~$53,000 Around-the-World Honeymoon for ~$6,700! Part 5: Highlights of Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore

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One of the best ways to use miles & points is to make unforgettable memories with loved ones.  And even better if you include once-in-a-lifetime experiences most folks normally wouldn’t be able to afford.

Million Mile Secrets team member Keith recently returned from a 25,000 mile around-the-world honeymoon to Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore.  I’ll let him tell you about it!

Keith:   Thanks Daraius!  My wife Liz and I built up hundreds of thousands of miles from credit card sign-up bonuses and bank promotions that we used to visit 5 countries on an around-the-world honeymoon.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

We Had Incredible Views on Our Honeymoon Hike Up Table Mountain in Cape Town

Due to work commitments, we only had 17 days to circle the globe.  This might not seem like enough time for such a trip.  But, I’ll explain how we made the most of our time and enjoyed a romantic dinner at one of Amsterdam’s top restaurants, rest and relaxation in Bali, a beautiful hike and Afternoon Tea in Cape Town, cultural experiences in Dubai, and much more!

I’m happy to share how I paid ~$6,700 for a trip with a retail cost of ~$53,000!

Around-the-World Honeymoon Trip Series:

7 Honeymoons in One

Before we planned our trip, we read about different types of trips newlyweds choose for their honeymoon like:

  • Adventurous
  • Beach
  • City
  • Island
  • Mountain
  • Romantic
  • Safari

We decided to combine all 7 types of honeymoons into 1 big trip!

Because this was our first time to all 5 countries, we relied on tools like TripAdvisor and credit card concierge services to help us plan activities and book reservations.

We especially benefited from using the Platinum Card Concierge perk with our AMEX Platinum cards to book excursions and reservations at top restaurants.  I like that it can all be coordinated through email.  AMEX takes care of communicating with the vendors and restaurants, which makes it super easy.

Here are highlights of our trip.

Amsterdam

Because we were only in Amsterdam for 1 night, we wanted to dine at a top Amsterdam restaurant.  Thanks to AMEX Platinum card concierge, we got a reservation at Restaurant Vinkeles, which is the number 2 restaurant in Amsterdam according to TripAdvisor.

Our expectations were certainly exceeded.  We enjoyed a delicious 9-course chef’s tasting menu.  And, we had the opportunity to talk with the executive chef after dinner.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

We Enjoyed a Romantic Dinner in Amsterdam Courtesy of Executive Chef Dennis at Restaurant Vinkeles

The chef even gave us a box of delicious chocolates to take for the road.  I think they were finished on the walk back to our hotel!

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

The Restaurant Even Provided a Special Gift for Our Honeymoon

Besides a great dinner, we visited the Van Gogh Museum, took a canal tour, and walked through Dam Square and the flower market.  We missed out on visiting the Anne Frank House because tickets were sold out weeks in advance.  And waiting on the long line would have prevented us from seeing other attractions.

Cape Town

Cape Town was our favorite destination of the honeymoon.  The scenery was magnificent and there was so much to do.  We also lucked out with beautiful weather during our stay.

We stayed at the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel, which is known for Afternoon Tea.  This was a fun experience and our table overlooked the hotel’s beautiful garden area.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Liz and I Had Afternoon Tea & Champagne at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

One afternoon we took a 45-minute Uber ride to the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, which is known for wineries.  The highlight of our visit was to the Delaire Graff Estate, which offered majestic views of the region and also had a great wine tasting.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Seeing the Delaire Graff Estate in Person Was Spectacular! We Enjoyed Lunch, Wine Tasting, and a Tour of the Estate

Through our hotel, we arranged to go on a day safari to the Aquilla Private Game Reserve.  It took ~2.5 hours to get to the area and then we spent ~3 hours driving through the reserve with a very knowledgeable guide.

Along the way, we saw elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, and hippos.  It was quite the experience.  We hope to make it back to Africa in the future to go on a safari in a different region.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Smile! The Young Elephant at the Aquilla Private Game Reserve Posed for a Picture With Liz

During our time in Cape Town, we also went on a peninsula tour and saw the Cape of Good Hope and penguins at Boulders Beach.  And, we visited the nearby Camps Bay part of Cape Town to watch unbelievable sunsets.

Dubai

After all of the positive reviews we’ve heard, Liz and I were definitely looking forward to visiting Dubai during our honeymoon.

After checking-in to our hotel, we went to see world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.  We took the elevator to the 147th floor observation deck to take pictures and really admired how the city is developed with many modern buildings.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

The Burj Khalifa Offered Panoramic Views of Dubai From the 147th Floor Observation Deck

In the evening, we booked a luxury desert tour through AMEX Platinum card concierge.  This was a very memorable experience as we got to experience traditional Bedouin culture, including wearing a head scarf and a 4-course dinner with Emirati dishes.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

The Camel Ride Was Part of a 7-Hour Luxury Desert Tour Through the Dubai Desert

In Dubai, we also visited the luxurious Dubai Mall and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

It was an amazing experience in just 24 hours!

Bali

After a 24-hour stop in Dubai and a long flight to Bali, we wanted to spend a couple of days relaxing.  The St. Regis Bali had a beautiful private beach and several pools.  One afternoon we rented stand up paddle boards from the hotel.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Fun in the Sun! The St. Regis Had Stand Up Paddle Boards for Rent

Bali has so much to see.  For ~$150, we arranged a 10-hour tour with a driver and private guide to take us to Ubud, Bali.  On the tour we visited:

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

I Made a New Friend at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali

We also made it to a coffee plantation where we tried the world’s most expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak.  At $12 a cup, I don’t think I’ll be drinking this every morning.

Meeting the Balinese people and learning about their culture was educational and unforgettable.

Singapore

The last stop on our honeymoon was Singapore.  The modern city was full of energy with lots to do.

Our stay at the Marina Bay Sands hotel was definitely a highlight of our time in Singapore.  You could spend a week at this hotel alone with all of entertainment, shopping, and dining options.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Watching the Sunset From the 57th Floor Rooftop Infinity Pool at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Was a Very Cool Experience

Just a 10-minute walk from the hotel was the very popular tourist attraction Gardens by the Bay.  You can see much of waterfront gardens without paying.  But we paid for admission to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatories.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Inside Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, We Visited the Cloud Forest, Which Has the World’s Largest Indoor Waterfall

We also visited the iconic Merlion statue.  It was a huge tourist attraction with many folks trying to take funny selfies.

53,000 Around The World Honeymoon For 6,700 Part 5 Highlights Of Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai Bali And Singapore

Merlion Park Was on Our List of Must See Things in Singapore

Liz and I really enjoyed the restaurants in Singapore.  We ate the famous black pepper crab, which was delicious.  And we had phenomenal sushi.

In the last part of the series, I’ll give you tips to book YOUR around-the-world trip!

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3 responses to “~$53,000 Around-the-World Honeymoon for ~$6,700! Part 5: Highlights of Amsterdam, Cape Town, Dubai, Bali, and Singapore

  1. Hi Keith,

    Thanks for the write up. How did you go about booking the 10 hours tour in Bali? I am planning a trip that involves Bali and would appreciate it if you can provide some insights.

    Thanks

  2. @Nickk – Keith booked the Bali tour through the concierge at the St. Regis Bali. The tour was operated by Asia World Indonesia. http://www.asiaworldindonesia.com/

  3. Nickk- We just got back from Bali 2 weeks ago and did 2 days private tour with a driver and guide(owner) for $60 a day. Best tour we ever went on. Really got a feel for the culture. Actually worked little in a rice field. Agus Bali Private tours http://www.agusbali.com
    Also made all our transfers to and from airport and between hotels before we left. We used Bali Made tours. http://www.balimadetour.com/ Aways on time and felt safe. If you don’t know, driving in Bali is a bit crazy. Check out TripAdvisor

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