Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Transatlantic Cruise – Voyager of the Seas – November 29 – December 13, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 -  Travel Day

It’s drizzling and dreary outside.  The weather is starting to feel like Winter (snow is forecast for Thanksgiving).  While we are regrettably missing Thanksgiving with the family this year, we are booked on the Voyager of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain to Galveston, Texas (really). 

Our flight to London departs at 10:00 PM so we have additional time to spend with the kids. Our plane, a 777 brought in for this flight (no passengers deplaned at O’Hare,

dark and rainy our plane (Small) 

Our plane – wet with warning lights

developed an electrical problem.  The pilot said the maintenance crew “reset” the electrical system and all of the fault lights went out.  Good to go (he thought nervously) and only about 30 minutes late.

Someone explain this to me – at about midnight, dinner was served, which, as I see it, a sure fire way to ensue that you do not sleep during the flight.  Not helping was the multi-decibel role of those 777 engines, but no real sleep was had.  As usual, dawn over the Atlantic Ocean was a sight to behold

Sunrise atlantic ocean (Small)

Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean

The flight was relatively smooth. I was actually pleased to see the “fasten seat belt” light come on during the flight because that meant that someone was awake in the cockpit or logged off of Face Book long enough to hit the light.  It’s the little things that count when you’re flying. 

We were a bit tired but happy to be an hour from London

almost in London - no sleep (Small)

Sitting in the exit/bulkhead row really help with the deep vein thrombosis issue.

Our connection with British Air went well even though it was tighter than usual  Soon we boarded a bus to take us to our plane – first for me

our bus to our BA flight 

If that wasn’t enough, we actually walked up a set of portable stairs to our plane

no jetway (Small)

I felt like giving the “Presidential Wave” at the top of the stairs but it was chilly and I wanted to get to my seat.

I love flying British Air.  The flight attendants are always courteous and the pilots give the shortest (and mostly unintelligible) announcements.  The flight was bumpy but the sunset over Barcelona bookended the day

sunset in Barcelona (Small)

We haven’t been back to Barcelona since 1997.  The airport looked band new with these great un-escalators (they were a moving ramp). 

Then everything came together:  Our luggage came right out (both bags); passport control took 30 seconds; For 5 Euros we took the Aerobus straight to the Plaza Catalunya (where our hotel is).  The city is just fantastic; one example, the fountain at the Plaza Catalunya

Foutain - Plaza  Catalunya (Small)

Fountain – Plaza Catalunya

We are staying at a very nice baroque style hotel:  Hotel Continental Palacete.  They have a 24 hour buffet (including beer, wine, and lattes) so we tried some tapas and sweets.  I  don’t think we will need to eat anywhere else while we are here.

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