Thoughts on Thompson Family?

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by lpm23, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. EllinK

    EllinK Mouseketeer

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    Please report back -- we are also interested in that trip.
     
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  2. Calfan

    Calfan DIS Veteran

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    I'm not aware of a Thomson forum similar to this one, but I'm pretty sure Thomson will provide names and contact info for previous travelers on an itinerary of interest so you can get some first-hand feedback. I seem to recall being offered this option when we were booking China. We didn't end up speaking to any referrals since there was a family on our Central Europe ABD who had done China with Thomson and raved about it. That is what got us turned on to Thomson for China.
     
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  4. WishUponAStarryNight

    WishUponAStarryNight Mouseketeer

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    I think I'm going to book Costa Rica with Thomson for February and would love to hear feedback from anyone else who may have traveled with them. They're running an anniversary special, so I'll get 10% off the trip price, plus for booking 9 months in advance, I'll receive flight insurance (in addition to the already included trip insurance) and a more generous cancellation policy (cancellation up to 120 days before with no penalty). Although there are no other families currently booked on this trip, the trip will be guaranteed with just DS and me. I'll still look at the ABD trip, but the itineraries are similar and the smaller Thomson size and more flexible cancellation policy is likely to win out in the end.
     
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  5. CaliforniaGirl09

    CaliforniaGirl09 DIS Veteran

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    @Calfan traveled with them to China and had a fabulous time. She wrote about it in the "other options" thread, I believe.
     
  6. lpm23

    lpm23 Earning My Ears

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    We actually decided to go with the new ABD trip. They must have listened and heard our request and we are now booked on the ABD Canadian Rockies for next summer. our biggest rationale for sticking with ABD is the hotels definitely are nicer than the ones Thomson had for this itinerary. WE are also very scared about there not being a lot of kids on Thomson. We were currently the only people who had booked and for us having other kids to hang out with is a big draw for our daughters.
     
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  7. Calfan

    Calfan DIS Veteran

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    Yes, we had a fabulous trip to China with Thomson. We loved that our trip was guaranteed with just our 4. For a while, I was hoping we would end up with a private tour to China, but in the end, they paired us with another family, and it was fantastic. I think Thomson does make an effort to steer guests they think would be compatible onto trips with each other. Even though they guarantee their trips from the first booking, it obviously makes more financial sense for them to possibly run fewer trips and have some kind of critical mass on the ones that do end up getting booked. I had the distinct feeling that Thomson steered the other family toward our date. Our kids were 11 and 13 when we went, and the other family had kids 12 (almost 13), 10, 10 and 7. We ended up being very compatible and I think the trip was a lot more enjoyable with two families. So our trip had 10 total guests, 2 full-time guides and an extra guide in each city who was with us from airport arrival in that city to airport departure in that city. We would definitely travel with Thomson again, and likely will in 2020.
     
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  8. WishUponAStarryNight

    WishUponAStarryNight Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much. It’s been such an easy process with them so far. After booking a few cruises on DCL on opening day and watching the ABD board, it’s nice to be reminded that booking a vacation doesn’t have to be stressful.
     
  9. TeeKo

    TeeKo Mouseketeer

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    We decided to book with Thomson for the Canadian Rockies lol. A little nervous but only because we are so accustomed to ABD. It’s pretty comfortable to blend in with 38 other people. We think it might feel awkward to be one of only two families.
    Calfan’s China Thomson review definitely had influence!
     
  10. lpm23

    lpm23 Earning My Ears

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    oh too funny! do you have two kids roughly 12 and 19? just curious if it was on the same trip we booked. when I called to cancel they tried to stop me by saying another family had signed up. my girls are going to be 7 and 9 so not sure it would have been the best combo anyway!
     
  11. DCPhotoGal

    DCPhotoGal Photographer and Mom to 2 Princesses

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    I agree with your concerns about feeling awkward with the smaller group. I know a lot of people don't like the big groups with ABD, but I actually prefer the bigger groups because there's more opportunities to mingle throughout the tour (the adults can sit with and chat with different adults at dinners, etc), and more likelihood that the kids will find someone else to hang out with. We really haven't been on a tour yet where the numbers made it feel like we were missing out on anything or too delayed waiting for people. But definitely a plus that Thomson tries to match families with similar aged kids.
     
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  12. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    That's funny, when I told DH last night the Japan trip was booking 40 people, he said the same thing.
     
  13. hilarys

    hilarys Hilary S

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    I agree - I don't think I would want a really small group unless it is a group that i put together. Bigger group means more kids for mine to hang out with and increases the odds that they will find a "buddy"
     
  14. aggiedog

    aggiedog DIS Veteran

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    I've never really thought of it that way, but it makes sense. We are a family of 6, and frequently travel with my parents. We would be the majority of the group for a very small group. That might be weird. That said, we also really don't need a big group, since with 4 kids they tend to mostly get along with each other anyways. Youngest ds would appreciate a buddy, but his oldest sisters are pretty good about including him.
     
  15. Calfan

    Calfan DIS Veteran

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    I did have similar thoughts when I found out our China trip was 10 people and one other family. If you happen to clash with that one other family, it could make for a long, tense trip. Definitely nowhere to hide... But our experience turned out to be fabulous, and we didn’t mind the other family having 6. I do think Thomson filters for compatibility when steering families toward particular dates. Or maybe we got lucky. But I’ve also been on Nat Geo hiking trips with 14, 10 and 15 participants, and I loved the small group dynamic with those trips too. So much less time spent herding 40 people to a restroom stop or taking family photos with 10+ families. I just feel like I’m wasting prescious time on a pricey vacation with the logistics that the larger groups entail. But I totally get that there is a flip side. For my family, small group size has just become essential. I think it’s fairly likely that our August Backstage Magic ABD could be our last one due to group size. I really like the looks of the new ABD Japan itinerary, but I don’t think I like it enough to outweigh my aversion to traveling with a group of 40. We’ve already put a deposit down with Thomson for Japan for 2020 because they guranteed us 2017 pricing. Assuming ABD raises the price of the Japan ABD in year 2, that trip could literally end up costing twice as much for a trip with 4 times as many people as our Thomson China trip. I really don’t see myself being able to overcome that.
     
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  16. aggiedog

    aggiedog DIS Veteran

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    Was discussing trip possibilities last night with dd16. When I mentioned some tours with larger groups she looked at me like I had 3 heads. She has no need to go meet other teens apparently. LOL
     
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  17. DCPhotoGal

    DCPhotoGal Photographer and Mom to 2 Princesses

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    Yes, I imagine it changes as they get older. I've noticed the older teens on our trips tend to keep more to themselves than the younger kids. I think we'll get there soon with mine. This summer they are still 13 and 14, and very excited about being with young teens.
     
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