recommendations in redeeming Chase UR award stays for a scuba diving destination

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by rsflyer, Aug 2, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. rsflyer

    rsflyer Active Member

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    Hi Frequent Flyers,

    Any vacation destination recommendations that's perfect in using up my Chase Ultimate Rewards 165,000 points?

    Which hotel or resort chain should I transfer Chase UR to redeem an amazing beach resort redemption deal / best award stay?

    Still undecided whether to check out Maldives? South Pacific Fiji? Palau? or Caribbean?

    Also looking to use up Amex Membership 155,000 points, and maybe get some United Mileage run deals to combine the travel!

    A nice scuba diving is ultimate goal!

    Thank you in advance for suggestions/recommendations.
     
  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    And your city(ies) of origin are? That could help determine how far those Chase/Amex points will actually take you.

    As an East Coaster, I've been diving at many Caribbean destinations, some good, some not-so-good. You may also want to consider that the Pacific destinations (Fiji, Galapagos, Palau, etc.) offer the opportunity for serious adventure diving, with rip-strong currents, large schools of fish, sharks, etc. But that might not be what you're into, or quite ready for.

    FWIW, I'd recommend that any scuba diver wanting to "get wet" and "get smart" about worldwide scuba diving subscribe to (no-advertising) Undercurrent, a no-holds-barred destination dive reporting publication, see: www.undercurrent.org If it's a diveable destination, and someone's been there, you'll likely find a report on it in Undercurrent.

    Good luck, and feel free to check back in with more information about your plans and goals.
     
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    My friend, who is a pro underwater photographer, prefers Fiji.
     
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  4. Sfmom

    Sfmom Silver Member

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    Fiji definitely has many beginner-friendly diving spots as well. My husband took a resort course, and I joined in for fun - it was an excellent lesson and a great introduction to diving. He got certified a few years later.
     
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  5. rsflyer

    rsflyer Active Member

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    Hi Newscience,
    We are coming from Boston, MA. We are willing to buy UA tickets to reach the UA Gold Status (preference for some mileage runs for now). We've done numerous dives in the Philippines, a wonderful Pacific destination, very affordable plus great friendly folks who speak good English.

    I prefer nice dives that aren't too adventurous, so less currents the better. The bigger the fish and more colorful the corals the better.

    I was looking into using the AMEX MR 155,000 or Chase UR 165,000 into something like a resort accomodation, but if there's a great deal for airline use like Fiji why not!

    Looking into October-November trip, would either the Pacific or Caribbean be still a good time to dive?
     
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  6. rsflyer

    rsflyer Active Member

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    Hi MX,
    Thanks for the suggestions, after Fiji, what's the next Top island to check out? Fiji airfares are quite expensive, unless you have a Airline Award trip route recommendation to use? Thanks!
     
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  7. rsflyer

    rsflyer Active Member

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    Hi SFmom,
    Thanks for the reply, any flight recommendations for Fiji, which resort did you stay at?
     
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  8. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    As a New Englander, I've made more dive trips to the Caribbean, and mostly in the summer months (school/work vacation time). You might want to consider a Bonaire dive vacation for that time period. The ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) are outside of the hurricane belt, and always a good choice for travel during that time of year. And Bonaire is a "diver's paradise", with coral reefs literally at the water's surface. If you locate a solid stay-and-dive resort/hotel, it should be a great vacation! Good Luck! ;)
     
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  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I would start with what checking what options are logistically available to all of your areas of interest, then either pick the best one or wait for a better time. Don't be afraid of deviating from your original plan. I often get the best experiences in unexpected places.
     
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  10. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    I just got back from the Park Hyatt Maldives. Diving was fantastic! That would be a good use of UR points to Hyatt. 30,000 a night.
     
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  11. sheikkila02

    sheikkila02 Silver Member

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    So many good ideas, I am saving this thread.

    What we did for ours was the great barrier reef out of Cairns, Australia, and thought it was pretty incredible. Obviously really far away, but hey you want United miles. I would look for a cheap business fare (for comfort) to fly on Air Canada out of Vancouver -- for us it was much cheaper ($2k apiece) to route through Vancouver than J directly from LAX. Ton of miles for the roundtrip to BOS-YVR-Sydney, then you maybe transfer points to delta for the virgin australia flight to Cairns (CNS).

    In terms of chain hotels, Cairns has a Hilton, a Holiday Inn, and an Accor, and I think they were all comparable (we stayed at something cheap through hotels.com). IHG would work for transfer of your UR, but probably not worth it at 30k a night.
     
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