Day 120. We noticed the Renaissance hotel price went down a tiny bit. We would be able to get a city view room for 290eu if we signed up for the free Marriott rewards program. It also gave us free wifi in the hotel. We had to do this with Vancouver two years ago too. We’re not sure if this is standard practice outside the USA, but both times we’ve needed a hotel outside the USA, wifi wasn’t included in your room rate, but if you signed up for the hotels loyalty chain you get it free. So we signed up. It also got us a 15eu discount on our room. So why not? The cheapest we saw any room at the Marriott Renaissance was 260eu for a standard basic queen bed room. When we went to book we chose the option to book and sign up for the reward program at the same time. The website just kept saying error. We finally got so frustrated that we went and signed up for the reward program first. Then went back and reserved the room. That worked fine. As a rewards member you can make several different requests for your room like the type of pillows, extra towels, a high or low floor, near an elevator and a write in request section. We always ask for a quiet area in a hotel if it’s an option. We hate hearing tons of noise outside the door. We don’t want to be right next to an elevator, main drag etc. if that’s an option. We can cancel our room with no penalty up to 24 hours before check in. If we change our mind about the room canceling is easy.
Sure we could probably get a hotel room in Barcelona cheaper. In fact Marriott keeps trying to reccomend cheaper options via the room key pop-up add that comes up every time you go to their sight. But we knew what district/area we wanted to be in and we knew we didn’t want to try to figure out what hotels were solid choices in another country. It was just eaiser to book this one and pay the extra 100eu it costs over other options. We would have loved to book through Disney for ease of booking, but their prices were way to high. Lesson learned there. Right after we booked we read through the confirmation email and noticed our requested check-in time was at 9pm. The website had listed a 24 hour clock and we clicked on 9 for our check in time. As in 9 am not 21:00 or 9pm. We called Marriott rewards help number and they easily changes the time back to early morning. We also asked if we arrive and our room isn’t ready will they hold our luggage? The agent assured us that yes they will hold your bags at the check-in desk. We was glad to find that out. Most hotels will, but made us glad to know for sure since we will be off the ship and headed to our hotel by 9am and we’d love to just drop off our bags and go tour around. Ideally our room will be ready but if not we won’t be stuck sitting in the lobby waiting for a place to dump our bags. In Alaska we were all about ease of vacation. This time we’re going for ease but trying to balance cost a bit more. Hopefully it works well.
Day 119. We booked our room at the Renaissance Marriott a few days ago. And we always check the hotel booking page at least once a day after we book a room to watch for any reductions in price. Then we always either call the hotel booking number and ask for a price adjustment or if the hotel allows, just rebook the room online, at the new cheaper price. Well on our daily look at prices, the price jumped to 430 eu. We couldn’t belive that price so we clicked into the details see the room rates list. Well the only room available was a king suite with breakfast included. No other options for the one night after the cruise. And then we started to wonder… Pay in full day for the cruise was yesterday…….. And Platnium check in day….. Did Disney just book up the rest of the available rooms? No way to tell but it really got us thinking. We’ve watched lots of hotel room prices over the years, and sometimes hotels suddenly have no availability and then it magically reappears a few days later. Or they suddenly have availability right before the check-in date. Soooooooo glad we already booked our room.
Day 118 Hotel still only has the 430 eu room option available. Really wondering if our “Disney booked the rooms” theory is right? We also did some shopping today and ran into a deal for a new carry on suite case we’ve been needing. Several trips ago an airline not to be named ran out of carry on space…. Before like half the flight was even onboard…. And made us check our carry-on. For free of course….. Turned out not to be free for us. It damaged the plastic frame in our bag. Not a thrilled passenger after that. We’ve been looking for a new carry on since then. We just never saw a great deal. Well in an actual brick and mortar store we found a pretty good deal. Carry-ons so often come in sets, and we’ve seen great deals on luggage sets, but we really didn’t need more large suitcases. Just a new carry-on. We did find out something interesting the clerk mentioned that international flights sometimes only allow 19 inch carry-ons. We did a quick check and our airline from Barcelona allows 21 inches. Which was good cause that’s the size we were looking at. Funny a 19 and 21 inch are the same price a lot… Less room, same price…. Hmmm…. We got a nice new carry on for the trip which was honestly a big load off. We didn’t want to be looking for a new bag come a month before the tip and have to settle or pay more then we want to for the bag just to get it done. This is the reason why we make a list of stuff we need for the trip at like 140 days out from the trip. We have time and are not in a rush or stressed to get things. We have even started buying some supplies for our trip. Stuff like sun screen etc that won’t go bad before then. We buy a little at a time, and it’s not the huge budget buster right before the vacation. We can also watch for sales, discounts and coupons for the things we need. By the time were a month out from the trip we usually have everything and just need to pack.
117 days. The Marriott Renaissance hotel is still basically sold out. Wondering if the other Disney hotel booking option is also sold out? We should go look. Lesson learned though. Book that hotel early! Like more then 120 days out from your trip early.
115 days. Well the Marriott is back to having rooms. We really want to know the science behind this. Why do hotels suddenly have no rooms for 4 or 5 days and then open up again…. At the same time one of us was doing our daily room check the other asked if we got the email from our airlines. Noooooo…… this can’t be good. They didn’t just email us to tell us our flight is 200 cheaper so they will give us a refund. Turns out they changed out flight time from 3 pm to 10am. Most people would say great, it gets us home sooner. But now we will have a super early morning rush to the airport. No time to enjoy our first class lounge…. Boo…. And after a long long flight we will arrive during the day at our destination. We wanted to arrive around bed time in our home time zone so we would just collapse and get back on schedule. Now we’ll have to keep ourselves up a few hours which won’t be easy at all. We were also supposed to fly during night time Barcelona time so we could at least try to nap. Now it will be day time hours on a long flight. The airlines did remind us we have the right to cancel for a full refund because they changed our flight by more then 60 minutes. But we looked around and we haven’t seen a better deal or even another flight that was as good for us in travel times. As long as our flight to Miami for cruise departure isn’t messed with, we can live with a 5 hour flight change coming home. Seriously who moves a flight by 5 hours?!
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