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Old 11-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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Slight off-topic: Your best non-cruise family vactions

One thing the majority of us have in common is we love the family cruise vacation! So what were some of you best non-cruise family vacations? I'm really just fishing for ideas. We love cruising but also love exploring new places.

I'm worried that after sailing all over the world we will go to the grand canyon and be like the Griswalds.....yup, Grand Canyon....yup.

So aside from WDW/Sea World/Universal/Bush Gardens....what were some of your best family vacations?
WDW 4/98, Yellowstone 6/99, 4-day Bahamas DCL 6/00, Washington DC 6/01, WDW 1/02, Scotland 6/02, Alaska 6/03, 7-day Caribbean DCL 6/04, 4-day Bahamas DCL 1/05, WDW 1/05, Universal 3/05, Norway 6/05, NYC Waldorf-Astoria 10/05, Snowshoe, WV 12/05, China Adventure 3/06, WDW 6/06, Copper Mountain, CO 12/06, 11-day DCL Med Cruise 5/07, 4-day Bahamas DCL 10/07, 7 Day NCL cruise - Hawaii 7/08, Door County, WI 7/09, Snowshoe WV, 12/09, 12-day DCL Baltic cruise 6/10, 7-day Caribbean HAL 12/10, WDW 6/11, 5-day Dream NYE 12/11, 7-day Canadian HAL 6/12, 3-day Dream Jan 2013, 4-day Dream Feb 2013, 5-day CCL NOLA, 7 days hiking in the Himilayans, Katmandu, Nepal 5/14 7-day RCCL 7/14

Last edited by Rogillio; 11-13-2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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We went to California two summers ago ... it was THE best family vacation we've ever taken. We are Disney fans and did have to stop and see DLR, but our trip was so much more than that. Never underestimate the power nature has over kids. My kids (who have had multiple Disney trips, 3 Disney cruises and trips to Universal and Sea World) absolutely loved seeing the giant trees of Sequoia National Park and digging for sand crabs on the San Diego beaches. Watching seals in the wild in La Jolla definately trumped throwing $5 dead fish at Sea World seals. It wasn't a "relaxing" vacation like a Disney cruise, but it really opened our eyes up and made us realize how may great places there are in the US that we want to experience.

I'd love a trip to the Southwest to see the Grand Canyon ... or a trip to out West to see Yellowstone, Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore ...
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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W e have been to the 48 contiguous States and have found that anything can be an adventure! Anywhere can be amazing! Get out a map and say "where to"! Then find out places to go...the cheesier the better!
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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But, technically we also did a cruise once we got there. Haha. It was NCL, no sea days, we treated it as hotel and nightly transport with extra benefit of cruise stuff.

Other fun trips we have done are
Las Vegas, lots of shows that are family friendly, Hoover Dam (educational), good food, etc.
Mountain trips in the summer...warm, yet cool. Find a nice vacation rental or borrow from someone you know.
Southern California, lots to do there. I grew up there, but we are taking our first family vacation with DD there at Christmas. Hard to pick what to do/skip.

Places I want to do when DD is old enough:
Washington DC
Northern California
Kristina - CM Summer of '01 - Main Street, MK || Marc || Sofie (1.5)

Past Sailings/Recent Trips
CCL Triumph - 7N E. Caribbean - 12/2006
NCL POA - 7N Hawaii - 3/2010
CBR - 4 Parks 4 Days - 5/2010
Disney Magic - 4N Bahamas - 5/2012 - Trip Report
Disney Wonder - 5N W. Caribbean - 1/28/2013 - CC Review - Trip Report
CCL Dream - 7N W. Caribbean - 6/22/13 - Port Reviews
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Two votes from our house!
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An all inclusive is a wonderful carefree vacation for a family. There are so many available in many different areas, but similar to a cruise you can go and relax and enjoy and not have to worry about every little detail. Everything is paid for and there is so many options for things to do. My daughter was married at an all-inclusive and there were 35 of us staying there. We had an absolute blast!
05/12/14 35th Anniversary trip12/2/13 Christmas fun5/18/13 Fantasy Cruise w/whole family! 5/1/12 Our WDW trip with Abby & Cameron & DREAM cruise w/entire family!05/07/11 Grosdidier WDW & Dream 01/06/10 Marathon trip w C&C 09/12/09 01/28/09 DL 1st trip 09/20/08 01/11/08 08/26/07 12/11/06 09/25/06 01/11/06 02/2005 09/2004 12/2002 05/2002 01/2001 03/1999 01/1997 03/17/1995 - FT Wilderness, The trip that began it all! Each time I arrive at WDW I know that I am HOME! A vacation is one of the best investments in your family!
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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Besides Cruising I would say Hawaii is the best beach vacation we have had. 5 days on the Big Island and 5 days in Oahu. Its a very nice place and cruising to it doesn't do it justice in my opinion. To many sea days.

Backpacking through Europe is fun but lately flights have been a killer. Spending 2 weeks in Germany and focusing on it was great as well.

I think there are so many vacations to be had and unfortunately you can't cruise to landlocked countries

We enjoy cruising for the all inclusive nature and the relaxing time it has, but mountain, beach, and historical vacations are always very nice and sometimes more memorable than just hanging around on a ship.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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I have cruised with my husband and each of my 3 kids, but we have never taken a "family cruise vacation!"

Our best family vacation was the 3 weeks we spent in Europe in October/November 2000. We flew to London for a week, flew to Hamburg (Germany), then drove through Germany for 10 days before dropping off the rental car in Paris - where we spent 4 nights. Other favorite family trips include northern CA (Santa Cruz, Yosemite, and San Francisco), southern CA (San Diego, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Anaheim), Pacific NW (Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria), and Washington D.C. and Williamsburg. We visited the Grand Canyon and Sedona, AZ on the same trip that we revisited San Francisco (thanks to the free stopover using FF miles).
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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We love going anywhere where we can stay in apartment or an all suites hotel. I love having all the comforts and space of home and although I love cruising, the lack of space is probably the biggest downside. We recently spent a week in San Diego and loved it. We stayed at Homewood suites and they provide hot breakfasts and supper most nights plus we cooking facilities in the suite. For us it was a great blend of space and service. And we loved the city.

We love cruising too, but the space issue is what keeps us from booking anything over a week. But I could never choose just one type of family holiday. There's too much out there to see!
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #10
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Treasure Island, FL
Some of the widest beaches on the Gulf Coast of FL.
Do whatever makes you and your family happy (From the Haunted Mansion DVD)
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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Some of our best vacations have been our long weekends. We love to go to Washington DC over Veterans Day (very moving with all of the ceremonies going on, especially Arlington) or Thanksgiving (yes, most museums are open). It is nice and comfortable in November, we stay out in Dunn Loring and take the train everywhere. We have taken the kids all over the city and see something new each time we go.

Another favorite place is Savannah, lots of things to do, the spring is the best before it gets too hot. We recently rediscovered Wilmington, NC, took the kids to the Battleship NC and the beach.

And of course, our cruises. We have been on the Repo cruise that took us up the California coast to Vancouver, that was amazing and we hope to go out west again.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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This is really off topic so I am moving it to the Community Board. It has nothing to do with DCL.

31 DCL Cruises and Counting!
Disney Magic - 19 times - Official Maiden Voyage July 30, 1998, Re-imagined Magic October 27, 2013
Disney Wonder - 5 times
Disney Dream - 5 times - Official Maiden Voyage January 26, 2011
Disney Fantasy - 2 times

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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Best vacations when my kids were young were our two-week camping trips. I couldn't afford much more, and we had a great time.

Our once-in-a-lifetime cruise was epic, and a positive life changer for our family - we became closer.

Other than that, now that my kids are unattached young adults, our number one vacation destination is Spain - not for the vacation in another country aspect, but because we spend time with cousins there and have such a wonderful time with them in the village they live in.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
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Western US road trip! Since we're in NorCal, we drove to the Utah Nat'l parks (Zion & ?). We saw Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon. We then ended up in Las Vegas with a 2 room suite and had a relaxing few days before coming home. I think our kids were maybe 10 & 12.

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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2 favorites are Beaches Turks and Caicos and The Landings in St Lucia.
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