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Trip Reports / Dubai Trip Report - CBS
« on: December 09, 2020, 03:34:06 AM »
After the latest developments with the UAE / Israel peace agreement, I felt it was a good time and opportunity - especially as a travel advisor - to go and see whats happening on the ground while making long overdue Covid vacation out of it.


Before Travel

 - Make sure you get a PCR test within 96 hours of departure
 - Test results must be printed and shown at checkin
 - Theres a health form that must be filled out, we had done it prior and printed , otherwise supposedly they give it out at the airport
 - Upon arrival there is no COVID test needed for USA flights, Only Israeli's (and possibly other countries which i'm not aware of) need to take a rapid on arrival

Flight / Hotels/ Kosher

 - Booked B6 from FLL-BOS 11k flight + 5.5k extra legroom +11.20 tax Per person Round trip
 - Booked Emirates First class on EK Flex award BOS-DXB - Cost: 217,500 Amex Transfer to EK + $361.15 Tax Per person Round trip
 - First 3 nights at the Address Dubai Marina Hotel  - One bedroom residence for $390/avg night incl. tax (read below full TR to see how i ended up bring the price down at the property)
 - Second 3 nights at the Address Sky View Hotel in Downtown - Premier Sky View Room $400/avg night incl. tax
 - Make sure to make Reservations at the Armani/Kaf Kosher restaurant in advance!
 - If you are traveling anytime soon, make sure to bring a decent amount of snacks/food with you for Breakfast, lunch (unless you are in a hotel that offers Kosher for room service (See Here for more info)
 - try and AVOID Treats Kosher Caterer unless you have no choice - Food is horrible, Service just as bad, they're accepting more orders then they can handle..
 - Eli's Kitchen is another caterer but they were too busy to accept any orders - supposedly opening a restaurant in Hilton Habtoor soon


Sites to find deals

We Only did until the Burj Khalifa below

 - Miracle Garden (need 1-2 hours)
 - Global Village  (Need 3-4 hours - opens at 4pm ) Suggested to go in evening
 - Walk thru Marina
 - Xline - zip thru the marina (need max 1 hour from checkin till land back) - Book online in advance to secure a spot
 - Desert Adventure - (need 6 hours - from 3pm -9pm) - Includes Quad Biking, Dune Bashing, Camel rides, (non kosher) BBQ dinner in a camp site with "Shisha" while watching Cultural shows
 - Fountain Show on the boardwalk downtown - from 6pm every 30 min (buy a ticket online/walkup to be closer to water but you can still see it without that
 - 3 Main Malls - Mall in Marina (Basic) , Mall of Emirates (huge mall - Has ski indoor) , Mall of Dubai (downtown -even bigger mall has aquarium inside and is a very high end shopping mall)
 - Gold / Perfume / Spice Souk - Marketplace in Deira area (need half a day minimum for this)
 - Burj Khalifa - View points from above - Buy tickets online in advance for best price
 - Dubai Sky Dive - not cheap but supposedly incredible - book online
 - Helicopter ride - Book online, recommended is the 22 min flight option
 - Hot Air balloon - until 12/15/20 for a "relatively" good deal for 2 ppl
 - Dubai Creek Boat ride ( need 2.5hrs - Board 8pm - duration 830pm to 1030pm)

Getting around Town

 - Car service - we used from the Airport (including VIP fast track thru customs)
 - Uber - Decently priced. The regular category car will usually be a White Lexus Sedan with a nice interior
 - City cab - Cheaper then Uber, they use the Meter (CC accepted), cars are older and not as pleasant as uber but its good enough for a quick drive

Nothing is more then 25min away from each other (Other then the desert which is 40min to 1hr)

Jewish Center / Chabad

There is a daily minyan there , info for Minyan and Shabbos meals can be found on
The Center is in the Al Wasl district. They ask that to get the location please whatsapp the number on their site to provide passport info for security reasons

For a more detailed trip report Stay tuned for the next posts with interesting details / tidbits / pictures / recommendations/ do's and dont's and more!

Anyone want to start a master list of hotels that can provide kosher food?

I'm going this week IY"H and i will try and get as much info for an updated trip report and tips

See below a list i've received. I don't yet know what the "Kosher-ready" means but hopefully this will be somewhat helpful

The kosher restaurant is in the Armani hotel (Burj Khalifa)

Unfortunately this past year has been a slow trip year for me due to me being a chiyuv.
The good news is that im almost done!
I found that trying to plan on trip (without judging...) during these months have been very difficult from many diff aspects. Whether it may be Planning flight times around minyanim, finding flights that have minyanim , or gates that have minyanim... Finding a minyan at the destination , getting a hold of a shul to find the right times, if you are strict then an open Amud to be chazzan and while the same time not letting this overtake your whole trip and so on and so forth

Hopefully there isnt anyone that will need to plan their trip in this thread ever! but if C"V someone has to then there should be a place that is geared towards that need and hopefully people can give guidance from past travel experience about minyanim, suggestions for destinations, flights etc

Back to the point at hand....
I would like to go on a trip for a couple days or a week in august outside the USA. Other then Israel, London or Panama, Does anyone have any suggestions for a spot that would work to not stress to get a minyan 3x a day (and i'd assume that if there was such a place it most probably has kosher food as well)

Trip Reports / CBS Brazil TR
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:49:18 AM »
Trip Report

Tickets Booked:
12/23 - MIA-GIG   AA Business
12/27 - SDU-CGH JJ Coach - 4.5k BA avios + $9 tax  per person
1/7 - GRU-MIA  AA  Business

The visa process was very annoying , lots of papers but we got it all done. it seems now theres an E-visa so i wont go through that process.

The AA were booked as a multi city one way coach , return business
1 ticket i used Amex BP  260k with the 35% rebate
other tickets paid cash adult $2350 / Child $1750
i used AA SWU to upgrade the outbounds

A family member referred me to a driver in Rio. Highly recommended, He speaks a nice english which is important there since no one speaks a WORD of english.
we paid about 500 BRL / day and had him at our disposal for 10 hours approx

He met us in the airport with a sign and drove us to our hotel

We booked the Hilton Copacabana (at an agent Discounted rate). We got a 1 bedroom suite with a connecting room which worked out perfectly for us and our 2 children

12/24 - Sunday - Day 1
after we settled in hotel and rested from the flight it was about 1pm and we went to go get some lunch
We stopped at Sushi place which is in the same complex as the Kosher store and Shelanu Meat store. - Its extremely hard to find your way around when you get there. The place looks like a rundown building and half the lights are off in the shul or whatever the jewish center is.
In the back of the building is the sushi in an alleyway - and up the steps in the front is Shelanu
and on the side is the kosher store.
Apparently due to Xmas a lot of things were closing early that day and NOTHING was open on monday - so we ordered dinner for that night as well .

We then hit the pool and tried a caipirinha which was quite disgusting - they didn’t know how to make it

we familiarized ourselves with the area and had an early night

12/25 - Monday - Day 2
First thing in morning we went to Sugar Loaf Mountain - took the cable cart up - Incredible views from up there and you can see the SDU airport as well and watch planes take off. and thats where i planned my seating for my next flight out of there so we can get a nice view of the city as the planes go in one direction !
its pretty stroller friendly they have these mini elevators in different places where you manually push it up and down
One thing nice about brazil is they have a line for pregnant , children, disabled and it helped a lot with our kids in many different places - also in airport on our return

we spent about 2 hours on sugarloaf
Then went to the hotel to eat lunch Thankfully we had some coldcuts/tuna and snacks as the restaurants were closed for Xmas
we then hit the beach and tried another Caipirinha in a Coconut which was also quite nasty. too much alcohol not tasty.

We had a scare at the beach. I hear a commotion about 50-100 ft away and i see someone trying to stab someone . Apparently the guy stop something from his pop up shop but at first it seemed he was running around wild with a knife. I picked up my kids and started heading back to the road while the rest of the beach was whistling for the cops who then settled it all
Off to the pool we went again

After some naps we took a drive around town - found the Famous Colorful steps “Escadaria Selaron” took some pics there and headed to the marketplace on copacabana beach where we bargained and got some souvenirs

12/26 - Tuesday - Day 3
8am we started our day with “the statue” - took the 20 min train up had incredible views
Theres no real place for strollers on there so you gotta fold up or get the first row which has some more legroom
on top we saw some incredible views although it was a bit cloudy it was still nice

after some Shelanu Lunch (since sushi was closed again!) we went to a park near Copacabana where we took Duck paddle boats on the lake and drank some coconut water from coconuts.  we also found a bunch of moon bounces things for kids and we watched our son let out his energy there
For dinner , I headed over to Delite only to find out that it was closed until after new years for renovations. so back to Shelanu we went
 at that point we were all Shelanu’d out!


12/27 - Wednesday - Day 4
8am flight to Sao Paulo - Against Dan’s advice we rented a car at hertz…. fully loaded chevy Cruze! The manager there spoke perfect english and i tipped him $10 which he refunded to take and i had to force him to accept.
Driving in SP keeps you on your toes and is quite wild. worse then NY and Israel
We have 2 relatives there and we stayed at one of them and hung out with the other.
If not for them i would probably skip SP . not much going on there other then the best Sushi I’ve EVER had!
We first went to eat lunch at a Buffet restaurant in the hospital lobby - i think its called Viena - Then went to the Sorbet /icecream store which was real good
For dinner thanks to my cousins who watched our kids we went to Sushi Papaia - TOP sushi ever had and best Capriniha also
I also fell in love with Guarana (zero) while in Brazil and (now i see they sell it walmart here in FL)

12/28 - Thursday - Day 5  - Asarah B’teves
Went with my cousins to see difference shuls and the Chabad run Amazing soup kitchen for the poor they run there (Ten yad)
Took it easy rest of day
For the Break-Fast we went to Celadon. Nothing better then breaking fast there!. Food is incredible , Service was great - 10/10 experience

12/29 - Friday  - Day 6  thru 1/7
about noon time we Drove up to Campos Do Jordao about 2.5 hr drive - Up in the mountains where we spent the next great 7 days
Many People in Sao paulo and rio go to vacation there. they call it the Europe of brazil as the architecture and style resembles Europe and its more upper class people.
My cousins had a family friend who gave them their Beautiful house which came with a housekeeper and we found a babysitter for dirt cheap who watched the baby’s while we did activities.

Activities we did over that week Included:
Kids Jungle gym
Horseback riding (free style and Buggy style for kids)
Petting zoo (not like american style more like some animals walk around uncaged..)
ATV's (all manual gear)

One of the nights we arranged someone to bring from Sao Paulo a platter of sushi from Papaia! (yes its that good)

1/7  - Drove back to GRU - lots of traffic from city to airport - note for extra time
got Hertz (localiza) to drive us to the terminal with all bags and babys . There was a huge line at the airport to get to the counter, even flying business didn’t get you too far..
but thankfully they have the handicap, kids, old ppl line that we only waited 20-30 min on..

Flight home was uneventful other then AA losing the the case on the stroller.

Thats it for now.. till  next trip !

Thanks all for your help and tips to plan

Up In The Air / Year in Review: 2013
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:11:54 AM »
Happy New Year!

In continuation to last years thread by AJK

i have flown 119,905 miles this year!

What's yours?

Up In The Air / Eva Air
« on: September 16, 2013, 02:23:37 PM »
Looking into booking a flight from TPE to JFK direct with united miles.

Does anyone know if the business class seats are angle lie flat or 180 degree flat?

seat guru has 2 versions of the plane and i put that flight in and it gave me angle lie and on phone they told 180 degree.

Trip Reports / CBS Travels
« on: June 30, 2013, 04:42:43 AM »
Hi Everyone!

I have decided it's about time for my own thread that talks about my travels (hey why should i be any different and not open threads :P )

B"H ive managed to travel around the world in many diff countries, and lived in a few exotic places for more then a few weeks at time and i have many many Trip reports that are scattered around the forums. I've decided to put everything in one thread and in the wiki i will put links to my TR's that are scattered around, and when someone asks for info on a place ive been in a diff thread i will quote here. -

Enjoy, Ask questions, and if you want some pics - i have plenty so just ask for whichever place it may be and ill be sure to post some.

Up In The Air / Hawaiian Airlines
« on: February 10, 2013, 07:27:03 PM »
i have an account here that has 57k expired miles since july of 2012. how do i re-instate them? whats the fee?
i searched hi and low and couldnt find it and the offices are closed now. any experience?

Just Shmooze / Doppelganger Week
« on: February 04, 2013, 07:21:45 PM »
I logged onto FB today and i see about 5 or 6 of my friends posted a pic of themselves and/or changed their profile pic or got tagged in a pic that looked somewhat or exactly identical to them.
i was trying to figure out what happend and i googled it and i found this Wiki page:

interesting, no? anyone else realize this?

now the question is how do i find my own? :)

Up In The Air / Choose a Seat
« on: January 11, 2013, 05:38:41 AM »
I need help choosing a seat for an upcoming flight...i see what it says on seat Guru but then the plane pic on shows it missing a row etc...we are 2 ppl but my question is if you were flying yourself where would u choose? . i chose some seats. let me know if you would choose otherwise, and why?

Afternoon to evening flight: - LAX-MIA
Thinking of putting the 2nd pax in 31j and asking the person next to me to switch with him...chances that the guy will want the exit row window?
Obviously this is only if i dont get upgraded with status for this flight.

Night flight:
on Seat Guru it says Row 21 is the best. and 11 is in middle and 20 is bad. - what would u say? so far ive chosen 11

Night Flight:
Seat Guru Says that Row 20 is not good (Red) . how bad can it be? should i move somewhere else?

Day Flight: MIA-LAX
if i dont get upgraded, should i just stay where i am or do u see something better?

Up In The Air / down?!
« on: January 07, 2013, 12:22:35 AM »
is it just me or anyone else?

i was on the phone with them while on the comp looking at a reservation, and the phone got disconnected and united says page not found. at the same exact time!
and my internet is working perfectly..

EDIT: its back up. but did anyone see that?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Uruguay Master Thread
« on: December 04, 2012, 03:20:50 AM »
Anyone ever been to Uruguay? (Montevideo)

thats the next trip IY"H in a month - just booked tickets :)
will be there for one week - and in Punta Del Este

what to do?

General Discussion / Craigslist
« on: November 23, 2012, 06:06:45 AM »
im looking to buy a bunch of phones and i found this guy that said hed ship me the phones for a good deal. Now obviously i wouldnt pay him until i got the items. but how do i do that? so he offered to do it thru Rapid Parcel. (i pay RP and they only pay the guy once im satisfied) Here are more instructions on how it works

Is this Legit?

Up In The Air / United Seat Availability
« on: November 11, 2012, 06:41:55 PM »
can anyone tell me if there is any chance of me getting on a united flight tonight on standby from LAX-JFK? 10:30 pm?
i have an award ticket for 6 am and i want to go tonight.
even if theres a stopover flight ill take it. like through dulles

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