2013 Costa Rica Adventure

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by Gonecruisin, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    Hello ^_^

    I sort of got the impression from this forum that Costa Rican ABDs were out of vogue just by the lack of recent thread activity for them. Everyone is excitedly talking about their upcoming trips to Italy, Ireland, Greece, Peru! Costa Rica seemed to be relegated to the "Been there, Done that" dungeon of threads that no one posts in anymore. But appearances, as they say, can be deceiving.

    This past Saturday, I went to my TA to book the Costa Rican ABD for February 2013 only to find out that there is a Wait List! :scared1: haha So ... it seems there are plenty of people out there taking the Costa Rican ABD, they just aren't talking about it! I am very excited about my upcoming adventure and I'd like to think other people are, too. So here's to hoping that those other people will find their way here and find the courage to post in this thread.

    If you are anything like me, you've already bored your family to tears with talk about your upcoming trip :coffee: and everyone else is only acting interested to be polite :sad2: but I promise that everyone here really does want to hear about your plans popcorn:: and wants to cheer along with you when that special box from ABD arrives :cheer2: so consider this your official invitation to join the party.
     
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  3. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    I first found out about Adventures by Disney in 2008 when I took my first cruise - a 3 nighter onboard the Disney Wonder - :lovestruc What an amazing cruise. It really is just like in the picture...

    [​IMG]

    I was soon reading about all the other fabulous vacations Disney has and vowed that some day, I'd go on an adventure. And that day is now :yay:

    This will be an account of my adventure to Costa Rica with my daughter (DD - do they still do this? lol), 24. She's a great travel companion, speaks a bit of spanish and fun. Let's call her "Chica", ok? Chica has always wanted to go to Costa Rica. She wanted do a study abroad there her Jr in college but settled for Ireland instead. But Chica has never forgotten her dream of visiting Costa Rica - and I've never forgotten my vow to take an adventure - so now that college is over and pennies have been saved, plans have begun to make the dreams come true.

    Welcome to ....


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    We originally wanted to take our adventure the first week in Feb 2013 to avoid school vacations but as I said, it was wait listed. So now we'll go in March 2013 -- 16th thru the 22nd. This will be over spring break which we were hoping to avoid. We live in Massachusetts and will have a connecting flight to Costa Rica probably filled with students trying to get away, too. Crowded airports, crowded flights :crazy2: But we get that not everything will be perfect and are flexible travelers so this is ok

    Bad: Won't get to travel on our ideal week outside of school vacation week
    Good: Less risk of major snowstorms in mid-March :goodvibes

    [​IMG]
     
  5. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    So did you end up booking, or just add your name to the Waiting List?

    A bit of information about trips that are listed as having a "Waiting List": Usually, what that means is that a Travel Agent, or some other group, etc, has reserved that departure as an exclusive departure just for them. ABD gives them a deadline by which to book enough people to maintain the trip as an exclusive departure. If they do not book enough people by the deadline, then ABD opens up the trip to people on the Waiting List. So the Waitlist does not necessarily indicate that the trip is booked up.

    You might want to have your TA call ABD & ask the specific nature of the Waitlist for your trip, and see what kind of answer you get.

    (Unless you signed up for a different date, in which case never mind, and Congrats!) :thumbsup2

    Also, here's a link to the "Meets" thread for the Costa Rica Trip. Let me know, so I can add you to the Roll Call for that thread.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933891

    Sayhello
     
  6. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    Thx sayhello! I have actually already posted in that thread. :)

    We did book for March 16th - 22nd. I really didn't want to wait to see if the February dates opened up because I need to reserve the time off at work and I just prefer to have things settled rather than up in the air. I normally book all our vacations myself. This is the first time I have ever used a TA and I'm a bit nervous -- giving up control is hard for me which is why I take vacations :lmao:

    Chica and myself also decided that we would arrive one day early and leave one day late. So our trip is actually from March 15th to March 23rd. We figure this way we'll have a cushion of time in case any weather issues effect our plans (like flight delays due to snow storms. I speak from experience. So far, my vacations have featured a hurricane in FLA and a blizzard here in MA). And this way we get the added bonus of more time to explore Costa Rica and enjoy the fabulous hotels that Disney picks for us. :earsboy:

    Have you seen these hotels? :swoon:

    Costa Rica Marriot San Jose

    [​IMG]

    Bad: I don't have control over the booking.
    Good: I don't have control over the booking. lol Letting other people do the work for me. :cloud9: Oh and more vacation days :love:
     
  7. Bobo912

    Bobo912 DIS Veteran

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    Most of the people on ABD's have never heard of the disboards. If it's not being discussed here, that doesn't mean nobody is booking the trip. It's a great trip. Have fun!
     
  8. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    Hi Bobo ! Thx. That's good to know, too. I really thought I was giving myself plenty of time by booking in June for Feb 2013 but Lesson Learned #1 = A year in advance in NOT too far out to book your ABD. Maybe I'll do a recap of the lessons learned at the end? :teacher:

    In other news, TA is sending me documents via snail mail because they are 27 pages! :snail: I have to return the docs to Disney within 14 days. I think it's mostly the usual travel contract stuff ie: personal info, flight info, disclaimers and all that stuff.

    In some more other news, Chica just informed me that she bought a pair of shorts made out of swimsuit material online to counter the unflattering things those life jackets on the white water rafting trips do to a girl's derriere. I should probably buy a pair or two. :rolleyes1
     
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    D'oh! :headache: But, in my defense, you never came back & posted the dates!

    I think arriving at least a day early is the best way to go. Give you a chance to adjust if there's a time difference, and, as you say, have a buffer if there's flight issues. I've had a Volcano in Iceland threaten one of my trips, and a hurricane on the East coast threaten another. I haven't arrived on the day a trip started since my first cruise in 2004. I've learned a lot since then!

    Sayhello
     
  10. Aburns8

    Aburns8 DIS Veteran

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    I hope you write a TR! I have always wanted to do this trip. It is on my bucket list.
     
  11. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    @sayhello - Lessons learned. :scared: Luckily, we never missed a flight or a cruise but we've had some nail biting experiences that have taught us that Better Safe Than Sorry is pretty good advice. :goodvibes

    @Aburns8 - I will do a trip report! :yay: I wrote one on another board back in 2009 for my Alaska cruise and it was fun to do and well received. I've always wanted to do another. I find them to be really helpful when I'm planning a trip and updated info is always appreciated. It'll have pictures - all good trip reports do - and I'll try to get as much detail in as possible. I tend to be long winded so expect it to be wordy, too. :jester:


    UPDATE: I received the travel documents from the TA this week. 27 pages! :eek: Finally got around to reading and filling them out. They were very thorough and well done. They ask for basic info like names, emergency contacts, Passport numbers and expiration dates, weight - [​IMG] - flight info. Chica is going to drop them off at the TA tomorrow because they have to be back within 14 days of booking.

    Is everyone aware that this trip is starts and ends at two different places??
    We'll arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica and depart from Liberia, Costa Rica. Our TA and the ABD rep went back and forth about this but the ABD website is very clear that this is the case. So the trip looks something like this...

    [​IMG]

    I'm even more glad that we are arriving a day early and leaving a day late. Chica wants to explore San Jose and Liberia at least a little and now we'll have the time to do it.
     
  12. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

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    I just hope people can learn from my less than fun experience! ;)

    It's pretty common for ABD's to start in one city & end in a totally different one (sometimes in different countries!) In fact, I think it's rare for an ABD to start & end in the same place.

    Sayhello
     
  13. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    I prefer to depart from another city if it allows my trip to encompass as much as possible. But I think this trip used to arrive and depart from San Jose? At least, my TA thought so and was under the impression that this was still the case. We hesitated to book the flights just in case. Turns out the ABD was right and the TA was wrong. But at least she made absolutely sure before committing my money to a flight! :love:

    Chica's swim suit shorts have arrived and got 2 thumbs up. lol I've laid claim to this time at work for vacation -- got some surprised looks and a comment or two. Planning vacations this far out is uncommon at my job. Not anymore though! :cool2:
     
  14. Bobo912

    Bobo912 DIS Veteran

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    ABD changed the itinerary for 2013. In previous years the trip did start and end in San Jose.
     
  15. ragtopday

    ragtopday Proud Member of Red Sox Nation

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    You mentioned you were in MA - as I'm in southern NH I'd love to know the flight plans you have. This trip is one of 3 I am considering taking my 2 girls on next summer and the flights to Costa Rica are the huge unknown for me!

    Thanks - can't wait to hear more about your planning!
     
  16. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    Hi ragtopday! I love talking about travel plans. What other places are you considering?

    I was very concerned about the flight situation. I am always nervous about delayed flights in the winter due to storms. And I didn't want to arrive too late on Day One or or get in at midnight back in Boston at the end. And I insisted on only one stop. And then there was the whole depart from San Jose vs Liberia thing. So we ended up spending more time discussing and choosing the flights than anything else.

    To be honest, we went back and forth so much, I think I've blocked out the ones we rejected. But basically, from what I recall, we were choosing between 3 airlines... #1 had lousy flight times and/or too many stops; #2 is in bankruptcy and who knows what their status will be in March 2013 and so we chose # 3 - Delta.

    We leave Boston in the early morning, change planes in Atlanta (about 1 hour layover) and then arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica at noon ~ perfect :littleangel:

    Coming home, we leave Liberia in the morning, change planes in Atlanta (about 2 hour layover) and then arrive in Boson at 7 pm ~ not bad.

    Another thing that sold us on these flights was school vacation weeks. We wanted to avoid them and avoid traveling to FLA due to them. Since Feb 2013 was wait listed, we changed to mid March which is spring break -- :scared1: oh no! -- so changing flights in Atl is a better option than say ... Miami. Those spring breakers just make things more crowded and raise the prices on everything. :mad:

    For two: $1500.00. I didn't think this was bad considering I rejected cheaper flights because they didn't meet my wishes. At least that's what I keep telling myself. :rotfl2:
     
  17. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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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:rolleyes2) 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!:thumbsup2

    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 :goodvibes)

    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!
     
  18. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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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 :rotfl:
    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. [​IMG] :rotfl2:
    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!
     
  19. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    Will do a complete review! I can't wait! My package should arrive any day now:thumbsup2
     
  20. familygoboston

    familygoboston Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  21. Gonecruisin

    Gonecruisin novice

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    humid humid humid - perfect. I mean ... eww :laughing: 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. :flower:


    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 :love:
    :cool1:
     

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