I flew out today Manchester to Orlando direct with Virgin with my boyfriend Alex. Luxury for us - usually as bargain hunters we fly indirect. I've been via most major airports in Europe and the East Coast of the USA - if you need any advice on transferring please ask!
Staff were great and the plane was really empty so had an empty seat between us -when they closed the airplane doors we had a little celebration. The food was average airplane fare but the portions were tiny - I'm glad I took two packets of crisps, pitta breads, a sandwich and three packets of sweets - I had no intention of going hungry!
We landed right as two other planes did as well - this seems to happen to us every time! Getting out the airport seemed to take forever. When you land in Orlando you clear immigration (a process that can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours) and then collect your luggage. You then have the option to put your luggage on a second conveyer belt to go to the main terminal. My advice is don't! If you can manage taking the luggage up one escalator, onto the monorail and then down two escalators on the other side you will be saving yourselves up to 30 minutes waiting for it on the other end. Of course doing this with kids is tricky. Some of my clients have had one adult at the top of the escalator and the other at the bottom feeding the bags on - this is undertaken at your own risk!
We also had to wait ages in a secondary inspection queue this time - this has never happened to us before. It seemed to be for customs although they didn't seem very interested in my Galaxy and Weetabix when I got to the front. The friendly man at Alamo upgraded our car to a small SUV - well worth a $10 tip. I chose a bright blue one which Alex went along with and has said it's growing on him. As I pointed out - we won't be losing it in any of the car parks! (Note from future self: we lost it in the Sea World car park less than a week later)
Villa is lovely and met up with my parents who have been to Marco Island and Key West for 17 nights. Dinner out at Millers tonight - fajitas were yummy although at that point I would have eaten just about anything. We did a quick shop for essentials at Publix - grand total of $60 to see us through the night. Definitely feeling the change in exchange rate - I remember the days when it was $2 to the pound!
Exhausted now but trying to push through until 10pm so we don't end up in the wide awake club at 4am. Disney Springs and taking it easy tomorrow to get over the jet lag.
*Please note this blog is from a previous trip and is now being posted to this site*