I love credit cards so much!

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StephPlum

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Sitka....it was beautiful. We all loved this town! we did a combo of walking and buses thru town,and visited the Raptor center, the Bear center ( a true highlight!!) and just sightseeing the pretty and short town trails.
Cool. For some reason, Sitka is a definite must for DH so I would be looking for a cruise that stops there. I figure if I can get him to go, I'll let him call one port!
 

TarraLee

<font color=blue>New TDS CM!<br><font color=red>Le
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Question on paying DVC dues--
I was planning target/red card/dis gift cards for 5% discount. Is this preferable to using cc for points? I think so but I'm new to the cc game, so double checking with the experts!
:)

ETA-- we don't need the spend from this to meet any MSR
 
  • calypso726

    Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2006
    Sometimes the Uber drivers in DC make me seriously motion sick. Should I avoid this?

    Seriously, these pictures are incredible. I'm envious of your experiences!
    OMG on those waves. :eek: I get car sick unless I'm driving (and even if I'm driving if it's a winding road). I need to use a patch just to sail DCL. No way could I handle this. I'm amazed so many people are doing so well - maybe people like me self-select out of this route. :blush: I take it your ship has good stabilizers? I know it's much smaller than a typical cruise ship - how do you like it? And thanks for all the pics! And the video links - I watched them all!
    Aaaaand OH. MY. My motion sickness prone self does not want to experience that. But the adventurer in me will not be able to turn it down if I ever start to see it as possible... I grew up in a travel agency and my first job beyond envelope stuffing was managing the brochures. I used to cut out the pictures of all the stuff I loved or wanted to see (when they expired of course!) to decorate with and the walls in my room were like 90% from the Lindblad brochures, mostly Antarctica. We never sold anyone on doing it but I definitely though it was the coolest thing out there in the travel world!
    Update: I survived the Drake Passage coming and going.

    I have been known to get motion sickness in a car in the passenger side sometimes but mostly the back seat. I will always get sea sick if I don’t take Bonine every day on a DCL cruise even when the water is like glass. None the less, I opted to experience this rite of passage. I’ve taken nothing besides Bonine. The worst of it for me was last night after dinner. I got a little light headed and decided to lie in bed instead of going to see Chasing Ice, the documentary, in the lounge. Other than that, I’ve been able to catch up on lots of sleep! Love sleeping while on the ocean in a ship!

    @mmmears - I loved the smaller ship to be honest. It’s makes for a completely unique experience. When there’s 100 ish people on board vs thousands it feels like everyone is more connected as a group. You don’t have entertainment the way you do on the big ships. There are entertaining lectures on different topics, recaps of the day etc. On NYE the staff put on their talent show for us. It was unexpected, campy and charming and we were all delighted. It was a far cry from the type of entertainment you get on the big ships but wonderful for everything that it was not. It added to the intimate feeling of being with a small group, limited space and resources.

    So glad you enjoyed the pics and that the videos links worked!
     

    calypso726

    Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2006
    Question on paying DVC dues--
    I was planning target/red card/dis gift cards for 5% discount. Is this preferable to using cc for points? I think so but I'm new to the cc game, so double checking with the experts!
    :)

    ETA-- we don't need the spend from this to meet any MSR
    That depends on how you value cash back vs points. There is nothing wrong with your scenario if you are a cash back person. If you have a Sams or BJs membership you can likely get nearly 5% off of their discounted Disney gift cards and pay with a cc that earns 2% cash back and do even better.

    Unless I am meeting an MSR I tend to purchase the Disney GCs for 5x UR at an office supply store with my Ink Plus (Ink Cash would offer the same option).
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    Your plan absolutely scares me. Rope drop every day. Fireworks in the park at 8pm. I long ago gave up staying from opening to close. Not sure if I've ever done it. I've done rope drop at least once a trip but I would be having lunch somewhere or back in my room by noon. And I've been in a park until 2am, but I didn't get there at 8am. Going in the evening, with the exception of a few visits to other parks involves dinner of some kind in Epcot. Park time during a trip is usually 3-4 hours in a day and sometimes I don't even go but 3-4 times in a 7 day trip. Even with an AP.

    Once I did a ride in all 4 parks one day. Just for the heck of it. Was actually pretty easy.

    I either have an annual pass or a park hopper. Touring style is no plans whatsoever, except for a few rides that I will try to plan for such as recently FOP - had to try it once and now could care less. I have a few things that I enjoy doing and rope drop on an extra magic day will usually take care of that such as Toy Story, Buzz, the Safari in Animal Kingdom. I don't do thrill rides as I would first of all get sick all over everybody and 2nd, I don't enjoy heights or being spinned and turned upside down. Daughters who do like things get to make fast passes and ride twice on my ticket.

    I do enjoy the Bay Lake rooms for the views. My all time favorite was a lake view on the North end where you had a sideways MK view and the fireworks were easily seen. We weren't directly looking at the castle but it was a nice surprise. I've also had a lake view corner room at Grand Floridian Villas where you could enjoy the fireworks but you had to be on the balcony to see them. Nice surprise again as nobody was posting about that at the time, as it was in the first few months that VGF were open.
    The good news is there is no wrong way to do Disney :) A little more on our style:

    We always go in Jan too when parks open at 9a and most nights are all closed by 8p. We are there 8 days and 7 nights. Excluding arrival day and departure day where we only get about 6 park hours; We will have 6 full park days. We will take an afternoon break of 2-3 hours on 4 of those days (usually involves a 30-45 min nap (dad and kids), resort exploration and a swim if temps are 80). So we probably will put in about 75 park hours (this was actually kind of fun to think thru).

    If we put the kids to bed by 9p or shortly thereafter they will be up by 7a. Making rope drop with a 5y and 8y old child is pretty easy then for us haha. In a Disney hotel room I’m done sleeping when they’re done haha. We eat a quick cereal breakfast in the room while getting ready.

    During those days, some portion of our family will ride almost every ride and see every show at every park (our only “skips” are mission space, figment, tough to be a bug). We will probably attempt to meet every character too although there’s certainly a number of minor ones we inevitable miss.

    And the crazy part - I get 8-9 hrs of sleep a night and come home rested and energized. This probably explains why our Disney trip is so sacred to our family lol! That and the fact that I love spending 8 days of nonstop family time together.
     
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  • SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    I'm really behind so you may have updated this since you first posted...

    I asked for a match on my pers AA right around when you did yours (I know yours was biz) and I got the letter yesterday saying they would deposit 20,000 points into my account. So we shall see. Fingers crossed for you, I am sure you will hear soon!

    I am hoping to get the credit on taxes/fees paid on points flights. I will admit that this card/app was one of my least thought out ever, so I have no idea if that will credit. Worst case I'll buy gcs, I could use those too.
    I’m hoping to sell my $250 AA eGC in Raise or something similar and get $200ish cash in my pocket lol
     

    Lain

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    DP:

    Approved for SPG Biz on 10/31/17;
    Second year $95 AF posted and statement closed on 11/15/18;
    35k FN cert posted 1/3/19.

    Amex gives 30 days from the closing date of the statement on which the AF posts to close a card for a full refund of the AF.

    Not that I was planning to close my SPG Biz anyway, but my 35k FN cert took 49 days from AF to deposit into my SPG account. Amex really is making it impossible to get the FN cert if you cancel your SPG card.
     
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    DisneyMandC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2015
    Need a vacation from your vacation seems to be my motto...
    That’s exactly what our motto is :rotfl2: Quite frankly, that’s our motto no matter where we go. We don’t like to sit still. Even when my mom and I went to NYC the other week, she said she had so many people afterwards who kept telling her they couldn’t believe how much we did on our trip. They all thought we’d been there for several days instead of 36 hours haha.
     
  • Lain

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    Back from Hawaii, and looking forward to *trying to* catch up with this thread and being more active again next week. I'll also try to put together some thoughts (I'd hesitate to call them "reviews") of the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Waikiki to post in the DISchurners hotel thread.

    Some initial thoughts:

    I loved the Royal Hawaiian for all its history and location as a retreat away from the overdevelopment and hustle of Waikiki, and my DD5 who loves all things princess and pink adored staying in a "pink palace" and loved all the beautiful Christmas decorations; but my wife prefers hotels that are more "contemporary" and "clean" (that's not to say the Royal Hawaiian is "dirty"). The Royal Hawaiian shares grounds with the Sheraton Waikiki (and they're both owned by the same company, Kyo-ya), so staying at the Royal Hawaiian gives access to most of the Sheraton's amenities, including the Helumoa Playground and Pools (which was a big hit with my daughter), and room charging between the properties and their shops and restaurants (gotta earn those 10x Marriott points on room charges + elite bonus and pay with a Marriott/SPG card to earn 6x more!). The two hotels also share the same stretch of Waikiki Beach right next to each other, and it doesn't get more convenient than just stepping off the hotel grounds and feeling that fine Waikiki sand between your toes. While all beaches in Hawaii are public, this particular stretch is somewhat hidden by the hotels and never gets too crowded unlike further down Waikiki Beach. I want to go back!

    My wife liked the Sheraton Waikiki more, initially, and it's a more modern hotel for sure. The lobby, shops, and grounds are really nice and well-maintained. However, the Sheraton has 3x the rooms of the Royal Hawaiian and the crowds and foot traffic that comes with all those additional guests; the rooms are in need of updating; the walls, floors and ceilings are thin; and being so high up gives you great views but (depending on where is your room) you have to take it in with all the noise and bustle of the city all around you. We had an amazing westward (Ewa-side) view of Waikiki, Ala Moana and Kakaako, out all the way towards Waipahu and Ewa Beach from up high on the 25th Floor. But we were next to the parking garage for the Royal Hawaiian [Shopping] Center and the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton Hotels, and could hear car alarms even with the balcony door closed (we didn't experience a break-in and I don't want to say the alarms were even triggered by any break-ins, but I suppose practice due diligence as always). We were also next to the old Waikiki Parc Hotel, which you can see in earlier pictures has been completely gutted and is in the process of being renovated into a newly rebranded hotel. Construction noise wasn't very noticeable over the normal buzz of city traffic. That said, we heard the Sheraton Waikiki is going to start a two-year, $100M renovation of its guest rooms this year, and it's well past time, but that may affect decisions to stay at the Sheraton in the near future. We stayed at the Sheraton over New Year's Eve, and stayed up to watch the fireworks from our balcony. We understood everyone was in a festive mood -- we were too! -- and tried to be accommodating; but our next door neighbors that night had way more guests than they probably should've had in their room, and we could hear them blowing kazoos and their TV on loud until almost 2 a.m. when we called the front desk to complain. The next morning, their iPhone started sounding the piercing "Radar" alarm at 6 a.m. and it went on for over 15 minutes before I decided I had to wake up anyway and went down to complain to the front desk. My wife was not amused. The neighbor situation got better after that party checked out later on New Year's Day, but we could still hear the occasional heavy thuds and banging above and around us. If you don't plan to be in your room the entire time (and why would you while you're in Hawaii?), the Sheraton is in a great location and not a bad way to use 50k Marriott points (or a SPG Lux FN cert).

    One final rainbow from our last day in Hawaii:
     
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    DisneyMandC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2015
    The good news is there is no right way to do Disney :) A little more on our style:

    We always go in Jan too when parks open at 9a and most nights are all closed by 8p. We are there 8 days and 7 nights. Excluding arrival day and departure day where we only get about 6 park hours; We will have 6 full park days. We will take an afternoon break of 2-3 hours on 4 of those days (usually involves a 30-45 min nap (dad and kids), resort exploration and a swim if temps are 80). So we probably will put in about 75 park hours (this was actually kind of fun to think thru).

    If we put the kids to bed by 9p or shortly thereafter they will be up by 7a. Making rope drop with a 5y and 8y old child is pretty easy then for us haha. In a Disney hotel room I’m done sleeping when they’re done haha. We eat a quick cereal breakfast in the room while getting ready.

    During those days, some portion of our family will ride almost every ride and see every show at every park (our only “skips” are mission space, figment, tough to be a bug). We will probably attempt to meet every character too although there’s certainly a number of minor ones we inevitable miss.

    And the crazy part - I get 8-9 hrs of sleep a night and come home rested and energized. This probably explains why our Disney trip is so sacred to our family lol! That and the fact that I love spending 8 days of nonstop family time together.
    My BIL specifically asked if we were going to do rope drop when we told him about the trip. Apparently when he went with a friend and her parents last year, they slept until 10 every day and didn’t get to the park until noon. He said he was basically screaming internally with rage the whole time, but felt it would be rude to leave them.
     

    wendow

    We create happiness.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2012
    This is every Disney trip for us. If we don’t come home absolutely exhausted, we don’t consider the trip a success :rotfl2:
    Pretty much same for us. We open and close the parks and rarely take a break. We didn’t when our kids were little but our youngest is now 7 and he can keep up just fine. I’m sure as we age our touring may look different but our vacations (and especially Disney) are more go-go-go! We come home utterly exhausted but having had an amazing time !
     

    Psychodisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2005
    Question on paying DVC dues--
    I was planning target/red card/dis gift cards for 5% discount. Is this preferable to using cc for points? I think so but I'm new to the cc game, so double checking with the experts!
    :)

    ETA-- we don't need the spend from this to meet any MSR
    I agree with Calypso, it depends on what you value most. If you have the CSR, your dues will code as travel meaning 3x UR. If you have the CF, getting 5x UR might be worth more to you than 5% at Target (it is for me:)). 5% at Target is a good start. A lot of us like to grab discounted Disney gift cards when we can throughout the year. Some save them for trips, some save them for DVC dues.
     

    striker1064

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2018
    I believe there are other feds on this board. I am lucky that my agency is fully funded so I will still get my paycheck on Fri. But DOI processes our payroll and those poor people are furloughed but some will work so they can process our payroll. Pretty sad state of affairs.
    Yep, am furloughed myself. We have some non-appropriated funding so I can work a little, but it's only been an hour or two each day at most. I think I got in 10 hours total over the last 2 weeks. It's a bummer.

    Gonna head to a PNC branch either today or Monday to try to open an account for the bonus since opening online continues to fail me.
     

    palhockeymomof2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 14, 2001
    The good news is there is no right way to do Disney :) A little more on our style:

    We always go in Jan too when parks open at 9a and most nights are all closed by 8p. We are there 8 days and 7 nights. Excluding arrival day and departure day where we only get about 6 park hours; We will have 6 full park days. We will take an afternoon break of 2-3 hours on 4 of those days (usually involves a 30-45 min nap (dad and kids), resort exploration and a swim if temps are 80). So we probably will put in about 75 park hours (this was actually kind of fun to think thru).

    If we put the kids to bed by 9p or shortly thereafter they will be up by 7a. Making rope drop with a 5y and 8y old child is pretty easy then for us haha. In a Disney hotel room I’m done sleeping when they’re done haha. We eat a quick cereal breakfast in the room while getting ready.

    During those days, some portion of our family will ride almost every ride and see every show at every park (our only “skips” are mission space, figment, tough to be a bug). We will probably attempt to meet every character too although there’s certainly a number of minor ones we inevitable miss.

    And the crazy part - I get 8-9 hrs of sleep a night and come home rested and energized. This probably explains why our Disney trip is so sacred to our family lol! That and the fact that I love spending 8 days of nonstop family time together.
    When my kids were that age....they were up early too, so we pretty much did the same..rope drop....break in the afternoon..back to a park at night.
    Now that they are 20 and 30 something....and since we can book fastpasses later..we usually get to a park around 10.....ride some rides, take a break back at the hotel to swim/relax....then back to a park at night until closing...
     

    afan

    Honorary Bus Driver
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2014
    Thanks! I'm saving this in case we do end up going there. :)

    We watched Crazy Rich Asians tonight, which we also got from our library. I'm interested to hear about Oceans 8!
    I really enjoyed crazy rich asians. It was one where I was excited they made thr book into the movie. I know people like thr books but I wasn't interested in reading about it and love thr visuals of the movie which are way better than my imagination would have done.

    I hope oceans 8 is good. I liked the first 4 of them with George Clooney 11 first then 13 then rat pack original then 12.

    That is one of my favorite movies. It has been awhile since I've watched it, I should get it out. I like Humphrey Bogart. If you liked him, Maltese Falcon (another b&w with some of the same actors) is also really good. More of a mystery/detective movie.
    Thanks! I put it on hold. All about eve is next since there were already copies available I just have to wait for it to get to my library.
     

    SouthFayetteFan

    Saving Money on Disney Vacations since 2006
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    My BIL specifically asked if we were going to do rope drop when we told him about the trip. Apparently when he went with a friend and her parents last year, they slept until 10 every day and didn’t get to the park until noon. He said he was basically screaming internally with rage the whole time, but felt it would be rude to leave them.
    WOW...yeah I’d have just been rude lol! :P
     
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