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Old 12-13-2015, 07:41 AM   #2521
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My two older kids speak French. Sad, I used to be pretty fluent but a couple of decades of no use has me in a sorry state. Combine that with my Spanglish....

I think I'll crack open some French lessons and freshen up.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:42 AM   #2522
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Have just placed a deposit, (fully refundable within 75 days of sailing if our situation changes), on the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas transatlantic departing Malaga on Nov 19, 2016...arriving Miami Dec 02.

Now we have to consider where to go in Europe prior to the sailing.
So... We should be looking 11 to 12 months out to book our transatlantic cruise for the best pricing? That is, December 2016 for November 2017 crossing? Or April 2016 for departing from North America in April 2017? What's your recommendation for best availability and prices?
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:08 AM   #2523
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So... We should be looking 11 to 12 months out to book our transatlantic cruise for the best pricing? That is, December 2016 for November 2017 crossing? Or April 2016 for departing from North America in April 2017? What's your recommendation for best availability and prices?
I think it depends how lucky you feel. We booked our transatlantic crossing in April 2016 from Houston to Southampton via the Caribbean 11 months ahead of time because the route, price and timing are perfect for us ( not many transatlantic cruises leave out of Houston). We plan on returning on a cruise out of Southampton to New York on Nov 5th but since that date is flexible we plan on waiting for last minute deals and booking very late.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:42 AM   #2524
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So... We should be looking 11 to 12 months out to book our transatlantic cruise for the best pricing? That is, December 2016 for November 2017 crossing? Or April 2016 for departing from North America in April 2017? What's your recommendation for best availability and prices?


Difficult question with a number of factors to consider. Our VTG guy says that Royal Caribbean prices 'tend' to rise as the sailing date gets nearer, but that is by no means an absolute.

We've placed a deposit on next November's trip, that is cancelable without penalty up to 75 days before sailing - if the price drops we'll consider canceling and rebooking, (subject to the vicissitudes of cabin availability that is) although with *some lines they'll apparently make a price adjustment on your bill without the necessity of rebooking.

If the price drops, and there are less than 75 days remaining, we'd see if taking the hit and then rebooking would be monetarily advantageous.

With CDF Croisières de France this Spring we canceled, paid a small penalty, and rebooked immediately, (and also upgraded to an oceanview), since the price dropped to 'ridiculous' levels. We're booked (way in advance) on the same ship next Spring and it's already pretty much sold out.

Basically what we do, and VTG's site is handy for this, is select a few comparable 'possibles' well in advance and regularly monitor them.

That said, there are (sometimes) great last minute deals.....in 2013 we booked a Celebrity transatlantic from Civitavecchia on almost a moment's notice...flew into Rome about three days before sailing.

Other considerations are flight costs, (no point saving a couple bucks on a cruise and then paying more to get to the departure port); also, compare onboard credits to ensure you're not receiving with one hand and losing with the other.....and is the price differential (if you have to cancel & rebook), enough to risk a possible cabin change to a less than optimal deck/location........(although most lines offer 'guaranteed' cabins, often at a slightly lower price......we've had good and bad).

All in all, I guess, it's "Ya pays ya money and takes yer chances"....and while we like to grab 'deals' we're not loath to pass on 'opportunities' that are not that opportune.


(* "Now some they do and some they don't
And some you just can't tell
And some they will and some they won't
With some it's just as well"
Supertramp.)
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Galapagos
Old 12-17-2015, 03:09 PM   #2525
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Galapagos

Thinking seriously about a Galapagos trip. I realize that it's just about on the Equator so time of year shouldn't matter in terms of climate, but is there any other timing consideration?

Experienced travelers probably have an opinion, but I'd be glad to hear anyone's opinion on this. Trips like this are horribly expensive IMHO so any input is very welcome.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:34 PM   #2526
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Building an itinerary for a Colorado trip late July into early August. Colorado Springs for 4 nights planned with forays to Pike Peak, Cripple Creek, and Royal Gorge planned. After that 4 nights in Keystone. Intend to venture the back routes to Alpine Tunnel Historic Site, I've been there before a few times. My brother has been volunteering to work there for several years to assist in rebuilding some of the historically significant railroad features, interesting place, that I find is is more scenic than challenging to navigate to even for a flatlander like me - as long as I don't meet any traffic while on the Palisades. Any other place of interest, events in early August to catch while we're there? Oh, and I'm thinking a stop in Alliance, Nebraska to see "Carhenge" is in order.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:47 PM   #2527
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Building an itinerary for a Colorado trip late July into early August. Colorado Springs for 4 nights planned with forays to Pike Peak, Cripple Creek, and Royal Gorge planned. After that 4 nights in Keystone. Intend to venture the back routes to Alpine Tunnel Historic Site, I've been there before a few times. My brother has been volunteering to work there for several years to assist in rebuilding some of the historically significant railroad features, interesting place, that I find is is more scenic than challenging to navigate to even for a flatlander like me - as long as I don't meet any traffic while on the Palisades. Any other place of interest, events in early August to catch while we're there? Oh, and I'm thinking a stop in Alliance, Nebraska to see "Carhenge" is in order.

Have fun! The Royal Gorge..... That is where I found out about 7 years ago I was afraid of extreme heights... Went to walk across the bridge and my feet froze at the edge and refused to cooperate with my body. The fence is what 5 foot high? No way I could fall off, heck there were 3 years olds running wild on it, but that didn't matter to my feet.


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Old 01-06-2016, 07:49 PM   #2528
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Starting to put together a rough outline of a 2-3 week trip back east. It will involve a week (or more) in Philly to see family. Some time before that in DC and some time after that in NYC. The DC/NYC part of the trip are because we declined to pay for expensive/craptastic school trips for the boys. (4 cities in 6 days - more time spent on a bus/plane than seeing sights.)
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:11 PM   #2529
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We are planning a trip in May down to San Diego to see DS, then over to Maui for 9 nights, 8 days. First time trying out VRBO and renting a small condo for 2. We plan on gentle activities like snorkeling and such. No zip lines thank you.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:53 PM   #2530
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Just wondering if anyone has any exciting trips coming up that they would like to share. We are about done for this year, so am willing to live vicariously thru the travel plans of others.

About the only things we have on the horizon is a trip to UK in Jan for a 50th birthday (brr feeling cold already), perhaps 1 more trip to Hawaii this year and maybe drive to Seattle and Vancouver for Christmas.
Civil War RV Road Trip is in the planning stages for 2016 fall, after FIRED. Has anyone done this?
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:21 AM   #2531
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Here's are two interesting maps showing the world and the jouney form London to anyplace in the world measured in time, not miles. One big change is that the maximum travel time in 1914 was "over 40 days". Today it is "over one and a half days".

"A 2016 version of the 1914 Isochronic London/World travel times map [OC]" by r2r_ in dataisbeautiful - Imgur
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:33 AM   #2532
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Here's are two interesting maps showing the world and the jouney form London to anyplace in the world measured in time, not miles. One big change is that the maximum travel time in 1914 was "over 40 days". Today it is "over one and a half days".

"A 2016 version of the 1914 Isochronic London/World travel times map [OC]" by r2r_ in dataisbeautiful - Imgur
Cool! Thanks for posting!
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:21 PM   #2533
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Originally Posted by Theseus View Post
Building an itinerary for a Colorado trip late July into early August. Colorado Springs for 4 nights planned with forays to Pike Peak, Cripple Creek, and Royal Gorge planned. After that 4 nights in Keystone. Intend to venture the back routes to Alpine Tunnel Historic Site. Any other place of interest, events in early August to catch while we're there?
DW and I spent 2 weeks in Colorado last June. In Colorado Springs, go to Garden of the Gods Park. We also went to:

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Mesa Verde
Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Colorado National Monument
Maroon Bells near Aspen
Rocky Mountain National Park
Denver museums, etc.

Let me know if you would like any details. We got great use of an annual National Parks pass.

The photos are Garden of the Gods, Colorado Monument, & Rocky Mtn Park
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:28 PM   #2534
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DW and I have our own plans for a Feb cruise to the eastern Caribbean. Going to visit Puerto Rico, Tortola, Martinique, Dominica, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:53 PM   #2535
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DW and I spent 2 weeks in Colorado last June.
Great pics, thanks......Colorado is one of the few states I haven't visited......will have to try and make it there.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:23 PM   #2536
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Great pics, thanks......Colorado is one of the few states I haven't visited......will have to try and make it there.
We are pretty fond of Estes Park, just got back. No crowds this time of year. We love Rocky Mountain National Park, September is a good time. If mother nature cooperates you can catch the Aspens in color and the Elk in rut.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:32 PM   #2537
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We are pretty fond of Estes Park, just got back. No crowds this time of year. We love Rocky Mountain National Park, September is a good time. If mother nature cooperates you can catch the Aspens in color and the Elk in rut.
I just did a recount...there are 8 states I haven't visited......love to do both Colorado & Utah in one trip.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:36 PM   #2538
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......love to do both Colorado & Utah in one trip.
Better make it a long trip or you will only scratch the surface. Those two states have some serious scenery to take in.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:44 PM   #2539
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Better make it a long trip or you will only scratch the surface. Those two states have some serious scenery to take in.
So, in & out before noon won't cut it?

(Geez, and I haven't yet factored in the drive down and back. So much to see, so little time.)
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:00 PM   #2540
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DW and I spent 2 weeks in Colorado last June
We love the National parks. Spent a few weeks exploring the Tetons, Yellowstone and Theadore Roosevelt last spring. We have the Canadian Rockies and Alaska on our list for next summer. Next week, I'm doing some winter camping in Michigan's UP and hope the catch the dog races in Newberry and maybe elk photography in the Pigeon Forest area.
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