Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

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Ornery Old Guy
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Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Ornery Old Guy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:05 pm

Hi everyone.

My parents are turning 80 in a year (father first, mother to follow). They would like to arrange a fabulous 80th birthday trip with the whole family. They are not wealthy but would like this to be a special trip. My father is getting on in years and can get around but not extensively. As much as I would love really physically active trips, he will not be able to do too physically active activities.

The group will be:

Family 1: Parents: 80 M, 70s F - Michigan
Family 2: 51Y M, 17Y F, 15Y F - SoCal
Family 3: 42Y M - SoCal
Family 4: 51Y M, 48YF, 14Y M, 13Y M+F - Chicago

Traveling from place to place to place is probably not the best for my Dad. The family would probably be best served staying in one place, though we could schedule a home base and take day trips out from there. I was in China twice and much of the trip was traveling from city to city, probably at least as much time traveling as exploring. Israel was more manageable going from place to place as it is a small country. But for this we would not want to spend a lot of time on the road. Day trips from a central location might be OK. For our last big family vacation we went on an Alaska cruise that was very nice.

I was thinking a resort or cruise would be great for my parents. Something with options for exploration and adventure for the younger people for a day might be nice too. Probably more available for a resort than a cruise.

My thoughts were:
1) Resort (Club Med, Aulani) - are there other resorts people would recommend?
2) Dude Ranch
3) Cruise (Any particular line or destination?)
4) African safari (I'm thinking much of the tour could be from a car for my Dad)
5) Galapagos (too adventurous for Dad? I'm not sure it would be exciting enough for a week. I suspect it would be redundant)

Wondering everyone's thoughts. I don't really have a budget in mind, though I suspect that whatever option we find there will be options from luxury to spartan and we can find something to work.

Thank you!

psteinx
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by psteinx » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:34 pm

How long of a trip do you envision? 5 days is different from 8 and 12 and 15...

I'm a little skeptical about beach type resorts. I would lean towards an interesting city over a beach. Much to appeal (potentially) to a broad range of folks. But of course, you've likely got a better idea of the specific interests of this family than a bunch of internet strangers.

I'd think about London, Paris, Rome, NYC, Montreal, Washington D.C., and Boston, among others. Season matters, as does budget.

Tdubs
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Tdubs » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:41 pm

Given how you describe your father, a cruise. All the other options sound really risky and will force him to keep up even when he can't. If needed, he can lounge on the boat if he isn't up for that day's excursion.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm

Safari and Galapagos will both be too strenuous - Think Expedition rather than cruise activity levels.

River cruises are nice, but maybe too tame for the teens.

Alaska cruise is probably the best bet, many of the cruise lines have tie ins with Alaska RR so you can do some inland sight seeing and touring.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:16 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
Safari and Galapagos will both be too strenuous - Think Expedition rather than cruise activity levels.

River cruises are nice, but maybe too tame for the teens.

Alaska cruise is probably the best bet, many of the cruise lines have tie ins with Alaska RR so you can do some inland sight seeing and touring.
I was going to suggest a cruise (with second place going to a resort), and the idea of an Alaska cruise sounds perfect.
The reason is that much of the "fun" is the scenery while cruising, whereas with many cruises, it's mostly water or just "land over there" as one approaches a port.

IF you do a Alaska cruise, I'd strongly recommend a starboard (right) side if you are going south to north, and a port (left) side if the reverse.
Reason is that for the time right after (or before, if "reverse") Glacier Bay, there is spectacular scenery on one side (only) of the ship. We did this in late May/early June, at the start of the season, because we were hoping for "snow" on the mountains rather than more greenery (which is probably also beautiful).

So there is a lot more to enjoy without getting off the ship at all, compared with other cruises.
Glacier Bay does not involve leaving the ship, and Hubbard Glacier is the same.
We found Hubbard Glacier to be MUCH more spectacular than Glacier Bay. It's a much smaller area, but our ship got almost "up close and personal" to that glacier, and we could REALLY see and hear it calving. It was truly memorable. We stayed there quite a while, as the Captain slowly had the ship spin 360 degrees (more than one revolution) so everyone could get a view regardless of where they were.

This is an itinerary worth a balcony, especially if someone isn't mobile to race around different parts of the ship.
There is usually an observation deck/lounge, but it is likely to be crowded at peak times.
Also, if it is cold, you can go back into the room (or put on a bathrobe or even a blanket :happy, or get some hot chocolate/tea/etc. while you sit and enjoy the view.

The ships/cruise lines I'd recommend are not the best for children, although you don't have little ones who would need a "toy area" or such.
There are usually children/teen groups based upon age, unless your children don't like that type of thing, in which case the more "quiet" lines would also be good.
Others can speak up about the "activities".

If you've never been on a cruise, do some homework about the ambiance on board differently ships/lines so you get a reasonable match.
There are some ships that might have special family themed cruises when there are extra activities for the kids even if they aren't generally geared for children. You might get the best of both with something like that.
Prices can vary a LOT, and there are some fees that are not obvious when you are first looking at the costs.

Enjoy the family time together, no matter where you go!

Oh, we took a train from Seward to Anchorage, and got the "gold" level, with amazing views from the observation cars. I'm not sure if the cruise-line reserved trains have that. We arranged it on our own. There's no need to go through the cruise line for that unless you want everything transferred "for you", and that can easily be done with a very short taxi ride.
We had some of the very best/freshest seafood in Seward. Amazing! Fun!
There are longer excursions to Denali (big mountain), but that may be too active for everyone, and a week cruise plus a day or two before and after might be enough.

RM
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Ornery Old Guy
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Ornery Old Guy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:48 pm

psteinx wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:34 pm
How long of a trip do you envision? 5 days is different from 8 and 12 and 15...

I'm a little skeptical about beach type resorts. I would lean towards an interesting city over a beach. Much to appeal (potentially) to a broad range of folks. But of course, you've likely got a better idea of the specific interests of this family than a bunch of internet strangers.

I'd think about London, Paris, Rome, NYC, Montreal, Washington D.C., and Boston, among others. Season matters, as does budget.
Hi. The vacation probably will be one week.

Family would like interesting things to do. Could be sailing, surfing, parasailing for the more adventurous. Could be walking on the beach for the less adventurous. I would like a vacation that is 100% adventure but that would not be the best fit for the family (eg camping/hiking etc). I think it would be reasonable for the more adventurous to spend a little time doing crazy stuff as long as most of the time is with family. That is the reason I thought a resort might be nice.

Exploring an interesting city would be great too. But for a big celebration (80th birthday) probably something exotic or particularly memorable. I don't think anyone is eager to visit Europe for a variety of reasons. African safari or Galapagos sounds exotic and would offer walking around for people who want and being driven in a van or boat for those less adventurous.

For all of the above I bet we could do it more budget-friendly (not inexpensive for Africa or Galapagos) and could do it more luxuriously so I could fine tune the budget after we decide where. We could have a luxurious vacation in a less expensive city (eg Montreal in contrast to NYC) but I think everyone would like primarily a memorable vacation more than a luxurious vacation.

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Ornery Old Guy
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Ornery Old Guy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:49 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
Safari and Galapagos will both be too strenuous - Think Expedition rather than cruise activity levels.

River cruises are nice, but maybe too tame for the teens.

Alaska cruise is probably the best bet, many of the cruise lines have tie ins with Alaska RR so you can do some inland sight seeing and touring.
The last vacation my parents wanted for a big family vacation was an Alaskan cruise. It was definitely tame for the kids and grandkids but a great time. A cruise is an option and may be a good option but I'm thinking if we go on a cruise, wouldn't a resort provide the same benefits but with more adventure available for those who want?

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:54 pm

We just got back from Galapagos. It was actually pretty active, not relaxing at all. I've heard the same of safaris. Never been on a cruise or to a resort, but good luck with your plans.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by sailaway » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:26 pm

A cruise with plenty of amenities or excursions for the teens and you sounds best. Dad never has to leave the boat, if he isn't up to it.

You may want to look into do something reasonably local, as international travel can really wear on someone who has health or mobility issues. There are Great Lakes cruises, intercoastal waterway cruises, etc. They won't have the on board Zipline and such amenities, but you can get to know a new part of the US and/or Canada.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by J295 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:23 pm

Rent a large home. We do it annually for about 20 of us in Frisco, Colorado, in summer. Age range from two-year-olds up to 85-year-old.

Regardless of the location you decide, here’s something you might consider for the birthdays…

Have the family members each write down 5 or 10 special memories of grandpa and of grandma. Maybe a sentence or two for each memory. Then you gather them all before the trip and put 80 of them in a box for each of them. Then one evening they can each open their box and read the notes – – lots of laughs and lots of tears…

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Ornery Old Guy
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Ornery Old Guy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:42 pm

Amazing idea on the box.

Just to say ... he's not crippled (G-d forbid). We went to Israel and he had a great time which involved a lot of walking. But it wasn't extensive walking for long distances and long periods of time. He's slow and walking long distances is not something he would enjoy so much but for something fun he'd do it.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:45 pm

Hawai'i?

wcinnn
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by wcinnn » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:54 pm

How about a train ride across Canada? Could stop for a couple of days at Lake Louise. Haven't thoroughly researched it but have this in mind for a family trip for our 50th anniversary in a couple of years.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by corn18 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:57 pm

What time of year? I ask because West Michigan is one of the most fantastic places we have ever vacationed (in the summer). No kidding. I am a Buckeye, born and raised, and as such, I hate MI. But I got a job in Ann Arbor and my wife and I explored the state. The north west coast of the LP is like beaver cleaver land. Rent a house on the lake big enough for everyone. You can sail, parasail. paddle board, jet ski, hike in the parks and hang out in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Maybe do an excursion to the UP. And got to do a day cruise to see the painted rocks. I still hate MI, but I love West MI.

The African safari itself is not strenuous if you spend enough money. The trip over and back is brutal, though.
Last edited by corn18 on Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by sailaway » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:02 pm

If you choose a house, be sure the division of labor is set ahead. Who is preparing food and who is cleaning up?

We didn't do this the first time, so I thought I would share the lesson.

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corn18
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by corn18 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:17 pm

sailaway wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:02 pm
If you choose a house, be sure the division of labor is set ahead. Who is preparing food and who is cleaning up?

We didn't do this the first time, so I thought I would share the lesson.
I would hire someone to cook and clean and stock the house. Unless you enjoy doing those things as a family (which some do).
Don't do something, just stand there!

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by CFOKevin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:18 pm

We've done a lot of family trips and my vote would be for Costa Rica. Time zone is great and you'd have your choice of large resort, shared home or smaller resort. The biodiversity there is amazing and there is everything from beaches to jungles, surfing to ziplining, etc. to explore. Easy to rent vehicles and drive yourself and easy to get around with only English and US dollars.

The smaller, newer airport in Liberia makes for simple travel in and out. A week is a perfect trip length to get a chance to do everything on your list.

Galapagos is a bucket list type trip and your group might be interested in checking out the small cruise ships (ave. 200-300 passengers, I think) that are now offered. However, maximizing time on the islands usually requires sailing on smaller ships with only 10-20 passengers.

Have a great trip,

Kevin
Last edited by CFOKevin on Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sailaway
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by sailaway » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:23 pm

corn18 wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:17 pm
sailaway wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:02 pm
If you choose a house, be sure the division of labor is set ahead. Who is preparing food and who is cleaning up?

We didn't do this the first time, so I thought I would share the lesson.
I would hire someone to cook and clean and stock the house. Unless you enjoy doing those things as a family (which some do).
I can't see my family going for that, but we did have one big meal catered when we rented a house for their 50th.

No plans for that this year, but then we are staying at side by side cabins and one branch isn't coming.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by CZjc1330 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:01 am

A great trip is a cruise down to Panama, transit the canal and wind up on the other coast. Since a number of potential participants live in California you could start on the West Coast and end up in NYC. Then a week there -- Broadway, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center plus museums for every taste. Fifth Avenue is a pleasant window-shopping excursion.
Good luck.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:21 am

OP is thinking adventure. What is dad and mom thinking? Adventure seems to be geared to the others who are going. The younger ones.
I second the Alaska cruise. It fulfills all requirements. Adventure options at the town stops for the active family members, while parents can opt in or out. A fixed room for comfort and not moving around different hotels.
I would ask the parents and be honest about it all.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:00 pm

sailaway wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:26 pm
A cruise with plenty of amenities or excursions for the teens and you sounds best. Dad never has to leave the boat, if he isn't up to it.

You may want to look into do something reasonably local, as international travel can really wear on someone who has health or mobility issues. There are Great Lakes cruises, intercoastal waterway cruises, etc. They won't have the on board Zipline and such amenities, but you can get to know a new part of the US and/or Canada.
I think this sounds great.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by PoppyA » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:25 pm

We did an all family Alaskan cruise. It was fun, but hard to visit with each other. the dinning rooms are loud. The cabins are small so hard to get everyone together.

I like the big house in western Michigan idea.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by ZMonet » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:41 pm

CFOKevin wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:18 pm
We've done a lot of family trips and my vote would be for Costa Rica. Time zone is great and you'd have your choice of large resort, shared home or smaller resort. The biodiversity there is amazing and there is everything from beaches to jungles, surfing to ziplining, etc. to explore. Easy to rent vehicles and drive yourself and easy to get around with only English and US dollars.
Seconding Costa Rica...It would seem to be exactly what you want -- adventurous for those that want that and less activity (walks on the beach, take in monkeys/waterfall, etc.) for others...Moving that many people around might be a hassle so you might consider staying at a beach resort and taking tour day trips to the various sites. Check out Costco for some great vacation packages (well worth joining for the savings): https://www.costcotravel.com/Vacation-P ... Costa-Rica

We've been twice and I see why people consider retiring there.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:20 pm

I usually go to Scotland every year or two; last year I went more than once, using some of my profits; the clan gatherings / highland games in the summer are fun and of course, its easy to speak the language. Lots more to do in Scotland also from cities to road trips to trains to ferry service to the Hebrides. If considering a clan gathering, consider the Braemar Gathering. Queen Elizabeth is the patron and always appears with the Duke of Rothesay (as the Prince of Wales in known in Scotland). I went to two games last summer and the Braemar was the most fun. Harry Potter lovers will enjoy the Jacobite Stream Train which goes over a bridge made famous in the movies:

https://westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobit ... train-trip

https://www.braemargathering.org

But I have also been researching a cargo / container ship voyage. Not that I would recommend it for a family trip but one that caught my eye was unusual: an Arctic cruise on the brand new ship the MS Amundsen. Only a few ships can make the voyage:

https://www.hurtigruten.com/our-ships/g ... /starboard
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:31 pm

Mr. Rumples wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:20 pm
I usually go to Scotland every year or two; last year I went more than once, using some of my profits; the clan gatherings / highland games in the summer are fun and of course, its easy to speak the language. Lots more to do in Scotland also. If considering a clan gathering, consider the Braemar Gathering. Her Majesty is the patron and always appears with the Duke of Rotesay (as the Prince of Wales in known in Scotland). I went to two games last summer and the Braemar was the most fun.

https://www.braemargathering.org

But I have also been researching a cargo / container ship voyage. Not that I would recommend it for a family trip but one that caught my eye was unusual: an Arctic cruise on the brand new ship the MS Amundsen. Only a few ships can make the voyage:

https://www.hurtigruten.com/our-ships/g ... /starboard
While some of the older Hurtigruten ships are "ferries" as well as having cabins and suites, their newest ships are not cargo/container ships, and also are not even ferries (the ferries have the lowest level with only cars and some cargo for local residents).

The ships have gotten quite upscale from their early days/earliest ships.
I think they are retiring the oldest, which was very different from the rest... no stabilizers, possibly no elevator... quite spartan, but many Hurtigruten fans love/loved it.

There is a Hurtigruten sub-forum at www.CruiseCritic.com, where there will be lots of discussion of this, plus other topics.

Also, did you mean "Antarctic cruise"? That's what the newest are actually built for, the new requirements starting in 2021 (I think) for any cruising to Antarctica.
It looks like it would be amazing on any of their ships, but especially the newest two. (Only a few of their current fleet are suitable for Antarctica.)

RM
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:35 pm

The MS Amundsem will take the northwest passage from Nome Alaska to Halifax NS. (By marriage, I have family in Bogota and Buenos Aries...any trip to Antartica would entail a long visit with family or hurt feelings...the Arctic is safer.)
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by fru-gal » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:54 pm

What about a trip to whatever country the family is from ethnically? Maybe even to the town.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:34 pm

I would do a cruise. You can make the ports as interesting/active/slow paced as you want based on the itinerary. There is a wide range of age ranges and I imagine interests. There is also a degree of independence if you want there to be. You don't have to be with each other 24/7. Renting a house is also a nice idea depending on what activities you'd be doing from that location. With a house everyone tends to be on top of each other if that could be a problem with your family.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by sawhorse » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:31 am

Based on your original post, definitely a cruise. In terms of destination, have your parents expressed particular geographical or activity interests?

A great place to get information is the discussion boards section of www.cruisecritic.com.

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by msk » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:17 am

Frankly most tourist areas around the world would do quite well. We have done such family trips with and without elderly couples. Our recipe is to book a house/apartment or rooms in a 4 star hotel/resort plus a vehicle that can accommodate the full tribe. Depending on the country we either book a driver with the vehicle/minibus or self drive. Museums, scenery, quaint towns and villages quickly bore children. On one trip to Italy even the elderlies refused to visit any museum or church in Florence! Been there, done that sort of thing. Beaches seem to keep everyone content. Just go to different beaches rather than stick to one. Suitable locations are available all over the world, e.g. Koh Samui or Phuket, Thailand to Barbados, Surfers Paradise, Australia to Costa del Sol, Spain. The only essentials are the rental vehicle and a location that can keep the younger kids happy (beach or pool).

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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by Stinky » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:16 pm
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
Safari and Galapagos will both be too strenuous - Think Expedition rather than cruise activity levels.

River cruises are nice, but maybe too tame for the teens.

Alaska cruise is probably the best bet, many of the cruise lines have tie ins with Alaska RR so you can do some inland sight seeing and touring.
I was going to suggest a cruise (with second place going to a resort), and the idea of an Alaska cruise sounds perfect.
The reason is that much of the "fun" is the scenery while cruising, whereas with many cruises, it's mostly water or just "land over there" as one approaches a port.

IF you do a Alaska cruise, I'd strongly recommend a starboard (right) side if you are going south to north, and a port (left) side if the reverse.
Reason is that for the time right after (or before, if "reverse") Glacier Bay, there is spectacular scenery on one side (only) of the ship. We did this in late May/early June, at the start of the season, because we were hoping for "snow" on the mountains rather than more greenery (which is probably also beautiful).

So there is a lot more to enjoy without getting off the ship at all, compared with other cruises.
Glacier Bay does not involve leaving the ship, and Hubbard Glacier is the same.
We found Hubbard Glacier to be MUCH more spectacular than Glacier Bay. It's a much smaller area, but our ship got almost "up close and personal" to that glacier, and we could REALLY see and hear it calving. It was truly memorable. We stayed there quite a while, as the Captain slowly had the ship spin 360 degrees (more than one revolution) so everyone could get a view regardless of where they were.

This is an itinerary worth a balcony, especially if someone isn't mobile to race around different parts of the ship.
There is usually an observation deck/lounge, but it is likely to be crowded at peak times.
Also, if it is cold, you can go back into the room (or put on a bathrobe or even a blanket :happy, or get some hot chocolate/tea/etc. while you sit and enjoy the view.

The ships/cruise lines I'd recommend are not the best for children, although you don't have little ones who would need a "toy area" or such.
There are usually children/teen groups based upon age, unless your children don't like that type of thing, in which case the more "quiet" lines would also be good.
Others can speak up about the "activities".

If you've never been on a cruise, do some homework about the ambiance on board differently ships/lines so you get a reasonable match.
There are some ships that might have special family themed cruises when there are extra activities for the kids even if they aren't generally geared for children. You might get the best of both with something like that.
Prices can vary a LOT, and there are some fees that are not obvious when you are first looking at the costs.

Enjoy the family time together, no matter where you go!

Oh, we took a train from Seward to Anchorage, and got the "gold" level, with amazing views from the observation cars. I'm not sure if the cruise-line reserved trains have that. We arranged it on our own. There's no need to go through the cruise line for that unless you want everything transferred "for you", and that can easily be done with a very short taxi ride.
We had some of the very best/freshest seafood in Seward. Amazing! Fun!
There are longer excursions to Denali (big mountain), but that may be too active for everyone, and a week cruise plus a day or two before and after might be enough.

RM
An Alaska cruise is definitely the right answer. We’ve done it, and enjoyed it a lot.

When we’ve taken family cruise trips, we’ve often planned for separate activities during the daytime (excursions, etc), and then getting together as a big family for the evening meal. Talk to the cruise line about getting a set dinner time and table(s) for the whole crowd.

Agreed on getting balcony rooms to the extent affordable. If possible, get one or more rooms facing backwards on the ship, rather than port or starboard. That’s the best view for cruising Alaska.
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Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by cableguy » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:54 am

We did this when my dad turned 80. We did a Mediterranean cruise. Barcelona, Gibraltar, Marseille, Cinque Terra (in Italy not spelled right), and then Rome. We had 23 people. It was great. Just great. I highly recommend it. I’ve never been on a cruise but this trip was great. Daily excursions on shore, so much to do on the ship for all ages, etc. We hired a photographer and got great family photos. It was a trip of a lifetime. Do it!

jw424
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:31 pm

Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by jw424 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:43 pm

We spent four days, with our extended family, at https://rockwelllakelodge.hillsdale.edu/photos/lodge. It was our 50th anniversary. Low keyed but great time was had by all. Most time was spent with family activates in the gathering area or at the lake. Boats, firewood, etc was included.

Grand kids keep asking when we are going back. It was a great,low keyed family time.

prairieman
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Parents' would like fabulous 80th birthday family trip

Post by prairieman » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:29 pm

When my dad turned 80, they just rented a VRBO that could accommodate everyone who showed up in an area they really loved. They could just stay around the place while everyone else could find their own things to do. All they really wanted was to spend quality, face-to-face time with their scattered, busy families. I thought they totally succeeded and so still have very fond memories from then.

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