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Old 06-03-2012, 12:53 AM   #46
nordkin
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Actually, both ABD Guides know a great deal about the places they Guide for, and share all the duties, both administrative and guiding. But it seems they usually do try to have at least one ABD Guide who is from or really familiar with the area. Besides the two ABD Guides, they will also have local "step on" Guides, who will actually lead parts of the tour in specific locales (such as museums or historical sites).

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There are no step on guides on the Greece trip. They have hired guides from Greece to work with Chris. In my opinion it makes it more difficult for Chris. We noticed it on the adults only trip and one of the people travelingin our group helped him take pictures.

I will post about the final couple of days when I get home. I am at the Athens airport now heading home.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:16 AM   #47
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There are no step on guides on the Greece trip. They have hired guides from Greece to work with Chris. In my opinion it makes it more difficult for Chris. We noticed it on the adults only trip and one of the people travelingin our group helped him take pictures.

I will post about the final couple of days when I get home. I am at the Athens airport now heading home.
So there are only the 2 ABD Guides, and they are rotating through different folks from Greece for the second Guide? That's interesting. I'd be interested to hear how you feel that makes it harder for Chris. This is kind of a new dynamic. I'm assuming the Guides from Greece have gone through the same rigorous training as all the ABD Guides? Do you have any guess as to why they aren't using step on guides?

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Old 06-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #48
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I believe ABD has had the same arrangement in Costa Rica for years. There is one "regular" ABD guide (the one who does other adventures as well) and the "local" guide who is from Costa Rica and there are several of those who rotate. I'm pretty sure local guides received the same training. Our local guide told us about how he had applied several times to be an adventure guide and how happy he was to be chosen. He went to the US for the selection process and to attend training. One of our guides in Alaska was also a local guide, although I know that's not always the case for that itinerary. My experience with our two local guides was that they performed all same tasks as the regular guides, at least the visible ones that take place when the guests are around, plus they are especially good at helping with activities during the time on your own. May be a different situation in Greece. Seems strange that the local guide wouldn't help take pictures.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:29 AM   #49
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Bobo912, we had a "local Guide" in Alaska, also (Jesse), but I thought that was more of an exception than a rule... Maybe it depends on the location? Jesse did everything that Rae did. I didn't notice any difference in their roles.

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:04 PM   #50
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Bobo912, we had a "local Guide" in Alaska, also (Jesse), but I thought that was more of an exception than a rule... Maybe it depends on the location? Jesse did everything that Rae did. I didn't notice any difference in their roles.

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Same here. I didn't notice any difference either. But last summer when Chris, Tiffany and I were discussing the guides for our previous trips, they didn't know the local guides. So I'm not sure what the difference is, except the local guides don't do multiple itineraries. All of our guides have been great.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:04 AM   #51
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In Greece you are visiting places with a lot of history. The guide from Greece, who is an ABD guide, is concentrating on giving you the history of the locations that a step on guide would normally do. She did receive ABD training, but the locations are very crowded and it is difficult to keep the group together. Chris Brown is going to be the experienced ABD guide with Mary and Elena doing one trip each and Vivian doing the remainder of the trips. Mary, Elena, and Vivian are all guides from Greece. Mary and Elena shadowed on our trip.

One thing the adults on this trip discussed a lot was how it would be with children. The overwhelming opinion was it would be a difficult trip with children unless the parents talked to them and taught them a little Greek Mythology. Please review the book Disney sent some of us on Greek Myths. It will make the trip easier.

I arrived home last night around 11PM after being up for almost 24 hours. I will post about the remainder of the trip later today, but wiil not be able to share a lot about the last day as it was full of surprises that I promised Chris I would not devulge and ruin the surprises for people.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:51 AM   #52
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In Greece you are visiting places with a lot of history. The guide from Greece, who is an ABD guide, is concentrating on giving you the history of the locations that a step on guide would normally do. She did receive ABD training, but the locations are very crowded and it is difficult to keep the group together. Chris Brown is going to be the experienced ABD guide with Mary and Elena doing one trip each and Vivian doing the remainder of the trips. Mary, Elena, and Vivian are all guides from Greece. Mary and Elena shadowed on our trip.

One thing the adults on this trip discussed a lot was how it would be with children. The overwhelming opinion was it would be a difficult trip with children unless the parents talked to them and taught them a little Greek Mythology. Please review the book Disney sent some of us on Greek Myths. It will make the trip easier.

I arrived home last night around 11PM after being up for almost 24 hours. I will post about the remainder of the trip later today, but wiil not be able to share a lot about the last day as it was full of surprises that I promised Chris I would not devulge and ruin the surprises for people.
Did Chris say why they didn't go with step on guides? Were quality guides not available?

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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)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:22 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by nordkin View Post
In Greece you are visiting places with a lot of history. The guide from Greece, who is an ABD guide, is concentrating on giving you the history of the locations that a step on guide would normally do. She did receive ABD training, but the locations are very crowded and it is difficult to keep the group together. Chris Brown is going to be the experienced ABD guide with Mary and Elena doing one trip each and Vivian doing the remainder of the trips. Mary, Elena, and Vivian are all guides from Greece. Mary and Elena shadowed on our trip.

One thing the adults on this trip discussed a lot was how it would be with children. The overwhelming opinion was it would be a difficult trip with children unless the parents talked to them and taught them a little Greek Mythology. Please review the book Disney sent some of us on Greek Myths. It will make the trip easier.

I arrived home last night around 11PM after being up for almost 24 hours. I will post about the remainder of the trip later today, but wiil not be able to share a lot about the last day as it was full of surprises that I promised Chris I would not devulge and ruin the surprises for people.
Welome home Nordkin! We have appreciated your tips and insights, and will put them all to good use in just a few weeks! I did start to read the Greek mythology book to my 11 yr old--but as it turns out one of her 6th grade classes ended the semester studying Greece--using the very same book! Our high school senior (graduating this week) took an art AP class that spent a lot of time on Greek art history--so sparks of interest are there!

Rest up--and we look forward to the rest of your trip report!
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #54
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Did Chris say why they didn't go with step on guides? Were quality guides not available?

Sayhello
Chris did not say why they didn't go with step on guides. Vivian did tell us that it is Greek law that any guide leading a tour at a historical site must be licensed by Greece and it requires a 4 year degree in Ancient History and Archaelogy(sp). Vivian, Mary, and Elena are all guides in Greece that have been hired by ABD.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #55
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Mary will be our guide with Chris. The last time I asked, WeLoveABD's and our DD will be the youngest kids in our group. Both are 11 y/o. She plans to read the Greece book ABD gave us as soon as school is over and before we leave.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:36 AM   #56
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Please check you flight times and the amount of time you have between flights. We had several people who went through Paris that missed connecting flights because there was not enough time.

The resort in Crete is 90 minutes from the airport. We had a 6:30AM flight to Athens and were picked up at 4:15AM. We were lucky that our luggage was checked through to the US, but we saw people on the 8:30AM flight and their luggage was not checked through. It is hit or miss with the person checking you in. The Athens airport is easy to get through, but has some long walks.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #57
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Please check you flight times and the amount of time you have between flights. We had several people who went through Paris that missed connecting flights because there was not enough time.

The resort in Crete is 90 minutes from the airport. We had a 6:30AM flight to Athens and were picked up at 4:15AM. We were lucky that our luggage was checked through to the US, but we saw people on the 8:30AM flight and their luggage was not checked through. It is hit or miss with the person checking you in. The Athens airport is easy to get through, but has some long walks.
Are you referring to Paris layover coming in? We have a 1-1/2 hour layover in Paris before Athens. Do you know which airlines they used? Were the planes late? When you say their luggage were not checked through, were they left behind?
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #58
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Are you referring to Paris layover coming in? We have a 1-1/2 hour layover in Paris before Athens. Do you know which airlines they used? Were the planes late? When you say their luggage were not checked through, were they left behind?
They used Delta and 1-1/2 hours was not enough time as they had to change terminals and go through customs and security. They were placed on later flights and arrived late in the evening on the first day.

Luggage that was not checked through from Crete to the final destination had to be picked up at baggage claim in Athens and then checked back in at the ticket counter to be sent to the final destination.

Here is how it worked with our luggage.

We checked in on Crete and the person asked our final destination. We told him DCA (Washington Regan National Airport). The tag placed on the luggage had ATH, PHL, DCA listed in that order. We had to claim our luggage in Philadelphia, go through customs, then just place it on a belt after customs to be sent to our final destination. Not having to deal with it in Athens was a blessing.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #59
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They used Delta and 1-1/2 hours was not enough time as they had to change terminals and go through customs and security. They were placed on later flights and arrived late in the evening on the first day.

Luggage that was not checked through from Crete to the final destination had to be picked up at baggage claim in Athens and then checked back in at the ticket counter to be sent to the final destination.

Here is how it worked with our luggage.

We checked in on Crete and the person asked our final destination. We told him DCA (Washington Regan National Airport). The tag placed on the luggage had ATH, PHL, DCA listed in that order. We had to claim our luggage in Philadelphia, go through customs, then just place it on a belt after customs to be sent to our final destination. Not having to deal with it in Athens was a blessing.
We are flying into Istanbul on Turkish Air, then a different airline to Athens (arriving on the 20th, so we have some pre-tour days before the ABD starts the evening of the 22nd). At the end of the trip we are flying from Crete to Athens and spending one post-night via ABD, then flying Athens back to Los Angeles. It sounds like we should be good on the way out--since ABD will be watching over us still at the end. Guess the tricky part will be in Istanbul getting to our short flight---from what you were experiencing do we need to get our bags and recheck them in Istanbul? (I'll have to go back and look at those specifics--although I think there is enough time between flights in Istanbul...).
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #60
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They used Delta and 1-1/2 hours was not enough time as they had to change terminals and go through customs and security. They were placed on later flights and arrived late in the evening on the first day.
Okay, good to know, at least we know the worst case scenario. At least when we reach our destination, our room should be good and ready!
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