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Old 11-16-2010, 02:45 PM   #181
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Thanks for the Costa review. We have seen them in various locations before (mostly the Mediterrannean) but would consider them now based on your review!
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:53 PM   #182
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The people who post to this travel thread about frequent luxurious trips must be drawn from a different set from the people who post moderate invested assets and modest expenses on other threads, and those who are trying to wring the last penny from their food budget.

I am always confused about this.

Ha
No need for confusion - we brown bag it and bring our bottled water and coffee to work, and find other ways to pinch pennies so we can afford our great vacations! (you know - oysters & wine & beer & crab! ) It's all about where we spend certain money!
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:23 PM   #183
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In 2010, I went to FL 3x, all done on a low budget basis. I'm pretty proud of that.
No long distance travel is planned for the Bird this winter...unless SEVERE cabin fever sets in again.
I keep a constant eye out for low airfares and "hard to resist" condo rental situations and free nights at hotels whose rooms would otherwise be empty.
And now I will have a travel companion if his budget permits.
What sites do you monitor for deals? Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:03 PM   #184
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A couple of weeks ago went with my brother to Washington DC to John Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally. So many people that when they showed up couldn't see or hear much (which we kind of expected). But lots of museums to investigate and all free. Then we traveled by train to New York City. My brother's first visit. At first he hated it then decided to return and investigate further at a later date! In another couple of weeks I will be going to Las Vegas with a friend to a National Rodeo and see the Jersey Boys. Not sure I've heard anything from them. Agreed to go just to do something different.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #185
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We WERE going on a cruise the week of Christmas. The ship we were to be on is the Carnival Splendor that caught fire last week.

We just got word that the ship will be dry docked until January 16 so no Christmas cruise for us! Oh well, we live in Vegas so it shouldn't be too hard to find something to do.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #186
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We WERE going on a cruise the week of Christmas. The ship we were to be on is the Carnival Splendor that caught fire last week.

We just got word that the ship will be dry docked until January 16 so no Christmas cruise for us! Oh well, we live in Vegas so it shouldn't be too hard to find something to do.
Bummer. You'll just have to eat your spam and pop tarts at home.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:06 PM   #187
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Just got back from an Azamara Club Cruise on the Journey. Great Ship, Great Crew. Highly recommend for anyone who might be looking for a luxury cruise. The itinerary (Sea of Cortez) was not my favorite, but we did get to see whales, dolphins, and sea lions. At one time a group of 300 or so dolphins swam along with the ship...

Could not believe the level of service and the enthusiasm of the crew during the 11 day cruise.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:53 PM   #188
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What sites do you monitor for deals? Thanks.
I just noticed this question. Must have been asleep...

Basically, I fly JetBlue out of Syracuse to FL. It is the closest airport and JB offers the best fares out of this particular airport.
I use JetBlue's online connections with hotel.com and several other (whose names do not come to mind right now) lodging ads and car rental agencies. The discounts are applied to the air/lodging/car rental bookings when done through JetBlue's site.
I sort the lodging listings by lowest to highest price and see what's available. Before I pick a place to stay, I go to the lodging place's direct website to make sure I am truly getting a "deal".
I also use VRBO, a website I learned about from this forum. Again, I sort by price.
Free parking and/or every n-th night free and kitchen(ette) for a certain length of stay is usually the cost advantage. My day meal is usually bagels/cream cheese or fruit or leftover pizza. I do eat out for dinners, even if it is only takeout.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #189
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In a couple weeks we will escape the grey skies and cold (air travel deities permitting) by heading down to Puerto Rico once again. We weill be heading to about the only area of PR I have not been to (west/northwest coast) and staying in a rental house near Aguada. Anyone have tips on places to visit on the western edge of the Cordillera?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #190
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We're headed to the Texas Gulf Coast in about a week, for a 5 1/2 week stay (we rented a small house). Haven't been there before, so any advice/suggestions on things to do, places to go, would be most appreciated. I love to fish, so we are bringing the kayaks and plan to do some near-shore fishing, if it works out. Also plan to do some birding, hiking etc.. Looking forward to getting out of this cold and snow for a while! And hopefully it will be getting close to spring around here when we get back home....
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:17 PM   #191
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RAE, since the TX Gulf Coast stretches for approximately 400 miles, can you give us a general idea of a city where your rental is located?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:40 PM   #192
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Sorry.........we'll be in the Rockport area.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #193
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Birding and fishing are big as you probably already know. The area is very laid back.

Corpus Christi has an aquarium worth visiting as well as the aircraft carrier USS Lexington museum.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #194
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Thanks, REWahoo. Laid back is fine with us. Birding, fishing, hiking, kayaking........if we find opportunities to do those types of things, we'll be happy. Heck, just to get out of this cold weather for a few weeks (and do anything) will make me happy!!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #195
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Sorry.........we'll be in the Rockport area.
I always enjoyed the birding on the "Rockport Beach". The annual pass is cheap.

There are lots of public parks, etc., in the area to walk, run, bird watch, etc.

The Whooping Crane tour (by boat) is always worth it. These huge (5 ft) birds are amazing to see. Best to go earlier in the season - like in February, I think. Don't know how late they stay before returning to Canada.

Kayaking should be great - just watch the wind doesn't blow you across one of the huge bays.

There are good local fresh fish markets to buy shrimp right off the boats, etc.

There seems be an active local artists community if you are into that sort of thing.

I really like Goose Island State Park and further north Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

If you like fishing, you'll be in heaven.

It might be worth taking the ferry over to Port Aransas one day - good restaurants in town and you're likely to see dolphins crossing the ship channel.

Audrey
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:00 AM   #196
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Leaving for an All Inclusive in Punta Cana, DR, in about a week. Went there for the first time last year and liked it so much we're going again. Then on to visit DS at his school in North Carolina.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:03 AM   #197
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Going to Texas to visit a friend in March, then flying to Guatemala early June for a week to run a free clinic, then to Europe in September, and finally Mexico in October / November (not sure exactly when yet) to be part of a medical mission. Will also attend a couple of conferences.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:01 AM   #198
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I'm still planning a July Peru trip. We are going to be in Manu for 9 days then to Cusco and Machu Picchu for another week or so. I'm struggling with the money transfer issues. It seems like ATMs have limited payouts per day and traveler's checks are obsolete due to easy fraud and credit cards have merchant added on and currency exchange fees. Anyone have good tips on handling money transfer in a place like Peru?
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #199
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travelover, I'll ask our Peru-born Spanish tutor for tips on money handling.
And since we are planning a trip there for January 2012, I'll hope to hear details of your trip!
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:08 PM   #200
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Does going to MA in February count?

I plan to visit Gloucester (ocean! ) and tour the maritime history museums while Mr B cranks out tax returns for the relatives.
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