As with Cuba last year, I made the decision to travel down to London the day before and spend the night at the Hilton at Gatwick Airport. This morning I got myself ready and arranged to meet Danielle Dudley at Jamie Oliver’s coffee shop.
A few of us met at the coffee shop before proceeding to make our way to the check in desks to meet the rest of the group. After checking in we went to a bar where Dani bought everyone prosecco’s and gave us a copy of the itinerary. Seeing the itinerary brought back a lot of memories for me as the first sailing I ever did with Tony (co-owner of The Vacation Company) was a Caribbean sailing!
At the gate we were given the news that we had been upgraded, 4 of us to club and the rest to premium economy, very exciting! As soon as we got on board we were presented with a glass of champagne. There was a 2 hour delay in taking off (due to a problem in the hold) but having a chair that converts into a fully flat bed made the delay bearable!
On arrival in Barbados we were fast tracked through passport control and taken straight to Turtle Beach, an all-inclusive, all-suite resort on the south coast of the island. Dinner this evening was hosted by the general manager of the hotel and took place on the beach, a beautiful way to end the first day.
I was very excited as I met the rest of the group at the Virgin check in desk at Gatwick South Terminal. There was 10 of us in the group and the trip was being led by Fay McCormack, Star Clippers General Manager, Danielle Dudley, UK Sales Manager and Carley Lancaster, Senior Cruise Consultant.
After a smooth check in we were invited into the V Lounge where we enjoyed free food and soft drinks in comfortable surroundings whilst getting to know each other a little better.
On arrival in Havana, after a 10 hour flight (during which the plane was struck by lightning!), we waited to clear customs. This did take quite a while however the staff were friendly and by the time we had been waved through our cases were waiting for us on the carousel.
We were then taken to the Hotel Capri and after a quick change around we headed out for dinner, a Cuban speciality of shredded beef, rice and black beans. Dinner was accompanied by a couple of Mojitos which we enjoyed as we sat outside in one of the four main squares in Havana.
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