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Our 60th Birthdays Are Coming Up...Where Should I Go?

Discussion in 'International Timesharing' started by AbelowDS, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    Hi everyone. My wife and I will be hitting a milestone next year and we want to do something special. We're willing to travel anywhere. Any suggestions for two weeks back to back? Something along the lines of 1 week in London, a 2nd week in Thailand?

    Our only requirements...

    - 5 Star Timeshare available through II
    - Can serve as a base of operation for exploring the area
    - Someplace we haven't been to before

    Thank you in advance for your help and guidance.

    David
     
  2. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    If it HAS to be somewhere you "haven't been before", to be fair, why not list where you've been? :)
     
  3. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    London isn't going to happen through II. Thailand is a real possibility. You could do a week in Bangkok and a week in Phuket.
     
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  4. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    :) I thought of that as I was writing my post and I totally forgot!! I hope I don't sound spoiled below... We feel very fortunate that we've traveled so much.

    Here ya go:

    Have been to
    • Most US states
    • All resort areas in Mexico
    • All Hawaiian Islands
    • Most of southern and central Europe
    • Ireland
    • Iceland
    • Many Caribbean Islands
    • Bermuda (Technically not Caribbean :))
    • French Polynesia
    • Middle East (Specifically Morocco, Egypt & Israel)
    Have not been to
    • Any parts of Asia
    • Australia/New Zealand/Fiji
    • Baltic Region
    • Scandinavia
    • South America
    • Africa
    Thank you for your help
     
  5. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    Is Scotland a possibility through II?
     
  6. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    A very important question that you did not include. What time of year are you looking to travel?

    May I suggest a two weeks cruises to New Zealand and Australia or a two weeks cruise to the Baltic and Russia.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  7. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    We will go whenever is the best time for the region/area. We're very flexible as we own our own business.

    We DO love cruising and have done 20+. But I'd like to use timeshares for this one...That said, if cruising ends up to be the best option, that's exactly what we'll do.

    Thank you
     
  8. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I know the feeling about being well traveled. We, too feel fortunate. I can't help you with the II angle, but I see a glaring exception to your travels. One that we found fascinating, and do-able. China and Japan. China has a wealth of 5 star accommodations (orchids on the bathroom vanity and all that), and OMG, you've never LIVED until you experience a Japanese toilet seat! Seriously, though, some of our most memorable trips have been Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, a month touring China, and a week in Japan, followed by a cruise back via Kamchatka Russia and a transit of the Bering Sea and inside passage to Vancouver BC.

    Have fun with the planning. That's sometimes the best part of travel.

    Jim
     
  9. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We are well cruised too, and my favorite has been a Panama Canal transit that began in Ft Lauderdale, and then went down the West coast of South America. Several co-cruisers continued on around to Rio de Janiero on the East coast. Tempting, but we were ready to come home after exploring the wine district around Santiago Chile. Celebrity cruises this route annually.
     
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  10. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    Do you think it's do-able to do Japan and China in two weeks with only timeshares? I think China would be great for a week in Beijing. Could you occupy a whole week in Tokyo? This is a downside of timeshares... Since they're a week long, you need to use them as a "base of operations" or primarily as a resort vacation.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  11. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Therein lies the rub. Timeshares outside N. America/Caribbean/Mexico are hit and miss. They just don't have the market and infrastructure elsewhere. And the 'requirement' that one stay a week only adds to the lack of utility. Also, elsewhere in the world, people LIVE in the cities, and want to 'vacation' at the beach or out in the countryside, while traveling Americans want to experience the famous cities. It might be that you've used up the 'best' of your timeshare resorts. Terrible, isn't it to be so jaded that you've run out of the 'good' places to go?

    Oh, and to answer your question, Yes, I think you could spend a week in Tokyo as a base with bullet train trips to Mt Fuji and probably at least one (or 2) overnights in Kyoto.

    Jim
     
  12. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    Thank you, Jim, for your thoughtful comments!!

    Based on everything, it looks like the best I can come up with using timeshares is Thailand. One week in Bangkok, one week in Phuket. Both Marriott timeshares, and they seem to be readily available in II.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  13. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    I would recommend Fiji and Tasmania. Or Fiji and Sydney Australia. You can fly Fiji Air out of Los Angeles. Sign up for emails from FIJI Air. They have frequent sales. When you Book the flight you pay for LA to Sydney but arrange for a week layover in Fiji on the way down or on the way back. Either way you will need to Book as extra day in Fiji that you do not use fully. The Flight out of LA arrives between 5 and 6 am but normally you can not check in until 4 or 6 pm so you would book the day before arrival so that you can Check in and go to your room for a nap. The Flight out of Fiji does not leave until night/evening but you have to check out between 11am and 12pm. So you would would to Book an extra day so you have a place to stay until you need to go to the Airport. Also at least one way you will have a 4 to 8 hour layover in Fiji. Join the Tabau Club for the day. It is worth it. Food, drink, comfortable seats, Free Showers with soap/shampoo/towels, etc.

    We have been to Sydney twice. Each for a week. You do not need a car. We loved both trips. We have been to Tasmania once for a week. Stayed at 7 Mile Beach. Patti wants to know when we can go back for 2 to 3 weeks. You do need a rental car. Some of the best Whiskey is made in Tasmania.

    Also remember that if you leave LA on Thursday you arrive in Fiji or Sydney or Saturday.
     
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  14. AbelowDS

    AbelowDS TUG Member

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    Thank you Geist1223! Where in Fiji would you recommend? In Tazmania?
     
  15. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    DH and I took a 22 day cruise to Antarctica and South America this Jan. It was the best trip in my life.
    Next year to celebrate DH’s 60th Birthday, we are going to French Polynesia on a Tradewinds Cruise via a RCI exchange.
    We have been to Tasmania on a cruise. It was a great island to visit for a day (albeit a bit too short). We would love to go back again.
    For Fiji, there is a Worldmark resort that we plan to visit hopefully in 2020.
     
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  16. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    In Fiji we stayed on the main Island not far from Nadi in the Resort area of Denarau Island. We stayed in the Wyndham South Pacific/Worldmark Resort. Largest pool south of the Equator. There is also an adult only pool between some of the Condos. Denarau is called an island because it is separated from the Main Island by a river and Mangrove area. There are many different resorts on Denarau.

    Things to see and do are numerous. We Ziplined, toured the Orchid Garden started by Raymond Burr. We took 2 off Island trips to snorkeling areas. If you tour the largest Hindu Temple south of the Equator remember to dress conservatively. I wore long light pants and long sleeved shirt. Patti wore a skirt to her ankles and a long sleeve blouse. If you are not dressed correctly they will loan you wraps.

    In Tasmania we stayed at the Wyndham South Pacific in Seven Mile Beach near Hobart. We spent several days walking around and using the Hop-on Hop-off bus in Hobart. Spent a day in the Royal Botanical Garden. We visited a Wildlife rescue Park. Fed Kangaroos. They loved to have their chest scratched. We also did whiskey tasting both at Distilleries and at whiskey shops. Richmond (which has an old Goal) and a great whiskey tasting shop. Most if not all explorations of Anartica in the sailing ship days set off out of Hobart. Some interesting museums. There are not a lot of Resorts on Tasmania.
     
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  17. Tacoma

    Tacoma TUG Member

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    You haven't mentioned Canada in either your been to or want to go to list. I will assume you just forgot us and not that we're not worth visiting :) Your 5 star requirements might be hard to meet but I would suggest Club Intrawest Vancouver or Whistler with a penthouse unit in worldmark Victoria booked by a worldmark owner (I am one) . Missing the Banff region is a travesty but 5 star timeshares do not exist. We do have gorgeous five star hotels in Banff and Lake Louise though.
    Joan
     
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  18. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    We just came back from 10 nights in Taipei. We love Taiwan. It has very little tourism and virtually no American or Caucasian tourists. The country is very progressive and modern and there are so many beautiful places to visit in and around Taipei as well as in East Taiwan (Taroko Gorge and Sun Moon Lake) and Southern Taiwan's national park. The country has many national parks and mountainous areas. I think it is 75% mountains. It is uncharted territory for Americans. We were told Southern Taiwan is like Bali except they have very few tourists. Taiwan is also very affordable for the quality since there are few tourists. I suspect the One China Policy has limited Taiwan's ability to attract tourists. Taipei is extremely upscale and modern, yet the top hotels are affordable. The food is fantastic. It is not the same Chinese food you find in the USA. There is so much to do that we barely scratched the surface in 10 days. There are non stop flights from SFO.

    Taiwan is mainly a business destination. However, you can get non-stop flights between Taipei and Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as many other business oriented Asian cities. So you could make an amazing Asian journey with Taipei as a hub.

    Secondly, I would recommend the Great Barrier Reef islands in Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji out islands. For Australia, I found it fairly boring in Sydney. It felt a lot like the San Francisco Bay Area. It did not feel different or exotic. However, we flew from Sydney to Hamilton Island for a side trip. Hamilton Island was among the most beautiful places we have been. So you might want to consider Australia, New Zealand and Fiji since it is easy to get non stop flights from the US West coast as well as within these countries. You must visit Hamilton Island and the Whitsunday islands around it. It is amazingly beautiful and expensive but worth it.

    Aukland is very beautiful and we did many side trips from Aukland. I wish we would have had time to go to the Bay Islands in northern New Zealand as well as the South Island. New Zealand is amazing and it still feels exotic, with its local culture.

    In Fiji, you must get off the mainland. There are many private islands with 5 star adults only resorts in Fiji. Forget Denarau. It is not the real Fiji. I would recommend Likuliku Resort, Royal Davui and similar resorts if you want a true 5 star experience in Fiji. The few timeshares in Fiji and French Polynesia are low end.

    It is very easy to find 5 star hotels in Taipei and Asia. There seemed to be fewer truly upscale hotels in Australia and New Zealand. For example, we stayed at the Four Seasons in Sydney and it was quite a disappointment. In Auckland, we stayed at the Hilton on the harbor and it was fantastic but it would be 4.5 stars. There are some 5 star hotels in the out islands of Australia and they are very expensive. We stayed at a gorgeous hotel with a head on ocean view in Hamilton Island at the Reef View Hotel but it was a 4 star hotel. If I were to return, I would consider Qualia Resort or Beach Club.

    I am very picky about assigning 5 stars to a hotel or resort. There are only a few resorts I would truly give 5 stars to: Le Tahaa in French Polynesia, Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul and Caneel Bay in St John (which is now gone due to the hurricane). We have stayed in many 5 star hotels that disappoint. I have stayed in several so-called 5 star hotels in Hawaii that I feel are over-rated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  19. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I do not think you will find 5 star timeshares in China and Japan. Asia is not a timeshare destination. Marriott has a few timeshares in Phuket and Bali but they appear to be 4 star at best. I own many upscale timeshares but, in general, the best timeshares are 4 to 4.5 stars. I love my timeshares because I get a lot of space and ocean views.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

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