Honeymoon Day One – Travelling!

Ever since we booked it, I felt like an excited child counting down the sleeps until both our wedding and honeymoon.

For our honeymoon we had planned a week in Orlando, Florida, followed by a week in The Bahamas and we couldn’t wait. Neither of us had visited The Bahamas before, but I had visited Orlando once, 15 years ago! I kept wondering how much had changed or how much of it I would remember. I also wondered how it would feel, visiting as an adult with my husband rather than as a child with my family.

I was so excited for our honeymoon that I had planned our itinerary months in advance. Matt thought I was a crazy lady but for those who don’t know, Disney planning is full on! You need to plan out what days you are visiting each park and even what rides you want to go on and where you want to eat! Of course you don’t have to be this organised, but then you will end up queueing for hours for attractions and you won’t get to eat in any of the table service restaurants. Luckily Matt let me plan a crazy busy week, fitting in as much as humanly possible knowing that we had a relaxing beach week to look forward to afterwards.

For Disney Parks, you can book reservations for shows and restaurants from 180 days in advance of your trip and believe me you need to, especially for the popular places such as Be our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table and The Crystal Palace restaurants. Included with your park tickets you also have the use of FastPass+ which means you can pre book times for your favourite attractions from 30 days in advance.

I found that the best way to book all these things was to download the My Disney Experience App to my phone. You link your tickets to the app and then you can easily make selections and bookings. Then when you are actually at the parks you can keep track of ride wait times and it will tell you when your FastPass+ reservations are along with so much other stuff. Very handy and all the parks have free WiFi so no need to worry about data charges.

Universal Studios also has an app which we downloaded, however they don’t do their FastPass+ the same way and most of their restaurants you can easily book, there’s no mad rush like at Disney!

The countdown seemed slow to start with but then before we knew it the weeks were flying past, the wedding was sadly over and finally the day had come to begin our honeymoon!

We live very close to Gatwick Airport, which is a bit of a bonus and means we rarely experience that crazy holiday madness of actually getting to the airport. I still woke up like an excited 5 year old and annoyed Matt by constantly talking about our honeymoon plans and what I couldn’t wait for us to see/do/experience together, he probably couldn’t wait to get on the plane and put his headphones on!

 We purchased a Go Pro as we wanted to film on as many rides as possible and then we chilled with a late breakfast and bubbles, finally toasting the start of the next two weeks adventures! Unfortunately about half an hour before we were due to board, it was announced that our flight had been delayed by roughly 3 hours, bit annoying, however it did give us time to figure out how the Go Pro worked!
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Finally on board we had a nice flight. We had a tasty lunch, I opted for the chicken salad and we both watched a couple of films. Bad Neighbours 2 for the both of us which was OK but not as good as the first, but then when are they ever as good as the first? Then I watched Sisters, which I hoped would be really funny as it had the dream team of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler however it wasn’t the best and Matt watched Money Monster with George Clooney, which he said was pretty good.

 

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On the Plane

It must have been about 5 hours into the flight when the turbulence started and I hate turbulence! I start panicking, I go clammy, I fear we are going to fall out of the sky, all the while Matt stays in the same position as he has been all along like nothing is happening. It makes me laugh as I really wish I could be the same but I can’t help but cling onto his arm as soon as the plane starts shaking. I always hope it’s just going to last a few minutes and then pass, but this time it probably lasted on/off for around an hour and at times it was so bumpy our drinks were spilling and even the cabin crew were told to sit down.

We landed in Orlando around 8pm and were treated to some huge lightning strikes on landing which, if we weren’t landing I would have freaked out about, however it looked really pretty as it fully lit up the sky and I was just happy we were almost off the plane!

We decided to hire a car for the week as we weren’t staying at a Disney or Universal resort hotel, so thought it would be the easiest way to get around and give us the freedom to explore as much of Orlando as possible. We decided to go for a Convertible Mustang, wanting to make the most of the Florida sunshine, but after collecting our luggage and making our way over to collect the car we started to worry that our luggage wouldn’t actually fit in it! After a bit of a shuffle and the bonus of me being short we managed to squeeze it all in and we could finally make our way to the hotel.
The next task was actually finding our hotel without a sat nav, as well as it being dark, driving on the wrong side of the road and both feeling pretty tired! Kindly the car hire staff printed us out the driving instructions and Matt got us to The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes.
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It was a beautiful hotel but I felt completely out of place looking dishevelled and tired in my comfy travelling clothes. But the staff were super friendly and got very excited when they realised it was our honeymoon. We made our way up to the 12th floor and both crashed onto our huge king sized bed exhausted but excited for the next day’s adventure.

Love, Chloe xx

Up in Upper Class..

I don’t know about you but I never fly in the Upper or Business Class section of the plane. I wish I could afford to, but sometimes I think even if I had the money, is it really worth it?

I have flown Upper Class once before, with Virgin Atlantic. Matt and I went to Australia in Summer 2013 and he surprised me the night before with the upgraded tickets. I was hysterical, like a mad woman who had just won the lottery, I was jumping on the bed, constantly asking if it was real. I even phoned my mum to share the news. As I was so excited and could barely get the words out, she assumed we had gotten engaged and was then getting excited herself. Oops sorry mum, we’re both still waiting for that day! 😉 Matt had upgraded us by using A LOT of saved air miles and then explained we could only afford to do this one way. But I didn’t care, I was going FIRST CLASS, I was going to turn left when I got onto the plane, I could make my chair into a bed, I could sit and drink at the bar and pretend I wasn’t on a plane and I was excited!

If you’re anything like me I hate the whole airport experience, I know a lot of people who love it but I would rather get there and get straight on a plane. I don’t want to go on a shopping trip, I don’t want to join a queue for dinner at yet another Italian themed chain and I really don’t want to be in a half an hour queue at WH Smith self service tills, just to buy the bumper pack of magazines and a bottle of water for the journey ahead.

So when our taxi pulled up to the Upper Class Wing at Heathrow Airport, I was in heaven! Our suitcases were taken straight from the car for us, no struggling or worrying if you’re over the weight limit. Our boarding passes were basically given straight to us and then we had our own private security check, no queues.. bliss! It was then a short walk to the Upper Class lounge. All the free food and drink you could ask for and treats such as cookies, chocolate and sweets are in bowls dotted around the comfy sofa areas. We ate an amazing dinner, had a couple of glasses of fizz to toast our trip and then played a few games of pool before boarding the plane. I felt super relaxed and definitely the way I wanted to start a holiday! There is even a spa offering free treatments if you get there early enough to enjoy them before your flight! (one to remember for next time!)

We had a night flight to Oz and on entering the plane we were offered a glass of champagne and PJ’s to change into should we wish, I was already wearing my most comfiest trackie bottoms and hoodie so declined the offer. I don’t dress up for a flight, it’s all about comfort no matter what class you are in! Especially with a 30 odd hour journey ahead of us!

The flight went by surprisingly quickly and the beds are actually really big, I’m only 5 ft 2 so felt I could really spread out or get cosy when I wanted to. See below!

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Then take a look at this breakfast are we even on a plane?!

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I couldn’t fault the service and we had the best ‘plane’ food I had ever tasted. I really don’t understand how they manage to serve a full 3 course meal, on china, with proper cutlery, oh and don’t forget the afternoon tea served on actual cake stands and tea served in teacups and saucers?! No silver foil tray food here.

BUT I still can’t figure out if it’s worth the £3k+ price tag?

I will tell you one thing though no matter how long you are away for, flying home in a lower class is a major come down. Not only are you sad that you are heading home after an amazing trip, you are yearning to be comfortably lying flat in your bed getting a good sleep, not curled up in a ball, with your neck half crooked into a random persons shoulder!

Sooo when Matt surprised me with Upper Class tickets for our trip to Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I was beyond excited and more than ready to experience the luxury again! 🙂

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Cheers and Happy Holidays!!

Love, Chloe xx