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I've never gotten out of our hemisphere because I can't justify business class, and economy for a flight across the pond (either one) is a deal-breaker for me.  But I really missed the boat --  literally -- because HAL used to have the wonderful Atlantic Adventurer itinerary.  A seven-week cruise hitting every port in the Mediterranean and it embarked and disembarked at Port Everglades!  But I stupidly didn't want to do a seven-week cruise until I had my fourth star because of the laundry issue.  It's been a few years now and HAL has shown no sign of intending to reinstate that terrific itinerary.

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15 minutes ago, Randyk47 said:

 

Like the late Mama Lou.   Cruised constantly to almost the end of her life.  Quite a character.

Had you ever met her?  She and I became instant friends because, like you, we were both ***TEXANS***! 

 

Ooops, sorry for hijacking this thread.

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6 minutes ago, Av8rix said:

Had you ever met her?  She and I became instant friends because, like you, we were both ***TEXANS***! 

 

Ooops, sorry for hijacking this thread.

 

Yes.  We had two cruises with her.  One out of Ft Lauderdale on the Volendam  and one out of Tampa several years later on the Veendam.   Later in life she preferred to cruise out of Tampa as it was closer to her home base when she wasn’t on a cruise.

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18 minutes ago, Av8rix said:

I've never gotten out of our hemisphere because I can't justify business class, and economy for a flight across the pond (either one) is a deal-breaker for me.  But I really missed the boat --  literally -- because HAL used to have the wonderful Atlantic Adventurer itinerary.  A seven-week cruise hitting every port in the Mediterranean and it embarked and disembarked at Port Everglades!  But I stupidly didn't want to do a seven-week cruise until I had my fourth star because of the laundry issue.  It's been a few years now and HAL has shown no sign of intending to reinstate that terrific itinerary.

 

I don’t remember that itinerary but then again getting seven straight weeks of vacation isn’t an option so I would have brushed it aside.   Sounds fantastic.  

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Perfect place? 

 

Probably not one... but if you don't want to fly and love being on board a good ship, Central Florida may be nearly perfect. Reasonable housing and living costs, magnificent winter weather,  low taxes and within one to three hours by car of four cruise ports with a wide variety of cruise lines and itineraries.

 

Nearly perfect.

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9 hours ago, DFD1 said:

Perfect place? 

 

Probably not one... but if you don't want to fly and love being on board a good ship, Central Florida may be nearly perfect. Reasonable housing and living costs, magnificent winter weather,  low taxes and within one to three hours by car of four cruise ports with a wide variety of cruise lines and itineraries.

 

Nearly perfect.

 We recommend  for people going to retire to florida to check out  the Villages for the many amenities & many various styled homes at all price levels . My wife's  cousin  has lived there for 15 years & she loves it there . We visit often & have seen many nice areas ,restaurants & club houses in the  Villages (Central Florida) . Yes Florida tax structure is very good for retirees  .Of course being able to access 4 ports for cruising is a huge bonus .We have 2 West coast ports we can drive to .

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18 hours ago, Av8rix said:

I've never gotten out of our hemisphere because I can't justify business class, and economy for a flight across the pond (either one) is a deal-breaker for me. 

 

2 suggestions - 1) do a TA across the pond and enjoy Europe.  You can return by way of Cunard if you don’t want to fly home and..

 

2) Check out flight ease pricing for one way Transatlantic flights.  They are often a LOT cheaper than booking on your own for business class (unless, of course, you have FF miles 😉 )

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Living in San Antonio the two close drivable ports are Galveston and New Orleans, the only problem we have been on every western Caribbean itinerary offered from both ports. We have no choice but to fly to the places we want to vacation like Europe and Asia.  Just returned from and Alaska cruise that included flights to Vancouver and returning from Fairbanks. Last year we did American Airlines Premium Economy and loved the bigger seats and amenities for just a couple hundreds of dollars more than main cabin. We will never fly long flights internationally again unless it is Premium Economy at the minimum. We are booked on a Viking Ocean Venice to Athens cruise next year and we will fly PE only. The other factor now that we are retired is all overseas trips will be a minimum of 2 weeks, no more 7 or 10 day cruises. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Av8rix said:

I've never gotten out of our hemisphere because I can't justify business class, and economy for a flight across the pond (either one) is a deal-breaker for me.  But I really missed the boat --  literally -- because HAL used to have the wonderful Atlantic Adventurer itinerary.  A seven-week cruise hitting every port in the Mediterranean and it embarked and disembarked at Port Everglades!  But I stupidly didn't want to do a seven-week cruise until I had my fourth star because of the laundry issue.  It's been a few years now and HAL has shown no sign of intending to reinstate that terrific itinerary.

 

I remember my parents considering that cruise (they lived in Fort Lauderdale for a number of years after retirement). But ultimately they decided it would be too long and too intense. Even assuming a week over and a week coming back, there are five weeks' worth of ports where you want to go, go, go every day and it can be wearing. I can do about 14-18 days of that before I start to get both physically and mentally fatigued.  

 

It's much better to do it in chunks of two weeks or so, with some down time in-between. For example, you could take a TA over to Europe and then do the following cruise as a starter. Then get off the ship somewhere like Rome and spend a couple of weeks in Italy taking it easier. (Go to the Amalfi coast for a week, for example, after seeing Rome)  Or Barcelona would be another good place. Then do another couple of weeks cruising and end in a different place with another week or so.

 

Alternating longer stays with cruises breaks things up and requires less stamina, though you do still have to pace yourself. Many people have said that a business-class seat on a one-way flight through the cruise air programs is usually not a terrible cost. Or, as kazu says, take the Cunard TA back to the US...

Edited by cruisemom42

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17 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I remember my parents considering that cruise (they lived in Fort Lauderdale for a number of years after retirement). But ultimately they decided it would be too long and too intense. Even assuming a week over and a week coming back, there are five weeks' worth of ports where you want to go, go, go every day and it can be wearing. I can do about 14-18 days of that before I start to get both physically and mentally fatigued.  

 

It's much better to do it in chunks of two weeks or so, with some down time in-between. For example, you could take a TA over to Europe and then do the following cruise as a starter. Then get off the ship somewhere like Rome and spend a couple of weeks in Italy taking it easier. (Go to the Amalfi coast for a week, for example, after seeing Rome)  Or Barcelona would be another good place. Then do another couple of weeks cruising and end in a different place with another week or so.

 

Alternating longer stays with cruises breaks things up and requires less stamina, though you do still have to pace yourself. Many people have said that a business-class seat on a one-way flight through the cruise air programs is usually not a terrible cost. Or, as kazu says, take the Cunard TA back to the US...

A very  good and practical plan.....  By the way you can get 1 way business for around 1200-1300 by using Matrix.     As the years go by you may reach a point where nature dictates that business is needed for health... not just convienience.

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

A very  good and practical plan.....  By the way you can get 1 way business for around 1200-1300 by using Matrix.     As the years go by you may reach a point where nature dictates that business is needed for health... not just convienience.

What is Matrix ?  What is the web site that you can buy business class for  $1200 t0 $1300 ?

 

 Curious for our adult children's travels 

 

 TIA

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1 hour ago, mcrcruiser said:

What is Matrix ?  What is the web site that you can buy business class for  $1200 t0 $1300 ?

 

 Curious for our adult children's travels 

 

 TIA

 

It’s a flight search database:  MATRIX Airfare Search

 

It’s the same software Google Flights uses to pull their data.  Easier to use and with additional features.

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For my January 2020 cruise I gave serious thought to driving to Fort Lauderdale from Dallas, Texas.

I ran the numbers and discovered that it was more expensive for me to drive than to fly.

 

Distance:  2580 miles round trip

Price for gas: $225

Hotel stays (Tallahassee, FL (going), Fort Lauderdale, FL (pre-cruise), Mobile, AL(returning home): $475

Car park in Fort Lauderdale during cruise: $80

 

Total cost to drive: $780

 

This doesn't count food in-transit, transfers from hotel to cruise terminal and from cruise terminal to where I've parked my car, nor does it take into consideration the extra time involved in making the trip, nor does it consider the wear on my vehicle and on me in driving across half the USA pre and post cruise.

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16 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

 We recommend  for people going to retire to florida to check out  the Villages for the many amenities & many various styled homes at all price levels . My wife's  cousin  has lived there for 15 years & she loves it there . We visit often & have seen many nice areas ,restaurants & club houses in the  Villages (Central Florida) . Yes Florida tax structure is very good for retirees  .Of course being able to access 4 ports for cruising is a huge bonus .We have 2 West coast ports we can drive to .

 

zero desire to live at the villages but i am sure they appreciate your plugging them on cruise critic....

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

What is Matrix ?  What is the web site that you can buy business class for  $1200 t0 $1300 ?

 

 Curious for our adult children's travels 

 

 TIA

Yes IATA Matrix.     One of the best one way values for Business is to fly your 1 way from  or to europe  using  Condor...  out of Portland, and Las Vegas or the reverse. to Frankfurt   then using cheap ff miles or train  you can zip to almost any port...     I was trying to get a FF flight LAX to Malta...   ZERO luck 

 But  getting a FF ticket to Frankfurt was easy because of the heavy traffic.  Then rent a car drive to Heidelberg and rest, then drive to Zurich.   Or train it from baggage claim.  Zurich to Malta... tons of open flights.        Think of off airports and combinations      I am retired...and time is not important.

 

By the way till Oct 19  you can get a Chase United business card and  spend $5000 in 90 days and  get 105,000 miles   

  Get 2 cards, one for each spouse, different cards# and spend 10K in 90 days... and earn 210,000 miles..... and thats for starters never expire miles   10K, hey charge all your home expenses, book a cruise or so.... and its not that hard.... Pay it off ant the end of the month and you have a 30-40 day interest free loan.      Playing the game is easy... you can build tens of thousands of miles just paying your normal bills.. Patient will produce a bonanza in a few years if you think foward.      Like fly  Sydney, Tokyo, Rome   Business for $5.60 + miles....    You only loose if you do not play.

 

 As for Asia.... forget it that is the airline cash cow because of all the heavy business travelers.  It now runs 200K miles  1 way to Australia or China....     

Edited by Hawaiidan

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I gave up flying international but still fly domestic to get to embarkation ports.  The idea is to take long cruises to make the flights worth it.  We did a cruise we called our European adventure by cruising over on the Prinsendam, doing some back to back cruise there as well as land and river cruises.  The trip home was on the Rotterdam.  It was fun planning and one of our best trips.  Otherwise its Grand cruises which is one step away from living on a ship.

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20 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Yes IATA Matrix.     One of the best one way values for Business is to fly your 1 way from  or to europe  using  Condor...  out of Portland, and Las Vegas or the reverse. to Frankfurt   then using cheap ff miles or train  you can zip to almost any port...     I was trying to get a FF flight LAX to Malta...   ZERO luck 

 But  getting a FF ticket to Frankfurt was easy because of the heavy traffic.  Then rent a car drive to Heidelberg and rest, then drive to Zurich.   Or train it from baggage claim.  Zurich to Malta... tons of open flights.        Think of off airports and combinations      I am retired...and time is not important.

 

By the way till Oct 19  you can get a Chase United business card and  spend $5000 in 90 days and  get 105,000 miles   

  Get 2 cards, one for each spouse, different cards# and spend 10K in 90 days... and earn 210,000 miles..... and thats for starters never expire miles   10K, hey charge all your home expenses, book a cruise or so.... and its not that hard.... Pay it off ant the end of the month and you have a 30-40 day interest free loan.      Playing the game is easy... you can build tens of thousands of miles just paying your normal bills.. Patient will produce a bonanza in a few years if you think foward.      Like fly  Sydney, Tokyo, Rome   Business for $5.60 + miles....    You only loose if you do not play.

 

 As for Asia.... forget it that is the airline cash cow because of all the heavy business travelers.  It now runs 200K miles  1 way to Australia or China....     

You have the right idea to gather miles .when a person is young ,say 65 to 73 travel via plane is not  terrible .However ,at my 80 + years it is far to much anxiety to fly . The stress of delayed ,canceled flights , & all the hassles with luggage in the departing & arriving airports is for the younger set .Enjoy all your international trips 

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On 8/11/2019 at 11:23 AM, DFD1 said:

Perfect place? 

 

Probably not one... but if you don't want to fly and love being on board a good ship, Central Florida may be nearly perfect. Reasonable housing and living costs, magnificent winter weather,  low taxes and within one to three hours by car of four cruise ports with a wide variety of cruise lines and itineraries.

 

Nearly perfect.

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, snakes  gators , crime ,horrible humidity..... are all free !

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21 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

You have the right idea to gather miles .when a person is young ,say 65 to 73 travel via plane is not  terrible .However ,at my 80 + years it is far to much anxiety to fly . The stress of delayed ,canceled flights , & all the hassles with luggage in the departing & arriving airports is for the younger set .Enjoy all your international trips 

You need to try Business  if you have not....international    Wonderful lounges,  no lines, special TSA, special boarding, fine wine, wonderful meals. comfy seats than make into beds with big pillows and comforters and mattress pads...   It is worth the $

DSC00369-1.jpg

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

You need to try Business  if you have not....international    Wonderful lounges,  no lines, special TSA, special boarding, fine wine, wonderful meals. comfy seats than make into beds with big pillows and comforters and mattress pads...   It is worth the $

DSC00369-1.jpg

 

Not all of us have the financial resources to fly business class.

 

Roz

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18 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

Not all of us have the financial resources to fly business class.

 

Roz

If you plan in advance... almost anyone can afford it.  if you can afford a cruise you can afford  business. if you make it a priority... There are many  many options from FF miles, consolidator,  80% of the people flying in Business are flying on some sort of special deal...    Many times Business is only $500- more than coach...   Remember  you can always get more money... you can not get more time.    So you take one less cruise a year or stay in a lesser cabin... but the travel to and from is a joy that only enhances your total experience your arrive fresh rested, non stressed instead of spending the first several days beat and haggard.       Thats all.    

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Surprisingly, people are intelligent enough to decide for themselves when and where to spend their vacation dollars.

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If we could afford to fly business class we would be doing it already.

 

Roz

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I always cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale.  The mileage from my home to Ft. Lauderdale is 975 miles.  I drive it because I do have the time and flying has just become too much of a hassle.  

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