Travel Information, Dining Recs, Tips, & Tricks Mega Thread

Kingstonian

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There's a lot of places to get lost in the Caribbean. By and large the main places suck, but if you like package stuff then I guess it's OK. I just don't see how the destination matters if you do packages or cruises because they are all the same.
In Cuba there isn't the level of violence of much of the Caribbean, for a start. Plus it's a big island with a lot of history. It's not targeted solely at big spenders either.
 

doghouse

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In Cuba there isn't the level of violence of much of the Caribbean, for a start. Plus it's a big island with a lot of history. It's not targeted solely at big spenders either.
Except by the government you mean, which regularly carries out extra judicial killings.

And I'm not against Cuba, my FIL is Cuban, and it's quite a nice place. The rest of the Caribbean outside of Jamaica is not violent though, not sure where you got that idea.

None of this is part of my point though, which is if you are going for a package vacation or cruises the destination is irrelevant because it's all the same. It's homogenized prepackaged crap where they let you out for a couple hours a day then the rest of the time you are doing the same thing whether you are in Guadalupe or Alaska.

I understand the convenience and wanting just to mindlessly relax and have nothing against it, but when people argue over the best prepackaged destination it's like arguing over the best fast food restaurant. The shit is all the same.
 

Monkeyface

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Except by the government you mean, which regularly carries out extra judicial killings.

And I'm not against Cuba, my FIL is Cuban, and it's quite a nice place. The rest of the Caribbean outside of Jamaica is not violent though, not sure where you got that idea.

None of this is part of my point though, which is if you are going for a package vacation or cruises the destination is irrelevant because it's all the same. It's homogenized prepackaged crap where they let you out for a couple hours a day then the rest of the time you are doing the same thing whether you are in Guadalupe or Alaska.

I understand the convenience and wanting just to mindlessly relax and have nothing against it, but when people argue over the best prepackaged destination it's like arguing over the best fast food restaurant. The shit is all the same.
That's my point, it's not the same. Cuba is a poor communist country that up until very recently didn't have much access to the outside world. Hotels are shit, service isn't great, the food isn't the best, border control can take forever if the officer decides to take a nap, and there's lots of other little inconveniences. That's all fine and dandy if you enjoy exploring a communist island, but if you're just going to sit on the beach any other island would be better and more convenient. It's also a waste of an opportunity. The island is changing rapidly, so why not go out and take a look before it'll be the same as all the others?
 

Lord Buckley

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You haven't sold Cuba to me. I think I'll wait until capitalism takes full effect. I'm not really into paying good money to see how poor people live.

The all-inclusive resort hotel experience becomes a rite of passage when you have kids. You really can't get out of it and it ends up two weeks of full-on canteen eating, kids discos, archery, banana boat riding and then the dreaded evening show which varies from the barely bareable to the local expat nonce doing his DJ'ing or Bee Gees tribute act.

The quality tends to be pretty good these days, but nothing can compete to going to the local fish restuarant and spending the evening languidly over a long meal whilst the owner gets out his guitar and plays Concierto de Aranjuez. Meanwhile, back at the resort hotel you've finished eating between 20-40 minutes max and then you're hanging around waiting for the show to begin.

I've got my double dose of this coming early this year.
 

Kingstonian

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None of this is part of my point though, which is if you are going for a package vacation or cruises the destination is irrelevant because it's all the same. It's homogenized prepackaged crap where they let you out for a couple hours a day then the rest of the time you are doing the same thing whether you are in Guadalupe or Alaska.
I think you are missing the point and fixating on all inclusive packages. I did not go on an all inclusive package. I tagged a week of it on to the end of some travelling. It worked well for me at that point in the trip. Big hotels in Havana have a faded grandeur, but decades of neglect are still apparent. If you stay with locals you are not in the lap of luxury either. If you think certain types of holiday are infra dig that's your choice. It does not bother me. That said, I would never go to The Gambia, for example, because I have no interest whatsoever in the place.
 

doghouse

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I think you are missing the point and fixating on all inclusive packages. I did not go on an all inclusive package. I tagged a week of it on to the end of some travelling. It worked well for me at that point in the trip. Big hotels in Havana have a faded grandeur, but decades of neglect are still apparent. If you stay with locals you are not in the lap of luxury either. If you think certain types of holiday are infra dig that's your choice. It does not bother me. That said, I would never go to The Gambia, for example, because I have no interest whatsoever in the place.
Who said I was talking about you?
 

doghouse

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You haven't sold Cuba to me. I think I'll wait until capitalism takes full effect. I'm not really into paying good money to see how poor people live.

The all-inclusive resort hotel experience becomes a rite of passage when you have kids. You really can't get out of it and it ends up two weeks of full-on canteen eating, kids discos, archery, banana boat riding and then the dreaded evening show which varies from the barely bareable to the local expat nonce doing his DJ'ing or Bee Gees tribute act.

The quality tends to be pretty good these days, but nothing can compete to going to the local fish restuarant and spending the evening languidly over a long meal whilst the owner gets out his guitar and plays Concierto de Aranjuez. Meanwhile, back at the resort hotel you've finished eating between 20-40 minutes max and then you're hanging around waiting for the show to begin.

I've got my double dose of this coming early this year.
I didn't have to sit through that tripe as a kid, and I'm damn sure not taking my kid to it.
 

Thruth

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You can avoid the all-inclusives and stay in hotels. You can even rent a car, although that can be an adventure on its own.

Alternately hiring cabs to take you everywhere and wait is cheap.

Outside of Havana, Santiago de Cuba is a neat city and you have access to the coast.
 

doghouse

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Shit just keeps getting better. Apparently the dude was a doctor on the way to see his patients, and they actually put hin back on the plane two hours later and took off!

:jchan:
 

Monkeyface

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Anyone on here been to Japan? Thinking about going for a month. Start in Tokyo and make my way south. Might fly to Okinawa as well and stop by in Hong Kong on the way back.
 
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Rambo

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Anyone on here been to Japan? Thinking about going for a month. Start in Tokyo and make my way south. Might fly to Okinawa as well and stop by in Hong Kong on the way back.
monkey what do you want to do in specific while you're there? people want to know how to tailor the advice.
 

Monkeyface

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monkey what do you want to do in specific while you're there? people want to know how to tailor the advice.
Check out the cities of course, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka come to mind, but I don't want to spend all of my time in urban environments. Cities tend to be much more fun when you're traveling solo, but I need some nature too. Places where you can do a day hike and such, as I don't wanna do any overnight camping. I'd say 60/40 between city/country.

I heard the Okinawa islands are a little more peaceful, so maybe I'll spend a week or two there after having spent some time in the hectic cities. I heard naoshima has nice nature too. Would be cool to stay in one of those old ryokans as well.
 
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Rambo

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Check out the cities of course, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka come to mind, but I don't want to spend all of my time in urban environments. Cities tend to be much more fun when you're traveling solo, but I need some nature too. Places where you can do a day hike and such, as I don't wanna do any overnight camping. I'd say 60/40 between city/country.

I heard the Okinawa islands are a little more peaceful, so maybe I'll spend a week or two there after having spent some time in the hectic cities. I heard naoshima has nice nature too. Would be cool to stay in one of those old ryokans as well.
do a few quick searches and see about some nature type landmarks that you'd like to hit. there's so much shit to do there that i've gotten answers that are all over the map.
 

Thruth

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Can't eat fish there anymore so makes going there pointless.
Yes, exactly, because the only reason to go to Japan is to eat fish.

Similar reason I stopped going to Mexico, can't drink the water and that was the only reason for going.
 

Journeyman

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Anyone on here been to Japan? Thinking about going for a month. Start in Tokyo and make my way south. Might fly to Okinawa as well and stop by in Hong Kong on the way back.
When are you thinking of going, as that will potentially affect the suggestions?

Summer is at its height during mid-July to mid-August, so temps will be as high as 40 degrees Celsius with very high humidity, particularly around Tokyo.
 

Monkeyface

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When are you thinking of going, as that will potentially affect the suggestions?

Summer is at its height during mid-July to mid-August, so temps will be as high as 40 degrees Celsius with very high humidity, particularly around Tokyo.
In about a month.
 

LelandJ

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Yes, exactly, because the only reason to go to Japan is to eat fish.

Similar reason I stopped going to Mexico, can't drink the water and that was the only reason for going.
Can buy imported water in Mexico, only domestic fish in Japon!

I'm sure some TEPCO execs and gov import Atlantic fish at a premium.
 
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