I love Orbitz! I used to use Travelocity, but had so many problems with their website. I first tried Orbitz one time when Travelocity’s website was not working correctly, and I needed to get tickets right away. Funny thing was, the tickets I got at Orbitz were cheaper! What a deal! A friendlier website, and cheap airline tickets! With Orbitz, travel planning is made easier! When you do your search for tickets, cheapest airfares are listed first with various combinations of flight times, and stopovers. I never fly first class, preferring the cheapest tickets I can find. Why would I want to pay hundreds of dollars more just to have a slightly larger seat for an hour or two? I’d rather have cheap air flights and low cost airline tickets.
I just got done ordering airline tickets, and reserving a rental car for a trip to Gatlinburg, TN in August. First I researched plane tickets, and they came to $356. When I selected a flight and car package, and chose cheapest for the car, it came to about $590. $234 for an economy car for a few days? With the package, it seemed that the only car choices were Budget, and Avis, and it seemed to default to the Avis which was more expensive. When I looked at separate car rentals, I saw I could rent an Alamo car for $140 for the few days. So I went about booking the air separatly. I found a nice selection of times. I chose to fly through Washington DC, which gave shorter in-air times, and a slightly longer layover in DC on the trip to Gatlinburg. Short layovers scare me as there is less room for error, and greater risk that your luggage wont make the connection.
As I was going through the confirmation process, it offered me a Budget rental car for $130 for the few days. Hmmmm. That was cheaper than the Alamo car. Maybe I said I would have the Alamo car for an hour or two longer? I checked the box to include it.
I said no to the rental car insurance. I am covered by my regular auto insurance. In fact I used that last year when I bounced the Budget rental car off a guard rail. I considered getting the optional insurance, but decided against it. If I got in an accident, my personal insurance would likely go up anyway. So I would be basically flushing money down the drain being doubley insured.
I recieved my email confirmations shortly after I was finished online.
I made my hotel reservations this morning. And then with Orbitz I booked my flights, and reserved a rental car.
I have often thought it would be fun to climb the highest peak in the Adirondacks. We just got back from camping in Old Forge, NY. While there, we climbed Bald Mountain (Rondaxe Mountain). It was a relatively easy climb. It’s elevation is only 2350 feet, and it was only about 400 feet of elevation change from the trailhead. But it was fun, and had some great views. It was enough to really me thinking about it.
The highest peak in New York is also in the Adirondacks. It is Mount Marcy. It has an elevation of 5344 feet and has a 3166 elevation change. But these Adirondack mountains are bumps in the ground. I grew up in washington state and was surrounded by whole rangers on mountains higher than that. Mount Rainier is 14,411 feet tall. Heck, Snoqualmie Pass is at 3,022 feet elevation, and that’s one of the lowest passes. There are several passes (Sherman Pass @ 5575 feet, North Cascade Highway @ 5477 feet, Chinook Pass @ 5430 feet) that are higher than Mount Marcy.
But still, it might be fun to climb Mt Marcy.
Old Forge Camping Resort
SUMMARY: This camping resort in Old Forge, NY is clean, well maintained, and has excellent facilities. I will happily stay here again.
Old Forge Camping Resort is located in Old Forge, NY. The entrance is about a quarter of a mile north of Enchanted Forest Water Safari on Route 28.
Old Forge Camping Resort has 40 cottages, 132 cabins, and many tent sites. We originally reserved a tent site, but it was raining when we arrived. I asked, and they allowed us to upgrade to a cabin.
The tent sites cost $24 a night, and each come with a picnic tables, and a fire circle.
Cabins cost $60 a night ($42 off-season mid-week). Each has a full sized bed, and two bunk beds. The beds each have a mattress, but you need to bring your own linens, or sleeping bag, and pillows. They have a thermostat controlled heater, lighting, and electricity. There is a porch swing in the front of each cabin as well as a picnic table.
The cottages cost $155 a night ($115 off-season mid-week). The cottages each have two rooms. Each room has a full sized bed with a single bunk bed over it. One room has a kitchenette with a microwave oven, propane stove top, refrigerator, sink, table and chairs. The second room has a bathroom and shower. Each cottage also has a grill, fire circle and porch swing. Most of the cottages seem to be located right on the lake front.
The lodge has a small store. There is also a famil lounge with a TV (with satelite channels), fireplace, small library of books (mostly paperbacks, and reader’s digests). There is an arcade with a bunch of video games. There is also air hockey, foosball and skee ball. The lodge also has a laundry facility. One of my favorite features was the free internet connection via Wi-Fi!
Located around the campground are seven community bathrooms. Each has bathrooms, sinks, showers, and washer and dryers. Each also has a propane stovetop outside for cooking.
The resort is located next to Enchanted Forest Water Safari. They offer a shuttle service. There is also a walking path over to Enchanted Forest.
The Old Forge Camping Resort property and facilities were all kept very clean. We often saw employees travelling around in little golf carts doing maintenance. The lodge was always well staffed. We enjoyed our stay here, and will likely stay here next time we go camping in the Adirondacks.
My wife manage to schedule herself off for three contiguous weekdays. I have plenty of vacation time accumulated, so I took a few days of paid-time-off. We discussed where we wanted to go, and decided that it would be fun to go camping in Old Forge, NY in the Adirondacks. We had camped in Old Forge before but it had been 10 years earlier. I couldn’t remember where we had stayed before. I went online and researched a few places. There were some state campgrounds, but the private owned Old Forge Camping Resort sounded nice. I noticed that they had Wi-Fi in the lodge, and I thought that a place with Wi-Fi will probably be pretty well-maintained.
I called and made reservations for a tent site for a couple days. The tent sites cost $24 a night. I asked about cabins, and the cost of cabins was $60 a night. After getting off the phone, I kept thinking that maybe I should have reserved a cabin, instead of a tent site.
My wife had to close the previous night (Sunday), so we slept in, and left home around 9:30am. Check in time was 2pm, so we had plenty of time to get there. We took back roads all the way. It was pouring rain. We arrived about 2:30pm.
We went into the lodge to check in. I asked if we could upgrade to a cabin, and it was not a problem.
The cabin was small, but nice. There was a full sized bed, and two bunk beds. The beds had plastic covered matresses. They were on the firm side. The cabin had heat, electricity, and a light. Outside there was a porch swing, and a picnic table.
It rained a lot of the first day, so we spent a lot of time in the cabin. When the rain broke, we took our dog for some short walks. I went fishing for a bit, but didn’t catch anything. I didn’t even get a bite. I think the fish may have been shut down due to the cold front that came with the rain. We retired back to the cabin, and watched a DVD (100 Girls) on my laptop computer.
We tried to sleep in on Tuesday, but the dog woke us up and had to go out. My wife took her out, and I slept. A little later she took a nap, and I took the dog for a walk around the lake. Oh Yeah, Old Forge Caming Resort has their own private lake.
We kicked back and rested in the cabin for a while, and ate breakfast of cold fried chicken, and potato salad. Then we decided to go off and do something. We settled on climbing Bald Mountain (aka Rondaxe Mountain). We parked at the trailhead, and started climbing. Some parts were a little steep. Large chunks of the trail are walking on bare rock. Not so much for me or our Airedale terrier, but for my wife who is not in the greatest shape. Towards the top, when we were in site of the fire tower, we left my wife sitting on a rock while the dog and I completed the climb to the top. I climbed the fire tower. There were great views up here. Then we made the slow descent.
Following the hike, we returned to the cabin. I grabbed my laptop and headed to the lodge. The wi-fi worked great. I even discovered why my laptop sometimes would lose wi-fi connection while using the laptop on my lap and would not get it back without rebooting. I was bumping a button on the front that would disable the wi-fi connection. I lost connection in the lodge. I pressed the button, and got it back. Anyway, I worked on this log for a while while watching satelite TV. A young girl hit me up for donation for her polarbear skiing club. I gave her $5. My laptop battery started getting low, so I wound up, and headed back to the cabin.
When I got back to the cabin, I could hear road workers working on the road about 100 feet behind our cabin. They were installing guard railings. I wanted to see how they planted the posts. I put my dog on a leash, and walked through the woods towards the road. They had a cool hydrolic machine that pounded them into the ground. We watched for a few minutes, then headed back to the cabin. It was then I noticed that my dog was now covered in burrs. We spent about half an hour picking burrs out of her fur getting the majority out. We continued finding more burrs over next couple days.
We sat in cabin relaxing, and watched the movie Saw using my laptop as a DVD player. Then it was time for dinner. We headed into town. When traveling we like to eat local food over chains that are available at home. We drove through town passing the McDonalds, and Subway. We noticed many of the small shops were closing, and it wasn’t even 4:30PM yet. We chose a small burger place named Pied Piper. My wife got some fish and fries. I got a bacon double cheese burger, and we both got a couple medium drinks, and we shared a small order of poppers. The food was just okay. The portions were small for the costs. The medium drinks would have been smalls in many places. The burger was small, the fish stingy, and it cost us ove $18. We Would have been better off at the McDonalds! We decided to have a couple ice cream cones. I ordered a cookie dough ice cream cone. She gave me the cone saing it was cookie dough. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t taste like cookie dough ice cream. We walked around the area for a while eating our cones, then head back to the cabin.
It started raining again, so we hung out in the cabin. We watched Wedding Crashers on DVD. The mattress that was supplied with the cabin was a bit stiff for our liking, so we brought in our full size air mattress, and inflated it. It was much more comfortable, and we got a better nights sleep.
We got up Wednesday morning, and packed our car. We quickly checked out, and headed into town. We thought about eating at the Pancake House, but decided that we wanted something quicker, as we didn’t want to leave our dog in the ca that long. We got a breakfast at McDonalds. We scanned the store fronts. Most weren’t open yet, and nothing really intrigued us, so we just headed home.
It was a relaxing couple days. I wish we would have had a little nicer weather.
Cozumel has more excursions than pretty much any other port of call. But we didn’t actually do any of them. We had some friends there were staying in town, so we hooked up with them. We spent part of the day at Chankanaab Park. Then we headed in to town for shopping, and dinner before returning to the ship. I would have liked to have seen some of the Mayan ruins.
Here are the ones listed in the Carnival shore excursions book. Not all excursions will be available for every cruise, or during every time of year. Other cruise lines probably offer the same or similar excursions.
Excursions can either be booked through the cruise lines ahead of time, or while on ship. Booking the excursions directly with the operators is also an option. This can save you money, but involves risk if there is a problem.
All Terrain Truck & Snorkel (4 hours)
Atlantis Submarine (1.5 hours)
Dives to 60-100 feet deep.
ATV Beach Adventure (5 hours)
Beach Buggy & Snorkel Combo (4 hours)
Beginners Scuba Diving (2 hours)
Try scuba diving without being certified.
Caribbean Pirates Lobster Dinner Cruise (3 hours)
Catamaran Sail, Snorkel & Beach Party (3.5 hours)
Caverns By Jeep & Beach Combo (7 hours)
Certified One Tank Night Dive (2 hours)
Ceritfied Two Tank Dive (4 hours)
Chichen-Itza Mayan Ruins (11.75 hours)
Includes 40 minute ferry ride each way, and 3 hour bus ride each way.
Chichen Ha Cenote Cavern Dive (7 hours)
Clear Kayak & Snorkel Adventure (3.5 hours)
Climbing Park & Unlimited Snorkel Adventure (3 hours)
Cozumel Bike & Snorkel Adventure (4 hours)
Cozumel Highlights & Shopping (4 hours)
Deep Sea Fishing (4.5 hours)
Fishing for Black or White Marlin, Tuna, Sierra, Dorado, Wahoo and Baracuda.
Dolphin Encounter (3 hours)
Dolphin Interactive Program (3 hours)
Dolphin Swim & Snorkel Adventure (3 hours)
Dolphin Swim Experience (3 hours)
Eco Jeep & Snorkel Adventure (5 hours)
Eco Kayak Jungle Adventure (5 hours)
Fiesta Party Boat (4.5 hours)
Hideaway Powerboat & Beach Escape (4 hours)
Hobie Catamaran Challenge (4 hours)
Isla Mujeres Adventure (11 hours)
Island Jeep Off Road & Snorkel Experience (5 hours)
Jeep Adventure To Paradise (5.5 hours)
Jungle ATV Adventure (3.5 hours)
Jungle Bike Adventure (3.5 hours)
Jungle Hiking Expedition (3.5 hours)
Mayan Ruins Of Tulum (7 hours)
Mayan Sunset Catamaran Cruise (2 hours)
Memorable Celebrations (3 hours)
Choose either Dolphin Interactive Program or the Dolphin Swim Experience. The dolphins will deliver a special message such as Happy Anniversary, I Love You, or a wedding proposal.
Mexican Cuisine Cooking & Tasting (5 hours)
Mexican Folkloric Show & Shopping (2.5 hours)
Playa Mia Beach Park
Playa Mia Beach Break Deluxe (5 hours)
Power Snorkel Experience (2.75 hours)
Snorkel using an motorized underwater scooter.
Private Island Beach Break (5 hours)
Radio Power Snorkel (2 hours)
Snorkel using an motorized underwater scooter.
Reef Snorkel By Boat (2 hours)
Sea Trek Helmet Diving (2 hours)
Walk along ocean bottom wearing a diving helment.
Segway Adventure & Snorkel (3 hours)
Senor Frog’s Party Night & Sunset Cruise (3 hours)
Shotover Jetboat & Cancun (6.5-7 hours)
Snuba (2 hours)
Snuba is a cross between snorkel and scuba where you breath through a hose.
Sub Ocean View (1.5 hours)
Ride in a boat with viewing windows 4 feet underwater.
Sunset Horseback-The Mayan Experience (4 hours)
Sunset Snorkel (2.75 hours)
The Mayan Frontier By Horseback (3.5 hours)
Treasure Hunt & Snorkel At Chankanaab Park (3 hours)
Unlimited Snorkel (2.5 hours)
Xcaret (8 hours)
Visit Xcaret Eco-Archaeological Park.
Xcaret & Dolphin Swim (7 hours)
Cozumel Golf & Country Club