Cabo San Lucas? Baja?

solstice98(9b/Orlando)March 10, 2007

The whole family is planning a vacation trip together this year and we are searching for a great place. Beach appears to be a necessity. I was looking at Belize (tropical rainforest and amazing birds!), but it looks like we have settled on the Baja on the other side of Mexico. Has anyone been to Cabo San Lucas or San Jose de Cabo? The beaches look like perfection and the villa rentals are about 1/2 the price of those in the Caribbean. This will be for 7 adults and 2 young kids.

I've checked out some spots but can't find gardens worth visiting; I guess it's a desert thing. I may go into withdrawal but enough magueritas around the pool and I should be OK.

If anyone has been there, I would love to hear about it.

Thanks,

Kate

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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Drastic change of plans! Now we are talking about an Alaskan cruise instead. Can you get much further from a house on the beach? I'm not crazy about cruising although I think it would be fun with a family group. And I've always wanted to visit Alaska. Maybe I'll see a moose...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:41PM
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msmarion(9aPort St Lucie)

Or some of those hunky men Alaska is so famous for!! LOL
Marion

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:09AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Woo hoo! I'll be watching for those too!

Is that a bear *** or a bare ***?!?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:20AM
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JoanM

I've been on too many cruises to count anymore but Alaska was my favorite. I can't wait to do it again but this time I will add a week before the cruise to see the interior.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:34AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Joan - tell me more! You sound like a cruise expert.

I've only been on two cruises; one was a nightmare of mediocre food, screaming children and overly loud family reunions (30+ people in each group!). The other was a glorious experience and every moment felt perfect!

Big boat or smaller one? Is there a cruise line you like better than others? Spend the week in Alaska before or after the cruise? I'm thinking either a round trip from Vancouver or take the trip up from Vancouver to Anchorage.
What time of year did you go? I wanted to shoot for September but it looks like August will work better for the family.

Thanks for any information you can share,
Kate

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:45AM
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JoanM

We went in May, I think it was memorial day week. We had freak weather. We expected to be chilly and have some spring rain everyday but the sun was shining all week. The Alaskan natives were actually laying on docks sunning themselves talking about how unusally nice it was.

We flew into Anchorage and cruised down to Vancouver. We spent the night before the trip at a hotel and that is where we met the folks that had spent the week prior doing one of the land excursions on the train into the exterior. The hotel had put all their cruise suitcases into storage for them. Wanting to see more of the state and hearing the stories from those folks made me want to go back and do a two week land/cruise trip. I would choose to do the land based trip first and then follow up with the cruise with formal nights and massages. Why go from being fed and pampered to hiking and roughing it?

I haven't tried all the cruise lines yet. I haven't tried Princess or Cunard, they are on my list. I favor Holland America and Royal Carribean. Last year I did my first 10 day cruise. Wow, that was great. Usually by the time you learn the whole ship it is time to get off. The 10 day allowed us to really unwind, we had two full weekends on the ship. They had floor mats with the day of the week on them in the elevator so you could keep track. The added benefit was not many kids at all. The longer cruises attract an older crowd from what I have been told. The short cheap ones are usually loaded with tons of kids these days. I have had some annoying moments with unruly kids. They tend to take over hot tubs even though there is a sign that says "No kids". One of the Royal Carribean ships was the first one I was on where there was a separate pool and lounge area for adults only. Sweet! You could actually read a book in peace.

As far as the size of the ship goes. I hate the mega ships. Long lines for everything, not enough beach chairs by the pool. On some of the first mega ship designs there wasn't enough seating in the lounge for the shows. I had to sit through bingo just so I would have a seat for the show. I try to pick ships with around 1500 passengers but that gets harder and harder as they build them bigger. Now my rule is less than 2000 and an adult only area. I also look at the age of the ship and count the bars and pools to get a feel for the size. 2 bars = a bad old ship.

The ships that do Alaska will probably not be the super mega ships because they have to get through the Panama Canal to get to their route.

I was on a brand new Holland America ship for my Alaska cruise and we splurged on first class. I found the art and the fresh flowers really appealing. Some of the Carnival ships make me twitch. Can you imagine designing a pool on a cruise ship and using black tile on the edges where you sit? Thats Carnival.

My musts for my next Alaska cruise would be a balcony. A newer ship with a glass retractable roof over the pool area. I also always choose my cabin to be midship close to an elevator, unless we are doing a last minute deal through Wills job. Then we get what we get.

Our Alaska stops were Sitka, my favorite. The ship anchored and you were shuttled to your activity. We did sea kayaking with bald eagles soaring overhead. We also saw a bear in the distance as we were being ferried back to the ship on the super fast rubber raft. Our group was the only group to see a bear. Wish I had a super zoom then! We also stopped at Ketichan, I probably mangled the spelling. We took a bus to a camp in the rain forest and paddled a huge indian war canoe to a little camp in the woods where we were served lunch. I saw the biggest trees and plants that I have ever seen in my life at that site. In Junaeu we took a helicopter tour with two landings. Making a snow angel on a glacier is a once in a life time thing. I wish those pictures were digital so I could share.

I think I wrote a book. LOL Can you tell I love cruises?

One other thing I just thought of. A coworker took a cruise to Alaska last year and it was one of the new "free style" cruises where you did not have an assigned dinner table or time and she hated that feature. I can't remember why. I will ask her tomorrow.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 8:58PM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Thanks! This is all very helpful!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 6:17AM
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JoanM

I just asked her what the problem was with freestyle. It was a NCL ship. I had done one NCL many many years ago and it was my worst cruise ever but I thought it was a fluke. She just said "never again on NCL".

The freestyle regards the dining experience. You are supposed to be able to go eat whenever you want but they accept reservations first. So either the phone was always busy when they tried to make reservations or the time they wanted was not available. If you just went to the dining room without reservations you had to get on a line that snaked around the cabins. She hated that and rarely ate in the dining room because of it. She said "Big No!" to freestyle.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 8:22AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

The family still hasn't decided for certain but now I'm campaigning for the Alaska cruise. It just seems like the perfect idea for the group.
I've even ordered the M&Ms (the ones you can have your own imprint on) and will be mailing those out to the family as an incentive. The M&Ms will each have one of these phrases:
"North to Alaska"
"Mush Mush"
"Meet me on deck"
"I see a moose!"

Kate (you can call me Yukon Kate)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 8:17AM
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wanna_run_faster

Maybe you can claim one of those free land parcels, too! You could put a cabin on it and it could be the location of your summer garden!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 3:47PM
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Lady

I'd vote for Belize! LOL I know you have decided against it but I love San Pedro. Wish we were going this year but we have family obligations and are redoing the pool, patio and kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 10:04AM
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solstice98(9b/Orlando)

Can't change it now - I've already got the M&Ms!

I was originally voting for Belize, then OK with the change to Cabo. Now I'm excited about Alaska - all those guys in tight jeans and flannel shirts - should be lovely scenery!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:39PM
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msmarion(9aPort St Lucie)

Kate you are a panic! I've wanted to have M&M's done with our company name on them, DH says I'm crazy! but he still loves me though! LOL I hope you enjoy your trip and take lots of pictures.
Marion

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 4:54PM
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