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Re: Help, Google just disabled my email accounts
Nothing doing. Accounts still disabled. All legit accounts. Please revise your post where you write:
Update #2, 11/17 at 8pm: Google has reactivated the suspended accounts!

The tone is aggressive. You may not be able to see it, but once you start telling people (more than once mind you) to change their submitted work, unless your the professor, or your their mother, people don't like being told what to do.

I've submitted numerous requests about my shuttered accounts, yet nothing. Dan, can you pls update your article to properly reflect the facts that Google's reopening of accounts is purely whimsical by nature. Tnx!

Then you tell him exactly what to write.

Seriously? 
For argument's sake lets say you're assumptions are correct, does that still not fly in the face of their publically issued statement that they will be reopening all accounts not opened for the sole purpose of phone purchases? Or did i miss the "3 persons" exclusion?

Then you get sarcastic.

All im saying is that i just cant wrap my head around why he would refuse to update his article.

I don't know where you are from, but when someone is helping you, you don't say phrases like "I can't wrap my head around why he's refusing to do what I'm telling him to do."

A piece of advice for you:

Stop talking arrogantly. If you've spoken that way to google yourself, that might be why they are refusing to open your accounts. Be polite to all parties involved and you'll have a much better chance. No one likes to be told what to do, and how to do it. You can tell your employees what to do, but not Dan or anyone else on this forum.

And I really do genuinely feel bad for you, because I can't imagine what it's like to not have my emails and photos, and everything digital taken away from me, we've grown to rely on it. But there are two ways about going about reinstatement and lately, you've been ticking off the judge...


December 13, 2016, 10:00:44 AM
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Re: Excel Problem You must set the cell format to text before pasting in. Otherwise, by default, excel will read it as a number. And by default, excel can only handle 15 digits (see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/269370)

If you change it to text after the fact, the digits after the 15th will be 0's and you'll lose them for good. If you change it before the fact, it'll store them as text and keep them. Note that on text formatting, you cannot make equations from the contents of that cell (maybe adding to cc #'s together will get you the next Powerball #'s ??? )

December 28, 2016, 08:50:52 AM
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Re: Maldives Master Thread

The morning view from my deck

January 22, 2017, 01:49:30 PM
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Re: Maldives Master Thread
I was thinking about that as well.

Multiple 4500 avios options throughout day, no?
+1 or just pay the few bucks

January 27, 2017, 02:07:01 AM
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The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start I said I'd post it on the weekend so I'm a few days late. We are still working on the pics but I figured if I don't get started with something I'll delay into perpetuity. Having this up might push me a little harder to get the rest out.

The planning:

Dw and I got extremely lucky with this trip. The night before we found out about the new St. Regis we were looking at possible winter vacation options (we were looking at a list of Park Hyatt's as we are diamond through Feb via a status match). dw stumbled upon the Park Hyatt Maldives and begged me to go. We looked into the flight times to the Maldives and I simply wasn't willing to go that far. We were close to booking hyatt beaver creek to go skiing for a few days but we decided we’d sleep on it that night and get back to it the next night. The very next day, someone in my office told me (before Dan posted on DDMS but he presumably saw on FT DDF) about the St. Regis Maldives accepting points reservations for dirt cheap. I didn't quite have enough SPG points for 4 nights (5th free) and was on the phone with dw discussing how to get more quickly when my boss overheard the conversation and offered to book the trip for me using his points (to be repaid later). By the time I secured enough points, the rates were raised to what they are now. It pays to have a good boss.

We booked 5 nights in an overwater villa for 130,000 points (about a $12,500 value for the dates we were going). I briefly considered a garden villa so I can do C+P with my own account and not rely on my boss. Dw quickly knocked sense into me and my boss urged me to use his account to book and get the OWV.

We stalked pictures of the hotel on IG and made bowls of popcorn to read other people’s TR on TripAdvisor (really). It would be a huge underestimation to say we were looking forward to this. The place looked incredible in the pre-opening website photos and even better on IG. Jan 19th just couldn’t come soon enough. I’ve never stayed somewhere nearly as nice so I had no idea what to expect (dw has stayed at various Four Seasons before we got married) and it was better than we both expected. A tall task to live up to because we were looking forward to this vacation for 5 months!

When looking for flights, I admittedly made a HUGE mistake. We were pretty limited since we only had chase UR points (no Amex MR at all and no spg left after this trip) but we had plenty of time to get some signup bonuses and figure something else out. We didn’t do that, and in our “OMG I can’t believe we’re going” hype, we wanted to book rather quickly. If I could go back, I would but I can’t so I won’t.

Anyway we ended up using the chase portal for 1.5 in Y (I WAS A N00B AT THE TIME! And quite possibly still am…) but the silver lining is that we got the flight times and days we wanted. We booked a multi-destination ticket on the way to MLE with a 40hr stop in DXB, and had a 2hr stop in DXB on the way back to JFK. The dollar amount was about $1,000 so we used about 67,000 Chase points. We were booked in fare class X which earns 50% on Alaska so at least we got around 7,000 alaska miles out of this (combined with the 10k from the Virgin merger, we each have 17k without really doing anything). Most of you will say you’d rather pay the cash then use 65k points for that, and I’d agree with you. Unfortunately, I don’t swim in green so I wanted to save the cash I was going to use on this trip for whatever we wanted to do when we got there. I view my points as travel savings accounts so I use them when I actually get to go away.

Complete side note about my failed attempts to get J so feel free to skip if uninterested: After coming to grips that I was going to fly all the way there in economy, I panicked and tried to explore getting out of it. I wanted to cancel (I would have gladly paid a fee to have the points redeposited if it were an option) but they would only give me $800 each worth of flights on Emirates that we would have had to use by August of 2017 – and you can’t use the credit to book for others. Since I plan on going to BOB in June (how many go to Maldives and BOB, let alone in the same year!), I did not envision us using the Emirates credit by the deadline. What I wanted to do was use JAL to book the flights to DXB in J using spg (I would have signed up for 2 cards and bought the remaining points at the 1.7c sale). Anyway, I spent a few nights on the phone trying to get this done but I ultimately failed. At least I tried….

Anyway, here is the itinierary:
JFK-DXB Monday 10:40 am
DXB- MLE Wednesday 2:45 am
MLE-DXB-JFK Tuesday 9:15 am connection at 3pm
In Dubai, we stayed at the Park Hyatt with a DSU giving us an amazing suite. More on that and the rest of Dubai in the next installment…

January 31, 2017, 04:52:03 PM
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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
Waiting for this since mocha burger....
lets have the photos
Ha!

They'll be worth the wait

January 31, 2017, 05:20:39 PM
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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
The way back erases the memories (says the guy who always travels in the back), or does it?

I'm still on a high.

I binged big bang theory and watched 4 movies while drinking a few beers (taking bathroom breaks)

I would've done the same in J just laying down

F would've been a totally different story but G-d Willing, next time :)

Dubai coming soon.. it's all written up, just organizing pics on flickr

February 01, 2017, 01:12:04 PM
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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start Maldives Day 1:

Upon landing we had to go through passport control then get our bags and go through customs (they flagged my grape juice that I brought but after showing it to them, it was cleared). After that we were met by St. Regis airport butlers that took our bags and passports and lead us to an air conditioned SUV (sadly, not the bentley) with wifi where we waited a few minutes for them to arrange our seaplane transfer. One of our bags was definitely overweight and should have incurred about $80 worth of charges but the butler must have took care of it because we weren't charged anything.
When everything was done we headed to The Great Room, an airport lounge with views of the seaplane terminal. The butler takes a picture of you by the St Regis sign here. (This is just speculation but I think they send the picture to the hotel staff so they know your names/ what you look like. Everyone in the hotel seemed to know us by name without having met them before). There's not much in terms of refreshments at the lounge- just a bowl of fruit that doesn't look like it's meant to be touched and a fridge with water and various juices. There are also showers to refresh yourself, toothbrushes, etc. Basically comparable to a nice lounge minus the food. Other than that it's just a room with a bunch of couch areas to sit in and wait for your transfer. There's a nice deck facing the water outside so we sat on some chairs there and enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful blue water. At one point the staff took our credit card and put a hold of $500 per night on it. They also gave us a drink menu with 4-5 options and asked us to choose a welcome drink for when we arrive at the hotel.
We only had to wait about 30 minutes before getting back in the car for a 1 minute (or less) ride to the seaplane (literally would have been a 2 minute walk). They give you little amenity kits with earplugs, mints, and face spray for the plane. The seaplane ride is breathtaking, which is expected. We made one stop at another resort and let people off then continued to Vommuli island.

From the Great Room outdoor deck




Seaplane




Amenity kits



View from seaplane









View of the Iridium spa from the seaplane




Upon arrival there were a bunch of St. Regis staff standing in a row waving to our approaching seaplane. They all shook our hands and greeted us by name (I was known as Mr. Charles the whole trip) then we were given our welcome drink. Our butler Naseeb then introduced himself and took us for a tour of the island and finally to our villa.

Arrival - you can see the butlers waving



Butler Cart



We were originally given a north facing villa with a lot of privacy but little sunlight on the deck. Dw wanted to have views of the light blue water ("why else would you go to the Maldives, we have dark blue water at home") so we asked to switch to one of the sunrise villas (Y’all can debate the privacy/sun on the Master Thread). Our butler Naseeb (he gets an A+) took care of the room switch while we were on a sunset fishing trip. We chose to do the fishing trip on our first day and only mentioned it to our butler in the afternoon but he booked it for us on the spot. We were taken on a boat with 6 others to a spot around 10 minutes away from the island and were taught the traditional Maldivian style of fishing (line fishing). We didn't end up catching anything ourselves, thought we almost did and we lost 3 hooks to apparently hungry fish, but others on the boat caught 4 red snappers, a barracuda, a baby shark, which we threw back into the water after taking some pictures, and a green reef fish. They were able to have their fish for lunch or dinner the next day. I believe the fee for that is $30. After fishing we had our Pom dinner at Alba, the main restaurant. We brought along plastic plates and cutlery but they had extra for the last few days when we ran out of the ones we brought.

North facing villa at around noon - notice the shade





Sunset fishing






Catch of the night - a bunch of snappers and a baracuda




Also caught a baby shark but had to let it go




All in all we had a relaxing first day and were definitely ready for some rest:







February 07, 2017, 10:02:25 PM
4
Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
FTFY ;)
I don't think I would have gone to the Maldives last year had we not gotten premium cabin all the way there, but good for you for just going with what worked for you and not feeling pressured that EY/EK/TK/CX J or F is the only option. My wife is hesitant to travel anywhere in Y after EY Apartments.

Great trip report, giving me some motivation to write my own some day!

I definitely wouldn't have gone if I didn't get the amazing St. Regis deal so how we got there was less impt for us. Each trip has it's own quirks and I definitely do not regret it for a second. It was better than I can describe with or without pictures.

February 08, 2017, 03:36:57 PM
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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start Maldives Day 2:
Our second day was Friday so we didn't have much time to do something big. We spent the morning snorkeling by the edge of the reef. There's nothing to see in front of the sunrise villas (in the clear light blue water) so you need to swim to the sunset side to get to the reef. The coral is bleached and still damaged from the construction but there's still fish to see at the edge. We saw a few baby black tip sharks, sting rays, clams, and a lot of colorful fish.


Morning at the sunrise villa























Snorkeling - They give you a snorkeling set (goggles, snorkel, flippers) withing an hour of when you arrive that you use for your entire stay. Side note: They only have one type of snorkel, if it doesn't work for your face, you probably have to buy a different one from their store. For whatever reason, it didn't work for my face. Luckily, one of the ladies in the water sports center had a personal one that was different than the rest and that one happened to be fine for me. She let me use it for the duration of my stay.

I'll add some more pics and videos for Day 4 & 5. As you can see, the coral is mostly dead. There are fish to be seen though.








After lunch we went to the water sports center to make a plan for the next few days. We did sea bobbing that day which was a lot of fun. It's basically like a jet ski that you lay on with your stomach and your lower half just dangles in the water. You can take it under water (up to 2 meters). We didn't take any pictures of them but here's a picture from google. I couldn't strap my gopro to my head because these things go up to 100km/hr, and I couldnt hold my gopro in my hand because you really do need two hands to hold onto this thing.



After sea bob we relaxed by the main beach before getting ready for shabbat. We had our dinner at 6 (before shabbat actually started) so we didn't run into any food heating issues.

Beach





Bike parking (each guest gets a bike to use for their stay)



Free sunscreen at the pool/beach area



Crabs




(And here’s a video we took from the deck of the room. It will give you more of a complete picture of how the rooms are set up.)


February 09, 2017, 11:07:46 AM
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