PDA

View Full Version : Palau on Miles



High Plains Drifter
02-25-2008, 11:20
Good lord, I've become so completely addicted to planning for trips. I'm currently planning two to three trips ahead (and far ahead of what my wallet can handle :smiley19: -- I wish I had Travelsnsj's budget! You, sir, are my hero). Anyway, I'm planning for a bigger trip, now. '09 if I'm lucky, but more likely 2010. This would be one in which the costs are partially offset by my frequent flyer miles (American). Everything I've read and seen on this board indicates Palau is one of the best and my wife and I are approaching the experience level (50+ dives) where I think we could handle the requirements (btw, I'd be interested to hear if any of you disagree with that assessment).

The problem: American doesn't fly to Guam, at least not directly. A partner of theirs like JAL does, but through some weird rules, we would need to fly to Tokyo first via AA, then switch to a JAL flying back to Guam. Obviously, that's one extra leg and several extra hours of flying time, but the price is right. Other than the added level of complexity w/ regard to logistics, does anyone see any real problems with this plan? Once in Guam, we'd use a Visit Micronesia Air Pass to get to Palau and Chuuk.

On a side note, I'm toying with the idea of burning the miles on a trip to Bali to get us Wakatobi, but Palau just seems to be it, ya' know? One of the benefits to getting to Bali would be that we could get there directly, even when using our miles. I'd also love to hear from those who disagree.

Illini_Fan
02-25-2008, 11:59
You can get to Bali directly on AA? I didn't see that in the OneWorld timetable. What is the airport code?

The extra time in the air depends (IMO) on the class of service. If you have the miles to do business class, don't let the routing bother you.

High Plains Drifter
02-25-2008, 12:45
You can get to Bali directly on AA? I didn't see that in the OneWorld timetable. What is the airport code?

The extra time in the air depends (IMO) on the class of service. If you have the miles to do business class, don't let the routing bother you.

My bad - it's not really any different with respect to "directness." You can get to Bali on JAL from Chicago, but with a connection in Tokyo, just like to Palau. You can also do Cathay, but I think you've also got a stop in LA. I guess changing course and heading "back" to Guam is kind of irrelevant.

Fortunately, we have enough miles for business class.

ScubaToys Larry
02-25-2008, 13:53
I did both Palau, and another time Chuuk on AA partners... Flew Asiana Airlines... and we had to lay over in Seoul. You will find that you probably still have to use continental to fly the last leg from Guam to Palau... and that's about a $800 air fare when I did it....

But all the traveling will be worth it!

Illini_Fan
02-25-2008, 14:06
If you can -- I'd recommend Cathay's business class service over AA's. I know AA is upgrading their long-haul fleet and haven't flown on the new stuff yet -- but the CX service is great - entertainment system is very nice, seats are comfortable for sleeping.

High Plains Drifter
02-25-2008, 14:31
If you can -- I'd recommend Cathay's business class service over AA's. I know AA is upgrading their long-haul fleet and haven't flown on the new stuff yet -- but the CX service is great - entertainment system is very nice, seats are comfortable for sleeping.

This is advice I appreciate. Comfort is king. I've found that most foreign carriers are a step up when compared to AA. Even Philippine Airlines with its aging (at least back in '04) fleet of 747's boasted good food and great hospitality. I only wish Singapore Airlines was part of oneworld.

Travelnsj
02-25-2008, 15:32
HPD...you do not have Continental miles?...that is the easiest way to get there....done it 8 times.....This is the first year since 99 I'm not headed to Palau.

If you are thinking of Bali/Wakatobi vs Palau....two different types of diving. I've been to both.....when I go back to Bali I would not head to Wakatobi, excellent operation....I just thought the diving was OK....I'd go back to East Timor and tag Bali on it.....Palau is one of the best spots to go....but after doing Lembeh/Papua....I'm so spoiled!....thanks for the Hero thing:smiley20:...but I'm only doing 4 trips this year:smiley13:

High Plains Drifter
02-25-2008, 15:41
Sadly, no Continental miles, but with all the airline merger talk going around, who knows what miles I'll hold in a year's time?

Given your experience, what's your opinion on the diving difficulty in Palau? By the time we get there, my wife and I would be in the 70+ dives-to-date range. Is Palau something we should delay a little longer in order to fully appreciate? While I consider myself very cautious, the thought of being tethered at the blue corner sounds exhilarating!

Travelnsj
02-25-2008, 17:48
No need to worry there are many spots with little or no current and the current dives your DM will give you a good briefing. There was a discussion on SB about someone who did not think they had enough experience for Palau and a couple of DM's who used to live in Palau gave them a good run down....no worries...go to Palau...when you have mastered the Blue Corner or Peleliu Express......then time for Rangiroa....Woo...hooo....

When you get ready for Palau let me know and I'll give you my 2psi regarding the dive op I use and hotels.

High Plains Drifter
02-26-2008, 14:17
When you get ready for Palau let me know and I'll give you my 2psi regarding the dive op I use and hotels.

I see your post recommending Dive Palau - Welcome to diving paradise! (http://www.palaudive.com) as a great dive op -- good to know. What about places to stay? As far as budget is concerned, I don't want to waste money, but I wouldn't mind splurging if I thought we'd get a decent value & good times. It appears that Palau Pacific considers itself the most upscale (they certainly seem to be price-wise). Like most places, the reviews on places like tripadvisor.com vary widely from "heaven on earth" to "overpriced." Been there?

Travelnsj
02-26-2008, 14:37
HPD...if you want a beach, pool the PPR is about it....Nikko is a rather new hotel again upscale. I have stayed at the Carolina's, Sunrise (now has a new name). I now stay at the West Plaza Malakal as I'm just diving....nice room no frills close to good restaurant's etc....one thing I found years ago the pools seem rather cool to have access to....you are 7 degrees above the eq.....It is too damn hot to sit outside....just my opinion....I think the PPR has a $5 a day pass to go to the pool and beach.

High Plains Drifter
02-26-2008, 14:51
Excellent -- thanks again.

maggs_the
02-26-2008, 15:12
Good lord, I've become so completely addicted to planning for trips. I'm currently planning two to three trips ahead (and far ahead of what my wallet can handle


glad to know i'm not the only one who does this... i let my "alligator desire" for scuba trips to outreach my "hummingbird finances" more times than not.