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Messages - Wizmanison

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For our EY flight, we arrived about an hour before departure (not on purpose!) and went to the Biz check in line. Like anything else in this hobby/life, when you are nice enough or simply genuinely kind, your chances of YMMV are greater skewed to benefit you. Therefore, the rep at the desk was nice enough to let us pass while being 15 pounds over the limit. We were then guided to the expedited security lane for business and first passengers, which are placed directly beside the TSA pre-check lane. It was nice to be able to chose between the two and at that instance the pre-check lane had no one in it so we went with that.

From there, it was only a short walk to the Etihad lounge. The lounge was truly stunning. At first glance the exterior and entrance of the lounge was breath taking. Inside, the lighting and design of the room and bar were definitely notable. After spending about 10-15 minutes in the lounge it was time to head to the gate for boarding.

The cabin was really nice and although flying in the apartment suites did not work out (although there was availability; ANA and EY have been having issues, for a couple months leading up to when they decided to implement a temporary suspension, where ANA was only showing availability for some seats) their business class product is still great. Kosher hot meal was served mixed. As in, we got our breakfast starter with dinner and dinner starter with breakfast. Besides for that, the food was bland and not the best, as expected. The bar/lounge was also really cool and we hung out there for a little bit. One thing I usually love on these flights is being able to view the camera views on the plane and see below and straight ahead. When not seeing oceans or clouds it was quite cool to see icy mountains and landscape tops among other things.

We landed in Abu Dhabi airport, which looks quite nice, and since our flight to CAI was booked in economy, for whatever reason, and we were not able to enter the EY lounge. So we went to the nearest PP lounge which was actually really nice and I gravitated towards the back where I davened Shacarit and then we walked back to our gate for boarding.

Our Economy EY flight was about 4 hours and we pretty much slept through the whole thing. Our kosher meal did not look appealing at all so we passed on that. We happened to be sitting next to someone my wife met once at work and he kindly noted some things to see as well as tips for Cairo, which were already on our itinerary.

Will work harder on getting the more exciting parts of this TR out ASAP!

Unnecessarily Hyper Detailed Trip Report:

Hello and welcome to my second TR since I found this amazing Hobby! (You can find my first TR about Kauai here and second of Maui here. TR in the works are 1. Cancun, 2.South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, and Israel 3. Bora Bora 4.Miami 5. Park City Utah 6. London and Paris - Writing them down so I am held accountable for actually writing the TR's!)

Since I have taken so many pictures and I am not the best at choosing what to or not to include I have decided, throughout the TR, to include less important pictures embedded in the writing, as is done in the above paragraph, as opposed to cluttering the TR with standalone pictures. The standalone pictures will also be clickable so that if someone wants to see more pictures related to that one picture displayed they can do so by clicking through. Also, please note that any clickable links are simply to help the reader and have no affiliate link or anything of the sort to my knowledge.

As I am sure most of you have come to realize, for me at least, planning a trip like this was insanely time consuming. I would find myself spending sleepless nights and countless hours researching every destination I either wanted to go to or was advised to by those so kind to answer me through PM, on and off the thread, or from reading what must be thousands of comments spread out through different forums and threads. Although, this was not my first multi-city redemption since I started to amass points (LAX-JFK-ZRH-LHR,LTN-TLV-ZRH-ORD-LAX) this trip was definitely way more difficult to plan and more emotional considering the amount of points I was using. 

So, over a three week and two day period these are the destinations we visited:

Los Angeles-New York-Abu Dhabi-Cairo-Maldives-Singapore-Bali-(the following are 5 cities/islands throughout Thailand) Koh Samui-Bangkok-Phuket-Phi Phi Islands-Chiang Mai- Abu Dhabi-Dubai-New York-Los Angeles

Before our first flight I realized my wifeís birth year was incorrect on our Etihad (EY) flights but I was able to do fix it easily by calling in. (In hindsight we likely didnít have to even bother fixing this as it seems to be quite rare that they verify birthdates). With that taken care of we proceeded to our first flight. We flew Jetblue from LAX-JFK. Matching to Mosaic through their status match they offered in July was really convenient. Besides for constantly getting upgraded to EMS since matching, I have been setting google alerts for my flights and Ďprice matchingí it every time a lower fare became available. Since my wife is a heavy packer and we had a ton of food to bring with us(seems I forgot to take a picture of the cooler bag or its contents), the increased 70 pound luggage limit for Mosaic members really came in handy. We were already considerably over the 70 lb. limit but after chatting up the CSR she allowed us to breeze through with no excess baggage fees and upgraded EMS seats. I love Mosaic <3
We spent a little over 24 hours in NY to see family and to pick-up some POM meals before heading to JFK for the first long leg of the trip.

More about the POM meals for those interested:

I only ordered a few items from POM, as we found it easier for us to make, freeze, double wrap, and pack into our Polar Bear Cooler our own homemade food. It was super simple. We just made food as if we were making it to serve but prepared bigger portions that we then divided into aluminum takeout pans we purchased from amazon. We used a label maker we got from one of Danís post a while ago to label what was what and then shoved it in the bag with some ice packs providing enough room to fit the rest of the POM meals we were collecting from NY. My wife also created an itinerary (which we of course didnít actually follow) of what meals we will be eating and when, so we get a sense of what food we want and when we would have it as well as all the non frozen goods we needed for day to day or for shabbat (feel free to PM if youíd want it for any reason at all).

Food we prepared:
BBQ Ribs w/ Cous cous X 3
Schnitzel w/ Cous cous X 5
BBQ Chicken wings X 4
Olive Chicken X 6
Salmon fish X 2

Pom Meals:

I will review them as we eat them throughout the TR. But, pretty much everything but a dish or two was really amazing. Like everyone says the dairy food was truly spectacular and we wish we would have ordered more of those over the meat meals!

I flew EY to AUH. I decided to take advantage of the free stopover EY offers and visit Egypt, for about 32 hours, before heading off to our main destination of this trip; The Maldives.

+2.. You need help writing it? ;)
Writing is the easy part! Itís the embedding and sorting through pictures that would take me too long! But, I intent to start working more on it ASAP as well as my several other TRís :/

Amazing TR and pictures!

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Paris Master Thread
« on: February 21, 2019, 08:14:36 PM »
Had the same thing in August. Schlepped there only to find it closed
Did you post about it here? Read through all 212 pages and donít recall anyone saying it had been shut :/

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Paris Master Thread
« on: February 21, 2019, 07:52:52 PM »
Although Google says otherwise, ThaiOne is closed for renovations for not sure how long but the place looked completely gutted. It will probably be at least 3-6 months if and when it re opens but that's just an assumption.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Paris Master Thread
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:48:05 AM »
Doesnít seem to be any updates info on the breakfast situation at PHP so thought Iíd update the thread that they no longer offer any sort of breakfast option as they claim to have received to many complaints about the quality of the food from their caterers and therefore stoped offering it.

Are the closest breakfast options to the PHP really only Korcaz, Chez Akol, and Charles Traiteur? All of which are at least 20 minutes by car/train away.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Los Angeles Master Thread
« on: February 08, 2019, 05:52:30 PM »

Goods For Sale/Trade / Re: IHG nights for sale
« on: February 07, 2019, 04:48:15 PM »
Selling one uncapped platinum elite night

Credit Cards / Re: Large spenders. Best startegy
« on: January 31, 2019, 09:16:15 PM »
Got it. Amex everyday preferred. Actually makes sense. Should be doing 30 transactions a month.
6mm/12 = 500k per month
Transactions are typically less then 5k. So Should be doing at least 100 transactions per month.
Chances are your not getting a 500k credit limit or anywhere near that on an EDP.  And cycling your credit that much would prob not be so good. With a BP youíre able to raise your limit with your spending pattern and in due time be able to spend that amount. Also, it would keep your balances off your personal credit report. Unfortunately since you said your charges are less then 5k you wouldnít get the 1.5 bonus. If you donít care for points perhaps the plum will be worthwhile or what category are you spending in?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Paris Master Thread
« on: January 28, 2019, 01:48:53 PM »
Have a choice between 28k AF miles + $196 in taxes and infant fee (that ritz credit should cover) for RT flights on AF from LHR-CDG or pay around $550-$600 for RT Eurostar tickets.

Not sure where I am leaning more towards and was wondering if any of you could steer my towards the right direction?

Update: Chose train. For those who end up booking through eurostar don't forget to compare prices on the by switching the country website as prices can differ.

On The Road / Re: What Hotel Award Reservation Did You Just Book/Hold
« on: January 28, 2019, 12:58:45 PM »
2 Nights at the PH Paris for 60k total

Credit Cards / Re: Ritz Carlton CC Master Thread
« on: January 25, 2019, 02:22:35 PM »
Ask for retention first. I got $150.
Took me a 2 minute phone call right now to get the same offer. Thanks!

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Maldives Master Thread
« on: January 20, 2019, 01:24:29 AM »
How much should I tip my butler? He was very good with the kodher food especially
Who was your butler?

I heard $50-$150 was standard based of reading TA and other threads.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Maldives Master Thread
« on: January 10, 2019, 06:04:47 PM »
I bought the one with the best reviews , hopefully it is good:)
Enjoy! Also, might be helpful to request Nasyb as your Butler. He was absolutely amazing and was really familiar with the whole kosher food situation.

I did this by emailing them prior to my stay.

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