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Old 08-24-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
Bobo912
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We are going to the Galapagos in 2011...

but not with ABD. I booked our trip with Liindblad/National Geographic this morning and I'm very excited. I decided to go with them because I like their itinerary and they offer travel dates year-round and I was hoping to schedule our trip during DS's spring break, which is what I did. I also received free roundtrip airfare from Miami to Guayquil, which is a nice bonus. In case anyone is interested, I'll post my impressions of Lindblad and how it compares to ABD. So far, I'm very impressed. I have called them several times with question on the itinerary, flights, discounts, travel insurance, ship cabins, family vs regular trips, kids booked for our date, weather and water temps, etc. and they have been able to promptly answer every questions I've asked. I also asked if they ever cancel trips due to low bookings and they told me it is very rare, especially for the Galapagos trip because it is very popular. The rep said she couldn't recall any occasion when they had cancelled and the trip is usually fully booked during March/April spring break season, all summer and the Christmas holiday timeframe.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #2
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Congrats, Bobo912!!! I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of Liindblad. I attended their Costa Rica/Panama webinar, and was very impressed by what I saw. If their trips didn't have such a steep single supplement (because of the ship) I'd be seriously considering them. I'll be interested to see what your experience is like.

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
Momof3greatkids
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Sound like fun!

Congrats, on a great trip selection. I can't wait to hear how it goes!
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Congrats Bobo912. I'm also doing a Lindblad, going in less than 3 months to Egypt with them. I've also been very impressed with the phone service and the information that has been mailed to me.

I received a nice folder full of information on local weather, currency, language terms that we should learn, etc. I especially appreciated the information on local food and drinks, including large duties that will have to be paid if we were to order imported beer or wine. We have been given a lot of helpful information such as this. We've also been provided with detailed information regarding our hotels and activities within walking distance that we might be interested in.

We also got literature on Egyptian history and a list of recommended reading materials.

I feel much more prepared for this excursion than I did for AbD.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
Bobo912
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Thanks everybody! I'm very excited to have made a decision and since it's a spring break trip, we don't have all that long to wait. Pakey, I'm really looking forward to hearing how your Egypt trip goes. I've read and heard only good things about Lindblad, so I'm feeling very positive about the decision.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #6
marcemch
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but not with ABD. I booked our trip with Liindblad/National Geographic this morning and I'm very excited. I decided to go with them because I like their itinerary and they offer travel dates year-round and I was hoping to schedule our trip during DS's spring break, which is what I did. I also received free roundtrip airfare from Miami to Guayquil, which is a nice bonus. In case anyone is interested, I'll post my impressions of Lindblad and how it compares to ABD. So far, I'm very impressed. I have called them several times with question on the itinerary, flights, discounts, travel insurance, ship cabins, family vs regular trips, kids booked for our date, weather and water temps, etc. and they have been able to promptly answer every questions I've asked. I also asked if they ever cancel trips due to low bookings and they told me it is very rare, especially for the Galapagos trip because it is very popular. The rep said she couldn't recall any occasion when they had cancelled and the trip is usually fully booked during March/April spring break season, all summer and the Christmas holiday timeframe.
Congrats Bobo912! So nice to have a trip ahead of you that's not almost a year away. I really miss having something out there in the future to look forward to.
So was the free airfare part of the Linblad incentives? That's certainly a nice perk!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:24 PM   #7
Bobo912
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Congrats Bobo912! So nice to have a trip ahead of you that's not almost a year away. I really miss having something out there in the future to look forward to.
So was the free airfare part of the Linblad incentives? That's certainly a nice perk!
Their website has a free airfare offer which says "select dates" and instructs you to call to see if it's available for your date. I called a couple of months ago and asked about a date just before Christmas and there was no free airfare for that trip. So I think maybe it's most dates except holidays and maybe the height of summer vacation season. They have special offers for many of their trips. You also get $250 off if you attend one of their webinars and then book within 7 days. I attended the Galapagos webinar back in July, but I hadn't done all my research and wasn't ready to book that soon. I wish I had been better prepared. Also, kids under 18 get $500 off. I believe this is the only travel company I've come across who considers everyone under 18 to be a kid! Lindblad values the free airfare at $660 per person and I think that's about right based on pricing the flight myself. If it doesn't work for you to join the group flight from Miami, they will give you a $500 per person credit instead. I ended up using miles for the flight down and paying about $250 per person for the flight back. I feel pretty good about the price I'm paying, so hopefully I won't be kicking myself later for booking this early. I don't think I will. When I called earlier about the Dec trip the only cabins available were the really expensive suites, so I think it was a good idea to go ahead and book while I could get a less expensive cabin. I can hardly believe we are actually going to such an amazing destination!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:30 PM   #8
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Congrats, Bobo! Can't wait to follow along with your planning, packing and trip report!

So glad that even as folks on this board are booking with other companies, they are still staying "in the community" here. I so value the insights from my fellow travel-lovers!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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We had a special incentive for our Egypt one too; which is why I booked the particular dates I did since we are childless and more flexible on dates. We were given a $$$ per person credit because our Egypt tour finishes the day before Thanksgiving and I would imagine that it's not an easy trip to fill.

Ours includes a 4 day Nile cruise and I really liked that we were able to select the ship cabin we wanted. The customer service rep was really nice about going through the cabin selections with me, telling me the pros/cons to each location.

Bobo912 I don't think you will be sorry for booking early. For the same reason, we are/were very excited to get a nice cabin at a good rate.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:59 PM   #10
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Sounds like a great trip and really hope to see you post updates of trip.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:42 PM   #11
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Looking forward to hearing about your trip. We had such a great time on our Galapagos ABD. I will be interested to read your comparison between the ABD you have done, and this Lindblad trip. Have fun with the planning!
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:55 PM   #12
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So glad that even as folks on this board are booking with other companies, they are still staying "in the community" here. I so value the insights from my fellow travel-lovers!
Amen to that! I totally agree!

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:22 AM   #13
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Amen to that! I totally agree!

Sayhello
I certainly hope that people who travel with other companies continue to post. This year when I was trying to find feedback on Tauck it was really hard to come up with any information on the Bridges trips. Since this is an ABD board, I know we want to try to stay on topic, but I think comparing and contrasting our experience with ABD vs. other tour providers is still on topic and very helpful to those of us trying to make travel decisions.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
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Just passing along something I noticed as I was booking our Miami flight on American. When I was checking fares on Saturday and Sunday the flight was $251. After I made the reservation with Lindblad on Tuesday, I went to the AA website to book the flight and it was $306. So I thought I would wait a couple of days and see if it went back down and this morning it's back at $251. Whenever I've read tips on getting the cheapest airfare the experts usually say Tues-Thurs are the best days to book, but apparently American has cheaper fares on Thurs-Sun, for this one flight, at least.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:41 PM   #15
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I certainly hope that people who travel with other companies continue to post. This year when I was trying to find feedback on Tauck it was really hard to come up with any information on the Bridges trips. Since this is an ABD board, I know we want to try to stay on topic, but I think comparing and contrasting our experience with ABD vs. other tour providers is still on topic and very helpful to those of us trying to make travel decisions.
I'm sure you'll have a great time with Lindblad/NatGeo, but I doubt that anyone else can compare with those AbD guides!
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