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megr1125

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Everything posted by megr1125

  1. Marriott no longer uses categories per se. When in the past, the Courtyard EWR might have been a category 4 hotel, it's now just whatever amount of points yield management assigns. Their points redemptions are now dynamic pricing so you'll have to just go plug in Barcelona, dates and use rewards points and see what the various costs are. And they change often even for the same hotels and dates. They may still have "loose" categories but to look for a list of what hotels are what categories? Not going to happen. I'd look at the AC brand but then again, it depends on location and time of your stay.
  2. Everyone is traveling. Supply and demand. This year's fares really don't have much bearing on next year's. I paid way less last year for my flights to Europe. This year, at a slower time, the fares would have not been affordable (to me) without leveraging miles and buying more when needed. I got about $4000 worth of Premium Economy and Business to/from Rome for maybe $700 bucks out of pocket for extra miles I needed to buy.
  3. Agreed, ask your hotel for ideas as they will get you away from the touristy places. Just walking down a small street away from the Grand Canal can save you money and give a much better meal! My first hotel (Hotel Rialto, great area but it was also too "peopley" for me and the room would not cool off enough for my liking. Moved to JW Marriott but I digress. You can find my reviews on Trip Advisor under CruiserMeg) sent me here and it was excellent and not expensive. (I went for lunch and did not have a reservation) Trattoria Al Gazzettino. I also found a couple other spots just by wandering around. If a spot had a long line, I went to the next one! LOL
  4. There is. It's built into the cost of either the Amtrak or NJ Transit ticket, which you as a resident of New Jersey should know. You must scan and/or show the ticket at the fare gates to get through into the AirTrain terminal. OP: Every Amtrak train does not stop at EWR airport station either. ALSO, I will die on this hill...but DO NOT take the train into the area on the same day. The rails have been a crap show for MONTHS and ONE downed power line or stuck bridge or trespasser fatality or broken down train and you are SOL. If you don't believe me. google search the Delayed on NJ Transit Support Group which is on a site that shall remain nameless. NJT and Amtrak share tracks, and Amtrak owns them. Yes Amtrak gets priority but scroll around that page for a few days. And it's NOT just summer. In winter, switches freeze (we don't have the same badass switch heaters here that they do in other parts of the country.) I once was heading home from Baltimore and lo and behold, a freight train derailed. I was not able to get home by rail for TWO days since everything was shut down north of DC. Really, don't place 100% faith in Amtrak to be on time. TRY to come in a day ahead. Going to put on my flameproof suit now.
  5. Ok, well I'm just going by what I've seen when there, and what Italians in the family have told me! 😛
  6. Hotel Rialto has a continental breakfast and they had cereal, yogurt, pastries, fruit, juices, cheese, meat, bread and I think maybe hard boiled eggs and getting coffee there isn't an issue (stayed 1 night last year. Liked it but the area, while convenient, was WAY too crowded and peoplely for me. Though they did send me to a great spot for lunch. (Trattoria Al Gazzettino) Cafe Latte really isn't a thing in Italy. You might get coffee with milk, or coffee and a glass of milk but it might not be what you expect. If you happen to be going there by water taxi, it drops you off about 20 paces from the front door. Easy peasy.
  7. NCL's BOGO or "free" air is usually the WORST routing and they suck if things go south. They'll tell you to call the airline and the airline will tell you to call NCL. While I will book cruise air, allowing 3 or 4 days on either side of my cruise, I also will NEVER book, nor let any of my friends and family book, NCL air as I have never heard a good story about it at all!
  8. Wow, that's really dumb, even for the Port Authority, who around here are known for not being the sharpest tools in the shed. I believe it, but it's next level idiocrasy. Kind of like "let's build a new terminal A at EWR but let's wait for four years, OR MORE, to actually connect the existing air train to the terminal...it's more fun to make people take a 15 minute walk to the parking garage where there's a stop OR let them haul their crap onto a bus, with no assistance, and then haul it off, into the parking facility, up the elevator and onto the air train. Yeah, that's good cause we Port Authority execs can probably be driven to the ramp to board our planes but screw the rest of the world... yeah that's AWESOME. Insert rolling eyes here. 🙄)
  9. I took Cunard's transfer TO EWR (sister company) and aside from the driver getting lost, like DUDE, SERIOUSLY???? Did you NOT see the 10000 signs for the airport?? Did you LISTEN to the 5 passengers TELLING you that you missed the first exit and take the next one?? NOOO, then WHY are we 2 exits south of where we need to be??? the trip wasn't all bad and should have taken a bit over an hour. 90 minutes later, a bus load of annoyed people finally got to EWR. I'm thinking that TO the pier would be OK but you'll be waiting for the bus to fill up and probably hauling your stuff out of the terminal and down to the side to where buses load up. The transfers should board continuously from around 9 AM up until maybe 1 or 2. Depending on where you're going to be in NJ, Uber or even a car service would be better. Don't take a cab as cabs from NJ can't pick up a return fare in NY and they don 't have to take you and can essentially charge the meter plus whatever tolls and fees their company allows. Ubers can be pre-booked but it's a bit more expensive. You could check with Blacklane or Dial 7 as well.
  10. Friendly piece of advice: do NOT be in Newark Penn Station late at night. Also, if you plan on using NJ Transit trains, allow more time that you think. This year has been a crap show with delays, service suspensions, equipment issues, etc. And our national rail, Amtrak, owns the tracks and they've had a LOT of issues with bridges, tunnels, broken down trains, overhead wires and so on. It gets way worse in the summer as much of the equipment is affected by the heat, and it's not even super hot yet. You can find a human at the ticket booths, use the kiosks or download the New Jersey Transit app (which can be great, and can be wonky). PATH is operated by a different entity. If you use PATH some lines have different weekend schedules. To be honest, if you need to be in Manhattan, and can cancel your current reservation, you may want to shop around for a hotel IN Manhattan. It'll save you time commuting and it'll be more fun. I feel safer in NYC than I do in downtown Newark. While both NY Penn and Newark Penn station have their share of, shall we say, residents, IMO Newark Penn Station does a worse job managing the "non-passengers" than NY Penn. (I'm sure I'll get flamed for that too but my out of town friends HATE that station and I avoid it at all costs and I live an hour away, and have my entire life)
  11. The only time the shuttles can pick up at the terminals is if it's for uniformed airline crew, and even then, most of the shuttles are contracted and crew only. (Even hotel shuttles, they'll have the hotel name on it, but it'll say like Signature transportation or something). Some of them CAN drop off at the terminal itself, or will do it anyway 😉 if it's VERY early in the AM or VERY late, and you're mobility impaired or have a zillion kids. As for "reliable" shuttles, it's a crap shoot. Also be advised that the Crowne Plaza is surrounded by crap, there's nothing to eat by the Hilton or Doubletree but if you're JUST sleeping, it doesn't matter. I'd still never let anyone I know stay at the Crowne Plaza. I generally book the Embassy Suites through Trinity Reservations unless one of my fave Marriott flavors (Courtyard or Residence Inn on International Drive, adjacent to the ES) have decent deals or I'm not parking my car. All that said, technically shuttles are to go to P4 only. And BTW, getting FROM there TO the new Terminal A is a pain in the arse. The airtrain does NOT go to the terminal but rather the parking garage that's a 15 minute walk from terminal A OR another shuttle bus ride. PANYNJ ridiculosity (yes it's a word, I looked it up!) at its finest. The airtrain will not go to the new A until MAYBE 2027. Maybe.
  12. Often when flying TATL or TPAC and booking a one way ticket, you're penalized for only going one way, whereas domestic US carries generally don't charge higher one way fares. Also you're looking at an open jaw using cruise air. Celebrity's contracted prices probably range from around what you paid on up.... So no, while it may seem odd or too good to be true, it may be perfectly fine. On occasion, I've seen domestic US first class priced cheaper than economy. Does it happen often? No, but it does and I snagged it for a person flight from PHL-SJU a couple years ago, and also wrote a blog post about checking these things for my employer, complete with screen shots. (And I didn't initially see that you're in Canada but I still don't think it's all that odd. However the super frequent flyer gurus here can give you more and better info than I can. Just relaying that while things can be too good, sometimes, they're actually really good!)
  13. I really like Hotel Lancelot. Not crazy expensive, nice rooms, nice people, walkable to Colosseum and probably more if you're motivated and have good knees. I stayed a couple years ago and am staying again pre and post cruise this fall.
  14. Celebrity won't allow transfers to be booked, at least this year (I don't think they've set up next year's yet), for flights before 12:30 so I'd use that flight time as a guide. If you prebook your own transfers and do express walk off you LIKELY could make the 12:15. BUT I'd personally take the later flight since, well, SHIP HAPPENS and you could be SHIP out of luck if it's late returning or if there's traffic or whatever. HTH
  15. I'd look at other Delta flights landing earlier and change to one of those.
  16. I was there last year and while it wasn't particularly crowded, AMS is just a HUGE airport and it seems to take forever to get through.
  17. It's Ravenna. And for some stupid reason, Royal cannot book a "round trip" to two different places. Yes, it's annoying. You can book your "to the ship" one ahead and add the ship to Venice City Center/Tronchetto (if that's where your going) on the ship. It's about a 2 hour ride and you don't really see much (well whatever is along the road). Last year, around this time actually, my bus did NOT make a comfort stop so as soon as we got off in Venice, people made a bee line for the restroom. If you plan on getting a water taxi from Tronchetto/City Center by the train station, pre-book them and make sure your phone will work overseas. I was able to contact my company via whatsapp and suffice it to say a lot of people were jealous when my ride showed up in 5 minutes and everyone else had to wait a lot longer.
  18. This is great info, thanks! I know my Aunt did a similar tour last year and she loved it. The pricing here is awesome too! Thanks again for reporting! I'm actually in Rome for 2 nights pre cruise, so this would be an early birthday present to myself. (OK well the whole trip is, LOL)
  19. Contact them and ask. It's news to me as well and not on the Cape Liberty website http://www.cruiseliberty.com/terminal_info.html
  20. I'm not talking about Woodbridge. Lifetime Titanium Marriott Bonvoy member and Cape Liberty is my home port. Elizabeth is NOT Newark. I hate Woodbridge, you hate Newark. We'll agree to disagree but if you've been around CC for 20+ years like I have, you'd know I'm not an idiot.
  21. YW and if you sailed out of Newark, you were not on a cruise ship. Cargo maybe. LOL 😉
  22. I've parked my car at those hotels at least 50 times. Zero issues. You do you, I'll do me. I despise the traffic in the Woodbridge area. I'll take my chances in Elizabeth. I've lived in NJ my ENTIRE life.
  23. Thank you NJHorseman. Your check is in the mail. LOL
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