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Old 07-08-2012, 11:22 PM   #16
familygoboston
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Just catching up on my dis boards and am now seeing your thread- vacation last week ( ya know ya can't be planning vacations ON vacation, right?)

I'm also from ( obviously) Boston area and our family of 4 took the CR Pura Vida ABD in 2007, when there was only one trip, then there were two, now there is one again!

I like this new trip...includes Torteguero, which we added after our ABD on our own and was a highlight of our time in CR- a real " jungle cruise" experience!
We loved our trip, and I think you will love this one.

San Jose Marriott is lovely, pool and grounds are beautiful! If you take a tour of San Jose during your free day, I recommend seeing the Museo D'Oro ( beautiful pre Columbian gold artifacts) and Teatro Nacionale (National theater, which is beautifully restored, gorgeous colonial architecture and art work and they will guide you- v good English speaking guides.) If you can get a driver or taxi for these two places, much better than a bus tour like we did, as we got stuck going to some gift shop run by the guys brother in law or somehow ! Next time I'd get a private driver/taxi! ( actually we are doing exactly that in Quito for our pre and post days during our Galapagos ABD next month - yeah next month )

So let me know if you have ?s, though it's been a while it's fresh in my memory banks! Also, did you post on the meets thread that Say Hello so wonderfully made for each and every ABD? Sometimes they arent active - as I think BoBo said, not everyone who books and ABD ever finds this wonderful place but that way new people booking the same trip can find you easily.

Have a super time, looking forward to your trip report, wondering if Fico is still guiding? My girls adored him! Didn't hurt that he was willing to play "Pretty pretty princess " with them!
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Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:47 AM   #17
Gonecruisin
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Hi familygoboston! Wow! thx so much. The trip still seems so far away but as it gets closer, I will definitely have loads of questions. The San Jose Marriott does indeed look beautiful, but I wouldn't expect anything less from ABD (which is a big factor in our choosing it in the first place )
I guess right now I have two basic concerns: weather and hair lol
1. We are going in March which I think is the tail end of the dry season? What month did you go? What was the weather like?
2. I can't live without my hairdryer.
Are the hairdryers in the hotels "real" hairdryers? Should I bring my own? Can I bring my own? What's wattage (whatever that is) in CR?

And omg you're doing Galapagos ABD next month!? Now that's a dream adventure! I want to hear all about it!
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #18
familygoboston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonecruisin View Post
Hi familygoboston! Wow! thx so much. The trip still seems so far away but as it gets closer, I will definitely have loads of questions. The San Jose Marriott does indeed look beautiful, but I wouldn't expect anything less from ABD (which is a big factor in our choosing it in the first place )
I guess right now I have two basic concerns: weather and hair lol
1. We are going in March which I think is the tail end of the dry season? What month did you go? What was the weather like?
We went in June and it was humid humid humid, so I can't really say for March! I'm sure it's never really " dry" in the cloud forest and on the Caribbean coast though. Those Eco systems change little form season to season!
2. I can't live without my hairdryer.
Are the hairdryers in the hotels "real" hairdryers? Should I bring my own? Can I bring my own? What's wattage (whatever that is) in CR? Again, I'm probably the wrong girl to ask as I am a lifelong flat hair I didn't use the hair dryers much, though everywhere we stayed expect Torteguero had them( we didt stay there with ABD, so our hotel was different. We generally found it so humid ( tho not always hot) that things like bathing suits rarely dried out unless hung inside with AC. If I were you, I'd make some kind of alternate hair plan with your hairdresser. Maybe a simple braid or pony style you could fall back in? The whole trip is pretty active and casual, no one really expects anyone to be perfectly turned out for a hike or rafting excursion

The hotels were we stayed easily could accommodate a better hair dryer...there was excellent electrical service everywhere and I don't remember needing adapters, but you can check that. There was prohibitions about things not to bring, like there are in cruise lines!


And omg you're doing Galapagos ABD next month!? Now that's a dream adventure! I want to hear all about it!
Will do a complete review! I can't wait! My package should arrive any day now
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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 07-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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Oops!

Just realized that should say that there were not prohibitions on things, like we've had on cruise ships! Must have auto corrected onme. Sorry bout that! Of course your final docs will spell out what you need and if there is anything you can't bring, but our experience was that the hotels were very much the same standards you'd expect in the US.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:52 PM   #20
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humid humid humid - perfect. I mean ... eww That's what we're suffering through right now. I'll just pretend this July heat is practice for the adventure. So I guess we can leave the rain coats at home and just bring a poncho? Knowing that it's mostly casual should help pare down the packing. I can do casual easily! It's the packing light that I usually have a problem with.


Chica wants to know if there was any foods/drinks you think we should avoid either because they didn't agree with you or just didn't taste good. I've heard the local sodas are very sweet? What was your favorite food/meal of the trip? Was it hard to find a decent place to eat on those days when you're on your own?

We made our first payment. I love watching the balance go down
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonecruisin View Post
humid humid humid - perfect. I mean ... eww That's what we're suffering through right now. I'll just pretend this July heat is practice for the adventure. So I guess we can leave the rain coats at home and just bring a poncho? Knowing that it's mostly casual should help pare down the packing. I can do casual easily! It's the packing light that I usually have a problem with.
I know this is gonna sound ridiculous, but in June we used both our raincoats and ponchos! most days were misty enough for a raincoat, and if it really poured ( and in Torteguero, it really poured!) just for a short time, we would wear the ABD ponchos. But we don't find the ponchos very comfortable to wear ( breathability and length ) most of the time. Again, it might be drier when you go, but the " wet" spots, if you check the guidebooks, are always pretty wet!

Chica wants to know if there was any foods/drinks you think we should avoid either because they didn't agree with you or just didn't taste good. I've heard the local sodas are very sweet? What was your favorite food/meal of the trip? Was it hard to find a decent place to eat on those days when you're on your own?
With ABD, there will always be familiar food offered for the non adventurous eater ( pizza, white pasta etc) Costa Ricans have pretty simple fare as their traditional cuisine. Rice and beans were served at every meal, including breakfast. Lots of fresh pineapple and mango, fish, beef, and chicken. My girls loved ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime all chopped up...youd htink that would be very chancy, but - no problems at all! We had ZERO tummy troubles, and I have a DD who we tease for getting sick in all the best places; she had no trouble.We don't drink soda, but I'm told coca cola is made with real sugar rather than corn syrup in this part of the world, which might make it taste different. My girls loved getting something called a " fresca" which is just some soda and juices- very refreshing! Also tres leeches cake, which is a dessert made of 3 milks, ( cream, milk and condensed milk- now that is sweet...yum!) My girls are pretty adventurous eaters, it's my DH who is more traditional, and he had no trouble finding something yummy!

We generally ate at the Marriott because we were only there for a day longer in San Jose- and it's a bit of a cab ride to the area where more restaurants would be and the kids were young, so we wanted to eat and get them to bed without a late cab adventure

We stayed in Torteguero with Costa Rica Expeditions and meals were included. Their food was excellent and again no trouble. We didn't drink tap water anywhere, though in the highlands you could. We did bottled or filtered, most the better hotels offered filtered, we had no problems with it.


We made our first payment. I love watching the balance go down
It will be here before you know it!
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EuroDisney, Paris 1994
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 07-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #22
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Myself and my DD 11yo, will be on the 3/30/2013 CR trip. I have a question about cellphones and Internet access. I have Verizon service and no 3G/ smartphone etc, just your basic text and call set up. I read on line something about getting a temporary phone for international usage. Does anyone know anything about that for CR?
Is there WiFi available at all the hotels, because if so My DD could Skype with her father from her iPod? I know he is going to want to make sure we are safe and sound on a regular basis..as I would be if the situation was reversed. I want to make sure I can give him accurate info about how we can keep in touch. Thanks for any guidance.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:30 PM   #23
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Myself and my DD 11yo, will be on the 3/30/2013 CR trip. I have a question about cellphones and Internet access. I have Verizon service and no 3G/ smartphone etc, just your basic text and call set up. I read on line something about getting a temporary phone for international usage. Does anyone know anything about that for CR?
I don't know about for CR, but when I went to the Med, and to London/Paris, I was able to borrow a Global phone from Verizon. All you do is pay like $10 for the postage for them to send it to you. As long as you return it within 30 days, there's no other charge for getting the phone. You can also sign up for an international plan (for just a month) that will greatly reduce the cost of calling & texting. I don't know if this holds true for CR, it depends on the type of network they have there. Call Verizon's Global group, they can look it up & tell you all about your options.

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:07 AM   #24
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Thanks sayhello, for the great info. Does anyone know @ the WiFi access in CR?
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:47 AM   #25
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Thanks sayhello, for the great info. Does anyone know @ the WiFi access in CR?
One thing to note is that some places will restrict Skype from being used on their WiFi networks, because it is such a bandwidth hog. (I know DCL does that). Be sure & check with the actual hotels before counting on using Skype.

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Old 11-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #26
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phew It's been a while. We get super busy and so much gets pushed aside which is why we need a fabulous vacation!

2nd installmt pyt on our trip to Costa Rica has been made. Only one more pyt to go The closer it gets, the more excited we get.

I've been reading up on some of the local culture and learned a few tidbits that seem noteworthy:
Pura Vida - a local Costa Rican phrase that means "pure life" and it is used in a great variety of ways - all positive - when you want to respond to such things as "How was the zip line?", "Did you enjoy the pinapples?" etc. It's sort of a ~good vibrations~ type of thing. Costa Rica's equivelant to island time.

Tico (a) - is the local term for a native of Costa Rica.

Since Chica and myself are arriving a day early in San Jose, we've been told to check out a place called Spoons for a nice local meal. Rice and beans ... yum
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:39 PM   #27
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Heard from Delta that they cancelled my flight home. Goodbye reasonable arrival time in Boston.

Instead of coming home via this: leave Liberia in the morning, change planes in Atlanta (about 2 hour layover) and then arrive in Boson at 7 pm.

Now we leave Liberia at noon, change planes in Atlanta (about 2 hour layover) and then arrive in Boson at midnight.

Lesson Learned #1 = A year in advance in NOT too far out to book your ABD.
Lesson Learned #2 = Be flexible. Things can and will change.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:10 PM   #28
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Heard from Delta that they cancelled my flight home. Goodbye reasonable arrival time in Boston.

Instead of coming home via this: leave Liberia in the morning, change planes in Atlanta (about 2 hour layover) and then arrive in Boson at 7 pm.

Now we leave Liberia at noon, change planes in Atlanta (about 2 hour layover) and then arrive in Boson at midnight.

Lesson Learned #1 = A year in advance in NOT too far out to book your ABD.
Lesson Learned #2 = Be flexible. Things can and will change.
Sometimes I really, really hate Delta. At least they didn't add 2 or three legs to your flight! Coming back from Hawaii this year, I had a flight from Maui to Los Angeles, then a non-stop from Los Angeles to Columbus. They changed that to a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Columbus. Added over 5 hours to my flight time, including the layover in Atlanta. I have learned that the flights you buy on Delta are rarely the flights you actually fly. It really should be illegal. How many other businesses can sell you one thing, and then deliver something completely different?

Sorry they messed up your plans!

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Old 11-14-2012, 05:32 PM   #29
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This is my worst Delta experience, although it turned out okay in the end, mostly due to the warnings I've seen on this board and my own resulting vigilance. I booked a flight many months in advance to Budapest with layovers at JFK and Amsterdam. I carefully picked the flight that had layovers that weren't terribly long, but long enough so we wouldn't feel rushed and would still stand a chance of making our connection if there were a minor delay. I signed up for Delta's email alerts, but still checked regularly to make sure our flight or seat assignments didn't change. So one day I check my booking online and my flight has been changed. Instead of originating in Nashville, my flight was changed to a single leg from Paris to Budapest. No way at all for me to get from home to Paris. I called Delta and they changed it, but then I had a layover of a mere 30 minutes at Charles DeGaulle. So I called again and found a flight through Atlanta that worked and it turned out to be a more expensive flight on a nicer plane than I had originally booked, but if I hadn't been checking regularly, it could have been a disaster. For the most part, I've had good experiences with Delta (virtual knock on wood), but I keep an eye on them.

Sorry they messed up your plans, Gonecruisin. We're flying on Delta to Lima on March 22 with a layover in Atlanta. We may cross paths.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:18 PM   #30
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We just booked our CR ABD this August (using DVC points ! Looking forward to trip reports!!!
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