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what's the best destination for newbie travelers?

what's the best destination for newbie travelers?

Old Jul 17th, 2012, 12:27 AM
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what's the best destination for newbie travelers?

Hi there!
I'm a newbie here..Hmm. I've looked around, and found the neighborhood kinda interesting. See, I got a dilemma here. I've always wanted to travel and unwind. I don't know how to start planning for it. I don't even have any idea where to go. I mean, there's so many beautiful places! Should I book for a trip now? Where will I start?

I hope ya'all can help me.Thanks so much!
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Are you looking for a cruise as a first trip? Cruises are good for some things, not for others. What are some of your interests: food, art, history, architecture, beaches, water sports, hiking, dancing, partying, etc.,? What are some places you already think you want to see? Do you want to see lots of things, or kind of hang out some place?
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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I assume that you want cruise advice. For a first cruise I would recommend either the Caribbean or Alaska. The Caribbean is fun. The islands don't have a lot to offer in sight seeing - as in Europe - but are beautiful and relaxing. Little pressure to be busy all the time. Also you have a lot of choice in cruise lines from rather sedate such as Celebrity or Holland American to the party ships such as Carnival, or Norwegian to in between such as Royal Caribbean.
Alaska is relaxing, but with more sight seeing opportunities. I loved the Alaska cruise. My favorites now are Europe. These are a bit less relaxing as there is a great deal to see and there is some pressure (self imposed) to see as much as possible.
The advantages of cruising include one stop packing, reasonably good food and predictable accomadations. One downside is thje limited time at most ports.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Welcome to our neighborhood! Cruise is a good way to travel and unwind at the same time: travel and sightseeing while in port, unwind and relax while on board and at sea.

The first place to start is make a bucket list of places you wanted to go. With the list, you start knowck off some easy ones taht is close to home, no langauge barrier, safe enviroment, and lower oost. Once you knowck off a few of thsoe, then you can start taking on the longer trips.

Alaska and Caribbean would be good starts, and they both carry "return visits" values.

We have been to the same ports in Alaska and the Caribbean many times and have seldom visit the same "sights" twice as we visit different part of the ports each time.

If you want to "relax", I would suggest avoding cruise lines that caters to a much younger crowd. For Mass Market Ships, Princess & Celebrity would be good chocies. Smaller ships such as Azamara, and even smaller ones such as Windstar are better but more expensive.

Feel free to ask quetsions and let's hope we can help.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 05:41 PM
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thanks!I'm more interested in food and culture though beaches and water sports sounds like a lot of fun too.I don't really have definite plans yet.I'm kinda just asking around right now so I'll have an idea on how to make the most of my trip.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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thanks for the idea. I think, both Caribbean and Alaska are great destinations. I've been toying with the idea of going to Alaska. One of my friends suggested this site:
http://www.shoreexcursionsgroup.com/...sions-s/57.htm
. But I don't know. What do you think?

If I'll decide to go to Alaska, what activities will you suggest? Thanks so much.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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thanks!the neighborhood here is great.Those are really practical suggestions. I really appreciate it.
If I'll decide to take a cruise to Alaska, will it be better if I'll book a trip sooner?
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 09:39 PM
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There are some deals to be had right now for 2012, epecailly for late August. Not sure what your budget is but for Alaska, I would higly recommend a balcony. It is never too early to look at 2013 either as we are alrady looking into 2013 August.

There are both advanatge and disadvantage on booking early compare to book late. If you can take advantage of last minute deals and can leave within 2 weeks, wait for last minute would be a good thing. Being a first time, book early so you have a lot of time to plan would be good but you will be paying higher prices.

Shore excursions booked from teh ship are typically more expensive but there are "quality assurance". If things goes really badly, you are covered while booking on tours outside from the cruise company, you are on your own.

If I book outside of the cruise company's tour, I will deal with the tour operators directly and do away the middleman. The cruise company is the middleman. A third party like shoreexecursion group is a middleman, so I don't see any difference between booking through them or the ship, except that they maybe cheaper (as they may take a smaller cut, or use a second tier or excess capacity operator)

I like to suggest that you go the "cruise" section of Fodor and look around.

When we travel, we like to sample local food. Sometimes, it works well, sometimes, not so great. Hoewever, the ship will always provides "safe" and "familiar" food as a fall back position.

Never get misled that the ship's food is 5 stars or even 3 stars. Typically ship's food is a slight cut above your typical Conevntion/Wedding plated food in your home town's better hotels. It is more than passable, and definetly better than most chain restaurant food.

Alaska offers a bit of different culture if you get to Sitka, and Victoria (up to point). Carribbean is all beaches and most local culture (in my mind) is not all that exciting, with some exceptions.

We like history, so Mayan Ruins would be good for us in Cozumel. Visiting South America and Europe is definietly more of a cultural and food experience than Caribbean and Alaska, so you may want to start there.

We just came back from a Baltic cruise and that is a definite cultural experinece. You can check my trip report on our Baltic cruise here in this forum. The link is below.
http://www.fodors.com/community/crui...se-in-june.cfm

Good luck on your adventure!
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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The best cruise we have taken was on HAL from Venice to Split Athens, Istanbul, Mykonos, Ephesus, Santorini, Olympia and back to Venice. Lots of new and exciting cultural experiences. Food was good and lots of opportunities for local food.
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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wow. You really had a great time on your Baltic cruise. I will put that on one of my considerations. But I will definitely try it out sometime.
Thanks so much.You really helped a lot. I guess I will try a cruise this time. It would be a lot safer for a first time solo traveler like me.
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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That's a lot of places you've traveled. It sounds like you had tons of fun.I'll look up on those places. I will surely consider those places on my next travel. Thanks a lot!
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Old Jul 19th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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If you are a solo traveller, be preapred to pay extra. The cruise line typically will charge a "single suppliment" for solo traveller. Better look for a partner!

Some ships do have single rooms, but they are rare. I only know NCL is offering that on some ships. You may want to consult a Travel agent on who offers single rooms without charging extra.

By the way, for your first cruise, don't book anything less than 7 days. Those short 3 or 4 days Caribbean cruises are cheap and typically party boats. Avoid them totally.
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Old Jul 19th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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thanks! you really help a lot!. I will be sure to keep it mind all your tips.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Another idea for a solo traveler--NCL Epic and I believe their new coming ship, Breakaway, have cabins for solo travelers. They offer a bit of a better price than paying double on some of the others. The solo cabins get fantastic reviews. They also have a solo lounge where other solo travelers can meet up. Maybe check them out.
Good luck. Have fun!
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