Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Nov. Eurodam cruise do-over Eastern Caribbean: Grand Turk; San Juan, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay

The "suite life"!  Originally I booked the same category room that we had last year (a VD veranda), but when the lowest suite came available for about $60/person more, I jumped on it and booked a SZ guarantee.  We had never had a suite before, so I was really looking forward to that. 

It just so happened that our daughter, Angie, and her husband, Josh, were going to be in Puerto Rico on vacation with some friends and scheduled to fly home the day we were in port there. After joking around with her about continuing on the cruise with us instead of flying home, I managed to get approval for her to board in San Juan for the last 4 nights of our cruise.  She was even elgible for a special 3rd person add on fare of $49 + about $90 in taxes and fees.  It took some doing, but persistence paid off.  I had to call 5 or 6 times and work out everything from: does the Jone's Act apply here; to writing a letter to get approval for "late embarkation"; to getting a room assigned (went from the SZ guarantee to a complimentary upgrade to an SS cabin) before she was approved.   So instead of flying home, Angie was able to join us for the remainder of the cruise.
About 2 weeks before our cruise, I even got an email from HAL offering us an upsell to an SA suite (next category down from the penthouse) for another $398 total. I immediately called them and jumped on the offer. Not only did we have a suite, but the SA, SB, and SC suites had a lot of added benefits over the SS, SY, and SZ suites, like breakfast in the Pinnacle restaurant, a private lounge and concierge, larger pull out bed for Angie; much larger room and balcony, flowers for formal night, free laundry service, and a few other things. We very much enjoyed the SA cabin. It may be hard to go back to any other cabin now!   Our room, 7069, was a short distance down the hallway from the Deluxe Suites' private Neptune lounge.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2002 Jan. first trip to Orlando with Dad

When I found out that Lifetouch was having their 2002 winter meetings in Orlando, I decided it might be time to check and see if Prestige would let me go to these meetings!  When they daid that I could go and they would even pay for part of it, I started making plans to go. 

When I told Dad I was going, he mentioned that he had never been to Orlando and would like to come along.  With that, I jumped on the oppurtunity to make it a vacation as well as a work trip.  Work was going to take up most of the first 4 days and a couple nights, so we decided to extend our trip 3 more nights to make it a full week.  I happened to have a Bonus Week certificate from RCI, so I called to see if I could use it for Orlando the first week in January.  They had 2 Gold Crown resorts that I could choose from, so I arbitrarily chose Orange Lake Resort.  Then I booked a midsize car (which Budget upgraded to a Ford Sport truck), booked my flights and was set to go.

Dad's flight arrived about the same time as mine and we were off to the resort.  We were both pleasantly surprised with Orange Lake resort.  It is made up of several sections and each one has it's own configuration of units.  We were in the West Village and loved the singe story "golf villas".  It had a very residential feel.