Monday, October 15, 2007

How to get free hotel stays from - Best rate guarantee program

I like to book my cruise from as it has a real best rate guarantee program. If you find a lower rate, they will refund the difference AND give you a free 4-night hotel stay. Here is what you do:

  1. Go to to purchase a last minute cruise deal.
  2. Within 48 hours, go to travelocity to look for the same thing. Visit Travelocity for Cruise Deals
  3. Call at 1-888-407-2784 to price match. You'll be asked for your name, details of the cruise booked on the site (ship, sailing dates, and cabin category), price quoted, and the URL address for the Web site with the lower price.
  4. Receive the lowest possible rate AND free 4-night hotel stay in Florida.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Carnival Liberty - Dining

In my last post, I have shared our onboard experience with Carnival Liberty and the cruisedirect best rate guarantee (or free hotel stays) offer. What about the dining experience which is one major activity of cruising? As the cruise director said, "You paid for it. you eat it!" Both the fine dining in the Silver Olympics Restaurant and casual dining at the Seaview Bistro were definitely world-class! There were too many good dishes. Here is our favorite:

  • Rack of lamb. Tender and tasty.
  • Lobster tail butter melt. How many freshly broiled lobster tails can you eat?
  • Prime rib steak. This half-inch-think fatty prime rib steak definitely blow away Le biftheque steak house.
  • Grilled jumbo tiger shrimps with Berre Blanc. The shrimps are both fresh and huge. The signature sauce was what really impressed us.
  • Hot chocolate melting cake. Chocolate lovers may want to go to Carnival cruise again just for this. (LoPo, am I right ;P)
  • Vanilla soufflé. Chocolate soufflé is what I usually have. I didn't know that Vanilla soufflé is that good!
Other dishes are great too, just no surprise.
  • Sushi appetizer. It looks beautiful, but the rice is exactly the same as the frozen sushi at your cafeteria.
  • Fillet mignon. It is not quite medium rare as I ordered. The professional waiter fixed me a piece real quick. It is great steak but no surprise.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Carnvial Liberty - Western Caribbean cruise

My wife and I just come back from a Western Caribbean cruise by Carnival Liberty. Carnival is recognized around the world for quality with great value. Built in 2005, Carnival Liberty has recently become the #2 ship in the entire cruise line. Carnival makes it easy to find a stateroom that fits your needs - interior or ocean view, balcony, suite and penthouse suite. The suite stateroom includes a large dressing table, refrigerator, DVD player, spacious balcony, whirlpool bath and walk-in closet. It is much better than many hotel rooms. Ok, what is missing is a 40" LCD TV. By booking a suite (category 11 & 12), we were automatically enrolled as VIP guests. It is well-known that the cruise check-in can easily be a 100+ ppl line up, but VIP guests can proceed to Carnival's VIP check-in. Carnival Liberty is a 400 million dollar home. It is really an exaggerated display of luxury. The spa and gym were absolutely amazing. The facilities are better than all I've seen in Toronto. How often do you see steam and sauna rooms with ocean views? (LoPo, what about a romantic whirlpool under the blue sky?) Both the fine dining in the formal dining hall and casual dining at the seaview bistro were definitely world-class! The nightly stage shows were spectacular - great dancers, great costumes, great bands, and great singers! The cruise director even claimed that the shows are comparable to Vegas. CruiseDirect has Best Price Guarantee. If you find a lower price, they will refund the difference and give you a free 4-night hotel stay.

$10 off $30 Jack Astor's coupon with stay in Hilton Suites Markham

In the Hilton Suites Markham hotel services leather binder, there is a $10 off $30 coupon for Jack Astor's Richmond Hill location. Just show your room key to redeem the coupon. Hilton Suites Markham Conference Centre & Spa is one of the best Toronto hotels in uptown area. It's Ambassador lounge has recently been renovated. The lounge is relatively small comparing to other Hilton hotels but yet elegant. The hotel charged me only $125.1 CAD off-season rate for a weekend stay.

  • Cold breakfast at the ambassador lounge.
  • Self-Parking, $8 value
  • Wireless high speed internet, $15 value
  • Access to Markham club as usual. It is the most up-scale gym in Toronto hotels.
Be sure to check out my Travelocity Good Buy Hotels post and select the Top Hotel Deals in Toronto link to browse for the off-season rate.