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A Getaway to Paradise - as2's Private Island Escape
I will be posting this in chunks, and have links to each section in the wiki.

INTRODUCTION/PLANNING

This trip was taken by @Something Fishy , and detailed quite well, probably better than I’ll ever be able to, but nobody can say it all (he kinda did), so I’ll try to fill in what he left out.


When SF posted his TR, I immediately knew this was a trip I needed to take. I am more of a “relaxing” vacation type of guy, rather than the action packed type, so an island of my own to vegetate on for a few days was super appealing. My wife loves water/beaches (well, most of the time…keep reading) so this would appeal to her too. I showed her the TR and sold her on it almost immediately, and she agreed this had to be done. I decided to plan out our trip for the following January (2018) and began compiling spreadsheets for all our preparations. I mapped out every flight in and out of TGU, SAP, and RTB, with flight schedules, availability, cash prices, etc. As first world problems would have it, I ended up snagging some dirt cheap tickets to Israel and couldn’t bring myself to pass on such fares, so the island was put on the back burner.


Fast forward to October 2018. I had no real vacation plans, but when some sweet overwater villas in the Maldives dipped well below sale price, I booked one, and coordinated with my parents to leave the kids with them. As excited as I was, only 3/4 of me wanted those reservations to be honored, as this wasn’t the ideal time for me to go that far for that short a time. When the reservations were canceled (in some capacity, and for some) I decided this island adventure would fit the schedule perfectly. And so it began…


I emailed the Jackson family, who own the island, to reserve, and was pleased to find availability for the dates I wanted. I requested the night of Sunday, 1/20 through Wednesday 1/23, and we would depart Thursday morning. All “confirmations” (or lack thereof) are just email correspondences, so I did email them to confirm they got my money and we were set for those dates, to which the answer was affirmative. Previously I had seen that the Jacksons accepted payment exclusively through Western Union, but they now offered a Paypal option, which was more appealing to me, even with a fee. I sent them the $560 for my 4 night stay, and incurred a $16.54 fee. I didn’t realize until it posted, that it codes as “travel-lodging” with Amex, so I could have paid for it with A+ points. Oh well.

The rental codes as travel


I read and re-read SFs TR to collect as much info as possible, and heeded his advice (and many others agreed) to fly into RTB, so as to have the best chance of entering the country with all my food. Due to it being an island off the mainland, customs is typically more chilled than the other 2 airports. The flight schedule going to RTB is weak, and there was really only one option that allowed me to maximize my time. United has a Sunday flight from IAH to RTB at 9:55am (The same one SF took). I transfered 60k MT to 35k UA (during 10% promo), and proceeded to book ORD-IAH-RTB for myself and DW at 17.5k UA in Y, as there was no saver availability for J. I paid the $5.60(x2) on my UA Club card for the free bags. For the return, I wanted a bit more flexibility, so I decided to look into SAP and TGU. Ideally, I wanted to stop in PTY, but the only flights available either left me with an hour connection, or a Friday afternoon arrival, neither of which were too appealing. I kept searching, and came across a flight on Deltas site, flying Aeromexico, departing SAP and connecting in MEX for 30k DL in J. I don’t use my skypesos often, so I figured this was the way to go, but it was late, and I decided to take the night to think about it and to spend a bit more time weighing my options. I couldn’t find anything better, so the next afternoon I went back to DL to book it, only to find that the flights had disappeared! I managed to pull up the flight on FB for 34.5k + $83.37 in taxes, and transferred MR over for the booking. Of course, my stupid self had to regularly check back on DL and lo and behold the flights popped back up shortly after(I probably screwed something up, still not sure what). Guess that’s life.

I was now missing only the final pieces of the transportation puzzle, and that’s where I called upon Alice from One World Travel, to help out. Coming highly recommended by SF, and many others online, I knew I could count on her for my travel needs (and little did I know, but this would save a headache later). I shot off an email to Alice with regards to transportation from RTB to UII, and then from UII to SAP. For the RTB-UII route, there was a ferry, and my flight would be arriving a bit too close to the departure time, so I opted for option 2, the private charter. As for the return, I had Alice book us on Sosa Airlines UII-LCE-SAP.  Sosa Airlines shares that route with CM Airlines, but they both only operate every other day, so Thursday was a Sosa exclusive. These airlines are kind of a joke, and you can never be sure your flight will actually happen. They often cancel due to “not enough passengers” so booking via a travel agent is a nice safety net. World Wide Travel happens to be the local representative for Sosa Airlines in UII.
Total cost for the charter was $350, and the Sosa flights were a total of $120 per person (CM is the same price). I opted to pay with a credit card, which incurred a 4% fee. Alice was kind enough to split my payment between my CSR and A+, so I used my TC for the first $300 and paid the remainder with A+ points. If you don’t want to pay with a card, they do work with Chase, and I believe you can somehow pay them directly from your account.

We arranged with the Jacksons that a tuk tuk pick us up at UII, and we would meet Barry at the dock behind Bush’s, the local supermarket. There is a $50 fee each way, (more on that later) for the boat ride to and from the island, which I charged to my A+. Travel arrangements were now complete, and that left us with this:


And a close up of the Honduran legs:



February 26, 2019, 08:50:52 PM
1
Re: (Round 3 Now Live) Wrigley Field Softball Game DO
and on a Tuesday  :(
Ridiculous!

June 24, 2019, 01:05:34 PM
1
Re: South Florida Master Thread
What do they charge for that? Is it on menu? Comes with side dish?

The menu changes, basically they have fish they prep like that or salmon skewers, dover sole etc.

They weigh it, like $16.99 a lb for bronzino. You can take home or they cook here and charge a $6 cooking fee which gets you salad, rice etc..

My lunch usually rune at $16 or less total.

$13 poke bowls. Sushi is $8 regular roll, $12 signature rolls.

Thursday and Friday paella.

You gotta visit to really see, it's incredible.


June 30, 2019, 02:04:49 PM
1