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Old 08-29-2012, 05:06 AM   #1
WiganTony
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A Plan is only the basis for change – Day 1: Are We There Yet?

Day 1 (31 Jul 12) – Are we there yet?

Trip Intro/Index here.

An early alarm set for 0500 heralded our travel day. Surprisingly, all three of us were ready by 06:00 and set of to Manchester Airport where a very quiet M61 and M60 saw us arriving in 25 minutes. We had pre-booked the airport T3 meet & greet parking, so just had to drop the car and key off (no pre-phoning), then over the bridge to departures.

As we were not able to check-in on-line for our AF flight (booked through Delta), the early arrival gave us plenty of time to check-in at the airport. Only when we were near the front of the check-in queue did we realise that we should have used the machines to check in, so I did this and managed to get back just as Joanne and Alex reached the front of the queue to drop the baggage!!

We also met up with a work colleague who had taken advantage of the cheap Delta flight prices, and who was staying at OKW at the same time as us.

Flight from MAN to CDG pushed off on time, and we disembarked at CDG about 5 mins late (Terminal 2E, gates L). Had a swift transfer over to the “M” gates area, where our flight was advertised as departing on time. However, as we waited at the gate, departure time got pushed back to 13:45, 14:00 then 14:15. We eventually started boarding at 14:15 and pushed back around 14:45, never to make up the lost time.

Main meal was served about an hour after take off - a salad, chicken tikka massala with rice, bread and brie, and a sweet pastry plus a bottle of red wine and a rum/orange cocktail. Food was quite nice, and even Alex who has never eaten on a plane before enjoyed the curry – her best (only!!) plane meal! The snack before landing was disappointing - just a bread "finger roll" with cheese spread.

On arrival at MCO, we were in row 22 so didn't have too many people in front of us, but there were still quite a few people from an earlier VA flight. However, it only took around 40 minutes to clear immigration, 10 mins to get through the second check, and after declining all Alamos suggestions of upgrades (car boot too small etc – I did consider going on the SAS interrogation course to stiffen resistance to the hard sell!!), we picked up our Kia Rio (strangely enough, no problems in fitting all the luggage in!!) and got away from MCO around 8.15pm, arriving at the Sheraton Resort (ex Safari) LBV in around 20 minutes.

We had booked the Sheraton through Starwood Preferred Guest points thanks to some compensation from our stay in Boston last year. On arrival, we were advised we had been upgraded to a pool view room which was quite nice. Rooms look to be fairly recently refurbished with comfy beds, “free” wifi in the resort fee, a fridge and massive TV with the Disney channel.

Our plan was to dump the cases and nip to McDs at Crossroads for a quick dinner as none of us fancied getting ready for a sit-down meal, especially as we had been on the go for almost 21 hours!! However, Joanne suggested Alex and myself pick up a pizza from the Pizza Hut takeaway just outside the hotel, so twenty minutes later, we were enjoying a Margheurita with chicken wings sat on the balcony and watching the Olympics on the big screen near the pool.

In the end, after almost 22-1/2 hours on the go, we turned in at 10:30pm as it had turned out to be a long day. Probably in the future, we wouldn’t travel into Europe again for a connecting flight, but would certainly consider indirect via London, Dublin or US airports if it saved us the money.
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2007 August - CBR/Marriott Clearwater/Springhill Suites LBV
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Longer than I care to remember - 3 lads and their car touring Florida!!

Last edited by WiganTony; 08-30-2012 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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Not a bad first day. Any room photos?
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #3
WiganTony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
Not a bad first day. Any room photos?
Hi - unfortunately not. The ones on the hotel website are fairly representative of the room we had. We enjoyed the stay there with the exception of the air-con which was a bit noisy, but we overcame this by chilling the room right down before we went to bed, then just leaving the fan on overnight.
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2014 July/August - RPR and OKW - again!!
2013 July/August - NY, LA and San Diego
2012 August - OKW
2011 August - No Disney NY and Boston
2010 July/August - RPR and OKW
2009 Easter - Springhill Suites LBV & Cruise
2008 August - Marriott Residence Seaworld.
2007 August - CBR/Marriott Clearwater/Springhill Suites LBV
2005 August - Comfort Suites Kissimmee
Longer than I care to remember - 3 lads and their car touring Florida!!
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Good first day, nice to get a room upgrade
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:13 AM   #5
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Sounds like a relatively stress-free travel day

I remember seeing the Sheraton Safari on our first ever visit to Orlando and (naively) thinking it might be like Animal Kingdom Lodge and have animals wandering the grounds
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
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Sounds a stress free day and worth it for the saving
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
WiganTony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixonsontour View Post
Sounds a stress free day and worth it for the saving
It was - paid for our Disney tickets and half of our Discovery Cove visit!! The downside was being on the go for around 20 hours - we weren't full of energy when we arrived at the Sheraton!!!
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2014 July/August - RPR and OKW - again!!
2013 July/August - NY, LA and San Diego
2012 August - OKW
2011 August - No Disney NY and Boston
2010 July/August - RPR and OKW
2009 Easter - Springhill Suites LBV & Cruise
2008 August - Marriott Residence Seaworld.
2007 August - CBR/Marriott Clearwater/Springhill Suites LBV
2005 August - Comfort Suites Kissimmee
Longer than I care to remember - 3 lads and their car touring Florida!!
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