Iceland trip report

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by tsgirl, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. laceltris3

    laceltris3 Mouseketeer

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    I think this is part of the reason why I don't think I'll be an ABD person, even after we do our trip next year. From what I have seen, ABD's revised itineraries cover fewer meals each time. In 2 week-long TB trips, I have done exactly one meal on my own. Each trip actually covered more meals than suggested by the itinerary, either by adding in a boxed lunch, or giving 20 Euros per person, or just picking up an extra meal. Sometimes they make the reservations for you at the hotel restaurants so that you get to pick the place and time and eat with your family and it's still covered. I don't mind spending $ on a trip, and I clearly anticipate buying souvenirs, etc., but I really do prefer to just pay it in advance, and not have to deal with tipping guide hundreds of dollars or dropping tons of money on food. As a practical concern, we have a child who is allergic to nuts and sesame, and in countries where there is a language barrier, it is so nice to have our needs communicated in advance for meals rather than assuming a risk on our own. I even map out McDonalds locations, if there is one, in advance so that we can have a safe option for my son, if necessary.
     
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  2. quinnc19

    quinnc19 DIS Veteran

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    Something that I really liked about the river cruise was the fact that it was truly all-inclusive. It was relaxing to not have to worry about spending more money (e.g., whether you really wanted to pay for another glass of wine); you could just focus on having a good time :-) Tips are included also.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  4. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

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    Totally agree. We have dietary issues too. If this were a less expensive trip, I would understand some meals being on our own, but with this cost, why not give us a boxed lunch today and a voucher tonight or tomorrow in the hotel restaurant. That would only leave one more dinner. We will be driving a lot tomorrow, so I’m sure there would be some place along the way that could accommodate our sized group.
     
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  5. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    It's one of the reasons I am no longer completely loyal to ABD or its biggest cheerleader either. I've noticed this trend in revised itineraries, too, and it's disappointing compared to other tour operators (Nat Geo, REI, Tauck apparently, among others) who include all/nearly all the meals. I also hate having to get out the wallet during vacation and/or carrying around large wads of cash for tips. I would much prefer to have the trip price inclusive of all meals and tips.

    We are doing ABD Japan next year (our 7th), but whether we do any more trips in the future with ABD, I don't know. The "other options" thread on this board has been illuminating in so many ways. There are so many other great choices out there in the family high-end travel market with lower max numbers, better policies on trip confirmations, equally awesome guides, and less nickel and diming. I will never forget one of the first times I branched out with NatGeo and being told I could order whatever non-alcoholic drinks I wanted (whenever I wanted during the entire trip) in the bar and just to have them "put it on the NatGeo tab." I could *never* imagine ABD doing that.
     
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  6. Casspooh

    Casspooh Earning My Ears

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    Where did you go with NatGeo? How many total people were on that trip with NatGeo?
     
  7. hygienist999

    hygienist999 Mouseketeer

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    I will admit I'm a little nervous about our trip now. We fly out of Atlanta tomorrow for Iceland. I'm packing a good many snacks since we are pretty picky eaters. We do not eat seafood, so the Kiddie Menu will be our friend I bet. Glad to know there is a Subway around.
     
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  8. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    I did the coast to coast hike with Nat Geo in England and Patagonia. There were roughly 14 people on each trip. These were active adventures with no kids.
     
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  9. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

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    There have been lots of kid friendly food offered: pizza, pasta, burgers....I think you’ll be fine
     
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  10. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

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    Do other companies include the gratuities to the guides?
     
  11. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    @hygienist999 I hope you will continue the post and write about your experiences as well! We are right behind you on the 21st. It definitely sounds like tsgirl's trip has had some bumps in the road, but I really do wonder how much of that is the guides. I think Drew is our guide on the 21st. Our first ABD we had guides that were fine but not amazing (they just weren't very proactive in situations), and our 2nd ABD we had the most outstanding guides ever. It does make a huge difference.
     
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  12. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    Tauck Bridges as well as Nat. Geo. family trips the tips are included. Tauck let’s you order off the menu in restaurants when the meal is not a group pre planned meal.
     
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  13. hygienist999

    hygienist999 Mouseketeer

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    I will try my best to come back and give updates. I called my Vacationista yesterday to make sure we would be picked up at airport. She told me the driver would stay and wait on us and he would be responsible for our luggage. I thought that was interesting as I've not read that before. I like it as it seems we will be dealing with our luggage a lot.
     
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  14. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

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    We were just offered lamb or Arctic char for lunch today (as well as a burger or vegetarian omelet)!!!! Again, great food. We’ve spent the day on a sweet local farm. Later, we go to a natural spring.
     
  15. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

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    @tsgirl, can’t thank you enough for your regular updates and for being such a good sport about all of us jumping into your report. I’m only sorry you won’t be in our travel group in August - it seems like you look at things with a practical eye yet always ready to find the good stuff.

    I’ve had mostly great experiences with ABDs, though the one disappointing one was Southwest Splendors, which most everyone loves. Which just goes to show that there’s always a chance of an “off” trip and that’s not necessarily the norm. But we are feeling cautious with the changes ABD has been making. Definitely going into Iceland next month with an eye to deciding whether to keep our SE Asia trip booked for next year. Having realistic expectations will help so much.

    We have also started branching out to other options and find Tauck especially more accommodating than ABD. We have a non Bridges river cruise booked for next year with them and guide tips ARE included. If schlepping our own weight restricted luggage is going to be a thing with ABD now, we will also start looking at Rick Steves tours If we are going to do the work, why pay extra?

    Anyway, thanks again for all your info and great attitude and Yay lamb!
     
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  16. tsgirl

    tsgirl Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the kind words- much appreciated!
     
  17. quinnc19

    quinnc19 DIS Veteran

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    I just wanted to make it clear that even on the ABD river cruises, all tips are included.

     
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  18. WeLoveABD

    WeLoveABD DIS Veteran

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    We'll see you in Iceland! On our way today. All will be fine-- ABD does an excellent job watching after its guests, and the guides are constantly looking at ways to improve the experience. As to food, part of the experience (to me, anyway) is in discovering things on my own. Box lunches are conveinient, but institutional and bland. Yup, these are expensive trips but many of us have done the math and find you really do get value for your money. My best advice: relax and enjoy the adventure!
     
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  19. Casspooh

    Casspooh Earning My Ears

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    My boys are 13 and 15 and we like active adventures. I’m gonna look into that for our future vacation idea :)
     
  20. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    You are supposed to tip the Nat Geo guides for these trips, but not the family trip @Calfan went on.
     
  21. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    Kristilew, Tauck river cruise boats are superb......you're going to have a wonderful time with the crew. I'm sooooooo jealous.
     
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