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Old 01-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #1861
sdlong329
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Originally Posted by WVURunner View Post
I didn't see one mosquito while on the EBPC cruise and people were worried about Maleria/Yellow Fever on that Meet Thread. Most of these travel alerts are for people who will be spending time in the Country, not less than 8 hrs in a port.
That because there are no mosquitoes or bugs living above the middle of the ocean (they have no place to land)!

Anyone on or near Madeira can be exposed to local bugs ... whether you disembark, or stay on the upper decks of the ship. Though bugs can fly to the open decks on the ship while in port ... I (personally) would not worry too much about that. On the other hand, if you will be on an excursion in the country, woodlands, or wet areas of the island, you may be subjected to their environment.

Travel-sense says, if you are traveling to a warm / sunny climate ... bring sunscreen. If you are traveling to a heavily wooded or wet area, expect to bring bug repellant. We were previously advised to bring bug repellant on the Panama Canal crossing (I think), but I forget for which port.

Steven
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DCL MAGIC: 4 night Bahamas practice cruise ('99), 7 night Eastern Caribbean ('01), 7 night Western Caribbean ('06), 15 night EB Panama Canal - Inaugural to Aruba & Cartagena (Aug-Sep '08), Eastern Caribbean / Inaugural Tortola (April-May '09), Eastern Caribbean / St. Croix (Ooops - Tortola, again) (Dec '09), 14 night EB TransAtlantic, Florida to Barcelona (April '10), 12 night EB TransAtlantic, Galveston to Barcelona (May '13), 7 night Southern Caribbean, R/T San Juan (Sept/Oct '14), 15 night EB TransAtlantic (Florida to Copenhagen) (May '15)
DCL WONDER: 4 night Bahamas practice cruise (April '08), LA - Vancouver REPO (Apr/May '11), -B2B- Inaugural Alaska (May '11)
DCL FANTASY: 7 night Maiden Voyage: Western Caribbean (March '12), 7 night podCast 4.0 Western Caribbean (Dec '12), 7 night San Juan/Western Caribbean (Apr '15)
DISapalooza: WWOHP / Universal (Dec '12)
DISNEY ON BROADWAY: Mary Poppins @ New Amsterdam Theatre - 2012, Spiderman (Marvel) @ Foxwoods Theatre - 2012, The Lion King @ Minskoff Theatre - 2013, Aladdin @ New Amsterdam Theatre - 2014
NON-DCL: RCCL Freedom FROM the Seas, Western Caribbean, Jan 2014; Celebrity Horizon, 7 night Philadelphia - Bermuda; HAL Noordam, 10 night NYC - Caribbean; Princess, 7 night FL-Caribbean; Carnival (don't waste my time)
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:20 PM   #1862
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Originally Posted by sdlong329 View Post
I'm not a fan of Galveston either ... no matter ... DCL is not sailing out of Galveston next year.

Steven
Me either. I am within driving distance easily, but have never cruised out of Galveston until DCL put out great rates. The ports don't interest me (unless going to Castaway Cay). We actually booked that cruise just for time on the ship, but otherwise I've never been a fan of the cruises from Galveston. Prefer to fly to FLL or SJU if doing the Caribbean.

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Mandy, if you need more folks to donate money for the lanyards, just let me know I'll be happy to be part of the team.
Thank you - will let you know.

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If someone is JUST NOW noticing their passports have expired ... they are skating on thin ice, but there IS time. That aside, pictures for passports are quite easy ... CVS, Costco, Walgreen ... anywhere with a one hour photo lab can do them. They take a picture of you in front of a white screen, print the pics on 4x6 format, then cut them down to size. If you go to a high end camera shop in a local mall, they will do the same thing, but charge you 5x more. If you go to AAA or a travel agency ... they use the same process.

Remember, you mail in pics with your Passport application. If the pics were not acceptable (previously), they would not have been utilized on your existing passport. Yes, state and federal agencies now request NO SMILES ... easier for facial recognition software.
Fortunately mine expires after our trip concludes, but not the full 6 months afterwards, which is the recommendation. Thought I would just go ahead and get it done. Most people are reporting mailing them in standard service and having them back within 2 weeks (9 days actually - no expedite). We have a trip in March I need it for anyway. Not worried.

Yes - passports requirements did change with the "no smile" rule. Hubby's was renewed in 2007 with a smile, but no longer apparently. CVS did picture last week, and not only was I told to smile (and my daughter) but it was not a clear, crisp image. It didn't even fit the overlay when testing for the height/width requirement. I am going to wait until our passports are back in hand but return the unused pictures to CVS along with the picture of what they took at the government office so that hopefully my local CVS doesn't do this to others. It would have really sucked had I just mailed it in like I could, and then had it declined. So glad I drove 30 minutes just to check with someone to be on the safe side - and that was just because I thought it looked a little blurry when comparing to my original passport.

New passport pic: No makeup, hair not curled, rainy day, wearing a tshirt, no smile. Perfect mugshot. Old passport had a great smile
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #1863
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If people can join the ship in Castaway Cay by flying elsewhere in the Bahamas and then boating in - that's great. However, they will still miss the first 3 days of the cruise. I prefer to limit my chances of "missing the boat" by not tempting fate in the first place. I am flying to Houston 2 days before we sail, and hopefully that will be enough time!
I understand ... I was merely responding to people saying, if you miss the ship at Galveston, you would not be able to board the ship until Madeira. Again, if you are booking a flight on your own, most all would agree ... arrive the day / night prior to embarkation. With regard to DCL air fare ... I understand the convenience, as well as the sanity. However, does anyone know of ANYONE who missed a cruise, because of a DCL flight? Then ask yourself, how many have MADE it to the ship on their DCL booked flight. Yes, delays happen, which is why DCL does not have you landing at MCO at 2PM.

Have you ever heard of anyone flying Friday night (to MCO) ... only to experience a mechanical failure, or weather related delay or cancellation? It happens! If your "night before" flight is canceled because of weather, you have no recourse with the airline. Try scrambling for an morning, non-stop flight ... while paying the extraordinary fare on your own (it's an experience)!

Heck, I know people who missed boarding the ship in Port Canaveral, even though their plane landed in MCO at 10AM ... it was their own fault ... not the airline, and not DCL. I also know of people who missed the ship at a port ... because they were sitting at Senior Frog's. Again, nothing related to an airline, DCL, or excursion.

I am lucky enough to fly from PHL .. where I can get non-stop flights to most any cruise destination. Most of these flights are serviced by Southwest ... so I personally have no need for DCL airfare. Personally, If I am waking up in the morning, I'd rather be traveling to the ship, versus heading for an airport. That being said ... I'd rather not scare people into thinking they will never make it to the ship, if they fly DCL on the morning of embarkation.


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DCL MAGIC: 4 night Bahamas practice cruise ('99), 7 night Eastern Caribbean ('01), 7 night Western Caribbean ('06), 15 night EB Panama Canal - Inaugural to Aruba & Cartagena (Aug-Sep '08), Eastern Caribbean / Inaugural Tortola (April-May '09), Eastern Caribbean / St. Croix (Ooops - Tortola, again) (Dec '09), 14 night EB TransAtlantic, Florida to Barcelona (April '10), 12 night EB TransAtlantic, Galveston to Barcelona (May '13), 7 night Southern Caribbean, R/T San Juan (Sept/Oct '14), 15 night EB TransAtlantic (Florida to Copenhagen) (May '15)
DCL WONDER: 4 night Bahamas practice cruise (April '08), LA - Vancouver REPO (Apr/May '11), -B2B- Inaugural Alaska (May '11)
DCL FANTASY: 7 night Maiden Voyage: Western Caribbean (March '12), 7 night podCast 4.0 Western Caribbean (Dec '12), 7 night San Juan/Western Caribbean (Apr '15)
DISapalooza: WWOHP / Universal (Dec '12)
DISNEY ON BROADWAY: Mary Poppins @ New Amsterdam Theatre - 2012, Spiderman (Marvel) @ Foxwoods Theatre - 2012, The Lion King @ Minskoff Theatre - 2013, Aladdin @ New Amsterdam Theatre - 2014
NON-DCL: RCCL Freedom FROM the Seas, Western Caribbean, Jan 2014; Celebrity Horizon, 7 night Philadelphia - Bermuda; HAL Noordam, 10 night NYC - Caribbean; Princess, 7 night FL-Caribbean; Carnival (don't waste my time)
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #1864
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Seeing the stories on CruiseCritic the past 12 years on missing the ship are scary. Never knew any personally, but seeing their stories and circumstances... wow. (ooops - not sure if we can mention other cruise boards)
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #1865
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For those doing their own airfare....what are you finding to get home from Barcelona? I'm still in "working on it" phase.

I did the EBTA in 2010 and 2011. The weather was amazing. It did get cool in the evening on deck, but the days were warm and sunny. The sea was mirror smooth. Seriously, "fair winds and following seas" weather.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #1866
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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
For those doing their own airfare....what are you finding to get home from Barcelona? I'm still in "working on it" phase.
Several of us who are tacking on post-cruise adventures in Europe have had good success with Iceland Air. Sometimes even cheaper doing it as a "stopover" versus "one way" to spend a little time in Iceland (although that then entails a hotel room, but hey, saved on airfare!)

Or, if looking at business class, here was someone recently looking who may be able to share further insight to what she ended up finding:

Quote:
Originally Posted by valbob89 View Post
We are still looking for airfares home. Because of his height and back problems, we try to travel business class to Europe. US airways has had the best rates but they have gone up so much, around $3,000 pp. He was commmenting that at that price you would think you would get a seat that fully reclines and is wider. So just for laughs I priced Singapore Air, which gives you a seat and a separate fully reclined bed. If anyone has any extra cash laying around, a ticket from Barcelona to San Francisco is a mere $23,000 pp. But hurry, half the seat are already taken.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #1867
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Thanks, Mandy. I was having a horrible time with their web site....but I'm working on it!
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #1868
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For those doing their own airfare....what are you finding to get home from Barcelona? I'm still in "working on it" phase.

I did the EBTA in 2010 and 2011. The weather was amazing. It did get cool in the evening on deck, but the days were warm and sunny. The sea was mirror smooth. Seriously, "fair winds and following seas" weather.
I don't know where you live in the US, but Aer Lingus from Barcelona to Chicago is less than $700 one-way in early June.

I was on an eastbound Transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen in late April 2011. The seas were pretty calm most days, and the temps were warmer than I expected in northern Europe.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:49 PM   #1869
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My cruise story

Ok - this happened in Dec of 2010....with so many people discussing flying in the night before, I figured you might want to read about the best laid plans of women - gone arwy! This being said - we are flying in the night before!
===========================================
I feel the need to laugh so I figured I would tell a bizarre DCL travel story...I call this my "planes, trains, and autos" trip! A few years ago, Michael my cruisin' buddy got a group together to do the New Years’ Eve cruise to meet the Dream as she came into her home port of Nassau. I joined the group without a roomie for the cruise and managed to convince a friend to go with me. Now, as most of you know the weather can be fickle to say the least here in NJ.

We were all set, but 'Gin (my friend) was flying on a different airline than me. I was on Jet Blue she was on Continental (I think). We were talking regularly and all was going according to plan - enter Mother Nature. The winter had been mellow, Christmas was warm. Then the tides changed and life went sidewise.

The weather men were suggesting a blizzard (really? It has to happen NOW??)...I called 'Gin to ask if she was going to have her hubby drive her down from her place in NYS to my place in NJ - she said he didn't want to take her truck, or drive his car in the snow (weenie)...so I said call me if there is 2 inches on the ground - I will come get you. I headed to bed to catch some sleep. My phone rang about 2pm on Sunday and 'Gin said "2 inches come get me!" So I did - the roads weren't bad at all. We discussed the weather, hung out, had some dinner and headed to bed. HAH...when we woke up on Monday (two days before the cruise) we were greeted with 3 feet of snow. My Tahoe was under almost 5 feet of the stuff. We were clearing it off when Jet Blue called to tell me my flight was cancelled and they were rebooking me out of JFK to Orlando on Tuesday at 6pm. I was more than a little nervous about flying in that late, but what could I do? ‘Gin got a similar phone call from her carrier – but no rebook!!!

After many hours on the phone that afternoon we got ourselves settled – Tuesday we were both flying. I from JFK and she from EWR, so we headed to bed exhausted from shoveling. We didn’t get a lot of sleep because we were both worried. Tuesday morning I took her to her mom’s house so she could take the train to the airport and went home to wait for the car service I called to get me to JFK. We sailed across the city – that should have warned me. Once there – the terminal was packed. I got through security but had a very bad feeling about the flight – the runways were all snow covered.

An hour (about 2pm) later my 7pm flight was moved to 9pm. I got on the customer service line at this point…by 3pm the flight was at midnight…I am still on the line and VERY worried I won’t make the cruise. ‘Gin is in the same boat at EWR!!! Her flight is moved to Tampa?!?! At 2am????!!!

At 8pm my flight is canceled – no rebook – no compensation for my lost cruise. I called Michael in almost hysterics. He is amazing – he worked three phones and all his contacts at AMEX – got me a flight!!! Out of Philadelphia of all places, going to TAMPA!! Michael also gets me a train ticket from Grand Central to Phili – at 12am. Now, I have to get from JFK to Phili in a few hours, as it is 10pm by now. Can I do it???

I walked out of the terminal to a monstrous line of folks waiting for cabs and livery. I yelled at the top of my voice (very loud for those who know me!) I will cab share to Grand Central – and pay 2/3 of the cost! Hands go up and I am in business. Realize that I am dressed for Florida – thin pants, crocs, t-shirt and light sweat jacket – not for winter – water snow cold yecchiness.

We get to Grand Central in pretty good time – it is now 11pm – I get out of the cab with my checked bag and carry bags held high – right into thigh deep water and snow. Sigh – now I am tired, cranky, wet, pissed off and generally looking like a drowned mouse fan. I get into Grand Central (for the first time in my life) and am totally lost!! A cop takes pity on me and helps me get my ticket from the machine and pushed me toward the right track. I get on the train without issue. I called ‘Gin – she is not answering I hope she is boarded and in the air. I have no idea how we are doing this one!

I arrived in Phili to find out I have to take another cab to the airport. Yet another cop takes pity on me and finds me a reputable cabbie. We get to the airport – it is closed. Yep, locked tight. OH NO…the cabbie tells me that it will open at 5am. It is now 3am. I am done, just done – I have been awake since Monday with about 3 hours of rest between digging out the truck and all the mess getting to the airports. (We are up to trains and autos so far, right?).
The airport opens and the ticket guy tells me “your flight is on Thursday not Wednesday” WHAT???? I ask him to recheck the confirm number as I had just done it earlier on my phone…he says “oh, that was a “Y”?? I thought it was a “4”” sigh. I am good to go. Luggage checked in, my body in a seat at the gate. I call ‘Gin. Her flight landed at 4am, and her hubby has gotten her a room and a one way rental car. She will pick me up at Tampa Airport and we will drive across to Canaveral.

I get off the plane in Tampa; she meets me in the loudest lime green roller skate I have EVER seen. We are off and driving – it is 10:30 am on the day of the cruise. We have a 3 hour drive, assuming no traffic…yea…not so good. We sit at WDW traffic on I4 for over an hour. It is now 1pm, we are getting very nervous. Michael manages to get us checked in on the ship, but we STILL HAVE TO GET THERE!

We drop the rental car off at 3pm, beg them to take us directly there and get to the port at 3:30pm. The lifted the gangway as we crossed it. I headed to the cabin and had a BIG tumbler of Amaretto. ‘Gin was amazing, Michael was amazing and I was exhausted.

My planes, trains, and auto trip explains WHY I ALWAYS BOOK MY AIR 2 DAYS BEFORE I SAIL!! But even the best plans of women go awry sometimes. The cruise was amazing, the Dream was beautiful and we both had a blast.
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2014
July - WDW for the 4th! (part 5)
9/12/14:.....K2K (DLR - 5 days, DCL, WDW) 14 day Eastbound Panama Canal (on the Wonder) (part 6)
Oct - our one year anniversary - the last of 7 trips to celebrate our first year of marriage! (part 7)
2015
2/8/15:.....Magic Cruise
5/15/15:...EBTA northern itinerary
July 2015....Vero Beach for turtle watch!
Nov 2015.....family trip to WDW for Thanksgiving
Past trips: .. .. .. WDW: (no longer counting). . . . . . . . .DLR:5 . . . . . . . . . .DLP:2 . . . . . . . . .The rest? not planned yet!
. .Cruises.(27 with total nights: 191)[Fantasy x3; Dream x4; Magic x12; Wonder x9]. . ABD:Imperial Cities
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Oct 12, 2013: our handfasting day!!!! The most important day of my life.
2012:My Grand Slam!.. .. .. .. 4 - 3 - 2 - 1....4 ships, 3 ports, 2 coasts, in 1 year!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #1870
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That because there are no mosquitoes or bugs living above the middle of the ocean (they have no place to land)!

Anyone on or near Madeira can be exposed to local bugs ... whether you disembark, or stay on the upper decks of the ship. Though bugs can fly to the open decks on the ship while in port ... I (personally) would not worry too much about that. On the other hand, if you will be on an excursion in the country, woodlands, or wet areas of the island, you may be subjected to their environment.

Travel-sense says, if you are traveling to a warm / sunny climate ... bring sunscreen. If you are traveling to a heavily wooded or wet area, expect to bring bug repellant. We were previously advised to bring bug repellant on the Panama Canal crossing (I think), but I forget for which port.

Steven
I am quite aware that there are no insects living out in the middle of the ocean as I do hold a minor in Entomology. The whole 14 day cruise was not out in the open ocean, we did visit land and travel very close to land that are known to have very hot and humid climates that are perfect for mosquitoes. From my previous travel experiences to these areas, I expected to see more mosquitoes but this was based on staying several days in these areas. Our time in port was after dawn and before dusk, when the majority of mosquitoes aren’t out. Most travel warning are based on people staying overnight, where it is assumed that people will be staying in hotels with no air conditioning and no screens on the windows. I am not saying you shouldn’t take precautions; I always do and would encourage others to do so as well, I am saying that keep in mind, your exposure level will not be as high as a traveler who is spending the night. Hopefully all of us will be back on the boat, eating dinner before night falls. I am not saying just because you are on a cruise ship, you will not see bugs.
Did you stop in Costa Maya in 2011? There is somewhat of a Malaria risk in that area and the bugs can be quite bad at the ruins. In fact, you cannot donate blood for a year after visiting. I am assuming that is the port you were instructed to bring the repellant for. This was my fourth time visiting Costa Maya (3rd time on a cruise ship, other time was for Hurricane Dean work) and I was amazed at no mosquitoes.

For the EBPC cruise, the risk from getting/taking the yellow fever vaccine and malaria medication was higher than the risk of getting yellow fever or malaria. While it wasn’t a concern for me (I already had to have it) I did look into it for the rest of my traveling party. Anti-Malaria medication is just plain horrible! No need to take it unless you have to!
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:53 PM   #1871
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For those doing their own airfare....what are you finding to get home from Barcelona? I'm still in "working on it" phase.
We're spending a few days in Barecelona and then a few days in Madrid, and flying back from Madrid to DC on United using miles. It's only 30,000 miles one way, which is way cheaper (on a miles per dollar basis) than the flight would have cost in cash. It might be late to start the planning now, but it's amazing what you can accomplish by taking advantage of credit card sign up offers. My wife and I got 55,000 miles each for opening up United credit cards, which was basically enough to get our family from DC to IAH and from Spain back to DC.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:00 PM   #1872
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I remember someone talking about going to Switzerland after the cruise. It got me to thinking of one of my favorite memories of a salt mine tour there. I grew up in Germany and had the oppertunity to do lots of traveling and the salt mine is my favorite memory. If you have kids it is a well worth your time experance to do. If you are interested I can see if my mom remembers the name, I was a young teenager and dont remember but we did do it several times. When my grandparents came we took them and they enjoyed it as well.

Called our TA today and we are PIF now, I am so excited.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #1873
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Originally Posted by padalyn View Post
Ok - this happened in Dec of 2010....with so many people discussing flying in the night before, I figured you might want to read about the best laid plans of women - gone arwy! This being said - we are flying in the night before!
===========================================
I feel the need to laugh so I figured I would tell a bizarre DCL travel story...
Glad it all worked out in the end... but my head would have exploded.

That said, I guess I am tempting fate bc we are flying in the morning of the flight. 6am direct flight from DC to IAH, scheduled to land at at 8am. We arranged the air ourselves, not through DCL, so I'll be nervous until we are actually at the Galveston terminal. Wish us luck!
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #1874
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We are PIF too.
For the airfare we also prefer flying at least one day before, this time it's gone a be a week before to visit Texas.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:28 PM   #1875
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My travel agency rocks! She called today after finally having spoken with the air department. Our itinerary with them, flights not yet booked, did show they were going to fly us in on the day of. My travel agent pointed out the folly of that, it being the transatlantic, and they have switched it. They will be flying us in the night before and putting us up in the Marriott. So relieved!


ETA We will NOT be charged the deviation fee or for the hotel. We are flying in from the PNW, so that may have influenced the no charge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by padalyn View Post
Ok - this happened in Dec of 2010....with so many people discussing flying in the night before, I figured you might want to read about the best laid plans of women - gone arwy! This being said - we are flying in the night before!
===========================================
Holy moly! That is quite the story. So glad it had a happy ending!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbw5t View Post
We're spending a few days in Barecelona and then a few days in Madrid, and flying back from Madrid to DC on United using miles. It's only 30,000 miles one way, which is way cheaper (on a miles per dollar basis) than the flight would have cost in cash. It might be late to start the planning now, but it's amazing what you can accomplish by taking advantage of credit card sign up offers. My wife and I got 55,000 miles each for opening up United credit cards, which was basically enough to get our family from DC to IAH and from Spain back to DC.
WTG!
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Last edited by Kirbo; 01-11-2013 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Added that we aren't having to pay for the hotel or deviation fee
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