Shopping for the Experiences

@MiaAdora wrote:

Shopping may be about to undergo a dramatic transformation.

I'd like to know more?

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.

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Well fancy vacations are awesome no doubt (not that I've ever had one) but the experiences I like are getting off the beaten path in the Appalachians. Tiny roads that wind up and down mountains and occasional breathtaking views. Meeting the most genuine and charming people I've ever encountered. Tiny towns that look exactly as they must have 40 years ago. Sometimes it's just a bend in the road, but I always love to see what's around that bend.

This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

Well fancy vacations are awesome no doubt (not that I've ever had one) but the experiences I like are getting off the beaten path in the Appalachians. Tiny roads that wind up and down mountains and occasional breathtaking views. Meeting the most genuine and charming people I've ever encountered. Tiny towns that look exactly as they must have 40 years ago. Sometimes it's just a bend in the road, but I always love to see what's around that bend.

smiling smiley Are you a fan of the Charles Kuralt shows, where there was always something interesting just around the bend?

Anyway, this thread has inspired me to find a new frontier in mystery shopping. I found it. It's a tourist trap that I have not visited for years and years and years... When the weather is good, we will take a little trip. Along the way, we will see wide open spaces, spectacular views, and whatever changes have occurred during the past few decades. There are just enough shops to qualify for a tax deduction and enough free time to find out what is there now.

Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. ~ Fernando Pessoa
Talking about views, open spaces and such....four years ago (remember it vividly) my daughter flew here and we took a road trip to visit family in San Francisco. She (of course) used her GPS and it told her to turn up a narrow road which had no exit for 30 miles, later we ended up in big Sur, pretty amazing, stopped and watched whale's dancing around,and really breath taking views. So, my 76th B-day was spent driving Big Sur with my "girl", much needed time together. We continued and stopped at Carmel State park, bloody gorgeous, one of the seven wonders (i believe)...., we walked around and talk about being close to nature......great trip, and no shopping.

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
@spicy1 wrote:

What a lovely time Irene-L.A.
I'll always remember that trip.....

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
I have never heard of Charles Kuralt.
@Shop-et-al wrote:

@CoffeeQueen wrote:

Well fancy vacations are awesome no doubt (not that I've ever had one) but the experiences I like are getting off the beaten path in the Appalachians. Tiny roads that wind up and down mountains and occasional breathtaking views. Meeting the most genuine and charming people I've ever encountered. Tiny towns that look exactly as they must have 40 years ago. Sometimes it's just a bend in the road, but I always love to see what's around that bend.

smiling smiley Are you a fan of the Charles Kuralt shows, where there was always something interesting just around the bend?

.

This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I'll always remember that trip.....

My last hotel assignment was in Big Sur....and it was quite memorable. I forgot to add it the earlier list.

I've been trying to fit that resort into my schedule for years and they agreed to let me go over Thanksgiving week when I had time off from work. Highly recommended for the next person who sees that one posted!
Steve....can I ever one up you...smiling smiley

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
If you go, take a side trip to Garrapata Beach and add a day trip to what may be the most beautiful place on the left coast - Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

bgriffin, weren't you planning to run up HurriPain Hill in the Big Sur Marathon?

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." ~ Al Gore
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I'll always remember that trip.....

My last hotel assignment was in Big Sur....and it was quite memorable. I forgot to add it the earlier list.

I've been trying to fit that resort into my schedule for years and they agreed to let me go over Thanksgiving week when I had time off from work. Highly recommended for the next person who sees that one posted!

Your stories make me wish my kids were out of the house.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Hoju wrote:


Your stories make me wish my kids were out of the house.

Just stop feeding them and they'll probably leave on their own.... winking smiley
I only know of Coyle doing hotel shops and when i look at the board it says there is 3000+ open opportunities but only shows me about 100. Am I doing something wrong? Also, any chance you will share some of the names of the MSCs that do resorts/cruises?
Change your geographic filters in Coyle to see more shops.

True Guest and Guest Check are two that are open to all who want to apply.

Others are invitation only and you need a referral or to wait until they are actively recruiting.

I know Intellishop has offered some very primo stuff in the past but I personally have never done anything with them.
Yep!, I'm jealous of MickyB and others that have had fabulous shopping experiences. I'm still a newbie compared to you.

I'd love to do a cruise. I was a travel consultant for over 14 years Granted this was back in the dark ages, where pictures were done with film and you wrote down dates and time on the canister. Then again, somethings never change...I still prefer to write my notes on paper.

One of these days I'll prove myself and I'll finally get a cruise.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
People seem to say that cruises are absolutely not worth it. I can only imagine. A resort has what, 3 or 4 restaurants and one little store? A cruise ship has like 8 or 9 restaurants and more stores than the Mall of America. You'll burn your keyboard out writing that many reports.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Hoju wrote:

People seem to say that cruises are absolutely not worth it. I can only imagine. A resort has what, 3 or 4 restaurants and one little store? A cruise ship has like 8 or 9 restaurants and more stores than the Mall of America. You'll burn your keyboard out writing that many reports.

I'm from the dark ages when the majority of women were entertainers or worked in the gift shops. I loved cruises because MEN! waited on me hand and foot, non stop. The opportunity to eat food, that I didn't have to cook for almost 24 hours a day was a great sell as well.

I'd love to see a sample of these reports. As a former travel consultant/agent, I just don't see how it can be the reports are that horrendous. There is only so much that can be said. Now if I had to pay for exorbitant Wi-Fi fees, I'm not the chick.

Feel free to PM me. I can't imagine how time consuming it can be. Big whoop, I have to pay attention and take part of everything at least once. If I'm not required to take part of the over priced shore excursions & report every day...how hard can it be?

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
I don't think I'd ever do another standard or mega-cruise ship again. You can but those cruises for what less than the cost of 1 night at most of the hotels I review these days. It's not great service and my last cruise narrative was around 65 pages.

That said, the small luxury ship I reviewed was on another level that I would do again. You get to know the other guests and staff pretty well and wine was complimentary with all meals. The fact that the ship was smaller made the report easier, more like a resort, and also provided a more luxury experience. They also have really cool itineraries. The one I reviewed went from Singapore to Hong Kong over 2 weeks.
Regarding cruises, resorts, etc.... How much time do you tend to have to explore the area around the resort, or go sight-seeing when the cruise ship stops at a port? I would hate just hanging around a resort or sitting on ship... But, if I could spend time exploring museums, historical sites, taking in the natural scenery, etc., it might make it more interesting for me.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@MFJohnston wrote:

Regarding cruises, resorts, etc.... How much time do you tend to have to explore the area around the resort, or go sight-seeing when the cruise ship stops at a port? I would hate just hanging around a resort or sitting on ship... But, if I could spend time exploring museums, historical sites, taking in the natural scenery, etc., it might make it more interesting for me.

I think it would depend on the MSC & company being evaluated. I escorted a group to Hawaii & my company never did mass bookings with them after that adventure. The company that was in charge of the trip in Hawaii didn't do anything over the top wrong. They just weren't the right fit for our clientele (older, unsophisticated travelers)

My favorite cruises were the smaller, intimate ships. I did a few of what would have been considered mega ships in the 90's. The big ships weren't my cup of tea, because of the amount of passengers. One cruise specifically only had travel agents on it and I was embarrassed by the behavior.

65 pages of reports is easy peasy. Will I say potty words as I write narratives in my cabin while my cruise pal is having big fun?...that's a given. But, I also know that there will be free moments.

If nothing else, I'll have a voice recorder and my video camera. That's more than I had in the 90's and the report for a free cruise was just as long.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2018 04:32PM by MA Smith.
Being at sea most of the time, you have time for reports, and when you tour for the day, you have time for that as well...bottom line you make time, but on ship, you have a lot to remember and it is work. I'd never do it shopping, paying and enjoying on my own is the only way I'd cruise...unless as Steve says, the smaller cruises would be worth the work.

I realize I don't have to doubt how far I can go. I just have to remember how far I've come.....
@MFJohnston wrote:

How much time do you tend to have to explore the area around the resort, or go sight-seeing when the cruise ship stops at a port?

It all depends on the MSC, the client and your work style. Many of the cruises have you review 1 or 2 shore excursions, and I had the freedom to pick things I wanted to do anyway on mine. It's just a paragraph or two about how the cruise staff organize the guests and execute the excursion.

I always leave the resorts and go exploring, then do my report writing after check out. I feel like that's better use of my free time. I do about 50% of my cruise reporting on the ship.....
This is great insight about the work involved with cruises. It doesn't sound like something I would enjoy.

@MFJohnston wrote:

Regarding cruises, resorts, etc.... How much time do you tend to have to explore the area around the resort, or go sight-seeing when the cruise ship stops at a port? I would hate just hanging around a resort or sitting on ship... But, if I could spend time exploring museums, historical sites, taking in the natural scenery, etc., it might make it more interesting for me.

I have never done a cruise but with resorts, my experiences were that there was very little time to leave and explore. The three resorts I've done, I've had to make an hourly itinerary for myself such as: Breakfast eval, set up housekeeping defects, lunch eval, spa eval, check on housekeeping, then evening free. The next day might be the same except lunch is free and I have a dinner eval. In between that, there's concierge, room service, engineering, random staff "tests." Because there are so many interactions, I need to write things up right away, With 2-3 night stays, I probably have one 4 hour block of truly free time per day. For me, that's worth it for an exotic place or I want to see a friend/family and they can join me for the meals or comped activities. My strategy from now on is to get on the earliest possible flight in and last possible flight out so I can get in free time before & after checkout.
.

Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. ~ Fernando Pessoa


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2018 12:16AM by Shop-et-al.
@MiaAdora wrote:

Shopping may be about to undergo a dramatic transformation.

May I guess? Will mystery shoppers soon shop the new methods of grocery shopping? We would order groceries and either pick them up or have them shipped to us. Or, will mystery shoppers' identification be scrutinized in a search for deportables? Is this why some shoppers report a delay in the processing of their identification?

Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. ~ Fernando Pessoa
Interesting that you happen to mention a resort. I am on an MS assignment tonight at a resort. One of the restaurants I was supposed to visit here is closed for renovations, won't reopen for another couple months. I sent an email to the scheduler. I wonder how that did not get communicated between the MSC and the resort...but here I am wondering, what will happen with that. I am still something of a new shopper.
<<The one I reviewed went from Singapore to Hong Kong over 2 weeks.>>

2 weeks, now I can see why it would be a 60 plus page report.
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