Insider benefits?

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by Keywestcrocketts, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM.

  1. Keywestcrocketts

    Keywestcrocketts Earning My Ears

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    We are booked for our first ABD trip this June (Grand Canyon) and am already planning our 2018 trip (trying to decide between Danube River Cruise, London/Paris, or Italy) and wondering if I should book as soon as the 2018 dates come out or if I should wait until I return from our trip to book because at that time we will be ABD "insiders"? Do they give a discount or benefits if you book as an insider? Or like on the DCL where you get a significant discount if you put a deposit for your next trip while you are still on your current trip?
     
  2. Keywestcrocketts

    Keywestcrocketts Earning My Ears

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    Also, if you've been on the trips that I am deciding between for next year, any advise on which one we should do? Our son would be 8 by then, in case that plays into the decision making. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
     
  3. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    If I remember correctly, there was only one year (2013?) where they offered a discount if you booked your next ABD within a certain timeframe after the end of your current trip. You got the offer from the Guides at the end of your current trip. And it was only for certain trips. They haven't repeated that, so currently, there's no discount of that sort like there is for DCL.

    Each year seems to be different as to whether or not there's a benefit or discount for booking if you're an Insider. This year, you got a $100 discount as an adventure insider (I don't know if that was $100 per person or per reservation, as I travel solo). It's hard to say if waiting until after your trip to get a $100 discount is a good idea, because the trip prices go up as the trips fill, and your trip could cost $1000 more than it did on opening day, so you could be spending $1000 to get a $100 discount. There's just a lot of variables.

    Sayhello
     
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  5. Keywestcrocketts

    Keywestcrocketts Earning My Ears

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    Thank you sayhello, you are always so helpful, I'm glad I found this site I booked my current trip through Kevin at dreams unlimited and received an early booking discount so seems to me that it would be best to just book as early as possible. Any suggestions as to which trip we should do? I read your trip report from the river cruise and it seems delightful but have you done either of the other two? All of our travel so far has been within the Anericas so I want to definitely do Europe in some form next year.
     
  6. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    We've done two ABD trips in Europe, plus we've done a non-ABD river cruise. We're an older couple (retired) so our POV might be different from yours so keep that in mind.

    Our first Europe ABD (2014) was "Viva Italia", which covered Rome, Florence and Venice. We loved, loved, loved it. A beautiful way to see Rome especially with the very knowledgeable guides and exclusive/expedited access to the major venues. We went out a couple of days early and used those extra days to adjust to the time-change and explore the area around our hotel on foot and on the hop on/hop off bus. We didn't try to do much extra since we knew that ABD would have the bases covered. Also we knew from previous ABD's that we should be rested before hand since the ABD schedule is pretty full. Our time in Florence was equally beautiful. The city is just lovely and you get to see the statue of David. Florence has a wonderful leather market so shopping here is a prime event. But the place that we have returned to once, and will again, is Venice. You take the train from Florence to Venice, which is a very pleasant experience. When you get off the train in Venice you walk through the station and out the front door. That's when it hits you. You're right on the Grand Canal. There are gondolas and vaperettos and other boats plying the waterways. ABD takes your luggage and puts you on a gondola for a water-level tour of the area. Just spectacular. Yes, we loved this trip.

    Our second Europe ABD (just this past August) was "Alpine Magic" which covered Northern Italy & Switzerland. Some really spectacular scenery in those alps! It starts with a couple of nights in Stressa, which includes a day-trip to Lake Cuomo. Really pretty and fun. Lots of folks did shopping in Lake Cuomo and there was a pasta making class, followed by a really good meal. From there, it was a bus ride across the Italy/Switzerland border to Zermatt. At one point the bus was actually loaded onto a train that took us through a tunnel beneath one of the mountains. The scenery along this route was (yes, here's that word again) spectacular. Zermatt doesn't allow motorized vehicles so the bus drops you off a the town of Tasch, while ABD handles your luggage. From Tasch you board a train for the 30 minute or so ride to the town of Zermatt. Once off the train you walk up the main street and that's when it hits you. Kind of like the "got ya" moment we had in Venice, as you walk up the street in Zermatt you see the Matterhorn. No other word to describe it -spectacular. One of the days in Zermatt ABD takes you on a train trip to the top of Gornergrat for a (yes) spectacular view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding glaciers. After Zermatt, ABD moves on to Lucern. A very peaceful city that is just beautiful. Yes, we loved this trip too.

    Our river cruise was on Viking in 2015, just before ABD started up their river cruise options so I'm not sure how our experiences will compare to an ABD river cruise. We did the 7-night Paris/Normandy/Paris trip that follows the Seine. Nice experience stopping in a new village every day. Exploring each little town offered some great photo op's. For the art lover, one of the stops is at Monet's house in Giverny with its beautiful gardens. The stop at Normandy includes a visit to the Normandy beaches and the memorial. Sobering.

    Anyway, hope this helps in your decision.
     
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  7. Keywestcrocketts

    Keywestcrocketts Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am still no closer to deciding as they all sound so wonderful! I know that you weren't traveling with kids but in your opinion was one more "hands on" and engaging for kids than another?
     
  8. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    We had some kids (8-14 age range) on both trips but they were primarily Adult trips. The kids appeared to be enjoying it. I'd guess that the Vival Italia trip could be seen as boring for a kid unless they were into history and/or Roman empire kind of stuff.
     
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  9. Cousin Orville

    Cousin Orville Inventor of Air Cooling

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    We've done 4 European ABD's. France, Ireland, Germany, and N. Italy and Switzerland. For France and Germany I took my son (7 and 11 at the times). The others were adult trips. They're all great. I don't think any one is significantly more geared towards children than another. I'd just choose based on where you want to go in Europe.
     
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  10. tink1970

    tink1970 DCL Platinum

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    I've only been on ABD Danube cruise (holiday version), but have done Tauck Bridges Italian itinerary which is very similar to the ABD Viva Italia (also holiday) and Paris/London on my own with my teenager.

    So while I can't address your situation specifically, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

    Depending on your DS's interests he may love or not love Italy. It has awesome art, food (pasta! gelato!) and churches. Of course the Adventure Guides are going to do their darndest to keep the kids from being bored but there is still a lot of art and a lot of churches. And crowds. We were there in December (low tourist season) and it was crowded in some places at some times (not the Sistine Chapel when we were there alone for 30 minutes-awesome) but many other places. It will also be hot during the summer which y'all may love but it might be tiring. So for your first family trip to Europe, art, heat and crowds. Fun yes but potentially exhausting. Again, your DS may be the Energizer Bunny and love this combination but not everyone does.

    Danube River Cruise-I enjoyed this and felt it was nice to unpack only once (not counting pre and post cruise, so once for 7 nights ;)). It is a much larger group so sometimes didn't have the ABD "feel" yet the children and teenagers all seemed to have a great time. In the summer there will be more active outings, like biking and the pool should be open on the boat so is that something your DS would like? Would he enjoy the salt mine trip? There are two or three well written (and photographed) trip reports (not mine ;)) by @sayhello, @calypso726 and @Kidoctr which can help you decide if these activities would be right for y'all.

    London/Paris-I would put this #1 for the following reasons: it's easy to access (important when traveling, especially with a child) London-even our small city has a layover in ATL and on to London. Easy! Archery and castles (which they might have in the summer on the Danbue so forgive the repetition) are always cool. There is art but it's a fun scavenger hunt like thing in the Louvre. And, the kicker for me (although DH has yet to go for it)...a post trip to DL Paris. How can you top off a great trip...a visit to Disneyland of course!

    Anyway, they are all fun and wonderful itineraries and it's a fun "difficult" decision to make.
     
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  11. calypso726

    calypso726 Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time

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    We've recently completed our 8th ABD trip, 5 in Europe and 3 domestic. We don't have kids but we have done both adult only and trips with kids. Honestly the guides and the trips are amazing whether there are kids on the trip or not. They are all designed with families in mind. My favorite of all is still the Scotland trip.

    We have been on the Danube River cruise with ABD and we also did the London Paris trip. We are booked for the Italy ABD later this year in August though. I could easily do the Danube River cruise again and I am posting this from London right now :laughing: No mattter which one you choose, I don't think you can go wrong. If you are really torn then let your son decide :-)

    Sayhello and I both have trip reports on the Danube river cruise. I know I posted one on London/Paris and I'm sure there are more. Italy trips reports can also be found in the sticky. Maybe browsing through some of the trip reports can help you decide.
     
  12. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    I've done the London/Paris trip as well as the Danube River cruise. I have links to all my Trip Reports in my signature. I did a lot of the activities from the Italy ABD as an add-on to a DCL Med cruise, but I really don't feel like I can speak to the land ABD, so I won't.

    If you want your first ABD to be a true ABD experience (family-feel to the group - ie, getting to know your fellow travellers & Guides well) then I'd suggest doing London/Paris over the Danube River cruise. The River cruise was a FABULOUS trip, but I missed the family feel of the land trips.

    That said, I don't think you could go wrong with either trip. London/Paris, as @tink1970 said, is more accessible (easier to get to/from, English spoken everywhere in London, etc). However, the differences between the places you see on the River cruise is really cool. There's a wider selection of activities that you can choose from on the cruise, being really active or not as much. And tons of folks spoke English in this area of Europe, also.

    Personally, I think I liked the Danube River cruise a bit better than the London/Paris trip. Just more varied, and a bit more "exotic" for me. (Although if this is your first trip to Europe, everything will feel "exotic". :) )

    If you have any specific questions, please ask.

    Sayhello
     
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  13. Keywestcrocketts

    Keywestcrocketts Earning My Ears

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    Thank you. Yes, I do have a question... On the cruise, did people take their kids to the Mozart concert? The options for that night are the concert or a wine house, both which seem like strange places for kids but it doesn't say anything about a Jr. Adventure that night so idk
     
  14. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    Yes, folks did take their kids to the Mozart concert. Most seemed to behave pretty well. No clue whether they found it interesting or not, but they weren't running around or being distracting, so I have to think there was some interest (or a lot of napping!) It was pretty warm, so I'd highly suggest bringing something that each kid could fan themselves with.

    Sayhello
     

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