Archive for December 2013

Watch Those Prices!   Leave a comment

Just saved $320 on our Alaska cruise next June. It is the first time I have ever had a price drop outside of our Med cruise.

It goes to show, price watching can pay off!!

Posted December 27, 2013 by cubechick in Cruise Planning...it never stops!

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I Know it’s a One-Night Cruise in January…   Leave a comment

…which is probably why it’s a steal! Norwegian Gem’s one night cruise on January 10th is bookable from $29 pp for an inside guarantee (plus taxes). Balcony guarantee is $69 pp.

Seriously considering tacking this one-nighter on to our Caribbean cruise!

Posted December 22, 2013 by cubechick in Deal of the Day!

Sign up for those airline miles…   Leave a comment

Even if you’re like us and fly a variety of airlines.

I booked our flights to Seattle last night (for an Alaska cruise in June) and got our return flight on Southwest for free.  I couldn’t book the entire trip with them due to timing, but they were the best bet for the flight home. It was a great surprise when I realized we had enough miles for the flight!

Southwest Leaves Key West   Leave a comment

Apparently, Southwest is also sick of the delays on their Key West route. They are abandoning the route after just a year and a half. The last flights to/from Key West will be in June 2014.

Despite the problems we’ve had, I will be sorry to see Southwest eliminated as a flight option to Key West. Frankly our delays were caused by Southwest having mechanical problems and had nothing to do with the route. For us, the problems were more about the chaos of flying over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Southwest is giving us $300 in vouchers as compensation for the problems we experienced last weekend. I guess we’ll have to return to Key West in the spring then!

Posted December 8, 2013 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

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Last Half Day in Key West and Home…   Leave a comment

The morning begins with that favorite activity of all time…packing to go home. (Blech!). Is there a worse moment on vacation? I don’t think so! (Or didn’t until we tried to actually get home!)

Anyway, we suck it up and get it over as soon as possible. Not wanting to go too far afield, we go back to Two Friends for breakfast (Blue Heaven will just have to wait until next time). Looking for simple, DH and I both order the breakfast sandwich on a croissant. Served with potato bites, it was a perfect choice.

Last year DH stuck by the room while I went walking around. This year we reversed positions. I did kind of kick myself that I chose to hang out and read instead of wandering around in this awesome weather (Hello! We live in New England!). But, hey, vacation is all about doing what makes you happy right?

I’d received an email that our flight was delayed by a half hour, so we were in no rush to leave the Pier House, but finally the moment had come. We checked out (mentally saying good-bye to the Chart Room crew as we walked past its closed doors), and within moments a cab appeared for the long, sad drive to the airport.

As usual, check-in was a breeze and we were quickly through security and bellied up at Last Call. DH was watching our flight (which was going to Baltimore via Tampa) approach on Flight Tracker when it abruptly turned around and headed to Ft. Meyers. This began the day that I vowed never to travel on Thanksgiving ever again. Let me first state that I don’t blame the folks at the Key West airport at all. They tried to help us and make our situation as manageable as possible.

It is quickly announced that our flight had mechanical problems and has been re-routed because they couldn’t land on KW’s short runaway. Our flight is now 3 1/2 hours delayed. I go to the counter trying to make arrangements for our connection (in Baltimore to Manchester) when we receive the great news that we will take the next plane landing (making our delay an hour) and the next flight will take our plane when it arrives. Let me make it clear that this solution, while inconveniencing two planes of people instead of one, meant everyone (on both flights) could make their connections.

The plane lands and we get the announcement to start boarding. We stand in line only to have the door to the jetway closed in our faces as the pilot for our new plane calls corporate and bitches. Next thing we know we’re being told to sit down because we’re back to a 3 1/2 delay while this plane heads to New Orleans as scheduled. That was the first communication breakdown. The second is when I call Southwest and try to move us to the flight going directly from Tampa to Manchester, NH (our ultimate destination). The people on the phone confirm space on that flight (and I could book it online), but they say they can’t rebook partial flights and I have to go through the ground personnel. The ground personnel insist the flight I want is full and move my connecting flight (once in Baltimore) to a flight we can’t make. For some reason SW never updated our new arrival time in Baltimore. The system shows us leaving Tampa at 6:00 and arriving in Baltimore at 5:10. So the ground crew doesn’t know when we’ll land and book us on a flight we can’t make. I can’t make them understand that we’re going to arrive after the connection departs and I tell DH my only hope is that I can get us on the last flight out of Baltimore once we arrive there.

Sure enough, we arrive as our connection leaves (and we’re delayed on the runway for 15 minutes causing even more people to miss their flights with impossibly tight connection windows). I rush to the first SW counter I see but instead of helping me he directs me to the gate for the next Manchester flight which is a 10 minute walk away. I walk/run as fast as I can and I get DH and I literally the last two spots on the flight.

Ultimately, DH and I arrive home only 2 1/2 hours late (much better than last Thanksgiving’s 7-hour delay) but the stress was unbelievable. It wasn’t until that last moment, when I was clutching our “C” group boarding passes in my hand that I knew I would actually get home that night. The miscommunications were crazy and unnecessary.

Anyway. Back to the joy. While we will never risk air travel to KW over Thanksgiving, we, as usual, had a great time.

Our new “hits” this trip were:

The Chart Room. Okay, we’ve been here before, but never sitting at the bar. As Emily, the awesome bartender, pointed out. The difference between sitting at the bar and the tables is two different experiences!

Conch Train tour. Definitely two thumbs up. Very worthwhile.

Turtle Kraals; great view from the Tower Bar, fun appetizers and turtle races.

Bagatelle; wonderful brunch. You gotta have that decadent lobster grilled cheese sandwich.

Hot Tin Roof; great service and food, although tiny portions and a ridiculously dark atmosphere (again, you shouldn’t need the light from your phone to see the bill!).

Caffeine Carl. What a great guitarist. I just hope he’s playing next time we visit (maybe week after powerboat races?).

You know what the problem with Key West is? Every time we go, we add new favorites, and the list of new venues shrink!

See you next year Key West.

Posted December 2, 2013 by cubechick in Key West and Bahamas

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