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Old 26 May 10, 09:25 PM  
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Alyson
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What are you wearing to the Airport? Pre Trip Report

The name of the report comes from a conversation I start with Michael (DH) every time we start to talk about the holiday, its been a running theme for a few years and it always makes us laugh!

Whos going?
ME : Alyson 44 - Loves holidays anywhere as long as its in the USA!
HIM : Michael (DH) 38 Toy Boy and Willing victim of any holiday plans when plied with Gin & Tonic!

Here we are


Oh OK, OK, thats not him LOL!

Here we are ...


When are we going? Sunday 5th September - Friday 24th September

Who are we flying with? Virgin Atlantic PE - Heathrow Miami Total Price 1520

Parking - Heathrow Valet Parking Meet & Greet 75 (Truespdr recommend)

Lounge Virgin Clubhouse 120 I know its a lot but its FANTASTIC

Where are we staying?

4th September - Crowne Plaza Hotel Heathrow FREE on HI Points
5th 9th Sept Z Hotel Miami , all suite hotel - FREE on HI Points
9th -11th Sept Holiday Inn Melbourne FREE on HI Points
11th 18th Sept Savannah Villa at Calabay Park Davenport 600
18th 23rd Sept Portofino Bay Hotel 700 (dependant on exchange rate so could be 1,000,000 by the time we go

Car Hire - Expedia / Hertz Mid Size SUV 250

Tickets - ATD 4 Park Combo Seaworld Aquatica IOA & Universal 328
UPDATE 4th July
Discovery Cove - Dolphin Swim 100 each (Thanks Lawry Am-Ex Promotion Code)


Spending Money 3,000 work in progress


We are lucky enough to have visited Florida many times, and I have loved every moment of every holiday we have been lucky enough to have there. With the state of the economy, and jobs etc, Im not sure if this will be our last trip, so Im making the most of it, including the build up and planning, Dibb Dibb Dibb!

The flight prices werent easy to find, problem been that DH will only travel long haul in PE, so with no Virgin Sale in sight this trip did begin to look doubtful. With a little ducking and diving and speaking to Virgin Atlantic, I found a price of 759 each PE this is flying from Heathrow to Miami. The price was achieved using our Virgin Amex Companion flight reward seat. This saved us around 500 and compared to flying into Orlando saved us 1500

DH has always wanted to visit Miami (he watches Burn Notice a lot) So the fact that we are flying there first is a bit of a bonus.

We both work away a lot and accumulate a lot of Holiday Inn Priority Club Points, these can be exchanged for reward nights and save us quite a lot of money, on this trip 7 nights in fact.

Weve done Disney to death and DH isnt a fan to say the least! So we are planning on doing just 4 parks

Seaworld and Aquatica whilst staying at the Villa
Universal and IOA whilst staying at the Portofino Bay Hotel

Its DHs birthday the day before we travel to the airport so celebrations will begin the moment work ends on the Friday afternoon!

We travel on Saturday, a friend is moving in whilst we are away, she will dog sit and we dont have to worry about the house been empty, although I will still do my cleaning up like a maniac act before we leave! Why do we do it?

We have a lovely club room booked at the Heathrow Crowne Plaza hotel; I do plan to visit the gym and pool before heading to the free drinks section of the Club Room... Honest

Im looking forward to flying PE again, but Im keeping my eye out for any UC upgrade offers that might fall within our budget, Im not hopeful but you never know. UPDATE July 4th - I can upgrade for 720 but no such luck for Michael and an available rewarrd seat

I am currently trying to blag / pay for hotel upgrades at the Miami and Melbourne hotels, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Miami (4 Nights)

Crowne Plaza Z Hotel South Beach, we have a King Suite with an ocean view, Im hoping to get a roof top suite instead which look amazing. No particular plan for Miami probably a couple of sightseeing trips and exploring, We are hoping for great food and delicious Mojitos Just looking forward to people watching and soaking up the vibe! Plus its Labor day weekend when we arrive so we expect it to be quite busy.

Melbourne (2 Nights)

We stayed at this hotel overnight a couple of years ago we were upgraded to a huge suite with a wrap around balcony overlooking the ocean, it was really nice but we didnt get a lot of time to appreciate it as we stayed there on the night we flew into Orlando and we left early the next day. This time we are there for two nights again no real plans, just walks on the beach and relaxing


The Villa (7 Nights)

We have 7 nights in a lovely villa in Calabay Parc its 3150 sq ft and 6 bedrooms, a little over kill for two of us, but the owners were fantastic with us and gave us a really great price including pool and spa heat. The villa more than ticks all the boxes. This week we plan to get a few runs in as well as visit SeaWorld and Aquatica. I dare say we will hit the stores this week as well.

Portofino Bay Hotel Universal (5 Nights)

After staying here for a week last September Im hooked, everything about our stay was 5 star and we thought it would be a lovely way to end our holiday. We have a Bay View room with a Balcony. I booked directly in order to keep my Loews Gold status. We intend to make the most of our FotLP by going into the parks early in the morning and last thing on an evening before going out in City Walk for cocktails and food. This hotel as got a fantastic gym that we used a lot last year and will again this year and also we loved the Villa Pool. I cant rate this hotel highly enough, we loved the walk to the parks the facilities the fact that everything is on your doorstep and it feels special.

We are planning to drive back to Miami straight from the Portofino for our evening flight back to Heathrow.

So virtually everything is done, just a bit more saving and a lot more Dibbing

Edited at 02:29 PM. Reason: Update with Discovery Cove
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Old 27 May 10, 07:02 AM  
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joanna23
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Really enjoyed your Pre-trip, you and Mark look very happy together!
Sounds like an amazing trip planned, fingers crossed for the upgrades.
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Old 27 May 10, 08:21 AM  
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Alyson
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Originally Posted by joanna23 View Post
Really enjoyed your Pre-trip, you and Mark look very happy together!
Sounds like an amazing trip planned, fingers crossed for the upgrades.
Me and Mark do look good together dont we? LOL!
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Old 27 May 10, 08:34 AM  
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Sounds fab Alyson. I can't wait till i'm 'kid free' to do a bit of luxury like you guys are planning... sounds bliss

I've always fancied Miami...wonder if you'll bump into Don Johnston ( is that is name? The guy from Miami Vice)
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Old 27 May 10, 08:37 AM  
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Alyson
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Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
Sounds fab Alyson. I can't wait till i'm 'kid free' to do a bit of luxury like you guys are planning... sounds bliss

I've always fancied Miami...wonder if you'll bump into Don Johnston ( is that is name? The guy from Miami Vice)
Oh, yeah ! Don Johnson, I used to have quite a thing for him, back in the day!
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Old 27 May 10, 08:55 AM  
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Sounds amazing have a great time
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Old 27 May 10, 10:35 AM  
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Alyson
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Have any Dibbers been on any of the Miami Tours? I was going to book with ATD they look quite good, but I must admit I haven't looked around much
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Old 27 May 10, 11:00 AM  
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Love your pre-trip report. And it's true what you wear to the airport is the first question to ask lol.
Hope you have a lovely time
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Old 27 May 10, 12:33 PM  
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Originally Posted by PrincessRella View Post
Love your pre-trip report. And it's true what you wear to the airport is the first question to ask lol.
Hope you have a lovely time
It's just become a standing joke, code for I want to talk about the holiday
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Old 27 May 10, 01:20 PM  
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Just thought I'd mention I got Hertz to post me a confirmation saying that we had paid in full for the car, they moaned about it, but they did it and I now have it safely filed away!
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