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Old 02-22-2010, 09:03 PM   #121
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I think a large part of the enjoyment of travel is just to "be somewhere different".
I'm always surprised by the folks who go somewhere and then spend all of their time complaining about how things are different from what they're used to. If they want everything to be the same as home why ever leave?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:41 PM   #122
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I'm always surprised by the folks who go somewhere and then spend all of their time complaining about how things are different from what they're used to. If they want everything to be the same as home why ever leave?


Oh, yeah. DW and I were on a trip to Austria and Switzerland in 2008, and ran into a great case of this. Austria, and Vienna in particular has a huge cafe culture. There are easily a dozen different coffee variations, from melange (sort of like a cappucino, but appropriate any time of day, yummy!), to a schwarzer or großer brauner. Asking for coffee at any place that doesn't regularly deal with American or English tourists will get you a blank look.

We were in a highway rest stop (which happen to be pretty nice self-serve restaurants in Austria), when the fellow in front of us in line picked up a glass mug for a specialty drink, handed it to the young Austrian server behind the counter, and in English said "I want a coffee." She tried to ask if he wanted the specialty coffee, an Einspanner, that they were serving in that glass. The fellow was obviously frustrated, and said "I just want a damn cup of coffee." The poor server wasn't sure what to do. Being my usual buttinsky self, I broke in and explained to the fellow that if he wanted an American-style coffee, he should ask for a filterkaffee, and that the mug was for a specialty drink.

He got his coffee and wandered off muttering about foreigners, and I got a free melange.

One of the best things about traveling are the differences from home, and finding out how things are done elsewhere in the world. (After that trip, I now serve after-dinner coffees to guests with a small chocolate or cookie on the saucer. My European mother-in-law seems to like this.)
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #123
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Several years ago our visiting European relatives had quite the conniption fit about not being able to order ein bier--in McDonalds.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:24 PM   #124
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(After that trip, I now serve after-dinner coffees to guests with a small chocolate or cookie on the saucer. My European mother-in-law seems to like this.)
Well who wouldn't like that? What a great way to end a meal!
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #125
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He got his coffee and wandered off muttering about foreigners.
LOL! He must have been mad at himself, since HE was the foreigner...
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:47 PM   #126
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I always do a ton of research before I go on a trip and after traveling as much as I have, I have a pretty good idea of what I like and don't like. Therefore, I'm rarely disappointed in a vacation spot. I dislike vacation spots that are an artificial environment like Vegas or the whole cruise ship scene so I avoid those whereas I love anything historical or nature based so that's what I concentrate on and I always have a good time.

However, the one time that I was completely disappointed was when we went to Bali. We were there for a liveaboard dive trip to Komodo. The dive trip was unbelievable, amazing, off the charts. Bali itself - not so much. We went right after the nightclub bombings in 2002 that killed a bunch of tourists. The tourist trade had practically dried up and the locals were pretty desperate. We were hounded and chased constantly by vendors. We could not get them to stop grabbing at us trying to sell us stuff. In addition, everyone wanted you to bargain for everything. They set prices ridiculously high, then expected you to bargain them down, but I hate bargaining and when I was hungry the last thing on earth that I wanted to do was bargain for the price of my meal. The island was spectacularly beautiful, but unbelievably dirty - mounds of trash piled everywhere. I'm sure others have had better experiences there, but it was one of my least favorite places ever.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:57 PM   #127
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Biggest disappoint was our recent transatlantic cruise. It's not a single place, but was expensive and mind numbingly BORING!!

We cruise a lot but have always chosen port heavy itineraries. We'll cruise again, but never again will we do a transatlantic.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:00 PM   #128
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Biggest disappoint was our recent transatlantic cruise. It's not a single place, but was expensive and mind numbingly BORING!!

We cruise a lot but have always chosen port heavy itineraries. We'll cruise again, but never again will we do a transatlantic.
I guess the passengers on the one and only transatlantic cruise on the Titanic could not complain of boredom!

Was it the fact that the view every day was "ocean"? The lack of ports of call? Or other factors?
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:12 PM   #129
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I think it had a lot to do with our ship choice. It was the Celebrity Constellation and is a smaller ship that we're used to. There were no consistently quiet public spaces to read and most of the activities were sedentary (bingo, scrap booking classes, art). Nine days of this on the water and I was ready to commit hary-cary.

I think if we would have been on one of the newer class Royal Carribean ships it would have been better, but I'm not going to shell out $7k to find out!

and so true about the Titanic passengers!
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #130
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I always do a ton of research before I go on a trip and after traveling as much as I have, I have a pretty good idea of what I like and don't like. Therefore, I'm rarely disappointed in a vacation spot. I dislike vacation spots that are an artificial environment like Vegas or the whole cruise ship scene so I avoid those whereas I love anything historical or nature based so that's what I concentrate on and I always have a good time.

However, the one time that I was completely disappointed was when we went to Bali. We were there for a liveaboard dive trip to Komodo. The dive trip was unbelievable, amazing, off the charts. Bali itself - not so much. We went right after the nightclub bombings in 2002 that killed a bunch of tourists. The tourist trade had practically dried up and the locals were pretty desperate. We were hounded and chased constantly by vendors. We could not get them to stop grabbing at us trying to sell us stuff. In addition, everyone wanted you to bargain for everything. They set prices ridiculously high, then expected you to bargain them down, but I hate bargaining and when I was hungry the last thing on earth that I wanted to do was bargain for the price of my meal. The island was spectacularly beautiful, but unbelievably dirty - mounds of trash piled everywhere. I'm sure others have had better experiences there, but it was one of my least favorite places ever.
Bad Rap.
When I was in Bali (also right after the bombing) I thought it was spectacularly beautiful. We stayed in Nusa Dua where they keep the riff-raff at bay. Umbud was much more beautiful and serene than anywhere on earth- puts somewhere like Hawaii to shame.

Bali is like many places, Mexico, Jamaica, southeast Asia are all similar. You have it, they want it. Third world countries are like that. If you don't want to be hustled don't go. It comes with the territory.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:18 PM   #131
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WoW that price sure seems high. We are booked on Royar Carribean for Nov. and it is $3,000 (including tips) a couple. plus port call activity
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:26 PM   #132
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The cruise itself (the cabin charge) was only $3k. The total cost of the trip came in at $7k.

Daily gratuities were not included (almost $500), the excursions we did in London, Paris and Amsterdam totaled almost $1k, had to pay for our return airfare from Germany, and airfare from Vegas (home) to Miami.....then there's my husband and his famous bar bill. He found a wine that he LOVED and had to have it at dinner every night to the tune of another $1k.

So while we could have done the cruise for a lot less, it was still boring
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:02 PM   #133
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He found a wine that he LOVED and had to have it at dinner every night to the tune of another $1k.
You might be missing out.

Its funny joke Thursday!
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:07 PM   #134
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ROFL
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:29 PM   #135
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Our cabin is $630 each, and air fair $650, 14 day cruise. I rounded it to $3,000 for both to cover the tip. It may run a little more, and shore excursions will up the bill. I don't think the bar bill will be a problem but hey, it might! We might start to practice 'When is it time to spend down your stash' from another thread.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:41 PM   #136
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I think one of our least exciting vacations was to the Big Island in Hawaii. We stayed on the dry side. The condo/hotel area we stayed at was nice but beyond that there were miles and miles of almost nothing but lava fields. Maybe it would have been more fun if we had stayed on the Hilo side.

As far as other people's least favorites - I though Stonehenge was okay. I mean I wouldn't make it an end destination point but if you are in England anyway it is worth a visit.

I also liked Las Vegas, Cancun and Honolulu. I was in Cancun years ago when it was less touristy than I've heard it is today. When I was there I went snorkeling at Xel-ha when it was an undeveloped lagoon surrounded my Mayan ruins with big (3 foot) green lizards running around. I saw on the travel channel that today that area looks more like a commercial waterpark.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:08 PM   #137
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I think one of our least exciting vacations was to the Big Island in Hawaii. We stayed on the dry side. The condo/hotel area we stayed at was nice but beyond that there were miles and miles of almost nothing but lava fields. Maybe it would have been more fun if we had stayed on the Hilo side.
Wow. I guess everyone has their own tastes. We think the Kona side of the Big Island is the best place on earth. The Hilo side is depressing - the pits, except of course the volcano. Kona has spectacular diving, snorkeling, fishing, and everything else having to do with the water, in my experience better than places people rave about like the Great Barrier Reef. The town is the perfect size and the perfect blend of locals and tourists. I really can't imagine what would be appealing about Honolulu, and I have spent a fair bit of time there! But, to each his/her own.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:43 PM   #138
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I think it had a lot to do with our ship choice. It was the Celebrity Constellation and is a smaller ship that we're used to. There were no consistently quiet public spaces to read and most of the activities were sedentary (bingo, scrap booking classes, art). Nine days of this on the water and I was ready to commit hary-cary.
Different cruise lines and different cruise destinations all have their own demographic. The cheaper lines (such as Carnival) tend to be noisier and with younger passengers. Also, tropical destinations tend to have a younger crowd than, say, Alaska or Europe which is likely to have more older passengers (and more sedentary or senior-based activities).

My wife used to be a travel agent selling cruises, so we went on a few and learned some of the differences through experience.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:09 PM   #139
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Kona has spectacular diving, snorkeling, fishing, and everything else having to do with the water, in my experience better than places people rave about like the Great Barrier Reef. The town is the perfect size and the perfect blend of locals and tourists.
We don't dive or fish so maybe that made it less fun there for us. We have stayed the most in Kihei on Maui and quite like it there.

On thing that was really cool on the Big Island besides the volcano was all of the sea turtles.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:28 PM   #140
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We leave for Alaska on Saturday. Two weeks with an RV. There has been a lot of rain so who knows.

For me the worst USA destination is Las Vegas. I have turned down free trips there.

Dullest big European city was Brussels.
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