Vacations for comfort, not adventure

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BeatRaven
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Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:32 am

Long not-bad article in the NY Times about how a guy learned to love the comfort/banality/chill factor of going on a cruise:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/trav ... sContainer

Do you factor in more comfort these days when you travel? How much dissonance will you still put up with?

Obv, not too many hostel hangers on left here; what travel rough edges have you left behind? Reading about Leela and Ben springing for a long distance cab over the bus is def. something I'd budget for these days. Door to door is gold. I no longer think that he who wanders is not lost.

My own unique situation is that I live in luxury and still want it to be a bit hard/bare when I travel.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by DCComic » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:09 pm

Always do the best you can on the money you've got. Nobody is uncomfortable without a reason.
I'll never stay in a hostel, except when the only way to be where I want to be is stay in a hostel. I'll spring the extra for extended legroom and fast-track this and that, but paying for business seats doest add up to me. If a cruise got me to where I wanted to be at the right price (I've seen a couple that do) then a cruise is fine. Buses were never a love, but I might take a long train over a shorter more expensive taxi. Hiking is fun, camping is fun except on campsites. If there's a campsite there's a hotel.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:54 pm

I saw that article. I felt sad for the author.

Wish I could go back 15 or more years, post this on Talk Politics, and see what happened. Have we grown up to become everything we mocked in our parents?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by section8 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:00 pm

I factor in comfort a lot more now, but that’s possibly as much about traveling with a family as it is about me getting older. One thing I can’t do anymore, at all, is shared accommodations. If privacy is a form of comfort then that’s a major factor.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by EMG » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:01 pm

I don't stay in hostels. Never have, doubt I ever will. I really like nice hotels, but ultimately saving a few hundred dollars on a hotel this trip pays for my plane tickets on the next one. So I tend to go mid-range nice.

I will spring for private transport when it seems reasonable. For example: the bus from Manila to Angeles City is $3. It's a single shot on a fairly comfortable bus. I'll take the bus vs the $60 private ride. However, if it's a holiday and there's standing room only on the bus, and mob of 100 people shoving to get on each bus, I'll drop the $60. Or if it's $10 to take 6 hours worth of bus, jeep, tricycle, jeep, vs $60 for a private car, I'll sometimes go private there too.

I like riding motorbikes so I'll go motorbike frequently, even though riding a little underbone scooter can be fairly uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

I tend to travel very light with only a backpack, but that's for mobility convenience and not having to stand around a luggage carousel.

Probably would spend more on luxury if I could afford it. A weekend in nice hotels in Hong Kong and Macau and blowing some money in a casino and on expensive drinks is a great weekend for me.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Chip_Oatley » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:04 pm

section8 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:00 pm
I factor in comfort a lot more now, but that’s possibly as much about traveling with a family as it is about me getting older. One thing I can’t do anymore, at all, is shared accommodations. If privacy is a form of comfort then that’s a major factor.
Twice in the past decade-- a. on that kayaking trip out of Anchorage and b. on a high-end wellness retreat in Oz--I ended up with freight train level women snorers right by me. That is a vacation killer. I cannot sleep with that going on, and I cannot function with f'd up sleep.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:13 pm

Not sleeping among a heap of humanity in the aisle of an overnight train, paying $1 for a mattress on the rooftop with 50 other people, or subjecting ourselves to any of the other outragres that we did when we were young is pretty understandable at this stage of our lives and yet it is still pretty f---ing far from the lobotomized banality described in the article in the OP.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:15 pm

Our 4 times a year getaway is staying at a hotel adjacent to an upscale mall. She gets her hair done; I go out to a chain restaurant with The Pussylicker. The PL has a credit card for the chain restaurant and has accrued many free meals. He never takes his GF, he's saving them up in case he ever strikes gold on tinder.

We'll pop into the LUSH store and do a Whole Foods stock up, eat some oysters. Maybe one time in five, we'll go see a movie (but seldom stay to the end) or see some music. I see no difference between this outing and being on a cruise. I refer to it as the cruise without a boat. We like the no thought/no drive aspect.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by polardude1 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:50 pm

I'm liking my comfort much more in medium priced hotels, although I still go camping and backpacking as well. There was a time to tay in a shithole hotel of hostel and that was 30m years ago.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:49 pm

I've always enjoyed a good old fashioned beach vacation. Flying to Honolulu and staying smack dab in the heart of Waikiki. I remember being on the plane and the guy next to me was like "What are you gonna do? Are you gonna fly over the volcano? What other Island are you going to?" And I was like "Im checking into my hotel, ordering a Mai Tai and sitting by the pool and that's what I plan to do for the next 7 days." I loved it. I did almost everything on the hotel grounds. I did get across the street because they had a $5.99 ALL-U-CAN-EAT breakfast deal going on. I also managed the tacky luau, but get this. It was indoors with central air condtioning. LOL. Why subject yourself to the elements when you don't have to?
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:25 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:15 pm
I see no difference between this outing and being on a cruise.
The price.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:37 pm

Basic cruise is like $400 a day, a couple. I spend more than that on my boatless cruise by staying at a Marriott and going out to eat at The Palm. Love their crab meat cocktails and their bold wine list, and boom! we're at like $140 right there. Call it $200 all in with the parking, maid tip, and tax for the hotel. Not hard to drop another $200 on food and buying stuff in 24 hours.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by cuchulainn » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:56 am

Camping only if there are dangerous wild animals in the area. Otherwise I’d rather sleep in a bed.
When I was 15, my parents took me and my eight siblings from Michigan to Yellowstone on a three week camping trip. Although we stayed in cabins in Yellowstone it was sleeping in tents for two weeks. Other times we would go on shorter trips, such as to Mammoth Cave or the Upper Peninsula. Mostly we stayed in tents. Two of my brothers and I had to set up the canopy tent over the picnic table and our tent, then we could explore.
I can still set up a tent quickly.
Camping is fine for a few days.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:27 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:37 pm
Not hard to drop another $200 on food and buying stuff in 24 hours.
All that will cost you extra on the boat too.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by muthafunky » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:15 pm

The combination of being older, married, with kids, and having a lot more money than I used to means seeking comfort to a much greater degree.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by leela » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:28 am

I still enjoy adventure, staying in hostels (private rooms though), and the "why on earth am I doing this?" sort of journeys. But I also find myself thinking that getting a flight to some nice Mediterranean location, renting a holiday home and doing next to nothing would be perfect, at times.

But cruises and 5* hotels don't do it for me as the focus for travel. We've had the occasional night or two in a fancy ass place for city stopovers on the way to Australia, and they were fun experiences for us as a family. But they would seem very impersonal for me I think, over a longer period and as a single person.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:11 am

Nah, cruise is $400 a couple with the unlimited drinks package. Didn't spend a dime otherwise.

Cruise is a great value for what you get (just not what I want). That's why it crushes all travel competition and runs over the LonelyPlanet-type travel we love (or loved) like a tank, popularity-wise. Net/net, a cruise is even cheaper than an all-inclusive resort. Downside: being so cheap, the gentle upselling is constant.

Leela points out that when you're solo, you tend to want to keep moving and most luxury vacations are pretty static.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by EMG » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:27 am

I'd still prefer a resort or just a nice hotel somewhere like Hong Kong than a cruise. I actually enjoyed the first 24-48 hours or so of the one cruise I did, but I got bored pretty quickly of drinking alcohol and sitting in a crowded swimming pool while waiting for the next 8 hour stopover at some port somewhere.

But it does seem to hook a certain type of person. I know one couple from the US and every year they go on a cruise. I think they've even done the same one twice. That's the only travel they do and the only times they've left the US. The wife contacted me to ask for "travel tips" before their first cruise.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:37 am

I underestimated how much I would enjoy being at see, staring at the watery horizon.

But the big cruise attraction is the social aspect, of sitting around a table asking people where they hail from. Other than the (many, many) black Trump supporters, I avoided that like the plague.

"Travel Tips" for a cruise are mostly about packing and how to beat the coke dispensing bar code on the bottom of the cup problem. If you retain your soda mug from the last cruise, you can probably refill it for free on the next one. I thought that was genius.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by GLimpet » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:12 pm

You can't get cruises for less than 5 nights here and they are rare. It's more like 9 nights minimum with most.

I'd like it for 3 nights I think.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:18 pm

I did a Royal Carribean cruise and it was OK. Not really a fan though. The return to port is a nightmare. They want you up at like 5 so they can turn the ship around. That alone is a no-go for me. I'll take the typcial "Get on a plane, reservation at the Sheraton Waikiki, do almost everything onsite" type of vacation over a cruise anyday.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:10 pm

I think a longer cruise is better. It takes 3-4 day to get into the whole boat bubble world thing and then you do enjoy intense relaxation due to the careful erasure of all dissonance.

2Dogs talked about taking a long repositioning cruise and I can see the appeal. I accompanied my shipping container over to England and it was a very chill week.

I killed a week in Waikiki recently and while it was def a one and done for me, it was preferable to a cruise, tho similar in the ultra cheery tourist handling. Some nice retro jap meals, but mostly like being stuck in Jungle Phoenix Arizona.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:57 pm

Yeah, It's a concrete jungle for sure. But if you're just looking for guaranteed good weather and laying by a pool it's great. The over building of hotels means you can also score a good deal on a room. The only thing that sucks is the flight if you're on the east coast. It is fucking long.

I found the food options to be excellent and cheap depending on where you went. There was a great Japanese curry chain. Don't know if it's still there but it had one of those cut outs that you stick your head through.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by muthafunky » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:20 pm

I did the week cruise to Alaska. It was nice, I enjoyed just chilling on a balcony room with friends. It’s been years, but I remember it being a lot more expensive than $200 per person per day.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:17 pm

Def. a balcony room cruising Alaska costs more than a steerage room in cheapskate Caribb land. That's a no brainer.

Yeah, they still have that cut out curry place, like 2 streets back from the main drag. Didn't go, went more for retro-butterfish in a clay pot.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:59 pm

That curry place was really good. The minute you walk in they yell something at you in Japanese. I'm guessing it's something like "Welcome to the House of Curry!" I got the cutlet with sauce, rice and green salad. It was served lightening fast. The staff was so attentive. I noticed that every time I looked at the chef he looked back at me. That must be a Japanese thing. It makes cruising another guy difficult. American men are so oblivious when I do that.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:07 pm

It's still like a tenner. But pork and cheap curry sauce is not a me thing.

I went to the world's largest Panda Express. The turnover on the orange chicken was constant -right out of the wok, like you'd want it.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:28 pm

Jesus H. This is all making me hangry.

When did that become a thing BTW? Hangry?
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:30 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:10 pm
I think a longer cruise is better. It takes 3-4 day to get into the whole boat bubble world thing and then you do enjoy intense relaxation due to the careful erasure of all dissonance.

2Dogs talked about taking a long repositioning cruise and I can see the appeal. I accompanied my shipping container over to England and it was a very chill week.

I killed a week in Waikiki recently and while it was def a one and done for me, it was preferable to a cruise, tho similar in the ultra cheery tourist handling. Some nice retro jap meals, but mostly like being stuck in Jungle Phoenix Arizona.
We have done dozens of Caribbean, the Baltic, a couple of Mediterranean, one Panama Canal, one transpacific, two transatlantic and have another transatlantic scheduled in November. Mrs. Twodogs loves everything about them especially formal nights. Sea days on a ship with a proper lower deck promenade are nice since they are covered, walkable and close enough to the water to enjoy the spray. The new megaships have walking tracks on the upper deck and are not as enjoyable.

You see people on them having the time of their lives and people on them who are miserable. Each ship/line is different and attracts different customers. We like English and Asian passengers, older Americans and avoid young Americans and Australians. I am sure it would be the other way around if we were younger.

I travel rough when I am solo and enjoy that as well. It is good to do both.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:38 pm

muthafunky wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:20 pm
I did the week cruise to Alaska. It was nice, I enjoyed just chilling on a balcony room with friends. It’s been years, but I remember it being a lot more expensive than $200 per person per day.
We have taken ferry boats up. You can pitch a tent on the aft decks, sleep in the lounge chairs in the solarium, the lounges or rent cabins. The ferries are smaller so you go to smaller towns.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:45 pm

I looked into it to death, and since my cruise was very likely to be a one and done, we chose the megalithic Oasis of the Seas, which was great for what it was. But my desire to eat unlimited hot dogs is very, very limited. We bought the upsell restaurant package and since it was basically The Olive Garden in a posher setting, I wouldn't do it again.

A smaller boat would be down to the luck of the draw of who you're stuck with, and at those prices, just book me into some older property on a less touristed island like Grenada instead.

I was drawn in by the crass suckerdom of the art auctions of Peter Max dross and enjoyed a couple of trolling chats at the bar, asking about people's collections of LeRoy Neiman's. Ugliest artist ever?

I'll bet the Venn D. between Pawn Stars fans and cruise lovers is huge. Couples playing the fake newlywed game and admitting to "making whoopee" on their tiny balconies was the entertainment high light.

As a couple, we are equal opportunity social avoiders. We don't have a pecking order like you. We welcome all nationalities to fuck the fuck off.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:06 pm

There are many different kinds of cruises of course. Cruises on 5000 passenger ships the size of a small city where the focus is on the ship experience are nothing like a cruise to exotic locations on a luxury 100 passenger expedition ship. The former were ok when our kids were young and we wanted to relax while they had fun. (And before someone jumps on me we also did a lot of real traveling with them). Now a days we prefer the latter- lots of luxury but the focus is on the location not the ship. My roughing days are long gone and it is getting more difficult to head off into the wilderness on our own. But the urge to travel remains.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:51 pm

We haven't done expedition ships yet but are looking forward to it. I have crewed on private yachts but find it hard to get enough exercise. Now we look for a full circumference, covered promenade having spent too much time exposed to the elements on the larger ships. When you are at sea for a week at a time being able to walk around the outside of a ship is like living next to a park.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:29 pm

Exercise was not a problem on expeditions usually. By the time we got back to the ship we needed a drink and bed. Although we did not have multiple sea days.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by section8 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:56 pm

Do they really call those cruises “expeditions”? They sound like great trips, but that’s a bit twee.

What was the company you cruised through Melanesia with, Waldos? That looked amazing.

SE Alaska cruises sometimes can be super cheap like during shoulder season. It’s cheaper than taking a ferry and is a good way to see that part of Alaska. I would recommend adding a week at the end so you can actually visit Alaska as well.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:26 pm

I like the ferries. You go thru smaller cuts, get into smaller ports, the town aren't overwhelmed with tourists and you have a better chance of meeting the locals.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by section8 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Agree about how great the ferry system is. My point was that cruises can be a surprisingly affordable way to visit the region.
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:14 pm

section8 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Agree about how great the ferry system is. My point was that cruises can be a surprisingly affordable way to visit the region.
Any recs?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:57 pm

S8- Silversea. And yes they are expedition ships. You pay for it but you get a lot back.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:01 am

And Alaska is wonderful cruising country. I have done it from cheap Carnival through Crystal. You get what you pay for.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by micvan » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:38 pm

I have not cruised, will not cruise ever. Sounds incredibly boring. But back to the op, since hubby's stroke, i do plan a lot more with more lux and comfort in mind.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:53 pm

Typical day on an expedition cruise: up for an early breakfast, off for an adventure (animal watching or visiting a local tribe or touring an historical or cultural site- usually in groups of 10 or so). Back for lunch and perhaps a bit of a nap while the ship sails to a new site. On shore to visit town or a village market or snorkeling. Greeted with hot or cold towels and a glass of champagne when you return late afternoon. Cocktails or another short nap before an expert lecture on the history or culture of the area. Occasionally evening visits on shore- a concert or local show, etc. Excellent dinner, piano bar or star watching, swapping stories with some very interesting well traveled and intelligent fellow passengers, then early to bed as tomorrow there are more adventures.

I don’t find this boring.


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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by mishmish » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:28 pm

I would die of boredom and crankiness on a cruise ship, and also detest hanging around hotels, including fancy ones. blech. The comforts on offer at hotels do not appeal in the slightest. Anything they can offer beyond a clean and airy room and bed is wasted on me.

For ideal comfort I prefer higher-end airbnb or home rentals that don't come with live-in residents, in a good location. I like to be able to forage for and make my own food and eat and drink at will, and a private living space that is roomier than any hotel room or suite.

I enjoy liveaboard diving trips and it sounds like I might enjoy a 5waldo-style expedition cruise if on a small boat of, say 10-20 people.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:37 pm

I got dragged out by a buddy of mine to the area where the cruise ship docks in Montego Bay when I was in Jamaica. He wanted to see what the scene was like. Basically, it was a fenced in compound featuring the most touristy trinkets for five times the price you'd pay for the shit outside the fences with a couple places where you could buy overpriced overproof rum drinks. Utterly depressing.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:42 pm

I’ll say this again- there are cruises and there are cruises. Lumping them together is a mistake.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Moethebartender » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:48 pm

Sorry, wasn't trying to do that, just recounting my one near-cruise ship experience.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by section8 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:01 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:14 pm
section8 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Agree about how great the ferry system is. My point was that cruises can be a surprisingly affordable way to visit the region.
Any recs?
Ferry or cruises?
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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5waldos
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:18 pm

Mish- we considered a very small ship in the Galapagos but backed out- one or two miserable people out of 10 could be difficult. We had one when we were on safari with 14 people and at one point considered feeding her to the lions. I am happy with 100. Small enough to be comfortable but large enough to be able to escape.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by DCComic » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:40 pm

5waldos wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:53 pm
Typical day on an expedition cruise: up for an early breakfast, off for an adventure (animal watching or visiting a local tribe or touring an historical or cultural site- usually in groups of 10 or so). Back for lunch and perhaps a bit of a nap while the ship sails to a new site. On shore to visit town or a village market or snorkeling. Greeted with hot or cold towels and a glass of champagne when you return late afternoon. Cocktails or another short nap before an expert lecture on the history or culture of the area. Occasionally evening visits on shore- a concert or local show, etc. Excellent dinner, piano bar or star watching, swapping stories with some very interesting well traveled and intelligent fellow passengers, then early to bed as tomorrow there are more adventures.

I don’t find this boring.
You make it sound pretty good.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by mishmish » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:04 pm

5waldos wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:18 pm
Mish- we considered a very small ship in the Galapagos but backed out- one or two miserable people out of 10 could be difficult. We had one when we were on safari with 14 people and at one point considered feeding her to the lions. I am happy with 100. Small enough to be comfortable but large enough to be able to escape.
hmm true, it's definitely something to consider. Although I'm having visions of 100 people alighting at a small fishing village, or 100 people in the water snorkeling around the same site. Is that a thing? Makes me want to blushingly apologize to both locals and fish.

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