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Spankytoes

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  1. As someone that lived in Dallas for 35 years, and NYC/Long Island for 6, I can tell you that you're spot on. They are EXACTLY the same. Not London, Paris or any of the other cities you rattled off. NYC is akin to the Dallas fucking Ft. Worth metroplex.
  2. If they were taking care of ALL expenses that would be the route to go. We have $1,000 resort credit for the week. Looks like that will be blown through in short order. These were my meals for two (2) people: Saturday: $148.00 for dinner (Regatta buffet w/ no alcohol) Sunday: $46.00 for breakfast (Cafe Madeline for quiche and juice), $98.00 for lunch (The Palm 2 burgers w/ 3 alcoholic drinks total); $52.00 for dinner (We split a pizza at Pizza Lab, I had a Diet Coke and we each had a scoop of gelato that we brought to our room) Monday: N/A as the client paid for all meals (Leftover pizza for breakfast, Cleo and the Italian place by the casino); I spent $32.00 at the sundry store on 2 bags of chips and 2 sodas for mixers for the bottles of Crown I bought at Duty Free Tuesday: $86.00 for brunch (Sky Bar w/ 2 mimosas each) So I spent $462.00 out of pocket for 4 days with the client fronting the bill for 2 meals. I used points for Saturday and Monday as my client only paid for Sunday night. I did get a VIP pass to breeze through Customs on arrival and round-trip airport transfers. I also had a few other meals in Dallas and NYC before/after my flights. (We flew from DFW and back to LGA) We didn't do any special tours or go into town because neither of us really wanted to. Best of luck.
  3. Didn't get a chance to play. I hear it's a nice course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Hyatt runs shuttles there every 30 minutes. Never heard a bad review from those that played. My experience was a little more unique as I was there with the NBA Players for their winter meetings and all that goes with that. (Schedules, private events, seclusion for meals, etc.) We didn't leave the resort this time. When I went last year, we went to Senor Frogs and toured downtown. Neither is that impressive. TBH, I don't really like The Bahamas. The beach and water are fine but there isn't enough there to peak my interest. It's insanely expensive, coming from a NYer, and Nassau is the hub for cruise ships and resorts with kids. You can go parasailing, rent jet skis, etc. They have a swimming with the pigs tour like the Exhumas but I hear it's not worth the price. Atlantis is the star of the show but $200 for a water park ticket seems like a waste to me. I wanted to book a few activities, like a dinner cruise with the Mrs., but they were either very costly or looked lame. I much prefer Jamaica for activities and Turks & Caicos for relaxation.
  4. You at the Baha Mar? Yep
  5. We paid $148.00 for 2 dinner buffets last night. Our burgers and 2 drinks were $98.00 for lunch at The Palm. If I wasn’t on a work trip, I’d go all-inclusive. Beautiful property but nothing is nearby to eat off property. Any savings would be offset by the taxi fare for any recommendations. It’s an expensive place.
  6. Imagine how empty it looks for soccer games
  7. Needed a solo trip to clear my head this summer. Wife and I are heading to the Caribbean next week and she doesn’t think she’ll have time for another trip beyond extended weekends. So I got the pass. -I have a party in Dallas to attend on 7/3 so I burned some Southwest points from LGA and used a credit for taxes. Wife is dropping me up at LGA and our kids picking me up at DAL and dropping me off at DFW the next day. -Flying DFW-SYD nonstop on 7/4. Arrive in Sydney on 7/6 -5 nights at the Hilton Sydney -Flying SYD-BKK on Thai Airways (Arrive at 4:55 PM in Bangkok the same day) -3 nights at the Holiday Inn Sukhumvit -Flying BKK-HKT on Thai Vietjet Airways (Arrive at 4:00 PM) -2 nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort w/ 2 PM late check-out -Red-eye flight from HKT-IST, so I have an extra day in Phuket. Have a 13.5 hour layover in Istanbul beginning at 4:55 AM, on purpose, to explore for the day. (Roughly 7 hours with transfers) Taking a tram to the city center and booking a Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour to hit all the main sites. Luggage will be transferred for my next flight. -Continue on IST to JFK at 6:30 PM. Arrive around 11 PM same day. Wife picking me up from JFK -Have the full weekend to recover before returning to the office 1 night in Dallas, 5 nights in Sydney, 3 nights in Bangkok, 2 nights in Phuket and a day in Istanbul. I’m Diamond with Hilton so breakfast is covered in Sydney and Phuket. All excursions will be booked with Citi Thank You points. I used Chase points for the Thailand airfare portions and AA miles for Qantas. With all tours, private transfers, rental cars/fuel, metro fees, tourist visa for Turkey…basically everything but food and misc. charges, the total cost of the trip will be $358.78. That’ll do.
  8. Look forward to discussing his play on this thread in 2 years
  9. Has anyone been to Tehran? I'm looking to do a DXB-IKA-IST combo because I'm sick of Europe, I can't go to Rio without the Mrs. and don't have the time for Thailand this year. Because of the travel sanctions, you have to have a tour guide as a US citizen. But everything I've searched is basically a "Taste of Persia land cruise". I hate the fact that I have to do any tour, especially since I'll be the youngest there by 20 years, but it is what it is. I'm looking for something for Tehran only that I could have approved for my Visa. Not enough info out there on whether hiring a private guide for 3 days is acceptable and I don't want to pay the fee, or risk things overseas, to find out.
  10. Spankytoes

    Cuba

    Echo this. I wouldn't take my kids there at that age. While I never felt unsafe, Havana as a whole is a very seedy place. There are feral animals all over and the city is very run down. The beaches aren't really beautiful like other Caribbean spots. Frankly, there's not much for them to do beyond seeing some really old cars and a generic city from the hills. 3 days/2 nights was just about perfect for me. I could have stretched 1 more day to see the cigar rolling out in the countryside, but meh.
  11. Spankytoes

    Cuba

    I went to Havana a few years back. I wouldn’t do a tour, personally. You can give a few bucks to someone on the street and get the same quality. Tourism is their cash generator. We had a guy wait for us from 5 AM until we left our AirBNB at 9 AM on the off chance that we wanted a local guide for the day. On that line, AirBNBs are cheap and satisfy the travel requirements. We had a 3 bedroom on the water with a home cooked breakfast every morning by a Cuban grandmother for $185/nt. It included wifi, but you’ll find out that this doesn’t mean much as keeping a signal is impossible. You have to buy scratch-off cards to get an internet code for your phone, which are sold in hotels. If you’re a foodie, you’re going to be disappointed. They serve the best Pina Colada you’ll ever have but some of the worst food too. Our only decent meal was at Paladar La Guarida, which you can make reservations for on their website. They don’t have a lot of seasoning imported due to the embargo. Cuban food in Miami is way better. You can’t use ATMs or credit cards so have extra cash. If you run out, you’re screwed. I converted some money at the airport but everyone took USD. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. Parking is limited. I would hire a car to get around. We did a tour in a pink Cadillac that was cool.
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