We loved CR...they have a newer one now which includes the turtles...we'd do that one of the two. One thing about CR is that for an ABD, it's usually one of the more affordable ones. Sometimes they ave specials. I agree that 25-50% premium is about right...part of that is the brand, part s the extras, and art is they get the demand because of the points people have to use so they aren't "paying" in cash anyway!

For other SA trips; many of the other tour companies offer Galapagos and Machu pichu in one trip; I dont think ABD does, so if it's going to be a once in a lifetime deal and you want both, you may want to look at one of the combo trips.

Happy planning!
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:34 PM   #22
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For Costa Rica, I've found the ABD trips to be a good value when compared with some of the other operators. I looked into it specifically, since DH and I would like to return to Costa Rica, but we've decided to wait until our kids get older. I definitely recommend using a tour group for Costa Rica if you want to see the sites. The roads are not good- once you get outside of the main cities, it's basically a dirt road in many places, and with the afternoon rain, they do flood.

As some of the other posts mentioned, Tauk is another good option, and they do offer tours in Costa Rica with more availability than you will find for ABD. However, it's not a HUGE savings (say $3000-$3100 for ABD and $2700 for Tauk).
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