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Re: Buy/Sell New/Used Cell Phone Master Thread
So do Verizon phones work on TMobile and Sprint? TIA

T-Mobile and AT&T yes. Sprint most do: all Verizon iPhones and most Verizon Android phones in the last 2 years.

July 27, 2018, 05:48:47 PM
Re: Bahamas Master Thread
Anyway of avoiding the $100 departure tax on award tickets?

Make a stop in SJU. No departure tax because PR is in the Caribbean and no departure tax from SJU to Continental US because it is a US territory.

October 03, 2018, 06:15:43 PM
Re: Bahamas Master Thread
Anyone stay at Grand Hyatt?

The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is a fantastic hotel but not very shabbat friendly. The regular rooms start on the 7th floor (I think the lowest possible floor is 5 - the lobby is several stories high and housekeeping/catering/administrative floors are above it). There are no staircases that lead to/from the lobby. All staircases lead outside the property and it's a small hike to get back to the lobby. Also, you can't re-enter the stairs once you exit (they lock from the inside on both the ground floor and upper floors) so getting back to the room from the lobby by stairs is nearly impossible.

Also what do people do for food?

We brought frozen from home and used the mini fridge in the room. Be careful not to touch the minibar snacks when loading the fridge - even picking one up and putting it back down will incur a charge.

Do you bother renting a car?

Did not rent a car. Taxis are strictly regulated by the local government in the Bahamas. Taxi rates are fixed from the airport to hotels, downtown, shopping areas, Paradise Island, etc. They take $USD.

December 12, 2018, 04:03:45 PM
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread Has anyone been to BI National Parks sites since the government shutdown? What is closed? The NPS website says "some areas of the park will remain accessible to visitors" for most sites but doesn't go into detail.
January 14, 2019, 11:59:16 AM
Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
How's the Hyatt Place Waikiki? Any nice cheaper hotels in that area?

If you've ever stayed at another Hyatt Place it's identical. They are all the same. This one is fine - clean, comfortable, nothing fancy. About 2 blocks from the beach. Free breakfast is nice but had a hard time finding kosher things to eat (all of the bread for example is a local brand). They don't provide microwaves in rooms (supposedly due to fire code rules in Waikiki?) but they will gladly heat up your food in their kitchen's microwave for free. Free overnight parking 2 blocks away on Monsarrat Ave if you can find it.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki was fantastic and a much better value IMHO if you are paying cash rates. If points then can't beat Hyatt Place.

February 12, 2019, 10:39:38 AM
Re: PIX Wireless (vs. Google Fi)
I browsed around the website of Pix and it seems premature at this point, many pages I clicked on lead nowhere and there's a lack of information, just lots of cute graphics. I for one definitely wouldn't use them yet.

The site states in many places: "Save up to 120% on Roaming Charges". If they saved me 120% they would end up owing me 20% just for using their service. What a deal!  :P

May 30, 2019, 12:24:22 PM
Re: International Sim Discussion Looks like Red Pocket released a prepaid monthly data-only Global Data Plan that's $9 for 1GB at LTE speeds plus $8 for each additional 1GB that works in 50 countries (Israel included). Is this the cheapest high-speed global roaming data plan out there?
July 09, 2019, 01:15:27 PM
Re: 15k RT to Hawaii on UA through Turkish

Not completely. Bro has a new United PNR and is confirmed on the flight. SIL doesn't in United's system but does in Turkish's. So there's a lot of finger pointing as to who is responsible. As per United, If they tried to check-in for this flight my SIL would not be allowed to check-in nor board. Still not sure how to resolve.

August 24, 2019, 10:49:47 PM
Re: 15k RT to Hawaii on UA through Turkish
Booked EWR-HNL-EWR on United for my brother and SIL for 60K Marriott -> 30K Turkish today. Took about 24 minutes on the phone.  TK provided an e-ticket number for both passengers and a PNR. When I check the PNR on the United site it shows only one passenger on the itinerary and the named passenger is my name, not my brother's name as is shown in the TK email confirmation. I checked with TK and they confirm the flights were ticketed and issued to the 2 correct passengers and that I need to follow up with United to confirm everything else. If I give United the PNR they do not see any of those details. When I give United the e-ticket number from TK they say they cannot see the details not make any changes (e.g., like assigning seats) because it is a partner ticket and that I need to contact TK to make sure the tickets were issued.

Is it possible it just takes a few days for the itinerary to be ticketed? Shouldn't United be able to see the correct number of passengers and names from my PNR? Any advice on how to proceed?

It took about a month convincing TK there was an issue with their system. They finally agreed to reach out to United and they resolved the issue within a few days.

September 20, 2019, 11:52:41 AM
Re: Visible cell phone service ($40 unlimited)
Anyone with recent experience on this carrier?

I have 4 lines with Visible since early December. Porting was an adventure - 2 lines went smoothly, 2 didn't. One line took about 36hrs of no service until it was resolved. Another was not working for about 6hrs. The other 2 ported without issue in about 5 minutes. Once ported however the service is fine. Just hope that you never have to use support because it's chat/Facebook/Twitter support only. No phone number to call.  I had Verizon Wireless for ~15 years and never called support unless it was to find ways to lower my monthly bill so I'm not missing anything.

Coverage in and around Manhattan, Queens, LI, Northern NJ, Orlando, Miami and Boca is the same as Verizon. I've never noticed any throttling and average about 30-35Mbps down/5-12Mbps up. When I signed up they offered "no throttling for life" as long as I remain a customer. Note that Visible doesn't support 3G so if you find yourself in areas where you drop to 3G often, don't switch. Verizon is shutting down their 3G network at the end of 2020 for all customers anyway so this isn't a great loss for me.

I haven't had an issue with dropped calls except for known Verizon "dead zones" that were an issue before I switched. Haven't spent enough time outside the areas I listed above since switching so can't comment on extended coverage yet.

Party Pay which discounts you from $40/month to $25/month is annoying if you are coming from a family plan because it requires that each line has a unique account with a dedicated email address and it's own billing info. If you change your CC for example you have to do it for all 4 accounts. Luckily they don't block the Gmail "+" trick like some other sites do. If you have fewer than 4 lines you can find some randos on Reddit and join their party to get the discount. They don't see any of your info except first name and last 4 digits of your phone #.

If your not grandfathered into an older unlimited plan, $25/mo (with Party Pay) for unlimited on Verizon towers with unlimited hotspot (no throttle but only 1 device at a time) and wifi calling support is as good a deal as you'll find.

February 07, 2020, 12:17:04 AM
Re: Things To Do In Israel Master Thread
We are looking for a  place in the old city/Mamilla area to have a small (around 20 people) bas mitzvah dinner. Does anyone have recommendations?

February 16, 2020, 10:54:45 PM
Re: Visible cell phone service ($40 unlimited)
How does this compare to crickets 4 for $100 plan?
Similar. Cricket is AT&T, Visible is Verizon. It all depends on what gives you better coverage in your area. Cricket throttles you to 8Mbps whereas Visible started out throttling but then removed the throttle. I haven't noticed any throttling on my data speeds yet. I don't think the Cricket $100 plan supports hotspot, whereas Visible supports "unlimited" hotspot (1 connected device at a time) at a 600Kbps.

August 04, 2020, 09:58:02 AM
Re: Catskills Master Thread
What activities is there to do with kids and teens (that's open even now).

  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve hiking. Parking was tight due to Covid restrictions so get there early.
  • Horseback riding: Reuven was great.
  • We stayed a few nights at Jellystone Birchwood: in an RV (they have cabins too). They have a large pool, splash pad, a lake for fishing and paddle boating.
  • River rafting. We used Landers River Trips but there are several to choose from and they all follow the same route. This isn't whitewater rafting - it didn't even qualify as class I rapids. You will be paddling the entire way.
  • Rent a speed boat and a tube to tow behind it. Or a pontoon boat for fishing.

August 14, 2020, 07:49:40 AM
Do Higher-End BBQ Grills Make Food Taste Better? I've been wondering this for some time and was hoping to get some insight from the DDF community. Does the same exact quality meat cooked on a $2,000 gas grill taste better than if cooked on a $200 gas grill? I've always assumed (maybe I read somewhere) that the science behind a good grilled steak is determined by the consistency and high temperature of the grill. Assuming that a cheap grill can reach and maintain 500-550 degrees, is there any reason why it can't cook a "great" steak?

I've never owned an expensive (i.e., Weber or similar) gas grill, yet I've cooked some fantastic steaks in my lifetime. I've also had steaks grilled on friends' expensive grills and they are about the same. This spring I bought a huge Char-Broil 6-burner grill for under $200 at Lowes and it has been amazing. The same size grill by Weber or another high end manufacturer would have cost me over $2,500. Sure, the Weber would probably last much longer, is easier to clean, has fewer flare ups and has some other nice features, but do any of them affect the taste of the food it cooks?

Is it fair to compare this to a discussion about luxury cars? A BMW is nice to drive, but at the end of the day, a Honda Civic will get you to where you need to go in the same amount of time. I can definitely see the value of a luxury car over a standard one. But take all of the "luxury features" out of the car (and the status that accompanies them) and you are left with 4 wheels and an engine. Is the same true for gas grills? So what are you getting for the extra $2,000 besides a nameplate?

Note that I'm not asking if it's worth it to you to spend the extra money on a high-end grill - that's a whole different thread. I'm just asking if it makes the food taste different? And if so, why?

August 14, 2020, 03:40:40 PM
Re: Non VOIP SMS Verification
How about if you get a cheap prepaid mobile number and then port it to GV (after you've used it as a true mobile number for some SMS).

This will work if the number is with a real carrier when you register it for receiving SMS from the site. Once you port it to GV it won't work for other sites that have the same requirement. I think the OP is looking for a solution that will work for other websites in the future.

FYI, GV charges $20 for port-in.

Try TextNow. They'll give you a free phone number that can send and receive texts from their app. It shows up on carrier lookup sites as a landline and not a voip provider. The caveat is you need to send or receive a text once a week or so or they will take away the number and reassign it.

August 20, 2020, 08:54:20 PM
Re: Hotel Compensation Master Thread
by the 3rd night I really felt gross, sleeping in the same sheets that my kids had wrecked for almost 3 days straight

Gross after 3 nights? How often do you change your sheets at home?

August 25, 2020, 10:52:56 PM
Re: Car Insurance Master Thread
who is kind with new teenage drivers? Geico?
I had been with Liberty Mutual for 20 years. I'd shop around every 4 or 5 years and they were always the lowest.... until I tried adding my teenage daughter. They wanted +$2,200 to add a teen driver! I called Geico and it was only +$550/yr more than I was paying with Liberty for identical coverage so I switched. Interestingly, I removed her from the policy this year while she's away at seminary and it dropped my premium by $700/yr.

September 22, 2020, 06:21:27 PM
Re: Oahu, HI Master Thread
I actually really like Oahu; there's tons to do.

Our favorites:
Polynesian Cultural Center
Dole Plantation maze (other activities there were only OK)
Rent mopeds and ride up to Diamond Head for the crater hike

If you are coming from Waikiki area you can easily do Dole in the morning and PCC at noon as soon as they open.

January 05, 2021, 07:38:53 PM
Re: Oahu, HI Master Thread
assuming you've been there, how much time do think we need at pearl harbor/uss arizona?
Assuming you can get timed tickets in advance so you know exactly when the Arizona tour is, figure 2-2.5 hours. I think the boat ride to the memorial is 45 mins round trip plus a 20 minute movie beforehand. You can do the museum before or after. I recommend paying for the self guided audio tour which makes the museum much more interesting.

We did not do the extra activities there like the Missouri or the submarine but that obviously adds time.

January 05, 2021, 08:51:41 PM
Re: South Florida Master Thread
Can anyone comment on the rental car return process at FLL? I am thinking of trying to make a flight motzai shabbos but itís pretty tight timing and Iím wondering if Uber would be the better option rather than risk the return process taking too much time.
Rental car returns are all in terminal 1. If you are flying out of T1 it literally takes no time. Every company does a scan-and-go as soon as you pull into the return lot. Any other terminal and you have to take the airport shuttle from terminal 1. You could theoretically walk (run?) from T1 to the other terminals through the shared parking garage but it's a lot of ground to cover. Impossible to predict how busy or how frequent the inter-terminal shuttles will be.

January 07, 2021, 11:39:29 PM
Re: Amazon Google and Apple pull the plug on Parler
It's impossible to win political office without significant donors.
Paying politicians more won't solve that. Implementing a system similar to the UK were every candidate gets the same amount of money for advertising would. TV stations should be required by the FCC to dedicate X number of minutes of advertising to each candidate. Paying staff and paying for flyers for example would come out of this budget and can't exceed the set amount.

January 10, 2021, 02:04:56 PM