Author Topic: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"  (Read 17859 times)

Offline Lou Bob

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Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« on: December 21, 2015, 12:38:45 AM »
Written by Mrs. Bob

Planning:
Two Tuesday's ago I was sitting at my desk at work minding my own business, when Lou texted me, "So-and-so booked a Hyatt glitch in Aruba and offered it to us. Are we in?" Always down for an adventure, and particularly for one booked with just 8 days notice, I responded with an enthusiastic, "YES!" Then the search for flights began. AA had no direct availability and SW didn't fly the route on the days we needed, but UA had availability in both directions for 35K RT p/p. Only thing is, we were out of UA miles after draining our accounts to date, to vort, and to marry. Armed with plenty of MR, and knowing that there was tons of availability for partners to book, we decided to transfer to SQ and book with them. We completed the transfer and spent the rest of the evening constantly double checking that the award space didn't magically disappear. Around 2:00am, our points appeared and Lou called up SQ, was subjected to a long wait filled with awful music, and successfully booked us onto the flights we wanted. Great, right? Ha.

Not ten minutes later (mind you, this is around 2:45 am), he suddenly exclaims, "Oh no, I didn't check JetBlue!!" I rolled my eyes, and rolled over in bed, hoping he'd just go to sleep too. Alas, I was out of luck, and sure enough, JetBlue had availability . . . and for less miles, and less tax! I'm sure those of you who have been playing this game for a while can understand the feeling of horror upon realizing you didn't get the absolute best valuation for your points and money . . . but all I cared about was sleep. Miraculously, I convinced Lou to go to sleep and worry about it in the morning. A word to the wise: always listen to your wife; not only will it save you agmas nefesh, but it'll save you money as well. "How?" you may ask. The very next day, aided by a semi-decent night of sleep no doubt, Lou suddenly recalled a friend of his who can use a Sooper Seekrit way of getting us cheap revenue flights. (PMs not accepted, so don't even try). Suffice it to say, we cancelled our SQ flights, and booked the revenue ones. With SQ miles valued around 1.35 cents per mile, we had saved enough on the flights to practically cover the food, the hotel, and all the activities.

We were ready to roll!
Always use an Amex, you'll thank me one day.

Offline Emkay

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 12:45:07 AM »


The very next day, aided by a semi-decent night of sleep no doubt, Lou suddenly recalled a friend of his who can use a Sooper Seekrit way of getting us cheap revenue flights. (PMs not accepted, so don't even try). Suffice it to say, we cancelled our SQ flights, and booked the revenue ones. With SQ miles valued around 1.35 cents per mile, we had saved enough on the flights to practically cover the food, the hotel, and all the activities.
Can I ask how much the flight costed or is that also sooper seekrit?

Offline FlyFirst

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 12:47:37 AM »
Sounds Massive can't wait for the rest !! I like that latest shtick how the wives are taking over the word with this style TRs , was this the Honeymoon trip ?

Offline Einstein

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2015, 12:48:20 AM »
Written by Mrs. Bob

Planning:
Two Tuesday's ago I was sitting at my desk at work minding my own business, when Lou texted me, "So-and-so booked a Hyatt glitch in Aruba and offered it to us. Are we in?" Always down for an adventure, and particularly for one booked with just 8 days notice, I responded with an enthusiastic, "YES!" Then the search for flights began. AA had no direct availability and SW didn't fly the route on the days we needed, but UA had availability in both directions for 35K RT p/p. Only thing is, we were out of UA miles after draining our accounts to date, to vort, and to marry. Armed with plenty of MR, and knowing that there was tons of availability for partners to book, we decided to transfer to SQ and book with them. We completed the transfer and spent the rest of the evening constantly double checking that the award space didn't magically disappear. Around 2:00am, our points appeared and Lou called up SQ, was subjected to a long wait filled with awful music, and successfully booked us onto the flights we wanted. Great, right? Ha.

Not ten minutes later (mind you, this is around 2:45 am), he suddenly exclaims, "Oh no, I didn't check JetBlue!!" I rolled my eyes, and rolled over in bed, hoping he'd just go to sleep too. Alas, I was out of luck, and sure enough, JetBlue had availability . . . and for less miles, and less tax! I'm sure those of you who have been playing this game for a while can understand the feeling of horror upon realizing you didn't get the absolute best valuation for your points and money . . . but all I cared about was sleep. Miraculously, I convinced Lou to go to sleep and worry about it in the morning. A word to the wise: always listen to your wife; not only will it save you agmas nefesh, but it'll save you money as well. "How?" you may ask. The very next day, aided by a semi-decent night of sleep no doubt, Lou suddenly recalled a friend of his who can use a Sooper Seekrit way of getting us cheap revenue flights. (PMs not accepted, so don't even try). Suffice it to say, we cancelled our SQ flights, and booked the revenue ones. With SQ miles valued around 1.35 cents per mile, we had saved enough on the flights to practically cover the food, the hotel, and all the activities.

We were ready to roll!
What did you guys do for food?
If you think nobody cares about you... just forget to pay your credit card bill

Offline Lou Bob

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 12:50:12 AM »
Can I ask how much the flight costed or is that also sooper seekrit?

Sooper Seekrit
Sounds Massive can't wait for the rest !! I like that latest shtick how the wives are taking over the word with this style TRs , was this the Honeymoon trip ?
Mini-moon
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Offline Lou Bob

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 12:52:39 AM »
What did you guys do for food?
Patience! :)
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Offline AJK

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 12:58:26 AM »
Patience! :)
The downside to posting a single paragraph
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Offline Einstein

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 01:00:43 AM »
The downside to posting a single paragraph
Patience! :)
I am waiting with baited breath ;D
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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 01:03:01 AM »
Great start so far, Mrs Bob!

Offline noturbizniss

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 01:18:29 AM »
Short Sweet and the the point MB
READ THE DARN WIKI!!!!

Chuck Norris...
...can still do FT method
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Offline Lou Bob

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 01:21:36 AM »
First day is all written... Just need to upload pictures...
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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 01:23:11 AM »
Can't wait.

Offline Emkay

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Offline Yehoshua

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Offline sam28

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2015, 10:06:20 AM »
I like u stile of writing .

Offline jj1000

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2015, 10:09:37 AM »
I like u stile of writing .
Not sure if that's a compliment or not :P
See my 5 step program to your left <--

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Offline David Smith

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the &quot;Happy Island&quot;
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2015, 10:12:55 AM »
I like u stile of writing .
Was that supposed to be a joke?
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
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Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2015, 10:14:34 AM »
You message me you have a TR up, and it's one paragraph of info I know first-hand. Sheesh.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline EJB

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2015, 10:21:35 AM »
You message me you have a TR up, and it's one paragraph of info I know first-hand. Sheesh.

TELL ME YOUR SOOOPER SEEKRETS!!!

Offline Lou Bob

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Re: Arubian Nights: Mr. and Mrs. Bob's Weekend on the "Happy Island"
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2015, 11:16:50 AM »
Thursday
We woke up around 5:45 am, packed up the food we had bought and froze (no, not POM meals for all you purists), and headed to EWR. After a pretty painless parking job at a hotel (thank you, Google), we arrived at the airport, breezed through check-in (thank you, Star Alliance gold) and security (thank you, TSA precheck), and even had time for a quick stop at the lounge to daven and get some drinks. Our flight into AUA was a short 4 hours, but the plane had no wifi or in-flight entertainment.    

Upon landing in AUA, we were dismayed to learn that the correct side of the plane to sit on is the left side, and we were on the right. The left side is awarded views of the turquoise waters and white sand, while the right side gets to see absolutely nothing. Midway through the deplaning process, the pilot suddenly announced that we had to stop. Apparently, too many people had gotten off in the front of the plane while the luggage was still in the bottom towards the back. We had to wait until more suitcases were unloaded, otherwise the plane would tip over! Gosh, talk about making me feel confident in those Boeing engineers. A short while later we were allowed to walk off the plane onto the jetway and were immediately hit by the humidity (note: when you are outside there is a constant beautiful breeze that makes the humidity completely bearable). The next thing to hit us was the crowd. There was a line through the entire hallway and doubling back, just to go down the escalator to customs! Some hour and so later, we made it through, located our bags and exited the airport. We tried to locate the city bus, but it turns out they don't pick up at the airport, so we took a taxi instead. A cab will cost you $25 from the airport to the Hyatt Regency. We split it with JJ (who was also there for the weekend) and paid $35 total for a slightly larger van.       

Unfortunately, Lou and I both forgot to email the general manager and ask for an upgrade, since the nights were booked out of a Diamond account (Lou: HT Marco Polo). When requested at check-in we were told there were none left. Oh well, lots more future vacations to try our luck on (right Lou??).

Now, I know y'all like hotel room pictures, but I didn't take any. I do, however, have a few of the view from our balcony.

The Hyatt Regency in Aruba is a resort, so it's a lot more open and airy than your typical hotel.
The grounds, though not so extensive, are pretty to walk around and the staff was friendly and accommodating with our various shabbos needs. However, I find it hard to imagine spending the kind of cash or points required to book this hotel considering its category, if not for a glitch.

We were pretty tired from our early morning and flight, so we unpacked our food, made some sandwiches, (grilled cheese for me and deli for Lou, in case any of you were oddly interested) and went down to the beach for sunset.

Nearly everything in Aruba closes at 8pm, including the supermarkets and any tour bookings. Of course, we got to the front desk at 8:10pm to ask for directions. Luckily, the concierge was still able to book us on a UTV tour for the next morning and to direct us to a small convenience store that stayed open late which was located in a little area across the street and to the right of the hotel with all the tourist traps one could ask for. We picked up a few overpriced essentials, went back to the hotel and turned in.

Passing over the Dominican Republic:


Part one of the line for customs:


And part two:


Our “Balcony:”


The View:




A red beaked black swan:


The items Lou can’t travel without:


A magical sunset:






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