<font color="purple"> Adventurers:
Annabel - 32, 7th trip, Chief Planner, hates flying
but loves Dramamine
Andy - 35, 5th trip, Chief Rollercoaster Rider, loves everything - if he was any more laid back, heíd be lying down
Dates: 1st - 15th October
Flying with First Choice, on their new planes and new Star Class Premium cabin. What can I say, we like our luxury - especially when we have to endure a 9 hour flight out and an 8 hour flight back. Staying at Pop Century, just for a change Introduction:
This story begins a long time ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away). Back to Easter 2004. Our last trip to the World had been in January and the flights with Travel City Direct had not exactly been successful (delayed for nearly 4 hours flying out due to electrical faults, then delayed a day and a half coming home due to more electrical faults). I think this is the reason why Iím such a nervous flyer now - I was fine up to that point, although still very slightly nervous if turbulence hit. On arrival at Gatwick, I swore to andy I was never flying again. Nu-uh, no way!
My ďnever flying againĒ threat lasted about 2 months after arriving back. Reading one of the boards I frequent, I came across a post from a member saying sheíd found a great deal to Florida. It sounded too good to pass up so I went to the First Choice website to investigate. I found a great deal staying offsite at the Quality Inn International on International Drive. We stayed there during our first trip together in March 2003 to celebrate our birthdays. We didnít mind staying there so we decided to stay again. Apparently itís really gone downhill since then but weíll come to that in a bit.
I batted my eyelashes at DH when he came home from work and showed him the deal Iíd found. He was all for it so he rang First Choice to book it all. We were told that they were bringing in new planes which would be totally upgraded which sounded great. Two weeks at the QII and flying regular class would cost us £972 - not each but for the pair of us - a bargain! Of course in between booking this holiday and going on it, I managed to squeeze in a solo trip and we went twice together
Fast forward to May 2005. Iím nosing around the First Choice website at flights and put our dates in. The holiday is a lot more expensive Iím pleased to note
I also noted that they had some first class seats available. HmmÖ..a plan forms in my mind. I asked Andy to ring them to find out how much it would cost us to upgrade. Andy made the call and it would only cost £300 for the pair of us to upgrade which was an amazing price
With other airlines you can pay that per person each way! Andy booked the upgrade and they sent us a new invoice. I also book tickets for Mickeyís Not So Scary Halloween Party as we both really enjoyed going last year
A PS was made for the Liberty Tree Tavern too
We spent that evening talking and we hit upon where we are staying. We both love staying onsite and staying on International Drive has lost its appeal. We surf travel websites reading reviews of the hotel and we are far from happy with what we read. There are reports of cockroaches, messy rooms in bad condition etc ,which puts me off staying there even more. Again, DH rang First Choice to find out if it would be cheaper to just pay for the flight rather than a holiday. Yeah right - itís £400 MORE if we drop the hotel and just pay for the flights
How silly can you get?? I then work out that itís still cheaper to keep our upgraded flights rather than look for others so we decide to get a quote from Dreams Unlimited for our 2 week stay - choosing Pop Century of course! I know youíre all so surprised
We get our quote and itís good, very good - we just have to wait for the annual pass rates to materialise. Later on when the rates come out, weíre told that it is cheaper to keep our existing reservation as there are no rates for after October 4th and we arrive on the 1st. At the time I am writing this, we are waiting for the next lot of rates that will start on October 5th so see if we can add them to our reservation to make it even cheaper.
I started keeping an eye on the Disboards for any cruises which may be offered during our stay. I find an Illuminations Cruise being offered and put my name down, hoping Iím not too late....Iím the last one to apply and the 2 spots are mine if I want them - wahoooo
I send off $58 for our places and the money arrives ok. We will be going on our first fireworks cruise on October 4th
Iím really excited, especially as we missed out going last year and we had to go home early.
Coming up next: more plans and our final(ish) itinerary