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Old 10-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #16
familygoboston
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Review

You should go! It's a great trip!
I hope it's ok with the mods, but here is a link to my review. It's such a quiet thread and it might help those going on this trip...if not I'll remove it!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
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Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
You should go! It's a great trip!
I hope it's ok with the mods, but here is a link to my review. It's such a quiet thread and it might help those going on this trip...if not I'll remove it!

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
Totally, absolutely OK!

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #18
gadawg94
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Hello! Preparing for my first ABD trip (woo hoo!) and will be leaving for Ecuador in just over 2 weeks. I have been reading as much as I can about it here (thank you to familygoboston and tufbuf for sharing your experiences!) but I have a couple of questions. This trip came up very quickly and we don't have our "trunk" with all info yet (it was to go out end of last week so it should be here soon!).

It sounds like this is an itinerary that calls for pretty casual dress. Is there a "dress up night" along the way I need to plan for? I am stressing enough about packing with the fact that looking at the extended forecast we have a 50 degree difference between the lows during the Ecuador portion and the highs during the Galapagos portion, I'm hoping I don't have to figure out how to get several dressy things in the suitcase too!

On the ship web site it mentions you can get satellite wifi. Is it decent? Did anyone bring an iPad and if so were you able to connect with that? I know there have been times I have trouble with my iPad but can connect fine with the computer. I was hoping to get by with traveling without the laptop if I could.

Wetsuits on board...is this a one size fits most situation or do they have some larger sizes? Not HUGE but I don't want to get there and find out if you are more than a size 10 you are out of luck!

And finally, are there rules about what types of sunscreen and stuff we can use? Are there certain types that are deemed unfriendly to the environment and not allowed?

Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:56 AM   #19
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Oh, you've probably already left and I missed this message! I'll answer just in case you haven't and for anyone else!

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Originally Posted by gadawg94 View Post
Hello! Preparing for my first ABD trip (woo hoo!) and will be leaving for Ecuador in just over 2 weeks. I have been reading as much as I can about it here (thank you to familygoboston and tufbuf for sharing your experiences!) but I have a couple of questions. This trip came up very quickly and we don't have our "trunk" with all info yet (it was to go out end of last week so it should be here soon!).

It sounds like this is an itinerary that calls for pretty casual dress. Is there a "dress up night" along the way I need to plan for?

The whole trip is super casual! A few people chose to bring a nice sun dress for the second night on the ship, but it was by no means required! Most folks wore comfortable shoes and slacks. I am stressing enough about packing with the fact that looking at the extended forecast we have a 50 degree difference between the lows during the Ecuador portion and the highs during the Galapagos portion, I'm hoping I don't have to figure out how to get several dressy things in the suitcase too!
Don't pack anything dressy!! But do pack warm things, the highlands are cool and the dining room doors are open to the outside

On the ship web site it mentions you can get satellite wifi. Is it decent? Did anyone bring an iPad and if so were you able to connect with that? I know there have been times I have trouble with my iPad but can connect fine with the computer. I was hoping to get by with traveling without the laptop if I could. We did not use the internet on the ship, but we did on another ship recently (the sat services are fairly similar) There is a "trick" to the ipad, this won't make much sense till you try to do it, so copy this and bring it with you on board.
After you follow the step by step instructions to "connect" to the service, you will get a message saying you are "connected". If you try to go right to a webpage or mail, it will not load. You have to go back to Settings and select the ships wifi again That is the tricky part; even though you have connected, the ipad (for some reason) does not recognize it till you go back to settings and reselect the ships wifi. No idea why, but this happens, and this was the way we got around it.


Wetsuits on board...is this a one size fits most situation or do they have some larger sizes? Not HUGE but I don't want to get there and find out if you are more than a size 10 you are out of luck!
My DH is 6 foot 6; My DM is spherical; they both found wet suits with no trouble at all! It helps that ABD gets first pick on the ship, so try on your wet suit as soon as you get them and then the ABD guides will be at the stern to swap out (they will tell you when) if it's not a fit, but don't put off that step till you actually go snorkeling or sizes may be limited.

And finally, are there rules about what types of sunscreen and stuff we can use? Are there certain types that are deemed unfriendly to the environment and not allowed?
No restrictions, though we did see things about it before we left. We used our regular sunscreen (neutrogena) with no restrictions, and nothing was noted in the documents or briefings from guides during the trip.But do use it!! Even if it feels cool, the sun is very intense!
Thank you in advance!!!
Sorry I didn't see this sooner...hope you have a great trip!
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Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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gadawg94 may have already gone, but these answers are helpful for me! Thanks!

We are 34 days out and getting pretty excited! No box yet, but I figure that is going through our TA, so will get here eventually.

Meanwhile, we're just trying to get our Christmas shopping done so we can concentrate on packing!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
gadawg94 may have already gone, but these answers are helpful for me! Thanks!

We are 34 days out and getting pretty excited! No box yet, but I figure that is going through our TA, so will get here eventually.

Meanwhile, we're just trying to get our Christmas shopping done so we can concentrate on packing!

Yeah! I'm glad it was helpful. I thought the box came too late to prep for the journey...thats why I was so glad to have the folks on CC for advice! If you are taking an adventure in a different "season" than the one you are in; you might need to shop well on advance. For instance those rash gaurd shirts are very useful for galapagos and probably Australia, but the seasons can be opposite (Dec is summer in Aus) when the box comes I would have trouble finding one in NE in December. For Africa, I found it very helpful to have a large sun hat and safari shirt (which are sold as "fishing shirts" here in NE,) and I was able to get good deals at the late summer sales and then had them ready for an early spring trip. Those shirts were also very helpful in the Galapagos too, while hiking, for covering my arms.
Happy Packing!
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Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
ABD La Pura Vida Costa Rica 2007
ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:33 PM   #22
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Oh, did you use rash guards on this trip? I missed that on your list somehow. I guess it makes sense with the wetsuits? Luckily, I live in a surf town so they are always easy to find any time of year. (actually, I'm the only one in my family who doesn't have a bazillion already...) Should we throw some in?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:34 AM   #23
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Oh, did you use rash guards on this trip? I missed that on your list somehow. I guess it makes sense with the wetsuits? Luckily, I live in a surf town so they are always easy to find any time of year. (actually, I'm the only one in my family who doesn't have a bazillion already...) Should we throw some in?
We did! We are all very fair and the sun is strong on your back when you are snorkeling. Also, the water is cold and the extra layer not only helped keep me warm, but also, I liked having the extra layer when wearing the "loaner" wet suit, rather than having it right next to my skin.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:55 AM   #24
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Thanks! Added them to the list.

A couple more questions, if you can stand them

- It looks from your pictures like you had on long sleeves/long pants on your island hikes. Was this for sun protection or is it not hot even there? Trying to figure out how wide a variety to pack.

- We are having a hard time finding water bottle straps, which you suggested. Can you post a picture or size of the bottles? There are plenty of "slings" for water bottles, but they will be useless if the wrong size.


Aaack! I've been so laid-back about this because we booked soooo long ago! Now suddenly it's upon us! I feel like we "have this" to a certain extent, because we travel so much and have done the Peru trip. But still trying to chase down all the little foxes that could cause problems!

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
Thanks! Added them to the list.

A couple more questions, if you can stand them

- It looks from your pictures like you had on long sleeves/long pants on your island hikes. Was this for sun protection or is it not hot even there? Trying to figure out how wide a variety to pack.

It was warm enough for shorts and tees, but not too hot for longer lightweight pants and safari shirts (mostly because we were out early and back before 12 Noon) So the choice is yours, we did it largely for sun protection and it can be cool on the short panga ride with the wind andon the cool water.

- We are having a hard time finding water bottle straps, which you suggested. Can you post a picture or size of the bottles? There are plenty of "slings" for water bottles, but they will be useless if the wrong size.
This is the bottle they give you, it is a pretty standard size- about 14-16 oz. I have placed it next to a one liter bottle of water for scale. It would fit in any standard water bottle strap, but maybe not in one made for skinny plastic water bottles you buy at the grocery (12 oz size). If you can't find any, we did see some at the market in Otavalo, and then you would have them before Galapagos.



Aaack! I've been so laid-back about this because we booked soooo long ago! Now suddenly it's upon us! I feel like we "have this" to a certain extent, because we travel so much and have done the Peru trip. But still trying to chase down all the little foxes that could cause problems!
I think you will be in good shape if you prepare for potential cool times with layers, any lightweight shirt could work as a "safari" shirt and also as another layer under a fleece in the Highlands. Don't panic!!
Thanks for all your help!
Let me know if you have any other ???s
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:57 PM   #26
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I just got back last night. Fabulous trip! Our guides were Laura and Eduardo who are both amazing. Sounds like Laura will be back for the trip next month. The other guide would either be Eduardo or Robby.

For as obsessively as I checked the weather forecast, it was time wasted. Laura said one day that the forecast is never right for the Ecuador portion. We had beautiful weather. Jeans and light weight long sleeves during the day in the highlands then add a fleece jacket at night. In the islands I wore capris and tee shirts during the day and usually jeans and short sleeves to dinner. I added a fleece jacket for stargazing and used my pashmina a couple of times at dinner.

The ship is small and the currents are strong in Galapagos so the ship moves a lot. Lots of people leaving dinner every night because of motion sickness. Bring the sea sickness patches/wristbands/meds if you are prone to motion sickness.

Bring hand sanitizer and be very vigilant about its use. We had 25 on our tour and 12 went down with a stomach bug. Our excursion group was hit the hardest so we referred to it as "flamingo disease" since we were the flamingos. Those of us who did not get sick became hand sanitizer fanatics. Those who got sick saw the doctor and were not charged for it.

Definitely bring bug spray. Those who wore shorts in the highlands got some nasty bites. Don't forget sunscreen lip balm too. My lips got burned in day 3 and are still sore and peeling!

The wifi on the ship worked really well, even with an iPad. It was $60 for unlimited use for the cruise. You could only be logged in on one device at a time.

Be careful with packing lots of liquids in your checked bag going home. I had a full bottle of spray on sunscreen and a full bottle of pepto (both still sealed) and when checking in to the gate for our return home I was told my bag had been flagged that it needed to be searched by the police. I was taken through the innards of the Quito airport and out in to the jetway in the rain the back under the airport where a policeman searched my bag. He was most interested in those 2 items and judging by the other people having their bags searched whole bottles of liquid seemed to be a common cause. It was not an overly pleasant experience so I would have preferred to avoid it!

Tell Laura that Lori warned you about the llamas at the rose farm. long story short, Laura had just finished saying the llamas were pretty friendly but let them approach you when one hopped over a ditch and attempted to mount me as I was walking away! Laura was behind it pulling on its fur to get it off of me (the whole thing was over in seconds and was not a big deal). I told Laura I'm writing ABD and telling them she needs a raise since she can add llama wrestler to her job description. There were lots of llama jokes at my expense for the rest of the trip. :lol

This was a really amazing experience and I am so thankful I had the chance to do it! I'll be happy to answer any questions too!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #27
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Lori-
That's just great! I can just picture Laura doing that! You must have been very attractive to that Llama, good thing you didn't have my room at the hacienda, the stallion was right outside our window

Will you do a review? We'd love to hear about your trip!
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #28
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thanks, Lori, for all this info!

I'm sorry so many got sick. Do you feel like it was from food or from bacteria on the island? Either way, lots of hand sanitizer will be packed!

FamilyGoBoston, thanks for the updates. Continuing to add to our pile in the spare room. Planning a stop at the Columbia outlet on our Thanksgiving road trip so we can gear up a little more, as well.

Yay, yay, yay, I can't believe it's fewer than 30 days away!
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #29
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Down to the nit-picky questions.....

On the Island days that you hiked and snorkeled, did you just wear your swimsuits under your walking clothes?

Also, it seems there are several hours on the islands at a time. Was there any way to "go potty" during that time or do we need to be really careful with the coffee in the mornings?

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:50 PM   #30
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Down to the nit-picky questions.....

On the Island days that you hiked and snorkeled, did you just wear your swimsuits under your walking clothes?

Also, it seems there are several hours on the islands at a time. Was there any way to "go potty" during that time or do we need to be really careful with the coffee in the mornings?

Thanks!
No question is too nitpicky As for hike, then snorkel days; there are 2 days where you do a "hike" before a beach snorkel. The first one is more of a hike and I'd wear your suit underneath hiking clothes and especially wear your good hiking shoes/sneakers. The second one was more of a "beach walk" which you could do with your reef runners/beach shoes and beach cover up on. The other snorkels; you'll head back on the pangas to the ship after the hike, you can get your gear (or drop off non snorkelers) and then go back out on the panga for a deep water snorkel.

Now the itinerary could change- but rest assured you will get a briefing every night at dinner with all the nitpicky details. They will literally tell you... bring this, wear that; you honestly don't have to use your own brain

On the potty issue...there is no eating, drinking and no ducking behind a bush on the islands. They are quite strict about it. Im sure if you were ill or a child really was stuck the guides would make some kind of arrangement, but really there is no "going" on the islands.

But with that said- you will find that there are very few island stays that last more than a couple of hours. Some can be more than 2 hours if you have a snorkel afterwards, but well, what happens in your wet suit stays in your wet suit Also, there there are pangas going back and forth pretty frequently, so someone with a real issue could head back if needed (though who wants to miss all the fun!!) So we did find ourselves being careful, but at the same time you do want to hydrate. Honestly, no one in our group really struggled with this, luckily its only an hour or two.

I only had one issue, as I was hiking one day, I felt like my stomach was acting up, and sometimes when that happens I have to go, quick! One of my tips was to carry a tiny "go bag" of first aid and tummy remedies...you can find the list of stuff I bring in my review with the packing list. What I did that day was take an Imodium , with my water and the "feeling" passed and I could enjoy the hike. I don't usually do that sort of thing, but that day I was happy to have the Imodium with me. Ok enough Potty Talk!

Boy Kristalew, you must be leaving soon! So exciting!! I have most of these threads on "instant notification" so if you have any last minute ???s I'll do my best to get right back to you...have a blast!!!
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EuroDisney, Paris 1994
Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
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ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
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