Traveling to the Philippines Day 1 (Yuri in Philippines 2)

Yuri travels from Denver to Seattle to Taipei to Cebu.  On her first day she has to shop for basic needs to stay for one month with her sister Purple Shadow and nephew Jay.

It is a sad when she leaves her husband but exciting for her to see her family who she has been apart from for 2 years.

This is Yuri’s first day back in the Philippines.

Dimetravel – Disney World Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was one of the coolest attractions at Disney World. When you walk in to the park, you can see, hear and feel the genius of the Disney Imagineers. They are truly brilliant. How they are able to blend animal habitats with the magic of Disney. With a few steps you are walking through several continents. The park pays homage to cultures from all over the world. It is breath taking and beautiful.

#disney,#disneyworld,#epcot,#vacation,#florida,#orlando,#dimetravel,#travel,#animalkingdom,

Dimetravel Disney World Epcot

We traveled to Disney World had fun in Epcot. We went inside the Epcot center and rode the thought provoking Space Ship Earth ride.
We rode the spinning Mission: Space ride. We saw an amazing costume of Baymax and “Inside Out”.

#disney,#disneyworld,#epcot,#baymax,#vacation,#florida,#orlando,#dimetravel,#travel

5 Reasons to Go to Thailand

We LOOOOVE Thailand.  It is one of our favorite countries with some of our favorite cultures. We meet incredible people every time we visit and fall in love with it all each time.   There are 5 top reasons that you need to go to Thailand.

The people.  The people are super nice.  We did meet a few NOT so nice people.  But most of the people we met were awesome.

The Food.  The food is great.  One of the best places we ate at was street restaurant that served and very tasty menu.  If you go, you have to be adventurous with the foods.

The Party.  If you like to party, you will probably not want to leave Thailand.  There is a reason why one of the Hangover movies was made there.

The Temples.  We are not Buddhist, but we could feel the peaceful spirit of Buddism when we visited the temples.  The essence of Thailand is there in those temples.

The Women.  The women are so beautiful and diverse.  They are tall, short, voluptuous, sensuous, reserved, petite, nice, feisty.  They are probably the main reason there are so many foreigners visiting.

 

Hollywood Historic Haunted (short version)

First of all we want to say 95% of the people that go to Hollywood Historic Hotel seem to LOVE it. The price is right, the location is close to great tourist attractions. We are the other 5% who think it is haunted as HELL. So take this article as an opinion from two random people who were there two nights.

We traveled to Hollywood, California to see the amazing city of L.A. The only thing worse than the traffic was the ghosts in Hollywood Historic.

Check out our story of what happened on http://dimetravel.org/hollywood-historic-hotel-haunted

A 3 day Carnival Inspiration Cruisin

I remember the first time I saw a cruise on TV.  I thought, “Wow!” with all the activities on the ship it must be a fun experience.

In 2014, I got married and found out going on a cruise was on my husband’s bucket list. March 2015, we both decided to go on a cruise.  We booked for tickets for our daughter and my mother-in-law.  It was not cheap.

https://youtu.be/_56gDUKNwGY

Time in L.A. And Check in

May 29,2015, we flew to L.A. and hung out there for a day or two.  We checked out the city and drove to Long Beach just before departure.  We arrived 4 hours early but there were already hundreds of people there in line for the cruise.  Carnival is so organized that they process people pretty fast.

I really thought we were not allowed to bring water but I seen an Indian couple bringing their own water and sodas.  When it was our turn, we filled out the health department paper with a few questions about Ebola.  My husband and I, submitted our IDs.  Although I am not a US Citizen, I was able to use my passport and I-512 EAD to go on the cruise.  We were given our card keys that also serves as our id while on the boat.  It also has a $100.00 credit per stateroom that we could spend while cruising.  When it was my mother-in-law’s turn, she was told that she needs a birth certificate since she did not have a passport.  She had only brought a State ID which we all thought was good enough because on our tickets that is what we thought it said.  It also says in a Customs and Border Protection website that a US citizen can present a government issued id.  She was not able to go with us on the boat and we were given a paper that state her denial of boarding.

On the Carnival Inspiration

After boarding, they had an orientation on Paris Lounge. There were hundreds of people sitting. There were older people but what stood out the most are the college students and 30 + adults who were acting like little kids. The crew told them to keep quiet and the college students would try to make a scene and keep talking.  It made the orientation even longer. After that, we went on to find our stateroom.  It was chaos. There are tons of people everywhere and many are already tipsy and drinking.  We finally found our room and rested for an hour.

We went to the “Mardi gras” restaurant. The food is included in what you pay for your cruise. They have two restaurant. One is an a la carte and one next to the pool area which is a buffet. The food was delicious. The buffet has so much variety. The food was what I enjoyed the most.  I was on vacation and did not have to cook 🙂

The second day, we landed in Mexico.  There were many tours offered each with their own fee, but you can get off the boat and walk around free if you want (just make sure you have your identification so you can get back on the ship).  For those who want it, you can take pictures as you disembark (which they sell back to you at a ridiculous price once you are done with the cruise).

We had chosen an express “Fun Bus” that took us on a tour around Ensenada, Mexico for an hour and dropped us off in a shopping/bar area.  Ensenada is rich with a proud Mexican heritage, a high level of academia and decades of foreigners from all over the world coming to visit and/ or live.  We notice that a lot of citizens of Ensenada had California accents since they had strong connections with the Westcoast of the United States.  On the way back, we saw Steve Job’s yacht parked at the docks.  It was really just a glimpse from the side of the highway because we did not stop.

We return to the boat in just 2 hours. Over all it was “okay” but not great.  The souvenir shops were overpriced.  It was more expensive than Hollywood Blvd souvenir prices!  We got some shot glasses and a dress for mom.  We got back to the ship to eat and rested.

Carnival Cruise put out an itinerary everyday that detailed all the events throughout the ship.  There were dance events, night clubs, kid’s clubs, auctions, pool parties and MANY other events.  One of the most popular events was Cruise Elegant nights were everybody dressed up formal for pictures.

The third day we were at sea there was a huge pool party.  There was a DJ, people dancing, a contest for the hottest guy and girl.  It was very entertaining.  The buffets were so packed that day.

On the 4th day, we arrived in L.A. We woke up at 6:30 am, had breakfast and disembarked at 9am.  Overall, it was a fun food adventure with a spring break party feel but I was wanting a more peaceful experience.

Prices summary:

Ticket for 4 people + vacation protection insurance   : $ 1745.32

Shore excursions tours 2 adults + 1 child                    : $      54.97

Souvenier shop glass                                                     : $     10.00

low quality house dress                                                  : $     25.00

3 pcs 4 R photos                                                              : $     48.00

housekeeping & restaurant service fees $ 36.00/day : $   108.00

 

Tips:

1. Check in early. Like 4 hours before departure. You would think you are early but theres already hundreds lining up for check in.

2. Bring valid passport or birth certificate. Always have a passport or birth certificate even on travelling a closed loop.

3. Review the coverage of your insurance. If you have to cancel your trip for emergency reasons, call immediately days before your trip. Vacation Travel Protection do not give a refund if you are denied boarding.

4. Expect a crowd. People are not as well mannered as you think.

5. Prepare to spend more money. Everything has a corresponding amount except for the buffet food.

Cruise identification

*k1 visa Closed Loop Cruise*

During our 3 day cruise from Long Beach, California to Mexico, I was worried that they would not let me on the ship since I am not a US Citizen.  I am a citizen of the Philippines and my status in the US was that of a “nonimmigrant” in the process of getting a permanent residency card.  At the time I had been issued an I512 parole card.

We called Carnival Cruise customer service and they said they did not have an answer on whether or not I could go.  The next day another Carnival cruise representative called me and asked about the cruise.  His name was Emmanuel.  I was so thankful that he called me back saying that I can go on the cruise.  Our cruise was only 3 days and was a “closed loop”.  A closed loop means it is going back on the same port where it started.  I also presented my passport and my I512 parole card and I was able to go.

When I returned, border patrol needed to see the same documents to determine my status in the US.

I had been researching the identification needed before we left for the trip. I have read in the cbp https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1139/~/documents-needed-to-take-a-cruise of what kind of identification has to be taken.

We were surprised that my mother inlaw couldn’t go with us on the cruise. For us citizens, a government issued ID is good enough but in the carnival cruise case, they require a birth certificate as a form of travel document or a US passport. She was confident enough to bring only her State card. She did not bring her birth certificate and did not get a US passport. This is a huge lesson for us. To always be prepared especially if you are planning on travelling outside the US. Because even when it is just a neighboring country. Their rules can get pretty strict.

3 hotels connected

We went to Las Vegas Nevada to try our luck on the slots.  What we got to experience was overwhelming heat night and day.  Luckily, the hotels provide an Oasis in the middle of the desert.

Mandalay Bay, Luxor Hotel and Excalibur are all connected to each other so you can just walk inside the building for what feels like miles.  And it takes you to another hotel and casino.  It is such an amazing architecture.

DSC_0023During our stay in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Luxor Hotel.  It was beautiful.  Some of the rooms look kinda old (they have done some renovations 2015) but it is still nice.  They offered buffet on the ground floor, a casino on the main floor and entertainment on the upper floor.  They had shows like the Jabbawokeez performing almost every night, the Bodies exhibition, Show Girls, Lax club, some fancy restaurants and lots of shopping!  It was a great experience. What I really enjoyed the most is the hotel’s theme. Every hotel in Las Vegas has its own theme to attract people.

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We walked Luxor hotel to Mandalay Bay.  They also had buffets there and casino. Mandalay bay look modernized.  It looks newer than Luxor.  They have their own shows and attractions too.

Before you get to Mandalay Bay from Luxor you to get to the Excalibur Hotel.  It looks like a Disney palace.  It is great for kids. It looks more like the palace from the Cinderella movie.  We walked inside and they had a huge casino too.  There are activities there that kids can do during a family vacation.  These 3 hotels has a tramp that will take you to each.  It has a small station where you can ride from Mandalay to Excalibur. These hotels has resort fees of average $60.00 per night but you can find deals from $30 if you really look.

Las Vegas is a beautiful place. It is full of bright lights, entertainment and fun.

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