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Published: April 19th 2017
This holiday has been a very long time in preparation. The cruises that form the later part of the holiday were booked back in January 2016 as they were a really good deal and we did not have to pay anything until January 2017. The two cruises combined will be the biggest we have ever undertaken and will be on Norwegian Epic our favourite cruise ship.
When we booked these cruises, we also managed to get a good price on a one way flight to London Gatwick with Norwegian Airlines. At the point of booking, neither of us had flown with Norwegian, but have friends that rate it very highly. They have free on board Wi-Fi too on European flights.
Since booking the flights, Theresa has flown from Tenerife to Madrid return on Norwegian and could not fault them. George also had tickets to fly Norwegian in January to attend a funeral in UK. Unfortunately the flight was 910 minutes late taking off which would have meant he would miss the funeral, so he did not go and claimed a refund which he got. A compensation claim was not possible without loads of stress so we aborted any idea
of it. This delayed flight was caused by two partially punctured tyres on the aircraft discovered by the Captain after landing as he inspected the aircraft prior to take off. We are going into today´s flight with a completely open mind. It is their chance for them to show us they are not a cowboy cheap frills airline. The 910 minute delay referred to above was managed atrociously and very unprofessionally.
Norwegian Airlines dedicates their aircraft tail fins to famous people, normally from Norway. Today’s plane was so new that it did not have a painted tail fin and they did not know who it would be. Norwegian’s tail fin heroes are iconic figures from across the network that have each pushed the boundaries, challenged established norms and inspired others. Norwegian has a new tail fin coming out soon that will be accredited to Thor Heyerdahl who has strong connections with Tenerife.
The flight left on time, and arrived at London Gatwick about on time, so we were well happy.
Whenever we have done a UK stopover in the past we usually stay at the Premier Inn Gatwick North Terminal. As we have an early arrival in
UK today and then a late departure tomorrow afternoon, we have decided to stay away from the airport for the one night. We are staying at the Ibis hotel near Crawley for the night by way of a change. It made a very pleasant change.
On the Ibis hotels website, there is a section about airport shuttles and it says it only runs for certain hours of the day. Our arrival at Gatwick is about an hour and a half before they were due to start the later afternoon shift. We did call the hotel but got no answer so assumed that we would have to make our own way to the hotel.
We proceeded to the local bus stop and caught bus 100 that dropped us off about 50 yards from the hotel. It was a great service and not that expensive.
When we arrived at the hotel we enquired about the airport shuttle and were informed that it runs through from early morning too late at night so was actually running when we arrived. When we showed them their website with the incorrect information, they offered us two free drinks to thank us for spotting
this mistake, which we would not turn down. Theresa thoroughly enjoyed two very large glasses of an expensive Rose (Rosado) wine.
After a short break, we caught the local bus into nearby Crawley town Centre. George wanted a KFC fix so that was dinner sorted. They also have a good Morrison´s there, so an opportunity to get some food etc. for tomorrow.
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