Welcome to Tauck’s Cruising Down Under - Eastbound Forum

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  • Sadly, Vincent, you gave more than one reason others see Americans as ugly (or nasty). I can only assume your displeasure was shared with anyone on board who would listen. As an American, please note my pet peeve: your grammar (in this forum) is in need of editing. For future reference, people are WHO, objects are THAT.

    That aside, I suggest you not go on the Cuba tour, as at one stop we were greeted by a gentle and elderly woman who dispensed several sheets (about 3) of toilet paper as we went into a very small room, and then used her bucket to wash down the waste....obviously not up to your standards, but it did not distress anyone on my tour. We looked at it as a part of an experience we'll probably never have again. It also made for interesting conversations as we shared Kleenex before using the facility and quite a few laughs back on the bus. Nor did the hole in the floor I had to "straddle" in China ruin the day. The incense that were kept in a dish burning in a corner were unique as well. But they did make for an interesting set of photos I shared once I returned home.

    While not every tour is perfect, making the best of every situation improves every vacation. As my bucket list shortens, I am sure I will experience other times I am disappointed, as you did... but also know there will be moments that far exceed them. It is those I take with me and share with my friends and family.

    I am sorry your experience was so tainted and hope you not only continue to travel, but experience many more positive adventures than negative ones.
  • Oh gosh! I get sick, take a few days off and what happens? I miss some of the best, funniest and most succinct posts ever! And here's me, always telling my friends back home that not all Americans are nasty, loud and dumb. I know it for a fact. Sadly, the nasty, loud and dumb ones make more commotion that the others. Just goes to show that we ... none of us ... should ever generalise. We are bound to be wrong.

    But these posts have certainly cheered me up. Thanks, mates. Laughter certainly is the best medicine.
  • Actually, British the number of American passport holders is probably higher than you think. See this article from last year which puts the number at 46%. It's an interesting piece that breaks the numbers down by state, years, etc. and talks about why the numbers are the way they are. Thanx to post 911 security changes, more and more Americans are getting passports.

    http://www.theexpeditioner.com/2010/02/17/how-many-americans-have-a-passport-2/

    And no, we haven't cornered the market on rudeness in its many, varied forms. Our Tauck cruise was all Americans because our group had chartered the entire boat. I only recall one couple I would not have wanted to eat dinner with. Everyone else was friendly, positive, having a great time. I venture to say if you filled an entire cruise ship with any particular nationality, there would be at least some nobody else wanted to be with.
  • edited March 2015
    Interesting article Claudia! I should find out the stats for other countries!

    http://digitalnomad.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/27/the-traveling-minority/

    Ok, as I am trying to put off going outside to shovel snow a little bit longer this morning, above is also another interesting article from 2012. Maybe our Austalian forum members can chime in here, I bet they have a high passport ownership!
  • Yes, a good article too. I checked out the state dept's statistics (using a different link than the article provided) and noted the very steady rise in US passports since 1989 (7 mil) to 2014 (121 mil). Have to wonder how much this also has to do with baby boomers reaching an age and financial point where they can take advantage of overseas travel.

    Kinda of snarky comment about the size of Britain. My husband's version was that we in the US have a bigger moat to cross.

    Snow??. We had a foot last week that is all but gone. Send us more. Our trees need it.
  • I read somewhere that a huge part of the increase in US passports is related to people who just go to Mexico or the Caribbean - you used to be able to visit most of these places with just a birth certificate but now for most of these destinations a passport is required.
  • Yep, that's what I meant by "post 911 security changes" but I didn't know until reading British's article from digitalnomad that the law is called the "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)" 2007. One of the reasons we updated our passports a few years ago was in case we went into Canada on a camping trip.
  • edited March 2015
    British wrote:
    Interesting article Claudia! I should find out the stats for other countries!

    http://digitalnomad.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/27/the-traveling-minority/

    Ok, as I am trying to put off going outside to shovel snow a little bit longer this morning, above is also another interesting article from 2012. Maybe our Austalian forum members can chime in here, I bet they have a high passport ownership!

    According to the Australian Passport Office, (the primary source) just under 50% of the Australian population hold a current Australian passport. If you extrapolate those figures, you would find a further substantial number of Australians hold a recently expired passport.

    We travel a lot. We start early because we know that travel provides an excellent educational experience and one we wish to avail ourselves of before we are a)too old to do it, b) too feeble to learn .... sadly this can happen at any age between 0 and 65+ and c) are as rich as Croesus ... thereby possibly rendering us immune to the simple pleasures of life, the world and other people. (Time enough to travel well after we are well-travelled with the enthusiasm of youth.)

    I have to say ..."That's not a knife*! That's a knife**!" *Insert here "moat". **Insert here "half the globe". Our "moat" hasn't stopped us fighting in everyone else's foreign wars, alongside our ANZUS "brethren", post 1951 .... not to mention foreign conflicts before that, including the American Civil War. (You might need to look all that up in your Funk & Wagnalls.) It is possibly why we are also well travelled. First comes the fighting, then the dying, then the grieving families travelling to foreign war graves. And so egalitarian, too, since all ages can do it.

    Of course, I'm assuming too much. Still, I am undeterred. Education is a wonderful thing. Now off for a good laugh!
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