Originally Posted by MercedMike
HMMM? Then, Marc, why are you such a frequent poster on a cruise board? Are you also on long term stay boards, rent a villa boards, hike the countryside boards? If so then you have a truly wide range of travel experiences.
Cruising is the way we like to see the world. Nice long days on ship, pleasant surroundings, convenience, and eight hours to get off and see two or three five star attractions wherever we are.
There are, indeed, a few exceptions. London, Venice, Rome, Egypt and Athens have all been places we returned to. OTOH Capetown, Tasmania, Patagonia, Montevideo, Honduras, Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Boca Valero on the Amazon, Batumi Georgia, Split Croatia, Patmos, Waterford, Ensenada, Charlottetown, Marseille, Gydnia, Sinop -- well the list goes on and on -- were all places that an eight hour port call pretty thoroughly exhausted our interest in!
Hey, if you want to take a three week tour that stays with a local family in China -- or Ohio -- to really "get to know the country", then go for it. Since cruising is my choice of ways to travel, I accept the eight hour port calls, and consider that I have been exposed to quite a bit of the world that way.
I prefer cruising; no doubt. On these cruises, I have spent five days in Venice (two cruises) and a number of overnights in port (Beijing, Shanghai, Ha Long (Hanoi), Saigon, Bangkok, Singapore, Aruba, Key West). I have also done numerous land trips in Asia, Africa, and Europe. I have also been lucky enough to live in Israel, Japan, and Belgium.
I really do prefer cruising even with the short port visits. Some ports I have been back to a couple of times (especially Med) so I try to see more each time.
My only point in my post was that it is unrealistic to think you can see a port in eight hours. This is particularly true in Europe and Asia.
PS Although it has been a number of years since I have been to Merced (I went to school in Davis), I know that you can spend days just exploring Merced and other locales in the Central Valley.