Friday, April 13, 2018

Home Sweet Sehome

After an enjoyable nine-hour flight in BA First Class at the pointy end of a 747, we gathered up our rollaboards and made our way through the scenic Vancouver Airport to the NEXUS machines, most of which were working (not always the case).

We experienced more of a lineup turning in our customs forms than we did at the NEXUS machines, but still got through in good time to catch the next hotel shuttle back to the Hampton Inn where we'd parked our car.

Our luck continued as we made good time down Highway 99 on this beautiful night to the Peace Arch border crossing, after a quick stop to pick up some duty-free booze.

Once the ICE inspector in the NEXUS booth found we'd just returned from Europe, he wanted to know if we were bringing back food (chocolates from the ship only), large amounts of cash (nope), or antiquities. Brian said the only antiquities in the car were the two of us, and he almost smiled and let us go.

We stopped at Edaleen Dairy in Blaine to pick up some milk and treat ourselves to a mocha before arriving home and going to bed almost immediately.

It's always nice to be home.

Landing at YVR

On a night like this, it has to be one of the most beautiful landing approaches we've experienced at any airport.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Aboard BA085 LHR-YVR

Chaotic boarding as we wove our way through waiting Group 4 and 5 boarders (the rude expression Gate Lice came to mind) but we're aboard.

London Heathrow Terminal 3: Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge

We got off our plane and made the long walk to the subway. We rode it to the final stop, the transfer point for connecting flights in other terminals.

We made another long walk with more escalators to take the 12-minute bus ride from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 (the bus arrived just as we did!).

We made it through "Fast Track" with our dignity and belongings intact. All in all, the transfer took us about 60 minutes, far less than the official estimated 90-minute minimum transfer time. 

Because we upgraded to British Airways First Class with points, we're entitled to use Cathay Pacific's First Class Lounge. As one of our favorite travel bloggers, Lucky of One Mile at a Time put it, we'd be fools not to go there instead of the BA Galleries Lounge.

A charming attendant has offered us our choice of Möet or Barons de Rothschild. We chose the latter, simply because it was colder. Later we will try the former, which seemed smoother.

We will dine here before boarding our LHR-YVR flights and perhaps get some sleep on the flight.

In the meantime, we're enjoying our Heathrow oasis.

The view from our lounge chairs is also pleasing.

The dining room lives up to expectations. It's almost as if we were still sailing Oceania.

Amsterdam to London on BA

It's a leisurely 10-minute walk from the Hilton to the terminal in a walkway that also accesses the parking lots.

We checked in, proceeded through security and an automated passport control, eventually arriving at a small British Airways lounge that offered us a quiet and comfortable place to sit.

We'll board our AMS-LHR flight in another 20 minutes.

We have to transfer terminals in London to catch our flight to Vancouver, but we have a five-hour layover and potential access to the Cathay Pacific lounge, which would be fun on this long travel day. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

AMS: Amsterdam Airport Hilton

Our Vueling (we learned it's from the Spanish Vuelo and pronounced something like "Welling") flight was okay, albeit with the hardest runway touchdown we've experienced in awhile.

AMS is a huge airport, and we probably walked well over a mile from our landing gate to the Baggage Hall, and then onward to this sparkling nearly new hotel.

We're enjoying coffee and cookies in the Executive Lounge, and we'll decide on dinner in awhile.

The first couple of post-cruise days are the hardest.

Rainy Barcelona

Off Riviera early this morning in pouring rain, but a pleasant van ride to the airport, where we said goodbye to friends (and goodbye to Kathy's brother and sister-in-law last night).

We're about to board our Vueling flight to Amsterdam.

Once aboard, a 45-minute delay ensues to fix the air conditioning. It's lucky we're in no hurry.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Bumped from Ponta Delgado

The captain tried docking three times but the weather didn't co-operate.

It's onward to Morocco for another three sea days.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bye-Bye Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda on Riviera

The first port of our transatlantic cruise after two full sea days.

Our cabin is somewhere there on the port side.

We've kept busy with table tennis and team trivia.