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Lulu27

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 19, 2015
Tauck just came out with an app and I am checking it out. So far I am impressed. It not only has a countdown to your trip (automatically calculated when you log in) but it has your itinerary, the hotel information, and essentially everything that’s on the site in a much more easily accessible fashion. It has restaurant recommendations for the few OYO meals so you can research and make plans and I am talking 30 restaurants, plus sightseeing and nightlife spots, that also map you to it automatically. It also has information that will be available when you are on the tour as well. And it’s based against a pretty background of Irish scenery for our Ireland forever trip. It has everything in the book plus a ton more. They clearly put a lot of effort into it.
WOW! That sounds like an excellent tool!
 

sayhello

Have Camera, Will Travel
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Tauck just came out with an app and I am checking it out. So far I am impressed. It not only has a countdown to your trip (automatically calculated when you log in) but it has your itinerary, the hotel information, and essentially everything that’s on the site in a much more easily accessible fashion. It has restaurant recommendations for the few OYO meals so you can research and make plans and I am talking 30 restaurants, plus sightseeing and nightlife spots, that also map you to it automatically. It also has information that will be available when you are on the tour as well. And it’s based against a pretty background of Irish scenery for our Ireland forever trip. It has everything in the book plus a ton more. They clearly put a lot of effort into it.
That sounds amazing! ABD should really be listening to that!!

Sayhello
 

cynditech

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
We went with go2africa for our trip next year to East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia) and am in the middle of booking transfers and guides for a week of our China trip this November (Chengdu, Xian, Beijing portions) with Catherine Lu Tours which is also highly rated. They were both willing and ready to customize every aspect and do exactly what we wanted - and offered good advice when and where we weren't sure. So far in the planning/deposit process they have been lovely and came highly reviewed.
After reading this - I contact Catherine Lu Tours. They seem great so far and have put together a nice itinerary (and very flexible). I would love to hear how it goes for you guys this year, using them. We are booking for next June.
 
  • BluesTraveler

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2015
    Has anyone traveled with Abercrombie & Kent? @*WDW*Groupie* you mentioned on the Japan thread that you were looking at their Japan itinerary. We are looking at their Switzerland and China itineraries, but they have quite a few negative reviews on Yelp, and I can't find any other source of reviews for them.
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    Has anyone traveled with Abercrombie & Kent? @*WDW*Groupie* you mentioned on the Japan thread that you were looking at their Japan itinerary. We are looking at their Switzerland and China itineraries, but they have quite a few negative reviews on Yelp, and I can't find any other source of reviews for them.
    We haven't travelled with them yet, but we are going to Antarctica, S. Georgia and Falkland Islands with them this year. We cancelled our trip with them last year and they gave us a 100% refund of our deposit (their t&c said they could keep $500.00 per person), which really, really impressed me (because as we know ABD won't refund your deposit -- they "hold" it for another ABD trip).

    Their service seems exceptional and I really like the Japan itinerary -- it is very similar to what I'd design for a private tour. The hotels are top notch in great locations and they include quite a few meals.
     
  • CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    An update on my Nat Geo hiking trip with my daughter to Machu Picchu ...

    Well the rose-colored glasses with Nat Geo are a little off. I was on the phone contacting them about the private Japan trip in anticipation of the ABD release (to compare), when the woman I was talking to told me my MP hiking trip had been cancelled! My Nat Geo trip coordinator hadn't called me about it. He, apparently, didn't know. He tried to tell me I was wrong, but when I pointed out the dates were off the computer he got very anxious and said he would call me back. Turned out the first lady had been right.

    The trip being cancelled wasn't what bothered me, however, as they state very clearly that the trip isn't guaranteed until there are 8 people and as of a couple months ago I knew there were only three. What bothered me was that at that point, I asked if I should switch trips because others were filing up. The trip coordinator said no. Of course, by time the trip was cancelled all the other trips were booked except for one in late October (when my daughter is back in school). I was pretty furious. I felt that they should have let me know when it looked as if our trip wasn't going to go and the other trips started filling up--especially after I enquired about it.

    I was give the option of an immediate refund or putting toward another trip. Not great options given that my daughter has been dying to see MP and she's studying archaeology at university. They couldn't squeeze us onto another trip because of the fact that the mountain lodges only have 6 rooms.

    Anyway, I was *not* a happy camper, to say the least and expressed by extreme disappointment.

    The good news is that the next day I remembered that REI did a very similar trip--pretty much identical--and they had space in a trip about a week before we had been scheduled to go with Nat Geo. It was also already guaranteed to go so I was able to make some pretty awesome plane reservations that I'd found a few days before. I will also be able to report back with another travel company.

    In the end it worked out. Nat Geo is supposedly sending me some kind of compensation letter, but as I'd used a bounce back $500pp offer to originally book that is now gone, we'll see how it compares.

    I'm still looking at that private Nat Geo Japan trip if ABD doesn't look good, but it's a good reminder that no travel company is perfect. I do hope they improve their communication going forward for things like this though. I'd actually asked about moving, which makes it worse.
     

    cadien

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2017
    Just an FYI because I know some people find this kind of information gathering interesting.

    I'm just off a Disney cruise and received the email survey. After asking me some questions about my familiarity with Adventures by Disney, it asked me which of the following alternatives I was aware of:
    Tauck
    Hilton Grand Vacations
    Abercrombie & Kent
    Butterfield & Robinson
    Marriott Vacation Club
    Trafalgar Tours

    That was followed by this question:
    Please indicate your interest in each of the following during the time frames listed: 1-2 years, 3-5, 5+, nope.
    A guided tour with Adventures by Disney
    Walt Disney World
    Resort in Florida
    Disneyland Resort in California
    Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii
    A guided tour with Abercrombie & Kent
    A guided tour with Tauck
     

    tink1970

    DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2012
    Just an FYI because I know some people find this kind of information gathering interesting.
    I find this really interesting!

    I hope I get a survey like that after my next cruise...I am feeling more loyalalty towards Tauck since they don't have dynamic pricing and do provide the "gift of time."

    We check in for our flights for Ireland with Tauck in 23 days so I'm starting to get excited :)
     
  • BluesTraveler

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2015
    Anyone have experience with this company? I've just reached out to them via their website about putting together a France trip over our spring break. (ABD's London/Paris trip would have been the perfect option, but it starts on a Friday, meaning we'd have to pull the kids out of school Thursday/Friday - not sure why ABD did that.)

    https://www.kensingtontours.com/
     

    SirDuff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2014
    Anyone have experience with this company? I've just reached out to them via their website about putting together a France trip over our spring break. (ABD's London/Paris trip would have been the perfect option, but it starts on a Friday, meaning we'd have to pull the kids out of school Thursday/Friday - not sure why ABD did that.)

    https://www.kensingtontours.com/
    I don't, but a friend works for them (she's based in Canada and focuses mainly on Africa, I believe). From what she says, they sound good (but then, they would from here, wouldn't they).
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    Anyone have experience with this company? I've just reached out to them via their website about putting together a France trip over our spring break. (ABD's London/Paris trip would have been the perfect option, but it starts on a Friday, meaning we'd have to pull the kids out of school Thursday/Friday - not sure why ABD did that.)

    https://www.kensingtontours.com/
    I haven't used them personally, but I met a girl skiing in Whistler in February who has used them extensively. She travels solo and has Kensington put together her itineraries when she goes abroad. She was a lovely person and spoke VERY highly about Kensington (she takes exotic 2 trips abroad a year) -- so much so that their name really stuck in my mind. They are the company I used to put together a sample Japan itinerary for me in case the ABD didn't work out for us and they were wonderful to work with -- very knowledgeable, quick response time, plenty of details and prices seemed in line with what I had expected.

    HTH.
     

    BluesTraveler

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2015
    I haven't used them personally, but I met a girl skiing in Whistler in February who has used them extensively. She travels solo and has Kensington put together her itineraries when she goes abroad. She was a lovely person and spoke VERY highly about Kensington (she takes exotic 2 trips abroad a year) -- so much so that their name really stuck in my mind. They are the company I used to put together a sample Japan itinerary for me in case the ABD didn't work out for us and they were wonderful to work with -- very knowledgeable, quick response time, plenty of details and prices seemed in line with what I had expected.

    HTH.
    Great, thanks very much.
     

    disneyphx

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2010
    I had Kensington put together an itinerary for me once - it was very expensive, and from what I recall was hotels+transfers+half day trips. I think it was for Italy and Croatia.....
     

    OhanaCuz

    I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    I’ve now done two Amawaterways cruises: one with Disney (Danube) and one without (Rhine). More than one person expressed (I remember @sayhello and @tink1970 were some) they’d be interested in hearing the differences so here are my thoughts. I want to stress that we LOVED our ABD river cruise. The reason we chose Ama-only for the second cruise was because of the single supplement. We didn't have an even-number of people going. It was absolutely brutal for one person to get their own room and with the Ama cruise it was only a couple of hundred bucks more for a single person to get a two-person room with the deal we got (that we booked WAY in advance). I’m not going to compare “good and bad” because I think it’s more “same and different”. We enjoyed both experiences but both cruises were very different.


    Same

    • Staff and food - The Amawaterways staff is top notch and eating is a huge part of the fun.

    • Boats - I love the layouts of Amawaterways ships with the French balconies.

    • Welcome package before cruise - Was actually kind of shocked the Ama one was the same considering the Disney cruise was way more expensive. Got a booklet, luggage tags, and a little pouch. I feel Disney is really dropping the ball here based on reading what the welcome packages used to be like (backpacks, etc).

    Different

    • Welcome package during cruise - It was nice getting a duffel bag from Disney.

    • Type of Excursions - The Ama cruise hit enough of the “fun” spots that Disney goes to (such as the gondola and Mechanical Museum) that I didn’t feel like we were missing out on too many of them but there were no crazy activities like horse wagon rides or Baumkronenweg.

    • Number of Excursions - After coming from a Disney cruise where we did EVERY excursion we could possibly do it was a shock to see that some days only had a 3 hour tour and that was it! You figured out the rest yourself. I thought this was good and bad. The Disney days were jam packed and we were exhausted when we came back after a long day. We experienced so much and didn’t have to spend any extra money. On the flip side we didn’t get to do much shopping or lounging.

    • Sailing days - I only remember one sailing afternoon on the Disney cruise. With the Ama one there were several sailing afternoons or mornings. I found it incredibly relaxing to sit in a lounge chair and watch Europe go by.

    • Fellow cruisers - The Ama cruise skewed MUCH older than the Disney one.

    • Pins - I was like a kid on Christmas morning running back to my room every night to see the new collectible pin on my pillow. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that.

    • Adventure guides - It was a great luxury having two adventure guides and a local guide. During the tours one of them would stay in the back and make sure people didn’t get left behind. When we came back to the bus they would hand out snacks and water. On excursions we would laugh with them and be silly. On the Ama excursions it was usually just a local guide. There were no snacks and no one to watch for stragglers. The cruise manager on the Ama cruise played a much bigger role in excursions and went with us. We really got to know the adventure guides during the cruise and there wasn’t anything like that with Ama counterparts.

    • Kids - Zero children on the Ama cruise.

    • Cost - Ama cruise was cheaper.
    • Photos - It was a huge luxury having the adventure guides constantly taking photos and assisting with photos with our devices.
    • Tips - Not included with Ama cruise.
     


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