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Will a cruise compliment or crimp a FIRST TRIP?

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We have yet to put one toe in Asia....so we are strategizing how best to coordinate our first trip. Initially we thought of it as a complicated trip and a CRUISE might make it easier to see several places (ie Shangai to Singapore as one example). You aren't constantly changing hotels or creating a complex routing of airports and trains. BUT I have read on the board that many of the highlights can't really be reached from cruise ports. Planning a first trip is very involved and we need to decide on this first factor.

Seeking thoughts on two options: A) Tentative cruise from Singapore/Shanghai, Hong Kong/Sinapore or Beijing/Singapore, adding on a 2-3 nights at each end, B) Fly to Singapore, use a tour company to help construct an itinerary, possibly include 3 night river cruise, and be closer to sights.

Very vague because we don't have an itinerary yet -- we're not sure which major cities are 'musts' for us yet. I would tentatively say it will only be a 2-3 week itinerary.

FWIW, we plan to use our miles to cover the airfare to/from. We have traveled extensively and generally are DIY types but might seek a tour company as part of this trip. We've been to S. Africa (independent), Australia (independent), S. America (cruise), Spain, England, parts of Europe, Mediterranean (cruise), Mexico, New Zealand, and tons of Caribbean islands..

Thanks in advance for the advice!

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