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Messages - Wizmanison

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256
Does Hertz at CUN honor Hertz platinum status? In regards to service and upgrades

257
Amazon & Walmart Deals / $5 of Bubly Sparkling Water
« on: April 04, 2018, 02:48:43 PM »
Use code GETBUBLY to get $5 off Bubly products at amazon.com/bubly. There are 9.99 options as well as $7 options that can easily be seen through this link .

258
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Maui Master Thread
« on: March 25, 2018, 09:44:42 PM »
My recent trip to Maui's finished Trip Report.

I added my TR to the Wiki as well as the free digital copy of Maui Revealed. I thought I added some pretty detailed info and pics about the sites to visit on RTH and other parts of the island but don't want to impose my TR anymore. If it seems fit to add it to the Wiki then feel free to do so!

259
Trip Reports / Re: Wizmanison's MAUI TR 2018
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:30:56 PM »
Now that you posted this what will I bug you about? (wait, you have the other big trip I'm waiting for )
This is amazing, your detail is mind blowing.

Glad I stopped to help with your car as I was generating Grubhub codes as 90% of my codes went back to you either way, happy to be a help.

Still don't know how we got that car so cheap.

Did booking with you BIL's platinum account actually help?

Waiting for segment 2!!

ETA: Pictures look amazing, especially the drone shots, but couldn't you embed them on the TR instead of links?

From what I understand some people prefer this way as it doesn't clutter up the whole TR. Especially since I have so typically add so many pictures!

The platinum status DEFINITELY helped and was amazing.

260
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Maui Master Thread
« on: March 25, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »
My recent trip to Maui's finished Trip Report.

261
Trip Reports / Wizmanison's MAUI TR 2018
« on: March 25, 2018, 03:09:18 PM »
Trip Report Maui

For anyone interested in the free downloadable PDF version of Maui Revealed, after extensively searching online I found this! It truly came in handy.


   Since it is not as easy to vacation during the week for us, it is when we have long weekends that we like to take advantage. After visiting Kauai for memorial day weekend in September of 2017 (TR Here) we loved it so much that we planned to visit all the islands, something that is not as hard to do when living in LA.

   Booking our flights about 2 weeks in advance we had a tough time finding availability through KE for their cheap 45k first class flights. When they also didn’t have availability for Y we looked through all our other options before we used MR. Since I have a ton of those and still have 50% back till end of March it made it an easy decision. I booked our way there LAX-OGG on AA for 11,750 each (after the 50% back) and then a hidden city flight, OGG-LAX-SAN, with UA for 9,310 (after the 50% back). So total for the flights were 21,060 a person.

   While booking flights there seemed to be no availability for any of the hotels recommended in the Maui master thread, and it seemed that our only option at the time was the Ritz Carlton. Although, it wouldn’t have been the worst option considering I have several free nights there it seemed that people advised to stay away from that part of the island. Therefore, I set up alerts on hotelroomalerts.com for the Andazz, Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt regency, as well as others. A couple days later I happened to wake up in the middle of the night and for some reason thought it was a good idea to check the Hyatt app for availability. I saw that single days were available for most of our stay at the Hyatt Regency and I booked it! For the days that were missing I adjusted my hotel room alert and a couple days later the rest opened up. The Andaz only had one night available and although I wanted to stay there it wouldn’t have been worth the hassle to have to pack up all the stuff and stay there for such a short time. The Hyatt Regency was 20k UR a night for 4 nights. Totaling to 80k for the hotel stay.

   Now that flights and hotels were booked we looked into renting a car. Having Presidents Circle has been great in terms of upgrades and by sheer luck on our Kauai trip a SS Camaro happened to pull in when we were set to pick up our “corolla”. We didn’t want to take the chance this time so I booked with my friends Hertz Platinum status he earned through the black card and with the help of @davidrotts63 we got a great deal at $22.50 a day for a Corolla. Since we were traveling with my brother in law, Sister, and their newborn baby we decided we would chose the Wrangler over the Camaro for our upgrade. Without using Plat status the Wrangler would have been $1,100 for those 4 days while the Camaro was going for $315.
 
   Timing worked perfectly for this flight as a Grubhub promotion came out a week before our flight which allowed one to get $20 off $20. Although I had seen it when every blogger posted about it, I was so busy that I just set it aside for later and almost forgot about it when @davidrotts63 messaged me asking me about my experience with the promotion. Within 10 or so minutes, I had me, my wife, and my brother in law, get approximately 250 codes to use over the next two weeks before they expire. So for the days leading up to the flight I was ordering SO MUCH food for me, my family, friends (even though I had sent this deal out to them, with a dumbed down explanation explaining how to get unlimited codes, they only get like max 5-10  ::) ), and randoms in need. This deal was truly amazing because I was ably to try all these foods from restaurants around Los Angeles that I typically hesitated to try and would have never actually paid for. While still being able to enjoy massive meals every day, as well as stocking up our house in Snapples, we ordered take out food from restaurants all around LA to freeze the food and pack it in the polar bear cooler to reheat in Maui.

   Of course, something dramatic just HAD to happen. The night before the flight, we packed all our food and, thankfully, it was stored with my brother-in-law. Our bags and everything we needed was also packed and our alarm was set for 5AM, so I can do some work before our 8 AM flight, as well as every 10-20 minutes after that till 6:20, just incase. Apparently, I had put my phone into the wrong charger, which happened to not be plugged in, something that has never happened to me before, and my phone died in the middle of the night. Therefore, rendering my alarms useless and leaving me dead asleep till 6:58 when my wife woke me up shocked at the time. I typically wake up before my alarm but I guess we went to sleep late that night and were exhausted. My sister and brother in law, parents, and in laws all tried calling but my wife’s phone was on vibrate and I guess it was not enough to wake us up. Neither was the constant banging and knock on doors from my sister who came to try to wake us up. I guess, the way our home is positioned, the bedroom is all the way in the back and when our door is closed you would not be able to hear someone knocking. After giving up and thinking maybe we had already gone to the airport they left, luckily they had the food bag and were able to check it in. Within minutes of our 7AM wake up we were dressed and almost out the door when we noticed a knock on our door. My Mother in Law was asked to check on us and although we ordered an Uber we cancelled it and had her rush drive us to the airport. We, somehow, made it with 10-15 minutes to spare and boarded the plane!

   I attempted to take advantage of the several hundred dollars I got from the Groundlink promo but seems as though I could not get through the last part of the booking stage even though my account was active and credits were in the account. When calling in they were not even able to pull up my account… Then, after spending 15 minutes trying to get an Uber from the airport to the hotel, wanting to use some of the thousands of dollars I racked up from the VLO’s, no one accepted our drive request. So, we negotiated with a taxi driver to take us for the hour or so drive to the Hyatt Regency Maui for $80 with a CC. Traffic was pretty bad but we made it.
   
   We decided to reserve the car at the Hertz location at the Regency because it was substantially cheaper, but they did have much less options to choose from. ( I would highly advise one to look into if they will offer complimentary pickup from the airport. We did not know to ask for such a service but I vaguely remember hearing that they do this) We got to the hotel at around 1:30 and the room was not available until 4:00. They took down my number and texted me when it was available and gave me 4 complimentary drink coupons for the inconvenience. They were at 98.2% occupancy, so they couldn’t give me a suite, but they upgraded us to the highest floor with ocean and mountain balcony views.

 While waiting we picked up our car a couple hours early. They automatically upgraded our corolla to a Chrysler 300 but we asked for a Jeep and they gave it to us. They only had a two door jeep available and it did not seem to be a newer version of the car. Overall, it was just not the most ideal car for 4 people and a baby so as we were driving towards Costco to restock on some stuff and purchase a toaster oven (probably best to avoid this more expensive option as it only stays on for like 2 hours before shutting off) we went to the airport Hertz and said the car was having problems and we didn’t feel comfortable driving it, they took the car not asking us to pay for any gas, and although they did not have much available to give (since it was a busy weekend) they traded the Jeep for the Infiniti Q70. This car was much more comfortable, roomy, and was just overall great! With a new car, a new tank of gas, and everyone not feeling cramped, we drove back to the hotel to settle in.

   The hotel itself was really nice. Here are some day drone pics and here are some sunset shots of the hotel and areas surrounding it! And here are the, not so well taken, room pics.It seemed like a condensed and not as nice version of the GH Kaui but I thought the pools and beaches were better. There were talking birds, Penguins, Swans, Flamingos, and some other stunning animals and garden areas. The hotel was nice enough to give us a crib, microwave, and an extra fridge for no charge. We went to sleep relatively early after touring the hotel at night. They had a laundry room, macy's, and other shops.

   The next day we spent some time by the pool and with a couple hours before shabbat we stopped by some of the West side, of the island, sites. Here are the few we visited as well as some sites that we were advised to visit:
 
   Olivine Pools - Was like a 5 minute hike to get to the really nice lookout. As it was a bit cold and windy outside we did not venture down to swim in the pools but, nonetheless, glad we came out to see it. Surrounding the olivine pools, and pretty much most of Maui, there was beautiful views of the mountain sides and ocean. Sent out my drone and got pictures of the lovely heart shaped pool.

         Nakalele Blowhole- We stopped off at a lookout because we needed to do something and happened to be we could see the blowhole from there. For us, at least, we didn’t think it was anything special that we needed to stop and hike down to see it up close.

   Honokohau Bay- Not entirely sure why people advised to stop here as it was a beach with rocks leading up to it. Stayed there for a max of 5 minutes before we decided to leave. So definitely skip-able.

   Honolua Bay/Park- This was a really nice visit and definitely a must see if you are on this side. We parked at what seemed like the main entrance of Honolua Park and walked through a pathway with lots of beautiful trees for about 10 minutes till you get to the beach. While walking on the path,  about halfway to your left, you’ll notice a a vine that has been knotted and looks as if its sole purpose is for you to swing on it like Tarzan. We spent like 10 minutes just having fun on that before getting to the beach. Since it rained, heavily the day and morning before our arrival the water was murky and we truly could not see any fish. But, if coming here when it has not rained during or prior to your stay I would highly recommend a visit as it is known as a good snorkeling spot.

   Kapalua Bay Beach- This was on our list, but shabbat was nearing in so we decided to skip it. From the pictures it just seemed like another beach stretched across several hotels. We decided to skip it this time but it does not look like, from the pictures at least, as if we missed anything special.

   After returning from what must have been close to a 2-3 hours of driving through scenic roads and stopping at these sites we returned to the hotel and handed the car to valet. Valet was actually super convenient and complimentary (although I’ am not sure if thats standard). Without it I would have had to self park (which you also have to pay for, I believe, and is a short, but not so short for the lazy, walk to the hotel.) The rest of the night we relaxed and enjoyed the free GrubHub food. We prepared for shabbat with our toaster oven and loads of free GrubHub food.

   We slept in Saturday morning as we planned to be at the resort all day. We walked along the boardwalk and visited the other hotels. But, returned to the Hyatt Regency. Towards sunset we saw several whales jumping out the water very close by! That night we went out to downtown Lahaina which was a nice thing to do as opposed to sitting in a hotel room. Its simply local shops and restaurants stretched over several blocks.

   Sunday was our Road to Hana day. We woke up at 6:30 and left by 7:30. We stopped at Krispy Kreme and Costco for gas and then entered from Paia. In order are the stops we made:

Hana Sites in order:

Eucalyptus Trees-

If memory serves me right, in the first 15-30 Mins of really getting on the RTH you will see on your left massive rainbow eucalyptus trees. I thought I added it to my itinerary, so perhaps I would stop at another one like this later, but apparently I added the one in Kona so it did not register in my map and I didn’t realize till it was too late.

Here is the Google Maps Location based off my picture from my phone I took while driving past.

Lower Puohokamoa Falls Trail-

I accidentally drove right past this one by accident but after looking online it seems this might have been fenced off to the public anyways.

Twin Falls Maui Waterfall-

This was our first stop. It was like a 5 minute walk to see the waterfalls. It was pretty nice and there were several people jumping from the waterfall and swimming at the bottom but nothing breathtaking so to say...

Ching’s Pond-

We walked right past this site and ventured into some pathway we thought was Ching’s pond. We walked for about 15 minutes before giving up on this trail and walked back. As we walked by to the car we heard someone jumping off a ledge into a pond. Which turned out to be Ching’s pond which was only a minute away from where our car was! Either way it looked to crazy of a jump for us to do so we drove onward. But for those who are interested, its simply the ledge on the turn of the RTH.

Upper Waikani Falls-

Was really nice and was able to take cool drone shots and photos!

West Wailua Iki Falls-

I seemed to have only seen this site by slowly driving by the bridge that it was running under. Seeing the pictures now online I probably should have stopped at this seemingly beautiful waterfall.

Makapipi Falls-

Drove right past this one as well :/.

Nahiku Rd-   

Driving down Nahiku Rd. was really bumpy and besides for myself everyone in my car was urging me to turn around. It only got worse when I apparently made a right turn and not left (as the left was closed off) and I drove into narrower and bumpier roads. Only figured on the way back that I took the wrong turn!

Wainapanapa State Park/ Pa’lloa Bay/ Black Sand Beach-

All names for Black Sand Beach. We started walking down the stairs and entered a cool little cave. Upon exiting it suddenly started pouring heavy rain! We waited for it to slow a little and we took some pictures at the beach and took some sand as a souvenir. Rain got even harder and we ran back to the car all soaking wet!

Kaihlulu Beach (Red Sand Beach)-

This trail was not so long but a bit dangerous. But, I likely only feel that way because I had to do it barefoot since I did not bring proper hiking shoes and my other shoes were all muddy and had me slipping from the rain. So, as you can imagine, my feet were in pain walking on jagged rocks, narrow wet pathways, and such... But, it was worth it to see the beautiful Red Sand Beach. We were there for only a short time but it was very cool to see.

Wailua Falls-

 Was a really pretty and massive waterfall with space to pull over to the side to get a nice view and picture.

Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o-

I believe we passed by this beautiful site and saw it while driving but the rest of the car did not want to make any more stops or walk any more trails as they were drained. This was quite unfortunate for me as these ‘pools’ looked quite stunning!

Falls of Makahiku-

There seemed to be a trail to go see this site, which looks really nice from this google photo! But, I did not have the pleasure of visiting it.

Completing the rest of the RTH-

The rest of the RTH was so beautiful in its own way. With amazing views of mountains, animals, and endless fields as well as ocean views this ending to the RTH truly made it all come together so perfectly. Some pics, a panorama, and drone pics.


Some pics and drone pics taken of the scenic drive through Hana

Since we were driving by the airport and the car was making a bit of noise in one of the tires, so I made the decision to stop by Hertz and see what they can upgrade us to this time. As expected, they gave us the Escalade Extended Edition! The car was super nice, new, and simply massive! It had all the newest technology like the arm rest console was a wireless charger for my iPhone, it had a projector for directions and speedometer, and countless other unnecessary things. What was great is that we got a completely clean car with a new full tank of gas for free ( after our previous Infiniti was dirty from the days trip and depleted of gas) as well as an extended drop off time till Monday at midnight ( our original return was 4:00) and they allowed us to return the car to the airport as opposed to returning it at the hotel, where we picked it up! This saved us a costly drive from the hotel to the airport. We drove back to the hotel, happy as ever, with a smooth and comfortable ride.

That night, everyone was pretty exhausted, so we just hung out and ate in the room before calling it a night.

I wanted to wake up early morning and make the trip to the Haleakala Crater but no one wanted to wake up that early and I didn’t want to make the trip alone :(. So for the rest of Monday we didn’t really plan anything but to enjoy the resort and beach. We did just that and snorkeled at the beach of the Hyatt Regency. Earlier in the day I found a turtle and followed it quite deep until I lost it. But, no one else had the pleasure of seeing the turtle. Therefore, around sunset time when we saw several turtle heads popping out in the shallow waters of the beach there was no hesitation from anyone to jump into the now colder waters! We swam with a couple really big turtles (excuse the crappy pictures!) around us and it was amazing! As for the other fish you see when snorkeling, there was nothing that amazing but that might be because I only had just came back from snorkeling at places like Maldives, Thailand, and Bali… (Trip report coming soon!).

We also spent a good chunk of our last day at the Westin resort (about a 10 minute walk down the boardwalk from the Hyatt Regency). They also have nice pools and a really fun adult slide!

Running out of GrubHub food we made a trip to Walmart before our 12:00am flight. We bought several kosher items (mostly junk food) and sat down at one of the tables and ate there. After that we went to Hertz, waived our platinum status booklet they gave us and instructed us to do upon arrival, and someone drove us, with the Escalade, to the airport to drop us off.

With no PP lounges we hung out for about an hour before the flight at the gate awaiting our return flight to Los Angeles! 

Points breakdown:
Flights: 21,060 MR each Roundtrip LAX-->OGG
Hotel: 20k (Category 5) each night at Hyatt Regency Maui for a total of 4 nights
Car Rental: $115 for 5 days with originally booking a Corolla then switching from Jeep to Infiniti Q70 to Escalade.

262
Credit Cards / Re: My next app-o-rama...
« on: March 15, 2018, 04:13:45 PM »
If it'll be one pull is a YMMV, 1 is more likely.
First choice should be a sapphire product.
Next should be either SW for CP, if you have no need or won't get 110k, go for MPE or Marriott according to your needs
Definitely not a sapphire product if he has plans to get them both.. if so he should apply for both CSR and CSP on the same day in about 30-45 days. Go for MPE biz or personal or Mariott personal depending on your preference

263
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Bora Bora Master Thread
« on: February 22, 2018, 03:05:06 AM »
Risking it in the rainy season... If you don't get the weather you want in BOB, you might come to think MLE is better

According to google, it seemed as if March is a great time to go...?

264
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Bora Bora Master Thread
« on: February 21, 2018, 09:25:27 PM »
He just got back from MLE

This is true. Besides the point that I want to try BOB, now that I have already done SR MLE, it's way more convenient flying from LAX then going back to MLE again.

265
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Bora Bora Master Thread
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:03:17 PM »
With some time suddenly opening up for me, it got me thinking of a possible BOB trip for like 5 nights for the dates between March 8-19... Was hoping to do the Conrad, as I just rebuilt my Hilton Stash specifically for a BOB trip, but it seems that there is no 80k a night availability.

 Is there a chance of it opening up again? Or is there anywhere else I can/should look for availability this close to the trip date?

266
Credit Cards / My next app-o-rama...
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:52:07 PM »
Alright, I guess I'll shoot for it, as it won't be an extra pull regardless, correct?
What else do you recommend I add?

You can do Citi AA personal and biz same day and will likely get both approved.

Not completely sure but biz and personal might be separate pulls with CITI.

267
Credit Cards / Re: Misc Credit Card Questions
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:51:03 PM »
not IME
Paging @Wizmanison

Everyone I have applied for in CA as well as several states and those I help in NY have all experienced one pull.

268
Credit Cards / Re: My next app-o-rama...
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:50:40 AM »
Plan is:
Barclay AA (x2?) M&M
Citi AA x2
BoA AS (x2?)
Chase Hyatt ?
In what order should I apply?
Barclay has pulled Ex for me, which has 9 pulls, 2 within 6 months, DPs show Citi and BoA will pull EX as well. Possibly TU/EQ for Citi and BoA, which TU has 3 pulls all 10-12 months old. And EQ is clean.
Should I freeze my EX before applying as well? For which one/s of them?
Barclay will likely pull TU if I freeze EX.
Any other cards I'm missing  that I should be doing? (not Amex or Chase)

Definitely freeze Experian. Don’t see any harm in not doing so. Look into the difference between freezing and locking. One is much easier to do and undo and you can simply sign up for free trial and do it for free from the online portal at ease. And sometimes you can just give the bank a onetime code for them to pull when it’s locked.

 As far as applications go besides for prioritizing bank rules and sensitivities you should also prioritize the cards you want.

 Not easy to get 2 cards from Barclay nowadays, let alone 3. But if they are combining pulls then just apply and then recon. Apply for next card and then recon... rinse and repeat. Might be worth looking into recent DP’s for churning Barclay as I know it’s been nearly 6 months since your last.

  For Citi AA you’ll be applying 8 days apart so make sure you stay under 6 inquiries in 6 months.
 
 As for BOA, when the main CB they pull is frozen ( Check what that is) over recon they’ll pull whatever you want. So best to have them pull where you can’t see Citi and Barclay. Also BOA pulls seperatly for business and personal cards so have that in mind. And would advise to do biz app before personal. Because biz doesn’t require visa signature 5k CL for the bonus and you might be able to shift over to personal if not willing to approve you for another 5k.

  Chase hyatt... I’m sure you and most people know how to deal with chase at this point. Might be a good idea to watch out with them due to possible shutdown and maybe even a better idea to put this card first so they don’t see the other pulls when viewing application. OR you can unfreeze Experian, which you’ll likely have to do regardless since chase doesn’t pull other bureaus, unless they double pull, so then it might look like no one else pulled Experian. Also if you are feeling fearless, you might as well do IHG with the Hyatt :).

 Maybe other people should chime in on whether they think getting the Olympic flexperk bonus from U.S. Bank is worthwhile along with the biz club Carlson card...

 That’s the best I can think of, off the top of my head!

269
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270
Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Maldives Master Thread
« on: February 07, 2018, 03:37:12 PM »
I personally find it mind-boggling how many people avoid(ed) MIA due to a tiny chance of getting Zika, but will travel to MLE despite it being a state-sponsor of terrorism with virtually zero way to protect against an insurgent terrorist group holding a hotel hostage.

When you travel to the Maldives you don’t stay in the tiny island of MLE. Frankly, unless you want to you won’t even step on their island. The airport is a separate island and when you land you either go by boat or seaplane to your hotel for the remainder of your stay.

IME the island of MLE itself was fine and I felt completely safe walking around it ( it takes 45 minutes to walk around the whole island). Will speak more about it in my upcoming TR.

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