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Old 01-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #1891
MandyGirl
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Originally Posted by belle2011 View Post
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.
Congrats on PIF! Which parts of Texas are you planning to visit?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #1892
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Originally Posted by Kirbo View Post
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.
Holy moly! That is quite the story. So glad it had a happy ending!

WTG!
Awesome news!! Sometimes they just need someone to remind them of the common sense side of things versus what a computer spits out. So glad DCL listened to your TA - and that you made that call!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:41 PM   #1893
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I'm flying into DFW on the Friday, staying in the Hyatt courtesy of Hotwire and an unbelievable rate, then flying United in the AM to IAH and driving down to Galveston. I should be at Galveston for around 1pm I think.
That's a good hotel and convenient being right there at DFW.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #1894
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Originally Posted by MandyGirl View Post
Awesome news!! Sometimes they just need someone to remind them of the common sense side of things versus what a computer spits out. So glad DCL listened to your TA - and that you made that call!
Me, too!
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:04 AM   #1895
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Originally Posted by MandyGirl View Post
Congrats on PIF! Which parts of Texas are you planning to visit?
Thanks,
We have plan to visit San antonio, seaworld, and then houston.
We also plan to go to the beach, maybe you know which one we should go from Houston ? (we were thinking to galveston not sure if it's the closest beach from Houston)
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #1896
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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.
We are also using my United miles to head back from Europe. I'm a million miler flyer on United.

It's been awhile since I have posted (although I expressed interest in a post about poker earlier this week). It will be me (turing 50 in April!), DW, Marci (she'll be 45 just after this trip), and DD, Alyssa (5).

The only think that was a surprise for me using miles was that you have to pay the taxes on flights out of the US. The taxes are determined by what country you are flying out of. It turned out the UK and Germany were the most expensive, but I believe Spain, Portugal - even Luxembourg were quite cheap - around $50pp. My wife's heritage is in Germany, so we are flying there the day we disembark, and will be flying out of Germany a few days later (Frankfurt). The taxes added up to just under $400 for the three of us, but well less than the $1500pp I was finding to get us home!

We're flying Southwest from Denver the night before - cheapest option for us (it's actually more that what I paid for the trip back). I'm a little nervous about Southwest, but United's fares just aren't competive down there right now, which is odd since both Denver and Houston are hubs for them. I could have gone to Austin or San Antonio for about the same price, but then would have to rent a car, so that wasn't feasible either. We're taking the DCL transportation from Hobby on Saturday morning.

Chuck
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:49 AM   #1897
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Originally Posted by belle2011 View Post
Thanks,
We have plan to visit San antonio, seaworld, and then houston.
We also plan to go to the beach, maybe you know which one we should go from Houston ? (we were thinking to galveston not sure if it's the closest beach from Houston)
Beach - yes, Galveston is the closest to Houston. There is parking along the seawall. It's not the white sand and clear blue water you see in the Caribbean, but it is sand and ocean. You will think Castaway Cay is much prettier. (When we took my daughter in September she opted to skip the beach - six years old - which was a surprise because she love swimming.)

San Antonio - Riverwalk - we always love eating at Boudro's. You can dine along the river or indoors, lunch is less expensive, and they do take reservations. Reviews are here.

Sea World is smaller than Orlando but still good. It now has the new water park integrated.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #1898
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Originally Posted by Viking_53 View Post
We are also using my United miles to head back from Europe. I'm a million miler flyer on United.

It's been awhile since I have posted (although I expressed interest in a post about poker earlier this week). It will be me (turing 50 in April!), DW, Marci (she'll be 45 just after this trip), and DD, Alyssa (5).

The only think that was a surprise for me using miles was that you have to pay the taxes on flights out of the US. The taxes are determined by what country you are flying out of. It turned out the UK and Germany were the most expensive, but I believe Spain, Portugal - even Luxembourg were quite cheap - around $50pp. My wife's heritage is in Germany, so we are flying there the day we disembark, and will be flying out of Germany a few days later (Frankfurt). The taxes added up to just under $400 for the three of us, but well less than the $1500pp I was finding to get us home!

We're flying Southwest from Denver the night before - cheapest option for us (it's actually more that what I paid for the trip back). I'm a little nervous about Southwest, but United's fares just aren't competive down there right now, which is odd since both Denver and Houston are hubs for them. I could have gone to Austin or San Antonio for about the same price, but then would have to rent a car, so that wasn't feasible either. We're taking the DCL transportation from Hobby on Saturday morning.

Chuck
I hear you about taxes on FF miles -- that is why we did not cash in on our American miles to fly home. We ended up purchasing tickets for not much more out of pocket, or could have had ridiculous connections.

Don't worry over flying Southwest. It's not your traditional hub-and-spoke airline, but rather point-to-point. Houston has a pilot and flight attendant base for them and is one of their original three airports from when the airline was created, so definitely one of their busier locations. The other pilot base locations are DAL, PHX, BWI, OAK, MDW with the newest being LAS and MCO. Rumor is that eventually DEN will be added as a pilot base, but is not currently. Their AQR ratings are not as perfect as 10+ years ago since adding airports known for delays (versus the smaller in-town airports in their original model) but still pretty good when looking at the US airline rankings. Just be sure to do your online checkin right at 24 hours advance so you get a better boarding pass number, as Southwest is open seating. That said, my kindergartener still prefers to be "a big girl" and sit by herself on a different row to ensure she and little sister don't fight over the window. She's had 100+ flights on Southwest so she thinks she knows the system. When we fly an airline with assigned seating, she complains
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:13 AM   #1899
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We're taking the DCL transportation from Hobby on Saturday morning.

Chuck
Are you sure? DCL told us that they are transporting from Bush only????? That was the only reason we booked a flight on United instead of Southwest!
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:34 AM   #1900
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Are you sure? DCL told us that they are transporting from Bush only????? That was the only reason we booked a flight on United instead of Southwest!
When I was calling this summer, I was getting conflicting info from DCL depending on who I talked to.

The good thing is that there are cabs, limos, Super Shuttle, etc that run from Hobby to Galveston regularly. I asked at HOU Hobby for Super Shuttle and was told $110 for a private van for up to 8-10 passengers.

Even parts of this email I received in September were not clear regarding transportation from Hobby (see the blue):

9/13/12

Dear Mandy,

Thank you for choosing another Disney Cruise Line vacation!

I would be happy to assist you.

1) A minimum of 1 pre- and/or post-night can be added with a maximum of
3 pre- and/or post-nights at the following hotel in Galveston, based on
availability:

-Hotel Galvez & Spa

Only one 1 pre-night can be added at one of the following hotels, based
on availability:

-Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush International
-Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport

Additional information:

*Pre/post-nights can be added up until 31 days prior to check-in date.
*Pre/post-nights are booked at the same hotel.
*Pre/post-nights are purchased for all Guests in the same stateroom.
*If pre/post-nights are requested within the deadline date, the resort
can be waitlisted.

If you are interested in adding pre- and/or post-nights to your
reservation, please call our Contact Center at 800-939-2784 or
407-566-7000 Monday-Friday 8:00am to 10:00pm (ET) or Saturday/Sunday
9:00am-8:00pm (ET). Our reservation agents will be happy to assist you.

2) Round-trip motor coach transportation can be arranged between the
Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport or Houston/Hobby
International Airport and the cruise terminal in Galveston for $60.00
per person, 3 years and older. There is no charge for children under 3
years of age.

OR

One-way motor coach transportation can be arranged from the
Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport or Houston/Hobby
International Airport to the cruise terminal in Galveston for $30.00 per
person, 3 years and older. There is no charge for children under 3 years
of age.

If you are flying into Houston/Hobby International Airport, you will
need to seek other transportation options to/from the cruise terminal in
Galveston.


If you are interested in adding this transportation option to your
reservation, please call our Reservations Department at 800-939-2784 or
407-566-7000, Monday - Friday 8:00am to 10:00pm (ET) or Saturday -
Sunday 9:00am - 8:00pm (ET) and we'll be happy to make these
arrangements for you.

Mandy, I hope this information has been helpful. If you require
further assistance in planning your visit, please feel free to contact
us.

We look forward to sailing again with you and your family!

Have a Magical Day!

Kaylee
Email Communications Agent
Disney Cruise Line


Last edited by MandyGirl; 01-12-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #1901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyGirl View Post
Beach - yes, Galveston is the closest to Houston. There is parking along the seawall. It's not the white sand and clear blue water you see in the Caribbean, but it is sand and ocean. You will think Castaway Cay is much prettier. (When we took my daughter in September she opted to skip the beach - six years old - which was a surprise because she love swimming.)

San Antonio - Riverwalk - we always love eating at Boudro's. You can dine along the river or indoors, lunch is less expensive, and they do take reservations. Reviews are here.

Sea World is smaller than Orlando but still good. It now has the new water park integrated.
Thank you,
We usually go to the beach near Nice and it's not sand more rocks so even if it's not white sand I think we are all going to enjoy it.
According to the reviews Boudro's seems really nice.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:04 AM   #1902
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I hear you about taxes on FF miles -- that is why we did not cash in on our American miles to fly home. We ended up purchasing tickets for not much more out of pocket, or could have had ridiculous connections.
The taxes on my one-way flight home from Barcelona are $48 - but that's because all of my flights are on American Airlines-operated planes. I am flying Barcelona to JFK, and then 3 more flights within the US (hoping to make that 2 more!). The taxes would've been $100 more if I had chosen British Airways from Barcelona to London, with AA flights to the US from there, and even more if the London to Chicago flight had been on BA.

Last edited by NancyIL; 01-12-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #1903
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The taxes on my one-way flight home from Barcelona are $48 - but that's because all of my flights are on American Airlines-operated planes. I am flying Barcelona to JFK, and then 3 more flights within the US (hoping to make that 2 more!). The taxes would've been $100 more if I had chosen British Airways from Barcelona to London, with AA flights to the US from there, and even more if the London to Chicago flight had been on BA.
That was our issue - BA codeshare flights and because we are not flying from home from Spain post-cruise. When we were originally looking to fly home from Venice, everything was a BA codeshare and weird connections using AA miles. Such as fly into one airport but have to change to another airport in the city for the connection (mainly London and New York connections, or weird hours). If just me and hubby, no big deal, but with two little ones and a mother-in-law, more than I wanted to deal with. One flight was $370 in taxes per person. (crazy!) We decided it was easier to just take the train from Venice to Milan, spend a couple days there, then fly home on tickets that were not too much more in cost - saving the miles for another cruise. Our other issue was that we tried booking flights within the week AA announced their schedule for our timeframe (we knew some flights are so limited and available frequent flyer seats go quickly). Since then, they have added more flights with AAdvantage seats, of course after we purchased our tickets. We saw more options if flying home from Madrid or Barcelona, and had no issues booking tickets to Barcelona for the WBTA, but ending up in Venice for this trip threw us a curveball with flights home on miles. Gosh darn it, Venice better be worth it
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:38 AM   #1904
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I would also like a little more planning time - Can we decide how many each group will be split into? At least then I can decide how many groups to commit to as I am planning for one of my FE items to be per cabin.
Of course we can decide Sara.

How many cabins will we split the groups into for the Fish Extender?

How about 15, 20, 25???

Will go with majority of the people who respond to this
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:48 AM   #1905
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Of course we can decide Sara.

How many cabins will we split the groups into for the Fish Extender?

How about 15, 20, 25???

Will go with majority of the people who respond to this
15 cabins... with the option to join more than one group for those who like to give to all? I know a pain in the rear to coordinate...

I think we had 15-20 cabins and no more than 40 passengers per FE group on WBTA, but I also know Pat messaged me more than once to vent
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