It’s Week #4 of the CAA Blogger Shopping Challenge where Extreme Couponing Mom and I are each using a CAA No-Fee MasterCard with a limit of $2500 to shop at the CAA partner stores and blog about our experiences. The first blogger to save enough money with their CAA membership to cover the cost of a new CAA Plus membership + Plus Associate membership (totaling $209.05) will receive an East Side Mario’s OR Husky Gift Certificate worth $100!
For those who may have missed my previous 2 updates you can catch up on the amazing savings my CAA membership has allowed me at Payless ShoeSource, The Gap Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory store by following the link HERE for Payless and HERE for The Gap and Banana Republic Factory Stores.
In case you haven’t been following along for the past 3 weeks, you can read all about my shopping adventures at Payless ShoeSource, Gap Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, East Side Mario’s and Petro Canada HERE.
Saving in Niagara Falls with My CAA Membership
When I received notice that I was one of the two bloggers chosen for this challenge I knew our little family simply had to take advantage of the hotel Partner Savings, so I planned a weekend away at Niagara Falls.
After doing a bit of research I decided we would stay at the Marriott Niagara Falls Gateway on the Falls Hotel. As we drove into the parking lot at the hotel we were amazed at the sight! We were quite literally right on the cusp of the Falls.
The Marriott Niagara Falls Gateway on the Falls Hotel offers over 230 first-class Fallsview rooms and suites and is 31 floors high. Check in went very smoothly, although there was one hiccup. We had chosen to visit Niagara Falls on the American Memorial Day weekend and the hotel was sold out which meant that CAA membership discounts weren’t offered. They did say that I should have been advised of this at booking but I wasn’t concerned because I had obtained a fantastic rate.
In the event that I had chosen a weekend on which the CAA membership savings was available, I would have saved up to 15% off of our stay.
Within minutes we had our Breakfast Vouchers and $25 Milestone’s Gift Certificate in hand and we were directed to our elevator. The look on our daughters faces when they saw that we were heading to the second highest floor was hilarious, I’m not sure if the lit up #30 was exciting or frightening to them.
A Room With A View
Walking into the room I knew that we were staying in the Superior Fallsview Guest room in their high floor category so I expected a good view of the Falls. I had NO idea how overwhelming the view would actually be!
It was breathtaking, all four of us stood at that huge wall of window in silence for a few moments before the excited “look at this” began. We really enjoyed our first half hour in our room, just standing and sharing the moment with one another.
The room itself was lovely, with 2 Queen beds each child chose a parent to sleep with (insert sarcastic yippee) a spacious bathroom and the fridge we would need for our snacks.
After relaxing in our room for a bit we decided to head to Cliffton Hill to check out the action.
If you’ve never been to Cliffton Hill in Niagara Falls, you may not quite understand when I say its a hilly, winding street jammed with the buzz of excitement. With Casinos, wax museums, arcades and tourist shops the energy on Cliffton Hill is a bit overwhelming.
Eats at Hard Rock Cafe
Soon enough we all found we were too tired to really enjoy Cliffton Hill so we decided to head to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner before heading to the hotel pool.
The Hard Rock Cafe is a fun place, we’ve been to their Toronto location but this was our first visit to this location. It’s a very cool atmosphere and we were so grateful for the comfy booth at this stage. We chilled out, unwound with the music and enjoyed searching the walls to see whose memorabilia we’d find.
The food was delicious, I enjoyed a HUGE Ceasar salad while my daughters chose chicken fingers (eye roll, hope this stage ends soon) and my hubby had fish & chips. We also enjoyed some divine desserts and they even had a Mocktail for me!
Our Total for dinner was $84.01 before taxes and with our CAA membership we saved 10% ($8.40) making it $75.61 before tax.
Following dinner we went for a quick dip in the hotel pool then made our way back to our room, got into pjs and sat once again at the window watching the magic of the Falls. At night the view is spectacular, there is lighting on the Falls which turn them colours to the delight of the children. We had the added bonus of a fireworks show over the Falls for Memorial Day.
Day #2 In Niagara Falls
This was my view when I woke in the morning, it was so peaceful sitting with a cup of coffee in the silence while my family slept. It didn’t last long, soon enough everyone woke eager to get the day going.
Breakfast at Milestones within the hotel was gorgeous, it was a buffet which was sure to fit anyone’s tastebuds. With choices like dry cereals, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, fresh juices, baked goods, sausage and even an omelette bar everyone was happy.
Cliffton Hill FUN
We decided to use our CAA Membership to buy a Cliffton Hill pass to enjoy for the day. We purchased 5 passes for the girls to the BIG FUN package and 3 for each adult. This allowed us to enjoy 5 of the 6 available attractions which are: Guinness World Records, Mystery Get Lost Maze, The Fun House, Bronto’s Adventure Playland, Brick City and The Haunted House.
I purchased the passes using the CAA online option and found out quickly that you cannot open multiple tabs without double-checking to makes sure you didn’t enter too many passes into your card. Thankfully the fine support staff corrected my errors, we printed our passes and off we went!
When we arrived we realized we had forgotten our passes in the car so my darling husband went back to get them while the girls enjoyed the games outside of Bronto’s Adventure Playland. As I stood waiting I noticed a young couple looking distressed near a car. It didn’t take me long to realize they had locked their keys in the car.
I know how awful this feels, and so like the forward person I am I approached them and offered to use my CAA membership to get a tech out to open their car. They were overwhelmed but it was no big deal because I have a number of services available for the year. Within 20 minutes of us calling the CAA mobile arrived to the rescue! They were unlocked and on their way in no time, just another example of the benefits of my CAA membership.
The Cliffton Hill Big Fun Value Passes are a great deal:
- Regular price for 3 Pack Adult Pass is $31.61, they give Savings of $11.33 which made them $20.28 each.
- Regular price for 5 Pack Child Pass (4-17) is $41.33, they give Savings of $19.79 which made them $22.54 each.
- I saved $62.24
- I earned $1.67 CAA Dollars
CAA Members Save At Husky
On the way home we stopped for gas at Husky and I was please to see they had a HUGE sign welcoming us as CAA members!
We bought $77 worth of gas (groan!) and the attendant told us we would see our CAA dollars on our monthly statement because we were using our CAA Mastercard so I’ll have to see my total then.
This Week’s Progress Report
As of today, by using my CAA membership card at CAA Partners in TOTAL I’ve saved $180.90 and have spent $1,90.22 of the $2500.
Disclosure: As a chosen blogger for the CAA Blogger Challenge I am being compensated for participating. All opinions and experiences are my own.