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Gaming Venues => Miscellaneous Events => Archive of Miscellaneous Events => Topic started by: PhotoJim on October 01, 2019, 08:53:39 AM

Title: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 01, 2019, 08:53:39 AM
Hi all,

Just a heads-up in case you were interested (or didn't know and might be) - BoardGameGeek is now accepting bookings for its next two cruises.

2020 is a one-way excursion from September 4-16 from Vancouver, via Alaska, to Japan with three ports of call on Hokkaido and northern Honshu before docking in Yokohama in Tokyo Bay.  Lori and I, Scott and Natasha, and Miles are all planning to go on this epic adventure (I imagine many of us will add a week in Tokyo afterwards).  I know some other SaskGames were considering going, so if you are, consider booking soon while rooms are still available:  https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/33051579

2021 is June 27-July 4, 2021 to and from Barcelona and tours Italy and the French Riviera.  Less time for board gaming, but a lot more to do as far as visiting Europe is concerned.  https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/33051556  We're likely not going to do this one (overseas trips on consecutive years is a lot for our budget to take) but it's quite intriguing.

The usual BGG cruises are the Caribbean or Alaska, so it's nice to see some variety.

I think the Japanese cruise is particularly interesting, as there are seven consecutive sea days after leaving Sitka, Alaska.  The only downside will be that you will be stuck on the ship.  The Pacific Ocean is big.  :)

Jim
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 01, 2019, 12:02:36 PM
John and I are booked~
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 01, 2019, 01:01:53 PM
John and I are booked~

What kind of room did you book?

That'll make at least seven of us.  We might need to make custom t-shirts we can wear on the boat some days :).
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 01, 2019, 01:09:50 PM
John and I are booked~

What kind of room did you book?

That'll make at least seven of us.  We might need to make custom t-shirts we can wear on the boat some days :).

Ocean View, cause might as well.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 01, 2019, 01:20:07 PM
Ocean View, cause might as well.

We splurged for a balcony room, for the same reason.  I think it will be particularly nice to have a balcony the first few days in B.C. and Alaska, and along the Japanese coast, assuming they put us on the starboard side of the ship, at least...

The flights home are going to hurt, but it's still worth it.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 01, 2019, 01:27:38 PM
Ocean View, cause might as well.

We splurged for a balcony room, for the same reason.  I think it will be particularly nice to have a balcony the first few days in B.C. and Alaska, and along the Japanese coast, assuming they put us on the starboard side of the ship, at least...

The flights home are going to hurt, but it's still worth it.
Yeah, we should work together on finding the best prices. It's one of the most expensive parts of it.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 01, 2019, 01:40:31 PM
Air Canada will be the only option that offers a one-connection trip home (HND or NRT-YYZ-YQR, or NRT-YVR-YQR / NRT-YYC-YQR).  Haneda is closer to where we'll be than Narita, but most of the international flights fly from Narita and the only way to Regina from Haneda is via two US connections, via China or South Korea, or via Toronto.

WestJet flies to Honolulu but you'd need a Japanese or American airline to fly Tokyo-HNL.

United or Delta could do it but it would require getting to Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, or Edmonton on their metal and then home on Air Canada or WestJet.

I really want to fly on a 787 (I haven't yet) so I'm leaning Air Canada, but I'm watching :).  Might be fun to take Japan Airlines, but then we'd need three airlines to get us home.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 01, 2019, 01:52:11 PM
Air Canada will be the only option that offers a one-connection trip home (HND or NRT-YYZ-YQR, or NRT-YVR-YQR / NRT-YYC-YQR).  Haneda is closer to where we'll be than Narita, but most of the international flights fly from Narita and the only way to Regina from Haneda is via two US connections, via China or South Korea, or via Toronto.

WestJet flies to Honolulu but you'd need a Japanese or American airline to fly Tokyo-HNL.

United or Delta could do it but it would require getting to Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, or Edmonton on their metal and then home on Air Canada or WestJet.

I really want to fly on a 787 (I haven't yet) so I'm leaning Air Canada, but I'm watching :).  Might be fun to take Japan Airlines, but then we'd need three airlines to get us home.

I'm less worried about connections for this one, considering the cost involved in sticking to one connection. I'm pretty open either way.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: MikeMcC on October 03, 2019, 11:36:42 PM
We might need to make custom t-shirts we can wear on the boat some days :).

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be going so I'll be following vicariously.  Your comment about custom shirts got me thinking.... here are some suggestions for designs or design elements:

1)  A Saskatchewan Meeple (yellow on the lower half, green on the upper half)
     - maybe holding a wheat stalk or wheat sheaf

2)  Four meeples: SK meeple, BC meeple (with BC flag sunset symbol), Alaska meeple (blue w/ Polaris & Big Dipper) and then Japanese meeple (white with red dot, i.e., Rising Sun)

3)  A meeple travelling path from Regina/SK to Vancouver to Alaska to Japan
     - perhaps the route is made of other game elements, like Catan road pieces or T.t.Ride train car, or Catan-Seafarers boat
 
4)  Several meeples on a Catan-Seafarers boat (labeled "Japan or Bust") sailing between BC meeple, AS meeple & Japan meeple
     - the boat could be sinking ;-)
     - "... A three hour tour, A three hour tour..." written above the boat

5)  A couple or several meeples surrounding a large die with faces for BC, Alaska and Japan

6)  Slogan: "What's Japanese for 'meeple'?"

7)  "Game, Eat, Sleep, Repeat" written in English and Japanese script

8)  "Veni, Vidi, Lusit Ludos" (I came, I saw, I played games)
      - or I came, I saw, I had fun

9)  A Riders meeple (green with Rider logo)
     - or green with Rider helmet

10)  Slogan: "The 13th Meeple"

Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 04, 2019, 08:54:07 AM
There are some really good ideas here. :)

Nikki, can we coerce/bribe/tempt you into designing something?  I think this could be seriously fun.  Especially if we're all wearing the shirts on embarkation day.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 04, 2019, 08:59:29 AM
Yeah, sure. We'll just have to decide on something.  :D
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: MikeMcC on October 04, 2019, 11:04:32 AM
Here's a rather rough mock-up incorporating a few of the design elements I suggested earlier.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 08, 2019, 09:48:15 AM
Did you guys fill out the survey? What did you put for dining times?
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 08, 2019, 09:58:27 AM
Did you guys fill out the survey? What did you put for dining times?

We signed up for the earlier fixed dining time.  It would be fun if we were all dining together.  We could get assigned the same table pretty easily if we asked.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 08, 2019, 10:02:37 AM
Did you guys fill out the survey? What did you put for dining times?

We signed up for the earlier fixed dining time.  It would be fun if we were all dining together.  We could get assigned the same table pretty easily if we asked.
Ok, I signed us up for that as well.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: jilly on October 10, 2019, 06:55:00 PM
I signed up for early fixed
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 11, 2019, 09:10:55 AM
Scott and Natasha are early fixed, too.

I'll talk to Jeff @ BGG when the time comes to try to put us together for supper.  We may be too many for a single table :).

I think you are all staying in the Tokyo area for a week afterward?  (We plan to fly home on the Saturday after we arrive.)  I plan on making a list of the things we want to do.  We can maybe coordinate our lists and make group outings where more than one person/couple plans to do something.

We're still considering accommodation options.  I'm tempted to stay at the Hilton in Shinjuku, or at the hotel at the central Tokyo train station (which could not be better located), but it would probably cost around $400 a night (Tokyo is expensive).  Business hotels are less expensive but will be further out in the periphery and will require a longer train trip to get anywhere interesting, and the rooms tend to be very tiny.  B&B-type accommodation might be an option too, although getting accommodation for all of us, if we wanted to stay at the same place, might be a challenge.

Jim
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 16, 2019, 05:01:11 PM
We had a bunch of Aeroplan miles, and I found a single flight home on the day we wanted so I booked our one-way trip home:

2020/09/26
AC   10 NRT-YYC 16:25-11:05
AC8434 YYC-YQR 14:45-16:11

We get home 14 minutes "before" we left :)

Scott and Natasha have booked on the same flights.  I heard Jill and her son have booked but don't know what day they're flying home, or what airline/path.

Check it out if you have points. If not, feel free to book on the same flights if it works for you when the one-way fares come down.  Looks like $1,100 one-way is realistic.  We paid 37,500 Aeroplan miles plus about $172 Cdn in taxes per ticket.

We plan to fly out Thursday, September 3 but haven't booked yet.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 16, 2019, 05:04:34 PM
Can't seem to book that far in advance...
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: Lori on October 16, 2019, 05:12:46 PM
I think Natasha said she could check bookings as far as mid-late August right now so You’d think Sep will be available soon.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 16, 2019, 11:06:07 PM
Aggregators (like Expedia) don't have September 2019 on there yet for the most part, but most airlines (e.g. Air Canada) do have inventory opened up if you book directly.  Not cheap, yet, though.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: SteamPunch on October 17, 2019, 08:14:47 AM
Given the long lead time for booking, you should definitely be able to find some deals. One site that sends out emails is https://scottscheapflights.com/ and I find the prices look really good. You don't book through them, they just inform you about prices, and you book with the airline.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: PhotoJim on October 17, 2019, 08:46:29 AM
Given the long lead time for booking, you should definitely be able to find some deals. One site that sends out emails is https://scottscheapflights.com/ and I find the prices look really good. You don't book through them, they just inform you about prices, and you book with the airline.

It's a lot easier to find deals on return flights than one-way overseas flights.

One web forum I'm on suggested flying one-way from Tokyo to Beijing or Shanghai, and flying home from there, and indeed, if you booked that today, it's only about $1,200 total, but all the affordable flights from Japan to China involve connections in South Korea or Singapore.  I suspect the Japan-China flights will come down as time goes on, though.

The big problem is that we're in Regina.  There are only so many seats from Vancouver or Calgary to Regina, and they fill up.  Getting to Vancouver or Calgary isn't too hard.  Finding a convenient connection pair gets trickier the longer you wait.  Even yesterday, only one set of flights that Aeroplan offered got us home the same day we arrived from Japan to Canada.  All the rest (and there were many) involved overnighting in Vancouver or Calgary, for total journey times in the 30-36-hour range instead of roughly 16 hours like the booking I made.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 17, 2019, 09:34:09 AM
It seems most sites allow you to book up to 11 months away, so by the end of the month I should be able to see our dates.
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: prairieguy on October 17, 2019, 09:40:03 AM
just so you know Nik - Scott's Cheap flights no longer includes Canadian stops. I was a subscriber and they just cancelled my subscription and refunded my money :(
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on October 24, 2019, 03:35:16 PM
Found this video where a guy did a walk-around of the ship, which was cool. I had to watch it on 2x speed though cause it's long, which with all the camera movement gave me a headache. Just a heads up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x08a2S5KwWs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x08a2S5KwWs)
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: NeikeDjour on November 14, 2019, 10:54:42 AM
Booked all of our flights today, couldn't get the same flight back, the Air Canada flight was $600 more per person than a 20hr flight I found leaving from Haneda. You guys got quite the deal with the Aeroplan points.  :aha:

I made a private forum for discussing the trip, if anyone is planning on going on the trip and doesn't see it in their forums list, send me a PM and I can add you!
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: MikeMcC on November 25, 2019, 10:07:32 AM
Saw this cheap option for a hotel in Japan:

https://www.neatorama.com/2019/11/22/You-Can-Stay-in-This-Hotel-for-1-a-Night-But-Your-Whole-Stay-Will-Be-Livestreamed-on-YouTube/
Title: Re: BoardGameGeek Japan cruise (2020) and Mediterranean cruise (2021)
Post by: Lori on November 25, 2019, 10:11:35 AM
Saw this cheap option for a hotel in Japan:

https://www.neatorama.com/2019/11/22/You-Can-Stay-in-This-Hotel-for-1-a-Night-But-Your-Whole-Stay-Will-Be-Livestreamed-on-YouTube/

 :o How weird.