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One does not simply book a "Holiday" - LHR-JFK-FLL/MIA-DFW-BOS-LHR, 6 HH and a Cruise

One does not simply book a "Holiday" - LHR-JFK-FLL/MIA-DFW-BOS-LHR, 6 HH and a Cruise

Old Jun 17, 16, 8:05 am
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One does not simply book a "Holiday" - LHR-JFK-FLL/MIA-DFW-BOS-LHR, 7 HH and a Cruise

Hi all, its time for another TR from me.
Not sure what I am about to start here as recall these being rather time consuming but will try and make this as fun and helpful as possible



The history:

this is kind of a follow up from http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...5-flights.html which I traveled last april 2015.

this being my fifth wrestlemania in a row I manage to turn a single show in to a long winded holiday and tour of the US
this being my first long haul holiday with my wife (married nov 2015, I could turn that in to a trip report as it was in vegas but I digress )


The plan:

Wrestlemania 32 was the driver of the trip however there was a drought of avios redemption seats around my preferred travel dates, the key being flexible to make it work I picked fly out to JFK and start the trip in NYC. Some spring time sunshine in Florida. And the trip to end in Dallas for Mania before coming home.

Changes while booking:

after some NYC sightseeing a Villa in Orlando was on the cards but decided a Cruise will be better value and something new for Mrs Tynmar too.
Flights were never changes but the hotels changed alot due to hotels being full or rates being through the roof while an event was on. HH points used where possible to keep costs down.


The flight plan:

23/03/16
LHR-JFK- 747 Hi J in club world with BA on 177 - 100,000 avios and 683.50
seats 64K and J

26/03/16
JFK-FLL - A3xx (cant recall if 19 or 20) in First with VX on 501 - got this for a steal at $199 each seat 1A and C

02/04/16
MIA - DFW - 772 in First with AA 969- 222 each seats 1A and 2A
earlier and later flights were a 767? picked the 777 for a flat bed 3hr domestic and it was amazing.

05/04/16
DFW - BOS - 737 in Coach on 1430 with AA - 112 each seats 7A and B

05/04/16
BOS-LHR - 747-400 in world traverller plus with BA on 202- 26000 avios and extra to make up taxes and avios shortfall total 570.20. seats 16J and K


Similar to the last trip realise the WWE or even Cruise content may turn few away but will keep it flight and hotel based as much as possible

(cant recall seeing a cruise in a TR recently so hope anyone reading likes)

Enjoy

Last edited by tynmar; Jun 17, 16 at 11:35 am Reason: update of content
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Old Jun 17, 16, 8:06 am
  #2  
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LHR to JFK and NYC sightseeing

And so the journey begins. as always I like to stay at the airport the night before to avoid the dreaded M25, plus the trip starts a day early.

Booked the T5 Hilton including parking. sadly Mrs tynmar was involved in a small accident and we had to get a lift to the airport while the car was being repaired. tried to change the rate to exclude parking but it was prepaid, the flexi rate jumped up to the same as what I paid so no major loss.

as HH diamond we were bumped up to an exec lounge access room, tried for a suite as never had one here on previous stays, maybe next time

The Soundproofing here works a treat and hardly heard a peep. Have seen many complaint on both FT and TA, this hotel is not directly attached to the terminal as the name might suggest. the hoppa bus is always on time and just a few quid each way.

After a bit of a queue at the club world desks we were through security and headed directly to the lounge, via the Spa booking desk. the last 4 times I have approached the desk someone asks me can they help, I explain I wish to book a treatment and they ALWAYS refer me to the person next to them? Why ask if you cant help as more than 50% of walk ups are to make a booking
nothing available at the south lounge was but they were able to fit us in to the B gate location, perfect as that is where we were due to depart.
Usual lack of Bacon but managed to get a glass of champers before heading over to the spa at B. both treatments were great and we were on the plane before we know it. (oh seen on BA EXEC page people reporting the disappointing magic beep, "step this way for an extra search please sir" this happened to me, backpack turned inside out and told to move on )

Photo time

standard nuts and kir royale for me


view from 64K


salad along with pesto and mozzarella starter


didnt fancy the beef cheek so picked a curry. is curry a good idea on a plane? preordered online weeks before which I enjoy doing


pud


mood lighting in the new Hi J cabin


quick stretch of legs to remind myself, be greatful of every flight in club
have done more than my fair share of world traveller seats over the years.


back to my seat in time for afternoon tea. followed by a good chat with the two gents serving the upper deck. both were awesome and thanks left on BA well done page.


and my final snap of the flight. love this


JFK imagartion wasnt too bad but waited longer than we had liked. I usually book a towncar but opted for a classic NYC cab to take us to the CONRAD for the first 3 nights



was upgraded before the stay to a hudson view which I was grateful of. second time at this hotel and would return in a heartbeat.
1st night 70,000 points. 2nd 28,000 and around $150 and 3rd night $250


a quick walk around the area to explore before passing out
view of NJ


Having seen WTC being built from the ground up over various trips it was a sight to see it finished. a trip to the top was booked as the first activity the following day.


Breakfast vouchers issues, value of $20 per person per day.
there is a diamond only section of the menu which covers certain items which equal the same value or close enough.


enjoying the view looking up


Elevators were super quick and was at the top in no time at all. I wont say any more about the experience at this point but what they have done I found very special






forgive the pool quality of this one. digital zoom on iphone


Staff sharing lots of information on both building and NYC in general. enjoyed this too.


A quick stop at the Bronze Charging Bull and then through wall street.




Then the subway up to the central park zoo. first time for me and we both really enjoyed the zoo, lots to see and great value.


No zoom here, this guy flew in to the other visitors scaring the life out of some visitors. Nervous but managed to get close.






how sweet


Sunbathers






standing tall like a boss (sorry I mean Baws)




showing off and making a splash


was a beautiful day


I know I know.. lots of places for food espcially pizza but I do enjoy a classic sbarro visit


time square busy as always


later that day we left the hotel mid evening and decided to walk down and take the staten island ferry to staten island. for all of 4 minutes


tad chilly but always enjoy the view both leaving and back on approach






popped in here on the walk back to the hotel. Done many W hotels around the world but didnt feel like alot was going on.


the following day after a 4am wake up call from noisy neighbors (HH points were issued as these guys were loud!)
I managed to talk Mrs Tynmar in to a cinema visit. as the lincoln square IMAX was one of the few screens in the world to show Batman V Superman in glosious 70mm we enjoyed the film very much after a morning of shopping around town.


More SPG bingo and popped in here for a drink. very cool and good location as right off times square.


inside the W. we managed to get a pod which had speaker control. party time ok maybe not quite but it was a laugh


five guys for dinner before heading to MSG for a WWE house show.


Kevin Spacey and the empire state building behind.


no added MSG


a snap from the show bringing NYC part of the trip to an end.





Up early the following morning as we head to FLL on a bargain fare in first with virgin america..... to be continued.


Last edited by tynmar; Jun 17, 16 at 9:47 am Reason: content update
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Old Jun 17, 16, 8:06 am
  #3  
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FLL and half a cruise

After 3 fun days in NYC we were both looking forward to unwinding in florida before the cruise and also chance of warmer temps too

Check in a breeze, no lounge access today. cant recall if because of the virgin Atlantic lounge being close so early or the length of the flight. Third time flying VX in first and those seats!!!

Good morning (prosecco )


Breakfast was as it looked


Having enjoyed batman v superman so much and being a huge Hans zimmer fan I downloaded this before the flight to help pass the time


Its all about this seat though. such a massive recline. I prefer row 2 for some reason?


Car ride was waiting for us booked using "Go" they offer a shared shuttle ride along with towncars too. chose a towncar for the sake of $20 extra

Arrived at the Conrad and very excited at this point. different layout to your typical hotel. enter front of back on street level and then up to the sky lobby and then back down to ones room via a different elevator, soon got used to it. the pool was in a different building but right next door. piece of cake.

oh almost forgot the rate. having moved around from serveral different bookings such as the HGI on southbeach and the new Curio hotel as a rate which was half the HGI I booked the conrad on points and cash.
56,000 points and just under $200 all in. bargain.



view from upgraded (in advance) room / bathroom.


we opted for a lazy pool day. the cuban sarnies here are different than usual but were soooo good.



get out the way clouds!!


evening cheese and wine reception for diamonds


ate dinner locally after wine and cheese to start of off. took this snap before heading to bed


up early for breakfast we walked down the road to a different hotel (epic, the hotel not the walk) for our airboat ride tour booked via greyline
felt bad for the tour guide who tried to liven up the bus load for the 45 minute ride out of miami. it was sunday and guess we were all sleep.
Havent done an airboat tour since I was a kid. a few years ago now.









didnt see one croc while out on the boat


Erm, Hi


and small chat and show after the boat ride. before they guide you to the shop and restaurant where they have a certain meat on the menu, just wrong.



Traffic on the way home was crazy being a holiday weekend. opted for a drop off in south beach as the CONRAD wasnt that close at all. tipped the driver for this.

Explored the beach and decided to get some sand in my toes


stopped at the portofino bay beach club for some fine dining yes we actually ate here, hot dogs and ice cream were spot on. beach ws crowded to headed back to the shops and then back to the Conrad for some rest




next up the CRUISE
my third cruise and second time with Carnival. hey they are cheap enough and good fun.

it was a four night cruise on a slightly older ship than the new fancy ones (the latest has an IMAX screen)

day one : Miami and evening at sea
day two : key west and afternoon/evening at sea
day three: Cozumel mexico all day
day four : "Fun day at sea" so the daily newsletter said
and back to Miami early the following day.

Opted for faster to the fun which is as good as fast track at any airport. $50 per stateroom, not per person. well done carnival. the skipped the normal queue and was able to board early too giving extra time to explore and become familiar to our new home for the next few days. would high recommend this.

on early before and the queues, sorry lines starting to form everywhere.


Priorities.. find slot with awesome music


fairly quiet. amazing people out and enjoying the sun before we have even left port


for the lego fans out there. behind glass to stop it be destroyed


Crazy golf on top desk. just dont ask the final score


first drinks on board. happy to confirm my drink is on the left!


the smoking section


sail away party in full swing


KEY WEST early


returned here later when it was a sensible time. but first to the butterfly conservatory


Been to the butterfly place many times now. located near the southernmost point and well worth a visit, nice gift store too.




nearly missed this one




"Clever girl"




Part two of the cruise to continue in next post

Last edited by tynmar; Jun 17, 16 at 10:29 am Reason: content update
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Old Jun 17, 16, 8:07 am
  #4  
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Cruise part two and Dallas

WOW I forgot how time consuming these things can be. makes me appreacite the effort other FT'ers go to on this part of the site.

Hope everyone enjoying so far?

So time to leave key west after a short time on the island.


the following day we both woke up late and ended up having burgers for breakfast? at guys burger joint, a new addition to the ship. Mmm
this worked in our favuor as managed to leave the ship for the day after the mad rush to escape and explore parked next to a superior german ship, it put the Carnival to shame.


didnt take many snaps sadly but spent lots of $ on items to bring home for friends and family both shops in the port and some just outside. which was fun on its own, no need for a shore excusrion here. quick drink before heading back on the ship which pretty much spent the whole day here.


Casino? Dead? everyone still on land


so long mexico




last night turned out to be a late one. a rare site of the pool deck empty


sneaking back in to Miami port in the wee hours of the morning. think it was 5am


stayed at my first homewood suites hotel having been a diamond member for 5 years now but somehow not tried this brand yet on my travels. I would usually try the hilton at MIA but fancied a change. this was 30,000 a night. they allowed us to check in early around 11am after an hour wait, was invited to help ourselves to breakfast even though not checked in which was a nice touch.

not sure if all homewood suites have this? an actual animal on site representing there logo?


Lazy day by the pool, not too much to do in the area but was fine after a week at sea. I was still swaying at this point so glad we didnt plan too much


the next morning after a quick bite we were on the shuttle bus to the airport.
MIA busy yet first bag drop was a breeze. security, less of a breeze. then on to the admirals lounge (thanks to BA silver, not first travel)

Boarding was exciting as was looking forward to the 3hr flight in the special seats. also it was raining, not sure why but always nice to leave rain behind


three windows from 2A. wife very comfy in 1A


heading east before a quick turnaround


controls


this wasnt the BBQ chicken I ordered online. oh well


warm cookie to follow as usual.


A view of the venue


Sorry not uploading any of the seat, dont fancy my face on FT

WWE takes over any city when hosting Mania


A smooth Taxi ride to the city and its time to check in to the homewood suites. Funny never stayed in one until the day before. now on my second.
HH30,000 per night and very spacious and right in the middle of everything


kitchen unit


dealey plaza. didnt do it this trip but the JFK museum is worth a visit


later that night at the AAC, the WWE hall of fame


Followed by fan access at the local convention centre minutes walk away.
was too busy for my liking so didnt stay for too long.


after fan axxess it was a ride out to the hilton garden inn arlington, just near the stadium and six flags. the room was upside down when checked in. housekeeping must have had a bad morning. another 30,000 for this night.
was booked in the hilton next door orginally at 40,000 but saved some points as needed for the hilton anatole for the last night.
used UBER for a ride to the stadium, very new to me but think the service is great.

the fact I can use my amex and earn avios to pay and link my uber account for spg points? hey its flyertalk

after meeting my friend at the AT&T who was holding the tickets we entered and this was the view. wwe claim over 101,000 people were in attendance.







lovely weather outside, perfect for a smoke break


back just in time for brock lesner's match


yeah, thats a guy jumping off the top


lights out and cell phones out. great entrance


awesome pyro to end the show. lots of boo's from the crowd because of the result which we all expected. over 5 hours spent here today


then rather than wait hours to leave the parking lot/taxi rank. decided to plan a route home via the freeway, well over it anyway. lack of sidewalk on some parts but made it back to the HGI safe and sound.





Last edited by tynmar; Jun 17, 16 at 11:17 am Reason: content update
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Old Jun 17, 16, 9:48 am
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Last day and homewood bound (not the hotel)

youll be pleased to know this is the last part of the TR

following the long day that was wrestlemania 32. I had tickets for monday night raw which is the same atmosphere just all the crazy die hard fans in an arena not a stadium. headed to the hilton anatole which was also 30,000 much like the last few nights in HH hotels. not as close to the america airlines centre as I had liked but a quick and cheap uber was in the city in no time

the hotel was very comfortable. no upgrade though




view from room


view for monday night raw. Mrs tynmar and my friends wife stayed in and watched live on TV while baby sitting. this was my view


back to DFW in the morning for the first of two flights home. AA coach this time
"from first class to no class"


from mild temps to hot and humid to hot and dry to SNOW welcome to boston


lovely sunset outside logan airport before heading through security


the BOS BA lounge was packed with people taking up three seats each with their bags. I said something under my breathe and someone offered to move but we had just spotted seats not together elsewhere. some people.

boarding was done well considering a small delay on departure
Uff, old IFE. this was a miserable flight home as the crew did not want to be working. shame as ruined the end of the trip a little. plus zero sleep in WTP even with full recline.


morning


can never remember this football ground but its a sign of landing in 3 minutes


And that folks it my third trip report.

Since returning from the trip we found out we have a child on the way, our first so no more trips like this for a while I guess.....

oh wait. I do have BA first on the 787-9 coming up to abu dhabi in july and trying the QR787 and A380 via DOH on the return from DXB booked so maybe one last little TR later this year from me

Hope all that made it this far enjoyed and have a great weekend

Last edited by tynmar; Jun 17, 16 at 11:31 am Reason: content update
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Old Jun 17, 16, 12:34 pm
  #6  
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Very nice, thank you! I visited Central Park Zoo once in the past (inspired by Madagascar I guess) and agree its nice. The AA 777-200 is the real opposite....
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Old Jun 18, 16, 9:40 am
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So it's 2+1 rather than 2-4-1 then, tynmar - congrats and thanks for the TR!
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Old Jul 18, 16, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Very nice, thank you! I visited Central Park Zoo once in the past (inspired by Madagascar I guess) and agree its nice. The AA 777-200 is the real opposite....
Hey offerendum, Thank you for the comment and glad you enjoyed
I thought the 772 to DFW was a real treat, the only let down was the BBQ chicken on the menu was changed, to cold chicken

Originally Posted by Tocsin View Post
So it's 2+1 rather than 2-4-1 then, tynmar - congrats and thanks for the TR!
Tocsin, many thanks for the congrats. +1 is a little way off but will hopefully make it back to Florida next year and add lots of info about travelling with an infant in Y I expect too
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Old Sep 23, 16, 8:57 am
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Bumping an old TR of mine.. curious as to why this one was a popular as the clap?

was the LOTR meme silly? the thought of a carnival cruise too much?

Pointers to make things more enjoyable appreciated, as I enjoy reading others on here and enjoy adding my own trip reports when possible. realise I'm no SFO777 but hey these things take time
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Old Sep 23, 16, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by tynmar View Post
Bumping an old TR of mine.. curious as to why this one was a popular as the clap?

was the LOTR meme silly? the thought of a carnival cruise too much?

Pointers to make things more enjoyable appreciated, as I enjoy reading others on here and enjoy adding my own trip reports when possible. realise I'm no SFO777 but hey these things take time
Wouldn't think too much about it. Some reports doesn't get the attention they deserve as people simply don't comment. SFO is no bench mark as he is very popular (of course justified) and has many followers.
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Old Sep 23, 16, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by tynmar View Post
can never remember this football ground but its a sign of landing in 3 minutes
Griffin Park, home of the mighty Brentford FC! I believe the Braemar Road Stand has a large QR advertisement on its roof.
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Old Sep 24, 16, 5:50 am
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Originally Posted by tynmar View Post
realise I'm no SFO777 but hey these things take time
I liked the writing and attitude of this TR better than (especially more recent) SFO777, for what it's worth.

Asiana doesn't get as much coverage as some airlines, it looked pretty good. The bed looks enormous, you're clearly not a short guy and you weren't touching the ends.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Wouldn't think too much about it. Some reports doesn't get the attention they deserve as people simply don't comment. SFO is no bench mark as he is very popular (of course justified) and has many followers.
Appreciate it, I guess some just dont cut it lol
doubt I will ever beat my RTW back in 2014 so will try and keep my TR's short and sweet... but still with as many photos as possible

Originally Posted by kevincrumbs View Post
Griffin Park, home of the mighty Brentford FC! I believe the Braemar Road Stand has a large QR advertisement on its roof.
Thank you very much for confirming.

Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
I liked the writing and attitude of this TR better than (especially more recent) SFO777, for what it's worth.

Asiana doesn't get as much coverage as some airlines, it looked pretty good. The bed looks enormous, you're clearly not a short guy and you weren't touching the ends.
Cheers
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