Costa Rica 2016

Wednesday February 24, 2016. 19:55
Day 0 - Booking The Trip


When the deal for a Costa Rican all-inclusive popped into my email from Travelzoo, I was intrigued. The thought of a second trip to Costa Rica was a pleasant idea. Although I’m always checking out travel deals, at this point I wasn’t seriously searching for a vacation. But when I looked a little further, I realized that I could book this deal through Expedia for TD and use my growing bank of points, making it much more affordable. After flirting with this idea for a bit, I decided if I was going to book it, I would book it as a Christmas present to us, so I would have to keep it a surprise. And based on recent vacations and the mutual decision to take Nichole only on ground trips for a few years, I would be only need to book for Mandi, myself and Durrim (who, at 16 months doesn’t add any additional cost) I began to really consider it a possibility. Before I knew it I had decided to book us a weeklong all Inclusive vacation in Samara, Costa Rica.

I’m normally very easy to please when travelling off the beaten path, but I also never normally book our trips as a package. The way this one was being advertised, it had the feel of a higher profile (on a smaller scale) All-inclusive tropical resort. As I was booking, I noticed that the trip was put together by Air Canada Vacations, who I have never booked through before. The deal had me pick my room, and at the base price my options were “Deluxe” or “1 Bedroom Garden Villa”. The deluxe option appeared to be a fancy way of saying “Standard Hotel Room”, so of course I picked the 1 bedroom garden villa. This included a kitchen, a sitting room and a separate bedroom. This was a key feature for us with Durrim as he sleeps very well in his own room, but he does like his space to transition quietly and un-distracted to night mode. I went through the booking process entirely, and once completed I assumed I would get a verification email right away. I gave it a day before calling Expedia and having them verbally confirm my trip and agree to resend the email. Because of the long wait times, when the email still didn’t come, I made my first real error in deciding to try again at a later date. I eventually did get a hold of someone who did actually send me the email, but when I finally looked through it I didn’t see “1 Bedroom Garden Villa” under room type, but instead saw “Deluxe All-Inclusive”. Expedia tried to reassure me that I did in fact have the room I had chosen, but after an even longer hold with Air Canada Vacations, and a short call to the resort, there was no question I had the wrong room type booked. And no one had any records of anything othersiwe. Expedia and Air Canada both informed me that the hotel was sold out and they couldn’t change my reservation, and there was no option to cancel. The hotel though was able to find me a 1BRGV suite, and for a cost of $50 US per night I could upgrade. Because the first night was unavailable, this would come out to be just under a $500 tab, Canadian. After confirming Expedia & Air Canada would be no help, with only a few weeks to take off, I dug out my Visa and paid for our upgrade. My only hope is that the resort will be amazing, even though the reviews as of recent caused me to be refrain from getting my hopes up.


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Wednesday January 20, 2016. 15:08
Costa Rica 2016


Costa Rica 2016 - The Plan

Thu Feb 25, 2016  00:30 - 13:00


Depart Calgary, AB (YYC) on Air Canada Flight #AC146/AC1790 (Layover in Toronto, ON - YYZ) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)

Thu Feb 25, 2016 


Check into "Hotel Villas Playa Samara" Costa Rica

Thu Feb 25 - Thu Mar 3, 2016 


Relaxing on la playa & exploring Costa Rica's west coast

Thu Mar 3, 2014 13:50 - Fri Mar 4, 01:14


Depart Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) on Air Canada Flight #AC1791/AC141 (Layover in Toronto, ON - YYZ) to Calgary, AB (YYC)



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'Deep Thoughts'
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