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How to Spend 670k Points on One Trip, Honeymoon trip report with photos (BOB/SYD)

How to Spend 670k Points on One Trip, Honeymoon trip report with photos (BOB/SYD)

Old Jun 30, 05, 3:00 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by tvl4free
especially the meal service. I'm inpressed w the silverware change! ^ LOL.
I'm actually bummed that I didn't photograph the dinner service on LAX-PPT, much more impressive food and presentation.

It's amazing what an impression the change of silver service makes, what a contrast from Qantas F where they plopped down flatware (not silver, and plastic knife) wrapped inside a napkin.

BTW, do you really drink that much OJ?
Heh. I did drink quite a bit of mango juice on this trip, but at first I had no idea what you were asking about? Then I realized that there was a full glass of OJ in the picture of each brunch course of my PPT-AKL flight. Turns out it's the same glass of OJ, it was a bit too acidic for my tastes and I didn't drink it.

I did wind up being given complimentary bottles of champagne getting off the PPT-LAX flight, at Bora Bora Nui, at the Intercontinental Sydney, and at the Westin Sydney. And the bottles from TN and from the Nui were both quite nice, in fact! ^

Some might complain for lack of Krug, but I'll take the '99 Moet & Chandon that Air Tahiti Nui had on offer any day of the week.
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Old Jun 30, 05, 3:01 pm
  #47  
 
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Gleff, great report and enjoyed reading it. Haven't been to Tahiti but would like to go some day. I wish you and your new spouse the very best of luck and good fortune.

You might want to shrink your pics that you put up. There are a couple of programs that will go through and shrink a batch for you in only a couple of minutes. I don't keep the auto-resize turned on in my browser, but even for those that do it would save on bandwidth.
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Old Jul 2, 05, 5:17 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Darren
You might want to shrink your pics that you put up. There are a couple of programs that will go through and shrink a batch for you in only a couple of minutes. I don't keep the auto-resize turned on in my browser, but even for those that do it would save on bandwidth.
Anyone have suggestions for programs that would do something like this? Thanks!
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Old Jul 2, 05, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by gleff
Anyone have suggestions for programs that would do something like this? Thanks!
Take a look at tucows. There is usually quite a bit of freeware on it. I am ill and I want to go to bed, but I will look tomorrow at what's there.
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Old Jul 3, 05, 2:06 pm
  #50  
 
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Try this. Seems pretty straight forward and appears to do an acceptable job for websites and whatnot. The one odd thing I noticed is that the compression scale seems opposite to others. In other words, in most software I have used, the lower the compression, the lower the number. Higher compression, higher number. This is the opposite. So if you want less compression (higher quality but higher size) then you need to slide the scale up more. Play around with it a little and you will see what I am referring to. But it did 10 photos with low compression in about 30 seconds. It's also freeware.

http://www.tucows.com/preview/397055
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Old Jul 5, 05, 6:05 am
  #51  
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Thanks! I'll give it a shot.
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Old Jul 6, 05, 9:39 pm
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Congratulations and many thanks for a great trip report!!

It seemed like if you went back, you would request bungalow 105. Does 109, 108 or 104-106 have sunset views from the rooms? That would be the key for me. I don't mind lack of light, but I just love chilling and catching the sunset.

Also, you suggest spending as little time in Tahiti as possible. I've arranged that, with only 3 hours at the airport as I transfer to Moorea from LAX, and one night as I go to Rangiroa (Cook Islands) from Raritoa via PPT.

My question here relates to my choice of flights from Raritoa. I'm only gonna be there 4 nights; I can leave at 2pm or at 6pm. I'm leaning towards the latter as I figure another afternoon on the atoll will beat seeing PPT, but I will only have late night Sunday on PPT (figure checked in to the hotel by 8, leave for a 5am flight). Any advice hear? I know I'm splitting hairs, but it's a fun condundrum to ponder!

Thanks in advance.
Barry

Last edited by beachfan; Jul 6, 05 at 9:51 pm
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Old Jul 7, 05, 5:33 am
  #53  
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Originally Posted by beachfan
It seemed like if you went back, you would request bungalow 105. Does 109, 108 or 104-106 have sunset views from the rooms?
I was very happy with 105! But 104-106 do not have sunset views, they have sunrise views, and the sunset is really incredible. 108 is going to have a sunrise view as well, I think. It's facing the direct ocean, with the sunrise to the left and sunset to the right.

I'm guessing, though, that there will be something of a wall to the right of the deck blocking the sunset, to give greater privacy to 109. I'm not 100% positive, though.

Similarly, 109 should have a sunset view, although a bit to the right. TK-421 stayed in 109 IIRC from his trip report, you might PM him just to verify my hunch.

My question here relates to my choice of flights from Raritoa. I'm only gonna be there 4 nights; I can leave at 2pm or at 6pm. I'm leaning towards the latter as I figure another afternoon on the atoll will beat seeing PPT, but I will only have late night Sunday on PPT (figure checked in to the hotel by 8, leave for a 5am flight). Any advice hear?
Depends on where you're staying on PPT, and perhaps depends on your checkout time on Raritoa.

If staying at the Intercontinental PPT, I'd probably take the earlier flight and enjoy the grounds for a couple hours. If you like (not inexpensive) fine dining, you might have dinner at Le Lotus (one of 2 restaurants at the Intercontinental) -- we didn't, it didn't work out schedule-wise for us, but it looked good and I've heard mostly good things.

I wouldn't want to be at another PPT hotel for too long. Now, you could land in PPT after taking the 2pm and head down to the roulottes in downtown PPT for an inexpensive yet tasty dinner and then head back to your hotel.

Otherwise I'd take the 6pm.

When are you going?
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Old Jul 9, 05, 8:16 am
  #54  
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A couple more notes on addressing service deficiencies after the fact.

One of mrs. gleff's clients asked her where we were staying in BOB. When we returned to the States, her client asked whether we got the gift she sent? Turns out that she had requested and paid to have Bora Bora Nui send champagne and fruit to our room, at the hotel's suggestion. We did receive champagne and fruit, which is the hotel's standard complimentary honeymoon amenity. We didn't receive it twice, and there was no indication from the hotel that anything was sent from mrs. gleff's client. Rather embarassing for my wife, actually, because this is one of her most important clients.

Sent a note to the front desk manager, who apologized and refunded the client's money (oddly, the front desk manager told us how much was being refunded. Quite pricey, actually, but information we really shouldn't have had). Also credited some SPG points as an apology. In the email I mentioned the problem with the spa, and the spa manager contacted me to say something was being sent as an apology, I wonder what it will be.

Also received some SPG points and a credit back to my Amex from the W Seattle (1) the mediterranean salad had black beans in it, clearly the kitchen ran out of something and improvised, and their explanation was that the chef was being creative (when in fact the 'chef' wasn't even on the property at the time) and (2) the cakes were the wrong size and were supposed to be chocolate filled with hazelnet but turned out to be hazelnut filled with chocolate, also we were assured that the frosting wouldn't be buttercream (we don't like buttercream frosting) but that was precisely what it was.

Points from the Westin Sydney didn't post on their own. First attempt at a credit via the form on spg.com went ignored. A week later I submitted the form again and the points were credited within a couple hours.

The wrong number of points were credited for my room at the W Seattle, I faxed a receipt, got a note back that SPG couldn't do anything about it because I had a meeting at the property (the room was not part of the meeting contract). I went back to the W Seattle events manager, who credited even more points than were missing. (She's being moved to the new Westin in Bellevue, btw).

Finally, points from my stay at Bora Bora Nui didn't credit on their own either. I filled out the form at spg.com a couple weeks after the stay. No reply whatsoever after a week. I faxed in the bill and points were credited in a couple days.
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Old Jul 15, 05, 12:16 am
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Congratulationson getting married and thanks for a fabulous and detailed trip report.

Mrs. Jailer and I are off to Oz next summer for a family reunion and will stop over in either Bora Bora or Fiji. While your trip report is tipping the scale (of course, lack of Qantas awards could seal the deal), could you comment on taking a 16 y.o and a six y.o. to the resort? Thanks, J-man.
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Old Jul 15, 05, 3:09 pm
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Congrats gleff! Great report.

Originally Posted by gleff
I find that if you check in online or even at a kiosk at a busier station than DCA, AS won’t collect the fee.
We tried this when we moved cross country on AS with our cat. It wouldn't let us check in online because we had to pay the fee at the airport.

I guess that was AS' way of getting me back for all my $200 transcons in F.
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Old Jul 18, 05, 4:09 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Jailer
Mrs. Jailer and I are off to Oz next summer for a family reunion and will stop over in either Bora Bora or Fiji. While your trip report is tipping the scale (of course, lack of Qantas awards could seal the deal), could you comment on taking a 16 y.o and a six y.o. to the resort? Thanks, J-man.
I was actually surprised by the number of families we saw there. It wasn't a huge number, maybe 4 or 5 over the course of our stay, but still more than I expected. The kids seemed to be having a great time, and were well behaved. The families seemed to leave their bungalows and spend much of their time on the beach, where people could hit the pool, snorkel, sunbathe, kayak, etc all within sight, depending on your location. We didn't see any families taking the nightly shuttles into town, at least the 7:15 shuttle. Perhaps they stayed on the motu, or dined earlier.

The Sheraton in Moorea seemed to have a lot more children running around, at least on the weekend, but still not overwhelming by any means.
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Old Jul 24, 05, 8:27 am
  #58  
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There were a few families at the Bora Bora Nui Resort, I saw them only at the beachside restaurant during breakfast. Not sure what they did during the day. Never really saw kids in the pool or on the beach. Certainly there are water sports available, shark tours, etc. etc. but the particular property didn't seem all that family-friendly, in part b/c it was filled with late 20's and early 30's honeymooners (some outliers, naturally).

At each of the two hotels I stayed at on Tahiti I saw European women sunbathing topless. Just be aware of this so you can make appropriate decisions for your own family.
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Old Jul 27, 05, 6:09 am
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Wow! What an excellent report! Congrats on your marriage and thank you for sharing!

Just got married myself in April. While I've always wanted to visit Bora Bora I didn't have the vacation time nor the $$$ after the wedding. (Instead we flew on AA award tickets and 7 nights on GLONP + some points at the Jalousie Hilton in St. Lucia.)

Your report inspires me to start saving/earning Starwood points!
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Old Jul 28, 05, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by PokerHammy
Just got married myself in April.
Congratulations to you! ^

Your report inspires me to start saving/earning Starwood points!
My work here is done.
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