22nd October – 29th October, 2022
Thursday 20th October, 2022
Travelling to Miami
We decided to drive to the airport and leave our car with a Meet and Greet service by Blue Circle from Holiday Extras which included a stay at a hotel the night before.
We arrived at the Mercure hotel and booked into our room and discovered that we had been upgraded to a Privilege room, excitedly we looked to see what our perks would be: a carton of orange juice and can of Fanta in the mini-bar and dressing gown and slippers in the wardrobe! I did make use of the orange juice in the morning though…
We were travelling with our friends who we were spending the first week on board the Symphony of the Seas with and then they were spending a further week on board the Explorer of the Seas, whilst we were travelling back home.
We had spent £32 on a pre-paid dinner package, which included starter, main course, pudding and a drink, so we went down to the restaurant to see what was on offer. The meal was okay, but both Phil, my husband and Ian, ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala which by all accounts was very, very hot!
After a couple of drinks, we all headed back to our rooms as we had quite an early start. Having booked our flights through Royal Caribbean at different times, we had different flights, so wouldn’t be seeing each other again until we were on board the ship.
Friday, 21st October, 2022
The next morning, we drove to Heathrow Airport and left our car with the Blue Circle Meet and Greet, which when we found them, was quite painless.
From there we headed to Terminal 3 Aspire Lounge, which was very full and people who hadn’t booked were being turned away. It was difficult to find a seat, but once we had settled down we tucked into hot breakfast and coffee.
We were travelling with American Airlines and I found their app very useful. It gave you the latest information about the flight, the gate number and even your boarding pass, so checking in with the suitcases was easy and quick. On board the plane, they had many films, TV shows, etc., to watch and I found myself enjoying Mrs Harris Goes To Paris and the BBC’s comedy, Ghosts, (even though I’ve seen them all a few times before!) Phil enjoyed Oasis at Knebworth and Top Gun Maverick.
We arrived at Miami at 5.30 PM local time which was 10:30 PM, England time and we searched for the shuttle bush to the hotel we would be staying in, which was The Hilton, Blue Lagoon Hotel. Eventually the transport turned up and we boarded the vehicle to take us to our hotel and which only took about 20 minutes. This was free of charge by the hotel.
After being told we were too late to book on the 10:15 AM shuttle to the port, we decided to get a taxi in the morning and headed to the pool bar for our evening meal, by this time it was about 1:00 AM England time and we were shattered. As soon as the meal was finished we headed back to our room and we were asleep before our heads hit the pillow!
Saturday, 22nd October, 2022
The next morning we went down to the lobby to check out and went to the concierge to book a taxi, to be told that we could go on the shuttle for $13 each! So, we didn’t need telling twice, we paid the driver (who seemed a little stressed with a couple of the women who didn’t have their luggage labels) and then we left for the port!
After what seemed like ages, we arrived at the port and after dropping people off at different cruise ships, it was our turn, we turned the corner and there she was: Symphony of the Sea in all her glory, we were nearly boarding after two days of travelling!
Take a look at the video:
To see a video of what we got up to with lots more photographs and videos, take a look at the YouTube video: