AJK was doing some work but I wasn’t about to stay indoors all day. [AJK: And, I knew I had to pay the fever piper, so it was either going to be at the expense of Guam or Palau. I chose the former, and thankfully, it turned out to be the right decision as the fever was completely gone by the time we took off for Palau. Ain’t no substitute for rest!] Guam isn’t known as an island with a lot to see or do. But the #1 activity in Guam is Ypao Beach which was within walking distance of the hotel. Well technically it was within walking distance. I didn’t realize that there would be a steep hill with no sidewalks whatsoever, but full of speeding drivers. After a rather harrowing walk though I made it to the beach: … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 2: It’s Time To Hop!
Island hopper vacations
Days before the flight AJK texted me excitedly while I was at a Cavs game with my better half that 2 first class saver award seats opened on a JAL flight from Tokyo to Chicago. The JAL flight would mean a 90 minute connection in Tokyo on a separate ticket on an airline from another alliance. American only charges 62.5K miles in first class from Japan to the USA versus 110K on United, so at first glance it was a no-brainer. However United was also throwing in the flights from Palau to Tokyo at that 110K rate, so that would mean having to shell out 12.5K United miles in coach or 25K miles in business to get to Tokyo. Ultimately we nixed the JAL option as well because we were nervous about misconnecting, wanted to check out Tokyo, and wanted to try out ANA Squares First Class. … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 1: Honolulu
[AJK: Frankly, it was harder to secure a shower than I thought it would be. Perhaps it’s just me, but I expected that passengers flying First should have priority over those flying Business, but apparently it’s first come, first serve, regardless of class. That said, being assertive worked and I was finally given shower room. Mid-shampoo, when I heard final boarding call for our ANA flight back to New York, I jumped out of the shower and high-tailed it to the gate, which fortunately was only a couple minutes away.] … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 4: Tokyo, Japan And Back Home In ANA First Class
After watching United’s safety video for the 9th time in 4 days I was able to say all of the words before they said them. Ma-bu-hay! became a common word that AJK and I used throughout the trip despite the fact that we were never closer than 1,000 miles away from Manila. [AJK: Indeed, after being a captive audience nine or so times, I began greeting random people on the street with a hearty “Mabuhai!” and couldn’t shake the habit for a week or so after getting back to USA. Let’s just say I can’t replicate the look I got from our receptionist the following week when, after she wished me a good morning, I responded with a passionate “Mabuhai!” I thought it explained everything wonderfully. Apparently it did not.] … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 3: Koror, Palau And Jellyfish Lake
Deck 1 has the engine room, which is off-limits to passengers. Deck 2 has the presentation room that we used as our shul. The ship set it up with a mechitza that was perfect for our needs. It also houses the ship’s infirmary. Deck 3 houses the triple cabins, as well as the mud rooms and zodiac boat exits from where we would change into boots and leave on Antarctic expeditions. Deck 4 has the twin cabins, the ship’s boutique, and the main dining room. Deck 5 has the superior and superior plus cabins, as well as the lounge, bar, and an aft observation deck. Deck 6 has the suites, the Bistro with its indoor and heated outdoor seating, the ship’s bridge, and an aft observation deck. Deck 7 has the pool, hot tub, exercise room, and the library with expansive views forward. Deck 8 is the main forward observation deck. Most decks have indoor and outdoor portions. During calm seas the outdoors were great, but it can get very windy and you’ll be glad for wearing lots of … [Read more...] about Antarctica Trip Notes Part 3: Diverted To The Falkland Islands!
In June they announced a promotion targeting Virgin America flyers due to JetBlue losing the bid to buy them out to Alaska. They had intended to target people that had Virgin America miles but forgot to exclude people transferring in points from SPG with a 25% bonus. In the end, Alaska Airlines even bumped up the Virgin America points by another 30% and JetBlue decided to honor the promotion despite high-level talks about whether to try to bail. We flew to Boston and got over 300,000 points for our mileage run. … [Read more...] about JetBlue Honoring (Most) Free Vacation Reservations; A History Of Past Free Vacation Glitches