Announcing The First PragueDO . June 10-12, 2011

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  1. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    Announcing the first PRAGUE DO - JUNE 10-12, 2011

    Hi all and welcome to MilePoint!

    The idea of a PragueDO came up last year on Flyertalk. So far, we have a small group of confirmed attendees form the "other side" and today I would like to use this opportunity to extend my invitation to all of you.

    On the list below you can see which FTers are already attending. So, be the second community member to join in! Sorry, first place goes to miffSC ;)

    Most important information about Prague

    Prague Ruzyne International Airport is located ~ 15 miles or ~ 30 minutes northwest of the city center. All major airlines offer service into PRG. Detailed information can be found here: Prague Ruzyne Airport

    List of States Whose Citizens Are Exempt from Visa Requirement:

    List of third countries whose citizens are exempted from visa requirement in Member States of the European Union bound by Regulation (EC) No. 539/2001, as amended by Regulation (EC) No. 2414/2001 and Regulation (EC) No. 453/2003 (i.e. in the Schengen area).
    Visa exemptions apply only to short stays up to 90 days of non-profit nature. If the purpose of stay is employment, Schengen (short-term) visa for the purpose of employment is required.
    Holders of Serbian passports issued by the Special Coordination Directorate in Belgrade are excluded from visa-free regime.
    In case of citizens of Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia/FYROM, visa-free regime applies only to holders of biometric passports.
    ANDORRA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, BAHAMAS, BARBADOS, BRAZIL, BRUNEI, CANADA, COSTA RICA, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS,
    CHILE, CROATIA, ISRAEL, JAPAN, MACEDONIA/FYROM, MALAYSIA, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MONACO, MONTENEGRO, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA,
    PANAMA, PARAGUAY, SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS, SALVADOR, SAN MARINO, SERBIA, SEYCHELLES, SINGAPORE, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, URUGUAY, VATICAN, VENEZUELA

    For further information please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic at www.mzv.cz/jnp/en/index.html

    Health Insurance:

    Before travelling to the Czech Republic please check with your medical insurance company wheter they will cover all expences that may occur while you are in Prague. Also keep in mind that in case of a necessary medical treatment doctors and hospitals ask you to pay upfront!

    Currency:

    The Czech Republics official unit of currency is still on the Koruna (crown) and this won't change by 2011. The most conveniant and cheapest way to get hold of Koruna is just to withdraw one big amount with your ATM card, your VISA or MC at an ATM located within a bank. In case you use your credit card, remember that most cc-companies will charge you a forex surcharge. I do not recommend to exchange money at the exchange office at the airport as long as you don't want to pay a high commission. If you prefer to exchange money in the city center always compare the offered exchange rates from several exchange offices and also keep an eye on the added commission.

    Getting from the airport to your hotel:

    There are several options for your transport. Folks staying at the Marriott may think about using the Airport Express bus. Easy to use, cheap [50 CZK / $2.50] and not much slower as a cab. The bus leaves the airport every 30 minutes and takes you right to the Central Railway Station, which is located around the corner from the Marriott. However the most conveniant is using a cab. Be aware, cabbies do have a bad reputation in Prague and you might get ripped off. A reliable cab company I used several times is AAA. Their cabs are right outside each terminal. The fare should be around 600 CZK [~ $30], depending on traffic and your actual destination. As soon as we're in the window where you can book your flight and hotel and everybody knows when he/she will be arriving in PRG, I'll also have an offer available for a private sedan service which won't cost more than 600 CZK.

    Recommended hotels:

    FS – Four Seasons Prague – approx: $550 per night
    HH – Hilton Prague – approx: $130 per night
    MO – Mandarin Oriental Prague – approx: $510 per night
    MR – Prague Marriott – approx: $195 per night
    PC – Intercontinental Prague – approx: $225 per night
    SPG – Sheraton Prague Charles Square – approx: $225 per night

    The rates mentioned above are for stays in June 2010 and just for illustration, so you may get an indication about the approximate price range. Starting July 2010 I'll also check these hotels regularly and post the lowest rates I found [LAR].

    Weather:

    June is one of the best months to visit Prague. The weather should be mild with an average temperature around 21°C / 70°F. However, you should expect some showers once in a while. Also expect walking a lot, so I recommend to bring comfortable shoes, to cope with all the cobblestones.

    The Do Calendar

    This is just a small overview as of now – there's a lot to be added. All times are tentative. If some of you intend to arrive one day earlier or depart one day later, the calendar can be adjusted.

    Friday, June 10th 2011

    05:00 pm servus's Pre-Welcome Birthday Party – venue TBD

    By coincidence this DO starts right on my birthday, so I'm delighted to invite all Early Birds for a drink or two. As this comes out of my own pocket, the venue will be released to confirmed attendees only.

    07:00 pm Welcome Dinner – venue TBD

    09:00 pm Bar Hopping

    Prague is famous for its bars. Beer is flowing all night long, so there should be enough time to sample one Budweiser, one Pilsner Urquell or another one brewed by one of Pragues oldest breweries!

    Saturday, June 11th 2011

    10:00 am Sightseeing Tour + Vltava River Cruise

    I'm working on an English guided tour which also includes a river cruise on the Vltava River and a visit to one of Pragues popular Cafés. I know, the cruise part is very touristy but if you have never been to Prague before, it's a nice thing to do. As I always keep an eye on the cost, I'll try to find the best deal for us. However this is probably mostly depending on how many of us will attend and what will be included but it won't cost more than 1,000 CZK / ~ $50. You will see the Jewish Quarter, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, "Ginger & Fred" aka the Dancing House and of course the Prague Castle.

    08:00 pm Offical Dinner – venue TBD

    Sunday, June 12th 2011

    11:00 am Farewell Brunch – venue TBD

    Confirmed attendees [27]:

    MP AHN @ Hilton Old Town
    FT adl73x +3 @ X
    FT anat0l @ Hilton
    FT asya999 @ X
    FT Berrenger @ Sheraton
    MP Bob Smolinsky @ X
    FT Bundy Bear @ Hilton
    MP Dovster @ Hilton
    FT dragonfirebcn @ X
    FT eightblack @ X
    FT jswong @ Hilton Old Town
    FT karung99 @ X
    FT katz +1 @ X
    FT marlikestotravel @ Marriott
    FT miffSC @ X
    FT nevansm @ X
    FT Pat89339 @ Hilton
    FT retirementdreams @ Marriott
    MP servus @ Hilton
    FT serfty @ Hilton
    FT SkiAdcock @ X
    FT spaceman @ Hilton
    FT To Maket To Market @ Hilton

    Please leave your thoughts and watch out for updates.
     
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  2. Pat89339
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    Pat89339 Gold Member

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    So how did first place go to miffSC? ;)
     
  3. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    OUCH ! [​IMG] You got me! Well, how about she's a lady?

    No, I gave her the first place because she contacted me and asked why the DO hasn't been posted here on MP. Hope you can live with that but YOUR first pivo is on me! Beeing friends again? [​IMG]
     
  4. AHN
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    AHN Silver Member

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    I (we) will be at the Hilton Old Town. Looking forward to it!
     
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  5. SirRagnar
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    SirRagnar Silver Member

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    Hi servus

    Do you have an estimate of total cost for all the arrangements (excluding flights and hotels)?
     
  6. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    @ SirRagnar

    At this moment unfortunately not. As Prague is still an affortable city, this trip will not cost a fortune. Depending on the actual Do calender [and how much you can drink] [​IMG] I would suggest it won't cost more than $300 for three days. This will cover lunch & dinner, drinks & tours. This is just my first guess, of course I'll try to keep costs low without having to offer you a venue serving rubber chicken!
     
  7. Anytime is a great time to go to Prague. I expect to be in Vienna the week before, so I will look into a stop in Prague.

    Thanks for posting all the info
     
  8. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    @ piqaro Would be great to have you join the group. Just let me know as soon as you make up your schedule.
     
  9. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Should be around then for a few adult beverages in the evening....
     
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  10. sc801
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    sc801 Gold Member

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    What was this all about first place... ? It's not quite alphabetical now either. LOL Oh well, I did contact Servus to inquire about just that very thing..... if we could perhaps have the info over here as well having it back over there <------

    At any rate, here it is! And I am getting very excited.... researching things to do and all since I have a couple of extra days.
     
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  11. vbroucek
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    vbroucek Silver Member

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    Bugger, I will arrive to Czech Republic on or after 20 June...
     
  12. the_happiness_store
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    the_happiness_store Silver Member

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    Is anywhere of good airfares from ORD? I looked earlier and coach appears to be running about $1300-1400 regardless of airline.
     
  13. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    DL = $713 / LH/UA = $745 / BA $893
     
  14. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    I am really looking forward to this. I will be spending a week in Milan and Lugano before the Do and then continuing on to Prague (where I will stay for another week).
     
  15. jswong
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    I'm really looking forward to this. I have great memories of Prague. Will probably stay at the Sheraton on the Saturday night

    Jeff
     
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  16. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    I am very tempted to go, but have to admitt that it is kind of scary... Is it only me who have to think about joining DO's, not only because of planning, but because of the fact that you plan to meet a whole bunch of people you don't know? Maybe it is different for a woman? I am used to travel on my own and meeting unknown people, but that is always business...

    Xxx.
     
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  17. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    I have organized Do's in Israel, Lugano, and Florida and have also attended those organized by others in Atlanta, St Louis, and Venice and have never been disappointed. (Well, there were a number of women who slapped my face simply because of what I was thinking, but that happens to me everywhere.)

    I think that if you decide to come the biggest danger you will face is turning into a Do addict. You will find yourself flying to all sorts of places just to spend a few days with Frequent Flyers.
     
  18. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    If this still matters to you, then DO's are probably not made for you. This has been discussed extensively and hasen't changed since last May! [​IMG]
     
  19. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    Why so angry? From what I can see it has not been discussed at THIS board before and I thought it could be nice to open up for the discussion if there are any non-FT here. I find it strange if I am the only person who would be nervous for a meeting like this.

    And yes, I am still tempted to go (maybe less now...), but still find it difficult to decide.

    Cheers mate! :-D

    Xxx.
     
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  20. Dovster
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    Dovster Gold Member

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    I very much hope you do decide to come -- if for no other reason because I really like your user name. Unlike most FFers, I can not bring myself to pack light and always wind up with too many suitcases. I would be very happy to meet someone else who is not a backpacker.
     
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  21. no-backpacker
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    Dovster: Thank you. I will think about it and look for some cheap air-fares. IF I am going I will be staying at IC. Anybody else staying there?

    Xxx.
     
  22. AHN
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    So do I, but my memories are from 1992, and I think things may have changed a bit! Prices certainly have gone up. [​IMG]
     
  23. servus
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    servus Silver Member

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    Well, I haven't been to the "former" Prague but as of last year prices were reasonable. Pivo for 1 € is nothing to complain about [​IMG]
     
  24. Pinky
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    Pinky Silver Member

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    Hi there - I had the same fears as you at first. But, despite the fact that most at the DO are men, it's not so bad. Honestly. The strong majority are welcoming and normal [​IMG] (even if you wouldn't think so from all the posts on these forums). As long as you love to travel, you will fit right in!
     
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  25. SirRagnar
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    I think it's scary for anyone the first time you venture out to meet someone you never met before. It is for me also at least and I do it on a regular basis for business. I agree it is different when it is not business related. I tried it recently in Gambia where I met up with a family for whom I started to sponsor a child through school.

    I have never attended a FT-DO either, but I am looking forward to my first - whether it be this one or some other DO.
     
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