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Old 09-26-2020, 10:02 AM   #11
brp
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  • Is a river cruise really as good as just flying, renting a car, and touring on your own? Especially for the cost involved?

I think the second is my biggest concern. I love cruising, so it would be a wonderful experience. I think the best way to deal with that would be to take a two week trip - one week for the cruise and one week for whatever else that interests me.

Of course, this is the biggest problem I have with all tours - I tend to be self-sufficient and have interests that aren't always fully aligned with the tours. It's hard to let go and let somebody else do the work!
Possibly, but I like the idea of letting someone else do the driving. Also, having been in several of the places where these trips go, the views from the river are stunning. One can drive to both sides and look, but this gets it all in one fell swoop.

I think of it is a hotel that magically transports me to a new place while I sleep...or have some wine, which is not a good idea while driving

As to being self-sufficient, we are as well. We are not tour people. But, if the stop itinerary is places we would want to go anyway, I would look for tours that have "do what you want" port time with optional excursions that we could take or leave.

Cheers.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:09 AM   #12
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Possibly, but I like the idea of letting someone else do the driving. Also, having been in several of the places where these trips go, the views from the river are stunning. One can drive to both sides and look, but this gets it all in one fell swoop.

I think of it is a hotel that magically transports me to a new place while I sleep...or have some wine, which is not a good idea while driving

As to being self-sufficient, we are as well. We are not tour people. But, if the stop itinerary is places we would want to go anyway, I would look for tours that have "do what you want" port time with optional excursions that we could take or leave.

Cheers.
That's one of the things I like about the river cruises, they do seem to have some very diverse options for cultural, activity, sight-seeing, and they do have options that allow free time.

I love being on the water so much that I just have to get my head focused that the cruise is part of the experience. Once I accept that, it's fine.

I wouldn't rule out doing land-based tours in the future (especially as one ages) but that would be low on my list!

Dirk
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:11 AM   #13
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I wouldn't rule out doing land-based tours in the future (especially as one ages) but that would be low on my list!

Dirk
Alaska would be great for a land-based tour- water for the Southeast and land for the vast interior. But, of course, here's where driving is great.

Cheers.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:14 AM   #14
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Alaska would be great for a land-based tour- water for the Southeast and land for the vast interior. But, of course, here's where driving is great.

Cheers.
http://www.mouseowners.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=107528

The land excursion begins on post #22
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:25 AM   #15
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I didn't realize about the differences in the port times based on which way the river flows. That's good to know for planning.

My two concerns about river cruises are:
  • River levels - good friends had their dream river cruise turn into a bus tour.
  • Is a river cruise really as good as just flying, renting a car, and touring on your own? Especially for the cost involved?

I think the second is my biggest concern. I love cruising, so it would be a wonderful experience. I think the best way to deal with that would be to take a two week trip - one week for the cruise and one week for whatever else that interests me.

Of course, this is the biggest problem I have with all tours - I tend to be self-sufficient and have interests that aren't always fully aligned with the tours. It's hard to let go and let somebody else do the work!

It's probably why I love Caribbean cruises with many sea days or ports of call that are just about scenery and a beach - very easy to figure things out and not have a fear of FOMO!

Yes, I have double FOMO. I have a fear I'll have a fear of missing out.

Dirk
I look at it as a sometimes option, not an absolute. And I think pairing the river cruise or other tour situation with an on our own trip is a nice balance. My DIL is expert at putting together adventures - she and my son have traveled Scotland, Italy, Provence and Iceland by putting together their own itineraries. On the flip side I was relieved to be with a tour group in Budapest. Even though I am of Hungarian heritage, the language there is nothing like France, Germany or Italy. In those countries I have a fighting chance of piecing things together. In Hungary, not so much.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:36 AM   #16
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I look at it as a sometimes option, not an absolute. And I think pairing the river cruise or other tour situation with an on our own trip is a nice balance. My DIL is expert at putting together adventures - she and my son have traveled Scotland, Italy, Provence and Iceland by putting together their own itineraries. On the flip side I was relieved to be with a tour group in Budapest. Even though I am of Hungarian heritage, the language there is nothing like France, Germany or Italy. In those countries I have a fighting chance of piecing things together. In Hungary, not so much.
I used to be nervous about language issues while traveling until I found a YouTube Channel, Kara and Nate. They are in their late 20s and first decided to take a year off to travel, and then decided to extend 3 more years to hit 100 countries by Nate's 30th birthday when their channel took off. They have been able to negotiate every country they have been in with virtually no language ability beyond English and have had a great time.

That gave me a huge sense of relief that, if I want to, I can virtually travel anywhere and figure it out. They also share that they learned if you leave the political assumptions at home, people are basically people wherever you go and want to be helpful and friendly.

It also helps that because English is so widely spoken in the world and English speakers tend to be the wealthiest travelers, nearly every country one would visit (or area in that country) has English translations on various things.

And there's always Google Translate.

Dirk
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:54 AM   #17
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I used to be nervous about language issues while traveling until I found a YouTube Channel, Kara and Nate. They are in their late 20s and first decided to take a year off to travel, and then decided to extend 3 more years to hit 100 countries by Nate's 30th birthday when their channel took off. They have been able to negotiate every country they have been in with virtually no language ability beyond English and have had a great time.

That gave me a huge sense of relief that, if I want to, I can virtually travel anywhere and figure it out. They also share that they learned if you leave the political assumptions at home, people are basically people wherever you go and want to be helpful and friendly.

It also helps that because English is so widely spoken in the world and English speakers tend to be the wealthiest travelers, nearly every country one would visit (or area in that country) has English translations on various things.

And there's always Google Translate.

Dirk
When I was in the Netherlands (OK, more than a few years ago), people on the street had no problem talking to me in English. They actually study English in school, so it's probably the best case scenario, but I think in general English is not a problem anywhere that tourists have any business being.
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by carolina_yankee View Post
I used to be nervous about language issues while traveling until I found a YouTube Channel, Kara and Nate. They are in their late 20s and first decided to take a year off to travel, and then decided to extend 3 more years to hit 100 countries by Nate's 30th birthday when their channel took off. They have been able to negotiate every country they have been in with virtually no language ability beyond English and have had a great time.

That gave me a huge sense of relief that, if I want to, I can virtually travel anywhere and figure it out. They also share that they learned if you leave the political assumptions at home, people are basically people wherever you go and want to be helpful and friendly.

It also helps that because English is so widely spoken in the world and English speakers tend to be the wealthiest travelers, nearly every country one would visit (or area in that country) has English translations on various things.

And there's always Google Translate.

Dirk
My DIL loves Kara and Nate! Yes, I know there are tools, but this is more of what we saw in Budapest. and actually this is a pretty tame example as far as accents, etc... (and this is a random pic from the internet - I have no idea where its from - hopefully not a problem )

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Old 09-26-2020, 12:07 PM   #19
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My DIL loves Kara and Nate! Yes, I know there are tools, but this is more of what we saw in Budapest. and actually this is a pretty tame example as far as accents, etc... (and this is a random pic from the internet - I have no idea where its from - hopefully not a problem )

Ah! Another Kara and Nate fan out there.

Best I would guess on that sign is hours. Very different! There are apps that can translate words on photos, etc. I'll be stocking up on that before I venture to Norway (though most speak English there, too.)
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:20 PM   #20
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Ah! Another Kara and Nate fan out there.

Best I wo My sister an I have would guess on that sign is hours. Very different! There are apps that can translate words on photos, etc. I'll be stocking up on that before I venture to Norway (though most speak English there, too.)
And - opportunities lost - my mother and her brothers and sisters all spoke Hungarian to my grandmother. But we grandchildren never learned. That makes me sad now. However I can order soup, potatoes and stuffed cabbage!
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