Great vacation and worst vacation locations

A cruise is like a tasting menu. We definitely want to go back to Stockholm, but Rome, no thanks.

And I thought of another great vacation place for us. Thousand Island Park, on Wellsley Island in the St. Lawrence. An old Methodist retreat. We rented a house with my in-laws when we lived in NJ. Nice little town where everyone walks, free movies every weekend, an ice cream and lunch counter called “The Guzzle” in the tiny downtown, nice park, nice library, and you could walk down the block and sit on rocks by the river, watching the ships go by. Relaxing but not boring.

I went to Disneyland the year it opened (I was 3) and loved it. We went about once a year during my childhood. We lived in the West Los Angeles area, so it was convenient, but we were clinging to the middle class by our fingernails. We couldn’t afford more often than that. I probably went almost as or slightly more often in my teens, because we had little or no parental supervision, and it was a blast. My visits seriously dwindled after that. I have no desire to go any more.

I did a ton of desert camping when I was in my 20s and 30s, and it was, again, something to do when you’re young. I loved trips to Death Valley! I’m not sleeping on the ground anymore though.

I never had an interest in going to Hawaii, because I lived in SoCal, and it sounded like sitting around on the beach, and I could do that at home. Then, a friend got married there (his wife was from Honolulu, so not a destination wedding). I had such a good time! First, the wedding stuff was actually not awful (generally, I have a lousy time at weddings), and there were so many interesting places to see, and I loved the food. I didn’t spend any time just lying on a beach.

One of my favorite vacations was in Maine. My BiL is from there, and he and my sister moved back when they decided to start a family. Such a gorgeous state! I loved Bar Harbor, and all the other towns. The ocean was so different from what I was used to, and it was inspiring. Spent a few days in Boston on the way home with my younger sister, and we had a great time there as well.

Basel, Switzerland to Antwerp, Belgium. There is a good Christmas Market on in Germany, if you are into that.

It’s not universal but I know one of the things many dedicated cruisers seem to love is being social. I had a couple of co-workers that each went on 2-3 a year and they were extroverts that loved meeting and hanging out with new people every time. Dining together, dancing together, touristing together - that sort of thing.

Fuck that. I’m a friendly guy and very slightly less shy than I was twenty years ago, but I’m not a social butterfly by any stretch. Sharing a table with strangers every night sounds positively awful. ‘A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet’ is not a notion I subscribe to :laughing:.

Yeah, this cruise was my Wife and I, my best friend and another good friend, and of course some others. Our group got along great.

If the food was decent (I had one good meal in a week) and there where about 1/3 of the amount of people on the ship, It would have been kinda nice.

I don’t have to have solitude, but it needs to be close.

Does sound lovely. I don’t require mountains or beaches for a destination. People, cultural attractions and museums I enjoy. Iowa, Illinois and Michigan are next in my plan.

Then you’d hate Bike Camping. Every pound of equipment is more work for your tired body. I have a friend who does it for just one night at a state park, and I do want to try it eventually, but all he takes is a tent and some cold food.

Camping would normally top my “worst” list, but on hectic days this doesn’t sound too bad:
The solitude of a ride through the countryside, then I’d roll into a campsite, pitch the tent, watch the sunset across a lake, wash some cold pizza down with a can of beer, and have no trouble sleeping.

Next morning, take a dip in the lake, then bike home past a diner for a real breakfast.

The best, in my opinion, is Door County, WI. It has such nice little communities with family-run businesses, great fishing, the works. Love it there. Gatlinburg, TN is also great.

The worst? Nashville, TN, easily. Honestly, you really have to like country music in order to make the most out of your time there, because to me it was just…a generic dirty city. Bleh.

Cool. One of the ones we’re looking at is Basel to Amsterdam. And I’ve been to a Christmas market - in Indiana, but my German son-in-law said it was pretty authentic.

You really don’t have to mingle. But big tables can be fun. On our first cruise, on the QE2, our travel agent recommended a big table. It turned out that the Chief Engineer and Deputy Chief Engineer rotated at our table, and we got invited to a cocktail party in their quarters, way up high.

I’ve gone on several trips to see total solar eclipses. The first was in 1991 in Hawaii. I spent a week on Maui, then a week on the Big Island, where I saw the eclipse through a brief opening in the clouds. Then exploring the eruptions of Kilauea. There’s so much to do there, wish I could go back sometime.

Each of my eclipse trips has been a unique remarkable adventure.

On the cruise I took with my mother, when you showed up each dinner time, they asked if you wanted to dine alone or with others. We usually chose to sit with random strangers, and for the most part, it was very pleasant. No life-long friendships developed, but it still made for interesting dinner conversation.

Except for that one time - the man of the couple was quiet, but his wife seemed to think she was queen of the ship. She wouldn’t wait till the table was full to order her dinner - she had to place her order as soon as she sat down. And none of the evening’s menu items suited - she chose very specific items prepared a very specific way. If she spoke to someone other than her husband or the steward, it was to complain about something. So when they were led to where we were seated the next night, we cringed, but she decided she didn’t like how the evening sun was touching our table and she demanded to sit elsewhere. WHEW!

Then there was time it turned out one of our tablemates went to the same high school I did - a few years later - small world! However, making the same small talk gets tedious, so my husband and I opt to have a table to ourselves. I’ve noticed on the last couple of ships, they have more 2-tops and fewer banquet-sized tables.

I’ve done a couple of cruises and had a good time. I’ve also spent time on some of the islands the cruise ship stopped at and had a much better time.

You should understand going in that the cruise ship ports on the various Caribbean islands are located in cities/towns that are the last places anyone would want to visit on the island.

When I lived in London some of my best memories were just hopping on the train and exploring with no real destination in mind. Railways over there and in Europe generally are so much better travel experiences. The Scottish highlands mesmeric.

We enjoy cruising, and it’s very helpful for my lovely wife’s dietary restrictions. We usually sit at a table on our own, though sometimes we share. We don’t usually go to the evening entertainment, or play games, or do those other shipboard things. We do sometimes find the lounge where there’s a small musical ensemble, for example. But usually we walk on the decks, looking for sea birds with binoculars, and getting our miles in. We go about 50/50 on shore excursions. It depends on the port, whether we speak the language, and whether we’re able to arrange a bird watching tour beforehand on our own.

I can enjoy going off into the middle of nowhere, cities, adventure stuff- what I’ve found to be the most essential component of a fun trip for me is having the option to nope out of there and do something else if I’m not enjoying it. I loathe being on someone else’s timetable, and I hate being stuck socialising, even with close family and friends - I’m fine socialising, I just hate the being stuck doing it. I need my own private bolthole I can hide in.

No description of a cruise has ever managed to sound like anything other than hell on earth to me.

I dislike ‘organised tourism’ - all inclusive hotels, cruises, theme parks, coach tours of any description. Basically, the food is always a bit sub par, I hate being herded about, and always get the impression I’ve missed the most interesting bits of anywhere I’ve been to. I’m also quite ambivalent about other holiday makers.

I like self-guided travel to interesting places. Give me a hire car, a couple of lovely self-catering villas with private pools, an interesting foreign city/town/beach/food scene/history/good weather/a language I can’t speak/mix of all the above, and I’m happy.

When I was younger I used to love going wilderness camping. Tent on the ground, small propane stove, Top ramen. Drive somewhere remote, then drive a bit further. Set up camp on the leeward side of your car and enjoy nature for two or three days. However, as I’ve gotten older I find that experience much less enjoyable and now I tend to wake up cold and sore and grumpy. I’m getting soft in my old age, I guess. My wife and I have talked about getting a small teardrop-style camp trailer for coast trips but I doubt we’ll ever actually bite the bullet and do that. Its easier and cheaper to rent a motel room on the beach once or twice a year.

I’m an extreme introvert and have no desire ever to do a cruise or visit Disneyland / world or other theme park. Any place where there are large gatherings of people just make my skin crawl. Family reunions I can stand, but only in short doses. I’m thankful they only roll around once every few years. The only way I would even consider going on a cruise would be if it were somewhere that I couldn’t visit any other way – Antarctica, for instance.

The best vacations for me are going to the coast (we live less than 2 hours from the Pacific), renting a beachfront motel room for 3 or 4 nights, and just relaxing. I’ll bring along a good book or two and maybe the Switch and just hang out. Add a cooler full of drinks and snacks and I’m in heaven.

I want my vacations to be vacations. Something that takes me away from my normal routine. No schedules, no itineraries, no meeting up with large groups of people. No crowds, certainly no communal dining. I do all that at work and during my regular daily life. I want a break from that crap by doing nothing and doing it alone (except my wife, of course). My wife and I spent my 40th birthday at the coast this past June. 5 days in a beachfront motel room with nothing to do but read books, nap at odd hours, and walk on the beach. Bliss.

I do love museums and try to check out the local museum whenever we find ourselves in a new town which admittedly isn’t very often.

I’ve never traveled to Europe but I would love to do so someday. For that I would eschew my “no itinerary, no schedule, no crowds” rule obviously.

I thought of this thread when I watched this year’s first episode of the Brit TV series Grantchester. It was set in a “holiday park” circa 1960. Much was made of the details of this holiday park, so I had to Google up what it was all about.

Apparently holiday parks were a thing from the 40s through maybe the 60s, in England. They were a cluster of cottages surrounding a central area, where there was a stage and a dance floor. There were shows every night with comedians and musicians. There were hosts and hostesses who led organized games and contests. They were patronized by middle class folks from all over, who arrived by train or car or trailer.

It did look like something that I would hate, though. Sort of like a cruise ship, but on dry land, and it didn’t go anywhere.

On two consecutive years, I traveled to towns in southern France… a total of 25 towns, staying in each one from 2 to 4 nights, often with side trips to other towns. All the travel was by train, and I loved it.

The one side trip was to Saint-Tropez by bus, since there’s no train there. I got off the bus at the wrong stop, and had no idea where I was. I was actually in Sainte-Maxine, quite a distance away. So I just started walking, exploring the shore, and after a few hours, caught another bus to Saint-Tropez.

I absolutely loved southern France, in spite of it having become a bit too touristy for my taste. I would have loved it even more a generation ago.