1. Follow the DIS on Instagram! www.instagram.com/the.dis

Just can't take the plunge - but I want to!

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by 2littlestitches, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    A little background - we did the ABD Australia trip a few years ago, and it was probably our best trip ever. We travel a lot (often with DCL or to DL or WDW), and are looking for something for this summer. I have 2 boys who will be 11 and 13 this summer. I've been looking at doing Costa Rica with ABD for quite some time, and I'm really really really thinking of booking it.

    But I can't. I just can't. It's SO much $$$$$. So, I looked at doing Costa Rica with Tauck (less, but not that much less in my opinion). Then I spoke with my neighbor who did Costa Rica on their own 2 summers ago and loved it. I know the quality of ABD and if money wasn't a factor, I would've booked it by now. It's just so expensive, and I don't know if I can swing it (or if I should).

    So then, I started looking at alternate vacations...Hawaii (Aulani), Disney's Hilton Head resort, going somewhere in the Caribbean. Nothing sounds as good as the ABD Costa Rica. Nothing! It's kind of depressing really. Then I try to crunch numbers and justify booking it. I go back and forth, back and forth. Then I think, "maybe I'll save a bit, go cheaper this summer and do the ABD Costa Rica in 2014." I'm at war with myself.

    No real point to this post except that ABD's are so wonderful, and I'd love to do one each and every year if I could. But I just can't. Everything else I think of doing just falls so short. I need new vacation ideas or to quit dreaming of ABD's. Or to just book one already! LOL.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Dolby1000

    Dolby1000 <font color=green>Feel free to call me Ocean Wave

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    180
    We want to do Alaska next summer (2014), but the cost for the two of us would be over $10,000, once you include airfare, and as much as I want to see Alaska, spending $10,000 for 8 days is very, very hard for us to justify.

    So, right now, we will wait for 2014 dates to be announced and we will decide then.

    OWD (Ocean Wave Dave)
     
  4. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    We did Alaska on the Disney Wonder and had a really wonderful time. It's so beautiful, and we enjoyed it a lot. The ABD Alaska tour seems so much more in depth, though, and covers areas we never got to see. Good luck!
     
  5. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,983
    I've been on both an Alaska cruisetour, and the Alaska ABD, and while the cruise was wonderful, the areas covered by the ABD were far more wonderful than the cruise ports. Of course, the areas on the "tour" part of the cruisetour (through Princess) were similar to the areas the ABD covers.

    Sayhello
     
  6. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,577
    I've also done Costa Rica on my own, just last January actually. It was fabulous. A friend of mine did it on her own a year prior, with almost the same itinerary as ABD. (We would have too, but, DBF got sick). On our last day, we decided we wanted to come back, and would do so on our own again. I have only traveled to 3 other countries, and Costa Rica was by far the easiest as a tourist. Everybody is so friendly, English is spoken by almost everyone.

    So, is it Costa Rica you want to do? Or, is it an ABD you want to do? If you really want to visit Costa Rica, just go. If its the ABD you want, wait.
     
  7. steelydad

    steelydad Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16

    We did ABD back in the Early Booking Discount days, best vacation ever by far. Then the economy sinks but ABD ends the EBD and offers basically no discounts even while frequently and deeply discounting DCL and WDW hotels. Keep looking at great ABD's but can't, can't, can't justify the big $$. Best of all worlds ABD/DCL combo is really really out of reach.

    Solution = bring back EBD (but ABD seems to be doing just fine w/o them).
     
  8. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    You know what the truth really is? We are spoiled! Spoiled, I tell ya! Having gone on an ABD (and yes, some awesome Disney Cruises also), every other vacation just seems --BLAH! Nothing excites me anymore except big trips like ABD. I love WDW and DL (in fact I have the dual annual pass right now), so those trips do make me happy. But nothing compares to ABD. I hear about neighbors getting in their cars, driving 14 hours and staying at beach condos, and I know that's probably a lot of fun, but it really doesn't thrill me, you know? My family (who have gone on ABD's) and members of this board are probably the only ones who really understand.

    I'm spoiled, and nothing is measuring up to ABD. No other trip that I look into seems like something I really can get excited about. But the prices, oh the prices! They are painful, especially when you multiply them by four for my family. Just tough to come up with those funds, and wondering if the money maybe should be spent elsewhere other than all these vacations. Sometimes I wish I didn't actually know "just" how wonderful these trips are. Then maybe I wouldn't want to go again so badly. I'm hooked! I know a lot of you are hooked also.
     
  9. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    727
    All too true! But I do think we are launching our kids out into the world with a much deeper sense of things, an appreciation for other cultures--getting our kids to that point required an adventure that held their interest, was fun, was interesting and dare I say educational, and we have found this to be true on ABDs and much less so on other tours. In balance you get what you pay for, and we have always felt that our ABD trips were worth every penny!
     
  10. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    I really hear you on this. Actually, this is why I want to book it so badly. My kids are just the prime age for the Costa Rica trip, and I don't want to miss the chance to take them there while they are this age. They, too, are spoiled from getting to travel around the world, and they ask me, "Where are we going this summer, mom?" I have no good answer at this point, but I keep on searching.

    I try to keep that "time is now" or "you only live once" philosophy and usually go for it with the travels, but I'm choking on the cost this year. We will see what happens. Maybe I will book it, but I'm trying to turn over every leaf for other ideas at this point. It's just that nothing can compare!
     
  11. WildernessMickey

    WildernessMickey Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    113
    Costa Rica would be a wonderful place to visit. I had to go to San Jose to work, and the people were amazingly friendly. The hotel staff went over the top for me, and the wait staff was awesome, the food was great (best cappuccino and waffle I have ever had), etc. Everyone was professional and eager to please. I wished so much that I could see more of that country. I have a friend who studied there and he can't say enough good things about it.

    I am booked for a med ABD add on (my first ABD) and my husband is choking on the price but agreeing to try it just this once ;)! The positives outweigh the only negative (cost) for me so we are going for it!

    I hope you do get your family to Costa Rica one way or another. Best of luck on your decision making process! Pura Vida!
     
  12. lurkernj

    lurkernj DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,500
    Holy toledo! We're heading to Costa rica this summer with our two teen boys and I just priced out ABD for the heck of it and unless I did something wrong, it priced out at $14700 for the week (july), not including airfare:scared1:.

    I've started making my arrangements on my own(for 10nts) with the help of some guidebooks and www.tripadvisor.com and am coming up with about $7-8K including airfare. I'm sure it won't be as great as ABD, but it will be almost $10k less, and I'm pretty excited about some of the places I've found. We'll also hire a driver for the parts that we need transportation, though a lot of excursions/tours already include pickup at your hotel. Take a peek around tripadvisor, there are a lot of locals that post on there giving very helpful advice.
     
  13. Grifdog22

    Grifdog22 Barking Mad!

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    First, twolittlestiches - I am with you all the way. We've now taken three ABD trips, each one bigger and more expensive than the last. The problem is, we are now totally spoiled. Nothing else comes close. Disney knows this...and they price this as a premium product. A fellow like me can't make the salary of a New York Wall Streeter, and those folks (no offense to those who are) can easily drop this type of money without blinking. The rest of us, not so much. But we can't get our wives six Christian Dior dresses either. We want to go on our next trip too...and were almost there, when they pulled the ABD add on to the Alaska Cruise. I guess the decision becomes a life balance. Sometimes delaying and taking these once every few years makes the memories all the better...

    But I really wanted to address lurkenj's note. We've seen things "go wrong" on each of our ABD trips. If we were not with Disney, and had done this on our own - it would have been a trip ending disaster.

    On the last trip, in South Africa (the old version of the trip before they cut out the garden route) we were preparing to fly to Kapama for our Safari. We arrived at the airport with plenty of lead time, and were told to go enjoy the shops, etc. in the airport, and be at the gate 10 minutes prior to departure. It was a huge airport, with much to see and do. We all gathered at the gate, just prior to departure, and one of the ladies (a nice 70+ year old) spoke up and said, gosh, she couldn't find her boarding pass. The airline said, well, too bad for you. ADB was on the phone to the airport manager within seconds (how do they do that?) and within a minute a call was placed to the gate agent and a replacement pass was delivered. Try to do that on your own.

    Oh, and this was a couple of days after Osama Bin Ladin was killed, and security on any airline with Americans was substantially higher. The power of the mouse is never to be underestimated.

    In Peru, we were mid tour when domestic unrest resulted. Roads were closed and blockaided. We had no idea; Disney "adjusted" the tour, so we were kept busy with fun things to do. Ultimately, when we were "stuck" between cities and it was nightfall, they negotiated passage for us, and the Disney guides were out in the street moving the roadblocks, having done "something" with the locals to pacify them. The hotel would not even originally open the door to let us in! That night we could hear gunfire in the streets. The guides assured the kids it was just fireworks. no worries! We were kept safe, secure, and had a hell of a great trip. Not a position I would want to be in on my own.

    I could go on and on...but those who have travelled with ABD know that not only do they handle crisis very well but they make travel and touring, especially with kids, exactly what twolittlestiches talks about - it is a level of living that is not otherwise available to us "normal" people.

    And friends - our Peru and South Africa trips - we are still in regular contact with our fellow guests. We still are also in contact with our South African guide (probably against their rules) but we exchange regular postings. Money cannot buy that. In fact, when I look to invest money I now look to the ABD return - which investment will give me a better total return? I never fail to smile thinking about the trips.

    Finally, twolittlestiches, Costa Rica was our first ABD trip. It was a "change" trip, as the locations and accommodations for part of the trip were changed at the last minute by Disney due to circumstances beyond their control. So we did some things that were never on and have never since been in their regular iten. It was also a very large group - too large, perhaps. But I wouldn't change those memories for anything. We were horseback riding through the back country, and came to a spot where two streams met in magnificent 8-10 foot waterfalls into a large light blue colored pond - maybe 30 feet wide. We stopped to cool the horses, and asked if we could get our feet wet. Really before the answers were clear several of us were in the water. Once the feet were wet, the whole body was in the water, and others then jumped in. Disney said, well, this isn't an approved activity....and by the time we got out of the water, one of the guides had joined us (just to make sure it was safe of course) and the other had magically managed to have a new horse stocked with towels show up. The look on my 7 year old daughter's face that whole day is one that will be with me forever. The power of the mouse. If you eat chicken, you can have a dollar menu McChicken or Chicken Cordon Bleu. They are both chicken, but they are not equal. These trips are special, and are not an "annual" vacation for most of us. For big trip memories, I cannot imagine traveling any other way.
     
  14. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions on Costa Rica and just your validation that I'm not the only one "hooked" on ABD but needing to be a bit realistic about just how many of these trips we can actually take. No vacation decision has been made yet, but I think it might be Aulani, the ABD Costa Rica or Costa Rica in some other capacity. Thanks for just letting me express my dilemma among people who understand!

    As a side note, if any of you "like" Adventures by Disney on Facebook, my boys are featured as the cover fan photo for February. They are snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef on the photo. Such a great trip that was!
     
  15. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,983
    Oh, that's cool that your kids are the monthly fan photo! :thumbsup2 I'll have to check that out when I get home!

    Sayhello
     
  16. EllinK

    EllinK Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    I love the idea of Australia and the itinerary sounds great for our family -- lots of activities and animals/wildlife. But for the 3 of us w/o airfare --
    nearly $25k!!!!

    You said that you are having trouble pulling the trigger on Costa Rica. Wasn't Australia even more?

    Tell me -- was the trip phenomenal? Could it possibly be worth $25K!
     
  17. EllinK

    EllinK Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    I love the idea of Australia and the itinerary sounds great for our family -- lots of activities and animals/wildlife. But for the 3 of us w/o airfare --
    nearly $25k!!!!

    You said that you are having trouble pulling the trigger on Costa Rica. Wasn't Australia even more?

    Tell me -- was the trip phenomenal? Could it possibly be worth $25K!
     
  18. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    It was pretty darn amazing! The trip has changed a bit now from when we went, but it was a once in a lifetime thing, for sure. Wish I could go on trips like that all the time, but unfortunately it's not possible. But I'll say this, if I could go on an ABD each and every year, I would! I would, no doubt about it. As far as the quality and experiences with ABD I am sold. It's just not something I realistically can do, although I would love it if I could.
     
  19. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,983
    Wow, Grifdog22! Both of those situations are more than a little scary! And yes, that is definitely one of the benefits of traveling with a company like ABD that is not really advertised! I know I feel much better traveling abroad when I know that the Adventure Guides and ABD are on my side, trying to keep us safe and making things go as seamlessly as possible. I remember reading when they had that fire in the Chunnel, and the trains were not going back and forth. Folks on the Knights & Lights ABD found themselves on a bus taking the ferry across the channel, as arranged by ABD. Try figuring out something like that on your own, too!

    Sayhello
     
  20. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    Hi there, fellow ABD lovers! I just wanted to send out a warm thank you for all of the advice and opinions you gave to me earlier this month regarding my decision on a summer trip. Also, I wanted to update you on what we finally decided....

    After a ton of back and forth, back and forth, and much debate & numbers crunching, we decided to try going to Costa Rica on our own (not with ABD) using my neighbor's Costa Rica travel agent. It pains me to even say that, but that's what we are doing. Really hoping we have a great trip, and really excited about some of our hotels and activities. Trying to put the Costa Rica ABD out of my head for the moment, LOL.

    My commitment to Disney remains strong, though, because we've decided on a big Disney trip for 2014, with the Med cruise from Venice to Barcelona. We are now booked on that cruise and quite excited for that big adventure. Oh, and a few trips to WDW and DL are also forthcoming (gotta get the most out of this dual annual pass, ya know!)

    Anyway, thanks again for your advice, and I know I'll be back here asking a ton of questions the next time I'm thinking of booking another ABD. In the mean time, you can probably find me on the Disney Cruise Line portion of the boards. And if any of you need info on the Australia ABD or DCL, I'm always here!

    Thanks so much!!!!
     
  21. abacab

    abacab Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    You will have an awesome time in Costa Rica. We did it a few years ago on our own... basically rented a car and copied most of the ABD itinerary. It was very easy and lots of fun. We also added Montezuma, which was a real highlight of the trip... staying in a bungalow on the beach for a couple of days.

    We are doing our first ABD trip this summer... to China. Sounds amazing (though very expensive)... my only concern is that it is a completely full trip (44 guests). Seems like a lot of people to be traveling with.

    We are also booked on the Venice-to-Barcelona cruise in 2014, same as you. ... very very excited about that!

    Happy travels!
     

Share This Page