Do you watch Rick Steeves on Television

Apr 26th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Do you watch Rick Steeves on Television

I've just started watching the travel shows and would like to hear your comments. I'm getting them in High Definition which makes viewing nice through DirecTV.
wally34949 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:00 AM
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about every 2 months or so we get pretty much this exact same question. If you do a search you will see the opinions of MANY fodorites are already posted . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Depends on the location. I watch for the entertainment value of seeing places I love rather than the information provided.
DanM is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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If you are going to one of the places that he covers, especially if you are a first-time visitor, his DVDs and books offer very useful information. The downside is that he is not comprehensive. You will find very little in his books on Bamberg or Friesland. I also think that he is smugly self-righteous (e.g., some of the essays on his websites), but his guidance is useful for first-time travelers to Europe that may be intimated by the notion of going it alone.
smueller is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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I really appreciate his show because it is what gave us the kick in the pants to be independent travelers. We watch his shows and Rudy Maxa, Samantha Brown and whatever else feeds our hunger for travel. They all have their positives and negatives but it gets us a little taste of travel without leaving home.
AisleSeat is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Don't watch Rick but love Samantha Brown. She attempts to walk off the beaten path and shows genuine delight in the things she sees.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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I watch all of them. Rick Steves was the first one I ever watched and he really "wet my wistle". I love Samantha Brown and Rudy is just OK, but there still is a lot to be learned from all of them. I make notes sometimes. Rudy and his daughter went to a place in Venice that makes masks and have been doing it for generations...fabulous and I"m sure expensive, but I have it noted because if I get back there, this is a place I will want to go. I know there are maskes all over the place but those aren't my and junky looking...I want the real thing and will pay for it.
crefloors is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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I watch him sometimes. I prefer Samantha Brown and Burt Wolf. Rudy Maxa is good too. Rick Steves has some good info, but sometimes he gets on my nerves. I can't pin point the issue though.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Crefloors -- Could you look in your notes and tell us the name of the mask-making place. Sounds very interesting. Also location if you have it. We're going to Venice in June.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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They just had on our PBS station a Rick Steves show about how his travel programs are actually created and produced. It was pretty good. While it can be fun, it's a whole lot of work. They do the whole thing with 3 people, Steves and a 1 camerman and a 1 lighting person. It takes 6 days of work to produce one half hour show.
Pugsly is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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As with other posters, I agree that Rick Steves gives some useful information. I find his Paris book really good. On the other hand, I'm not into the "basement budget" method he always advocates regarding hotels and while I don't always want luxury, I admit I wouldn't pick some of his hotels especially when he goes on about how much money you save on getting a room in which the bathroom is "down the hall."
patandhank is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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I appreciate Rick.

I bought all his DVDs not too long ago. I even enjoy the ones on countries Ill probably never visit. I watch the DVDs on the countries Im about to travel to, not really for the information, but more just to get my juices going.

Hes come a long way. In the early videos, hes often corny and obvious (Steves in Florence: Art abounds.). And strangely spartan in his culinary habits, eating things like yogurt and bananas for lunch when hes in a food paradise like Italy or France. (Come out, Rick, break out the proscuitto and melon! Gorge yourself on some paté!)

But his commentary has matured over time, and he believes in the democracy of travel that we all have the God-given right to clump around Europe with a money belt around our waist and a goofy smile on our face.
wanderful is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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I watch but I always think, "What and where are you eating, Rick?" Seems like a man who eats to live and I am a woman who lives to eat, so we part company there. Also, he will spend half an episode on a museum and its artworks, going on and on about a particular work of art. I'd rather experience that for myself.
rbnwdln is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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I actually like Ricks shows. I think he does a good job of adressing the "how tos" for the avg tourist. (And if you guys think Rick is cheap have you seen some of the other folks. There used to be one on my local PBS, "Globetrecker?" where they were into hostels. That's too cheap for me.

Ruby Maxa just does nothing for me. He's on some. Too much "special treatment" and he strikes me as very condescending.

Samantha Brown is good, but her lodging choices are over the top, plus she always shows you her "upgraded" room. For the avg tourist you won't have HER view or HER suite... Her idea of a good value on a show I watched a few weeks ago was about 300 Euros a night. Sorry, but that's not a good value to me LOL!

Another one that's fun is Rachel Ray. Not a clue what she is doing, but she at least has fun!
CarolA is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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I agree about Samantha's hotels. Yikes - if I stayed in hotels like that, I would have to save for a couple years to take a vacation! But it is fun to see what is out there.

Regarding Rick's lodging choices, down the hall bathrooms are definitely out for me, but we stayed in a place in Austria that he recommends, and it was great.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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I like him, and our family use his books as guides.
Nlingenfel is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Over the years I've stayed in many places he has recommended, and I've always been satisfied with his recommendations.

I watch his shows if I happen to run across them, and I always buy his books before I visit a new country. OPr even an old one. I don't know about his food recs, though. I think he's more of an eat to live guy, as a previous poster said. I'm not especially interested in budget eateries.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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As someone said, we watch Rick Steeves to be reminded of places we visit. (We're a little too ancient to travel like he does.) One of our local PBS stations does Rick and Burt Wolf back to back. I think Wolf does an excellent job. This week he had a piece on Siena; we were appalled to realize how much we have missed on our trips there!
Grandma is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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I find Steve's books to be helpful and really easy to digest. I've travelled a lot, and still, find many helpful hints. We just returned from 3 weeks in italy and his advice on admissions to attractions, parking and restaurants weere spot on. He gives an opinion. That said, we used to watch his shows but found them a bit condescending. Then we discovered Samantha Brown. As a family(kids 4,7,10)taped all of the Italy shows available. My kids and husband moaned when Steve's was on, But loves s. Brown. She's fun and always visits some intersting places.

To sum it up: Steve's has great travel books and Samatha brown is really fun to watch.
prhirsch is offline  
Apr 26th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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I like all the European travel shows. I'm a little leery of Rick's hotel and restaurant suggestions, but he gives a lot of great practical advice for what he covers. His attitude and commentary can provide a little unintentional comedy (and his politics and mine are poles apart), but that is just part of the package.

Like others have said, Samanth Brown is entertaining, but the hotels she stays at are out of my price range. Rudy's shows are beautifully shot, and I like the music, but he can be a little pompous--Frasier Crane does Europe is the impression I get sometimes from Rudy.
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