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Old 01-19-2010, 09:41 AM   #1
gabtom1
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First Time Viva Italia Trip Summer 2010

I am about to book my trip for my family of four with two teenagers this summer for either the Viva Italia Trip or Italy Signature Trip. If you are going either July or August time frame which trip did you choose and why? Is the incremental cost of the signature worth it? I am looking at the July 1-9th date for Viva Italy and the only dates left for signature on the beginning of August. If you have booked or I going to book either of these trips, please let me know your decision making process and maybe if you are a family or couple making the trip.

Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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^^^ Hi! Welcome to the Dis! Let me qualify my answer by first stating that although we've visited Italy twice, we've never done them through ABD. Both our visits were longer than any of the ABD itineraries. Having said that, I've compared the ABD "Viva Italia" itinerary vs. the ABD "Italy Signature." Both go to the same Italian destinations, except it seems the "Italy Signature" itinerary includes a few more dinners and some additional guided tours which aren't offered through the "Viva Italia" itinerary. So I guess it all depends on your family's comfort level doing foreign places on your own. If you feel (like we do) that you can manage things on your own, then by all means book the "Viva Italia" itinerary in July. If on the other hand your family is the type that would prefer more guidance throughout most of your traveling experience, then I would recommend the "Italy Signature" itinerary in August. Both July and August are about the same in Europe as far as the weather goes, so that wouldn't be a huge factor to consider as much as what your touring prerences might be.

Congrats on your ABD vacation! Whatever you end up doing, have fun planning!

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Old 01-19-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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Just wanted to let you know this is the first year they've offered the Signature trip for Italy (last year was the first year they offered them at all, and they were for Northern California & South Africa). So you won't get any first-hand reports on the differences until July, when the first trip is scheduled. I don't know that I've heard from anyone who took the Northern California Signature trip, but I believe we had one or two people on the DIS who did the South Africa one. Perhaps they could let you know if they felt the extra activities & touches were worth it for their trips, at least. But you *are* asking for people who *booked* this trip, so you may be aware of this already!

Besides the additional activities PearlySwan mentioned, the Signature trip stays at different hotels in Tuscany and Venice (and, I would assume, higher quality rooms in Rome).

I don't know if you've noticed, but they now have a comparison page that shows all the differences between the trips:

http://abd.disney.go.com/abd/en_US/g...ComparisonPage

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Old 01-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #4
gabtom1
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thanks for replies

I have looked at the compare trips on the abd site. I have compared the different hotels and haven't noticed a huge difference in hotel quality. There really is only one additional excursion in Venice to Murano and maybe and extra dinner. What would move me to signature is a really different excursion like visiting the museums in rome after dark in a private tour, which I noticed on the Tauk adventures site.

So, still looking for anyone who is going on any of these vacations.

Thanks
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:56 AM   #5
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We are booked on viva italia August 15, looks like it will be great.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
JJPCheers
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We are booked on the Tauck Bridges tour (Italia Bella) in July. Have never been to Italy but used Tauck Bridges 2 years ago on a tour through the Grand Canyon and Midwest. I too looked at both Tauck and Disney. I liked the hotels in Italy that Tauck uses because they received better reviews on Trip Advisor and I also like the private after hours tour. I think both tours have there extras and both will be great. We have a 13 yr old son and are booked for July 9th. There are currently 6 boys (10, 10, 13, 14, 16) and 11 girls (13, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16) They do not have the age in the computer for one boy and four girls yet.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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We recently booked for Viva Italia June 28-July 6 with an extra day before and after. We have 2 young teenagers. The ABD rep told us there were 38 total on the trip, with 10 teenagers! Hopefully they will find friends. I can't wait!

JJPCheers -- I hope you enjoy the Tauck tour; we almost went with Tauck but I wanted to use my DVC points. We went Tauck Bridges to Hawaii a year ago Christmas, and the guide, Barbara, was wonderful. She said that she is usually on the Italy tours, and if the guides are all as good as her you should have a great experience.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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I took the Viva Italia tour several years ago .The Hotel Exedra was the hotel i stayed in rome. It is very nice hotel. It is now the Rome hotel for the signature trip.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
gabtom1
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Tauk vs. ABD

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJPCheers View Post
We are booked on the Tauck Bridges tour (Italia Bella) in July. Have never been to Italy but used Tauck Bridges 2 years ago on a tour through the Grand Canyon and Midwest. I too looked at both Tauck and Disney. I liked the hotels in Italy that Tauck uses because they received better reviews on Trip Advisor and I also like the private after hours tour. I think both tours have there extras and both will be great. We have a 13 yr old son and are booked for July 9th. There are currently 6 boys (10, 10, 13, 14, 16) and 11 girls (13, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16) They do not have the age in the computer for one boy and four girls yet.
I looked into the Tauk tour and really the hotels are quite similiar except for Florence. Tauk has you stay in the city of Florence, where ABD take you to a countryside villa outside the city. I think I might prefer that after an all day touring in the city.

I do like the after hours tour to the vatican tauk provides. However, being my first italy trip and taking my kids, I am leaning toward abd. However, I still could be persuaded ?

Was there a price difference? I also believe abd is an extra day.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:09 AM   #10
JJPCheers
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The ABD is 8 nights and Tauck is 7 nights. ABD is $4049 and Tauck is $3667. I think you can't go wrong with either tour. I posted some questions on here about ABD because our son is 13 and I was worried he may be too old for Disney. However, people said there were many teenagers on their tour and they all had a good time. I chose Tauck for the hotels and tour date fit my schedule better. I sure we will try ABD sometime in the future.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:57 AM   #11
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I apologize, but I'm going to go off topic here for quick question for JJPCheers about her(?) past Tauck trip. On the ABD trips whenever we come to some picturesque location, the quides round up the families and take individual family photos and sometimes a big group photo, as well, usually with the guests camera and with their own cameras for the photopass. Do the Tauck guides do anything like that? For us, it's a rare occasion to have me and my son in a photo together. When we travel on our own, it usually looks like I wasn't even there, since I'm the main photographer. It's certainly no a deal breaker (or clincher), but it's a nice touch.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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My husband and I loved the Viva Italia trip we took las September. It was our first trip to Italy. The guides Tina and Davida were wonderful and so was everyone in our group of 25. It was also nice that the guides took many pictures of us and also the group at different places and at the end showed a DVD of pictures set to music from our wonderful trip to all of us at a wonderful dinner party the last night. We received a copy od this DVD in the mail after we returned home. There were many nice little thoughtful surprises that our guides gave us that made this trip so wonderful. Everyone took pictures and we have received some wonderful DVDs of pictures set to music from others on the trip. We loved every minute of it and September was a great time to go.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:55 AM   #13
JJPCheers
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Bobo - Yes the guide took pictures along the way. Both of each family and group photos. The took them at each location as well as stops we made on the way. Our guide took care of everything. Before we would pull up to a hotel she would go around and ask everyone what time they wanted to eat and she would make reservations for us. Some meals were included in the price that you ate at a choice of restaurants and with your own family. Other meals that are included are group dinners. She even made reservations for us for meals that were not included and recommended restaurants. Also when there is free time our guide would recommend things to do and set them up for us as well. It was completely hassle free. A good balance of group time vs. alone family time and planned activities vs. time on your own.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJPCheers View Post
Bobo - Yes the guide took pictures along the way. Both of each family and group photos. The took them at each location as well as stops we made on the way. Our guide took care of everything. Before we would pull up to a hotel she would go around and ask everyone what time they wanted to eat and she would make reservations for us. Some meals were included in the price that you ate at a choice of restaurants and with your own family. Other meals that are included are group dinners. She even made reservations for us for meals that were not included and recommended restaurants. Also when there is free time our guide would recommend things to do and set them up for us as well. It was completely hassle free. A good balance of group time vs. alone family time and planned activities vs. time on your own.
Thanks so much! That sounds great and very much like ABD. I'm 99% certain we are going with Tauck this year, I just need to decide on a date.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:02 PM   #15
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Our family of four is also booked on the August 15th trip. We will arrive a day early in Rome.
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