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Itís now cheaper to see Europe on a cruise ship then by land travel!

Itís now cheaper to see Europe on a cruise ship then by land travel!

Oct 1st, 2007, 06:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Itís now cheaper to see Europe on a cruise ship then by land travel!

Recently I read an article in the newspaper regarding the rise of the Euro and the fall of the US Dollar. In other words, Americans are getting less bang for their buck once they convert their dollars into euros. However, I realized that on most major cruise lines with a European itinerary the currency used on board is the US Dollar. Therefore, hotel, food and excursions are all paid in US dollars on a cruise ship. Although I agree with many who say that you only get a sampling (due to time restrictions in ports of call) of European cities when cruising ...the end result for those people on a fixed budget is a considerable savings by taking a European cruise.

Stay Savvy!
The Savvy Old Lady©
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 07:13 AM
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We have always been of the opinion that most cruises are good values especially for family. When we traveled with our two sons, the cruise allows to lock down prices early.
fmpden is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 07:21 AM
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Ditto for Tahiti as well, esp. with $35.00 pp breakfasts, $20.00 burgers and sky high hotel rates.
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 09:52 AM
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Yes, isn't it strange? It used to be so inexpensive to just grab a backpack, stay in hostels and get a rail pass!

Cruises, river cruises, yacht charters are very popular for seeing Europe. You can get off those river cruises and wander right into the heart of the cities in France, Germany, Russia, Austria, etc. The escorted tours are also increasing in popularity because the schedule is much more relaxed, spending more days in the same city and hotel, have a schedule in the morning and then, being free to do as you please in the afternoons and evenings.

In any case, Europe is too pretty to miss.

Best Regards,
Julia_E is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Ssssssh! Don't let everyone know!
carylspall is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:16 PM
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As poor as the NCL Hawaii cruise(POA) w it was a cheap way to visit Hawaii and see the different islands. Most of the food was very poor quality, but all that withstanding it was still worth it in the long run.
diann24 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:58 PM
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I think it depends how one travels.

On cruises, we book a junior suite or suite so as to have some space and more privacy on deck. On a European trip, we book in small inns since we are so rarely in our room.

On cruises, there is the expense of excursions and transport. In Europe, we stay centrally and rely on rail links between cities and lots of walking.

On cruises, we opt for specialty dining for the smaller dining rooms, better food and service. We order wine at high mark ups and pay for bottled water, etc. In Europe, we enjoy the local wines and small restaurants.

We are leaving for 12 nights in Italy two weeks from tomorrow. In our case, we would spend more on a cruise in order to get the ship/cabin we enjoy. On land, the choices are more varied. We prepaid the hotels many months ago, negotiated good rates to do so and bought rail tickets. We have our museum tickets and reservations.

This forum (the Europe boards) is an excellent source of travelling inexpensively throughout Europe. With time and research, one can create a wonderful trip either way. Personally, I do not enjoy "drive by" visits of these gorgeous ports, preferring the hours and experiences when the daytrippers are long gone.

kfusto is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:35 AM
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Well, the secret is out of the bag...yes, with the horrendous exchange rate as a retired senior I would rather go by cruise ship than not at all. We have also discovered trans-atlantic..and for some back-to-back cruises... certainly also cuts own on expensive air fares going home.
ParrotMom is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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With all due respect to your cruising experience, I submit that seeing Europe and taking a cruise are two totally different travel experiences and one shouldn't be considered a substitute for the other.

ira is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Ira, I have no idea what you mean by that statement. In fact, it sounds slightly insulting. Seeing a European city is seeing a Eurepean city. The quality of that experience is not affected by how you arrived at that city.
fmpden is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Right on fmpden !

Percy is online now  
Oct 14th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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I think what ira means is that you don't get to fully experience the local culture and customs of the people if you just visit for a day here and a day there.

That being said, we took a Med. cruise during the summer of 2006 and LOVED it. It gave us the opportunity to see so many different places and one day we will return to our favorite ones. We set up the trip such that we stayed in Rome a few nights prior to the cruise... that way we could experience more of the local cultural and day-to-day life.

The cruise made the trip enjoyable for our kids who liked meeting back up with their newly found friends each night, or running into them in port.

The savings we expected to realize from taking a cruise were not as great as we initially thought they would be, however. We spent a lot of money in the various ports where we had drivers taking us around for the day, in order to maximize our time and show us all the of the "must sees". On a land vacation we would not have incurred this expense. We shared our day tours with other cruise passengers (coordinated in advance) and it was less expensive than the ship's excursions (and much more enjoyable to be in a personal van for 8 than a bus for 50), but it still added up for our family of 4.

cawhite is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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I did not find Ira's statement at all insulting. He was pointing out that a "drive by" for a few hours in a Med port does not allow one to "experience" much of anything. I agree that a land trip allows one to really get the feel of a place and that these cities are far more interesting when the daytrippers are gone and the cities more themselves.

Ira posts a lot on the Europe board and he and his wife stay for extended periods when they travel. His posts are most helpful, especially for those looking for value accomodations.

Cruising is not for everyone and IMO a Med cruise is more about the cruise and less about the Med, which may be point Ira was making. My five Med cruises were more cruise than Med when one factors in all the lost time of transport to the city centers and very limited time in port. It is just a matter of how one prefers to travel.

Carol, your point about the additional costs being quite high are quite true. When on a cruise, there are many more expenses than one has a land trip.

I just finished planning my Nov/Dec Christmas Market visit to Germany and Austria for next year for 4 of us. My average room is 100E per night, double with breakfast in a centrally located hotel/pension. We will spend about another 100-150 E per day on food, musuems and transport, based on my trip last year. A great value IMO.

I am off tomorrow for 2 weeks in Italy on a land trip. While one of teh more expensive countries to visit, there are values to be had there as well.
kfusto is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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I understand completely what Ira is saying. We were dead set on cruising this summer with our kids. However, like us, they wanted a more "authentic" trip to see some rural areas too. Besides, you don't get all the great local cuisine when onboard a ship. Our answer was to charter our own boat down the Burgundy canal, then spend a few days in Paris. I just think part of the fun of Europe is the countryside and views....I prefer train travel.
LLindaC is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Good points kfusto.

I have done both land tours and cruises to the Mediterranean.

Percy is online now  
Oct 15th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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Hi All,

Thank you for all of your insight and responses. However, the point I was trying to make was that with the conversion rate of the Euro to the US dollar those of us who are traveling with multiple members of our family or are on a restricted budget may find it more beneficial to do it by cruising.

Yes, I too have done many land based tours in Europe and your right there is no comparison to a one day stop. Still try traveling with three teenagers and ask them which country they want to visit LOL. The broad itinerary gave all of us enough of a sampling of each country to decide exactly where we would want to later return. Besides touring 9 major cities in six different countries, we were fortunate enough to see at 3 in the morning Mount Etna spewing lava from 5 different fissures. You can't even imagine what it was like passing through the straits and seeing the entire dark sky turn a bright shade of red as we cruised around Sicily.

We all know that nothing is perfect be it land based or cruising still, I must admit our Mediterranean Cruise was as close to perfect as I could ever expect. If you research your ports of call prior to your cruise and decide exactly what you want to see, believe me you won't be disappointed. In our family's case our Med trip was a combination of cruising and touring. Both were beyond our expectations.
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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Whoopsie, my lap top poltergeist posted before I was finished.

Ira, with all due respect, not everyone is financially able to make 6 different trips to Europe to do land based vacations in 6 different countries especially if they are traveling with two or more children. Sometimes a cruise may be some peoples first and only visit abroad. And if that is the case then isn't it wonderful that they have a cruise ship to help them fulfill their dreams?

My now five adult children still prefer to cruise the oceans and rivers abroad. They tell me there are so many glorious places to see on this globe that even if it's just a sampling of a port of call it's much better than not seeing it at all. I guess until we all win that multi million dollar lottery LOL we will just have to be satisfied and thankful for what we can afford.

Stay Savvy!
Hugs, The Savvy Old Lady(c)
thesavvyoldlady is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 03:58 AM
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We also found cruise to Bermuda with 2 teens several years ago was cheaper than air, hotel, food for a land trip there. And since ship was parked in Bermuda for several days, we could be free range tourists on our own.
gail is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 04:14 AM
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If a family loves to cruise, and that is what is most affordable, by all means that is a great solution for them. There are different kinds of travellers as well. Some prefer to see as many places as possible, some prefer to immerse themselves in one area and live like a local. I fall into the second category.

Cruises are ok, just not what they used to be, so no longer have much appeal to me personally.

IME, there are great values to be had on land in Europe, despite the Euro. For a family, renting an apartment, travelling by train with the special family fares offered in Europe and experiencing the area fully is also a great option.

IMO, if one does the research, it is quite possible to travel reasonably in Europe even now. It just takes more work to do so than it used to.

I am off now to Italy for 2 weeks and will post a trip report when I return.
kfusto is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Bon Voyage kfusto!

You know it all depends how people want to trraveland what they want to see.

If you do your homework well for each port on a cruise ship , you can see a lot.

I have always had a private tour guide meet me at the ports(I see way more this way and I also know exactly where I want to go)... yes it cost more but I see more.

I do not get into my private tour guides vehicle and say ."Okay Mario show me around".
Rather I say, "let go here first and then go to point B...and when we are at point B ..then let us do this." etc.

I have done land tours in England Ireland Scotland and Wales... sometimes it is nice to drive and see the lovely country side and other times it is just a long drive from point A to point B.

yes, I know not everyone can or wants to have a private tour guide... like I said it all depends on what you want to see.


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