Vacations for comfort, not adventure

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Electrolyte
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:33 pm

The only way to see much of the Galapagos is with a cruise ship, and you should take a small ship (10-20 people). There are many intereting places where larger ships aren't allowed to dock, so you would miss a lot.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:57 pm

mishmish wrote:
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.
Rarely had more than a dozen snorkeling at any one time. As far as villages-depends on size of village and activity. We all attended a large sing-sing and an evening fire dance. But there were more locals than ship people in attendance. For smaller activities we were in much smaller groups and spit up. Another thing they did (this was Silversea) was to visit different villages on each trip out. There was a lot of competition in the villages to get us to visit but the expedition leaders tried to keep the impact as limited as possible. So no one village was visited more than about twice a year max.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:29 pm

Am I reading the Silversea website correctly? Is the starting price >$1,000 per person per day for a cruise? You could do a hell of a trip on your own for that money.

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Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:21 am

You get what you pay for.

And I don’t think they are quite that much. cheap they are not. But it includes everything- travel, hotel, excellent food, a butler, excursions, gratuities, good alcohol and as much as you want, educational experiences.

Just to expand a bit- excursions on less exotic trips might include a private opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain with a quartet and hors d’oeuvers or a michelin starred lunch at a very good vineyard in France. Just as examples.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Lime_Pickle » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:10 am

I don't do cruises for the same reason I don't do hostels - glommers.

Nothing to do with not liking comfort (which I do).
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:25 am

Glommers? Could I have a translation please?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:51 pm

5waldos wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:25 am
Glommers? Could I have a translation please?
It is a term for thieves in Old Blighty.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:05 pm

So lime pickle won’t cruise because of a fear of thieves?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by leela » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:50 pm

Glommers, according to lime pickle, are people who latch on to solo travellers. Apparently she's had bad experiences of not being able to shake them off.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by leela » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:53 pm

I have a certain amount of sympathy, though I've only been glommed on to once (on a small group tour where she and I were the only singles). I've not found hostels glommy, mainly I think, because solo travelers in hostels tend to be independent types.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:32 pm

Ah- that definition makes more sense. Somewhat like the reason why we wouldn’t opt for a 10 person boat- no place to escape to.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:03 pm

This explains it.

"It's a classic case of glomming:

Americans seized on glaum (a term from Scots dialect that basically means "grab") and appropriated it as our own, changing it to glom in the process. Glom first meant "steal" (as in the purse-snatching, robber kind of stealing), but over time that meaning got stretched. Today, glom often figuratively extends that original "steal" sense. A busy professional might glom a weekend getaway, for example. Glom also appears frequently in the phrase glom on to, which can mean "to appropriate for one's own use" ("glom on to another's idea"); "to grab hold of" ("glom on to the last cookie"); or "to latch on to" ("glom on to an opinion" or "glom on to an influential friend")."
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:16 pm

Have never seen the word used in print-only verbally

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:12 pm

Lime_Pickle is our resident trend setter.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:27 pm

A cruise is glom-central. They cruise to meet in-tuh-resting people. How fucked in the head is that?

What's a more sure fire way to never, ever meet interesting people?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by DCComic » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:36 pm

People avoid places where there are other people in case the other people want to talk to them.
Sounds restrictive.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:41 pm

I def. avoid any sitch where dullards actively want to make friends in the abstract. No payday there.

I'd be reduced to huddling in a corner with LimePickle.

And that must never happen.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by leela » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Yeah, I was pleased that my enforced group tour in Iran only had nine people on it, initially. But it did make it harder to have my own space when I needed it. All but the would-be glommer were really nice people, and I enjoyed their company when I was in the mood, but I do like some space and privacy sometimes. And when we were on a group excursion, I occasionally felt antisocial breaking away from the others. Maybe it wouldn't have been so obvious in a larger group
It wasn't a huge problem though, as there was lots of free time built in.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:01 pm

In Bhutan, I hooked up with a rich much older woman and got off the bus and into a LandRover. Def. a relief.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:03 pm

5waldos wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:21 am
You get what you pay for.

And I don’t think they are quite that much. cheap they are not. But it includes everything- travel, hotel, excellent food, a butler, excursions, gratuities, good alcohol and as much as you want, educational experiences.

Just to expand a bit- excursions on less exotic trips might include a private opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain with a quartet and hors d’oeuvers or a michelin starred lunch at a very good vineyard in France. Just as examples.
Many of them start at over $1,000 pp/day, but I see that some go down to $500 pp/day. Those ones seem to be in Asia and Africa and include several full days at sea; I'm not sure what private museum opening or Michelin starred lunch one would be attending in Banjul. Still seems to high for me, but the boats have hundreds of places and yet there are waiting lists.

Did you do a trip report about this? Sounds pretty interesting to read about even for (or especially for) those of us who might not actually do it.

And sorry to be whiny; I don't mean to dump on your intriguing recommendation, this is a general comment on all inclusive deals ... the unlimited good alcohol turns me off. I'm not much of a drinker, so I'm going to be subsidizing the other travelers in a big way. There should be a separate alcohol package.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:57 pm

I did an extensive trip report on my Palau to Australia trip. With lots of videos. Will see if I can find a link.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=145720

Easier than I thought it would be.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:01 am

As far as alcohol- most of us drink at least some. I understand your point but not having to think about wine with dinner or a glass of something listening to music is really nice. Also nice not having to show proof or sign for things. Only extras are upgraded wines and a special dinner offered once or twice.

The museum and Michelin dinners were on a Lisbon to Southampton wine and cheese cruise. Lots of educational stuff on both. Very pleasant trip.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by avalon_ » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:28 am

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.
That sounds so fun. I'm about to go through a major life change when Abby is gone and I have to start thinking of different ways to travel. When I got her nine years ago, I adjusted all my travel to dog friendly places I could drive to. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful places like that. It's going to be a time to reinvent.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:03 am

I remember going on a Royal Carribean cruise that stopped in Haiti. It was Labadee island. For those not familair it's RC's own private island. You get off the ship and have a BBQ lunch etc. It was right after the earthquake and my friends were like "How can go on that cruise? You're going to stop in Haiti and you'll be eating burgers, dogs and drinking beer when right over the fence there is immense pain and suffering. (There is a fence to keep the locals out because it would just create lots of begging etc)

They made me feel like a fuckin' dink for going on the cruise. Truth be told RC contributes a good 10 million to the Haitian economy annually. The do allow local vendors that have been vetted to sell their wares and they pay the Haitian Govt. for use of the island.

How was NOT going a help to the local population?
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:35 pm

Showing a card or wristband doesn't seem so onerous. Good alcohol is expensive, and I would assume that the nature of the deal would attract more than average drinkers.
5waldos wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:01 am
The museum and Michelin dinners were on a Lisbon to Southampton wine and cheese cruise. Lots of educational stuff on both. Very pleasant trip.
That sounds like the type of trip where the luxury and the special meals and outings would be most valuable. In Africa and Asia, and maybe Antartica, I wonder are you paying top dollar for a cocoon as opposed to immersion.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:28 pm

I felt that we had some amazing opportunities in PNG, for example. Islands that are visited by any visitors once a year, trips into the jungle led by a sociologist who has lived there for 20 years, for example. Haven’t taken any of the Asia trips and haven’t looked at what excursions are included but I never had a sense of being cocooned. Well perhaps at night- but good excursion planners can offer opportunities that can be difficult for individuals to access. Especially when one is no longer a young backpacker.

It is not for everyone. I would not have been interested when I was a lot younger (nor could I have afforded it). I swore then that never never would I take a cruise. I wouldn’t even take a group tour- I spent months planning and arranging a solo trip through the USSR back in the day. But times change and people age. And some of these trips offer wonderful opportunities. I was able to get back to Kapingamerangi for example- nearly impossible on your own. And to Sarawak where we spent the day at the school for native navigators.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:50 pm

I don't automatically have a problem with cruises. I would sign up for these trips you are describing in a second if the price were half or a third of what the website advertises. And I appreciate the ability to get to really remote places, which is why we paid for an expensive cruise in Galapagos (though nothing close to the Silversea price).

And I appreciate Michelin starred restaurants, but another disadvantage of getting older is that I have less ability to appreciate several of them in succession. I'm now better off with a grand meal every few days and some adequate snacks in between.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:12 am

I would recommend the motor coach tour of North Korea that I went on with Matt in a heart beat. It was with Koryo Tours. Simon is the man!
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:40 am

I went to Labadee Beach in Haiti (it's not an island) last December. Crass souvenirs and a grade z buffet. No way is JoeBlow Haitian seeing dime one. Mostly, people take their pic in front of the Labadee sign and then head back to the boat. The beach was light on sand and you couldn't go in the water due to sharp rocks. Much was made of a rock formation that looked like a dragon (or a squiggly, jagged long line of arbitrary rocks). Truly, a cynical shithole of Han Long Bay proportions.

The Zipline was $120 for 90 seconds. Killer musicians on the pier, tho. I tipped them out and they skipped playing Yellowbird. Took a sail boat excursion up a beautiful river ($125 a head, 2 hours). Like Electolyte, I'm thinking 30% of the posted prices would have been in the ball park of fair. For $500, you could have a little cabana for the day -nice to have a five star chaise lounge after your $2-value lunch. On the upside, if you bought a beverage plan wrist band, you could drink Babancourt Rum at the bar for (not really) free.

All the carib cruises I looked at had a shit private island padding out the itinerary. It comes down to port fees and these nowheresvilles owned by the cruise lines can cut that corner instead of letting you off at a real island.

Many cruisers stay on the boat during the shit island stop and book the spa.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:09 am

Yeah. It wasn't an island but I didn't like the tone of friends that were like "How can you go there right after the earthquake, do the conga line and have drinks with people suffering only 100 feet away? How wouid not going there have helped them? I gave. You did'n't.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:11 am

How many such conversations took place? What kind of drips do you know? It sounds like you were absolutely hounded. I hope it has finally tapered off.

Is it not the height of cultural insensitivity to suggest that afro-Haitians do the conga? Does anyone really do the conga? Who here has ever been part of a conga line and under what circumstances?

I saw a conga line on the cruise. During Disco Night -which had fake Village People, with the Leatherman conspicuously absent from the line up.

You always seem very upset over the "tone" of things. I say just let those tone-grudges go. What could be more etherial than long ago-tone mishaps?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:15 am

Beater. You'd be surprised. It was just jealousy I'm sure.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:22 am

I was more looking for a conga line story.

They were jealous you went on a low-mid level cruise? Because the WindJammer don't stop at Labadee. 5 Waldos will never set foot there.

Would they be jealous if you went to, say, a water park? What's the jealousy cut off point in your world?

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:33 am

Lol. It was just general break room, water cooler sort of thing like "How can you go there right now and enjoy yourself?"
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:40 am

The story of idiots boring you was more fun then Labadee not-really Island.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Electrolyte » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:43 am

$120 for 90 seconds of zip line? I hope you asked if a blowjob was included.

We swam with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta, which was not cheap. Then they wanted something like $100 for a package of photos that they took of us. (We weren't allowed to take our own photos). We told them politely to go to hell. But on the bus ride back some other passengers were all excited about the photo package they had purchased and yeah it was expensive, but what great memories. Those are the gimpy antelope who attract the predators to our herd.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:56 am

As I said above- there are cruises and there are cruises. Mass market cruises, especially the Caribbean ones, are much as you describe. We did those when we sailed with the kids- they had a blast. And a hint about them- never buy the ships excursions. Over priced and usually crowded. As for a conga line- I think they tried to get me into one in Greece. It is a line I won’t sail again.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by ManchVegas » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:59 am

I found it nice to stay on the ship while in port. It's empty and you have the whole place to yourself.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:02 pm

Electrolyte wrote:I don't automatically have a problem with cruises. I would sign up for these trips you are describing in a second if the price were half or a third of what the website advertises. And I appreciate the ability to get to really remote places, which is why we paid for an expensive cruise in Galapagos (though nothing close to the Silversea price).

And I appreciate Michelin starred restaurants, but another disadvantage of getting older is that I have less ability to appreciate several of them in succession. I'm now better off with a grand meal every few days and some adequate snacks in between.
I agree that the prices are getting out of sight which is why we have tried several other lines. So far we have not found a substitute except for river cruises. So we aren’t booked for any.

It is possible to eat very healthily on board but the temptations are there- develops character.


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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:18 pm

The cruise excursion pitch is that if it's a them-tour and it gets back late, the boat will wait for you, but if you book Joe-local for half the price......

The prob. is that since the cruise is so cheap, they lose money on it. They need you to book excursions and buy a Kate Spade handbag at a fake factory seconds sale ("for the next 30 minutes ONLY").

You have to spend 5 Waldos money for them to keep their biz alive without upselling.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:27 pm

Actually most of their profits come from alcohol sales.

And yes I know about the ship will wait. But other vendors almost never get you back late- they do it once and they are out of business.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by EMG » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:38 pm

BeatRaven wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:40 am
The Zipline was $120 for 90 seconds. Killer musicians on the pier, tho. Took a sail boat excursion up a beautiful river ($125 a head, 2 hours). For $500, you could have a little cabana for the day -nice to have a five star chaise lounge after your $2-value lunch
Jesus. I think I spent just over $500 for my entire 10 day Vietnam trip. Including airfare.

I don't know how I'll ever survive first world travel costs again.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:12 pm

Yea well- these things are negotiable.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Cyllarus » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:44 pm

Don't mean to be depressing but cruise ship are extremely damaging environmentally....but then most mass market tourist activity is.
https://www.honeycolony.com/article/cru ... anet-life/

Understand that people tend to put on about a pound a day on cruise ships - force feed themselves at the meals and the "special" captains buffet at midnight. Expect this is particular to the massive 3.000-5,000 person cruise ships. As 5 Waldos points out there are cruise ships and then there are cruise ships.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:04 pm

Sadly, the midnight buffet has been extinct for about 20 years. It's much lamented on the cruise forums.

t

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by twodogs » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:45 pm

EMG wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:38 pm
Jesus. I think I spent just over $500 for my entire 10 day Vietnam trip. Including airfare.

I don't know how I'll ever survive first world travel costs again.
I spent less than $1,500 for six weeks in southeast Asia earlier this year and if we are careful the same amount might buy us 2 or 3 days on the Riviera this fall.

A decent cruise is a mid priced solution for the average person.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by polardude1 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:55 pm

Our Spain vacation was a bit elaborate by my own standards, but inexpensive by European standards. I think spent around $140 per day including hotels. we stayed in a few boutique hotels including an exquisite little hotel in the center of Toledo.
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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by Cyllarus » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:18 pm

One week in Amsterdam and 3 weeks in Iceland, two months ago, cost 40% of what we spent in 8 months in SE Asia in 2008. Air BnB on Amsterdam and Reykjavik, then farmstays, hostels and inns throughout Iceland were very expensive. Food and wine costs in Iceland were almost off the scale. Great trip however.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by 5waldos » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:23 pm

Nobody would ever claim that a good expedition trip is inexpensive and many of them are outrageously priced. Rather similar to high end safaris.

Mass market cruises, which can be what you make of them, can be very inexpensive for the transportation, hotel, and food. What you choose to do on shore can run up the cost quickly. They have their place- I occasionally consider booking solo just to float on the ocean with a book and have them deliver me room service for a few days. Nobody makes you do anything on board and there are usually lots of places to quietly sit in a corner.

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Re: Vacations for comfort, not adventure

Post by BeatRaven » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:16 pm

Polar, $140 a day is still pretty backpacker-ish. Rick Steves would be proud.

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