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Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
Something like this:

April 21, 2020, 09:34:01 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 23, 2020, 11:59:10 AM
Re: Food Shortage Coming?
Any way to bypass the paywall?

April 23, 2020, 09:07:37 PM
Re: Corona virus and your shul
Many of the minyan haters are people that were lax about minyan before this started so they have no appreciation for the importance of minyan.
Stop accusing

April 24, 2020, 12:33:49 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 24, 2020, 12:07:00 PM
Re: Things to read Shabbos on lockdown
for those of us that were not around then

April 25, 2020, 09:43:50 PM
Re: Vaccine Discussion Master Thread I don't want to go into the whole discussion of vaccines but if I can change the mind of one person/family then it's worth it:
My young brother wasn't vaccinated for the measles and he got it when he was a young baby. He was then completely healthy until the age of 9 when we realized something was wrong. After many tests, scans & MRI, the doctor found that it was a rare complication of the measles that comes out only years later and no one till that day recovered from it. The body just stop functioning in many stages and people were able to stay alive for a maximum of 8 years with an average of 4 years. This happens 1 in 10M measles cases.
I don't remember all the details, the name of this complication, and why my brother wasn't vaccinated for the measles (although we were all vaccinated in my family), and I don't want to ask my parents any questions about it.
Someone called me a few months ago after there was a big controversy in CH about vaccines and ask me; "is it true your brother had complications because he got vaccinated?" I was shocked from this question but I still had to verify to be 100% sure. My only question to my mother was if my brother was vaccinated or not and she confirmed he wasn't.
My brother past away 3 years later at the age of 12. It was 3 painful years with a hospital bed at home with many machines and a surgery or visit at the hospital every few months.
If he just had the damn vaccine...

April 26, 2020, 11:27:11 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 26, 2020, 02:59:25 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
corona + sefirah =

Can't be Sefirah... The mustache!

April 26, 2020, 07:04:10 PM
Re: Master List Of Unofficial Chabad Houses Rabbi Lazar, chief Rabbi of Russia took yesterday the initiative to bring Achdout in Chabad following the passing of the Shliach Binyomin Wolff in Germany.
Just a few hours ago Rabbi Bentolila, the head Shliach of Central Africa, decided to make the 2 unofficial Shluchim in Central Africa, official. This is Rabbi Notik from Kenya and Rabby Chaviv from Ethiopia.
For all the Chabad Chsidim in this forum, please say L'chaim! Let's hope that this bring us closer to Moshiach.
See the Whatsapp screenshot attached.
(I spent myself more than 6 months in Central Africa and this is a huge deal, Shluchim are really trying to bring more people together and hopefully, this will encourage others to do the same).

April 26, 2020, 08:55:53 PM
Re: Vaccine Discussion Master Thread
Okay. You wrote young baby.....
Yea... He was always my little baby... :'(

April 26, 2020, 11:21:39 PM
Re: Master List Of Unofficial Chabad Houses Now Mexico!
If it continues like this, this thread will have to change name...

April 27, 2020, 09:21:59 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
April 27, 2020, 01:55:46 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

April 28, 2020, 11:18:48 PM
Re: Denmark and Sweden: An apples to apples comparison Invalid Tweet ID
April 30, 2020, 07:49:35 PM
Re: Credit Card Retention Bonuses
Yes I had the fee waived on the Platinum card.

May 01, 2020, 09:00:58 AM
Re: Free night Hilton Certificates
Night rewards as of May 1, 2020 and new Free Weekend Night Rewards issued until December 31,
2020 on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card can now be used any night of the week
(not just on weekends). New Free Weekend Night Rewards issued from May 1 through December 31,
2020 will be valid for 24 months (rather than 12 months) from the date of issuance. Free Weekend
Night Rewards must be redeemed on or before the expiration date.

May 01, 2020, 09:06:42 AM
Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR Our flight to Singapore was scheduled at 9:50 AM, with an hour drive we were scheduled to leave the Conrad after 7:30 AM. We heated the breakfast and got juices from the breakfast (Zest). The bellman came to take our luggage and we went to the lobby. Our butler, Natt,  was waiting for us there with a new pair of monogrammed slippers (after housekeeping took them out of the room for cleaning). They gave us again a small star, a lizard and a turtle plush for our daughter. The nice Toyota SUV was waiting for us but we had to wait for them to bring a car seat.

Last morning at the Conrad:


The stay at the Conrad was really amazing! Besides the fact that they gave us a 2 nights free upgrade to the 2 bedroom villa, they were extremely helpful for everything we needed throughout the stay. Our butler Natt was always here to help us with anything we needed with just a WhatsApp message. She brought us a big case of water bottles at the beginning of the stay and always made sure we have everything we need (I tipped her nicely that day). The staff were always very nice to us and especially with our daughter, sometimes going out of their way to bend and smile at her. The staff at the Turtle (kids) club were really amazing and so kind, although we didnt take much advantage of their free service.
I also forgot to mention that on the 2nd of our stay I bought Diapers and beers from the Tops App, it was very easy to buy (with a US CC) with free delivery and the hotel staff brought it to the room. I knew about this app before leaving the US and was planning on buying diapers locally instead of schlepping them.
We drove about 50 minutes to the airport. This day (February 2nd) was the first day that Singapore banned all travelers that were in China in the past 14 days and the hotel sent me an email to make sure we werent in China previously. The terminal is open to the outside (a bit like in Kauai) and they have a nice rest area outside between the baggage drop and security.

I asked the lady at the counter to check through our luggage to our final destination (MLE). We had 2 separate tickets to fly to Singapore and then to MLE with 2 different airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines. Since SilkAir is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines I figured it would be easy to check through and we wont have to take our luggage for our 8 hours layover. Nevertheless, the lady had to make 2 phone calls and another 15 minutes on her computer to get it done.

On the way to security:

After we finished with our luggage I had to exchange all the Bahts I got from the Hotel to USD. The exchange bureau had a really good rate but they were missing some bills so I had to mix some USD and EUR, then I checked the XE app and realized I got the exact exchange rate, go figure.

After security, we went to the Blue Ribbon lounge (Bangkok airways) with our PP card. Since we were a bit late because of the car seat, check through process, and the exchange bureau procedure, we had only 10 minutes to grab fruit and juices and to head to the airplane.

Our flight was half empty and we were seated in the first economy row (bassinet) with 3 seats. The crew were really nice and brought us a plush airplane with their logo. On our short 2 hours flight, we were seated next to a German couple with a toddler, they were the previous months in China working for a german company and spent the past few weeks in Thailand for vacation, now they had to go back to Germany because of the virus.

Approaching SIN airport:

It took only 20 minutes from the time we landed till we were in the Taxi. The army was screening everyone for fever at the airport and someone came to check the temperature of the baby in the stroller.

We booked a cab through Grab, and this time I was able to pay with my US CC (unlike Thailande). We drove 20 minutes to the Jacob Ballas center for SGD $17 (USD $12), to meet my young brother and eat lunch at Awafi restaurant. My brother arrived in Singapore 2 weeks earlier, he came for Shlicus for the year. Although we were planning anyway to transit through Singapore, it was another good reason to be there.

On the way:

At the entrance, someone came to take our temperature and we passed security easily because they knew my brother.

We went to the restaurant upstairs and ordered a Falafel plate (comes with a few Pitas), a chicken salad and Fries. The menu is very limited and the chicken is not so fresh usually, but the Falafel and salad were good and affordable prices. Since we also ordered meals for our Maldives trip through the restaurant, I paid all the balance at once, I paid USD $107 for 4 meals and what we ordered that day.

After lunch we were headed to the Gardens by the bay we had to pay by cash only for the Subway so I withdrew money with my SoFi money card and paid about $5 for 2 tickets RT.

Marina Bay:

#futuretogether exhibition: (very nice at night)

Since it was raining a bit (for 5 minutes), they closed temporarily the Supertree grove. We decided to buy tickets for the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, we paid SGD $58 for both of us for the admission in both places. It was really worth it to visit them. They have beautiful sculptures and flowers but Ill let the picture speak for themselves.

Flower Dome:

Cloud Forest:

We spent about 45 minutes in each place and walked back to the subway.
We went back to the Jewish center to pick up our frozen meals and took a Grab to the airport. We checked in the carry on with our meals and went to shower at the Ambassador Transit Lounge. The lounge is not of the nicest but was enough to be refreshed from the long day.

Sunflower Garden at Terminal 2:

(our original plan was to spend the night at the Four Season in Singapore and fly Monday morning to MLE. Since we had already a short stay in the Maldives, we decided to spend the night also at the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives and just tour a bit during the layover. We used a free weekend night for that Sunday night at the hotel and arranged the boat transfer to the hotel at 10:30 PM since they do the Yacht transfer for any flight at any time. I changed our flight and got refunded 50% of the miles and also the change fees were refunded).

We boarded the flight, a few months earlier they changed this route to the Dreamliner instead of the A330, we got again bassinet seats. The crew are really the nicest in the air, even in coach, and they brought us a big amenity bag for our daughter (diapers, Lion kings plush and a baby bib), its interesting that on the way back, on Business we didnt get this amenity bag.
The flight of 4 hours went very smoothly, they have lots of programs and a rich selection for kids, and again we got an extra seat next to us.
When we landed, I saw a China Southern aircraft (probably CZ3059/3060 to CMB and then CAN). At the immigration, they handed a paper to everyone about the Coronavirus. It had medical questions and also questions about recent travel to China. It seems to me that they began to ask to fill up this form that same day and maybe we were from the first. The next day (2/3) it was announced in the media that Maldives bans all travelers from China. (I dont know if the travelers from Guangzhou, China were allowed in or were sent back, from what the hotel staff told me later, I believed they werent allowed in).

While we waited for our luggage to come, 2 guys that didnt speak English approached me to offer some help, I asked them if they were from the hotel and they said yes, although I knew they werent, I let them help me for a $2 tip. After we passed the customs there was a guy waiting for us with the hotel sign and told us that well be the only ones on the Yacht so we are not gonna have any wait time.

After going out of the airport to the fresh air, we waited less than 5 minutes and the Yacht approached the dock. Its a beautiful large Princess Yacht about 55 ft long with 2 rooms downstairs we sat on the couch on the main deck and they served us fruits and juices.

The bedroom downstairs:

They also took our passports to send a picture to the hotel to make it faster for the check-in. The crew (4) onboard was really nice, they put the Baby Shark music for the baby. It was an hour boat ride, a bit longer than usual because of the rough waves during the night. When we approached the deck there were 5 people from the hotel waiting and waiving from the deck, a warm welcome.
The original price for the boat transfer was $700 (+23%) /P RT and free for children (in 2020 they reduced it to $600 RT++ for new reservations). Because there was an old language in their website until February 15th 2019 (the exact date we reserved 2 of our nights) for $370++ RT, they honored this price for us.
We arrived at midnight to the hotel and the only thing we wanted was to get to our room as soon as possible, we were tired from that long day and it was time to have a good sleep. From the dozens of requests I sent the hotel prior to my arrival was to get an overwater villa in the 100s, for many reasons that Ill explain later it was important for me to not be in the 700s in the north but in the 100s in the south.

Our butler Shiam brought us to the reception which is next to Peacock Alley and told me that we got a Villa in the 700s Although the hotel upgraded/downgraded us to the Overwater villa from the standard beach villa for the whole stay, I wasnt happy that they didnt allocate us to the south side. We had to wait for another 40 minutes until we got a room in the 100s and made it ready. Because it wasnt the room they prepared originally, it was missing the crib, amenity kits, the Kosher wine and welcome fruit basket (they brought all of it later on and the next day). We went to sleep around 2 AM in the gorgeous Villa, more of it in the next installment. When we woke up in the morning we already forgot all about it.

May 01, 2020, 05:20:25 PM
Re: RIP/BDE Master Thread - COVID-19 related
Every one  of the tens of thousands of individuals in Lakewood who found a shoulder to cry on, advice for legal trouble, help for parnassa issues- both with eitzos and with money, solutions to countless Halacha and practical issues that affected the Tzibur, and on and on, should be crying now with the petira of Rav Zeev Rothchild Zecher Tzaddik Livracha. So much of Lakewood stood on his shoulders. There was so much that wasnt even known. There is no one who can replace him. A book can be written about his incredible works. Yehi Zichro Boruch.

May 05, 2020, 02:08:27 PM
Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi:

Since I'm the first one to review this hotel in this forum, I will also cover the booking process and other helpful information.
We booked 2 of our 3 nights long in advance (almost a year earlier). Not long after we booked, the hotel didn't have any availability for the month of January and February until a month before our arrival when I could've booked more nights before or after the stay. When the cancellation window comes closer, more room will be available since people are freeing up their reservations (even on peak seasons).
I began to email the hotel long in advance, first for the price mistake of the boat transfer and then to ask them an upgrade to an overwater villa.
From the 1 bedroom villas, the hotel has 3 categories, Beach, Reef (entrance from the ground and the other half Overwater), and the Overwater villa. We originally booked the base room which used to be the beach villa but since the hotel experienced a high demand for the beach villa after they had many families coming, the hotel changed the base room to be the Reef>Overwater>Beach. Because we had a reservation for the Beach Villa, we had basically the choice between the 3 of them. Beginning of 2020, the hotel changed the base room also for points redemption and it's possible to book directly an overwater villa with points (called ocean villa). Though, it's easier to find the 'Reef Villa' with points than the 'Ocean villa'.
The rate for the standard room award is 120k HH points with the 5th night free, or a free weekend night certificate.
We decided to spend more time at the Conrad USM than in the Maldives mainly because of the Kosher meals at the Conrad and also because we didn't want to be too long in an overwater villa with a toddler.

Arrival pier:

The Hotel was always very responsive to our emails and easy to communicate with. Before our arrival we already booked most of our activities and asked them for a Kosher wine bottle too. Like at the Conrad, I preloaded money to my portfolio before our arrival, they were sending me payment links without any question asked (I loaded $2000 prior arrival and $750 at the hotel, (my total cost price was $1220)).
As mentioned before, I asked the hotel to stay on the south side of the island in the 100's.

As you can see on the map, the Overwater villas are 101-145 (south), and 701-737 (north).
On the North side, there are Villas on both sides of the bridge, more crowded. It's also windier and the water is colder. There's also more boat traffic and at night there are lights from Male visible. Besides the reef next to the Dive center that is located on the north side of the resort, the snorkeling next to the 700's villas is less comfortable (more rocks and more shallow).
That's the reason that I waited for a room to be ready on the south side, although it was late and I almost gave up because DW and the baby just wanted to sleep... (they weren't the ones reading FlyerTalk for months... ).

When we came to the room, our butler showed us the room and explained to us how everything works. The room is controlled from an iPad, for the lighting, AC, fan, room service, etc. He also gave us a phone with his number to call him every time we need something.


Room tour:

Outside deck:

you can make a party with 15 ppl seating/lounging!


Outside Shower:

In the closet room:

The most comfortable slippers!

And this silk bathrobe...OMG! (I wanted to pay full price to bring one home but they were short in supply... If someone is going there one day, and they have enough of them... I'll QP you )

When we arrived on Sunday night we gave them our frozen meals to keep them in the freezer. The hotel charges $20++ per meal per person to heat up the food (we paid $12 for our meals from Awafi), and they don't provide microwaves in the room. I would've paid this price if the meals were decent, but my brother, that eats at Awafi's kitchen daily, told me that the chicken is dry and it will not be worth it. (I wanted to bring Pom meals but figured that it would be a bit complicated to schlep them for a week). We brought with us a pot and a burner and had rice, couscous and tons of snacks. We ate very well in Thailand but in the Maldives, it was at the minimum level.
(The hotel told me before that they can get meals from Australia but a week before they notified me that it will not be doable). Don't worry, we ate properly and we weren't hungry.
-Side note; any price mentioned here is before the service charge and taxes, there's 23% to add on top of it, as explained here.
Every morning we went to breakfast, they have a large variety of fruits, vegetables and juices. Anything that is not there can be asked and brought on-demand. They also have cereals with Kosher symbols, they brought me the boxes so I can check them. (Breakfast is free for Gold and Diamond HH members).
On our first day, they also brought us a Kosher wine bottle that I enjoyed a lot during the stay. I had confirmed with them for it before but they gave it to other Jewish guests without having to ask.

And the baby basket amenities.

There are bikes in the resort to move around and they now put the room number on the bike to ensure that no one mistakes others' for theirs, they even have bikes for children.

And for her too:

Our experience with the buggies was that they were slow to come (10-15 minutes) although the hotel was at half occupancy. If there's a certain time you know in advance that you'll need one, they are reliable to come on time. We used our 2 bikes all the time to go everywhere in the resort and I had the child with me on a baby carrier. We actually loved biking on the island on the firm sand and the creaking noise passing the wooden bridge. Passing by staff members greeting you with their right hand on their chest and a big smile that makes you feel so welcome... Since we were on the far end of the island we had to bike a lot to go to breakfast or to Peacock Alley for Happy hour, but for us, it was a real pleasure.

The lovely greeting, every time a guess passes them:

The occupancy at the hotel was pretty low, on our 2nd day they told me that it's at 40% only. The main reason is because the country banned Chinese visitors although it was right after the Chinese new year.
There are about 120 rooms/Villas in the resort so only 45 were occupied and 3 of them by Jewish couples (DDFrs too, more of that later). I wrote about it on the forum and @Dan reported it on DDMS (with some exaggeration... ;).
The hotel set the time one hour ahead of Male so the guests can enjoy one more hour of light during the day. When you're on an isolated island, it doesn't really matter what time it is...

During the day they prepared our bed for the 'special occasion'...

Although we were a bit upset on Sunday night that it took time to get our room, when we woke up Monday morning we were just thrilled to be there. This was the highlight of our trip and we waited so long for it. The villa was so perfect and everything smelt like a million $$. We were also glad that we booked that night although we were so tired. (truth is that I didn't sleep much during our 72 hours stay, I was in intensive adrenaline, I really felt like a dream ;D).

The first thing I wanted to do that morning (after a good Espresso and davening) was to go in the water, I brought with me a special guest...

And of course the huge swimming pool too:

Before going to breakfast, my daughter decided to drop her shoe to the water... Thanks to the huge skimmer net, found in one of the closet outside, we got it back.

Breakfast table:

The breakfast is served at the Tasting table, after the 500's Villas, (pretty much the opposite side of the island from our Villa).

After Breakfast, we went to the water sport (next to the 300's) to book the JetSki for the next day and we also took a paddleboat in the lagoon.

Right next to the water sport there's the kids' club. They get usually between 15 to 30 kids at a time but when we were there there was only the chef's daughter playing with her nanny. They have an indoor and outdoor space. The outdoor space is full of water games with slides and kids can have lots of fun there. Kids older than 4 can be left there at any time during the day for free. Younger than 4, parents can be with them or there's a babysitting option of $25++ /H. The babysitting fee is the same if it's in the Villa (We used this service too) or if it is in the kid's club. The staff in the kids club are from different countries, they all speak perfect English and are sooo nice! (Like all the staff actually, but even nicer, and very professional).

Early afternoon, after the baby had her nap we were seating at the main beach area of the hotel and then I got the so-much-waited email from Expert Flyer notifying me that there's available seats on the (long) last leg of our trip. We booked with AC but at the time of booking there was only 1 seat on Eva Air for J. I took the risk to book it hoping that they will open up award space. I was tracking the space availability and saw that there were many vacant seats on J 6 days out so I knew they will open up. When I got the email, it was the last drop to make this trip perfect. I waited for 7 AM EST and called AC to move that leg to J. (Other guests looking at me were probably raising an eyebrow why I jumped out of my lounger looking at my phone with so much Chayus...)

Main pool area:

I went snorkeling a few times next to the Villa, there are fish there, it's not rocky and very accessible. Since I went to 2 snorkeling next to the Dive center with a guide and a special camera, the next 2 days, I'll share these pictures on the next installments.

For sunset, we went to Amber (next to the Spa, on the west side). It was so calm and peaceful, no one was there.

May 06, 2020, 12:32:45 AM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

May 08, 2020, 12:21:31 PM
Re: Stimulus Checks
Received email Friday morning from USPS with all mail out for delivery today, was excited to see my stimulus check there.
But when I went to take my mail, everyhitng else was there, but not the check.
Today, DW paycheck, from past 3 cycles, was supposed to arrive, also, nada.
Called NYPD to file a police report, waited 45 min, only to hear that I can't file a report, because who says its stolen ::) .
Anywhere I can report a lost/stolen IRS check, so the theif shouldn't be able to deposit it? (if he hasn't yet)
Happens to me all the time a delay between the USPS' email and the actual delivery. You do have an option to go on your USPS' account online and click on that particular mail that you didn't receive, "I didn't receive this mailpiece".

May 10, 2020, 08:37:32 AM
Re: Stimulus Checks
Ok I did that, what will they do now?
They will shake earth and heaven to find it

May 10, 2020, 12:06:18 PM
Snapfish: 10 Free 46 Prints With Promo Code MY10FREE + Free Shipping Snapfish is offering 10 free 46 prints when you use the promo code MY10FREE you also get free shipping
Valid until May 11th at 11:59PM PST!/pdpview

May 10, 2020, 06:14:14 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
Where is the bonfire? I only see a truck with music.
They cheated us. Very disappointing...

May 11, 2020, 09:28:55 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
They cheated us. Very disappointing...
In Israel they didn't disappoint at least...

May 11, 2020, 11:02:57 PM
Re: Stimulus Checks
B"H received my checks.
You better call ASAP the PD, FD and PO, they are all looking aggressively for your envelope.

May 13, 2020, 10:43:01 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related Every city and its Mayor.
May 14, 2020, 12:58:14 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

Or it can be done legit...

May 14, 2020, 04:06:00 PM
Re: How much weight did you gain because of the lockdown?

no delicious shabbos meals at other peoples houses.
I hope your wife is not on DDF...

May 14, 2020, 07:05:57 PM
Re: How much weight did you gain because of the lockdown?
Assuming he had one.
My wife

May 14, 2020, 07:10:33 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
May 15, 2020, 07:57:40 AM
Re: Reroute any Qatar airways ticket up to 5,000 miles with no difference in fare Added to T&C:
Rerouting for voluntary purposes (i.e. where there has been no flight disruption) is possible 14 (fourteen) days after making the booking. New flights must be booked in the same booking class (RBD), be operated by Qatar Airways and can be changed within the same country of origin and/or within a 5,000 (five thousand) mile radius from the original destination booking. If the same booking class is not available, a fare and taxes difference may apply.

May 17, 2020, 01:02:57 PM
Re: COVID-19 (Wuhan Novel Coronavirus) Pandemic Master Thread
What's that gotta do with this?
Because "it's the Chinese virus"

May 17, 2020, 03:15:52 PM
Re: Maldives Master Thread
Wow, mind blown
Here's a trivia question for you; what's the temperature at 35k feet? GIYF.

May 17, 2020, 09:38:15 PM
Re: yeshivas that are open
Anti-Semitism thread?
I believe any school with 70 children open now, can make a headline.

May 19, 2020, 09:43:06 AM
Re: yeshivas that are open Take a walk in Williamsburg's streets to hear the קול תורה and the children singing the davening...
May 25, 2020, 12:12:35 PM
Re: Ghana funeral dancers #YouAintBlack

May 26, 2020, 11:18:48 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related

I'm watching this and imagining @Lurker/@S209 VS @avromie7/@Kobe bryent/@KSMH having a live debate. ;D 8)

May 27, 2020, 10:28:48 PM
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related
For a good laugh.

May 27, 2020, 10:49:57 PM
Re: Maldives Master Thread
so i was able to change my schedule for a fifth night!

and the waldorf has it available - but they wont let me book it for free because its not with my other reservation

i cant book it with my other reservation because now those nights aren't available -

i also only had 490K points, so cant book with another 120k points --

any suggestions?
There are another 10k FT members on the same boat as you...
But why not using a free night certificate? I would've use 5 of them... Keep the points for another time.

June 04, 2020, 08:57:03 PM
Re: Hilton Aspire Resort Credit
What happens if you pre pay a few credits on your folio and then you have to cancel the stay? Do they refund the cards and if so would amex claw back the credits ?

June 14, 2020, 10:08:57 AM
Re: Free night Hilton Certificates
Rule 10
He has no chance anyway at that rate. No need for a mod, he burned himself.

June 23, 2020, 08:56:58 PM
Re: Hilton Aspire Resort Credit
I don't think he needs 11 to use for incidentals, But I could be wrong.
I used 11 at one hotel in February for incidentals.
I even know a hotel where you can withdraw cash and they charge your room with 5% fee...

June 25, 2020, 04:00:37 PM
Re: Citi Premier Master Thread
Rewards plus
Not transferable to airlines.

August 16, 2020, 01:43:37 PM
Re: Free night Hilton Certificates

Went back a few pgs but didnt see the answer -

1) any restrictions on where these certs can be redeemed or are they valid in entire chain (including WA)?
2) can someone combine certs from 2-3 different people for a 4-6 night night stay?
3) using above scenario can one get the 5th night for free?
4) what's the benefit of being made the primary vs secondary/guest on reservation?

1) any standard room award
2) book separately, call the hotel to link them
3) no
4) secondary, you can get perks if primary is diamond etc. Primary, the room is on your name, less questions asked.

August 18, 2020, 08:20:22 PM
Re: where to buy amazon gift cards using amex bonvoy card to get 10 points
any ideas?  7-11 told me i need to pay cash for amazon gift card i can't find any gas stations that sell it. are there any other options?
Seems like ppl didn't learn the lesson from HH bonus points clawed back by Amex last month...

August 19, 2020, 10:56:10 AM
Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR The water club run by Ocean provides the snorkeling gears for each villa, we called on our first day to get them deliver and they were with us during the whole stay. The hotel offers also two items to press for free for Diamond members upon arrival.

Every day, between 4 to 5 PM, they have complimentary drinks at Peacock alley for Diamond members. On the 1st day, they brought us a platter of fruits, and I could've ordered any drink from the complimentary menu as much as I wanted. Not many people were there the first day, and there was a couple from Cuba playing music. I met the 1st day, at the happy hour drinks, an American couple from Texas, they were the only Americans there, and we chatted about Hilton points, safety at the hotel and FlyerTalk blog. There was there a young waiter from Vietnam that kept bringing us drinks, he was extremely friendly with us, and we saw him another few times during the stay.

Since there are lots of restaurants with different cuisines, and not all of them are open the same day, the staff from various dining venues will also work in other bars/restaurants during the days they are closed. Locals will not serve or prepare drinks usually since it's forbidden by law. Hotels in the Maldives must bring foreign workers for this job.
On Monday night, when we arrived at our villa from Amber, we met our butler Shiam that was waiting for us to arrive. He told us that the next day (Tuesday) there would not be electricity nor water running in the whole resorts between 12-5 Pm... We were shocked and upset to hear that our luxury hotel will run into such problems. He explained that this is maintenance they must do; otherwise, the hotel will not be able to function appropriately in the future. To compensate us, the hotel will set up unlimited free food and drinks at the main pool for all the guests. I told him that this would not make us happier since we can't eat the food, and maybe they can compensate with a credit towards our room folio for activities that we will spend anyway at the hotel. He told me that he will speak with his manager to see what he can offer.
The good thing about coming to the Maldives from another Asian country is that you don't have any jetlag. I wasn't able to sleep correctly though; I was in an adrenaline mood full of excitement for the total 72 hours we were there. I slept only 3-4 hours each night and wasn't tired during the day. It was a long-prepared vacation that not only didn't disappoint but made me feel the happiest person on earth. I was able to upload a lot of content to my IG stories during the nights only because I didn't have time for it during the day.

Tuesday morning we planned to do some water sports. We dropped our daughter at the Kid's club where a designated BBsitter took care of her. As mentioned before, children younger than 4 need to be with their parents at the kid's club or pay the BBsiting fees. We wanted to book two activities at the water sport . The first one was Jet Ski, and I was thinking going for the Seabob. They explained to me that the seabob is only in the resort's lagoon, and if I want to go into the ocean with it, I need to rent the speedboat on top of it. They were so desperate for some business that they were ready to give me 50% off on the speedboat price, but it was still not worth it for me. They told us that this is the high season, and right after the chineese new-year, and were expecting to be very busy but because of the Chinese ban in the Maldives they didn't have many booking for that week (and they got the same feedback from Ocean's employees at other resorts they operate).
We decided to do the Jet Ski in the morning and Night snorkeling that night. We went for an hour guided Jet Ski ($350++), the guide in the first Jet, and me and DW in the second. We first went to a small sandbank right outside the resort to take some pictures, and the went for a fast drive in the deep ocean. It wasn't my first time on a Jet Ski, but it's not like Jetskiing on the beach/shore at all. When the sea was utterly dark blue, which means deep water, the water was rough and it was a fun drive. The water kept changing color every other mile. We passed through lagoons, 'buried islands' and other resorts. At one point, our guide told us that the resort in construction in our right would be the Ritz Carlton.

At one point, when I was going a bit too fast, I made a wrong turn to the right, and we have swept away with the wave. We fell to the water and I lost my Go Pro mounted to my head. DW and I weren't injured and besides the Go Pro lost, it was a fun experience. (My Jetty renters insurance refunded me the Go Pro a month later). After an hour, we arrived back at the resort exhausted and went to pick up our daughter on our way to the villa and catch the last shower before the blackout. It was really nice to ride a Jet Ski with my wife in the middle of the ocean, something I was waiting to do for a long time and was on the top of my 'to-do' list.

Shiyam called me on the way and let me know that the hotel would like to offer us the Spa booked for the next day, to compensate us for the blackout, (a $440++ value, +30 minutes for free for Diamond members). We already had a reservation made two weeks prior to arrival for the Spa, so the offer for the free Spa was really appreciated.

Earlier at breakfast, I spotted a guy with a cap wondering around the fruits and juices, I knew he deserves a Sholom Aleichem, so I went to say 'Hi'. @shauly wasn't embarrassed to see a bearded Jew with his kippa in a small island with less than 50 guests, and was even smiling at me 8). We chatted a bit, and he told me that he has some CY milk and salami in his room, and since he's leaving that day, he will be happy to give them to me. So after we got our shower before the 'Sof Zman', I took my bike to go to his Villa. From Villa 129 to 713, I needed to cross the whole resort, but biking on the island was my favorite activity.

I took pictures of the resort on my way there.


Stella Maris Villa.

Halfway there, next to the arrival pier, I met Camille, @shauly's Buttler, we spoke in French about the hotel, the Maldives, Kosher food and more. @shauly was all packed and ready to go in his (dark) villa, without AC, and waiting for his buggy. He gave more food than I could've eaten, but he probably felt good not to throw it away...

After our daughter's nap, we went to the main pool area where everyone was supposed to be for their free food and drinks. It's funny that all the guests together looked like a small family as there werent many guests in the hotel in general. Se sat at the pool and took drinks and fruits.

All the guests were in a good mood, and that was the most important. I don't know what and if the hotel offered to everyone, but they for sure did an excellent job of fixing the issue they had. At one point, I saw another DDF'er sitting not far from us, but he wasn't in the mood of a L'chaim together, so I didnt bother him and went to chat with the elderly couple from Texas. After an hour there, they came to announce that power was back! It was only 4 PM and the all episode wasn't bad at all. We had a good time that afternoon and a free Spa treatment scheduled for the next day.

We went back to our Villa and got ready for a family photo shoot. The photoshoot itself + 1 printed picture is free, but you need to pay to get the pictures. We weren't sure if we'll buy later the photos depending on how they will come out. We ended up paying for 30 pictures the next day, (but only because it came out cheap for me thanks to the Aspire credits). As much as family's pictures on a tropical island look lovely, a lot of hard work needs to be put in it to keep the child happy and entertained, especially when it's boiling hot. The photographer was patient and got us really nice pictures.

At 8:30, we had our night snorkeling booked ($90++/PP). A BBsiter came to our villa, the same one our daughter had in the morning, a lovely lady from the Philippines. She was taking care so nicely of our daughter, and we were able to leave the Villa peacefully.

When we arrived at the diving center, it was closed and no one was there. I called Shiyam so he can find out why no one was there. After 20 minutes, 2 persons from the diving center arrived and they apologized for the misunderstanding. It turned out that she didn't understand that morning at the water sports center that we confirmed the night snorkeling. Haru is from Japan and her English isn't perfect, but she apologized and promised that wed have a good time. As goodwill, her manager offered us the underwater camera for free, and she offered to take the pictures herself. They also took off an hour and a half of BBsitting from our bill.
Snorkeling at night is very different than during the day, you will not see much fish because your flashlight is focusing only on one spot, but you can see other fish that come out only at night. The experience is also different and more interesting. We got our snorkeling gears and a diving flashlight. We stayed in the water for longer than an hour and we saw a lot of fish. The best part was the turtle that came towards us, and our guide captured it so well. She told me later that she would like to be a National Geographic photographer for marine life; she does have stunning pictures on her Instagram page.

All the following pictures are from our snorkeling guide.

August 20, 2020, 11:07:57 PM
Re: mariott credit card elite nights-do I get them from amex and chase?
I have a former Amex starwood card where I get x number of elite nights. 

If I get a chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card which gives 15 nights, do I still get them if I have the starwood card?

You can get twice 15 nights only if you have 1 consumer and 1 business card.

September 02, 2020, 10:16:03 PM
Re: DDF DO: NYC Edition?
Should be at the ohel around 11.

September 13, 2020, 11:12:31 AM