Florida trip #2 for 2012 to get out of the cold with my dear bride 3 days on the beach just $100

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My dear wife was nice enough to let me and the boys go play for a few days in Florida and for me to see my dad. Well it was her turn to warm up before our next ski trip.

A while back SW Air had a sale fare for DTW-FLL and Delta matched them and I had some $100 vouchers to burn. The little left over I put on my Capital One card to get the two tickets 100% free and will earn 9000 Skymiles. Since we are both Platinum Medallions our upgrades cleared both ways before our outbound departure. We drove to Detroit and I had my first trusted traveler screening. It took what 10 seconds with belt + shoes on and laptop inside backpack. I love it. Next, my wife and I made a quick visit to the OraOxygen spa  ( Jeff is great btw)  we went to relax in the Skyclub before boarding and dinner on the flight down to sunny Florida.

I also used the Delta mobile app for my phone this time and it worked! Check-in, security, skyclub, gate info – it all just worked fine. I do echo what others have said that it works better when you turn up the brightness on your screen to 100% just when using it for scans.

I found us a room at the Crown Plaza Hollywood beach Florida. I e-mailed the hotel and was given a mid-level upgrade from a standard king room to the executive floor king suite.

They have 3 top floor suites and I was offered an upgrade to the last one open for an extra $200 per night. I declined that generous offer. I was hoping for a 5000 point “points break” room but none showed up.  I did have my 1 free night certificate from my Priority Club visa card and I used that plus 50,000 PC points as payment (I will get 5,000 rebate with my PC visa card btw). Not bad when you look at the retail price of this little stay:

This property was outstanding. From the pool, to the views from our room, to the staff, all were top notch and we so enjoyed ourselves and the warm temps for the week!

We spent the days walking the beach, laying out in the sand and by the pool. It was hard but we got used to it as you can see.

Then by night my windfall from Restaurant.com last month did score a home run for me. Both of the restaurants attached to the hotel were included so dinners ended up near or less than ½ price and were very good. Check out my math from dinner the first night when we ate poolside and you will see why I was yelling last month what a great deal it was:

I paid 70 cents for my Restaurant.com coupon. The bill for food was $38. Now they add the 18% tip to the total but you pay LESS TAX as they do not apply the tax until after coupon is subtracted. So, it was $38-25+$0.70+$6.84= $20.54 for our dinner all-in. Now I am not done. I have my Priority Club Visa and had the balance go to my room. So, I will get 10x points at PC and 5x PC points from Chase on the card when that charges. At 1 cent per point that is another $3.08 off in value. Net dinner cost (including the coupon purchase price) to me was just $18.16 and that is more than ½ off!

Dinner night number two worked out this way. Bill for food was $60. Thus $60-25+2.10+11.18= $48.28. 10x points at PC + 5x Chase PC points $7.24 value. Thus net-net on this one $ $41.74. Not ½ off but a great deal for two 12 oz steak dinners.

So my Florida swing is done for now. We will be back to Utah soon for our 2nd ski trip and then a spring trip to Sweden to see mom. I continue to be amazed how 1st class trips that would cost thousands can be had for  a hundred dollars  all-in! – Rene

[how I got to the statement above – the math] – More Math and what you can do with points. The breakdown of my trip.

Gas SBN-DTW round trip also earned 5x UR points Freedom card $60
Shuttle Go Airport paid for with C1 points no cost $60
Parking DTW $24 but 20% rebate shopathome C1 points no cost $24
Massage at OraOxygen spa with tip $60
Air 1st class EVT + C1 points + plat upgrade no cost $1094
Hotel Chase Visa voucher + 50,000 points no cost $835
Food at hotel was $120-$50 restaurant.com get 15x PC points $70
Misc breakfasts $45 other misc costs $35 $80
All in cost what it would have cost me $2283

What it cost me in my money $265

I earned 15,848 points from Delta, PC rebate etc -$158
So net-net cost for this trip was just $107

Not bad value for 3 days high season on the beach $2283 vs $107

PS – We got bumped on the flight home. They would not give us one $800 voucher but instead gave us two $400 ones. So, we did not have to pay for this vacation after all. We ended up getting paid almost $700!

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  1. I’m slowly learning! I have bought Restaurant.com certificates at home but had not thought of buying them when I travel – duh! Just checked for our trip to Arizona in February and there are several restaurants available. Thanks for the tip!

  2. The mountains got dumped on this week, so your next trip here to Utah should have good skiing.

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