Today is the deadline for making deposits for New Zealand 2023 and it looks like we’ve got 100% buy-in.
LOOK OUT WORLD CHOIR GAMES!
We are currently holding a couple different group airline reservations, as well as rooms in San Francisco and Napa for the first part of our trip. We need to know your preferences ASAP so we can avoid penalties by over-booking. I say this as flight prices are creeping up daily, and nothing is guaranteed until we lock in the contract. We absorbed the last rate hike, but we won’t be able to do that again. (TL;DR: Please respond to this form NOW! Or at least by 5:00 pm tomorrow – Saturday, July 9)
Here are the options:
We’ve broken the airline reservations into to sections:
- Getting TO San Francisco from the east coast (or wherever you are).
- Then getting TO New Zealand (on the same non-stop flights) then getting home.
You can choose either of those options, but beyond that, you can’t break up the itinerary if you want to fly with the group.
EXAMPLE ONE: You are a frequent flyer on Spirit Airlines and you’re excited about booking your own flight with seven stopovers to San Francisco on July 2. But after that you want to travel with the group. THAT WORKS! You book your own flight to SFO and we put you in the group booking for the rest.
EXAMPLE TWO: You are good with taking one of the group flights to SFO from EWR, JFK, or PHL, but after the festival you want to charter a boat to explore Fiji and fly back a month later. THAT ALSO WORKS, but you have to book one of the two recommended flights on July 7 from SFO to New Zealand (United 917 or New Zealand NZ7).
EXAMPLE THREE: You’re coming from LA and you have no intention of going with any of our group bookings. THAT’S ALSO FINE – But you’re totally on your own, and you STILL need to include UA 917 or NY7 on July 7 in your itinerary.
FLIGHTS TO SFO
If we’re booking flights for you, you have three choices:
- United from EWR departing at 8:00 am – arriving SFO at 11:14 am
- American from JFK departing at 9:00 am – arriving SFO at 12:42 pm
- American from PHL departing at 3:30 pm – arriving SFO at 6:29 pm
These flights are included in your package as long as the fare holds until we can book them. (😜)
From there, you can choose one of the three following group flights (Once again, subject to availability)
- Air New Zealand non-stop to JFK
- United to EWR with a stopover at SFO
- United to PHL with a stopover at IAH (Houston) * This is a TIGHT connection. You should ONLY choose this one if you’re not planning on checking bags!!
We have also added another option for people living on the west coast. We’ll have to deal with those on a case by case basis.
Once again, these are included in the package price as long as they hold long enough to book them.
Upon arrival in San Francisco, we’ve decided to book the entire choir into a hostel near Union Square. (San Francisco H1 Hostel) It’s just a couple blocks from the BART line (train that runs from airport to the city) and well located for exploring most anything you’d want to see in San Francisco. AND… this will be our only free day IN San Francisco, which may make it well worth it to you to take an early morning flight.
The hostel will have four beds to a room, each with a bathroom en suite. We’ll book rooms exclusively for our group so you won’t have to worry about sharing a room with a random stranger. The cost of the hostel in a 4-person room in included in your package.
If you wish to upgrade, there are private rooms at the hostel as well, but that will require a surcharge, as follows:
- Twin bed in private room with private bath – double occupancy ($70 surcharge)
- Shared double bed in Private Room with private bath – double occupancy ($70 surcharge)
- Single occupancy double bed in private room with private bath ($140 surcharge)
Once in Napa, my kind friends and former students (from the mid-90s) have gone to work on finding homestays for us. In some cases, you may need to grab an Uber to get back and forth as practically NO ONE lives near downtown Napa. I’m sure many hosts will also be willing to shuttle you around.
If you simply think it’s creepy to stay in a stranger’s home, we can book a room in a 2* or 3* hotel for you within walking distance or our rehearsal space, but suffice it to say, Napa is CRAZY expensive. Here are those options:
- Double Occupancy in Shared Bed in downtown hotel. ($800 pp)
- Double Occupancy in two-bedded room in downtown hotel ($800 pp)
- Single occupancy double bed in private room with private bath ($1600 surcharge)
Once we get to New Zealand, the festival organizers are arranging our stay in a 4* hotel. That’s out of our hands. We aren’t yet sure what the situation is with significant others, but we hope to have that information soon.
Please make every possible effort to fill out this form by tomorrow night at 5:00 pm so we can start moving on this. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me or Amy. Even if you’re not 100% sure, having some information is better than having no information. If you don’t respond, we’ll make the best guess on the basis of the information you provided earlier.
ALSO… if you’re planning on bringing a S.O., please have them fill out the form as well, or fill it out for them. We need a firm headcount so we make sure we have a space for everyone traveling.
This is happening!