Sunday, October 30, 2016

Next Adventure Begins - Italy and Trans Atlantic

Our next adventure begins.  This was a rather last minute vacation in the planning.  A few reasons for this, but the main reason is the low Canadian Dollar!  We need to find deals.  The added cost with the exchange (currently Canadian dollar is at .64 for one US dollar) means the cruise cost have to be lower. 

So I watched cruise prices and when it was right we jumped on a sweet deal on the Royal for the crossing.  Mind you we are in an inside.  And this could be tough, but it is just what we have to do if we want to travel.  

Thankfully we were also able to scoop up a great airfare one way with Westjet to Gatwick, England.  It is a direct flight and we secured two seats together near the back of the plane in hopes of sleeping thru most of the journey.

On the way to the airport we stop for a good healthy meal. It is only 2 pm but we are trying to adjust to Italy time (it is 11 pm there).  

After parking our car and heading to the airport with our bags.  Note only two 24 inch bags and one carry on roller bag!  Yes we have learned from experience we really don't need that much and I was adamant that we needed to scale down one less carry on as we are having to get around on our own in a few places and having less bags will make it a whole lot easier.

Check in was very smooth and we arrive at our gate with about a half hour to spare before boarding starts.  I fill up our water bottles and we sit and charge out our devices (but didn't have to as the plane had plugs at each seat).

The flight was rather uneventful.  Flight time was just over nine hours and we were able to sleep a bit.  I believe Bernie slept more than I, or at least that is my theory.

Now for Westjet that is another story.  They no longer serve complimentary food on these long haul flights.  Nothing is free!  I do miss that great British Airways flight we had last year but this flight was almost $400 less per person so I can't complain too loudly.  That $400 can buy a lot of food.

The seats are definately closer together and not as wide and we feel like cattle.  But again we just keep repeating that savings to ourselves.

Once we land we have to clear UK customs.  There are long queues but they move fast.  Our Nexus doesn't help here but there is word that in the future it will (note Nexus is equivalent to Global Entry).

We booked the Hilton at Gatwick with our airmiles and boy we could not have asked for a better location.  Only steps away from the baggage carousel.  

Even though we arrived at noon there is a room available for us.  As we drop our bags we both feel like crashing but we know we have to push ourselves otherwise we will sleep and wake at 2 am. 

So a quick freshen up and we are off to explore London.

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