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Sandra1616

Do you feel you see enough of a country on a multi-country tour?

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22 hours ago, JMorris271 said:

 

I suppose it depends on what you expect to get out of the journey.  Coloring in a map that proves you've been there, or seeing all the museums or the inner roads.

 

 

Very true. Some people just want a quick snapshot (actual or mental) of a place, and being somewhere for 8-10 hours is all they really want or need. That's fine, as long as one understands that any real understanding of a place is going to be very limited/skewed by the experiences one has during those few hours, which may not be representative of the country (or even the city/town) as a whole. 

 

For example, some people go into Athens for a quick half day tour of the Acropolis and then say "I didn't like Athens; it was dirty and there was graffiti everywhere." Whereas if you spend some time there, you find out how the city is a different, and more pleasant, place in the evening. 

 

I've never been one to color in a map or visit a place just to "collect" another country. In fact, I have no idea how many countries I've even visited over my years of travel so far. For me, it's not a race or a competition but a chance to gain a better understanding or see new things (or old things in a new way).

 

 

20 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 

We subscribe to the philosophy that the best way to experience a country is by using multiple methods.  

 

 

I very much agree with the above and I guess I've always traveled that way. Cruises have never been the only type of travel I've done; they were always mixed with other types of land travel (DIY and tours) throughout years. Also, I like to visit and revisit places because, like people, they change over time. 

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I am failing to understand a need to pick sides here. There are desired experiences where cruising is the perfect solution, and in some cases physical issues that make it the best choice. There are desired experiences where cruising is not going to be a plan at all.

I have done both, they are all good as long as my expectations and my planning lined up.

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Absolutely not.  Prior to retirement we dis cruises plus a week or so of pre or post on the ends,

 

Since retiring we do two month independent land trips with cruises in between...sometimes.

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2 hours ago, sayanne said:

I am failing to understand a need to pick sides here.

I didn't read the OP as saying that.

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46 minutes ago, iancal said:

Since retiring we do two month independent land trips with cruises in between...sometimes.

We're pretty close to cancelling our Baltic/Scandinavian cruise in Sept. and taking off in the motor home. Staying in the North and West...in case we need to hop into Canada on short notice.

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6 minutes ago, clo said:

I didn't read the OP as saying that.

OP did not say that. 

Most replies are it is all good.

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2 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

I'm a hit and quit it type of person. I like to hit hot spots in a country and leave. Cruising works for me.

But can you see enough in just a few hours to satisfy you? Do you ever return? Do you go to Europe?

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8 hours ago, clo said:

We're pretty close to cancelling our Baltic/Scandinavian cruise in Sept. and taking off in the motor home. Staying in the North and West...in case we need to hop into Canada on short notice.

 

You planning on robbing a bank or something?  😀

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8 minutes ago, ldubs said:

or something?

 

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We had a one day port stop in each of Malta and Sicily.   Four years later we went back to Malta for ten days and to Sicily for just under three weeks.  Realized that we did no really so or do much on those cruise stops.

 

Exact same experience in Italy, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, etc.  But we are in good health, travel light, and are accustomed to independent travel.

 

Not much different from the limitations one would have trying to see and experience North America by doing a Pacific or Atlantic cruise.

Edited by iancal

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4 hours ago, clo said:

But can you see enough in just a few hours to satisfy you? Do you ever return? Do you go to Europe?

Yes, a few hours can satisfy me.  I've cruised the Mediterranean and I'm booked to cruise Northern Europe in a few months. 

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4 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

Yes, a few hours can satisfy me.  I've cruised the Mediterranean and I'm booked to cruise Northern Europe in a few months. 

That's great. We have an upcoming cruise where we'll spend three days (two nights on the ship) in St. Petersburg and generally spend time in port cities pre and post.

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10 hours ago, cruizergal70 said:

Yes, a few hours can satisfy me.  I've cruised the Mediterranean and I'm booked to cruise Northern Europe in a few months. 


If that works for you then that’s great. My experience when I took land trips has often been that I wouldn’t have known that I was missing out on a cruise unless I had been on a land trip. Seeing the piazzas in Italy turn from thoroughfares to markets and outdoor restaurants in the evenings; riding the bullet trains in Japan; watching the sunset against Uluru in the Australian outback... not trying to down cruising because it certainly has its pluses in seeing many destinations without having to worry about luggage and transportation. But there are things you miss that you don’t even know you miss.

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12 hours ago, cruizergal70 said:

Yes, a few hours can satisfy me.  I've cruised the Mediterranean and I'm booked to cruise Northern Europe in a few months. 

A couple of days ago we had dinner with a couple who travels as extensively as DW and myself.  The topic eventually was "what are your favorite places in the world and where would you live if you had to leave the USA?"  My fast answer was Queenstown, New Zealand.  Although our friends travel on both land and sea, it turned out the only way they had been to South Island, NZ was on a few cruises.  Queenstown is nearly impossible to visit on a cruise as it is not within a reasonable time/distance to any port.

 

In Europe it is the same for those who only choose to visit via cruise ship.  Places like the Alps, Vienna and Prague are not accessible to cruisers unless they do a pre/post extended land trip.  On the other hand, one can always say that since they have no idea what they have missed all is good in the world.

 

Hank

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11 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

 

In Europe it is the same for those who only choose to visit via cruise ship.  Places like the Alps, Vienna and Prague are not accessible to cruisers unless they do a pre/post extended land trip.  On the other hand, one can always say that since they have no idea what they have missed all is good in the world.

 

Hank

I didn't miss anything that I wanted to see. Guess what. Everyone doesn't need to see every mile of a place to enjoy that place. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cruizergal70 said:

I didn't miss anything that I wanted to see. Guess what. Everyone doesn't need to see every mile of a place to enjoy that place. 

 

 

Generally speaking there seem to be too types of people here, those who do it for the ship and those who do it for the ports. Would you say your main reason is the ship?

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21 minutes ago, clo said:

Generally speaking there seem to be too types of people here, those who do it for the ship and those who do it for the ports. Would you say your main reason is the ship?

Not at all. I cruise for the ports. I went to Rome,  toured the Colosseum,  saw Trevi Fountain and tossed a coin, saw the Basillica of St. Peter & Paul,  saw a few other historical  places, ate some Italian food. It was a great day in port. Sure, Rome may have had a lot more to offer, but I feel satisfied. 

Edited by cruizergal70

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I think everyone will agree that travel preferences can also be impacted by age or disability. My husband and I have always loved independent travel with a few cruises thrown in. However, now in our mid seventies, it is no longer easy to lug even light suitcases around train stations, travel by rent-a-car when your vision is not as good nor are your reflexes, sleep well in unfamiliar/inexpensive places when you have back issues, etc. As we age, we are starting to lean more towards guided tours and cruises. If you love to travel, anyway you can keep doing it makes you happy. 

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On 2/26/2020 at 11:38 PM, Sandra1616 said:

Hi there,

I would like to ask those whom have already been on a cruise, if they felt they saw enough of the countries they visited in a multi country cruise? Have any of you tried cruises + tours? Thanks, Sandra

 

If cruising is all I had done and I didn't know any better, I might have said yes.  Ignorance would be bliss in that case.  But my answer is no.  Even in small places like Caribbean island nations, it's a totally different place after the ships leave.  

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20 hours ago, clo said:

But can you see enough in just a few hours to satisfy you? Do you ever return? Do you go to Europe?

 

There are situations where I would rather have a few hours - even if I'm left wanting more - than to not experience the place (or vacation) at all.  I suspect even if I did a 1 month land vacation in Europe I wouldn't see all I wanted (possibly even in only one country).  

 

1 hour ago, clo said:

Generally speaking there seem to be too types of people here, those who do it for the ship and those who do it for the ports. Would you say your main reason is the ship?

 

I think there are more than just those two types and to say only ship or ports is very limiting.  I personally cruise for the ocean and being on the water.  The ports matter, but I also realize cruise travel can be fluid (no pun intended) and itineraries can change suddenly for weather (or other reasons).  If I were just treating the ship as the vacation I would likely stay at a land based resort.

 

One of my high school teachers used to quote Churchill (who quoted someone else) that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." In my current stage of life, that is how cruising is for me 🙂 

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

A couple of days ago we had dinner with a couple who travels as extensively as DW and myself.  The topic eventually was "what are your favorite places in the world and where would you live if you had to leave the USA?"  My fast answer was Queenstown, New Zealand.  Although our friends travel on both land and sea, it turned out the only way they had been to South Island, NZ was on a few cruises.  Queenstown is nearly impossible to visit on a cruise as it is not within a reasonable time/distance to any port.

 

In Europe it is the same for those who only choose to visit via cruise ship.  Places like the Alps, Vienna and Prague are not accessible to cruisers unless they do a pre/post extended land trip.  On the other hand, one can always say that since they have no idea what they have missed all is good in the world.

 

Hank


Vienna and Prague are absolutely available to cruises--River cruises.  In fact they are major starting and stopping points for them.  But I agree, they don't work for ocean/sea cruises in the least.  Prague is over-touristed and the touts will make you mad.  Vienna sees more than it's share of tourists, but it hasn't become as ticky-tacky as places like Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and Dublin.

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22 minutes ago, ducklite said:


Vienna and Prague are absolutely available to cruises--River cruises.  In fact they are major starting and stopping points for them.  But I agree, they don't work for ocean/sea cruises in the least.  Prague is over-touristed and the touts will make you mad.  Vienna sees more than it's share of tourists, but it hasn't become as ticky-tacky as places like Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and Dublin.

We have done a few river cruises and particularly enjoyed the one's in Egypt and China.  In both cases we combined the cruises with significant pre and post time on land.  A few years ago we took a 14 day Viking cruise from Amsterdam to Budepest.  While we did enjoy the cruise and had nothing but praise for both Viking and our fellow cruisers, we realized that we prefer to spend our extended time in Europe with either a rental/leased car as well as using some trains and air.  We still remember being rushed through a nice museum in Bratislava because we only had 3 hours to see the city and country. 

 

You are right that overtourism is becoming a major problem, but I would rather be spending a month in a crowded Paris or a week in Prague then not go to those places at all.  That being said, when we do our long driving trips in Europe we do manage to go to many places not frequented by tourists.  It is also why we tend to avoid cruise line excursions and simply go off on our own...often to places not visited by the tours.

 

I should add that living in a cruise port for a few months a year has given us a different perspective on port days and cruisers.   

 

Hank

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Two things have made independent travel easier and more enjoyable for us.

 

The first was a switch to carry on only.  It has made travel so much easier and we can both physically handle the 8-10 kg weight.

 

The second was longer stays of five, often seven nights.  We did this in the Ionian islands last fall and we are doing the same now in Mexico.  The two night stays no longer appeal to us.

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8 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

I think there are more than just those two types and to say only ship or ports is very limiting.

And I want to apologize for that statement.

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