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Old 01-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #16
sayhello
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Originally Posted by msnoble View Post
sayhello--thanks for the comparison to the Med ABD. That is exactly what I was wondering, how this add-on compares to others.

We are going to be 4 people: 2 adults, 12 yo DD and 10 yo DS (not sure if they would be charged as adults or not for ABD). So it works out to an extra $500-$650 pp.

Here are my #s, retail values based on listed excursion prices, total for 4 ppl:

*Palo Dinner with Wine Experience {retail value=$40 +wine+tip, estimate $275}
*White Pass Train Ride {w/bridge & City Tour retail value=$688}
*Private Helicopter Ride {retail value=$900-1420, depending on which excursion--I used higher amount in my calculation}
*Dog Sledding {retail value=$2316}
*Mendenhall Glacier Private Presentation and Time On Your Own {retail value=$196}
*Lumberjack Show {retail value=$152-$160 depending on which show}
*Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary {retail value=$328}
*Dinner at George Inlet Lodge {with crab pot harvest retail value=$608}
*Cost of onboard tips: $ 336
*Photo CD (all photos included w/ABD): $399

these are things mentioned on the ABD itinerary that I couldn't find comparable prices for:
-Private Reception
-Jewell Gardens {? retail value}
-Gold Panning {? retail value}
-Lunch at Orca Point Lodge {? retail value}
-Private Animation Lesson {? retail value}
-Farewell Reception

I guess the issue is whether the above listed 'unknowns' are worth the extra cost, along with having the arrangements all taken care of. In the end we're leaning away from the ABD, both for cost and because we really wanted to do the whale watching and that isn't offered through ABD. Not having to negotiate foreign countries/languages makes it a lot easier to imagine coordinating our excursions on our own. But it's always nice to know what the options are!

Thanks again for your insights!
OK, I had decided to do some looking at DCL's excursions, too. Here's what I came up with for per person. Did not figure out child/adult, so your figures may be a bit less. I'm figuring for 4 adults.

Skagway:

White Pass one way, Yukon suspension bridge, gold panning $220 pp = $880 for 4

Jewel Gardens, produce tasting, glass blowing & Skagway city tour $94 pp = $376 for 4

Juneau:

Helicopter & Dog Sledding $569 pp = $2276 for 4 (I may have low-balled this, looking at your figures).

Mendenhall presentation & checking out the area $72 pp (I went high because of the private presentation with ABD) = $288 for 4

Ketchikan:

Lumberjack show (DCL family version) $40 pp = $160 for 4

Rainforest, sky bridges, totem pole carving demo $82 pp = $328 for 4

Dinner at George Inlet lodge & crab demo on private boat back to ship $152 pp = $608 for 4

So that would be a grand total of $1229 pp or $4916 for 4.

Adding in what you calculated for Palo ($275 for 4)
Photo CD ($399)
Onboard tips ($366)

That makes a guestimate total of $5956 or $1489 per person.

If you look at a cost of $2299 per person, that's a difference of $810 per person. I think the main difference in our figures is you priced the Helicopter ride separately from the dog sledding. That's a hard call.

Another expense you don't list is tips for shore excursions. I don't believe those are mandatory, but they aren't covered by the cost of the excursions. They're covered by the ABD.

But my guestimate is worse than yours! I came to $810 pp (but again, that was 4 adults, no children).

Assuming my guesstimates are correct, I'd say "No" to the "worth it". You're not getting *that* much of the Guide's time on the sea days (although they don't really say if they'll be doing anything for you on the glacier viewing day. That could make a slight difference). While the animation lesson was fun, and the receptions really nice, they aren't worth $810. Considering that this cruise only has 3 ports, I do think they over-priced this ABD. Seeing as the hotel accommodations aren't a factor, you really can only go by the activities.

Another factor is the small size of the ABD activities (40 people). Most DCL activities are going to have 2 to 3 times as many people on the an excursion.

It's a hard call. An extra $600 - $800 pp for the convenience & the Guides & the onboard activities.

It's not as obvious a choice as the Med cruise was.

However, I would not discourage anyone thinking of signing up for the ABD from doing so. It WILL be a FABULOUS experience, and a wonderful, carefree way to travel, and top-notch activities. But if you're looking at it from a strictly cost POV, it's a little harder to justify.

Sayhello
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Last edited by sayhello; 01-22-2011 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:05 PM   #17
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Just booked the add on with ABD, guess the Med. cruise really sold us on the whole package-not having to worry about the logistics of everything helps make it worth it to us.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rav4lcrv View Post
Just booked the add on with ABD, guess the Med. cruise really sold us on the whole package-not having to worry about the logistics of everything helps make it worth it to us.
Cool! PLEASE be sure & come back & give us a report on the Add-on. First-hand experience is SO much better than all the guesses we can make!

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Old 01-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #19
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sayhello and msnoble ... thanks for your cost comparisions

Based on your numbers, I'm going to have to look at mine again a little more closely. (I wasn't coming up with that big of a differnence, but then again, I was doing a lot of rough estimating instead of working with exact figures.) $810 extra each is a lot .... that's almost our airfare or an upgrade to first class - which, flying cross country is something to consider.

The one thing I keep coming back to though is that it is unlikely that anyone would be able to do as much at each port of call without the ABD add-on. (I think it would be a logistical nightmare to schedule all that stuff into one day and still make it back to the ship on time. Plus, I vaguely recall reading something about if you "miss the boat" in Alaska, you can't just try to make your way to the next port and get back on. Aparently it's against the law or something. )
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:01 PM   #20
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Alaska ADB

We will review everything after the Cruise, logistics is the biggest point-In a once in a life time trip-you do not want to worry about getting back to the ship on time or any other issues-We do really enjoy the small group for dinner and all events
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymath View Post
sayhello and msnoble ... thanks for your cost comparisions

Based on your numbers, I'm going to have to look at mine again a little more closely. (I wasn't coming up with that big of a differnence, but then again, I was doing a lot of rough estimating instead of working with exact figures.) $810 extra each is a lot .... that's almost our airfare or an upgrade to first class - which, flying cross country is something to consider.

The one thing I keep coming back to though is that it is unlikely that anyone would be able to do as much at each port of call without the ABD add-on. (I think it would be a logistical nightmare to schedule all that stuff into one day and still make it back to the ship on time. Plus, I vaguely recall reading something about if you "miss the boat" in Alaska, you can't just try to make your way to the next port and get back on. Aparently it's against the law or something. )
Disneymath, I *really* do have to agree with you there. In Ketchikan, it took 3 excursions to equal what ABD was doing. In Skagway and Juneau, both took at least 2 excursions. You being able to coordinate that yourself would be iffy. In fact, if they're too close together, the DCL system might not let you do it. If you set up independent excursions on your own, then you do have the issue of getting back to the boat in time. You also would have the issue of "this excursion leaves & returns from here, but the next one leaves from a totally different place The logistics of arranging and executing this *is*, definitely, a big advantage to the ABD add-on.

I've never heard that about the "not just making it to the next port" to rejoin the ship thing. I know it would be difficult, because Juneau is completely cut off from the rest of the Inside passage. The only way in or out is by ship or plane. There are no roads over the mountains that surround it. So you'd have to arrange some sort of flight to get either there from Skagway, or from there to Ketchikan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav4lcrv View Post
We will review everything after the Cruise, logistics is the biggest point-In a once in a life time trip-you do not want to worry about getting back to the ship on time or any other issues-We do really enjoy the small group for dinner and all events
Yep. As I said to disneymath, it *is* the logistics that make the ABD really worth it.

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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)

Last edited by sayhello; 01-23-2011 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #22
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Okay, so Iíve played with the numbers a little bit more and hereís what I come up with Ė Iíve based this per adult. Iíve tried to match up what ABD is doing with equivalent DCL excursions, I had a bit of trouble in Skagway as so many DCL excursions include the White Pass Rail. I guessed most of the onboard extra values ... if they seem off, please let me know!

Onboard Extras = $457
Welcome Reception = $25
Session with Shipís Naturalist = $25
Palo with Wine = $40
Animation Lesson = $25
Farewell Reception = $25
Onboard Gratuities = $84
Ashore Gratuities = $100
Photo CD = $133 ($399 split by 3 adults in cabin)
Skagway Excursions = $353
DCL Yukon Suspension Bridge and Klondike Explorer $69 (using $35, transport covered elsewhere)
DCL City Tour, Gardens & Glass $94
DCL Klondike Gold Dredge & White Pass Railway $176
DCL Skagwayís Original Street Car Tour $48
Juneau Excursions = $768
DCL Dog Sled Adventure by Helicopter $569
DCL Best of Juneau (includes Orca Point Lodge & Glacier with Guide) $199
Ketchikan Excursions = $274
DCL Enhanced Lumberjack Show $40
DCL Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary, Raptor Center and Totems $82
DCL Wilderness Exploration & Crab Feast (George Inlet) $152

Total Value = $1852 Cost of ABD = $2299 Difference = $447

One other thing to consider, there is a typically a helicopter surcharge for passengers weighing more than 250 lbs (gear included). I think on read on a thread here that itís about $169. A DCL manager confirmed for me with ABD that they will not charge quests this surcharge. (This could add value to the ABD for some people.)

About $120 in gratuities is recommended as a gratuity for the ABD Guides ( 2 x $60).

So by my calculations, for and ADULT, it seems like ADB is about $550 more than booking separate excursions.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rav4lcrv View Post
We will review everything after the Cruise, logistics is the biggest point-In a once in a life time trip-you do not want to worry about getting back to the ship on time or any other issues-We do really enjoy the small group for dinner and all events
I agree with the logic rav4lcrv. We were with DCL in the Med on Corsica and another bus on our similar excursion as us had gotten into a fender bender on the other side of the island. Needless to say "armies" of help were discharged and there was no way the Magic would leave port without the guests aboard. It does give you a sense of confidence and to me that relaxation helps me enjoy the trip even more. Plus the logistics was always flawless.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:36 PM   #24
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Abd

Anyone else considering adding ABD for this trip?
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:57 PM   #25
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Others doing the ABD

rav4lcrv ... I started a thread asking this on the DCL board a few days ago. There are a few DISers who have decided to go with ABD. Here's the link:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2658177
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #26
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I was on the Wonder last week for the Mexican Riviera and tried to get a quote for the ABD add on - and the Future Cruise Desk couldn't help me - he had no idea about pricing!
Anyone care to share what the pricing is - and what dates are available?

Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:20 PM   #27
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[was on the Wonder last week for the Mexican Riviera and tried to get a quote for the ABD add on - and the Future Cruise Desk couldn't help me - he had no idea about pricing!
Anyone care to share what the pricing is - and what dates are available?




I would suggest calling the Disney Cruise line-we did everything though them for our Med. cruise with ABD and most recently the Alaska cruise in June with ABD
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csharpwv View Post
I was on the Wonder last week for the Mexican Riviera and tried to get a quote for the ABD add on - and the Future Cruise Desk couldn't help me - he had no idea about pricing!
Anyone care to share what the pricing is - and what dates are available?

Thanks!
My understanding is that the ABD add-on is available for all but the first couple of Alaska cruises. The cost is:

Adult $2299
Child $2069

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My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
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NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:36 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
My understanding is that the ABD add-on is available for all but the first couple of Alaska cruises. The cost is:

Adult $2299
Child $2069

Sayhello
The adult price is what we are paying for our ABD Alaska add-on in August - we are 3 adults in one cabin and each paying this rate. Not sure about the child rate as there are no children in our cruise party.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:15 AM   #30
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Great insight! Thanks!
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